Motivation Articles

New Year's Resolutions Q & A

2004 Live Chat with Becky Hand Transcript

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SP_BECKYHAND: So today we are going to be discussing some easy steps to do over the next 14-15 days to ensure that when you start your resolution on 1/1/05, it becomes part of your healthy life. The first thing to do before setting your goal is to determine "where you are now".

Q: GGREENE: ok, here's my first question. Like a lot of people, my goal is to lose weight over the next year. I lost about 10 pounds this year, and have a goal of "25 in 2005" (which is about half a pound a week). I want to know, first, is this a good resolution? Or does it need to focus on a specific habit?

A: SP_BECKYHAND:
This is a great goal...but for the NYR you do need to focus on 1-2 specific habits. First off, do you keep a food/activity log? How many calories are you taking in daily?

GGREENE: Yes, I have been using those things regularly...which has really helped. I take in about 1400-1650 calories daily and workout cardio 40 minutes 5x per week and strength 2-3 times per week

SP_BECKYHAND:
This looks really good. Now are there any times during the day where you are having difficulty sticking to this calorie amount? Are there any food cues that we need to investigate? Difficult areas? To you want to overeat due to stress, boredom, while watching TV, working on the computer, or in bed??


Q: GGREENE: so, in your opinion, what is a good way to identify the 1-2 habits to make a resolution for that will help me ultimately reach my goal of "25 in 2005?"

A: SP_BECKYHAND:
Identify any situations that may be causing you to overeat...watching the football game, talking on the phone, reading in bed, having your mother-in-law over. Does just having cookies in the house call your name? Once you've determined your problem eating cues...then work on writing a resolution to make this food cue more difficult, or less noticeable to you.

Q: REDSFAN: Hi Becky! Can you give me some suggestions on some of the lower calorie drinks I can have on New Years Eve so I can stay away from the really high-calorie ones?

A: SP_BECKYHAND
:
Number one choice...water, no calories and will keep your hands busy as well as re-hydrate your body. Then opt for drinks that use diet pop. Once again, no calories, and still keeping your hands busy. I also suggest that you circle the food table once, check it all out and decide what you really want. Fill a small plate and turn your back to the table, find an area away from the food.

KRAMERMS: how about sparkling water?

SHACKMAN: Maybe some club soda, mixed with a low cal drink, like crystal light. And you could add some frozen fruit
Q: REDSFAN: That doesn't sound bad. Maybe I can pretend I'm drinking champagne. :) How bad is champagne, anyway?

A: EMMESOKOL:
4 oz. glass has 90 calories. Not bad! Less than light beer.
JEREMYM: How about fruit juice drinks, such as cranberry, etc. maybe diluted by half with water? I sometimes even make my own 'spritzers' to have a glass of wine but cut down on the alcohol content. What do you think?
Q: REDSFAN: Thanks! How bad is it to mix something in with my diet pop?

A: SP_BECKYHAND:
Several issues here...first off the calories...try to limit...then also are you the driver for the evening? To limit the calories try one mixed drink using diet pop, then a diet pop or water...alternate throughout the evening.


Q: KRAMERMS: I didn't reach my resolutions this year. Should i try to do the same goals again, or just try for something else?

A: SP_BECKYHAND
:
I think you can stick with the same goal...however your approach to the resolution may need to be refined. For the next week keep track of all you eat and drink, then you will have the data to determine where 1-2 changes can be made. Is your problem the amount of food eaten? The time of day the food is eaten? The speed of your meal? Or the place of you eat?


Q: DJHEILMANN: Any "recipe rehab" available for green been casserole, the one with French onions on top?

A: SP_BECKYHAND
:
Yes, for the mushroom soup used in the recipe try using the lower fat/lower salt version. You can also add a can of drained mushroom pieces. Use about 1/2 of the crunchy French onions on top.


Q: KRAMERMS: Becky, how much time should I give my resolutions to work?

A: SP_BECKYHAND
:
If you write your resolution with small obtainable, specific goals, that can be measured ...you will be able to see results immediately. You should also include a reward system for motivation... For example, every day that you meet your goal of drinking 6 cups of water, put $1 in a jar. Buy yourself a treat when you get 25.00 in the jar.


Q: SP_BECKYHAND:
A buddy also is a great way to stay on track....does every one have someone to help keep the motivation flowing and the positive energy going?

REDSFAN: I've also found that if I have someone working on it with me, it keeps me honest. Even just telling my wife I'm trying to do something for a resolution helps me.

GGREENE: I have a running partner that is waiting for me so it helps me get out of bed...but really no one to keep me accountable in other ways...eating, strength training, etc.

KRAMERMS: i have a few friends that work out together. we don't all make it every time, but we're always paying attention and helping to encourage each other
SP_JEREMY M: Kramer, that's what I need. I have a workout partner that talks me OUT of going as much as goes with me.

 


Q: KRAMERMS: Becky, what's the single best thing I can do if I want to reach my resolution?

A: SP_BECKYHAND
:
WRITE IT DOWN....then keep it visible. Post it on the refrigerator, on the bathroom mirror, on your computer screen.

SHACKMAN: We write important things on the bathroom mirror with dry erase markers. Including encouraging notes : )

SP_JEREMYM: That's a great idea Shackman!


Q: JEREMYM: I'm trying to help my brother quit smoking. He really wants to-- he's quit many times, LOL! =8^}. I know I can't do it for him-- he has to do it himself. But is there anything I can do to help him, without nagging, etc.?

A: SP_BECKYHAND
:
My husband smoked for 10 years, 2-3 packs daily, his moment of truth came when our 18 month old daughter was able to grab his cigs and lighter....stopped overnight. But yet 15 years later he still keeps this on his list of resolutions...for he still finds himself reaching for the cigs in his pocket.


Q: REDSFAN: Becky, I'm thinking about making a resolution to eat more veggies. What's a good way to start?

A: SP_BECKYHAND
:
Quantity, let's shoot for 3-5 servings daily. And remember what a serving is: 1/2 cup cooked veggie, 1 cup raw. Do you like them in the cooked form or raw state? Raw veggies are so easy to take for lunch, plop on the table at dinner, add some low-fat ranch dressing to dip. For cooked ideas, sprinkle with Par cheese, low fat cheddar cheese. Toss with olive oil and nuts, bacon bits, for additional flavor. And always add extra to your favorite soups and stews.


Q: WENDEE: Becky, I’ve been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for almost a year. I've even run two half marathons and a full marathon in that time with no change in weight!

A: SP_BECKYHAND
:
Your fitness level is wonderful. Sounds like you've made some great strides!!! what is your sex, height and weight....I am thinking that you may be at a healthy weight for your body.

WENDEE: I'm staying within the allotted 1500 calories too, but no luck, any other suggestions? I have just frustration at this point. I'm female and at 5'7 and 140 I'm just mediocre

SP_BECKYHAND: Wendee...I think the 1500 calories is a safe, healthy amount. To jump-start your metabolism you may need to do a different type of exercise...add some weight, some jogging to get your heart rate up.

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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

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