Nutrition Nook: Your New Year’s resolutions

When thinking about your new year’s resolutions, a few things typically come to mind – like how you are going to change your lifestyle, exercise regularly and stay on plan with healthy eating. While the average holiday weight gain is only about one to two pounds during October through the New Year, one study showed overweight people gain about five pounds. The biggest problem is that people don’t usually lose this excess weight.

This year, set yourself up for success and avoid feelings of failure.

  1. Write your vision.
    You need a clear idea of what you want to accomplish overall.
  2. Break it into small, manageable steps.
    Taking small steps makes the work more manageable. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to eat better”, your goal could be something like “I will make time for breakfast, lunch and dinner”. Or, if you want to increase activity, say “I will get up from my desk every 30 minutes”. Perhaps it would help to set short term and long term goals too. For example, short term goals are something you can accomplish in 1 month, and long term goals within 6 months.
  3. Be realistic with yourself.
    Don’t assume changing habits, eating healthy or losing 50 pounds will happen by next week. If you have spent most of your life practicing unhealthy habits, you will need plenty of time to adjust and this time frame can be different for each person.
  4. Find healthy alternatives.
    Do you struggle with late night snacking? Do you know that if you go out to eat with friends or family you’ll be tempted with bread, dessert or other foods that are not the best? Do you not plan adequate activity in your day? Then formulate a plan!
    If you have problems with snacking at night, try these to signal to your brain that food is off limits: turn off the kitchen light, brush your teeth, or work on a craft/hobby.
    Before going out to eat, look ahead at the menu and nutrition information. Chain restaurants are required to have it available, so it is easy to access. Then, plan out what entrée and side you will have (or share). Be the first one to order, so its less likely you’ll change your mind when your friends have ordered.
  5. Step up your activity.
    Finally, if you lack adequate activity, evaluate your day and see what places you can “step it up”. For example, if you have a desk job, plan to get up and walk to the water cooler or copier every hour. Walk for 10 minutes at your lunch break. If you tend to sit on the couch and watch TV once you’re home, march in place or use hand held weights at every commercial break. Every chance you get, do something to move!

Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are struggling. Our Metabolic and Bariatric Center is here for you!

Learn more and find support with Erlanger’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Center.