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If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
Fruits, vegetables and water are important to meeting New Year's resolutions around weight loss and healthy living, but so are resiliency and motivation, says Dr. Maurice Duggins, associate professor at the Kansas University School of Medicine - Wichita.
"We're all successful if we keep trying," Duggins said. "If you failed two times before, that doesn't mean you're going to fail a third time. I would say don't be discouraged - keep trying."
Duggins suggests starting slow - aim for losing one or two pounds a week, instead of making a bigger goal such as losing 30 pounds. A pound is about 3,500 calories, so trimming 500 calories a day can cut one pound a week.
Reducing sugar and salt in the daily diet helps, but it does not need to be completely nixed. Chocolate and other sweet can still be gobbled up for dessert, but just with reduced portions, Duggins said.
"Why not have a little bit of chocolate, then fill the rest out with fruits? That way you can still have that sweet tooth satisfied without having excessive amount of that particular food," he said.
Duggins said drinking 16 ounces of water before and during a meal makes the body feel full. He said weight loss pills and shakes produce some results, but mostly because the person is more motivated to exercise or eat healthier to go along with it.
Fish, chicken and lean meats are a good start in building a healthy meal.
"Start with that label," Duggins said. "Look at that label and try to understand what's in those ingredients and how do they break down. You want more whole grains ... you want more fruits and vegetables. You want it to have less salt."
Duggins said being conscious of one's family history is imperative. A family with a history of high blood pressure, cholesterol or heart attacks at a young age should pay attention to the red flags that they need to exercise often. Excessive weight can also be a contributor to some cancers.
Most of all, Duggins recommends identifying why a weight loss goal was set, and how to make it effective this time around if it failed in the past.
"You have to be motivated, first," Duggins said. "That's the first thing."
Duggins discussed healthy living and weight loss tips on KFDI's "At Issue" program. A copy of the podcast can be found here.