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Expert tips for a healthier and happier you this year

(BPT) - Whether you’re resolving to eat healthy, begin an exercise routine, save money or update your wardrobe, many of these resolutions are easier said than done, as people aren’t sure where to start or how to get motivated to make these important life changes.

Nearly one third of people who made resolutions in 2012 failed to sick with them, according to a recent survey by MSN and Impulse. Nationally recognized nutrition expert and published author Keri Glassman offers these tips for jumpstarting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle this new year.

*New year, clean pantry – More than 30 percent of people want to eat healthier in the new year, either by eliminating junk food or pursuing a specific diet. Set aside a little time to raid the pantry and clean out items that are old, unhealthy or any that you might be prone to overconsume. Throw food out or, better yet, donate to a local food pantry and make room for new, healthier foods. This exercise also helps you get organized for meal planning, as you can inventory what you have and what you need.

Need more help? There are tons of great technology resources available to help you eat healthy and keep an active and organized lifestyle that fits you, including MSN for Windows 8, which offers a wealth of health tips with just one touch.

*Exercise the buddy system, literally - It’s more fun to work out with someone else, so recruit a friend or co-worker as a new weight-loss buddy. Finding someone you can brag to about success, confess to about any setbacks and who can motivate you will provide solid support, and maybe even a little bit of healthy competition. Even better if your buddy is someone you perceive to be in better shape than you, since studies show you’ll work out harder.

*Become a planning professional – Nearly 39 percent of people cited a lack of time as the reason they have not achieved new year’s goals in the past. Planning ahead can make a huge difference and keep you from making last-minute mistakes, like making that box of macaroni and cheese or skipping the gym. When you go out to eat, look at the menu ahead of time and decide what healthy option you’ll order. You can also strategize to order a child’s portion, split an entree with a friend or ask for fatty or unhealthy sauces and dressings on the side, so you can control portions.

It also helps to write down a list of produce you want to eat for the whole week. People who commit to a concrete plan to eat more fruits and vegetables are twice as likely to stick to it. And it doesn’t hurt that adding veggies to your meal can help you automatically reduce the overall caloric consumption. Utilizing health and fitness resources that can be with you on the go, like MSN on Windows 8, which you can access from your PC, tablet or phone, can keep you on track and ready for any challenges .

Based on the theory that it takes 21 days to break a habit, if you can stick with these healthy changes for just a few weeks, you will be on your way to a healthier new you. For more tips from Glassman and resources for better living, check out 21 Days to Healthy Habits at HealthyLiving.MSN.com or via a simple swipe on MSN for Windows 8, and find your way to a healthy and happy 2013.

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