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By: Emma Wright, RD, LD at UnityPoint Health - Marshalltown
As 2017 has come to an end, it’s time for 2018 New Year’s resolutions. While most are made with the best intentions, they don’t always tend to stick with us. Some goals we set for ourselves may be unachievable, to restrictive, boring, or just not right for us. Resolutions can be attainable if we simply adjust our perspective and set realistic goals. So how do we make 2018 our healthiest and happiest year yet?
Kick the strict diet to the curb – Don’t fall prey to those fad diets that promise a quick fix or that restrict several food groups. Instead focus on eating foods that are nutrient rich and that you enjoy.
Plan and prep – Set aside time each week to plan some of your meals, get groceries, and prepare foods in advance. A little bit of planning on the front end will not only save you time throughout the week by cutting out the guesswork, but will also help you in achieving success with your healthy eating goals.
Set SMART goals – Goals are an essential component to long-term success. Goals keep you focused and keep you motivated. Set a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.
Create goal checkpoints – Set weekly or monthly reminders to take a few minutes to assess your goal progress. Take this time to reflect and make adjustments to help you continue to be successful.
Stock your freezer – With less variety of fresh produce during the winter months in Iowa, eating frozen fruit and vegetables are a great alternative.
Focus on breakfast – Breakfast tends to get skipped or may turn in to a high calorie, high carbohydrate meal on the go that leaves you hungry again shortly after. Aiming for a breakfast packed with protein can help you to feel full longer and give you the energy to get your day started. Milk, eggs or almonds will help you in getting a protein packed breakfast and also provide you with other essential nutrients.
Log your food and drinks – Logging your food and drinks helps you to recognize the foods you are eating and how much of them you are consuming. Using pen and paper, computer document or phone app are all great options.
Increase your activity level – Look at where you currently are with you physical activity routine, and set a goal based off of this. Don’t set a goal for how often you would like to be exercising in an ideal world. But instead, make a realistic goal for what will work with your schedule and your life.
Enlist support from family, friends and coworkers – Tell others your New Year’s resolutions and plan to become healthier. It will help hold you accountable and allow your peers to help in your lifestyle change.
Mind over matter – Your attitude and mindset will determine your success. Have a positive attitude and an open mind to new lifestyle habits before creating your goals.
Need some help with reaching your health and wellness goals for 2018? Contact your UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown Dietitian’s at (641) 854-7530 to learn more about our NEW FOCUS program. NEW FOCUS is a 12 month, individualized nutrition education program focusing on Nutrition, Exercise, Weight management, Finding balance, Overcoming barriers, Commitment to lifestyle changes, Uncovering new strategies, and Supporting your goals. Participants receive one-on-one counseling sessions with a registered dietitian.
To find out more information about UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown’s Nutrition Services please click here.