Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the neighbourhood health club. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health.
“Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.”
Here are 10 to try:
- Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra lbs. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly.
- Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
- Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, top whole-grain cereals with fresh fruit slices. Check out all our healthy recipes.
- Switch three-grain servings each day to whole grain.
- Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.
- Trim the fat. Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, use a nonstick pan with only a dab of healthy oil or butter. See our HIPP Health Guide – Fats 101
- Consider calcium by including two or three daily servings of milk or yoghurt. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight, but best to avoid cow’s milk.
- Downsize. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat.
- Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. The health benefits are huge-lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less.