The New Year has arrived. The preceding holiday season can be a challenging time when it comes to eating right and exercising. Many people are looking to the New Year as a time to make big changes. Some people call them resolutions, others refer to them as a promise of self-improvement – but in one way or another, almost everyone is making plans for 2016.
“I think the New Year is a great time for a fresh start,” says Diane McArtor, RD, LDN, CDE, an outpatient dietitian at Bayhealth. “The holidays are so hectic. The New Year is the perfect time to refocus.”
Making simple diet changes can have a big impact. McArtor suggests making meals at home as an alternative to eating at restaurants. Not only will it save some calories, it’s better for your wallet.
“If you never eat at home, make a goal to eat at home a few nights week,” says McArtor. “The slow cooker is a good option for busy families. Food can be cooking while you are at work.”
When it comes to exercise, McArtor suggests slowly building up a workout regimen.
“For the majority of people it works best to make small changes over time,” says McArtor. “Maybe start with a 15 or 20 minute walk and work your way up to 30 minutes. Maybe you’ll start jogging as you build up your endurance.”
In the end, it’s important to remember no one is perfect.
“It’s hard to make changes. In the beginning of the year we are so excited to eat right and exercise, and then we get busy and life gets in the way,” says McArtor. “It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You will have late-night meetings or several after school activities for the kids. Maybe you couldn’t cook a few nights this week. That’s okay. You can always get back on track.”
If you are interested in talking to an outpatient dietitian, consult your primary care physician. If you have any questions about services offered by an outpatient dietitian, call 302-744-6828 or go to bayhealth.org/nutrition.