In my book, Meals That Heal Inflammation (hitting book shelves Dec 27!), I discuss how if you want to lose weight you need to embrace a lifestyle shift rather than a diet. If you enjoy your food and it nourishes you, you’ll stay motivated to reach your goal. Give the gift of health to yourself this holiday, and feel jolly with less jiggle!
These tips can get your weight loss started quickly — but remember, a real lifestyle change is something you can succeed at, and all diets eventually fail.
1. Start a love affair with healthy food
Instead of eliminating foods, start by slowly adding healthy foods to your diet that will boost your mood and energy such as green veggies, berries, grapefruit, or kiwi. Post a chart to your fridge or in your personal organizer that counts the ten servings of “good-for-you foods.” Every time you eat healthy foods like kale, spinach, or peaches, mark it down; you’ll find your cravings for refined sweets will actually start to diminish.
2. Beat cravings with healthy snacks
If you have a craving, eat fibre or something sour like lemon juice to lower the glycemic index of your treat. Try to keep healthy treats such as nuts and fruit nearby to avoid the treats with flour and sugar. For more tips on how to do this, visit my website.
3. Start the day with protein to avoid sugar cravings
Try eating dinner for breakfast. In Japan, where people are historically very fit, they start the day with fish and veggies. If you want to enjoy carbs, eat them in the morning with a protein, or after a workout. Stirring vanilla protein powder into your yogurt in the morning can add up to 20 grams of protein for breakfast, which will keep you full and alert until noon.
To calculate your daily protein needs, take your weight in kilograms and multiply it by 0.8. For example, a women who is 135 lbs converts to 62 kg x 0.8 = 50 grams of protein.
4. Keep your blood sugar steady by eating every two to three hours
Pack snacks everywhere you go. If you stockpile the right stuff in your office drawers, purse, and glove compartment, you’ll remove the temptation to take trips to the vending machine or corner store. Natural meal-replacement bars, pre-washed baby carrots, and 71 percent cocoa butter chocolate make great energy-boosting snacks for that afternoon energy slump.
5. The crock-pot is your best ally for winter weight loss
Soup makes you feel warm and full, and it can be packed with veggies. Add beans and free-range poultry to boost the protein, and opt for tomato or onion broth over heavier cream-based soups.
6. Think tropical with coconuts
Coconuts have been demonized for having too much saturated fat, but it turns out that not all saturates are created equal. The flesh and milk of these giant seeds contains a very special fat called medium-chain tri-glycerides (MCTs), which the body burns as fuel instead of storing as fat. Endurance athletes turn to coconut-based supplements to delay exhaustion. So, if your marathon work week is running you down, reach for the coconut milk and add flavour and energy to your soups, shakes and desserts.
7. Try a green smoothie
If you start your day with an energizing green drink, you can count yourself in for two to three servings of veggies right off the top. So many of us struggle to eat in the morning, when it is most important. This alkalizing drink starts the motor running and will raise your energy levels.
8. Pick up a healthy meal-replacement bar
If you are too busy to cook, there are new snack bars on the market that are made with only raw nuts and fruits blended into amazing variations. Meal-replacement bars make sure that your blood sugar does not plummet, which is critical to avoid moodiness and unstoppable cravings. When your time is limited, enjoy a whey-protein shake with blueberries and cinnamon to add a dash of warming spice to your winter regime.
9. Reward yourself for healthy habits
Give yourself a non-food reward, like an aromatherapy scent, when you reach a week of making 10 good choices a day. The uplifting scent of grapefruit essential oil, applied topically, is said to increase the circulation that helps break up cellulite.
10. Make sure you get your Bs
Supplementing with B vitamins can be a huge boost in your weight loss routine. B vitamins spin your carbs into energy inside every cell of your body. Greater energy expenditure means more calories of fuel burned. It is a fantastic way to blast exhaustion and also keep your emotional balance. Since most overeating is tied to emotional comfort binges, keeping an even keel with a B-complex supplement is critical for the long-term permanent weight loss.
Nutritionist Julie Daniluk hosts Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her soon-to-be-published first book, Meals That Heal Inflammation, advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process.
For more amazing recipes visit Chatelaine.com’s recipe section.