TOP FIVE WAYS TO MAKE HEALTHY CHANGES
By Emilia Sochovka MS, RDN, CPT
Now that the New Year is here, many of us want a fresh start for our health habits. We may want to change what we eat, how we move our bodies or other lifestyle behaviors. While the pursuit of self-improvement is overall a positive thing, many go awry during the goal-setting process, eventually leading to a sense of failure. Embrace Wellness is here to help you reach your health goals. Consider these steps for making healthy changes that you will stick to all year.
- Silence the noise. The diet industry promotes cleanses, detoxes and programs that call for extreme behavior changes such as eliminating entire food groups. Instead, stick to the basics – eat more nutritious whole foods, hydrate and be physically active.
- Be specific. If your goal is to lose weight, think about the specific behaviors that will help you work towards that overall goal. While there is no one weight loss method for everyone, start by eating more whole plant foods and being physically active in ways that are enjoyable. Zero in on practices you want to include, rather than exclude. Instead of a goal to eat less food, consider eating more healthfully prepared veggies, a strategy that supports weight management.
- Avoid a 0-to-100 approach. A common downfall of New Year’s resolutions is that they are not realistic. It’s not reasonable to expect that you can flip a switch and consistently practice a demanding new health behavior. Start with small goals and build on them over time. If a goal is not sustainable, change it. Check in with your goals regularly to make sure they are evolving along with you and setting you up for success.
- Make the habit enjoyable. Health habits can be tough to practice if we don’t experience the satisfaction of a short-term reward. Find some pleasure in the habit, perhaps by focusing on the feeling you have afterwards. Other ideas include incorporating a reward that is not food- or drink-related. Save your favorite podcast to listen to while cooking, call a friend while on a walk or take a warm bath post-workout.
- Consider accountability. There are many ways to stick to health goals, starting with writing them down. To stay accountable to an exercise goal, add workouts to your calendar like any other commitment. Fin a workout buddy by joining in-person or virtual group fitness classes. Try various exercise disciplines so workouts never get boring.
As the New Year begins, remind yourself that healthy changes come from within. Decide what works best for you and make your journey your own.
Learn more at gpembrace.com.