New Year, New Beginning. New Year’s Eve offers an opportunity for a fresh start, to hit pause and reflect about our lives, our past year and our future intentions. Creating New Year’s Resolutions is very common, setting new goals for the coming year, sharing them with our friends and family and sticking to them for the rest of the year.

Many people want to start off the New Year by losing weight. Setting Intentions to change for the better are always great, however not having the right goal, having too many resolutions or having very difficult and unrealistic ones will not let you succeed. First, we need to set the right goal: “I want to start off the new year…by being healthier/ with a healthy lifestyle/ working towards my adequate body weight”. Second, we need to choose the right actions so we can reach the desired goal. if you choose skipping dinner or any other meal everyday to lose weight, we’re off to the wrong path. Your best bet is to select attainable, accessible, and healthier strategies to reach your goals.

Here are some ideas to help you with a sustainable long term healthier lifestyle:

1. One change at a time. it’s important to remember that we tend to jump in too hard and fast when we are trying to meet New Year’s resolutions. The perfectionist in all of us attain an “all or nothing” philosophy. This attitude tends to result in us quitting or feel unmotivated when not seeing results. Examine your routine and identify something you can improve about your habits and start off with that. Maybe you’ve noticed that you drink too much soda and decide to cut back to having a smaller one every other day. Or, it could be a long-term habit aspiration such as preparing your own lunch everyday, exercising regularly, learning how to cook. Pick one and make it smart, very specific, measureable, achievable, focused on the results, and bound to time. When you feel ready choose the next one, and so on.

2. Small Changes. Acquiring new habits, especially hard-to-attain ones, is always difficult. Don’t make it even harder. Go for the small changes that you know you can maintain, and start working yourself up. If possible, avoid tackling too many objectives at once, since this will only distract you and make you feel unmotivated again. Riding the motivation wave after the holidays is a positive idea if you set your mind to it, work hard, and search for the little victories instead of trying to tackle huge, overwhelming battles. Always aim for the long run.

3. No diets. Some people may, in an effort to slim down fast, try very hard to follow diets and regimes, or start skipping meals, doing cleanses, juicing and other short-term diet plans which may do more harm than good. Try a healthier route, follow a healthy, balanced regime full of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean protein, antioxidants, probiotics, we assure you will pay-off in the long run. Getting back in control with a structured, well-balanced detox plan is a good way to get started too. Eating mindfully and picking-up good habits will help you achieve success better and healthier.

4. Planning Ahead. Our motivation could start falling as soon as we get busy with our regular activities which makes it difficult to follow or even remember our resolutions. We may think it’s impossible with so much to do, but planning ahead of time can set ourselves for success. Try to be prepared, If you eat most of your meals out try bringing your own snacks to the office. Go grocery shopping on the weekends and buy a week’s worth of healthy snacks, pack them, and you’re done for the week. Some well-worthy options are nuts, greek yogurt, fruit, veggies, nut butters, whole wheat bread. You can do the same with your lunch or dinner, make everything on advance, if possible on the weekend or at least 2-3 days in advance, pack and have everything ready to go. Get light, easy-to-take, containers (you can get them in any shape-color or size nowadays) and have them ready while on the run.

5. Stay Active. Don’t try to over do it. We are usually well aware of our possibilities and our limitations. Follow your gut. If it’s becoming too difficult and you're dreading the idea of working-out every day, it probably won’t become a permanent habit. Try fun activities or start new hobbies such as walking by a park with a nice view and a good playlist,, enrolling in a new dance class, doing yoga, swimming, or try a reasonable weight routine. It’s ok to start a new exercise or routine, but try to seek expert help when starting one. Speaking to a professional trainer, nutritionist, and primary care practitioner, will ensure that you will be exercising without straining or hurting yourself. Remember have fun while getting fit. 

 

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.” – Anthony Robbins

 

To a long, productive, and healthy life

Lucia Chavez
Chief Nutritionist

References

1. News Center. Change diet, exercise habits at same time for best results, study says. 2008. Available at: https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2013/04/change-diet-exercise-habits-at-same-time-for-best-results-study-says.html. Accessed December 11, 2015.

2. Fitness.gov. Why Is It Important? - President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. 2015.Available at: http://www.fitness.gov/eat-healthy/why-is-it-important/. Accessed December 11, 2015.

3. Khan A. Diet vs. Exercise: A Healthy Habit Showdown. US News & World Report. 2014. Available at: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/08/08/diet-vs-exercise-a-healthy-habit-showdown. Accessed December 11, 2015.

4. Heart.org. Healthy Eating Habits Start at Home. 2015. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Healthy-Eating-Habits-Start-at-Home_UCM_461862_Article.jsp#. Accessed December 11, 2015.

5. Healthy Habits for Healthy Families. 2015. Available at: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/healthy.aspx. Accessed December 11, 2015.

6. Promoting Healthy Behaviors to Prevent Obesity and Unhealthy Weight Control in Our Youth. 2015. Available at: http://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/prevent-obesity.aspx. Accessed December 11, 2015.

7. Mentalhealth.org.uk. New Year's Resolutions - A Healthy Diet. 2015. Available at: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/podcasts/new-years-resolutions-a-healthy-diet/. Accessed December 11, 2015.