Lynn Little


January 09, 2002

Ready for a change?

Try new eating habits for the New Year

By Lynn Little

At the start of a new year, many people will take time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. Some of you will decide you are ready to make some changes to improve health and well-being.

One way of doing this is to adopt a fresh, new approach to achieving a healthy weight. Research suggests that people who are successful at managing their weight have three things in common:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> They have carefully considered what goals are right for them;

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> They have made a commitment to be more active; and

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> They know what eating habits they are willing to change.

Advice about how to manage weight has usually focused on eating behaviors such as portion control and fat intake.

While these are still good ways to manage weight, your odds of success are better if you make a commitment to be more physically active and set some goals for better health habits.


We now know that perhaps the most important step toward better health is to take a good look at what changes you are willing to make.

Carefully consider what is important to you and how you can achieve your goals. Identify behaviors you can change with success, such as drinking more water, walking to the mailbox, or eating more fruits and vegetables.

It is important to design a plan for better health that works for you. To succeed, research shows that you need to be at least moderately active on most days of the week.

To achieve a healthier diet, there are many ways to change eating habits. It is a good idea to first look honestly at what you are in the habit of eating and drinking. Then, decide what you can do to move your diet closer to the recommendations for good health.

The key to success is to decide what is right for you.

Lynn F. Little, is a family and consumer sciences educator with the Maryland Cooperative Extension, Washington County. Maryland Cooperative Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, sex, disability, age, religion or national origin.

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