Tips to stick to your New Years resolutions

Tips to stick to your New Years resolutions

The holidays are barely over, and here you are thinking about letting that resolution sli-i-i-i-i-de. Don’t give up hope. Here’s some advice to keep you on track for a healthier, happier year.

First off, good for you for wanting to start the new year on the right foot. Whether you want to lose weight, exercise more or eat better, setting the intention to do so is the first step.

The next step? Making it stick. Unfortunately, the “doing it” part is almost always harder than the “wanting to do it” part. You can take comfort in knowing that 80 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions are already off track by the first week of February.

So, how can you join those successful 20 percenters?

Get specific.

Do you want to lose some vague amount of weight? Or do you want to lose 10 or 20 pounds? Without a clear goal in mind, you’ll never be able to achieve it.

Take baby steps.

If your resolution is a lofty one — say, hitting the gym five days a week when you’ve been a couch potato for the past 12 months — you may be setting yourself up for failure, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). A better and more achievable goal is to start small by aiming to work out twice a week in January, building up to three times a week in February and so on.

Rose Taroyan, MD, assistant professor of clinical family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a primary care physician at Keck Medicine of USC, suggests doing 30 minutes of daily activity and gradually working your way up. Dr. Taroyan says you can split these up into three 10-minute activities, such as walking the dog or doing yard work, as well as tying exercise to rewards, such as watching TV while on the treadmill.

In addition, she says, “Eating healthy is all about setting a dietary pattern to follow which becomes part of daily regimen. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables; limit sweets, sugar and saturated fats; cook at home; and eat smaller portions.”

Focus on one thing at a time.

Let’s say you made a bunch of resolutions: You want to eat better, exercise three times a week and stop biting your nails. There’s a good chance they will prove to be too much to handle all at once.

While some resolutions go hand-in-hand, such as eating better and losing weight, trying to fix every habit at the same time can prove impossible, says the APA. It’s better to pick your one main goal for now. You can always stop biting your nails in June.

Enlist friends and family.

You don’t need to make a major Facebook announcement that you’re determined to lose 20 pounds this year, but you should let a few trusted friends and close family members know that you’re serious about your goal — and ask for support. Perhaps your neighbour is game for morning walks once or twice a week, and your spouse can promise not to bring cookies or cake home from the store.

Ask for support.

If, even with your friends and family on board, you’re still finding it challenging to stay on track, consider joining a group of like-minded people (such as Weight Watchers or a weight-loss group at a hospital). It can be helpful to share your struggles and successes with like-minded people.

Cut yourself some slack.

If you didn’t make it to the gym twice this week or you gave into your craving for that brownie, don’t beat yourself up. You’re only human, and no one is perfect. Instead, remind yourself that you’ll do better at your next meal or make it back to the gym tomorrow. The important thing is not to let one slip-up derail your entire year. You’ve got this!


Recipe: Cranberry Sauce

A favourite around the dinner table at the holidays is Cranberry Sauce. Making your own sauce is really easy, and you can do it a few days ahead. Plus, this one uses only three ingredients

Nutrition: per serving
Kcal 56
Fat 0g
Carbs 15g
Sugars 15g
Fibre 0g
Protein 0g
Salt 0.01g


100g light muscovado sugar
100ml orange juice, fresh or from a carton
250g pack fresh or frozen cranberry


Tip the sugar and orange juice into a pan, then bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries, then simmer until tender but still holding their shape – this will take about 5 mins if using frozen cranberries or 8-10 mins if using fresh. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week. On the day, bring to room temperature before serving.

Top 10 Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol is very often not the cause of that extra pound or two you gained over the holidays or after a few parties. The fact that alcohol relaxes you, lowering your inhibitions means that unless your dancing on the table you’re probably scoffing all the high fat, high sodium nibbles on the table. You conveniently forget all the cheese sticks and sausage rolls you ate and blame the alcohol. Stick with the list below and I’m afraid you’ll have to face the truth. You’re a binge nibbler after a few tipples.

Top Ten Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

•       Sparkling wine is surprisingly low in calories, containing a mere 105 calories for a 140 ml glass.
•       White wine averages 91 calories per 140 ml glass. Sweeter wines will average an extra 20 calories. Pour your white wine into a long glass and top with soda water, adding volume to your drink without adding calories. Alternatively pop a couple of ice cubes into your wine glass.
•       Red wine comes in at 98 calories for every 140 ml glass.
•       Vodka comes in on average at 55 calories per 25 ml. Add plenty of ice, 50 ml of lime cordial and top with soda water for a long drink. A total of 61 calories a pop. Yippee! bring on the vodka…
•       Gin is also 55 calories per 25 ml. Add lots of ice, a slice of lime and 100 ml of Schweppes’s tonic. This delightful tipple will rob a mere 92 calories from your daily allowance.
•       A 25 ml of whiskey topped with soda water has to be the lowest of all, hitting home at only 55 calories. Ye hay!
•       A 25 ml of whiskey and 120 ml of ginger ale will set you back 95 calories.
•       A martini averages 200 calories per glass, if you don’t eat the olive. I say eat the olive. There’s a lot of alcohol in that olive. To hell with the extra 8 calories.
•       A better choice would be a bloody mary with a celery stick! A bloody mary will cost you about 120 calories. Tomato juice is also full of vitamin C, which helps prevent a hangover the next morning. And celery is a zero calorie food. Three good reasons to drink bloody mary’s.
•       A Tom Collins runs alongside the bloody mary at a 120 calories per glass.

Some good tips stop all that nibbling: have a healthy dinner before the party and drink lots of water between drinks. Remember to drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive! Happy celebrating!