The Wild Diet is one of the more popular diets of the year, and for good reason: It focuses on nixing processed foods and replacing it with all-natural bites like wild salmon, fresh veggies, local eggs, and even chocolate (mmm, chocolate). It aligns with Kirkpatrick's suggestions to be as real as you can with your nutrition — she says it's best to aim for 90 percent of your meals being made up of natural food — so you're not overloading your body with additives, sugar, and scary-looking chemically-processed ingredients.
When you feel ready to take on the task of losing weight, it's easy to feel like you have to adopt an all-or-nothing mentality. But that's basically setting yourself up for failure, says Angela Martindale, celebrity nutritionist. "People get excited about habit changes and go full-throttle for a short period of time before they feel defeated because they haven't been able to get what they want," she explains.
Instead, go for baby steps — that'll give you an overall plan and allow you to focus on short-term accomplishments. "That breeds positivity and optimism because of the success you'll feel after conquering each thing one step at a time," she says. "Eventually, those small steps create a big picture."
So if you want to run a marathon but have never run before, Martindale says your expectation needs to be that you just run for 10 minutes a day. "Take that first step toward whatever it is you are trying to achieve until you are a master at it, then move to the next level, and so on and so on," she says.
Take a Deep Breath
Meditation is the hot wellness trend of 2016, and with the encouragement of being able to do it "any time, anywhere," there's really no excuses to not give it a try. Research shows that those who meditate have less stress, and less stress can lead to weight loss. Plus, "deep, concentrated, intentional breathing exercises can do miracles not only for your body, but for resetting your mind," says Martindale. "Work-related stress, relationships, health concerns, finances, and daily pressures can wear down our ability to focus, sleep well, eat properly, and be emotionally balanced. You have to create spaces in your day just to breathe so that you can re-direct some of that stress from being destructive into a constructive management tool." Plus, there's even a thing as orgasmic meditation, and you know that's gotta be good.
Research Your Protein
The suggestion to focus on getting in enough protein isn't new, but Darin Hulslander, a Chicago-based personal trainer and nutritionist, says most people still tend to underestimate their needs because, while he says a female generally needs about 40 to 50 grams per day (the equivalent of a 5-8 oz. chicken breast), that number shoots up once you add in activity. The best way to figure out your needs? "Multiply your bodyweight in kilograms (use this calculator) by 1.3, and that's your minimum protein requirement for the day," says Hulslander.
Why is protein so important, though? "A deficiency can lead to fatigue, a weakened immune system, unclear thinking, and even weight gain," says Hulslander. Plus, research shows protein does wonders for muscle repair, so it's super beneficial when it comes to hitting your weight loss goals. On that front, Martindale suggests drinking a protein shake 30 minutes after your workout to reap the maximum benefits of the nutrient. And if you're using a protein powder, be sure to read the label. "Look for clean protein powders without soy, gums or artificial sweeteners," she says. "The more authentic, whole, and healthy the protein, the better your body will respond in healing and repair."