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This seems to be a time for new beginnings for many with the change of years. New year, new you. Just remember that you don’t have to become a whole new person just to make a positive change in your life. There is research that suggests a big 46% of New Year’s resolution-makers break those promises by mid-year. You are much more likely to stick to those goals if they are realistic.
Don’t declare it’s all or nothing. Choose a doable and achievable small change to get the satisfaction of success at your goals. Motivation also comes with that, says Alisha Chasey, a registered dietitian who runs Innocent Indulgence in Phoenix, AZ. She believes that every little step matters, but it all adds up. Be a fitter and healthier person in 2019 with changes you can actually make and keep.
Some suggestions of what to do and what not to do follow:
- Try setting your goal for losing 5 to 10% of your body weight and not set the goal for 100 pounds of lost weight. Tanya Lopez, a dietitian at Medical Associates of the Hudson Valley in Kingston, NY believes that will make a great impact.
- Try enjoying meatless Mondays in lieu of going vegan. Don’t eliminate all the meat from your diet if you are used to eating it at most meals. Those who eat meat between once a month and once a week tend to eat fewer calories in a day and typically weigh less than their carnivorous counterparts. They are also less likely to die at any given time because of their lower risk for colorectal cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
- Choose those healthy carbs rather than to cut all carbs out altogether. They aren’t all created equal, so don’t lose the healthy, fiber-rich foods that include fruit and whole grains. Fiber is needed to help control your cholesterol and blood sugar and to keep you regular. Feed yourself more fiber and include complex carbs such as brown rice or quinoa. This keeps you fuller longer and could help curb that snacking.
- Choose heart-healthy fats rather than to cut out all fat. Not all fats are the same so eliminating them all would deprive your body of valuable nutrients. Look for ways to replace saturated fats such as full-fat and 2% dairy, beef, pork, and fried foods with unsaturated fats like nuts, avocado, fatty fish and olive oil. Try avocados, olive oil, peanut butter, and polyunsaturated fats as salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna, and trout. Swap that cheeseburger to an avocado burger.
- Eat less sugar rather than to cut out all sugar. The natural sugar found in fruit is great but keep away from that added sugar. Experts agree that adults should get no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, while most adults are getting about 3X that much.
- Get more exercise and not an Iron Man leap. Don’t begin with that exerting triathlon but start slow with 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. According to the CDC, just 5 minutes of walking or moderate exercise is a good way to begin. Try walking a few days a week and build up the time gradually.
- If you begin to lose the drive to continue your healthy habits, remind yourself why you started them in the first place. Don’t you want to be healthier and fitter you? You have a family to stay healthy for spending quality time together. Having something to aim for will keep you on track, so keep reminding yourself just why it is that you have made this a goal.
Dr Fredda Branyon