Last updated: December 16, 2016, at 1:08 p.m. PT
Originally published: December 6, 2016, at 4:17 p.m. PT
2017 is here and the time to step it up for healthy living is…right now! Every January many people resolve to make a complete lifestyle change. While good in intentions, these resolutions often leave us overwhelmed and feelling like our goals are unattainable. A few weeks of intense work at the beginning of the month becomes difficult, if not impossible, to sustain. We support people in creating manageable plans for healthy living that, with time, can easily become a routine. So say goodbye to health fads and hello to a few basic hints about how to achieve your wellness goals in the new year.
• Don't “diet:” The term “diet” can suggest a catchy and temporary path to weight loss that isn't sustainable in the long term. Instead, incorporate small changes in your eating plan like an extra serving of fruits and vegetables per day, swapping whole grains for processed carbohydrates, or reducing added sugar or sodium. Once one change becomes routine, add another.
• Drink More Water. The recommended serving of eight glasses a day or more not only keeps you hydrated all day, but also helps to prevent overeating.
• Exercise Less. Many people, especially when starting a new fitness plan, tend to over train with minimal results. Begin with reasonable goals and shorter workouts, concentrating on proper form. Taking a day or two to recover between workouts is always helpful and can even give you the opportunity to try something new like swimming laps instead of lifting on a given day.
• Eat More. But nutritious food. Simple sugars are digested quickly and stored in the body as fat. The natural sugar in fruits provide more sustained energy. Proteins, such as chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt, and nuts give your body the nutrients needed to gain muscle, lose weight, and recover quickly from workouts. Over time, your pallet will even alter and you will be surprised how much your taste buds, and your body, prefers non-processed, low sugar food.
• Set realistic fitness goals. A small workout that leads to regular visits to the gym is infinitely better than two or three high powered workouts that lead nowhere. Pace yourself and, most importantly, celebrate your successes!