All Entries For healthy living
It’s pretty clear that progress towards any important goal goes a lot better when you can maintain a positive state of mind. Positive goals, positive (but realistic) expectations, and positive self-talk all help us stay motivated and survive the inevitable setbacks and disappointments we experience.
But there are also plenty of times when “happy talk” just doesn’t get the job done. We all do things that are just plain...well, let’s just say they aren’t very well thought out. When that happens, it doesn’t always make a lot of sense to just pat yourself on the back and say, “Don’t worry, you’ll do better next time.”
In order to learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them, we also need to take an honest look at what went wrong, and point out to ourselves exactly how and why we are contributing to our own problems. And we need to do it in a way that will help us remember this lesson before we act the next time the problem comes up.
In my line of work, we call this Toughlove, and there’s definitely an art to it, whether you’re delivering the toughlove to yourself (OK for amateurs) or to someone else (recommended only for seasoned experts with martial arts skills and/or a good lawyer). Done poorly, toughlove can and usually does cause more problems than it solves. But done well, it can be very effective, so it’s definitely worth learning how to do it to yourself the right way.
Probably the best way to illustrate the art of toughlove is by looking at a very common problem that often responds better to a little self-administered toughlove than to happy talk…
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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 ›
The week's top healthy living stories, gathered by our editors.
Following a Western Style Diet May Lead to Greater Risk of Premature Death
Step away from the doughnut (and the steak, the white bread, and the whole milk)… they might be killing us, according to a new study. From Science Daily
10 Ways To Be Healthier In 10 Minutes Or Less
Who has time to spend hours figuring out how to get healthy? SparkPeople loves quick tips for healthy living--don't miss these. From Huffington Post Healthy Living
Don’t Fear the Fish: 7 Easy Ways to Cook Stuff With Fins
Even seasoned home cooks can feel like a fish out of water when cooking seafood. Dive right in and overcome your fear! From Fit Bottomed Girls
F.D.A. Issues Warning on Workout Supplement
If you take dietary supplements for weight loss or fat burning, read the labels (and reconsider!). The FDA is warning that some ingredients in certain products carry serious health hazards. From NYT.com
Study finds Americans sacrifice exercise time for food-prep time
The good news: We're spending more time cooking and prepping food. The bad news: We're using the time we should be spending on exercise in the kitchen. From HealthDay News Read More ›
A round-up of the week's most interesting healthy living stories.
Fitting In at the Fitness Center
A former athlete who's trying to get back into shape has started a website with tips on how to feel comfortable at the gym if you're new to working out or just returning to fitness. From The New York Times
Can You Patent A Steak?
Researchers at Oklahoma State University discovered a new steak, but they won't say where in the cow it's located. They're first trying to patent the steak--and the butchering process. From NPR
A shocking (and hot!) tip for preserving produce
Save money and extend the life of your produce with this simple but life-changing tip. From the Associated Press via timesunion.com
Take a Meditative Mind to Unexpected Activities
Applying meditation techniques to everyday activities can have a profound effect on your life. From Fit Sugar
21 Meditations to Make You Love Yo’Self!
If you need some help learning to love your body, this easy guided program is for you. From Fit Bottomed Girls
7 Ways to Save on Health Care
Spending too much on health care? Find out how to save money on everything from hospital bills to prescriptions. From Fitness Magazine
Kindergarten Rules to Live By
A yoga teacher and mom explains how spending a morning with kindergarteners helped her remember some of life's most important (and simplest) rules. From Yoga Journal
8 Moves to Perk Up Your Boobs
Fight gravity and reverse the sag with these targeted strength moves. From Self
Which stories were on your mind this week?
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Catch up on the week's most popular healthy living headlines.
Fruit, Not Fries: Lunchroom Makeovers Nudge Kids Toward Better Choices
NPR says that tweaking the lunch line options is having an impact on kids' diets. But how well does "up-selling" blueberries and broccoli actually work?
Chop, chop: New meat-naming system aims to help cooks
USA Today breaks down the new names for cuts of meat, designed to help home cooks figure out what to do with loins, roasts, and everything in between.
Vegetables Make the Sandwich
Meat usually gets a starring role in sandwiches, but the New York Times is setting out to change that, with this Well blog post. Read More ›
Our weekly roundup of the latest and most thought-provoking healthy living stories.
Why You Need To Stop Checking Your Phone All the Time
I'm incredibly guilty of checking my phone compulsively, especially in the car (as a passenger) and while waiting. Mind Body Green has great tips on learning to refrain. I'm taking note!
Infants Are Fed Solid Food Too Soon, C.D.C. Finds
The NYT reports babies' are often given food their bodies aren't ready to digest, which has been linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, eczema and celiac disease.
The Boston Globe rounds up foods that look like fruits and veggies--but aren't!
3 Reasons to Schedule a Rest Day
Fit Sugar explains why your body needs rest as much as it needs exercise.
8 Cardio Myths That Are Making You Fat
Shape breaks down the biggest myths about working out.
10 Foods Fit Women Need: Your National Nutrition Month Shopping List!
Fitness shares a great list of foods that should be in your cart. Read More ›
Raise your hand if you're a morning person!
Ok, so waking up in the morning is tough for most of us. However, when you make an effort to do so consistently, it's entirely possible to make it a habit—which is a great way to build more fitness and productivity into your day. So, how would you like a little extra boost of motivation to A) Get up in the wee hours, and B) Make strides toward your healthy lifestyle goals at the same time?
We're going to help you do just that with our ''Rise and Shine'' Challenge! Read More ›
A roundup of the healthy living stories making headlines this week.
Minty chewing gums may not help people lose weight
Live Science says that chomping on gum might backfire if you're trying to shed a few pounds. The minty breath fresheners make fruits and veggies taste awful, which can lead you to eat other, unhealthy foods instead.
Study links 180,000 global deaths to sugary drinks
(Big) Gulp. USA Today reports that sipping on sweetened juice, sports drinks, and soda leads to an estimated 25,000 deaths in the US alone each year, with Mexico topping the list for fatalies related to sugary beverages.
The Best Types of Salt for Cooking
Sure, we all need to limit the amount of salt we consume. That's why it matters which type we use. DailySpark contributor Bryn Mooth spills which salts are best for cooking, baking, and finishing dishes on her blog, Writes4Food. Read More ›
It’s no secret that being obese can make you the target of some very negative and stigmatizing attitudes. Many people have been subjected to public ridicule and cruel remarks, lost jobs or promotions, and even been blamed for large-scale social problems like climate change and rising health care costs—all because of their weight.
As reported in this article, even doctors and health policy professionals get in on the act. Ms. Brown reports that, in one study, more than half of the 620 doctors questioned said they viewed obese patients as “awkward, unattractive, ugly, and unlikely to comply with treatment.” Another study shows that higher BMI scores translate into doctors having less respect for patients and spending less time with them during appointments.
With all the evidence that, in most cases, obesity is a complex condition caused by the interaction of many different genetic, biochemical, and environmental factors, you’d think that medical professionals, especially, would be less likely to fall into the trap of viewing obesity as some sort of character flaw and stigmatizing obese patients.
Ms. Brown raises the possibility that many health professionals and policy makers believe that being stigmatized can motivate people to lose weight and improve their health. But, as she notes, the question is whether this approach actually works.
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3 Tips to Be Happier in Work and in Life
Great advice from Tiny Buddha that anyone can put into practice.
VIDEO: Fan Accompanies Billy Joel; 'Greatest Moment Of My Life,' He Says
A feel-good story about a young man who wasn't afraid of taking a risk to make a dream come true, from NPR.com.
When Exercise Stresses You Out
For some people, exercise is anything but fun. NYT.com's Well blog examines whether working out when you hate it does more harm than good. Read More ›
St. Patrick's Day is upon us, and restaurants everywhere have officially "gone green" (and I don't mean in the environmental sense). Late last month, dining establishments across the nation began transforming foods and drinks into festive shades of emerald in honor of the March 17th Irish holiday. Every year, McDonald's jumps on this bandwagon (or perhaps leads the bandwagon), with their infamous Shamrock Shake, a minty green treat that's only available through March. The drink looks innocent enough in a small size, but how many calories are packed into that 12-ounce cup: 220, 530, 640, or 810? Read More ›
If you are a Dancing with the Stars fan, you are likely familiar with co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet’s recent surgery to remove her thyroid cancer. Unfortunately, Brooke’s history with thyroid issues is not unique; an estimated 27 million Americans (including myself) are living with a thyroid condition. Fortunately, thyroid conditions are treatable; however, they can be tricky to diagnose since the symptoms tend to be subtle and can easily be mistaken for symptoms of other health issues. Here are some of the most common red flags to watch out for.
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It's almost March, which means we've made it through the worst of winter (knock on wood!). Can you believe that spring is less than a month away? Although the arrival of spring promises warmer weather and better conditions for exercising outdoors, it might also make some of us realize that we hibernated a little too much over the winter. Maybe you skipped a few workouts due to bad weather or the flu, or the winter blues derailed even your best efforts to stay consistent. It can be hard to get active again after a lull in your exercise plan, but it's entirely possible to get back on your feet. And we're here to help you do it! Read More ›
My one-year "Sparkversary" of working at SparkPeople came and went in January, and I've been reflecting on all the amazing things I've gotten a chance to do over the past 12 months. Between writing, editing and managing content on the site, I also got to go on a whirlwind adventure to California to help direct and film a batch of videos for SparkCoach, our premium interactive coaching program. But I wasn't in this alone—I also had the pleasure of working with SparkGuy himself and SparkPeople member Shelli (MOSTMOM1). (You might remember Shelli's "SparkPeople Cup'' and "Hooping Gangnam Style'' vlogs—needless to say, this woman is FUN to work with; we had a blast! You can read her account of our trip here.) Read More ›