Changing Habits is Hard – Why Our Challenge Will Help

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I’m so excited for the launch of our newly designed and updated New American Plate Challenge website! I love this program because it takes you on a journey of eating and physical activity changes, rather than a prescribed, one size fits all weight loss diet. Each week you’ll take on a new challenge for a healthier life – the goal is to find a way that works for you and practice it until eventually you make it a lifelong habit.

Making changes is hard, especially long held eating habits and trying to get more active, so we provide plenty of tips, recipes and support from the NAP Challenge dietitians and other participants to help you succeed. You may also decide to go at your own pace and just work on a few of the challenges and skip some as we go along. Read more… “Changing Habits is Hard – Why Our Challenge Will Help”

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    Frequent weighing, small changes, can help young adults avoid that creeping weight gain

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    Weight gain tends to creep up on us: studies show that young adults typically gain about a pound and half a year. This might not be noticeable from year to year, but over decades it can add up to significant extra weight if it goes unchecked. Gaining weight can be particularly harmful for young adults, perhaps because it’s tough to lose weight, meaning these individuals live with excess body fat for longer. Excess body fat is linked to many types of cancer and other chronic diseases.

    The good news is that young adults may not need dramatic changes to diet and exercise to prevent weight gain, as a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests. This randomized clinical trial followed nearly 600 young adults ages 18-35 for an average of three years. About half of the participants had BMIs within the normal range, while the other half were already overweight or obese. The study compared two approaches—small, daily changes to diet and physical activity vs. more dramatic diet and exercise changes—to a control group.

    Both intervention groups started with ten in-person meetings, while the control group had only one in-person meeting to provide an overview of the study and the issue of weight gain. Read more… “Frequent weighing, small changes, can help young adults avoid that creeping weight gain”

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      Study: Lose weight through diet alone, or with exercise, cut cancer- promoting substances

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      AICR’s evidence shows that having too much body fat increases risk for eleven cancers. But researchers are looking at whether losing weight, once overweight, would lead to lower risk for these cancers. Now a new study from researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows how weight loss – through diet alone or diet and exercise – might change pro-cancer substances in the body.
      The 12-month controlled trial of 439 healthy, postmenopausal women with overweight/obesity included 4 randomized groups: calorie restriction diet; moderate activity (goal of 3.75 hours per week), diet and exercise, and no intervention. Researchers wanted to see if these lifestyle changes would affect four substances in the body (biomarkers) that influence formation of blood vessels needed for tumor growth. Fat cell growth also requires a greater blood supply, so these biomarkers are also associated with increasing fat tissue.

      After 12 months, women in the exercise group lost 2.4% of their body weight; diet only reduced by 8.5% and those exercising and dieting lost 10.8% of their weight. And the more they lost, the more their biomarkers were reduced. Read more… “Study: Lose weight through diet alone, or with exercise, cut cancer- promoting substances”

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