First, let me start by saying that I'm not an advocate for fad diets, food deprivation and popular weight loss programs - they are temporary and don't work. If you want to shed a few pounds, maintain your weight, or if you're looking for a flatter tummy then you need to make lifestyle changes. That is the only long term solution that will stick.
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When I refer to lifestyle changes, these include modifying your diet, physical activity and mental factors like your attitude, goals and emotions. These things will determine whether or not you lose/maintain your weight.
The only way we can achieve our health and fitness goals is to shift our focus from the number on the scale and towards improving overall health and vitality.
- If meals & snacks consisted of whole fruits, veggies, legumes & whole grains, the diet would contain 15% fewer calories, 67% less fat and double the intake of fibre.
- Dietary fibre intake is associated with lower levels of body weight and reduced weight gain.
- On average, people who consume the most fibre (about 25 grams/day) weight 8 lbs less than those who eat the least fibre (12 grams/day).
Holistic nutrition tips for weight loss/maintenance:
- First set realistic goals and maintain a food journal
- Improve the state of your digestive system. The key to health starts here!
- Make diet modifications
- Be sure to eat 6 small meals & snacks spaced evenly throughout the day to ensure metabolism remains high & efficient
- Incorporate more vegetarian-friendly meals. This will help you get more veggies in and also increase your fibre intake (essential for regular elimination)
- Eat only live, natural, good quality foods. Avoid all packaged, processed and refined foods
- Be sure that 50% of your diet is raw "live" foods like raw fruits, veggies, nuts & seeds. These are enzyme rich
- Reduce portion sizes, don't overfill your plate, eat slowly, mindfully and with intention. This will help you pay attention to your body and learn to recognize satiety cues
- Eat in a relaxed environment to enhance digestion
- Avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach
- Don't deprive yourself of food! To keep your metabolism running efficiently it needs consistent fuel. Plus malnutrition can cause cravings for food which can lead to poor food choices
- Exercise! Get your body moving. To maintain/lose weight we need regular and consistent exercise. Choose something that fits your lifestyle. It has to be something that you enjoy to keep you motivated. Schedule your workouts the same way you would your appointments - this will keep you on track. Ex., jump on a mini trampoline for 15 minutes for aerobic exercise; yoga; pilates; hiking; walking; swimming; dancing or join a gym
- Banish your inner critic and allow for setbacks. Be gentle with yourself and stop feeding into all the media hype. Learn to love YOU!
- Quality protein helps reduce the amount of food you need to eat and helps reduce sugar cravings. Protein has staying power and will support low blood sugar levels: beans, lentils, organic eggs, raw nuts/seeds, nut butters, quinoa & whole food smoothies made with protein powders
- Read your labels: the longer the list, the more likely that harmful substances have been added. Chemical additives put stress on our livers and are toxic to our bodies
- Avoid fast foods that have little nutritional value
- Choose quality liquids like pure, clean, filtered water or fresh juices
- Foods to focus on: dark green leafy vegetables (collards, kale, spinach); whole grains; plant based proteins (legumes, hemp hearts, chia seeds, tofu); healthy fats (raw nuts/seeds, avocados, flaxseed oil); raw fruits & veg.
- Eat consciously and intuitively. Listen to your body, when you start to pay attention to the way food makes you feel, you will begin to make food changes
Getting a nutritional assessment will determine what your body specifically needs in terms of whole foods & supplements. A nutritionist can work one-on-one with you to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.