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Tag Archives: Weight Loss

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Avocados

Salad

If your New Year’s resolutions have anything to do with eating better, you may want to start by loading your shopping cart with avocados. These super fruits are not only delicious, but they are also packed with nutritional and health benefits — to your heart, eyes and much more — that may surprise you.

1: Heart Health
Avocados contain the plant chemical beta-sitosterol which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. They are packed with monounsaturated fat and according to the American Heart Association, when monounsaturated fats are eaten in moderation in place of saturated and trans fat, this can help reduce the bad (LDL) cholesterol.

2: Healthy Eyes
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are also found in these fruit. Both have been shown to keep the eyes healthy as we age and may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss as we get older.

3: Growth and Development
Avocados contain 3.5 grams of unsaturated fat per 1 ounce serving (about 1/5th an avocado). Studies have shown that unsaturated fat is important for proper growth and development of the central nervous system and the brain of youngsters.

4: Blood Pressure
Avocados are free of sodium and are recommended while on the DASH Diet – which is the prescribed diet to help lower blood pressure. They also have a nice amount of potassium, which may also help lower blood pressure. Studies have found that when avocados are eaten in place of other fats (like butter and mayo), they can help control blood pressure.

5: Weight Loss
These babies are brimming with healthy fat, which takes the body longer to digest and help keep you full and satisfied (so you’re less likely to snack!). Further, avocados are nutrient-packed with over 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which is especially beneficial if you’re trying to cut calories and keep up with all the nutrition your body needs.

Avocado Recipes To Try:

Crunchy Avocado Salad
Soy Glazed Salmon with Cucumber-Avocado Salad
Avocado BLTs
Snow Pea and Avocado Slaw
Roasted Carrots with Avocado
Steak with Avocado Sauce and Tomato Salad
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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One Small Change – The Smartest Sip for Weight Loss

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What if I told you that there was a “pill” that, when you consumed it, helped you get a better workout, which of course leads to more strength and better calorie burning? The same pill would also help you focus at work or home so you could get the important things in your life done better and faster. Oh, and by the way, it’s been shown to lead to an increased metabolism, lower calorie intake at meals and better weight loss. How much would you pay for that pill? $10 a bottle, $20, $40? How about free?

That pill is water. And about 55% to 70% of your body is made up of the stuff. But as little as 2% dehydration can lead to impaired physical and cognitive function. And for others, it comes with increased cardiovascular strain, headache, irritability and even poor appetite control. While there is a risk of overhydration–no need to go pounding down gallons–many people walk around all day slightly dehydrated, so there’s a lot to be gained from having a little more of nature’s thirst quencher.
Most meal and calorie control research has subjects consuming an extra 16 oz. of water three times a day (before meals). But if bland, tepid water is not your idea of a tasty drink, here are a few tips to get more fluid into your daily routine.

Make it Cold: Research has shown that people will drink more water, and may even enjoy it, when it’s cold. So add ice cubes to your water. Put your bottle of water in the fridge the night before you have it. Or if it’s really hot out, put it in the freezer, and enjoy ice-cold water as it melts.

Make it Flavored: Add some lemon or lime to your ice-cold water; you can squeeze it fresh yourself or use those little squeeze-bottles. Or you can soak some other fruits, veggies or spices in water overnight for a unique taste. Try chopped berries, cucumber slices, wedges of citrus fruit or sage. Or go with other no- or low-calorie flavored beverages that perk up the taste buds like unsweetened iced tea, seltzer or a small splash of juice.

Get it From Veggies and Fruit: You can get water from the foods you eat, particularly fresh produce, which is typically made up of 90% water or more. That’s why, when you dehydrate fruits and veggies, they become tiny! That’s also why fruit and veggies tend to fill you up faster at meals with fewer calories.

TELL US: How are you going to increase your water or fluid intake?

Through his book and blog, Death of the Diet, Jason Machowsky, MS, RD, CSCS, empowers people to live the life they want by integrating healthy eating and physical activity habits into their daily routines. You can follow him on Twitter @JMachowskyRDFit.

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Top Fitness Trends Predicted For Near Future

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Taking the top spot in the fitness trend survey for the sixth year in a row are fitness professionals.

Researchers say education and certification programs for health and fitness professionals are experiencing exponential growth. The number of employed fitness trainers is projected to rise by 29% from 251,400 in 2010 to 311,800 in 2020.

According to the survey, the top 10 fitness trends predicted for 2013 are:

1. Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals — Jobs for fitness workers are expected to rise much faster than the average for all other occupations, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

2. Strength training — In the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row, strength training continues to be a strong trend. No longer restricted to body building, most people now incorporate some form of weight training to improve or maintain muscle strength.

3. Body-weight training — Body-weight exercises use minimal equipment and include push-ups, pull-ups, planks, and squats.

4. Children and obesity — Exercise programs aimed at the problem of childhood obesity are also a major fitness trend. Schools are increasingly partnering with commercial and community-based physical activity programs to prevent and treat rising childhood obesity rates.

5. Exercise and weight loss — Consistently in the top 20 fitness trends, researchers say most popular diet plans incorporate exercise to encourage weight loss.

6. Fitness programs for older adults — Fitness clubs are capitalizing on an aging baby boomer generation with age-appropriate exercise programs.

7. Personal training — As more personal trainers are becoming certified, they are becoming more accessible in a variety of settings, such as corporate wellness, community-based, and medical fitness programs.

8. Functional fitness — Researchers define functional fitness as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to perform activities of daily living. Functional fitness programs are designed to reflect actual activities done as a function of daily living and are often used in fitness programs for older adults.

9. Core training — Using equipment like balance balls and wobble boards, core training stresses strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the mid-section. Researchers say exercising the core muscles in the hips, lower back, and abdomen improves overall stability for daily activities and sports performance.

10. Group personal training — A boon for budget-conscious clients, personal trainers now often provide services to small groups of two to four people at deep discounts.

The survey was completed by 3,346 health and fitness professionals worldwide and appears in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal.

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