UAB School of Health Professions Current News
- Created on January 03, 2013
Most people start off with New Year’s resolutions to get fit or lose weight only to slack off within a few weeks. University of Alabama at Birmingham experts say trying to change too many things at one time can set one up for failure. Instead, they suggest starting the New Year off with simple changes.
“Replace high calorie, sugary beverages for zero calorie options like water or diet soda,” said Lindsey Lee, R.D., director of the EatRight by UAB Weight Management Services program.
Lee suggests focusing on portion control by using a food scale, measuring cups, measuring spoons or simply changing a plate.
“Serve your meals on a salad plate rather than a traditional dinner plate to help keep your portions in control,” said Lee. “Consider colors, temperatures, textures, and flavors of each food on your plate. This will help you slow down so you can enjoy every bite.”
Becoming more physically active is also important to health and can be done with small changes.
“You don’t need to adopt an elaborate gym routine to get the benefits from physical activity,” said David M. Morris, PT, Ph.D., vice chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. “Simple changes in a few of your habits can make a big difference.”
Morris suggests taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving when you can, washing your car by hand instead of the drive-thru wash and make a Saturday morning walk a family routine. Measure the steps with a pedometer to reach at least 10,000 steps every day.
“Physical activity energizes, elevates your mood and combats depression,” said Morris.
Keeping up with daily food intakes and minutes of exercise can be kept up in several journaling apps including My Net Diary, LoseIt or My Fitness Pal. Lee said if all that fails, have people to hold you accountable.
“Ask a friend, co-worker or family member to help keep you accountable to your goals for 2013,” said Lee. “A little accountability and encouragement goes a long way.”