Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop drinking/smoking or join a gym. While it’s common to set high goals, in fact setting smaller, more manageable goals could do more for our health.
Smaller steps are more achievable, and are easier to fit into your daily routine. They’re a lot less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.
So what can you do to improve your health and achieve your goals?
Here are 10 ideas:
1. Weighing yourself regularly will help you keep a close eye on your bodyweight. Depending on your goal, you may want it to decrease, stay the same, or increase. If you only jump on the scale once in a blue moon, you may find you haven’t been going in the right direction all that time.
2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer (or a fitness watch/ your phone’s health app) 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’re taking at least 10,000 steps on most days.
3. Eat breakfast. Those who eat breakfast tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. Check out my Instagram for some filing and varied breakfast ideas!
4. Switch three grain servings each day to whole grain. On average, we eat less than one whole grain serving per day!
5. Get your vegetables in! Adding vegetables to your meals will help to fill you up so you eat less during the meal, but will also add crucial vitamins and minerals to your diet, making you healthier on the inside too
6. Trim the fat. Fat has more than double the calories of protein or carbs, and calories count. Choose lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses, use a nonstick pan with only a dab of oil or butter. (We need healthy fats in our diets to help regulate our hormones, so make sure you’re getting enough without overdoing it!)
7. Consider calcium by including two or three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight.
8. Downsize. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat.
9. If you’re setting yourself a weight loss target, aim to lose just 5 to 10% of your current weight. The health benefits are huge - lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides
10. Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for opportunities for improvement. Often, just writing things down can help you make better choices.
Need guidance to build these positive habits into your lifestyle?