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Get to work on a healthier lifestyle before January

From our experts: Jessi Holden is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Mary Free Bed. In this blog, she shares 10 small lifestyle changes you can make now.

The most common New Year’s resolutions focus on getting healthy – eating better, losing weight or exercising more. We tend to set these goals without outlining the steps to get there. With the holidays approaching, many of us decide to wait until Jan. 1 to make any positive changes.

Women walking up stairs

Jessi Holden and Barbara Beerthuis

What if you could start making healthy changes now that spare you the decision on what diet to start in January?

Mary Free Bed offers a Weight Management program that goes by the motto “progress not perfection.” We help you take steps toward a healthier lifestyle all year long. Many people start the program with the goal of weight loss. By focusing on your health and mental well-being, we teach you how to make long-term changes that happen to result in weight loss.

Here are 10 small behavioral changes you can start working into your day, right now!

  • Reduce your sedentary time by getting up from your computer every 30 minutes and taking a short walk down the hall and back. Or take a lap around your house during commercial breaks.
  • Try eating one more fruit or vegetable each day. Try something seasonal or a favorite cooked in a new way.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park further away from the door.
  • Try stretching in the morning or at night. Stretching our body helps reduce tightness from stress and releases tension.
  • Be positive every day by reflecting on things you’re grateful for.
  • Get in touch with all-or-nothing tendencies. Do you intend to go all in on a new workout plan or diet? Try the motto, progress not perfection. Weight management is a continuum of care for yourself.
  • Drink another cup of water to stay hydrated. It’s common as we go into the cooler months to drink less water, because we sweat less.
  • Get in a micro workout! This is a great way to get moving and prepare for building in regular exercise. Try 10 squats while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew, or do calf raises when you’re pumping gas.
  • Guilt is non-productive, so if you notice yourself feeling guilty in response to some kind of action, reach out for professional help.
  • Make your goals about long-term health and not about weight loss. We put so much emphasis on the number on the scale that we can get trapped in cyclical weight loss and gain.

Do any of those tips resonate with you? Pick just one tip, and try it out for a week. Plan for how you’ll implement it, then reflect each week on how it’s going. Mary Free Bed’s program includes regular check-ups with our doctors to make sure you are “checking up” on yourself, too.

Want more help? Our next class – the last one for 2019! – begins Oct. 23. For more information, visit our website, call 616.840.8908 or email MFBWeightManagement@maryfreebed.com. We look forward to helping you on your journey!

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