You can make 2020 your healthiest year yet with these health goals

  1.  Don’t diet. It’s the time of the year when you’re inundated with diet ads, diet products and diet programs. Why should you rely on quick-fix, short-term diets that don’t work when you can embrace Atkins’ sustainable low carb lifestyle?
  2. Keep it simple. After the holiday food fest, it’s helpful to follow a simple, clear-cut way of eating. You can choose from these delicious low carb meal plans to get started.
  3. Cut the sugar. Now’s the perfect time to reduce your added sugar intake, which are sugars that have been added to products, and offer little to no nutritional value. Start by following these tips for cutting down on sugar.
  4. Find the right fruit. While fruit does not contain added sugar, it does have naturally occurring sugars, in addition to vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. But any form of sugar, naturally occurring or added, can impact your waistline and health if you eat too much. A banana is considered a high-glycemic fruit, and one small banana contains 20 grams of Net Carbs or more, while a ¾ cup serving of low-glycemic raspberries only has 5 grams of Net Carbs. By the way, glycemic means “related to sugar”. Here are some low sugar fruit options. 
  5. Watch the juice. While fruit juice may seem like a healthier choice than soda, fruit juice is full of sugar and lacks the fiber that a piece of fruit has. Skip lemonade or other fruit juices in favor of water with fresh-squeezed lemon or lime.
  6. Revamp your breakfast. Swap out sugary breakfast cereal or a donut for a full-fat Greek yogurt and berries, a satisfying and delicious way to start the day, minus the sugar rush and cravings.
  7. Smoothies = sneaky sugar sources. A fruity smoothie may seem like a great-on-the-go option on busy mornings, but many are packed with sugar that comes from fruit juices, flavored yogurt or milk. 
  8. Eggs are excellent. One large egg provides 6 grams of high-quality protein and all the essential amino acids. While the poor egg got bad press in the past for raising cholesterol and increasing health risks, research continues to show that there is no association between eggs and heart disease, plus people who eat an egg for breakfast lost more weight and felt more satisfied than those who didn’t. 
  9. Mix up your menus. Once you’ve gotten used to following a low carb meal plan, spice up your menu with more of Atkins low carb recipes. Follow us on Instagram (@atkinsaunz) for even more delicious low carb inspiration. 
  10. Give yourself an exercise “prescription”. While you don’t have to work out to lose weight on Atkins, exercise, like nutrition, can be considered powerful medicine, with research showing its potential in reducing or even preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
  11. Throw some weight around. In addition to cardiovascular exercise like running, biking or walking, lifting weights also has some major benefits. To start, muscle is more metabolically active than fat. In other words, a pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat, which means that even at rest, you’re burning more calories and processing blood sugar more efficiently. 
  12. Start the week on Sunday. Spend some time on Sunday planning and prepping your low carb snacks and meals for the week. A little advance planning makes Mondays and the rest of your week much less stressful.
  13. Hit your local farmers’ market. You’ll find plenty of options to base your meals around, including locally sourced, organic vegetables; fruit; herbs and even cheese and eggs. Fresh and local is always best!
  14. Eliminate hectic mornings. Pack your low carb snacks and lunch for the day the night before. Prep your breakfast and lay out your gym clothes or keep a gym bag in your car or office.
  15. Set a “go-to-sleep” reminder. A good night’s sleep is essential. It’s great for stress reduction, productive days and energetic workouts. Set a “go-to-sleep” reminder in your phone so you have time to wind down before bedtime.
  16. Make the most of these 10 minutes. Resist the urge to check Instagram or your email and spend the first 10 minutes right after you wake up totally unplugged. Write down your goals for the day, and review what you accomplished the day before.
  17. Practice self-care. Living a low carb lifestyle and exercising are important forms of self-care. Honor these commitments to yourself and your health. And don’t forget to pamper yourself in other ways, such as scheduling a massage or facial, relaxing with a good book or spending time with friends
  18. Just say “no”. Your time is valuable. Think carefully before overscheduling yourself with commitments you said “yes” to just because you felt like you had to. No, this does not mean skipping your weekly meeting with your boss.
  19. Get real. When it comes to your health, an all-or-nothing approach is likely to set you up for failure. Start small by incorporating a few of these health goals into your lifestyle. When they become a habit, add some more.
  20. Celebrate success! Did you make it to the gym three days this week? Or successfully swapped your iced coffee sugar bomb for low carb mocha smoothies? Maybe you’ve taken meal planning to the next level. Any healthy change, whether it be small or big, is worth celebrating.
Posted by Colette Heimowitz
Atkins Nutritionist