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Kickstart your health this year by steering clear of fad diets and opt to make lifestyle changes based on your nutritional needs.

The end of the holiday season marks the time when people take a close look at what they are eating and how much they exercise. Weight loss is a $72 billion industry, and there is no shortage of trendy diet options, according to a report published by Research Markets, a Dublin, Ireland-based market research firm. Dieters who opt to follow a keto, paleo or low-carbohydrate diet see immediate results by slashing calorie intake. Weight loss from quick-fix diets is typically short-lived. Despite 44.5-million Americans starting a new diet each year, two-thirds of the U.S. population is obese, reveals Boston Medical Center. Most dieters gain back the weight they lost and even add a few extra pounds within two years, John Hopkins Medicine reports.

Get informed at ANY LAB TEST NOW

Medical experts agree. The key to good health is not the number on the scale. Make stopping by your local Any Lab Test Now location for a Basic Nutritional Panel a top priority in your healthy living journey. The panel includes a variety of tests that can give you a good idea if your body — particularly your metabolism — is functioning properly. It can reveal signs of anemia, infections, or other factors that may cause fatigue, as well as reveal deficiencies in the most common vitamins and minerals. Getting your nutrition tested is a necessary step to changing unhealthy patterns.

The Basic Nutrition Panel includes:

  • Complete Blood Count – A CBC measures the number of each of the different types of blood cells. Abnormal blood cell counts can indicate anemia or infection.
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel – The CMP reveals liver and kidney function and glucose and electrolyte levels. It also measures protein levels in the blood, which are key to ensuring healthy muscles, bones and organs, according to WebMD.
  • Iron – An iron deficiency could be causing a lack of energy.
  • The Basic Nutritional Panel tests a number of vitamin levels responsible for boosting your immune system and building strong bones.

Problem with diets

Trendy diets seem like an easy way to lose weight rapidly. But drastically cutting calories can have a negative impact on your health.

Dehydration. Quick-fix diets often result in loss of water weight. Your body needs sufficient water to function normally. Dehydration may cause fatigue, dizziness and even confusion, Mayo Clinic said.

Exhaustion. Depriving the body of calories can cause weakness and make you tired.

Headaches. Low blood sugar as a result of fasting or eating less increases your risk for headaches.

Constipation. Many fad diets cut out foods necessary to facilitate proper digestion. Lack of fiber can cause constipation and stomach pain.

Inadequate vitamin and mineral intake. The body needs the right amount of vitamins and minerals to function at an optimum level. Depriving your body of necessary nutrients can cause damage that appears later in life. 

Resolve to adopt a healthy lifestyle

Hop off the diet bandwagon this year and make a new year’s resolution to commit to a healthy lifestyle. Set small weight loss goals and focus on your overall health.

Eat a balanced diet. There’s no need to count calories or cut carbs. Eat small portions with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoiding processed foods and servings with added sugar and salt is important.

Keep a food journal. Medical experts advise keeping a food journal to record your consumption. Knowing what you put in your body and how much food you need to feel satisfied will help you set limits and understand your vices.

Get moving. Exercise is the key to keeping your body working properly. The American Heart Association recommends at least five hours of exercise per week, including muscle strengthening and aerobic activity. Spend less time sitting and more time moving this year.

Eat small meals throughout the day to help boost metabolism. Try eating small meals six times per day to help provide energy and prevent hunger.

Eat that treat. If you crave chocolate before bed, indulge in a small piece, rather than an entire candy bar. If fried chicken is your favorite, put this crispy dinner on your menu once a month, instead of weekly. Incorporating foods you love into your diet will keep you from feeling deprived, and help you reach long-term weight loss goals.

ANY LAB TEST NOW offers fast and affordable lab testing without a prescription. Visit your local ANY LAB TEST NOW location to fulfill your new year’s goals.

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