Happy New Year! The year 2016 is now a thing of the past, which, according to my Facebook feed, is music to the ears of many. I get the sense that a good number of us are hoping for more positivity and kindness in this new year. I’ve been thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if we able to apply that same positivity and kindness to ourselves and our own goals?
When it comes to striving for a “healthier diet,” there is a tendency to focus on all the things we should be eliminating from our daily intake…soda, chocolate, salty snacks, red meat, wine, have I mentioned your favorite vice yet? “If I could just stop the chocolate binge when I get stressed!” It makes our favorite things have such a negative connotation. The chocolate should something to enjoy and appreciate occasionally, not something that immediately draws guilt when you think of it.
So, how do we stay positive in our quest to eat healthy/lose weight/lower cholesterol/fit into an old pair of jeans? I’m glad you asked. I encourage my clients, and you, to set goals in a positive tone. What do you think would make a nutritious diet for you? Hopefully vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats like nuts and seeds, and/or lean proteins cross your mind. Set goals that work towards including those in your day. Focus on what you can and should be eating. For example, a goal to eat 3 servings of fruit a day will likely encourage you to consider a piece of fruit when you are looking for a snack, instead of that cookie. Including a lean protein source at every meal may just help fill you up enough so that you don’t need all that white bread after all. Trying to drink a certain amount of water each day could automatically decrease your coffee or diet soda intake. The whole time you are just striving to fit in more nutritious food that ideally leaves you satisfied enough that the other “unhealthy” foods are no longer staples in your diet.
Let’s not forget about the kindness that we talked about too. I think if we want the world to be a kinder place, we’ve got to be kind to ourselves as well. If you set some New Year’s resolutions but so far it hasn’t gone well, don’t beat yourself up about it. Maybe you didn’t set realistic goals, or ones that were specific enough. Rewrite them and try again. Or, if you are tired of making weight loss resolutions that don’t work for you, then stop, don’t do it this year. Set a goal that involves taking care of yourself and making yourself happy. That can do wonders for your health as well.
If you are interested in learning more about how to make positive changes to your diet, or adding in some physical activity to promote a healthier lifestyle and support weight loss, and you’d like to do it with others in a supportive atmosphere, you may want to check out our upcoming Eat, Move, Lose group weight loss class. We have an informational session coming up on Tuesday, January 17 at 7pm. More details about the info session and the class itself are available here.
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2017!