Throughout January–the initiation month of New Year resolutions–the Be Well health coaches will be tackling their clients’ top resolutions for 2016.
As a health coach, almost every client I work with is concerned about weight loss. Even if their health is suffering on multiple levels, weight loss takes precedence. I help clients strategize lifestyle changes that lead to sustainable, healthy weight loss. We shift the focus from calories to quality of food. Here are my top strategies:
1. Cut Out Sugar
Sugar is the devil. Ever notice how once you start eating sugar, you can’t stop? It’s not because you don’t have willpower. And it’s not just that glucose and insulin keep us hooked. It’s an incredibly addictive substance, more addictive than cocaine. In order to stop the sugar cravings, you must cut the cord and stop eating sugar. Commit for two weeks and you’ll be amazed by your increased energy, decrease in cravings and weight loss. Does this mean you can never eat sugar again? Of course not. Taking a break will give you a whole new perspective on sugar. It will help reset your palate, change your cravings and make you think twice before reaching for something sweet.
2. Eat More Fat
Yes, you read this correctly. You will actually lose weight by increasing your intake of healthy fat while limiting sugar and carbohydrates. Sugar and carbs are quick sources of fuel and unless you’re burning them quickly, they’re stored as fat.
Healthy fats digest slower leaving you satisfied for a longer period of time. Start by limiting all grains, processed carbohydrates and fruit while increasing your intake of healthy fats. Make sure to include small amounts of healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, or nuts at each meal.
3. Write Down What You Eat For 2 Weeks
A few small pieces of chocolate, a slice of bread, and other small indulgences add up quickly. Most of us don’t overeat because we are hungry. We overeat because of things like stress, boredom or some type of emotional turmoil. Keeping a food journal is a great concept to incorporate at the beginning of changing your eating patterns. It makes you accountable to yourself and forces you to think twice about what you eat. A journal will also help you identify patterns which may be sabotaging your goals. Commit to this exercise for two weeks and research shows it will double your weight loss success.
4. Be Aware of Your Trigger Foods
We all have comfort foods that can send us on a downward spiral. Your boss stresses you out and you reach for a bag of our favorite chips or a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It tastes so good in the moment but is it really worth it? It’s over so quickly; we’re left with the guilt, and it’s hard to get back on the wagon. Make a list of these foods and get them out of the house.
5. Get Rid of Processed Foods
In our society staying away from processed foods is difficult. If you can make this a general lifestyle change, it will go a long way. Take a few minutes to look at the label of some of your favorite packaged foods. Chances are they are full of toxic preservatives, flavors, colors and other ingredients. The easiest way to stay healthy is to stay away from processed foods. During our grandparents’ generation, these foods didn’t even exist and nor did many of the health problems we face today. Our grandparents ate real food. Many of their vegetables were grown at home or locally; they didn’t have to worry if the meat was pumped full of antibiotics, and they snacked on nuts, seeds and fruit. I encourage clients to stick to foods such as organic meats, eggs, avocados, nut butter, and plenty of green leafy vegetables, as much as possible. If you need to eat something from a package, make sure it has less than five ingredients.
For extra motivation and support, join our FREE New Year Cleanse Workshop starting on Monday, January 18th. Sign up here and enter to win our exclusive $1,600 giveaway.