Redefine what it means to be healthy in the new year

Here are three ways you can become a healthier, happier version of yourself in 2018.

Is it time to redefine your health in 2018? The new year is here, and millions of Americans will go on yet another diet in hopes of losing weight for better health.

And millions of Americans will fail. Why? Because diets don’t work. Diets that restrict certain food groups, have rigid eating rules, use punishment or guilt to get you to eat better or slash calories are not sustainable and can even harm your health. That’s why they always fail and leave you tired, frustrated and — worst of all — weighing even more.

What if you could say to yourself that the only new year’s resolution worth following is to stop dieting? Wouldn’t it feel good to let go of resolutions that keep you in the on a diet/off a diet cycle of despair and failure?

Instead, this year, think about what health might look like for you. What is one health goal you’d like to achieve this year that would help you rediscover the joy, energy, movement or happiness that you’ve been missing?

Creating new habits by making different lifestyle choices every day is the way to invest in your health and win the war against weight gain. There are many opportunities to do that each day! Building necessary skills, a positive mindset and knowledge about nutrition will enable you to make different choices that will put you on the road to successful weight management.

Think of weight management as a life-long journey that is intimately tied to your lifestyle. It requires developing skills, using real-life strategies and resources to help you keep weight off permanently. You are the expert in what works for you.

Here are three steps to become a healthier, happier you in 2018:

Define what healthy means to you. Is it losing weight? Is it fitting better into your jeans? Is it lowering your blood sugar or blood pressure? Is it lowering your triglycerides or cholesterol levels? Do you want more energy and less fatigue?

Contact a registered dietitian nutritionist. Go to www.eatright.org to find a RDN in your area (or just search for an online dietitian you can work with virtually) to help you focus on your next steps. Not only do they understand eating behaviors and how food interacts with health, but they’ve also been trained to help you set goals and use accountability to move you in the direction of better health.

Look at health and weight maintenance as a journey, not a destination. We all have issues we can improve on daily to support a healthier mind and body. It’s an ongoing effort that is enriching, educating and inspiring you to go further than ever before.

Good health is the result of many healthier choices practiced every day, every year. Make 2018 your healthiest and happiest year ever.

Kim Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist, board certified health and wellness coach and founder of Total Health. Visit www.totalhealthrd.com and www.facebook.com/totalhealthnutrition for more information. Twitter: @healthrd.

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