Nutrition Wellness

Ring in Your Healthiest Year Yet: Week 1 – Losing Weight

December 31, 2018

Ring in Your Healthiest Year Yet: Week 1 – Losing Weight

Welcome to resolution makeover: your healthiest year yet!  The CHI Health dietitian team will provide you with 4 weeks-worth of New Year’s resolution makeovers.  That’s right, instead of resolutions that last only a few weeks, we hope to propel you into the year of your best health.  Over the next 4 weeks we will give you real-life, practical tips, that are dietitian-tested and can be used by anyone.  You can expect makeovers to these top 3 resolutions: Lose weight, exercise more and go on a diet.  Let’s get started!

So, you want to lose weight?  Perhaps your doctor told you to, or you are struggling to get back to a pre-pregnancy weight, or you want to lose weight prior to knee surgery.  No matter the reason – losing weight is HARD!  The nutrition and supplement industry can make is seem easy by telling you to buy a powder or pill that will make you lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks.  Although some supplements might lead to weight loss up front, when you stop taking the supplement, you often gain the weight back.  Why?  Because you didn’t change any of your lifestyle habits. 

First steps to weight loss – look in detail at your life:

  • Keep a complete lifestyle journal.  I know this takes time but you need to assess your day to day.  This will show you areas that need improvement. 
    • Intakes: Write down or use an app to track everything you eat or drink.  You need to know what, and how much, you are putting into your body. Larger portions = higher calories = potential for weight gain. 
    • Exercise: Find out how much time you are dedicating to being active.  Look for our post next week to learn ways to incorporate more exercise!
    • Stress:  Stress hormones can contribute to weight gain and burn out.  Implementing stretching or mindful breathing before bed, even if just for a few minutes, can help to turn off the flight or fight response and allow your body to rejuvenate.
    • Sleep: Try to adopt a bedtime routine with consistent wake times.  The sleep foundation recommends most adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night in a dark and cool room.
    • Aches and pains: You know your body the best.  But if you have consistent aches or pains such as a stomach ache in the afternoon, or foot pain in the morning, get it checked out!  There may be treatments available to help you feel your best and allow you to do more.
  • Have a complete physical.  We all have the same excuses to not see our health care providers: I feel fine, I don’t have time, I’m swamped at work, my kids have too many activities and so on.  However, how can you stay on top of your health, if you don’t know the status of your health?  Take the time to schedule a physical, discuss your concerns and get lab work done.  Lab tests such as cholesterol and thyroid function may guide your dietary changes and provide you with important information.
  • Be patient.  Celebrities on TV might lose 60 pounds in 6 months for a movie, but that is not normal and possibly not healthy.  You must be patient with yourself!  Healthy habits like how we eat or getting the desire to exercise, don’t change overnight.  Keep at it, find support and make time for yourself.  If you need more guidance seek the assistance of a Registered Dietitian in your area to help you get started.

These are the basics of formulating a weight loss regimen.  Over the next few weeks, we will provide you with practical strategies to make changes to your life.  Start that lifestyle journal and continue reading our series with the week 2 post!

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health, working in Oncology and Functional nutrition. Ellen helps patients improve nutrition habits during cancer treatment and beyond. She is a group fitness instructor at the CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center and enjoys helping people of all fitness abilities be active. Ellen is passionate about helping patients improve their lives through nutrition, activity and stress management.

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