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THE FITBIT BLOG

Joy Bauer: Enjoy the Holiday Season with these 3 Strategies

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This is a guest post from Joy Bauer, one of the nation’s leading health authorities. As the nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show, Joy shares reliable, practical, and straightforward advice that helps millions of Americans eat better and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. She also hosts the program’s popular “Joy Fit Club” series, which celebrates determined people who have lost more than 100 pounds through diet and exercise alone.

 

Joy 10-2012Whoever described the holiday season as “the most wonderful time of the year” was certainly not trying to watch his weight. Between the office parties, family get-togethers and all those festive food gifts, it can easily turn into a nonstop feeding frenzy.

Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can enjoy the season (and yes, some of the tasty treats) without overdoing it using these smart strategies. read more

4 Healthy Holiday Food Substitutes

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pumpkin pie copy

I’m so encouraged. Rather than viewing the holidays as a time of unbridled indulgence, then post-indulgence guilt, most people (and hopefully this includes you) are starting to rein it in.

Here at Foodtrainers, rather than clients going MIA until January, they are signing up for our Foodstalking program where we have daily email check-ins. And let’s be clear—I’m not here to insist that you avoid your favorite treats. Rather, I’m suggesting you stick to just those.

So if you’re in the healthy holiday camp, here are my “glutton free guidelines.” read more

6 Science-Backed Ways to Stop Overeating During the Holidays

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Useful Science is a nonprofit run by 65 grad students and professionals. The author of this post is Greg Traversy from the University of Ottawa. The most recent Useful Science post was about improving your life. Email them at hello@usefulscience.org.

Are there factors outside of our body – in the environment, for example – that influence how much we eat at a given meal? The short answer is yes, and they can make us eat more regardless of our feelings of hunger. Here is a list, with the science to back it up, of environmental factors that can cause us to eat more than we normally would.

And for each bit of science, we’ve provided a tip to help you counteract the science and avoid the overeating temptation especially during the upcoming holidays. So let’s go…

 

A variety of flavors makes us eat more read more

5 Hottest Food Trends for 2015

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Grapefruit

I’m conflicted on the topic of food trends. On one hand I live, breathe and sometimes dream nutrition (pathetic I know). I love to scope out what’s new or innovative, even on the fringe.

On the other hand, I roll my eyes over kale’s overexposure as the “it” vegetable. It’s almost Kardashian-like. Enough, right? If I am forced to pick sides—new or same-old—I’m going with the latest and the greatest.

And so, I bring you five hot food trends coming up in 2015. read more

Answer These 5 Questions to Avoid Thanksgiving Weight Gain

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turkey

Plenty of statistics can tell you what the average person will eat on Thanksgiving or the average amount of weight people gain. But from my many nutrition sessions over the years, I do know a few things about the average person who packs on the pounds over the holidays.

This average person says things like, “Holidays only come once a year,” or “Everything in moderation,” and then proceeds to eat everything not so moderately. And sometimes these average people conveniently miss appointments this time of year.

But you’re better than average right? You’re not going to partake in the pie-a-thon just because others do, right? You’re going to finish your holiday meal on Thursday with no need to “unbutton” or take an immediate nap. And if you’ve been a gainer in past years, have no fear— your Foodtrainer is here. Answer these five questions to “plan it thin.” And make sure to stick to your scale schedule with your Fitbit Aria. read more

The 5 Healthiest Ways to “Pasta”

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pasta

I love that desert island food question. You know, the one where you’re stranded on a desert island and can have three foods with you. While it’s unlikely that any of us will be stranded, or that if we were, somehow our favorite foods would show up. However, if I’m answering this question, my island has pasta (and cheese for the pasta).

Sure, I’m a nutritionist and like my green juices and kale salads, but if life had no rules I’d be eating more pasta. Sadly, real life has rules and in my case that means no gluten—I have a dietary issue with gluten. So I’ve done my pasta research to come up with my top five picks healthy pastas. So whether you have a gluten intolerance or you’re just looking to spice things up in the kitchen, these pasta alternatives are great choices. read more

How To: Hack the Time Change to Maximize Your Sleep

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Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Neurology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on sleep and circadian rhythms, and the role of circadian rhythm and the disruption in obesity. She previously wrote about getting out of bed in the morning.

charge sleep

Nearly everyone looks forward to the ending of daylight saving time (DST) for the chance to capitalize on an extra hour of sleep. It’s especially true today, that first Monday, when it feels so much easier to get up before 7am.

Scientific studies show that there are real benefits to even one extra hour of sleep for the few days after the end of DST, including lower instances of traffic accidents and a reduced rate of heart and stroke-related incidents.

For those who are chronically sleep deprived, this week provides a much-needed opportunity to catch up on sleep in the short term. But what can you do to leverage this shift to help keep your sleep on track? Here are some tips below: read more

Fitbit Halloween by the Numbers

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This is a guest post from Robert da Silva, a data scientist on the Fitbit R&D Team with a PhD. in Astrophysics. His favorite Halloween candy is Reese’s Pieces, just like E.T.

It can be a challenge to stay healthy during the holidays. Mostly it’s eating too much turkey or holiday desserts. And the king of all the unhealthy holidays just might be Halloween, a day entirely based upon collecting buckets of candy. But Halloween is also a holiday where walking plays a large role. Whether trick-or-treating or just walking with the kids, people go door-to-door collecting candy and racking up steps.

As members of the Data Science Team at Fitbit, we wanted to know how all those steps stacked up against that extra candy. We used our massive database of user step data, which allows us to analyze the impact of Halloween.

We started by exploring anonymized data from Halloween last year (2013), which fell on a Thursday. We found that, on average, users that went trick-or-treating gained 2,750 steps—that’s nearly 1.25 miles. And we know everyone loves Halloween candy, so we put together a few easy ways you can offset those extra calories by increasing your daily steps or engaging in a holiday workout. What else did we find? See the infographic below to find out.

So go out and rack up some spooky steps, just make sure the scariest part of your day isn’t your calorie total

Halloween Final Final web

 

Sweet Surrender: 5 Easy Tips to Cut Back on Sugar

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sugar

“Sugar has a bullseye on its back these days”—that’s what one of the speakers said at a recent nutrition conference I attended.

But rather than rolling our eyes at all the “sugar media,” we should realize there’s truth to this messaging. Sugar stinks and it deserves all the negative press it’s receiving.

However, I don’t believe quitting sugar cold-turkey is always the answer. In reality, you need a plan. We all need guidance and using Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, we quit sugar in the Foodtrainers’ offices for one month.

As someone who has never felt especially drawn to a dessert tray or cookie plate, it was still extremely difficult. Sugar lurks everywhere. So here are a few tips if you’re planning a sugar breakup or just looking to spend less time together with your sweet old pal. read more

Essential Sleep Tips: How to Wake Up Easier in the Morning

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sleep image 9-30

Fall is the perfect season for sleep. Cool and crisp nights cuddled up in a blanket are the best. That is, until you need to get up the next morning.

In full disclosure: I’m a morning lark so in a lot of ways, the dark mornings help me sleep in to a normal human hour (rather than waking at 5:45am with the sun). But for many people, the dark mornings make it even harder to get up and going, especially on workdays.

Aside from improving your sleep by tracking your progress with a Fitbit Flex or One, here are a few tips for increasing your ability to hop out of bed, even before the sunrise: read more