Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Healthy Steps to a New Year's You

Keeping your New Year's resolutions can be harder than making them. Holiday treats are still making the rounds at the office and it's cold outside - so why not snuggle up inside with a movie instead of walking around the block? If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. This year, take action and turn your resolve into results.

Five tips for sticking to your resolutions

1. Take small steps

Be realistic about what you want to change in your eating habits. Often people decide to change without thinking it through. Begin by getting familiar with Canada's Food Guide and start slow by setting 3 small goals for yourself, instead of one big one.
Choose healthy goals that are easy to achieve. Once those have been reached, then choose some new ones.
• Increase the amount of fibre in your diet by making half your grain products whole grain each day (e.g. choosing whole grain bread instead of white).

•Reduce your sugar intake by limiting sweets, alcohol and other sweetened hot or cold beverages.
Remember, maintaining positive change takes time, so be patient on your journey toward a healthier future.

2. Be specific
Think about healthier foods to add to your diet--not just about what to eliminate. Write them down, or use My Food Guide to develop a customized approach for healthy eating that's right for you.
Small changes over time will make it easier to track your success and feel good about meeting your goals. You'll also be motivated by your success to make even more changes.

Did you know?
Using the Percent Daily Value (% DV) on the Nutrition Facts table of packaged foods will help you choose healthier foods.

3. Tap in to your network 
Having the right support system in place will help you meet your goals.
• Get the family involved.
•Ask the kids to help create a meal plan every week.
•Invite a friend or colleague to join you on your journey toward a healthier future.
•Trade meal plans and recipe ideas.
•Commit to spending 20 minutes walking together every lunch break.

4. Try and try again 
Expect that you may have setbacks. Some goals will be harder to achieve than others. The key is to get back to it and try again. You may have to make some adjustments to your timeline, but it'll all be worth it in the end.

5. Celebrate your success 
After you've accomplished each goal, reward yourself with a fun family outing, make a date with friends, or find another way to celebrate your success.

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