Ah, the New Year! A clean slate, a fresh start, a new beginning—365 days of possibilities. Are you one of those folks who sets a slew of New Year’s Resolutions, including losing weight, only to find yourself unable to live up to those very high expectations?
by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghDecember 29, 2022 body positive, body positivity, fad diets, health coach, healthy eating, healthy food, Intermittent fasting, keto diet, ketogenic diet, new years resolution, new years resolutions, resolutions, weight loss, weight management0 comments
Back when I taught fitness classes at various gyms, my classes would be PACKED in January with those dewy-eyed resolutioners who were determined to make a plethora of changes in a very short time. By the end of February, my classes would be back to regular sizes with my tried and true students who were glad things were getting back to normal.
As a Health Coach, I am not a fan of the grandiose expectations attached to the start of a new year. And here is why—we are programmed to revert to our existing habits when life starts to get busy, complicated, or difficult. Instead, I would encourage you as I encourage my clients, to take small, actionable steps that will eventually lead you to create new and healthier habits.
Take a marathon runner for example, they don’t wake up and decide to run 26 miles the first day. Instead, they slowly build up their body’s ability to handle both the physical and the mental aspect of running for an extended period of time. This is the beauty of challenging yourself to take baby steps toward your health and life goals. Just like a house needs a solid foundation to build upon, so does your health.
Let’s be honest, most people can lose weight fairly easily. Fad diets are popular because they are relatively successful in the weight loss aspect! But when you take a deeper look at some of the most popular ones at the moment such as Keto, Paleo, or Intermittent Fasting, you’ll find the issues lie within the principles of the plan.
Take Keto, where at the beginning of the plan you may experience flu-like symptoms as your body starts to adjust to the extreme changes to your diet. Or intermittent fasting where there are basically no parameters to what you eat, only when you can eat.
When attempting these diets, ask yourself these two questions, 1. Can I sustain this for the rest of my life? and 2. What am I learning? This isn’t to say that folks don’t have success on these plans, but it is something to consider when thinking through what you are willing to sacrifice on your journey to lifelong health. If I am being honest with myself, I could never commit to a plan where I will never eat Christmas cookies or birthday cake again. And Keto fat bomb versions of these are not something I am willing to substitute.
This is the beauty of working with a health coach, I am the voice of reason in the swirling vortex that is the health and wellness industry. And I will hold you accountable for the choices you are making while encouraging you along your path to whole health.
by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghSeptember 29, 2022 body positive, body positivity, dietician, dietitian, dietitian nutritionist, dietitian nutritionist near me, healthy eating, healthy food, intuitive eating, keto diet, nutrition, Nutrition Counseling, Nutritionist, registered dietitian, registered licensed dietitian, weight management0 comments
In more recent years, society has progressed towards a body positive mindset, inclusivity and loving your body at any size. In turn, the question surrounding food and nutrition is transitioning to “what can my body do,” instead of a detrimental focus on the number on a scale. With this shift, the focus on nutrition and a weight management mindset of restriction is also changing.
Read on for 4 Dietitian-Recommended Ways to Help You Achieve Body Positive Weight Management:
- Utilize other measures of success. For those individuals above a healthy weight, losing weight can improve overall health, reduce risk of certain chronic diseases, and lengthen lifespan. While weight loss is a good thing for most individuals, abandoning body positivity in the process can only hinder your self-esteem and motivation. Utilizing other measures of success, such as energy levels, mindfulness and awareness, and sleep quality, can all provide a positive outlook on the journey to being the best version of yourself.
- Focus on how foods can benefit your body. Allowing one-self to shift and focus on a more positive mindset surrounding how foods can benefit your body by providing energy, satiety, fullness, and completeness can help increase overall self-awareness. This means a focus on whole, complete foods that can create well-rounded meals. For example, think of lean proteins for satiety, high fibrous foods for fullness, and bright colored vegetables that are a good source of both fiber and vitamins/minerals. Think “how can I make my meals better?” Utilizing the foods and meals that you enjoy, think how they can be enhanced with flavorful, nutrient-dense foods that add satiety and fullness, and help your body and mind feel better.
- Honor your hunger and fullness cues. Utilizing fullness sensations and hunger cues to guide eating versus the mindset of restriction can also help create a positive mindset. By focusing on “how do these foods make me feel,” this will help to create an emphasis on what my body can do versus the need to restrict certain foods. It can also help reduce stress eating. Prolonged stress increases cortisol levels in the body. Elevated cortisol levels can lead your body to deposit fat in the midsection. This increase in fat in the belly is shown to increase risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Cortisol can also enhance cravings for high-fat and high-sugar foods by making them taste better. Practicing stress-reducing techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or simply allowing yourself to sit in a quiet space, can all help to calm our bodies down and reduce those cortisol levels.
- Identify stressors to help reduce negative thoughts and improve mental health. Reducing stress, and viewing foods as beneficial additions to help your body be the best it can be for you, can improve your overall mental and physical health. Body positivity is about eating well, creating movement that you can do, and being honest about your needs in the moment.
This article was written by our Registered Dietitian, Kali Alrutz
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