DESIGNING A HEALTHY DIET FOR THE NEW YEAR

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The majority of these resolutions focus on diet in attempts to lose weight and be healthier. A new year is the perfect time to jumpstart a healthy diet to make the changes you want to see for yourself throughout the year. However, research shows 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. Many people strive for unrealistic goals, which ultimately set them up for failure.

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EXERCISE HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

While exercise has long been known for its positive effects on physical health and its ability to heighten energy and help manage chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, exercise is now being lauded for its beneficial effects on the brain.   These benefits touch almost every aspect of life. Exercise helps sharpen short-term memory and improve long-term memory. This happens because exercise can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate….

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GETTING STARTED AND STICKING WITH IT

As we kick off 2018, you may be thinking about resolutions pertaining to your health and fitness. It’s easy to determine some ways to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s not always as simple to stay motivated and make the new commitments part of your lifestyle. Now is the perfect time to set goals, whether it be for the number of days you intend to work out each week, how many steps you want to take each day or healthy meals you want to prepare for your family.

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• Explain your reasoning with confidence. When someone asks why you’re going gluten-free or not eating cake, clearly explain that you’re hoping to improve the way you eat or that you don’t want to feel sluggish from the sugar. You just might help someone else make a healthier choice.


• Team up. Find an office buddy who wants to start eating better and challenge that person to a lunch outing. Agree that you’ll both order an item with vegetables or skip the soda. Doing it together takes the spotlight off you and hopefully inspire others to team up with you.


You shouldn’t have to sacrifice healthy nutrition to fit in with a group. Instead of being embarrassed by others’ comments, use them as an opportunity to start a discussion about healthy eating. Be sure to come from a positive, nonjudgmental viewpoint. You never know how your actions can impact the way someone else thinks about their own nutritional choices.

How many times have you gone out to eat with the intention of ordering a healthy dish, only to change your mind after you’ve heard what everyone else has ordered?


There are a few reasons we do this. Sometimes it’s a matter of will power. When everyone else is ordering burgers or pasta, suddenly your salad doesn’t sound as appetizing. You give in because the other options sound too good to pass up.


Other times, you may order as the rest of the group does because you want to fit in. You don’t want to stand out as the only person who ordered something healthy at a restaurant famous for its loaded burgers. Maybe you’re experimenting with a gluten-free or dairy-free diet and don’t want to draw attention to it.


It can be difficult to make healthy choices when you’re surrounded by people who aren’t committed to a similar lifestyle. Whether it’s your coworkers, friends or family members, you may be afraid or just plain tired of the comments they make about your food choices. When you’re the only one at an office party or family gathering eating greens while everyone else is loading up on pizza, you stick out like a sore thumb. An office full of adults can easily turn into a high school gym class, picking on the “nerd” who brought vegetables to work for a snack when

OWN YOUR DIET

MICHELLE CHALKEY

Michelle Chalkey is a Des Moines-based freelance writer specializing in health and lifestyle topics. She enjoys helping businesses communicate their messages through blogging and effective storytelling. Connect with Michelle on Facebook or check out her blog for helpful tips on the writing process and productivity.

more articles by michelle chalkey

there are donuts in the break room.


Being called out for your diet is no reason to sacrifice your health. Rather, it’s a reason to embrace it. If your goal is to improve your eating habits, you should celebrate rather than deny it. Instead of lowering your health standards to fit in, accept your eating choices as your way of life. Be proud of it. And if people ask, use the opportunity to teach them about the benefits of healthy eating. With any goal you make for yourself, there will be people who try to bring you down or stand in your way. They don’t necessarily mean to derail your progress. Often their interference is because they want this goal for themselves and aren’t making progress as you are.


Rather than sacrificing your healthy habits, try the following tips to own your diet:


• Bring a healthy dish to office potlucks and holiday parties. It’s take a chance to wow everyone with how delicious healthy food can taste. Make your favorite recipe and proudly share it with the group.