another new year has passed and once more millions have made resolutions to change their health, their bodies and their lives. the truth is only around 8% of those resolutions are completed successfully no matter how good the intentions were when they were made. this year it’s time to do things differently. if it hasn’t worked in the past, there must be a reason, right? take a look at five ways to make a successful plan to get fit and eat your way to a better, healthier you.
one of the biggest reasons why any intention we set for our health or our life can fail is the overwhelming responsibility of doing it forever! this year don’t set your resolutions for the year. we don’t know what 2019 will bring, so a rigid plan becomes vulnerable to changes in our bodies, minds or lifestyles. it’s better to borrow the eastern philosophy of living in the now and setting our resolutions each and every morning for the following 24 hours. when looking at life changes, it’s much easier to take it all one day at a time. it’s also much more forgiving! if you make a mistake, simply adjust your resolutions the next morning. the very best plans focus on the details to build lasting behaviors and change.
so start small. tackle one improvement at a time. perhaps you choose not to eat sugar for the following 24 hours or you eat plant foods only. then tomorrow focus on the next 24 hours. by mid-february, 30 days will be over and all you ever had to do was one day at a time. choosing to do something for 24 hours is more manageable and less intimidating than deciding to go sugar free for a month.
another culprit of failed new year’s plans is the "all or nothing" personality or the "one thing at a time" temperament. how do you know? look at your track record. some of us need to do a complete overhaul to feel committed to our plan. perhaps your 24-hour goal includes meat-free, sugar-free, increased fiber and a workout. for some of us the more you do, the stronger your focus and motivation. if changing everything at once is intimidating and makes you want to quit before you start, then one thing at a time may be more your tempo.
when choosing what to do first, prioritize according to what feels most important to you. this will solidify your resolve to make this daily goal a lifetime habit. for example, if removing processed foods from your diet feels key to your success, then start there. switch today’s snack bag of potato chips to a healthier option like iwon organics protein chips. then do the same tomorrow and the day after. when you no longer think about the processed snacks, you know you’ve created a healthy habit that no longer needs to be a daily goal. now you can focus on your next goal.
new year’s resolutions, goals and habits are long-term solutions, not a trend. when choosing to eat your way to health, remember you actually need to eat! avoid diets extremely low in calories or radical eating plans that drastically cut any of your major macronutrients or entire food groups. fat free is not healthy. carb free is not healthy. and low protein is never an option. cutting out fruits, grains, nuts or seeds can significantly reduce your variety of vitamins and minerals and create deficiencies in your body. the only reason an entire food group should be cut is due to allergic reactions or unsafe conditions, such as excessive GMOs or pesticides.
when you choose what foods you want on your table, be sure to consider if your choice is sustainable. whatever you decide should keep you healthy today, tomorrow and five years from now. no weight loss or fitness goal is worth it if results come with the price of potential illness.
nothing kills a resolution to eat clean and healthy faster than getting bored with your plate! with work, family, social obligations and full schedules, we can quickly fall into food ruts. after a month of spinach salads and egg white omelets, we’re all bound to cave in to our favorite treat. when planning your day, consider three things, color, texture and food group. try to eat every color in the rainbow and throw in some extra green. place a variety of textures on your plate and be sure to get a large selection of both fruits and vegetables. this will not only keep you from giving up on your resolution, it will also ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and functioning properly.
lastly, be kind to yourself. some goals may not be conquered the first time around, and that is okay! making physical changes can be a long-term commitment, and results can take a while to start showing up in tangible ways. eating your way to a healthier, fitter you is also a great challenge in willpower. we will all make mistakes along the way. that is okay too! when taking things one day at a time, you can always start with a fresh slate in the morning. the secret is to never lose site of your daily aspirations. the end goal may seem impossible, but we can all decide each and every morning to give it our very best.