Make a choice to set a healthy New Year’s Resolution – one that you can follow FOREVER! Pick one or a few from this list:
* Eat primarily whole foods that look most like when they were growing – chicken breast not chicken nuggets or baked potato not potato tots. Examine the ingredient lists – you should recognize listed items and the list should be short!
* Eat at least three cups of vegetables a day, and include types of all different colors. They contain powerful phytonutrients that protect your organs and can slow aging.
* Shift toward a mostly plant-based diet, with small amounts of fish, poultry, eggs and lean meats. This is good for our planet and us.
* Choose to drink water, seltzers and herbal teas.
* Eat mindfully, using all of your senses while eating – appreciate the colors, textures, smells, and taste. Eat slowly, putting your fork down between bites and chewing at least 20 times before swallowing. Give thought to where the food came from and offer thanks and appreciation.
* Let true physiological fullness guide how much you eat. Eat slowly and focus on your growing sense of fullness. Challenge yourself as to whether you need the next bite, or are you full enough?
* Exercise regularly. Be physically active at least one hour a day.
* Stay positive about your efforts to eat healthy and manage your portion sizes.
* Negative “self-talk” works against you. Develop and write down positive self-talk scripts that encourage and persuade you to make healthy choices.
* If you make a less healthy choice, learn to let it go quickly and start fresh.
* Get a good night’s sleep. Research shows a strong relationship between sleep time and weight. Sleeping less than five hours a night or for more than nine hours a night has a direct relationship to weight gain. Research shows that sleep affects the hormones ghrelin and leptin, known as the “hunger hormones” that are responsible for stimulating appetite. In addition to the biological affects that sleep deprivation can cause, it also leads to fatigue and decreases motivation for healthy diet choices and physical activity.