Making Healthy Resolutions for 2020

Every January, many of us make resolutions to eat more healthfully and lose weight, but most of us lose steam along the way. If you find yourself having trouble keeping your resolutions or meeting your health goals, create a manageable plan that can lead you to success in 2020!

  • Do an assessment of your personal food choices and lifestyle patterns.

Keep track of what you eat and drink for a week and how much physical activity you get so you can then identify behaviors and habits you would like to improve through changes.

  • Break big goals into smaller, more specific and measurable goals.

. One large goal may seem overwhelming. Create a list of realistic changes in your daily routine to achieve smaller, specific goals. For instance, divide up a large goal such as, "I will eat healthier every day" into goals like, "I will eat one more serving of vegetables and one more piece of fruit per day." Keep in mind that while your goals should be challenging, they should also be achievable, so start small.

  • Make sure the goals you set are truly measurable.

The smaller goals must answer questions such as, "How much?" or "How many?" or “How often?” so you can then review and track your progress.  Evaluate your progress every week,  and, if necessary, update your plan based upon your current progress. Make sure to allow enough time to achieve each small goal so you are not discouraged. Here are a few tips for a healthier diet and lifestyle in 2020:

  • Don't skip breakfast, as this may give you the munchies later on and slow your metabolism down.  Start the day with an easy breakfast of yogurt and fruit or whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.
  • Don't skip any meals or snacks, and try not to let more than five hours go by without eating. Waiting too long may drain your energy, and lead to overeating later. Eat a healthy snack between lunch and dinner, so you will be less likely to grab snack foods once you get home from work.
  • Aim for a total of 30 minutes of physical activity every day. It doesn't have to be all at once.  Regular activity helps you to lose some weight, improve your cardiovascular system and sleep better.
  • Drink fewer sodas and other sweetened drinks, such as iced tea. A large bottle of a juice-based drink can contain 300 calories. Drink water instead. Or mix juice and water, so you're not drinking a beverage heavily loaded with sugar.
  • Keep frozen veggies in the refrigerator. They are easy, quick and nutritious.  Take them to work for a quick lunch you can heat in the microwave. Season with black pepper, herbs, lemon juice or a red wine and balsamic vinegar dressing.
  • Fix pasta dishes with veggies and lean protein (like canned shrimp, tuna canned in water, precooked chicken breast or soy crumbles). Adding protein and veggies to pasta allows you to cut back on the amount of pasta (which is high in carbohydrates) while still feeling full.
  • Look up some new healthy recipes to try out in 2020.  A few websites to consider are:  https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/recipes  ,   https://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplatekitchen       https://fruitsandveggies.org/recipes/