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Fresh thinking for the New Year

(NC) Is your New Year's resolution to quit smoking or lose weight? If so, you're not alone. Thousands of Canadians every year try to fulfill these popular resolutions; so popular in fact, many resolve to fulfill them again the next year, and the next… and that's the problem. Below is some advice from Target Pharmacist, Kulvinder Sangha, on how to keep your healthy resolutions for 2014 and be a healthier you.

How to stop smoking:

• Develop an action plan – write down your reasons for quitting and brainstorm fun and healthy activities to replace smoking.

• Avoid smoking triggers – try and avoid or remove your smoking triggers, like going out for coffee in the morning, and change up your routine to break out of old habits.

• Get moving - exercise is a great way to relax and feel good, instead of smoking.

• Enlist support – reach out to friends and family and let them know your goals so they can provide support and hold you accountable.

• Talk to your doctor or pharmacist – reach out to your healthcare team to see if they recommend smoking cessation medications.

How to lose weight:

• Eat more fruits and vegetables - try to have five different kinds of fruit and vegetables each day – the more colour you see on your plate (green, red, yellow, orange), the better.

• Watch your carbohydrates - one-third of what you eat should be breads, cereals (unsweetened) and starches.

• Cut down on fats and sugars – add spices and herbs to your food if you need to add flavour and avoid soft drinks and juices that are high in sugar.

• Dairy and meat – eat two to four servings a day of dairy (a glass of milk, a small yogurt or a matchbox-sized piece of cheese), and two to three servings of meat and/or alternatives (but remember to keep the fat low).

• Move your body – healthy eating combined with physical activity should enable you to reduce your weight by 5-10 per cent over about six months – a realistic and healthy goal.

For more health advice from your local Target pharmacy, visit Target.ca to find your nearest store location.

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