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Make a Lifestyle Change for Your Health this New Year


Happy New Year!  It’s a fresh start. It’s a new year and a new you. We make lots of plans to make lots of changes right? Of course… let’s make it a resolution! I resolve to…fill in the blank with literally anything.  It truly feels great to make a solidified change for the better.  Did you know, however that almost 80% or more of New Year’s resolutions fail by February? Some commitment huh?

When it comes to your health, 30 day commitments are not nearly enough. However, a health related resolution may be the beginning of something great! New Year and new you should not be a resolution for just this year; it should be a truth and ideology for commitment to the entirety of life.  You should not resolve to lose weight, or diet, or just plain eat less, we should resolve for a better lifestyle completely. Don’t just start a diet this New Year, change your nutrition. Think about food differently. Eat for health not for boredom. Don’t let food dictate your day or schedule. The word diet should be thrown away as this implies a short unpleasant time. We need to think about these modifications  as a “life change” or “lifestyle” to change the way we think and use food  for the long haul. Eat more protein and vegetables and consume less simple sugars and carbohydrates.

Stop drinking soda or sweetened drinks because a recent study shows that sugar is more addicting than cocaine.. Alarming, right? It’s no wonder why sugar is in everything we consume nowadays. Just by limiting these bad or unhealthy things, you will automatically be living a healthier life and similarly a positive effect of weight loss and less chance or improvement of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancers.  Think about it, now you’re living longer just by reducing or eliminating one simple thing.  That’s a pretty easy transition for the New Year!

Now that we have a foundation, let’s build from all that positive!  Try to increase physical activity instead of sitting on the couch all weekend.  Don’t just join a gym because of the deals and then never go,  try going for walks, riding a bike, or simply doing yard work. Keeping the body in motion is the next most favorable change.  Make a pact for yourself of engaging in physical activity minimally 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Completing more activity than this will always have benefits. As always, start slow to avoid an injury and derailing all this great progress!

Resolutions are great and fun to make, but unfortunately most are broken or they fade within 30 days. To make a  serious commitment to  our health in the New Year, we need to think differently, “out of the box” as they say. It’s not about the reflection in the mirror or what we post on social media, it’s about the internal reflection of what we want for ourselves. Food is not an extension of our hand. Nutrition is there to fuel our life and extend our longevity. There are reports now that after weight loss and, for those who need it, weight loss surgery, that DNA length can be extended. This equates to one major factor, a longer life. So lets resolve for one thing this New Year… lets make a resolution for a life long change for better nutrition, more activity, better health and to live a happier longer life.  Happy New Year!


John D. Powell, MD, FACS, FASMBS, earned his Medical Degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies and completed his Residency in General Surgery at Pinnacle Health at Harrisburg Hospital in Harrisburg, PA. He is Board Certified in General Surgery and specializes in Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Powell treats patients in Monroe and Newburgh.