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A New Year Resolution You Can Keep

January 03, 2013


Michelle Holmgren, Public Affairs & Community Relations Specialist

(Office) 413-967-2296 (Cell) 413-237-6743




Studies suggest that 20% of resolutions are broken within the first week of January and at least 80% are broken within one year, and the actual figure is probably much higher.

Ware, MA (January 3, 2013) - Each New Year brings with it resolutions. Many will resolve to improve their health in the coming year by eating healthy and losing weight. But changing or altering the foods you choose and how you eat is not easy and success does not come overnight, often many get discouraged and stop trying.

“This New Year instead of making diet and weight loss resolutions try to focus on improving your health by making changes in your goals,” said Alicia Walter, MS RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. “Now that all the holiday gatherings and parties are over, take a good look at what you are eating. The easiest and most effective way is to make one small change at a time and get used to that change before you incorporate another one,” said Walter. “Before you know it, you’ll be making wise food choices by habit.”

“Your food choices determine how you feel every day,” said Walter who recommends the making the following changes to your diet:

Eat whole grains. Whole grains may help protect against several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Whole grains also can help combat high cholesterol, and because they are high in fiber, they are satisfying and make you feel full longer.

Drink water. Water is the most important substance in your diet. Every cell in your body needs water in order to function properly. It also contains zero calories, so you never have to worry about it having an impact on your daily calorie intake.

Skip the soda. Regular colas and sodas contain a large amount of empty calories. Even the zero calorie alternatives can be addictive and unhealthy. Research continues to show a link between diet soda consumption and weight gain. Diet soda may not have the sugar or calories but it does contain other chemicals, including caffeine, artificial sweeteners, sodium, and phosphoric acid, and trick your body into thinking that it’s tasting sugar, leading to cravings for even more sweets.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C.

Eat breakfast every day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Many studies over the past 20 years have shown that eating a healthy breakfast can improve memory and concentration, boost your creativity and problem solving, lift your mood and help you reach and keep a healthy weight.

Have some protein with every meal. This will help to keep blood sugar stable. Protein doesn’t necessarily mean meat; there are lots of forms, including beans, soy, yogurt, cheese, nuts, quinoa, etc.

Include your healthcare provider in your plans. A visit to your health care provider can increase your chances of success. If you have been putting off seeing your health care provider, the best resolution you can make for your health is to include your provider in your plans. Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, or reduce stress, once you’ve committed to making a change, sit down with your health care provider to make a plan. And the bonus, you may be more motivated to stick with a lifestyle change if you look at it as something your doctor ordered.

Alicia Walter facilitates a Diabetes Support Group that meets the first Wednesday of every month from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. Meetings are held in the Main Conference Room located on the second floor of the hospital and are open to community members who have diabetes, their families and anyone who is interested in learning more about diabetes. Registration is not required, for more information contact Michelle Holmgren, Public Affairs and Community Relations Coordinator at 413-967-2296. For more information about Baystate Mary Lane Hospital visit for follow us on Facebook.