Avoid the 30-day
Challenges, 2 Week Weight Loss Schemes, Detox’s or Cleanses. All of these
options miss the WHOLE picture, which is optimal overall health. This encompasses a healthy weight and
maintaining it, decreasing risk of chronic diseases, obesity and cancers, high
quality of life, and longevity.
Key aspects to achieving a healthy
Exercise, Mental health and Sleep, not necessarily in that order.
Nutrition: Overwhelming evidence from studies
like the Adventist Health 2 study, PREDIMED, and studies from Harvard and Tufts
point towards plant based diets like the Mediterranean, vegetarian/vegan,
pescaitarian, and DASH, across the board, a 30% decrease in mortality rate. In addition, there was a significant decreased
risk for chronic diseases (cardiovascular, diabetes, hypertension) obesity and
cancers, hence the decrease in mortality rate. These diets are innately high in fiber (since
they are plant based), which is highly beneficial in many ways. Fiber promotes a sense of satiety, slows down
sugars into the blood stream, and removes cholesterol, toxins in the GI tract, and
anti-nutrients like oxalates and phytates. Additionally, fiber exercises the
smooth muscle along your gastrointestinal tract, and most importantly fuels the
probiotics in your microbiome located mostly in your colon. This microbiome is 75% of your immune system,
your first defense against the environment.
Fiber is KING, truly a super food!
Not to mention plant derived foods are high in phtyochemicals which have
multiple benefits; anti-oxidants which combat free radicals that damage cells,
to decreasing inflammation in the body.
They have a multitude of other beneficial functions.
Key point: GET PLANTS IN YOUR DAILY DIET!
Here are some
tips that will inherently fill you up with healthy fiber and displace unhealthy
food choices. Thus timulating weight
loss, or maintaining current weight.
should avoid/limit-refined carbohydrates, added sugars, saturated and trans
ACTION: CHOOSE ORGANIC
starchy vegetable servings/day
Meet this goal
by having 1 serving at breakfast (throw in smoothies, or 6-8oz. green juice) 2
servings at lunch, 1 serving as a snack between lunch and dinner, and 2-3
servings at dinner.
Choose orange, dark leafy greens, red,
white, and purple. Vary the types
daily! Get a variety, to get a wide
range of needed nutrients.
Serving size= 1 cup raw OR ½ cup cooked OR 2
cups raw greens
Non-starchy vegetables: all vegetables EXCEPT; all potatoes, peas, corn (technically a grain), squashes
(spaghetti, acorn, butternut, delicata, pumpkin, and kombocha.
Starchy vegetables: are VERY healthy for you, and usually
have a decent amount of protein per serving.
Enjoy a variety of these, but count them in the grains/starchy food
Meet this goal
by consuming 1 serving at breakfast, a
serving between breakfast and lunch, 1 at lunch and 1 as a dessert.
Serving size =
1 tennis ball sized piece of fruit OR 1
cup raw chopped OR ¼ cup of
dried OR 5” banana OR 1
handful of berries
Whole fruits are filled with vitamins,
minerals, give and phytochemcials. Yes
fruit is high in sugar, but naturally occurring sugar, doesn’t effect insulin
in the same way. Additionally, even if you are diabetic, fruit isn’t harmful
for you, just make sure you manage how much you consume and adjust your insulin
Include whole grains and starchy vegetables, fill ¼ of your plate (more if you are
an athlete). Choose quality intact
grains; see my article on Whole Grains Explained on Total Nutrition Counseling
Choose plant proteins, often. Meatless dinners 2-3 times per week. Legumes, pulses or dry peas 1 serving/day = ½
cup. Wild caught fish 2-3 times per week
if you consume lean proteins.
Red meats like beef, bison, pork and
lamb 1 serving /week at the most.
Incorporate plant fats; olives, avocados, nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, oils (olive,
avocado, walnut, flax, canola). All fats
are concentrated, so take it easy on these.
Dairy products or Dairy Alternatives, 2-3 servings/day, 1 serving=1 cup/day
an exercise you enjoy, this will keep you motivated. Workout with a friend to help keep you
for 250+ minutes/week. This will promote active weight loss/maintenance and
overall health according to the Academy of Physical Therapy Education. This should be moderate to vigorous activity.
at least 2 days of strength training, ideally 3.
often to avoid injury and improve overall motion and mechanics.
sitting longer than ½ hour at a time, get up and stretch for at least 3 minutes
or walk around, if feasible. Commutes to
and from work, can increase your sitting time.
Take extra efforts to get in more activity, walk the stairs, park
farther away, these little steps make a difference.
a fit bit to monitor your success.
sedentary practices, when you can. Do
some floor exercises or stretching while binge watching your favorite series.
Meet your friends for a walk or a hike vs. coffee or lunch.
is a huge factor in decreasing overall health.
There is a brain gut axis that affects how your body functions when you
have chronic stress. This has everything
to do with how you respond to stress. Neurohormones
like, dopamine, epinephrine(adrenaline) norepinephrine and cortisol, are stimulated
by chronic stress and if this is continuous, it can create health issues.
methods to help your daily stressors.
Yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, walking your dog. Whatever helps you relax and are able to wipe
away the stress.
this isn’t my scope of care, the best solution is to seek out a licensed
therapist, like a MFT, or a PsyD credentials. to help deal with your stress,
anxiety or depression.
of sleep as your daily recovery, lack
of sleep increases the risk of chronic health problems including diabetes, high
blood pressure and obesity
sleep affects your hunger hormones (Ghrelin, lepitin and PPY to name a few), in
a negative way. Working against your
body’s ability to lose or maintain weight.
Essentially your body has a
misconception of insufficient energy availability.
Sleep deprivation increases diabetes risk, by decreasing
insulin sensitivity and production.
out how much sleep you do get, and aim to increase it. Use a fit bit or sleep tracker to monitor your progress.
for 7 hours per night, suggested by top Harvard sleep specialist and professor
avoiding caffeine past noon (it can stay in your system up to 8 hours) and
practice good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene, is essentially a
Go to bed and wake up around the same
Avoid meals close to bedtime and
Keep your bedroom cool, dark and
without TV, computer or phone use.
Avoid looking at your phone or any
screen ½ hour prior to sleep. The back
light disrupts melatonin production.
Relax, read, take a bath or listen to
calming music before bed. Maybe try an
oil diffuse with aromatherapy oils for sleep.
If you don’t fall asleep with in 20
minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.