Looking for some healthy, nutritious, and natural resolutions to adopt this year? Check out my list of New Year's Resolution recommendations for a happier, healthier 2015!
- Don't diet. Wait, did I hear you correctly? The dietitian says don't diet? Yes! I don't recommend diets because diets are temporary. When you are finished with a diet, you will go back to how you ate before, and weight gain will occur. Instead, focus on making lifestyle behavior changes with your eating and exercising so that they become permanent habits and ways of living. When next year comes you will not have to research dieting again.
- Set a short-term fitness goal. Goals like training for a 5k, training to do pull-ups, or training to do 100 push-ups in a row, make working out fun because you have a set goal in mind. Pinterest has a TON of short-term fitness goal ideas, a lot of which you can do at home! I decided to do the 31-day 5 minute plank challenge for the month of January!
- Replace most beverages with water. Beverages are one of the largest contributors to weight gain and obesity in our country. Because we do not usually think of beverages as sources of calories, we often forget to think about how much we consume. Sorry, Starbucks lovers, but even a 16oz pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks has 380 calories! If water tastes too bland for you, try calorie-free water flavor enhancers like Mio or Crystal Light.
- Make 1/2 of your plate fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, but rich in fiber and water so they will keep you fuller for a longer period of time. They are great ways to bulk up your meals without too many added calories!
- Throw out the holiday candy. Just do it. Keeping it won't benefit you or your goals.
- Take the stairs. It takes about 2,000 steps to walk 1 mile. Add more steps throughout your day to increase your mileage. Instead of taking the elevator, try to take the stairs. Instead of parking in front of a building, park in the back of the lot so you can walk further.
- Sign up for a race/triathlon/competition/gym membership. Having a long term goal is a great way to keep yourself on track with your fitness regimen. Also, paying for something upfront is an excellent incentive to keep working towards your goals. You know that you will not get that money back, so why not accomplish the goal you set out to do!
- Snack with fiber and protein foods. Protein and fiber foods keep you fuller until your next meal. They also take longer to digest so they will not raise your blood sugar too quickly and leave you feeling with mid-day fatigue and drowsiness. Some snack ideas include a cheese stick + mustard, Greek yogurt + almonds, hummus + carrots, or peanut butter + celery.
- Out of sight, out of mind. After making a meal for your family, put away the extra leftovers in the fridge. You will be less likely to go back for seconds, or thirds. Bonus: You can have the leftovers for lunch the next day!
- Sauces on the side. Sauces, mayonnaise, and salad dressings can be very rich and calorie dense. It is always best to keep them on the side when ordering meals so that you can control how much you want on your foods.
- Find a fitness friend. Find a friend to go workout with, or to keep you accountable to stay true to your goals. It is more difficult to back out of working out when you've already planned to meet a friend there, than if you were going on your own.
- Work with your environment.You do not have to re-make your life routine for fitness and healthy meals. If you normally go out to eat multiple times a week, try to cook at home more times a week than you go out to eat. When you go out to eat, plan a healthy meal to order in advance before you go. If you don't have time to go to the gym, try to walk more at work, play outside with your kids instead of watching them, or do my favorite: the commercial challenge. While I don't encourage too much time in front of the TV, this challenge is great to do if you are lounging around. Every time there is a commercial break, do an exercise like sit-ups, push-ups, jumping rope, jumping jacks, plank, lunges, squats...etc. You will soon realize how many commercial breaks there are, and you are guaranteed a sweat by the end of your show.
- Skip the scale. Keep in mind that the scale is just a number, and it does not reflect your inner health. Muscle weight actually weighs more than fat, so if the scale is not budging, it could be that you are gaining more muscle, which is great. The important thing to keep in mind with your health goals is not to just lose weight, but to feel healthier and stronger at the end of the day.
- Get more sleep. Staying up until midnight certainly does not support this goal on New Year's Eve, but studies show that sleep can regulate hunger signals, improve muscle growth, aid in weight loss, and reduce risks for several cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
- Focus on the positive. With all goals, mistakes will happen. The important thing is to accept mistakes, and overcome them with optimism. One of my favorite quotes that I try to live by is, "A negative mind will never give you a positive life."
Hope you find these goals helpful, and cheers to 2015!!