2019 is coming in at full throttle. Because soon, in just a few hours, a brand new year will be upon us all – and with it the opportunity to turn resolutions into reality.
But, as many of us resolution-makers know firsthand, actually achieving New Year’s resolutions is often a year-long challenge that doesn’t always pan out the way we’d like.
In light of this (and in the spirit of New Year’s), we’ve pulled together 5 popular New Year’s resolutions here – and some practical ideas for turning them into solutions.
So, here goes…
Maybe this means cutting out some of the refined sugar in your diet. Maybe it means you’ll prep nourishing meals at home more often – instead getting takeout every evening.
Whatever this resolution looks like for you, EverlyWell’s Food Sensitivity Test is a great way you can kick-start a healthier relationship with food. With this easy-to-use at-home kit, you can discover how your body’s immune system reacts to 96 different foods (ranging from apples and asparagus to coffee, turkey, and yogurt).
Your reactivity results can then be used to plan an elimination diet with an add-back challenge to help you discover foods that may be causing unpleasant symptoms – like excessive fatigue, pounding headaches, stomach pain, and more.
Perhaps 2018 saw you spending lots of time indoors (perhaps with your eyes glued to one screen after another) – in which case, you might be thinking about getting outside more in 2019.
As a first step towards reaching that resolution, try EverlyWell’s Vitamin D Test – which measures your vitamin D levels. Your body makes vitamin D whenever you expose your skin to sunlight, so if you’ve spent a lot of time indoors this past year, your vitamin D levels could be a little low – or even very low. And low levels of vitamin D are certainly less-than-ideal for your well-being: symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include depression, excessive fatigue, and joint pain.
So, by checking your vitamin D levels now – and continuing to monitor your levels throughout 2019 – you’ll get to see how spending more time outdoors, soaking in wellness-boosting sunlight, improves your vitamin D status.
Want to drop some pounds in the upcoming year? Many people adopt this resolution around this time of the year – especially now that the food-filled festivities of the fall and winter holidays have passed by.
Of course, losing weight can be a great benefit for your health (assuming you aren’t at a healthy weight already), so how can you reach this resolution a little easier?
One good idea is to take EverlyWell’s at-home Metabolism Test – a quick, accurate way to assess your body’s levels of 3 hormones that affect weight gain (and loss).
These 3 hormones are cortisol (a.k.a. the “stress hormone”), testosterone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (or TSH).
Cortisol, when elevated for long periods of time, can cause you to lose muscle – and gain fat (and weight). That’s because cortisol converts protein in your muscles into glucose – giving you a quick bump of energy that helps you power through fight-or-flight situations. But any extra glucose is converted to fat, so when cortisol levels are chronically high, your body steadily loses muscle and gains fat.
On the flip side, low levels of testosterone are associated with weight gain in the form of increased fat mass (you can now take a testosterone test at home).
As for thyroid-stimulating hormone? Elevated levels of thyroid stimulating hormone is an indication that your body requires more thyroid hormones (like T3 and T4) – and that your thyroid gland may not be making enough of these hormones. Low levels of T3 and T4 can increase weight gain. Thus, if your TSH level is abnormal, it might be a good idea to check in on the rest of your thyroid function.
And, by understanding your levels of these 3 hormones, you can get a good picture of what may be preventing your weight loss so you can address those imbalances – and triumphantly check off this New Year’s resolution.
Are better skin care routines and habits a part of your New Year’s resolutions? If so, here are a couple ideas for getting started on reaching that resolution.
First, consider taking EverlyWell’s Food Sensitivity Test (which you can do from the comfort of home – no lab visits needed). Bothersome and downright frustrating skin issues can occur when your immune system’s IgG antibodies overreact to particular foods. Some IgG reactivity may cause negative symptoms and become a food sensitivity for you (which, incidentally, is not the same as a food allergy), and this test can help you identify exactly what foods you’re reactive to and may be sensitive to.
In short, the Food Sensitivity Test analyzes 96 different foods – and gives you detailed information on your immune system’s level of reactivity for each food. From there, reactivity results can then be used to plan an elimination diet with an add-back challenge to help you discover foods that may be causing unpleasant symptoms – thereby ridding yourself of food sensitivity symptoms (like problematic skin issues).
Second, there’s the Vitamin D and Inflammation Test, which checks your body’s inflammation level. Chronic inflammation, even if only at low levels, has been associated with a skin condition called eczema – a skin condition that plagues 1 in every 10 Americans.
So, if you had eczema flares in 2018, check your inflammation level to see if you can reduce those flares in 2019 (bringing you closer to realizing your skin care goals for the year).
It’s quite possible that your stress levels swung upward in 2018. And, as you may know, stress – especially chronic stress – can take a heavy toll on both your physical and mental health.
In fact, prolonged stress can lead to debilitating medical conditions like anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and more. So it makes a good deal of sense to deliberately reduce your stress levels in 2019. Perhaps, for example, you’ll opt to check news headlines less often. Or maybe you’ll pick up a meditation practice.
Whatever your preferred stress-reduction method turns out to be, something that can help you reach this resolution is EverlyWell’s Sleep and Stress Test.
Using this test, you can check your body’s level of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Cortisol levels spike during periods of intense stress – and chronically high levels of this hormone indicate that you’re, well, chronically stressed. Also, with this test you can see if stress has altered other hormones in your body that regulate normal sleeping patterns.
So take this test at the start of the new year to see what your cortisol levels are like right now. From there, you can continue monitoring your cortisol levels throughout 2019 – as you take steps to reduce your stress – to make sure you’re consistently on track for achieving this resolution.
This year, create New Year’s solutions!