New Year's resolutions: we proclaim them every January with the best intentions, only to watch our goals expire 50-some weeks too soon.
As much as we'd like to wave a magic champagne flute over whatever we want to achieve—that coveted beach body, that new best personal running time, or just living and feeling healthier—it takes time and effort to scale those metaphorical (or literal!) mountains. But don't be discouraged: we have wisdom to help you crush your daily wellness and fitness goals, one day at a time, right here.
As the saying goes, if you're putting garbage in, don't be surprised when you have trouble shedding the pounds.
Eating the right portions and the right foods will do more than slim your waistline; it will also improve your workouts and overall quality of life.
"Any time you eat well and eat right, you get more energy overall," wellness expert and Elite Health and Wellness founder Dr. Chet Barton says. "Your constitution—mental clarity, focus, sex drive, body composition—you look good, and you feel good. But there's more to it than just 'looking good.' There's an underlying health benefit to being health-conscientious."
Try to base your diet around whole, unprocessed foods. As far as proteins go, stick with lean meats like poultry and fish or plant-based proteins like beans, chickpeas and lentils. Load your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, and remember, what's in your glass can sabotage your weight loss as badly as what's on your fork. Once you cut back on alcohol and those sugary juices and sodas, you'll notice the weight coming off and staying off.
Supplement your diet
The use of herbal and natural remedies to relieve anxiety or nourish the human body is nothing new over the course of human history. From the ancient civilizations of Egypt and China, people have taken alternative medicines and supplements for millennia. Today, thousands of Americans are discovering that natural supplements can help bring the body—and mind—into a more healthful balance.
"You don't get everything in your diet," Dr. Barton says. "Supplementing is what it says: it's supplementing your diet. You can eat well, but there will be gaps and holes, and supplements can help improve certain items people might be deficient in."
A combination of multivitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics is a great foundation for treating nutritional deficiencies your diet won't fill. What used to be a niche community of health enthusiasts has broken into the mainstream, with 2016 seeing more everyday people turning to natural supplements and vitamins to help meet their daily nutritional needs than ever before.
If you're not quite ready to visit a medical clinic for supplement advice, or find yourself overwhelmed by the mountain of nutritional information out there, turn to local experts like Dave Cucuzza. Cucuzza, owner of Nature's Market & Fitness Discount Nutrition Center, has 25 years of experience in the nutrition and fitness industries working as a medical "exer-therapist," a certified personal trainer, and a nutrition consultant.
At first glance, Nature's Market may appear to be just a home-grown GNC variant. Upon closer inspection, it's obvious Cucuzza, his co-owner Ed Martin, and manager Susan Smith have been studying their clientele and products—consulting and counseling in the City Beautiful—for a combined 60-plus years. They understand supplementation, having dedicated their lives to helping others and offering products at a fraction of the prices found in larger, franchised supplement stores.
Stick to a weight loss plan
There's no need to walk the path toward wellness alone. In fact, starting any fitness plan without consulting a professional can lead to serious injury and long-term health problems. Physicians and fitness gurus have made it their life's work to help you lose the pounds and live a healthier life. Use them.
Tracking your journey toward safe, reasonable fitness goals can be an incredible motivator. Lifestyle coaches and doctors have the tools to set those milestones for you to reach. By giving initial health and wellness exams, scheduling weekly check-ins to monitor your progress, and providing 24-hour phone support, these professionals can keep you on track to lose weight responsibly.
Nutrition experts can also create a personalized plan to activate your body's fat-burning hormones through a regimen of natural herbs and extracts, specialized meal plans, and proper exercise. Additionally, many medical practices, including Elite Health and Wellness, offer specialized weight-loss programs. "We use a combination of all natural hormone therapy, lifestyle coaching and tools, such as smart-phone apps, to create a program that works," says Dr. Barton.
Treat your body right
Becoming truly healthy depends on more than just watching what you put in your body; it's how you maintain it. Nagging aches and pains will quickly derail your wellness plan if they aren't addressed properly. Chiropractic, the study and practice of healing the body via applications of pressure called adjustments, has endured for more than 100 years as a prime therapy for musculoskeletal ailments, particularly focusing on treating the back and spine. This therapy has grown to address a whole array of ailments including lower back pain, whiplash, chronic headaches and other ailments.
"Adjustment is pain-relieving," Dr. Barton says, "and helps relieve a lot of joint issues, as well as rehabilitate and allow someone to be healthy." Practitioners like Dr. Barton can identify and correct imbalances in the musculoskeletal system, as well as treating other subtle orthotic and biomechanical flaws. Certified in electrodiagnostics, or gauging the speed and electrical activity in the muscle, Dr. Barton can determine exactly what's needed to treat—and prevent—injury while boosting athletic performance. The latest in chiropractic, a procedure known as non-surgical spinal decompression, can even provide non-invasive treatment for spinal stenosis, "pinched" nerves, and other conditions long thought to be treatable through surgery alone.
Whatever your health and wellness goals this big, bold new year may be, the knowledge and tools are here to make your New Year's resolutions stick for the full 365 and beyond!