5 Ways to Stick To Your Healthy Eating Resolutions (Remember Those?)

Now is the time many folks start breaking their New Year’s resolutions. At the gym, lines for the elliptical machine are slowly dwindling, while at home, healthy eating habits are beginning to slide. If you’re starting to fall off the wagon, instead of going back to your old habits for the remaining 11 months of the year, brush yourself off and get back on.
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Lemon Slices

Photo by: UVimages/amanaimagesRF

UVimages/amanaimagesRF

It's February! Or in other words, the time when many people start breaking their New Year's resolutions. At the gym, lines for the elliptical trainer are slowly dwindling, while at home, healthy eating habits are beginning to slide. Here's how to resist falling back on old habits for the remaining 11 months of the year.

#1: Think Long -- and Small

It's not about making quick fixes. Studies have found that it takes 6 months to turn a small change into a lifelong habit. The best way to do so is to select two to three small goals to accomplish each week, such as "I will eat breakfast every day" or "I will swap whole-wheat bread for white."  Once these smaller goals have been accomplished, choose new ones to build up your healthy lifestyle habits.

#2: Get It In Writing

Whether you blog it, tweet it, or simply write out a contract to stick on your refrigerator, having it in writing makes you feel more accountable. Plus, it never hurts to receive a motivational nod from a friend or a "great job" from Facebook well-wishers.

#3: Watch for Speed Bumps

There's always something or someone who makes it tougher for you to fulfill those weight loss or healthy eating goals. Perhaps you're used to eating the kids' leftovers -- or you just can't seem to make it to your spin class on time. But when there's a will, there's a way. Take the time to identify what "speed bumps" are getting in your way and figure out if there's a way to overcome them.

#4: Partner Up

It's easier to stay motivated when you have a partner. Whether it's a friend, loved one, colleague, or someone you met at a support group or the gym, getting fit with a partner is sometimes all it takes to keep on track.

#5: Get in the Kitchen

Cooking healthy meals takes some scheduling and planning. Take 20 minutes each week to plan healthy weeknight meals. You can now find many healthy meals that take 30 minutes or less. Take one weekend day each month to cook and freeze dishes for later, so you’ll be less tempted to make a late-night run to the nearest drive-through.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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