BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A new year might mean a new you.
Many are setting or have already set their New Year’s resolutions for 2023 and are hoping to stick with them all year long.
Two popular resolutions tend to be quitting tobacco or smoking and eating healthier/losing weight. Experts in both fields say while it might seem easy to say this, it can actually be hard to stick to.
The Illinois Tobacco Quitline is funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health and works with people who want to quit smoking.
“We speak with them on a weekly basis, so once they do make the call we’ll enroll them at that moment,” said health promotion specialist at the Illinois Tobacco Quitline, Marilyn Felix.
Felix said on the first few days of the year, the hotline sees an increased number of callers looking to kick their addictions.
“Believe it or not quitting smoking can be a scary thing for people because it’s something that they; I’m stressed so this is what I go to or this just happened in my life,” Felix said.
Felix who is also a counselor at the organization said she and other counselors help curb addictions not just to traditional cigarettes but also e-cigs/vape pens, chewing tobacco, and nicotine pouches.
While some people can quit cold turkey, Felix said the usual recommendation is to take things slowly.
“We don’t really know what it is but they are just able to do that. What we always recommend is cutting down slowly, so cut one cigarette out every other day and that’s so that if they go through withdrawal symptoms, the symptoms won’t be as strong because they’re doing it in a slow manner,” Felix said.
That message rings true for eating healthier/weight loss goals as well. Shelby Holt, a registered dietician at Carle Bromenn Medical Center, said we’re more likely to attain goals in smaller increments.
“We recommend rather than setting to lose 30lbs in a year, breaking that down into smaller, more achievable goals,” Holt said.
Holt said an example of that goal would be aiming to lose one or two pounds a week. But she warns against Keto or other similar diets that cut out a certain food group entirely.
“Rather we would like to see you making healthy modifications to a more traditional diet. That may include increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, increasing whole grains and fiber in your diet,” Holt said.
Both Holt and Felix said if you have a bad day and cheat on your plan, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, make it your goal to meet it the next day.
The Illinois Tobacco Quitline has counselors available seven days a week. Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on the weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To reach them, call 1-866-QUIT-YES.