Healthy & Light Menu:
Here's a novel idea--start the year off not dieting (notice I didn't say not exercising). For many of us, January calls for deprivation, willpower, and strenuous exercise. No pain, no gain, right? Wrong! In fact, eating a very-low-calorie diet actually makes your body more energy efficient. This causes your body's ability to burn energy from food to slow down. A slower metabolism means you need less calories to maintain a certain weight. Also, jumping into a heavy-duty strenuous exercise program will turn you off to any activity!
Why not diet? Because it implies a temporary change. So what happens when the diet is over? Usually weight gain and the same old eating habits return. And so goes our exercise plan. Most folks who start an exercise program in January are using their brand-new treadmill as a clothes rack by June. What's the solution? Start with baby steps. Setting small, achievable goals, such as eating at least one piece of fruit a day, drinking two glasses of water, and walking 10 minutes three times a week are reasonable goals.