Small changes in habits can produce big results

Happy New Year!

These three words are associated with a fresh start and with that comes a declaration to improve ourselves in one way or another. These improvements oftentimes involve eating healthier, exercising more and losing weight.

Even though these are all good things making too many changes can cause us to fail. When making your new year’s resolutions this year try making small changes instead of trying to eliminate all your bad habits at once.

Here are some examples:

•To eat less, try eating off a smaller plate. You might try drinking a glass of water right before you eat to help you feel fuller. Add a serving of veggies as part of your dinner routine. They are filling and have few calories.

Avoid eating snacks out of a bag or box. Put them in a small dish instead so you can see how much you’ve eaten.

Another good habit is to buy snacks in smaller containers (such as 100 calorie bags) instead of large ones. They may cost a little more but can help you eat less.

You also may eat less junk food if you keep it out of sight. Place those items in the back of the cupboard or store them in containers you can’t see through. You could also brush your teeth after meals to prevent snacking.

When going out to eat avoid choosing more than one high calorie food. For example, next time you go out for pizza you probably don’t need breadsticks too. Try having a salad instead.

When going out for a fish fry choose a baked potato instead of fries. You could also ask the wait staff to pack up half your meal to-go or share an entre with someone because the portions are probably too big anyway.

 If you don’t eat enough vegetables you could sneak them into foods you already like such as bulking up spaghetti with tomatoes, mushrooms or zucchini. Include a small portion of veggies (half a cup) with your lunch or as snack between meals.

Finally, if you struggle to fit in daily exercise squeeze in a quick walk on your lunch or add extra steps to your day by taking the “long way” to your destination.

If you are planning on joining a gym, slowly increase the time and intensity of your workouts to minimize soreness and fatigue. Incorporate a routine you can see yourself doing forever and not just for the next few weeks.

This year, make a resolution that creates small changes because they can make a big difference.