Many of those resolutions include resolutions for improved health.
Holiday weight gain is a well-studied phenomenon, and researchers have found that people gain about a pound from November to January. That might not sound like much, and it certainly is less than people think they gain (about 5 pounds). But that extra pound lingers. In the same study, researchers found that people don’t tend to shed that winter weight by the next year. After a few sugary Christmas seasons (plus the year’s other indulgent holidays, birthdays and anniversaries), those pounds add up.
What does this teach us?
Small steps in the wrong direction can eventually lead to bad health. Conversely, small steps in the right directions can build individual health. So when we think of “health related” new year’s resolutions we might want to think small. After all, success breeds success and the chances of success with small goals is much greater than success with a large goal.
Nutrition Small Ideas:
- Decrease soda consumption by one can a day = 16 lbs of weight loss in a year.
- Just add one fruit or vegetable to your diet each day.
- Change your mindset with food!
- Don’t think of things as off limits!
Think of foods as “everyday” foods or “occasional” foods suggests Nutrition Advisor Alan Aragon, M.S.
That way, nothing is “bad” or off limits. (Research suggests that mindset may actually cause weight gain.)
If you want a scoop of ice cream, go ahead and enjoy it.
On the flip side, everyday foods are exactly as their name implies: foods that should be eaten every single day, such as vegetables, fruit, lean protein, fish, whole grains—you know the deal.
- Start where you are!
- Don’t over-do it!
- Ease into a physical activity regiment by adding to your current state. It doesn’t have to be big.
- It doesn’t take much! You don’t have to be a professional athlete or spend all day at the gym to reap the benefits of physical activity
- Choose something you enjoy!
- What do you like doing?
- Be physically active with others.
- As with food, moderation is the key.
- It’s becoming increasingly clear from the recent flurry of scientific studies that overdosing on exercise can have detrimental effects on your health. Too much exercise, particularly long bouts of cardio such as marathon and triathlon training, can do more harm than good—particularly to your heart.