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Friday, January 13, 2017

Realistic Nutrition Resolutions

Losing weight is by far and away the most common New Year’s resolution.  However, it is also the most commonly broken resolution as well.  Why all the failure?  Unrealistic expectations.  

Losing 20 pounds may sound good to you, but it may not be realistic and can even cause more harm than good if it sends you down the roller coaster of weight cycling.  Instead, here are some realistic, maintainable goals that will give you more life-long health. 

Step away from the scale.  Your body may not be on board with the arbitrary number of pounds you want to lose.  If you really want a numerically based resolution, resolve to learn your own numbers.
  • Get your blood pressure checked.
  • Have a blood panel done to check levels like cholesterol, triglycerides, etc.
  • Check your resting heart rate.
  • Calculate your waist to hip ratio (men .95 or less, women .8 or less)
  • Count how many pushups, sit-ups or burpees you can do.

In other words, shift your focus from weight to actual health.

Small and steady wins the health race.  Simple changes over a long period of time can really make a big difference when it comes to your life-long health. 
  • Swap one eat-out lunch for a brown-bag lunch once each week.  (Not only saves 5,000-10,000 calories over a year’s time, but also saves $200-$400 annually)
  • Swap out one can of soda a day for a bottle of water.
  • Always take the stairs.
  • On the weekend, wash and bag up your produce in convenient single serving bags you can easily grab on the way out the door.

Choose a few small health changes and then let your body enjoy the improvements in health.  It may not show up on the scale, but it will make a difference somehow – possibly reflected in lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, etc.

Avoid subtraction and add in the positive. 
  • Instead of giving up chips or snack foods, add in a handful of nuts for your nightly salt-crave.
  • Instead of giving up all fast food, add a crockpot night to your weekly routine or write 5 dinner ideas down for the week.
  • Instead of giving up all sugar or junk food, aim to eat a bunch of bananas each week, or start the habit of going through a bag of salad each week. 
  • Instead of eliminating all TV time, add in a walk around the block.

The small, healthful habits will gently nudge the less-healthy ones out of prominence.  Avoiding deprivation is key to maintaining change and the smooth transition will be so much easier to live with the rest of your life. 

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