The Only Two Weight Loss Resolutions You Need for 2016
The end of the holiday season and the start of the new year is always a time of great anticipation and excitement about what the year will bring.
Well…maybe not always. And maybe not for everyone.
For many people who are trying to lose and/or manage their weight, the new year can be a stressful time. First, as you look back on the old year, and think about past resolutions that went “unresolved”, it can be discouraging when you look forward to the new year with the same expectations that went unmet last year.
But fear not! This year we’ve whittled the number of weight loss New Year’s resolutions you need to make down to just two. Best of all, neither one of them are cringe-inducing and both of them are easy to do.
1. Eat Fewer Processed Foods
If you skip just one box of pancake mix, you’ve met this resolution. While it’s well known that processed foods usually make it more difficult to lose weight, and they rarely deliver the nutrition you need for a healthy diet, they still continue occupy more space on grocery shelves than healthier alternatives.
Part of the problem is that we don’t always know what constitutes a “processed” food. First, any food item that’s packaged and carries a nutrition label is processed to some extent. And the longer the list of ingredients on the label, the more processed the food inside the package is likely to be.
The basic problem with processed foods is the excessive amounts of saturated fats, sugar and salt that they contain. While you need some of all of those in your diet, the excessive amounts found in processed foods are harmful to your weight management and your health.
Saturated fats deliver lots of calories and can contribute to high cholesterol.
To give you an idea of how much salt we eat daily versus how much we should consume, Health Canada recommends an “adequate intake” of salt per day for adults as 1500 mg. On average, Canadians eat 3400 mg of salt per day.
Sugar is a problem for similar reasons, but it’s compounded because Health Canada doesn’t offer a recommended daily limit for how much sugar you should eat. However, the Heart & Stroke Associations and the World Health Organization (WHO) say we should limit our consumption of added sugar (the sugar added to processed foods, and what you put in your coffee) to no more than 10% of our daily calorie intake. The WHO says 5% would be better.
The 10% level translates to about 50 to 60 grams of sugar per day – or 12 to 15 teaspoons.
On average, Canadians eat 26 teaspoons of sugar per day.
2. Eat More Whole Foods
We’re talking vegetables, fruits and legumes here. While Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults eat seven to ten servings of vegetables a day, more than 50% of us eat fewer than five servings.
One of the best ways to cut down on processed foods and get more whole foods at the same time is by changing your snacking habits. By simply swapping chips and cookies for nuts and vegetables, not only will you have met your New Year’s resolution, you will have made a giant leap to a slimmer, healthier you.
At meal times, put vegetables on your plate first and cover half the plate with them. And look for interesting and tasty options to get more whole foods, including making your own humus for snacks and trying dried fruits.
If you need help keeping these or any other resolutions you make to improve your diet, increase your nutrition and lose weight, visit your local Herbal One Centre where a trained nutritional consultant is ready to show you ways to stay on course – and to new beginnings, Happy New Year!