Healthy eating is definitely something you should be doing year round. But, January seems to be a time where people are focusing even more on what they put in their bodies. Actually, the number one resolution is, as you may have guessed, weight loss.
Making a New Year’s Resolution can actually be a positive thing! It’s a time when most people are inspired to make change. And, we all know how hard change can be before it becomes a habit! Nevertheless, motivation can be contagious and taking charge of your health is always a great goal.
The best way to stick to your weight loss goals is to make small, sustainable changes that will eventually lead to major shifts in lifestyle. Have a look at some of these easy suggestions.
1 – Swap Sugar for Fruit
Yes, we are big believers in avoiding excess sugar. But, we also believe in making small changes that have a great nutritious punch. Sugary treats are basically void of nutrients, where natural, whole fruits are not only sweet tasting but pack in a whole lot of vitamins, fiber and enzymes that promote health. Start by replacing your mid-afternoon sweet with a fruit of your choice. After time, you can reduce your fruit servings to a minimum for maximum weight loss.
2 – Drink a LOT of Water
Rather than focusing on all the things you need to take OUT of your diet, why not focus on the healthy things to ADD IN? Like water. Make it your goal to drink a minimum of 8 large glasses of water daily; more if you’re very active or trying to lose weight. Just think, your body is 60% water, so it’s only natural that drinking a lot of water will make you feel better while helping your body work optimally. Plus, it’s likely that drinking all that water will naturally crowd out the other beverages, like soda and coffee, that you may be trying to avoid.
3 – Eat Home-based Meals
There’s no denying that eating out is most likely less nutritious than eating at home. Why? When we’re out, we often forget to consider the added fat and sodium in meals. Plus, we are more apt to make compromises on our own diet rules. For example, french fries. Most of us won’t take the time at home to make french fries, so eating them at the restaurant becomes a treat. It also throws us under the health bus. Not to mention, fast food meals. These are top of the list for meals that are full of sodium, saturated and trans fats. So, why not commit to eating more meals at home? To make this measurable, plan out how many lunches and dinners you plan to cook yourself every week. Make sure that you’re being realistic. If you currently eat out 10 times weekly, it’s going to be a big challenge to reduce that amount to once per week. It’s possible, but you’ll need to be prepared for the challenge. We recommend that you start small and gradually add more as you get the hang of cooking at home.
4 – Eat More Protein
No matter what your goals are, protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. It helps maintain muscle mass (which helps maintain a higher metabolism), builds new muscle and keeps you feeling full for longer after a meal. It is also crucial for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. If you’re not certain how much protein you should be eating, you can start with a general rule of 0.8g of protein for every kilogram of body weight. Of course, it is always recommended to tweak this amount if you are looking to lose weight or perform endurance activities like running or weight training.
5 – Eat Veggies Like It’s Your Job
Vegetables. We can’t say enough how amazing they are for your health. Eat them – a lot. Yes, they are carbohydrates. But, remember, that your body is actually designed to use carbohydrates as fuel. Plus, with the high fiber, low calorie and high nutrient value, these are carbohydrates that you just can’t pass up. By focusing on eating more vegetables, one at every meal and snack, you may instinctively eat fewer not-so-healthy foods. One cup of leafy greens or a ½ a cup of vegetables counts as one serving. Aim for six servings per day.
6 – Feed Your Gut
Have you heard about probiotics yet? If not, it’s time that you start doing some research. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that you eat (or take in supplement form) that help feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. In fact, our body has more bacteria cells than human cells. What does this mean? This means that our your gut really does dictate a large portion of your current health status, including the performance of your immune system. Making sure that your gut bacteria is predominantly healthy will, without a doubt, have a positive effect on your overall health. There are different ways to increase your intake of probiotics without needing to buy fancy supplements and that’s by adding more probiotic food to your diet. Probiotic-rich foods include: kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, tempeh, kefir, yogurt and miso. Now, before you run to the store to buy more sauerkraut, you need to ensure that the probiotic food you are purchasing has not be pasteurized and it is stored in the fridge. Pasteurized food has been processed to kill harmful bacteria, which also kills the beneficial bacteria, too.
7 – Focus on One Change at a Time
This is probably the most important suggestion if you’re looking at making long-term change in your life and lifestyle. Think about it for a moment. The tendency at the beginning of the year is to make a long list of things you want to change for the new year. So you make that list, get started, only to return to old habits come February.Why? Because change takes time and creating new habits is tough. When you are too radical, it becomes unrealistic to continue in a way that is sustainable. The last six habit suggestions are easy enough to make on their own, but when you put them all together, it’s a lot. This is why we recommend focusing on one change at a time. Maybe even one change monthly, or more, if it hasn’t become a habit yet. This way, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that will also propel you towards accomplishing more goals and having a sense of success in your life. Striving to become better in small intervals really adds up to huge changes over time… which we are then more likely to keep for years to come.
At LowFat LowCarb, we are inspired to help you reach your goals. We know how challenging making change can be and we’re really rooting for you to find long-term achievements in your health. No matter what you decide to do this year to make some changes for the better, we know that you are absolutely wonderful already. Don’t forget your own current beauty when looking at all the things you want to change.
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