Happy New Year!
It’s a New Year- are you one of the millions to make a New Year’s Resolution?
Two of the most common resolutions for Americans are:
- to eat better and
- to be more active
As stated, these are general goals and as such you may have difficulty achieving them.
If you choose either one, here are a few tips to help you achieve your New Year’s resolution:
- Make a specific goal
- The goal should be a positive one
- It should be measurable
- Keep track of your progress
- Be patient with yourself, changes in behavior take time for them to be long lasting
Let’s take a look at some resolutions for those who want to eat better.
A specific goal could be any of the following:
- to increase your daily water intake with a goal of 64 ounces per day
- drinking seltzer water flavored with a spritz of fruit juice in place of 1 can of regular soda each day
- eating 2 pieces of fresh fruit per day
- including 1 meatless lunch and/or dinner per week
- adding a serving of fresh vegetables at your daily lunch
- limiting take-out meals at lunch and dinner to 1X/week
- engaging in meal planning for the week and developing a shopping list
- trying one new healthy recipe a week
- achieving 1 pound of weight loss in a week
- if you are trying to reduce your coffee intake, have decaf or decaf tea in place of coffee
- using milk in your coffee in place of cream
- eating a healthy breakfast every morning
- reducing red meat/processed meat intake to 2 meals per week
It will take some effort and planning in order for you to change your behavior. For example, if you don’t have fruit in the refrigerator, you will not have the opportunity to eat it.
Planning can include:
- cutting up fresh vegetables earlier in the week and packaging them in individual servings for each day
- measuring out 64 ounces of water each morning and see what is left at the end of the day.
- Choosing a weight loss plan under the guidance of a Registered Dietitian
- Using half cream and milk in coffee and continue to decrease cream and add more milk
- In terms of keeping track of your efforts you can use your smartphone or a small notebook. Keeping track helps to keep you accountable and allows you to see your progress.
Last but not least, be patient. Work on small changes that are not overwhelming and are achievable. This will help to build a can-do attitude and you will be successful in achieving your New Year’s Resolution long term.
Although diet will not normalize cholesterol levels in individuals with FH, eating healthier will help to lower your risk for other conditions like diabetes and certain cancers.
For additional nutrition information visit https://familyheart.org/eating-healthy
Mary Card, MBA, RD
Sr. Clinical Associate
The Family Heart Foundation