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Little Changes Can Bring Big Gains to Achieving Long-Term Health

By Stacia D. Kelly, Ph.D., MHt

To set yourself up for long- term success this new year, remember that little changes go a long way, especially when it comes to staying healthy. Here are tips that can help:

  • Drink more water. Drop in a lemon or lime to add flavor if needed. You can also alternate water with green tea, gradually phasing out the tea until you drink only water. It takes a while to wean yourself off milk, sodas and flavor, but I promise that the more you drink water, the more you will start craving it.
  • Make one meal meatless. Rather than making a drastic change, just eliminate meat from one meal a day. See if you feel more energetic and lighter.
  • Track “food feelings.” Carry a journal to track how various foods affect you. You can use paper or smartphone apps, such as Evernote and MyFitnessPal. Notice which foods leave you tired or bloated 30 minutes after a meal and which make you energetic and ready to take on the world.
  • Guard your subconscious. Don’t read food magazines late at night. And all those TV commercials you think you’re ignoring? Your subconscious hears them just fine. Use your DVR or Netflix to skip the ads, and save the beautiful food pictures on Pinterest for the morning.
  • Go dark. After dinner, set out fresh fruit and “close” the kitchen by turning off the lights in that room. That way, you’ll gravitate to healthy evening snacks. Also, eat no grains after 2 p.m. You will start breaking the addiction to grains, a step towards not having them at all.

Try a few small changes each week and see how you start feeling. You might be pleasantly surprised at your body’s response.

Prince William native Stacia D. Kelly has a doctorate in holistic health and a background in fitness, nutrition, stress management and nutritional supplementation. Her published works include “Reduce You: A Holistic Approach to Weight Loss and Nutrition.” Learn more about her at and 

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