Written by Ellie Wilson, MS, RD Senior Nutritionist
January is resolution season, with weight loss topping the chart for many people. January 17th through the 23rd is Healthy Weight Week, and Friday the 22nd is Healthy Weight Day for women. In the spirit of keeping it fresh, here are some ideas for helping set and really reach your goals in a healthy way.
Visualize the Process, Not the Result
Research has shown that visualizing the end result can trick us into thinking we have already made a good effort, which then reduces execution of our plans. The better strategy is to keep visualizing what you are doing to reach your goal – planning a menu, making lunches each day, exercising – basically, visualizing the lifestyle actions that will get you to your goal, versus what you will look like at any stage. The doing is what brings the success.
A study released last year tested a method for distracting us from capitulating to cravings. Tapping your forehead, ear or toe for 30 seconds has been shown to successfully diminish cravings for even our most favorite items. The research was done at Mt. Sinai in New York City, and offers an easy and accessible tool for those plagued by visions of favorite foods when they are managing calories.
Get Lean with Protein
Including some protein with each meal has multiple benefits for weight loss – it helps to preserve muscle, and improves satisfaction with meals and snacks. Several studies have shown greater fat loss with higher protein-calorie controlled diets. Proteins include lean meats, seafood, beans, legumes, nuts and low fat dairy, so there is great variety to keep interest and appetite engaged.
Whole grains and higher fiber foods, containing both soluble and insoluble fiber, help us fill up without filling out. High fiber foods tend to be lower in calories, and are also good for digestion. Foods to choose include vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Enjoy a great New Year and success with all of your health goals!