Tips on how to be realistic with and successful in keeping New Year’s resolutions

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Lauri Wright, a registered dietitian and assistant professor at the University of South Florida, knows a thing or two about New Year’s resolutions.

Forty-five percent of Americans make resolutions at the beginning of the year, she said, but only 8 percent manage to keep them.

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“Number one resolution: Losing weight,” she said.

Stacey Scheckner, a licensed clinical psychologist, said everyday pressures prevent people from sticking to their resolutions.

“I think why it’s so hard for us to keep them is because life happens,” she said, “and we put too much pressure on ourselves.”

So I’m here to help, bringing you advice from two experts.

First the psychologist who says be reasonable with yourself so you don’t set yourself up for failure.

“You can say to yourself, ‘If you don’t already exercise, I’m not going to go to the gym every day for two hours, but for 10 minutes the first month I’m going to walk,” Scheckner said.

Lauri Wright, PhD

Lauri Wright, PhD

Next from the dietitian who says these six tips are key.

First, eat breakfast.

“It revs up your engine,” Wright said. “It keeps you focused. It gives you good nutrition and research shows that people who eat breakfast have better body weights.”

Next, fill up on fiber.

“Fiber, along with water is nature’s appetite suppressant,” she said.

Three, watch the calories in drinks and, four, don’t be a simpleton – meaning you need to combine your foods.

“That’s the key, so you want to put protein with carbohydrates,” she said. “An example here is hummus and carrots. Great snack and it will keep you feeling full longer.”

Five: At least half your plate should be fruits and veggies.

And six, track what you eat and what you weigh.

“When you know you have to weigh in, you’ll be more conscious of what you’re eating.  And you’ll get some of those ‘ah ha’ moments when you’re tracking your steps,” she said. “For example, you think you’re active, but the Fit Bit doesn’t lie.”

And finally, make realistic goals.

Wright says losing one to two pounds a week is healthy and more likely to be lasting. And she says many “plans” people start in the new year don’t work for long because you’re losing water weight or you can’t keep up with its requirements forever.

Wright is a registered dietitian and assistant professor at the University of South Florida [College of Public Health]. “Forty- five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions and only about 8 percent actually keep them.  Number one resolution losing weight.”

Read more at ABC Action News

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