Starting Your Journey to Healthy Eating and Active Living: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to your first step toward a healthier, happier life. At the Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR), we believe in empowering individuals to take charge of their health through sound nutritional choices, balanced diet, and regular physical activity. This article will take you on a comprehensive journey, providing you with the knowledge and resources needed to establish and maintain healthier habits. Why Healthy Habits Matter Health isn't merely the absence of disease—it's a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. The decisions we make daily about what to eat and how to move our bodies play a crucial role in maintaining optimal health. Longevity: Healthy habits like eating nutritious food and staying active can increase your life span and improve your quality of life.Disease Prevention: They can help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.Mental Health: Good nutrition and physical activity improve mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. A Guide to Healthful Eating: Making Nutritious Choices Healthy eating is not about rigid…

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Read more about the article Understanding Natural Versus Added Sugars
Top view donut vs fruit

Understanding Natural Versus Added Sugars

Ever wonder why you crave sugar yet feel terrible after eating a cookie? Well, wonder no more! Sugar can be found in everything from fruits to candy, yet not all sugar is the same. Foods containing natural sugars offer nutrients that keep your body healthy, provide fast yet stable energy, and keep your metabolism stable. Fruits, for instance, offer essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C and folate. Added sugars, on the other hand, are harmful in large quantities. Getting your sugars from natural sources like apples, bananas, low-fat milk, Greek yogurt, carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes will satisfy your body’s need for sugar while maintaining your blood glucose levels for longer periods versus the sugar rush, and subsequent crash, received from added sugars found in sugary breakfast cereals, candy and chocolate bars, jams and jellies, dairy desserts, and puddings. Let’s start with understanding the difference between natural and added sugars, and how to identify them. Why Natural Sugars are Good Fruits and dairy contain fructose and lactose, natural sugar that is digested slower than…

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Read more about the article How to Keep Exercise Interesting
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How to Keep Exercise Interesting

Getting bored of your usual workouts? Then look no further! It’s easy to re-invigorate your physical fitness by reframing what exercise looks and feels like. When thinking about keeping exercise interesting, focus on the intersection of your fitness goals with activities you enjoy. Fitness goals other than weight, such as mobility, lifting certain amounts of weight, or running a 5K are more attainable and will keep you motivated. For example, if you want to work on flexibility but hate yoga, take a stab at gymnastics! The foundation of exercise is remembering why you want to be active and how you can make it enjoyable. Before we get into some ideas for spicing up your exercise routine, let’s talk about how to make exercise in any form more interesting! Using a fitness tracker is an easy way to challenge yourself to push limits and stay accountable. You can also exercise with friends, in a class, or as part of a recreational team to make it a social event! Not interested in working out with others. No…

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Why Fad Diets Don’t Work

Sometimes it’s fun to jump on board the latest trend, but when it comes to fad diets you might want to consider skipping out. Not only do fad diets not work, but they can cause long-term harm to your health. UCLA looked at 31 different diets that lasted 2-5 years and concluded that 30-60% of dieters regained all the weight or more! Not only that, but weight cycling has been shown to increase the likelihood of death by coronary heart disease by 66%. Now you might be thinking, how can I improve my health in a healthy way? Studies show that losing 5-10% of body weight will strengthen your heart, lower diabetic risk, reduce strain on blood vessels and posture, and help your breathing! There are easy ways to make sure your weight loss journey is healthy and maintainable! Why Fad Diets Don’t Work Most fad diets are based on elimination or deprivation of the body. Any diet based on restricting specific food groups, combining foods in a specific order or timing, or following rigid…

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Holiday Celebrating without Overindulging

Holiday season is filled with family, fun, and usually a ton of food! Whether it’s the pumpkin pie or your grandma’s secret cookie recipe, most holidays come with their own temptations that can throw you off your healthy-living goals. However, there are some easy ways to celebrate without overindulging during the holidays! Let’s start with how to tackle the food; How can you practice moderation while still celebrating with your favorite treats? Stay hydrated- Not only will water improve your digestion, drinking water also reduces your appetite, leading to a lower likelihood of overeating.Eat a snack before the meal- Before you head out to your holiday parties, think about eating a small, healthy snack. This will reduce your appetite.Provide some healthy holiday dishes- Whether you are hosting or are attending a potluck, bring some healthy options that you enjoy, so that you can celebrate with everyone while still maintaining your healthy routines.Be conscious of alcohol consumption- One easy way to overindulge is through alcohol. Make a plan and stick to it so that you are…

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4 Tips to Avoid Overeating the Halloween Candy

            One of the most exciting nights of the year for children is Halloween. From dressing up in a costume to collecting a mountain of candy, this holiday is the epitome of childhood wonder. That doesn’t mean that all that sugar and spice is everything nice. Piles of candy can lead to overeating, sugar crashes, and unnecessary amounts of artificial sugar, dyes, and processed sugar. So, what is the best strategy for keeping excessive amounts of candy out of the house, and what do you do when you end up with more candy than you can…or should…eat?             First, consider some healthy options for Halloween treats. If you love scary movie night, ditch the popcorn caked in butter and try out SkinnyPop Popcorn. You can also make simple substitutions in Rice Crispy Treats by using Smashmallow and Smash Crispy Marshmallow Treats. For chocolate lovers, try Oatmega cookies and protein bars, and instead of Candied Apples give Bare Cinnamon Apple Chips a try. Even a classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup can be switched out for Unreal…

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The Importance of Goal Setting when Changing your Lifestyle

Changing your lifestyle isn’t something that happens overnight. In fact, research shows that developing new habits takes at least 21 days, enough time for many people to become disengaged, discouraged, or forgetful. However, setting effective goals can help you stay focused and increase your motivation when you begin dieting or changing any aspect of your lifestyle. When setting goals, it is important to focus on something that is important to you. Don’t go through the motions; pick a goal that is meaningful to you personally and that will provide a vision for you to continuously work toward. Setting process goals, instead of result goals, are generally more sustainable and achievable. Additionally, using the SMART goal format (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) can help you easily develop goals that will stick and be attainable. The most effective goals related to lifestyle changes meet the following criteria: • Eat enough - It is important to understand your limits. Eat enough to satisfy you until the next mealtime draws near, but not so much that you miss your…

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Read more about the article Monitoring your Caloric Intake for Weight Loss
Woman Using Fitness Tracker To Count Calories For Post Workout Juice Drink She Is Making

Monitoring your Caloric Intake for Weight Loss

Many people embark on the journey of weight loss, but not everyone finds success and happiness in the journey. However, there is an amazing ally that walks with you on your weight loss journey and that can help you set goals, monitor progress, and build healthy habits – Calories! Calories can be your partner in this process if you make them work for you. In order to lose weight, you need to have a calorie deficit. While this may seem like a boring math lesson, calories are actually a great source of opportunity. Not all calories are created equal, because each food you eat provides a different set of nutrients. These are essential for life and can be a source of energy and happiness. Not only do calories provide the nutrients for a healthy body, they can also work as your guide for making lifestyle changes that lead to sustainable weight loss. The top three benefits to monitoring your caloric intake are: Identifying eating patternsCreating a dietary baselineMonitoring your behavior and progress However, monitoring your…

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How to Get Your Family on Board with Healthy Eating in 2020

A healthy diet isn’t just about looking your best, it’s about feeling your best. Eating well provides the body with essential nutrients, energy, and can boost your immune system. A well-rounded diet has been linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and memory loss. What you eat can also affect your brain functioning and help with weight loss. There’s no doubt about it, a healthy diet is essential for living your best life. While these logical reasons for eating healthy may appeal to you, it’s very common to face pushback from family members as you transition to a healthier diet. Don’t let this discourage you! We’ve got 12 ways to help get your family on board with healthy eating this year! Start small Making drastic changes may seem like a good idea, however, they often don’t last. Instead, start by making small changes, such as swapping one or two ingredients (a good example: replacing butter with olive oil) and work your way up to brand new recipes. Focus on the Why Often, family…

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