The SparkPeople Blog

Snack Smarter With These 14 Healthier Packaged Snacks

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/26/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  11 comments   :  448 views

To many dietitians and nutritionists, “packaged” may as well be a four-letter word. That’s because it usually equates to “processed,” which is pretty much code for unhealthy. In an ideal world, all of us would choose fresh, whole foods without added preservatives, sugars, fats or sodium—but here in the real world, where time is short and to-do lists are long, most of us will end up settling for a packaged snack now and then to keep our “hangriness” at bay.
 
Whether you’re packing kids’ lunches, replenishing your office snack stash or making a midday run to the office vending machine, keep in mind that not all packaged foods are created equal. Although nothing is as good as food in its pure, unadulterated state, some bagged snacks are healthier than others.

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Breaking Up With Sugar Helped Jon Lose 260 Pounds

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/25/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  65 comments   :  5,383 views

For some, the struggle to maintain a healthy weight is tied to specific life events, such as the birth of a child or death of a loved one. For others like Jon (WEWRTFO), weight loss is a lifelong battle. Jon recalls weighing 320 pounds in the ninth grade, with his weight steadily climbing from there. The tipping point came in his early 40s when Jon's weight ballooned to over 500 pounds and even daily tasks became a struggle.

Instead of taking the attitude that he was destined to be heavy forever, Jon decided to take control of his life and his health. After successfully losing 260 pounds, he wants to inspire others to believe that it's never too late to make a change.   

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18 Ways Anyone Over 50 Can Become More Active

By: , – Betsy Ogden, Founder of The Art of Going Gray
9/21/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  50 comments   :  16,481 views

As time marches on, joints that didn't use to ache suddenly ache, and things you used to do with ease are slightly more challenging. There's no denying that getting older can be a pain. But because you're a baby boomer, you're determined to make your "third act" purposeful and active. This is a generation of 'do-ers' and that doesn't stop as you age.
 
Whether working, traveling or learning a new skill, the challenge we face in our 50s, 60s and beyond is to stay healthy and fit so we can enjoy our lives and continue contributing to the world. But how? We see our bodies change right before our eyes, as our middles get thicker and our muscles get smaller. Joints creak, aches and pains are a near-daily occurrence, and injuries seem to pop up more often. We have bones to keep healthy and injuries and illnesses to handle.
 
What's a person to do? Instead of getting overwhelmed and calling it quits or overdoing it by hitting the gym for hours at a time, create what I call a "Moving Life" instead. In your Moving Life, activity is built in as a natural part of your day. If you're sedentary for most of the week or you've been a weekend warrior up to this point, incorporating some or all of these ideas for adding movement to your day could lead to improvements in your overall wellness.

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Plateau Busters: Members & Experts Share Their Tips for Success

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/18/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  33 comments   :  9,615 views

Who says losing weight is hard? Just a few weeks into your new, healthy lifestyle, you've already dropped a full pants size and your weight loss is in the double digits. You've come to love stepping on the scale, feeling as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning as you watch the pounds melt away. Clothes from the "too-snug" section of your closet are now in your regular rotation, and your goal weight no longer seems as realistic as scaling Mt. Everest.

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Grab a Towel for This 5-Move, Full-Body Workout

By: , – Kristin Vallacher, Programming Director and Coach at The Phoenix Effect
9/12/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  42 comments   :  9,886 views

There is a rumor going around that getting fit has to cost an arm and a leg. Between expensive boutique studios, top-notch athleisure brands and new, enticing tech gear and equipment that you just have to have, you can easily spend hundreds on creating the perfect pricey workout routine—but that's not your only option.
 
Our ancestors survived without top-of-the-line treadmills and stationary bikes, so why can't we? Truth be told, all you really need is your own bodyweight, a towel and a little determination to make all your fitness dreams come true. Using a towel as a piece of equipment in these five moves can both increase the intensity of moves you already know and love, while effectively challenging muscle groups that you can't hit with bodyweight alone.

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Are You Focusing on Progress or Perfection?

By: , – Jessica Smith, Certified Personal Trainer
9/7/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  77 comments   :  9,850 views

One of my favorite mottos, both in fitness and in life, is "progress, not perfection." But what does that really mean? 

In weight loss, so often our minds focus only on the end goal. Step out of line or lose focus on that end goal, and you might as well call it quits. In this one-mile "walk and talk," you'll learn the importance of letting go the damaging all-or-nothing mentality. In gaining an understanding of the importance of the journey and focusing on what you can do and have done, you can overcome any obstacle, from binge eating to skipping workouts. 

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