Each January, millions of Americans make resolutions to eat more healthfully and lose weight; but many lose steam along the way.
If you have trouble keeping your resolutions or meeting your goals, this year it’s time to reverse the trend.
With some simple-yet-effective fitness and nutrition tips, you can set yourself up for success in 2015.
Listen in as Registered Dietician Jim White and Melanie Cole, MS, discuss ways for you to keep your resolutions and stay fit all throughout the year.
Transcription:Melanie Cole (Host)
: You made those resolutions to eat healthy and lose weight, and now you don’t want to lose steam. Now, you really want to keep those resolutions going and hit the ground running as it were. My guest today is Jim White. He is the owner of a chain of fitness facilities named Jim White Fitness, and he’s a registered dietitian/nutritionist. Welcome to the show, Jim. Tell us a little bit about your best advice for keeping those resolutions to eat healthy and lose weight in this New Year’s.Jim White (Guest):
Well, as you know, Melanie, I know you’re in a fitness nutrition world, this is the time when we see all of our patients and clients, everyone is ready to just drop all the way and change their lives forever. It’s a great thing. I think this time of year, it’s a fresh start. During the holidays, it’s hard to eat healthy around all those good-tasting food and all, but it’s a great time to really start again to a healthy lifestyle. One big thing is to be realistic. We watch a lot of these shows on TV where people are losing, 20 or 30 pounds in a week, but let’s be realistic. According to American College of Sports Medicine, it’s recommended that we lose about one or two pounds, safe fat loss, a week. This isn’t meant to be done over a short period of time. We’re in our bodies for a long time, so really take the time and be realistic with your goal. That’s the first recommended advice that I would give. Another thing is really talk about it by being social about it, whether it’s telling friends that you’re on a program or you started eating healthy or maybe even put it on Facebook or some social media that you’re more likely to have more adherence toward the program. Tell your friends. Don’t keep it a secret. I think that’s a great way to stay motivated these years. Melanie
: We want to set goals and then we want to be social about it and tell our friends. Could that backfire? Could telling your friends, say, “Oh, what are you eating that? I thought you were trying to lose weight.”Jim
: Well, there are going to be criticisms. It could be jealousy. It could be… people are, for whatever reasons, but really ask why are you losing this weight, and most people, we should be doing it for ourselves. It’s our own health. It’s the way we look. It’s our own confidence. Rather than appeasing other people. I think if we do it to appease other people by looking, feeling better for our people, I think that’s where we’re going to really struggle. By doing it for ourselves, I think that’s what our big concern should be. Throwing out the accountability is so important. I would always recommend accountability, whether it’s finding a registered dietitian or a certified personal trainer to help you can only make it better. If you don’t have the means for that, keep it accountable yourself. Really put it out to your friends and try to have even healthy competitions with your friends. That could be a great way to stay on track. Some eating advice: Eating is, what they say, 80 percent. As a dietitian, I want both halves with fitness, nutrition, but it is you are what you eat. My first advice is, I always say, frontload your plate with fruits and vegetables. Just think one piece of fruit is about 80 or 60 calories, and one serving of vegetables is around 25 calories. You’re not breaking the bank when you eat fruits and vegetables. You’re getting so many nutrients with the fiber that’s involved with them. It really fills you up. I’d incorporate fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Also, incorporate protein with each meal and I would try to even get a whole grain with that. With the combination of protein and the fiber and the whole grains, you’re likely to ward off hunger longer, give yourself long-lasting energy and, of course, when you’re hitting those weights, that protein is going to rebuild up muscles. It’s really important to combine protein and carbohydrates at each meal. Another thing is stop eating before you’re stuffed. I really think a lot of people feel that they should feel that stuffed feeling when they eat, especially going out to eat at a restaurant because we know that the portion sizes can be huge. Try to limit that. It’s okay to not be stuffed. To feel satisfied is what our goal is. With that, we can cut off the major calories that can really ward off some of that weight gain.Melanie
: We’re frontloading our fruits and our vegetables and we’re being social and we’re setting our goals. What do you think about journaling, Jim, as a way to keep track because it’s so easy to be mindless and just put something in your mouth or finish the food on your kid’s plate or any of these things that’s so easy to be mindless about it. What do you think about journaling and actually writing down what you eat? Jim
: Actually, studies show that by journaling you can stay 30 percent more adherence on your diet. I’d recommend journaling. Write it down. That’s the old school method now with all the tech out there. There’s a lot of great apps where you can chart your food. I’m telling you, even with my clients, when I have them chart their food, they’re like, “Wow! I cannot believe I’m eating this much,” or “I didn’t realize how much unhealthy foods I’m eating.” It’s a great way for someone to really look in and see how they’re eating and really evaluate. Then if you’re working with somebody, like a dietitian or sort of a personal trainer, they can look in and they can fill in the gaps on areas that you may be weak in your diet or maybe not have a lot of variety, or adequately. I can’t say more. Journaling is a great way to really increase that adherence. Not only with the nutrition, there’s a lot of great fitness devices out there. Now, that’s almost like journaling for your own body. Tracking steps, tracking your miles, tracking your pace, even your heart rate, these are great parameters to make sure you’re exercising to the fullest and getting the most out of your workout. By doing both those together, with these devices, with these new technological apps, it’s almost creating adherence with us. If we can afford a personal trainer, can afford a registered dietitian, it keeps us in shack, if that’s most minimal things we can use for ourselves. Melanie
: Does eating more fiber help us to sort of burn more calories, push everything through, help lose weight really? Jim
: Yeah. Not necessarily burn more calories, but yeah, absolutely, by having more fiber, it’s going to ward off our hunger. Of course, fiber we know improves cholesterol levels. Most of your fiber foods are most of your higher nutrient foods. The average American only consumes around 12 grams of fiber, so at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber for men and women. Very important to get that throughout the day and that’s where those whole grains come in. That’s why we want to make half of our plate filled with whole grains. Another thing is a lot of us drink our calories. In fact, in the last decade, about half the population drinks sugary beverages. About one in four of those beverages is around 200 calories. If we switch all of our sugary beverages to water, this is a great way to decrease calories throughout our day. Of course, you know when you decrease calories, that’s when that weight come off. By increasing that water, there’s so much of us that are in deficit of water also. Just a two-percent dehydration can really affect us, like in performance. We need to drink more water anyways. By decreasing those high sugary caloric drinks and switching with water that can be an easy way to drop off some calories.Melanie
: We only have a few minutes left, Jim, but what about, you mentioned whole grains, so what about carbohydrates as far as breads and starches and pastas? Do they have room on the plate for eating healthy and losing weight?Jim
: Absolutely. We’re in the low carbohydrate mindset as American. Everyone is afraid to eat carbs, but we need carbs. We need carbs for energy. We need carbs for fuel. We need carbs to provide us essential vitamins, to provide us fiber. We need carbs for the brain. We need the whole grain carbs for all these. What I would do is definitely space them throughout the day. Have some oatmeal for breakfast and have a sandwich, whole grain bread, for lunch and maybe some brown rice or sweet potatoes for dinner, and make sure you’re exercising to use those carbohydrates for energy. Yeah, we definitely don’t want to not include those or any food group in our diet. Probably the biggest advice that I can say is give yourself permission to eat. Everyone is really trying to follow the strict meal plan and I don’t know why everyone is so…Melanie
: Just 10 seconds left, Jim. Jim
: I’m really trying to, but I would do is give the 80-20 rule. Cheat every once in a while and really enjoy your life and you have a good meal plan.Melanie
: Thank you, and it’s such great advice. You’re listening to Eat Right Radio with our good friends from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For more information, you can go to eatright.org
. That’s eatright.org
. This is Melanie Cole. Thanks so much for listening.