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Change your choices, change your life

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 11:47 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 11:49 a.m. CDT

With all the focus on weight in our society, it isn’t surprising that millions of people fall prey to bogus weight-loss products and fad diets. Conflicting claims, testimonials and hype by so-called “experts” can confuse even the most informed consumers. The bottom line is simple: If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you want to maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and lose fat, the best path is a lifelong combination of eating smarter and moving more. With the motto “Change Your Choices, Change your Life”, The Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Wellness Challenge offers a fun and competitive program to start the process.

A county-wide kick-off will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the Newton YMCA Conference Room. Stop by to register a team or find out more about the Live Healthy Iowa 10-Week Wellness Challenge. Prizes, Zumba demonstrations, coupons, recipes, nutrition information, blood pressure checks, and free body composition testing will be available. You can also log on to www.livehealthyiowa.org to find out more information or register a team.

The challenge kicks off January 28 and teams are being formed now in Jasper County. Use the ID code LHIJASPER when you register and your team will be listed on the county roster for some friendly competition. Recruit friends, co-workers or family members and register a team today to get on track to a healthier lifestyle that doesn’t rely on fad diets or bogus weight-loss products!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests you steer clear of any diet plans, pills and products that make the following claims:

Rapid Weight Loss

Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. Healthy plans aim for a loss of no more than ½ pound to 1 pound per week. If you lose weight quickly, you’ll lose muscle, bone and water. You also will be more likely to regain the pounds quickly afterwards.

Quantities and Limitations

Ditch diets that allow unlimited quantities of any food, such as grapefruit and cabbage soup. It’s boring to eat the same thing over and over and hard to stick with monotonous plans. Avoid any diet that eliminates or severely restricts entire food groups, such as carbohydrates. Even if you take a multivitamin, you’ll still miss some critical nutrients.

Specific Food Combinations

There is no evidence that combining certain foods or eating foods at specific times of day will help with weight loss. Eating the “wrong” combinations of food doesn’t cause them to turn to fat immediately or to produce toxins in your intestines, as some plans claim.

Rigid Menus

Life is already complicated enough. Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can be an overwhelming, distasteful task. With any new diet, always ask yourself: “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.

No Need to Exercise

Regular physical activity is essential for good health and healthy weight management. The key to success is to find physical activities that you enjoy and then to aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week.

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