When it comes to finding your happy weight, shift the focus away from the scale and re-define personal success. With the following lifestyle tips, you can experience improvements to health and quality of life, independent of weight loss. Instead of worrying about how much you weigh during the holiday season, set realistic lifestlye goals that you can stick with on a daily basis.
What's so special about our lifestyle tips? We will help you target hormones that influence appetite, eating behavior, and energy balance.
Lifestlye Tip #1: Reduce intake of refined carbohydrates. In other words, strike out white flour foods. Whole grains are a more virtuous choice for your personal health, but make them the side show to your meal versus the main attraction. Use the Plate Model as a guide for which foods to eat and how much to eat. The Plate Model is divided into three sections: 1/4 whole grains, 1/4 protein (including animal and plant sources) and 1/2 primarily non-starchy vegetables and some fruit. Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil should be included in "condiment style" (as a small dollop) with each meal, since they contain more calories per serving but offer nutritional benefits that protect your heart. Here's a sample meal using the Plate Model:
1/2 plate: steamed broccoli sprinkled with 1 teaspoon of slivered almonds
1/4 plate: grilled 90% lean turkey burger or salmon, topped with with a tablespoon of sliced avocado and salsa.
1/4 plate: Wild rice pilaf mixed with chopped spinach and apples.
Tableware Tip: Try serving meals on smaller (9-inch) plates instead of large dinner plates. You'll satisfy that psychological need for a full plate of food, but you'll be eating more reasonably sized portions. Opting for reasonable portions allows you to eat the foods you enjoy and still improve your personal health.
Retrain your eyes to recognize the difference between a healthy serving and a hefty one. Take a look at this visual-comparison table to get a better sense of what proper serving sizes look like:
|Healthy Serving Size||Healthy Serving Size|
|3 ounces lean meat, chicken, or fish;||=||A deck of cards|
|1.5 ounces of cheese||=||4 playing dice|
|Baked potato||=||Your fist|
|1/2 cup of ice cream/frozen yogurt||=||1/2 tennis ball|
|1 pancake||=||A compact disc (CD)|
|1/2 of a 3-inch bagel||=||A can of tuna|
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Lifetsyle Tip #2: Eliminate sugary beverages.
Food calories register a greater sense of fullness than liquid calories from high-sugar beverages. Stick with water or unsweetened beverages for hydration, and save your calories for lean protein foods that will help keep you full.
Lifestlye Tip #3: Increase fiber intake.
Among fiber's numerous health benefits, it promotes satiety by creating bulk in the digestive tract, helping you feel full sooner and for longer. In addition, fiber helps create a slower, more controlled rise in blood sugar and the hormone insulin, which can help reduce the drive to overeat. Eating foods such as fruits with their intact fiber, versus consuming juice, increases feelings of fullness; it is difficult to overeat the sugar that comes in whole fruits because of the satiating effect of the fiber. Additional natural sources of fiber include whole grains, vegetables and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils). You don't have to count calories to make savvy high fiber choices. Follow the Plate Model and fill 1/2 your plate with lots of green, non-starchy vegetables for a fiber boost that is skinny on the waistline.
Lifestyle Tip #4: Incorporate more physical activity.
Start by adding a little more movement to your usual daily routine and work up to a goal of 60 minutes of activity per day. Exercise is absolutely essential to help turn back your body clock and improve your long-term health. It's a good idea to consult with a medical doctor before starting a new exercise program. Exercise reduces stress and cortisol levels, factors that have been shown to increase food intake and fat gain around the midsection. Do activities that you enjoy!
Learn more about how you can make lifestyle resolutions with our personalized program. Click below to start the journey to a healthier, new you with the support of a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT
49 U.S. Highway 202 Far Hills, NJ 07931 908-470-2235