Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN, CDN, Senior Nutritionist The New Year is a great time to embrace change in our lives. As we move into January, that “clean slate, fresh start” energy can pull us towards health needs and goals we aspire to reach all year long, every year. For many, those good intentions get derailed pretty quickly– the statistics tell us that too often, just a few weeks later, our ambitions are overcome and our targets seem to get further away instead of closer. There may be an easier way….. The key may be to just keep it simple – instead of making plans to change everything at once – eat better, lose weight, get to the gym 4 days a week….start by making some small changes, and planning for the days when nothing is going as planned. Below find a list of ideas that may help you keep moving forward, even when life seems determined to get in your way…
- Take an honest look at your current lifestyle – odds are, you are already doing some smart and healthy things. Eating oatmeal for breakfast, or salads at lunch, or one yoga class per week on a regular basis certainly count and are a great foundation. You can build on these good habits.
- Stock up on convenient, healthier frozen meals, breakfast items, nuts and seeds – foods that can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks when you are in a hurry or your plans change. Having a backup plan ensures you are less frustrated and confident you are prepared when you need to be.
- Try to cook more at home – your favorite recipes, fresh or frozen meal kits, fresh chopped vegetables and ready-to-cook prepared items, healthier frozen foods, and fresh heat-and-eat meals can all be part of your tool kit. Bonus- cooking at home usually means more family time, better produce intake, and more savings over time, which all support a healthier lifestyle.
- Drink more water – a small glass ahead of meals promotes better digestion, and a more efficient metabolism.
- Get to bed 30 minutes earlier – Americans are chronically sleep-deprived, and we are learning more about negative impacts of insufficient sleep on weight, heart health, memory and more. Some people can lose weight just by getting more sleep!