Thirty-year-old Pierangeli has spent most of her adult life trying to do
what thousands, if not millions, of women have resolved to do at the beginning
of each year: Live a healthier life. This year, however, she is more optimistic
about success as she's already started efforts at regular exercise and a
"This new year, I will continue and work on my eating habits, go to the
gym, and practice balance in all areas of my life," says the Louisville,
Health-related goals are, indeed, popular among people with New Year's
resolutions. In the last 25 years, resolutions concerning weight, exercise,
better relationships, and smoking cessation have been at the top of
turn-of-the-calendar objectives for both sexes, says John C. Norcross, PhD,
co-author of Changing for Good.
For many women, the path to good health is not an easy one, with plenty of
roadblocks along the way. Procrastination, family obligations, work demands,
and lack of time and energy are only a few culprits that can stop the best of
health resolutions in their tracks.
To help women in their quest for better living, WebMD came up with five
resolutions to improve physical and mental well-being, and asked the experts to
provide tips for success. Their advice is by no means exhaustive, as different
strategies work for different people. But, if you've made attempts at sounder
mind and body before, here's another chance to make it happen. Good luck!
New Year's Resolution No. 1: Eat, but Don't Pig Out
When women resolve to lose weight, they are often black and white about it,
says Bonnie Taub-Dix, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She
says women tend to want to cut out major food groups, telling themselves they
cannot have any candy, dessert, or carbohydrates.
"It's a setup for failure, because by the time mid-January comes around,
those resolutions are already in line for the next new year," says
Taub-Dix. "It would be a much wiser decision to say, for example, 'I'm
going to cut back on desserts.' Maybe pick a Saturday to have dessert."
Instead of deprivation, practice moderation during the holidays.
The reduction approach is much more realistic than the all-or-nothing
technique, which labels foods as "good" or "bad." When people
see certain edibles as "bad," they can end up obsessing about it. Or
they may see dieting as punishment for a year of unhealthy eating. Concentrate
on getting adequate servings of whole grains, calcium, fiber, fruits and
vegetables. This can be as easy as having a high-fiber cereal with milk and a
Slashing entire food groups from the diet often backfires, because food is
good and is one of the pleasures in life, says Taub-Dix. "There's no reason
why we shouldn't enjoy food just because we're over the weight that we should
"Don't wait until the new year to have better eating habits, says
Taub-Dix. "It should be a whole year's resolution, not a New Year's