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Try these tips for a healthier you in the new year

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April McKinney

Well, it is 2014 friends, and things are looking great from here.  

I love the feeling that a new year brings, it's just a fresh start, a clean slate.  

Now is the time when the gyms will fill up and diet books will be bought. That is great and all, but what happens in March, or better yet, December?

It seems like most of us are pretty good at the losing weight. If we are focused enough, there are thousands of programs out there to help you do it.  

And yet, the hard part seems to be maintaining that weight loss.  

Many of us, myself included, have lost the weight we have wanted to lose, whether it is 5 pounds or 50, but after several months or a year later, it seems to come right back. 

With that in mind, I am sharing with you some healthy tips to help you feel great in 2014, without feeling deprived.  

I do want to give you this disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or exercise expert, and I certainly do not claim to have the perfect body. However, I have come to a place where I feel good about my body, flaws and all.

So, I am simply sharing with you what has worked for me this past year in an effort to help you feel great and maintain a healthy weight.

Eat a nutrient rich breakfast with protein.

I suggest smoothies in the morning, and I have several recipes on my website you can use. This is such a great way to start your day, and you will make better food choices all day by getting your day started off right.

I usually use frozen fruit, spinach or kale, almond milk, and Greek yogurt or natural protein powder.

Be intentional about what you buy.

It is important that you read the ingredients labels. Sometimes, what we think is “healthy” at the store can be deceiving.

The only way to really know what you are buying is to read the ingredients labels.

You might be surprised at the sugar content of your “low-fat” salad dressings and barbecue sauces.

Do not let one indulgence ruin your whole day of healthy eating. 

This is something we have all done, starting the day off with donuts and the whole day seems to be blown.

My advice is to enjoy an indulgence every now and then, but balance it out with healthy food choices the rest of your day.  

One or two donuts will not ruin your diet. It is when a day turns into the weekend and then into a whole week that makes it harder to get back on track.

Lay off the diet sodas and alcohol.

I know this may be a tough one, but I think it has made a big difference for me.  

Try to limit alcohol to a one or two drinks a couple nights a week. It will make a huge difference if you are used to a glass or two of a wine a night.  

Diet sodas are just a habit we need to get rid of because the artificial sweeteners will actually have you craving more sweets. Have you have noticed people who drink lots of diet drinks usually are not very thin? Think about it.

Change up your workout routine.

If you have been going to the gym getting in 30 minutes of cardio for years and not seeing any change in your body like I was, change it up.  

Go to classes or try a new workout DVD series. This will change your body. It has definitely been key for me this year.

For healthy recipes and to watch how-to videos, visit www.AprilMcKinney.com.

Tagged under  Cooking Up Dreams, Diet, Exercise, Health, Living Well

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