Don’t Overwhelm Yourself – Take Baby Steps
Many people make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the neighborhood health club, but actually, they never follow through or only do it for a few weeks. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals can do more for your health.
“Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine. They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change”, says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Try these 10 easy steps that are small and achievable:
- Stop gaining weight. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly.
- Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps and then add 2,000 more—the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding 1,000 to 2,000 steps each month until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
- Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, top Whole Grain Total® with fresh fruit slices and almond or coconut milk. Substitute goat’s milk for cow’s milk if you don’t like the former two choices.
- Switch to whole grain servings. You should be getting three servings of whole grain each day. The average American eats less than one whole grain serving a day.
- Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad, minus the high-caloric dressings (use oil and vinegar or a vinaigrette), is filling and can help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.
- Trim the fat. Fat has a lot of calories and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, cut out cheese, and use coconut oil.
- Eat dark-green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and turnip greens, and canned Alaskan salmon and sardines (fish with bones). These are high in calcium and do not have the fat and digestive issues caused by milk.
- Downsize portions. The smaller the bag, the bottle, and the bowl, the less you eat.
- Lose 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. The health benefits of losing even this amount are huge—lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels, better cholesterol levels, and lowered levels of triglycerides. Also, losing weight in small quantities is more manageable.
- Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem areas. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less and eat healthier, more nutritious food.