New Year’s resolutions
geared toward weight loss or healthy living can often fall by the wayside
before January runs out because they are overwhelming or unachievable. But when
approached in small steps, they can result in success.
“A common resolution is
to start eating healthier. Some people may start by completely eliminating all
non-nutritious food from their diet or only filling their pantries with healthy
food, but it’s better to start small so your goal is sustainable,” said Faiza
Rais-Reynolds, M.D. at Wake Forest Health Network Family Medicine – North Davidson.
“One way to do this is
by implementing healthy substitutions in your meals. For example, when you are
preparing dishes, you can swap almond milk for dairy milk, brown rice for white
rice, lettuce for tortilla shells, fruit for desserts, and Greek yogurt instead
of sour cream. These small substitutions can equate to fewer calories and added
foods are healthier than food that comes in a box, bag, individual wrapper or
drive-thru window, Rais-Reynolds added, as they can contribute to weight loss,
decrease inflammation, reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.
at least seven hours of sleep every night and maintain a consistent sleep
schedule. Turn off all technology two hours before bedtime and don’t sleep with
a phone next to the bed.
a 30- to 40-minute walk three times a week. Park your car a distance from your
destination to get in some extra walking.
sugary soft drinks. Instead, try to drink at least six glasses of water a day,
adding slices of orange, lemon or cucumber for flavor.
a relationship with a primary care physician and schedule annual checkups.
“Another key component
for a healthy lifestyle is making sure you are taking care of your mental
health,” said Rais-Reynolds. “Having strong mental health will help you create healthy
relationships, increase your productivity and drive towards your goals, and
help you have a positive outlook on life. This in turn will assist you in
creating a healthy and successful lifestyle not just in the New Year but for a