With every new year, comes hope, excitement and resolutions. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that often we let our beginning-of-a-new-year momentum fade away. According to a U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of our New Year’s resolutions will fail by February. But you’re in it to win it! Who says you can’t be part of the 20% that do succeed?!
As dietitians, we often have our clients seek out our help with their nutrition resolutions. While many ask what the ideal diet looks like, we love to work with our clients and share that rather than diets, what we eat should be a balance of all foods. Restricting certain foods or food groups can often make us feel deprived and cause us to fall in and out of diets. By focusing on foods that both we enjoy and nourish our bodies, we can find peace with foods and meet our nutrition goals. Here are my top three favorite healthy habits for the new year that are simple and realistic:
- Drink a Glass When You Wake Up and Before You Go to Bed. You knew hydration was one that was going to top the list, didn’t you? We all know that drinking water is good for us, but oftentimes we don’t make it a priority. Not only does staying hydrated help our bodies function normally, it can also help us feel more energized!
Winning Habit: Set a glass of water by your bed to drink before sleeping and then set another one by your coffee maker for the morning.
- Add a Serving of Fruits or Veggies to Your Lunch. A dietitian talking about eating your fruits and veggies? You guessed it! Just as we know staying hydrated is good for us, we know eating more produce has countless benefits. One of my favorites—the mood boost! Why are resolutions so hard? We overwhelm ourselves with what we should be doing rather than what makes us feel better.
Winning Habit: when you’re not used to eating fruits and veggies at lunch, it can be hard to start. To make it easier on yourself, try adding pre-packaged fruits and veggies to your next lunchbox. These could include fruit cups with 100% juice, a package of dried fruit, 100% fruit and veggie pouches, individual bags of carrots, etc. There are many options out there for you to be sure to find one you love—and even look forward to eating!
- Move More in the Morning. When we move our bodies, we are waking our bodies up and energizing ourselves for the day. When we have more energy, we are more likely to keep our positive momentum going and stick to our habits.
Winning Habit: Try moving for 5 minutes during the first 30 minutes of your day. This could be as simple as going for a short walk, walking in place, doing body weight squats, or jumping rope.
Get ready to use the positive momentum that you have starting January 1st to develop healthier habits!
Happy and Healthy Eating!