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It’s February … Do you know where your New Year’s Resolutions are?
by Amy Carlson, MS, RD, LD

An American tradition is to throw off the last year with abandon and refocus for the blank slate, the New Year, by making passionate resolutions. So often, however, by February the goals that helped to rejuvenate us are slowly being neglected. We have the best intentions for following through… “exercise 3 times/week, I’m going to eat more fruits and vegetables, set my alarm earlier, take a walk at lunch time, be nicer to my employees!” Where have these goals gone? Why are they so quickly dismissed when most of them would serve to make us “better people”?

The problem often lies with the grandeur of our goals. When we make goals that are far too grand, goals that are so different from our current life style, we find it difficult to incorporate these goals without a radical overhaul in our day-to-day life.

Goals are essential for making changes in our lives. They help us be accountable; they allow us focus where we may not have initiated change. Without goals, we would likely not make progress in so many areas. But what can help us meet these goals without making us feel defeated?

Start by making overall goals for your health, a mission statement for your health and wellness. Looking over the last year, in what areas have you felt disappointed? This time next year, what things in your health would you like to have accomplished? Are there areas that you consistently neglect? For example, do you know that you need to make a dentist appointment but never get around to making it? Sit down with your yearly calendar and make small goals for each month. February, make a dentist appointment, March, schedule a yearly physical… then when you get those overall goals scheduled, think about monthly goals. How many times a month would it be reasonable to exercise? Do you need to join a gym or hire a personal trainer to help you get your fitness goals going? What are small, manageable nutrition goals? You may find that the first month, your goal could simply be to keep a food diary. Then evaluate that diary and make goals based on your observations. How about adding just a fruit per day, or trying to add more water in your diet? Keep a water bottle by your computer and drink while your working on projects or emailing. These small changes add up to make big differences. By avoiding even just 200 extra calories/day that are “mindless eating”, you can make a big dent in your weight by this time next year. Small changes mean big results.

In my years working with clients to help them achieve their weight loss and nutrition goals, I’ve found that when they come to see me their plans are to start from “scratch” and they want to change everything instantly. This leads to overinflated goals and underachievement. When you start small you end big. Pull out those well meaning resolutions and work them down to manageable, healthy goals. YOU CAN DO IT! Write me and let me know how making small goals has changed your life!

Here’s to good health in the New Year!

Amy B. Carlson, MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian and consults clients in the greater Houson area. To contact Amy for an appointment call 713-978-1713 or e-mail her at abcdietitian@houston.rr.com.

View Amy's Bio
View our frequently asked nutrition questions & answers




Weight Training
Lat Pulldowns
Pulldowns are a great exercise for the back muscles but avoid pulling the bar behind the head. Pull the bar down in front of the body toward the collar bone and with the bar just below your chin. Pulling the bar behind the head puts undue stress on the shoulders and rotator cuff.
Running
Avoiding Shin Splints
Do you have lower leg pain or shin splints from running? Running on hard surfaces, worn out running shoes and weak calf muscles could be the culprit. Try running on soft trails, buying a new pair of running shoes or adding calf exercises to your weight training routine.
Walking
The Talk Test
A great way to make sure you are staying in your aerobic fat-burning range is the talk test. If you cannot comfortably carry on a conversation with your walking partner you probably need to bring down the intensity to assure yourself that you are burning fat.
Fat Burning
Your Anaerobic Threshold
A great way to make sure you are burning fat during cardio sessions is knowing your anaerobic threshold or where your heart rate zone needs to be to burn fat stores. Find a gym or fitness center that offers anaerobic/VO2 testing. Merlino Fitness offers anaerobic threshold testing every month. Check out the link below for more details.
Merlino Fitness Metabolic Testing
Nutrition
Keys to Weight Loss
If you are trying to drop weight make sure you incorporate the following to get you on your way. Drink lots of water, don't skip meals (especially breakfast), do not eat late night meals or snacks after 7 or 8 pm and build as much activity into your everyday life as you can. Michael also recommends joining weight watchers to anyone trying to lose weight and keep it off long term.
Nutritional Supplements
Stay Away From Ephedra!
The weight loss/energy supplement is in the news again. Supplement companies that market this controversial supplement claim it is safe although many have died from this dangerous supplement. Make sure you check the labels of your nutritional supplements as many are laced with ephedra, also known as ephedrine or ma huang (the actual herbal).
Quick Tip Archives
Our archived collection of fitness and nutrition tips to help you stay focused and fit.
Tip Archives

Soy Dream
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Take the edge off those sweet cravings with this healthy soy alternative to an ice cream sandwich without the unwanted calories and guilt.
Product Website
Eggology Egg Whites
Take the edge off those sweet cravings with this healthy soy alternative to an ice cream sandwich without the unwanted calories and guilt.
Product Website
Grocery Store Archives
Our latest collection of on-line articles to help you stay focuses and fit.
Grocery Archives
 
Fitness
Pamela from Chihuahua, MexicoI work out 5 days a week and can't loose weight. I do spinning, tae bo and many types of cardio. Where am I going wrong?
Answer
Nutrition
Ross from Sidney, AustraliaI am currently trying to eat six small meals per day. Apart from breakfast and dinner, I always seem to forget or skip my meals during the day. I also need some simple, easy meals (snacks) that do not require refrigeration or preparation, apart from the obvious fruits.
Answer
Running
Amanda from Manitoba, CanadaWhat should I eat the morning of my track meet?
Answer
 


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