Healthy Wins to Stick to in the New Year
Tis the season for diets, exercise plans and health goals. Are you making New Year’s Resolutions this year? Wellness promotions are everywhere – social media, TV ads and grocery stores.
Be Cautious of Quick Fix Diets
I’m all in for a health reboot or jump start – however, please be cautious of the plan you buy into. I’ve had conversations with many people who are starting a diet, cleanse, fast etc. We are often looking for fast results – 20 pounds in a month or inches in weeks. Many plans that promote a quick fix, don’t provide sustainable outcomes or a foundation of good habits. Before starting a plan, it is always recommended to discuss your current health status with your healthcare provider. I’ve seen some scary things, including liver disease, come from unhealthy “diet plans.” Good things take time. Improving blood pressure, decreasing blood sugar and losing inches comes with time and hard work.
Be Realistic with Yourself
When you are looking to start a new plan – ask yourself these questions:
- What am I hoping to get out of this? Are these realistic goals?
- Does this plan propose any concerns – Financial impact? Bodily harm? Medication interactions?
- Can I sustain this long term? Is this promoting a healthy lifestyle?
Using the New Year as a jumping point can be wonderful, and I am also setting some wellness goals. My strategies for success? I’m aiming for weekly instead of year-long goals, and I’ll be tracking notes in my planner to fit my changing schedule. I’ll be recruiting my family for support by preparing new recipes and being physically active together.
Family Health Goals Can be Fun and Provide Support
Consider a family health goal. Children see everything we do, even if we don’t think they are paying attention. If they hear us saying, “That food isn’t on my plan” or “I have to miss that activity to get in my workout” – what are we teaching them? Fostering healthy habits means setting yourself up for success and finding ways to make these habits a part of daily life.
Easy Health Goals to Get Started
Want to improve your health and wellness without an expensive or restrictive plan? Try some of the following goals this week:
- Eat mostly whole foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, unprocessed meats
- Aim for 1 cup of vegetables with each meal
- Start a menu board and plan one new recipe per week
- Have 2 nights of family exercise: Add yoga, a jump rope competition or dance party
- Restock your pantry: Clear out expired foods and donate items that don’t support your health goals
If you have more questions, make sure to talk with your primary care provider or a nutritionist.
Originally Published 1/8/2021
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She is the diabetes education program coordinator at CHI Health and sees patients at the Millard Clinic. She works with patients to identify root causes to health conditions and make changes to improve overall health. Ellen’s passion is to help others develop lifestyle habits that allow them to feel their best.