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Scaling Back: 5 ways to manage your weight

(Family Features) For many people who wish to work toward a healthier weight, one of the greatest obstacles is figuring out where to begin.

These tips from SlimFast consultant and registered dietitian Maryann Walsh show it doesn’t take a drastic lifestyle overhaul to make an impact.

Eat Mindfully
Many people who struggle with their weight benefit from being more conscious about what they’re eating and why. For example, consider your eating habits, such as eating even when you’re not hungry whether that’s because it’s mealtime and you think you should eat, you’re satisfying a craving or using a tasty snack to cope with stress.

Recognizing why you’re eating is an important step toward correcting destructive eating patterns, but so is paying attention to the other details of the eating experience, including what you eat and how it makes you feel. Ultimately, this may allow you to choose healthier foods that nourish your body for the long-term, rather than the brief satisfaction that comes with less nutritious choices.

Consider Intermittent Fasting
One weight-loss method many people find success using is intermittent fasting, which involves abstaining from all food and beverages for a specified time period each day or week. While going too long without food can sometimes lead to excess hunger then overeating later, in shorter, controlled fasting timeframes one can often more easily achieve a caloric deficit, which is required for weight loss.

Prepare for your fasting phase by choosing foods that support satiety. Options like SlimFast’s Intermittent Fasting line of meal bars and protein shakes can help avoid a sense of deprivation with tasty flavors like the Vanilla Cupcake Snack Shake Mix and Vanilla Almond Crunch Complete Meal Bar. The shake mixes deliver 15 grams of slow-digesting protein, compared to whey protein, to help curb hunger, along with more than 20 vitamins and minerals. The meal bars clock in with 15 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber.

Manage Stress
When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, which also raises insulin and can drive hunger and trigger cravings for comfort foods. In fact, that’s the very reason people tend to overeat when they’re under pressure. Light exercise and meditative practices can help you manage your mental strain. You might also consider talk therapy with a friend or professional or spend time unwinding with a book or music.

Get Proper Sleep
Poor sleep habits affect your weight in numerous ways. One is that when you’re feeling tired, your hunger and satiety hormones, ghrelin and leptin, can be affected, leading to an increase in caloric intake and subsequent weight gain. Additionally, when you’re tired, you’re more likely to take shortcuts like skipping workouts or opting for unhealthy convenience foods. All are reasons to make better rest a bigger priority.

Track Eating and Exercise
When you’re not paying attention to what you eat and how you move, you may not even realize how your habits are affecting your health. Logging what you eat, especially if you use a tool like an app that helps you see the nutrition breakdown, may give you a clearer idea of the quality and quantity of your intake. Similarly, when you’re specifically writing down the time you’re committing to physical activity, you’ll find it easier to identify patterns and pinpoint where you can make adjustments to increase your exercise.

Visit SlimFast.com to find more resources on weight management and intermittent fasting.

3 Tips for Intermittent Fasting

If you’re new to the idea of intermittent fasting, these tips can help you find greater success so you can see results.

  1. Pace yourself. Make a gradual transition so your body gets used to going without food for shorter periods of time before you work up to extended fasting periods.
  2. Stay hydrated. Avoid confusing thirst for hunger by upping your fluid intake. Staying hydrated and energized while you fast helps keep fatigue and brain fog at bay. Options like fruit-flavored SlimFast Intermittent Fasting Energizing Hydration Supplement Drink Mix won’t break your fast and can help you add variety as a flavorful alternative to water. They can provide the energy and focus you need between meals and are perfect for those who feel groggy or run-down while fasting.
  3. Set goals. Know what you want to achieve and why, so your “why” can keep motivating you to follow your intermittent fasting plan even when you’re tempted to quit.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman and man exercising)

 

SOURCE:
SlimFast

 

 

5 Health Tips to Help You Succeed in the New Year

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of iStock

 

 

 

(Family Features) The new year brings a time to reassess health habits. New Year’s goals and resolutions are often focused on weight loss or exercise. Although these are important indicators of health and happiness for many people, maintaining overall health is important, too.

 

Registered dietitian, author and nutrition consultant Manuel Villacorta offers these tips to start the new year with a healthy routine:

 

 

Photo courtesy of iStock

 

 

 

Create a Meal Plan You’ll Want to Eat

For well-balanced meals, think ahead and plan a weekly menu that matches your taste preferences to stay interested. When you feel like you’re on a diet or being forced to eat something, you’re more likely to stop following the plan. It’s helpful to make something to enjoy together with family or friends and make sticking to a meal plan easier. Manuel suggests:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Making shopping lists to stay organized
  2. Checking your cupboards to avoid overbuying and waste
  3. Scheduling a day of the week to shop

 

This Ground Chicken and Sweet Potato Skillet is an easy meal plan starter.

 

 

(Click image for more information)

 

 

 

 

Fill in Dietary Gaps with Flavanol Supplements

 

 

 

A balanced diet is key to overall health, including your heart and brain health. In fact, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics released a first-of-its-kind recommendation to eat 400-600 milligrams of flavanols daily to support cardiometabolic health. Flavanols are bioactive compounds found in plant-based foods like cocoa, tea, apples and berries; however, levels can vary across foods, and it can be difficult to get everything you need from food alone.

 

 

 

A flavanol supplement like CocoaVia™ can help fill dietary gaps when you can’t meet the recommendations with food alone. The flavanols in CocoaVia are clinically proven to promote cardiovascular and brain health for the long-term, supporting a strong heart and better memory.* Each Cardio Health product serving provides 500 milligrams of cocoa flavanols in two capsules or one powder scoop. Additionally, Memory+ – containing 750 milligrams of cocoa flavanols per three-capsule serving – is ConsumerLab.com’s Overall Top Pick for cocoa products with the highest concentration of flavanols. Only CocoaVia is made with Cocoapro™ cocoa extract, the most concentrated and clinically proven flavanol extract ingredient on the market.

 

Try adding CocoaVia capsules to your routine or a scoop of Cardio Health powder to smoothies, coffee or this Cocoa Blueberry Smoothie Bowl. Learn more at CocoaVia.com.

 

 

Photo courtesy of iStock

 

 

 

Fuel for Energy

 

 

 

Not having enough energy can impact performance at work and the gym. What you eat can impact your energy levels. Manuel suggests eating every 3-4 hours and including all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat – at mealtimes.

 

For example, many people eat salads with greens and protein, but you can bulk them up with broccoli and carrots for a heartier mix. Aim for meals packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrient-dense foods like grains and starchy vegetables that provide energy.

 

 

Photo courtesy of iStock

 

 

 

Make Fiber a Focus

 

 

 

Fiber is a nutrient often overlooked. Soluble fiber helps maintain glucose levels, which are important for your brain to function at its best. Oats, beans and avocados are all good sources of soluble fiber. Including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains can increase your fiber intake and benefit your gut health.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of iStock

 

 

 

Be Strategic About Stocking Your Kitchen

 

Making several weekly grocery trips is time consuming and better spent on things like physical activity. Try strategies to get most of what you need in the fewest trips possible like buying bulk beans, grains and pasta. Remember, not everything has to be fresh. Frozen and canned produce are often stored at their peak freshness to offer many of the same nutrients. Choose low-sodium, canned options when possible and rinse before eating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE:
CocoaVia