According to Health.com, the number one New Year’s Resolution year in and year out is to lose weight. This is no easy feat, especially after a long holiday season of eating delicious, but not so healthy foods. Molly Ward, Whitney Young Health’s Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator is guest blogging to give you the right tips to not only keep your resolution, but turn this goal into a new healthy lifestyle.
1. Stay Away from Fad Diets
Don’t fall prey to fad diets and sham weight-loss products. Conflicting claims, testimonials and hype by so-called “experts” can confuse even the most informed consumers.
The bottom line is: If a diet or product or plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are no foods or pills that can magically melt the pounds away. Steer clear of any plan or products that make the following claims:
Rapid Weight Loss
Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. Healthy plans aim for a loss of no more than 2 pounds per week. If you lose weight quickly, you’ll lose muscle, bone and water. You will also be more likely to regain the pounds quickly.
Quantities and Limitations
Ditch diets that allow unlimited quantities of any food, such as grapefruit and cabbage soup. It’s boring to eat the same thing over and over and hard to stick with monotonous plans. Avoid any diet that eliminates or severely restricts entire food groups, such as carbohydrates. Even if you take a multivitamin, you’ll still miss some essential nutrients.
Specific Food Combinations
Eating the “wrong” combinations of food doesn’t cause them to turn to fat immediately, as some plans claim.
Life is already complicated enough. Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can be an overwhelming, unrealistic task. With any new diet, always ask yourself: “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.
No Need to Exercise
Regular physical activity is essential for good health and healthy weight management, there is not getting around this fact. The key to success is to find physical activities that you enjoy and then aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week.
The “not-so-secret” secret to reaching your health and wellness goals is eating healthfully and moving more. See the next section for some ideas.
2. Smart Resolution ideas
- Eat 3 meals a day, starting with breakfast, and model them after the MyPlate on www.choosemyplate.gov.
- Eat a variety of fruits and veggies every day
- Tip: don’t let your blender take your stomach’s job
- Reduce your sugar intake
- Incorporate more prebiotics and probiotics into your diet
- Prebiotics- non-digestible food components that are linked to promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut (bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans, and whole-wheat breads)
- Probiotics- active cultures that help change or repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora (yogurts, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh)
- Practice mindful eating
- Eat slower, take time to taste and appreciate what you are eating
- Chew each mouthful at least 10 times
- Put utensil down between bites
- Sip water between bites
- Eat without distraction
- Pause mid-way through meals and ask yourself, “Am I full?”, stop when the answer is yes.
- Make time for meal prep
- Eat out less
- Stock your kitchen with fewer empty calorie foods
- Empty calories: foods that provide loads of calories from sugar and fat but little vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein
- Drink more water
- The average adult needs 64-80oz if water daily
- Get at least 7-8hrs of sleep every night
- Exercise 30 minutes at least 5 days a week
3. Get the Help from Professionals
If you want to maintain or get to a healthy weight, build muscle and lose fat, the best path is a lifelong combination of eating smarter and moving more. For a personalized plan tailored to your lifestyle and food preferences, consult a registered dietitian with expertise in weight management. An RD can help you find a realistic, flexible eating style that helps you feel and be your best, just ask your doctor for a referral.
Steps to get connected with a RD
- Talk with your provider and get a referral
- Talk with your insurance, understand what is covered
- Connect with in-network RD
Questions about seeing Molly Ward RD at WYH? Please feel free to call (518)591-4493 with questions.