Thursday, December 26, 2013
The rules for making nutrition New Year's Resolutions
As we near the ball drop and the welcoming of 2014, you can smell it in the air...people making New Year's Resolutions. So many ideas and hopes wrapped into one little statement that will magically last an entire year.
To be successful, these statements need to be chosen carefully. So here are few rules when making your New Year's Resolutions.
1. Don't make a New Year's Resolution
Wait - what? Yeah...really. Since when did one statement made on one night motivate anyone do anything for an entire year? Instead of making a one-year resolution, start with one month. How about something like "Since I want to lose weight, I am going to start drinking pop only 3 times per day." Once February rolls around, try, "I am going to drink only one pop per day". Continue this pattern with each month. Lets all resolve to think monthly...not yearly.
2. Think of a resolution as a goal...not a dream.
Sometimes the resolutions I hear are ridiculous. "My resolution is to go vegan. By the way I eat meat at every meal." "My resolution is to cut out all carb foods for good." Okay, as great as those may sound, lets be realistic. Instead of going complete vegan, try having a goal of eating vegetarian three days a week and continue from there. Instead of cutting out all carbohydrate foods, focus on cutting those that have little nutritional value and then talk with a dietitian who can assess whether cutting all carbs is a good idea.
3. Find your weaknesses
When it comes to making plans this year, determine your nutritional weaknesses. For some reason, I have had multiple clients recently who are obsessed with Cheetos. It is clearly their weakness. Once that weakness is identified, determine how you will conquer that weakness this year. Will you never buy Cheetos again? Only buy Cheetos one time per month? You can't improve your nutritional status without taking a hard look at your weaknesses.
4. Find a friend
Once you have made a simple yearly goal that you can break down into smaller monthly goals and have determined it to be realistic, it is time to be accountable. Find a friend who can support you in your efforts. Can you both give up diet soda? Can you both switch to only whole wheat grains? Can you both shop together to keep the pantry in check? Having a friend or family member on board with you keeps you accountable and motivated.
5. Write it down and share the news
So you know what you want to do. You know who will help you. Now you need to write it down. Write your resolution in multiple places. Then share the resolution with everyone you know. Nutritional changes take time and require effort. Healthy options don't magically appear on your dinner plate. It is time to commit to making changes this year.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bayasaa/