Make 2016 Your Healthiest Year Yet

Happy New Year pic

2016 is literally right around the corner and you’ve thought seriously about your resolutions for the upcoming year. With a new year comes a clean slate and a newfound determination to really stick with your goals this year. And this year, if health and taking care of yourself is on your list (as it should be!), take the time to make this year your happiest and healthiest yet!

Here are some tips on making 2016 your healthiest year ever:

  1. If you’ve had trouble in the past with staying true to your exercise goals, find a professional that can help keep you on track. This can mean investing in a personal trainer, registered dietitian nutritionist, or even making friends with the group fitness class instructor. When you have someone to report to, who has appropriate perspective on the topic, you will be more likely to stay focused and will receive input from someone who was trained to discuss these things with you. For more individualized nutrition and wellness help, consult with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
  2. Wait a few days after January 2nd to hit the gym. In this first week, everyone will be diving into his or her new fitness resolutions and the gym will be crazy packed. A packed gym usually means frustration and diminished motivation – that’s no way to start your own resolutions! Stick with at-home or outside workouts in this first week. Allow the crowds to die down before you start your new year as a gym rat.
  3. Don’t compare your progress with others. Some people will just drop the weight more quickly than you, or have the time to try out more recipes, or will just be carefully advertising only the highlights in their lives. As long as you’re making progress, you should feel proud and motivated to continue. You are your own competition.
  4. Stay mindful on finding ways to make healthy changes throughout your day. This can mean taking the stairs, using nonfat milk in your latte, standing/walking when you’re on the phone, switching to whole grain bread, opting for alcohol-free coworker bonding after work, or snacking on fiber- and protein-filled foods (not chips) when your energy is draining. Making little tweaks can begin to show in how healthy you feel. Then the healthier you feel, the more motivated you’ll be to make more changes!
  5. Yes, New Years is Day 1 of the 365-page book of 2016. It’s important to start strong, but it is just as important to keep that momentum going. Every first day of the month, review the goals you’ve made and how much you have achieved them. This will keep you responsible for your commitment to your resolutions and remember the determination you had when you first made them.
  6. Find a friend to help you can carry out your resolutions. Discuss your “no excuses” list together, compare your ways  of becoming healthier through your day, and always support each other to keep going. And remember to only say to yourself the things you would say to someone else – always keep it positive!

 

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the The 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy eating for optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs. She is also the author of the e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here. Special thanks to Samantha Marks, Dietetic Intern, for her fabulous contributions to this post.

 

 

Six Healthy Eating Strategies For Holiday Parties

 

Family celebrating Christmas at home and eating together delicious sweets, cookies and desserts, top view

The month of December is a time to celebrate your accomplishments of 2016, welcome the winter weather, and observe the holidays festivities,  all while enjoying the sparking lights around town. Unfortunately for many, it is also a time where healthy eating is thrown to the wind and a balanced diet is replaced with an overloaded plate of decadent meals and desserts. While “treating yourself” every now and then is perfectly fine, there is likely some room for improvement in, at least most people’s, December diets. Below are some tips and tricks to make this holiday party season your healthiest!

  1. When you arrive, take a lap or two around the spread of food before picking up a plate and loading it up. When you are ready, fill 1/2 of your plate with things you really want (and don’t usually get to eat), and the other half with salad and/or vegetables.
  1. To avoid going crazy on one extreme, whether gorging on treats or trying to 100% omit them all night, allow yourself to enjoy a couple small desserts. Let this be your indulgence, and savor it slowly to enjoy it and make it last longer. By practicing this mindfulness, you can enjoy the treats even more and save plenty of calories.
  1. Fill up on fiber-rich foods first, so you have less room later for the gravy-covered meats and dense desserts. Look for fruits and vegetables, or bring a platter of either to guarantee you have these options. Plus, the fiber in fruits and vegetables will also help fill you up with the “good stuff.” Sorry, mystery holiday loaf, there’s no room for you this year!
  1. Go easy on the alcoholic beverages. Not only do they add on the calories, they can lower your blood sugar (thus making you hungry) and cause you to overindulge on more food. So try to limit the drinks to one or two. Have a glass of wine, spritzer or a martini. Steer clear of the sugary drinks.
  1. Stay standing while mingling at the party – by avoiding the couch, you will be burning more calories while strengthening your muscles. It’s also harder to continuously nibble on food while standing and moving around.
  1. If you have health- or weight-related New Years resolutions brewing in your mind, write them down now and practice them before the holiday season is in full swing. You’ll avoid packing on the holiday pounds, plus you’ll feel more motivated come 2016, knowing this was your healthiest holiday season yet!
  1. Be MINDFUL. Remember that you are in complete control of everything you eat and drink. Remind yourself of that as much as you need.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 The Outstanding Dietitian Of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy plant-based eating and optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs. She is also the author of the e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed  The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment and diabetes for teens and adults. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or visit here. Special thanks to Samantha Marks, Dietetic intern, for her contributions to this post.