Fall is upon us, and next thing you know we’ll be looking at 2018. Wouldn’t it be nice to head into the new year with a few months of healthy habits behind you? Here are five things you can do that could make your New Year’s Resolutions list a little shorter.
1. Cut back – way back – on packaged, processed foods. Which isn’t easy, since many snacks have been altered to make them addictive. But resist! The worst offender is added sugars, which can totally mess with your metabolism. Here’s an idea: Grab a trash bag, raid your pantry and fridge, and toss in anything processed. Then pour in some laundry detergent so you won’t be tempted to sneak in the bag later when you want a snack. That’s what apples are for.
2. Stick to an exercise routine that includes lifting weights. I used to think lifting weights was just something for high school football players, and I sure didn’t want to lie on that bench when they were done. But it turns out strength training maximizes muscle mass, which lowers the risk of death. It also can improve sleep, increase bone density and reduce anxiety and depression. Totally worth ordering a pair of 5-pound weights and finding a beginner video online to get started.
3. That exercise routine should also include walking. Not only is it a mood booster, regular walking can help improve your body’s response to insulin and reduce belly fat. It also gets you outside to soak up some vitamin D (just don’t forget the sunscreen). And, of course, bring a friend, another mood booster, assuming it’s the right friend.
4. Make sure you’re getting enough fruit and vegetables, even though there are fewer farmer's markets offerings available. That’s where cold-pressed Living Juice comes in for me. It’s made with only organic fruits and vegetables, in a process that maximizes nutrients. And there’s none of the added sugar I warned you about earlier. I have it delivered once a week, so I know even if I’m busy I’ll have at least one easy source. If my kids don’t get to it first, in which case I’m steaming week-old carrots.
5. On the subject of beverages, skip high-calorie Starbucks frapps (a venti mocha Frappuccino will set you back 370 calories, more than a McDonald’s cheeseburger), soda and sugary alcoholic drinks (a margarita can hit 740 calories!). An extra 500 calories a day could lead to an extra five pounds before you realize your jeans don’t fit so well anymore.
And that is most definitely not how you want to start a new year.