By Simone Stromer, MD, CHC [AADP]
How many times have you made that New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, to lose weight, or to cut down on junk food? Whatever the resolution may be, the path to success is not an easy one. There are so many potential roadblocks along the way including procrastination, family and social obligations, holidays, work demands and lack of time and energy. There are many ways to better your chances at achieving your goals; here are my top 5 pearls of wisdom:
1. Ask for help.
Giving up habits that we have developed over our lives is arguably one of the hardest tasks. If you are really serious this year about change, whatever your health goal may be, the best way to ensure success is to invest in some help.
2. Keep a journal of what you eat.
One of the biggest obstacles to changing behavior is not being aware of our habits. For example, we often overestimate how much we eat. Keeping a food diary will help you keep track of your nutrition habits, so when you go off track you will see immediately what needs to change. In addition, if you know you are recording everything you may be more conscious of what you put in your mouth.
3. Eat more vegetables.
No matter how many vegetables you are currently eating, you are likely not eating enough. One of the reasons for excessive sugar cravings is poor intake of vegetables. Our bodies require more servings of vegetables a day than any other food group. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, water, vitamins (like folic acid, vitamin A, C, E) and minerals (like potassium). Fill your plate half full of vegetables at each meal to stop from over eating on high-calorie foods.
4. Understand your weaknesses.
Everyone has a weakness whether it’s chocolate, challah, over eating, or being too lazy to cook or exercise. Work on finding a solution to your biggest weakness.
5. Get enough sleep.
Research has suggested that sleep deprivation increases appetite and over time can be associated with certain chronic diseases. Experiment for one week and see how much easier it is to be healthy and active once you have had enough sleep.