A slim line to walk

Balance is key to a healthier diet

New year, new resolutions to become a better you. For many people, that involves eating healthier.

According to Statistic Brain, the number one New Year’s resolution for 2015 was to lose weight. 

It also said that only eight per cent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions. Nearly a quarter of people who make resolutions fail every year.

So, what can you do to be successful in your goal to have healthier eating habits?

Anna Lazowski, registered holistic nutritionist at Winnipeg Wellness, says she dislikes the word “diet” because it gives people the idea that they should restrict their calorie intake and be hungry all the time.

“Often it’s just about shifting around what you’re eating, with an emphasis on protein, healthy fats, the right carbohydrates and dramatically increasing vegetable intake,” Lazowski says.

“When people know they’re going to start restricting food, they often give themselves permission to gorge on everything.”

That is often what happens over the holiday season, and Lazowski says this is never a good idea, although there’s no harm in the occasional indulgence. 

Lazowski runs programs to get people off of sugar, but says people doing that can eat as much as they want of a wide range of foods.

“If you’re eating the right foods, your blood sugar will be balanced, you won’t get 3 p.m. cravings or be on a caffeinated roller coaster,” Lazowski says.

However, if you’re changing your diet in part to lose weight, she says the best thing to do is get regular sleep.

“Staying up late not only drives you to eat later than you otherwise would, it also messes up your hormones which can make losing weight that much harder,” Lazowski says.

Sara Siedleski, a registered holistic nutritionist with her own practice, says after the holidays, it is important that people get back to eating a normal diet rather than binging on treats, as many do in December.

“When getting your meals back on track, you need to be aware of your sugar intake first and foremost,” Siedleski says.

She recommends removing obvious sugars, such as pop and candy, but also hidden sugars, such as that in white rice and potatoes.

“Focus on building a meal plan from fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Eat clean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, beef, beans and lentils. Use healthy fats such as avocados, coconut oils, olive oils and keep grains to a minimum,” Siedleski says.

She suggests people consider skipping the holiday binging altogether next year and instead have a few special treats here and there.

“The seasonal ‘junk foods’ can lead to weight gain, poor sleeps, low energy, low immunity and higher stress,” Siedleski says.

That’s probably not how most people want to start off the new semester.

Published in Volume 70, Number 14 of The Uniter (January 7, 2016)

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