After most of us indulge the entire month of December, January is the most popular time of year to embrace a healthy new lifestyle and lose weight. While the weight loss formula is simple on the surface — burn more calories than you consume — the process is much more complicated.

Although my diet is already fairly healthy, there is always room for improvement. To further my wellness knowledge and aid my health goals for 2018, I did a nutritional counseling and lifestyle advice session with Dr. Kristan Wilson, DC, MS, EMT-P, CCAc, of A Wellness Place. Much of this advice is specific to my diet, but these recommendations may be applied to any diet. Simply tailor them to what works for you.

Wilson had many tips to help clean up my diet, and I’m currently implementing them. Her most important suggestion was to clean out my pantry and focus on eating whole foods, although she said it was OK to keep some low-processed foods, such as Whisps, my new favorite snack. These baked cheese crisps are high in protein and satisfy my daily cheese craving; they also pack a crispy punch and are a flavorful substitute for the chips and crackers that no longer — and never should have — fit into my healthy lifestyle.

The next suggestion was to make some switches in my regular smoothies and trail mix snacks. For the smoothies, she said I should swap carrots and sweet potatoes — root vegetables — for aboveground veggies, which have fewer carbs and calories. She also suggested I swap out the pineapple and peaches for berries, which also have fewer carbs and calories. Next, she recommended I start eating small portions of raw nuts such as almonds and walnuts in lieu of the trail mix I had been eating, which has empty calories from dried fruit. While dried fruit is healthier than chocolate chips, it’s still loaded with sugar; plus, the nutrients vanished with the moisture in the drying process.

Although Wilson told me I didn’t need to cut carbs completely, she did say that by cutting them down a lot, I’d be able to lose weight faster and easier. I often eat brown rice with dinner, so she suggested I sub out riced cauliflower to cut carbs and increase my veggie intake.

Her final low-carb suggestion was to make my alcoholic beverages with fewer calories. I now order vodka with club soda, a splash of cranberry juice and a lime. I hardly miss the sugary-sweet lemon-lime soda I used to drink, and can drink easier knowing there are about half the calories of what I used to drink.

Like many people, the time between dinner and bed can get pretty full of snacks — sometimes too many snacks. Wilson suggested I do something with my hands during this time, such as crafting.

When it comes down to it, the most important things to do are eat as many veggies and fruits as you can stand and supplement that with seeds and nuts. Of course, occasionally sprinkling in cheese and meat is fine, but focus on those whole foods and your body will thank you.

No matter where you are on your healthy lifestyle journey, Wilson can tailor a plan to fit your needs, budget and determination level. Whether you need to lose 100 pounds, 10 pounds, or simply integrate healthier choices, she can help. Mention this article to receive 25 percent off a consultation appointment with Wilson. For more information, visit awellnessplace.comM