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Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, but by February, many people have already thrown in the towel. Registered dietitian and nutritionist Joseph Gonzales talked to The Beacon about how to maintain that, often big, lifestyle change.

Fiber

The number one recommendation Gonzales wanted to drive home was adding fiber to your diet. While you can add a fiber supplement, consider trying to get it naturally by adding high fiber foods to your eating pattern. Be it more leafy greens, or switching to whole wheat options — fiber fills you up, and will lead to less snacking.

“We know that fiber is very important, not just for a good bowel movement, but for helping to keep us more full and helping to keep us more satiated,” Gonzales said. “Foods without fiber don’t tend to fill us up.” 

Buddy up

Gonzales suggested that if you are having trouble holding yourself accountable when it comes to sticking to your New Year’s resolution, to grab a buddy and have them join in. The idea is that if both of you want to lose weight or just start eating better, you can keep track of each other’s progress and hold one another accountable.

“It’s nice to do it with a buddy,” Gonzales said. “Having someone else to do it with you, whether it be somebody in your household, or a friend, someone like that, helps you stay accountable.”

Reduce stress

This is easier said than done, especially right now, Gonzales said. Stress has been shown to lead to weight gain through emotional eating. When one is stressed, they tend to eat more, primarily unhealthy foods, and eat even when they are not hungry. If you notice your stress leading to eating, ask yourself if you are actually hungry, and if you are not, find a distraction.

“Try your best to take time for yourself and take time for your family and make sure your needs are met as much as possible,” Gonzales said.

Add some exercise

This does not mean you need to suddenly become a gym rat, or prepare to run a marathon. Adding some exercise could simply mean taking up walking again, like so many people did at the beginning of the pandemic.

Prepare ahead of time

Preparing ahead of time can take multiple forms. Whether it be staying aware of your schedule and making sure you have a healthy snack if you are busy, or meal prepping for the week. If you plan out your meals in advance, it may also lessen a random desire for fast food and reduce stress.

“Often we run into trouble when we are ravenous and we are hungry while we’re either out or at work so the quickest thing to us is going to be likely what we’re going to choose,” Gonzales said. “So trying to prepare ahead and plan some meals, do some batch cooking and we have helpful foods we can rely on.”

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