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New Year's resolutions in the works? Small steps are best

If you're aiming to get healthy in the new year, be realistic about the changes you can make in diet and exercise. Often, starting small can lead to big things.

December 31, 2011|By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times

After a while, he adds, certain once-loved treats may not taste as wonderful. "The cleaner people are eating, the more they feel it when they eat something processed or with a lot of sugar in it," Villacorta says.

You may feel you need to wait till just the right moment to make changes. But the notion that readiness is all-important is a myth, Jacobs says.

"It's unlikely you're going to feel ready to do what you need to do," she says. "If you did, you'd have already done it." If you wait until you feel motivated, you may wait forever. Get started anyway.

Feelings — the ones telling you you can't change — are tough to deny, but you can alter the way you think and behave, Jacobs says. "When you start to move forward, even in small steps, your brain starts to say, 'Well, what do you know, I can do that.'"

Soon, one walk around the block turns into two. And from there, even a marathon is possible.

"Little behavior changes count — if you count them," Jacobs says.

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