Its January and that means many of you are interested in getting back into your healthy living routine–or wanting to start one–after a month of indulgences and holiday celebrations. Prioritizing your health is always a fantastic idea, but its important to do so in a way that will lead to long-term success. Doing a 30 day juice cleanse, eliminating every food group, or working out twice a day may not be a realistic plan, and can leave you feeling even worse when you can’t maintain it.
That being said, here are my quick tips on how to Set Yourself Up For Success In 2018:
Make an action plan, not a resolution
Resolutions can be vague. The statement of “I want to eat better” is overwhelming and doesn’t address the reasons or barriers as to why you aren’t already doing so. Creating action steps such as “I will pack my lunch for at least 4 of my 5 work days so I don’t resort to eating out” or “I will set my alarm 10 minutes earlier so that I will have time to eat breakfast” are much more specific and doable.
Adding vs. subtracting
The first thing that usually comes to mind when trying to change your diet is what you have to give up. “I’m not going to eat any carbs” or “I’m never drinking again” (heard that one a lot lately!). What about if you focused on what you could add to your diet? Are you eating fruits or veggies with all your meals? Add that. Would having an afternoon snack prevent you from becoming hangry and overeating at night? Add that. Is your energy tanking because you have been restricting carbs all day? Add that. Subtracting your favorite foods may be unnecessary and overly restrictive, which can lead to bingeing on them and feelings of guilt. Talk to your dietitian about how to incorporate treats into your diet. Less does not always = better (that’s my math lesson for the day).
Every meal is a new opportunity
The “perfect diet” and the “perfect eater” doesn’t exist! As humans, we mess up. We eat things we didn’t plan on eating (“Thanks mom for the tower of leftover cookies”, or “I butt-dialed Uber Eats and they showed up at my door with wings & mozz sticks”). But don’t let one meal be the reason you throw in the towel on your goals. We eat many times a day, so each meal is an opportunity to eat well.