Question: Talk about tough New Year resolutions. I am trying to get back into a daily routine of exercise, eat healthier and quit smoking! Definitely not easy goals especially when you combine them. So far, I have been doing a good job of keeping myself active and quitting smoking (I am on the nicorette cq patch). However, I have found myself struggling on the eating front (I have been eating extra desserts which I intend to make up for but keep putting off). Does anyone have any suggestions?
Heather: First of all congratulations for making the decision that 2008 is the year you will improve your health. You have definitely taken on some very hard challenges, but it sounds like you are up to it, especially with the progress you’ve made so far by increasing your activity and stopping smoking.
I know that it’s easy to focus on the things you haven’t accomplished, but it’s important to keep perspective. You’ve made three lofty goals for yourself and it’s ok to focus on one at a time – you can do this and still accomplish all three this year.
You may be having trouble sticking to your eating goals because you’ve made a lot of changes to your lifestyle at one time. I would try to step back and look at why you’re eating extra desserts. Are you eating them because you’ve sworn them off and so you’re letting cravings build up and then over indulging? If so, I would allow yourself to have dessert by choosing low-fat ones instead of full-fat varieties.
Another reason you may be having trouble sticking to your eating goals is because you’ve also given up smoking. I’m not suggesting giving up either resolution; instead I would look for alternative ways to satisfy an oral fixation. Try things like chewing gum or sucking on sugar-free mints to satisfy this urge.
You may also want to try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day to prevent yourself from getting overly hungry. This also keeps your mouth busy. If you are having sweet cravings, try fruit, which is naturally sweet but low in calories. For a special treat, you may want to munch on dried fruit, which is nature’s candy. Be careful though, it is easy to over consume dried fruit, which can be calorie dense.
Good luck with your new years resolutions. I think you are well on your way to a healthier 2008!
Published On: January 23, 2008