A new year always brings about the topic of resolutions to lose weight. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I truly want you to have a healthy and happy year, but in order to do so, I encourage you to throw out the idea of going on a New Year’s diet OR ANY DIET for that matter. That’s right, let’s start with…

Resolution #1 – Do not go on a diet this year! Diets tend to be something you go on and then go off, leaving you discouraged and starting you on a pattern of yo-yo dieting that can be hard to break. So make a New Year’s resolution to NOT diet this year. Which leads me to…

Resolution #2 – Plan to get healthier this year. But just how do you do that, you might ask? Well, it starts with eating more fruits and vegetables. The USDA MyPlate recommendation is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Eating more fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, help prevent cancer, and is one of the most important things to do for better health.

Resolution #3 – Get stronger! As we age, our muscle mass diminishes, which leads to a slower metabolism and more injuries, which can slow us down even further. Building muscle boosts your metabolism and makes you look leaner and healthier even if you never lose a pound. Stronger muscles also mean less risk of injuries and less risk of falling in your later years.

Resolution #4 – Drink more water, shooting for 6 – 8 glasses every day. Staying well-hydrated increases your energy allowing you to do more of the things you love, and helps remove toxins from your body. But don’t hydrate with sugared beverages, which not only add extra calories and weight gain, but actually sabotages your energy by raising your blood sugar, which then drops again, leaving you in a sugar induced coma. Learn to hydrate with water. As a side note here – one of my first weight loss clients lost 40 pounds, just by quitting his soda habit and drinking water instead! And finally…

Resolution #5 – Eat slower and stop eating when you’re just slightly full. Eating slower can reduce your chances of over-eating because it takes your brain a little while to realize when you’re full. Listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues can help you maintain a healthy weight for your entire life. A side note here – one of my clients lost 60 pounds just by making a commitment to being satisfied with one plate of food at each meal, then stopping.

So go ahead and try out these 5 New Year’s resolutions that actually work!

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