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Healthy Lifestyle Trumps Genetics

If you think that your weight and health is predetermined by your family genetics, think again. Two large studies from Northwestern Medicine have found that a healthy lifestyle is the most important factor on cardiovascular health. Hooray!

In the first study, researchers found that the majority of people who adopted healthy lifestyle behaviors in young adulthood maintained a low cardiovascular risk profile as they aged into their 30s. A high cardiovascular risk profile can result in a higher incidence of heart attack and high blood pressure, among other health problems.


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How to Motivate Behavior Changes in Someone You Love

women hugFebruary is American Heart Month. It’s a time to bring awareness to heart disease and stroke, the number one killer in the United States, so you and people you love don’t become a statistic. I’ve been blogging about important topics like lowering your cholesterol, reducing heart disease risk and identifying heart healthy foods all month, and I want to continue the conversation with you by discussing how you can influence change in those you love.

My mom has heart disease and I’ve spent countless hours helping her with nutrition and exercise. So I’m coming at this post as a daughter with experience in trying to get a loved one to change more so than rattling off “book smarts.”

First, let me just say one important thing: it doesn’t matter how much you want someone to change, they have to want it too. Make no mistake. Change is not easy for many people. But I’m concerned that too many well-intentioned people are struggling and frustrated that their loved one doesn’t seem to be able to change. Above all else, they have to want it and secondly, they need support… and that’s where you can come in and can be successful.

So, if you aren’t sure if your loved one wants to change, you need to start there. Here are some tips to help you out.
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Biggest Loser At Home: Changing Behaviors That Matter

bob harper at biggest loserIt’s almost time for another season of The Biggest Loser. In anticipation, I am dedicating my blogs this week to tips for how you can get The Biggest Loser experience at home. As the experts behind the show explain, one of the reasons the people lose so much weight consistently is because of their new environment. But you can change your environment at home, too. Biggest Loser success is within everyone’s reach. Earlier this week, I blogged about how you can change your nutrition and exercise environments, today I’m going to review a series of important behavior changes that will help you lose weight with the contestants.

Since the first season, experts behind the scenes of the show found the contestants shared many characteristics, which I listed below along with tips for changes you can make along with the contestants:
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Five Ways to Indulge Wisely on a Diet

Oreo cheesecakeFor the majority of your meals, you are the veritable poster child for healthy eating: You easily get in your veggie quota for the day, you always eat breakfast and you exercise on most days of the week. But when it comes to certain foods, all willpower seems to go down the drain. Take for instance McDonald’s new line of Angus Burgers. There is no disputing that these three burgers contain some pretty dismal nutrition facts.

But every now and then, even the most healthy of nutrition experts believe in the benefits of indulging in your favorite eats in order to keep feelings of deprivation at bay.

Here are five ways to indulge without letting it completely sideline your health and diet goals.
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Obesity Linked to Familial Behavior

healthy familyThere are many reasons why people avoid the assistance of a professional therapist. One common misconception (for which we can thank Mr. Frued) is that the counselor will always blame your mother for whatever difficulties you may be experiencing. There are many other factors that have influenced your current life; however, weight may be highly influenced by what you observe in your parents.
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