Start with a plan. Really organize your goals, whether you’re looking to lose weight, increase your whole grain intake, or get in a few more workouts per week, the following steps can help; make SMART goals. S: Specific M: Measurable A: Attainable R: Reasonable T: Timely.

Increase your exercise, everyone

A great goal is to aim for 30 minutes a day 5x/week. Find a new class you like, join ClassPass, check out a new gym, purchase gear for outdoor runs or maybe purchase some new biking shoes‐ really anything that will motivate you. Another tip along the lines of working out is to keep switching it up! Since we spend so much time doing them, often times our workouts can become mundane, leaving us not wanting to exercise at all. Changing up the time of day you go to the gym, or the activity, the music, or try mixing up different gym clothes, be colorful and comfortable!

Forget the fake

When it comes to reading the ingredients on a package (which, if you’re not doing so already, start now! You are what you eat, it’s important you know what you’re ingesting!). If you cannot pronounce the word, don’t eat it. Fake sugars, fake additives, fake everything is in a lot of the “diet “foods we eat today, but doesn’t necessarily mean that they are better for us. If sugar is listed in the first 5 ingredients, ditch it! Make a promise to yourself to focus on foods that don’t have a package label. In fact, if you can make at least 30% of your foods ‘package free’ then you’re on the right track. Package‐less foods include veggies and fruit, loose nuts, fresh organic meats, and water!

Bulk up on quality

Aim for wholesome foods, high fiber, whole grains. Choose whole grains over refined carbohydrates. Look for fiber that is 3 gms or greater per serving. Aim to get 25‐38 gm fiber each day, but go slowly with this. Fiber pulls in water, be sure you’re hydrating adequately when taking in more bulk.

Ditch the sodium

High sodium diets can lead to health complications. Ways to cut back on salt intake is to choose foods that are less than 240 mg per serving. When able to choose the lower sodium option, go for it! Processed foods are high in sodium to preserve, stay away from pre‐packaged foods, meals and canned vegetables and soups.

Take it slow

Rushing into anything is never a good idea. Treat your new eating habits the same way. Remember, small changes, bigger results. The more dietary and lifestyle changes you take on all at once, the more likely you are to not succeed long term. Periodic crash diets where you may lose a lot of weight, and then gain it all back confuse your body. Yo-yo dieting can ultimately make it more and more difficult to take pounds off and easier to put them back on. Instead of treating your new habits as punishment or restriction, have fun with finding new flavors, new recipes new foods that you may love that you never knew you would. Timing is everything. Be ready to take on this new challenge with a fresh open-minded approach.


Whether it is in your home or on the yoga mat, meditating decreases anxiety, improves memory, improves focus and increases compassion. We lead hectic lives, finding a moment to unwind really can improve overall well‐being. When lessening the stress level, you may be less likely to emotionally eat as well. If you are an emotional eater, work on finding a healthier coping mechanism such as playing an instrument, knitting, dancing, singing, or playing a game.


Written by Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, CSO. Melissa is a Rise Coach and Registered Dietitian, living in New York City. In her free time, Melissa enjoys running and teaching spin classes. Want to work with Melissa or someone like her? Get started at: