Make these resolutions for a happy and healthy new year.
Ready to make 2018 your best year yet? Start with a resolution makeover. It’s easier to keep a resolution that is specific and focused than it is to keep one that is a grand, general (and let’s be honest) unrealistic goal.
Instead of: Cutting out all sugar
Resolve to: Eat more fruits and veggies
While trying to eat better, you may find it easier to choose healthier foods, rather than limiting yourself to a restrictive diet. If you fill your plate with leafy green salad with crunchy orange carrots and red peppers, you won’t be quite as hungry for that brownie after lunch. You’ll even reach for an apple instead of vending machine cookies when it’s time for your afternoon snack.
“Studies have shown that eating a primarily plant-based diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats such as olive oil promotes healthspan and longevity, as evidenced in longevity hotspots like Southern Italy, Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, California,” said Susan Kim, MS, RDN, outpatient kidney transplant dietician at Keck Medicine of USC.
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Instead of: Signing up for a gym
Resolve to: Move a little bit every day
Gyms love January. It’s when they sign up the most new members, most of whom won’t be making use of their pricy memberships come February. Instead, save your funds and look for ways to get moving every day. You could take the stairs instead of the elevator, try 10-minutes of yoga in the morning, or even simply set a reminder to get up and move every hour. Even small chunks of exercise can have a big payoff for your health.
Instead of: Detoxing
Resolve to: Eat clean
You may think that going on a detox diet is a quick way to hit reset, but science suggests otherwise. Your kidneys are excellent at removing toxins from your body all on their own (assuming you’re otherwise healthy). Classic detox programs can leave you hungry and tired and may make you gain weight in the long run. Instead, aim to eat clean, meaning lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. Hold the processed foods, sodium and saturated fats.
Instead of: Getting a fitness tracker
Resolve to: See your primary care physician for a physical
Fitness trackers can be great for those who find them motivating. Unfortunately for many others, they just wind up in a drawer after a few weeks. Even if you do use yours to count your daily steps or track a weekly run, a better way to keep tabs on your overall health is to visit your primary care physician for a physical. He or she will check your blood pressure and run a blood test for cholesterol and lipid levels, thyroid levels and much more. Even if you’re young and feeling healthy, it’s important to get baseline measurements for your health. Many conditions are diagnosed when a doctor notices changes in your levels over a period of time.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for exceptional care from some of the top physicians in the world, be sure to schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment.
By Anne Fritz