Did you kick off the new year with anticipation and big plans to improve your health? Is discouragement beginning to grip you? Do you feel like you’re failing at your well-intentioned health goals?
New Year’s resolutions. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), 93% of us make them. The most common New Year’s resolutions for 2020 are exercising more (50%), saving money (49%), eating more healthily (43%), and losing weight (37%). Three of the top four resolutions have to do with improving our health, and that’s a good thing, yet statistics reveal that about 60% of us fall back into old habits by January 17th.
You can stick to the habits you know will better your health! A registered dietitian is part of a good plan to keep your New Year’s health resolutions.
Nutritious Eating Can Save Your Life
Improving your diet is about so much more than just looking good, although that has value too. Ancient philosopher and physician, Hippocrates, said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This quote might be from 400 B.C., but modern science has proven the healing qualities of healthy food.
Nutritious eating can:
- Prevent disease
- Treat disease
- Provide you with energy
- Improve mental health
- Slow the aging process
- Help you maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a Healthy Weight Is Life-Saving
Obesity means you have too much body fat, and it’s a major health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 72% of Americans are overweight or obese. 40% of Americans are obese. Worldwide, the number of overweight or obese has surpassed those who are underweight with 1.9 billion people
If your body mass index (BMI) is 25 to 29.9, you are overweight. If your MBI is 30 or over, you are considered obese. You can easily find your BMI by using an online BMI calculator. Not only do you feel less than your best self when you carry too much weight, but it negatively impacts your health and can be life-threatening. The second leading cause of preventable death in the United States is overweight and obesity.
- Type 2 diabetes
- High LDL cholesterol with low HDL cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Breathing problems and sleep apnea
- Depression and other mental health disorders
- Physical pain and decreased mobility
The CDC reports that you’ll reap positive benefits from even a modest weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. Whether you maintain a healthy weight or lose a modest amount of weight, you not only reduce your risk of the dangerous effects of being overweight, but you also gain the benefits of having more energy, optimizing your immune system, and feeling good about your achievement.
Now that we’ve looked at how choosing nutritious foods can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your health, let’s visit how a registered dietitian can help you keep your new year resolutions.
What Is a Registered Dietitian?
A registered dietitian can be just the crucial component you need to achieve your health goals this year. Registered dietitians talk with you and evaluate your current habits and health, and then they help you create health goals that are realistic and safe for you.
Research reveals that foods we eat impact our brain chemistry and our gut flora, which in turn impacts our mental health. With this knowledge, registered dietitians can help you improve mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, both of which are linked to obesity.
Julia Ross, MA, is a pioneer in this field and states, “Problems like overeating, depression, and alcoholism are physical disabilities. Psychological problems are secondary to these caused by imbalances in the brain chemistry that controls our appetite and mood.”
Ways a Registered Dietitian Helps You Keep Your New Year Resolutions
1. Help you understand your behavior.
Registered dietitians can help you get to the root reasons about why you gained weight, why you eat, and why you choose the foods you do. If you want to take care of your body by exercising efficiently, eating healthily, and losing weight, but you haven’t been able to pinpoint where your past efforts were sabotaged, you can finally be on your way to success by working with a registered dietitian.
When you are aware of why you choose the behaviors you choose, you can come up with alternative, healthier options that fit in with your health goals.
2. Help you set attainable and safe health goals.
95% of diets fail. The last thing you need to do is set yourself up for feeling like a failure when it’s the diet that failed, not you. To avoid this, a registered dietitian helps you set health goals that are attainable and safe. Begin to think in terms of life-long, maintainable lifestyle habits. That approach may lead to slower results, but in the long-run, they’re results that last.
3. Help you understand other possible barriers to your health goals.
Our behavior and setting unrealistic goals can interfere with success in our New Year’s resolutions, but so can other health dynamics such as allergies, hormones, and neurotransmitter depletion.
A registered dietitian is part of the team that helps you identify and remove food allergens from your diet, such as gluten-containing grains, soy, dairy, corn. These foods contain antigens, which activate your immune system and can lead to systemic inflammation. This inflammation can cause many physical symptoms like fatigue and joint pain, which clearly won’t keep you motivated on your path to new lifestyle changes. Inflammation also causes fluid retention.
Neurotransmitter depletion is another possible barrier a registered dietitian can assess. In Ross’ book, The Diet Cure, she discusses how you can curb food cravings by supplementing your diet with essential amino acids. When the neuro-chemicals in your brain are restored, your mood and appetite also align in proper balance, putting you on the path to positive health results.
Keep Your Health Resolutions with LaCava Center
If you are like 95% of us and need guidance to keep your New Year’s health resolutions, we invite you to contact us today at (847) 695-6262 or via our online form for an appointment with one of our team members at The LaCava Center. Our team is passionate and experienced in helping you reach optimal health.