Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions
This year, rather than making the same resolution to be healthy or lose weight, why not set some more specific, actionable, and measurable goals. Something you can monitor and keep track of. Here are my top 5 suggestions.
#1 Cook More Food At Home
Eating meals you prepare or assemble at home can help keep food costs down, reduce portions and increase whole food consumption. Research shows people who eat more home cooked meals are 28% less likely to be overweight. They also consume more fruit and vegetables and fewer processed foods which can help reduce the risk for disease such as heart disease and diabetes.
- Identify how many meals you eat out or order in
- Choose a meal you often tend to eat out and replace it with something from home.
- Replace the muffin and latte with peanut butter toast and coffee at home.
- Skip the burger and fries at lunch and opt for leftovers from dinner or a chicken sandwich with a side of grapes
- Plan dinners ahead and grocery shop so you have the food at home. You will be less likely to order take-out.
#2 Go Grocery Shopping Regularly
Not daily. Regularly. Set a day of the week and try to make it a habit. Regular grocery shopping using a list can help save money. Use coupons and check the flyer when planning your meals.
- Plan what you will cook the day or hour before you shop and write a grocery list. Add foods for snacks and breakfasts. Plan to cook once and eat twice so you have leftovers for lunches or a second dinner.
- Write a master list of all the dinners you like to cook. Keep it on hand when planning your weekly menu to help with brainstorming ideas.
- Order groceries online if you are short of time and get them delivered
- Stick to your list and avoid shopping when you are hungry to help keep the unhealthy stuff at the store and not in your home. By creating a supportive environment with healthy foods easily accessible and less healthy foods more difficult to get you will be more successful at reaching your goals.
#3 Find Exercise You Enjoy
Regular exercise in any form can help improve mood, reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help maintain a healthy bodyweight.
- Try to sit less and move more. Even if it is just to stand up and stretch. Set mini benchmarks such as counting steps or walking 15 minutes at lunch.
- Exercise with a friend or spouse
- Set a time in your schedule that is dedicated to exercise. 15 minutes 3 times is better than none!
- Get out in nature on the weekend.
#4 Always Include A Fruit Or Vegetable In Your Meal.
We can all stand to include more fruits and vegetables in our diet. Fruits and vegetables give you fibre, fluid, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you just can’t get from a supplement. They are also low in calories and help fill you up.
- Toss some berries on your cereal or French toast at breakfast.
- Have an orange, pear or apple with your snack.
- Aim to include at least one green and one orange vegetable each day.
- Try butternut squash soup for lunch and roast Brussels sprouts for dinner.
#5 Eat One Vegetarian Dinner Each Week.
Eating more beans, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, seeds and tofu is a healthy and inexpensive way to get more protein, fibre and unsaturated fats.
- Use chickpeas instead of chicken in a curry
- Toss lentils into tomato sauce for spaghetti
- Add tofu as the protein in stir fry
- Use hummus in place of deli meat in your sandwich
- Add nuts and seeds to your salad instead of cheese
When choosing your resolution, select something you truly want. If it is important to you and you understand why you are making the effort to change you are much more likely to be successful.