Americans have gotten a lot of flack over the years for being supersized, but our high rates of obesity may not be for the reasons we thought after all.
Sure we eat too much, but it’s not how much we’re eating in one sitting, it’s what we’re eating throughout the day.
According to a new study published by Health.com, portion control isn’t the main reason Americans are overweight. Much of our weight gain can be blamed on snacking.
Within the timeframe the study was conducted, there was a 12% increase in portion size, versus a 29% increase in the number of snacks we consume.
In the mid-2000s, government surveys show, the average American adult ate about 2,375 calories per day, nearly one-third more than he (or she) did in the late 1970s. What accounts for all those added calories?
According to a new study, the biggest single contributor to the sharp rise in calorie intake has been the number of snacks and meals people eat per day. Over the past 30-odd years, the study found, Americans have gone from consuming 3.8 snacks and meals per day to 4.9, on average — a 29% increase. [SOURCE]
Doctors interviewed blame advertisements and the increased availability of snack foods for the problem.
For clarity, the snacks the doctors are talking about aren’t fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s the potato chips, candy bars, cookies, etc. that are doing us in. I’ve never really been a fan of chocolate or potato chips, so this has never been my issue. But there’s a reason I don’t keep Golden Oreos and Spree candies in the house!
Men’s Health Magazine has published a list of America’s least active cities. There are 100 cities listed, #1 being the most active.
San Francisco (pictured) is the #2 most active city in America receiving an A grade. Which city do you think is #1?
Lexington, KY is the LEAST active city in America, receiving an F grade, and spot #100 on the list!
Here is the methodology for their criteria:
We looked at where and how often people exercise (Experian Marketing Services); the percentage of households that watch more than 15 hours of cable a week and buy more than 11 video games a year (Mediamark Research); and the rate of deaths from deep-vein thrombosis, a condition linked to a lot of sitting (CDC). And since some people define “exercise” loosely, we gave credit for any physical activity in the past month (CDC). [SOURCE]
Below is their published list with the city’s ranking, name, and letter grade:
100 Lexington, KY F
99 Indianapolis, IN F
98 Jackson, MS F
97 Charleston, WV F
96 Oklahoma City, OK F
95 Tulsa, OK F
94 Little Rock, AR F
93 Nashville, TN F
92 Laredo, TX F
91 Birmingham, AL F
90 Charlotte, NC F
89 Corpus Christi, TX F
88 Memphis, TN F
87 Wichita, KS F
86 Sioux Falls, SD F
85 Fort Wayne, IN F
84 Omaha, NE F
83 Toledo, OH F
82 Lincoln, NE F
81 Louisville, KY D-
80 Greensboro, NC D-
79 Des Moines, IA D-
78 Columbus, OH D
77 Las Vegas, NV D
76 Cincinnati, OH D
75 Jacksonville, FLD
74 Billings, MT D
73 El Paso, TX D
72 Lubbock, TX D
71 Buffalo, NY D+
70 Houston, TX D+
69 Columbia, SC D+
68 New Orleans, LA D+
67 Tampa, FLD+
66 San Antonio, TX D+
65 Winston-Salem, NC D+
64 Plano, TX D+
63 St. Louis, MO D+
62 Bakersfield, CA D+
61 Cheyenne, WY D+
60 Fargo, ND D+
59 Fresno, CA C-
58 Cleveland, OH C-
57 Detroit, MI C-
56 Dallas, TX C-
55 Virginia Beach, VA C-
54 Chesapeake, VA C-
53 Kansas City, MO C-
52 Milwaukee, WI C-
51 Durham, NC C
50 Fort Worth, TX C
49 Raleigh, NC C
48 Orlando, FLC
47 Pittsburgh, PA C
46 Albuquerque, NM C
45 Riverside, CA C
44 Stockton, CA C
43 Jersey City, NJ C+
42 Newark, NJ C+
41 Providence, RI C+
40 Richmond, VA C+
39 Sacramento, CA C+
38 Philadelphia, PA C+
37 Santa Ana, CA C+
36 Baton Rouge, LA C+
35 Phoenix, AZ B-
34 Norfolk, VA B-
33 New York, NY B-
32 St. Petersburg, FLB-
31 Chicago, IL B-
30 Baltimore, MD B-
29 Colorado Springs, CO B-
28 Aurora, CO B
27 Los Angeles, CA B
26 Boise, ID B
25 Anchorage, AK B
24 Honolulu, HI B
23 Burlington, VT B
22 Wilmington, DE B
21 San Diego, CA B+
20 Madison, WI B+
19 Tucson, AZ B+
18 Boston, MA B+
17 San Jose, CA B+
16 Manchester, NH B+
15 Portland, OR B+
14 Austin, TX A-
13 St. Paul, MN A-
12 Miami, FLA-
11 Bridgeport, CT A-
10 Minneapolis, MN A-
9 Denver, CO A-
8 Atlanta, GA A-
7 Portland, ME A-
6 Reno, NV A-
5 Salt Lake City, UT A-
4 Washington, DC A
3 Oakland, CA A
2 San Francisco, CA A+
1 Seattle, WA A+
Where does your city rank?
A big welcome to all of our new friends visiting us from HelloBeautiful.com!
Today’s article is about making the best decisions when drinking alcoholic beverages. Ideally, none of us should be drinking at all, but assuming you’re 21+ and enjoy having a drink or two, we all know that’s not always realistic!
For those of us who enjoy a good cocktail, it can be difficult to avoid alcohol in social situations. Many events are centered around drinking, so unless you have the willpower, it’s unrealistic to attend a party and expect to sip water and diet soda all night. Moderation is definitely the key, but below are a few smarter suggestions should you choose to imbibe:
Many of us have heard of the heart healthy benefits of red wine, but according to the National Cancer Institute the antioxidants in red wine may actually aid in cancer prevention! The NCI also notes that the over-consumption of alcohol can actually increase the risk of cancer, so this isn’t a license to guzzle a glass with every meal. The American Heart Association recommends no more than two glasses a day for men, and no more than one glass a day for women.
Hats off to natural foods chef Bethenny Frankel (Bethenny Ever After) for branding a practical 100 calorie margarita recipe. The Skinnygirl™ Margarita can be made at home, or purchased in stores.
If you can’t locate a bottle in your area, here is the recipe straight from her website:
2 oz of Clear Premium Tequila (count 1, 2 while you pour, no need for measuring)
Tiny splash of Orange Liquor
Juice of 4 Fresh Lime Wedges
The great thing about vodka is that it has no carbs. The bad thing about it, is it’s still alcohol, and there’s nothing beneficial about consuming the empty calories. But if you must have a drink or two while out, a classic martini is less than 200 calories. My personal favorite though is vodka with freshly squeezed limes, and for a mixer try the vodka with freshly squeezed limes and Sprite Zero or Diet 7Up.
To keep yourself from getting too inebriated, you should sip—not slam your drinks, and alternate each cocktail with a glass of water. Cheers!
*sings all hard & loud like J Hud in the Weight Watchers commercial*
I’M FEELING GOOOOD!!
Ladies, our resolutions are fresh, and bad habits are soooo 2010! Put that Coco Loso down right nah!!
Just look at how amazing celebrities such as Jennifer Hudson and Raven-Symoné are looking these days. That could be you!
Sure celebrities have all the resources in the world, but fitness is challenging for everyone. Ciara, Beyonce, Janet Jackson, and Serena Williams don’t just roll out of bed looking that fabulous. They work hard at it. It may take more in the way of willpower for the rest of us, but fundamentally there’s absolutely nothing any of them are doing that’s outside of our reach.
Whether you are working with a personal trainer, are addicted to Wii Fit, or are taking classes at your local Y, the BlackGirlFit(ness) Challenge is all about reaching personal goals and milestones, and being the healthiest and fittest that you can be.
If you would like to participate, please friend the Facebook Page. There you will be able to post the stories about your journey, and help others who need the motivation.
I encourage everyone to share pictures. Before, after, now, ten years ago, whatever you have!
I’ll be uploading my pictures, stats, and goals soon. Won’t you join me?
Just when you thought you HAD to eat that whole pan of double chocolate chip cookies, FOOD Network comes to the rescue!! They put together a nice list of alternative recipes that include Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Baked Crab Cakes, & Low-Fat Egg Nog among other remixes to popular dishes.
Click here for the full slideshow.
Photo Credit: FOOD Network
Yes, YOU. First off, let’s establish that everything is easier said than done. Weight loss, weight gain, better legs, better butt, better arms—whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, unless you’re an anomaly (which at least 80% of us haven’t proven to be) you will have to invest time and effort to achieve desired results.
You’ve heard it all before, and it’s absolutely true: Abs are made in the kitchen. You’re never going to have a flat stomach, let alone a six-pack if you don’t decrease your overall fat percentage. This requires meticulous attention to your diet and working to eliminate—or drastically reduce the consumption of foods which offer little to no nutritional value. I highly suggest keeping an online food journal through SparkPeople to help you through this.
Now that you’ve addressed your diet, remember there’s no such thing as spot reduction. You can’t only do exercises specifically targeting your stomach and expect results. You must incorporate cardio and an effective strength training routine to start shedding those pounds and showing off those abs! Don’t be discouraged if you lose weight elsewhere first; genetics and commitment will determine when your flat stomach will make its debut.
Below are some of the exercises I incorporate into my overall regimen to make sure my stomach never hangs over my belt:
This is one of the simplest, most effective ways to shed pounds when I’m aggressively trying to lean out. Buy one, or borrow your kids’.
2. Planks + Side Planks
Not only do they strengthen your core, but they also strengthen your arms and legs.
I LOVE pushups. Even modified pushups are effective. Like planks, they also strengthen your arms. Look out, Shelly O!
Believe it or not, my first real introduction to Yoga was through the Wii Fit. I’ve since begun incorporating some of the poses independently, and count these among my favorite:
Downward Facing Dog
5. Hula Hoop
Stay tuned for the 2011 BlackGirlFit(ness) Challenge, ladies (& gents). I’ll be announcing the details soon through Facebook. Remember to Like the page.
Ladies there’s nothing more disheartening than a woman who won’t go to the gym for fear of being judged or stared at. Sure that’s easier said the closer you get to your goals, but don’t let what some stranger may think deter you from reaching your milestones. Read more
Everybody knows we Black women are sensitive about our hair, extended or homegrown.
But your fear of new growth is absolutely no excuse for not taking your personal fitness seriously. If it’s the difference between hypertension and some 1B yaki, the choice is pretty easy to me.
Break out the headscarf and consider these alternatives if you plan to hit the gym regularly:
1. Braids – Cornrows with extensions and microbraids are good protective styles. They’re not as easy to sweat out, and they’re timeless.
2. Big Chop – Short, natural hair is super low maintenance, and can really bring out your features. Baldy Solange>>>Weavy Solange
3. Wigs – You can always cornrow your own hair back, or tie it in a low bun. No one has to know what lies beneath but you!
4. Weaves – Properly installed weaves can be a great protective style, even promoting hair growth. Unlike a wig that you can just prop on the dresser when you get home though, it’s particularly important you invest in the best weaving hair to extend the life of the style.
5. Relaxer – Permies shouldn’t have any excuses. After a chemical relaxer, your hair can’t revert back to its original state, so put your hair in a ponytail, cover it with a scarf, & register for today’s Zumba class.
When it comes to food, weight loss, & maintenance, it’s all about calories consumed vs. calories expended. It’s very simple math, & as long as you keep a log of what you’ve been eating, you’ll find that a burger or fries every once in a while won’t necessarily be the death of you.
I eat McDonald’s & Burger King on a fairly frequent basis, however I never eat Big Macs, Triple Whoppers (I just noticed this atrocity on the menu the other day) or any other “super” sandwich. Instead, I’m the lone grown woman who orders a happy meal with no children in tow.
I get the satisfaction of a hamburger (no cheese), apple fries/dippers, & even a small fry on occasion. Nobody ever said Diet Coke was good for you, but remember we’re dealing w/numerics here, and diet registers as a caloric zero.
There’s no earthly reason to Super Size anything, and you should really be thankful when the employee stiffs you on the fries &/or salt!