I prefer to focus on the positive, especially at the start of a New Year. Too often we're told, "don't eat this" or "don't do that." It's far better to think of the many healthy things we can eat and can do.
How do we start off with healthy resolutions? It's a good idea to begin with one small change at first, and once you've incorporated that change entirely into your lifestyle, then gradually introduce another new thing, as Cayce said, one step at a time.
It is better to make your healthy resolution one that you can maintain and be consistent with for a lifetime. For example, going on a diet is a short term resolution, but eating healthy is a life-long, sustainable resolution.
Here are a few tips to start your New Year off on the right foot. Choose one that resonates with you and stick with it before you begin another one.
1) Eat in—Eating at home leads to healthier ingredients and a lower consumption of calories and sodium. Reorganize your kitchen, find some new healthy and appetizing recipes, and enjoy the process of home-cooked meals. Remember to build your meals around fresh vegetables.
2) Eat breakfast—Research shows that eating breakfast is linked to better work performance, enhanced concentration, and weight control. Plan ahead and be sure to include fruits and vegetables.
3) Drink more water—Your main beverage should be water, so it is important to reduce the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed. Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty and dehydrated.
4) Keep a food journal—People who keep food journals of everything they eat tend to eat less and are more mindful eaters.
5) Eat more foods from the earth—In other words, eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans—limiting heavily processed foods will allow more room for these whole foods.
6) Eat mindfully—More awareness with eating may help with portion control and may prevent over-eating. Remember to eat slowly and breathe in order to taste, savor, and digest your food.
7) Get out of your comfort zone—Try a new healthy activity or food. Maybe pick one a week!
And have a healthy and happy New Year!