January diets are about ‘creating a happy relationship with food’

Just 8% of people stick to their New Year's resolutions beyond January.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

14.47 1 Jan 2024

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January diets are about ‘creat...

January diets are about ‘creating a happy relationship with food’

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

14.47 1 Jan 2024

Share this article

Successful January diets are down to “creating a happy relationship with food” according to a leading nutritionist and author.

Elsa Jones is appealing to people to consider their motivations for losing weight before undergoing a diet.

It comes as a recent study by Forbes Health found only 8% of people stick with their New Year’s resolutions beyond January.


On The New Year Special with Claire McKenna today, Ms Jones said people often “carry shame” around their food choices.

“I think the first thing is to really take a moment and reflect on what kind of relationship you want to have with food,” she said.

“You say you want to lose some weight but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to go into a restricted deprivation mode either.

“What you need to do is focus on the bigger picture.”

Healthy relationship

Ms Jones said building a healthy relationship with food is key.

“It’s also important to keep an eye on the overall connection with food you want to cultivate,” she said.

“If you want lasting change, you need not only a healthy relationship with food but a happy relationship with food.

“It’s important to focus on the overall picture of how you want to feel around food.”


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It’s also important to continue living life while dieting, according to the expert.

“Things like holidays and life is still possible around food,” said Ms Jones.

“You could have the most perfect diet in the world but be miserable.

“To eat well is important but your overall wellbeing and happiness is just as important and food is just one aspect of that picture.”

Take a pause

Ms Jones said taking a pause before deciding what to eat is very helpful for her clients.

“The power is in the pause,” she said.

“You need to just take a second and go ‘Okay before I choose what I’m going to eat here – how do I want to feel after I eat it?

“I think instead of having a ham and cheese toastie, which there’s nothing wrong with it, I’m going to make an omelette.

“I’m choosing to make an omelette for lunch to get more protein so I feel fuller for longer and I’ll have fewer sweet cravings this afternoon for tea and biscuits.”

Ms Jones added that eating has become “automatic for some” and reminding yourself you have a choice can prove helpful.

Main image: Woman on a weighing scale. Image: Antonio Santos / Alamy Stock Photo.

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