With 2019 already upon us, it’s that time of year where many people start to think about their resolutions for the year ahead.
And if you have set resolutions before, you are all too familiar with the process.
But if you are tired of your resolutions not coming to fruition, or this year you simply want to take a different approach, consider ditching the resolutions and instead committing to making lifestyle changes.
With a lifestyle change, you are establishing a new habit, and in the process, hopefully setting yourself up for a sustainable way of living that makes you feel good and that you can maintain.
Start with these three:
Have at least one plant-based day
From the impact on the environment to the impact on our bodies, an increasing body of research supports the need to eat more plants and plant-based options and choose fewer animal-based products. Many people get scared off and assume it’s an all or none scenario, or that plants just taste bad. But quite the contrary! You can eat meals that are tasty and nutritionally rich, that don’t have any animal products. Even one day a week is enough to have a positive impact on you and the environment. Start the year committing to meat-free Mondays or choosing another day that works for you where you can explore new plant only foods.
Make movement a habit
When it comes to exercise, it is easy to get disheartened when your day is too busy to make it to the gym, or you oversleep and miss your morning run. But here’s the good news: movement is what is important. In other words, don’t focus on exercise and care only about whether you get to the gym for an hour or not, but instead simply focus on getting up and moving. Taking a walk outside on your lunch break, walking up and down the stairs a few extra times during the day, or even setting an alarm to get up every hour and stretch is a good place to start. Once you are in the habit of moving, it will be easier to stick to it and commit to larger chunks of time devoted to exercise.
More Water, More Greens
Tackling the food, diet and nutrition aspect of health can be overwhelming and, at times, discouraging. Instead of trying to take on several food and diet changes and alter a lot at once, start simple: drink more water every day, and eat leafy green vegetables at least once a day. Being more adequately hydrated will help you concentrate better, feel more energized, sleep better and encourage improved digestion. Likewise, leafy greens are so nutrient dense that they will contribute to enhanced energy, help you feel fuller and boost your gut health. These simple changes are the first step towards being able to make larger food and diet related changes and are a reasonable place to start without feeling overwhelmed.
This year, don’t set yourself up for failure with resolutions if you know they aren’t what work for you. Instead, adopt these three simple habits and you’ll be impressed with the results!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH