Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Want a Healthier You in 2010? Making Small Changes Can Have Huge Benefits

So, another year has flown by and believe it or not it’s not just a new year but a new decade. Where does time go? I reflect back on my life ten years ago and it’s amazing how much different life was then. But one thing remains the same: my commitment to wellness, including eating healthy and exercising.

However, it wasn’t always this way but through lifestyle changes I made it happen. So, my goal for you this year is not to make another resolution to go on a diet, but to look for ways to make lifestyle changes happen.

Diets are only good if it teaches you behavioral modification, which involves eating healthy and exercising. I hear it every day: “I lost 20 pounds following this diet but I gained it all back.” My first question back is, “Did you go off the diet or stop exercising?” You can’t expect to maintain your weight loss if you go back to your old ways. After all, how did you put the weight on in the first place?

In our minds we think of diets as a short term intervention. But we need to change that mindset. Think of how you can make healthier changes. Maybe you reduce your eating out and make healthier meals at home or brown bag your lunch. Whatever healthy changes you make will only lead you in the right direction. Remember, nothing happens overnight and there is no right or wrong.

Lifestyle changes are goals that we work towards. Chances are if we dive straight in then we will be overwhelmed and fail. But if we incorporate changes more slowly, then we can work them into our lifestyles. For starters, each week set a time and day to exercise and put them into your appointment book. Then gradually increase the days to fit them into your schedule.

This year make a resolution to your own wellness – whatever might be. The Martin Memorial Center for Health and Healing offers individual and group weight-management programs, smoking-cessation programs and diabetes education. Make a commitment to yourself. Call our office at (772) 223-4916 for more information.

-- Beth St.Louis MS, RD, LD/N
Program Dietitian, Center for Health and Healing

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