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Wednesday
Jan022019

Secrets to make 2019 your healthiest year yet 

 

Kicking off a new year brings plenty of excitement knowing we get 365 new chances to write 12 more chapters in the story called life. To help make it your healthiest and most fulfilling year yet, we put together 9 key areas to focus on in 2019.

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

It’s estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated with 100% of these being preventable. The solution? Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. 

Because our bodies are primarily water, adequate hydration is essential for energy, nutrient absorption and improved digestion, maintaining body temperature, detoxification (flushes the kidneys and digestive tract), easing joint pain (lubricates the joints), optimal mental function (focus, memory, concentration), younger appearance (hydrates the skin), plus weight control.

To set yourself up for success, assign and keep individual bottles for specific places you visit on a daily basis. This could be work, home, the car or the club, among other places. By always having a container readily available, there’s no excuse not to drink.

2. Understand your metabolism and its impact on your body composition. 

Metabolism encompasses thousands of reactions and interactions that take place to help build, repair, energize, and detoxify your body. Unfortunately, most people think of their metabolism as how many calories they can burn, when in reality it’s an indication as to whether or not an individual’s metabolism is functioning optimally

As you can imagine, this level of functionality can affect someone’s ability to lose or gain weight, so understanding what helps and harms your metabolism is crucial when thinking about your health goals. Of course, a healthy diet and regular exercise are common recommendations to help support optimal metabolic functionality, though the best starting point to improvement is by looking what’s going on under the hood with a lab or assessment. Through the assessment process you’ll discover your unique levels of inflammation, blood sugar regulation, nutrient levels and sex hormones, all of which impact how your metabolism operates. By tracking this information over time, you’re able to customize your nutrition and exercise approach to better suit your body and how it functions.

3. Determine your 2019 D.TOX schedule.

Over the course of a year, a healthy individual will look to detox every 3 months. In order to make this happen, we recommend setting calendar reminders ahead of each month you’ll do your detox. 

Why Detox? Detoxification is important because it is your body’s way of eliminating toxins that it is exposed to on a daily basis. Whether it be artificial flavors, colors or preservatives in food; chemicals in the air we breathe; or toxic ingredients from personal care products or containers, it’s important to be intentional with disposing harmful toxins from our bodies. 

For some, the word “detox” can be intimidating because it’s commonly mistaken for a juice cleanse that will leave you feeling deprived or a complex eating plan that will be difficult to follow. This couldn’t be further from the truth as most participants of the Life Time D.TOX program claim that it is straight-forward, easy to follow and the way they’ve always wanted to eat but in a structure that makes it easy. 

Our next class starts Jan. 7, so be sure to sign up right away. To register, click here. Otherwise, keep an eye out for the following month’s class kicking off on Feb. 4. 

4. Fill your nutritional gaps with a multivitamin.

While some may question if they really need a multivitamin, studies continue to report that the U.S. population falls short for consumption of fruits and vegetables. When we fall short in this area, we bypass essential the vitamins and minerals that are the metabolic co-factors and co-enzymes that make human metabolism possible. Without them, normal biological function becomes impossible.

What’s more, if you’re an active individual or live a demanding lifestyle, it’s likely your caloric output is more than the average person, meaning your need for essential micronutrients will be considerably higher. If this is the case, it’s very difficult to catch up on your micronutrient threshold without the help of quality supplements. 

Do note that when you’re looking for a multivitamin, beware of supplement companies with seemingly attractive marketing as it’s safe to say they’re investing more money in customer acquisition rather than high-quality ingredients in effective doses in the right delivery forms. 

5. Stock your kitchen with the best cookware.

When considering what cookware to use, it’s important to use materials that haven’t been linked to harmful health conditions. For cutting surfaces, it’s always best to use wood over plastic. For pots, pans and other storage containers, using glass, ceramic and stainless steel are the best options as these are the least toxic.   

Beyond cutting and storage materials, it’s also important to stock your kitchen with the right tools to make cooking easier and more efficient. As a starting point, check out “10 handy kitchen gadgets for healthier eating.

6. Determine a workout regimen, then find an accountability partner.

As the saying goes, your plan won’t work unless you do. As you continue to keep a pulse on your health goals, metabolism and other needs your body may be trying to tell you, mapping out a weekly workout routine will be your starting point.

From there, establishing a few accountability partners will help you stay on track and ensure you keep your promise to show up. Whether that be a personal trainer, friend or spouse, or perhaps you befriend another regular in your group fitness class, finding those key people will up your chances of success. And for those days you feel low on personal motivation, having an accountability partner will force you to show up for them when you don’t feel like showing up for yourself.

7. Know your temptations and alternatives to satisfy them. 

Temptations seem to strike at a moment’s notice, so when they do, one of the best ways to overcome them is by having a healthy alternative in your back pocket. 

If you’re one to crave something salty, try swapping out your bag of chips or other go-to junk food for an awesome homemade nut and seed mix. If you find yourself fighting a sweet tooth, there are plenty of great options like fresh or frozen fruit paired with a healthy fat and/or protein. For example, a small serving of berries and heavy cream is a much healthier trade for your low-fat, high-sugar ice cream. The natural sugars in the fruit will help fulfill your sweet tooth, and the added protein will help stabilize blood sugar levels.

For those who struggle with refined carbs, sweet potatoes make a great alternative. Use it as toast for an open-face sandwich or try it has a replacement for your hamburger bun. If pastries seem to be your downfall, these 5-minute protein pancakes are sure to be a hit. 

8. Invest in a post-workout recovery routine. 

While sticking to a consistent workout schedule and healthy eating plan are usually the focal points to achieving success, many overlook the importance of investing in a post-workout recovery routine. Arguably, post-workout recovery is just as important as the workout itself. 

And while it might not give you an endorphin rush, incorporating recovery techniques can help you avoid plateaus and optimize future workouts. Believe it or not, we often see clients with weight-loss goals actually lose the weight when they commit to an adequate recovery.

9. Commit to a consistent self-care routine.

No matter what you do, this shouldn’t be disregarded as “another nice thought” or something that is selfish in nature. Investing in yourself means you can pour into others more effectively. And don’t be fooled, figuring out a self-care routine that works best for you doesn’t have to be complex or time intensive. 

When deciphering your self-care routine, the starting point here is to do a self-assessment. This way you can evaluate your well-being and identify any hinderances or obstacles that may be negatively impacting your everyday life. Once you’ve slowed down to acknowledge these, you can then take the necessary actions to restore balance and peace-of-mind. 

Making space for yourself and a self-care routine takes on many shapes and forms and won’t look the same for every person. If you’re looking to start a self-care routine and find yourself looking for a few ideas, consider journaling, meditation, yoga or booking a massage at the Life Spa. All are great options that give you space to reflect and reset. 

If you’ve already incorporated some of these recommendations into your 2019 plan, we’d love to hear how it’s going so far! Are there any other go-to strategies that you plan to make a habit of this year?

- Life Time Weight Loss Team 

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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