Something many people talk to me about in my practice is the desire to lose weight and to go on a diet. I cringe when people talk to me about going on “this” diet or “that” diet. Staying healthy and shedding pounds shouldn’t be about strict deprivation, cutting out entire food groups, or following the latest craze. Yes, of course there are certain foods that are better for us than others, but releasing weight and becoming the best version of yourself should be more about sustainable lifestyle changes than restrictions or quick fixes.
We all know deep inside that diets don’t work. Most people not only gain back what they lost, but even more weight on top of that. Extreme calorie restriction puts our bodies into starvation mode and makes us hold onto fat and calories. Dieting can also cause other health conditions such as blood sugar imbalances, adrenal fatigue and depression (to name a few).
Making small sustainable changes over time will not only help you to achieve your health goals, but help you to maintain them in the long run. Instead of trying to do it all at once, change one thing a week in regards to your eating habits. Maybe start off with increasing the amount of water you consume one week, adding more vegetables the next week, and cutting out refined sugar the following week. Making changes this way will keep you motivated and give the confidence that you really can change your lifestyle and maintain your new habits.
Here are some more of my favorite tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
- Consume unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible. Including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and good quality proteins.
- Cook more meals at home- This will ensure that there are no added chemicals, sugars or salts in your meal.
- Cut down or preferably eliminate sugary drinks- especially colas.
- Chose fruit instead of items containing refined sugar if you are craving something sweet.
- Never allow yourself to get too hungry and make sure to have small snacks between meals.
- Drink green tea. It will boost your metabolism and is rich in antioxidants
- Eat smaller portions and load up your plate with mostly salad and vegetables
- Increase your fiber intake
- Increase your water intake
- Cut out white carbohydrates (i.e. pasta, rice and bread) and refined sugars from your diet. Go for brown rice and pasta, and whole grain breads
Above all, be kind to yourself, missteps are part of the process of making changes The good news is that you get a do over at your very next meal.