Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the local gym. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health.
“Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.”
Here are 10 to try:
1. Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra lbs. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly.
2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, try overnight oats, fresh fruit parfait, or even yogurt with fruit are some great ideas.
4. Switch three grain servings each day to whole grain. Always opt for whole-grains which are nutrient rich and keep you fuller longer.
5. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits. If you are following the Ayurvedic approach to eating, ensure that your salad is filled with cooked vegetables.
6. Trim the fat. Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, and use a nonstick pan with only a dab of oil or butter.
7. Consider calcium by including two or three daily servings of full-fat milk or yogurt. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight. Full-fat dairy products will not negatively affect your cholesterol or lead to weight gain when consumed in moderation.
8. Downsize. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat. It comes down to portion control.
9. Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. The health benefits are huge-lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
10. Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less.
Need a place to get started? Why not download my free meal plan here which is packed with healthy recipes and snack ideas.
Comment below on the changes you are wanting to make to improve your health.
Health and happiness,