- Eat Breakfast. Attempts to “undo” festive weight gain usually include skipping this important meal, however, this only lowers your metabolism and inhibits weight loss. In addition to this, low blood sugar levels can affect mood and energy. Try oatmeal- warm, fast, lowers cholesterol AND keeps you feeling full all morning!
- Be sure to get enough sleep. The body requires 7-8 hours of sleep in order to properly administer hormones that affect appetite and satiety, ghrelin and leptin, respectively. Consistently not getting enough sleep increase the amount of ghrelin produced, therefore enhancing appetite and increasing food intake. Note: getting too much sleep will not keep you more satisfied, in turn “causing weight loss”. The key here is having a proper balance between leptin and ghrelin.
- Increase Omega-3s. There is some research suggesting that Omega-3 fatty acids block chemicals called cytokines, which are linked to mood. Don’t worry, Omega-3’s don’t have to be all salmon and sardines- try increasing flaxseed oil as well as other seeds and nuts in the diet.
- Increase folate. Diets low in folate have been linked to low mood in some studies. Lentils, beans, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, and strawberries are all excellent sources of folate to increase in your diet.
- Be specific with food/nutrition/weight loss resolutions. The more specific you are, the less “wiggle room” you are giving yourself to slack off. Also, be sure to keep the number of resolutions you make to a minimum- giving yourself too many things to work on can be over whelming. Most importantly, set ATTAINABLE goals. Realistic, measureable objectives will give you confidence in your abilities and ensure success.
- Practice behaviors that support success. Trying to cut down on junk food? Find a healthy food you love that you can substitute when a craving hits. Have a bad sweet tooth? Don’t buy sweets and bring them home, tell yourself you must make the goodies from scratch if you really want them! Want to decrease your burger-and-fry addiction? Don’t go to a fast food restaurant with your friends and try ordering a salad; instead, meet at a new restaurant, perhaps one with cultural cuisine you have yet to experience.
- Enlist the support of family and friends. Be sure to buddy up with friends and family members that share your same values and goals. Word to the wise- choose more than one “Resolution Buddy”, in the event that your partner drops out of the resolution challenge. This way, YOUR momentum won’t be lost by a fading friend, as you will always have a back-up, go-to person!
- Start small, and work in increments. Sometimes, it’s just best to make small, positive decisions towards better health and nutrition. Make one good decision each day about what you are eating. Craving a burger? Get one, but skip the fries and order a side of veggies. HAVE to have Mexican food? Enjoy it, but take half home for another meal. Need to hit the vending machine? Choose animal crackers or popcorn instead of a candy bar. Feeling sluggish? Go for a ten minute walk instead of hitting Starbucks. Once you have mastered this, try for two good decisions a day, etc.
The Mort Harris RFC does not currently have a licensed dietician on staff and is not currently offering Nutrition services.