Like every year, many people are making a tradition to start exercising, eat healthy, quit smoking, etc in the new year. Everyone really wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In one way or another, January 1 is a good time for many of us.

Good intentions. Why now? Why did you not succeed in keeping your New Year's resolutions for more than a month? I was curious how others organize their healthy lifestyle and how they can maintain this throughout the year? Do take advantage of it so next year you can also say: I don't make good intentions anymore, I follow my good intentions throughout the year.

The story of Madelon


So you are a real health freak?

Haha, this might be the trickiest question;) because what is health? Do you only mean healthy eating or exercise, feeling good or the absence of illness? In fact, it could be that someone who is sick and who does not resist being sick, can feel okay, but whether you should speak of health ..? I believe that health is about being in balance, not only with yourself but also with your environment. For me it means an interaction of body and mind. I think a healthy mind is a mind that is positive in life and has self-confidence and that especially lives life in the present. You shouldn’t get stuck in the past (learn from what you're going through) or live in fear for the future. I think you can feed this mind with positive thoughts, plenty of oxygen, healthy food, and plenty of exercise.

And then in relation of nutrition: in this world so many people have got overweight due to poor nutrition. At the same time, there are so many people, such as dietitians, who want to help this group with their health or with losing weight, but the problem is only getting worse. I wonder how effective this is? So I think health starts with healthy thinking first and directly followed by eating and exercising. I think everyone is able to lose weight, but it is about your lifestyle that you can and especially want to maintain for the rest of your life. That will not work with a diet alone.

For me, nutrition and lifestyle are like medicine. Someone has said this beautifully: Let food be your medicine and your medicine your food!

I certainly support this, but whether I am a freak ..;) The way I see it this is normal!

Exercise, sports or training is something I miss when I haven't done it for even a day. I don't think I need to explain why exercise is important. I am always curious for the reason why someone does not exercise, because I have never discovered a negative influence of exercising.

What do you do to eat healthy?

To make sure my body gets nutrients. Think about proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and sufficient moisture and everything as fresh as possible and from mother nature herself. I personally eat as lesse processed or refined food as possible.

I also do intermittent fasting. This means that I take into account the times when I eat. I eat for a maximum of 8 consecutive hours a day and skip eating for the other 16 hours. I do not eat snacks, but eat 2 or 3 meals a day. This makes me more energetic and keeps me fit. It can give your digestion a boost, it teaches your body to burn fat, to balance hormones and it helps to get or stay in touch with your body even better. In short, I am going back to the basics of the past. I eat as much as possible the same as what the prehistoric man ate long ago and when he did so.

How do you do this?

It's very simple: be aware of what you're putting in your mouth!

The more it has been "adjusted" within the factory, the better you can leave it.

Just eat your vegetables, fruit, nuts / seeds, fish and occasionally some (organic) meat or chicken that has not or hardly been manipulated. For example, I only eat chicken from the brand 'Aunt Door'. This chicken is 100% vegetable fed, with minerals and vitamins because in my personal opinion it is very important that the meat is antibiotic free and that the chicken has had a good life.

And what do you pay attention to?

That I get in the daily recommended nutrients and that I enjoy the food that really nourishes! Besides that I also pay attention to what comes in the body through the skin, our largest organ. I don't use synthetic or unnatural deodorants, lotions or fragrances. I train or exercise every day, but this must also be in balance with sufficient rest, so I sleep between 7 and 8 hours a night. These hours are needed to cleanse your brain and to keep the immune system strong.

Why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve with it?

It sounds very cliché, but I hope to grow very old and fit and vital as possible! I do feel very good about this way of life and I believe that it certainly contributes to the future. I have energy, feel good about myself and enjoy life! The origin for this way of life is not because of fear for illness, but mainly out of love for the body and life. If you take good care of your body, your body can take good care of you.

Do you never eat unhealthy?

Of course I also like some kinds of food, knowing this is not good for me. As long as you find the balance there and enjoy it even more at that moment, that is only good. No one has ever gained weight from eating 1 snack, but you also don't get a muscle after doing 1 bicep curl.

My guilty pleasures are a nice glass of wine during the weekend, a nice piece of dark chocolate or tortilla chips with lots of cheese out of the oven.

How do you keep the balance?

By only using the unhealthy products in weekends, I also enjoy them even more! That does not mean that I eat or drink unhealthy all weekend long .. but it is true that if I have gone tremendously in the "wrong direction" in terms of nutrition for 1 day, I directly compensate this the next day with a longer fast, for example. If I have slept much too short the one night, I go to bed earlier the next day. If I have not moved enough, I will go for a nice run the next day.

Surely your way of eating takes a lot of time? How do you make time for this? Do you have any smart tips?

Well, what is a lot of time .. I do indeed spend more time if you compare it to someone who makes a ready-made microwave meal. I think it has to do with setting priorities, how important do you think this way of life is? Someone who likes to watch Netflix also decides to make time for this?

Every week I make a plan for what I'm going to eat that week. That gives me peace of mind and the things that I can already prepare, such as cooking brown rice or making fresh sauces, I will prepare in advance. Sometimes I also make some extra pasta sauce, for example, so that I can freeze a part of it to use it later.

What is your message to others to still choose a healthy lifestyle after February 1?

For positive thoughts: Keep doing more of what makes you really happy and do less of what doesn't suit you.

For nutrition: do not eat too often at a day and eat as many products from mother nature as possible. Then you don't have to learn to read the labels of what's in it;)

For exercise: as much as possible, because this can never be too much! I certainly recommend to occasionally exercise intensively, such as HIIT and to do strength training, but choose a sport that suits you well, otherwise you will not keep this up.


The story of Francis


So you are a real health freak? What do you do to eat healthy? How do you do this? And what do you pay attention to?

“I do try to maintain a lifestyle that is as healthy as possible. I mainly eat a lot of vegetables and fruit, 500 to 800 grams per day. I use it in every meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner. That requires creativity, especially with lunch and breakfast. I try to eat as 'clean' as possible and to eat enough proteins and good fats. By good fats I mean oily fish, eggs, olive oil (extra virgin), avocados and nuts. I avoid chemical junk, such as cookies, chips, candy, margarine and low-fat margarine as much as possible. Do not eat this, it contains bad fats (trans fats) and these are really not good for you! Furthermore, I had almost abandoned meat, but have now found a Biodynamic farmer nearby. So if I do eat meat I prefer to eat good meat at a maximum of twice a week. I mainly eat vegetables and fruit, this is full of vitamins and minerals, but also fibers. Our body and especially our intestines need fibers and I don't get it from bread, but from vegetables and fruit. And don't forget the skin, because these healthy fibers are just below the skin of the fruit. ”

"Actually, 'varied eating' are the magic words!"

Why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve with it?

“It is not my goal to lose weight, but I want to feel healthy and fit. I want to give my body the right fuel by trying it out myself and finding out how my body reacts to the specific food. In the end you will automatically achieve an ideal weight. "

Do you never eat unhealthy?

"Yes of course! In the weekend I can really enjoy a glass of wine, cheese and the typical Dutch treat ‘bitterballs’. I try to stick to all healthy food during the week and at the weekend I let it go a bit, this keeps the balance. ”

Surely your way of eating takes a lot of time? How do you make time for this? Do you have any smart tips?

“Good preparation is the best tip I can give. I like to make time for this. When I go to the office, I prepare all the food the night before. In that way , I am not tempted to eat cheap and processed food. In this time of Corona I work a lot from home and I now use the former travel time to prepare all the food fresh.”

Are the recipes yourself?

“No, certainly not everything. I get my inspiration from everywhere, I search a lot on the internet, Instagram, I follow a lot of foodies there, and I search for specific hashtags and websites. “

What is your message to others to still choose a healthy lifestyle after February 1?

“I would like to say that a healthy lifestyle should be the goal, bearing in mind the food you eat is a good basic fuel for your body, which makes you feel fit and energetic. With a diet you deprive you of certain foods that you may enjoy, this can cause stress and that is the last thing that is good for your body. In addition, there is a good chance that after the diet period you will fall back into your old habits. I think the ‘80-20 rule’ is a good ratio for a healthy lifestyle. 80 percent of the time you choose healthy food and the other 20 percent you eat what you like. This way you ensure balance and in that way you can easily keep it up.

Let food be your medicine! 

The story of Jorran


So you are a real health freak? What are you doing to stay healthy? How do you do this? And what do you pay attention to?

Seven years ago I changed course. In recent years I have gained experience with different types of sports and nutrition. I started with a nutritional plan based on vegetables, fruits, bread, fish and nuts. Varied on the day, but about the same every day. I strictly adhered to it and even when invited to dinner, I would go home to follow my own eating schedule. I was busy a lot with fitness, my goal was to get my fat percentage down and my muscle mass up. I did it for two years but it didn't give me the right results.

I then started to keep an eye on my calories. This has given me a lot of insight into what you get in. You know what to eat before and after having a dinner or party before.

I also started intermittent fasting, which allows me to eat for 8 hours and for 16 hours not to eat. It is not a diet, but it has positive health effects on your body, your brain and slows down your aging. I feel fit because of this!

When COVID-19 came into our lives, exercising in the gym was no longer possible. I started working on various sports such as cycling, boxing and running.

Why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve with it?

With all the experiences I have gained in recent years in the field of food and sports, I got to know my body better, what suits me and what makes me feel good. I want to achieve a healthy lifestyle with it.

Do you never eat unhealthy?

Certainly not! I can enjoy a delicious dinner or a party with all the goodies that go with it. But because I know what's in it, I also know what to eat the day after to keep my balance. It is not the solution to never eat unhealthy food again, that cannot be sustained.

Surely your way of eating takes a lot of time? How do you make time for this? Do you have any smart tips?

I often eat very functional such as a banana, quark, granola and sometimes leftovers from the previous day. But I can also often be found in the kitchen in the evening to prepare for the next working day.

What is your message to others to still choose a healthy lifestyle after February 1?

Start small, don't start on some kind of crash diet. For example, if you now eat something unhealthy every day, start by replacing these unhealthy things with something healthy during the week. Start with 2 push-ups and don't try to get everything out of yourself right away. Build it up slowly and achieve victories in small steps. A summer body is never built in a month. But it is also really important to do what fits in your life and what you enjoy in terms of sports. A few months ago I became a fathter. I also had to change my schedule that fits into my new life. I'm back on track now!