We’ve made these resolutions year after year, only to fall back into unhealthy living after a couple of weeks. Nutritionist Romer Estrada shows us that with a strong foundation surrounding the core concept of smaller portions, our resolutions can finally be healthy habits to last us a lifetime.
By Romer Estrada
We are all guilty. Yes, let’s all admit it. The holidays made us a little more gluttonous than we usually are due to the throng of temptations sitting on the dining table. You might have had a little of this, and a lot of those; or a little of these with an unknown frequency throughout the day; or just admittedly, a lot of this and that. And the results? Well, let’s not talk about those.
So now we’re struggling. Probably more so now that you can feel that it’s time to fulfill the New Year’s resolution that we’ve all shared since maybe, 10 years ago? Well now let’s cut to the chase and start everything. FOR REAL.
Wondering what to do now? Read on.
1. Portion Control
The age-old suggestion that everyone promises to take seriously. At this point, assuming that all left-overs of those goodies from the holiday season were already consumed, now is the best time to go back to the regular eating habit. The modification nonetheless, is the portion control. From the standard 2 cups of rice last year, a cup would do now for every major meal. Adding a tablespoon of sugar for every cup of coffee? Cut it down to a teaspoon now.
Cutting back on your usual portions will help lessen your appetite by making your stomach shrink a little as it is now accustomed to smaller amounts per meal.
Lean protein should not be avoided at all cost. I’ve heard some people blame this nutrient for their weight gain. Not entirely a false claim, but just make sure that the protein you’re eating is lean, and yes, in proper amount. Adding protein to your diet will also help you curb your appetite as it fills up your stomach. Therefore, having just smaller amount of meals than before will be easier to do now if protein is not neglected or completely eradicated from your diet.
It’s also beneficial to those who work out with weights since microscopic tear is happening as your muscles expand when you lift. Protein acts as a patch to those tears, making you build muscle better and faster. This process also increases your metabolism, making you lose weight faster.
We all know that fiber is important. Let’s delve into the details so that it won’t be taken for granted this year.
There are two types of fiber. Soluble fiber such as those found in oats, barley, fruits, and root vegetables like carrots help in the reduction of bad cholesterol in your blood. Perfect for after we’ve overindulged in the glittering fat of crispy pata. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, makes you digest food easier and helps you avoid stomach problems, which a lot of us might have experienced by the morning of the January 1.
Regarding weight loss, the impact of fiber is not direct, but fiber makes you feel full for a longer period of time. This make you less inclined to overcompensation on your smaller meals.
Substituting the usual beverages with water, which is zero in calories by the way, would really make a lot of difference. A fruit juice contains anything from 100-180 calories. With just one or two glasses of juice a day, you’re already consuming the same number of calories as a light regular meal. Also, water is a little heavy in the stomach, which helps suppress your appetite considerably.
All the items listed above have the same goal: to help you suppress your appetite as you prepare for much smaller portions in your meals. Though it would be an uphill battle in the beginning, everything will settle down once this good habit is already developed.
Why start in the beginning of the year? Remember that our resolution is the kick-starter for our motivation but mind you, it does not last until December. Therefore, motivation will prepare you and get the ball rolling, but forming new habits (and ultimately changing your lifestyle) will make the difference forever.