By Athlete's Care on January 21, 2014
By Teresa Tsui, MSc, ND
After ringing in the New Year, many individuals reflect on the year past and set New Year’s resolutions for the year ahead. While a large number of individuals set these resolutions, less than half are still implementing their resolutions half a year later. This figure is understandable given that studies on behavioural changes show that successful implementation of new behaviours include many factors, including one’s readiness to change, adequate education on strategies to change, and self-regulation, such as goal-setting and self-monitoring.
Here are some common New Year’s resolutions including eating healthier, losing weight, quitting smoking, and some tips to help you implement them.
Resolution: Eating healthier
Many people mention they would like to eat the best way possible for themselves, or want to try different types of diets in the New Year. Speak with a dietician or naturopathic doctor before modifying your diet to ensure that you are choosing the right foods for your body’s needs. Be specific with how you want to eat healthier – such as striving to eat 6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, rather than just increasing your vegetable intake in general. Write these goals down, and place them somewhere visible where you will see them frequently. Revisit these goals periodically, or by following up with your health care provider to monitor your progress.
Resolution: Losing weight
The New Year is a popular time that many people want to improve how they feel and look. Some individuals have the intention to lose weight as a way to achieve this goal. Individuals who are overweight are at higher risk for many chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis, and many more conditions, therefore weight loss can be very beneficial for preventing long term health conditions. Many successful weight loss approaches include education on diet and nutrition, an exercise plan, and behavioural changes which are best individualized. If you are considering losing weight, speak with your family doctor or naturopathic doctor to determine which approach is most suitable for you.
Resolution: Quitting smoking
Along with improving their health, and turning over a new leaf, long term smokers sometimes vow to quit their habit once and for all in the New Year. If you are considering quitting smoking, speak with your family doctor about drug therapies that can help you quit smoking. If you are considering a natural approach to quitting smoking, naturopathic medicine can help increase your chances of quitting, and supporting you throughout the process. Smoking is one of the hardest habits to quit since many environmental cues (e.g., familiar smoking environments), personal factors (e.g., one’s belief in successfully quitting), and behavioural issues (e.g., having the tools to quit) are at play. Do not quit alone – speak to a qualified health care professional first.
About naturopathic medicine
Naturopathic medicine is a complementary and integrative approach to primary health care aiming to address the cause of disease while supporting your body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopathic medicine is covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Teresa Tsui, MSc, ND practices at Athlete’s Care Empress Walk, improving the quality of life of the community. Call 416-479-8684 to learn how naturopathic medicine can help you.