Written By: Courtney Buck, MS, RDN, LD
Let’s talk about Weight Management Goals
Hello 2023! We have all had a couple weeks to settle in and get the date right. But every year around this time we start to think about the changes we can make. The new year signifies a fresh start and clean slate. Many of us want to make more money, get organized and the big one, lose weight. So where do we typically start? A diet.
Here’s a challenge – why not try something different? The diet industry is worth $70 billion, yet according to studies, 95% of all diets fail. Diets create sets of rules and restrictions that are not sustainable and whether you end up following it for a few days, weeks or months, you eventually go back to old habits ultimately regaining the weight. Creating lifestyle and habit changes that you can continue lifelong is how you can expect to lose unwanted weight and keep it off.
Let’s take a look at how we can realistically approach these changes without creating the restrictions that come with a diet.
Ditch the Diet
Ignore all the “rules” that you have learned from diets and break them! When we talk about healthy eating and balanced diets we mean fueling and nourishing your body to function properly. This includes vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, quality protein and carbohydrates. Yes, you read that correctly – carbohydrates are NOT the villain!! All foods are “allowed” in your diet, you just want to be mindful of portion sizes, frequency and balance.
As humans, we will never be perfect, and neither will our eating and lifestyle habits. So let’s think about being on track 80% of the time with healthy foods choices and indulging mindfully in those guilty pleasures the other 20%. This is not only helpful to help achieve weight loss but to also keep it off!
Eat the Rainbow
Not only does a plate of food with lots of color look more interesting but it also provides a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Did you know that red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that improve heart health and have cancer-fighting effects. Add tomatoes, strawberries and red peppers to your diet for these benefits. While orange/yellow fruits and vegetables contain lutein supporting healthy vision. Load up on oranges, carrots and bananas to see the future!
Consistent Eating Pattern
Avoid going several hours without eating. If you are not properly fueled you may experience fatigue, brain fog and low blood sugars. When you finally eat, you may ignore fullness cues leading to overeating and unhealthy food choices. Aim to eat breakfast within the first couple hours after waking up and continue the pattern with lunch and dinner. Close large gaps of time between meals with an intentional snack comprised of quality proteins, healthy fats and fiber.
We need to learn to walk before we can run, so let’s do just that. Where are you with your exercise routine at this very moment? If you just joined a gym or need to dust of your treadmill, then it isn’t likely you will not be working out 4-5 days this week. Create a goal for yourself that is easily obtainable. 1 or 2 days this week may not sound like a whole lot, but it is certainly more than 0 which is a step in the right direction. Progress with any goal is what we are looking for. Do not compare yourself to your neighbor or best friend. Compare you to you! After a few weeks of successfully meeting your first baby step (walking for 15-30 minutes 1-2 day/week) increase it to something a little bigger (walking for 30+ minutes 3 days week).
The weight loss journey is not always an easy one to do alone. Create a support system and learn more about a healthy and balanced lifestyle by working with a Registered Dietitian at Harmony Nutrition. You can learn more about our team by clicking here: https://harmonynutritionatl.com/meet-our-team/