Top 10 Ways to Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year Ever

Top 10 Ways to Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year Ever

Weight Loss Fort Wayne IN Vilulu New Year

If you could picture your ideal life, what would it involve?  Would the ideal version of you be lean, happy and enjoying vibrant health?  Would the ideal you have fun playing outdoors with the kids more, be involved in sports activities, and able to spend more time socializing? How much better would it feel looking into the mirror if all of your favorite clothes fit you perfectly? Imagine going swimming and not being ashamed of how you look in that swimsuit!

Listen, this is the time of year when many people find themselves in need of a few New Year’s resolutions.  It’s the time to think seriously about how you want your future to look and what it’s going to take to become this new, ideal you.

Unfortunately, most people who make the decision to live more healthily won’t end up making any meaningful changes to their lifestyle that last longer than a week or two. A large part of the problem is simply that although most of us know we want to live healthily, we don’t know exactly how to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Think for just a moment about how often you have tried ditching the foods you love for nothing but salads.  Have you ever started out running a few miles every day even though you hate it?  How long did you keep this up?  One week?  Maybe two?  One year later, could you truly say your health has improved?

You see, there are a multitude of possible reasons as to why it seems so hard to create lasting habits and changes, but if you have the right tools, understanding, vision, and “why”, you can certainly do it.

Here are some tips on how to make real, sustainable lifestyle changes, which just might make 2017 the year you turned your life around – the year you became the healthy person you always wanted to be.

Be realistic

If you’re over-ambitious in the changes you decide to make, you might manage to follow the new regime for a short while, but then you will probably slip up. Only one bad day can make you lose your motivation and it won’t be long before you completely revert to your old bad habits.

Start with one small step

It’s the little, sustainable changes that usually make a long-term difference.

If you normally eat unhealthy food and take little exercise, think of making one of these New Year resolutions:

  • put an equal amount of salad or veg on your plate as the rest of the food on it
  • go for a short walk every day
  • reduce your calorie intake for one or two days each week
  • eat only at mealtimes
  • never snack in front of the TV
  • cut out sugary drinks and snacks altogether
  • cut out processed food

After making a small step, then make a bigger step

Once you have started doing something differently, perhaps then it is time to take it a step further. Remember rule number one - be realistic. Just a few small changes that you can continue without too much effort could have a huge impact and maybe even add years to your life.

Keep a food diary

If overeating or eating the wrong type of food is your problem, you might find that it helps to keep a running record of everything you eat.  You’ll soon start to notice if those snacks and sodas are adding alarming amounts to your daily total. You might also notice patterns, such as how you eat healthily during the week but let it slip at weekends.

Don’t worry if you slip up once or twice

How many times have you started a healthy diet, then had one piece of birthday cake and spent the rest of the day shoveling food into your mouth because you feel like a failure?   Next time you slip up, just record it in your food diary.  Then carry on with the regime.

Change your attitude to carbs, fats and proteins

Most of us are eating way too many carbs.  It’s not just the obvious, sugary foods that are the problem.  Pasta, pizza, bread and rice all contain refined carbs, which can play havoc with our insulin levels and lead to type 2 diabetes and a whole range of other health problems.  Try to get your carbs from more nutritious sources.  Sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, beans, sprouts and any deeply colored vegetables should be the main accompaniment to the meat or fish on your plate.

Try to use healthy fats, such as olive and coconut oil rather than vegetable oils and margarine.

Make sure you get some protein with every meal, especially breakfast. Good sources of healthy protein include nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, poultry and grass-fed beef.

Choose exercises which you’ll enjoy

Don’t be put off by thinking you have to do boring and painful exercises to get fit.  You don’t necessarily have to join a gym or go running four times a week. If your exercise regime feels like nothing more than a chore, you’re not going to stick to it long-term. Think instead about activities which you’ve always wanted to do.  Maybe join a yoga class or take up tennis lessons or dance classes.  Plan your vacations and weekends around healthy, outdoor activities which you will enjoy.

Try muscle strengthening exercises

Try some quick and simple bodyweight exercises.  Some of the most effective exercises for fat loss and general health are squats, push-ups and lunges[1]. You can do them in your own bedroom, perhaps just a few in the morning after you wake up, and if you do them every day, or just most days, then in the long run you will feel dramatic changes in your body and in your fitness levels.

Walk more

Walking is a surprisingly effective exercise. Just 21 minutes of walking per day has been shown to cut your risk of heart disease by 30%. It also reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, lowers your blood pressure and reduces mental decline[2].

The greatest thing about walking is that pretty much anyone can do it, no matter what shape you’re in. You may find that counting the number of steps that you do each day is a good incentive for increasing how much you walk. This can easily be done by downloading an app on your phone or buying a step counter.

Change your habits

Develop healthy habits that are manageable for you. There are so many different things you can do to live a healthier lifestyle. Maybe start by resolving to ditch watching TV two nights a week, and do something active instead.  Then build it up to four nights. Maybe you can get off the bus a couple of stops earlier.

Walk up the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator. If you commit to changing your bad habits and introducing these positive changes you really may be on the way to getting that lean, healthy body you always wanted.

Happy New Year!

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