One of the most common New Year’s res­o­lu­tions is to eat healthier. Here, Chris­tine Clark, dietitian for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Dining Ser­vices and Uni­ver­sity Health and Coun­seling Ser­vices, offers five strate­gies for improving your eating habits and overall health in 2014.

Decrease calorie intake: Even some­thing as little as using low-​​fat milk instead of creamer in your coffee can make a dif­fer­ence over time. Replacing one 12-​​ounce can of reg­ular soda with a glass of water each day would decrease your weekly calorie intake by up to 1,085 each week. This small change can make a sub­stan­tial difference.

Exer­cise often: Find a workout you enjoy. If you start run­ning but don’t like to run, you will likely not stick with it. There are great exer­cise classes avail­able on campus at the Marino Center. Ask a friend to join you because the buddy system can help keep both of you moti­vated and on track to reach your goals.

Make healthier choices: Rea­son­able, simple changes can help you start eating healthier. You could begin by including a piece of fruit with your break­fast each day. Once you have accom­plished this goal, set out to add a veg­etable with dinner a few nights a week until you start eating veg­gies every night.

Develop a weight-​​loss plan: Deter­mine how you plan to lose the weight. Watching por­tion con­trol, cut­ting back on total calorie intake, or exer­cising more to burn off extra calo­ries are all small steps that can help you reach your long-​​term goal.

Get sup­port from family and friends: Share your goals with family and friends so they can offer encour­age­ment and help you stay focused. A friend can also be an exer­cise buddy or someone to cook a healthy meal with. You may also con­sider meeting with the dietitian at UHCS to get even more support.

Trying to revamp your overall diet or begin an intense exer­cise pro­gram can be over­whelming. Cre­ating a pro­gram with smaller and more attain­able goals will give you a sense of accom­plish­ment every few weeks, which will keep you moti­vated to reach your ulti­mate goal.

And click here or five fit­ness tips for the new year.