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What is the ideal healthy lifestyle regimen for the new year?

Katie Davis
Nutrition & Dietetics

I think the most important aspect of a new year healthy lifestyle regimen is to keep it simple and achievable. Many people implement extreme changes to their lifestyle after new year's, only to run out of steam after January (or February if they are lucky). Instead, why not pick one thing to change and work on that change for 1-2 weeks? Examples might be, "this week I will....walk 20 min 3 days this week...eat two servings of fruit 5 days this week....drink 5 cups of water 4 days this week....decrease to only 3 cigarettes each day..." or whatever you need to change. Once you have achieved that ONE goal consistently for those 1-2 weeks, keep doing that but choose a new goal. Keep adding and achieving new goals and I guarantee you will be well on your way to meeting your new year healthy lifestyle regimen.

The most ideal healthy lifestyle regimen is the one that will work for your life. Watch bariatric surgeon Michael Snyder, MD, discuss building meals around protein, avoiding liquid calories, planning your cheats, and the importance of exercise.
Try to hit all of these highlights to create a healthy lifestyle:

• Choose a weight-loss goal that is sensible and can be maintained.- Go to your primary-care physician for a full physical to find out if your vitals are within normal limits. This includes your BMI (body mass index), blood pressure, pulse, respiration, fasting blood sugar, cholesterol profile, waist size, and how many hours of exercise you engage in weekly.
• Replace some less-healthy food choices with healthier ones. Try to reduce your consumption of trans fats, sodium, and white sugar, and increase consumption of healthy fats, whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
• Make a commitment to find some fitness activities you enjoy. These might include dancing, boxing, speed walking, Zumba (a Latin-inspired dance workout), or trampoline-based classes.
• Create a list for all food-shopping expeditions. Plan menus ahead of time, and involve your children in healthy cooking.
• Carve out some “me time.” Get better organized at home and in the office. Find some ways you like to unwind, and make them habits.
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.