Redefine Your New Year's Resolution: A Nutritionist's Guide to Sustainable Weight Loss
As we stand exactly 46 days away from the new year, the impending pressure to conform to societal ideals of beauty and health is creeping upon us yet again. The pressure to make drastic resolutions after the holiday season can be intense. Paired with the overwhelming messaging urging us to shed those extra pounds come January, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.
But wait, before you buy into the traditional New Year's weight loss message, let's just take a moment to reconsider our approach. Breaking free from diet culture and embracing small, positive changes can lead to a healthier, happier you.
Shifting the Focus from Weight Loss
Diet culture tends to emphasise rapid weight loss, promoting extreme measures that can do more harm than good. The pressure to see immediate results can create a negative relationship with food, leaving us feeling guilty or ashamed. Instead of succumbing to crash diets, make lifestyle changes that are sustainable and enjoyable, fostering a positive connection with our bodies.
Remember that weight doesn’t always equal health
It's important to recognise that weight is not always a perfect indicator of overall health. While a high body weight can be a risk factor for certain health issues, such as heart disease or diabetes, there are many other factors that contribute to overall health and wellness.
Instead of solely focusing on the number on the scale, consider other measures of health, such as physical fitness, mental health, and overall well-being. Remember that everybody is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health.
Holistic Approaches to Health
Rather than following a crash diet in January, there are several healthier and more sustainable approaches to consider if you're looking to get healthier and lose weight. One option is to focus on making small, gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle over time. For example, you could start by incorporating more nutrient-dense whole foods into your meals, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Incorporating a high-quality protein powder, such as Nutravita's Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder, into your diet can be a helpful tool for weight loss. Protein powders can help increase feelings of fullness and satiety, which can help reduce overall calorie intake and support weight loss efforts.
It's also really important to prioritise regular physical activity, such as strength training and cardiovascular exercise, in order to support sustainable weight loss. By making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and seeking support from a registered dietitian or nutritionist, you can achieve your health and wellness goals in a safe and effective way.
Make Veggies Exciting
Learning how to make vegetables taste good can transform the way you eat. Many people find vegetables to be bland or unappetizing, but with a little creativity and experimentation in the kitchen, you can turn them into delicious and satisfying meals.
One of the keys to making vegetables taste good is to experiment with different cooking methods and flavour combinations. For instance, roasting vegetables can bring out their natural sweetness and add a satisfying crunch, while sautéing them with herbs and spices can elevate their flavour profile.
To make vegetables more interesting and flavourful, you can pair them with other ingredients such as cheese, nuts, or sauces. Adding crumbled feta cheese to a salad of mixed greens and roasted vegetables can add a tangy, salty flavour that complements the sweetness of the vegetables.
Ultimately, the key to making vegetables taste good is to be open to trying new things and experimenting with different ingredients and techniques. With a little creativity and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, you can transform even the most basic vegetables into delicious and satisfying meals that you'll look forward to eating. So, don't be afraid to get into the kitchen and start experimenting!
Prioritise Sleep for Overall Wellness
Getting enough sleep is not only important for your overall health, but it can also be beneficial for achieving weight loss goals. Studies have shown that people who consistently get enough sleep tend to have a better metabolism, which can help them lose weight more easily. Additionally, not getting enough sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, leading to overeating and weight gain. So, if you're looking to improve your health or lose weight, make sure to prioritise getting enough sleep each night.
One way to achieve this is by incorporating a bedtime routine that helps your body wind down and prepare for sleep. This routine can include activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practising relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises.
In addition to a bedtime routine, there are various sleep aids that you can consider to help you get the rest you need. Sleep sprays, for example, contain essential oils that promote relaxation and calmness, making it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. The Scandinavian sleep method involves using specific breathing techniques and relaxation methods to help you achieve a deeper and more restful sleep. Or you could take a Natural Night Complex to help you drift off. With calming botanicals like lemon balm, relaxation-inducing amino acids, and sleep cycle-supporting minerals like Magnesium and Vitamin B12, you'll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
Adding, Not Restricting, in Your Diet
Instead of eliminating so-called "bad" foods, concentrating on incorporating nutrient-dense, high-quality "good" foods into your diet can enhance your satisfaction, boost your fruit and vegetable intake, lower your calorie intake, and reduce feelings of deprivation. This approach is more sustainable than conventional diet plans, making it easier to stick to healthy choices in the long run. For instance, you can add a scoop of chia seeds into your breakfast, add Fibre Complex into a mixed berry smoothie for some added fibre, or pair some fruit with your dessert to make healthier choices without feeling restricted.
Riya Lakhani-Kanji MSc ANutr is a registered nutritionist and health writer with a special interest in plant-based nutrition. She has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and has developed a passion for writing about all things plant-based.