Healthy New Year: 10 Reasonable Resolutions

All too often New Year’s are made to be broken. Folks usually bite off more than they can chew (“I’m going to lose 20 pounds by February 1st”). Forget about the “all-or- nothing” and “cold turkey” approaches, how about some resolutions that are reasonable so you can actually stick to them?! Here are ten ideas to help get you started.
New Year’s resolutions sometimes seem like they're made to be broken. Folks usually bite off more than they can chew (“I’m going to lose 20 pounds by February!”). Forget about the “all-or-nothing” and “cold turkey” approaches -- how about some resolutions that are simple enough that you can actually stick to them?

Here are 10 ideas to help get you started.

1) Slow and steady weight loss

Crash diets and dropping pounds too quickly won’t work for the long haul (nevermind that it can be downright dangerous). Make a commitment to eat 500 calories less per day (that might be as easy as cutting out two cans of regular soda) and this can help you lose about one pound per week.

2) Plan of attack

Take 10 minutes on your shopping day to plan meals for the week ahead. Simply deciding what you’ll prepare will help keep you focused and avoid last-minute runs to the drive-thru. If you have some extra time, prep things such as grilled chicken, brown rice, soup, pizza toppings or tomato sauce ahead of time to help take the load off on weeknights.

3) Shop smart

Always use a shopping list and never go grocery shopping hungry. This will help you stay on track and avoid impulse junk food purchases.

4) Become more of a locavore

Save calories each day by replacing high-calorie snacks (i.e. cookies and chips) with fresh fruits and veggies. Taking advantage of seasonal produce will help keep things interesting throughout the year and will help you do something good for Mother Nature. For info on what’s in season where you live, visit Field to Plate.

5) Track your progress

Keep a food diary for a few weeks to help get you started -- it may shed some light on your diet pitfalls. You can use an online tool, an iPhone app or just good old pen and paper to jot down everything you eat and drink. Paying attention to what you’re taking in can help you make smarter choices.

6) "Weight" it out

Your weight can fluctuate up and down one to two pounds a day (or more) due to fluid changes, making that number on the scale jump around. Save yourself the frustration and weigh in once a week-- use the same scale at the same time of day for the most accurate results.

7) Don’t forget dessert

Instead of giving up all sweets (or other high-calorie vices), give yourself the green light to indulge on occasion -- once a week perhaps? Attempting to banish favorite foods from your diet almost always backfires and makes you feel too guilty when you do give in.

8 ) Take the guesswork out of takeout

There’s nothing wrong with takeout a few times a month, but a few calorie-heavy meals each week can stunt weight loss. Use our dining out guides to make the smartest choices at your favorite restaurants.

9) Make exercise fit

Exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand. Instead of promising you’ll make it to the gym seven days a week, be more realistic -- shoot for two or three and work your way up. Overdoing exercise can lead to injury and that will really throw a wrench in your quest to be more fit.

10) Make a deal

Strike up a friendly wager with a loved one or just yourself. Write out a contract and hang it on the fridge to keep you motivated towards your goals.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Strategies for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Enlist these five nutrition strategies to help keep your New Year’s resolutions.

New Year's Resolution: Making Over Your Kitchen for a Healthy New You

Before you get started on you New Year's resolution, FN Dish has some ideas on how you can set up your kitchen to help you achieve your goals.

Countdown to New Year’s: No-Resolutions Resolution Week 5

We're in the home stretch of our No-Resolutions Resolution plan. Here are our tips for how to shop for the best and healthiest packaged foods.

Countdown to New Year’s: No-Resolutions Resolution Week 3

It's the third installment of our No-Resolutions Resolution plan, and this week we're turning our attention toward the relationship between calories consumed and calories burned.

Countdown to New Year’s: No-Resolutions Resolution Week 4

Focus on snacking smart now and you won't need to make that New Year's Resolution again this year. More healthy eating tips like these at

Countdown to New Year’s: No-Resolutions Resolution Week 2

Become a vegan before 6 pm and you won't have to make any New Year's resolutions this January 1. More healthy eating tips like these at Food Network.

Countdown to New Year’s: No-Resolutions Resolution Week 1

Forget the self-shaming resolutions of years past. Instead, avoid packing on the extra pounds during the holiday season so you enter 2015 with a bang.

7 Ways to Jump-Start Your New Year’s Resolutions

Get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions by using these seven techniques.

Science Can Help You Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions

Could this be the year you actually make good on your New Year’s resolutions? These science-backed suggestions may help you hone your approach and stick to your goals.