You may have noticed that most people tend to put on weight over the festive season, some up to five kilos. And, it’s also a time when we start developing habits that might not serve us so well in the following months. What happens over the years and decades is many of us find it hard to reduce that Festive weight again, and keep eating that little bit extra or drinking that extra drink so never really get back to where we were. Add to that less exercise and you have a recipe for extra weight gain each year.
In view of these trends I have put my favourite tips in the order that I have found to be most effective with my patients and myself.
- Start the New Year with a practical, nutritious three to four week detox program. I recommend the Remede detox program or the one outlined in my Detox Cookbook. This form of detox isn’t a stress on your body nor does it eliminate important nutrients from the diet. By commencing the year with a detox program you nip in the bud any habits that you have formed over the festive break and also remove some inflammatory foods from your diet. This in turn gives your body a “breather” so it can regroup, reduce inflammation, release fluid retention and return to a state of good cellular function. I always start my new year with a month long detox. And, after spending a couple of weeks in my home town of Sydney with family and friends I really need to kick start the year with some good habits again.
- Make the most of our gorgeous summer mornings and wake up, put on your swimming or exercise gear, get out into the fresh air and move your body. Do whatever exercise you enjoy. Personally I’m up at 6:00am and down at the beach, walking on the sand with my partner and our little dog Pepper, then running in the water and finishing with a good swim. What a joy that is and a fabulous way to start the day. Exercising in the morning also stimulates cortisol production and thyroid function improving your energy and metabolism during the day.
- During your detox have no more than one serve of starchy carb foods per day. This means ½ cup cooked brown rice or quinoa, or 1-2 slices gluten free bread, or ½ cup cooked sweet potato or gluten free pasta or rice noodles. By reducing starchy carbs you reduce the amount of sugars your body has to process, in turn reducing the insulin load on your body. This will encourage your body to burn more body fat for energy.
- Be sure to have at least four cups of mixed salad vegetables each day along with some good quality lean protein such as organic / free range chicken, wild caught salmon or King salmon, organic eggs, legumes, nuts + seeds, sardines, small snapper and whiting. Protein helps to improve your metabolic rate so you burn more kilojoules after eating it more than after eating carbohydrates. Include one or two small pieces of fresh fruit and some good fats.
- This tip can be very motivating for many of my patients and this is to keep a food diary and come on in to see me for a cellular health analysis (CHA) test. This test shows your body composition and just how much body fat you are reducing along with other important health markers such as muscle quality, cellular fluid balance, fluid retention and biological age. The combination of food diary and CHA testing will help you stay focused with the best possible results.
By Jan Purser