DESIGNING A HEALTHY DIET FOR THE NEW YEAR

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The majority of these resolutions focus on diet in attempts to lose weight and be healthier. A new year is the perfect time to jumpstart a healthy diet to make the changes you want to see for yourself throughout the year. However, research shows 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. Many people strive for unrealistic goals, which ultimately set them up for failure.

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EXERCISE HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

While exercise has long been known for its positive effects on physical health and its ability to heighten energy and help manage chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, exercise is now being lauded for its beneficial effects on the brain.   These benefits touch almost every aspect of life. Exercise helps sharpen short-term memory and improve long-term memory. This happens because exercise can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate….

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GETTING STARTED AND STICKING WITH IT

As we kick off 2018, you may be thinking about resolutions pertaining to your health and fitness. It’s easy to determine some ways to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s not always as simple to stay motivated and make the new commitments part of your lifestyle. Now is the perfect time to set goals, whether it be for the number of days you intend to work out each week, how many steps you want to take each day or healthy meals you want to prepare for your family.

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The best way to achieve weight loss is to develop habits that are sustainable for the long term. It is important to not restrict yourself too heavily from foods that bring you enjoyment, because this could lead to problematic food relationships that do more harm than good. This type of yo-yo dieting, a constant cycle of weight loss and gain, actually leads to overall weight gain over time. Allowing yourself some treats once in a while will help you achieve long-term weight loss, gain mental stability and reap the associated health benefits. Remember, diets are not quick fixes but rather lifelong commitments for health and happiness.


References


NUTRITION NEWS FOR THE NEW YEAR

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The authors are members of the Nutritional Sciences and Pharmacology Students Association in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky.

serving on your plate at a restaurant is actually for two people. Pack half your meal in a to-go container before you even start eating. You’ll have lunch for the next day and still feel satisfied at the end of your meal. At home, control your portions by reaching for a smaller-sized plate. Eating from a smaller plate has been shown to reduce food intake without impacting satisfaction.


Night Snack Attack.

It’s easy to eat a large amount of calories while mindlessly watching TV in the evening. Research has shown mindless eating late at night can actually spur weight gain. If you feel the need to reach for a snack in the evening, opt for healthier alternatives such as fruits, vegetables or air- popped popcorn.


Maintenance of a healthful diet and weight brings numerous benefits, not all of which are visible to the naked eye. Individuals who maintain a healthy weight are at a reduced risk for diseases and complications, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver. Additionally, staying at a healthy weight improves your sleep quality so you have the energy to do all the activities you love with little to no difficulty.  

The turn of a New Year is the perfect time to consider what’s on your plate (literally) and set goals for positive change. In 2017, over 21 percent of Americans had “lose weight/healthier eating” as their top New Year’s resolution. Unfortunately, many people tend to set unrealistic weight-loss goals that end up being abandoned by Valentine’s Day.


To lose weight and keep it off, establishing healthy habits is a better approach. This year, instead of doing a juice fast, consider your diet or diaita, the classical Greek word meaning “way of living” or “to lead one’s life.” Embrace a healthy, balanced diet as a lifestyle, instead of a short-term fix.


But where do you start? If one of your goals for 2018 is weight loss, here are a few key tips to help you achieve success:


Hydration or Hunger?

Often hunger can be mistaken for thirst. Instead of reaching for a snack when you think you’re hungry, first drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Then reassess whether you are truly hungry. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day. This will help you stay hydrated and clearly recognize true hunger cues.


Portion Distortion.

Monitor your portions, especially when dining out. Often the