Healthy steps to a New Year's you

Keeping your New Year's resolutions can be harder than making them. Holiday treats are still making the rounds at the office and it's cold outside - so why not snuggle up inside with a movie instead of walking around the block? If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. This year, take action and turn your resolve into results.

On this page:

Five tips for sticking to your resolutions

Take small steps

Be realistic about what you want to change in your eating habits. Often people decide to change without thinking it through. Begin by getting familiar with Canada's Food Guide and start slow by setting 3 small goals for yourself, instead of one big one.

Choose healthy goals that are easy to achieve. Once those have been reached, then choose some new ones.

Examples

  • Increase the amount of fibre in your diet by making half your grain products whole grain each day (e.g. choosing whole grain bread instead of white).
  • Reduce your sugar intake by limiting sweets, alcohol and other sweetened hot or cold beverages.

Remember, maintaining positive change takes time, so be patient on your journey toward a healthier future.

Be specific

Think about healthier foods to add to your diet--not just about what to eliminate. Write them down, or use My Food Guide to develop a customized approach for healthy eating that's right for you.

Small changes over time will make it easier to track your success and feel good about meeting your goals. You'll also be motivated by your success to make even more changes.

Did you know?

Using the Percent Daily Value (% DV) on the Nutrition Facts table of packaged foods will help you choose healthier foods.

Tap in to your network

Having the right support system in place will help you meet your goals.

Examples

  • Get the family involved.
    • Ask the kids to help create a meal plan every week.
  • Invite a friend or colleague to join you on your journey toward a healthier future.
    • Trade meal plans and recipe ideas.
    • Commit to spending 20 minutes walking together every lunch break.

Try and try again

Expect that you may have setbacks. Some goals will be harder to achieve than others. The key is to get back to it and try again. You may have to make some adjustments to your timeline, but it'll all be worth it in the end.

Celebrate your success

After you've accomplished each goal, reward yourself with a fun family outing, make a date with friends, or find another way to celebrate your success.

Did you know?

You can also check out tips, recipes, blog posts and more from our media partners: CMT stars The Wilsons, chef Christine Cushing at the Huffington Post and the folks at Canadian Living.

Shop and stock up for health

There are many products to choose from in grocery stores, so planning ahead is critical to making healthier choices. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your next trip down the food aisles.

  • Plan ahead--making a list can help save you time and money.
  • Keep stock-- shopping and cooking ahead ensures you'll always have "plan B" in your freezer, fridge and pantry.
  • Read labels -- learning how to read food labels will help you make healthier choices.

Did you know?

The Retail Council of Canada and participating retailers want to help you Eat Well. Between January 6 and 12, watch for in-store promotions while you shop.

(Watch Eat Well video)

Step your way to increased physical activity

Becoming physically active is worth the investment. Regular exercise helps prevent:

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • depression

And being physically active doesn't mean you have to run a marathon-as fun as that may sound. Climbing stairs, raking leaves, even walking the dog-it all counts. The important thing is to start slow and gradually increase your activity. Take a look at these tips to get active and you'll see that everyone has what it takes.  Also, be sure not to hibernate through the winter.  Find things you enjoy that will keep you active through the seasons.

In just 10 minutes, you could be on your way to better health. Adults should aim for a minimum of 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of moderate-to vigorous physical activity each week. But if you break it down into 10-minute periods, you can achieve the same health benefits. Take the Be Active quiz to find out more.

For more information

Being active (to come - part of new Canada's Food Guide pages)

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