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With the holidays behind us, many people are beginning to think about their New Year’s resolutions. According to a recent survey conducted by YouGovAmerica, the most common resolutions people made in 2020 were to exercise more, improve their diets, and to lose weight.
If you’re planning to alter a few unhealthy habits of your own, here are a few tips to help you get there.
Tips for Making Nutrition Goals That Stick
Make a plan.
Don’t wait until the ball drops to choose a New Year’s resolution. By planning ahead of time, you’ll be able to think of a plan of action to help you achieve your goals and stick to them.
When making your list of resolutions, be specific. Writing “lose weight” or “get in shape” is vague and doesn’t offer much of an action plan. Instead of listing broad or overly ambitious goals, choose something realistic and concrete. For example, you may commit to eating two to three fruits and/or veggies per day.
The new year brings feelings of excitement to start anew. Creating a long list of potential resolutions, however, isn’t the best idea. While your intentions may be good, reaching for several goals instead of one or two achievable goals can be daunting and lead to failure. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), focusing on one task at a time is more likely to lead to long-term success.
Instead of going all-in on day one, take small steps to help you reach your goal. For example, if you resolve to eat healthier, you could start by swapping out a few of your favorite sweets and snacks for more nutritious options.
Find an accountability buddy.
Having a support system or group of friends striving for the same goal will help keep you motivated. It’ll also make achieving your resolution a fun and enjoyable experience.
Don’t give up!
Whenever you’re faced with a challenge, or you think you’d be better off just giving up, remind yourself why you made the resolution in the first place. Then, create a list of what you’ll gain by achieving your goal. Look at this list whenever your patience is starting to dwindle.
New Year’s Resolutions for Active Agers
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Instead of going on an elimination diet, vow to eat 1.5-2 cups of fruits and 2.5-3 cups of vegetables each day. To make things easier, consider buying pre-cut fruits and veggies. Better yet, buy frozen and blend them into a smoothie!
Limit your sugar intake.
If you’re trying to cut back on sweets, start by drinking less soda and other sweetened drinks and opt for water instead. If you’re not ready to go cold turkey, try mixing your juice with water.
Speaking of water, why not make it a resolution to drink even more of it? According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average adult should consume 11.5-15.5 cups of fluid per day.
You don’t have to go to the gym every day to reap the benefits of exercise. Walking more, opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking further away from the front door are all simple and effective ways to increase your daily movement.