STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Single-food diets work.


Many diets depend on your digestive system. For example, carbohydrates and proteins are said to clash and lead to weight gain and digestive problems. However, the opposite is true. Food eaten together can help the digestive system. Very few foods are purely protein or carbohydrates; most are a mixture of both. The digestive system contains enzymes that can handle all the foods we eat. So avoid single-food diets.


If you eat and exercise consistently, you won’t gain weight.


As you age, you have to either eat less or exercise more to avoid weight gain. Your metabolism will slow down, so you need to keep your diet and exercise plans flexible.


Drinking water while eating is fattening.


The theory behind this misconception is that enzymes and digestive juices will be

There are so many misconceptions about weight loss and diets that it can be hard to know what to believe. Here are some common weight-loss myths.


Snacking and eating fast food are bad ideas.


Actually, eating small, healthy snacks between meals could help you eat less so you don’t overeat or binge later. Dietitians recommend having five small meals a day, instead of just three. Snacking has a bad rap because of some of the snack choices we make, such as potato chips, cookies, candy and other fattening items. Instead, choose healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, yogurt and low-fat cheese. Even when you opt for fast food such as burgers and pizza, choose the healthier options: Get a salad as a starter, ask for soft tacos instead of crisp ones and choose grilled chicken instead of fried.


All carbohydrates are bad.


Processed carbs, which are high in sugar and white flour, should be avoided. Choose instead grains such as brown rice and whole-grain bread, beans, fruits and vegetables, which provide lots of fiber and nutrients and are low in calories.   

10 COMMON WEIGHT-LOSS MYTHS

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

more articles by harleena singh

diluted by water, and that in turn will slow digestion and lead to body fat. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this up. In fact, nutritionists suggest drinking water with your meals to improve digestion.


Some people can eat whatever they want and still lose weight.


True, some people can get away with it, but these people must use more energy than they take in to lose weight. Factors such as your age, genes, medicines and lifestyle habits may also affect your weight.


Skipping a meal can help you lose weight.


This is simply not true. Skipping a meal can make you feel hungrier and lead you to eat more than usual at your next meal. Studies show a link between obesity and skipping breakfast. People who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than those who eat a healthy breakfast.


Supplements can help you lose weight.


Supplements work for some people because once they start taking them, they become more conscious of what they eat. Most weight-loss supplements are useless; the best ones may help you lose a little weight at the most.


Following a radical exercise regime is the only way to lose weight.


Weight loss occurs when you make small changes and stick to them for a long time, which means being more physically active every day. Adults need at least 150 minutes of physical activity such as walking or cycling every week, and those who are overweight need to do a little more. For weight loss, you need to burn more calories than you consume, which can be achieved by eating less, moving more or a combination of both.


Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy.


Dairy products contain protein that builds muscles and helps the organs work well and calcium that strengthens the bones. Choose fat-free and low-fat cheese, milk and yogurt.


Sources and Resources

Authority Nutrition (https://authoritynutrition.com)

Health.com

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health Information Center (www.niddk.nih.gov)

NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk)

WebMD (www.webmd.com)

Women’s Health (www.womenshealthmag.com)