In my previous blog article I wrote about why I don't think you should make new year resolutions and what I think you should do instead. Today's article is kind of a follow-up on that, and today I want to focus on the resolutions many people make when it comes to improving their health, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the neighborhood health club.
While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health. James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, says (and I quote):
"Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into
your daily routine. They are less overwhelming than
a big, sudden change."
Here are 10 small steps I suggest that you try:
Step # 1: Keep an eye on your weight
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I don't mean that you should get obsessive about what you weigh - quite the contrary, actually, because the scale might lie or not give the full picture. It's really your measures that are most important. But still: Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra pounds / kilos. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly. That being said: When you're trying to lose weight and you might have taken up exercise and you're starting to build muscles, be aware that your muscles add weight, too, so that's why I'm saying the scales might lie.
Step # 2: Walk more / add more steps
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.
Step #3: Eat breakfast.
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Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall.
For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, eat whole grains, for example oatmeal, with fresh fruit slices and low-fat or fat-free milk. A little bit of yoghurt is also a good option, preferably fat- and sugar free ones like Greek yoghurt.
Step # 4: Go nuts!
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Nuts are good for you. They are a great source of necessary nutrients such as protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Some nuts you could eat are walnuts, hazelnuts, pecan, pistachios, almonds and peanuts, A handfull a day, or as little as 7 walnuts, are enough. Add some berries or fruit, and you have a delicious and easy snack meal.
Step # 5. Have at least one salad per day
Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.
Step # 6: Cut down on the fat
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Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses, use a nonstick pan with only a little bit of oil or butter.
Step # 7: Consider calcium
by including two or three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Dairy calcium is good for your bones and may also help you lose weight.
Step # 8: Downsize
The smaller the plate or bowl, the less you will eat. This can keep you from over-eating.
Step # 9: Keep track of your eating.
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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.
The last step is something to consider only if you are over-weight - otherwise you can skip this:
Step #10: Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight.
The health benefits are huge: lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Overall - and this could be an additional important step:
Move your body more!
A great way to make sure you do that, is to try my FREE 12 Days of More Activity Challenge and also get my FREE downloadable Year of Activity Calendar for 2022.
I hope you found this article useful.
If losing weight is something you want to do, but you don't really know how to go about it in a healthy way, I have written an article about just that: How You Can Lose Weight The Healthy Way
I have also written other articles about health and nutrition, and a good follow-up on this article that you've read here, is the one that I've called How To Put Together A Meal Plan And Eat Your Stress Away, - and if you want to learn how to get lean and strong like a French woman without even breaking a sweat, you can read more about that here.
I would be happy if you would follow my blog, and also share this article with someone you think might find it useful.
See you soon - or as the French say it: