Steps to Success for New Goals in a New Year

posted by Darlene DeWitt, MS, RD, LD on Monday, December 30, 2019

Do you have goals for yourself for the new year? Losing weight is a pretty common New Years’ resolution. Many resolutions have fizzled out by February, so how can you stick with your weight loss goals in the new year? Very often, you bite off more than you can chew when it comes to food and fitness goals.  For example, the physical activity guidelines for all Americans are to get 150 minutes of physical activity a week. But when you go from doing nothing to exercising for 30 minutes a day, what happens? Soreness sets in and you decide you aren’t cut out for this!  How do you avoid this?  Start out slow and build up. Start out with 10 minutes on 3 days a week for the first two weeks; then 15 minutes, then 20 minutes (increasing by 5 minute increments every couple of weeks). Then you add another day a week, and after a few weeks another day.  In a few months, you will have met that 150 minutes a week and feel great!

The same thing goes with eating in a more healthful way.  Dietary guidelines say you should eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy while avoiding fast foods and added sugars.  Seems like a lot to think about!  So, you go in to your pantry and toss everything! Very often, you are back to old habits by the end of the week, because it is just too much!  So pick one thing; focus on one part of those guidelines.  Maybe you know that you buy a sugary coffee every day before work, or you know you eat a lot of white bread and rice so you need more fiber.  Maybe you go weeks at a time without eating a vegetable besides French fries. 

Pick one of those areas to focus on.  If you want to work on sugary beverages, start by switching out one coffee a week with water, then two, then three so that it is a gradual transition.  If you want to focus on fiber, add in whole wheat bread for a few weeks, then maybe try brown rice instead of white.  If you think you want to work on eating more vegetables, try adding a vegetable at dinner three days a week, then four days, then five days. 

As you do these things gradually, you figure out what you need to support these new lifestyle habits.  you realize you need to find more recipes to cook vegetables so that they taste better to you.  You realize you need to try different flavors of water to find one that you like.  Then each new habit builds on each other, and before you know it you have a whole new healthy lifestyle.  So, you can still have that larger resolution, but add in the smaller steps to help you along the way.

For those on Medicare, there is a great option for you to get some assistance with your weight loss goals.  Medicare covers a program called IBT (Intensive Behavioral Therapy).  This is a program that allows you to meet with a Dietitian for 22 sessions a year.  The sessions are weekly for the first month, every other week until 6 months, and then if you have lost 3 kg (a little under 7 lbs), you can continue monthly for 6 more months.  So, if you feel like you need a little support to lose weight and reach a healthier you, talk to your provider or call me at 712 264-6505 so we can discuss your options. Happy New Year! 

About The Author

Darlene DeWitt, MS, RD, LD

Darlene DeWitt is one of Spencer Hospital’s Registered Dietitians. Darlene currently provides outpatient services in the areas of Diabetes management, heart disease, weight loss, GI issues and other various health concerns.  She received her Master of Science degree in nutrition from C ... read more