Athens Regional
Weight Loss Tips


breast cancer app

Early Detection Plan: Breast Cancer
The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s Early Detection Plan (EDP) enables you to be proactive about your health by reminding you to perform routine breast self-exams and to schedule clinical breast exams and mammograms, depending on your age and health history.

Nicolas’ Garden – Inspired and partly designed by an 8-year old, this app provides simple recipes that younger kids can help make or make on their own. They can try recipes, take and share photos, and recommend favorite dishes. Free for iOS and Android devices.

Farm Star Living – Find the best farm-to-table restaurants near you — no matter where you are in the nation. Access directions, links, phone numbers, and restaurant reviews. Free for iOS and Android devices.

LaLa Lunchbox – Take the stress out of planning nutritious lunches for your younger kids. LaLa Lunchbox empowers children to make their own healthy choices and translates those choices into handy reference lists that make grocery shopping easier for mom and dad. Free for iOS and Android devices.

SimplyHealth Back Care – This app provides information on how to manage and prevent back pain. Access exercise videos to improve back strength and flexibility. Free for iOS and Android devices.

Bewilderness – Use this app as your outdoor reference manual for common poisonous plants. Compare plants around you to poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Learn how to treat exposure. $0.99 for iPhone and iPad.

AllTrails – This app lets users browse over 40,000 high-quality trails guides for everything from hiking and mountain biking to fishing and snowshoeing. Track your adventures and share with friends! Free for iPhone and Android devices.

National Parks – This app from National Geographic lets you virtually explore US national parks. Get park recommendations, find out the must-do’s, and discover the secrets of each park. Free for iPhone and iPad.

Classic Camping Cookbook & Meal Planner – From the camping experts at Coleman, this app makes planning, shopping for, and cooking meals under the stars easy and delicious. Organize meals based on food type, category, and ingredients. Free, available for iPhone only.

Pocket First Aide & CPR – This app is an easy-to-use emergency guide that includes information on First Aid basics, CPR, and other medical and environmental emergencies. All content is provided by the American Heart Association. $1.99 for iPhone and Android.

Garmin Fit – This runner’s app lets users keep track of how long they’ve been running, distance, speed, and calories burned. Running history with maps logs your past runs. Soundtrack feature included. $0.99 for iPhone and Android.

Fitbit – Combining a range of activity, sleep, and health-related products with supportive apps, Fitbit has quickly become synonymous with the tech-supported fitness movement. After reviewing various fitness tracking devices, Lighten Up Georgia determined Fitbit to be the most accurate and we’ve become an official Fitbit affiliate. Give it a try today!

Relax and Sleep Well – This app offers the sleep-deprived a 27-minute hypnotherapy session for deep relaxation. Developed by leading UK hypnotherapist, Glenn Harold, the app features Harold’s soothing voice against a backdrop of soothing sound effects, affirmations, and direct suggestions that facilitate profound relaxation. Free for iPhone and Android. Diabetic Connect – This top-rated app connects you to the largest diabetes community on the Web. Users can exchange information, offer encouragement, and field questions. You can start your own discussion or follow existing threads from other users. Free for iPhone and Android.

Quit It Lite – Simplicity wins in this extremely modest but effective free app. Quit It Lite encourages smokers to become non-smokers and helps former smokers stay that way. The app tallies all the cigarettes a user has resisted and equates that information to dollars saved. You can also share your successes on social media or via email. Available for iPhone only.

Moves – Moves is free fitness app for Android. With a clean and distraction-free interface, users can track daily steps taken, minutes biked, or miles run. Activity can be reflected on a map so runners and bicyclists can establish favorite routes and challenge personal results.

Relax Melodies – Are you part of the 30 percent of adults who report getting less than six hours of sleep per night? If so, you may be feeding chronic levels of anxiety through sleep deprivation. Relaxing Melodies helps you fall asleep faster with the help of dozens of different tunes that you can customize and blend. Free for iPhone and Android.

Virtual Walk – Make your indoor or outdoor walk more interesting with Virtual Walk. Users can plot their distance through virtual scenic or historically significant places. At predetermined checkpoints, view photos and information about your virtual surroundings. Free version available for iPhone and Android.

Hot5 – Boost your current fitness routine or build one with Hot5. This apps contains provides users with loads of 5-minute workout videos for every skill level, interest, and area of focus. From yoga to rock-hard ab work, Hot5 is your perfect mobile fitness pal. Free; iPhone only.

Relaxing Sounds of Nature Lite – Lull yourself to sleep at the end of a long day or just take a moment or two to de-stress with this free app by Red Hammer Software. Blend natural soundscapes and soothing images together to downshift and promote relaxation. Free for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.

Weight Watchers Mobile – Take your personal weight loss coach wherever you go! This app offers recipes, exercise information, success stories, and other resources to help you stay on-track and motivated. The app works in tandem with Weight Watchers’ PointsPlus program and is free for iPhone and Android.

Sleepbot – When we sleep better, we cope with stress better — and that can help us lose weight! Sleepbot is a popular sleep-tracking app that monitors sleep cycles, provides ambient sounds to promote sleep, and comes with customizable smart alarms. Free version available for Android and iPhone.

LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach – This free app helps you find the right smoking-cessation app for your lifestyle. Analyze your current consumption, set goals, and customize your reduction schedule. Available for iPhone only.

CRON-O-meter – This simple tool helps users take charge of their nutrition. Monitor your daily calorie intake and compare that data your goal, add custom recipes and personal food favorites, track activity, and review your progress over time. This app is highly-praised for its simple interface and ease-of-use. Free for Android and iPhone.

Gym Pact – Lose weight and earn cash. Gym Pact lets you connect with its community of users to make weight loss pacts. If you meet your goals, you earn money; if you fall short, you owe. How’s that for motivation? Free versions are available for Android and iPhone.

Diet Assistant – Weight Loss – Diet Assistant is billed as a personal weight-loss coach and virtual chef all in one. It provides users with healthy, personalized weight-loss resources that include grocery lists, a weight-loss tracker, a BMI calculator, and more. Free versions are available for both Android and iPhone.

LocovoreStudies show that fruits and vegetables grown in-season contain more nutrients than those grown out-of-season. Locovore is a free app that helps you source more food locally and in-season by helping you pinpoint farmers’ markets and other venues that sell what you love. Available for Android and iPhone.

FooducateFooducate helps you identify and avoid those non-health food items while you’re grocery shopping. By scanning product barcodes, this app delivers an A-D grade based on calories per serving, processing techniques, and the amount of excess sugar. Free versions are available for Android and iPhone.

Noom Weight Loss CoachNoom combines a personalized interactive weight loss plan with daily tasks, challenges, and reminders to keep your fitness plan fresh. Users can log food and exercise information to track their progress over time. Noom also includes a GPS and pedometer feature. Free versions are available for Android and iPhone.

New Tools to Keep You on Track!

To be successful losing weight you need to make sure that you are eating the correct amount of calories and getting the right amount exercise each and every day. Knowing the calorie count for everything you eat, remembering to record each bite that you consume and recording your activity minutes isn’t always easy.  But, there’s hope with new weight-loss tools created for your smart phone. Best of all, these apps are all free downloads and available on most popular smart phone platforms. “Here’s a list of the best apps for exercise, healthy eating and keeping track that that Jennifer Cohen, (Jan. 2013) put together. Apps that track your calories, your exercise minutes, weight-loss and more.

Accupedo - Perfect for the avid walker, Accupedo is a free pedometer app that tracks activity in terms of steps, distance, movement, calories, or laps around a standard track. You can store and review data over time to see how you've improved. Available for Android and iPhone.

Human - An extremely simple app that's perfect for those new to the fitness scene. Human encourages users to get outside for 30 minutes each day and run, walk, or cycle. The free app lets you track your progress and share your success on various social networks. iPhone only.

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner - A free app for all appetites. Dinner Spinner helps you find meals the whole family can enjoy. Recipes include nutritional values that help support your health and weight-loss goals. The app "spins" your meal preferences and delivers other options based on thousands of popular recipes featured on Available for Android and iPhone.

Lose it! This free app lets you look up food to track calories AND track your exercise in the same app. Just input your current weight and your goal weight, and Lose it! will give you a fairly accurate estimate of how many calories to eat per day, and how long it should take to reach that goal...You can also scan the barcodes of almost any item and automatically pull calorie and nutritional info from a huge online database, which really helps when you’re grabbing a pre-packed lunch on the go and still want to stay within your daily budgets. A must-have app! Free: Apple, Android.

Fooducate Fooducate helps you spot tricky non-health foods quickly by cutting your research time in half. Simply scan the barcode and Fooducate will give you a rating for the food scanned based on calorie counts per serving, processing techniques and amount of excess sugar. If you want to save time and choose health, go grocery shopping with Fooducate.
Free: Apple, Android

Locavore To get the maximum amount of nutrients from food I always recommend eating fresh foods over packaged or processed. Timing is important as well; one study even showed that spinach harvested in-season had three times the Vitamin C as when it was harvested out of season! The basic rule is the farther it is from the vine, the less nutrients it has. Locavore tells you what’s in season and how many days you have left to enjoy it at its full flavor. It can also use your phone’s GPS to find the closest places to buy locally grown, in-season produce.
Free: Apple, Android

Nike Training Club Nike lives up to their “Just Do It” mantra- this app is a free personal trainer in your pocket. It has 30-45 minute timed workouts for cardio, toning and strength, videos for each move and a voiceover talking you though the workout, AND it pulls music from your own playlists to keep you motivated. Just choose a workout based on the time you have and the results you want,
and press play. The step-by-step videos and integration with your own music library make this a fantastic workout app.
Free: Apple

Endomondo Who couldn’t use a little extra motivation? If you’re a runner, biker or walker, this app will track your route via Google Maps, tracking your workout history to compare later. You can also create an account and get motivated by your friends every time you break a mile. You can even upgrade the app to work with special Polar heart rate monitors (my favorite!)
Free: Apple, Android, Blackberry

My Fitness Pal From start-up, My Fitness Pal takes your weight, height, goal weight and lifestyle into account before giving its recommendations. Right away it breaks up your big goal into a smaller goal 1 month away from now, which is a fantastic motivator. You can also access calorie counts and nutritional information from local restaurants, taking the guesswork out of eating out. You can also access your calorie count online from any computer, and get some extra encouragement by sharing your progress with friends.
Free: Apple, Android

Eat This, Not That! The Game While I can’t condone picking one less-bad fast food over another (chili dogs over cheeseburgers? Really?), the knowledge you get from this little game may help you in your next “hot zone” situation, where there are no good choices. If you’re going to play a game on your commute or while you’re on hold on a conference call you can pick up a few quick facts.
Free: Apple, Android





Hiking is an activity that cannot be overestimated when it comes to being a great exercise and giving you peace of mind taking in all the beautiful fall colors. Walking at a good pace can get your heart rate up and burn calories, so there is no doubt that hiking can help you lose weight help you get in shape.

One of the reasons that hiking is such a great activity is that it's fun to do and you can lose yourself in the beauty around you and almost forget that you're getting exercise.

Where to Hike?

Follow this link to find the best places to hike in Athens


PLEDGE TO EAT BETTER We all know how important it is to eat healthier to lose weight, but how can you manage this goal with everyday life? Especially occasions like football tailgating parties with friends, chili cook-off events and other social gatherings.

TAILGATE PARTIES We looked far and wide and found you healthy tailgating ideas and recipes! Make these dishes and you won’t have to give up tailgating parties - just choose to bring these healthier alternatives.

hot wings

How do boneless buffalo hot wings, deviled eggs, potato salad, chili, and cupcakes sound? We've got them here.

turkey bean chili

CRAVING CHILI AND SOUP? Winter usually brings on the cravings for a nice hot bowl of soup or chili but a regular bowl of chili can easily hit 500 calories.  The same goes for other meaty soups, which are often loaded with fatty beef or sausage and topped with loads of cheese. Yet, chili and soup can be nutritional superstars, when made with the right recipes. Use small portions of lean
meat, plenty of beans, vegetables, and spices, and just a sprinkle of low-fat cheese. In restaurants, check the calorie count before ordering. Cream of potato soup, broccoli cheese soup, and beef stroganoff may seem like perfect fall foods, but beware. Warm soups and stews that are loaded with cream, cheese, or meat are also loaded with calories.

You’ll find loads of soup and chili recipes here


food basket

 Learn more about nutrition here



FIRST PLEDGE, “I’M GOING TO EXERCISE MORE” and make the commitment to exercise each and every day. Even if you can only exercise for 10 minutes at a time, make a pledge to fit in a daily workout. In fact, schedule your workouts in your planner. Schedule exercise classes at a gym and write them in your planner as appointments and pay for them in advance. You will be more
likely to attend your exercise class if you pay for your workouts ahead of time…


SECOND, COMMIT TO EATING HEALTHIER Start by bringing healthy snacks to work. There’s fruit of course, but what about a Pumpkin Spice Latte at only 77 Calories or Carrot, Raisin, Cream Cheese Bites? Not your typical snack? Find more here


THIRD, AND WE’VE MENTIONED THIS BEFORE, TRACK YOUR CALORIES & FITNESS ACTIVITIES Here is a great tool we found from WebMD - Food & Fitness Planner. You’ll find it here


DEVELOP HEALTHIER HABITS Flu season is almost here and you can’t stay on track if you are sick. Get your flu shot and to avoid spreading cold and flu germs make sure to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze. A sneeze can travel at 100 MPH and spread up to 5 feet away. Bacteria from a sneeze, however, can continue to travel up to 150 feet.

healthy foods

LEARN MORE ABOUT NUTRITION  The more you know about nutrition, the better you will be at making healthier food choices. Learn more about nutrition here

REV IT UP! Your metabolism that is, with a few easy to implement tips.  


EAT PROTEIN at every meal. Why? Protein can help preserve muscle and it encourages fat burning and keeps you feeling full longer.  


BUILD MUSCLE every pound of muscle uses 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily.     

ADD AEROBIC EXERCISE adding aerobics to your daily routine can increase your metabolism long after your workout. Push yourself to do high-intensity exercise at least twice a week to really rev it up.

Here's a link to free aerobic and muscle building workouts that you can do at home.

BE ACCOUNTABLE Weigh yourself every week and submit your weight

Charting your weight lets you know if you're eating the right amount of calories and performing the right amount of exercise.

7 Habits of Successful and Healthy Weight Lossapple
from American Institute for Cancer Research

Eat Dessert Half as Often. You don’t have to eliminate them completely, but researchers found that the women who lost the most weight and kept it off were eating, on average, only about 7 desserts per month.

Get the Sugary Beverages Out. At both six months and four years, cutting sweetened beverages from an average of 1 per month to almost none linked with losing the most weight. Here are some great ideas for zero calorie refreshing beverages.

Color Your Plate with More Veggies and Fruit. This strategy was the biggest winner and paid off most at the four-year mark. Women who lost the most weight upped their vegetables and fruit servings from less than 4 to more than 5 per day. If you’re looking for ways to get more of these cancer-fighting foods in your diet.

Forgo the Fried Foods. During the first six months of the study, women who lost the most weight, cut back on fried foods from over 10 servings to about 2 per month. By four years, they were eating about 5 servings per month, so they were eating half as many fried foods as they had at the start.

Moderate the Meat and Cheese. This seemed to be more of a long-term strategy for weight loss. After four years the big losers were eating fewer meats and cheeses (about 1/2 ounce less per day) than at the beginning of the study.

Enjoy Fish More Often. On average, the most successful losers increased their fish, on average, from about 4 servings per month to about 5-6 servings per month. Substituting fish for higher fat meats means fewer calories and an added heart health benefit.

Start by Eating at Home. One of the first steps toward losing weight may be to eat at home more often. At six months, eating at restaurants less often linked with more weight loss. However, at four years, how often women dined out didn’t seem to matter. The authors of the study hypothesize that women who had lost the most weight and kept it off were using the other 6 strategies even when eating at restaurants.

Top Ten Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget
Check out these ideas and learn how healthy, great tasting foods can fit within your budget.
by Susan Stuck

man shopping

These days many families are trying to cut back on costs at home, including food. But there are things you can do to spend less while getting more nutritional bang for your buck. Check out our money-saving tips:

  1. Limit impulse buys.
    Last-minute purchases are generally less healthy and more expensive. Go to the supermarket with your healthy shopping list in hand — and stick to it! Click here for a healthy shopping list
  2. Buy fruits and vegetables at their peak.
    Season still matters when it comes to fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are often less expensive and generally of higher quality. Ask your store's produce manager for advice on seasonality and good value.
  3. Try house brands.
    In today's competitive market, grocery retailers are expanding options in their private labels. This means you can often get natural and organic foods at lower prices. Some top private labels include: Target's Archer Farms, Safeway's O Organics, and Whole Foods' 365. Shop around!
  4. Start from scratch.
    Buy fewer prepared foods. A little extra time in the kitchen can save you big money in the long run. So shred your own lettuce, brew your own iced tea, even bake your own dinner rolls!
  5. Buy in bulk.
    Most supermarkets have a self–serve bulk section where you can buy larger quantities of dried fruits, nuts, grains and other staple ingredients. You can choose the quantity you want and usually get better prices since you aren't paying for packaging.
  6. Beans aren't just for chili.
    Keep a few cans of your favorite variety of beans in the fridge to quickly turn a side dish salad into a main course. Try a Tuna and White Bean Salad tonight!
  7. Cook once, eat twice.
    Save time and money by preparing enough food at dinnertime so you can have enough leftovers for lunch. Turkey Meatloaf makes great sandwiches.
  8. Use your freezer.
    Scout the frozen foods aisle for nutritious gems at bargain prices. Berries, mangos, peaches, beans, greens, artichokes and more are all easy to defrost and prepare. Check out which Frozen Foods are All–stars. 
  9. Go meatless at least one night per week.
    Eating a meatless meal one or two nights a week is a simple way to cut down on saturated (animal) fat while cutting back on high grocery bills. Try veggie burgers one night and an easy, hearty Lentil Soup the next. Here’s a link to some great Meatless Meals.
  10. Become a patio farmer.
    If you can grow geraniums, you can grow food. A good–sized pot or planter can be the summer home to a cherry tomato plant. The 'Sweet Million' and 'Sungold' varieties are virtual tomato–producing machines. Sow spinach, lettuce or arugula seeds in your planter to harvest in the cooler seasons.

healthy meal

Dining Out Decisions
By Andrea Branton, RD, LDN, CNSC

Most Americans are eating out more than ever. Around 73% are saying they are trying to eat healthier at restaurants (according to the National Restaurant Association). Dining out can be a big blow to your diet when you are closely watching your calories and hard to judge how many calories you are eating. All restaurants prepare their foods differently. Even chain restaurant portions may vary from one to another. Just because it sounds healthy doesn’t mean it is low calorie. It’s all in how the ingredients are prepared and what is added. One of the best things about restaurant eating is that most places will fix the entrée the way you want, but you have to ask.

Check below for tips to help you look for healthier options.

  • Look up the menu in advance to get an idea of what would be the best choice. Most places have nutrition information on their website.
  • Choose a beverage with no calories; water, diet soda or unsweetened tea.
  • Keep your portions small, don’t accidentally eat the entire plate full served, share it or get a To Go box before you start eating and put half away. “Out of sight out of mind”.
  • Order a healthy appetizer (avoid fried/breaded items) as your main meal with a side salad.
  • Skip the bread basket, it is too tempting. Save your calories for the meal.
  • Ask for all condiments like dressing, mayonnaise, butter, sour cream, and sauces on the side so you can control the amount. Try to use only half or less the amount offered.
  • Choose foods that are baked, grilled, broiled, steamed and stir-fried. Lean proteins like fish, chicken and beef cuts like sirloin, strips or filets have less fat.
  • Avoid foods that are described as breaded, creamed, stuffed, crispy, blackened, sautéed, Au gratin, scalloped or fried.
  • Share one dessert with the entire table.
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your meal and company, put the fork down often and drink in between bites.

What to choose on the menu:

Pizza: Thin crust, plain cheese with onions, peppers, and/or mushrooms.
Burgers: Broiled or grilled extra lean without sauce or cheese, add lettuce and tomato.
Mexican: Grilled chicken fajitas, soft tacos and salsa.
Chinese and Japanese: Stir-fried meats with vegetables, no rice or sushi with soup.
Italian: Pasta with meatless sauce or minestrone soup and salad with light dressing on the side.
Seafood: Broiled, baked or grilled seafood with lemon and steamed vegetables.
Steakhouse: Shrimp cocktail, broiled or grilled chicken/fish with plain baked potato.

Remember you are the customer. Ask questions and make changes to the food. You have more control that you realize!

Additional Resources:

National heart lung and blood institute. Tip sheet: Eating Healthy When Dining Out.  

UDSA choose my plate. Tips for Eating Healthy When Eating out

We Can. How much Sugar in your favorite drinks.

Dieting Tips for a Healthier Vacation

eating at the beach

What obstacles to maintaining your diet do you think you can encounter on your summer vacation?

Let's see there's eating out, sleeping later, lack of exercise and of course, extra snacking. You don't have to give in to all these temptations and set your diet back a few pounds, instead make a plan, one that allows you a few special treats on your vacation.

  1. Make it your own spa health vacation: Exercise each day: Take a walk on the beach, take a yoga class, use the hotel treadmill or try a new sport like tennis or volleyball. Make sure that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. It will keep you feeling healthy and good about yourself.
  2. Pretend you're at a spa: Eat healthy fruits and vegetables every day, but on one or two days allow yourself a special treat.
  3. Buddy up: Ask a family member or friend to join you for your daily exercise and make a pack to help each other to stay on track.

What's the most important thing to remember? Don't let one or two bad days lead you to a bad week or to call it quits. We have all blown our diets from time-to-time; you shouldn't be so hard on yourself, it's important to forgive and forget and just get back on track!

Avoid Temptation!
by Susan Stuck


Our quick tips for keeping yourself from being tempted off of your diet.

As those who struggle to manage their weight know, it's not easy, or always possible, to just say "no." There are high-fat, high-calorie options almost everywhere. And if they're in your house, you're already sunk. Dieters need to acquire particular skills to negotiate life's calorie-loaded turns.
Here are our quick tips:

At the Supermarket

  • Write out a shopping list and stick to it.
  • As you enter the store, repeat this mantra: If I don't buy it, I can't eat it.
  • Stay to the perimeter of the store. Start in the produce aisle, picking fruits and vegetables of every color. Then move on to the meat and fish counters for some lean poultry or fresh fish. Select breads with the highest-fiber content in the bread aisle. Turn into the dairy aisle and stock up on products labeled "fat-free" or "low-fat."
  • Steer clear of those end-of-aisle specials that try to lure you deep into snack food territory.
  • Restrict forays into the center of the market to searches for canned beans and tomatoes, frozen fruits and vegetables, and cleaning supplies.
  • Pick a check-out lane that's candy-free.

At the Office

  • Instead of the usual doughnuts, danish, or oversized (and fat-laden) muffins, bring apples (or pears or plums or nectarines or grapes or clementines) to the next staff meeting. You'll be surprised how receptive your co-workers will be.
  • Stash mini-carrots or red grapes in your briefcase for mid-afternoon snack attacks.
  • Order soup at lunch.
  • Drink seltzer or plain water. Coffee drinkers: If you like milk in your coffee, make sure it's skim.

At a Restaurant

  • Repeat this mantra: Big portions are no bargain.
  • Slide the bread basket or tortilla chips well out of reach.
  • Eat plenty of salad — but go easy on the salad dressing.
  • Choose grilled fish or poultry, nothing fried. And avoid red meats or sausages altogether.
  • Don't take a dessert menu when you're already full! If you do want to try a dessert, don't deny yourself. But split it with others at the table and limit your portion size.

At a Party

  • Eat an apple or orange before you go to a party. Never arrive hungry.
  • Drink seltzer with a twist.
  • The crudités platter is your friend: the dip in the center is not.
  • Raid the edible decorations. The grapes, cherry tomatoes, clementines or strawberries that adorn the cheese or cookie platters aren't merely eye-candy. Stake your claim and go for 'em.

vegetable stir fry

Adding Vegetables Is Important To Your Diet

It is shown that on average, Americans eat about 1.6 servings of vegetables daily, according to the Center for Disease Control.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that we each eat at least 1.5-2.5 cups of vegetables per day, depending on your age, size, and activity level.  This equates to approximately 4-5 servings (usually 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked) of vegetables at a minimum, daily.  An easy way to remember this is to make at least half of your plate fruits and vegetables.  

Eating a rainbow of colors every day helps us obtain the nutrients that are essential to a healthy functioning body.  These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a wide range of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds that are found in plant foods and are also commonly known as antioxidants and flavonoids. A regular consumption of these healthy whole foods has been shown to reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic disease. 

Another great perk is that vegetables are not only low in fat and calories and but are also very filling, aiding in weight management.

Green foods such as broccoli, kale, and spinach contain many minerals and B-complex vitamins, as well as other powerful anti-cancer phytochemicals.  Red foods like tomatoes and red cabbage contain Lycopene, a phytochemical that aids in prostate and skin health.  Orange foods like pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrots contain carotenoids that fight free radicals and repair DNA as well as Vitamin A which is great for eye health.  Green/yellow foods like corn and green peas contain Lutein and zeaxanthin which also aid in eye health.  Red/blue/purple foods contain anthocyanins which are great for the circulatory system.Try ‘eating the rainbow’ with most meals and add more veggies to your salads, soups, and entrees.  You can sneak them in items such as smoothies and sandwiches too.

For a personalized food plan, you can find more information at

A Daily Food Plan Tool

choose my plate

Use this tool to find out and receive a customized Daily Food Plan.

Staying Hydrated This Summer

stay hydratedMost people take water for granted, but did you know that approximately 60 percent of your body weight is water? And staying hydrated by drinking the proper amount of
water is the key to many aspects of health.

We have a tendency to think more about hydrating in warm weather or when we exercise, but these are not the only reasons to stay hydrated. Your body naturally expels fluids daily through perspiration and urination and these fluids must be replaced to maintain good health.

According to Bentz Tozer, JR., BS, CPT, Harrisburg Magazine,

  • As little as a one- to two-percent decrease in fluids can lead to difficulty concentrating.
    Sweat is the way in which your body cools itself. If you dehydrate and stop perspiring, you are
    in danger of overheating.
  • Water also plays a huge role in the proper function of our digestive system. From the saliva in
    your mouth to the softening of your stool, water plays an important role throughout the entire
    digestive tract. Cells utilize water to transport nutrients in and waste out.
  • When it comes to hydration and your skin, water is the key to the reduction of wrinkles and
    looking younger. Our skin is like a plum. When it is well hydrated, it’s smooth and supple;
    when it’s not, you have a wrinkled-up prune.

So, how much water should you consume? The minimum amount of water consumed each day should be half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, a 150-pound person would consume a minimum of 75 ounces of water per day. This is a guideline and can be modified to your specific needs or health.
Water isn’t the only way to hydrate Some foods can help you add to your water consumption and the best fruits to stay hydrated are in the melon family or apples and oranges.
Click here for a Free Hydration App

fresh fruitsWhat better time to talk about fruit than early summer when fresh fruit is most delicious and abundant.  From strawberries to peaches, pears and apples, all are filled with disease – fighting properties to support our health.  The nutrients found in fruit can help strengthen your immune system, lower cholesterol, improve bowel function, reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. 

Most Americans’ fruit intake is inadequate, but it’s easy to incorporate more fruit into your daily diet.  Fruit makes a perfect snack; it can also be added to your morning cereal or smoothie, and it makes a yummy dessert by itself or in a recipe. Any time of day fruit can be a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Fruit is naturally high in carbohydrate so those with diabetes or other blood glucose problems may want to limit their fruit intake to two to four servings a day. A serving is considered 1 small fresh fruit or ½ cup fresh fruit or juice or 2 tablespoons dried fruit.  

Buy Local Click here to learn how to find and support your local farmers.

Support our area farmers by buying local produce at the grocery store, or better yet, visit one
of the tailgate markets and buy directly from the farmer.  If you haven’t checked out any of the tailgate markets in western North Carolina they are a great place to find fresh produce, and other locally grown foods and homemade products.  The tailgate markets provide a fun, festive atmosphere to shop and chat with the farmers and friends.  Find your nearest tailgate market in the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Program’s (ASAP) free guide to local produce.  Besides listing all the markets the guide also has listings of where you can pick your own fruits and find businesses that support and use local produce. 

fresh food finder

Fresh Food Finder
Will help you find your local markets!

Fresh Food Finder is a free App that you can download for your iPhone or Android Smartphone that will help you locate all your local markets. Enjoy eating local fresh fruits and vegetables!



The Backyard Guide to Healthy Grilling


It's summer and it's time for backyard barbecues and of course hamburgers, barbecued pork, hot dogs, potato salad and baked beans all come to mind. Not exactly the healthiest food choices, especially if you are trying to eat healthy and lose weight!

We have some healthier alternatives that will leave your diet intact and help you feel better about enjoying your backyard barbecue!

Here are some great lean protein options that taste great hot of the grill: salmon, chicken breast, pork loin and lean cuts of beef. Prepared with tasty marinades and fresh salsas, these entrees will make you forget all about the extras.

Or if you really want a burger, why not try a turkey burger, veggie burgers, or a bean burgers and if you skip the bun, you can save 120 calories. by skipping the bun and eating your burger, whatever type it may be, naked. Or lose 60 calories by going open face.

We've assembled some great grilling suggestions here.

grill cuban chicken salsa
Courtesy Weight Watchers

Grilled Cuban Chicken with Black Bean and Mango Salsa
We’ve got lots of recipes to make your summer delicious. More grilling here

How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls 

portion size pitfalls

When eating at many restaurants, it's hard to miss that portion sizes have gotten larger in the last few years. The trend has also spilled over into the grocery store and vending machines, where a bagel has become a BAGEL and an "individual" bag of chips can easily feed more than one. Research shows that people unintentionally consume more calories when faced with larger portions. This can mean significant excess calorie intake, especially when eating high-calorie foods. Here are some tips to help you avoid some common portion-size pitfalls.

Another Secret to Weight Loss Success

diet exercise

What is the secret to weight loss?  It appears to be no secret at all, its diet and exercise. The key to weight loss is developing healthy diet and exercise habits. Although some of you might be looking for that "magic something" that will work, it appears that we've known all along; eating healthy, lower calorie meals and becoming more active is the key to weight loss success.

Here are some strategies from The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) database which contains more than 10,000 members who have succeeded in losing at least 30 pounds and have kept their weight off for a year or more. 

  • Following a low calorie low fat diet
  • Cutting back on sugars/sweets and eating more vegetables and fruits
  • Keeping a food diary
  • Eating breakfast every day
  • Eating out less than once a week
  • Weighing themselves at least once a week
  • Watching less than 10 hours of TV per week
  • Exercising about 1 hour per day

    phoneHere’s a diet tool app that can help you track
    your food intake
    One of the top-rated, free dieting apps.




portion sizes
Courtesy LifeHacker

It's Simple; To Lose Weight, You Must Use More Calories Than You Eat.
Research suggests that safe weight loss involves combining a reduced-calorie diet with physical activity. In basic terms; you need to eat smaller portions and burn more calories by exercising.

Make sure you get 150 to 300 minutes of moderately intense or vigorous physical activity each week. Even 10 minutes of activity at a time can add up over the week. Click here for free cardio exercise videos.

Plus, strengthen your muscles at least twice a week; strength-training builds more muscle and muscle helps you to burn more calories. Do strength-training exercises, lift weights, or work with rubber resistance bands. Click here for free weight-training videos.

Combining these healthy habits will help you to lose weight and keep it off. These practices may help lower your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Do You Need Assistance Managing Your Diabetes?

Athens Regional Health System Diabetes Education Programs and Support can help.
As part of their commitment to helping patients reach and maintain health, they offer several
 classes and community programs. For more information about their services, call 706-475-5600.

Brown Bag It or Healthy Lunch Out?

healthy lunch ideasBrown bag lunches don’t have to be boring or fat-laden; there are some easy and healthy alternatives! To keep you on track, we have assembled a Pinterest board dedicated to “healthy lunch” ideas such as:5-Minute Turkey, Avocado, and Hummus Wrap or a Hummus and Roasted Veggie Pizza. Check out these lunch suggestions and more here.



Healthy and low-calorie lunches at
McDonald's, Chick-fil-A and Subway. Really?


With all the demands on our time, fast food has become a fact of life. Click here for Family Circle’s guide to choosing diet-friendly menu items at fast food restaurants.

Want To More About Healthy Eating?
Putting It On The Plate
These free cooking demonstrations are provided by Margaret Earnest, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, explore new foods and recipes to keep healthy eating fun and tasty.
Register for classes at (706) 475-5600


Bookmark and Share