It is that time of the year. Many of come across something we have wanted to accomplish for awhile but have not yet put our minds/effort/time toward actually doing it. Hence the New Year’s resolution – a time to get our butts into gear and just do it! Many times these resolutions involve weight loss and healthier living. From a dietitian’s standpoint, this is a great thing. In January I know the YMCA will be packed with members I have never seen before, people will ask about healthy recipes they have seen on the Food Network and will start to pay more attention to the food they are purchasing.
Unfortunately, most of this spontaneous motivation is often short-lived. And here’s a little secret (well, not-so-secret now); if your New Year’s resolution is not practical, it will not last. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds in one month, you may do it, but will become so tired of starving yourself and eating food that tastes like cardboard that you gain all the weight back. Maybe you tell yourself you will hit the gym every day and get that six-pack you have always wanted, but end up realizing that looking like a magazine cover is miserable and you stop going to the gym altogether after a few weeks.
Here is my advice this year: make an attainable goal that you will stick with in the long run. For example:
- I will cook dinner with my kids at least three nights a week.
- I will try a new exercise class at the YMCA and find one that I enjoy and can stick to.
- I will cut back my fast food/take-out meals to two or less per week.
- I will cook a new recipe every month with my friends/family that is healthy and fun.
- I will pay attention to food labels when I am grocery shopping. If I do not know a lot about food labels, I will ask someone who knows (a dietitian, or course!).
Hopefully these ideas get you started on your own New Year’s resolution. This year do something that will last a lifetime!