With Thanksgiving having come and gone, the holiday season is officially underway. That means New Year’s is fast approaching—and with New Year’s comes reflection. What have we done well? What can we do better? What challenges have we overcome amid 2020’s many obstacles?
Once we’ve reflected, we then make our resolutions to do even better in the coming year. Some of us go for that promotion. Others might try to cut back on work to spend more time with the family or with friends. Here at Total Nutrition and Therapeutics, we dedicate our life’s work to helping people eat and be healthier. So it’s not lost on us that one of the most widely shared resolutions is to be healthier. In fact, exercising more and eating healthier are the first and third most common resolutions, respectively.
According to Time Magazine, just as frequently as we make these resolutions, we break them. Why? Well, the easiest—and perhaps most redundant—answer is that people lack resolve. But that’s not true! More often, we lack a plan. So in today’s blog, we’re going to discuss how to create an ironclad plan to maintain nutritional wellness in 2021 and beyond.
Inform yourself about nutrition and health
Some of us know what to do but haven’t managed to take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. But for many of us, perhaps most, we aren’t quite sure what to eat or how to work toward a healthy body—yet it’s understanding healthy foods and proper workout regimens that invites you down the path to wholesome fitness.
- Avoid the easy way! The easy way is, more often than not, the most harmful. The last thing you want to happen is to find yourself gravitating toward clickbait crash diets and misleading exercise programs.
- Glean information from accredited resources. Refer to widely-used, empirically-based information. Sources such as the Department of Health and Human Services or the National Institute of Health are great government resources. From the private sector, Web MD’s food and fitness blog and the Mayo Clinic’s many articles on diet and exercise are universal references for diet and exercise. Better yet, start with Total Nutrition & Therapeutics’ wellness plan, which begins with nutrition.
- Talk to friends with good nutritional habits. Join online health forums. Insert yourself into the health and nutrition community at large. Getting different ideas and perspectives will help you find what works best for you.
Make a list of foods you like and dishes to cook
Nutrition boils down, so to speak, to natural foods, such as lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. But the modern person can hardly exist on a diet of raw spinach and apples. It’s simply unrealistic to think that this will satisfy our desire for taste and variety. And if we don’t have some dishes in our toolkit, we’ll be all too quick to give in to something easy, like takeout (unless it’s a salad—hold the ranch!). Hence, planning!
Hopefully, you have a few go-to dishes in your back pocket. If not, perhaps start with some simple dishes, like salads or breakfast items, to get yourself going. Or better yet, refer to healthy recipes that include some of your favorite foods. But remember, whether you create your own dishes or use recipes, keep track of them. Start a journal or a spreadsheet on your laptop. Use a calendar. Organization is your friend.
Better yet, Total Nutrition & Therapeutics offers courses on meal preparation. Sign up to learn more about the latest recipes steeped in the latest evidence on nutrition and health. Starting with this course is one of the best ways to symbolize your commitment to creating and maintaining a proper health plan for the New Year.
Plan your health routine: scheduling diet and exercise
Now it’s time to turn those lists and ideas into reality.
The science shows that sleeping, eating, and exercising on a consistent schedule are immensely important to our health. Plus, it’s a lack of schedule that tends to let us stray from our New Year’s resolutions. Allocate recipes and workout routines to certain days of the week. And be sure not to forget about snacks! Healthy meals are small meals, which means that you should also be eating small snacks throughout the day.
Creating the plan forces you to commit to it. Psychologists have been studying reinforcement schedules for decades. By writing down your plan, each time you participate in that plan you reinforce the plan’s creation. This process ignites a positive feedback loop of healthy behavior.
Total Nutrition & Therapeutics leverages these findings for our coaching program. This program is designed to—well, reprogram your mindset so that you stop looking at your schedule as an insurmountable obstacle and start looking at it as a challenge that you want to overcome.
Shake up your nutrition plan every now and then—and give yourself a break!
Just because we create a routine doesn’t mean that it has to be—well, routine.
Once you’re rolling along with your schedule, the last thing you want to do is get bored, which makes you liable to fall off track. Every month or three, shake up your nutrition plan to keep things fresh (last nutrition pun—we promise!). Switch up your recipes. Change up your exercises. It’s incredible what a little variety can do for us, even if it’s as small as trying a new healthy recipe or taking a different jogging route.
And for the love of Pete, let yourself live every once in a while! In contrast to those of us who just can’t seem to set a plan and stick to it, some stick to their plan so rigidly that they end up exhausted and go up in flames!
Planning your New Year’s resolution shouldn’t feel like writing an obituary for your former life. Of course, you have to be honest with yourself, avoiding the tendency to rationalize unhealthy foods and lackadaisical movements as proper nutrition and fitness. But being honest with yourself includes knowing your limits. By learning proper nutrition, planning your recipes, and imbuing flexibility into your routine, you’ll set yourself up to fulfill your 2021 New Year’s resolution.
And don’t forget that we can help with your nutrition resolution. Take a few minutes to check out client testimonials from those who used Total Nutrition & Therapeutics’ nutrition programs, from meal preparation to mindset coaching.
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Are you one of millions of Americans making a New Year’s resolution to start eating better in 2021? Total Nutrition & Therapeutics offers countless products and services surrounding diet and fitness. Visit our website to find out more about what Total Nutrition and Therapeutics is doing to fight the stigma surrounding ED!