Weight Loss with HEALTHeME

Weight loss and good health made simple

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top way to train your abs: Pilates

Pilates for weight loss and ab strength.
Hollywood swears by Pilates to keep  fit & fabulous and millions of people gain strength, stability, and relief from back pain thanks to a regular practice.  

Joseph Pilates developed the Pilates method of exercise in the early 1900’s. Pilates is well known for its’ focus on core strength, proper alignment, and good posture. One classic study has shown that Pilates exercises are more effective than crunches at activating all the major abdominal muscle groups, including the rectus abdominis (front of your belly) and external obliques (the muscles on your sides).

We bet some of these perks make you want to roll out your mat and give Pilates a try!
  • Burn, baby, burn! Pilates does burn calories! No, not as many as running a 5K but a 45-minute intermediate level class can burn approximately 270 calories!
  • Get your back in shape! According to one study, people with chronic low back pain who participated in a regular Pilates program experienced less pain and less disability than people treated with more traditional methods. Of course, if you suffer from back pain, you need to work with your healthcare provider to evaluate your readiness for a Pilates program.
  • Get stronger! Although Pilates is a great way to strengthen your abs and low back, those aren’t the only muscles Pilates targets! Pilates can strengthen your upper body & tone your lower body.
  • Be flexible! Pilates exercise programs can improve your flexibility!
  • Battle the bulge! According to a study presented at an American College of Sports Medicine conference, participants who engaged in a regular Pilates program saw weight loss and significant improvements in their body mass index.
  • Be gentle! Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise and can be modified to give you a workout while still being “easy” on your joints.
  • Tune into your body & tune out your worries! Pilates requires you to “be present”, meaning that you have to tune into your body and listen to what it is telling you. This leaves less space for other thoughts to clutter your mind and leaves you feeling relaxed!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Exercise slows aging better than any miracle drug can!

Exercise helps you live longer!
If you could take a pill that would extend your life and help prevent memory loss and lose weight, how many hours would you stand in line to get that pill?  How much money would you pay for it?  More and more studies are suggesting that there is indeed such a medicine, but it doesn’t come in pill form. This “medicine” simply requires that you lace up your shoes and go for a walk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Recognizing that this goal is difficult for many people to achieve, researchers wanted to find out if exercising about half that time would still be helpful. In a recent study, researchers found that people who exercise just 15 minutes per day decreased their risk of death by 14% and extended their life expectancy by three years versus those who didn’t exercise at all.

Exercise can help you live longer and several recent studies indicate that exercise can also enhance the quality of that longer life by helping your brain stay healthy! Researchers analyzed data from a previous study and found that regular exercise helped delay cognitive decline. They also found that physically active people were 5-7 years younger (cognitively) than their non-active counterparts. This is significant because cognitive decline precedes many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The take-home message is: get moving! If you can’t carve-out 30 minutes to dedicate to a workout, don’t throw in the towel. Small amounts of exercise can have a huge impact on your quality of life and even just a few minutes can literally add years to your life!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Red Meat Consumption May Equal Diabetes

Red meat is a staple of the American diet. Many people feel burgers and “dogs” are a necessity at ballgames. And, in restaurants, there is a “bigger-is-better” mentality when it comes to steak. But, new research may have you thinking twice before you order your next filet.

A recent study found that eating processed meat or red meat increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. Researchers analyzed the diets of more than 200,000 people and did a larger analysis of other published studies. They found eating 4 ounces of red meat per day increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 20%. Consuming just 2 oz. of processed meats, like bologna, salami, bacon, and sausage, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50%! A 4 oz. serving is about the size of a deck of cards; 2 slices of lunchmeat is a 2 oz. serving of meat.

Nuts and low-fat dairy products are great sources of protein, are heart-healthy, and proven ways to trim your waistline. This study adds another reason to include these foods in your diet: Researchers found substituting nuts, whole grains, or low-fat dairy for one serving of meat every day could decrease your risk of diabetes by 16-35%.

Here are a few other high protein foods you can use instead of red or processed meats:
  • Egg whites
  • Fish, especially heart-healthy salmon
  • Legumes (lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and chick-peas)
  • Soybeans (edamame, tofu, and soy burgers)
  • Low-fat dairy products, especially Greek yogurt which has twice the protein of regular yogurt
Skip the bacon and make Greek yogurt your breakfast side-of-choice. At your next cookout, try throwing some soy-burgers on the grill. Decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes by making some easy substitutes and you’ll be one step closer to a healthier you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

‘Cause You’ve Got…Personality!

Personalized texts help weight loss.
If you’ve ever wanted to lose a few pounds, you might have considered taking up jogging, hiring a personal trainer, and swearing off dessert for the rest of your life. But, have you considered taking a personality test? New research indicates your personality type may be the key to weight loss.

A new study analyzed data collected on 2,000 people over the course of 50 years and examined the effect of personality type on weight and body mass index (BMI). They classified people into five groups based upon their personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Here’s a quick break down of these personality types:
  • Openness: people in this group are often imaginative, insightful, curious, and open to new experiences
  • Conscientiousness: the characteristics associated with this type include thoughtfulness, detail oriented, goal oriented, and good impulse control
  • Extraversion: people in this group are often very social, talkative, excitable, assertive, and emotional
  • Agreeableness: these individuals are often very kind, affectionate, trusting, and willing to compromise
  • Neuroticism: individuals in this group are often anxious, irritable, sad, and moody
Researchers found impulsive people weighed the most, with the most impulsive types weighing an average of 22 pounds more than the least impulsive people. It appears that impulsivity is linked to unhealthy behaviors, like binge eating and excessive alcohol consumption. Impulsive types score high in the neurotic and low in the conscientious categories, making them prone to “give in” to impulses (like eating the bakery cupcake) and emotional eating (as a result of high anxiety and sadness). Other types that weighed in a little heavier: risk taking, antagonistic, cynical, competitive, and aggressive personality types.

Those who were classified as conscientious weighed the least. Conscientiousness is typically associated with the type of restraint and commitment needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle. One of the behaviors of conscientious people that helps them be successful in weight loss programs is goal-setting. In addition, they really weigh-out their decisions (Hmmm…do I really want that dessert? If I eat that, I have to walk extra. Nope, I think I’ll pass!).

It’s important to realize that your personality doesn’t destine you to struggle with your weight, although some traits and characteristics may make it more difficult to lose weight. And, while you can’t necessarily change your personality, these studies point to the importance of weight loss programs, like HEALTHeME, that take into account your unique personality type. Such programs can help you overcome those traits that make weight loss difficult and reinforce actions, like setting goals, that will help you be successful.

When registering for your HEALTHeME program, the questions you answered help us tailor the program and messages you receive to match your weight loss type. Plus, the more you interact with the program (by answering texts and tracking your data), the more personalized your program becomes. A weight loss program that recognizes and speaks to your specific personality may be the best tool to help you reach your weight loss goals!