5 tips for meeting and keeping your health goals in 2017

A simple healthy eating guide so you can make progress on those New Year’s weight and fitness resolutions—finally!

Trent Lanz | Stocksy United

Losing weight and staying fit and healthy remain at the top of many people’s New Year’s resolution lists year after year. So as we venture into 2017, filled with hopes and dreams, goals and expectations, I want to shed some light on how to create and achieve those healthy eating goals in a realistic, sustainable way. But first, we need to set the record straight on what works and what doesn’t.

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I have worked in the allied health industry for close to a decade now, and over that time I’ve noticed that a large number of people believe a falsehood: that the more extreme and restrictive the diet, the better off they are. Partly, this stems from fad diets, but I also think that for some women, it seems easier to not eat at all then to make better choices. I get it, because actively making lots of small choices every day, day after day, takes a lot of will power. And there’s a heap of misinformation out there that tries to justify these bad, fad eating habits. But don’t let crazy restriction trends deter you from living the long term healthy lifestyle you’ve always wanted!

After four years of offering group health challenges (as a service of my nutrition business), and helping thousands of people try a new way of eating, I’m convinced these are the key things you must do if you want to be successful at sticking to your health resolutions. Here they are:

Create a good map

Just like trying to navigate when you’re driving in an unfamiliar area, you need direction and guidance to get to where you want to be when it comes to your health. Start with a comprehensive meal plan—it’s imperative!

Join a support group

You have a much greater chance of succeeding if you find a program with a helpful support group, as well as professional expertise to draw from. The more you’re accountable to a group and a set plan, the more you will thrive. If you follow a plan for at least 21 days, you will create new, potentially life changing habits.

Carve out prep time

Shopping and meal prepping can be overwhelming when life is busy, but after a couple weeks, it becomes a therapeutic process. For instance, I often shop on a Thursday for the following week and prep a bit on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Most of our clients enjoy prepping on Sunday, but many healthy dishes can freeze well, so take that into consideration.

Lose the excuses

Every time you find yourself starting to make excuses for your bad habits, remind yourself that you’re worth it. People who are busier are doing it! We all have things that hold us back, but the most powerful tool to help us succeed is our mind.

Keep a journal

This is not just another method of accountability, but also a means to keep track of what works best for you. No two people are created equal. Keep track of your food, your exercise, and your measurements. The “before” and “after” results will motivate you for a long time.

MORE TO READ: Why Bridget Jones should have kept a journal, not a diary

Whether you’re looking to make a big change in 2017 or just add in a couple of better habits, I hope these simple guidelines will help improve your chances of success. Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year, friends!

Cara Busson-Clark
Cara Busson-Clark
Cara Busson-Clark is a Certified Sports and Clinical Nutritionist and runs Cara Clark Nutrition. Her "non-dieting" approach to health and wellness, attracts a wide range of clients, including Hollywood celebrities. In addition to her passion for helping others live their best lives, her world revolves around her faith and family. She is mother to four daughters, ages one to six and lives in southern California.

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