Health and Wellness
About Your Healthy Life
Losing weight isn’t just about a number on the scale, it’s about gaining better health, and living your best life. By participating in Lighten Up Lenoir, you’ve already taken the first step to making healthier choices, becoming more active, losing weight, and learning more about your health. Whether it’s learning what your BMI (Body Mass Index) is when you registered for the challenge, or making your yearly doctor’s appointment, and choosing healthier recipes for your family, Lighten Up Lenoir hopes to provide you with resources and health tips that will help you on your journey to a healthier you.
For years researchers have known that adults who sleep less than five or six hours a night are at higher risk of being overweight. “A good night’s sleep is one of the keys to good health—and may also be a key to maintaining a healthy weight. There is mounting evidence that people who get too little sleep have a higher risk of weight gain and obesity than people who get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Given our society’s increasing tendency to burn the midnight oil—in 1998, 35 percent of American adults were getting 8 hours of sleep a night, and by 2005 that had dropped to 26 percent —lack of sleep could be a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.” Harvard School of Public Health
Eating Healthier? But Still Not Losing Weight?
You might be misjudging portion sizes. Research has shown that we underestimate the number of calories in larger portions of food, and as a result we overeat much more than we realize.
One solution is to keep a food journal. Measure out and document your portion sizes. It is a great way to calculate what you’re really consuming, and being conscious of how much you’re eating can make a big difference. Using smaller plates can also help as well, but be especially careful when you are dining out. Restaurants can sometimes serve you a portion that is three – four times larger than you should be eating.
Portion Sizes Can Be ConfusingClick here for a chart that shows some correct portion sizes.
Healthy Lifestyle Habits Payoff
Lighten Up Lenoir offers you resources, tools, and support to help you adapt a healthier lifestyle. In fact, when you eat right,
move more, and lose weight, it can positively affect your overall health. You may find that you feel better, have more energy,
and your health numbers may even improve.
Here are some tips to help you embrace a healthier lifestyle.
-Count your calories, fat grams and portion sizes. Click for healthy menu plans.
-Participate in physical activity at least 3 - 5 times a week. Click for walking exercise videos.
-Eat more chicken and fish, and less red meat. Click for delicious chicken recipes.
-Eat five – seven servings of vegetables and fruit each day. Click for great vegetable recipes.
Health Benefits of Water
It's no secret that water is great for helping weight loss, because drinking water can keep you feeling full so that you don’t eat as much, which may help you lose weight. But, did you know that if you don’t drink enough water every day, you can experience daytime fatigue? Well it’s true. Water can help with weight loss, but water is actually crucial for our bodies to function properly. Water helps promote good digestion, as well as transporting the nutrients we eat to our cells. Without water, our digestive track will not function well, and lack of proper hydration may cause headaches, fatigue, constipation, and diarrhea.
Drink up and read more about the importance of drinking water.
Another great reason to participate in Lighten Up Lenoir. Excess weight is one of the leading causes of diabetes. But researchers have proved that losing weight, improving your diet, and exercising can help slash your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%. Know your risk: One in four people with diabetes don’t know that they have the disease. Be sure to see your doctor once a year, and to help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes maintain a healthy weight. Click here for a type 2 diabetes risk assessment.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the most important things to do to support a healthy heart, is to maintain a healthy weight. If you are not sure what your healthy weight range should be for your height and frame, click to view a Healthy Weight Range Chart.View Chart
A Guide to a Lighter, Healthier You!
What does it mean for you to be lighter? Does that mean eating healthier? Exercising more? Or could it simply mean that you simply want to feel better? Lighten Up Lenoir is a program specifically designed with life’s demands in mind, and the program’s simple tools and guides help you find practical ways of meeting your goals.Keep Reading
The Best New Year's Resolutions to Keep All Year Round
Make healthier food choices. Use Lighten Up Lenoir's recipes, choose healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, or low-fat cheese.
Be more active in your daily life by take the stairs, walk at lunch, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day with Lighten Up Lenoir’s list of free exercise videos.
Give up tobacco. If you are ready to quit, call 252-522-7014.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Trouble sleeping click here for more information.
Now that should start your New Year off right!
Healthy Habits for Successful Weight Loss
Avoid high-fat meals - Keep an eye out for meals that use the following words in their description: Au Gratin, Parmesan, Tempura, Alfredo, creamy and Carbonara. These meal descriptions usually mean a "high-fat" content. Be mindful when you are eating. Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. In other words, sit down and pay attention to the food you are eating. Really enjoy each and every bite.Keep Reading
Planning Your Meals Ahead Can Mean Successful Weight Loss
By planning ahead and using pre-designed meal plans, you will know you are getting the right nutrition and the right amount of calories and planning ahead gives you a better chance of maintaining a healthy weight. Here is a list of healthy meal plans.Click here for a list of Healthy Meal Plans
Does Chronic Stress Increase Appetite?
According to WebMd, for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite and induce weight gain. And WebMd adds “we would like to blame all our weight gain on stress, but experts say that eating in response to stress can also be a learned habit, often, eating becomes what we do to relieve stress.”Keep Reading
Healthy Habits to Successful Weight Loss
Avoid high-fat meals
Keep an eye out for meals that use the following words in their description: Au Gratin, Parmigiana, Tempura, Alfredo, creamy and Carbonara, because these meal descriptions usually mean a "high-fat" content.
Be mindful when you are eating
Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. In other words, sit down and pay attention to the food you are eating. Really enjoy each and every bite. If you're watching TV or working while you eat, you won't pay attention to what's going into your mouth and you might eat more than you should and enjoy it less.
Drink more water
Drink water instead of grabbing for a high-fat snack. Drinking six to eight glasses a day will help fill you up and help your waistline.
Ask for a "doggie-bag" before you eat
Ask your waiter for a take-home box before you begin to eat your restaurant meal and put half of your main course into the take-home box. Putting the food away before you start your meal will help you eat a more sensible portion and you'll have leftovers to take home for tomorrow.
Leave something on your plate
Challenge yourself to leave half of your sandwich on your plate, remove the bun from your burger or eat only half your spaghetti and meatballs. You might find out that you are satisfied eating only half-of-a- portion and not to consume the rest of your meal.
And most important - Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
If you’ve been following our tips, you know that in addition to eating the appropriate amount of calories, increasing your exercise activity can be the key to helping you lose weight. In fact, a Duke University study suggests that you should walk for 45 minutes a day. The study found that “while 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to prevent weight gain in most relatively sedentary people, exercise beyond 30 minutes results in weight and fat loss. Evidently walking 45 minutes can burn an additional 300 calories a day which could help you lose 30 pounds in a year without even changing how much you’re eating.
Planning Your Meals Ensures A Better Chance of Successful Weight Loss
List of healthy meal plans below.
Weight Watcher Healthy Menus
Your Daily Meal Planner from Meals Matter
WebMD’s Healthy Weight Loss Meal Plans
Seven Day Meal Plan #1 with Weight Watcher Points
Seven Day meal Plan #2 with Weight Watcher Points
Quick and Healthy Menus from Cooking Light
Quick-Fix Lunches from Weight Watchers
Does Chronic Stress Increase Appetite?
According to WebMd, for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite and induce weight gain. And WebMd adds “we would like to blame all our weight gain on stress, but experts say that eating in response to stress can also be a learned habit, often, eating becomes what we do to relieve stress.”
For most of us, stress is a way of life and getting your kids ready for school in the morning, receiving a late email from your boss about a report that is due in the morning or rushing to get the yard done when suddenly the lawn mower breaks...
We feel pressured about getting it all done and it can certainly take its toll on you,
your body and your diet. And we all know, stress can affect how well you take care of yourself and stay on track with your healthy lifestyle changes.
Evidently, when stress hits, it triggers our neuroendocrine system this system and that activates a series of hormones meant to give us the biochemical strength we need to fight or flee the stressors. But, unlike our ancestors, these chemicals aren't serving our bodies well in the 21st century and can lead not only to weight gain, but a tendency to store fat around the midsection. These fat cells that can lie deep within the abdomen have been linked to an increase in both diabetes and heart disease.
To further complicate matters, the "fuel" our muscles need during the "fight or flight" syndrome is sugar which is one reason why we crave carbohydrates when we are stressed, says endocrinologist Riccardo Perfetti, MD, PhD.
Tips to Help You Deal with Every Day Stress
1. Exercise every day. It is by far one of the best stress-buster and it burns calories.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet and don't skip meals.
3. Get your sleep. Not getting enough sleep can increase stress and your appetite. When you’re tired, your body will crave "sugar" for energy and you may end up overeating.
And, most important: Devote time to relaxation.
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