It’s always a good time to challenge yourself and set new goals! As a partner of the Together Counts™ program for active, healthy living we believe that setting goals aren’t just for the New Year. Leave the past behind you, and think about what you want and how you can accomplish it. Here are five goals that could be on everyone’s list!
1. Enjoy your food, but eat less
“I’m on a diet,” “I was bad this weekend,” “I’m avoiding XYZ.” Those are the most common words that I hear from many folks, especially each January. What most people don’t realize is that you don’t need to torture yourself! Yes, food should nourish our bodies, but it should be enjoyable and tasty at all times as well! To get started on your goals, you may not need to change any of the foods that you are currently eating but cut your portions in half.
- Eat from smaller plates and bowls.
- Always ask for a to-go container at a restaurant.
- Slow down! Put the fork down after each bite.
2. More matters
No matter who you are or what you eat, there is always room for more fruits and vegetables! I won’t even discuss why you need them, because we all know, but we still don’t do it. So, set a goal that at each meal and at each snack, at least half of your plate will be filled with these nutrient powerhouses.
- Add fresh salsa to your morning omelet.
- Whip up a fruit smoothie for a snack.
- Include all forms (fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice) to make adding fruits and vegetables convenient, affordable and fun!
3. Move more
Try to do a 5 a.m. boot camp class at least five days a week … just kidding! If exercise and sweat are two of your least favorite words, that’s OK! You don’t need to have a gym membership or wake up at the crack of dawn to run 5 miles to be active. Just move more! In a 24-hour period, think of how many hours you are sitting (or sleeping). If you have a sedentary job, that can be significant. Each and every day, think of ways to move more. Once you create a habit, it will become second nature!
- Set an alarm every hour to get up and move.
- Wear a pedometer and challenge yourself to get a minimum of 10,000 steps daily.
- Walk in place during television commercials or even better, through an entire 30-minute program.
- Put extra physical activities on your calendar! That’s the best way to stick to them.
4. Cut down on screen time
To help manage your body weight, reduce the amount of time you spend being sedentary. This includes time spent in front of a screen – including watching television, playing video games and using the computer. People who spend more time being sedentary, particularly watching television, are more likely to be overweight or obese. Most people can’t change how much time they spend on the computer for work or school, but you can decrease your screen time during other times of the day and on the weekend.
- Log the number of hours you spend in a week (outside of work and school) watching television, playing video games or using the computer.
- Develop a daily screen time budget.
- Limit eating while watching television. Many people overeat because they are not paying attention to how much food they are ingesting.
5. Catch some zzz’s
It’s not just the quantity of sleep that affects our health, it’s also the quality! If you are not getting around eight hours of quality sleep, it can have a negative impact on your life. Although you might not be able to control all of the factors that encourage healthful sleeping habits, you can adopt habits to sleep better!
- Stick to a sleep schedule.
- Create a relaxing bedtime ritual.
- Limit distractions and disturbances in the bedroom.
- Have an active day so that you are actually tired at night.
Meredith McGrath RD, LDN is the Corporate Dietitian at Redner’s Warehouse Markets. Her mission is to help people to enjoy food, but eat less and move more! See more at: www.rednersmarkets.com
For additional healthy, active ways to get moving check out these other ideas from Together Counts!