HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
What a holiday season it has been! If you are like me, you have overindulged a little…or a lot. I can say for myself that it really affects my energy level and mood when I do not eat right. As Grandma always said, “You are what you eat”…and boy was she right!
Real food = the Real YOU (the authentic you)
So now that we have settled into the new year a bit, let’s talk about how we can take better care of ourselves in 2017.
I hope you will join me in my goal for this year:
Eat Clean in ’17 !
My goal is to feel clearer, less “foggy” and regain abounding energy. Remember that food can serve as a wonderful medicine, better than anything on the market! But it can also be a dangerous drug, stripping you of your health, energy and vitality. So use it wisely.
Here is what I’d like you to do first and foremost. Ask yourself “Do I do better if I am on a strict eating plan and go “cold turkey” giving up some of my favorite foods that are not healthy for me, or is it better for me to ease into eliminating these foods from my diet?”Only you know what’s best for you. When you do what feels best for YOU and makes you excited, then you will be more likely to stick with it.
- The All-at-Once Approach with possible detox will give you the quickest results (weight loss, energy, clearing the “fog”). However, the first 3 days may be a little rough in that you may have withdrawal symptoms from the sugar, carbs, caffeine, etc. You will see quicker results, feel the success, and then your momentum builds and you are more likely to stick with it because you will like how you are feeling and what you are seeing in the mirror. A detox is great, and we highly recommend it. However, keep in mind that it should always be supervised.
- The Ease-Into-It Approach will give you slower results, but with less food cravings. This approach lets you gradually ease into better eating and “lean in” to a potential detox. We suggest that you cut out wheat the first week, then also eliminate corn the second week, and by the third week eliminate dairy as well. If sweets (or soda) are more of a problem for you, you may try and eat 1/2 the amount of sweets you normally do in the first week, then cut that in 1/2 again in the second week, and completely eliminate sweets by the third week. This gradual approach will give your body a little time to adjust to these changes. Suddenly an apple will feel like candy once the sugar is out of your system! Remember, you have to do what works for you…and only you know which approach feels best.
If you are going to attempt either of these approaches and are looking for some assistance, we offer individual consultations with Ann Marie at my office. She can assist you in finding the right foods for your plan and answer any questions you may have.
Here are some of Dr. A’s tips for eating clean:
- Add more vegetables to your diet
- Eat clean protein (free-range chicken, wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef); Just as you are what you eat, remember that so is the food that you consume!
- Eat more good fats, skip the trans-fats
- Reduce carbs; eat 1/2 of your weight in grams of carbs. For example, if you are 150 pounds, you should limit your carbs to a maximum of 75 grams.
- Eliminate soda, even diet soda
- Reduce or eliminate sugar
- Reduce or eliminate processed food; For the most part, if it comes in a box or a can, it is processed.
- Cut out table salt; replace with sea salt; Again, if it comes in a box or a can, it usually has more sodium.
A few tips are to add raw veggies and hummus. I have found that the Whole Foods brand of hummus is delicious and has no additives. Homemade broth is also a great staple to add to your diet. It is warm and satisfying, a comfort food without all of the calories. Add all of the veggies you want and make a soup out of it. If you do not want to make your own broth, try the Imagine brand broth. I have found it delicious and it has the least additives, but make sure you get the organic low-sodium variety (my favorite is the free-range chicken broth).
You don’t have to be perfect – use the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time eat clean; 20% of the time you can indulge in small quantities. This gives you a little wiggle room to enjoy some of the things you love that may not serve you, and will help you feel less deprived.
A few other overall tips from Dr. A to consider:
- Drink more water. Staying hydrated can make you feel more full and satisfied. Hot lemon water at the end of the night, or instead of that extra cup of coffee in the morning can also serve as a detox as well as provide hydration during the cold winter months.
- Sleep! When you are tired, some folks tend to overeat. This is partially due to the hormone leptin, which tells your body when you are satiated or full. Leptin levels plummet when your body is exhausted, which triggers your brain into thinking you are hungry. Some people are more susceptible to this than others, so know your triggers for overeating and be prepared for them.
- Do not get discouraged if you do not see immediate results. You know how sometimes you can “cheat” for weeks without seeing the negative results. And then all of the weight piles on seemingly overnight and you wondered what just happened? You thought you were getting away with it! Well, the same is true in reverse. It may take 3 weeks to a month before your body realizes all the good that you are doing for it and that you are serious! Then it kicks in, and your metabolism revs up into high gear. Just as the weight can pile on quickly, it can also fall off. Don’t get discouraged and give up before you see these wonderful results. Trust me, they will happen! Be patient.
- Keep your emotions in check. Many of us are triggered to overeat and make “bad” food choices because we are overwhelmed, stressed, bored, depressed or just plain frustrated. Again, just know your triggers and do your best to avoid them.
We hope this information helps you to take better care of yourself and put your health in a more positive direction this year. We are looking forward to staying in touch with you, our friends and patients. We’re all in this together! Please let us know if you have any tips that we can share with others.
Warm Regards for a Happy and Healthy 2017!
Dr. Steve Andreano
22285 N. Pepper Road Suite 210
Lake Barrington, IL 60010