3 secrets to becoming a healthier, happier you in 2016

We only get one body. That seems like reason enough to treat it well, doesn’t it?

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  • Are your pants feeling tight, but you're too tired to care? Most people could benefit from making healthier choices. From the way we look to how we feel, deciding to live a healthier lifestyle brings about numerous benefits. Diets tend to feel restrictive and are difficult to maintain for long periods of time. Food should not be something we dread or regret but should be something enjoyable and energizing. Instead of trying a radical diet that leaves you hungry all day, why not make good nutrition a part of your daily life?

  • When considering what your body needs, try thinking of your body as a car. If a car requires premium gas, then you're going to fill it with premium gas. If you don't, you'll end up with some major problems. It might not happen immediately, but down the road you will pay more than if you had invested in premium in the first place. Our bodies need"premium fuel" in order to function properly. If we feed it good, wholesome foods, we reap the benefits: good overall health, a healthy weight, manageable stress levels and so much more.

  • We only get one body. That seems like reason enough to treat it well, doesn't it? This is easier said than done, especially considering how confusing it can be to sift through the many diet and lifestyle options promoted on a daily basis. Here are 3 tips to developing good nutrition: balance, variety and moderation.

  • 3 tips to developing good nutrition

  • 1. Balance

  • Following extreme diets can feel easier than creating well-balanced meals, but only in the beginning (think: the "crash diet"). The lines are clear—don't have this, this and this for a slim waistline in two weeks. But often these diets aren't healthy and don't prevent you from gaining weight back once you're finished with those "two weeks."

  • Instead, look for balance in your healthy eating habits. You're more likely to stay motivated, reap the benefits of long-term change and achieve lasting results. It seems harder because it requires more thinking, planning and effort, but just like with premium gas, the benefits are worth it.

  • 2. Variety

  • Eat a variety of foods. Variety not only keeps things interesting but also gives our bodies all kinds of vitamins and nutrients to stay functioning at an optimal level. Variety can be achieved whether you are a vegetarian, eat from all the food groups, have wheat allergies or have other special food conditions. There are healthy options in every food group. Branch out, and try something new.

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  • 3. Moderation

  • Watermelon is great. It is hydrating and full of Vitamin C. But, this does not mean chowing down on watermelon all day, every day is healthy. Too much or too little of wholesome foods is unhealthy. However, all foods, when eaten in moderation, can be part of healthy eating habits. Yes, that even includes that chocolate-dipped Oreo you're dreaming about right now.

  • Listen to your body. Be in tune with how it responds to lifestyle changes. Set small goals like eating one fruit and one salad each day, having one vegetarian meal a week and drinking eight glasses of water every day. Don't forget to congratulate yourself and be proud of accomplishments, even if they seem small—the small, consistent steps are what really form lasting benefits for a lifetime of good health.

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Stephanie Niccoli is a product developer for MUSE, a company that makes cold-pressed juices from imperfectly shaped fruits and veggies. Visit www.musemisfits.com for more information.

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