It’s that exciting time again – we have a new year ahead of us and a blank slate for accomplishing goals. Moms across the country are pledging to “drop a few pounds” and get the whole family more active. If you are like many of us, you probably start doing all things at once with the best of intentions and by mid-February, you’ve moved on. Sadly, 92% of resolutions “fail” according to University of Scranton research. But don’t despair, I can help!
As a Registered Dietitian, I hear the many concerns and challenges families have with accomplishing their wellness goals. I work with my clients on creating a plan that incorporates small changes that you can accomplish every day. It’s important to remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Hold on-to your long-term wellness goals by creating smaller milestones to keep you motivated and acknowledge the successes along the way.
Below are some ideas for small changes and goals you and your family can make to get started and motivated toward your health goals straight though 2016!
– Eat Breakfast: Breakfast is an important meal to kick start your metabolism each day. Start with protein-rich foods like eggs and choose whole grain breads and cereals. Morning can be busy, so hard boil eggs at night or grab a non-fat Greek yogurt for a quick protein fix.
– Make Small Swaps: Look for your favorite foods in low calorie options, such as drinks, yogurts and snacks made using low or no calorie sweeteners. Evette Rios has a sugar cookie recipe that uses no-calorie sweetener for the sweet taste with less calories.
– Spice It Up: Spices are a great way to add flavor, without calories, to your favorite dishes. Try cinnamon on oatmeal or paprika on roasted potatoes.
Working Out More:
– Make it a family affair: Start a monthly family fitness tradition, whether it’s a bike ride or a 5K walk for a cause that matters to you. You’ll be so busy creating fun memories; you might forget you’re working out!
– Move More: Don’t think exercise only occurs at the gym; any and all movement is key. Challenge yourself to be active each day. For example, at work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park further out in the parking lot. Invite the whole family to walk the family pet.
Don’t forget to celebrate your successes! I like to use the rule of three, meaning for every three changes you achieve, treat yourself and family to one small reward. If you ate a protein-rich breakfast, opted for a diet soda and parked in the last row at the grocery store, take some credit! Some ideas to celebrate your success are: a manicure, a new book or a family movie night. By focusing your attention on the positive changes you are making, you will have created a sustainable plan that encourages and motivates you and your family toward meeting those long-term wellness goals. Happy New Year!
Jamie Seidner, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and wellness counselor in Miami, Florida. She is also a busy mom with two little boys. She has a thriving private practice, consults for groups including the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, leads corporate wellness classes and enjoys sharing recipes and food tips with her family and friends. Jamie received a BS in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Florida and a MS in Nutrition and Applied Physiology from Columbia University.