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This issue, the point is that New Year's Resolutions are hard.

6 Tips to Stay Healthy in 2017
(And show your New Year's resolution who's boss)

Did you resolve to be a healthier you in 2017? Well we've got some Pointers from a Pointer: Mario Godiva '03, a fitness expert, food coach and media spokesperson.

Congrats! You’ve nearly made it through the first quarter of 2017. Are you still sticking to those New Year's Resolutions or did the first part of the year get the best of you? While New Year’s Resolutions are fun to make, they can be difficult to maintain over the long haul. To help you stay (or get back) on course, here are some tips and tricks to help you have a more healthy, happy and successful 2017.


Your diet, genuine love for yourself and your attitude towards life and others are the most important factors of your inner world. How we project in the world, how we work as good colleagues, team members, friends, parents, children, lovers, etc. depends on our internal mental, emotional and physical health. Work from the inside out!

From one Pointer to another,

-Mario Godiva '03
Fitness. Food. Life.™
Fitness Expert. Food Coach. Media Spokesperson.
Learn more about Mario by visiting his website.

1.) Tracking your progress: What gets measured, gets managed!

If you want to improve your health, fitness and well-being, you need to track your progress, and the behaviors that cause your progress. There’s really no other way around it.

Self-monitoring is the process of tracking and analyzing your thoughts and actions to become aware of how they impact your goals. You easily manage your weight not only by measuring your weight, but by measuring the two other factors that control your weight, your food and exercise. I’m a fan of Fitbit for measuring your heart rate, steps, calories, and other metrics and apps like Lose It or My Fitness Pal for measuring your food intake. Measuring keeps you mindful and sets you up for long-term success.
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2.) Focus on REAL food: you are what you eat. Literally.

What we eat and drink becomes our cells, tissues and organs and by extension, influences our thoughts and emotions. The state of our biochemistry has immediate repercussions on how we live our lives and contribute in our work.

Today’s food systems are designed to be fast and convenient. As a result, the nutrient quality is not only poor, it can be downright dangerous for your health. It's vital to raise your level of awareness of what you put into your body. Real, whole and unprocessed foods should always take priority over processed or liquid foods, unless you absolutely have to compromise.

Your food choices are #1 in your quest for dropping fat, looking good, preventing disease and improving your overall health and wellness. If you do nothing else, this step alone will still take you 90% of the way in achieving your goals automatically, without all of the over-complication, confusion and misinformation in the health and fitness industry.
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3.) Skip breakfast and eat BIG at night: big breakfast is a myth.

I personally prefer skipping breakfast - or eating a very light breakfast - and eating big later in the day at dinner.  “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, is one of the biggest fitness myths out there that we have been told. We have been told that when we skip breakfast we will crash and have brain fog, muscle loss, and other negative effects. This simply isn’t true.

The “energy crash” will come at lunch or dinner the next evening, not at breakfast. You don’t need breakfast to perform morning tasks, workout or go to work. Your body can still use the energy from your liver that was stored the night before. Eating big at night is not only about restoring energy reserves from the current day’s activities, it’s also preparing your body for the next day’s activities. 

By skipping breakfast you also prolong your body’s ability to burn stored fat as energy. The body naturally wakes up in a fat-burning, energy-producing mode. Eating food, particularly sugar and refined carb-loaded breakfast foods, gives your body an immediate fuel source that shuts down those prime fat burning hours. Eating starchy carbs at breakfast can spike blood sugar, spike insulin levels, and blunt fatty acid mobilization for six hours or more. A sugary breakfast means no fat loss for you.

**For breakfast just grab a cup of green tea or coffee. Or several if you need them to get through the morning at first. You’ll thank me later. Promise.

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4.) Take a probiotic supplement: the most important tip.

For me, this is the most important tip because your gut is your body’s engine. 70% of your immune system is governed by over 100 trillion microbiome (good and bad bacteria) in your gut and intestines. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help you maintain the health of your intestinal tract. Stress, alcohol, medications and other poor lifestyle habits wreak havoc on your 500+ strains of gut bacteria causing malnutrition, sickness, acne, low energy, allergies, gluten/dairy intolerance, bloating and so many other negative ailments.

Taking probiotic supplements is a natural and non-drug way to maintain your health, strengthen your immune system, and replenish good bacteria that that may be depleted from stress, poor eating habits, or antibiotic use. If you suspect you have an unbalanced gut, take a probiotic supplement with at least 25 billion live colonies. A cup of yogurt is roughly 1 billion colonies. I’m a fan Ultimate Flora or Garden Of Life RAW brands.

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5.) Create an effective workout strategy: lift those weights.

To get as fit as you possibly can and increase your overall well being, you must lift weights. You have to strength train intelligently and strategically. Otherwise you will continue on a yo-yo binge, purge, and re-gain fat cycle that will never end.
Weight training is vital for general fitness, muscle growth and fat loss because:

• More calories are burned overall than doing cardio alone during the same time frame
• Elevated metabolism burning more calories while your body repairs muscle fibers
• Better for keeping and building muscle, which keeps your metabolic rate higher

Although it’s good to go hard when you workout there's a big difference between muscle burn and pain. When your muscles are super stimulated, hitting their potential and fatigued, you feel a "burn" in the muscle. This could feel like a slight burn, or a really intense burn on a perceived scale of 1 -10 of effort, with 1 being a little effort burn and a 10 being a maximum effort burn. For maximal results, your burn should feel like a 9–10. If you are a beginner, your burn should be a 6-7 the first week, 7-8 the second week and 9-10 the third week and on.

The following workouts include resistance training programs and exercises that function to promote fat loss through metabolically demanding exercise that uses a combination of equipment. Click on them and print them out!

Click here to learn about more of the elements incoorperated & to view all the workouts in one place.

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6.) Get smart goals: they help you measure your success!

If you don’t know where you want to go, how are you going to create a game plan to get there? Your goals should be about health, fitness and nutrition, and involve habits or mental challenges. Make sure your goals are specific, have clearly defined measure and meet the following SMART GOAL criteria:


1. They should be written in first person and thought of as if you've already accomplished them. "I am fit and running 3x a week." vs "start running."

2. Goals need clearly defined measure... like a number of days you're exercising, how much you have lost, percentage of body fat, steps per day, etc. Goals need numbers. "I have lost 25 pounds" vs "I will lose weight."

Any health issue, even as small as fatigue, lack of mental clarity, brain fog, or lack of energy, signifies imbalance that can be addressed with dietary and lifestyle changes.

The purpose of these changes are to create harmony from the inside out. We rarely can alter our external environment so the change to bring harmony must come from our internal environment.

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