Nutrition 411: 9 Realistic Nutrition Resolutions

(TLN Editor's Note: Here's another timeless gem that I love to cycle in at around this time each year. Read on and get back on the wagon...in a more sensible manner!)

Now that we are several weeks into the new year, how well is your New Year's resolution to get in shape and eat right holding up?

If your best intentions have already fallen by the wayside, don't feel too bad. You are not alone. The numbers are countless of those that made grand resolutions to lose X number of pounds, quit eating junk food, exercise every day, etc.

Good intentions indeed. However, these resolutions are all long-term goals, so it is difficult to get instant gratification or see any positive results on your efforts. This results in abandonment and sliding back into old habits.

Rather than trying to make leaps and bounds, baby step your way into better health!

Here are nine realistic resolutions (goals) for you and the family to work on for the remainder of the year:

1. Take a multivitamin - It is not going to replace poor eating habits, but taking a daily multivitamin is an inexpensive way to help provide the entire family with the vitamins and minerals they are not getting from meals and snacks. Parents can eat chewables too!

2. No soda - Any way you slice it, soda is simply the antitheses of good nutrition. It does not matter if you drink sugar-free, diet or caffeine-free. Manufacturers replace these ingredients with other unfavorable or questionable additives. At the very least, keep soda out of the house!

3. Drive right past fast food joints - Let's not let our short-term memories forget all of the documentaries, books and articles that paint a crystal-clear picture of our nation's addiction to fast food. With so many good, convenient and affordable food choices available, there is no need to subject your family to fast food restaurants. It's just not worth it!

4. Eat more of these superfoods - Yogurt, olive oil, oatmeal, fresh fruits and veggies, fish, tofu, eggs and garlic just to name a few. To get the most out of these superfoods, order or prepare them without heavy sauces, breading, frying, sweeteners, etc. You get the picture!

5. Have at least one sit-down family meal per week - With more parents both working and all kinds of after school activities these days, breaking bread together as a family unit every night has rapidly become a thing of the past. It is hard to believe that only a generation ago, being present at the dinner table was pretty much mandatory for all family members. Commit to at least one family bonding night a week for everybody to help prepare and sit down to a home-cooked, healthy meal.

6. Read food labels - Get a better grip and gain control on what you are putting into your shopping cart. For starters, avoid food products that contain any of the following ingredients: Partially Hydrogenated Oils, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Nitrate, Aspartame, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sucrose, Artificial Flavors and Certified (Artificial) Colors (i.e. FD&C Yellow No. 5).

7, Don't buy a diet book or fat burning supplement - Save yourself thirty bucks or more and abstain from buying the hottest diet book or supplement. It is the same bull, just a different year! Modern diet books, even the good ones, are doing nothing more then reinforcing what we already know: Portion control, healthy choices and regular exercise equate into weight loss. Why pay? You can get tons of this information for free on the internet (i.e. Tough Love Nutrition)! As far as fat-burning supplements go: With the billions of dollars in diet pill sales each year, our country should be a heck of a lot slimmer. Allow me to repeat myself: Portion control, healthy choices and regular exercise!

8. Get fit as a family - It is commendable if you are monitoring your children's video game, computer and television time and balancing it with organized sports or other regular activity. However, how is your activity level? Just as important as eating well, parents need to be a fitness role model too, and there is no better way than staying active as a family. Biking, hiking and skiing are super group activities, but simple things like taking a walk, shooting hoops, playing catch or kicking the ball around outside are all it takes to keep the family unit active on a regular basis.

9. No excuses - The single-biggest road block for making better food and fitness choices is copping out with, "No time.", "Too expensive." or "Don't know how." Fight through these totally bogus excuses and make the effort to improve your lifestyle and health education. Reaching these goals is there for the taking and a heck of a lot easier to accomplish when the whole family is involved!


About Petra said...

This list of resolutions is really well articulated ~ it's all about small steps and changes! I particularly appreciate number 8 ~ "Get fit as a family." With a six-month old baby, my primary form of exercise is pushing the stroller or hiking with the baby on me in a carrier. When I'm not with my partner, I found a group of moms that love the fresh air with whom I get together weekly. Support systems are crucial especially when it comes to change and creating new habits.

Healthy for life said...

These are very good steps to get the realistic results people are always searching for.