The start of a new year is an exciting time to set new goals and form healthy habits! As a registered dietitian, I work with many clients and readers who set out to make better diet changes. With January coming to a close, however, the excitement starts to dwindle. In fact, studies suggest that nearly 80% of people who make healthy resolutions have already broken them by February.
Why is it so hard for people to keep resolutions past January? In my practice, I see many people make resolutions that are completely new habits, making them much harder to achieve and follow through with. My number one tip for creating long-lasting healthy habits is to create them from something you already enjoy and is realistic for your lifestyle.
Here are my top tangible goals for a healthy 2021:
1. Cut back on sugar while still satisfying your cravings: Many of my clients make resolutions to “eat healthier” which is vague and thus harder to follow. One specific goal can be to cut back on added sugar. An easy way to do that is to look for sugar-free products, such as Russell Stover Sugar Free chocolates. These are made with stevia extract so you can enjoy dessert with all the taste and none of the sugar.
2. Incorporate fiber and protein at meal and snack time: Adding more of each will help you stay satisfied and energized throughout the day. The combination of protein and fiber is the most satisfying for the least amount of calories. The best part is that when you do this, you will naturally stay satiated and won’t need to count calories if weight loss is your objective. This rule of thumb has helped many of my clients lose weight and keep it off.
3. Take care of your mental health: Coming off of a year that was difficult for everyone, mental health is a bigger priority than it has ever been. Healthy minds lead to healthy bodies. A few good ways to give yourself a mental break include journaling, meditation or even taking a short walk.
4. Find exercise that you enjoy: Doing any type of movement is better than none. Instead of following fad exercises, find one that you enjoy and is sustainable for your healthy lifestyle. It can be as simple as sticking to a long walk each day or following a fitness program that keeps things fun and interesting.
5. Eat better without sacrificing taste: Many people think that healthy equals less tasty, and that does not have to be the case. When it comes to cooking, get creative with spices and herbs to add flavor for nearly zero calories. Look for healthy alternatives that put equal emphasis on the taste and the ingredients. Russell Stover Sugar Free chocolates are a great example because they use stevia extract. You can enjoy a sugar-free treat that doesn’t taste like you’re sacrificing anything.
What simple and attainable healthy resolution have you set for the new year? Let me know on Instagram!
This blog post is sponsored by Russell Stover. All opinions are my own.