DESIGNING A HEALTHY DIET FOR THE NEW YEAR

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The majority of these resolutions focus on diet in attempts to lose weight and be healthier. A new year is the perfect time to jumpstart a healthy diet to make the changes you want to see for yourself throughout the year. However, research shows 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. Many people strive for unrealistic goals, which ultimately set them up for failure.

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EXERCISE HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

While exercise has long been known for its positive effects on physical health and its ability to heighten energy and help manage chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, exercise is now being lauded for its beneficial effects on the brain.   These benefits touch almost every aspect of life. Exercise helps sharpen short-term memory and improve long-term memory. This happens because exercise can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate….

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GETTING STARTED AND STICKING WITH IT

As we kick off 2018, you may be thinking about resolutions pertaining to your health and fitness. It’s easy to determine some ways to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s not always as simple to stay motivated and make the new commitments part of your lifestyle. Now is the perfect time to set goals, whether it be for the number of days you intend to work out each week, how many steps you want to take each day or healthy meals you want to prepare for your family.

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Other popular diet plans include the Mediterranean diet, which features whole foods and allows for a chance at steady weight loss. The Dash Diet lowers sodium and is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This diet works to lower blood pressure. The Flexitarian Diet is geared toward eating mostly vegetables and fruits, although some meats are allowed. The Mayo Clinic Diet lets you shape your own diet plan and emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Other top choices are the Atkins Diet, the Biggest Loser Diet, the HMR program and Nutrisystem. Before starting any diet program, be sure to consult with your primary care physician.


Sources and Resources

http://health.usnews.com/diets

http://www.simplethriftyliving.com

Commercial diets have become all the rage, although they are systemized and often expensive.


Weight Watchers is listed among the best of these diets. Pros of this plan include the freedom to eat what you want. No food is off limits, so this gives you the flexibility to shape your own diet. One of the cons is participation can be pricey, though this program is often considered to be a good investment. The program gives every food and beverage a smart points value. Foods with higher saturated fats and sugar levels have higher points. Choices that are filling have the fewest points. A balanced diet is optimal. Meetings are optional or you can go solo and opt for online only. However, proponents emphasize the value of the support system. For an extra cost, you can have a personal coaching subscription at $54.95 per month. A mobile app offers personalized food and fitness tracking. Many Weight Watcher members stick with the program even after they have shed unwanted pounds.


In late 2015, Weight Watchers introduced its new Beyond the Scale Program, emphasizing eating healthier, having better fitness and learning skills that shift your mindset. According to the program, you can eat more fruits and vegetables because they are free foods. There are a set number of points for each day and an extra number for the week to use as needed or desired. Exercise is emphasized. Cost varies.

COMMERCIAL DIETS: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

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

Go to www.weightwatchers.com/us/ to find out more.


The Jenny Craig Commercial Weight Loss Program is also considered safe and effective. It is consistently at the top of the list of best diet programs. This program emphasizes delivered prepackaged meals low in calories and fat. It restricts caloric intake to 1,200 to 2,000 calories per day. One of the cons with this program is that home-cooked and restaurant meals are discouraged. Also, it can be rather expensive at $100 a week. Jenny Craig customers have access to an online meal planner, progress tracker and food journal. There is also a mobile app that allows tracking on the go. Nutrition experts who tout this plan emphasize the importance of satiety. It includes the best energy-dense foods so you feel full longer. For example, before a meal, you might have a “soupatizer,” and you are free to add as many vegetables to each meal as you desire. Jenny Craig offers a variety of entrees running the gamut from new global flavors such as cheesy chicken enchiladas to desserts such as chocolate lava cake. Portions are small, but you eat three meals and two snacks a day. Exercise is tailored to your fitness level and requires about 30 minutes most days of the week. You get a personalized meal and exercise plan plus one-on-one counseling sessions with a Jenny Craig consultant.