All Entries For diet
The days are shorter, the weather is colder, and the couch is looking a whole lot comfier. This time of year, attendance at the gym drops and our desires to exercise and eat right fall lower on our priority list. Between back to school, tailgating, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, the year-end frenzy at work, Christmas, New Year's and everything in between, it's no wonder we need to "restart" again on January 1.
As fall morphs into the busy holiday season, let's choose to make this year different. Let's commit ourselves to just one simple goal to stay on track. You might not be able to do everything perfectly between Halloween and New Year's Eve, but you can do something.
SparkPeople has a lot of fun, simple and effective challenges that are the perfect pick-me-up for your program. I would recommend choosing ONE program listed below to focus your efforts. These are all great ways to re-commit this fall and hit the ground running this holiday season! Read More ›
"I'm fat because of Oreo cookies!" screamed the woman as she entered the weight-loss class I was coaching last week. In hand, she waved the press release from Connecticut College, which blared the warning, "Oreos are just as addictive as drugs!"
"I am addicted to certain foods, just like those rats were addicted to Oreo cookies," she continued on. "It's supposed to be worse than being addicted to cocaine. How am I ever going to be successful with my weight loss?" Read More ›
Now is the perfect time to kick off a brand new challenge to help you get on your way to your healthiest, fittest self yet: 30 Days of Fit Food. It's a great way to kick the season and head into the holidays (just around the corner!) feeling your best.
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That headline got your attention, didn't it? Not to worry, SparkPeople hasn't changed our attitude about healthy living and weight loss. But what we have done, for the first time ever, is compile and publish the very best advice, tips and tricks from our "Success Stories"--more than 100 members who've lost weight and kept it off using SparkPeople.com to accomplish their goals. These members know that how you start to lose weight is the most important indicator of long-term weight loss. They shared their struggles and successes so that you can learn from their experiences and remove the guesswork from weight loss.
We compared their success against people who gave up on weight loss within the first two weeks. And you know what? We found quite a few red flags that determined--from Day 1--whether someone would succeed or fail.
Here are our top 7 signs that someone is going to give up on weight loss--and how to reverse your fate if you have any of these demotivating habits.
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My good friend Kelly Booth is a NSCA-certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. We met in college (since we had the same major) and worked together as trainers and fitness instructors during school. Kelly has always been fit. She has toned arms, a trim waist, and can kick my butt in the weight room. She even trained for a marathon and ran it all by herself. Obviously, she's dedicated to fitness.
A few years ago, Kelly shocked her friends and family when she decided to compete in a women's figure competition. Unlike female bodybuilding, figure competitors aren't as muscular—they're strong but feminine. But according to most people's standards, they're still pretty ripped. Kelly looked great and was already fit, so I wondered why she wanted to change her body so much. Even though they look like the epitome of fitness, male and female body builders alike do some not-so-healthy things—food restriction, dehydration, overtraining and more. Luckily, Kelly is a smart girl and an experienced trainer. She also had her best friend on board to train with her, as well as an experienced coach to guide her through it.
Over the course of several months, I watched as her body transformed—she developed larger, stronger muscles; reduced her body fat; increased her definition; and suffered through some major dietary restrictions (I've never felt to guilty about eating in front of someone!) to reach her goals. I'll never forget when she told me, "I have abs now; it's kind of disgusting," she laughed. After seven months of hard workouts and diligent dieting, she placed sixth in her class during her very first competition! Go Kelly!
I realize that most of you probably don't want to be body builders or land the cover of a muscle magazine. But most of you DO want to drop body fat, increase muscle tone and look better. I think we often compare ourselves to the women on magazine covers and then lament about our fat thighs or belly rolls in comparison. But what does it really take to look like THEM? And more importantly, is looking like that worth the suffering it takes to get there? I decided to interview Kelly about her experience, and she told me straight up, without sugarcoating it, exactly what how hard it was to stick to her strict diet, what her workouts were like, and how she felt about her body before and after her transformation. Read More ›
I’ll admit it up front: I am a snacker. In fact, I have a snack twice a day. My body screams for food around three p.m. every day, even though I make a point to eat breakfast and lunch. If I ignore the hunger, I end up grabbing and devouring handfuls of chips or cookies as soon as I get home around five p.m. Therefore, I plan ahead and have a non-perishable snack stashed in my desk drawer at all times, usually homemade trail mix.
My second snack attack hits in the evening, and is not related to true belly hunger at all. In the evening, I want to eat food for comfort. You know what I’m talking about. At the end of a long day, all I seem to want is chocolate ice cream along with my favorite TV show, book or magazine.
There is nothing inherently wrong with snacking. In fact, snacking can help with weight loss by warding off afternoon and evening binge eating. However, the snack should be factored into your total calorie intake for the day, and should contain about 150 calories. A balanced snack should have about 15-30 grams of carbohydrates and three to five grams of protein.
Unfortunately, this type of healthy snacking is NOT happening in America, for children or adults. While I know you are probably not really surprised by this statement, you may be surprised at the numbers. Read More ›
Red meat gets a bad rap sometimes. Criticized for its high levels of fat and cholesterol, it's been avoided in the diet world for years. However, not all red meat is created equal; when choosing the right cuts in moderation, beef can be a great source of iron, protein and zinc. Between 3 ounces of cooked flank steak and 3 ounces of cooked 80/20% ground beef, which is the leaner choice? Read More ›
If you've recently started tracking calories and watching portion sizes, chances are you've been surprised that your morning cereal is really three servings instead of just one. Or that the salad from your favorite restaurant you thought was a healthy option really isn't. It's easy to convince yourself that your diet is fairly healthy until you really start measuring and tracking your food throughout the day. That's why I'm not totally surprised by a new survey that says most Americans consider their diets to be at least "somewhat" healthy. Read More ›
When it comes to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle, everyone has to do what works best for them. I can give all kinds of reasons why a balanced diet and regular exercise is the way to go. But in the end, everyone has to find a style of eating and activity that they can live with for the rest of their lives. It’s not my place to judge whether or not someone is right or wrong if they choose to go about weight loss in a different way. Read More ›
"Weight loss is really hard---but maintaining that weight loss is even harder!" If anyone out there agrees with this statement; please raise your hand.
That’s what I thought. There are lots of hands held high. It seems that most people struggle with the yo-yo syndrome: lose the weight, gain the weight, lose the weight, gain the weight. But, what’s a dieter to do? Perhaps it is time to put the cart before the horse.
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine recently conducted a "switcharoo" when it came to weight loss and weight maintenance. They took 267 overweight and obese females and divided them into two groups. The control group went through a traditional 20-week weight-loss program followed by an eight-week maintenance phase.
The test group went through the eight-week maintenance phase first, and then focused on weight loss for 20 weeks. The results were surprising to say the least, and significant. While each group lost about the same amount of weight--17 pounds or 9% of their initial body weight--the "maintenance-first" group only gained back three pounds at their one-year follow-up but the "weight loss first" group had gained back seven pounds, on average.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it! But guess what? Those women who first spent eight weeks mastering the tools, techniques and skills for weight maintenance were better equipped mentally and physically to handle the day-in, day-out struggle of their toxic food environment after the 28-week program was completed. Are you itching to discover how? Read More ›
Before you jump on the raspberry ketone bandwagon, there are a few things you should know about this over-priced, proclaimed weight-loss miracle in a bottle. I tell you what they don't want you to know about raspbery ketones, in my latest blog on Huffington Post. Click here to read it.
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There's more to healthy eating and weight loss than simply tracking your food. The way you think about food, respond to hunger, and deal with cravings also affects your diet and overall health. Look up ''crave'' in the dictionary and you will find that it means ''to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly.'' So, it makes sense that you don’t usually crave specific foods due to physical hunger; cravings are often complex and happen for a variety of reasons, both physical and emotional. There is a big difference between a craving and actual hunger.
But cravings are not necessarily ''bad.'' They are normal and can have a place in any healthy lifestyle. However, constantly giving in to your cravings can lead to overeating and an unbalanced diet. Learning to satisfy your cravings in a controlled manner will keep your relationship with food in balance. Here are some common scenarios when cravings tend to strike—and how to bust them in a healthy way.
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Whether you're single, taken, or somewhere in-between this Valentine's Day, one thing is for certain: You're bound to be bombarded with chocolate. From the office candy jar, to the red and pink display in the grocery store, there's no escaping decadent truffles, chocolate-covered strawberries, and other pretty, sugary delights. The good news is that it you can have your chocolate and eat it, too, as long as you know what to choose! If you had a choice between three pieces of Godiva chocolate or five Hershey's Kisses, which would be the slimmer pick? Read More ›
Congratulations: You have officially survived the holiday season! Now it's time to get back on the wagon and reach some major milestones in the new year. Weight loss may be at the top of your list of goals for 2013, as it is for many people. And whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, you're going to have to make some changes to your lifestyle habits.
The good news is that you don't have to completely overhaul your life all at once. At SparkPeople, we believe that small changes can lead to BIG results—and the ever-growing number of success stories from our members is proof of that! Millions of people just like you have been in your shoes and have come out on the other side happier, healthier and fitter than they could have ever imagined. And they've learned some bits of wisdom along the way that you can now use to your advantage along your own journey. Are you ready to lose your first 10 pounds of 2013? These helpful weight-loss tips from successful SparkPeople members will help you do just that! Read More ›
You don't need to shop at pricey, upscale supermarkets or health food stores to eat right. Your regular grocery store has nutritious foods you love that won’t break your budget. You may want to tweak what you buy, though. "Many of the healthiest foods, such as beans, are inexpensive compared to animal sources, such as meat," says Marisa Moore, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Here’s how to follow a diet that’s as good for you as it is for your wallet. Read More ›