It's that time of year again—when we make promises and resolutions, with great intentions to lose weight and/or improve our diet. Most of us will fail, for a variety of reasons. Most often it is because go about it in the wrong way, either in the choice of diet or in trying to change our lifestyle in a way that does not work for us. Even if we are successful in losing weight, when we go off a diet, we tend to return to our old ways, not bothering to change the way we eat, which caused the weight or health issue in the first place.
Rather than radically altering our menus and lifestyle, committing to diets that are difficult to follow, it might be wiser to take small steps. Think about changing just one thing, master it, and then move on to another. Choose one dietary improvement (see list of suggestions below) and commit. Maybe it takes one month, maybe three, or even six. No matter. The point is that you become successful in incorporating that one thing into your diet, making it a habit, before you move on to the next. By taking small steps, you have less chance of failure, less rules and recipes to follow.
Small changes will have long-term impact: weight loss (albeit slowly) and improved lifelong dietary habits. The sweet smell of success is yours if you do it in slow easy stages. In addition, always remember "moderation." Everything done in moderation is important, whether it is eating, drinking, or exercising. Don't gorge on food, become sloppy drunk, or push your body past its limits. Stick to single servings, eating slowly, enjoying that glass of wine or imported scotch, and setting realistic exercise goals for yourself. This can bring about a healthier you in the new year.
Suggested Dietary Improvements:
Increase Intake of Fruits and Vegetables: The government recommended number of servings of fruits per day is 2-4, veggies 3-5. That equals 5-9 servings total per day. I would bet that the average person eats 4 servings a day: juice, 1 piece of fruit, a salad and a vegetable. Look honestly at your diet and add 2 servings per day. If that is too much, add 1 serving to what you already eat. Ambitious? Add 3 servings. Remember that these servings can be in juice (100% juice is best), fruit smoothes, and fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables. For a great snack, buy some dried fruit (but watch for added sugar, sulphites and other preservatives).