CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) -
1. It is so hard to stick to a diet or exercise program. How can I make it easier?
It is hard to change old habits and improve your health, but over 20 years of weight management studies show us the key to making it easier, get weekly to monthly support from a professional.
Several studies at Universities including Tufts University and Winston-Salem State University compared people who regularly met with a nutritionist or attended group meetings to people who tried on their own to change habits. Consistently, those getting support lost more weight and lowered cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar much more than people who tried to do so on their own.
According to research by the insurance company Aetna, employers who provide nutrition support in the workplace see a 150 percent return on the money they spend on the program. So don't go it alone, see a nutritionist or personal trainer or join a group to be more successful. Most insurances will reimburse you for most of these services.
Another reason the meetings help: studies show too much information on nutrition and exercise is overwhelming and confusing for people so they just do nothing. A professional can translate the information into simple practical things you can do to get healthier easily.
2. I skip breakfast and still have a productive morning. As long as my brain works well, is it OK to skip breakfast?
According to a Harvard study published in the journal Circulation, the answer is no.
In this study, researchers tracked 27,000 men for 16 years. They found participants who skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to experience a heart attack or to die as the result of heart disease. The increased risk was seen after adjusting for age and lifestyle factors, like obesity and smoking.
The researchers think that skipping breakfast and not eating for a long time puts a strain on our bodies that over time can lead to high blood sugar, high cholesterol and blood pressure which can then lead to heart disease.
So break the fast in the morning even if it is with something small and be hungry in the morning by not eating too much at night.