Nutrition Health Review


Nutrition Health Review provides consumers updates on the latest medical research, news, trends, and products in nutrition and healthy living.

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smaller goals. 6 For example, if your New Year's resolution is to consistently exercise five times a week, first, set a realistic amount of time to achieve this goal—say, 6 months—and then start with a smaller, short-term goal of exercising 1 to 2 days a week for one month. Once you've met this short-term goal, set a goal of working out 3 days a week for a month, and so on, always working toward your 6-month goal of exercising five days a week. 3. SELF-MONITOR AND KEEP A JOuRNAL. Research shows that people who make themselves accountable by self-monitoring are more successful at losing weight. 7 One way to monitor yourself is by keeping a daily or weekly journal for tracking your progress. A journal can help you stay mindful of how your actions positively or negatively impact your ability to succeed, and can serve as a warning device if you start to slide off track. 5 A journal can also be used to reinforce positive behavior when you are achieving your milestones. 4. PERIODICALLY EvALuATE YOuR PROGRESS. Remember that journal you'll be keeping? Periodically flip back to the previous weeks to review your progress and gauge how well you are sticking to your plan. 5 Take stock of your situation, and if you're slacking off, make any adjustments necessary to get yourself back on track. This can also help you formulate a better plan for next year by identifying any problems or road blocks you've encountered this year. Ask yourself: Are you meeting your weekly goals? Have you started to slide back into old habits? Is your environment set up to help you succeed (e.g., Is there junk food in the pantry or a pack of cigarettes lingering in dresser drawer?). 5 5. GET SOCIAL. Studies show that people with strong social support are much more successful at lifestyle changes than those without social support. 8–10 Not only can people with similar interests help keep you accountable, they can also offer encouragement when you are struggling and positive reinforcement when you're doing well. Find an online group message board on a fitness social media site or participate in a weekly in-person group meeting with other Want to Lose Weight? Keep a Food Journal, Don't Skip Meals, and Avoid Going Out to Lunch W omen who want to lose weight should faithfully keep a food journal and avoid skipping meals and eating in restaurants—especially at lunch— suggests research from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In a study by McTiernan et al, investigators looked at the impact of a wide range of self-monitoring and diet-related behaviors and meal patterns on weight change among overweight and obese postmenopausal women. What they discovered is that women who kept food journals consistently lost about 6 pounds more than those who did not; women who reported skipping meals lost almost 8 fewer pounds than women who did not; and women who ate out for lunch at least weekly lost on average 5 fewer pounds than those who ate out less frequently (eating out often at all meal times was associated with less weight loss, but the strongest association was observed with lunch) "For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the No. 1 piece of advice based on these study results would be to keep a food journal to help meet daily calorie goals. It is difficult to make changes to your diet when you are not paying close attention to what you are eating," said McTiernan. Source: McTiernan et al. Self-monitoring and eating- related behaviors are associated with 12-month weight loss among postmenopausal overweight-to-obese women in dietary weight loss intervention. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(9):1428–1435. Nutrition Health Review 4 Willing and Able, continued from p3 Willing and Able, continued on p6 * FAST FACT! Time for a smoke? One cigarette reduces your life by 11 minutes. Source: BMJ. 2000 Jan 1;320(7226):53.

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