It is nearly midway through the first month of a new year.
Is the ambitious diet you began on Jan. 1 as dead as the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2018 Super Bowl chances?
Take heart! It is never too late to reset a good intention.
“New Years diets often involve special eating plans, which can make us feel overwhelmed and restricted,” said Christi Bowling, a Nashville-based registered dietitian and personal health coach. “What I like to preach to all my clients is to make a lifestyle change as opposed to adhering to a strict diet.”
Bowling suggests eating a balance of proteins and fiber-rich carbohydrates every 3-4 hours in between balanced meals at lunch and dinner.
“This way you always feel satisfied and not too hungry when meal times roll around, which can lead to overeating,” she said. “I also suggest using the 80/20 rule, which means 80 percent of the time try to eat healthy, unprocessed foods and 20 percentof the time give yourself permission to be human and eat foods that don’t necessarily fall into a perfect eating plan.”
Bowling is also a firm believer in keeping a record of food intake as a way to increase one’s mindfulness of portions and nutrients.
“You’re much more likely to lose weight when you record what you eat. Everyone is so unique in terms of their schedule, food preferences and medical concerns so in my practice I enjoy sitting down with each client and helping them form a ‘personalized nutrition prescription’ to help them reach their goals.”
One aspect of Bowling’s health coaching practice is conducting a “pantry overhaul” in her clients’ homes. She inventories the items already in the client’s pantry then suggests what items to replace for better success in maintaining a healthy waistline.
“For example, if someone drinks a lot of soda or diet soda, I recommend replacing it with a naturally sweetened soda like Zevia because it contains no sugar, is non-GMO and is sweetened with Stevia (a natural plant based sweetener). Zevia has a lot of flavor and many of my clients find that it is an easy transition,” she said. “Natural sparkling waters such as La Croix are also a more healthful alternative to soda.”
Small healthful choices that are maintained consistently can lead to big results.
As the cold weather persists, January is also a good time to reassess your skincare routine. Cold temperatures, low humidity, and the use of central heat commonly cause dry skin during the winter season.
“I suggest using a humidifier in your home to help keep moisture in your skin and increase the ease of breathing,” said licensed aesthetician Tabatha Hall, owner of Franklin’s Pinup Skin Spa.
Hall says that exfoliating and moisturizing are also essential.
“A simple way to exfoliate is to add a small amount of sugar to the cleanser that you use already. This can be done three times a week, or more or less based on your skin type. Exfoliating will help eliminate dead skin cells and kick that dry skin,” Hall said.
Hall also suggests switching water-based moisturizers for oil-based moisturizers, which offer heavier hydration.
“Just be careful when choosing facial moisturizers. Most oil-based moisturizers are fine for the body, especially for dry hands and dry feet; but not all oils are meant for the face. Choose oils that are non pore-clogging for your face.”
Finally, don’t forget the sunscreen. The winter sun is still damaging to the skin. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to all areas of exposed skin 30 minutes before going outside.
As author Parker Palmer has said, “Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”
Make 2018 your best year!
Contact the experts
Christi Bowling, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD
Registered dietitian/health coach
PO Box 68312, Nashville
Pinup Skin Spa
112 East Fowlkes St, Franklin