A Healthier Generation

With over 30 percent of the country being obese, it has become increasingly more important to make sure our youth knows the significance of nutrition and good eating habits. As a whole, children have had decreased caloric intake when compared to their intake a decade ago. However, is that enough? Or are there other things we can do to make sure that they are on the right track?

Outside of home, children spend most of their time in school. Schools are known to not have the best choices when it comes to food for students. We are more accustomed to hearing about pizza or chicken nuggets being served at schools and not much about fruits and vegetables. There are some studies being done, however, to figure out how much of an impact schools can have on the food choices that their students make, and the results have been promising thus far.

In one study, researchers modified a lunch room to have the fresh fruit put in attractive bowls or tiered stands, salad served in see-through (to-go) containers, and a sign that read "Last Chance for Fruit" displayed next to fruit at the cash register. Lunch staff at the schools also asked the students if they would like a piece of fruit. The results from the study, conducted by Cornell University’s Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs, showed the amount of fruit that was consumed by students increased by 18 percent, and there was a 25 percent increase in vegetable consumption.

Another method that is being studied out of Australia is schools having a student gardening and cooking program. The program is intended for children to gain a higher interest in healthier foods and hopefully their mindset is more so aimed at making the right food decisions in the future.  The program was also an opportunity for kids to learn about cooking and gardening at an early age.

As parents there are also things that can be done to make sure that your child has healthy options for their school lunch. First, consider what your kids like and don’t like (look over their school menu if you need to).  Then find nutritious healthy alternatives that they wouldn’t mind eating, even when they see their classmates having pizza and chicken nuggets.  Instead of fried chips and snacks, try giving them trail mix, air-popped popcorn, or baked chips. If they like fruit cups and drinks, trying giving them a fresh fruit bowl and 100% fruit juice. If the alternative is close to what they enjoy, it’s more likely that they will eat it.

Let’s make sure that our next generation doesn’t go through the same pitfalls we have. Ultimately, the decision will be up to the person when it comes to what they want to eat, but we have an opportunity now to instill good habits for our youth so that those decisions will hopefully be healthy ones.

You have some other ideas for ensuring a healthier youth? Leave a comment in the box below.








Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Nowadays, a big part of dieting seems to focus on the long and ever-growing list of foods we are supposed to avoid in our weight management journey – but what if I told you there are foods that when eaten in moderation can help us burn a few extra calories?

For example, jalapeno, habanero, and cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, which not only makes your mouth hot, but increase the heat in your body, causing you to burn more calories within roughly three hours of consumption.

Lean meats, such as chicken, lean beef, and turkey are high in protein, which the body must work harder to break down, compared to carbohydrates or fats. The harder your body has to work to break down your food, the faster your metabolism will work, resulting in more calories being burned.   

While these foods, when eaten in moderation, can help you to burn a few extra calories, it’s important to note that the extra calories burned cannot replace the positive effects of a balanced diet and exercise plan. And remember, no matter how healthy the food, too much of it will cause you to gain weight or at worse not help you in losing it.

Do you have any other suggestions for foods that can help us lose weight? If you do, leave them in the comment box below and help someone else eat the right foods to help lose weight.




You Weigh In... On the Scale

Every morning, after endlessly hitting the snooze button, I finally pull myself out of bed and begin my morning routine before heading to the office. But one of the first things I do, every single day, is step on the scale. And the number that is shining back at me can sometimes make or break my day, helping me to determine how “good” I was the previous day or if today I need to do be better to make up for the result.

So when I came in this morning, dwelling on a number that seems to have fluctuated in the wrong direction, I took a look at some of the materials we provide to our weight management providers and realized there’s more to being fit then what then the number that’s on the scale. While your weight is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, it isn’t the only part. A healthy diet helps increase your energy level, skin quality, and endurance. These things can’t always be measured by a number on the scale.

I also looked at some other factors that may result in a fluctuation on the scale. Undigested food, lack of sleep, stress, and other factors can cause weight fluctuation. If I want to see the results I want, I’m going to have to make sure that I’m doing the right things outside of exercising and eating right.

But if you do get off track, that’s ok! No one is perfect and the process is easier said than done. It’s all part of your weight loss journey and tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to set yourself up for the win and a step closer to your goal.  Eventually, you will take enough steps to reach your goal!

And, as always, if you find that you need assistance, contact you weight management counselor. He or she is always available to help you understand the numbers on the scale and how to move forward to reach your goals.


23 Days In - Are You Sticking to Your Weight Related Resolutions?

40% of resolutions include a weight related goal

50% of resolutions are deserted by the end of January

Sounds like a good time to evaluate your weight related resolutions so you can succeed.

Ask yourself?

  1. Do you have a plan? There’s nothing better than when a plan comes together. Having a plan to achieve your weight loss goal will add structure to what you’re trying to do.
  2. Is it realistic? Many times when we set unrealistic goals, don’t reach them, and end up stopping our efforts altogether. Make sure your goal is reasonable, then, once you’ve accomplished your goal you can work on setting a new one!
  3. Have you removed temptations? Temptations always seem be around us leading us to indulgence. Do your best to remove your temptations - rid your house of chips, cookies, pies, and cakes and replace them with fruits and vegetables, lean protein items and healthy snacks.
  4. Do you have a support system? Since 40% of New Year Resolutions involve weight loss, chances are you have a friend or someone you know that is in the same boat as you.  Keep your friends involved in your process, or, better yet, have them join you! Hold each other accountable and encourage each other to keep pushing towards the ultimate goal.

And, don’t forget, this should be a FUN experience for you! This is the opportunity for you to accomplish something that you want to do, so why not enjoy it? Enjoy the New Year and share any weight loss tips you have in the comment section below.







Exercise and Live Longer, Studies Say

Exercising is beneficial to us for many reasons. Most know that exercise helps fight against diseases and other health conditions and has also been founded to put is in a better mood, boost energy, and give us a better quality of life. But did you know that exercise can also increase your life expectancy?

Research by the National Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and other organizations analyzed six different prospective cohort studies of more than 632,000 people ages 40 and older. The study showed that regular, moderate intensity exercise was associated with an increased life expectancy, even when the person exercising had an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI).

You don’t exercise moderately? The World Health Organization’s (WHO) studies show that leisure exercise should be 150 minutes a week, or just about 22 minutes each day, to yield a 3.4 to 4.5 year increase on life expectancy.

Due to factors such as self-reporting participants, the study is not full-proof. However, this research reinforces a common theory: an active life is a healthy life. Even finding the slightest time in your week to exercise will be beneficial for you.

But wait. Before you run out (literally) and start or change your current weight management or exercise program, consult with a specialist or your healthcare provider to make sure you are adding activity to your routine in a safe and healthy way. If you have any ideas on how to safely increase activity levels, share them in the comment box below.





Holiday season has officially arrived! That normally means more of your time will be spent shopping in stores, especially with Thanksgiving coming up next week. However, whether it’s the half gallon of ice cream that’s on sale, or the piece of candy you grab while waiting in the checkout line, there’s just something about that item that makes you want to buy it. Impulse buying is so effective primarily because of the strategy behind it. Fees are paid to retail markets for these items to purposefully be placed in certain areas, such as the end of aisles or the checkout lane. Even the healthiest of dieters could fall victim to impulse buying.

Nine out of ten shoppers make impulse purchases. It can have an unwanted affect on our wallets, and an unhealthy affect on our diets. Women eat more than 14,000 calories a year from impulse purchases, that’s more than 4 pounds worth of calories. Even though males make fewer impulse buys, they double the women’s calorie intake with more than 28,000 a year.

Here’s some ways to avoid impulse buying so you don’t walk out the store with less money and more calories:

Use Cash Checking Out- Using a debit/credit card leaves you more likely to buy impulsively because you may feel the misconception of not spending anything. However, using cash has a more immediate effect. Shoppers that pay with cash spend between 12 and 18 percent less than someone using their card. 

Less Aisles, The Better- Impulse spending goes up 10 percent when the shopper goes through all the aisles. The more items you see, the more likely you are to make an impulse purchase. Make a shopping list before you go into the store and while you’re in the store, only go in the aisles that have the items you’re there for.

Buy What You Need- When you pick up that item ask yourself: Do I REALLY need this? When it comes to an item you’re about to impulsively buy, the answer will most of the time be no. It’s ok to indulge from time to time, but do it wisely. You may also consider whether you can afford buying the item, during these economic times you don’t want to be spending money on things you can’t afford, or need.


Do you have any other ways to avoid impulse buying? Leave a comment in the box below and  help someone save money and calories!






Who Is Your Hero?

Through times of trial and tragedy, when the going gets tough, heroes emerge. For those of us on the Eastern Seaboard, these heroes have come in the face of the first responders, firemen and policemen, community leaders, and everyday people who are lending a hand, donating items, and helping to rebuild our hurricane ravaged towns.

Many of these heroes, when thanked, will tell you that they are just doing their job, but we know it goes beyond that. These men and women have risen above the call of duty and are acting because they care, and for that, we cannot thank them enough.

Outside of national disasters and events that line the front page of our newspapers, there are heroes among us each and every day. These individuals take the face of our parents, family members, friends, or even medical providers who go above and beyond to make sure we are doing better than just ok, they often go unsung and we sometimes forget that they too deserve our utmost gratitude for their impact.

And so, in honor of November being National Diabetes Month, for those of you who are diabetic, DiabetesCare.net is giving you the unique opportunity to show these heroes how much they really mean. By entering their Hero of the Month contest, you have the opportunity to tell your story and recognize a healthcare provider or caretaker that has been important in helping manage your disease on a daily basis. Throughout the month, registered members of DiabetesCare.net will vote to crown November’s Hero.

And… as an even bigger way to say thank you, the winning healthcare provider/caretaker will receive a $500 gift card, while the person that submitted the story will receive a $250 gift card.

For all the rules and additional information about the competition, visit the Hero of the Month page on DiabetesCare.net, and be sure to visit DiabetesCare.net this month and every month as your go-to source for anything diabetes.  

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    Weight loss, nutrition, diet, exercise, education, support, maintenance. Whether you're a professional looking for information about Robard's weight management programs and products or a dieter looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, read on for interesting, informational, and entertaining entries to meet your weight management needs.

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