Living Healthy in the Real World
J.B. Patterson


What's the best diet for weight loss?

A: Yours. With a few fixes. 

While all diets can lead to weight loss, not all will fit into your life. Family responsibilities, work stress, time, and other priorities make it hard to stick with any one diet. But just a few tweaks to how you already eat can help you reach your health goals. 

Follow this blog for quick fixes to common diet quirks to start making changes that last.

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Q: I don't want to diet. How can I lose weight?

A: Small changes can lead to big results. Here are 3 common culprits worth cutting back to get you started on your weight loss journey. #1: Swap the soda. My apologies--while a small change, I realize quitting the fizzy pop is certainly no easy change. It's hard to replace that sweet, bubbly sensation. And there's little denying that the sugar triggers the pleasure centers of the brain. Some may even be hooked on the caffeinated drinks, making it an even harder habit to break. However, sugar-sweetened beverages like pop, juice, energy drinks, and sweetened coffees are more than just empty calories. The havoc they wreak on metabolism paves the way for a fast track to weight gain. A 12-ounce c

Q: How many calories do I need for weight loss?

A: Calorie reduction is critical for weight loss. Below are a variety of ways to set your calorie goal. Some people use an online food tracker like MyFitnessPal, which will calculate your calorie needs based on your height, weight, age, gender, level of physical activity, and weight goals. Dietitians use formulas like the Mifflin St. Jeor equation to estimate a patient's needs. Most dietitians caution against reducing calories below 1,200 per day for women, or 1,600 per day for men, unless medically supervised. In a medical or research setting, a person can have their metabolic rate measured using some pretty fancy equipment like an indirect calorimeter. However, few people get that opportun

Q: How can I stay motivated to exercise?

A: Between work, family, the weather, and other realities of life, keeping up with physical activity can seem daunting. But inspiration can be found all around you. These 5 tips can help keep you active more often. I couldn't count how many times I have started a workout routine. Motivated, ready, and eager to see results. So I start running. Or I go to the gym. Or I purchase a pack of exercise classes at the Barre Code. And I make it happen. My schedule magically cooperates and I find a way to squeeze it into my day. I sweat. I feel good. I wonder why I ever stopped in the first place. And then I remember why. Because it happens again. Work gets busy. The kids' activities increase. The weat

Q: I'm tired of salads. How else can I eat vegetables?

A: Whether chilled, roasted, grilled, sauteed, or souped, making half your meal vegetables is easier than you think. Here are a few quick and easy recipes that are great for a busy night or for easy entertaining. Fill half your plate with a variety of non-starchy vegetables for the following benefits: You'll get a hearty dose of disease-fighting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to help you stay healthy longer. The fiber will stabilize your blood sugar, manage your cholesterol, and help you feel full longer to prevent cravings (and extra calories) between meals. Add volume to your meal without adding calories. By filling up on vegetables, you can better control portions of the hig

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