Set Yourself Up for a Successful New Year

happy new year toastHow long is a holiday? Some holidays can seem like they go on for weeks and weeks. It can be a nonstop festival of cookies, fruitcake and special edition candy. How do you reign it in when everyone around is eating nonstop? Here are a few helpful suggestions: 

  • Start you day with a walk or run. If it's cold weather, bundle up and get out there and move. Do the twenty-minute rule: it's better than nothing and will get your day off to a good start.
  • Dress for success. The more fitted your clothes, the less room you'll have to chow down. Tighten that belt a notch or look for slim-fitting shirts and slim jeans. You'll see a difference right away.
  • Sip seltzer, use breath strips. Whatever it takes to keep food out of your mouth. And drink your water. Four glasses by lunch. This helps keep you full and combats the salty, richness of holiday food.
  • Don't pick! There's food everywhere, but don't allow mindless indulgences. Keep the following in mind: one thumb-size piece of cheese costs you 100 calories, which takes about a mile of walking or running to burn off. That's just one little piece! Two spoons of chocolate chip cookie dough  and leftover pie scraps while strolling through the kitchen costs you almost 200 calories or a two-mile walk or run. Think before you pick and taste! 
  • Avoid the "ands." You know what I mean. Holiday dinner could be turkey. And stuffing. And green been casserole. And potatoes. Pick the turkey and a couple of vegetables and just one starch. Then call a halt. 

Many diets recommend that you should start a diet at some point in your life when nothing is going on so you can better control what you eat. When would that be exactly? I say, start right now! You're always going to have things come up - special events and trips and holidays. If you put your life on hold for the sake of your diet, you're bound to fail. If you embrace your lifestyle and eat well in every situation, well, that's the key to permanent success. 

So as we reach the end of the year and get ready to start a new one, set yourself up for success. You don't have to wait for January 1st, start healthy habits today. The best way to do this is to consider your health and wellness changes as ones that are incorporated over time, not overnight. As they say, old habits do die hard so it’s important we are patient but persistent in creating the right habits that’ll give us our desired outcome.

  1. Slow & steady wins the race: It takes awhile to adjust to changes so don’t be too zealous when starting new goals. Start off slow and do what’s comfortable for you. If you are looking to eat less sugar, slowly wean yourself off of sweet treats.
  2. Focus on progress, not perfection: It is easy to get caught up in thinking you've got to give it all or it won’t work. Make small tweaks here and there and if you fall off the wagon, get right back on. Don’t get discouraged with “failures” and know that balance is key.
  3. Eat to live, don’t live to eat: With all of the junk food that has made it onto the shelves, we can forget that food’s primary objective is to fuel our bodies. Of course you can still enjoy what you eat, but start to see food as a way to fill your body with the nutrition it needs to thrive.

    Heather Bauer, RD CDN
    Heather Bauer, RD CDN


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