Almost everyone wants to live a healthier lifestyle, but sometimes figuring out what that really means can be tough, and making major change can be intimidating. The truth is that often living a healthier life is not about making massive changes, and even simple changes to your daily routine can pay big dividends in the long run. The SPLENDA LIVING™ Blog is giving real, simple, tangible advice to make living a healthier lifestyle an attainable reality. Check out our latest posts below, including information about healthy eating, exercising, and how SPLENDA® Sweeteners fit in with a healthy eating plan!
If all you ever hear is “diets don’t work,” it’s easy to become discouraged about trying to lose weight. You even may have tried a few fad diets yourself and gained first-hand experience with their long-term ineffectiveness. But that doesn’t mean there is no hope in controlling your weight. What it may mean is you’re ready to forget about fad diets and turn to the research on what does work for weight management. Here’s a short recap of some of the latest findings that can help, including related weight loss tips.
As you read this, it’s a good bet that within the last few weeks you have been reading all about how to overhaul your diet in 2018. New Year’s resolutions about changes in eating seem to have become part of the modern rituals of the beginning of a new year.
This year I want to teach you something that may help you not only lose a few pounds, but also help you acquire a skill that I believe has been lost in the middle of the journey. This “lost skill” is part of the problem that got some of us into trouble with our day to day eating habits. I would like to teach you the art of menu planning, which can help you enjoy more family time and master a skill that you can pass on to the next generation.
The beginning of a new year is the time when many people make resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle.
Are you among those who are determined that “this is the year I’m going to start an exercise plan and eat healthier!”? Without a doubt you are one of millions who are mentally geared up and excited about kicking off 2018 with a healthy lifestyle plan.
While you may not like it, exercise – regular physical activity – is an important crucial component of your plan. The benefits of an exercise plan are many, even during cold weather. “Exercise boosts your immunity during cold and flu season. Just a few minutes a day can help prevent simple bacterial and viral infections,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a registered dietitian, there are certain reoccurring themes that I observe this time of year. In December, it’s all about enjoying the holidays (as it should be!) and eating the festive (and often indulgent) foods that go along with them. Come January, it’s common to want to get back on track, start a diet, and ring in the New Year with healthy habits. As February and March roll around, it becomes more common to get sick of said diet, feel deprived of certain foods, and totally throw in the towel on those healthy habits.
This pattern typically continues throughout the year – the beginning of spring sparks the diet mentality again, and by the end of the summer, that diet might be over. Even though it may be common, it’s also flat out exhausting to start and stop dieting like this year after year. What if I told you that there’s a way to end this cycle – a way to put the brakes on this dieting rollercoaster once and for all? This is the foundation of the work I do with the clients I counsel. Keep reading to learn how you can not only start 2018 on a healthy note, but also stop dieting for good.
You will soon ring in the New Year after surviving another holiday season filled with parties, from soup to nuts festive meals, and plenty of decadent cookies. Excellent! But, let me guess: you will have packed on a few more pounds and you’ll be on the lookout for the latest, greatest “eat this, don’t eat that,” restrictive diet to lose weight. Like so many other consumers, you'll want to take off those pesky pounds (aka “holiday weight gain”) and other pounds you’ve accumulated over the years.
Most of us have repeated this cycle more times than we’d like to admit. That’s because it can be hard to stick to a diet, eat healthfully and lose weight, particularly in our food-focused, convenience driven world.
No worries, no guilt. Don’t beat yourself up!
Oh yes, it’s that time of year again when the holiday festivities (aka less than healthy food choices and eating habits) kick-off with nibbles on that bucket of leftover Halloween candy, onward during Thanksgiving, and through family and holiday gatherings in December. They come to an end (thankfully!) with a New Year’s Day brunch or afternoon spread to indulge in while watching a football game or two.
While it’s easy to throw up your hands during these two months and throw caution to the wind, that’s not the best choice for a waistline or health in general. And you do have a choice! How about this year you take on a new attitude to deal with the onslaught of indulgence this time of year?
Your new attitude? Believing that you can enjoy myriad holiday festivities while you, generally speaking, practice healthy holiday eating, albeit with a sprinkling of splurges.
Here are 10 tips for healthy holiday eating:
I love Halloween. As an “all foods fit” dietitian, a holiday that celebrates all things pumpkin, chocolate and candy is right up my alley. But did you know that Americans consume 3.4 pounds of candy over Halloween weekend?! While I believe in enjoying candy in moderation, it’s also important to be mindful of the amount of candy and added sugar you’re consuming – especially on a holiday where the numbers can really add up.
Here’s how it stacks up:
The average trick-or-treater consumes 3 cups of sugar on Halloween night alone! That’s 48 Tablespoons of sugar and 2,322 calories. For reference, the American Heart Association recommends 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar per day – meaning on Halloween, trick-or-treaters eat about 20 times the daily recommended amount! That’s not even counting the days after Halloween! And these trends are not just limited to those going door to door – nearly three-quarters of U.S. households pass out candy, and a majority choose their favorite candies to pass out. Additionally, 81% of parents also admit to eating their children’s candy.
Here’s what you can do:
You’ve heard the message to reduce sugar loud and clear from nutrition experts, including in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. And it’s sinking in. You’re trying to reduce the amount of added sugars you eat because you know that’s what is best for your health. At this point you’ve tackled the obvious – cut down on regularly sweetened soft drinks, ate fewer desserts, tried a few no added sugar recipes, and reached into the candy jar at work less often. I’ve assembled a cadre of life hacks here to help you further reduce the amount of added sugars you eat. But first, a few basics.
“Sugar” Really Means What?
When you hear the term “sugar,” you think of the white granular stuff you keep in a canister at home and see in packets when you eat out. That’s just one source of sugar in our diet. The Dietary Guidelines actually use the term “added sugars.” Added sugars are all sources of sugars (note the plural, sugars), that are added to foods by food manufacturers during processing and/or packaging. Some common names of added sugars are: dextrose, sucrose, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, corn sweeteners, honey, and molasses.
So your goal is really to reduce added sugars.
At one time or another we’ve all experienced the jaw-dropping discovery that something we believed to be true, isn’t. I still can recall the unsettling moments in my childhood when I found out the truth about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy! If you’ve had similar situations where something that you thought was a fact suddenly became fiction, then you understand the power of myths.
If you’ve had similar situations where something that you thought was a fact suddenly became fiction, then you understand the power of myths.
Myths often begin as a way to explain things we don’t understand. Based on my 30+ years as a consulting dietitian I know that over time myths can become “common knowledge” as more and more people accept and repeat them. Soon, there’s no one left to question whether that information is true or not, and the myth becomes part of our reality.
It’s 2017, and we’re no longer just about calories. Counting calories is out, and counting nutrients is in. For the most part, this is great news because calorie counting can be a bit tedious, can take the joy out of eating and sometimes, ignores actual nutrients in food. But still, calories do matter. At the end of the day, losing or maintaining weight comes down to calories in (what we eat) versus calories out (what we burn).
While there’s no need to meticulously count the calories of everything you eat, it’s still a good idea to have a general idea of what’s in your food, and where the empty calories might be coming from. Empty calories are those that contribute calories but not positive nutrition.
Keep reading to see how you can save plenty of calories that might show up in some unexpected places – and how to easily reduce calories from added sugars by using SPLENDA® Sweeteners.