There are five weeks left in 2017. It’s time to start planning, prioritizing and incorporating changes that will support a healthier you in 2018. This post is first in a four-part series. I’ll introduce concepts here and expand upon them in future posts.
12 Tips to a Healthier You in 2018
These 12 tips to support a leaner, more vibrant you in 2018 can be divided into three categories: behavioral changes, nutritional changes and activity changes.
- Hydrate Frequently. Drinking 96 – 128 ounces of water a day keeps the body working optimally. This is so important it’s number one on the list. Drinking water is so easy a caveman can do it!
- Engage in Mindful Eating. This simple trick helps maintain compliance with diet when it comes to portion control. In a future post, I’ll describe what mindful eating is and how it’s so beneficial to maintaining compliance with your nutrition plan.
- Snack Frequently. Yep, that’s right; eating more frequently is the secret to maintaining a healthy weight. When your body goes without food for 5 hours or more during the day it hinders your ability to lose weight and increases the likelihood you will over eat and/or consume foods that aren’t nutritionally valuable.
- Eliminate Artificial Sweeteners. I get it. Making an item “off limits” may seem excessive and can sometimes have the opposite effect. While I encourage my readers to follow a diet with no dairy and no gluten I must admit that I have cravings for pizza and do sometimes indulge. Artificial sweeteners however, are so dangerous that we must eliminate them from our diet. In a later post, I’ll explain why I regard artificial sweeteners as poison. This change is so important that I encourage you to make this one first if you haven’t already made it.
- Eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Some studies have shown that HFCS causes increased weight gain than other sugars. In a future post, I’ll explain the unintended consequences of the muted insulin response caused by HFCS.
- No Dairy. I grew up on a dairy farm and understand this is a controversial issue. Many folks feel strongly about dairy and believe it to be a valuable source of several macronutrients. Personally, I consumed a large amount of dairy until about five years ago when my body simply would not process lactose, whey or casein any longer. Stopping dairy was a game changer for my body and jump started the transformation that serves as my current foundation for health and wellness.
- No Gluten. Whether or not you have Celiac disease gluten can make you feel less than optimal. As an added incentive to leave this ingredient behind, gluten is found in many processed and calorie dense foods many of which offer little nutritional value.
- Avoid Refined or Added Sugars. Unless you’re extremely active (4 hours or more of vigorous exercise a day) consuming more than 6g of sugar in a single serving will likely result in new fat cells being created to store the excess energy. Who wants that?!
- Avoid Processed Foods. Another secret to healthier eating is to avoid all packaged and processed foods. Many of these foods are calorie dense and offer low nutritional value. As a bonus, if you avoid processed foods you will also knock out several other items I encourage you to avoid such as: artificial sweeteners, HFCS, dairy, gluten and refined sugars.
- Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule. Getting consistent sleep is my secret weapon when it comes to losing fat and reducing stress. In a future post, I’ll explain the secret recipe to sleep and how you can lose weight and feel great by doing nothing!
- Practice Yoga. Yoga keeps your body flexible and improves sleep quality. I recommend a practice that incorporates of both yang (vinyasa flow, Bikram) and yin yoga elements. Come join us for FREE Yin Yoga on Wednesdays at Just Results Fitness. (Check our Events page for class schedules and details.) Who cannot try something new that’s also FREE?!
- Exercise Every Day. Our bodies are designed to move each and every day. For optimal health Wellness Wayne and Trainer Joe recommend 60 minutes of vigorous exercise 5 days a week and 60 minutes of slow cardio (walking) or yoga two days a week.
How to Succeed
Starting this week, choose one behavioral change, one nutritional change and one activity change and begin to implement them. Then build upon your foundation and incorporate an additional change from each category every week until the end of the year.
Keeping the number of changes to a minimum at once helps ensure success. Not changing too many things in one area helps reduce associated anxiety with too much changing at once. The real trick is to incorporate changes at a pace that works for you! If you want radical results you will need to make radical changes and sometimes these changes do not become permanent. For most of us, slow and steady wins the race.
If you fall down, get back on track immediately. Encourage yourself and speak kindly to yourself. Isn’t it odd how most of us are kind towards others yet reserve our harshest criticism and language for ourselves? Reward yourself when you succeed, but avoid rewards that undo the gains you made!
After we do something approximately 27 times it becomes a new habit. With this strategy, you will not only maintain your health over the holidays, but make progress and enjoy a head start when the New Year’s workout rush is in full motion.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be publishing the next posts in this series and dive deeper into each of these 12 tips. I’ll explore the how and why each of these silver bullets works. Until then, I encourage you to map out the changes you will begin making. Start making these impactful positive life changes today!
In Part 2, I will tackle: the benefits of proper hydration, discuss eliminating artificial sweeteners and reducing consumption of refined sugars and how maintaining a consistent sleep schedule improves your quality of life.
Love, Wellness & Prosperity for All!