Are You into Losing Weight? Here’s How to Gain Good Health.

"Losing Weight, Good Foods"

Almost everyone who I work with sets a goal for losing weight. And that’s fine. But instead of fretting about a diet, or using a bathroom scale to monitor progress daily, I help Lady Moxy members attain good health through personalized guidance and small habit changes. And guess what? Along the way, members lose weight, too.

Someone who’s eating healthful foods, but still holding on to extra pounds is much better off than someone who’s losing weight by doing cleanses, restricting certain food groups, or embracing a fad diet that’s totally unsustainable.

Remember, losing weight does not always equate to good health. And counting calories, which I don’t endorse, doesn’t equate to good health either. 

Why the Focus on Good Health, Not Losing Weight?

According to the West Health-Gallup, 2021 Healthcare in America Report, an estimated 100 million Americans say that our health care system is broken and too expensive. 

Are you one of those Americans who feels that way? I am. In the past year, I’ve helped my mom navigate the medical system, and I’ve been the caretaker of her outrageously-priced hospitalization, physician, and drug bills.

It’s no surprise: United States health care spending has reached over $4 trillion. On a per capita basis, we spend almost double that of other high-income countries. To make matters worse, we aren’t any healthier; in fact, we have a lower life expectancy and a higher incidence of chronic disease.

Recently, I read a deeply researched Alzheimer’s book by Dr. Jason Karlawish who exposed an underlying truth. He said: Good Health is NOT Good Business. Exactly!

For example, if our country focused on good health instead of sick care, hospitals would have an oversupply of beds. Doctors would prescribe fewer expensive tests and procedures. And pharmaceutical companies would make less money on drugs. The end result would be reduced profitability for the entire health care system. 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could reduce our enormous health care costs by building a health care system focused on prevention? Admittedly, that’s dreaming a bit. Rather than dreaming, I think we need to take control of our own wellness. 

Let’s focus on good health through good nutrition. Why? Because if we focus on weight loss and calorie counting, we may miss the more long-lasting opportunity to incorporate healthful eating habits into our daily lives.

Six Habit-Changing Steps to Gain Good Health 

Your Environment – Your at-home food environment (especially if you work from home) determines the type of foods that you snack on, and the types of meals that you prepare. If less healthful foods like baked goods, chips, or ice cream are not present, you won’t eat them. Here’s a tip: cross off one packaged food from your shopping list, and eliminate it from entering your home. The next week, eliminate another less healthful food. Do this slowly until your pantry and refrigerator are stocked with good-for-you foods.

Meal Prep – One of the biggest barriers to healthful eating is having time to cook. Here’s a little trick. Make one entrée on the weekend that you can eat during the week, and have leftovers to freeze for future meals. If you continue this habit every weekend, you’ll soon have a variety of leftovers in your freezer that you can remove when time is short.

Whole grains – Swap out white rice for brown rice. Include farro or quinoa in your weekly meals. Try to swap out flour-based pasta for lentil or chickpea pasta. Swap out white bread for whole grain breads, including sourdough made with a sourdough starter, not commercial baker’s yeast.

Eat More Produce – Before you reach the grocery check-out, look inside your shopping cart. Is it filled with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables (either fresh or frozen)? At a bare minimum, try to eat one fruit, and one vegetable every day. Dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, berries, apples, and pears are especially beneficial. Start this new habit for at least a week. Once you’ve introduced healthier produce consumption into your daily food intake, add one more fruit and/or vegetable per day. And remember: the freshest, best tasting produce is available in season and locally grown (versus being shipped across the country or imported). Farmers markets are a wonderful resource if you’re lucky enough to live near one.

Eat Less Meat – Substitute beans, legumes, and whole-soy tofu for at least one red meat meal each week. Soups are an easy place to start: lentil, cannellini, black bean. After you’ve eliminated one red meat meal per week, try to eliminate a second one. Not only does eating less red meat correlate with less chronic disease, but it also helps the environment, too.

Reduce Added Sugar –  Added sugar lurks in many surprising products: tomato sauce, peanut butter, ketchup, packaged cereal, dairy alternatives, yogurt, and juice. Also, baked goods, ice cream, some breads, and soda. Check the labels on the foods in your pantry and refrigerator. Start to eliminate the majority of added sugar that you consume by eating fewer of the above-mentioned products or finding suitable replacements.

Final Thoughts

Small, healthy habit changes are doable, and longer-lasting than diet fads and calorie counting.

If you’d like some additional 1:1 habit-changing guidance that starts where you are on your health journey, here are some options:

Eat Healthy Challenge

Sugar Buster Plan

I look forward to working with you!

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