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Avoid holiday weight gain with these three easy strategies

posted Nov 18, 2011, 7:25 PM by Mike Chen   [ updated Mar 21, 2012, 9:07 PM ]

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There’s nothing better than spending time with family and friends over the holidays. Unfortunately, a majority of the time we spend laughing and catching up usually revolves around a massive feast. It’s no wonder that so many people resolve to lose weight in January – they’ve spent November and December eating with reckless abandon!

This year, set a goal before the holidays to maintain your weight through the season of parties, dinners, and treats so you’ll have no regrets starting the new year. Here are the top three ways to keep the weight off:

  • Maintain or refresh your workout routine.
    If you already have an established exercise routine, stick with it! Find the time to reap the immunity boosting, stress busting, and sanity saving rewards that it provides. If you aren’t regularly exercising, try to at least engage in regular daily walks to keep your metabolism revved and to burn some calories. Sneak in some brisk walking while you’re shopping for presents at the mall or park near the perimeter of the lot – you might have to anyway with all those other shoppers out and about!
  • Save treats for special occasions only.
    Are you a baking machine around the holidays? Try to avoid making an abundance of sweet breads, cookies, and pies to keep on hand over the holidays. While you might have good intentions of being able to offer something to unexpected guests, the reality is that you’ll be the one who ends up eating what you make. No treats in the kitchen means less temptation to resist! Certainly whip up whatever dish you’re known for and bring it to parties and family functions – just make sure to leave the leftovers with your host as a sweet reminder that you were there.
  • Make realistic, sustainable changes.
    Now is not the time to try a fast or a cleanse as a way to offset eating binges. You might lose a few pounds, but once you resume normal eating, they’ll quickly come back. Instead, make small changes and swaps that you can live with well past the holiday season. Switch out your daily soda habit for sparkling water with fruit. Make veggies cover most of your plate at dinner time and give a small sliver to meat and anything starchy. Turn commercial breaks into family push-up and sit-up challenges. Whatever changes you decide to implement, try to stick with them until they become second nature to you.
Nutrilite® Exclusively from Amway  ©2011 All rights reserved.

Top Three Tips for Weight Loss

posted Nov 11, 2011, 10:20 PM by Mike Chen   [ updated Apr 21, 2012, 10:31 AM ]

The formula for weight loss seems simple enough: Take in fewer calories than you burn through normal activity or regular exercise, and you should lose weight.

Of course, for anyone who’s ever embarked on a dreaded “diet” or intense exercise regimen, you know that losing weight is anything but simple.

Don’t make it any harder than it has to be! Follow these three simple tips, and you’ll never feel deprived or hungry as you’re trying to lose weight.

  1. Eat More Often. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you eat everything in sight and not all the time, but to keep your body’s metabolism revved up, you need food on a regular basis. A lot of people make the mistake of skipping breakfast or snacks between meals as a way to “save” calories for later, but doing this will just set you up to feel hungry and miserable – and likely lead to overeating later in the day – definitely not what you want. Make a conscious effort to eat a portion-controlled healthy breakfast and experiment with eating five to six “mini meals” of around 250 to 300 calories throughout the day. You’ll keep calories in check and you’ll never feel hungry, which will make sticking to your healthy eating plan something you can do for the rest of your life. Thinking of the changes you make to your eating habits as permanent will help you keep the weight off for good! Try healthy breakfast or in-between meal options like meal bars, meal replacement shakes, and 100-calorie snack bars.
  2. Make Time for Exercise. When you prepare to lose weight, do you mostly focus on changing your eating habits? While this is definitely part of the equation, you’ll also want to dust off your workout shoes to see greater results. By combining diet and exercise in your weight-loss plan, you’ll not only drop pounds faster, you’ll build lean muscle, which can help fuel greater calorie burning throughout the day. Plus, the more calories you burn through solid sweat sessions means you can afford to be a little less stringent about what you’re eating, and this can help you feel less deprived. Schedule your workouts into your day and treat them like you would any important appointment – non-negotiable. Here’s a great workout DVD that can help you fit in a complete workout in as little as 10 minutes. Build up a home gym so that there’s no excuse to miss a day, with resistance bands and a stability ball.
  3. Fill Up With Fiber. Fiber-rich foods take longer to digest, which means they can help you stay full longer. They also tend to be choices that are naturally lower in calories, such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Make it a goal to fill a majority of your plate with fiber-rich foods, with smaller amounts of lean protein and low-fat dairy selections. You can also supplement your fiber intake with convenient powder that can be sprinkled into liquids or onto food.

Make these three tips your personal weight-loss mantra, and you’ll be shedding in no time.

Nutrilite® Exclusively from Amway  ©2011 All rights reserved.

Picky Eater? Get Kids Involved in Making Healthy Choices

posted Nov 11, 2011, 10:12 PM by Mike Chen   [ updated Mar 21, 2012, 9:07 PM ]

Is mealtime a constant struggle in your household? If your kids are refusing to eat the healthy, colorful, balanced meals you’re serving, it might be time to give them a little control.

Of course, by control, we don’t mean that chicken nuggets and mac ’n’ cheese are your new go-to nightly menu. We do mean that putting kids in charge of the menu, with a carefully selected list of healthy options they can choose from, might mean they’re more likely to be onboard with what you serve if they feel like they played a part in the selection.

Here’s how to make it work:

  • Breakfast: Have a variety of healthy cereals on hand that kids can choose from. Instead of dictating what they eat, let them pick. Do the same with a variety of fruits, healthy spreads for whole wheat toast, even cut up veggies if you’re making omelettes. Kids can pick their own fillings!  
  • Lunch: Pack lunches in the evening and make it a family event. Set up a sandwich assembly station with a variety of whole wheat breads, lean meats such as chicken or turkey, and a variety of veggie fixings. Let kids pick their bread and meat, and let them know they have to choose at least one veggie to go on their sandwich. Set out low-calorie condiments like mustard or encourage kids to be creative with toppings such as hummus or mashed avocado. Round out their lunch pails with veggie crudités, low-calorie dip, yogurt, and fruit.  
  • Dinner: Before you go grocery shopping for the week, round up healthy recipes you’re thinking about preparing. Have a quick family huddle and put democracy into action by asking everyone to vote for their favorite meal. Prepare the top vote getters throughout the week for family mealtime with no drama.

Put these practices into action and spend less time arguing and more time eating!

Nutrilite® Exclusively from Amway  ©2011 All rights reserved.

Make Healthy Changes Now for a Happier, Healthier Old Age

posted Nov 11, 2011, 10:02 PM by Mike Chen   [ updated Mar 21, 2012, 9:08 PM ]

Over the past century, technological advancements have made it possible to chat virtually, send packages across the country literally overnight, and beam photos of new grandchildren to anxious grandparents many ZIP codes removed.

Despite the many inventions and innovations that save us time in modern society, nobody has quite figured out how to stop the clock, which means that no matter how young we feel, the natural act of aging marches on.

September is International Self-Awareness Month, a good time to take stock of where you are in life. It’s also a good time to assess where you stand in terms of your health, because the good news about aging is that taking preventive health measures can help you slow down the clock and keep you feeling your best as you age!

Here are some areas to focus on this month and beyond to make sure you keep your body feeling as young as you do:

  • Exercise:  The old adage “use it or lose it” is particularly true when it comes to your body. The less you use it, the more likely you are to lose mobility, function, flexibility, and strength. If you don’t currently have a fitness routine, consider adding:
    • Endurance exercises such as jogging or walking to keep your heart healthy.
    • Strength exercises, which can build muscle and ensure continued independence down the road. Strength and weight-bearing exercises are very important for both men and women, but have an especially protective effect on preventing osteoporosis as we age.
    • Balance exercises can help you counteract falls as you age. They don’t have to be hard, either. Try balancing on one foot and build up the time that you can maintain the pose, or practice jumping from one foot to the other to build your balance.
    • Flexibility exercises, such as deep stretching, which helps keep you limber and can also help you avoid injuries and falls later in life.
  • Challenge your mind. Working out your brain may help stimulate connections between nerve cells and even help you generate new cells. Fortunately, there are many enjoyable ways to keep your mind limber. Read a book, complete Sudoku or crossword puzzles, or take up a craft such as painting, drawing, knitting, or woodworking.
  • Age-proof your diet. Eating a diet filled with nutrient-dense foods over sugary or fatty fare is your best bet when it comes to reaching old age in good health. That means loading up on fruits; vegetables; whole grains; healthy fats from sources such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados; and choosing lean protein sources such as chicken or fish. As we age, our bodies naturally demand fewer calories to function, so it becomes even more important to fill your daily caloric demands with healthy, good-for-you food.

Start incorporating these healthy-aging strategies now, no matter what your current age. You’ll thank your younger self in your golden years!

Nutrilite® Exclusively from Amway  ©2011 All rights reserved.

Find Out How Fit You Are

posted Nov 11, 2011, 9:20 PM by Mike Chen   [ updated Mar 21, 2012, 12:39 PM ]

nutrilite® wellness
How fit are you? While you might be able to bench press a lot of weight or run for miles and miles, health and fitness are made up of many factors. There are indicators that you can see and feel, but there are also measures of health and fitness that can only be gauged by your health professional, such as cholesterol level and blood pressure. Check out your stats and read on to find out how you can improve so you can be optimally fit and healthy.
  • Weight: Carrying extra weight increases the risk for health conditions* such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and osteoarthritis.
  • It also impacts your self-esteem and confidence and can dampen your desire to participate in activities you enjoy. Don’t wait for your weight to lead to other health problems. There are three factors you can assess to determine if you need to lose weight: your BMI, your waist measurement, and your family health history.
    • BMI: Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common way to assess whether your current weight is problematic and should be reduced. People with a large percentage of muscle mass may get a skewed result, and this method could underestimate body fat in adults over the age of 65. You should also assess your waist circumference and family health history to get a clearer picture of whether your weight is negatively impacting your health.
      View this chart to calculate your BMI.

      If your BMI falls in the Overweight or Obese category, that’s a good sign you need to start thinking seriously about conquering your weight.
    • Waist Measurement: Storing excess fat in your waist, as opposed to your hips or thighs, poses a greater risk to your health because it can raise blood cholesterol levels and lower the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

      Measure your waist circumference with a tape measure. Over 35 inches for women or over 40 inches for men is a sign to take control.
    • Risk Factors: Looking at your family health history can provide a clue as to whether or not you should be concerned about your weight. Does your family health history include weight-related conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, or sleep apnea?

      If you have two or more of these health concerns or know family members who have struggled with these issues, definitely consider tackling your weight.
  • Internal Measures: Your cholesterol levels and blood pressure are other indicators of how fit and healthy you are on the inside. Get your numbers regularly checked by a health professional to make sure yours are in the normal range.
Mental Health: Finally, being mentally happy is an important component of health. Work on improving relationships and focusing on activities that make you truly happy. If you have areas of health and fitness that aren’t ideal, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make, such as finding some type of physical activity you enjoy and engaging in it for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. Tweaks to your diet should include cutting out added sugar and fat while focusing on lean protein, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados.
Try to incorporate changes that you can make for a lifetime over fast fixes that won’t last. Make your health and fitness a priority every day!

*NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults.

Nutrilite® Exclusively from Amway  ©2011 All rights reserved.

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