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Dec 28

Lose weight, save money, cut out booze? I could do that! But give up smoking? – The Guardian

For a long time I kept all of them. And not just at New Years, either. Two stone? Lost. Savings target? Met. Dry January? Easy. I took a healthy packed lunch to work every day. I kept my trainers by the bed for 6am runs. I read War and Peace, then I read it again. In short, if I willed some lifestyle change, it happened but isnt that how it works for everyone?

Apparently not. Spock-like, I noted how the other humans seemed to sack off their good intentions within a few weeks even making a big joke of the whole resolutions business and I was confused: like, seriously, when are you lot going to get your acts together?

That was all before I decided to give up smoking. It is hard to pinpoint in which year this happened exactly, because the fear of failure was such that it took me from 2006 until 2011 just to admit to myself that I did indeed want to give up. I was a social smoker 10 cigs on a Friday night, 20 on a Saturday, none during the working week so there were also long periods when I could easily kid myself that it was not a problem.

Eventually I faced up to it: my smoking addiction, with its enmeshed physical and psychological effects, could not be conquered by willpower. For the first time in my life I began to appreciate the vast ocean of complicating factors that might lie between Step one: resolve to do something and Step two: get it done. It was time to dive in.

Coming to understand these factors was a slow and humbling process. Like 90% of smokers, I had taken up the habit as a stupid teenager and my thinking had not matured much since ducking out of double maths to share a B&H behind the caretakers shed. On some unarticulated level, I believed that courting a cancerous death was life-affirming and that ignoring overwhelming medical evidence was exercising my free will. Imagine my horror to discover that, actually, I had just been meekly lining the pockets of big tobacco all along. There is nothing rebellious about that.

An ex-smoker friend recommended Allen Carrs bestseller The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. After a few repetitious chapters, I realised it was not so much a self-help book as a self-hypnosis course. Carrs fundamental insight was something my prideful reliance on willpower had obscured: our lazy brains play tricks on us to avoid any effortful change, but they can be tricked right back. Ellen had been working against Ellen and now Ellen (with the help of Allen) had to wrestle back control.

There is a whole body of literature dedicated to disseminating such practical, proved methods of habit-forming which is all any successful self-improvement amounts to. The approach works I did not light up for several years. But it is not exactly foolproof, either. A lockdown relapse has reminded me that I am still a fool for a cigarette with a glass of white wine in the wrong conditions. I have, however, fully embraced the overarching lesson of giving up smoking: self-discipline without self-knowledge is like a cigarette without a light.

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Lose weight, save money, cut out booze? I could do that! But give up smoking? - The Guardian

Dec 28

Worst New Year’s Resolutions, According to Doctors – Eat This, Not That

For some, another year might just mean another failed attempt at seeing New Year's resolutions all the way through. There are statistics that show only 9.2% of people report actually achieving their resolutions. Many people get easily frustrated with themselves if they don't fulfill the goals they set, even if they don't see immediate results from the efforts they do put in.

However, it's possible that the types of resolutions you are making are, in fact, setting you up for failure. Frankly, you might just be making the worst resolutions possible. Think about it: do you really want to achieve an unpractical goal? Or worseone that benefits you in the short term and then backfires in the long term? It's time to scratch those plans and start fresh.

We asked doctors to share what they and their colleagues consider to be the worst New Year's resolutions you can make for 2021 so you know what to avoid. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthily in 2021, don't miss Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight Immediately, According to Science.

"As a doctor, it is common for me to encounter patients that will say they want to eat healthier. The problem is that they often do not know exactly what this means, and the resolution is not specific enough. It would be more helpful for an individual to first define what eating healthy is and what it means to them. Next, they should be specific about what changes they plan to make in their diet to ensure they are eating healthier." Or, check out these8 Easy Tricks for Eating Healthy Every Day. Cedrina L. Calder,MD

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"It's easy to set benchmarks for physical beauty by the celebrities we see every day, but trying to look like your favorite celebrity isn't just misguided, it's downright unhealthy. Everyone is different, including their genetics, body chemistry, and lifestyle. Celebrities often have certain advantages (physical and financial) that the average person doesn't have, so many people will be disappointed if their efforts of healthy eating and exercise don't lead to A-list results." Dr. Hayley Brown of Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center

"Instead of focusing on the number on the scale and having extreme goals that will create unhealthy outcomes, why don't we instead focus on behaviors we might want to change. Perhaps you want to engage more in body movement in the new year or maybe you want to be more mindful of listening to your body cues of hunger [and] fullness and not engaging in mindless eating. That is more sustainable and healthy in the long run!" Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, CEDS-S, and Founder of Hello Goodlife

For more, check out11 Mindfulness Hacks to Eat Less, According to Experts.

"As a physician of internal medicine and vitamin expert, I see many people make resolutions to take large quantities of vitamins in the new year. This is not a good idea for many reasons. First, it never lastsno one continues taking handfuls of supplements forever because it's frankly too much and it's neither pleasant nor good for you. Secondly, it is not good for your health. These handfuls of pills are typically excessive and can, in fact, cause harm. We do advocate a personalized approach to taking the right vitamins based on your diet, lifestyle, and health concerns. Doing so, via a personalized multivitamin (only one or two pills daily) is typically the best way to get what you need in safe and doable amounts. It is also much more likely to create a lasting and effective habit that will ultimately give you better health, energy, and ability to improve your overall lifestyle."Arielle Levitan,MD, co-founder of Vous Vitamin, and co-author of "The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health."

Read more:7 Side Effects of Taking a Multivitamin Every Day

"Saying that you want to start exercising or exercising more is a great resolution to make, but it isn't specific enough. Sticking to this goal will be difficult if you haven't first defined what exercise means to you, and how you plan to carry out this resolution. Make a clear and specific resolution that includes the type of exercise, the amount, and the length of time." Calder

"Liposuction is not a weight-loss tool but a body shaping process. It works best in patients who are at or very close to their normal weight, and have stubborn areas of fat that are out of proportion with the rest of their figure." Dr. John Corey, board-certified plastic surgeon

"All too often, people eat and drink too much from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. People decide to starve themselves beginning Jan. 1 to get rid of the excess weight quickly. This is a terrible resolution because our bodies turn food into energy so we can accomplish the tasks of daily living, including keeping our brains healthy. Without new sources of energy, our bodies rely solely on our stored fat, which turns into ketones, and too many ketones can be unhealthy."

Here's a better New Year's resolution instead:

"Many people don't want to hear it, but eating healthy, sensible meals and exercising are the best ways to lose weight year-round. It is not a quick fix, but it's a long-term solution to live our best, healthiest lives." Dr. Miriam Alexander,medical director of employee health & wellness at LifeBridge Health

"This is another great resolution, but people fail at it because they don't know the best way to go about quitting. Very often, people attempt to quit "cold turkey" and unfortunately, very few people are successful at this method. What people don't realize is that the best method to quitting involves a combination of two things: tobacco cessation medications and behavior changes. To increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking, speak with your doctor about medication options, and ask to be referred to a behavioral therapist or seek one out on your own." Calder

"While some exercise is better than none, exercising indoors exclusively can deprive us of exposure to sunlight. Sun exposure helps our bodies synthesize vitamin D, a hormone that is important for bone and tissue health, immunity and other metabolic processes. Exercising outside is a good way to help boost your vitamin D levels in the coming year." Chirag Shah,MD, co-founder of Accesa Labs

"We often put the needs of other people first, so we put off taking the time to make healthy foods, exercise, get enough sleep, relax and other basic needs. To make up for 12 months of not taking care of ourselves, we decide to make the new year the time we are going to get our lives in orderevery aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, if we try to do too much and to change too many things at one time, this can set us up to fail at everything." Alexander

Instead, pick just one or two of these20 Resolutions Diet Experts Want You to Make.

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Worst New Year's Resolutions, According to Doctors - Eat This, Not That

Dec 28

71 Million Americans Have Gained Weight During the Pandemic, Says Study –

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

A recent survey of adults in the United States revealed that 71 million Americans have gained weight since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. About 71% of Americans also admit that their weight impacts how they feel about themselves, including their identity. This was expressed strongly among parents and women. In fact, women and moms were impacted more than men by weight gain during the pandemic.

Biotechnology company Gelesis partnered with third-party research firm Kelton Global to conduct the study, which took place from October 26, through November 3, 2020. An online survey was taken with 1012 adults responding.

According to this survey, about 3 of every 5 Americans are trying to lose weight.

For the full survey results and methodology, check out the official press release here.

The struggle to get healthy is real for so many people these days. There are some things that everyone can do to stay healthy that don'tinvolve loads of money. The first thing is to remember to move more and not eat a bunch of unhealthy snacks all day.It's important to not make yourself feel bad or get in your own head about weight loss, that can derail the whole thing before it even gets going. A positive attitude goes a long way. Remember that getting healthy is a process, you may see and feel results right away, it may take a while, and sometimes it's a roller coaster.

Along with a healthy diet, it is important to exercise and get yourself moving more. This is a big one, and it can be hard to stay motivated, especially when people are working from home all the time and have a lot of things that can get in the way. Check out our guide on how to stay motivated to exercise, as well as these tips on how to get back into a workout routine after months of quarantine. Research has shown that exercise boosts immunity and can help ward off COVID-19, which only adds to the benefits of starting a healthy routine right now.

Most importantly, don't give up on getting healthy. Find a friend or family member that wants to go on this journey with you and support each other.Getting healthy is a worthwhile goal and something that will benefit the body and mind. It'salways worth it, and though it may be hard, and not fun at times, you are worth it.Here is to a healthier, happier 2021.

How do you feel about being healthy during the pandemic? Have you found yourself gaining weight, or feeling less active? We want to hear how you are doing, and ways to get healthy in the comments.

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71 Million Americans Have Gained Weight During the Pandemic, Says Study -

Dec 28

How to lose weight in winters easily? See tips and nuskas inside –

With the hoodies, jackets, layers of clothes, winters seem like a gem of a season but also one of the reasons you overeat and dont think and care about your body. So, here are 4 tips and easy ways to lose weight in winters, easily and happily.

So, in winters we dont think much about the food, and Ould like to eat hot food, like pizza, or burgers, or even chole bhature, but that would not help you in losing weight right, so eating the right food in regulation is the key to losing weight.

For example- once in a week it is okay to eat chole bhature or junk food, but other days try eating food without processed goods in it. Like avoid ghee, butter, oil, replace it with better and less calorie version.

Yes, it is cold, and who wants to get out of the bed only to exercises, well, hats the wrong attitude. Its not necessary to lose weight you have to get out of the house, rather why not do yoga at home? All you need to do is allocate only 30 minutes out of your busy schedule to do some exercise.

for example-

a. You can jump for 30 minutes, it gets your heartbeat up and pumping and lets you lose weight or

b. Or 30 minutes you climb up and down the stairs, it helps you get your leg in shape and well lose weight from stomach and back.

c. Even 30 minutes of Yoga, with crunches, meditation helps you in keeping a tab on physical and mental health.

Well, the winter season also means parties, as it is the end of the year- New year, Christmas, Diwali, and so on, so rather than drinking the party fluids and spoiling your body regime, why not replace it better fluids. Like juices, water, even black coffee works, but whiskey and other party fluids should be reduced. They have added sugar in it, plus help you in gaining weight so easily.

One other problem of the winter season is that we become so comfortable in bed, that we would rather stay in bed, than go to the kitchen to get a glass of water, sadly, that not how things can work right? So, drinking lots and lots of water helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Make sure to drink water, as it makes you feel heavy and you wont go eating some or the other wrong food.

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How to lose weight in winters easily? See tips and nuskas inside -

Dec 28

New year, new you: Methods to keeping a healthy resolution – Evening News and Tribune

KOKOMO - As 2020 comes to a close and people across the world look toward 2021, many of those same people will begin to contemplate their New Years resolution. Losing weight, swearing less or being a better person are often discussed, but in the end, many find it difficult to see their goals through.

The question of how to keep resolutions has many answers, depending on the goal, but patience and perseverance are two strategies many in the know agree on.

S.M.A.R.T. decisions

One of the most important processes to any goal or resolution is to break it down to smaller steps and then plot your course to those steps. Kokomo Family YMCA Director of Wellness Allysha Smith advises using S.M.A.R.T. specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based goals, no matter what they hope to accomplish in the new year.

Everybody is different, so because one person is able to lose a pound a week and the next person is only able to lose maybe half a pound every other week, its going to vary, the personal trainer said, adding that goals like losing 50 pounds in two months would be unreasonable.

I think the best thing to go about is writing out your S.M.A.R.T. goals. I think if you can really sit down and think about what your S.M.A.R.T goal is that will really help you establish a goal that you can attain reasonably.

Megan Allen, a dietitian for Community Howard Regional Health, said goals and resolutions often fall off or flop due to being too vague or too big. Instead of these sweeping goals, Allen encouraged people to examine not just their goals but the steps to accomplish their goals, a process she calls reverse engineering.

For someone whose goal is to exercise more, she suggests examining what its going to take for that to happen. Needing a gym membership, subscribing to a streaming service, looking up workout videos on YouTube to get a library of routines to do at the gym are all parts of that goal. Once thats sorted, deciding what time of day the gym is a possibility for someone and then examining if childcare or work schedules will need to be rearranged are things to look into. Any goal or resolution can be broken down.

Even just having a specific, measurable goal actually needs a lot more planning than just that, she said. You need to completely reverse-engineer that goal so you know exactly what thats going to look like in your life personally.

Allen added that she always asks people choosing to start a weight-loss journey how they want to feel at the end. She said that while the number on the scale may be motivation at the beginning, sometimes it can lose its luster. She encourages people to take note of non-scale victories like how they feel instead of what their numerical weight is.

She also cautioned that the common all or nothing mindset of totally giving up certain foods as being unhealthy and restrictions are common in typical fad diets. She recommends concerning yourself with the healthy foods you can add to your diet rather than telling yourself not to eat something.

I tend to find that some of those less healthy foods just naturally work their way out, or the portions of those foods naturally become a little bit smaller, because youre eating more foods that build you up, Allen said. You just naturally just dont want those foods as much, but theyre definitely still a part of your diet, but its that mindset shift of what can I add to my body? instead of just automatically going to Im trying to improve my body, what do I have to cut out?

Finding purpose

Kayla Denny works out with free weights at the Kokomo Family YMCA. Advisers say fitness-related New Year's resolutions should start with small, attainable goals, that can build on the momentum of accomplishment.

Howard Community Executive Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health Matt Oliver also encourages breaking resolutions and goals into small parts. This gives everything the person does purpose, and giving actions is something Oliver cannot stress enough. Not only does this make goals more manageable, but it gives the person steps to celebrate completing with their friends and family, which helps raise confidence.

The more you do those small things, the more confidence you feel, he said. The more confidence you feel, the more confidence youll have to go bigger, to go broader and to sustain that change.

[H]appiness is not the destination, happiness is in the growth and in the process. Be patient and celebrate the small stuff.

Oliver said to make sure any resolutions, for New Years or otherwise, are focused on purpose, break them down into small, obtainable steps, and celebrate all along the way. He stressed the importance of looking at why someone is choosing to complete a resolution and ask, what does (the resolution) mean for you and what does it allow for you thats different from today?

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, its reasonable not everyone who wants to choose weight loss as a resolution feels comfortable heading to the gym each week to work out. Smith said there are plenty of ways to be active while staying home. Searching YouTube for at-home workout videos is a place to start, and just trying to be active for 30 minutes a day though activities like aerobics or yoga can be helpful.

Whatever the goal, Smith said to remember results take time.

Its going to be hard, but its going to be worth it in the end, she said. We are in a place in this world where we want instant results and, unfortunately, thats not how this works. You have to give yourself time to achieve realistic goals.

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New year, new you: Methods to keeping a healthy resolution - Evening News and Tribune

Dec 28

Happiness hacks: Here are three ways to a happier you – The Dallas Morning News

Resolve to rephrase

Swedish researchers say that New Years resolutions rooted in starting or adopting new habits are more likely to succeed than those that take away, avoid or quit something. In a December study published in scientific journal PLOS ONE, Stockholm University and Linkping University researchers suggest that simply rephrasing your resolution can lead to lasting change. For example, if your goal is to stop eating sweets in order to lose weight, you will most likely be more successful if you say, I will eat fruit several times a day instead, the researchers wrote. You then replace sweets with something healthier, which probably means you will lose weight and also keep your resolution. The study analyzed resolutions made by 1,066 people, following up each month over one year.

Scientific studies have shown that plants improve indoor air quality, boost creativity and reduce our stress. Some easy-to-care-for indoor plants include lucky bamboo, succulents, aloe vera, peace lily, snake, jade and ZZ plants. And like everything these days, help with plant care is just an app away. To start your plant-parenting journey, consider apps Planta, Blossom, PlantSnap or Vera by Bloomscape.

Behavioral scientist Ashley Whillans of Harvard Business School estimates that eight in 10 of us chronically feel pressed for time, making now a great time for a reset. People who value and make the most of their time are healthier, happier, less stressed and more productive, Whillans writes in her new book, Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life (Harvard Business Review Press, $28). The secret to happier time starts with small, deliberate daily steps to prioritize what brings you joy reading or savoring a home-cooked meal with family, for instance, and minimizing time wasters, such as doomscrolling our phones or checking work email late at night. Whillans will offer a virtual presentation on the topic on Jan. 13 at noon. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link at

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Happiness hacks: Here are three ways to a happier you - The Dallas Morning News

Dec 28

How to Make Healthy, Attainable New Year’s Resolutions During COVID-19 – Healthline

Its safe to say that most people wont be sad to leave 2020 behind.

As we prepare to ring in 2021 and look forward to a new year, its a natural time to reflect on our lives and what we might want to change.

But after a year thats been anything but normal, its fair to expect that many of our New Years resolutions will look different this year, too.

Previously, many of us looked to the new year with traditional resolutions like losing weight or quitting smoking, said Jane Pernotto Ehrman, a behavioral health therapist at the Cleveland Clinic. This year has been like no other, and it provides an opportunity to reflect and move forward in a new way.

Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, some people have realized the importance of relationships and connections with family and friends, while others are coming to terms with being stretched too thin and arent caring for themselves properly.

Of course, collective and personal losses have taken their toll, too.

There is the grief and loss we have experienced with so much change to our routines and daily life, Pernotto Ehrman said.

For many, family and friends have been gravely ill or died from the virus. Perhaps the frenzy of having or getting stuff now isnt quite so important as appreciating our health, home, family, time together, and time alone, she said.

Taking all of this into account, its probably a good idea to rethink some of the traditional resolutions we tend to make.

If you have one of the seven common goals below for the new year, heres how mental health experts suggest you approach them differently in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a year as stressful as 2020, its natural that many people may have put on a few extra pounds.

Sheltering in place has made it easier for us to eat our way to comfort, snooze instead of move, and numb out with sitcoms, movies, alcohol, or other substances, Pernotto Ehrman said.

But rather than beating yourself up and committing to a strict diet and exercise regimen as soon as the clock strikes midnight Jan. 1, she suggests a different approach.

Given all the stress and challenges of this year, perhaps a better way to approach and live in 2021 is with kindness and compassion toward ourselves as well as others, Pernotto Ehrman said.

What does that actually look like in practice?

First, it means acknowledging that everyone is stressed and hurting. Then, rather than using on food or substances for comfort, look for healthier ways to cope.

Pernotto Ehrman recommends journaling, talking with a friend, engaging in physical activity, or watching a movie or reading a book that will help you laugh, cry, motivate, or inspire you.

It will also be beneficial to prioritize sleep, healthy eating, and making space for calm and quiet time to breathe, self-reflect, and meditate.

Most importantly, though, go easy on yourself, and go at your own pace.

Maybe youll decide that youre going to exercise 1 day per week in January and slowly build so that youre regularly exercising by the end of the year, or maybe youll stick to 1 day per week for the year because thats enough for you, said Paraskevi Noulas, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at NYU Langone Health. It really is up to you and your personal wishes for your future.

Given all thats happened this year, its easy to lean on unhealthy coping mechanisms that may temporarily ease stress, such as drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or even biting your nails.

Whether its a bad habit you picked up this year or one youve been dealing with for longer, the ability to change your ways is always readily available to you, Noulas said.

There is never a better time than the present to set an intention to improve your life and learn to manage stress in a healthier way, she said.

One of the most successful ways to eliminate these types of coping mechanisms is to replace them with healthier ones.

So, instead of biting your nails when youre anxious, practice diaphragmatic breathing instead, Noulas said. Or, drink water or tea throughout the day so you have a physical object to hold on to rather than bite your nails.

Instead of having that extra drink after work, go for a 15-minute walk to clear your head and if need be, keep walking until the urge passes, she said.

Another technique is to gradually reduce the behavior you wish to change. For instance, cut down on the number of cigarettes or alcoholic drinks you have by one or two per day or week, and continue each week until you eliminate the substance.

If the addiction is significant enough that titrating on your own isnt possible, turn to professional help for support, Noulas said.

Finally, stay accountable to someone, whether its a friend checking in on your progress or a weekly session with a therapist.

Let it be known that youre working on changing your ways, Noulas said. It makes the goal more real and gives you more of an incentive and motivation to succeed.

This is an especially tricky resolution given that the pandemic has forced many to stay separated from loved ones.

Still, there are ways to stay connected even while physically apart.

Have a board game night together on video chat platforms, Pernotto Ehrman said. One person or family has the board and pieces, and facilitates the movements for all. Or try charades or a family scavenger hunt. Be creative.

Other ways to stay connected include reading the same book or watching the same TV show and discussing it, sending one another care packages, and communicating by old-fashioned means, like writing a letter or talking on the phone.

If there were ever a year for us to value and respect our mental health, this is it, Noulas said.

One way to improve mental health, she said, is to focus on self-awareness and being as present as possible so that at any given moment, youre able to check in with yourself and know what youre feeling, thinking, and experiencing physically.

If youre anxious about a work project, for example, you may have trouble focusing. Your chest might feel tight, or your breathing rate may increase.

Be aware of the connection between the three: feeling, thought, and body sensation, Noulas said.

Reach out to a trusted family member or friend for support, and partake in activities that make you feel good.

If youre struggling emotionally to the point where its affecting your physical health and personal and professional life, seek help.

Virtual mental health and substance use treatments are available now, so typical barriers to seek professional help like time off from work, commuting, and weather are minimal at this point, Noulas said.

If insurance is an issue, other resources are available, such as hotlines, peer support groups, and organizations, as well as doctoral and resident training clinics where patients can often be seen on a sliding scale, she continued. There is no shame in asking for support when youre struggling.

Traveling for pleasure may not be accessible for most people in the near future, but there are plenty of ways you can stay connected to the idea of travel and look forward to future trips.

Many popular destinations are offering virtual tours of local museums, zoos, animal sanctuaries, and parks that you can take now and look forward to physically visiting when youre actually there.

Now is also a great time to strive toward becoming a more socially conscious traveler by reading up on the history and culture of a country youve always wanted to visit, learning conversational phrases of a new language, and supporting the local businesses of places youve loved traveling to.

Noulas recommends seeking out a pen pal.

I find the best vacations are those when you know a local who can show you the sights and the real aspects of the city or country that one rarely sees as a tourist, she said.

Just like we used to when we were children, people could connect with locals in a country theyd like to visit and strike up conversations to learn more about the country and local regions firsthand, she said.

Reflecting on the traumas of 2020 might lead us to a desire to reach out to a friend or family member we have a strained relationship with, or with whom weve fallen out of touch.

However, its important to be honest with yourself and only do so if you have the time and energy.

One has to go into a process like that knowing and understanding that you cant control or predict the outcome, Noulas said. So, you have to be ready to be disappointed, to understand that the relationship may not improve.

She recommends starting slowly and connecting in a way that youre accustomed to, be it by phone, in person, or through email.

Keep your language simple, clear, and direct, Noulas said. Set your intention and know what your goal is. Give the person time and space to respond. If they dont respond the first time you reach out, give it another couple of tries.

After that, it may be time to let it go, at least for the time being.

Even if they are not ready at this moment to reconnect, youve now opened the door, so when theyre ready theyll know they can circle back to connect with you in the future, Noulas said.

Whether its a big project like learning to play a musical instrument or a less intense one like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, doing something new can do wonders for your mental health.

Any new hobby you pick up is incredibly helpful, and particularly so at this time when were quarantining at home, Noulas said.

The monotony of this year with most people working and living in the same space makes it feel like Groundhog Day at times. So, anything new you can add to the routine makes a huge difference, she said.

And at the end of the day, if youre not up to making a resolution this year, dont feel pressured.

Setting an intention to change can and should be made at any time of the year, Noulas said.

If you want to set a goal on January 15 to lose weight, there shouldnt be any reason to feel guilty about that, she said. Your resolutions are yours alone, but they dont need to be limited to January 1.

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How to Make Healthy, Attainable New Year's Resolutions During COVID-19 - Healthline

Dec 28

This Popular Baking Ingredient Can Fight Inflammation, Study Finds – Eat This, Not That

When you think of anti-inflammatory foods, olive oil, salmon, and various vegetables are likely some of the first things to come to mindnot baking soda.

According to a 2018 study published in theJournal of Immunology, baking soda may play a role in fostering an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. However, this doesn't mean you should head to the kitchen and bake cakes and cookies from scratch in an attempt to eat more of the ingredient. (Related: 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.)

In fact, researchers found that regularly drinking a mixture of baking soda and water over a period of time helped to reduce inflammation associated with certain conditions and even autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Scientists tested this theory out on both rats and humans and found that after two weeks of drinking the concoction, the baking soda directed immune cells (known as macrophages) to work on reducing inflammation. This indicated that the baking ingredient helped the body promote anti-inflammatory responses.

Enabling the body to release this calming signalas opposed to one that's equivalent to an emergency attackcould be a huge breakthrough for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system regularly attacks the body's joints and tissues by mistake.

Not to mention, baking soda has also been shown to help manage other symptoms such as heartburn, upset stomach, and canker sores, and may even help to delay the onset of kidney disease. Of course, it shouldn't be used in place of other medications (especially ones prescribed by your doctor) and may not have the same effects on everyone.

Interested in testing it out? In the study, researchers combined 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with 20 ounces of water which was sipped throughout the day. Halving that amount may be best to start out, which is why experts suggest mixing 1/8 teaspoon baking soda into a glass of water a few times a week. Consider keeping this routine up for two weeks, but no longer than one month.

You could experience side effects, such as stomach discomfort, so try to avoid drinking the tonic on an empty stomach.

For more tips on how to fight inflammation, be sure to read14 Tips to Reduce Inflammation to Lose Weight Faster, According to RDs.

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This Popular Baking Ingredient Can Fight Inflammation, Study Finds - Eat This, Not That

Dec 28

Celebrity Fitness, Nutrition Expert and Best-Selling Author Autumn Calabrese Challenges People to Say No to Resolutions for 2021 – Business Wire

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After what has been an unprecedented year of quarantine, gym closures and mounting fatigue and stress as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, manifesting for many in Covid 15 weight gain, fitness and nutrition expert Autumn Calabrese is striking back at the annual resolution tradition that kicks off the wave of fad diets and fitness gimmicks every January. Autumns new initiative #NoResolutions2021 encourages people to join her, in partnership with leading digital health and fitness platform Beachbody On Demand, to take control in 2021.

In the challenge, which kicked off the day after Christmas, Calabrese and Beachbody are encouraging everyone to take a pledge at to NOT set a New Years resolution, and instead to take control of their well-being for the long term. For some that will mean being steadfast with whatever fitness and nutrition lifestyle changes they choose to make, and for others it will mean committing to Autumns newest fitness program on Beachbody On Demand, 9 Week Control Freak. As of today, Autumn has motivated over 6,000 individuals to sign the No Resolutions For 2021 Pledge.

One of the biggest obstacles to achieving long-term weight loss results is the diet mentality, which strikes tens of millions of people every New Years Day and lasts only a week or two, said Autumn Calabrese, best-selling author of this years Lose Weight Like Crazy Even If You Have A Crazy Life and Beachbody Super Trainer. The fitness and diet industry feeds off this ritual each year, but its just not healthy. Thats why I was so excited that Beachbody accepted my challenge to encourage every person to approach change with real commitment and a sense of purpose this year, and most importantly, to take back control.

Calabrese has made a career out of helping people get results without deprivation, and preaches the exact opposite of the New Years resolution mentality. She and Beachbody have dedicated this New Year to fighting the Resolution fairytale by helping people get ahead of the quick fix mentality.

Our goal is to help everyone take control of their mindset, fitness, nutrition and even their sleep, starting today, and ending never, Calabrese said. There will be lapses and struggles, but if you go into a lifestyle change with that expectation, you never have a moment of well there it is, another failed New Years Resolution because you didnt expect it to be easy or perfect from day one. You made it a lifestyle which can accommodate real life.

Calabreses commitment doesnt stop at the pledge website. On her podcast, social media and namesake website, Autumn is urging her fans to, Set a series of goals - big ones that will take some time to achieve and small ones that will ladder up to help you reach the overarching one. Its vital to start now to break the habit of waiting for a trigger date like the first of the year. Today is your trigger date and we need to expect there to be triumphs and setbacks. If youre truly serious and playing to win a healthy life, you dont wait.

#NoResolutions2021 comes on the heels of the launch of Calabreses newest program for Beachbody On Demand, 9 Week Control Freak. As the tenth program she has created for Beachbody, 9 Week Control Freak offers a revolutionary and comprehensive approach to taking control of key components that can truly dictate quality of life, such as strength, stamina, nutrition and sleep, and even a tolerance for imperfection. At its core, 9 Week Control Freak acts as more than just a fitness program by giving participants an opportunity to take back control of their life after what has been a chaotic year full of anxiety and uncertainty for many.

9 Week Control Freak arms participants with the tools to take complete control of the mental and physical aspects of their lives through innovative workouts, proven nutrition, and a proactive approach to rest, said Calabrese. We are all yearning for a better New Year, and this program in conjunction with the #NoResolutions2021 pledge gives us the chance to put the craziness of 2020 in the past and kick-off 2021 with a refreshing approach to regain control just not a superficial one like most resolutions. Beware of the advertisement that says, New Year, New You. Its just not that easy so we wanted to help people stop acting like it is.

The 9 Week Control Freak program consists of five days of exercise per week around a half hour day, using unique, yet affordable equipment to optimally trigger more muscle growth, burn more calories and reduce excess fat at a healthy pace. Calabrese designed the program with density training to build strength and stamina by amplifying intensity as you move through sets of the same exercise. Then, the strength training complexes shift muscle building into overdrive by increasing time under tension. As a first for Beachbody, Calabrese created the Controlled Stretch series to help participants sleep each night and prepare for the workout the next day. These short nighttime routines help clear the mind, relax muscles and promote a good nights sleep to make this comprehensive in-home health and wellness program a real innovation.

To learn more and take Autumns #NoResolutions2021 pledge, visit

About Beachbody

Beachbody, a worldwide leader in health and fitness headquartered in Santa Monica, California, was founded in 1998 by Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon and continues its mission to help people achieve their goals and enjoy healthy, fulfilling lives. Beachbody's formula of world-class fitness, nutrition, motivation and support has proven again and again to deliver results for its customers. For more information, please visit or

About Autumn Calabrese

Beachbody Super Trainer and nutrition expert Autumn Calabrese is the creator of the breakthrough fitness programs 9 Week Control Freak, 21 Day Fix, 80 Day Obsession, and others, and the portion-control weight-loss system Ultimate Portion Fix, which has helped millions of people gain control of their food. Shes also the author of the bestselling FIXATE cookbooks and her latest Lose Weight Like Crazy, Even If You Have a Crazy Life!, and shes the host of the FIXATE healthy cooking show with her brother, Bobby Calabrese, on Beachbody On Demand. Autumn is a certified holistic health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has held certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), as well as the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA).

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Celebrity Fitness, Nutrition Expert and Best-Selling Author Autumn Calabrese Challenges People to Say No to Resolutions for 2021 - Business Wire

Dec 28

Caffeine: Is it safe to consume it everyday? Find out – TheHealthSite

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. But that doesnt make it a healthy drink! We understand that giving it up can be difficult, especially when you have a habit of waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Also Read - Diabetes diet: Does caffeine in coffee and tea affect your blood sugar levels?

Some of you might be thinking about what could be so wrong about coffee when it makes you feel energetic and well-stimulated, well you will be surprised. But dont worry, we are not asking you to go anti on your favourite beverage we will leave that up to you. You can decide that after going through the article. Also Read - Study: Coffee addicts are more sensitive to the smell of coffee

Just like anything, coffee too has its own disadvantages and advantages. So, here are all the facts about caffeine to help you decide if you should continue drinking it or give it a miss. Also Read - Dalgona coffee: This all-too-popular quarantine beverage helps you lose weight too!

So, caffeine is not all bad for your system. It can be beneficial as well if consumed in moderation, so some of the benefits of caffeine include:

Clearly, the side effects of caffeine outweigh the benefits of the ingredient. From disturbances in your blood sugar levels to weight gain to heart diseases, there are many demerits of the foods high in caffeine. It is better to find healthy alternatives to replace the beverage. But if you cant give it up, the least you should do is drink it in moderation.

Published : December 28, 2020 5:38 pm | Updated:December 28, 2020 5:44 pm

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Caffeine: Is it safe to consume it everyday? Find out - TheHealthSite

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