New Year New Me?


It seems like every year after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, people set a New Year’s goal to lose weight. It has been reported that over 40% of Americans say they want to either exercise more, improve their diet, or lose weight. Any one of these changes will lead to a healthier life, but why do so many people fail with new resolutions? Most of the time it is because the goals are either too vague with no specific target or we become overwhelmed by trying to change our habits overnight. Here are some quick tips to be more prepared when setting your personal nutrition goals.

Set A Short and Long-Term Goal

When starting a new year resolution or any new challenge, it is always helpful to break it down into steps. Let us say that your goal is to lose weight, but how much weight? Set a long-term goal of how much weight you want to lose overall throughout the next year. For example, the goal is to lose 45 pounds. Now that we have our long-term goal, we need some short-term goals to get there. A healthy rate to lose weight is one to two pounds per week. Even though it is possible, losing two pounds per week can be difficult. For our first short term goal we will aim at one pound per week. From here we can set another short-term goal to lose four pounds per month and still be in a healthy weight loss range. Our bodies are also moving fluids and waste all the time at different rates, so do not get discouraged if one week there is no progress on the scale. When it is all said and done, if you lose at about four pounds per month, at the end of the year you will have lost the 45 pounds you originally set out to lose!  

Out of Sight Out of Mind

One of the best ways to avoid eating excess calories is to rid your home of unhealthy options. If these snacks are available, then you will more than likely overeat. Have you ever eaten a whole bag of chips in one sitting instead of the recommended serving size? Replace these snacks with healthier options. Instead of snacking on chips, snack on a handful of almonds, that way you are getting some healthy fats instead of saturated ones!

Portion Control

When on the journey to lose weight, it is important not to skip or cut out meals. Instead of skipping on your favorite meal, use a smaller plate. This helps you to develop a habit of smaller portions. Also, try not to stack multiple carbs at one time. For example, scoop one serving of mashed potatoes or mac and cheese instead of both. Another great way to help with portion control is to drink one glass of water before meals. This will help stimulate fullness sooner to avoid overeating.

Change Takes Time

One thing to always remember with any physical changes is that it takes time. One common reason people fall off their new healthy habits is because after only a few weeks they are expecting to see big changes. This is why we set our short- and long-term goals to help stay on track. Another great way to stay accountable is to join a support group that is on the same journey you are on. Here, you can meet people who are starting fresh just like you and interact with others who have had success and are willing to offer helpful tips. Lastly utilize one of the multiple fitness apps that are available such as MyFitnessPal. This will help you track calories, water intake, and physical activity. Combining all these tips lets us hit the ground running in 2021 and crush our nutritional goals!



About the Author:

Hugo Ceja is a Dietetic intern and graduate of Lamar University with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics. He is a resident of the mid-county area and currently completing a M.S. in Nutrition at Lamar University. In his free time, he enjoys working out, watching documentaries, and playing soccer with friends and family.