January is a popular month to launch into a new health kick with great intentions and resolve.
But regardless of the time of year, it is beneficial to set goals for health, fitness, and well-being. Whether it's quitting smoking, alleviating stress or increasing exercise — you have to start somewhere – no matter what the month!
To get started try making some of these mini-resolutions:
Be realistic, and try to avoid the trap of seeking rapid weight loss. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Not only is extreme weight loss unhealthy, it can be counterproductive causing loss of muscle mass instead of fat.
Don't skip meals as this can backfire and sabotage your efforts later! Eating small meals throughout the day can give you the energy you need without feeling hungry, and help you to resist the urge to overeat later in the day.
Make smart choices at the salad bar. Avoid fatty meats and mayonnaise-based salad dressings. Fill half of your plate with vegetables and some fruit.
Read labels and make informed healthy choices when you shop. A label may say "fat-free," but that doesn't mean that it's "calorie-free."
Most importantly — if you experience a setback, don't lose your resolve. Along the journey you will have many opportunities to learn about what works for you and what doesn’t. Use your experiences as teaching moments toward a healthy lifestyle you can adopt for life.