STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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He cautions wine consumption should not exceed two 5-ounce glasses per day. Grape juice is an easy substitution.


This diet is good for weight loss because it includes healthy foods that have a high satiety value. Trans fats, which are associated with weight gain and obesity, are avoided in favor of healthier fats. In addition, says Ozner, “The inclusion of complex carbohydrates rather than simple carbohydrates and the avoidance of refined sugars linked with obesity makes the eater feel full longer, thus contributing to weight loss.”


The Mediterranean diet is considered to be “a way of living, a prescription for a healthy and long life,” says Emma Katie in her book, “365 Days of Mediterranean Diet Recipes. ” It is a way of life that encourages relaxation, freedom from excessive stress and the habit of daily exercise.

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.


Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat and how overweight we are.


Today much more is known about proper diet in relation to health. Researchers have shown vitamin-filled, antioxidant-rich, high-fiber foods help prevent many diseases, thus keeping our bodies and minds healthy.


The Mediterranean diet is an eating plan – a lifestyle, really – that assists in proper nutrition and weight loss. Michael Ozner, M.D., in his book, “The Miami Mediterranean Diet,” says this diet will help people lose weight and prevent the occurrence of such illnesses as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions.


The Mediterranean diet, says Ozner, is full of fruits and vegetables and rich in antioxidants, all of which help prevent damage to your body’s cells, thus lowering the risk of certain diseases.

A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

The diet features whole-grain foods rich in fiber, which has been shown to help balance cholesterol and also prevent some forms of cancer. In addition, the diet decreases inflammation, which has been strongly linked to the development of heart disease, cancer and other ailments such as arthritis.


The Mediterranean diet includes olive oil as a key ingredient. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, the type of fat beneficial for heart health. It also helps decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing or maintaining HCL (good cholesterol). And for an added perk: It helps you lose weight.


With this diet, a variety of nuts are recommended as a good source of healthy fat and omega 3 fatty acids, but they must be eaten in small amounts. Beans are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, thus curbing the appetite and further reducing cholesterol. Oily fish, prevalent in the diet, provides a rich source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.


Red wine is often a part of a Mediterranean meal. Ozner says it contains polyphenols and resveratrol, two substances that help promote heart health.