Say No to Extreme New Year’s Resolutions

Every New Year, many people make New Year's resolutions to "get fit!" or "lose weight" or "eat healthy"? How many of them do it by making small lasting changes or do they want a quick fix and jump on the trendiest diet that promises "30 days to a new and better you"? Now I am not saying that all resolutions are bad; what I am saying is that we need to be critical and make an educated, sustainable plan to help reach our long term goal.

Steps to reaching an attainable lifestyle change:

  1. Evaluate short term satisfaction vs. long term goals. What is it that you really want? How can you set yourself up to achieve that?
  2. Break it down. Break down your long term goal into smaller, achievable steps.
  3. Develop a positive support system to help you reach your goals. This could be a friend, a family member, a support group or even a written journal. Remember to use these supports when you are having a hard time and also to help you embrace your successes.
  4. Be consistent. You are not perfect and you will meet roadblocks along the way. Adopting an 80/20 mindset instead of all-or-nothing thinking will help. Recognize that it is okay to struggle on your way to your goal. The best way to overcome is to stick with your plan and evaluate what happened to cause the struggle in the first place.

If Better Health is a goal for you in the New Year, try some of these tips!

  1. Eat Breakfast! If breakfast has always been a challenge for you, start by eating something small like a smoothie, a hardboiled egg, or a piece of fruit. Eating breakfast regularly will set you up for better food choices during the rest of the day.
  2. Use a critical eye when looking at the media around you. Is social media telling you how you should look or behave? Is that driving the goals you set? Is what they are selling right for you?

I challenge you to stop following "Fitspo", "Thinspo", media that portrays the "ideal body", encourages extreme diet fixes, or any media that you find yourself comparing yourself to in a negative way.

  1. Replace Pop in your diet with water, flavoured water, milk or non-dairy alternatives. Make this change slowly, by at first reducing the amount until you can get rid of it all together. If you drink several cans a day, start by drinking one fewer can each day. Carry a water bottle with you instead and sip from it throughout the day.
  2. Try out one new recipe each week. It can be as simple or as complicated as you'd like.

By trying new recipes, we add variety to our regular routine and it helps us reduce the occurrence of eating out. If you eat out frequently, choose one night a week (the least busy night) to make something at home.

One more thing: when cooking for yourself, make extra so you have leftovers to freeze or pack as lunch for work or school the next day.

(Written by Jana Spindler, RD)

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