Best & Worst Resolutions
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Best & Worst Resolutions

To stick or ditch: Here's what's worth your time and energy in the new year.

For Your Diet

Best Resolution: To make a healthier grocery list.
To help maintain weight and ward off illness, "stock your fridge with plenty of fibrous, vitamin- and antioxidant-rich colored vegetables and fruits," says Wahida Karmally, DrPH, RD, director of nutrition at the Irving Center for Clinical Research at Columbia University Medical Center.

Worst Resolution: To purchase foods just because the label reads "organic."
"While they are better for the earth, they're often no more nutritious than nonorganic items," says Karmally. "All it means is, they were exposed to fewer pesticides and chemicals."


For Your Closet (and Self-Esteem)

Best Resolution: To buy a new outfit you feel great in.
Being preoccupied with how clothing fits may be associated with "disordered eating and an overevaluation of weight and shape," a Yale study reports. Why not let clothing be empowering?

Worst Resolution: To stop buying clothes until you lose weight.
"So often women deprive themselves of any pleasure while they try to change their bodies. It is punitive, and there's nothing like a sense of deprivation to trigger binge eating," says body-image expert Margo Maine, PhD, author of The Body Myth.

For Your Health

Best Resolution: To update your medicine cabinet.
Out with the old sunscreen, antibiotics, and makeup. In with a new toothbrush.

Worst Resolution: To take your health into your own hands -- e.g., ditching your birth control, not finishing a dose of antibiotics, or popping pain relievers as if they were M&M's.

For Your Body

Best Resolution: To do a teeny bit more.
Add five minutes to your cardio workout. Drink more water. Research shows that incremental tweaks make the greatest impact on behavior.

Worst Resolution: To take a 6 a.m. Spinning class six days a week. Are you certain that's not the caffeine talking?

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2007.