New Year Resolutions Effectiveness
We’re already three weeks into January. Which also means for many, we’re about 1-week away from when consistency with New Year resolutions take a big drop in effectiveness or failure. So if you’re starting to worry that you’re going to slip, remember:
#1. Your goal should not be perfection. So don’t let an occasional “Bad Day” push you off track.
#2. Plateaus are part of the weight loss and/or fitness journey. If you go a week where you don’t lose weight or feel stronger, it might just mean that you’re a week away from a big drop in fat or performance.
#3. If you’re feeling frustrated, don’t assume that you need to go to extremes to get results. Instead, focus on making small changes that matter the most in leveraging for improved results.
With regards to #3, one of the easiest mistakes people make is that they forget to eat enough whole food plant-based fiber. Best known for keeping you “regular,” fiber is a core driver linked to everything from feeling fuller (enhanced satiation), secreting less insulin (good for fat loss), and more short-chain fatty acids, which enhances the efficiency with which your body processes food (enhanced metabolism).
Which means: all roads to more plant-based fiber in your diet = more weight loss. [You can see an awesome flowchart graphic about the fiber-weight loss relationship in this post from the Atlantic.]
According to MayoClinic.com, men should eat 38 grams of fiber daily; women should get 25. Elderly men and women, respectively, should eat 30 and 21 g daily. If you go by stats, most people eat about half of that daily. So here’s how you can give yourself a boost.
At Breakfast: Add fruit. Raspberries are king (8 grams per serving), but apples (4.4 grams), bananas (3.1 grams), oranges (same), and strawberries (3.0 grams) are all good sources of fiber. (And if you’re eating oatmeal, which delivers at least 4 grams per serving, you’ll be well on your way for the day.)
At Lunch or Dinner: Add a veggie, any veggie. Peas (8 grams) are great, and so is broccoli (5.1 grams per cup). Brussels sprouts (4.4 grams), corn (3.6 grams), and the often-underappreciated baked potato (2.9 grams) are all strong too.
Or eat some beans or lentils. Whether black, pinto, kidney or whatever, pretty much any bean or lentil will give you a double-digit dose of fiber per 1 cup serving. Even baked beans come in at more than 10 grams per serving (watch the added sugar through).
Along with a daily cup of beans, have one of those options above (a piece of fruit or a veggie) with every meal and you won’t have to worry about counting daily fiber intake.
Snacktime: Nuts aren’t just delicious sources of protein and healthy fats. They’re good sources of fiber too, with almonds (3.5 grams per ounce, or about 23 nuts) leading the way, followed by pistachios (2.9 grams) and pecans (2.7 grams).
You need both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Oats, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, psyllium, peas and beans provide soluble fiber. Green beans, cauliflower, potatoes, wheat bran, nuts and whole-wheat flour are good sources of insoluble fiber. Eat a variety of high-fiber plant-based foods to get the most benefits. If you’re pressed for time or looking for a supplement to augment your fiber intake try adding BOOST Digestive Health to a smoothie or your favorite beverage.
A note of caution: Increase fiber gradually. Adding too much fiber too quickly can cause abdominal bloating, cramping and intestinal gas but, over time the uncomfortable digestive side effects will diminish. Drink plenty of water to prevent constipation and to help fiber do its work.