Now's a good time to check in on those resolutions and other goals. Are you making progress?
Sometimes people stall on the road to reaching their goals because the way the goals are framed makes it hard to achieve them. Here's a handy guide to setting realistic goals...
First let's address a few things that might be tripping you up! Beware of asking too much of yourself right away. This can be unsustainable, and in some cases, extremely unhealthy. Check out a few examples of unrealistic goals below, and make sure that these aren’t on your list...
- Weight loss of 10 pounds or more per month.
- Exercising every day.
- No restaurant dining.
- No snacking.
- No desserts.
- A strict, “go-hungry” diet.
- Skipping breakfast or lunch every day.
- Buying specialty foods that promise effortless weight loss.
Now let's talk about what your goals should look like. Realistic goals can be challenging, but should be achievable. Look for ways to improve your lifestyle, diet, and activities, and remember to start slowly. Take a look at a few examples of realistic goals below...
- Try a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per month.
- Aim to exercise for an average of 5-6 days per week.
- Learn to make healthful and informed choices at restaurants.
- Try new-to-you healthful foods.
- Find satisfying snacks that are low in calories.
- Share an occasional dessert with other people, but keep it from becoming an everyday occurrence.
- Follow MyPlate’s advice and enjoy your food, but eat less of it.
- Practice portion control.
- Eat healthful, lean breakfasts and lunches that are high in fiber.
- Enjoy plenty of fruits and veggies, cooked whole grains, and lean protein foods.
If you've decided to rework your current health goals, the following examples might come in handy...
- Aim for a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per month.
- Make a conscious effort to buy and eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Plan your grocery shopping ahead of time to avoid random purchases.
- Manage the food you keep on hand and go out for occasional treats rather than keeping them around the house.
- Make better and smaller choices when you eat at restaurants. Try soup and salad as your entree, or an appetizer and a salad.
- When possible, bring a bag lunch from home. Packing your own lunch makes it easier to control the calories and contents.
- Keep high-calorie snack foods out of the house. They are less tempting that way!
Here's a PDF handout with the highlights of today's post...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.