How To Achieve Your Health Goals This Year

Lead A Healthier Lifestyle.

While it’s easier said than done, having a healthier lifestyle is an aspiration to most of us. But where do we begin? Are there magic diet pills? Do I need to workout 2 hours everyday?

Take a closer look at what you are doing and NOT doing and get help if you need it. In over 25 years of experience in treating thousands of patients, here is what I think is the most important:

Assess where you are at and where you want to be.

It takes courage to admit that you have failed. It also takes courage to set goals and persevere in trying to achieve them. Most of us can lose some weight, right? Yet, at the end of your stressful day at work, you are exhausted. It’s so easy to just sit in front of the TV and munch on snacks. Maybe you take work home and check emails. Perhaps you don’t spend quality time with your loved ones. Most often, we have a bad diet and don’t know where to start to make changes. Make a list of the bad habits and another list of what goals you would like to achieve. But please, make it realistic! Better eating habits, activities that will make you lose weight, more energy, feeling well and finding a balance….sounds about right? – I’m also speaking from a personal view-point….

Start small, but start!

Take a good look at the contents of your fridge and pantry. Most likely, the contents are a big reason for you being overweight. Start by getting rid of processed foods and harmful foods with empty calories. Replace them with nutrient rich foods, fresh and organic. Now, let’s not be radical! Make small but real changes you can adhere to. For instance, substitute sugar with Stevia or only have one soda beverage per day instead of four. Replace high glycemic index foods with low glycemic index foods (as an example, instead of having a chocolate bar with a coffee in the mid-afternoon, try a celery with almond butter or a Greek yogurt with a handful of nuts).

Promote a healthy gut.

It is normal to have bacteria in our gut. Known as the intestinal flora, these bacteria help in digestion and proper absorption. Unfortunately, many of us need to reset and maintain a healthy gut in order to assimilate our foods correctly. While there are many “cleansing diets” and products that may help you, I found the simplest way to start a gentle cleanse is by eating fiber filled vegetables for several days with only lean protein. Here’s a link to my “Veggie Detox Soup”. After 5-7 days, your body ceases to crave carbohydrates and your impulses to eat unhealthy foods drops.

The second step after the Veggie Detox Soup is to add probiotics to your daily regimen. I use this one and add it to my protein shake every morning.

Move and enjoy some activities.

One of our patients, John M., lost over 40 pounds last year by simply walking more, using the stairwell instead of an elevator, and eating smaller healthier portions throughout the day. Many have a Fitbit-like device that hold them accountable and a big trend I am seeing are exercise apps that encourage you and track your progress. I think this is great for people with little time. Many apps have built-in short workouts that anyone can do. Even if it is 15 minutes per day, in time, results will show. Change it up and do fun things as well. I play racquetball with my son every week. We go at it for an hour at a time, we move, jump, stretch out to hit a ball and laugh a ton! That’s at least 400 calories burnt in 60 minutes. Also, do exercises that promote whole body movements like kettle bells exercises, rope exercises or squats with a medicine ball. Change it up and have fun!

The bottom line

A combination of proper nutrition, smaller but more frequent meals as well as exercise is the key to achieving your goals. I have also found that people who are too strict with their goals fail more often. The key is to make a plan but also enjoy the activities that will help you burn calories and by all means, have a slice of cheese cake or pizza once in a while! It’s about moderation and sensibility that you will adhere to your plan without mentally breaking down. That keeps you from faltering and accomplish your goals!

On a personal note

I’m human too! After dirt biking for years and entering about 50 enduro races, I was bummed out to make the choice to stop because of frequent injuries (broke my hand, messed up my shoulder and broke my wrist). I enjoyed it very much and the sport kept me trim. But, I decided to quit. In the years that followed, I gained 30 pounds. At some point, your mental attitude turns positive and you begin to feel hopeful that you can gain physical health also. As of this year, 22 days into 2017, I am have implemented all the above and I am 8 pounds slimmer. That’s a start! Thank you, John M., Jayne L. and Marleta, “Mo” our massage therapist for your inspiration.

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