We’ve all heard there is no quick fix for weight loss. From diet pills to diet books, making drastic dietary changes typically only results in short-term weight loss success. Much can be said about the habits you pick up in the midst of following a new eating plan, diet or not, and although changing the way you eat often results in weight loss, only focusing on this outcome can often also result in disappointment, discouragement, and even failure. Instead, focusing on developing healthy habits as opposed to losing weight can help you feel great about your accomplishments and result in long-lasting health benefits.
For example, following a weight loss plan for four to six months as part of your New Years resolution often results in improved cholesterol levels, decreased inflammatory tone, and decreased heart disease risk even if you don’t keep off the weight. Although initial weight loss may play a role, the healthy habits you learn while making those dietary changes may be just as important, if not more so, in achieving long-term health success.
Focus on these positive changes instead of the numbers on the scale to ensure successfully fulfilling your New Years resolution.
By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com
For great abs you do sit-ups and for stronger legs you do lunges, but when you are looking to adapt a habit like consistent healthy eating you snap your fingers and hope everything will change over night. Sure change can temporarily occur when you are on a short term “diet”, but what about when the diet is over? Are you sticking to those healthy eating habits? Or do you go right back to your “old, unhealthy” habits?
One of the biggest obstacles in weight loss is creating life-long, sustainable healthy eating practices. So let’s exercise those habit muscles, medically called habitious muscularous healthivious (just kidding), so you can get in the healthy groove without having to execute brute force or willpower. It’s as simple as 1-2-3-4-5. In the same way you squat to get the best butt in town you can follow these five simple steps to exercise the habit muscle and create sustainable healthy habits. (more…)
When you say your vows in marriage, maybe the most famous part is “in sickness and in health”… Unfortunately, there may be a little more sickness than health, since research shows that we married types don’t exercise as much as people who are single.
A poll commissioned by the UK Department of Health found that married couples are much less likely to get in the two and half hours of weekly physical activity recommended by UK health experts than singles are.
Twenty-seven percent of the adults who were questioned met exercise guidelines. Women beat the men by 10 percent as more likely than men to stay fit. When you considered those people who were married, 76 percent of the men and 63 percent of the women did not meet the recommended fitness level. (more…)
By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com
In a new paper by USC researchers, bad eating habits were shown to persist even when the food didn’t taste very good; but the best nugget of the study, perhaps, is the revelation of a surprisingly easy way in which to counter bad eating habits.
Researchers gave people entering a movie theater a bucket of either just-popped popcorn or week-old popcorn. People who don’t generally eat popcorn during movies ate much less of the stale popcorn, but moviegoers who indicated that they typically had popcorn at the movies ate about the same amount of popcorn whether it was fresh or stale. The conclusion: for people accustomed to eating popcorn at the movies, it made no difference whether the popcorn tasted good or not.
“When we’ve repeatedly eaten a particular food in a particular environment, our brain comes to associate the food with that environment and make us keep eating as long as those environmental cues are present,” said lead author David Neal, who was a psychology professor at USC when the research was conducted.
By Jennifer Gregory
Oftentimes couples gain weight together because of sharing unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. And many people find it challenging to lose weight when their other half continues to live the couch potato life.
The good news? Couples who diet together, benefit together. Here are some ways couples can start out and support each other on their mutual weight loss journeys.
Bariatric weight loss surgery is on the rise every year in America. Between 200,000 and 250,000 adults receive bariatric surgery annually. A smaller statistic that seems to carry more weight is the fact that about 1,000 American teenagers received some sort of weight loss surgery last year and the number is increasing every day.
The most common types of bariactric procedures are gastric bypass, gastric banding, and sleeve gastrectomy, and all involve surgery which is very risky, especially for teenagers.
While some of the risks for post-op teenagers come from the surgery itself, other risks come from the ability of the patient to follow rules. Since the procedures limit the amount of food one can eat, malnutrition is a very serious threat, made worse for teenagers who are still developing and need those nutrients for proper growth. Because of the risk of malnutrition, most patients are required to be on a strict vitamin regimen for the rest of their lives to ensure the body receives the vital elements it can no longer obtain from food.
The quality of Americans’ diets has declined since last year. From fruit and vegetable consumption to exercise, and even smoking, Americans are reporting worse habits than this time last year.
A Gallup poll of 1,000 Americans that was released last week reveals the 55.9 percentage of Americans reported eating five or more servings of fruit and vegetables at least four days out of a week. Last May, the poll found that number to be 57.8 percent.
The poll concluded that produce intake is specifically down among Hispanics, young adults, seniors, and women compared to 2010.
In 2010, 68.2 percent of people said they “ate healthy all day yesterday.” This year that number dropped to 66.2 percent. That percentage translates to 4.5 million less Americans eating healthy this May.
Rebecca Wilson practices cognitive & mindfulness-based therapies and researches health psychology and behavior change. Her website, habitspark.com, focuses on how to use positive habits to create healthy and happy lifestyles.
First of all, what exactly is a habit? A habit is a behavior that you do so regularly that it becomes almost automatic. Although many habits are good, like brushing your teeth, some habits are devastating to a healthy lifestyle and weight control. Here are the 3 worst habits and how to break them:
Bad Habit #1: Eating mindlessly. Eating on the run, eating without paying attention to your hunger signals, and eating to escape painful feelings.
Break It: Replace eating mindlessly with eating mindfully. Eat at a dining table and make sure you aren’t doing anything else while you are eating. Before you start eating, notice your hunger level. As you eat, pay attention to your senses: the taste of the food, the feel of it, the smell, and how it looks.
Tune in to Good Morning America tomorrow, Thursday, March 3rd to see Matt Bean of Men’s Health share some good advice for breaking bad habits.
According to the health experts at Men’s Health, bad habits set up neural pathways in the brain, which is part of what makes them so hard to break. Once a prompt arrives, the brain can easily shift into autopilot after that pathway is established. Bean, a senior contributing editor, will share some quick to tips to overcoming these bad habits for good.
Every New Year’s, millions of people say “Enough!” and pledge to lose weight. They begin Atkins, Weight Watchers, The Zone, the Grapefruit Diet, The Cabbage Soup diet, or Slim Fast. We’ve seen it time and again- they follow all of the rules, lose their weight, reach their goal and quit the diet. They return to their regular life and many times, they gain the weight right back. Why does this happen?
It’s simple. It’s because they undertook a “diet” and not a lifestyle change. The word “diet” indicates an action that has a beginning and an end. “Diet” to most of us equals deprivation and lots of sweat. You often hear people say, “I’ve begun a diet” or “I’m off the diet – it wasn’t working for me!” That’s because if you diet, you don’t really change any of your firmly entrenched habits long term, and those habits return. The key to a true and lasting weight loss is to get off the traditional diet path and get on with living a healthy lifestyle.
Instead of making gigantic changes in your daily life, pick one area and make a change. When you’ve made one change a part of your daily routine, make another. Those small, incremental differences really add up. Before you know it, you’ve seamlessly transformed your entire life – and those lost pounds will stay away!