Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Resolutions Revealed!

It's that time of year. Endless ads for diet plans, gym memberships, and sales on exercise equipment. Most people have at least one if not more, New Year's resolutions related to weight loss or health improvement, but how many of us actually maintain those resolutions beyond one to two weeks? The honest truth is not many. The problem is we have big expectations and big goals - which is great, but not necessarily realistic. When we slip up a bit, we get discouraged, and give up on these resolutions.

The key is to make small, achievable, realistic resolutions. For example, instead of a resolution such as "I plan to exercise daily" or "I want to lose ## weight this year", make resolutions such as these:

*In 2011, I plan to exercise at least 3 times a week.
--Three times a week is reasonable, however if more EVEN BETTER!

*In 2011, I plan to bring my lunch to work at least 3 times a week.
--Three times a week is reasonable, however if more EVEN BETTER!

No need to go cold turkey. Start with small steps to reduce the unhealthy behaviors. You are more likely to keep to the switch!

*In 2011, I plan to limit my take-out consumption to once/week (or less).

*In 2011, I plan to skip the bread basket and the appetizer when I go out to dinner with friends.

*In 2011, I plan to split an entree with a friend when going out to eat with a group of friends.

Resolutions should have a positive spin... don't just eliminate something, have something healthy to substitute in! See these examples:

*In 2011, I plan to substitute soda from my diet with seltzer with a splash of juice.

*In 2011, I plan to use skim milk in my coffee instead of half & half.

*In 2011, I plan to switch from regular soda to diet soda.

*In 2011, I plan to switch from drinking fruit juice to eating a piece of fruit.

Other resolutions to think about:

*In 2011, I plan to eat slower and savor every bite during each meal.

*In 2011, I plan to take 30 seconds before I eat something I know is not healthy to if I really want it.

*In 2011, I plan to be more aware of my portion sizes. Don't be afraid to cut it in half and save it for later!

Celebrate all successes - no matter how small. You'll be more likely to keep your resolutions and no need to wait until January 1st to make a healthy change!

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