Progress Check: Assessing Your Goals for 2017

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Reflecting back on this past year, what are some positive changes you accomplished towards your healthy lifestyle goals? Have you lost weight, gained weight, or maintained your weight throughout the past year? What areas would you like to improve upon in 2017?

For Lasting Progress, Start with these Tips to Focus on a Healthy You in 2017!

  • Set Appointments – The new year is a great time to schedule appointments for physicals, dental exams and routine health screenings.
  • Fruit bowlMake Healthy Food Choices – Rather than focus on avoiding foods, try to think of healthy foods to incorporate into your meal plan. Aim to eat a small meal every four hours to stay satiated and avoid blood sugar spikes. Avoid skipping meals and try tracking your consumption using a food journal app such as Baritastic or MyFitnessPal.
  • Practice Mindfulness – Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging — such as those related to food, body image, etc. Mindfulness decreases stress which can boost the immune system to fight off illness.
  • Planner 2017Plan Ahead – Preparing for your day in advance allows you to be in control of your meal times and food choices, and allows you to avoid grabbing empty calorie choices on-the-go. Take one day a week to prepare meals and pack a lunch and snacks the night before. Make sure you have a refillable water bottle to fill as you go about your day as well.
  • Be Active – Consider how much exercise you participated in over the last year. Now, where would you like to be a year from now? It is recommended that we spend at least 150 minutes per week doing moderate cardio activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity along with two days of strength training. Break that goal into smaller goals and divide the number of minutes you want to aim for by how many days per week you are willing to commit to and start there. Remember to lightbulbtake baby steps and set realistic goals so that you can stick with it and gradually work your way up for lasting change.
  • Have an Open Mind – If you are bored with your exercise routine, try a new fitness class. There are always new options available that break the rut and challenge new muscles. If you have been eating the same foods every day, try a vegetable that you have never tried before or haven’t eaten in a while — even if you did not like it the first time. If you skip breakfast, start drinking a protein shake or a healthy smoothie with Greek yogurt or kefir and frozen fruits/vegetables to start your day on the right foot.
  • Be Tobacco Free – You may have had numerous attempts at quitting or may just be getting started. While there are greater benefits the earlier you quit, there are benefits at any age. To check out some of the many health effects related to tobacco use, please CLICK HERE.
  • Get Adequate Sleep – Making a habit of getting a good night’s sleep is important for your well-being and is key to appetite and weight management. What steps have you taken to strive for seven to eight hours per night this year? What habits need to change if you are not already meeting your needs?

As with any transformation, changes take time to establish and replace old habits. This year, focus on you, your health and your well-being, and you may me surprised at some of the unexpected results — such as a more positive attitude which allows you to better care for others as well. While it takes a significant time commitment initially, making strides toward a healthier lifestyle is worthwhile and becomes easier as new habits form. You are worth prioritizing and making the time! Cheers to a healthy new you in the new year!


About the Author:

Pam Helmlinger

Pam Helmlinger, RD, LDN, CDE, is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian specializing in bariatrics. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Harding University in 2001 and her experience includes ten years at Tristar Centennial’s Center for Weight Management. She holds a certificate of training in adult weight management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and became a Certified Diabetes Educator in 2012. She has a passion for helping patients throughout their weight-loss journey from medical weight-loss to preparing for surgery and maintaining weight-loss for the long-term. 

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