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For most people, New Years marks a clear point for making a lifestyle change that is intended to last a lifetime. Lent on the other hand, for the religious, is a time of temporary self denial or restriction to increase focus. There are several reasons that a greater percentage of people are successful with Lenten fasts than New Years habit changes. Even if you do not celebrate Lent, these ideas may help you be more successful with your own behavior change.
The first reason many are more successful with habit change during Lent (even if it is temporary) is that they are striving to sacrifice for something that has personal meaning to him or her. Religion is one outlet for existential energy for many people. Existential energy is about those things that give your life meaning, becoming a better person, and those things about which you are passionate. When we strive after these things, we often feel more energized and more motivated to meet the goals we have set for ourselves.
Tiffany Gust is a trainer at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge.
Start a stress journal so that you can uncover the things that cause you stress.
Write down the following:
- Who is causing you stress?
- Did you feel physically and emotionally?
- When the stress happened, what was your response?
- What did you do to make yourself feel better?
This can help you determine how you currently cope with stress. Are your strategies healthy or unhealthy, productive or unproductive? (more…)
2011 is finally here! If you are like most Americans, your resolution for the New Year is to lose weight. Well, what are you waiting for?
Below is a workout that targets the entire body while keeping the heart rate up. By keeping the heart rate elevated, your body will burn more calories and you will see results faster.
The goal of the exercise routine is to continually move from one exercise to the other without stopping. This style of exercise is a form of circuit training, but you will be doing multiple sets grouped together, which are called super sets. For example: the first exercises are a seated row and squat jumps grouped together. Preform 10-20 reps of rows, then 10-20 squat jumps and repeat, then move to the next group of two exercises: the prone leg curl and push-up combination. The goal is to perform two or three sets of ten to twenty repetitions without stopping, except for water, of course.
After a December full of holidays, traditions and indulgences you might be drafting New Year’s resolutions and planning your healthy eating regimen for January.
While it isn’t necessarily an indulgence and won’t derail your diet plans, there is one tradition left that you won’t want to miss. Hoppin’ John is a Southern version of a traditional, West African rice and beans dish that consists of black-eyed peas and rice, with chopped onion and sliced bacon or ham hock, seasoned with a bit of salt and spices. If eaten on January 1, Hoppin’ John is said to bring luck for the forthcoming year.
The first known recipe for Hoppin’ John was penned by Sarah Rutledge, author of The Carolina Housewife in 1847 and a daughter of Edward Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The origin of the name remains in dispute, but according to Epicurious, some culinary pundits believe that the dish originated with African slaves, who numbered in the tens of thousands in the South in the 17th and 18th centuries.
How many of you are thinking that you have one last day before your new diet starts with the New Year? Such thinking could be sabotaging your diet before you start.
When driving home for the holidays (or when you take any long familiar drive), you are likely to increase your speed as you pass familiar sites that let you know you are starting to approach your destination. In the same way, as you focus on the impending restriction, you are likely to allow yourself extra indulgences in this last week of the year.
These extra indulgences do have an impact on your weight, your health, and even your metabolism. You are also familiarizing your palate with sweet or rich foods, teaching your body to expect such things. This can increase the chances that you will experience cravings for such things in January when you intend to avoid them. Life change is hard work, and you may be making it more difficult by indulging prior to restriction. The cravings are not a need requested by your body, but your body expecting consistency.
Want to know about getting a jump start on lifestyle changes that commonly begin after the New Year? Here are a few reader question favorites from “Ask Mary Q+As” about planning for change.
Ask Mary: Where should I start with my healthy lifestyle change?
Start with changing one thing and add others over time. It’s always best to practice the change that brings you the most joy. To find the parts of your diet in need of change, keep a food log for 3 to 7 days – before changing the way you eat. Do you snack between meals, frequently eat in restaurants, or neglect to eat at least 5 fruits or vegetables a day? Would you like to give up soda or might you prefer to slowdown your eating? Each change is noble and should be greeted as an adventure. Once you decide upon a change to make, set a S-M-A-R-T goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For instance, instead of saying, “I’m going to exercise”, get S-M-A-R-T. Say, “I will walk for 20 minutes at lunchtime Monday through Thursday”. Then envision yourself easily reaching your goal and you’re part way there!
Even though most people start their New Year’s resolutions on January 1, your New Year’s Eve celebration is a great time to start practicing some of your healthier habits.
Whether you’re hosting a party at home to ring in the New Year or watching the ball drop with a close group of family and friends, delicious appetizers, tasty main dishes and festive desserts are in order for an evening of indulgence that won’t wreck your diet.
Dips for Chips & Vegetables:
Blue Cheese Dip
Kalamata Olive Hummus
Spicy Cranberry Dip
By Beth Casey Gold, MS, RD, and Director of Corporate Programming at Vtrim Online
The Vtrim Weight Management Program was developed by Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D., a nationally recognized weight-loss researcher at the University of Vermont. Dr. Harvey-Berino’s concept is based on behavior changes: a systematic shaping of daily habits to help people move more and eat less.
When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, millions of Americans will make a resolution to lose weight in 2011. The experts at the Vtrim Online Behavioral Weight Management Program can help make that resolution a reality.
The Vtrim philosophy is simple: eat less, move more. Our approach is based on behavior change. We have proven in clinical research that people can successfully lose weight by trading in unhealthy habits for new, healthy habits. This year, vow to change your habits, and lose weight as a benefit of changing your lifestyle.
Here is my advice on changing your behaviors to lose weight and feel great in 2011.
It’s December 27. Guess what? That means the holiday season is over. It was over the second all the presents were ripped open and your big family meal left you in a food coma.
There are some of those people that will undoubtedly use the rest of the year to pack in as many stale Christmas cookies as possible before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, and then start their New Year’s weight loss resolution that morning. Or the morning after.
Despite what the calendar says, the time to start your New Year’s resolution is now. Right now. No excuses. The sooner you make the next right and healthy decision means the sooner you will hit your weight loss goals.
Kick start your diet today by taking the necessary steps to set yourself up for success.