Keeping Realistic New Year’s Resolutions
Changing old, unhealthy habits into new, life boosting habits is a great way to jumpstart 2013.
We often set resolutions or goals to exercise more, eat more fruits and vegetables, eat less fat or sodium or lose some extra weight.
As we choose these goals, remember to set reasonable resolutions or goals, and have a back up plan just in case.
Keep your goals reasonable.
If you currently do not exercise, start off by aiming for 20-minute exercise sessions 3 times per week. Schedule exercise as part of your day or week. Consider breaking the activity sessions up – do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.
Include a number or time for your goal. For example, eat 2 servings of fruit every day or exercise for 30 minutes four times per week.
Keep a diary or log.
Write down when you completed a goal so you can look back to see how successful you were. Reward yourself for reaching your goals with something you enjoy doing, such as reading a book, going to the park or visiting with a friend. Try not to reward yourself with junk food.
Have a back-up plan.
If you slip up on your new goal/resolution, know that it is OK, but make sure you get back on schedule starting the next day. It takes 3 weeks to build a habit but only a few days to break the habit.
Choosing healthier snacks is another popular resolution. Snacks are a great way to fuel your body for the rest of day when they are done right. Snacks help keep you alert, improve weight-loss efforts and meet your daily nutrition needs. Here are some ways to make snacking healthier:
- Schedule and plan your snacks
- Limit snacks to 100-250 calories
- Try to get foods from 2 different food groups (fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains or protein group) per snack
- Drink water to stay hydrated
- Keep those junk food “munchies” at bay — if you don't buy them, you cannot splurge on them
Great snack ideas include:
- Low-fat yogurt with added chopped fruit, nuts or low-fat granola or try Greek yogurt for more protein
- Sliced vegetables and hummus
- Low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers
- Unsweetened cereal and low-fat milk
- Half of turkey or chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread
- Fresh fruit with yogurt dipping sauce
- Nuts and raisins
- Low-fat popcorn
- Baked tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole
View easy-to-make healthy snack recipes or recipes for resolution-friendly desserts.