5 Winning Strategies to Start Your New Year
What’s the trouble with New Year’s resolutions?
If you think about the resolutions you’ve made in the past, did you stick to them? Was success fleeting or did they fail completely?
Why are resolutions so prone to failure? Here’s an idea:
When it comes to resolutions we often think about a change that eliminates a habit or action we perceive as bad. This viewpoint puts energy on the negative. The problem is that it’s been well established that one tends to get what one puts attention on. Meaning, it’s no wonder most resolutions fail when your energy is being engaged on something negative.
Rather than focusing on things to stop doing, shift your shift your attention to the positive, what it is you want to have occur. Keeping your health goals and intentions for this year in mind, think about what you can add to your routine to help you achieve those goals.
Whether you are hoping to improve your energy, increase sleep quality, or promote overall health, the tips below can help you to accomplish them all. That’s exciting!
1) Plan ahead
Meal planning is a tool I am always using as a registered dietitian with my patients. There are a variety of ways to meal prep. I personally like to write down the meals I plan on eating a week ahead of time and create my grocery list from that. This technique helps save time and money, while also reducing food waste.
Preparing food in advance will help you feel more organized and will reduce the temptation to consume less healthy foods when you’re short on time or sleep deprived! Find what works best for you – preparing just a few lunches or dinners per week ahead of time can save money and hours in the kitchen.
Here’s my favorite meal planning notepad:
2) Increase your fiber intake
Foods high in dietary fiber can increase your metabolism, promote satiety, stabilize blood sugar levels, and assist in a healthy weight balance. Fiber plays an essential role in our diet, however most Americans do not consume nearly enough.
Plant foods contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and reduce cardiovascular risk. It is found in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, apples, bananas, and vegetables.
Insoluble fiber bulks the stool and prevents constipation. It is found in whole grains, legumes, carrots, nuts, seeds, and fruit.
Some simple ways to incorporate more fiber into your diet include swapping white rice for brown rice, adding ground flax seed to your smoothies, or adding a side salad to lunch and dinner.
When deciding to increase your fiber intake, do so slowly to prevent excess gas and bloating.
3) Make more food from scratch
Cooking from scratch is a great way to improve the quality of the food you’re consuming. When making something at home, you know exactly what is in it. Many store-bought products are high in added sugars, salt, unhealthy oils, chemicals, preservatives and fillers. Making recipes at home is not only much healthier, but it’s a cost-effective way to consume your favorite foods, all while controlling the flavor.
Prices on prepared foods are increased for convenience. For instance, store-bought salsa costs around $7. The same amount can be made at home for roughly $3.
Making your own version of store-bought food is a time saver! This Chia Seed Jam recipe can be prepared in less time than it would take you to drive to the store, shop, and drive back home.
Some other foods I prefer to prepare from scratch are salsa, pickled red onions, and granola!
4) Add more movement to your day
Daily movement has been shown to decrease the risk of many health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, overweight, osteoporosis and dementia. Incorporating movement in your routine improves overall quality of life, reduces stress, and can be a fun way to socialize. Any habit can be an opportunity to move your body; I encourage you to try a new one of these activities weekly:
- Go for a walk on your lunch break
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Balance on one foot while you brush your teeth
- Stand while watching TV
- Park a little farther away at the grocery store
- Try a new workout class like Orange Theory or Soul Cycle
Keep in mind that nobody is perfect – if you have a day where you are unable to incorporate movement, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s all about progress and an overall shift for the week.
5) Incorporate self-care and stress management
Stress is an integral part of everyday living, and while stress by itself is not always a negative experience, prolonged stress can be quite harmful to your health. There are a variety of ways to implement self-care and relieve stress including getting adequate sleep, practicing yoga, getting together with a friend, or carving some time out for yourself.
It may seem silly to set time aside for taking a bath or getting a massage when you have a million things on your to-do list, but our bodies are able to handle more of life’s stress when we take a little “me time”.
Finish off by making your list
Take a moment now that you’ve read this blog and write down just a few positive resolutions.
Any that are health related we are more than happy to help you achieve. Resolving to regain optimal health is one thing, knowing the exact steps to take to achieve that goal is another, and we have the technology to assist you.
We have an 85% success rate and are here to help you achieve your very best health for the new year.
To make it as easy as possible, we have a new membership plan that allows you to get the very best of what we can offer for a very affordable price. If you want more information contact us or give us a call at 408-733-0400.
Contact us for a Free Consultation – Call (408) 733-0400.
If you are not local to us you can still receive help; our Destination Clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally.
We help the world’s busiest people regain, retain and reclaim their health, energy and resilience.
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Rachel Mistry, Registered Dietitian