Take our Quiz

Achieving a Metabolically Healthy New Year

healthier new year

Embracing a Healthier You For the New Year

Setting healthy New Year's resolutions that are both motivating and attainable is crucial for lasting success.

A recent survey emphasizes the trend that the most favored resolutions are health-oriented. These resolutions vary across age groups, with younger individuals typically focusing on mental health and fitness, whereas older individuals might prioritize weight loss, diet improvements, and overall fitness.

These trends highlight a growing awareness of the interconnectedness of lifestyle choices with overall metabolic health, a crucial yet often overlooked component of well-being (1).  

Interestingly, while many of us have multiple health goals, there's a common tendency to believe that achieving all of them is unrealistic, leading to a narrowed focus on just one area. However, this perspective overlooks the powerful impact of enhancing metabolic health. By prioritizing our metabolic health, we can simultaneously target various goals and commit to our healthy New Year’s resolutions.

In this article, we'll shift the focus from isolated health targets to a more holistic view, emphasizing how our diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices influence our metabolic health.

With insights from Lumen's metabolic experts and coaches, we'll guide you through practical, science-backed strategies to cultivate habits that not only contribute to your immediate goals but also fortify your long-term metabolic well-being.

So whether you're aiming to shed weight, enhance your fitness routine, or simply feel more energized, understanding the metabolic nuances of your choices is key. 

Let's dive into how you can align your New Year’s resolutions with metabolic health principles, ensuring that your efforts lead to sustainable and rewarding outcomes.

What is Metabolic Health?

Metabolic health is a complex and comprehensive measure of your overall well-being, encompassing several key factors that indicate how effectively your body processes and utilizes energy.

  • Waist Circumference: Central obesity is a major indicator of metabolic health, with thresholds set at a waist circumference of more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women.
  • Fasting Glucose Levels: Healthy fasting blood sugar levels are typically below 100 mg/dL. Elevated levels can indicate impaired insulin sensitivity or diabetes.
  • Blood Pressure: Optimal blood pressure is considered to be below 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is a sign of cardiovascular strain and metabolic issues.
  • Triglycerides: These are a type of fat found in your blood. A metabolic healthy individual should have triglyceride levels below 150 mg/dL.
  • High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol: Often known as "good" cholesterol, higher levels are better for metabolic health, with a desirable level being above 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women.

Achieving and maintaining metabolic health is crucial as it can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 

Regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, stress reduction, and quality sleep can enhance insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial function, and reduce inflammation, thereby improving metabolic health.

healthy new yearhealthy new year resolutions

​​Prioritizing Metabolic Health To Achieve Your New Year Health Resolutions

To prioritize metabolic health, consider incorporating the following practices into your lifestyle:

Nourish your body with nutrient-rich foods

Our bodies are complex systems that require a balanced mix of nutrients to function optimally, much like a well-tuned engine needs the right fuel. In today's world, where processed foods are readily available, healthy nutrition choices can be challenging. A focused approach like a new year diet or dietary resolutions can be beneficial. It's here that tools like Lumen offer a  personalized approach to nutrition. Understanding and adapting to your unique metabolic needs, Lumen becomes a pocket coach to help you align with a New Year's resolution diet.

Lumen Insight:

“Carbs, proteins, and fats are the essential building blocks of a healthy diet. Let's embrace a balanced approach to nutrition, ensuring we're getting the right amounts of each macronutrient to fuel our bodies and minds.”

With Lumen's metabolic insights, you gain a deeper understanding of how your body responds to different foods and macronutrients. Lumen's advanced algorithm analyzes your metabolic data, including your resting metabolic rate, carbohydrate sensitivity, and macronutrient utilization, to generate personalized meal plans tailored to your unique needs.

Our daily meal plans are an integral part of maintaining your dietary resolution. They provide straightforward guidelines, enabling you to make food choices that align with your metabolic profile. Moreover, for those who have chosen a new year diet, our macro tracking feature will help you monitor your nutrient intake, ensuring you remain accountable and attuned to your journey toward improved metabolic health.

Optimize Your New Year's Resolution Diet with Personalization

While calorie counting has long been a popular approach to weight management, recent research suggests that focusing on macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, and fats—may be a more effective strategy for long-term metabolic health. Lumen's personalized nutrition plans prioritize the optimal balance of macronutrients for your individual needs, ensuring that your body receives the right fuel to function optimally.

In addition to the types of foods you choose, the timing of your meals and snacks can also play a significant role in metabolic health.

'Creating an environment that favors healthy eating habits is crucial for long-term success. Simple changes like stocking your kitchen with healthy snacks, meal prepping, and keeping processed foods out of sight can make all the difference.'
Dan Buettner, Blue Zones & Longevity Expert

Incorporate Healthy Diet Strategies

Lumen's flexibility lets you incorporate popular dietary strategies like carb cycling and fasting meal plans into your New Year diet. 

Carb cycling involves strategically varying your carbohydrate intake throughout the week. This cyclical approach can help you optimize your metabolism, boost energy levels, and support weight management goals. Lumen's Carb Cycling Daily Meal Plan provides low-carb and boost-day nutrition plans, ensuring your carbohydrate intake aligns with your metabolic needs and activity levels. 

weight loss resolution for the new year

weight loss resolution for the new year

Intermittent fasting (IF) involves alternating periods of eating and fasting. Various IF protocols exist, each with its own unique fasting and eating windows. Lumen's IF features enable you to determine the optimal IF protocol for your metabolism. By tracking your metabolic measurements, Lumen can help you identify the optimal fasting windows that align with your body's natural rhythm and maximize the benefits of IF.

Both approaches can be effective for boosting metabolism and achieving weight loss goals, and Lumen's insights can help you optimize these strategies for your individual needs.

Engage in regular physical activity

In addition to a healthy diet, regular physical activity is crucial for achieving and maintaining optimal metabolic health and overall well-being. Exercise not only strengthens your muscles and improves physical fitness but also plays a vital role in managing stress, boosting mood, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Lumen's pre- and post-workout measurements provide valuable insights into how your body responds to exercise, helping you optimize your workout performance and achieve your fitness goals. Additionally, by tracking your heart rate variability with a wearable, you can determine your optimal fitness zone and ensure that your workouts are challenging enough to drive positive changes while staying within your recovery limits.

fitness new years resolutions

Tips from Lumen Metabolic Coaches

To effectively incorporate regular physical activity into your lifestyle, consider these tips:

  • Set realistic and achievable goals. Start with a plan that aligns with your current fitness level and schedule. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as you progress.
  • Find activities you enjoy. Exercise should be something you look forward to, not a chore. Explore different types of activities until you find ones that you genuinely enjoy.
  • Schedule your workouts and make them a regular part of your routine. Treat your workouts like important appointments and block out time in your schedule.
  • Find a workout buddy or join a fitness class. Having a workout partner or participating in a group class can provide motivation and accountability.
  • Track your progress and celebrate your achievements. Monitoring your results can help you stay motivated and see the positive impact of your efforts.
  • Remember, consistency is key. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Even small amounts of daily activity can make a significant difference in your overall health and well-being.
"My advice to my fellow Lumeners is to make small
daily decisions to improve your lifestyle choices - sleep, nutrition, mindset/motivation and activity. Change takes time, and if you want lasting success, building consistency over time is the best way & BE KIND TO YOURSELF!"
Maria, 52, Lumen user

The Importance of Prioritizing Sleep and Managing Stress for Metabolic Health

Sleep and mental well-being are crucial pillars of a healthy lifestyle, playing a significant role in maintaining optimal metabolic health. Just as diet and exercise contribute to our overall well-being, adequate sleep and a sound mind are essential for proper bodily functions and the prevention of chronic diseases.

The connection between nutrition and many of the top health concerns in today’s world is well-known. As it turns out, your food choices, meal timing, and nutrient balance also affect how well you sleep.

Syncing your Circadian Rhythm and Nutrition for Better Sleep

Our bodies operate on a natural 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleep-wake patterns. Disruptions to our circadian rhythm can significantly impact sleep quality and, consequently, metabolic health. Lumen's before-bedtime and morning measurements provide valuable biofeedback on your circadian rhythm, helping you identify and address any imbalances that may be affecting your sleep.

Furthermore, nutrition plays a vital role in promoting good sleep. A balanced diet rich in whole foods and lean protein can help regulate sleep patterns and improve overall sleep quality. Lumen's personalized nutrition plans take your sleep schedule and preferences into account, ensuring that you're not eating too late and making dietary choices that support restful sleep.

mental health new year resolutions

Although it's generally not advised to eat right before bedtime, sometimes your daily eating schedule might go off track. If you find yourself needing a snack, choose something light and easy to digest. Eating a large meal can disrupt your sleep. Opt for foods that help boost melatonin and serotonin levels, soothing the body and setting the stage for restful sleep.

Foods rich in magnesium, like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, are great choices. Magnesium is known for its ability to foster relaxation and improve sleep quality.

Tips from Lumen Experts to Enhance Sleep Quality

  • Set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. This will help to regulate your body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
  • Limit exposure to blue light from electronic devices in the hours before bed. Blue light can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. These conditions are conducive to sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine can interfere with sleep, and alcohol can initially make you feel sleepy but disrupt sleep later in the night.
  • Get regular exercise, but avoid strenuous activity too close to bedtime. Exercise can promote sleep, but it's best to avoid vigorous activity in the hours before bed.
“People who sleep at least 7 hours per night can lose more weight - and are more likely to enter fat burn at night - than users who get 6 hours or less.” 
Mia Dige, Lumen Metabolic Coach

Manage Stress Effectively

Stress is a natural response to challenging situations, but prolonged or chronic stress can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health. When we experience stress, our bodies release hormones such as cortisol, leading to increased blood sugar levels, weight gain, and impaired immune function. Chronic stress can also disrupt sleep patterns, further exacerbating these metabolic problems.

Stress management comes in many different forms and one size does not fit all. If you’ve tried one technique before and it didn’t work, try something else. Below are a few stress management techniques to consider to help you take the edge off and enjoy a more relaxed life.

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Exercise
  • Aromatherapy
  • Guided imagery
  • Listening to music
  • Calling a friend
  • Getting outside

Lumen Insight:

Stress can have a profound impact on our bodies and minds, including disrupting sleep and hindering metabolic health. High-stress levels can spike adrenaline, causing carb burn. Hormones like adrenaline put the body into fight-or-flight mode, which switches you to carb burn, preparing you to run away from danger.

Track Your Performance for Measurable Results

Monitoring your progress is essential for staying motivated and adjusting your nutrition plan. Lumen's tracking features allow you to monitor your weight, body composition, and metabolic health markers. By tracking your performance, you can identify trends and celebrate your achievements, further fueling your commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

Tips from Lumen Metabolic Coaches

  • Start small and gradually make changes to your diet and lifestyle.
    Overwhelming yourself with drastic changes can lead to discouragement and setbacks. Instead, focus on making sustainable, incremental changes you can maintain over time.
  • Listen to your body and adjust your nutrition plan accordingly.
    Not every food or macronutrient balance works for everyone. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel and adjust your plan accordingly.
  • Don't be afraid to seek support.
    Connect with other individuals on their metabolic health journeys, whether through Lumen’s community, support groups, or friends and family. Sharing experiences and encouragement can make a big difference.

new year health resolutions

new year resolutions for health

How to Incorporate It All For A Healthy New Year

Nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management are all essential components for a balanced, healthy lifestyle but it can seem like a lot trying to add it all in. This is where we need to develop a flexible, sustainable routine for maintaining these changes.

Everyone is different in where they choose to set their goals. Some may struggle with diet and exercise but do well with sleep and stress management while others may struggle with only exercise or you may struggle with all of these.

Choose 1-2 areas to focus on. Setting your sights on where you wish to be but not focusing only on your end goals. For example, you can focus on setting small goals with your diet, such as the ones mentioned above while also prioritizing a consistent bedtime. If at any point you begin to feel overwhelmed, it’s time to take it down a notch. Don’t give up, simply cut back until you feel confident moving forward again. 

If you plan to work on multiple areas of your life to find balance, consider using tools to help you track your progress and make your goals come to life. This could include tracking your meals, exercise, sleep, and your stress. Tracking can help to keep you accountable and also provides a visual of your progress which can help you feel motivated to keep moving forward this New Year.

Embark on Your Health Journey with Lumen

By prioritizing metabolic health alongside your general well-being goals, you can set yourself up for long-term success. Embrace the journey, celebrate your achievements along the way, and remember that every step, no matter how small, contributes to your overall health and well-being.

Bottom Line

Health is not only about diet. It’s also about lifestyle, which includes exercise, sleep, and stress management. All of these things work together to create a holistic approach to health.

Creating a healthy lifestyle takes time and dedication, which can feel easily overwhelming to many, leading us to ditch our New Year’s resolutions far too soon but don’t let those dreams go just yet. Instead, try something new. Try setting smaller goals and nurturing small changes that lead to big results.

Embrace and sustain healthy lifestyle changes far beyond the New Year. Use tools, such as Lumen, to help you get the most out of your health journey without all the unknowns.


  1. Dickson, J. M., Moberly, N. J., Preece, D., Dodd, A., & Huntley, C. D. (2021). Self-Regulatory Goal Motivational Processes in Sustained New Year Resolution Pursuit and Mental Wellbeing. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(6), 3084. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063084
  2. Metabolic syndrome. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome.
  3. Müller, M. J., & Bosy-Westphal, A. (2013). Adaptive thermogenesis with weight loss in humans. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 21(2), 218–228. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.20027
  4. Rosenbaum, M., & Leibel, R. L. (2010). Adaptive thermogenesis in humans. International journal of obesity (2005), 34 Suppl 1(0 1), S47–S55. https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2010.184
  5. Ravussin, E., Burnand, B., Schutz, Y., & Jéquier, E. (1985). Energy expenditure before and during energy restriction in obese patients. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 41(4), 753–759. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/41.4.753
  6. Hall, K. D., Heymsfield, S. B., Kemnitz, J. W., Klein, S., Schoeller, D. A., & Speakman, J. R. (2012). Energy balance and its components: implications for body weight regulation. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 95(4), 989–994. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.036350
  7. Macedo, R. C. O., Santos, H. O., Tinsley, G. M., & Reischak-Oliveira, A. (2020). Low-carbohydrate diets: Effects on metabolism and exercise - A comprehensive literature review. Clinical nutrition ESPEN, 40, 17–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2020.07.022
  8. Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for mental health. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 8(2), 106. https://doi.org/10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a
  9. Strickland, J. C., & Smith, M. A. (2014). The anxiolytic effects of resistance exercise. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 753. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00753
  10. Thyfault, J. P., & Bergouignan, A. (2020). Exercise and metabolic health: beyond skeletal muscle. Diabetologia, 63(8), 1464–1474. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05177-6 
  11. Gjestvang, C., Abrahamsen, F., Stensrud, T., & Haakstad, L. A. H. (2021). What Makes Individuals Stick to Their Exercise Regime? A One-Year Follow-Up Study Among Novice Exercisers in a Fitness Club Setting. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 638928. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.638928
  12. Dzierzewski, J. M., Sabet, S. M., Ghose, S. M., Perez, E., Soto, P., Ravyts, S. G., & Dautovich, N. D. (2021). Lifestyle Factors and Sleep Health across the Lifespan. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(12), 6626. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126626
  13. Yaribeygi, H., Panahi, Y., Sahraei, H., Johnston, T. P., & Sahebkar, A. (2017). The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI journal, 16, 1057–1072. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2017-480

Lumen Editorial Desk & Reviewed by: Marine Melamed, R.D. Nutrition at Lumen

Marine is a registered dietitian with a passion for well-being, health and metabolism. She started her career as a clinical dietitian, opened her private practice to accompany patients from various backgrounds in their health journey, and is now providing nutrition support for Lumen’s customers.