All Entries For new year's
You started the New Year full of motivation and enthusiasm. You decided that this is going to be your year to make lasting changes and improve the quality of your life. Now that we’re almost a month in, perhaps your motivation has started to wane and a little doubt has crept in. Does this mean that you’re doomed to repeat the failed resolutions of the past? Definitely not! Take a few simple steps to ensure that your resolutions last from January to June to December—and for the rest of your life. Here's how. Read More ›
So, it's mid-January, and you've got your exciting New Year's Resolutions all planned out and ready to go. But are you still unsure of where to begin your journey—or how to keep the momentum going? Take your next steps with these tips from successful SparkPeople members who have stuck with their own goals for the long haul! 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 ›
With the New Year just around the corner, exercise is on a lot of people's minds. So many of us are bound and determined to reach new fitness goals, hit the gym with vigor, and change our bodies once and for all.
Does this sound a lot like last year? What happens between January and December that causes so many people to fail, only to set the same fitness resolutions year after year?
No one wants to fail. When you start a fitness program, the hope is that all of your hard work (and sweat) will carry you to the finish line. A lot of people can start a fitness program, but very few can stick with it for the long-term. Why?
In my experience as a trainer and health coach, the excuses we use to miss a workout aren't the real reasons people fail. You don't have to be a fortune teller to predict who will be going strong next December and who will be starting over again. Most often, I can tell whether someone will succeed or fail based on four simple signs. Read More ›
There are just a few days left until the new year! Although you're probably putting a plan in place to reach your healthy goals in 2013, a little extra luck couldn't hurt, right? In some countries, it is customary to eat legumes on January 1st for good luck in the new year. Many southerners in the US traditionally make Hoppin' John--a dish made of rice, onions, pork and black-eyed peas. Due to their coin-like shape, lentils are also eaten in many cultures to symbolize a prosperous new year. If you were to pick the more nutrient-rich legume to kick off a lucky 2013, would black-eyed peas or lentils be the better choice? Read More ›
This is one of my favorite times of year. As editor of dailySpark.com, I get to take a look back at what our readers are into and what they're not. Today I'm sharing the top 25 most-viewed blog posts in 2012! Some of these are oldies but goodies, and others are new this year. All of them are sure to interest you!
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One of the most difficult things to do is change. Some people thrive on it; I’m not one of those people. A little here and there is good enough for me. When it comes to changing your body, we all want it fast and now, including me. Now where was that genie in a bottle infomercial number I took down last night?
The number one advice I have for people is to embrace your change and your journey. Make your changes slowly and for real. If you’re the type who cleans out the kitchen, gets rid of all the food, swears to exercise an hour a day, and starve the fat off no matter what it takes, you too will burn with passion and have some success... that is until the burnout hits hard.
One of my mantras is "Aim for better every day, never perfect right away." We can all achieve better, but not one of us will achieve perfect. So quit holding yourself up to perfect standards. Better standards are worth aiming for--always challenge yourself. Read More ›
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends individuals between the ages of 2-50 should reduce daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg or less. For those older than 51 or younger individuals with hypertension, diabetes, or other chronic diseases, the recommendation lowers to 1,500 mg per day. Since sodium is essential element necessary for the body to function properly, it is important to consume between 1,500-2,300 mg per day on average unless otherwise directed by your medical provider.
In our ongoing Food on the Run and Diet Friendly Dining series, one of the most common comments I find relates to why the sodium content is so high in the foods we suggest as being "healthier" options.
More and more restaurants are moving in the direction of fresh, whole foods for entrée and side options. Since these tend to be naturally low in sodium, they are a great way to increase nutrition while decreasing the sodium and fat content at the same time. Options such as fresh fruit and steamed or raw vegetables without added sodium, lean meats, poultry and fish as well as whole grains, dried beans, and lentils that do not have added salt are usually better choices with lower sodium content.
The Healthy Dining finder's team of Registered Dietitians believes that Sodium Savvy menu items are those that provide 750 mg or sodium or less for an entrée, and 250 mg of sodium or less for an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. Here are 10 of the best low sodium casual dining and fast food entrée options you might want to select next time you are eating away from home.
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THIS is a very special day!
There has been much discussion about this day and we weren't sure it would ever get here. However, I've checked and I've double-checked the calendar and TODAY is THAT DAY! Oh sure, there will be some who aren't as happy about this day as others. I mean, if we really mean what we have said at different times, today should be an incredible day. Today could quite possibly go down as THE highest productivity day ever in the history of the world. If this doesn't excite you, I'm not sure what will! Your life or the life of a loved one could very well be changed FOREVER, just because today happened.
Not only is this January 2, 2012, today is SOMEDAY! Read More ›
Here are some interesting statistics regarding restaurants –
- Sixty-two percent of consumers have been cutting back on visits to casual-dining restaurants.
- Forty seven percent of consumers want healthy restaurant options while just twenty-three percent select healthy food when dining away from home.
- Fifty-two percent of consumers suggest that different and unique flavors influence their restaurant visits.
Technomic is a consulting and research firm that focuses on the food industry by providing proprietary studies and research based guidance. Their research has found many interesting consumer trends. Here are some of the top restaurant trends they want us to watch in 2012.
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As 2011 comes to a close (geez- time sure flies!), I've been thinking about the blogs I've written over the past year. Some are topics that I've been asked to write about (hot topics in the news, etc.), others are stories I've come across through my own research, and then some are just things that I observe and think about in everyday life. I thought I'd share a few of the favorites that stick out in my mind: Read More ›
It’s time to say farewell to challenging 2011 and enjoy a fresh start in 2012. SparkPeople wants to help you ring in the New Year and achieve your personal health and fitness goals. A challenge with holiday cooking is that it revolves around parties, traditions, and expectations of calorie-rich, fatty, and sugar- sweet dishes. We’ve gathered our top party recipes from SparkRecipes to help you get 2012 started on the right foot with fun, healthy and tasty dishes that will make your gathering the toast of the town. Read More ›
"Consult a physician before using this equipment."
Have you seen this statement before? If the exercise equipment was manufactured in the last 30 years or so, this statement or a similar disclaimer is likely placed somewhere in small print. I see it (well, ignore it) just about every day when I step onto my elliptical. Gyms, exercise videos, and weight-loss reality shows for example all typically have similar disclaimers such as "consult a physician before starting any exercise program."
Even though we tend to ignore them, they're there!
Have you seen the one that reads: "stop exercising if you feel pain, faint, dizziness or shortness of breath"? This one may leave you thinking "you forgot sweat." Take it from someone who has gone from a sedentary to active lifestyle. I felt all of those things (still do on days when I do strength training for my legs)! I didn’t exercise to extreme pain, I never passed out, and I didn't feel severe pain, but certainly I felt all of those symptoms to some extent!
I’m sure many of you do what I did when I started exercising. I completely disregarded the warnings and started working out because I was tired of being overweight and unfit. I didn’t want to overcome yet another obstacle by waiting to talk to my doctor. (Doctors are notorious for being bad patients, by the way.)
Let’s get serious for a few moments and examine these disclaimers. Let's determine whether you actually need to consult with a physician before embarking on your exercise plan.
I feel slightly conflicted: I ignored the ubiquitous warnings to consult my doctor before I started working out 140 pounds ago, but I'm encouraging you as SparkPeople members to take an extra step to visit a physician before engaging in an exercise program. I know that when the inspiration to change strikes you need to take advantage of it, but as a doctor I know it's better to be safe than sorry (and SparkPeople agrees--and includes such a warning in the site's terms and conditions).
Thankfully, most people who choose to disregard these disclaimers do not suffer any consequences. But, some people will find out that they have a heart condition during exercise, injure themselves, or exacerbate their existing medical conditions. They may not even realize that they are putting their health at risk by trying to do what they believe is the right thing. The rest of you will be relieved to know that you can start exercising without pulling out your wallet for a co-pay (and not sitting in the waiting room at the height of flu season).
So how do you know which group you're in? Should you see your doctor or not?
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