Happy New Year!
Happy 2014! The holidays are over, and a new, fresh year begins. If you’re thinking about making some healthy lifestyle changes, we have simple, manageable goals you can start working toward today.
Look to… twelve new months to twelve new healthy habits. Developing a new habit can be difficult, but be patient with yourself and know that with time, new habits can become second nature. You may find yourself automatically looking for the stairs instead of pressing the button for the elevator!
These guidelines can be helpful in getting you started.
- Begin by developing just one new habit at a time and work on it for an entire month.
- Choose the easiest habit first. In doing so, you’ll build confidence and motivation.
- Instead of focusing on results (such as a new dress size), focus on change and forming a new habit over time (such as eating breakfast daily).
- Pick a start date, such as the first of each month.
- Be positive and set a “can-do” mindset. Find a way to enjoy doing your new habit – maybe you walk in the park instead of on the treadmill!
- Be accountable (such as weighing yourself regularly or keeping a food journal) and ask for support from family or friends.
So let’s get started!!
Breakfast Begins the Day – Breakfast “breaks” your overnight “fast” and jumpstarts your metabolism. Aim to eat breakfast daily.
Cut Back on Salt – Reduce the amount of salt/sodium you eat every day. Did you know nearly 80% of our sodium intake comes from processed foods and restaurant meals? Try to replace processed foods with fresh versions, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, poultry and fish and cook more meals at home.
Use Healthy Fats – Replace unhealthy fats (such as butter and solid fats) with healthier fats in your daily cooking and eating. Choose olive and canola oils, nuts, seeds and avocados. Opt for lean meats and low fat and fat free dairy foods.
Cook More – Cooking at home can be healthy, easier on your pocket book and a great way to bring the family together! Aim to increase the number of meals you cook each week.
Go Whole Grain – Choose whole grains often, such as quinoa, barley - even popcorn. Aim for three servings of whole grains daily.
Move More – Regular exercise helps control blood pressure, stress and body weight. If you’re new to exercise, start small – maybe just 10-15 minute increments several times a week. Make it a goal to be active for 30 minutes or more minutes at least three times a week.
Vote for Veggies – Fill half your plate with a variety of colorful vegetables daily. Aim for three servings a day. Try a new-to-you veggie each week!
Go Fish – Fish is a great source of lean protein and many varieties are rich in heart-healthy omega 3’s. Aim for two fish meals a week.
Be A Vegetarian One Day A Week – Put more plants on your plate! Go meatless one day - all day (breakfast, lunch and dinner!)
Become Stronger – Build muscle for better health. Add strength training at least two times a week.
Practice Portion Control – Learn ways to eat less. Read labels for serving size. Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter with whole grains and a quarter with lean protein, such as poultry or beans.
Get More Sleep – Snooze for at least seven hours a night. New research shows it may help keep you trim.
In 2014 our dietitians will focus on one of these habits monthly. Look for tips, strategies and recipes to guide you through the year and towards a new healthier you.