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6 Healthy Habits to Start This Year

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/16/2012 2:00 PM   :  30 comments   :  10,035 Views

One reason "diets" are so tempting is that they provide a guided plan to help people reach weight loss goals. Sadly, many times the latest fad diet or gimmick includes changes that are drastic and restrictive from normal life. Sometimes this means the "diet" can't be maintained on a long-term basis and weight loss goals if reached can't be maintained either.
 
Dieting without a change in lifestyle is like a screen door on a submarine, pointless when it comes to long-term success. If you are tired of diets, you are not alone. There are millions of frustrated dieters out there still struggling too. If you want to change your lifestyle to reach your weight goals for the last time, here are six healthy habits to get you started.

  1. Control Portions - Many of us have habits and routines that contribute to our weight battles and portion control is one of the biggest. Perhaps you believe you have to clean your plate regardless of how you feel. Maybe you take a larger portion initially because there were never seconds available when you were growing up. Regardless of the reasons, taking note of your portion habits and learning to take control of them will help you realize weight loss results this year.

  2. Eat the Right Stuff – Nutrient rich foods provide your body with the energy and key nutrients necessary for health. Since your body needs over 45 different nutrients every day, knowing what to select is very important for weight management success. Fortunately, the basics of a healthy diet have not changed over the centuries even though many fad diets want you to believe they have. You can use the 2010 Dietary Guidelines as your framework and the new myPlate icon as a visual guide.

  3. Exercise Consistently – Lasting weight loss happens when you consistently burn more calories than you consume. If you only focus on what you put on your plate and overlook planning and practicing regular exercise, you will not see the results you long to achieve. Whether you have 10 pounds or 110 pounds to lose, you have to move and increase your focus on exercise to reach your goals.

  4. Drink Water – The body consists of 50-60% water, which helps regulate body temperature, assists with respiration/breathing, and transportation of nutrients as well as removing waste and maintaining normal function. The typical recommendation is to include eight to twelve cups of water each day in addition to other healthy beverages you select.

  5. Eat on Purpose – Whether you eat throughout the day because grazing is your preferred style of eating or as a way to cope with your emotions, there are a wide variety of reasons people eat besides being hungry. Identifying why you are eating and owning what you have selected are important keys to taking control of what you consume to allow you to eat with a healthful purpose.

  6. Find Unexpected Opportunities – Everyday there are opportunities to turn the day to day into healthy opportunity. Do you typically drive around the parking lot waiting for a close parking space? Instead, take the furthest spot in the lot and walk with purpose to the entrance with a smile of accomplishment for the exercise you were able to fit in. The leaves need racked or the lawn mowed? Embrace the fitness minutes that the activity will create for the day. Instead of complaining that there aren't any low calorie options on the menu, see how much you can request healthier options (grilled instead of fried, side of fruit instead of fries,  leave off the glaze, unseasoned etc) to your server to make it as healthy as possible. Each opportunity you take becomes another step toward your success.
 
Establishing healthy habits comes from making one intentional decision at a time. Start the New Year with new habits that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.

Which of these six habits do you need to start first? Why?
 


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Comments

  • 30
    I need to think before I put food in my body. Too often I'm snacking when I'm bored instead of hungry - 12/24/2012   12:28:53 PM
  • 29
    Finding the healthy opportunities every day is something that I'll start doing today! - 2/24/2012   3:05:40 PM
  • DSANDIN
    28
    I definately need to watch my portion control and need to exercise more. - 2/22/2012   10:15:26 PM
  • JAMIE542
    27
    Eating the right stuff and drinking more water. Pastries keep calling my name and coffee is all I drink. - 1/21/2012   10:24:51 AM
  • 26
    I took better care of my family than I took care of myself. I'm now learning to take care of myself. I've got a new Dr. now that I've moved and am undergoing some testing. I'm working at getting all my ducks in a row so to speak.

    Best of luck to all of you that are making good healthy changes in your lives this year!
    - 1/18/2012   11:22:08 PM
  • JUCIFIED
    25
    eating on purpose and drinking water. - 1/18/2012   2:50:43 PM
  • 24
    i need to really really work on portion and craving control - 1/18/2012   1:43:55 PM
  • 23
    Eating healthier & portion control is what is hardest for me. Working on it! - 1/17/2012   8:21:47 PM
  • 22
    Yes, I agree I need to drink more water but hate spending the whole day in the bathroom. and better portion control too. - 1/17/2012   12:42:35 PM
  • GYMRATWANNABE
    21
    I feel like I'm the only one who has issues drinking water. I HATE having to pee all the damn time, lol! - 1/17/2012   12:11:58 PM
  • WSCTD1
    20
    Yeah I agree with that, I am real good at portion control, too! - 1/17/2012   11:04:08 AM
  • 19
    Mostly I think I need to work on portion control. Purposful eating would be next in line. I often get carried away with portions because I may have waited too long before I eat. My mother used to say" Your eyes are bigger than your stomach". That is often true but I have managed to expand my stomach. - 1/17/2012   8:47:36 AM
  • 18
    definitely eating on purpose. I do that most of the day but often slip in the evening. - 1/17/2012   6:41:45 AM
  • 17
    Eat with purpose, followed closely by portion control. - 1/17/2012   6:30:49 AM
  • 16
    Portion control! - 1/17/2012   6:10:11 AM
  • 15
    Eat on purpose! I really need to cope with my emotions and schedule meals regardless of them, not dependent on them! - 1/17/2012   2:44:03 AM
  • 14
    Portion control because I eat healthy foods but I still eat way to much of it. - 1/16/2012   9:17:58 PM
  • SP_COACH_NANCY
    13
    What a great blog...I must say, eat on purpose! Gives me something to work on... - 1/16/2012   8:57:21 PM
  • 12
    I have to start eating in a more purposeful way if that makes any sense- I sometimes have the right intentions and then find myself acting like a rudderless boat. - 1/16/2012   8:51:14 PM
  • 11
    Eat the right stuff; found myself not eating enough therefore when I do eat I really need to eat the right nutrient my body needs! I thought I am doing that now but needs to improve - 1/16/2012   8:12:21 PM
  • 10
    I need to find the unexpected oppurtunities. - 1/16/2012   7:15:17 PM
  • PRUSSIANETTE
    9
    "Eat on Purpose"--Not quite sure I have heard it phrased that way, but that is what I struggle with the most. If I am stressed, or have something I am currently obssessing about, I sometimes grab food without even thinking. All of a sudden I will look at my hands and think, "What the heck am I doing?!". - 1/16/2012   7:05:15 PM
  • 8
    Absolute portion control is where I generally fail. Also, the evening tend to be my time to overdo so I have to be aware of that. - 1/16/2012   5:41:32 PM
  • 7
    Establishing healthy habits comes from making one intentional decision at a time. I love this line! - 1/16/2012   3:29:25 PM
  • 6
    Eat on purpose. Exercise on purpose. Take care of ME on purpose. And those things require a little bit of planning - 1/16/2012   3:08:31 PM
  • 5
    So true......find a sub for fries such as fruit! - 1/16/2012   3:02:38 PM
  • 4
    Finding unexpected opportunities. - 1/16/2012   2:55:56 PM
  • 3
    I want to start with controlling portions. I feel we have just gotten too use to super sizing and feel that is the normal size of portions. I also want to work on the consistent exercise. It is so easy to just NOT do it. So I want to start working on those two things. - 1/16/2012   2:44:53 PM
  • 2
    I need to control my portion sizes and I am working on doing just that!!
    - 1/16/2012   2:44:09 PM
  • 1
    Exercise consistently & eat on purpose are my 2 that I choose to work on first. I think these 2 would make the biggest difference in my life. How about you? - 1/16/2012   2:30:47 PM

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