This year, keep your New Year’s resolution by establishing a lasting routine. By learning to ease yourself into new food habits, you can make gradual lifestyle changes that last. Sticking to a resolution can be tough, especially in the first few weeks, but you don’t need to eat that differently to eat better. Finding the right motivation and support helps make it easier, too. And all that hard work pays off! With our smart tips from registered dietitian Kristy Hogger, we look at easy solutions to eat better.
At the beginning of the year, you’re enthusiastic and ready with a whole checklist of changes. Stop. Take your goals one step at a time. “Trying to change multiple aspects of your lifestyle at the same time can feel overwhelming and set you up for failure,” cautions Hogger. “Small, gradual changes are more likely to stick over the long term and add up to significant results.” Start with mini-challenges like packing a nutritious lunch three times a week or shopping for affordable — and better — grocery items, like our Compliments Balance no-salt-added range of beans and vegetables.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Taking responsibility for your goal is important, but you don’t have to do it alone. “Online support forums are a great opportunity to share successes and challenges with people who have similar goals,” says Hogger. “If weight loss or healthier eating is a goal, keeping a food diary is also an effective way to stay accountable on a daily basis.”
Blogs can be inspirational resources to find recipes and better food swaps for lifestyle solutions to keep your resolutions. With an endless amount of blogs and forums at our fingertips, it is important to find ones that work for your needs. Alternatively, you and a friend can set up a buddy system to motivate and hold each other accountable for the goals you’ve set.
Think Beyond the First 30 Days
While the first month or so may be the toughest, it’s important to build habits that work with your schedule in the long run. “By setting long-term goals, we can establish a vision for what we want to do or achieve once we have made a lifestyle change,” advises Hogger. Integrating dietary resolutions into your lifestyle starts at the grocery store. Purchase items that support your goals. If you want to eat more vegetables, buy produce that can be featured in numerous different mains such as stir-fries, fajitas, and homemade pizza. This will help you achieve your resolution without undue pressure.
Getting enough sleep is important for feeling energized and staying alert throughout the day. For Hogger, it’s important to remember that, “oftentimes, we tend to turn to comfort foods when we are tired and lacking energy. A good night’s sleep gives you the willpower to stay on track with an exercise and healthy eating routine.” You can improve your overall quality of sleep by lowering your caffeine intake (try Compliments Peppermint Tea), getting a little exercise and saying no to binge-watching TV late at night.
Make Change a Little Easier
“Change is difficult, and no one is perfect! Small setbacks are perfectly normal,” says Hogger. “The important part is to get right back on track at the next opportunity.” If snacking is your weakness, keep pre-portioned snacks, like Compliments Balance Nut and Berry Trail Mix, on hand to satisfy cravings. Try not to see a setback as an excuse to fall back into unhealthy habits. Instead of giving in, give yourself a pass so you can refocus and pick up where you left off.