Happy New Year! The holidays and all the decadence that often comes with them are behind us, literally and figuratively… As a result, for many people the new year often comes with the goal to drop a few pounds. Below you will find my general dietary recommendations that I share with people every day in my practice. These recommendations are helpful for weight loss and signs of blood sugar instability, such as cravings for carbohydrates and sugar or fatigue after eating. I am a firm believer in making life style changes for more effective weight loss, rather than trying the newest fad diet. These recommendations may also be helpful for my overweight fertility clients with PCOS as scientific studies have shown that women with PCOS can regain ovulation, menstrual regularity and decrease insulin by losing 5-10% of their body weight.
Some tips for weight loss and better blood sugar control include:
1. Eat real, whole foods. No packaged foods please.
2. Your plate should always contain a healthy mix of all the macronutrients: a healthy protein (organic always), non-starchy carbs (lots of veggies) and healthy source of fat (cold pressed, non-refined oils, butter, avocado, raw nuts).
3. Animal protein and dairy products should come from grass-fed, organic sources to avoid the added hormones and antibiotics that are fed to the animals. Portion sizes should be the size of a deck of cards.
4. All refined carbohydrates and sugars should be eliminated. This includes, breads, pastries, candies, breakfast cereals, sodas, juice and alcohol.
5. Carbohydrates from non-starchy veggies are great and can be eaten without limits.
6. As a rule of thumb, if you are tired or crave sweets right after you eat, the carbohydrate portion of your meal was too high (assuming there are no hidden sensitivities we are unaware of).
7. Fruit is a great snack, but should always be combined with a healthy fat &/or a protein. Aim to eat only low to moderate fruits on the glycemic index chart. High glycemic fruits will cause an insulin surge. A good example is berries with unsweetened organic Greek yogurt or apple slices with raw almond butter.
8. Avoid trans fats, which are artificial fats, made from hydrogenated oils. They cause inflammation and arterial plaque. Findings from the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that eating trans fats decreased women’s fertility. Trans fats are found in most processed, packaged foods.
9. Don’t be afraid of healthy sources of fat, as the cholesterol is needed for hormone production. Some good examples include, cold pressed unrefined oils, raw nuts, organic diary products, avocados, olives.
10. Eat your dinner off of salad plates to help with portion control.
11. Exercise is essential for blood sugar stability and weight loss. Aim for 30 minutes per day 4-5 days/week. A combination of cardiovascular and weight training is optimal.
12. Find ways to nurture yourself, so that food is not comfort for you. Some things to consider: take a walk in nature, soak in a tub, meditate, do yoga, read an inspiring book or journal.
If eating cleanly, and still unable to drop weight, looking for food sensitivities is a good next step. Speak to your practitioner for testing options.