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New Year, New Habits

Por MyDiet™ -

December seems to be the month in which important decisions are made, fresh starts are undertaken and new pages are turned. However, instead of setting ridiculously high goals that are almost always impossible to fulfill, why not set some doable objectives?

Maybe one of the objectives could be to not set any goals for this time of year because of the many pressures weighing down on us: family visits, holiday travel, work deadlines, office meetings, parties, more parties and even more parties. 

However, if you feel that it's now or never and that January 1st is too late, take a deep breath, muster your efforts and go for it. A guide from the Health and Nutrition area of the National Institute of Health (NIH) could be useful to you. It indicates that in order to bring about any real changes, we must understand that any habit we modify is not only beneficial to ourselves, but also to those around us. This is especially true for children who imitate our habits and eat what they are served at the table.

The following are some tips compiled by the NIH and Texas Heart Institute to help you start a new chapter in your life:

  • Find a balance between what you eat and the physical activity you do.There is no one pattern to follow. Each person needs to discover how much to eat and which physical activity is right for them.
  • Do exercises that you are capable of.You shouldn't take hip hop lessons just because it's all the rage. You can take walks around the block, play more with your children, ride a bike or dance. It's not worth it to spend a lot of money signing up for all the gyms in your town if you're just going to quit after the second class. The most important thing is to get your body moving no matter what your situation.
  • Make intelligent choices and choose foods from each food group.Think of your favorite healthy foods and combine them with others to make for a more balanced diet. Show off your intelligence when it comes to making meals.
  • Reduce portions.A lot of times the problem is not that we eat unhealthy food, but rather that we eat too much. Reducing portion size is very important so you don't tax your body's digestion process, and feel that heavy sensation which really is just an accumulation of fat and calories.
  • Eat five meals.Try to eat five times a day and put as much variety as you can into each meal.
  • Avoid high calorie snacks.It's very tempting to go to a vending machine and insert 75 cents for a chocolate bar. Watch out because this usually contains more calories than a healthy snack.
  • Give yourself a day off.If there is a certain food that you just can't give up, go ahead and enjoy it, but make sure you don't eat it more than once a week. However, be careful and adhere to the previous three tips, especially the first one. Don't eat five slices of pizza, just eat two.

A good way to complement these tips is to decrease the amount of salt you use. One of the main enemies of a healthy diet is salt. An excess of salt can cause bloating and circulatory problems. That's why you shouldn't cheat and justify your actions with phrases such as "salt: the spice of life." The proper seasoning doesn't mean salty, it means flavorful.

However, to reach these objectives, which are concrete and feasible, experts say it's necessary to get moving. Take it step by step, day by day. You'll soon see positive results in your overall well-being, not just in your pants size, and it will help you feel in charge of your life. Overall, you'll be motivated to keep moving.


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