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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We’re often told how important it is to stay hydrated. Water is one of the essential elements involved in the proper functioning of the body, helping it perform at its optimal level. Instead of sugary beverages such as sodas, drink more water to support a healthier body and brain.


Sodas are one of the major sources of added sugars in the diets of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A diet soda seems to be a health-conscious choice when it comes to carbonated beverages. However, there are more ingredients in a diet soda than you may be aware of. Diet sodas are advertised as being lower in calories and a healthier option. However, they still contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.


The main reason people start drinking diet soda is to cut back on calories in order to lose weight. A study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center found the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater the risk of becoming overweight. Consuming two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500 percent. Just because diet sodas are low in calories or have zero calories does not mean they will help you lose weight. The artificial sweeteners added to diet sodas are known to have the same effect on the body as regular sugar. These sweeteners are still able to trigger insulin, which sends the body into fat storage, which then contributes to weight gain. Artificial sweeteners are also known to have a

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP DRINKING DIET SODAS

TANIQUA WARD, M.S.

TaNiqua Ward is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by taniqua ward

more intense flavor, which can eventually dull your taste buds to the taste of natural sugars such as those found in fruit.


Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to a variety of adverse health effects, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as liver disease, gout and tooth decay.


So what may be a better option than a diet soda? If you don’t like the non-flavor of water, there are other healthy alternatives. Try drinking sparkling mineral water, tea or coffee. These are all better options than diet soda. If you choose to drink a diet soda with zero calories, you might as well drink water with zero calories. At least water provides nutritional benefits to the body, unlike a diet soda.