By: Katherine Sims, EIM Dietitian
“New year, New Me!” This is a phrase we often see plastered all over social media when another year is coming to a close. While many people enter a new year fired up and ready to completely transform themselves and their lives, by February, many people have already abandoned their self-improvement goals.
Studies have shown that less than 8% of Americans actually stick to the resolutions they set at the start of a new year, but that never stops millions of people from setting goals with the hope of a fresh start. The top most common new year resolutions in the U.S. are to exercise more and lose weight, but, unfortunately, many will likely not stick to their goals of improving their health.
Sticking to your health goals is going to take some work, but it’s definitely not impossible.
Here’s how to start 2021 off right and stick to your nutrition and fitness resolutions
First things first. When we set our goals for the new year we have to be realistic. Oftentimes, people are much too lofty when setting their goals. Instead of simply saying that we want to lose 50 pounds, run a marathon, or wake up early to workout everyday, we need to set small, achievable goals that aren’t daunting.
If you want to, say, eat more veggies in the new year, instead of trying to force yourself to eat nothing but leaves, try to begin slowly incorporating them into your diet by making it a goal to eat vegetables with at least one meal a day. This goal feels achievable and will not leave you feeling burnt out, making it more likely that you will create a lasting lifestyle change.
Assess Where You Are
Okay, you have set some realistic goals. Awesome! Now, you need to start assessing where you are in your health journey. You can do this by documenting your dietary and physical intake. To stick to your goals, it’s important to be clear about where you’re starting from so that you can accurately plan a course of action.
Apps like MyFitnessPal are great for mapping your progress and keeping track of the food you’re eating and how much physical activity you’re doing— two key factors impacting your health and weight. When doing a self-assessment, it’s also crucial that you are honest about what barriers have kept you from reaching your goals in the past so that you can create a plan to finally overcome whatever’s been holding you back.
Think Long Term
When creating your goals, you have to think about how you will sustain them long term. While you can achieve your goal of losing 30 pounds by fad dieting, will that keep the weight off long term? To be successful in your goals long term, you have to consider what lasting lifestyle changes will be necessary. These changes take time, so it’s important that you remember that your resolutions are just a starting point for your journey ahead.
Try this, if your goal is to lose weight, stop thinking about what foods you need to remove from your diet in order to lose weight, and start thinking about what foods you can add to your diet that fuel your mind and body. When we are too restrictive with the food we eat, it’s unsustainable and likely will not result in lasting lifestyle changes.
The power of positive thinking is real, people! If you “fall off the wagon” on the road to completing your goals, just hop right back on. If you were driving home and got a flat tire would you just give up and sit on the side of the highway forever? No! You would get out of the car, change the tire, and be on your way again. Who says the path to reaching your goals can’t be approached in the same way? It will not always be easy, but you can do this!
Talk to a Registered Dietitian in Birmingham, Alabama
If you’re ready for a fresh start in 2021— and don’t we know we all need one— then consider talking to a registered dietitian. Talking to a RD can help you better understand what it will take to achieve your fitness goals and give you an achievable course of action.
The team at EIM Personal Training is here for you and want to see you succeed. Call us at (205) 396-8352 or email me today to set up an appointment. I can’t wait to talk to you soon!
Learn more about starting the New Year off right with EIM Personal Training in Birmingham, AL
Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) is an elite personal training studio located in Mountain Brook, Alabama. We believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! With a holistic approach to health, fitness and wellness, the EIM team works to understand your fitness goals, help you identify and develop wellness priorities, and address your specific health and fitness challenges. Through this understanding, we’re able to design a fitness and wellness plan specifically tailored to you.