Monday, January 3, 2011

Healthy Changes for a Happy New Year

Happy New Years (ok, so I'm a day or 2... or 3 late)!
     Too many of us are too familiar with this New Year's scenerio... the ball drops, you vow to keep your distance from carbs and spend the rest of the year on the treadmill, but two weeks into January, your motivation plummets, your starch cravings have become difficult to ignore, and you've skipped more than a few days at the gym. Come February, your sneakers have collected dust and you've forgotten all about your New Year's resolution.
     Sounds too familiar, right? Well, you are certainly not alone!  Two of the most common New Year's resolutions are to lose weight and exercise more often.  Rather than setting yourself up for failure, why not start 2011 off on the right foot by making healthy life changes you can actually keep? 
     A few EASY ways that you can keep your healthy resolutions all year long are to make small changes that will transform your life.  Here are some suggestions to make the most of your New Year’s resolution:

Aim For 5 Servings Of Fruits And Vegetables Per Day

Fruit and vegetables taste delicious and there's so much variety to choose from. They're a good source of vitamins and minerals, and dietary fiber. They can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Fruit and vegetables are low in fat and calories and high in taste!

Swap Sugary Drinks For Water

Water is one of the best tools for weight loss because it doesn't have
any calories.  It is also a great  appetite suppressant, and often when we think we're hungry, we're really just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs, no sugar, so drink plenty to help your weight-loss.
Eat Breakfast

Did you know... in order to gain weight, sumo wrestlers in Japan don't eat breakfast?  Really! Skipping breakfast slows down the metabolism and encourages weight gain. Start your day with a breakfast that combines fiber and lean protein, in order to rev up your metabolism and keep you full till lunchtime.

Add More Fiber to Your Diet

Fiber-rich foods decrease hunger, so you are likely to eat less during the day. You can easily add more to your diet by having high fiber cereal for breakfast, or as a snack mixed with yogurt in the afternoon.

Increase your Dairy Intake

Not getting enough calcium triggers the release of calcitrol, a hormone that causes fat storage. Instead meeting your daily calcium needs helps you burn fat more efficiently. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products for the nutrients your body needs, without the extra calories.

Spice it up

Increasing your intake of capsaicin (the compound that gives hot sauce and chili peppers their kick) temporarily boosts your metabolism and helps you feel satiated after meals. Go ahead and heat things up.  Try adding Tabasco sauce to your eggs, curry to your soup, and hot peppers to your chili. Spices will add flavor and health benefits to your dish.

Start your meal with soup

Soup is one of the most filling foods, and a big bowl of it is a great way to avoid higher calorie temptations. Most soups are low in calories and high in fiber, making them healthy and satisfying. Aim for broth based soups filled with vegetables, which tend to have a lot fewer calories than cream based soups.

 Remember, these tips are not just for weight loss but also to make you feel more energized, stronger, healthier and younger. Live a better quality of life.  Don’t give up because you splurged. DON’T GIVE UP !!
     Good luck in sticking with the resolutions and shedding the pounds.

Chef Heather

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