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Healthy Easter Tips, Recipes

Enjoy your Easter celebration without ruining your diet.  Use these healthy Easter recipes and tips to make your celebration fun, festive and fit.

Calorie Counts, Swaps for Easter Candy
Weight Loss Spotlight10

Faith-Based Weight Loss Programs Show Promise

Tuesday April 15, 2014

faith based weight lossIf your church provides you with a sense of community and support, you may be able to use those pillars to make your weight loss program more effective.  Churches across the country are beginning to offer faith-based weight loss programs.  According to research into the programs, they often work, especially among minorities.

Get Support, Honor Your Values

So why should you go to your church to lose weight?  It might seem odd to head to the chapel instead of the gym to slim down, but in many ways it makes sense.  The people who share your faith are also most likely to share your values and your priorities.  They can offer meaningful input when you are struggling to maintain your commitment to a diet or exercise program.  In addition, these are people who you are likely to see on a regular basis when you attend services.  Seeing and communicating with them may help to hold you accountable.

Find or Start a Faith Based Weight Loss Program

If you are ready to lose weight, ask your local pastor or rabbi if there is a weight loss program in your community.  If not, consider starting one.  You don't need to be an expert to begin.  Simply gather friends and members of the congregation to meet and share recipes, walk or participate in other physical activities, and communicate about diet successes and failures.  The group can also follow any of my free e-courses together and support each other through the process.

And remember to connect with me on Facebook, on Twitter, at Google+ and through my newsletter.

(photo source: morguefile)

Healthy Monday Tip: Manage Holiday Stress to Avoid Overeating

Monday April 14, 2014

holiday stressThis week, millions of families will join together to celebrate Passover or Easter.  For some dieters, the gatherings cause stress,.  Holiday schedules can make sticking to your workout routine a little bit harder and navigating meal time can be tricky.

Get Diet Support

If you are trying to lose weight, don't be afraid to ask for help.  If there is one thing that successful "losers" have told me repeatedly it's that they would not have lost weight if they didn't learn to reach out to friends and family for support, especially during holiday gatherings.  Sound scary?  Use these ideas to approach your loved ones.

If you are preparing the holiday meal, don't be afraid to add a few healthy holiday items to your table.  If you are visiting someone else's home, call ahead to see if the host or hostess would be willing to add a diet friendly dish or two that you prepare.

Get Creative to Manage Snacks and Sweet Treats

Another tactic that I often use is to modify the 80/20 Rule (my favorite eating plan) for daily use.  So, instead of indulging throughout the whole day, I choose an hour or two to make more relaxed food choices.  Then I stick to a clean diet during the rest of the day.  I also like to keep large glass pitchers of orange/basil water around because they look festive and help me avoid unhealthy snacks.

Got a tip to avoid overeating?  Share it on my Facebook page!

(photo source: Jessica Miller)

Let's Get Honest About Honey, Says FDA

Thursday April 10, 2014

is honey good for your diet?If you use honey to sweeten your food or drinks, new guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration should make buying the product a little bit easier.  The FDA has drafted guidelines to clarify the use of the word "honey."  According to the new recommendations, manufacturers that blend corn syrup, sugar or other products with honey will have to say so on the label.

Is Honey Good for My Diet?

Honey, blended or otherwise, may or may not be the best choice for dieters. Some healthy eaters prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners and choose natural alternatives instead.  This isn't necessarily a bad idea since some researchers are finding that use of artificial sweeteners may cause you to crave more sweet foods in the long run.  But that doesn't mean that honey or other natural sugars are good for you, especially when consumed in large quantities.  Honey is a form of sugar and eating too much sugar, natural or otherwise, can cause problems.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

If you are trying to lose weight or clean up your eating habits, trying to reduce your sugar intake is the perfect first step.  You may not realize how much sugar you consume each day because hidden sugar is added to many foods that aren't sweet, like salad dressing and pasta sauces.  Dieters are especially vulnerable because many low-fat foods are high in sugar.

Take the quiz to find out if you consume too much sugar, then make small changes to reduce your intake, increase your energy level and lose weight.

(photo source: morguefile)

 

Are Juice Diets Safe?

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Peaches Geldof juice dietThe untimely death of 25-year old socialite Peaches Geldof has raised questions about the safety of juice diets.  According to some reports, the young mother had been trying to lose weight by drinking an all-juice diet for weeks at a time. While investigators do not know the cause of Geldof's death, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association told the Daily Mail that "surviving just on fruit is a dangerous diet."

Is Your Diet Safe?

Common sense is your best defense when you choose a diet.  Any weight loss plan that eliminates entire food groups or promises unrealistic results is probably not based on good science and may not be safe.  Liquid diets and/or very low calories diets (those that provide 800 calories per day or less) generally require medical supervision.

Choose a Diet that is Safe and Effective

Sometimes, quick weight loss plans can be effective in the short term.  But in most cases, weight loss plans that deliver a 1-2 pound weight loss per week and include real (solid) food from all food groups are most effective in the long run.  It might be tempting to try a trendy, extreme plan but the results usually aren't sustainable over the long run, and the diet could cause more harm than good.

Get informed before you try juicing or any other trendy weight loss plan:

(photo source: Dell Inc/Wikimedia Commons)

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