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New Year’s diet resolutions are out, healthy habits are in

By Kaitlyn Cupples ETSU Dietetic Intern • Jan 2, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 As we enter a new year, it is easy to get caught up in the popular tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Year after year the same resolution cycle occurs; we make drastic, life-altering goals, and by February most have given up completely. In fact, in 2018 only 9.2 percent of people were still committed to a resolution past the first month.

It may also come as no surprise that the most popular resolutions are related to a healthy lifestyle. Approximately 45 percent of resolutions are diet and exercise related.

I’m sure most of us have fallen victim to a failed resolution, most likely a health-related one, and you may be asking the question: Why do so many New Year’s resolutions fail?

The problem is the types of resolutions being set. The more drastic, life-changing the goal, the more unattainable it will be to reach. Implementing restrictive diets and intense exercise regimens all of a sudden can be overwhelming. Once someone is overwhelmed, it is easy to throw in the towel. This is why most resolutions fail.

This New Year break the resolution cycle. Commit to small, attainable, healthy habits instead. Sticking to reasonable habit changes for a lifetime will have a larger impact on your health than an extreme resolution will for a month.

Simple healthy habits examples for this year are:

Drinking more water. The average adult needs 2.7 to 3.7 liters of water a day, but very seldom does this happen. To start drinking more, buy a fun water bottle and commit to taking it everywhere with you. Just having water available at all times can increase your water intake!

Eating more vegetables. Adults need between 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day. If you have trouble getting enough in your diet, try swapping pasta or rice for veggie spirals and cauliflower rice. You can even find these already pre-cut or frozen.

Adding more healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats make us feel fuller longer and have been shown to lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Popular sources of these healthy fats are salmon, olive oil, nuts and seeds.

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