New-trition for the new year

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 January, 2009, 12:00am

This week Andrew Lam, 17

Andrew asks: Can you suggest some healthy new year's resolutions?

Wynnie says: Every year, many of us resolve to make changes in our lives, with diet and exercise goals high up on our lists. But come February, many of us lapse back into our old ways.

In fact, it's been estimated that 60 per cent of adults who make new year resolutions give them up within two to three months. So if you're thinking of setting goals for yourself for 2009, make sure you set realistic ones so the resolutions last for the whole year.

So if you're planning to eat more healthily this coming year, set achievable goals. First, break this resolution down into small manageable steps - this will be the key to your success. Your first three months of resolutions could look something like this:

First half of January: I will try a new fruit and vegetable each week

Second half of January: I will focus on eating less processed foods, such as cookies, potato chips and white bread

First half of February: When eating out, I will order smaller portions of French fries, hamburgers, pizzas etc.

Second half of February: I will eat a good breakfast containing whole grains, fruit and low-fat milk

First half of March: I will drink more water and cut down on fizzy sugary drinks

Second half of March: I will learn what healthy portions of foods look like (see box)

It's best to start with a change that doesn't require much effort. The idea is to encourage you to reach other goals and not to give up at the first hurdle. Once you reach your first goal and have it fully integrated into your lifestyle, move on to the next step.

Enlist support from your family and friends, or find yourself a buddy with similar goals - this will keep you motivated. Remember to reward your successes - though preferably not with food. Treat yourself to a movie with the money you saved from skipping processed foods and fizzy drinks.

Perfect portions at your fingertips:

Fruit and vegetables: A portion is the size of your fist

Starchy carbohydrates: A portion is the size of a grapefruit

Meat or protein foods: A portion is the size of a deck of cards

Cheese: A portion is the size of three dominoes stacked together

Andrew's diary

Breakfast: Toast with butter or jam

Lunch: Ham and lettuce, bacon and cheese or cucumber sandwich

Dinner: Rice, soup, choi sum, broccoli or carrots and chicken, fish or beef dish

Snacks: Cookies, potato chips, fruit (apple, pear, papaya, watermelon)

Exercises: 1-2 hours badminton, 1 hour walking and one hour jogging a week