February 2021

The New Year’s Resolutions

1. Eat more whole foods

One of the easiest and most sustainable ways to improve overall health WLS or not,  is to eat more foods that are still in their natural state.

The list would include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fish, containing a plethora of nutrients that your body needs to maintain your health over your lifetime.

Research supports the fact that following a whole-foods-based diet may significantly reduce heart disease risk, body weight, and blood sugar levels, as well as decrease your risk of certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

What’s more, adding more whole foods to your diet can be done slowly and consistently. For example, if you’re not used to eating vegetables, start by adding one serving of your favourite veggie to your diet every day.

2. Sit less and move more

Whether it’s due to having a sedentary job or simply being inactive, many people sit more than they should. Sitting for too long too frequently can have negative effects on health. In fact, it may be linked to an increased risk of overall disease risk. 
Making a decision to sit less and stand more will help with increasing your muscle levels after bariatric surgery, and it is an easy and attainable resolution that can be added to anyone’s day.

For example, if you have a desk job that requires long periods of sitting, make a resolution to go for a 15-minute walk at lunch or to get up and walk for 5 minutes every hour.

3. Get more quality sleep

Sleep is an essential part of overall health, and sleep deprivation can lead to serious consequences. For instance, lack of sleep may increase your risk of weight gain, heart disease, and depression.

There are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep, so it’s important to focus on your schedule and lifestyle to determine the best ways to improve sleep quantity and quality.

We covered sleep hygiene in other blogs on this site, so you will find a range of helpful ideas that will make sleeping easier here.

4. Find a form of physical activity that you enjoy

Gyms, workout studios, and online fitness programs all promise results we want, like shedding excess body fat and building more muscle. Though most people start strong, the majority don’t make their new routine into a lasting habit. 

To increase your chances of making something lasting part of your routine - MAKE SURE IT'S SOMETHING YOU ENJOY! 

For example, taking a half-hour walk, jog, or bike ride before work, or swimming at a gym that’s on your way home, are simple and sustainable exercise ideas. 

Then, set an attainable goal, such as planning to walk a few specific days per week instead of aiming for every day.

Making a more realistic goal can enhance the chances of making your new routine last, especially if you’re new to working out.

5. Take more ‘me time’ and practice self-care

Taking time for yourself is not selfish. In fact, it’s imperative for optimal health and wellbeing. This is especially true for those in caretaker roles, such as parents and healthcare workers 

For people with busy schedules and limited time, making a commitment  to engage in self-care after your Weight Loss Surgery  may take some planning. However, it’s well worth the time investment.

Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or time consuming. It can simply mean taking a bath every week, attending your favorite weekly yoga class, preparing a healthy meal for yourself, going for a walk in nature, or getting an extra hour of sleep.

6. Cook more meals at home

Research shows that people who cook more meals at home. Eat a  better diet quality and have less body fat than people who eat more meals on the go

In fact, a study in 11,396 adults found that those who ate 5 or more home-cooked meals per week were 28% less likely to be overweight, compared with those who ate fewer than 3 home-cooked meals per week.

Start by making one meal a day, then increase the frequency over time until you’re making the majority of your meals and snacks at home.

7. Spend more time outside

Spending more time outside can improve health by relieving stress, elevating mood, and even lowering blood pressure  Working on  spending more time outside every day is a sustainable and healthy goal that can benefit most everyone, no matter where you live.

Taking a walk outside during your lunch break, hiking on weekends, going camping with friends, or simply soaking in the beauty of your backyard or local park are all ways to incorporate nature into your daily routine.

8. Limit screen time

Spending too much time on electronic devices — particularly on social media — has been linked to depression, anxiety, and loneliness in some studies.

Setting a resolution to cut back on the time you spend scrolling through social media, watching TV, or playing computer games may help boost your mood and enhance productivity. 

9. Try meditation

Meditation is an evidence-based way to promote mental well-being. It may be particularly helpful for people who have anxiety or depression Trying out this practice is a perfect New Year’s resolution because there are many ways to meditate, and it’s easy to find books, podcasts, and apps that teach you how to start a meditation practice.

10. Rethink dieting

Chronic dieting is harmful to both physical and mental health. Plus, most people who lose weight through restrictive dieting regain up to two-thirds of the weight lost within 1 year .  Dieting can also make it harder to lose weight in the future.
Rather than attempting  to lose weight by using restrictive measures, such as a fad diet, try a healthier, more sustainable method of weight loss by focusing on increasing physical activity and eating healthier foods.

Jacqui Lewis
BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

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