New year, new you. You’ve heard it before, but how do you set up, and keep, your healthy New Year’s resolutions all year long?
Go into your resolution with the mindset that beginning and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. Here are four ways you can stay healthy all year long:
1) Avoid trendy diets: Low carb, short term diets allow you to lose weight quickly, but don’t really help you to keep it off. The food choices we make are a habit; we often are on auto-pilot when it comes to what we decide to eat. Work on forming healthier habits but changing one thing at a time, such as switching soda for water or adding a green vegetable to every meal. The goal is to consume more food from the earth by eating vegetables, fruits, grains and lean sources of protein like fish and chicken.
2) Focus on your needs: There’s no magic button or one-size-fits all health plan. What works for your friend might not work for you – and that’s OK! Focus on what you need to improve on and take it one step at a time. Regularly visiting a health professional can help you find the perfect strategy that’s right for you.
3) Write it down: Logging what you eat and drink makes you more conscious of what you are fueling your body with and can also help identify habits to work on. If you find you regularly reach for a soda mid-afternoon, try substituting water instead. Many times, people that have lost weight and kept it off five and 10 years down the road credit food journaling. If tech is your thing, that are plenty of food tracking apps out there.
4) Get active, don’t be afraid to start small: Make manageable and achievable personal goals for yourself, so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up on them. If you want to incorporate more walking into your day, try parking further away at work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Small steps can add up to big results over time. Find a workout routine that you enjoy and fits your lifestyle. Choose something that is easy to do; if it’s too time consuming to get to the gym, try working out at home or start a group workout in your neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to try something new like a barre class or join an adult sports league. Teaming up with a friend or partner for workouts is a great way to stay accountable and add a social element to your fitness routine.
Bonus: Be kind to yourself
Making conscious, smart food and fitness choices every day is not easy. There will be times where you will eat that piece of cheesecake – and that’s okay! Give yourself a little grace to make a better health-focused decision the next time and go from there.
Remember – each little step adds up to making a healthier you in 2020 and beyond!