Smart Bytes®

Feeling nutrition info overload? I will help you sort through to find what’s important to you. Read more. . .

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The 10,000 Step Goal: 5 Key Questions

Activity trackers – wristbands and small clip-on devices you can wear to monitor fitness-related goals like how many steps you take each day – are making big news right now. What's behind the 10,000 steps/day goal?

Do these trackers help you live more healthfully? How helpful are they in weight management? We’ll look at research and people’s personal stories related to those questions in an upcoming Smart Bytes®. First, let’s step back and look at the central premise behind those activity trackers: What do we really know about setting 10,000 steps a day as a strategy to promote health and vitality?

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How You Can Create a “New Normal” for a Healthy Lifestyle

Once established, lifestyle habits – including what and how much we eat and drink, how much we sit and how much we move – become so enmeshed with our day-to-day living, that it can be hard to imagine living any other way. Some might think that when a health scare or other “flashing lights” point at how a healthy lifestyle could make a significant difference and improve quality of life, changing habits would become easy. Not so, for many people.

How can you create a “new normal”?

In this, the final section of my video interview with Maura Harrigan, MS, RD, CSO, you’ll hear what she’s learned through years of working one-on-one with cancer survivors. Yes, even cancer survivors, having faced one of the most-feared medical diagnoses, turn out to have as much trouble as everyone else adopting healthy eating habits and regular physical activity, even though research increasingly shows the difference it can make.

Maura Harrigan is a registered dietitian who is a board-certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Ms. Harrigan is a research associate at the Yale School of Public Health, and Nutrition Director of the Cancer Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center.  Since the last section of my Smart Bytes® interview with Ms. Harrigan, the Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition (LEAN) Study team at Yale received a lot of attention at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting sharing exciting findings about potential benefits of lifestyle change in breast cancer survivors.

You don’t need to be a cancer survivor to feel “stuck” in habits. Following the video, read on for a checklist that summarizes research-supported tips on creating healthful eating and other lifestyle choices relevant to us all.

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For Healthy Eating, Do You Focus on Big Picture or Details?

How do you move from a vague goal of healthy eating to actionable steps you can take?For healthy eating, aim for overall pattern or small step choices?

Have you heard the expression, “The devil is in the details”? It’s a way of saying that the little details of how we do something can make a big difference in outcome. But what about the idea that sometimes “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? That’s referring to how easy it is to be so focused on details that you miss seeing the impact that comes from how the little things all fit together.

For me, the answer for eating choices that support health is not which view is better. It’s about how to go back and forth, holding both views in balance. As you think about this balance and the choices you make for a healthy lifestyle, here are a few recent studies you might find helpful.

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Losing Weight 100 Calories at a Time

You want to lose weight. You know – by reading or by personal experience – that “going on a diet” does not solve the problem in the long run. You’ve tried a few changes here and there, but nothing seems to happen. Where can you turn to lose weight in a way that is actually sensible, supportive of your overall health, and not a short-term band-aid to a long-term problem?Lose weight with a few cuts of 100 calories that add up to 500 calories a day

Instead of making an all-new start by going on a “diet” that makes sense to somebody else, start with where you are right now. Research-based recommendations from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and The Obesity Society support a strategy of reducing your current calorie consumption by 500 calories a day. Does that sound like a recipe for going hungry? It doesn’t need to be, if you do it 100 (or maybe even 50!) calories at a time. Here’s how….

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Don’t-Miss Updates and Answers

This edition of Smart Bytes® provides you with something a little different. Instead of an in-depth look at research on a specific topic, we’ll take a quick bottom-line look at several. A question I've been asked when speaking

Exciting studies have been published recently that reflect back on issues we’ve previously discussed, so I want to share these updates with you. And having just returned from several speaking engagements, some of the questions posed to me there reminded me that you may be wondering about the same things.

So here’s our dash through a variety of interesting topics that have significant meaning for the day-to-day choices you make impacting your health….

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