Make small changes and stick to ‘em
Think specific, measurable, achievable, realistic goals which you can make a habit in one to three months, and start this weekend.
Even small changes have the potential over time to create big results. Why not choose at least two to three small changes you can work on now?
If you do, you’ll feel and look better, have more confidence in setting and achieving personal goals, and enjoy the satisfaction of completing a challenge.
If you’re up for that, then choose your first two to three small goals from the following list or make up your own:
Read the nutrition facts labels to compare different food products, then choose the healthier one.
Pay attention to portion sizes and practice using smaller portions if needed.
Eat at least three meals each day. No skipping meals.
Include a vegetable at two meals each day.
Include a fruit at two meals or snacks each day.
Avoid fried foods — choose baked, broiled, steamed, roasted, grilled, or boiled instead.
Plan your snacks rather than continuously snacking between meals.
Take time to eat and enjoy meals without rushing.
Drink water often. Aim for eight to 12 cups (eight ounces each) each day. Limit sweetened drinks (fruit punches, Kool Aid, sodas, mixed drinks, etc).
Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied. Explore other ways to relieve stress, find comfort, calm anxiety, manage anger, etc.
Be physically active for 30 to 60 minutes per day. Use your weekends to make up for any lost time in the week.
Keeping track of your progress in a journal or chart will help motivate you and encourage you. Enjoy the challenge and don’t get discouraged if you’re not perfect — practice and consistency over time does count.
Look forward to a healthier you this year!
Bethany Smith is a community dietician and nutritionist.