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New Year, new diet, new health goals for 2013

It is never too early to kick off New Year's resolutions



Here we are in those magical days between Christmas and New Year's.

What is on our minds as a collective whole is good food, good wine and good parties. What isn't collectively on our minds is balanced diet, recommended water consumption and fitness.

For many, Jan. 1 will come around and after a week or more of over-eating, over-drinking and avoiding real exercise all together some people will decide it is time to eat healthy again, stop drinking booze, stop smoking, get more sleep and exercise more.

Writing early this year for Marc Faktor wrote in the days after the switch from 2011 to 2012 that small and incremental changes that lead to much larger sustainable changes over time are more effective than trying to change everything overnight.

It goes without saying that exercise is an important component to maintaining a good level of physical fitness. Exercise can also play a role in weight loss but if an exercise regime is paired with regular gorging on cake, cola, candy, chocolate and chips the pounds are going to cling tight.

While there are some exceptions, the most effective way to shed pounds is to do the same with calories.

As we look to flip the calendar to 2013 those who want to really deal with excess fat and make this the year to drop a few weight classes should go for it.

First, whatever you do, the experts suggest keeping it fun. If it is too much like work it is going to feel like pushing boulders up hill.

Keeping it fun might look like asking someone to go on the journey with you. Everyone needs help and doing almost anything with someone else is always more interesting than going it alone.

Once you have recruited some company there has to be a plan with realistic and achievable goals. If the goal within the plan seems impossible then it probably will prove to be exactly that so work the plan in small chunks with regular goal resets.

Whistler trainer Greg McKinnon is a strong believer in motivation through visualization. He suggests buying a piece of clothing that is slightly small, a size that you want to fit into.

"Hang it up where you can see it so you are motivated to get down to that size," says McKinnon.

Personal trainer John Blok says the place to start is to simply eat less.

"Eat less carbs and eat more vegetables," says Blok.

When 5 p.m. comes around on the clock he preaches no more carbohydrate consumption until the next day.

"Eat 250 calories less a day and exercise 250 calories more a day," says the trainer.

Snowshoeing for half an hour with a friend burns about that many calories. That combined with scratching sugary drinks from the shopping list could be a good start.

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