As we look forward to welcoming in a new year, improving one’s health, weight and lifestyle are on many of our to-do lists.
With a new year come thoughts of a new and better you.
But how do you get started?
Though each person has his or her own issues to tackle and goals to set, there are some common tips I can offer to help you get started:
Knowing yourself and your current lifestyle habits gives you a foundation to work from.
I developed a scientifically-validated Six Factor Quiz to help people just like you identify the lifestyle habits that affect their weight and health.
You can take my 5-minute Six Factor Quiz online here and get your personalized results.
Through my published research, I identified the 6 factors that are major barriers to successful weight management:
- Convenient Diner
- Fast Pacer
- Easily-Enticed Eater
- Exercise Struggler
- All-or-Nothing Doer
Once you know your factors, my self-help book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!, takes you by the hand and shows you the way toward weight loss and improved health.
2-Set Small, Specific Goals
People are surprised to learn that they don’t have to completely overhaul their lifestyle to get healthier.
Instead, a helpful strategy is to pick the low hanging fruit or simpler strategies that are easier to implement.
The more specific you can be in your goal-setting, the more likely you’ll be successful.
Here are some examples of small, targeted goals:
- I will add a fruit or vegetable to each of my meals
- I will keep the most problematic foods like chips and cookies out of my home
- I will find healthy substitutions for foods I crave so I don’t feel deprived, such as popcorn instead of chips, low calorie frozen fruit bar instead of ice cream or making your own calorie-controlled sweet dessert like ‘energy bites’ instead of cookies
- I will set a sleep schedule so I feel more rested and have more energy to do 20 minutes of daily physical activity, even just taking a walk
Take some time to think about the people in your life who can support your healthy lifestyle efforts.
This may be a neighbor (or even your dog!) who can be a walking partner, a family member who can help with meal planning or a friend or work colleague who can join you in an exercise class you’ve been wanting to try.
Reaching your healthy lifestyle goals will be easier if you don’t go it alone.
You can do this!
Robert Kushner, MD