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New Year's Resolutions for healthier living in 2018

by Epoch on Friday, January 12, 2018

By: Dr. Steven Fass

 


According to the US News and World Report, about 60 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions. However, only eight percent of Americans actually achieve those goals.

Why?

Often, we have lofty and vague expectations. “Lose weight” is not the same as “lose twenty pounds”. By setting reasonable and attainable goals that are specific, you can improve your health in 2018.

REDUCE STRESS

A Healthline list of ways to reduce stress is actually a catch-all for many goals you may want to set this year. When we are stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, our tendency is to reach for sugary, high fat foods for comfort. We also neglect our sleep patterns and exercise routines. By reducing stress, we can improve our overall health. Before the new year begins, make a list of all the things you are doing or involved with. Divide the list into three categories: want to do, have to do, should do. Then be ruthless. Cut your activities, beginning with things you feel you should do to please others. Keep the activities that truly make you happy and see if you don’t experience less stress in 2018.

GET MORE SLEEP

Not getting enough sleep can contribute to depression, insomnia, inflammation, and can prevent you from achieving your weight loss goals. Even if you have to pencil it in to your calendar, try to get the recommended 6-8 hours per night. Consider utilizing the Bedtime setting on your iPhone. Each evening it will alert you when it’s time to go to bed. This simple reminder may be just what you need to put away the work, turn off the television, and let your body rebuild itself nightly through rest, so that you’re always ready to take on a new day.

DRINK MORE WATER

Boost your immune system all during flu season–whether or not you get the shot–simply by drinking more water. This easy to keep resolution will improve your complexion, aid in weight loss and digestion, and even save you money. Don’t love plain water? Try any of these great fruit-infused recipes.

BEGIN AN EXERCISE ROUTINE

Pairing exercise with a “treat” such as catching up on a favorite show or spending time with a friend is a great way to make this resolution happen this year. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine. Recommendations for exercise post-bariatric surgery often include walking, cycling, hiking, or swimming. Keep your goals reasonable and remember a little everyday is better than none. Try incorporating everyday activities, such as your commute to work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, to meet your exercise goals. Tracking your steps with a pedometer or smart device is also a great way to maintain your exercise plan.

CLEANSE YOUR KITCHEN

Post Christmas, our kitchens are often full of goodies. Give yourself permission to indulge until the new year. Then take a day and cleanse your kitchen of snacks and treats you don’t need or want. This is also a great time to incorporate any new appliances you may have received as gifts and to purge anything old or outdated. Your kitchen and fridge will be fresher and you’ll be ready to prep your food goals for the coming year. HGTV can help you out with a simple one-hour plan to a more streamlined kitchen.

PLAN AHEAD FOR MEALS & SNACKS

If you’re not already meal prepping, 2018 is your year to start! One of the best tips for weight loss and maintenance is to plan ahead for meals and snacks. Spend a few hours each weekend readying for the week ahead. Slice and chop vegetables for snacking and cooking. Batch cook rice, quinoa, beans, and meat. Boil eggs and wash fruit. You’ll be ready to pack lunches, whip up dinner, and keep that “hangry” feeling at bay.

KEEP A FATIGUE DIARY

Tracking your goals is essential for success. Start by keeping a fatigue diary to determine on which areas you really need to focus. “For example, if you’re tired in the afternoon, you need to rethink what you eat for lunch or try to drink more water,” says Holly Phillips, MD, author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough. This simple system can help you stay in the eight percent of people who achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

Source: Dr. Steven Fass