The Checkup: Where to Recycle Your Christmas Tree in Philly 

• It’s time to get rid of the green plant that’s shedding all over your living room floor — but don’t you dare dump your Christmas tree in the garbage! There are plenty of spots around the city to recycle your Christmas tree over the next two weekends, and the folks over at Green Philly have kindly rounded them up for you. [Green Philly Blog]

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The Checkup: This Was the Most Googled Diet of 2016

• Yesterday, Google announced its most-searched-for terms of 2016, and when it comes to diets, the diet that racked up the most searches is pretty surprising. Drumroll, please: It’s the GOLO Diet, a pretty under-the-radar diet that focuses on managing insulin levels for weight loss. The second diet in line? The Taco Diet. This is not a joke. [Redbook]

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This Laid-Back Dieting Approach Is About to Be Huge — And More Insights From Whole Foods’ 2017 Trend Predictions 

Purple everything, including veggies, will be big in 2017, according to the folks at Whole Foods. |  william87/iStock.com

Purple everything, including veggies, will be big in 2017, according to the folks at Whole Foods. | william87/iStock.com

When Whole Foods Market buyers and experts announce their top trend predictions in the food arena, I have to wonder if it’s a chicken-or-the-egg situation. Like, does a food trend become a food trend because Whole Foods says it’s trendy, or was it already a trend before Whole Foods took notice? Regardless, last week, Whole Foods Market’s global buyers and experts — the folks who spot trend for their 465 stores — announced their list of the top 10 food trends to look out for in 2017, and they’re making us hungry.

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How to Eat Clean and Lose Weight: The Un-diet Diet

Ah, the word “diet” — perhaps the most fraught and misunderstood word in the health-and-wellness dictionary.

And it’s no wonder: A quick Google search for the word diet turns up over 450 million results, from top 10 lists to diet myths to articles showcasing experts from every conceivable side of the debate. Diets are good. Diets are bad. Diets are super effective. Oh, wait — no they’re not.

We here at Be Well are sick of all the back-and-forth, the questions and the confusion surrounding this most hotly debated topic. So we wanted the straight truth, the facts to help us decide what makes for a really good, long-term diet — in the least diet-y sense of the word. Read more »

The Secrets of People Who Don’t Gain Weight

The other day, I was on the elevator, making my way out of the Philly Mag offices to head to lunch. On the way down, two girls hopped on the elevator, and one of them was saying — very loudly — “It’s so stupid. SO STUPID!” to the other. I was looking forward to hearing (er, eavesdropping on) a juicy a story on my way out, but it turned out she was just talking about her Weight Watchers points and how she gets three points for this but seven points for that and it’s SO stupid. Because, a lot of the time, that’s what diets do: They become your sole focus and the sole thing you talk about and eventually you’re screaming about Weight Watchers points on an elevator in front of seven strangers all so you can wear your skinny jeans and actually feel skinny.

But what if steering clear of diets is actually one of the secrets to never not being able to button your skinny jeans in the first place?  Read more »

The Checkup: The Diet Habits to Steal from Successful MyFitnessPal Users

• Anyone who’s used the app MyFitnessPal to track their food intake and weight loss knows how addictive it is to record every single morsel you put in your mouth. That’s why culling data from more than 4.2 million MyFitnessPal users is absolutely genius: you can figure it’s probably pretty trustworthy information. To wit: The app makers just released a new report detailing the dietary habits of its most successful users and found that those who lost the most weight also ate more fiber and less meat than other users, among other fascinating findings. [Fast CompanyRead more »

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Carbs

While at a rookie camp for an NHL team, I asked the players what they eat at Chipotle. A few of them raised their hands and said, “I usually get the bowl.” Wrong answer. So I asked, “Why in the world don’t you eat a burrito?” Their response? Because of the carbs.

Most of my clients are athletic, fit individuals seeking advice on how to improve their diet for performance and overall health. They are usually at a point of feeling stuck — i.e. they’ve plateaued in terms of their body-composition goals or performance. And usually, the first thing I notice when I look at their food logs is the serious lack of carbohydrate in their diet. When I press them on it, they usually tell me they avoid carbs because they think they’re bad for health or will make them fat.

I’m here to set the record straight, for my clients and for you. Carbs aren’t evil. I repeat: Carbs. Aren’t. Evil. I can say this with absolute confidence, as a registered dietitian.

Don’t believe me? Here, five reasons why carbs — well, certain carbs — are super important and necessary for hitting your health and fitness goals. Read more »

The Checkup: How to Eat Well — And Keep Your Weight in Check — Without Dieting

• You’ve probably heard of the “everything in moderation” approach to eating — that is, allowing yourself to eat a little bit of everything you want, as a way to satisfy cravings without going overboard. The problem with it, according to a new study, is that, well, it doesn’t really work: Study subjects who ate everything in moderation increased their waist circumference by 120 percent (!) over five years. If you want to make the eat-what-you-want method work, check out these dietitian-approved tips for indulging without overindulging. [HealthRead more »

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