How many people do you think made a weight loss wish when the ball dropped this year? Chances are, quite a few.
With two-thirds of Americans overweight, there are an estimated 45 million people on a diet right now, chalking up $33 billion per year on weight loss products.
Yet, times are changing, and so are the approaches to improving our health. The dogma of calories in, equal calories out has been exploited. There is far more involved with wellness and weight loss than the obsession with eating perfect portions of perfectly healthy food.
Make this year different by relaxing the efforts on dieting, and create a balance between the mind, body, and spirit, emphasizing how you feel, how, what and when you eat, and what you believe makes you healthy. I've included a few items to focus on below:
Sounds so simple, yet, many of us are not drinking enough water. In the winter, I fulfill this need by carrying a water bottle with me wherever I go, or more often you will see me with my Continga containing hot water with lemon. The goal is to drink half your weight in ounces, and more if you are exercising or traveling. Water will help your body remove waste (detox), keep your joints fluid, keep your muscles hydrated, aid mental clarity, and keep your skin looking young. Start the day with an inner bath and drink 20 ounces first thing.
2. Don’t Major in Minor Things
Sometimes eating “perfectly” can do us more harm than good. The stress of having GMO corn in in your salsa when out enjoying Mexican, or questioning if the eggs are organic when out to brunch is not worth the stress. Relax. Don't give up 95% of your life to drop 5% of your weight (or fill in the blank of what you are trying to achieve). The healthiest version of yourself isn't how good you look in a swimsuit. The healthiest version of yourself is when hormones are balanced (stress rocks this), your body and mind are strong and you have the energy to do what you love. When you push your body to extremes, including talking to yourself in a negative way, you're giving up more than calories. You miss out on life. Don't get your panties in a bundle over every bite you take.
3. Avoid Vegetable Oils and Man-Made Oils (Canola. Corn, Sunflower, Soybean oil, Safflower and Cottonseed oil)
One thing you won’t be able to read on a food label for vegetable oils and margarine is the inflammatory status of this food. These oils have large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful to our health. The more Omega-6s you eat, the more systemic inflammation you will have. Opt for better fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil. palm oil, grass-fed butter or ghee for cooking, and olive oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil for cold uses. Make sure to have some sort of fat on your plate at each meal, and the right kind of fat.
4. Know Hunger is the Best Sauce
Master hunger and feel comfortable being hungry 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Eat when you’re hungry – but only when you’re hungry. Forget the clock and listen to your body instead.
Perhaps my favorite tip: moderation (and I am not talking food). While working hard in your career, parenthood, friendships, life, find a balance in enjoying things like a spa treatment, book/magazine, coffee date, glass of wine, or something I haven’t mentioned, but you love. Being healthy is a balancing act, and not about deprivation nor perfection. Work hard, play hard and enjoy the moment at hand.
6. Stress Less - Sleep more
Sleep is the backbone of good health. Guard your bedtime as sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.