Historically, Valentine’s Day is a day full of boxes of chocolates, fancy dinners out, candy hearts and chocolate candy roses. For someone trying to lose weight or maintain a healthier lifestyle, being bombarded by high calorie foods can be tough. Sure, one candy or one dinner won’t do an enormous amount of damage – but you really don’t need to sacrifice yourself on the altar of St. Valentine. Not only that, but one day has a sneaky habit of becoming another day, and another and another. Do yourself a favor and don’t start.
One of the primary ways that we show love to each other is with food. It’s biologically innate in our make up, but it isn’t confined to high calorie/high fat foods. Here are some ways to celebrate the love that you have for your significant other in a healthy manner.
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 Count members want to know, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Here are a few of our readers’ favorite “Ask Mary” questions about the differences in dieting and weight between the sexes.
Ask Mary: Why do men lose weight more easily than women?
Compared to women, men just have higher calorie requirements. It’s easier for them to create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. Men have high testosterone levels and testosterone makes them build muscle. Muscle is metabolically active tissue that burns calories. If you compare a man to a woman of the same height, weight, age, and activity level, the man will need 15 percent more calories than the woman. Coupled with a man’s tendency to be taller and bigger, it’s easy to see why men need more calories. And so when men eat less, there is a huge gap between the amount they need and they eat, which promotes quick weight loss. Women, on the other hand, have a completely different fat-to-muscle ratio with more fat to support the demands of pregnancy and lactation. Their day-to-day calorie requirements are lower and so their calorie deficit is less.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, yoga is a healthy and fun way to celebrate the holiday. In fact, many yoga studios all across the country host yoga for couples classes during the month of February. Yoga for couples attracts not just romantic couples, but friends who share a love of yoga or pals who just want something different to do on the Hallmark holiday.
So exactly what is a yoga for couples class? (more…)
In case you haven’t heard, money is tight these days and most restaurant meals are too big and have “too much” (calories, fat, salt… you get the idea) for people who are trying to lose weight. I think one of the most romantic and thoughtful things you can do for a significant other, friend, or Valentine’s singles is to cook for them.
Here are my picks for healthy menu items you can try. Add to the mood with candles, grocery store roses (call and ask for petals for cheap), and a Valentine’s-themed menu you make on your computer to place in front of the seats. I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with love, hugs, and great food! (more…)
Guest bloggers, The Nutrition Twins® Tammy Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT are the authors of The Secret To Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat and The 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size & Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps (HCI, Fall 2009) and Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever. You can visit the Nutrition Twins website for more information on this dynamic duo.
Chocolate: It’s the mouth-watering aphrodisiac that’s synonymous with Valentine’s Day.
But can you enjoy chocolate without sabotaging your weight loss efforts?
Yes, you can! The trick is to have a small, yet satisfying serving.
If you truly believe that you are what you eat, you might give credence to the thought that there are foods that have a positive affect on your libido. Here are six foods that have long been considered aphrodisiacs; he good news is that, if you don’t believe in this, all are yummy and part of a healthy diet.
Oysters: These ocean wonders are high in zinc and are thought to increase output of testosterone, which enhances libido in both men and women. A good source of lean protein, the legendary lover Casanova was reported to eat 50 oysters each day at breakfast to fuel his stamina.
Asparagus: Asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamins A, B6, and C, and thiamine. Asparagus is also high in folic acid, which is said to boost histamine production necessary for the ability to reach orgasm for women and men.
Honey: A great source of boron, a trace mineral that helps the body use and metabolize estrogen. Studies have shown that this mineral may also enhance testosterone levels in the blood, the hormone responsible for promoting sex drive in both men and women. (more…)
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, women everywhere are wondering their significant others will get them. My husband has never given me chocolate for Valentine’s Day. (I guess I’m just sweet enough already.) But don’t worry, I am sure to get my fair share of chocolate year-round.
For people trying to lose weight, thinking about sweets and Valentine’s Day can be a source of stress. The mere thought about “self control” around the tempting boxed hearts can seem to take the all the fun out of Valentine’s Day.
Watch this video to learn about why avoiding chocolate can be more harmful than indulging and get three simple tips for enjoying chocolate without feeling guilty!
Seriously, can a dieter ever catch a break? Whether you define “diet” as a pre-packaged weight loss plan or simply an effort to create a healthy lifestyle, saboteurs are lurking around every corner. At the grocery store. In the office breakroom. Even on the calendar.
Following the holidays, February might be one of the biggest offenders, serving up a calorie-filled platter of Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl and Mardi Gras. What’s a girl, or guy, supposed to do? Push right through the pain!
Your will power is much stronger than any goo-filled heart could ever hope to be. Nevertheless, you’ll want to celebrate alongside everyone else. So, we’ve got some tips on how to do so, not fall off the wagon, and cruise right in to March lighter and more motivated to take on St. Patrick’s Day and Spring Break! (more…)
A box of chocolates is a sugar crash waiting to happen!
The Valentine’s Day party at school is one event that kids look forward to during the school year. They exchange cute cards with friends and get to take the afternoon off to binge on sugar. There’s nothing wrong with the cute cards, in fact, they usually present a great opportunity for an at-home craft project. It’s the candy and sweets that are shared along with the cards that create the calorie and sugar bombs that cupid blasts open with his little arrow. Here are the calories and sugar found in common Valentine’s Day party fare, and some lovely alternatives.
Instead of fighting the crowds at an over-priced restaurant this Valentine’s day, opt to cook the one you love a healthy, romantic dinner. By cooking at home you will cut back on money, calories and find personal time together.
We’ve got hundreds of heart-healthy recipes you can choose from to make a romantic meal at home. Or, try the Warm Winter Salad, Roasted Pecan Salmon, and Sauteed Pear Sundaes recipes posted here.
Lover’s Warm Winter Salad
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
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