As the year draws to a close, it's normal for those niggling self-reflective questions to bubble to the forefront of your mind. Did you achieve the goals you set in 2016? Is the lifestyle you led something you're proud of?
If reality falls a little short of your expectations when it comes to fitness and well-being, there are a few ways to kick-start your goals before the clock strikes midnight on New Year's. Prevention turned to leading nutritionists to answer one question: What is the number one piece of advice they tell people trying to lose weight? Their responses weren't what we expected. From ditching "health" foods to upgrading your favorite meals, here are the top three resolutions to make now for a happy and healthy New Year.
"Weight loss will happen as a side effect of choosing whole foods that provide the nutrients you need," says Brigid Titgemeier, RD, a nutritionist at Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine. "New research demonstrates that foods labeled as 'healthy,' like 'healthy cookies,' may be contributing to the obesity epidemic because people are more likely to overeat them."
"Don't try to change everything about your diet at once," says Georgie Fear, RD, author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. "Start by making one improvement in what you're eating or one improvement in how much you're eating, but don't try to change both at once. Ease into it, and you'll find that the healthy changes you make become much more doable."
"Don't eliminate the foods you love. Instead, learn how to eat them in a healthier way," says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. "For example, don't stop eating pasta. Add lots of veggies and lean protein, like shrimp, chicken, or beans to your pasta bowl and avoid heavy, creamed sauces. Remember, the real win in weight loss is keeping the weight off, not just losing it quickly."