Healthy New Year: 10 Reasonable Resolutions

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, January 1, 2010

Weight Loss Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions sometimes seem like they’re made to be broken. Folks usually bite off more than they can chew (“I’m going to lose 20 pounds by February!”). Forget about the “all-or-nothing” and “cold turkey” approaches — how about some resolutions that are simple enough that you can actually stick to them?

Here are 10 ideas to help get you started.

1) Slow and steady weight loss
Crash diets and dropping pounds too quickly won’t work for the long haul (nevermind that it can be downright dangerous). Make a commitment to eat 500 calories less per day (that might be as easy as cutting out two cans of regular soda) and this can help you lose about one pound per week.

2) Plan of attack
Take 10 minutes on your shopping day to plan meals for the week ahead. Simply deciding what you’ll prepare will help keep you focused and avoid last-minute runs to the drive-thru. If you have some extra time, prep things such as grilled chicken, brown rice, soup, pizza toppings or tomato sauce ahead of time to help take the load off on weeknights.

3) Shop smart
Always use a shopping list and never go grocery shopping hungry. This will help you stay on track and avoid impulse junk food purchases.

4) Become more of a locavore
Save calories each day by replacing high-calorie snacks (i.e. cookies and chips) with fresh fruits and veggies. Taking advantage of seasonal produce will help keep things interesting throughout the year and will help you do something good for Mother Nature. For info on what’s in season where you live, visit Field to Plate.

5) Track your progress
Keep a food diary for a few weeks to help get you started — it may shed some light on your diet pitfalls. You can use an online tool, an iPhone app or just good old pen and paper to jot down everything you eat and drink. Paying attention to what you’re taking in can help you make smarter choices.

6) “Weight” it out
Your weight can fluctuate up and down one to two pounds a day (or more) due to fluid changes, making that number on the scale jump around. Save yourself the frustration and weigh in once a week– use the same scale at the same time of day for the most accurate results.

7) Don’t forget dessert
Instead of giving up all sweets (or other high-calorie vices), give yourself the green light to indulge on occasion — once a week perhaps? Attempting to banish favorite foods from your diet almost always backfires and makes you feel too guilty when you do give in.

8 ) Take the guesswork out of takeout
There’s nothing wrong with takeout a few times a month, but a few calorie-heavy meals each week can stunt weight loss. Use our dining out guides to make the smartest choices at your favorite restaurants.

9) Make exercise fit
Exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand. Instead of promising you’ll make it to the gym seven days a week, be more realistic — shoot for two or three and work your way up. Overdoing exercise can lead to injury and that will really throw a wrench in your quest to be more fit.

10) Make a deal
Strike up a friendly wager with a loved one or just yourself. Write out a contract and hang it on the fridge to keep you motivated towards your goals.

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Comments (13)

  1. Jim says:

    Kickstart Your Health in 2010!

    Based on research by Neal Barnard, M.D., one of America’s leading health advocates, this TOTALLY FREE program is designed for anyone who wants to explore and experience the health benefits of a vegan diet.

  2. Elyse says:

    Do you think this would be a good program for any teens? Is it easy to follow and not back out?

  3. Monamona says:

    Item No. 8 really hits home. Professional opinion helps in choosing wholesome food as many of the prcatices we carry on everyday are based on assumptions. Slow and steady weight loss may take time but it has been proved effective and more healthy than quick, aggressive reduction that may bring along side effects.

  4. Kim says:

    #8 is the biggie for me- we got into a habit of having Friday pizza night last year and it ended up being more of a psychological thing than anything else. Everyone looked forward to it, but I don't know that it was really the pizza so much as celebrating the end of the work week and having family together time, taking in a movie together, etc. Really want to find something new to fill that niche this year that satisfies without totally junking our systems. I read the post on pizza with great interest- part of the point of Friday pizza night is taking a break of preparation and cleanup, but if we made some pizzas ahead of time, maybe…

  5. Thanks for some great tips. #2 is something I need to do – planning meals makes for more "mindful" eating! As I've aged, (I'm 52) I've noticed a healthy weight is harder for me to maintain, and my middle needs to be whittled. Another thing I need to do is drink less soda and more water.

  6. Kanwal Ullah says:

    These are some really awesome tips! Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Kathi says:

    These are great tips which is a bit surprising for one of these articles. Usually….just a lot of fluff and no content. I appreciate the simple suggestions. Thanks…

  8. Great common sense approach to healthy living. I am passing this on to all of my personal training clients.

  9. reham says:

    thanks alo
    but iIam doing all this and I am not losing any weight and all my goal now is to losing 10 ponds( and anothr ten as second step)

  10. Foxylady says:

    Hi i really like Barefoot Contessa menus, but I would even more like to see some of the chef take on menus that are for diabeties who have a hard time finding foods that they can enjoy and not over prices. I am a west indian woman who loves food from the carribean, italian, greek foods, so onces again someone take up the challenge for me. Bobby Fray is also great by the way!!!!

    thanks Foxylady

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