If your diet is getting an overhaul in 2016, you aren’t alone. Eating healthier to lose weight is the most common New Year’s Resolution, and the people that make that resolution usually have the same one each year, because year after year, for whatever reason, they don’t achieve it.
Whether your resolution is to finally lose the weight for good or to simply eat healthier to feel better, making changes to your eating habits can be tough. Food and the way we eat are effected by so many emotional and physical factors, it can be hard to fight past the triggers, habits and cravings to make positive changes. Whether you are a beginner and don’t know where to start, or just need all the strategies you can find, we’ve rounded up our best strategies for making better nutritional choices for every New Years Resolution to give you your best chance of success.
It’s quite the buzzword these days. Much like “organic,” “gluten-free,” or “free range,” you can’t avoid the term “clean eating” when looking to live healthier.
What’s all the fuss about eating clean? It goes hand-in-hand with the often fitness-inspired Paleo Diet, and the idea that we should all be consuming less processed food-like products and more real, whole, natural foods. Going Paleo can be a bit extreme for some, so clean eating is a little less structured and a little more attainable for anyone no matter how they get fit.
Here are 7 basic principles to clean eating:
1. Avoid processed and refined foods.
This includes things like white flour, sugar, bread, and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains or Paleo alternatives such as almond or coconut flour as your base for baked goods. These Back to School Cookies are super clean, but you wouldn’t even know it!
2. Get label savvy.
Eating clean typically promotes choosing less packaged foods, but when you do opt for anything with a wrapper, learn to read the label. The shorter the list the better. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, then your body can’t either. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist
Here’s a secret from a nutrition insider: Even experts find weight loss fraught and confusing. A recent paper by The Obesity Society, a scientific organization devoted to researching causes and treatments for obesity, says as much. In an attempt to provide clarity, the organization published core guidelines. Not earth-shattering by any stretch, they provide an un-faddist view of the basics of weight control.
BMI is just a screening tool, not a diagnosis of 25 to 29.9 is considered “overweight” and 30-plus is “obese.” If you’re at 25-plus, you don’t necessarily need to lose weight. But if you also have a waist circumference greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men, you likely do need to shed pounds.
Focus on percent of weight loss, not ideal BMI. Not everyone needs to drop below a BMI of 25 to be healthy, and some just cannot. Instead, if you have too much body fat, focus on losing at least three to five percent of your starting weight—it can significantly improve blood pressure and other aspects of your health. Losing more, like 10 percent, can be even more helpful. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
As I got the butter out from my fridge the other day, a friend of mine commented in surprise, “You eat butter?”.
She’s right to question. For years, there was no butter in my kitchen because it contains a lot of saturated fat, which nutrition scientists believed could lead to heart disease and possibly increase the risk for cancer and even dementia. But being a nutritionist, I keep up with the food research, and things change. I started thinking of how my diet has changed over the past decade, and here are the main shifts; the ways I changed my own diet for the better.
I ENJOY BUTTER. Even after margarine was exposed as a trans fat nightmare, I still avoided butter because 63 percent of the fat in butter is saturated. I went along with the scientific thinking: If you eat too much saturated fat, levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) rise, and people with higher LDL are more likely to develop heart disease. (more…)
I was perusing the internet recently when I came across something that has been haunting me lately: The C word. You all know it, and you all don’t love it. That’s right: cellulite. Everyone hates cellulite, and as I have gotten older, I have certainly grown to be just like everyone else. Cellulite may be natural, but it is the worst!
Here’s what it looks like up close. Basically, when your fat is pushed up against your skin, it sometimes presses through fibers in your tissue, giving it a wrinkled, dimply appearance. It’s the same fat as anywhere else on your body, but because of these fibers it looks totally different.
But there is good news! There are ways to combat cellulite, and it’s not just about exercise.
AVOID: Alcohol, foods high in sugar, foods high in salt, fried foods, sugary alcohol beverages, and packaged snack foods. I hate to break it to you, guys, but these things that we already know are bad for us really, truly are bad for us. Especially in regards to cellulite. If you don’t want cellulite, don’t give in. (more…)
Being a celebrity certainly doesn’t necessarily make you an expert on anything in particular (except maybe acting, or putting together awesome outfits), but it puts you in a good position to draw attention toward a particular issue. Like your diet. Which is why so many celebrities choose to share their diet plans and health regimens with the world in book form.
This makes a lot of sense to me—the general public admires a particular celeb for their smokin’ body, so why not share their wealth of personal information? Sure, they might not be certified nutritionists and the like, but chances are they’ve worked with dozens of them and have come to form their own opinion on what is good and not-so-good their—and yours.
Here are some favorite new health reads by some very familiar faces!
The Body Book, by Cameron Diaz
We already featured Body Book, but it is worth noting again that Diaz has recently released her first book, and it is a delightful read. Packed full of simple healthy tips and tons of personality, Diaz is definitely a person we can look to for body acceptance and surprisingly good eating advice. This girl is grounded and her outlook on food is too.
But there’s another type of inspiring exercise and wellness video out there that’s perhaps even more touching and life-altering: The kind that shares new perspectives, success stories, and hope. Here are some of our favorites, which cover everything from longevity to popping and locking.
Nilofer Merchant talks about how walking meetings can burn calories—and change your perspective:
People will do some weird things to lose weight. In my teens and early twenties I skipped meals, downed cans of protein shakes and one time I decided if I ate all my food with toothpicks, I’d be exhausted and just give up before I consumed too many calories. These were all unhealthy and ineffective, especially the toothpicks because let’s be honest, I still had hands, which I used to shovel the food in my mouth anyway.
Below are seven other crazy ideas that actually have some merit to them:
Spice It Up – Adding spicy ingredients like jalapenos and habaneros to your recipes can boost weight loss. Scientists who studied a group of rats found that capsaicin, the active ingredient in some hot peppers, may actually inhibit fat accumulation.
Just Look At Yourself! – Hanging a mirror opposite you at the dinner table keeps you mindful of your posture, how much you’re eating and how long you’ve been at the dinner table. It’s also handy because you don’t have to ask your dinner guest if you have spinach in your teeth.
Sit At The End – Not because you’re shy, because you want to avoid all that mindless before-meal snacking. Bread baskets, chips,salsa and other free appetizers are usually situated in the middle of the table. If you can’t reach it, you can’t eat it.
The simple choices we make day in and day out—such as when to exercise or what time to hit the sack—can have a huge effect on how many calories we burn, and thus, how much weight we lose. Read on to learn how to get the most out of your day.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast within an hour of waking will help jump-start your metabolism and sets the stage for a day of healthy eating. Get bonus points by pumping up the protein at your morning meal: Research from the University of Missourishowed that the more protein you consume at breakfast, the fewer cravings for processed foods you’ll have throughout the day. Even better? People who have a protein-packed breakfast (which increases levels of leptin, the hormone that triggers feelings of fullness) eat an average of 200 calories less during the day. (more…)
If you decided today to join a gym and workout every day, never once missing a workout, would you give up if you couldn’t stick to it? When you try to control your food intake by sticking to unrealistic rules, you’re headed for the same kind of “failure”—and that’s not fair to you.
Stop aiming for perfection. Instead, make “good enough” your goal. This approach can often mean the difference between success and failure. Here are some tips to help you part with perfection.
Give in a little bit. Potato chips may be your undoing, but banishing them completely from your diet can be too tough to take. Instead of having to avoid the pantry because you’re afraid you’ll eat the whole bag of chips, buy individual-serving packages to satisfy your cravings on occasion. If you love chocolate or pizza, allow yourself one ounce piece per day, like these Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bars, or limit your pizza to two veggie-packed slices per week, with a homemade Whole Wheat Crust. When we’re too rigid with our food choices, we can’t help but rebel. (more…)
Support is a huge part of the formula for weight loss success. Study after study* shows that people who have support fare better than those who go solo. But does electronic support—in the form of social media—count? Studies say it does. Learn how to take advantage of Facebook and Twitter to help meet your weight loss goals.
Post your trials… Eaten too much today? A Facebook group can be a safe place to share a small fall off the wagon—and get motivation from others who are losing weight.
… and Victories. Have you come up with a great snack option that helps curb your appetite for the less healthy stuff? Tweet it to those who can use it—you’ll feel great to be able to share. (Use hashtag #weightloss for a good start.) (more…)
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