Does your favorite workout spot feel unusually packed? In early January, there’s a pretty good chance that a whole host of new faces will appear at the gym, optimistic and ready to make good on their New Year’s resolutions. Diet and exercise are often the starting points for anyone willing to get behind a “new year, new you” attitude, and placing restrictions on the former seems to be the norm.
But before you start counting calories and cutting carbs, consider this: eating better, rather than eating less, is a much more manageable commitment that brings results—which means that it may be the one resolution you stick to all year long.
So which foods should you embrace, and which should you avoid? A good rule of thumb is to include more natural foods that people have enjoyed for centuries. Fruits, vegetable, nuts, fish and chicken are a great start. On the flip side, steer clear of anything ultra-processed, like pre-packaged snacks and meals, which tend to include high levels of sugar, sodium and processed fats.
One way to make sure you’re eating more natural, unprocessed foods is by shopping the “perimeter” of your grocery store and staying away from most of the inner aisles, which is where processed foods like chips, breads, and pre-packaged meals often live.
Don’t deny yourself every food you love, though. Completely cutting out particular foods often leads to cravings and binge eating, which means that eating smarter and more moderately may be a more achievable resolution than trying to drastically change your diet all at once. Healthy substitutes can often help to satiate cravings, as well. Reach for fruit instead of sweets, yogurt instead of ice cream, and granola bars instead of cookies so you’ll feel satisfied rather than guilty.
Weight-loss presents unique challenges for everyone, and sometimes diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to achieve the results you need. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor or surgeon about what weight loss surgery procedures will benefit you most in conjunction with the healthy lifestyle changes outlined above.
Welcome 2016 with these health-conscious changes to look and feel your best all year long! If you need help or have questions, contact Dallas Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Dirk Rodriguez.