I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions, because I don’t typically keep them.
But I am resolving to make 2014 the best year yet – and that means taking a little time to keep balances, focused and healthy.
So it’s a good thing that Giant Food Stores sent a press release with some of their tips to make this year’s healthy/fit resolutions a little bit easier. They’re pretty easy and intuitive ways to meld health into your life
- Set S.M.A.R.T goals! (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). Don’t set
yourself up for failure by setting unattainable goals. Instead create challenging, yet
realistic goals that set you up for mini-successes throughout the year.
- Focus on behaviors and not numbers. Once you’ve decided on a weight goal and a
reasonable amount of time in which you want to lose the weight, any other goals you
set should be goals over which you have direct control. For example, set mini goals of how many servings of fruit you eat each day or how many minutes you exercise.
- For some people keeping a food journal can be tedious. Instead of writing down what you eat, snap a quick photo of it on your phone. Visual representation of what you’ve eaten or had to drink will hold you accountable during the day. At the end of the day you can look back and remember what you had to eat and when you ate it.
- Become a planner. Set aside time to plan your meals for the week prior to grocery
shopping. Make half of your plate non-starchy vegetables, a quarter protein and
quarter starch. If you have chicken breast as the protein, pair it with a non-starchy
vegetable like green beans and a whole grain, like brown rice.
- Breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day off right. Try to incorporate at least three different food groups at breakfast every day, like whole grains, fruit, and low-fat dairy. A yogurt parfait is a great example that contains all three!
- Keep your metabolism fired up by snacking between meals. Getting a combination of
carbohydrates and protein will help keep you full longer and stabilize blood sugars.
Some good choices include an apple with peanut butter, reduced fat cheese and
whole grain crackers, hummus and carrots, or dried fruit and almonds.
- “Veg out” by doubling the volume of non-starchy vegetables you eat at every lunch
- Too much sodium in the diet has been linked to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Limit your daily intake of sodium to less than 2,300 mg and instead increase your intake of herbs and spices to boost the flavor of your plate. Get creative with garlic powder, cumin, ginger, paprika and more.
- Make the TV room a no food zone. In addition, for every hour of television you watch,
use the commercial time to get up and continuously move or exercise with hand
weights. For an hour long television show, you’ll be moving about 17 minutes.
- Stay hydrated. Even mild dehydration can leave you tired and lacking energy for daily tasks. Limit your liquid calories like soda, fruit drinks, iced teas, coffee drinks, etc. Try carrying a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go and drink from it throughout the day.
- Plan ahead and pack a healthy lunch for work so that you are in control of your
choices. Be sure to include a lean protein, healthy fat, and whole grains, in addition to your fruits and vegetables.
- When dining out, go online ahead of time to look at nutrition information to determine which meal option would be the healthiest.
- Be mindful to eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you
feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you’ve had
enough. Our brains need at least 20 minutes to get the message that our stomach is
- Finally, get your rest! The average American needs between 7-9 hours of sleep per
night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep can be associated with a number of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes,
cardiovascular disease and depression.
Have at it, people!