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Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss

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In this Section....

January Recipes - Click Here

January brings with it a whole new year full of hope and resolutions for a better year than before! This issue's recipes celebrate the new year with dishes that are favorites of the Food Network cooks for their New Year's tables. We'll sample great eats from Emeril, Paula Deen, and even Rachael Ray! My wish for the new year is to see more recipes sent in by our readers. We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at Hope to hear from all of you in the following months, and have a Happy New Year!!!

Ten Steps to a Healthy New Year

The First Step - A Year in Review

The first step to designing a healthy new diet and fitness program is to take a look at what your diet and health have been like for the last 12 months. Think about questions like these:

The Second Step - Setting Goals

The second step is to set goals. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be able to run up and down your stairway without becoming winded? Do you want to reduce cholesterol or lower your blood pressure? Decide what you really want to achieve for your health and diet over the next month and over the next year. Write down your goals in a notebook or in the food diary you may create in step seven.

The Third Step - Determining Your Dietary Needs

There are so many diets that range from low carb to low fat to low calorie. Here just some ideas you might want to consider for your dietary needs:

The fourth Step - Determining Your Dietary Supplement Needs

Unless you have a very healthy diet and no health problems, you may need to take vitamins, minerals or other dietary supplements. Here are some things to think about before taking dietary supplements:

The Fifth Step - Design Your Healthy New Diet

To design your new diet, here is what you need to know:

A healthy diet should give you five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, 25 grams of fiber per day, five or six ounces of protein per day and a small amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids each day. Learn which foods can substitute for the unhealthy foods you have been eating. Here are some ideas:

The Sixth Step - Shopping and Cooking

When you shop for healthy foods buy fresh meats, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits as your main food items. Cooking methods are important for healthy nutrition. Sautéing is better than deep-frying your foods. Frying foods adds fats and calories and doesn't add any nutrition. Steam your vegetables instead of boiling them to mush. Steaming will preserve more of the vitamins found in the vegetables. When you cook your healthy meals at home, be sure to make a little bit extra to save as leftovers to take to work or school as a healthy lunch the next day.

The Seventh Step - Getting Started with a Food Diary

If you are really serious about changing your diet, losing (or gaining) weight and improving your health, you will find that keeping a food diary is key to your success. You can keep track of the foods you eat every day in a notebook. Note the portion sizes and write down the calories you eat every day. Add up the number of calories you eat each day and your total for the week. If you need to lose weight, decrease the number of calories you need to eat each week by 500. By eating 500 fewer calories each day, most people will lose about one pound per week.

The Eight Step - Exercise, Fitness and General Health Goals

Healthy nutrition is just part of a healthy lifestyle. Another component is exercise. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you need to get out and get moving. Walking, running, aerobic exercise and weight lifting are all great exercises. If you want to lose weight, it is important to increase aerobic activity like walking or running. If you need to increase your strength, then you need to start resistance training such as lifting weights. There are health clubs, gyms, personal trainers as well as at-home equipment to get you fit and healthy. Do you smoke? If so, you will really do yourself a favor by quitting. Smoking has been connected to so many chronic you will save a lot of money over the next year if you quit smoking. How much alcohol do you drink? One drink per day has been shown to be beneficial and there are anti-oxidants in red wine. More than one drink per day can be detrimental to your health, however. If you find yourself drinking more than four ounces of wine or twelve ounces of beer each day, then you may need to decrease your consumption of alcohol.

The Ninth Step - Reduce Stress

Stress is detrimental to your health. Stress includes daily events like constant deadlines at work, long drive-times with excess traffic, more activities than time to do them, as well as emotional trauma like death or divorce. Find ways to reduce stress in your life. Exercise is a good way to handle stress, and the benefits are two-fold.

The Tenth Step - Motivation and Maintenance

Sometimes getting started with a new healthy diet and fitness plan is the easy part. Many of us hit occasional road-blocks due to busy schedules, loss of motivation and sometimes we hit weight loss plateaus. Those weight loss plateaus are the times when we feel like we do everything right, but the scale doesn't seem to budge. When this happens, don't give up. Remember, even making just small changes can impact your health in big ways.

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Submitted by: Maria Albus

Making Your New Years Resolutions Work

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..Happy New Year! It’s a time to reflect on changes we wish to make and resolve to achieve these changes.

Getting fit is usually a top new year’s resolution that by February 1 st is as stale as Aunt Rose’s fruitcake. This year try being realistic and make achievable goals. Create a step ladder for your resolution. Success for losing weight and becoming healthy can be achieved easier by breaking down the larger goal into smaller, more achievable goals. Here are 6 “adjustments” that can help make your weight loss goal obtainable this year.

  1. Cancel your subscription to sugar. Not only white sugar, but also refined white flour products. Remember to read labels on processed foods. Sugar can be disguised as high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, xylitol and sorbitol. Also, check sugar grams on the labels. Four grams of sugar equal 1 teaspoon. So, a 12 oz soda with 40 grams of sugar contains 10 teaspoons. You can save 40 teaspoons of sugar a day if you can exchange 4 regular sodas for water our club soda!
  2. Eat a palm full of lean protein at every meal. Lean protein consists of white chicken & turkey, lean beef, lean pork, egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese, fish and shellfish. Another convient source is whey protein powder. You can find it in health food stores and most supermarkets. Protein slows up the insulin spike in your meals; keeping your blood sugar stabile. Protein contains the amino acids that are the building blocks to lean muscle mass.
  3. Eat plenty of dark red, yellow, and green things. Whole fruits and vegetables are great essential carbohydrates. They provide vitamins, minerals, and added substances that scientists are discovering each day. These substances include phytochemicals and antioxidants which can assist in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. Green leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, chard, and salad greens. Cruciferous vegetables are things like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts.
  4. Eat extra fiber everyday. Fiber is essential for everything from proper digestion, having your body feel full, and for disease fighting. Here is another great insensitive for adding fiber to your diet. As fiber digests, it breaks down into acids that trigger a fat-burning process. Thirty gram daily is recommended. Eating a super high fiber cereal like All Bran can give you your daily fiber allowance in a single bowl.
  5. Eat some good “fats” everyday. Fats are crucial to brain, nerve, and cell functions. The goal is to eat “good” unsaturated fats and small amounts of “bad” saturated fats. Good fats are naturally occurring. They have not been damaged by food processing. The natural fats in fish, nuts, avocados, nuts and extra-virgin olive oil are all examples of good fats. On the “bad” list: trans fats (like margarine) partially hydrogenated oils, and fats found in non-lean protein.
  6. Drink 12 glasses of water each day. I say 12 so you will at least drink 8. It will help suppress your appetite, vital to healthy cell functions, muscle growth, elimination of body toxins, and assists in metabolizing fats. If you do not drink sufficient water, you can impair every aspect of your physiology.  By not drinking enough water, many people incur excess body fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased digestive efficiency and organ function, increased toxicity in the body, joint and muscle soreness and water retention.

Make this year the year you get it right! Focus on what you would like to change, learn and create small goals in order to achieve big, life changing goals, and have a great 2008!

Written by: Marianne Westervelt

Weight Loss Surgery can be scary words or they can be words of hope. Most SSBBWs have thought of or had someone mention weight loss surgery. It's obviously not for everyone. There are SSBBWs who have accepted that they are large and always will be. There are some who like being large and don't want to change. And there are others who live day to day with pain, both physical and emotional, of carrying the extra weight that have various reasons for wanting to do something about it.

Everyone has a view on weight loss surgery be it good or bad or even neutral. Which is perfectly fine as we are all entitled to our opinions. One reader has made the decision to have weight loss surgery and will take us on her journey. What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery? Have you had weight loss surgery? Our forums are available for you to discuss and give your views on this topic.

Click here to read about our readers journey with weight loss surgery.

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