The New Year is a popular time of year to set resolutions, many of which are centered on improving health. Some people embark on their goals with the utmost dedication. But a few weeks or months later, those new routines are once again replaced by old habits. Check out these strategies to learn how to create and maintain New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle.
1. Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic andtime-bound. Instead of “I want to lose weight”, try a goal of, “I will live a healthier lifestyle by exercising for 30 minutes, 4-5 times week, and eating more vegetables.”
2. Be realistic. Avoid setting a goal you can’t maintain as a permanent lifestyle change. Stating, “I will never eat carbohydrates again” is not realistic and will likely not support long-term adherence to your goal.
3. Research the sources of your nutrition information. Social media, the internet, well-intended family/friends and even celebrities may offer advice on the “next best thing” that worked for them. Unfortunately, these sources may not have the proper credentials, experience and education to dispense nutrition advice. Some advice can potentially be harmful to your health. You may know people that have started diets that are not sustainable or realistic. Some of you may have even experienced this firsthand. Diet followers become frustrated when they cannot maintain the “rules” of the diet and often feel like they failed. This can create a cycle of looking for the next best option, which may or may not work.
Registered dietitians will work with you to individualize your goals.Our counseling is rooted in science, research and established best practices. We incorporate food preferences/allergies, daily routines and even your budget in an effort to set you up for successful lifestyle changes.
4. Eliminate “all-or-nothing” thinking. Multiple attempts may be necessary before you make permanent changes. We didn’t develop unhealthy eating habits overnight and they likely won’t change tomorrow. Be patient with yourself and the process. If you deviate from your plan, try not to be discouraged and veer further from your goals. Simply refocus and start again.
5. Avoid fad diets. The New Year is the most popular time of year for marketing of fad diets. How can you spot a fad diet?
· Fad diets often make claims that seem too good to be true. Lose 30 pounds in a week without exercising and changing how you eat!
· Marketers encourage you to purchase products they deem as necessary for weight loss. The average person does not need any supplements to lose weight.
· Ask yourself the question, “Can I do this diet forever?” If the answer is no, find a more realistic and sustainable approach to becoming healthier.
Why wait to create your health-related goal? You don’t need to welcome in the New Year, to welcome a healthier version of yourself!
Nutrition 365 wishes you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.