By Juliana Jacobs, MS RD CDN
With 2016 upon us, it’s time to kick those resolutions and positive goals into high gear. A common resolution we all hear from our friends and family is the desire to become healthy and more active in the New Year. We all know how this one goes. The first week or so goes well with a strong dedication to eating well and working out. However, a few weeks into January, it is easy to lose steam and fall off the “lose 10 lbs by February” wagon.
That is why it is important to set realistic goals and expectations for the New Year and create an entire lifestyle change for you and your family. Don’t feel you need to change overnight- you have a whole year to meet your goals!
Here are some tips for creating a healthier and more well-balanced lifestyle in 2016:
Get active and enjoy it! : We all know how hard it is to make the transition from rarely exercising to hitting the gym full force after the New Year. This all-or-nothing mentality is a sure way to lose motivation. Try an activity that you actually enjoy doing! It doesn’t even have to be at the gym. Try something new like a tennis lesson or daily power walk. This way, exercise will seem fun instead of like a chore.
Start cooking more: Home-cooked meals are the healthiest and most well-balanced for your family. As opposed to a meal prepared at a restaurant, you are in control of the ingredients you use when cooking in your own kitchen. For instance, restaurant chefs use high quantities of butter, salt and other caloric ingredients when preparing your meal. Start the year off on the right track by making the effort to cook more meals at home for you and your family and include the appropriate portions of proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates. Cooking at home a bit more frequently will make a significant difference in how you look and feel!
Plan Ahead: Snacking is not a bad habit! However, it is important to always be prepared with the right kinds of healthy snacks to keep you full and satisfied in between meals. Portion out single servings of healthy snacks such as nuts, protein bars, soy chips, and fruit in order to prevent overeating at the next meal.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep! : It seems unrealistic to get the suggested 8 hours of sleep per night. However, getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night is crucial to maintaining a healthy and balanced body and mind. Despite your hectic schedules, make an effort to have a regular sleep cycle. You will feel much better!
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2016!