Did you make your New Year’s Resolution yet? A new year presents a wonderful opportunity for you to reflect on your health and to set up a healthy living plan for the new year. If you’ve made and then broken the same old weight or health-oriented resolutions each January, you’re not alone. I applaud your dedication to try and encourage you to try again. Here are some tips to get you going:
1. Where should you begin? Start the day right with a good breakfast, and it really can make things go better all day. Research has repeatedly shown that people who eat breakfast tend to take in more nutrients such as calcium, iron, protein and fiber and may have better success with weight management. To get yourself off to a strong start, think about combining protein, carbohydrates, and low-fat dairy. Some ideas: whole grain cereal and a high protein yogurt, an English muffin with peanut butter, or an egg sandwich with fruit and yogurt.
2. Make fiber, some call it roughage, a priority. Fiber, found in whole grain wheat, barley, corn, and oats, as well as in fruits, vegetables, and beans, helps keep things moving easily through the digestive tract. Fiber is filling, providing volume with few calories because our bodies don’t have the enzymes to break it down. Fiber can be digested and used for fuel by the 10 trillion bacteria that live in our colon and prevent numerous health conditions.
3. Get your facts straight. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Whether you’ve tried to eat clean, go gluten-free, low carb, or avoid all white foods, chances are quite high that your efforts didn’t result in long lasting effects. Find a credible, evidence-based source that offers information that can be tailored to your lifestyle and taste preferences. Some sources I recommend are the Mediterranean Diet, the DASH Diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, MyPlate, or ask a local Registered Dietitian.
4. Find fun and easy ways to have an active lifestyle. Walk outside, walk the dog, dance in your kitchen, work in the garden, walk in place during the commercials of your favorite show, or ride your bike to run errands.
5. Make a schedule of your health goals, and keep track of progress by writing in a food and activity journal. Write things down; it makes them more likely to happen. Note things like how you feel before and after meals and exercise. You may be surprised by what you learn.
Remember to not starve yourself or eliminate entire food groups. Pack your own lunch and snacks and plan what you’ll eat each day so you won’t be forced into a quick decision that leads to a poor choice. The bottom line: Eat when you are hungry, strive for moderation, and move more to feel good. The best healthy living plan is the one that works for you.
Here’s to a healthier you!
For more information call Stephanie at the Purdue Extension Kosciusko County office at (574) 372-2340, or email at [email protected] Purdue University is an affirmative action, equal access/equal opportunity institution.