Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Get a Healthy Start to the New Year

Looking to lose weight this year? Try this sample 1-day menu that is low in calories or these recipes for Lower-Calorie Tomato Soup or Angel Food Cake.

If you're ready to get a healthy start to the New Year, there's never been a better time to get focused on your health! Whether you're looking to lose weight, become more physically active or manage any health conditions, here's some advice to get started on the right track.

All food groups should be part of your healthy diet. Never eliminate an entire food group from your diet. Each main food group, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy, provides essential nutrients needed to maintain and improve your health.

Slow weight loss is key. You should aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. By doing so, you are less likely to regain any lost weight or to lose muscle.

Be cautious of diet shakes and supplements. The best way to lose weight and stay healthy is a balanced diet. Instead of using shakes or supplements, which can sometimes be harmful to your health, start by reducing your portion sizes.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don't fall into the marketing trap of quick and easy weight loss. No single food or combination of foods will provide quick and sustained weight loss. A moderate and balanced eating approach is the most effective way to lose and manage weight.

A healthy eating plan should fit your lifestyle. Eating plans that are too rigid may not be realistic and will not be easily sustained. Choose an eating plan that will work for you! If you do not have time to prepare each meal, you need to take that into consideration and find a plan that will work with your life. That will make it easier for you to stick to it.

Make exercise part of your day. Regular exercise should always be combined with a healthy eating plan. Diets that promise results without exercise are missing a key element of good health. Most adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, like walking, on most days of the week. If you are looking to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 minutes or more may be necessary.

Be willing to change. You don't have to change everything at once. Start with small changes, like eliminating that unhealthy afternoon snack or adding more veggies to your dinner plate. Small changes like these can mean big results! Here are 10 simple tips to cut calories without feeling deprived.

Whatever your health goals this year, it's important to stay focused and committed to being as healthy as you can be. We wish you a healthy and happy New Year!

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