Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year! Resolution Ideas from The Honest Dietitian

2017 has arrived. I am sure many of you have been bombarded by ads and commercials from companies hoping to monetize on the "New Year, New You" hope and drive that comes with the annual dropping of the ball. I know there are also many people out there who will tell you that making resolutions is useless and will just set you up for failure. I am not one of those people.

I think making an effort to make any positive changes in your life is absolutely fantastic. I think it is wonderful no matter what time of the year you do it! New Year's is just that time of year when people take a minute to think about themselves and what they would like to accomplish for the upcoming 365 days and believe me...I am a firm believer that people (including myself) do not take enough time to really sit and ponder what we can do to make ourselves better. We often put to much pressure on ourselves trying to do things to make things better for other people, but can forget that we need goals, hope, and certainly attention and love for ourselves from ourselves.

After many years of resolution making, breaking, and listening to clients, friends, and family...I do not endorse the "numbers resolution". For example, putting pressure on yourself to gain/lose a certain amount of weight in a certain time period (lose 30 pounds by march 1st). If you aim for rapid weight loss, I have unfortunate news for you, this will just screw up your metabolism and likely you will do more harm that good to your overall goals (see here). But, if you want to lose weight or gain weight, gain strength, fit into your pre-baby jeans, or what not...I recommend you consider making some lifestyle resolutions. These are the ones that are going to treat your overall health- your mind, body, and soul, and once you treat these...there is nothing that can stop you from achieving any of your goals. I like it when people say "You Do You"...because yes- You NEED to Do You. You're no good to anyone else unless you are good to you. Here are some lifestyle resolutions to consider putting on your to-do list (even if not today, maybe someday when you are ready to):

1) Five A Day. Five servings of fruits & vegetables per day. I always tell my clients that if they can actually eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day for a week, they are already winning. You've probably heard of "five a day" before in some sort of public health message, but it's no joke. Vitamins and many things that you cannot get from a pill or supplement, you can get through five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. I would go for 2 fruit and 3 vegetables. Try this- 5 per day for 1 week. And then keep it up!

2) Move. Do not be afraid to move. You do not have to be an elite athlete to pick up a barbell or a kettle bell. You do not have to buy a gym membership, new clothes, or a personal trainer (although having a professional work you through some movements & plans is such a great thing) to get fit. There is always youtube for videos, dancing video games...heck- even making the change to never take the elevator at work again- WILL impact your health. Your body needs movement. Your metabolism works best with muscle. You don't have to train for the olympics, you just have to move. Schedule it in and do it. No excuses.

3) Stress-Reduction.  The older I get, the more I wish I would have made this a top priority years ago. Even if you are the best performer in the world, you can only juggle so many balls at one time. Remembering to breathe is just as important as remembering to eat when the going gets tough. There are some weeks I can be driving 15 hours to and from school. Now, I have mapped out areas in my commute that trigger me to take a minute to breathe. In through the nose for five seconds, hold for five seconds, and out through the mouth for five seconds. I do this at least 10 times in a row. It helps me to calm myself and center myself. Now, when I feel myself getting tense, I am finding myself breathing to be present and not let my mind wander into angst. Whether it is breathing, meditation, taking a walk, a bath, do something every single day to bring yourself into the present and enjoy that moment when you are alive. Be thankful for it.

4) Schedule Social Media Breaks. This is my lifestyle modification this year. I could be flipping through my phone for hours on end every single day and night because there are just so many funny and interesting things to look at, but I am so much happier and less stressed when I am without my phone. I took a social media break over the holidays and it was great. I mean, if it is really an emergency, people can just call me...I don't have to have my phone connected to my body every second. If any of you have experience with this type of lifestyle change- I would LOVE to know what you have done in your home to break from the internet for a while. 

Happy New Year & I Wish You All Much Health & Happiness This Year!!


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