5 Changes to Make This Week

3 Jan

Three days into the new year, thousands are off and running with their new years resolutions to lose weight and get fit. Right about now, they are flocking into gyms across the country with brand new workout clothes, a huge cup of coffee and a breakfast of oat bran and other foreign foods inside them. Today’s goal is probably something extremely unrealistic like run 10 miles in 30 minutes. That seems to be the trend with resolutions involving weight loss and fitness: extreme and unrealistic.

Instead, I suggest we do some small changes this week. In my previous post I offered ideas on how to change your life slowly and make realistic goals in order to keep that resolution and make it a success. So let’s take 5 steps this week to change your life. It may not be dramatic, but it will add up over the upcoming weeks. More importantly, at the end of January, you’ll still be practicing these small changes while the other people’s new gym clothes stay wadded up at the bottom of their closets.

1. Add Greek yogurt and one piece of fruit to your diet every day. Whether you incorporate yogurt with blueberries for a breakfast treat or a snack, or have an apple when the afternoon lull hits, try adding these two things to your day. Apples have a lot of fiber that will help keep you full and the sugar will give you a boost when you get tired. Greek yogurt is full of protein and healthy bacteria to keep you full longer and keep your tummy happy.

2. Add some extra steps to your day. Everyday you go somewhere this week, park in the furthest spot in the parking lot. At the office, grocery store or out running errands, you can add some extra steps to your day by parking further. It gets you in the habit of walking more. Try and incorporate a 20 minute walk three times this week. Use your lunch hour or duck out after dinner to get it in.

3. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. They aren’t lying. If you eat breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up, it jumps starts your metabolism for the day. Eat something in the morning. If you’re not used to eating in the morning, it will be hard to start this habit. I used to never eat breakfast and the thought of food made me sick in the morning. Start with something small like a piece of toast with some peanut butter or the cup of yogurt with fruit I previously mentioned. Those things are healthy, gentle on your stomach and will keep you full.

4. Make one healthy substitution with your food. Switch out one thing that you eat that is unhealthy for a healthy item. Just one thing, you don’t have to clean out the whole pantry, start small. A recipe calls for sour cream, try Greek yogurt instead. You chow down on potato chips, try using almonds or low sodium peanuts instead. These small substitutions don’t affect the flavors of your food, but save a lot in calories and fat.

5. Cut one junk food portion by one fourth. If you eat ice cream every night or eat a bag of chips every day, try cutting the portion by one fourth. Measure it out ahead of time so you’re not tempted. One fourth won’t freak you out into thinking you’re deprived, but it gets you in the habit of starting to cut back on portions. It’s gradual so you won’t feel it, but it can really add up over the course of a week.

Try these 5 small steps. I guarantee you’re not going to be in any “pain” this week from food deprivation, but it really will start to make a difference. If you want to change your life, start with small changes.

2 Responses to “5 Changes to Make This Week”

  1. sarathleteara January 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM #

    Just a thought…you might want to mention to eat a low-fat version of Greek yogurt. The non-fat or 2% are good but the real deal is pretty high in fat.

    • Noel D. January 4, 2012 at 5:58 AM #

      Oh that’s a good point. I’m so used to buying the non-fat yogurt, that I forget the other kinds even exist! 🙂 I’ll remember that for future posts. 😀

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