Resolution Thoughts from a Dietitian
January is the month of resolutions where most people are motivated and ready to improve on their health, fitness, and weight loss goals. This is a wonderful thing and even if your goals only stay with you for a few months hopefully you will have learned something from them and gotten even 1% better in the process.
It is challenging to even know which way to start making improvements with nutrition since everyone including doctors, dietitians, social media influencers, and news media outlets have varying opinions and they all think their way is the only way. This makes me so angry since, to be completely honest, there is not one “right way” to lose weight. There are, however, general concepts that are supported by decades of research and by my 12+ years of working 1:1 with clients every day that will support your health and weight loss goals.
Most people gloss over these tips since they are not sensational, but I promise if you embrace them with consistency, you will see progress towards any health goal. Read below for these general principles and remember ANY level of improvement is better than nothing at all.
Fruits and vegetables have been long known to support almost every aspect of our health. Many think that the message of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is tired but only 10% of the population meets the recommended 2-3 cups of fresh vegetables per day.
- The basics work so make sure you are consuming 2-3 cups of vegetables every day before you take on any other form of diet.
- Aim to include a wide variety of fresh vegetables, emphasizing the cruciferous family and leafy greens
- Target at least one serving of fresh fruits with some of the most nutrient dense fruits being fresh blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, apples, raspberries just to name a few.
Another principal people tend to avoid in my conversations with them, but did you know that getting adequate sleep actually helps you better control both your eating behaviors and which foods you may crave? Adults need between 7-8 hours of restful sleep nightly, so practice good sleep hygiene by:
- Keeping your room cool and dark
- Eliminating all blue light for 30-60 minutes before bed
- Keeping alcohol minimized.
Not only will you have more energy, lower blood pressure and increased metabolism but you will also have more mental stamina to increase discipline throughout the day
Protein source (vegetarian vs animal protein), including which to prioritize and which to avoid, is the topic of many debates and arguments, but at least we can all agree that we need protein, especially athletes, older adults, people suffering from chronic disease, and children (due to their growth).
I recommend anchoring every meal with some form of protein. Also keep in mind that not all proteins are created equal. The concept of protein bioavailability (the ability of the protein to get digested, absorbed and utilized by the body) is important and you should aim to include higher bioavailable proteins as often as possible, including:
- whey protein powder
- lean poultry
- seafood and shellfish
- lean red meat
Not all diet plans and programs are bad, and some can be very beneficial for people, but if the plan you select discourages vegetables, fruits and proteins and does not touch on the importance of sleep and activity I would avoid starting that plan.
You also do not need a formal “diet program” to make consistent and measurable improvements in these areas, and I would argue that if all you focused on was getting consistent with these three cornerstones of health, you would see a marked improvement in your health and body composition.
Stay healthy my friends! Sincerely, Jessica Murgueytio
Nutrition Therapy Services
R2P is proud to offer individual nutrition counseling with our new registered dietitian, Jessica Murgueytio. Personalized nutrition helps your body function optimally and increases the body’s ability to heal and strengthen itself. Both In-Person or from the comfort of your home, get started with your Nutrition Plan Now. Learn More Here!