losing weightIt’s not that losing weight is a bad idea for a New Year’s resolution. Many of us can afford to shed a pound or two, especially after the holidays. However, losing weight is not the best resolution you can make when it comes to your overall health. If you focus purely on losing weight, you may look to unhealthy diets and supplements just to get the weight off. The best New Year’s resolution when it comes to your health is setting goals to improve your total health.

Replace “Losing Weight” with These 4 New Year’s Goals

#1. Get to a Healthy BMI and Increase My Muscle Mass: Losing weight may get you closer to the look you want, but your weight alone doesn’t account for other factors. By calculating your BMI, you can tell if you are underweight, overweight, or just right according to your height and gender. But even your BMI isn’t enough to give you a full picture of your health. A person may have a healthy BMI, while still lacking sufficient muscle mass. Your ideal goal should be to maintain a healthy fat versus muscle ratio. Muscle mass is also important for maintaining your overall health.

#2. Incorporate Strength Training into My Exercise Program: Cardio is great for the heart, but working your muscles helps accelerate the fat burning process. Strength training also helps your body recover from injuries, surgeries, and even heart disease. Don’t forget to properly fuel your training— vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, Vitamin D and B vitamins are important for muscle support.

#3. Eat a Well Balanced Diet: From no-carb to low-calorie diets, there are so many diet trends that could wind up hurting you in the long run. Protein-heavy diets can help you shed weight, but may increase your cholesterol if you’re consuming too much red meat. Remember that your body needs calories and carbohydrates for energy, so these should not be completely eliminated from your diet. Instead of cutting out fruits to reduce your carbs, start by eliminating foods and drinks with processed sugars instead. And before you cut down your calories, talk to your doctor about how many calories you should be consuming on a daily basis. Portion control is very important, but you also want to make sure you’re getting a good nutritional balance from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

#4. Get Sufficient Sleep and Rest: Getting enough sleep is essential on many levels. Sufficient sleep not only helps you function better mentally, it also helps drive your immune system. Not getting enough sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Adults need about 7 or more hours of sleep per night, so this new year, commit to getting adequate shut-eye.

Are you concerned about your child’s Body Mass Index? Read here to see how you can get your child on the path to better health. Or click here to see how much sleep they should be getting a night.