WRITTEN BY Dr. Stephanie Rubino, BSc. ND- 06 January 2012
It's 2012 and it's time for a fresh and healthy start!
This is it. This is the year it’s going to happen!
This is the year you are going to resolve to lose weight and do it! Many of us view this time of year as an opportunity to start fresh by breaking unhealthy habits and establishing positive ones. Although our intentions are always good, sometimes we don't have a step-by-step action plan to follow, which can lead to not achieving our goals. Here are some steps to help you slim down and get happy for the upcoming year.
If you would like to lose weight in 2012, ask yourself what the best ways are for you to successfully reach your aspirations.
Before you start any program, purchase a journal, start a blog or download an app where you can record everything - what and when you eat, exercise, sleep patterns, your mood and anything else that may be important for you. This will help create awareness of your progress and even shed some light on areas you want to improve.
Choose Your Foods & Drinks Wisely.
Busy schedules can lead to improper eating throughout the day. Inconsistent and poor eating can lead to low blood sugar levels, nutrient deficiencies and weight gain. Try to include fresh fruits and vegetables, good quality proteins such as chicken, fish, beans, lentils and chickpeas, and low glycemic carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. Eliminate all saturated and trans fats from your diet, and incorporate healthy fats from nuts and different oils such as fish, olive and flaxseed. Consume at least 30 grams of fibre per day, which will help lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar and keep you feeling full throughout the day.
Water is one of the best beverages to consume and it should be with you at all times. Quick Tip: Drink at least the equivalent of one-half your body weight in ounces each day!
Establish Consistent Eating Habits.
It really is important to eat consistently throughout the day. Eating smaller meals more frequently is an important way to stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce mood fluctuations and not overeat later in the day. Skipping meals will cause your body to store additional fat, lower your metabolic rate and lose muscle. So don’t forget to eat breakfast, it really is one of the most important meals of the day! Whenever possible, eat in a calm environment without the distraction of a television or phone. Eat slowly and chew your food well in order to digest your food properly and avoid disturbances such as gas and bloating. Practice portion control by following these guidelines: protein portions should be the size and thickness of your palm; fruits and vegetables should be equal to that of two loose fists; and carbohydrates should be the size of one clenched fist.
Become More Active.
Some people love to a workout at the gym, while others prefer a walk outdoors. Think about ways you can be more physically active in order to get moving. Ideally, a combination of cardiovascular and strength training will help to strengthen the heart, increase muscle mass and increase metabolic rate. If you are unsure of where to start, working with a personal trainer or a friend will help to establish a long-lasting exercise regime.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
Insufficient sleep can lead to a myriad of unhealthy choices…a few extra coffees and quick sweet snacks for an energy boost! Having low energy throughout the day may also prevent us from being more physically active or from making proper meals…I’m just too tired to do that! Less sleep has been shown to produce higher levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which has been shown to reduce energy expenditure, stimulate hunger and food intake, and promote retention of fat. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and your body and mind will thank you!
Natural Health Products for Weight Loss
You will find a variety of natural health products that claim to help with weight loss. These products have been shown to increase metabolism, increase fat breakdown, block fat absorption, or control blood sugar levels. Always speak to your health care provider to ensure a natural health product is suitable for you and your health conditions. Here are few products that you may want to consider to help achieve your weight loss goals:
- Green Tea: The polyphenols in green tea support weight management by increasing calorie and fat metabolism, and reducing the amount of fat being absorbed by inhibiting the digestive breakdown of fat that is required for absorption.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): CLA has been shown increase metabolic rate, decrease abdominal fat, lower cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance, and enhance muscle growth.
- PGX® Daily: PGX is a unique, patented polysaccharide complex (made with natural plant fibres), that helps stop food cravings, reduces appetite and provides a lasting feeling of fullness so you eat less. PGX slows the digestive process to help level out the "blood sugar rollercoaster" that can contribute to obesity, diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions. PGX Daily is available as softgels and unflavoured granules. PGX Daily Singles can be mixed easily with moist foods such as soups, yogurt and cereal, or in water or juices.
Establish Your Goals.
If you are interested in losing weight in 2012, it is important to set small and realistic goals with practical solutions. Address one goal at a time so you do not become overwhelmed. Examples of goals may include to:
- Eat smaller meals but more often in the day.
- Exercise for 30 minutes three times per week.
- Increase water intake to 5 glasses per day.
- Introduce one new whole grain per week.
- Eat one extra serving of fruits and vegetables each day.
Take the time to determine where you need to improve your eating and lifestyle habits for a successful weight loss program. In doing so, you will establish permanent solutions for a healthier life.
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