Health resolutions simplified thanks to these expert tips

(BPT) – A new year is a time of reflection and opportunity to focus on gratitude and goals for the future. Resolutions can be anything that you desire, but with health and wellness top of mind for so many people, two of the most popular are eating healthier and getting fit.

The problem with resolutions is that everyone starts with good intentions, but few succeed. Research shows only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. If you want to be part of the successful 8%, it’s time to shift your mindset and start with small steps that are maintainable.

“You can set yourself up for success by making meaningful changes and shifting your thinking,” says Colette Heimowitz, vice president, Nutrition & Education, Simply Good Foods.

Heimowitz shares the following strategies to help you stick to your resolutions to eat healthier with a low-carb lifestyle and make lasting positive changes:

Plan ahead for success

Going cold turkey on low fiber/high sugar carbs and favorite treats may be a challenge if your fridge and pantry are still stuffed with leftover goodies. For a fresh start, consider organizing your kitchen, tossing out or giving away excessive unhealthy temptations, and stocking up on good-for-you foods that fuel your body.

Some ideas for low-carb foods include cheese, eggs, tofu, rotisserie chicken, fresh baked ham and or turkey, frozen hamburger patties, pork chops, shrimp, and chicken breasts or thighs. In the pantry, stock canned or vacuum packs of tuna, salmon, sardines, crabmeat or clams, plus marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and jars of olives. Lots of colorful vegetables for salad fixings and cut-up vegetables are a must-have for the fridge.

Stick with your schedule

Whenever possible, try to be consistent with your low-carb snacks and meals, aiming for three meals and two snacks a day. This should keep your appetite under control, even when faced with tempting treats.

Enjoy a treat

Eating well is a balance and everyone wants to enjoy a treat now and then. You can keep your goals and enjoy something sweet like the Atkins Keto Peanut Butter Cups. This decadent treat is made with real peanut butter and a delicious chocolaty coating, has 2 grams net carbs, 6 grams of fiber and less than 1 gram of sugar.

If you prefer a cocktail or glass of wine, there are thoughtful low carb options from Atkins to help you stick to your goals. Certain spirits, such as scotch, vodka and gin are naturally low in carbs, just avoid mixing them with juice, tonic water or non-diet soda. Go for seltzer, diet tonic or diet soda instead. If you’d prefer white wine, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc are your best choices. If you’re into red, try pinot noir.

Add some steps

Moving your body regularly is essential to health and wellness, but it’s not always about working out. Sometimes it’s about adjusting your days to add movement whenever possible. For example, get up every hour from your desk and sneak in some squats, sit-ups or push-ups. Or, park farther away from your destination. Take a walk during lunch or after dinner.

“When you can sneak in a workout, consider popular techniques like circuit or high-intensity interval training,” said Heimowitz. “Tabata workouts, for example, are short intervals such as 20 seconds of intense, all-out work followed by a brief recovery of 10 seconds, for a total of eight rounds, with the total workout lasting about four minutes.”