5 Easy New Year’s Resolutions That Can Really Make a Big Difference

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If you’re anything like me, every new year’s celebration is marked by a grand resolution for the next year that inevitably falls apart before January is over. The problem is always the same – trying to change too much at once. So this year I will be focusing on trying to change only a couple of small things for the better. In that spirit, here are a few recommendations for easy, and small new year’s resolutions that can really make a big difference.

  1.  Make at least 50% of your grains whole grains:  Choose brown rice instead of white. Whole wheat bread and pasta instead of refined white products, and enjoy tasty whole grains like quinoa and farrow.
  2. Cut down on sugar sweetened beverages:  This includes sodas, sweetened sports drinks and juices, and sweet coffee drinks. There’s no need to eliminate these things entirely, but reducing them will help. Perhaps set a goal to cut your consumption in half.
  3. Prepare more food at home:  Both fast food and sit-down restaurants use loads of oils and salt to make food taste good so that we want to come back and eat it again. When you cook at home, you are much more likely to take it easy with the salt and oils, greatly improving the nutrition of your meals. Preparing foods at home also has the added benefit of saving money!
  4. Reduce sodium intake:  Salt is delicious and no meal is complete without it. However, excess sodium intake is a serious problem for most of us in the U.S. The best way to reduce sodium intake is to read nutrition labels before you buy foods, and minimize your intake of processed foods and fast food products.
  5. Pay attention to calories:  Just being aware of your calorie limits for the day can help orient your mind toward a more healthy approach to food. Knowing your calorie limits for the day and not exceeding them is one of the best things you can do for your health. If you don’t know how many calories you need in a day, you can use this calculator to find out:  www.myplate.gov/myplate-plan.