Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions include losing weight and quitting smoking. If you’ve chosen to do either of these this year, we applaud you! One of the best pieces of advice we can offer is to be forgiving of yourself. If you fall off the wagon, it’s OK. Changing habits is tough and sometimes requires multiple attempts. Be willing to reset your goal the next hour or day and just keep trying. The second main tip for keeping your resolution is to let your friends and family know about your goals so they can help you succeed. A strong support system can be extremely helpful. Check out the following tips and resources for more information. Good luck and may 2016 your healthiest year yet!
When those cravings strike, remember the four Ds:
- DEEP – Before reaching for the tobacco product, take a deep breath. Inhale through the nose slowly, hold for a second, and exhale though the mouth. Repeat this process 10 times. Deep breathing can be just what you need to destress.
- DRINK WATER – Drinking a glass of water will provide something for the mouth and give you a refreshing and healthy way to choose something other than tobacco products. Drink slowly and add some lemon or cucumber to make it fun.
- DO SOMETHING – Do something … anything that takes your mind away from tobacco. Go for walk or other form of exercise; take a bubble bath; solve a puzzle; knit; call a friend. The point is to do something to take your mind off wanting a tobacco product.
- DELAY – Going along the same lines as DO SOMETHING, try to DELAY reaching for the tobacco product for 15 minutes. Frequently, all is takes is a little time for an urge to pass. During that time, engage in the activities suggested under DO SOMETHING.
Did you know that if you quit smoking right now, your heart rate and blood pressure drop within 20 minutes? Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. After three months, your circulation and lung function improves. Within 9 months, you will cough less and breathe easier. Click here to read more about the amazing things that happen to your body after 1, 5, 10 and 15 years of being tobacco free.
- For free help quitting, click here or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
- If you’re pregnant and need help quitting, please sign up for our free Power to Quit program. Click here or call 865-215-5170 for more information.
- Click here for more tips and resources from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Before you begin any weight loss program, consult your doctor to make sure the program is right for you. If you’ve already started a program, still consult with your doctor.
- Be realistic with your goals. Try to lose 5 to 10% of your current weight by losing one to two pounds each week until you reach your goal. Set achievable goals that are easily measured. For example, if you don’t currently exercise, make a goal to start walking for 15 minutes every day. Bump your goal by five minutes each week until you are doing 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
- We said it in the beginning, but remember to be forgiving of yourself. Let yourself cheat a little bit every day with the things you enjoy, but with reasonable portions so you never feel deprived and want to over-consume.
- The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses. Click here for more information about how to balance calories.
- Drink plenty of water. It’s filling and increasing your intake can be a good way to control your appetite.
- Remember we tend to eat more and make less healthy choices when we’re tired or stressed. Try to get enough sleep and explore ways to decrease stress. Click here for tips on coping with stress.
- Be wary of products that promise exceptional results with little or no change to your diet or exercise routine. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. These diets also tend to fail in the long run.
- When seeking weight-loss advice, search for independent information. Don’t rely solely on the person or company trying to sell you the product.
- As we said above, aim to do 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. If you are doing vigorous activities, like jogging or swimming laps, try to get 75 minutes total per week. Choose activities that you enjoy and try to do a mix of muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercises.
- There’s no one perfect plan for everyone, but decreasing your caloric intake, consuming more fruits, vegetables and water, moving more, and keeping the other foods you consume in moderation are always good ideas.
For more information on how to make 2016 your healthiest year yet, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.