As the first month of the new year draws to a close, many of us have made little progress on our resolutions like getting in better shape, eating healthier, or just wanting to feel better. If you have ever tried shedding a few pounds, becoming more physically active, or simply leading a healthier lifestyle, you know that it’s not always easy. There are a lot of factors that play a role in our health, so it’s important to look at all of them. However, this does not have to be done all at once! As a Nutritionist, I have found that setting small goals each week with my clients allows them to achieve their long-term goals. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey to health.
Drink plenty of water
It is so important to stay hydrated and drink enough water throughout the day. Many times we may think we are hungry, when our bodies actually just want water. Water can actually reduce bloating and overall weight. Drinking water also helps remove toxins that are stored in body fat, while helping your metabolism run optimally. Your metabolic rate can increase by 30 percent after drinking 16 ounces of water (Boschmann et al., 2003), so make sure to get at least that amount everyday.
Pack your own snacks
The feeling comes on suddenly: one minute you are feeling good, and the next you are starving. Skip unhealthy snacks by preparing your own healthy snacks at home. Most processed snacks are empty calories filled with added sugar and salt, which will leave you hungry again soon after eating them. Some great snack options are cut fruit, nuts, or veggie sticks with hummus.
Eat a grapefruit
For those of you trying to lose weight, consuming grapefruit can help! The key may be an enzyme AMPK that is found in grapefruit. AMPK helps your body utilize sugar, helping to regulate blood sugar levels so that you don’t feel a spike and then crash in energy. Grapefruit also has a naturally high water content, and has been shown to significantly increase weight loss (Silver et al., 2011). Grapefruit essential oil can also help with suppressing appetite and reducing cravings.
Make a menu
If you find yourself thinking, “there is nothing to eat” or “I don’t know what to make,” preparing a menu may be a good option for you. Many diets can be restrictive and have you eating the same foods over and over. Most of us like variety, so it might be time to create a personalized menu that will fit your goals rather than sticking to a restricting and bland diet. Creating a menu will also help when you go grocery shopping, as creating a list for the healthy foods you want in your diet will help you avoid those tempting but unhealthy purchases.
Use essential oils for cravings
Essential oils have been shown to help minimize cravings naturally. The best oils include peppermint, grapefruit, ginger, cinnamon and lemon essential oils. When you are feeling a craving come on, put a drop on your wrists or neck, to boost energy or calm the feeling of hunger.
Most of all, remember that getting healthy is a marathon, not a sprint! Changing everything at once is overwhelming and will most likely set you up for failure. Make only one healthy change a week to allow time to adjust. Whether it’s swapping sugary coffee for green tea, cooking at home three nights a week, or going for a 30-minute walk every day, all these changes add up over time. Living a healthier lifestyle is a process. You will slip, we all do, but that is why it is important to have a support system when making lifestyle changes. At Naturna, our nutritionist will help support you in setting and achieving your personal health goals. Now is a perfect time to start!
Boschmann, M., Steiniger, J., Hille, U., Tank, J., Adams, F., Sharma, A. M., … & Jordan, J. (2003). Water-induced thermogenesis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 88(12), 6015-6019.
Silver, H. J., Dietrich, M. S., & Niswender, K. D. (2011). Effects of grapefruit, grapefruit juice and water preloads on energy balance, weight loss, body composition, and cardiometabolic risk in free-living obese adults. Nutrition & metabolism, 8(1), 8.