Happy New Year! Do any of you have big plans for the new year? A couple of the most popular resolutions are to lose weight and exercise more. Yet how often do these resolutions fizzle by the time you reach Valentine’s Day? Instead of jumping on the resolution band wagon and starting on a fad diet to get started on your weight loss goal, how about adopting a few healthy lifestyle changes?
Part of the problem with resolutions is that you try to change too much all at once. When you find it overwhelming, you give up and then feel guilty about losing sight of your original intention and see the pounds creeping back on. It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of trying a new fad diet or two this year, let’s just make a few simple changes to what you already do. Sound better?
- If you are a soda drinker, try limiting yourself to one less soda each day. The next week, do it again and so on. Eventually, you’ll be able to kick the habit. This one small change can make a huge impact on your weight loss goals and overall well-being.
- Struggle with a sweet tooth? Try swapping out at least one sweet treat for something healthy. For example, do you always have a bowl of ice cream in the evening? Try swapping it out for plain yogurt topped with fruit and a few chocolate chips. Another way to avoid the temptation to eat sweets is to keep them out of your kitchen cabinets. You’re less likely to run to the store to indulge a craving than if it were just a few feet away in your kitchen!
- Eat too few vegetables? Try incorporating at least one serving of vegetables in your lunch and dinner. Salads are great for lunch and can be dressed up in dozens of ways with cheese, meat, fruit, nuts, etc. Experiment with different combination to find your favorite! (This is one of mine!) Roasted vegetables are super easy and delicious. Toss broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc with just a bit of oil and salt and roast. No easier way to add a side of vegetables to your dinner.
- Falling victim to unhealthy cafeteria food at work? Try packing your lunch at least one day a week. I find it easiest to pack my lunch the night before so I don’t have to worry about it in the morning. My usual lunch? A hearty salad, yogurt, and an apple with peanut butter.
- Compulsive snacker? It can be easy to absent mindedly chomp down a large bag of chips since they don’t fill you up. Try stocking your fridge with snacks that are more satisfying to keep you feeling full until your next meal. The trick is to combine fiber and protein to slow digestion. Some ideas: apple w/peanut butter, yogurt topped with fruit/nuts, almonds and a cheese stick, hummus and chopped vegetables.
Here’s to a new year of being a healthier, happier you! What are some of your resolutions/goals for the new year?