Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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SMART Goals for the New Year

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photo by Yuval Y., GFDL
Happy New Year! It’s that time again for new resolutions and goals, so how can we choose goals that we’ll actually stick to? Make this year different by coming up with resolutions that are realistic for you and your lifestyle. If you’re aiming to achieve your health goals, take these tips into consideration when planning your new you:

Make Your Goal SMART

Make your new year’s resolution a SMART goal.

  • S- Specific
  • M- Measureable
  • A- Attainable
  • R- Realistic
  • T- Timely

Come up with a goal that you will be able to attain and something that is realistic for your body and lifestyle. Choose a way to measure your fitness level—such as clothes size or weight—and make a goal that will me measurable within a reasonable time frame. Remember that healthy weight loss is one to two pounds per week, so keep this in mind when choosing your goal.

Make Small Changes

Weight loss and fitness shouldn’t be just a trend but should be an ongoing lifestyle change instead. Instead of going cold turkey and making unrealistic changes, make small lifestyle changes that you will be able to maintain over the long run. The small changes you make should be dependent on your individual goals and needs, but here a few ideas to get you started:

  • If you are someone who skips meals, start incorporating breakfast into your day. Also try to eat three meals a day, and two to three snacks per day between meals (to keep from binging at mealtime).
  • Drink water! Drink about eight glasses of water a day, and if you’re a soda drinker try consuming less or switching to diet.
  • Get moving! Exercise at least 30 minutes three to four times per week
  • Swap healthier ingredients into recipes—for example, exchange low-fat dairy or light salad dressing for full fat varieties.
  • Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies!  The fiber will fill you up and produce is low in calories, which will help you slim you down.
  • Choose lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish.
  • Start watching your portion sizes! Refer to this page for some simple portion size guidelines. http://www.dietsinreview.com/diet_column/01/know-your-portion-sizes/      

Healthy living doesn’t have to mean cutting all of your favorites from your diet—everything can fit, as long as you are reasonable! Make small, healthy changes each day for a long-lasting and nutritious life. 

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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