Your Health: A More Permanent Resolution
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- If your New Year's Resolutions are still going strong, you're among a thinning crowd. Research suggests only 8 % of people are ultimately successful in achieving their resolution.
Experts say the best resolutions are those that are reasonable enough to maintain as a permanent lifestyle change.
Patti Osteen says she's like many American Adults: she knew she wasn't making the best choices when it came to diet and exercise, but didn't necessarily act on it - until, one day, she was given some bad news.
"It made me realize i have not been making good choices at all."
Osteen was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease brought on by elevated blood sugar.
It was a wake up call: she needed to change. With the help of dietician and nutrition counselors at UF Health, she did.
Amy Aponick is a registered dietician and diabetes nutrition counselor who worked with Osteen after her diagnosis.
"It's all things in moderation, there is no diet for diabetes," Aponick says, "It's just healthy eating, and making good choices, and allowing yourself to splurge every once in a while and knowing how to safely do that."
Osteen was essentially forced to change her ways, but there are many more Americans headed towards a similar fate.
In the United States, an estimated 7 million adults have Type II Diabetes and don't know it. Some of them make up the more than one third of American adults who are overweight and obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Given those numbers, it's no surprise losing weight is the most popular resolution. But, how you approach your goal is the key to becomng part of the 8% of "New Year's Resolutioners" who are ultimately successful.
Kathryn Parker, a registered dietician and nutrition couselor at UF Health, has counseled many people into healthier lifestyles. She says while it's ultimately about finding what works for you, there are some tips to help control your diet.
She says you can practice good portion control by using the palm of your hand as a guide.
"Whatever it is that you want to eat, make sure it fits in the palm of your hand," she says.
Diets aren't as effective without exercise. "Take 30 mins a day and just walk," she says, "and see if that doesn't make a difference.
Parker reccomends one the best things you can do is avoid the scale.
"The scale doesn't tell you how fat you are, it just tells you what you weigh," she says.
Instead, focus on other measurements of your health like your waist size. Experts say if you're overweight, losing just 5% of your current weight can lower your risk for heart disease and other health problems.
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