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The New Year always feels like an opportune time for a fresh start. From Thanksgiving through Christmas, we indulge in festive cocktails and holiday meals. But then the New Year’s Eve ball drops, we make a Champagne toast… and we gear up for a fresh year. And for some, that means looking for the healthiest weight loss strategies to finally lose the weight for good.
But instead of focusing on deprivation and fad diets, experts say it’s best to be kind to yourself and take one day at a time. That means a weight loss plan that’s about increased wellness and better health — not self-deprivation.
2. Think about what fills your plate, not what you’re avoiding.
When trying to lose weight, people often focus on foods they’re avoiding, which can make you feel deprived and create an unhealthy mindset around food.
“If you instead focus on all of the amazing and nourishing foods that you’re able to eat and how wonderful they will make you feel, you’ll be more likely to stick to an eating plan,” says Serena Poon, a celebrity chef, and nutritionist.
3. Steer clear of “quick fix” plans.
There are a lot of ‘lose weight quick’ plans out there, but these rarely lead to sustainable change.
“If you focus on changing your eating habits in the long-term, even if you have to move slowly, you’re setting yourself up to achieve lasting transformation,” says Poon.
Work on making changes to your eating regimen that make sense in the long run.
10. Stick to whole, fresh foods.
We all take shortcuts from time to time, relying on processed foods to save time and effort. But these foods, even if they are packaged in such a way that they’re intended to seem “healthy,” may not be the best choice.
“Centering your diet around fresh, wholesome food and avoiding items that are processed and packaged is a surefire way to lose weight without having to think about it too much,” says Poon.
11. Find good-for-you foods that you genuinely love.
As you switch your diet to consume more nourishing foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, make sure to select foods that you enjoy. “Don’t force yourself to eat kale if you don’t like it,” says Poon. “There are so many options for delicious and nutritious foods, so find healthy choices and recipes that excite you and create your sustainable health plan around them.”
12. Add protein to your meal plan.
“If you have a tendency to get hungry easily during the day, adding a bit more protein to your meals can help with cravings,” says Poon. “Try adding a scoop of nut butter or organic protein to your morning smoothie or throw a handful of nuts into your afternoon snack.”
Protein is the most filling macronutrient, so ensuring it is on your plate will help you feel satisfied all day long.