As the clock hits midnight, and we are sipping away on champagne, millions of people make their New Year's resolutions. Some popular resolutions are to eat less, move more, cut back on sweets, quit smoking, volunteer, and spend more time with family.
Few, if any, of these resolutions that are health based are even around by the end of January. For most of us, the path to good health is not an easy one. Procrastination, family obligations, work, and lack of time and energy are just a few reasons that halt the best intentions in their tracks.
More: 3 Tips to Achieve Your New Year's Resolution
Did you resolve to lose weight in 2013? Here are eight ideas to help you reach your goal.
Eat More Fat
Research has shown that specific kinds of fats are essential to human health and well-being. Consuming healthy, essential fatty acids has been shown to boost heart health and lower triglycerides. Other research shows that omega 3 fatty acids may help to improve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and depression. The monounsaturated fats found in olive and organic canola oils and those found in fish are important for promoting cardiovascular, neurological and psychological health.
More: Good Carbs, Good Protein, Good Fats
Avoid Diet Soda
A study recently presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting shows that drinking diet soda is associated with a wider waist in humans. Researchers found that a diet soda drinker's waist circumference increases of 70 percent greater than the non-diet soda drinkers. Also people who drank diet soda the most (at least two diet sodas a day) had waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than people who didn't drink any diet soda. A second study shows that the aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in diet soda, can actually raise blood sugar in mice that are prone to diabetes.
Include a Meatless Monday
Add Meatless Monday to your weekly menu to avoid the growing number of "Frankenfoods" on the market. By going meatless you may also reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It will also reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
According to a Harvard University study, decreasing meat consumption can decrease your risk of heart disease by up to 19 percent. Plant-based eating has been linked to appetite control, helping you maintain a healthy weight. If you're still new to the Meatless Monday campaign, start slow. Incorporate legumes into your snacks such as hummus or black bean dip; and if you're feeling a little spicy, prepare a bean burrito for dinner. Eventually you'll get a little wild and even try a tofu stir fry!
More: Perform as a Vegetarian Athlete