Happy New Year!
For many of us January is the month that we are re-evaluating our lives and thinking about where we might like to make beneficial changes related to improving our health and wellbeing.
Often our motivation for changing our eating and lifestyle habits is strong at the beginning of the New Year, however as life gets busy it is sometimes difficult to stick to our intentions. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the goals are realistic, healthy and achievable, we can do this by aiming to focus on what we want to achieve as opposed to what we don’t want to. In essence it’s a time to focus on putting changes into practice that you’ll keep up for the whole year and beyond.
Healthy Eating isn’t only for the month of January
December’s festivities, although enjoyable, have left me feeling sluggish and tired. Therefore, after all the indulgence of the holidays it’s a good idea to refocus on ways to improve the diet and lifestyle.
One of the main things people want to focus on this time of year is managing their weight, healthy eating and getting into shape, as there are numerous health benefits in doing so. Although it is not advisable to undertake quick fix diets that severely restrict calorie intake and lead to rapid weight loss, as this method has been found to affect the metabolism, which over time produces a state of “resistance” to weight loss, especially if carried out routinely.
So instead why not start the new year by being kinder to your body and consuming the foods and beverages that will give your organs the nutrients they need to do their job. You can do this by starting to follow the recommended healthy dietary and lifestyle habits (see below) now and throughout the rest of the year.
“Start with small ways to improve your diet or increase your activity and gradually add more into your routine e.g. add in a 30-minute walk to your week, or reduce portion sizes”.
It is beneficial to try to avoid any approach that does not promote a balanced, varied or sufficient diet and rather adopt a healthy and varied Mediterranean diet. Research published in the journal ‘The Lancet’ last June found that participants who ate Mediterranean diets with high levels of olive oil and nuts lost more weight than those on a low-fat controlled diet.
In order to establish healthy habits throughout 2018 and beyond make it your goal to incorporate some of these simple nutrition tips into your daily routine:
- Tackle any nutrient deficiencies as these have been associated with weight gain.
- Tackle any food sensitivities or intolerances as these have been associated with weight gain (book an
appointment with one of our approved nutritionists)
- Increase your intake of filtered water to 6-8 glasses a day
- Base your meals around good quality protein and healthy fats to promote satiety and complex carbohydrates to provide a slow sustained release of energy.
- Increase intakes of whole unprocessed foods that include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains as part of a Mediterranean diet.
- Reduce intakes of refined foods and white sugar.
- Eat dairy produce in moderation
- Manage stress levels, as stress has been associated with weight gain
- Aim to increase your physical activity.
- Increase your intake of ‘good fats’ monosaturated (olive oil, avocados, nuts) and polyunsaturated fats
omega -3 (flax seed, fish oil).
- Use herbs and spices both fresh and dried varieties for cooking.
- Aim to include small portions of lean animal proteins and fish at meal times or opt for plant-based proteins like soy products, beans, legumes.
- Reduce intakes of processed meat, whilst aiming to consume 1 portion of organic or pasture raised red meat once a week.
- Get enough rest and sleep
- Prepare your meals and plan ahead, as this encourages you to be more mindful about the foods you are eating and taking ownership about the choices being made.
Supplementation can play a key role in getting you closer to your goal. This month’s focus is on 3 of supplements you can take that will lay the ground work and get you kick started on those 2018 weight loss and fitness goals.
This product contains hydroxycitric acid which has been known to help with weight loss by Firstly – suppressing appetite by increasing serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression and an increased risk of emotional eating, therefore as serotonin levels rise, this may lead to an improved mood, whilst lessening the drive to reach for food during emotional situations.
Secondly it has been found to inhibit a key enzyme called citrate lyase that your body requires to make fat from carbohydrates, thereby affecting the fat-making process in your body.
It also may help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
This product contains the compound chlorogenic acid which has been found to reduce body weight by firstly decreasing absorption of glucose sugar, due to its effects on sugar absorption from starch.
Secondly due to improved fat synthesis and a reduction of fat stored in the liver by increasing the function of the fat burning hormone ‘adiponectin’.
If you are exercising and trying to lose weight you may want to consider the supplement Acetyl-L-Carnitine an amino acid as one of its roles it to transfer stored fat into the cells to be metabolised for energy. Increasing the concentrations of carnitine in the muscles may help to elevate fat-burning potential and boost energy levels.
Note: some weight loss supplements can interact/interfere with medications or supplements, so it is advisable to speak with your healthcare provider prior to taking.
People with serious medical conditions should see a doctor before making any changes to their normal diet or taking supplements.