Healthy New Year: 5 Simple Changes You Can Make Today

by in Healthy Tips, December 31, 2009

Whether you’ve gone off track during the holidays or you or someone you love isn’t ready for total life change, you can still make small but smarter choices. Here are five changes that can have a BIG impact on your health and weight. Give one, two or all five a try.

1. Lose the soda and sugary drinks.
Sugary sodas and drinks have lots of empty calories. Drinking two 20-ounce sodas a day adds up to a 300-plus calories a day and whopping 122,000 extra calories a year. Trade it for water and you can drop up to 35 pounds.

2. Switch to low-fat dairy.
Do your heart some good. Low-fat versions of cheese, milk, yogurt and sour cream are just as tasty as the full-fat varieties with less artery-clogging saturated fat. Opting for low-fat yogurt as a snack and putting 1% milk instead of cream in your coffee daily will save you more than 29,000 calories a year — that’s 8 pounds!

3. Bulk up your healthy recipe repertoire.
You won’t eat well if you don’t have inspiring dishes to cook. Get excited about food with new delicious and healthy dishes. Here are some of our collections to get you started:

4. Brown bag it for lunch three days a week.
There’s no way around it — when you eat out, you eat more. Make a commitment to bring your lunch along at least three days a week. You’ll save some serious calories and cash! It just takes a little extra planning – we can help with our lunchbox ideas.

5. Get some exercise (that doesn’t seem like exercise).
There are plenty of things you can do for exercise outside of the gym or yoga studio. If you’re into video games, try the Wii fit, take a walk with a friend (or the dog) a few nights a week or go sledding with the kids on the weekends (weather permitting).

TELL US: What small changes have you made to better your health?

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Comments (19)

  1. Monamona says:

    These resolutions have been well enumerated. Fat dairy and sugary drinks should be totally out. The Light & Easy Breakfasts post you referred to is like a Deja Vu. You may see it was one of the most commented post of the year. I think the trouble with bad dieting almost begins with a wrong breakfast so its great we get it well done.

  2. Charlotte says:

    I'm happy to say that all five of these became part of my routine in 2009, and I have lost 45 pounds since this time last year. More importantly, my health is back on track, and I finally have the energy I need for my hectic life. Small changes really do make a difference!

  3. Nanaknows says:

    Well I have trouble keeping on my modified low carb diet because I can't eat nuts, seeds and beans. I love to eat!!!

  4. Elle says:

    Some of us have a hard time when we eat too much of these foods. If I eat peanut products or other nuts too often, my stomach feels as if it's on fire. She didn't say she doesn't like them, she can't eat them

  5. guest says:

    I raised by desk at work this year, so that I can move more at work rather than sit. I was up and down so much, I was developing lower back problems, so my husband built boxes to go under my desk so that I could stand. I also have a stool available for when I do want to sit, but my back issues are gone and I am lovin'it.

  6. Laine says:

    Sign up for belly dancing classes or a 3K Walk/Run….. it becomes contagious because it's actually fun!
    And, skip fast food altogether…… grabbing a piece of fruit is so much healthier and tastes so much better really.

  7. Meg says:

    When you say sodas does that include the diet and caffeine free versions as well? If you really wanted a soda one day, which are the best to have?

  8. danawhite says:

    Hi Meg -
    Most sodas sweetened with sugar have about 150 to 200 calories in a 20-ounce bottle. Diet sodas are sweetened with artificial sweeteners, so they're calorie-free, but since these types of sweeteners are chemicals they are best consumed in moderation. That said, there's nothing wrong with a diet soda on occasion if you're watching your calorie intake.

  9. Nance says:

    Lower all sugar, eat high fiber, exercise, green tea, water, lite coffee, decaf diet soda's, if you want alcohol only the lightest calorie beers, light exercise 4 times a week.

    It works so well, it is truly a lifestyle change. It took me years to figure out a plan that is easy to follow.

    I'm almost 52 and everyone thinks I am in my thirties! I have energy and feel like I can do most anything most of the time.

  10. shannon says:

    One thing that we did in our house was put a bowl of fruit out on the counter. Anything junk food is in the cupboard, so when I left for work I would always grab a banana, or apples, and an orange for lunch and I actually lost weight from it!

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