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    19 Resolutions That Are SO Much Better Than Going On A Diet

    Diets are the worst. But healthy living is awesome!

    It's that time of year again.

    And you know what that means...

    And then there's this.

    And this.

    And most definitely this.

    But here's a thought... what if this year you choose a resolution that ISN'T about losing weight?


    Look, it's not exactly a secret that diets suck. And anyone who goes on diets over and over again knows firsthand that they often don't even really work, at least not in the long run.

    What if instead of focusing on losing X pounds in Y weeks, you focused on something else?

    Something actually good for your health. And, you know, achievable. It'll make you feel better physically, and you'll feel pumped that you actually followed through.

    Here are some ideas along those lines. Happy New Year!

    1. Do a plank every day, and add five seconds to your time each week.

    Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed / Via

    Abs of steel, y'all. Start at 30 seconds on week one and let it build. Seriously, you will be so impressed with how strong you feel after a few weeks of doing this. Here are some different ways you can do planks, in case you want to mix it up a bit.

    Other types of fitness resolutions you can make: Do 10 pushups every day. Or 10 squats. Add a few reps to your routine with each successive week. See how many you end up able to do by the end of the year!

    2. Prepare a week's worth of healthy snacks for yourself every Sunday, so that you're munching on healthy foods when you get hungry throughout the week.

    Kelly at New Leaf Wellness / Via

    Bring them to work with you. Put them in your fridge and in your desk. Stash them in your purse, if you carry one. Here is a list of power snack ideas.

    The key to a healthy snack is that it has some combination of fat and protein and fiber (and some carbs) so that it gives you energy but also doesn't digest quickly, which keeps you feeling more satisfied and less starving by mealtime. Here's a super easy idea: almonds! Technically 23 almonds is a snack serving size, says Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet, but if you don't feel like counting out a million gajillion almonds, just fill up a shot glass with them, then dump the contents of that shot glass into a plastic baggy. Repeat five to seven times, and boom! Five to seven almond snacks, portioned out!

    Other good ones: Hard boiled eggs — prep 'em on Sunday, and grab one each morning on your way out the door for a hearty mid-morning snack. Apple slices with peanut butter. String cheese. A banana. Tuna salad on some crackers. And more!

    3. Build yourself a standing desk.

    Kathleen Kamphausen for Cosmopolitan / Via

    There is a lot of scary new evidence that sitting all day long is actually one of the worst things you can do for your health – and that's true even if you exercise the recommended amount of time. One way to minimize the amount you sit: Be serious about a standing desk. If your workplace won't build one for you (which is understandable... those things can get expensive), you can rig your own. The key is to stand for an hour, sit for an hour, and alternate throughout the day. Simply sitting for three fewer hours a day can have major positive effects. Check out these six ridiculously simple standing desk hacks from Cosmopolitan for some ideas.

    4. Meditate for five to 10 minutes a day.

    Getty Images/iStockphoto evgenyatamanenko

    If the thought of meditation is too heady for you, here's another idea: Focus on your breathing for five or 10 minutes a day instead. Download the app MyCalmBeat (for iPhone and for Android), which leads you in guided breathing exercises. The point is to focus on being mindful and present for a set amount of time every day.

    If you have questions about meditation, BuzzFeed asked Deepak Chopra a lot of them, and he gave some great answers you should read.

    5. Eat less added sugar each day.

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed / Via

    Seriously, though, added sugars are fucking terrible for you. And most Americans are eating about 82 grams of added sugar every day, which is roughly three times as much as the suggested limit (for women, 25 grams; for men, 38 grams). Here are 14 ways to eat less sugar in 2015 for some tips that'll make this goal feel a lot less overwhelming and a lot more manageable.

    6. Walk for at least half an hour every day.


    Developing a walking habit may help you stay healthier and more physically active as you age, according to research on people in their seventies and eighties, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Walking can also strengthen your bones, improve your mood, and help you manage certain medical conditions, per the Mayo Clinic.

    7. Or, if you're ambitious, aim for 10,000 steps per day.

    Download the app Moves on your phone to get a rough estimate of your steps for absolutely no money. Or if you wanna shell out, go for an entry-level Fitbit, which you can attach to your bra, shoelaces, belt loops... you name it.

    8. Get seven to nine hours of good sleep every night.

    BuzzFeed / Via

    This is so important! Not getting enough sleep it associated with a whole host of chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Check out these 14 scientific hacks to get a better night's sleep for some help with this one.

    9. Cut out all soda. Cut it out!

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    Regular for sure, and diet if you can manage it. Nothing good comes from drinking it. One way to help train yourself is to drink green tea instead (for the caffeine), and to drink sparkling water (which kiiiind of tastes similar). Just as good if not better: Invest in a nifty water bottle and always carry it around with you. Glug glug glug.

    Infographic from How Soda Destroys Your Body, courtesy of

    10. Pack a healthy salad for lunch at least three or four days a week.

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    Here are 18 truly delicious-looking Mason jar salads for some colorful inspiration!

    11. Or if you're up for it, try to eat some form of veggies in every meal. For lunch and dinner, see if the veggies can take up at least half of your plate!

    Veggies for breakfast, you ask? Why yes! Think of all the fun veggies you can chop up and put into omelets and frittatas: spinach, kale, peppers, onions, mushrooms, you name it. Or you can boil some kale and eat it as a side to your oatmeal if you want. Or you can check out these 29 tasty recipes.

    As far as other veggies to eat throughout the day, check out 27 of the most delicious things you can do to vegetables. Nom nom nom.

    Pictured above is a bowl of greens with poached eggs and parmesan, FYI. Get the recipe here.

    12. Limit yourself to no more than three alcoholic drinks a week.

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    Turns out a lot of people drink dangerously and way unhealthily without actually being alcoholics. And while some research shows that moderate alcohol consumption might have some positive benefits to your health, it's undeniable that too much drinking is really bad for you. So instead of vowing to do a "Dry-nuary" (uh, a dry January), focus on limiting your dranking in a more sustainable way that'll last all year.

    13. Or you could eat less salt.

    Getty Images/iStockphoto Robyn Mackenzie

    Extra salt in your diet can be really bad for people who already have high blood pressure. Do yourself a major favor and cut it out as much as possible. Big culprits include frozen meals, packaged foods, lots of sauces (soy sauce, for instance), and many chain restaurant meals. Before eating at a chain restaurant, actually, do yourself a favor and look up their nutrition facts online to get a sense of what's a smarter, heart-healthier order. Check out these tips to eat less salt for some more ideas.

    14. Do an exercise that makes your heart pump at least three times a week.

    Maybe learn how to do high-intensity circuit training workouts, which you can do in as little as 10 minutes (or even less). Or commit to jogging around the block a few times a week. Or hop on a stationary bike. Or sign up for Zumba. Or whatever other type of workout you enjoy... vow to do it three times a week, and stick with it.

    For some extra pointers about how to stick to a new exercise routine and make sustainable changes to your lifestyle, check out some tips that really worked for 15 former couch potatoes.

    15. Eat a healthy breakfast every morning.

    A healthy breakfast means some combination of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and carbs. Egg sandwiches on English muffins are a great choice. Avocado toast. Hearty steel-cut oatmeal with berries. A veggie omelet. Things to avoid: anything that's overwhelmingly carbohydrate-based without any fiber or protein or fat to help slow down the digestion. That means steer clear of muffins, pastries, breakfast bread, extra-big bowls of cereal. For some great ideas, check out 28 easy healthy breakfasts you can eat on the go.

    16. Learn to cook a few healthy meals that you love, and make sure that you cook them at least three nights a week.

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    The more you cook at home, the more control you have over what goes into your body — you can make sure you're eating as many fresh, whole foods as possible, and that you're not overloading your meals with extra salt or butter or other stuff you might not want to eat too much of. For some great inspiration emailed to you every week, definitely sign up for the BuzzFeed Food newsletter. You can also sign up for Blue Apron, which makes the whole experience about a million times easier: For $60 a week, the company will send you all the ingredients and recipes for three meals (two servings each — so $10 a meal). The ingredients are even portioned out to exactly how much you need, so you don't ever have leftovers going bad in the fridge. For super-busy people, it's an awesome way to guarantee that you're cooking on the regular.

    17. Seriously, stop smoking cigarettes.

    As with many addictions, one of the most helpful tips you can learn is that avoiding temptation is easier than resisting it. So toss the cigarettes in the trash in a public garbage can. Don't hang out in places where you might be likely to be offered a cigarette. And learn your triggers — the behaviors that make you crave cigarettes in a psychological way, like when you're waiting in line or talking to people at a party. Figure out something to do with your hands or your mouth during that time that doesn't involve a cigarette — like sipping some water or tea, chewing gum, or fiddling with some stress balls.

    Click here for more resources and support.

    18. Become a morning person!

    It's totally doable, it just requires a bit of work at first. There are things you can do to make getting up early easier:

    • Set a very specific bedtime, and make sure you are in bed and reading a book at that time, no exceptions.

    • Don't look at any computer or cell phone screens for at least an hour before bed, so that you can fall asleep easier.

    • Invest in any of these incredibly weird and cool alarm clocks. Or just get a regular one. The point is, don't use your phone as an alarm clock because then you'll just spend all night reading Twitter and not going to bed.

    • Put your new alarm clock across the room from you, so that you have to get out of bed in order to turn it off (no more slapping the snooze button a million and a half times).

    • Lay out the clothes that you're going to wear the night before, to make getting up and at 'em easier for yourself.

    • Set your coffee maker to start brewing a few minutes before your alarm goes off, so you wake up to some yummy-smelling coffee — mmm.

    • Sleep with your blinds cracked or partially drawn, so that you have some sunlight (maybe, depending on when you get up) streaming in when your alarm goes off. Makes it easier to wake up when your body can tell the sun is up or rising.

    And some other great tips and tricks here.

    19. Take at least one yoga class each week. / / Via

    Or get some yoga DVDs (or a subscription to YogaGlo) and take classes from the comfort of your own home.

    If you're short on cash and time, you can also vow to do 10 sun salutations each morning when you get out of bed. The point is to make your yoga practice part of your lifestyle.