5 Diet Resolutions For The New Year

What more can we say about making New Year resolutions, besides the already-said like making goals small and planning out ways to keep them? But if one of your resolutions this year is to lose weight, then here are a few tips to help you attain your diet goals for this New Year.

Instead of starting some daunting and extreme diet, why not take subtle tips and slowly change your routine that can help you shed the extra pounds without the added stress of an intense diet. Try these slow but steady tips for a healthier you in 2012:

Diet Resolution 1: Drink more water!

Water is a must and one of the first things that individuals forget when starting a new diet. Not only does water quench thirst but it could also help quench hunger. The necessary 8 glasses of water a day sound too daunting for you? Start small and just drink a full glass of water before each meal. The body feels fuller faster because of this, and slowly drinking more water will become a natural habit.

Diet Resolution 2: Avoid over-eating!

Have a sweet tooth or a bad habit of snacking between or after meals? Brush your teeth or floss immediately after eating, this way you'll be less likely to keep munching or indulging in that overly sweet dessert. Out and about without a toothbrush? Pop in a minty piece of sugar-free gum that can also have the same effect. Most importantly, slow down when eating and watch for portion sizes. The new MyPlate guide can help you keep track of good portion sizes and eating slower can help your body realize faster when you feel satiated.

Diet Resolution 3: Make small changes!

Who wants to go straight into a raw food diet if you can barely even get through a whole day without eating meat? Extreme diets are less likely to be kept, so start off small. Perhaps partake of Meatless Mondays or designate a certain day as a fish day. Add an extra piece of fruit in your lunch every day as a snack. Vow to eat a salad as a meal at least 3 days a week. Smaller goals are easier to attain instead of a full-on diet.

Diet Resolution 4: Try new foods!

Let's face it, not everyone in the world is fond of broccoli or Brussels sprouts. That's why trying out new foods, especially fruits and vegetables can help you increase your daily intake. Instead of broccoli or carrots which can sometimes not seem tempting at all, try out other veggies like eggplant, squash, cauliflower, spinach, etc. that we may not remember to eat on a daily basis. Also, trying new recipes can help spice up your weekly menu. For great recipes, click here.

Diet Resolution 5: Get out and exercise!

No diet is complete without any exercise. In order for all of your diet efforts to show, you need to partake in at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. While busy schedules and old habits might make it hard for you to keep your fitness goals on a daily basis, ask a friend to join you to help keep you accountable in this department. Plus, working out with friends is always more exciting since they egg you on to push harder and time flies by a lot faster with great conversation.

Photo: o5com 

For more healthy tips, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

Tips on Sticking to Your 2012 Bucket List

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

The ball drops, the clock strikes 12 and another year rolls around. This is the time to write in our agendas, on a napkin or on the wall our New Year resolutions for the upcoming year. Some of us will complete our 2012-bucket list, while others find it difficult to fit in that weekly yoga class because of hectic schedules. Here are some simple and very effective tips to assist you in crossing off everything on your 2012-bucket list. So go on, grab a pen, some pretty paper and get writing.

Create simple solutions: We all think, feel and learn differently and thus when creating your New Year's resolutions this year make sure they fit in with your lifestyle. If climbing Mount Everest is something way out of reach for you to accomplish in a year, make that a lifetime goal. When developing your solutions make them stick. So take to paper and think of a few small goals, a couple medium ones and one large one. By plotting out your goals in increments they will certainly be way easier to achieve.

Showcase your successes: People continually say they want to do more good in a year, be healthier in 2012, cook more delicious meals using intricate recipes, and spend more time with family. But none of these goals seem effective to us if they aren't displayed or talked about. So find a spot in your home and put up a sticker, stamp or paint up when you accomplished your goals. This is not only a great conversation piece at your next dinner party, but a way to feel self-fulfilled and accomplished in 2012.

Be positive and get SMART about your 2012 Bucket List: Getting SMART about your resolutions this year is all about creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. Ani, from The Times of India developed this concept and believes by being positive and following this SMART guide, your resolutions will come true. By setting time lines and being realistic all the while being positive, your goals will be met in no time at all.

Don't give up: We all have these grand ideas at the beginning of the year, but then within a week they seem to be left by the wayside. This year is going to be different, following along with Gretchen Rubin's 'The Happiness Project', by sticking to your goals they will be accomplished. Never get down on yourself, and always look to all the happiness in the world and in your life to find all the strength and courage you need to accomplish your goals.

Heck, by the time this year is up, Mount Everest will seem like a small goal. So dream big and accomplish everything you want to this year. Happy 2012! This year is about finding yourself, and crossing off all those perfectly planned out resolutions.

What are some of your New Year's Resolutions?

Photos: puuikibeach

Melaina is from a small town in Ontario, Canada and as an avid environmentalist with a passion for focusing on healthy living. Having traveled the world and written about it every step of the way, she one day hopes to develop unique environmental educational programs for kids. 

For more tips from Melaina, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

Food-Related New Year's Resolutions

Even though the New Year has begun, it's not too late to make resolutions.  I love this article from The Atlantic's Helene York about her impressive food-related New Year's resolutions. Her resolutions are not the common "lose ten pounds" or "eat fewer sweets" kind of pledge.  York details 5 goals for an intrepid home cook and food lover who wants to learn more in the new year.

York challenges herself to improve her preserving skills, expanding on her experience curing salmon and pickling cucumbers.  She additionally plans to grow some of her own food, educate herself about the changing landscape of mass-produced food, and to spend more for humanely raised chicken eggs and farming.  Though the commitment to HFAC-certified (Humane Farm Animal Care) eggs will cost her an extra $50/year, her resolution works towards a more humane farming system.

And lastly, in a more humorous vein, York pledges to try three new recipes for sardines, one of her favorite, highly-sustainable foods.  She is an bold consumer of sardines, and even guts them herself. Sardines are highly-nutritious, but if they're not your favorite, she suggests anchovies or chopped clams. York recommends "low-trophic small species" for maximum sustainability, meaning, species which are not high on the food-chain.

What are your food-related new year's resolutions for 2011?

Read her entire article here.