Happy New Year! For most people, weight loss now becomes a top priority this time of year, with resolutions and the chance to start over fresh. If you find yourself making resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle for 2011, my advice is to keep it simple. Make a short list of realistic, achievable goals and then set yourself up for success!
If you really want to eat healthier, start with a kitchen/pantry overhaul. Toss highly refined pre-packaged foods and stock up on healthy items. Make sure to always have frozen and canned vegetables around for those times when you aren't able to make it to the grocery store! Canned beans are another great staple to keep on hand and add to salads or dishes to bump up the fiber content. Other healthy choices are unsalted nuts, oatmeal, low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese, hummus, olive oil and a variety of spices.
Eating in restaurants and ordering take-out can be costly to your wallet and waistline. If you're not making it yourself, it can be difficult to know exactly how the food is prepared. Cooking at home can be fun, cost-effective and will definitely cut back on calories, fat and sugar intake.
If your goal is to start exercising more often, start off easy. Take at least a 30 minute walk most days of the week. Take the stairs instead of an elevator. Sign up for a charity 5k run or walk in the spring and train smart for it! If staying motivated is an issue, enlist a good friend or co-worker to hold you to gym dates.
In addition to eating better and becoming more active, try to get more sleep each night. Research continues to show that lack of sleep leads to increased risk of obestiy and Type 2 Diabetes. Eliminating or cutting back alcohol consumption will also speed up weight loss, so aim to drink less often.
So here's to a new year of good food, fitness and fun! Cheers!