HEART DISEASE AND THE NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT

Like many Americans, do you believe heart disease affects mostly men? In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.  Heart disease, according to The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, written by members of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is one of several cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and the blood vessel system. Others include stroke, high blood pressure and rheumatic heart disease.

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10 COMMON WEIGHT-LOSS MYTHS

There are so many misconceptions about weight loss and diets that it can be hard to know what to believe. Here are some common weight-loss myths.   Snacking and eating fast food are bad ideas.    Actually, eating small, healthy snacks between meals could help you eat less so you don’t overeat or binge later. Dietitians recommend having five small meals a day, instead of just three. Snacking has a bad rap because of some of the snack choices we make, such as potato chips, cookies, candy and other fattening items.

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FITNESS TIPS FOR LOSING WEIGHT

Summer is finally here, and you want to get your weight down and be in the best shape ever. This summer, make it your mission to reach your weight-loss goals – the same ones you probably set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start down the path to health and wellness. Follow the guidelines below so you can put yourself on a fast track. Turn these tips into lifelong habits to ensure lasting success.

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of lifestyle changes she had made. Metcalf may be the victim of a phenomenon scientists have not yet thoroughly explored: Why does the body sometimes muster hormones and an altered metabolic rate in an apparent effort to pull people back to former obesity? Some scientists say weight maintenance must be treated as a separate issue from weight loss. As these puzzles are solved, answers will be found as to why maintaining a new weight is difficult for many people in spite of learning to eat less and exercise more. In the meantime, the gentle but unrelenting pressure of having to confess the truth to a group of sympathetic friends once a week has worked wonders for most members of the Carrot Sticks.


“There’s a bit of healthy fear in knowing that I have to report in on Friday. The anticipation of reporting to loving friends keeps me in line,” said Diddle.


Membership in the Carrot Sticks is open to anyone. Email ddiddle@wfmc.net for more information.

You have heard the saying that we all need each other. And that is what accountability groups are all about.


An accountability group is a collection of people who support and honestly report to each other on the way to accomplishing a common goal – such as making it through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) or sticking to a diet. Do such groups work?


The short answer is yes. The Carrot Sticks is a low-key accountability group formed by people who wanted to lose weight. The members assert that being held accountable by loving friends goes a long distance toward accomplishing a goal.


Members of the Carrot Sticks have come and gone, but over the years of its existence, the group’s number has held steady at about 30, almost equally divided between men and women. Interacting entirely by email and telephone, members are scattered over the United States and even in foreign countries.


Every Friday morning, each Carrot Stick member sends an email to everyone else listing his or her initial weight, weight last Friday, weight this Friday, net gain or loss for the week and the person’s weight goal by a certain date.

ACCOUNTABILITY GROUPS HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS

MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

Martha Evans Sparks is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by martha evans sparks

One member of the group said, “Knowing Friday is coming – the day we report to the group – helps me be honest and consistent and thus successful.”


The Carrot Sticks was the brainchild of Rev. Daryl Diddle, senior pastor of Wilmore Free Methodist Church in Wilmore, Ky. Five years and about 70 pounds later, Diddle said, “I could not have done it without them. Although I lost 50 pounds over six months without an accountability group, anyone who’s struggled with weight knows that the closer one gets to one’s goal, the harder it is to stay motivated to reach the goal. The group has been invaluable in this regard.”


Shirley McMillan, a Carrot Sticks member who lives in Florida, agrees. “I am still reporting in every Friday,” she said. “The accountability that helped me lose weight continues to be an important motivator to keep the pounds off. I intend to stick with the Carrot Sticks for life as they continue to help me stick to my goals.”


Another member, Judy Metcalf of Wilmore, says the helpfulness of knowing that every Friday she will have to tell the truth is a good incentive for sticking to her diet. But after losing 60 pounds rather easily, she found she was gaining it back in spite