February 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. (more…)
Happy New Year! Now that 2009 is safely behind us it is time to embrace the newness of 2010. Not only does today mark the start of a new year, but also the start of a new decade.
There are many New Year’s Day traditions, including eating a bowl of black eyed peas for luck, watching college bowl games, taking down the holiday decorations, and even resolving to make some grand change in the coming weeks and months.
The bowl games sound like the most appealing, but you’ll no doubt find yourself mulling over a resolution. The thing is, most people make some bold decision to make drastic changes in their lives, and no matter how much commitment to that goal they wind up falling short. It’s not because they aren’t capable, but instead that we just aren’t programmed to accept that much change so quickly. Especially when it comes to our favorite food, cigarette, TV show or other vice. (more…)
We’re working on a plan for healthy weight management without dieting. If you’re just joining us, you need to catch up. Read the last post, Dieting 101: Getting Started, and make sure this is a journey you want to be on. If you’ve rejected dieting and prepared yourself for changes, it’s time for goals.
Setting realistic goals is so important. You build success upon success. By starting small, you will repeat the easy changes and they add up to big results. So first thing, give yourself permission to set easy goals. Take the struggle out if it!
- Think short-term: What is a small change you can do today and repeat tomorrow? Maybe you do no exercise at all. How about measuring how active your lifestyle is with a new, inexpensive pedometer. Wear a pedometer and see how many steps you take. If you have a desk job, I’d be surprised if you get more than 3,000 steps a day and you need 10,000. Does this motivate you to walk 30 minutes at lunch or after dinner? (more…)
Let me just start this post series with a statement. I don’t believe in “diets.” Diets do not work because they are too restrictive. Diets are something you start and then stop. Whatever you do when you stop can lead you right back to the place you came from – or worse! If your feelings of deprivation and restriction are large, chances are your “boomerang” back once you lift the restrictions will be huge. How would you like to end that cycle once and for all? If you’re with me, read on. If you’re not, come back when your latest fad diet experience fails you.
Step 1: Reject Dieting for Good
Can you do it? Can you actually say to yourself that years of dieting has not worked for you and it’s time to try something that does? Go ahead. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself instead of deprive yourself. (more…)
Every year, parents spend a lot of time and energy setting New Year’s Resolutions for themselves. I will lose weight. I will exercise every day. I will only eat healthy foods. I will call my in-laws once a week. (Whoops. Not sure where that one came from.) This year, instead of focusing so much devotion on your own resolutions, why not help your children create their own set of healthy resolutions? Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
- I will brush my teeth after each meal and before bed.
- I will wash my hands after using the bathroom and before eating.
- I will wear sunscreen every day, even in the winter. (more…)
Admit it, you have not changed the number listed as your weight on your driver’s license since you were 16. It probably advertises a number that would be completely inappropriate for an adult. Most people never make the effort to update the weight listed on their driver’s license out of embarrassment or feeling like they have a positive advertisement, or to remember just how small we once were.
My friend Suzi stated on Twitter that she had not changed the number on her driver’s license when she had gained weight, not out of embarrassment but because she had hoped she would get back to that weight. She announced this on Twitter because she was celebrating that as she went to renew her driver’s license she is back at that weight. (more…)
We have often thought to ourselves: “If only I had a constant health angel on my shoulder gently nudging me to choose the broccoli over the potatoes au gratin or the treadmill over happy hour, then I’d be (you fill in the blank).”
Making healthy behaviors knee-jerk reactions takes time, dedication and practice. And that is just what the people over at Habitwise are helping you do: Supporting you to make better decisions today for a healthier tomorrow.
Habitwise is a line of easy-to-wear products that make healthy a habit. What first began as a simple weight loss tool named A-Wrist-A-Trac, which was discovered by a team of clinicians at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has now grown to a line of products for women, men and kids. (more…)
Today while reviewing the kaizen theory of making small changes with a client, in this case to reduce the amount of sugar she puts in her coffee, she stated that the first cup of the morning is always the most difficult. She reported that if she is able to drink the first cup with less sugar, the rest of the coffee that she has that day goes down much more easily. This makes sense because coffee is one of those things that is an “acquired taste;” however, she said the same thing was true for drinking water. If she worked out earlier in the day, she would drink water throughout the day, put down the coffee, and not pick up any more calorie-laden beverages. (more…)
Thanks to Cosmo Radio for inspiring this, as they offer the original 7 Things You Need to Know Before You Go every morning (but their version relates to fashion and celebrities. My version is diet, fitness, exercise and health related.)
These are the 7 things you need to know before you leave the house to have the most fit and healthy day possible.
1. How much sleep did you get the night before? Getting enough sleep is an important key to maintaining a healthy weight and having enough energy to get your exercise choices accomplished.
2. Nothing, eggs and bacon, or peanut butter toast? Studies have shown that a healthy breakfast helps jump start your metabolism, and the best choice is a complex carbohydrate and protein combination. Eggs and bacon might taste yummy, but it’s a higher fat choice.
3. Where’s your water bottle? Drinking enough water during the day keeps your body hydrated and helps you lose weight. Often, we reach for food when we are actually thirsty. To avoid a plethora of waste, buy a refillable bottle and then drain it every hour. If the idea of that much water makes you crazy, add in a flavored drink packet. (more…)
Friends can be your worst enemy when it comes to trying to keep control of your waistline. Even if they aren’t overtly using peer pressure to coax you into eating unhealthily, they can be doing so through their own actions.
Most of us know them: people who can eat and eat and not gain an ounce. That fraternity gets a little smaller after 30 when everyone’s metabolism begins to slow. But, while they still maintain this seemingly impossible dietary feat, they do so at the expense of the rest of us.
That’s because according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, thin friends who eat a lot may unwittingly make you eat more in the process. Call it subliminal peer pressure. (more…)