Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, quit smoking, or join a health club. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health.
“Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.”
Here are 11 small steps to improve your health.
1. Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra pounds.
2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, Elzekiel bread with almond butter and oatmeal with fresh fruit or if that is too much, just have one or the other for breakfast.
4. Switch three grain servings each day to brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes. If you’re like the average American, you may eat less than one whole grain serving a day. A rule of thumb: protein with complex carb and vegetables in your meals.
5. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.
6. Include greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, and berries (G-BOMBS) into your meals as advised by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.
7. Trim the fat. Fat has a lot of calories. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses without antibiotics, and use a nonstick pan with only a dab of avocado oil or ghee.
8. Downsize your dishes. The smaller the plate or bowl, the less you will eat.
9. Losing 5 to 10 percent of your current weight may lead to these health benefits: lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
10. Keep track of what you are eating. Write down what you eat in a journal and track how you feel. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less.
11. Add in selfcare to your daily routine, even it’s for 5 minutes each day. It’s a start.
To your health,