New Year, New Healthy Goals
It’s that time of year when people are inclined to push the reset button and begin anew. I love the feeling of reflecting on the past year – with a focus on my accomplishments and looking ahead for 2019 with a renewed sense of purpose and taking some time to set goals for myself.
When I look back on 2018, I am extremely proud of the fact that I completed my Cancer Risk Reduction Guide. That was a major accomplishment that was years in the making. I’m proud that I stuck with it and created something that I think has the potential to really help people to make better choices with their health and nutrition and have a real impact on their lives.
For 2019, I look forward to the release of my latest book – The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide and providing the first dietitian-authored book on nutrition to help people with lymphedema. I’ve also set a goal to blog every month and to create a new program to directly help people who want to make changes to protect themselves from cancer and be as healthy as they can be.
I also want to renew my goal to be as healthy as I can be. I’ve signed up for some personal training and joined a new gym that is a better location for me. If you also have a goal to improve your health and fitness, then I’ve got 10 ideas to get the ball rolling, here are my…
Top 10 Nutrition and Fitness Tips
My suggestion would be to start with the easiest item on this list and focus on that. When that becomes habit, choose the next item to focus on. By doing this, you are creating new habits that can last you throughout the year…and beyond.
1. Eat Mindfully.
So many of us were raised to ‘finish everything on your plate’. Unfortunately, what this did was make us eat according to our eyes and not according to our stomachs. Ideally, you want to stop eating when you are satisfied, or when the hunger is gone, and not eat until you are full – or until the plate is empty. Help yourself to do this by serving yourself a smaller portion, eating more slowly and checking in with yourself throughout the meal to ask ‘am I still hungry?’
2. Manage Your Hunger.
Don’t let yourself become too hunger. If you describe your hunger level by saying ‘I’m starving’, then you’ve let things go too far. Being this hungry will lead to overeating and impulse eating.
3. Shop Regularly.
If you want to eat healthy, you need to have healthy foods on hand to make that goal as easy as possible. This also avoids those last minute trips to the grocery store when you’re over-hungry and end up giving in to unhealthy impulse purchases.
4. Allow Indulgences.
Your eating doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be better than what it was to achieve results. So, if you are currently giving yourself 14 treats a week, then scale it down to 10, then 8 then 5 etc. until you get to a number that allows you to get the results you are after. When you become more discriminating about how you ‘spend’ these indulgences you choose the treats that you enjoy the most and avoid the ones that just happen to be available that you don’t really enjoy.
5. Ask Yourself What is Triggering My Craving?
I believe that a craving is your body’s way of talking to you. What is it saying? Are you bored, tired, stressed? If so, treat the underlying trigger with what your body really needs and don’t treat your craving with unhealthy food that will only make you feel worse afterwards.
6. Be Active Throughout the Day.
While a good workout in the morning is a great way to start your day, the benefits don’t carry you through a fully sedentary day. Make an effort to get up every hour.
7. Schedule Activity in Your Week.
Use your calendar or scheduler to make appointments for yourself to do a workout, swim or exercise class. If you are just waiting for time to appear when you can workout, then it’s likely that won’t happen
8. Exercise on More Days than You Don’t.
There are 7 days in the week, that means, you should be active for 4 of them at least. Don’t wait until Thursday to start either. Try to get at least 2 workouts in by Wednesday.
9. Make Exercise Fun.
I think the time in my life when I was most active was when I played on a hockey team, was in a running group and had a run partner. I felt like being active wasn’t just exercise for the sake of exercising, it was my social life too. If you are choosing a person to be your exercise partner, make sure to choose someone that will support you and not hold you back.
10. Try Something New.
You never know if your next favourite activity is out there waiting to be discovered. Want to try a martial art? Join a hiking club? Learn to salsa? You don’t have to do the same-old, same-old. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
11. Bonus Tip – Get A Coach.
I mentioned off the top, that I have signed up for some personal training sessions. This isn’t because I don’t know how to work out, on the contrary, I’ve completed personal training certification myself. It’s because I work out better when I have a coach helping me. This can be the same for nutrition – we all know how to eat healthy, but if you are keeping food records and are accountable to your nutrition coach, then guaranteed your results will be better then if you go it alone. I would love to be that coach for you. I’m accepting new clients for 2019 and we can get started right away. Call me at 416-561-1196 or contact me to get started.
One of my successful clients told me recently “if I could have done it myself, I would have.” I hope these tips can help you get started on a new healthier path. If you have comments or other tips to add, then please add them below.