Tips for Keeping New Year's Health Resolutions

Achieving optimal health is one of the resolutions that we pursue at the beginning of the new year. Recommendations to help you achieve this goal.

Tips for Keeping New Year's Health Resolutions
How to Keep Your New Year's Health Resolutions. Photo by Fitsum Admasu / Unsplash

Achieving optimal health is one of the resolutions that Mexicans most commonly pursue at the beginning of a new year. However, this commitment is often abandoned in the first few months. Today we will give you recommendations to help you achieve this goal.

The following tips are suggested by Humberto Astiazarán García, research professor of the Nutrition Coordination of the Center for Research in Food and Development (CIAD), and by clinical nutritionist Ana Teresa Limón Miró, a Ph.D. graduate of this institution.

See a nutrition professional

"Going on a diet" is one of the most common, if not the most popular resolutions. However, restrictive diet plans, that is, those that strongly prohibit the intake of certain foods, usually lead to failure, because they subject people to extraordinary levels of anxiety by prohibiting the consumption and rationing food portions in schemes that eventually are unsustainable due to lack of will or because they are out of the reality of everyday life.

The best thing to do is to consult a nutritionist who will design an individualized diet according to the health status of each individual and his or her possibilities of acquiring food, and who will seek to control weight by promoting good eating and health habits, without stressing the patient or suggesting foods beyond his or her reach or interest.

Nutritionists should be committed to each of their patients and start from their nutritional diagnosis and initial characteristics to establish feasible and healthy goals together with them. It should be avoided to give copies of the same diet without adapting it to each person.

The most advisable is that the health professional makes a physical assessment in person, but due to the current health contingency, online consultations have become popular. If you use this option, you must make sure that the person you consult is a professional certified by an academic institution, as well as by government authorities, to provide this type of service.

Do not look for "miracle products" or extreme strategies

The market is full of products that offer to help you lose weight without any effort other than ingesting a pill or capsule or using an ointment; many of these are even promoted as natural alternatives.

Several products claim to be immune system boosters, taking advantage of misleading advertising and without any scientific support to back them up. The reality is that only a health professional should indicate the consumption of a drug, which must be endorsed by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris). Likewise, "supplements" must be recommended by a health professional only when they are required to correct a deficiency, to avoid a health risk.

There are no excuses: yes, you can

One of the things we have learned in recent months is the discovery that we can do many tasks from home that we did not think possible before. While it is true that there is a difference between the enjoyment of exercising outdoors, in a gym, or at home, we must not lose sight of the fact that the important thing is to achieve the discipline of doing low to moderate-intensity physical activity at least four days a week.

If we are flexible, we will see that space of two square meters at home is more than enough to do stretching exercises, yoga, weights, or aerobic routines that can positively transform our health.

There is no doubt that the secret to achieving this is to maintain constant willpower that pushes us to maintain this habit, so you can also rely on the support of your family or a trainer to help you achieve your goals.

Eradicate bad habits

"If I knew the world was ending tomorrow, I would still plant a tree today," Martin Luther King once said, which reminds us that it is never too late to quit bad habits that affect our health, such as smoking, overeating, drinking alcohol without moderation or using harmful substances.

If you are committed to eradicating a vice, it is best to seek the expertise of an addiction specialist. There is a free public health program of the federal government called "La línea de la vida" (The Life Line), of the National Commission against Addictions, where you can be guided by telephone in case you need help with the consumption of addictive substances.

A comprehensive effort

Sometimes it is believed that achieving a good state of health is only about learning to eat or starting to exercise; however, although both are of vital importance, many other habits also have an impact on weight control, such as sleeping between seven and eight hours a day, reducing stress, staying well hydrated and eradicating the abuse of toxic substances, and so on.

So if being healthier to live better is one of your New Year's resolutions, do not hesitate to approach a health professional; there are many programs in the public health systems that can guide you free of charge to achieve your goals and that, above all, are based on scientific evidence.