The new year is a great time to kick start some new habits! Many of us developed some unhealthy habits in 2020 as we muddled through the uncertainty of COVID. We ate “comfort foods”, slacked on our exercise, and indulged ourselves in various ways, as our normal routines were disrupted. It’s time to turn that around! Here are some tips to help you create new habits in 2021.
1. Stay hydrated with water.
Your body is composed of 55-65% water, and this is what it craves. Make water your main beverage. Try filling a Yeti or large cup with water as you start your day. Crowd out other beverage choices by drinking at least 3 of these each day.
2. Keep your coffee clean.
Black coffee is the preferred choice. If you add anything to your coffee, make sure it’s not loaded with chemicals. Heavy cream or half-n-half are fine in small amounts. MCT oil powders may also be a good choice for some. Unsweetened almond and coconut milk are also reasonable choices.
3. Watch out for sugar substitutes.
They may prevent you from losing weight by stimulating insulin, creating sweet cravings and damaging your healthy gut bacteria. Avoid Splenda (sucralose), NutraSweet (aspartame) and Sweet-n-Low (saccharin). Acceptable sugar alternatives include: stevia, monk fruit, erythritol and allulose. Use in the least amounts possible.
4. Get off the sugar rollercoaster.
Leave pies, cakes, cookies and candies in 2020. If you need something sweet, have a piece of fruit, and treat it like dessert. Have it at the end of a meal, or use it as a healthy snack.
5. Look out for “seed oils”.
These may promote inflammation in your body and stall weight loss efforts. Read labels to see if any of these oils are in your favorite foods: soybean, safflower, sunflower, canola, corn and cottonseed or “mixed vegetable oil blend”. Better choices: olive, coconut and avocado oil. And REAL butter!
6. Prepare more home-cooked meals.
Take back control of the ingredients you put into your body! Try some new recipes, and embrace the idea of cooking some foods yourself.
7. Quit grazing.
It doesn’t “stoke your metabolism, but it does stimulate insulin, which can interfere with weight loss. Consider your body like a car. You fill up the gas tank when it’s nearly empty. You don’t stop at every gas station as you drive through town to “top it off”. Your body is the same. The energy you consume should last you from meal to meal.
8. Eat 2-3 times per day.
Choose high quality foods, and eat them 2-3 times per day. If the foods you are choosing at meals don’t last 3-5 hours, adjust your choices until you find ones that provide more lasting energy.
9. Improve your sleep quality.
Quit eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. This gives your body time to digest what you have eaten, so it can focus on cleansing and repair while you sleep.
10. Enjoy your meals!
Mealtime should be enjoyable, and a time to nourish your body. Whether your “meal” is something small or large, eaten alone or in the company of others, make it visually appealing and even “post worthy”. Relax, give thanks and use this as a moment to pamper and nourish yourself.
For help with these tips, and for any help with other aspects of your diet, consider having a phone chat with Julie. Your doctor can refer you. There is no additional charge for her help.