Eating healthy and weight loss are goals you can focus on all year long, even if you haven’t started your New Year resolutions.
Megan Lingelbach, a clinical dietician at St. Joseph’s Hospital offers some advice for people who are trying to eat healthier or who want to lose that last ten pounds.
Lingelbach says thinking about what you can add to your lifestyle instead of what you can subtract is a great place to start,
“That could be adding more vegetables to what we are already eating,” said Lingelbach. “Adding more me time, reading and self-care.”
She said that setting small and achievable goals is a great way to form new habits.
“The smaller and easier it is for you to achieve the more likely you are to continue to do it,” said Lingelbach.
Adding physical activity daily is also an important component of losing weight. Lingelbach notes that yoga class, dance class, or curling are also good options if you struggle to stick to a gym routine.
“If you’re going to enjoy it, you're going to stick with it longer.”
If you have already started your healthy lifestyle journey but hit a plateau, Lingelbach says it may be time to change things up.
“Whether that’s trying a different activity or trying to shake up what we are eating in the day.”
When it comes to fad diets, Lingelbach explained that there are a lot of risks.
“Only eating meat, or only eating fruits and vegetables is not going to give our body the variety of nutrients it needs,” said Lingelbach. “It can lead to deficiencies of vitamins and minerals.”
She warns that these deficiencies can be detrimental to one’s health and could lead to muscle deterioration.
Vitamin deficiencies can also leave people with a low energy level as the body is trying to conserve muscle mass.
“The energy we do have to keep us alive versus helping us lose weight or work out,” said Lingelbach.
Lingelbach explained that the healthiest way to lose weight is to make changes that will last for years to come. If you follow a fad diet the weight may come off quickly, but when you stop restricting your diet people often gain back weight, and most people gain more than what they had lost.
Vitamins and supplements are another factor when thinking about health and making healthy changes.
“Vitamin D is very beneficial to all Canadians because we don't get a lot of sunshine,” said Lingelbach.
If you are thinking of starting weight loss supplements or pre-workout supplements Lingelbach says, it's best to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before beginning them.
“They may interact with different medications, they may have different effects on their body,” said Lingelbach “Let’s face it, they can be very expensive for sometimes not giving you a whole lot of benefit.”