Every year—it’s almost expected—we hear people say that they’re going on some kind of diet. After swearing up and down that they’ll either workout more or eat less, they go off and start their program with an energy that looks much like a water-slide: starts high, ends low. First they plan, prepare and execute, then either fall away or lose interest.
Well, maybe this year we should shake things up. Say “No” by saying “Yes.” Instead of moving in the direction that often starts all too abruptly anyways, make a couple of minor changes to your shopping list and things may turn out a little more satisfactory than the years before.
Here are a few tips: A lot of people like to start fresh. (So, I guess this would be for those who do like an abrupt start!) Some people call it vacation, others call it detox. I call it necessary. Now for some, detox is a hassle especially with a schedule already set. I’ve never been able to get one, unified opinion about what works best for everyone. Really, finding the best that works for you is the best option.
But, whatever method you choose, the basics are : But, all in all, find the best option that works best with your schedule or family. Now switching to a more friendly (and much less abrupt method), instead of taking all of the sugar and sugary products in your house and having a ceremonial burning in the outside garbage can, make better choices either when planning your grocery trip or at the store itself.
- Giving your body a break—mainly by not eating;
- Getting the liver to eliminate all of the toxins from your body;
- Also utilizing your intestines, kidneys and skin for toxin extrication;
- Regaining proper blood circulation patterns;
- Rebuilding the body with healthy nutrients.
Since we’ve mentioned sugar, let’s keep talking about it. As Americans, we use sugar in nearly everything. Estimates at the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture suggest that American’s are consuming 20% more sugar in their diet compared to 1970. This increase is lower than other estimates which seem to suggest that some 50% of Americans consume 1/2 pound of sugar per day.
So, why not use honey instead? Or if you’re craving something sweet, eat an orange or apple.
Find replacements for the things you really like. Say “No” by saying “Yes.” So many times people will avoid a diet for the fear that they’ll be hungry. It doesn’t have to be that way. Diet should never be synonymous with hunger. Healthy alternatives work to fill you up the way your body needs.
Take lentils for example. Though your ordinary, household beans are incredibly delicious and work as quick, easy and pleasing dish in a pinch, the health benefits of lentils are enormous. In a detailed (and convincing) article detailing the chemistry and benefits of lentils, The World’s Healthiest Foods indicates that lentils are an amazing source of molybdenum, folate and dietary fiber.
And apart for the fiber which helps lower cholesterol as well as regulate blood sugar, it is an excellent source of protein, offering a grand 37% of your DV in a single cup. And if that wasn’t good enough, a single cup contains only 230 calories. Energy through a lean, mean machine. For those of us who grew up with the “three square meals” concept, a number like five or six meals a day seems like a quick road to obesity. Well, some would say otherwise. Although it seems split down the middle, those in favor of the small, six-meal plan—as opposed to those of the large, three-meal plan—give evidence to a lower cholesterol with greater number of smaller meals.
SECOND BREAKFAST? ELEVENSIES?
Really, snacking throughout the day is what it amounts to. In a six-meal plan suggested by Dr Oz, all the meals amount to nutritionally balanced large snacks.
Meal 1: Proteins such as Greek yogurt, nuts or beans
Meal 2: Healthy fats such as walnuts, avocados or olives
Meal 3: Whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal or popcorn
Meal 4: Fibers such as fruits, vegetables or nuts/seeds
Meal 5: Metabolism boosters such as hot peppers on salad
Meal 6: Healthy sweets such as dark chocolate
In an article done by SparkPeople, nutritionists say that, in the small, six-meal plan, your body knows that more food is on the way and thus continues to burn the nutrients and energy as opposed to storing it all as fat. Essentially, keeping the metabolism running throughout the day in an even rhythm as opposed to spurts of starts and stops.
Ultimately, sticking to it is the most important ingredient to any New Year’s Resolution. Making it more your style is the best way to insure a smooth transition from no-resolution to resolution.
STICK TO IT
What would I suggest? Here’s just a few:
- Like I said, make it your style. Don’t follow someone else’s look. You are the one laboring for this, and ultimately, you’ll be the one benefiting from this.
- Have someone (like a spouse, roommate, or good friend) to go the way with you. And if they can’t or don’t want to (no judging), ask them to at least keep you on track by asking how things are going. Remember, the first thing that disappears after the resolution kicks in is most likely forgetting the reason why you started. In such cases, your friends are your best ally.
- Also keep researching. Keep digging for making your style better for you. Because ultimately, the only beneficiary to this resolution is you.