People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas. ~Author Unknown
For many, New Year’s is often about new resolutions and reinventing ourselves, but how many of you have made resolutions that you’ve really stuck to? If you’ve had success with your resolutions, great job! For those of you that haven’t, you are not alone.
Often times our resolutions are drastic and deprive our bodies of what they need, so this year I encourage you forgo the resolution trend and instead focus on making small, gradual changes that will continue into a new lifestyle. To do this, all you have to focus on is staying active, and eating nourishing, whole foods. Follow these simple tips to learn how to incorporate these habits into your daily living.
Set Specific Goals
Start by setting reasonable and attainable goals for your individual needs. The most succesful goals are those that are specific and measurable. An example would be if you want to improve your fitness start by walking 3-4 times per week for 20-30 minutes. Once you have achieved that, evaluate your routine and make improvements based on your results. Increase your exercise level as you can, and make sure to set aside a day to rest and allow your muscles to repair.
If you want to lose weight set a reasonable goal of weight loss over the course of a few months. Healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week, which can be achieved by cutting out roughly 500 calories each day. Seem like a lot? You’d be surprised at what small changes can do! Try switching from whole dairy products to low-fat, choosing lean meat over high fat, limiting alcohol and soda consumption, or switching from regular dressing to light. Small changes can add up to big results.
Eat in Moderation
Many times weight gain over the holidays isn’t caused by what we’re eating but how much. Depriving yourself of your favorites only leaves you wanting more, so instead of cutting things out of your diet completely, learn to eat in moderation. Every food can fit into a balanced diet as long as they are portioned correctly and enjoyed on occasion. When dining out, ask for a take-home box, or when cooking for yourself at home use measuring cups. Check the portion sizes on the nutrition label of your foods, and use this guide as a reference.
- Deck of cards = 1 serving of meat (3 oz cooked, 4 oz raw)
- Tennis ball or average fist = 1 cup
- 4 dice = 1 oz of cheese
- Baseball = medium piece of fruit
- 1 die = 1 tsp
- Computer mouse = 1 small baked potato
- Golf Ball = 2 tbsp of peanut butter
- Packet of dental floss = 1 oz of chocolate
Have Fun with It
Eating right and being fit doesn’t have to be boring! Some of the most delicious foods are also healthy, so experiment with your favorite ingredients to find what works for you. Get excited about living healthfully by picking out a fun & healthy cookbook, taking the family to a farmer’s market, practicing yoga or joining a running group. Finding support through family or other healthy individuals is also a great way to motivate yourself to make the changes you hope to achieve.
Be creative, challenge yourself, find a workout buddy, try a new sport. There are so many things you can do to make healthy living fun and exciting, which will help you stick with your goals. Make 2011 a year to remember with a healthy lifestyle that will last. Have it Your Weigh