This year make your resolution to not do any resolutions.
Instead, focus on Healthy Behaviors for a Healthier Lifestyle.
Our daily habits like what we eat, how much sleep we get and how much movement we get during the day have a significant influence on our overall well-being. Our habits will positively or negatively affect our overall health.
It you are looking to embrace a healthier lifestyle this year a great way to get started is to track your daily habits. This will help you to identify habits that are affecting the quality of your health. Once you know it will make it much easier to work on habit changes that lead to a healthier you. Many of the resolutions that we make are broad statements that are too challenging, and we end up failing before the month is over. Make this the year of discovery to better guide you to a healthier lifestyle.
Start by tracking your current daily habits for 5 – 7 days. I have made it easy for you and am giving you my daily tracker that I use in my nutrition practice. Yes, it’s old school, but it allows you to track everything on one page. You only need to do it for 5 – 7 days to give you a good picture of where you could make some changes.
It includes the daily activities that impact our health.
All these actives have an impact on your energy levels, mood and mindset during the day.
After you have filled out 5 – 7 days, take at least 30 minutes to look at each section and see where you use some habit changes. Don’t tackle them all at once, choose one that you feel that you can do and feel that will it have the most impact. Below I have broken down each section and how to get started on making small changes that add up to a healthier you!
Are you consistently getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night? Does it impact your mood, food choices and energy during the day? Can you make some changes to help you get more sleep? Click below for ideas on how to establish healthier sleep habits.
The food choices we make on a daily basis impacts us in surprising ways: our stress and energy levels, digestion, moods, focus and memory, aches and pains and even our ability to get a good night of sleep.
A very simple way to see what you are eating is to get out some colored pencils or markers and circle your foods by type.
Circle the following foods red: Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, junk foods, fried foods, high-fat foods, pastries, donuts, chips, microwave popcorn, high-sugar processed cereal, processed foods (pasta, bread, crackers, cereal), soft drinks, diet soft drinks, diet foods
Circle the following foods blue: Dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, frozen yogurt, ice milk
Circle the following foods green: Fruits and veggies
Circle the following foods yellow: Protein foods: fish, poultry, beef, pork, lamb, legumes, soy products
Circle the following food purple: Nuts and seeds, oils, butter, margarine
Circle the following foods in brown: Whole Grains that are not processed: wheat, corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, bulgur, quinoa, amaranth, barley, oats, rye, teff
Look at your circles and ask yourself the following:
Is there one food group that dominates your tracker? One that I see a lot are processed foods that are high in sugar or refined carbs. Think of ways that you can replace some of the processed meals with meals that have more real foods coming from the produce or meat department. For more information on the effects of processed foods and sugar on our health click on the links below.
Not much green on your tracker? Missing your veggies? How can you add in one more serving of veggies per day? Here are some ideas.
You eat the same meals or foods every day? Need to add some variety?
How you eat?
Do you eat out a lot? Grab whatever? Do you plan your meals? If you want to eat better, you have to plan. Not easy, it takes time and energy to prep meals, but it is possible. You don’t have to start out by cooking for the whole week. Here are some easy ideas to get you started.
Make some hard-boiled eggs or picked some up at the grocery store. This will be an easy grab and go breakfast.
Crock-pot a chicken
Make a soup that you can have for quick lunches
Read my blog on meal planning and download my guide
Are you eating just to eat? Click below for tips to help you be more mindful about eating.
Are your meals at home healthy but at work are you overwhelmed with unhealthy choices? Talk to human resources or your wellness committee to help create better nutrition choices at work.
How many squares did you check off? Less than 8? This is an easy habit to change and your body and mind will function a lot better if you remember to hydrate. Click below for more tips on staying hydrated.
What is your approach to exercise? Is it working? Will it last long-term? Do you need to rethink where, when and how you exercise?
It’s not easy adopting healthier habits. There will always be obstacles. Don’t fall into the all or nothing trap. Learn from what is not working and try again. There is no right way, just the way that works best for you.
You’re never to overweight, too out of shape or too old to make healthy changes. Try different strategies until you find what works for you.
Need help in coming up with a plan? Try working a nutritionist. A good nutritionist will teach you how to create a new healthy diet and lifestyle habits, but they should also give you the tools so that it is maintainable. The best thing that I can teach my clients is how to coach themselves to stay on their health path for life.
To learn more about nutrition therapy, click below to schedule a free 30-minute consult.
Hello! I'm Jori Zimmerman, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Savvy. I work with individuals that are looking to make dietary and lifestyle changes that will lead them to living a healthier and higher quality of life.