It’s that time of year again. New year, new resolutions. This year, set yourself up for long-term success by making one or two achievable lifestyle changes. If you try to make too many resolutions at once, you have a higher chance of not meeting your goals. Stay away from fad diets that make false promises which will often end in disappointment. Fad diets restrict your food options and do not create a healthy eating pattern that supports your body. How do you create resolutions which set you up for long-term success?
Creating Realistic and Achievable Resolutions
- Start slow; pick an area to work on and focus on that, whether it is exercising more or changing your diet by adding in more fruits and veggies.
- Remember that healthy weight loss is considered 1 to 2 lbs per week. Resolutions don’t have to revolve around weight. Resolutions can be about improving your health by changing your eating habits such as increasing your produce intake or drinking more water throughout the day.
- Resolution Example: Include a serving of vegetables with my lunch Monday through Thursday (then build up to every day of the week).
Tips to help you create healthy resolutions:
Use this guide below on how to build a balanced plate at lunch and dinner
- Fill ½ of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Fill ¼ of the plate with whole grains or starches like brown rice, potatoes, whole wheat pasta, quinoa
- Fill ¼ of the plate with a protein such as meat, poultry, fish, tofu, or beans.
- Incorporate low-fat dairy products (yogurt, cheese, milk) or dairy alternatives (soy milk or yogurt) into your meals and/or snacks.
- Resolution Idea: Make ½ of your plate a vegetable (salad, baby carrots, etc.) at dinner 3 days a week (then increase to 5 days as you feel comfortable).
- Bring in nutritious snacks on Monday morning for the work week so you won’t be tempted to visit the vending machine.
- Try keeping a bowl of fruit on your desk or keeping nuts, peanut butter, dried unsweetened fruit, single-serving bags of popcorn, or plain instant oatmeal in your office for a quick snack.
- Resolution Suggestion: Bring in snacks (raisins and unsalted cashews) to work on Monday morning to have for the week. You can change out the types of snack foods you bring in each week.
Rethink your drink:
- You may think that a 200-calorie coffee per day may not be that much but over time that can lead to unwanted weight gain. Often our favorite drinks like coffee, energy drinks, fruit drinks, and pops are loaded with added sugar. If you do order a drink, order the smallest size, and ask for a substitute like 1% milk.
- Resolution Example: Stop for coffee 3 days a week instead of 5, which will also save you money.
Each day is a new day.
- If you have a bad day and slip up by having too many sweet or salty treats, it’s OK. Start over the next day. Don’t give up. Weight loss is a journey and won’t happen overnight.
Written by BWS Dietitian-Melissa Morningstar Vajas RD, LD
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