Getting Back to a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle After the Holidays
January is the month for making and breaking New Year’s resolutions. One of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight. Unfortunately, most people give up by the end of the month. Why? Because in the excitement of the New Year, we tend to go big, especially with our resolutions. However, those big goals are often unrealistic, causing us to set ourselves up for failure. Faced with that failure, many will be discouraged and give up. The key to success isn’t to make lofty weight loss and exercise goals. It’s about adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle.
So now that January and its disappointments are in the past, February is the perfect time for a fresh start. But this time, skip the unrealistic goals and the ‘do or die’ attitude. Focus on smaller, more attainable goals that lead to better nutrition and a healthier lifestyle. If weight loss is the ultimate goal, following a healthy diet and finding a method of exercise that you enjoy will definitely get you off to a good start. Here are some small changes you can make to get you headed in the right direction.
Opt for Non-food Related Activities
So many of our social activities revolve around food, not just during the holidays. Think about it. How often when friends or family suggest getting together, the destination is a favorite restaurant or a meal at someone’s house? Even game or movie nights at home typically involve unhealthy snacks eaten mindlessly with abandon.
Choose activities that get you away from the table and off the couch. Go for walks, take up a hobby or engage in group activities that provide social interaction without food. If you do have a game or movie night, make sure it’s accompanied by healthy snacks eaten in moderation. It can be helpful to prepare these snacks in smaller, pre-portioned amounts with no refills.
Eat Regularly Scheduled Meals
An important part of maintaining a healthy diet is eating regularly scheduled meals. Start the day with a healthy breakfast such as oatmeal, eggs, or fresh fruit. Lunch should follow 3 to 5 hours later and then dinner. Eating evenly spaced out meals throughout the day can help regulate your blood sugar, increase your metabolism and curb your appetite.
In addition to making healthier food choices, it’s important not to skip meals. Whether it’s because you’re busy or just trying to eat less, skipping a meal can have adverse effects. If you don’t eat enough, your body will naturally begin to burn fewer calories, store fat, and may even begin to break down muscle for fuel. Burning muscle will also slow down your metabolism.
Make a Plan
Meal planning might seem like a lot of work at first, but it can help you avoid unhealthy eating habits. There’s nothing worse than getting home at the end of your day, hungry and having no idea what to make for dinner. This often leads to ordering take-out or just grabbing a snack and then grazing the rest of the evening. Planning your meals for the week ahead of time can help avoid making unhealthy choices for any meal throughout the day.
Beware of Beverages
Have you ever chosen a beverage over having a snack, thinking that you’re consuming fewer calories? Unless that beverage is water, you’re probably wrong. While many people are aware of the calories in the food they eat, the calories in their beverages are often overlooked. Sodas and juices are high in calories and sugar with little or no nutritional value. Your favorite cocktail or latte is also high in calories. That’s not to say you shouldn’t indulge occasionally, but for a daily beverage, water is your best choice. Besides having no calories, it helps to keep you hydrated and can make you feel full.
Healthy Diet and Weight Loss
Not everyone can get started on a healthy diet and lifestyle on their own, especially if you’re struggling with losing a significant amount of weight. If that’s the case, it may be time to consider a medical weight loss program. At Vive Aesthetics and Wellness, our goal is to make you look and feel your best. Board-certified in both family and obesity medicine, Dr.Pinto has extensive experience with medical weight loss. If you’re ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle and look and feel better, contact us today to get started on your weight loss journey.