Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the local health club. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health.
"Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine," says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. "They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change."
Here are 10 to try:
1. Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra lbs. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly. So I suggest to my clients that once they reach their ideal body composition that they set a benchmark number to keep an eye out for. Meaning if they weigh normally 120lbs, they set a benchmark number of 127lbs. And if they find themselves arriving at that number, they use it as a reminder that it's time to reevaluate their current habits.
2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 every 2-3 weeks or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, start with some lean protein and veggies. It's time to rethink how we look at what's for breakfast.
4. Add a green smoothie to your day as an easy way to get more nutrients in on the go! Rotate your greens every so often to get a wider variety of nutrition.
5. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad can be filling and may help you eat less during your next meal or at your current meal.
6. Trim the fat. Instead of fatty meats and saturated fats or worse trans fats (which we know is a no-no) focus your attention on high quality lean meats like wild game and unsaturated oils like olive oil and avocado oil. Be sure they are virgin cold pressed!
7. Consider ditching the dairy or at least downsize the amount you ingest. There is growing evidence that suggests dairy products are sabotaging your wellness goals and contributing to all sorts of unpleasant chronic health problems like inflammation, acne, and digestive troubles.
8. Reduce your stress.Not seeing the results that you have been working tirelessly to achieve? Many clients come to me with this issue.And when they do, there's often one common denominator, and that is stress—but more to the point, a lack of incorporating stress management techniques and awareness in their daily lives.Sadly our bodies get accustomed to living in a chronically stressed state, and we blame the symptoms we experience to aging, overtraining, or not getting enough sleep.There are many ways to combat high stress for you to try including breathing techniques, improving sleep quality, improving gut health, removing toxic body care products, laughing, singing, meditation and listening to music.one of the best places to start is to identifying what causes you stress personally.
9. Become a sleep princess! I attribute the extreme priority I place upon sleep quantity and quality to be crucial to much of my career, relationships, and overall well being. Sleep is crucial for cognitive function, focus, and self-control, but if you are deficient in sleep it can cause a whole host of issues, everything from poor blood sugar control to inflammation to food cravings to depression and more. To make improvements try optimizing your room’s sleep temperature and getting enough vitamin D3 and omega-3, which are important nutrients in regulating serotonin and therefore in regulating sleep.
10. Switch things up every couple of months. Your body adapts to the demands you place upon it and eventually, your body becomes too efficient at whatever exercise you've been doing leasing to less calories burned. Normally lift weights? Maybe try going for a swim. Enjoy the eliptical? Why not try some HIIT high-intensity interval training.
Take what you need and leave the rest.
Be love and give kindness,