Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the neighbourhood health club. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health.
"Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine," says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Centre for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Centre. "They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change."
Here are 10 to try:
- Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra kgs. Even if you gain just a kilo or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly.
- Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of around 2.5km. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, 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 cereals with fresh fruit slices and low-fat or fat-free milk.
- Switch three grain servings each day to whole grain. If you're like the average Australian, you eat less than one whole grain serving a day.
- Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may 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, switch to lower-fat cheeses, use a nonstick pan with only a dab of oil or butter.
- Consider calcium by including two or three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight.
- Downsize. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat.
- Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. The health benefits are huge-lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less.
You don't need to incorporate all of these at once. Try adding one new idea each week. I guarantee you'll be noticing the difference in no time.
If you feel that you might need a little assistance along the way, but are not yet ready, or have the time for a full time personal coach, contact us and enquire about our Tranceformed Wellness program. A virtual health and wellness coaching package that is affordable and fits into your busy schedule. Because let's face it, we all need a little nudge every now and then.
Wayne is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Certified NLP Practitioner, Certified TIME Techniques Practitioner, Certified EFT Practitioner and Certified Life and Success Coach specialising in Health, Wellness and Success. He has Diplomas in Iridology, Acupressure, Aromatherapy and Kinesiology. He is also experienced in pre-hospital, emergency medical care, having spent the last 15 odd years as an Advanced Care Paramedic. With his extensive experience and training, he can help you identify and overcome your obstacles and reach your goals, easily and effortlessly.