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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Other popular diet plans include the Mediterranean diet, which features whole foods and allows for a chance at steady weight loss. The Dash Diet lowers sodium and is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This diet works to lower blood pressure. The Flexitarian Diet is geared toward eating mostly vegetables and fruits, although some meats are allowed. The Mayo Clinic Diet lets you shape your own diet plan and emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Other top choices are the Atkins Diet, the Biggest Loser Diet, the HMR program and Nutrisystem. Before starting any diet program, be sure to consult with your primary care physician.


Sources and Resources

http://health.usnews.com/diets

http://www.simplethriftyliving.com

Commercial diets have become all the rage, although they are systemized and often expensive.


Weight Watchers is listed among the best of these diets. Pros of this plan include the freedom to eat what you want. No food is off limits, so this gives you the flexibility to shape your own diet. One of the cons is participation can be pricey, though this program is often considered to be a good investment. The program gives every food and beverage a smart points value. Foods with higher saturated fats and sugar levels have higher points. Choices that are filling have the fewest points. A balanced diet is optimal. Meetings are optional or you can go solo and opt for online only. However, proponents emphasize the value of the support system. For an extra cost, you can have a personal coaching subscription at $54.95 per month. A mobile app offers personalized food and fitness tracking. Many Weight Watcher members stick with the program even after they have shed unwanted pounds.


In late 2015, Weight Watchers introduced its new Beyond the Scale Program, emphasizing eating healthier, having better fitness and learning skills that shift your mindset. According to the program, you can eat more fruits and vegetables because they are free foods. There are a set number of points for each day and an extra number for the week to use as needed or desired. Exercise is emphasized. Cost varies.

COMMERCIAL DIETS: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

Go to www.weightwatchers.com/us/ to find out more.


The Jenny Craig Commercial Weight Loss Program is also considered safe and effective. It is consistently at the top of the list of best diet programs. This program emphasizes delivered prepackaged meals low in calories and fat. It restricts caloric intake to 1,200 to 2,000 calories per day. One of the cons with this program is that home-cooked and restaurant meals are discouraged. Also, it can be rather expensive at $100 a week. Jenny Craig customers have access to an online meal planner, progress tracker and food journal. There is also a mobile app that allows tracking on the go. Nutrition experts who tout this plan emphasize the importance of satiety. It includes the best energy-dense foods so you feel full longer. For example, before a meal, you might have a “soupatizer,” and you are free to add as many vegetables to each meal as you desire. Jenny Craig offers a variety of entrees running the gamut from new global flavors such as cheesy chicken enchiladas to desserts such as chocolate lava cake. Portions are small, but you eat three meals and two snacks a day. Exercise is tailored to your fitness level and requires about 30 minutes most days of the week. You get a personalized meal and exercise plan plus one-on-one counseling sessions with a Jenny Craig consultant.