As you formulate your New Year’s resolution, consider your short-term and long-term goals. I know after the gluttonous holidays, most people desire weight loss. Should the goal be just to lose those extra pounds you gained or overall health? I vote for the latter of course.
Try these strategies on for size:
1. Set small, incremental and realistic goals.
If you do not currently exercise, then try to exercise for 1 hour every week. Once successful, increase to 1 ½ hours per week and so on.
If you do not currently eat fruits and vegetables, then try to eat 1 fruit and 1 vegetable each day for a few weeks. Once successful, increase the daily amount until you reach 5+ serving per day.
2. Do NOT focus on the scale. Your weight is just a number and is not always a reliable indicator.
Your focus should be increasing physical activity, making healthier food choices, and changing your body as needed.
Consider your waist circumference and amount of body fat. These measurements are actually more important to your health than your body weight.
Is your current weight appropriate for your height? What is your Body Mass Index (BMI)?
3. Nutrition and exercise are equally important.
You can be successful with one or the other but your long term success (and health) relies on both of them.
Again, make small changes and become successful, before moving on. It is a journey, not a race. Rome was not built in a day.
4. You should really highlight your successes, not your failures.
We all have a bad day, so why let it ruin your progress and long term goals. Get back up on that horse and try again. Otherwise, you will never be successful.
5. Manage your stress appropriately. Stress gets the best of everybody at one point or another; it is how you react that is most important.
Adequate sleep, consistent exercise, and relaxation techniques can help you successfully manage your stress.
I hope these strategies will help pave your way to better health.
By Larissa Brophy, MS, RD, LD