Families are an important support system, especially when it comes to health and nutrition. When the entire family is focused on health, it’s easier to keep concerns like childhood obesity at bay.
In fact, in a new survey of more than 1000 women by WomensForum.com, more than one-third of moms revealed that they are regularly concerned about childhood obesity in their home. Interestingly, the same survey revealed that 70 percent of moms are worried about their own weight.
So does that mean moms are more focused on their own weight than their children’s? Andrea Metcalf, a health and fitness expert for WomensForum.com, warns people away from jumping to that conclusion.
“It may appear surprising that moms seem to be more concerned about their own weight rather than their children’s, but if you look at what they actually buy at the supermarket, it becomes clear that they view health and nutrition differently from dieting and calorie cutting,” she said.
As a health coach, I have had dozens of people provide me with their definitions of “healthy living” and “healthy eating”. Although they’ve made an appointment with me, these people are pretty sure they have most things health figured out and are proud to share the rules they have imposed on their kitchens. The problem is, the difference between good and bad eating habits isn’t aways black and white.
It’s easy to get caught up and confused by the overload of information about nutrition out there, especially because some of it is contradictory. Enchanted by the latest celebrity endorsement or buzzword of the day, well-intentioned dieters easily make misguided decisions, setting rules and restrictions based on good intentions but not actual science. Here are the health traps I see people fall into most often, habits that actually aren’t all that healthy in the long run.
1. The Fat Fearers
Yes, large amounts of saturated fats found in steaks and candy bars can increase your risk for cardiac events, but don’t forget the good fats! “Low-fat” products simply replace the fat with more chemicals and sugar and should be avoided in favor of full-fat options. It’s also smart to add in more healthy fats like those found in avocado, olive oil, and flax seeds to feel full and satisfied with each meal.
2. The Cheating Vegetarian/Vegan
No question that a plant-based diet is a safe bet for overall health. More and more people are experimenting with vegetarianism and veganism and that is wonderful! But did you know products like Oreos are vegan? A lot of new vegans do—and they’re filling up on them! The idea behind vegetarian and vegan diets is to have most all of your food sources come from natural fruits, veggies, beans, legumes, seeds, and good fats (with the occasional cookies of course!). Eating packaged junk like mac & cheese and veggie pizza means you avoid meat, but these diets don’t satisfy the plant-based foods requirement. To do this diet right, make one of our meat free recipes, like these delicious vegetarian stuffed peppers. (more…)
Want to radiate health and happiness like upcoming Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres? Here are seven lifestyle habits that the reigning comedy queen prioritizes in her life!
1. Eat Lots of Veggies.
Ellen follows a vegan, or at least primarily plant-based, diet. She went completely vegan after learning more about the sources of meat products, but has recently reintroduced sustainably-sourced eggs. She offers her thoughts on easing into plant-based eating here.
It’s no secret that Ellen isn’t short on the giggles, so there must be some connection to this and her radiant joie de vivre. Laughter has been shown to clinically lower blood pressure and heart rate, promote weight loss, and reduce stress.
I have some great news! Well, I have some great news if you are in love. (If you are not currently in love, I offer some great news for the future, when you are back in love.) Being in love is not only good for your Friday nights, it’s also good for your body, your mind, and your lifelong health! On the Huffington Post this week, Laura Schocker wrote a piece called “This is Your Body on Love.” I loved the piece and the hopefulness it gave me for the future. Let’s recap.
1. Your heart is healthier!
According to a recent research study in Finland, cardiac “events,” meaning heart attacks, heart disease, and blood clots, are much more common in unmarried men and women. Up to sixty-six percent more common, in fact. Obviously factors such as eating healthy and exercising regularly will also increase your chances of heart happiness, but it certainly won’t help to have a partner by your side, as well.
Furthermore, the magazine Psychological Science reported that “having a supportive spouse” was associated with hardened arteries, as well as the fact that happily married people are three times more likely to survive surgery after major heart operations.
It used to be that eating disorders were just about being thinner than everyone else. But that’s no longer the case. Now you have to be stronger, fitter, and healthier than everyone else too. Since this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 24-March 1) it seems like the perfect time to talk about the new ways disordered eating is surfacing.
Though not an officially recognized eating disorder, there is a growing trend in orthorexia or an obsession with health. Many people, especially teenagers, associate health with the number on the scale or how they look in the mirror. Both of those can be good baseline for determining health, but there’s a lot more to it than how big your thighs are.
The minds behind Sullivan Higdon & Sink’s (SHS) FoodThink are at it again, and this time they’re taking a good look at the how and why of eating healthy. Their new white paper, “Our Appetite for Healthy Eating,” covers everything from attitudes about healthy foods to our attempts to eat right.
According to research conducted by SHS, 61 percent of Americans make the commitment to eat healthy. Of course, there’s a lot of variation in that claim.
From “Our Appetite for Healthy Eating”: Organic shoppers, for instance, are 31-percent more likely to say they’re committed to healthy eating. On the other hand, those who believe their cooking skills to be sub-par are 13-percent less likely to say they’re committed to healthy eating.
Nearly everyone has aspirations to be healthy. Following diets and new and improved workout plans are popular behaviors at the beginning of each New Year, as many will vow to eat better and get more exercise.
A few months of eating fresh, high quality cuisine and hitting the gym makes a big difference in the way we feel. A slimmer waistline, clearer skin, and an overall feeling of health is worth it, so why is it so hard to stay the course?
Your lifestyle plays a huge role in whether or not your good intentions are going to stick. If you think your lifestyle might not be supporting your desire to be healthy, keep reading. (more…)
Does your environment have an impact on your lifestyle? According to a new study published in the journal Rural Health, the answer is ‘yes’ as those living in the country are more likely to be obese than Americans living in cities.
As reported by ABCNews, approximately 70 million of Americans call rural areas home and face many challenges concerning their health as a result.
Christie Befort, an assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, comments on the result of the study: “The rates of obesity were much higher than previously reported based on self-report, with 39 percent of rural Americans being obese compared to 33 percent of urban Americans.”
To collect data for the study, researchers manually measured participants height and weight, doing so in person as people tend to exaggerate how tall they are and how much they weigh.
In addition to finding rural Americans to be more obese on average than urban Americans, researchers found that younger generations between the ages of 20 and 39 living in rural America are more likely to be obese than their urban counterparts. Because of changes in technology, manual labor in rural areas has decreased and young adults have less physical work to do. (more…)
If you want to lose weight this year, you may want to consider consulting with a physician who’s BMI is within normal limits. According to a national cross-sectional survey of over 500 primary care physicians in the United States, those who struggle to maintain a healthy weight themselves are much less inclined to help others fight the battle of the bulge.
In most cases, it’s not that they don’t want to. Instead, it’s more likely that they either lack the confidence in themselves or feel that because of their own weight struggles, they assume that most patients won’t take them that seriously. Normal weight physicians feel similarly about their overweight colleagues and feel as though they themselves are better role models for patients. Whether this is truly the case or not, it really doesn’t matter. And although not all physicians are well-equipped to deal with weight management issues, it’s not fair or appropriate to assume that a doctor knows less because their weight isn’t ideal. It’s also not appropriate to assume that physicians who are at a healthy weight are better equipped to counsel their patients on nutrition and exercise-related matters.
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.