By: Dr. Joey Shulman DC, RNCP
After being in the nutritional and weight loss world for over a decade and having the opportunity to work with thousands of clients, there are certain health habits that I have found to be “game changers”. In other words, these habits quickly create a positive change in how you look, feel and overall health. Whether you desire more energy, weight loss, better digestion or achieving a state of optimal wellness – these “game changing health habits” will help to get you there.
Step 1 – Plan for success. Optimal health and weight loss does not happen on it’s own –it takes a plan. Meal planning, grocery shopping and food preparation may take a little extra thought and time in the beginning, but it will quickly become part of your routine that fits easily into your schedule.
Step 2 – Start your day off with warm water and lemon. Lemon is alkalizing in the body, rich in vitamin C and acts as a natural astringent to improve your digestive capacity.
Step 3 – Drink 2 liters of water per day. I frequently tell my clients, “You’re not tired, and you are thirsty!” Dehydration can cause fatigue, constipation, inability to lose weight and inflammation. When drinking water – herbal teas count. Tempt your palate with herbal teas such as berry, chamomile, mint or chai) to satisfy a sweet tooth or for its soothing effects.
Step 4 – Keep my motto in mind, “Supper is supplementary”. Way too often we eat dinners that are too large in portion size or too heavy on the starches and grains. According to Ayurvedic medicine, as the light goes down, so does our metabolic capacity and ability to digest. In a nutshell, for optimal health to flourish and weight loss to happen, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” .
Step 5 – Pick your proteins for every meal . In addition to filling you up and stabilizing blood sugars, proteins trigger the release of a hormone called glucagon that helps break down belly fat. Ideally women should consume 3-5 ounces of protein per meal, while men should consume 4-6 ounces per meal. Protein options include chicken, fish, tofu, yogurt, protein powder, occasional red meat, eggs and plain yogurt.
Step 6 – Make sure to have low calorie and nutrient dense foods to grab at 3pm and after dinner. These times of the day are often “danger zones” and when emotional eating kicks in.
Step 7 – Pay attention. Bringing mindfulness to what you are eating is half the battle. To kick off any new health venture _ I highly recommend keeping a food journal. Simply record everything you are eating and how you feel on a daily basis. Research shows that people who food journal lose more weight in the long run.