Setting Sustainable Weight Loss Goals
With the new year brings new goals and for many people those goals mean weight loss. 2020 was such a difficult year for nearly everyone and the added changes may have resulted in stress eating. To add to it, so many of our holiday celebrations mean we may partake in larger meals, plentiful desserts, and maybe more eggnog than we would care to admit. All of these indulgences can leave us sluggish and, very often, feeling guilty. Once the new year hits, we try to find the motivation to drop those extra pounds with gym memberships and fad diets.
This is how we have all been conditioned to think, indulge now and just work harder later. It seems simple in theory but almost never works in practice. Once that initial motivation wears off, we find ourselves hitting a wall. The diet is no longer sustainable and the desire to go to the gym is replaced with other day to day tasks. Taking time for ourselves gets put at the end of our priorities. These are just a couple of the reasons all those new year’s resolutions don’t make it past the first couple of months.
We need a different approach to our overall health, not just our weight. We need to see our bodies as intricate machines that need the proper fuel to run efficiently. Just trying to lose weight by any means necessary can do more harm than good in the long run. We know starvation diets aren’t sustainable and counting calories is a chore. The short-term approaches are designed to be just that, short term. We need to view changes as long-term and life-long benefits to our lives.
The transition from a fast-paced, convenience food lifestyle to one focusing on whole foods and daily movement can seem like a daunting task, but the rewards are worth it. The proper fuel for your body may mean more energy, better sleep, a smaller waistline, and finally feeling like you are in control of your weight. When it comes to taking a holistic approach to weight loss, some of the key components are; reducing stress, getting enough sleep, exercise, and having a nutrient-dense diet that centers on whole foods.
Eating is a common response to stress so learning ways to reduce stress can help both physically and mentally. If you are a stress-eater, it is important to acknowledge that in order to address the issue. One way to reduce stress is exercise and many find increased stress reduction when they are able to do so outside. You don’t necessarily need a gym membership to get your body moving. There are many great options for home workouts.
Regular exercise may improve your sleep quality as well. Another way to help improve sleep quality is to be sure you have time to relax prior to bedtime. Many of us are finding ourselves working more from home and often working right through the evening. Carve out some time where you can unwind before trying to fall asleep.
Cutting back on processed sugar, drinking plenty of water, having fruits and vegetables at every meal, and making sure you get plenty of fiber are all key components of having a more healthful diet. Fiber is one of the most overlooked nutrients in our society, but has been linked to lower cholesterol, weight loss, and more.
You may have noticed that all of the tips I mentioned are linked to one another. If you are fueling your cells with the nutrients it needs, your body will be able to function optimally. Once your body is fueled properly, you may have more energy to move more and enjoy different forms of exercise that you never did before. That is why looking at weight not just as a number on the scale, but as just one part of your overall health is so important.
To make sure you are starting off on the right nutritional path for you, it is important to consult with a trained nutrition consultant to avoid the traps of yo-yo dieting. You may need to discuss diet changes with your doctor. Having a plan in place will lead to a higher likelihood of achieving your goals and being able to sustain them long-term.
Sheree Wujtewicz is an AFPA certified Holistic Nutritionist, Weight Management Specialist, and Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. To learn more about her practice, visit: holisticsheree.com or call 860-446-7400. Appointments are now being scheduled virtually.