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Should You Spring Clean Your System With a Detox?

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Calorie Counters want to know whether or not it is wise to cleanse the system with a detox diet. Here are a few of the readers’ favorite “Ask Mary Q+As” about spring cleaning.

Should I fast to prepare my system for a change?

Fasting is unnecessary. Your system does not need to prepare for change. In a fast lasting longer than a day or two, the body starts to breakdown some of its muscles and organs to generate fuel for the central nervous system. Because muscle is a major calorie burner, less muscle could lead to lowering overall calorie requirements, which could make it more difficult to lose weight in the future. And then, due to feast-or-famine thinking, food deprivation could lead to overeating when food becomes available again. Instead of fasting, it’s best to just go ahead and begin to eat a balanced diet of wholesome food at a lower calorie level.


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Three Step System to Life Long Health

My three step health system is a rather basic, but effective way to get the results and success you have always dreamed of.

Step 1: Set Goals & Prepare (1 week):

Goal setting is one of the best ways to prepare you both physically and mentally for what it is that you wish to accomplish. I recommend setting an immediate goal, a mid-term goal you can achieve 6 months from now, and a long-term goal for about 1-5 years from now. By doing this, you will prepare and organize your life for what is to come. The preparation phase allows you to buy whatever it is that you will need to be successful (groceries, workout clothes, books, music, personal trainer, etc) and plan or set-up a time or times that you can exercise without being interrupted.


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Kick Your Sugar Habit in 3 Simple Steps

Sugar – The other white powder that as some might argue is just as addictive as illegal drugs. As Americans, our diet contains way too much of it.

Sugar has been linked to the obesity, diabetes, and heart disease epidemics. A study published in the Journal of  The American Medical Association showed that women who consume excess sugar have a greater prevalence of chronic inflammation, lower levels of good cholesterol and higher levels of triglycerides.

The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar every day. That’s a lot of sweetness. While the dental and sugar cane industries are booming as a result of our love for sugar, our physical and mental health could benefit from a sugar detox.

If you want to cut back on your sugar habit, follow these three simple steps. Notice, we didn’t say “easy.” Sugar, as many scientific studies have shown, has a strong addictive quality to it. But like salt, sugar is an acquired taste. So by following a few simple steps, you can retrain your taste-buds and your mind to desensitize its affinity towards it.
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Marisa Tomei’s Diet Secrets

Much of the recent spotlight has been on Sandra Bullock as the beacon of midlife beauty and redemption in Hollywood. Her career has experienced a very successful second act, and she’s solidified her place in fans’ hearts as they feel sympathy for her public split with the unfaithful Jesse James. But, another female Hollywood veteran has had a resurgence of her own.

Marisa Tomei got best supporting actress in My Cousin Vinny in 1992. But since the peak of her acting career in the early ’90s, she seemed to only occasionally pop up in high-profile projects. But with roles in such recent critical darlings as “The Wrestler,” “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” and this year’s “Cyrus,” she has quietly crept back into the spotlight.


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