It’s hard to ignore the feeling a New Year brings. It’s a chance to re-evaluate our lives and think about where we might want to make some changes.
Statistics show that most resolutions don’t work, so we’re going to dive into noteworthy goals for the New Year. If you already have goal setting figured out, then my job is easy. So thanks. You may have several goals in mind to accomplish throughout the year and that may over-extend you. So maybe just start with one — complete it, then go on to the next one. Let’s start the new year with becoming healthier since that is a very important goal. Some of you may be saying, “but I want to lose weight.” Ok, good — because if you eat to become healthy then the added bonus is you will lose weight also.
First thing we need to do is stop worrying about things not to eat and focus on a positive mindset of what you should eat. We often think of resolutions as eating less of something or cutting it out altogether, but I think it’s more fun and realistic to try and think positively about food. So let’s drink more water. Dehydration can occur quickly and result in headaches, lethargy and crankiness. Drink water throughout the day and aim for approximately half an ounce to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh. For example, a 150- pound person would need between 75 and 150 ounces of water per day.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. A healthy goal includes at least two fruit servings and three vegetables servings daily. Visit a farmer’s market or grocery store and stock up on fresh foods in season with a variety of color. We should consume more fiber. High-fiber foods have heart- health benefits, control blood sugar, and help other food move through the digestive tract for healthy elimination. These things will help your body function properly.
The New Year is also a time when many of us have many hopes to make improvements to our nutrition. But it is also hard to know where to start. You must tailor your nutrition around your goals and activities. Make a decision on what your goal is for the next few months. If you want to gain some lean muscle mass, you will need to eat accordingly. You might need to add some extra calories so that you have enough of a surplus to grow; but do not gain unnecessary excess body fat in the process. There are super foods for fitness such as oats —high in fiber; eggs —protein source, muscle building; greens — reduces inflammation; and lean meats, fish amino acids, protein source, muscle building. We have to include physical activity in our healthy diets in order for it to work. Try a little exercise daily and see the difference it will make in your life.
If you have a group of 10 or more adults who would be interested in pursuing all this information and taking it to another level, I would be happy to work with your group. Give me a call at the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Office. 910-592-7161 or e-mail me at Lethia_Lee@ncsu.edu. I will go over the information with you and make plans to start a class of our New Year goals and how we can achieve them,
Lethia Lee is the EFNEP Program Assistant for the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program with the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center.