Jennifer is gracing us with a guest post, originally featured on RandomlyYaya.com. 

With the busy lives we lead, it can be difficult to stay on track with our health and fitness goals. While staying fit and eating well are important in order to maintain a healthy and happy life, many of us fall behind in making the best choices to actually maintain these goals.

In order to help you accomplish your goals, we are sharing some of our favorite health tips and tricks that will help propel you across your own personal finish line in 2017 — and beyond!

1)  Be active for 30 minutes or more at least 4 times a week

Set a goal for yourself, whether it is taking a daily jog, reaching 10,000 steps by the end of your day, lifting weights 4 times a week, or grabbing your goggles and diving in for a swim two or three times per week. Setting a goal keeps you on track, and keeps you motivated to reach your own personal checkpoints.

2)  Stay away from ‘white’ foods

Most white-colored, processed foods — like bread, rice, pasta, sugar, and flour — are primarily made up of refined carbs and empty calories. There are a few healthy, unprocessed exceptions to this rule, including egg whites, cauliflower and lean white fish like tilapia.

3)  Drink more water

When it comes to your overall health, water is so important! Not only does it keep you hydrated and curb hunger by making you feel full, but it also brightens your skin, improves energy, and helps flush your body of toxins.

4)  Eat fewer processed foods

When it comes to eating, the simpler the better. Eating fewer processed, unhealthy foods as part of your regular diet will help you maintain energy, improve digestive health, and keep your bodily functions running smoothly.

5)  Get more QUALITY sleep

The old saying, ‘You snooze, you lose,’ couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to shedding pounds. According to Dr. Oz, depriving your body of sleep can speed up the aging process and deter your weight-loss efforts. “The brain craves carbohydrates when you’re tired, so you could unknowingly sabotage even the best-laid plans,” he says. Power down and get at least 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to maintain health and to make strides toward your weight-loss goals.

6)  Add more color to your diet

Just like your mom told you when you were a kid, having a colorful plate can be insanely beneficial! When you are hungry, go straight for super-filling green veggies; when you’re craving something sweet, go for a piece of low-calorie fruit.

7)  Prep your food ahead of time

To avoid unhealthy temptations that may call to you throughout the day and to stay away from the drive-thru on a busy day, prep your meals ahead of time. Picking a day to grocery shop and plan and prep your meals sets you up for success during the week.

8)  Walk your dog

Nearly half of all American households own a dog. If you own one, taking him out for a daily walk is not only beneficial to you, but it helps your dog, too! Extending the frequency or duration (or both!) of the walks you take with your dog will help you get into better shape and reach your goals faster.

Make sure that you do not try all eight of these tips at once. Doing so could cause you to feel overwhelmed, which could actually hinder your results. We recommend that you pick two or three tips and stick to them for an entire week before adding another one onto your plate — before you know it, you will have added all eight. Staying fit doesn’t have to be difficult, and with these tips and tricks, you are sure to exceed your goals!

Leave a comment below and let us know what tips and tricks do you use to stay healthy.

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