Despite Americans’ lack of success at keeping them, New Year’s resolutions continue to be made each year. According to an Ipsos/Urban Plates poll, the most popular New Year’s resolutions in 2020 focus on health. Half of those surveyed resolve to eat healthier (51%) and be more active (50%). Two in five survey participants (42%) are going to try to lose weight this year.1
These are important and noble goals, but 80% give up on their resolutions before the end of January.2 Why?
Trying to achieve too much at once may be an unrealistic approach to accomplishing your goals. We’ve laid out 3 steps to setting an achievable “New-trition” Year’s resolution and are helping you get started with a quiz at the end of this blog.
- Defining your goals is the first requirement to achieving them.
If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, this is a very broad and ambiguous goal.
- How do you define healthy?
- How often do you need to eat “healthy”?
- Is there room for indulgence?
- Do you know what foods are healthy?
Define what “healthy” means to you. A defined goal may look like this:
I’m going to eat healthier, meaning:
- Less added sugar
- Less saturated fat from red meat
- Increasing fiber from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- The second requirement is determining small action steps to achieve your goal.
While your goal may be to prevent your pre-diabetes from progressing to Type 2 Diabetes, this can be frustrating without knowing how to achieve it. Even more than telling yourself you’ll keep your fasting blood sugar under 125mg/dL, determine how you’ll do that.
Findings from a clinical research study suggest eating strawberries may help reduce blood sugar levels and inflammation, especially when consumed within 2 hours of a meal.3 Therefore, you may commit to eating 8 strawberries a day before dinner as an action step. Your HbA1c or fasting blood sugars are a measurable result of this action.
Others who are determined to prevent colds during the winter months may rely on strawberry vitamin C to reach that goal. Eating 8 strawberries a day and washing your hands frequently may do the trick. You can measure your success by how often you get the sniffles!
Setting small, actionable steps may increase your odds of achieving that long-term goal by the end of 2020.
- The final requirement is to have fun with your action steps.
Getting your blood pressure down sounds like a lot of boring work- exercising, leaving the salt off your foods, cooking at home more often… However, you might find the joy in discovering new ways to get your blood pressure down. Did you know that the potassium found in strawberries can help control blood pressure and prevent strokes? 4,5
By enjoying Strawberry Yogurt Bark with Chocolate Drizzle or Strawberry Chia Pudding, you can have fun with a potassium-rich, low sodium snack while working towards the goal of lowering your blood pressure. Visit CaliforniaStrawberries.com for more fun strawberry ideas!
New Year’s Resolution Quiz
This 8-question quiz, created by a dietitian, can help you narrow down your health goals and actionable steps to reach them in 2020. Try it now!
- (Dec. 11, 2019). Urban Plates/Ipsos Poll 2020 New Year’s Resolutions. Retrieved from: https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/urban-plates-ipsos-NY-Resolutions
- Khalil, Shareen. (Dec. 21, 2018). New Year’s resolutions last exactly this long. New York Post. Retrieved from: https://nypost.com/2018/12/21/new-years-resolutions-last-exactly-this-long/
- Huang, Y., Park, E., Edirisinghe, I., & Burton-Freeman B.M. (2016). Maximizing the health effects of strawberry anthocyanins: understanding the influence of the consumption timing variable. Food & Function. doi: 10.1039/c6fo00995f
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (n.d.). Your guide to lowering your blood pressure with DASH – How do I make the DASH? In Heart & Vascular Diseases. Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/hbp-dash-how-to
- Seth, A., Mossavar-Rahmani, Y., Kamensky, V., Silver, B., Lakshminarayan, K., Prentice, R., … Wassertheil-Smoller, S. (2014). Potassium intake and risk of stroke in women with hypertension and nonhypertension in the women’s health initiative. Stroke, 45, 2874-2880. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006046