With the season of New year’s resolutions upon us, many of us will take on goals with aims of bettering our health.  Whether the goal is to lose 10 pounds, 50 pounds, or just to live a healthier lifestyle, whatever your motivations are, we all start in the same place:  How do I do it?  In this Three-part blog series, I will share with you my advice, tips, and tricks to a successful new year’s resolution.  Part one will talk about dieting, part two will talk about exercise, and in part three we will tackle how to set proper and attainable goals.  With all three parts you should be on your way to a happier and healthier 2019 in no time.

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Part 1: How to diet….Or Not To

In the First part of this series we are going to talk about dieting, or as the title points out, how to not diet. I think that we all have a similar experience where a family member, friend, or co-worker has told you about what fad diet or cleanse they went on to lose weight, and it probably worked; for a time. Dieting does work, for a period until you decide you don’t want to be so strict with how you are eating all the time, or you want to get that dessert while out at a restaurant, and once you break your diet once, it is all downhill from there.

The problem that I have with a lot of fad diets is that they involve such large, drastic lifestyle changes all at one time for the people who wish to embark down that journey. A lot of the times, the large changes are not sustainable especially when you are trying to break old habits. The way around this problem, is simple Don’t diet. Instead, make small, but impactful changes in what you eat or drink over time to help create new GOOD habits to replace the old BAD habits. Here are some examples:

1. Pop consumption (and alcohol). This is a big one. For those of us that drink a lot of pop you don’t realize how much a difference in your weight loss journey simply decreasing the amount you drink, and eventually removing it completely can make. So how do we make this change? For the sake of this example let’s say you are a 3 can/day pop drinker. Over the course of the next 2-3 months our goal is to have you drinking only water instead of pop. We start by bringing your can consumption from 3 down to 2, from 2 down to 1 and from 1 down to 0. As your bringing your pop consumption down we want to bring your water consumption up. The key is we do this over a two to three-month period to help reinforce habits rather than trying to quit cold turkey.

2. Eating out/ Fast food. This one is tricky, everyone is so busy with work, their family their life that cooking your own meals gets thrown to the wayside. But cooking for yourself cannot only help your waistline, but also your bank account. For the purpose of this example, let’s say you are a person that manages to eat home cooked meals for dinner everyday, but you eat out for lunch almost every day. For this the answer is quite simple, when you are cooking dinner prepare enough food that you can take leftovers for lunch. You will spend a little more on your grocery bill but save all that fast food money. To do this in small steps start by picking a day of the week that you are going to bring your lunch to work and apply this strategy the night before. After this increase to two or three days a week where you are bringing your own lunch. And with this principle of making small changes gradually, after two or three months you will almost never eat out for lunch and will always be having a home cooked meal.

3. What you are eating. I personally think that this one is the hardest, but also the most rewarding. This section is all about swapping out unhealthy foods you eat, with healthier alternatives, but with the principle of, small gradual changes it becomes a lot easier. If pasta is a staple of your diet, switch from white refined pasta to whole wheat pasta. The same goes for rice, from white to brown. Instead of using ground beef for your taco nights or chilli, try using ground turkey. You like the crunch of chips for a snack? Try a trailmix (without the chocolate or candy). If you are a chocolate lover, Dark chocolate (try 70% or higher). The key is again here, DON’T DO IT ALL AT ONCE. Make these changes over the course of an entire year. The more and more good choices and habits you can acquire the happier and healthier you will be.

By sticking to our principle of small gradual changes over time it is important to remember this applies to everything. Don’t try to change everything all at once. Start with the Pop, then once you have a handle on that, start on the goal of not eating out and once that is covered switch by introducing new things into your diet. Go at your own pace and make it so that you aren’t stressing about your diet, instead you are just forming good habits.

Slow changes in lifestyle, means that your weight loss or change in health will also be slower. This isn’t the way to lose 20Lbs in 4 weeks, but it is the way to lose 40 Lbs in a year and better yet KEEP IT OFF. Healthy and sustainable weight loss is done at about 1-2 Lbs per week and this is a good way to achieve your goals LONG TERM.

For any questions regarding what we talked about today don’t hesitate to ask. Send us an email by clicking here and submitting a form on our website or call us to make an appointment at 905-845-2291 to find out how Oakville Chiropractic Centre can help you achieve your goals.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series coming soon, as we talk about your exercise and fitness resolutions.

Dr. Phillip Wessel