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February 24, 2015
4 Easy Ways to Revive New Year’s Resolutions

4 Easy Ways to Revive New Year’s Resolutions

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

The big game celebrations are a thing of the past, and you’ve polished off the last bit of Valentine’s Day candy. With spring around the corner, now is a good time to reconsider your healthy resolutions for 2015. Here are some easy ways to breath new life into your New Year’s vows for better health.

Avoid the all-or-nothing approach for weight control.  In January, you may have resolved to lose weight by going on a low-calorie diet. Restrictive eating plans are of little use because you can’t maintain them long term, which is probably why you gave up after a couple of weeks, or a few days.  Get off the diet roller coaster once and for all. Concentrate less on dietary deprivation for weight control and more on a balanced eating plan that you can live with because it includes modest portions of the foods you love.  If you overdo it for a day or two, don’t give up for good.  Consider it a temporary lapse and get back on track as soon as possible.

Visualize success

Research suggests that picturing yourself in successful situations, such as eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, helps you to achieve your healthy goals.  But you have to do more than dream your way to success. Once you have a vision for what you’d like to do, it’s time to plan, step by step, to make it happen. For example, when it comes to fruits and vegetables, you may need to shop on a regular basis for frozen or fresh produce, wash and cut up fresh fruits and vegetables, and plan how to include produce in meals like Mediterranean Pasta and in snacks, including a Spinach-Banana Smoothie.

Don’t expect perfection

Planning for success is beneficial, but life doesn’t always go the way we want it to.  Habits such as eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis take willpower, also known as mental energy. You use a lot of willpower all day long in a variety of ways, and may have little left over for lifestyle changes. That’s why ambitious New Year’s resolutions, such as losing two pounds a week or working out every day, can quickly become overwhelming.  Recapture your earlier enthusiasm for eating better. Start by making just one healthy change to the way you eat every day, such as snacking on Greek yogurt and fruit instead of cookies or chips.  A single lifestyle change may not seem like much, but it requires less willpower than several changes all at once and helps you to start thinking about other positive moves.   

Involve your partner

Support for a more nutritious eating plan and regular exercise can go a long way to achieving your goals.  A recent study found that trying to develop healthier habits with your spouse or partner significantly increases your chances of success. For example, 36% of women in the study successfully lost weight if their partners joined them in their weight loss plan, while just 15% of women without a supportive partner lost weight. 


Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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