The New Year signals a clean slate (and a clean plate!). The good news: Implementing even small everyday diet and exercise changes can lead to a long-term difference, says Lee Goldman, MD, executive vice president and dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. When it comes to exercise, “the simple message is to stay active,” he says. Focus on building activity into your daily routine, he adds, whether it's going to the gym, walking several extra blocks rather than driving, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Dr. Goldman also cautions against the common mistake of celebrating your new exercise routine with heartier meals. “Don't overestimate how many calories you burn with exercise and reward yourself by eating just as many—or more,” he stresses.
A month's worth of easy but effective changes that can be tailored to fit your needs and fitness level lie ahead. Try these moves to enter 2016 in great shape and drop some belly fat.
Write a specific wellness mission for the upcoming weeks (think: “I will eat two clean meals per day for two weeks”) and stick it where you'll see it. Remember: This is a jumping-off point, so it's OK to start small.
Day 2: Purge your pantry
Toss out three food products labeled “low-fat,” “reduced-fat” or “fat-free.” They often pack more salt, sugar or even calories than the full-fat versions.
Day 3: Weigh yourself
Research has linked hopping on the scale regularly to better weight-loss results.