The New Year brings new goals and new direction, many people focus on a healthier lifestyle and weight loss. Here are a few tips to get you started on a healthier 2013!

1) Stress management – Stress not only plays havoc on emotional eating but when stressed, our bodies actually release an excess amount of cortisol, which can cause our body to pack on pounds.

2) Make drinking water a top priority – Dehydration can be mistaken for hunger as well as causing fatigue, which often causes food cravings and  unnecessary calories.

3) Stay clear of Fad Diets – Diets that promise extreme amounts of weight loss in a short period of time are not only unhealthy, but the weight loss will be temporary. Your weight loss goal should not be more that 2 pounds per week so be patient, stay on track and your will lose the weight and keep it off.

4) Exercise – a mix of cardio and resistance training – Cardio is a definite asset for weight loss but muscle burns fat and boosts metabolism so for best results, combine cardio with weight training.

5) Supplementation – If your body is deficient in any vitamins or nutrients, it could be sabotaging your efforts, the key is making sure your body has what it needs. For example, low B vitamins could be contributing to fatigue, without joint support supplements, joint pain can make workouts unbearable. It is very important to do your own research before deciding on a brand of supplementation (they are not all created equal)!

6) Don’t let setbacks stop you – set realistic goals, change one habit at a time. Changing to many habits at one time can weaken willpower. Journalizing and food-and-exercise logs boost willpower and encourage habit change.

7) Be patient – Positive habits require development of new neural pathways, a process that takes at least 3 weeks. In most cases, people give up to early. Persistence is critical!

8) Talk about it – Don’t keep your goals a secret, tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health.

9) Track your progress and reward yourself – keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short term goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will keep you motivated. Celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy, maybe a new pair of workout pants or a night out with friends.

10) Just adding a little movement to your life can…
– reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
– improve joint stability
– increase and improve range of motion
– help maintain flexibility as you age
– maintain bone mass
– prevent osteoporosis and fractures