Laura Marbury, MS, RD, LD
Question: It seems like every New Year I find myself setting the same weight loss goals. Any tips for actually sticking to my resolution this year? You’re not alone. In fact, losing weight was the number-one resolution made by Americans in 2014. Unfortunately, the same research found that six months into the year, only 44 percent of people were still actively working to achieve that goal. Avoid being a statistic this year and use these tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout 2015. Start out simple. Set obtainable goals like swapping one soda a day for low-fat milk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Small changes add up and achieving them will keep you motivated. Make substitutions. Instead of eliminating entire food groups, focus on finding healthier alternatives. Make the switch from refined, white carbohydrates to whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and sweet potatoes. For dessert, keep healthier options on hand like frozen yogurt with fruit and dark chocolate. This will help combat your cravings without expanding your waistline. Find your favorite. A healthy lifestyle cannot be maintained on diet alone—exercise is also important. However, that doesn’t mean you have to hit the treadmill every day. Take the “work” out of working out this year by doing something you enjoy. When you do, the odds are you’ll stick to it. Try a Zumba class, rock climbing, yoga or tennis. If you’re short on time, grab a co-worker and take a walk during lunch. Before long, you’ll find yourself looking forward to working out. Measure your success. Use a pedometer to keep up with your steps every day or upgrade to a personal fitness tracker that allows you to calculate your caloric intake. This, along with weighing yourself weekly, will help you stay on top of your goal.