Happy New Year! Where did 2017 go? It went by way too quickly for me. But it’s January again. This is the time when everyone takes a moment to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the new one. I hear a lot of people talking about health and wellness and what they need to do this year to lose those few extra pounds that creeped on over the holidays or over the past year. More exercise! Less Eating! No Carbohydrates! No Fat! No Breakfast! No lunch! No…fill in the blank with whatever may be popular in the moment! There seems to be a new craze every week that promises a quick fix – lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks – wow, wouldn’t that be great!
Unfortunately, most of the “crazes” are not based in reality or may be good for short term fulfillment but they lack staying power. I prefer to think of this time of year as one for permanent changes not quick fixes. Wouldn’t it be nice to get off the diet roller coaster? Wouldn’t it be nice to finally lose those 5-15 pounds and keep them off? I think it’s time to make a change – you deserve it! But where do you start?
Start simple! A lot of us have an all or nothing mentality. We either exercise everyday for 1 hour or we do nothing. We either avoid all carbohydrates or we over eat them. We either eat healthy or we eat all junk foods. It does not need to be all or nothing. Let’s start with simple moderation.
1. Eat something for breakfast every day. You need to get your metabolism going first thing in the morning so that you can continue to burn calories all day long.
2. After breakfast, eat something (I am not saying a whole meal, but something small) every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism burning.
3. Eat more vegetables. Most people I talk to do not realize that they should be eating 5-10 servings of vegetables each day. That is ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw. That may seem like a lot, but it can easily happen if you put your focus on eating some vegetables at every meal.
4. Fruit does not take the place of vegetables. Limit your intake to 1-2 pieces every day.
5. Eat protein at every meal and every snack. Protein is what makes you feel full. It also helps to keep your blood sugar stable which helps to keep sustained energy all day long.
6. Make sure that your diet contains some good fats. Olive oil, coconut oil, walnut, almond, flax, MCT, and fish are all good sources of healthy fats.
7. Walk for 10-15 minutes every day. This might mean parking a little further away at work or the grocery store, taking an extra flight of stairs instead of the elevator, taking a few laps around your house or office because the weather is bad. It is not difficult to include more movement in your day if you know that it does not have to be an all or nothing.
8. Take a moment to think about what you are eating, be mindful of how quickly you are eating and why, and be thankful for the food on your plate.
9. When all else fails, seek out some extra help. I have seen many people through the years who have struggled with their weight, only to find out that they have food sensitivities. Once they remove the offending foods, the weight just comes off.
Wishing you all health and happiness in the New Year!