According to U.S. News, 80% of New Years resolutions fail. Are you surprised? Oftentimes, the New Year is started with the best of intentions and some pretty lofty goals. Smaller and more realistic goals, that can be achieved slowly over time are much more likely to be attained. At the beginning of this New Year, consider taking a 52-week approach to better nutrition and health. Each week focus on one small change. Overtime these small changes in behavior can become a new lifestyle and make you more aware of your nutrition and health. Bookmark or pin this blog post. Revisit each week to keep yourself on track. At the end of this post there is a checklist you can print off to keep yourself accountable. Let’s get started!
Week One – January 1-7
Read this blog post. How easy is that? Once you read this post, and get a glimpse of what’s ahead, you’ll be ready to start strong next week.
Week Two – January 8-14
Get at least 2.5 hours exercise this week. The average adult needs at least 2.5 hours of aerobic physical activity each week. Five or more hours provides even more health benefits. Start with just 2.5 this week and work up. Continue exercise each week.
Week Three – January 15-21
Track your food and exercise. It is said that people often underestimate how much food they eat and overestimate their activity level. Tracking each bite of food that goes in your mouth and each minute of physical activity you do will help you get a realistic picture of what is actually happening. After tracking this week you will be able to see where you want to make changes and set goals for the weeks to follow. Myplate offers a tracking program called Supertracker that you may find useful.
Week Four – January 22 – 28
Plan your menus. Menu planning is the real key to success when it comes to healthy eating. If you aren’t sure how to get started with menu planning, click here.
Week Five – January 29 – February 4
Spend 30 minutes browsing choosemyplate.org. Educating yourself about different nutrition topics will help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Choosemyplate.org is a wealth of information. Find a topic that interests you and learn something new.
Week Six – February 5-11
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. While browsing choosemyplate.org last week, you may have learned that you should fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. This week aim to do that at each meal.
Week Seven – February 12-18
Get at least three hours of exercise this week. As mentioned in week two, it is recommended that you get 5 hours of physical activity each week. You started out with 2.5. Bump it up to 3 this week and continue that amount each week.
Week Eight – February 19-25
Attend a local Food $ense class. Food $ense classes are taught in most counties in Utah. Click here to find classes near you. If there are not any classes near you, or you aren’t able to make it to a class, spend some time reading through past blog posts here on eatwellutah.org.
Week Nine – February 26 – March 4
Focus on drinking enough water. The 8 glasses of water a day recommendation is a good starting point. The Mayo Clinic offers some tips on determining how much water you actually need. Click here to read about it.
Week Ten – March 5-11
Learn about label reading. Label reading can help you determine if the packaged foods you are choosing are as healthy as you think. Click here to learn what all that information on the label actually means.
Week Eleven – March 12-18
Get at least four hours of exercise this week. You are working your way up to five! Bump it up to four this week and continue that amount each week.
Week Twelve – March 19-25
Make smart snack choices. Snacks are a great way to supplement your nutrition. Preparing healthy snacks that are ready to grab and go is a great way to make snacking a success. Eatright.org offers some great advice on snacks and provides a list of snack ideas if you aren’t sure where to start.
Week Thirteen – March 26 – April 1
Practice the cook once eat twice method. It’s as easy as it sounds! When you have time to cook, cook enough of the food item or recipe that you will have extra to use later. Click here for a Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken recipe that lends it self well to this method.
Print the checklist below. Leave me a comment each week to let me know how it is going. The second quarter of year will start in April, so check back for weeks fourteen through twenty-six. Good luck!
Click on each page to print your 52-week checklist.
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant