Many people start the new year declaring that they’re going to get serious about their health and wellness. This is the year they’re going to dedicate themselves to working out more often and losing that extra weight.
While both of these are good goals for the new year (or any time), most people think the key to weight loss is a trendy diet.
FAD DIETS DON’T WORK!
These celebrity-endorsed diets may promise (and possibly produce) immediate results, but they’re not designed for long-term success.
These types of diets are usually restrictive, unrealistic and difficult to maintain. And oftentimes they don’t put much emphasis on the QUALITY of calories you’re eating- just the QUANTITY. All of these factors inevitably lead to you feeling frustrated and defeated.
Let’s use the popular keto diet as an example. This diet aims to put your body in ketosis. That means that you begin burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Because your diet lacks a significant amount of carbs, your body is forced to find other fuel for its functions.
While this diet can be very beneficial for some, it isn’t typically sustainable for most. As soon as you ingest more carbs than you’re used to, the weight gain begins.
Other diets that require you to restrict your intake of specific foods or instructs you to ingest very specific amounts of food are not usually sustainable.
If diets don’t work for maintaining a healthy weight, what does?
Eating a variety of CLEAN, UNPROCESSED, WHOLE foods and making it a LIFESTYLE!
In the following article, we’ll explain how good nutrition is essential for a healthy lifestyle and demonstrate sustainable and practical ways you can practice proper nutrition.
Why Is Proper Nutrition Better Than Fad Diets?
In the simplest terms, good nutrition is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle and for overall well being.
It provides your body with the necessary nutrients that help it function properly and help prevent chronic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
While most diets focus on restriction and deprivation, good nutrition is about balance and variety.
The first step toward good nutrition is to identify the most nutrient dense types of foods and decrease/limit your intake of processed, high sugar foods and beverages.
Identify Nutrient-Rich Foods
When starting your healthy nutrition journey, you should focus on the foods you should be eating. It is helpful and more beneficial to think about what you SHOULD have instead of focusing on what you should NOT have.
When you go shopping at the grocery store, fill your cart with nutrient-rich foods that will nourish your body and leave you feeling satisfied such as:
- Protein (grass fed beef, pasture raised / organic chicken breasts and thighs, wild caught fish, pasture raised eggs)
- Vegetables (spinach, carrots, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, zucchini, green peas)
- Fruit (blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, strawberries, apples, mango, bananas)
- Healthy fats (avocados, nuts, coconut oil, grass fed butter, extra virgin olive oil)
- Complex carbohydrates (sweet potato, wild rice, quinoa, amaranth)
Although good nutrition is not about restricting or depriving yourself of certain foods, you should try to limit your consumption of heavily processed foods, added sugars and inflammatory seed/vegetable oils (ie- canola oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, safflower oil).
Introduce Small Changes To Make Big Impacts
Now that you know the types of foods you should incorporate into your meals, it’s time to focus on how to best introduce them to your everyday life.
Slowly changing the way you eat and what you eat is the more effective and responsible way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Most diets don’t deliver favorable results because they require you to completely change how you’ve been eating for probably a majority of your life and severely cut your calories down. This is not sustainable.
While your motivation may be strong at first, your busy schedule and life can get in the way. Next thing you know, you’ll settle back into routines that are easier and familiar. You may even feel so deprived and depleted that you say “Heck with it!” and go back to your old ways.
By slowly introducing small, daily changes and eating nutrient-dense whole foods, your energy will increase and your body will become more familiar with these new foods. It most likely will even crave them! These new changes soon become habitual and part of your regular routine which leads to a sustainable, healthy LIFESTYLE!
Start by evaluating your typical everyday meals. Replace one item in each meal with a healthier alternative.
Always stop at the coffee shop for a flavored, sugar filled latte? Next time, try a regular coffee with a little cream and one sugar instead. Do you often order fries as a side when you go out to eat? Opt for a side salad or steamed vegetables as a healthier alternative.
Aim to eat every few hours to keep your blood sugar stable and avoid getting too hungry. Also be sure to drink plenty of water in between and before meals!
Small changes add up and often provide big results when it comes to cultivating a healthy and SUSTAINABLE lifestyle.
Plus, they don’t overwhelm you!
A Little Preparation Helps A Lot
One way to get ahead of the challenge of sticking to a new, healthy way of eating is to prepare meals ahead of time.
Planning your meals in advance helps you avoid falling back into your previous, less healthy eating habits when you’re hungry and don’t have the time or patience to cook a meal.
Setting aside some time during the weekend to plan your daily menu for the upcoming week and do a little bit of meal prep goes a long way.
Having your healthy meals- and snacks- ready ahead of time allows you to better maintain and stick with your nutrition goals.
Get A Coach In Your Corner
While the above steps put you on the path to living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle, you need a little extra help to maintain and achieve your goals.
One way to ensure that you’re maintaining and achieving your nutrition goals is to consult a qualified nutrition coach.
Loyalty Fitness’ Nutrition Coaching Services can help you set realistic and achievable goals, create customized meal plans, and provide ongoing support and accountability on your nutrition journey.
Our certified coaches can also help you understand the science behind eating clean and show you the best ways you can make healthy food choices every day.
While trendy diets may sound appealing, they’re typically not sustainable and can leave you feeling frustrated and defeated.
If you want to enjoy a healthier lifestyle, maintain/lose weight, reduce the risk of many common chronic diseases, and just feel better overall, good nutrition is key!
Contact us today to learn more about our Nutrition Coaching Services and how we can help you!