4 Smart New Year’s Resolutions for Better Nutrition
When the new year arrives, just about everyone follows the same tradition: setting goals, or making New Year’s resolutions, for the next 12 months. Unfortunately, those resolutions rarely last past January. 80 percent of all New Year’s resolutions fail by February!
It’s tough to stick to your resolutions, especially when life gets in the way. But if you’re hoping to keep your goals in mind and build new habits, failure isn’t your only option. If you choose the right resolutions, you can see success.
What makes a good resolution and what makes a bad resolution? You need to focus on building good habits – and set attainable goals. While making the resolution to lose weight sounds great, how will you actually achieve that?
The key is to make your resolutions smart and small. Check out these four New Year’s resolutions, all of which will help you make small, achievable changes to your everyday routine. And you’ll find yourself improving your nutrition along the way!
1. Eat More Mindfully
If you’re hoping to lose weight in the new year, you’re likely thinking about making resolutions that focus on what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. Unfortunately, those kinds of resolutions can make you feel restricted, which can lead to failure.
Instead, focus on what you’re doing when you eat – and make your resolution from there. Too often, we find ourselves snacking while we browse the internet on our smartphones, lounge on the couch in front of the TV, and focus on distractions rather than what we’re eating.
This year, make your New Year’s resolution “I resolve to eat more mindfully.” What makes this a better goal? According to registered dietitian Sara Patton, mindful or intuitive eating helps you get more in tune with what your body actually needs. Eating mindfully can help you better recognize when you’re full and when you’re hungry, cutting down on mindless eating and snacking.
2. Choose Better Snacks
Sometimes, the problem with your diet isn’t what you eat during meals – it’s what you’re eating when you snack. Snacking is more popular than ever. A recent research study found that Americans consume 25 percent of their daily calories from snacking. Even more concerning? The same study found that our snacks are so big, they’ve turned into full-blown meals.
That’s why it’s a good idea to focus your New Year’s resolution on snacks rather than overhauling your entire diet. If you can corral your snacking, or choose better snacks, you can have some impressive success.
Make it your resolution to choose smarter, healthier snacks over the next year. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips or munching on sweet treats in your office, keep healthier options on hand. Nuts, dried fruits (make sure to check the nutritional information), and fruits or vegetables can all make a huge difference if you start snacking differently.
3. Bring Your Lunch to Work
When you’re working hard all day long at your job, it’s easy to turn lunchtime into treat time. Eating out gives you an opportunity to get away from your desk and indulge. But for many of us, those lunches out are calorie-heavy affairs that aren’t exactly nutritious. Or, even worse, you might try to eat healthy at lunch – but then wind up choosing your food from a vending machine.
The best way to work more nutritious, healthy meals into your diet is to prepare them ahead of time and bring them with you. A great New Year’s resolution for this would be “I resolve to pack my lunch and bring it to work.” That way, you can control what you’re eating and stick to healthier habits.
Worried you won’t be able to pack your lunch every day? You can make your resolution more specific: “I resolve to bring lunch to work two days a week.” And you can adjust – or increase – that number as you see success throughout the year.
4. Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Tasty Treats
Instead of giving things up in the new year, why not resolve to change your mindset and treat yourself more kindly? Often, our food-related goals focus on restricting what we eat or cutting out certain foods. But this year, you can still achieve nutritional or dietary success without feeling bad about your choices.
Make your resolution a positive thing by resolving to stop beating yourself up when you eat tasty treats. Instead of internally lecturing yourself for eating a donut, make it your goal to enjoy the treat. Then you can choose something healthier for your next snack or meal.
If you stop punishing yourself for your not-so-great food choices, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding in making changes. Removing the feeling of being restricted or “banned” from certain items will make it much easier to indulge when you need to and eat healthy the rest of the time.
Set Your New Year’s Resolutions – And Yourself – Up for Success
If you’re hoping this year will be the year you make your New Year’s resolutions stick, it can be. You just have to choose your resolutions a little more carefully. Instead of setting grand goals that might not be easily achievable, aim for smaller goals that you can make progress on.
With progress and steps in the right direction, you’ll be able to accomplish your bigger goals or resolutions. Make changes in small areas, like the snacks you eat and the way you eat a meal, and you can overhaul your nutrition successfully.