Want to be healthier in 2023? Experts offer realistic way to stay true to New Year's resolutions

Denise Dador Image
Thursday, December 29, 2022
Experts offer a realistic way to stay true to New Year's resolutions
Thanks to actionable advice from Kaiser Permanente's Healthy Balance program, you can be making progress with your New Year's resolutions.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Why don't those resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle and to lose weight work?

A recent survey found that of the 41% of Americans who make New Year's resolutions, more than 90% don't stick with them. In order for the new year can be different, experts say it's all about making realistic resolutions.

Take 29-year-old Joaquina Hernandez for example.

At the crack of dawn, Hernandez goes to her job as a lab technician. When she's done, she spends the rest of the day behind the wheel.

"I'm the only one that drives and so as soon as I get off work, I have to take my brother to work, and then a couple hours later, I have to take my mom to work," she said.

Hernandez hardly sleeps, so this hectic schedule has taken its toll.

"I'm technically pre-diabetic, given my height and weight," Hernandez said.

In 2023, she'd like to lose 100 pounds. Most people don't stick to their resolutions, but thanks to actionable advice from Kaiser Permanente's Healthy Balance program, she's making progress.

"We're not big on like the word diet. It automatically means friction or difficulty, but we focus more on lifestyle, baby steps," said registered dietitian Roohe Ahmed.

She said to focus on the four areas of good health: nutrition, physical activity, stress management and sleep.

"That can affect hormones. It can affect inflammation. So many things come into play," Ahmed said.

As for nutrition, concentrate on "a healthy plate."

Half of the plate should be non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers and mushrooms. A quarter in healthy starches like peas, corn, potatoes, beans and whole grains. The last fourth of your plate should be packed with protein like lean meats, fish or tofu. Then skip the sugar and focus on fruit.

"I'm trying to do that. I had an apple yesterday and I forgot how good fruit is," Hernandez said.

She fits in extra steps where she can and she makes plans to include others. Outdoor activities with loved ones help to reduce stress and getting out in nature improves your mental outlook.

"It was my mom's birthday, so we went to the Arboretum in Arcadia and it was like a mile walk," Hernandez said.

"You're incorporating physical activity with family time, which is really important." Ahmed said.

This year resolve to be kind to yourself.

"Just noticing the small victories along the way I think is very helpful to someone that's trying to live a healthier lifestyle," Hernandez said.