LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The new year often brings about new resolutions. If yours entail eating healthier or losing some weight, these tips may help you stay on track.

What You Need To Know

  • As 2021 begins, New Year's resolutions do as well

  • If you have nutrition or fitness resolutions, they key is to be clear on your motivation

  • Write down or track foods you eat, get rid of "trigger foods"

  • Keep in mind that significant change doesn't happen overnight

UofL Health registered dietitian Nicole McGloshen said the key to actually achieving your goals is to be clear on your motivation.

"A lot of times people say, 'I want to lose weight.' Why? Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to look good in a bikini? Do you just want to feel good? Find your motivation," McGloshen said.

She suggested starting by writing down everything you eat or tracking that on an app. People may not realize how big their portions are or how calorie dense the food is until they start tracking what they eat.

As for what to eat, McGloshen said you don't have to throw all of your favorite foods away. Instead, just get rid of what she calls your "trigger foods." Those entail anything you tend to overindulge in when available. 

"My stance is there are no good or bad foods. Everything is welcome at my table, it just depends on how frequent and how much," McGloshen said.

If you start a new nutrition journey, remember that big changes don't come overnight.

Some fad diets may be tempting, but McGloshen cautioned against those as many are just temporary fixes, but are not sustainable long-term. She says some can even be dangerous.

“The dangerous part of following a fad diet is you are eliminating something your body needs to operate at peak performance. There are several diets out there right now where they eliminate a food group or macronutrient," McGloshen said. "They may see some weight loss in the short-term, but as soon as you start incorporating, let’s just say carbohydrates back in, you may see your weight fluctuate.”

A survey from the Times Tribune finds only 8% of Americans who make New Year's resolutions keep them all year. It also finds 80% fail by February. If you start straying away from your goal at some point, McGloshen said do not get discouraged.

"Make sure you give yourself some grace if your plan doesn't go as you thought it would. Just reconvene. Get back to what your motivations were," McGloshen said.

Sometimes a big goal feels incredibly daunting. To help, McGloshen recommends setting smaller milestones within the big goal. Celebrate every time you achieve those small steps to keep you on track and motivated.