Turkey and trimmings were gobbled, holiday treats were enjoyed, hugs happened (some virtual, some in person) and I think it's safe to say that most of us, glad to be rid of 2020, enthusiastically rung in 2021 with renewed hope and faith for a better year.
If there's one thing that 2020 taught us, is the value of good health. I've seen it over and over again with clients. For whatever reason, most people generally don't focus on strengthening and building their health and immune function, until something happens. Or until their doctor tells them they must. And although I am a firm believer that it's never to late to make healthy changes, prevention is infinitely better than trying to reverse disease once it's started.
As we approached the end of 2020, and moving forward, I've actually had several clients reach out with the sole intent of not becoming “like my mom/dad/grandfather who had (any number of lifestyle diseases) and died early”. Those 'co-morbid conditions' we've heard so much about this past year. And while there is much debate whether measures can be taken to prevent contracting the dreaded virus, the science is clear that those with co-morbid conditions (aka lifestyle diseases) are more at risk than those without. On a positive note, science also shows that lifestyle diseases can be significantly reduced and even entirely reversed, with food. Think about it. “Lifestyle” diseases come about due to a person's particular lifestyle – including food choices – putting the body in a compromised state. Change the food and lifestyle and it makes sense that the problem will reverse.
According to the NIH for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, two out of every three adults, and one out of every six children aged two to19 are either overweight or obese. Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, hormonal imbalance, metabolic syndrome, cancer, fatty liver disease, pancreatitis, and even Alzheimer's are associated with diabetes and/or carrying excess weight. It seems there's been a health crisis happening for years that perhaps should have been the focus of public health long ago. And given our current health crisis, I've often wondered why our public health officials haven't offered suggestions on how to improve health and boost immune function by targeting these co-morbid/lifestyle diseases. Especially as a quick google search of Dr. Bonnie Henry's bio states, “She was a family doctor and is a specialist in public health and preventative medicine...” But I digress.... No one can change the past. But we all have the opportunity to make changes today that will have a positive impact on our own personal health tomorrow.
So, as you're making those annual resolutions around health, weight loss and hitting the gym, why not resolve to do it different and do it right this year? Set yourself up to win in 2021 by making resolutions that make sense to you, are proven and backed by science, that works with your family, and something that's not some crazy diet. Let's face it, anyone can lose weight by restricting calories or exercising like a fiend, but is that really what you want to do for the rest of your life? Is that how you want to live your life, never again eating your favourite foods? Likely not. And that's why diets fail. Here are six things you can do that will work today and in the long term.
Eat breakfast within one hour of waking and make sure to include some protein.
Balance your meals. Including a good quality protein, fat and unprocessed carbohydrate (PFC) stabilizes blood sugar.
Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Having those PFC meals every three to four hours keeps blood sugar stable, turns on metabolism, burns more fat, increases energy and optimizes immune function.
Drink more water. Three to four litres per day for the gents and two to three litres for the ladies.
Move your body. With the way the world has been this past year, more people have spent more time sitting in front of a screen than ever before. FYI six hours or more of inactivity per day is considered a sedentary lifestyle. If you don't use it, you'll lose it so move it.
Supplement daily. Can we get everything we need from food? Yes. Do we? No. Because nobody is perfect. It's important to use good quality supplements in order to fill the gaps and shore up any nutrient deficiencies we may have. Vitamins D and C along with Zinc are a great place to start. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and plays an important role in the growth and repair of tissue, Zinc is required in many areas such as gene expression, healing wounds, growth and development, and all three of these are key to optimizing and supporting the body's immune system. Bonus tip, consuming certain types of aloe vera allows for better vitamin absorption.
While it's not rocket science, these six simple strategies are backed by science. Not only will implementing them help you lose weight, look and feel better, you'll be healthier too.
New Year, New You. If you're ready to take back control of your health, book your FREE health assessment with Tania today [email protected] and join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook. Together let's make 2021 your last weight loss resolution ever.
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.