Tanya earned her dietetics degree, completed a dietetic internship and served as a clinical dietitian in several Cincinnati hospitals. With more than 20 years of nutrition education experience, she is also a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Read More of Tanya's Blogs:
A couple weeks back I saw a commercial from a local cosmetic surgery company that caught my attention and surprisingly I am still thinking about it. It was not a new company being advertised but the commercial content was new information and the approach must have contained the right sixty seconds of information.
After hearing the advertisement for a non-surgical procedure that could help me "lose weight from those problem areas for good," I went to check out the company website to learn more.
I have never given serious thought to cosmetic surgery. For people that have lost a great deal of weight leaving excess skin, it makes sense. Since I do not fit into that category, I have never really given it much thought and certainly not as a weight loss method. I have my problem areas like most people. At my thinnest and most fit as a college volleyball player, I had a small lower abdominal "pooch." After having children, it remains my biggest problem area. Additionally, I have a body type where I gain weight first in the mid-section and lose it last from that region. I have really been working on my core this year and have lost a few inches, which is rewarding. However, my six-pack remains hidden in a soft-sided cooler and probably always will.
Posted 4/26/2013 12:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 821 comments 36,770 views
For some of us, visualizing a goal is easy. For others, goal setting comes more naturally. Thomas Edison visualized the light bulb long before he succeeded in its invention.
Visualizing and goal setting are important steps to success, especially when it comes to weight loss. Preparing for a journey that lasts a lifetime also helps keep everything in perspective. Using available tools, reading articles, and connecting with others for support, keeps us going when we want to give up. Even with all this, the journey is still long, hard, and frustrating.
Sometimes all the resources and accountability in the world can't make up for one of the most important keys to success – commitment to your weight loss and health goals. You can have the vision, a plan, resource tools, and support but without heart-felt commitment to ignite the passion to go the distance, success may be fleeting.
Here is a scale to help you rate your commitment to reaching your weight loss and health goals.
Posted 3/21/2013 12:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 439 comments 96,212 views
It is very easy to get frustrated when the scale isn’t moving. It doesn’t matter whether we have hit a plateau or are trying to deal with medical issues. Sometimes it feels like it isn’t worth the effort to keep making healthy lifestyle choices. Everyone tells us to stay motivated. Our friends, our co-workers, our relatives say to keep going, don’t quit. Sometimes, though, you ask, "Why? Why try my hardest when it ends in disappointment? Why go through something when it’s going to hurt? Why?"
Because it’s going to be different this time! Because you can’t accomplish anything if you give up! Disappointments and failures happen to everyone. The difference between those who reach their goals and those who don’t is staying motivated. If you’re motivated, you’ll keep going. If you keep going, eventually you’ll reach your goal. Need more motivation? Here are some motivational quotes shared by our members to help keep the fire burning inside you.
Posted 3/13/2013 12:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 76 comments 137,480 views
If you are a Dancing with the Stars fan, you are likely familiar with co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet’s recent surgery to remove her thyroid cancer. Unfortunately, Brooke’s history with thyroid issues is not unique; an estimated 27 million Americans (including myself) are living with a thyroid condition. Fortunately, thyroid conditions are treatable; however, they can be tricky to diagnose since the symptoms tend to be subtle and can easily be mistaken for symptoms of other health issues. Here are some of the most common red flags to watch out for.
Posted 3/7/2013 10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 62 comments 398,352 views
There's more to healthy eating and weight loss than simply tracking your food. The way you think about food, respond to hunger, and deal with cravings also affects your diet and overall health. Look up ''crave'' in the dictionary and you will find that it means ''to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly.'' So, it makes sense that you don’t usually crave specific foods due to physical hunger; cravings are often complex and happen for a variety of reasons, both physical and emotional. There is a big difference between a craving and actual hunger.
But cravings are not necessarily ''bad.'' They are normal and can have a place in any healthy lifestyle. However, constantly giving in to your cravings can lead to overeating and an unbalanced diet. Learning to satisfy your cravings in a controlled manner will keep your relationship with food in balance. Here are some common scenarios when cravings tend to strike—and how to bust them in a healthy way.
Posted 2/21/2013 12:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 31 comments 32,778 views
At SparkPeople, we strongly believe that the small, everyday choices you make can add up to something amazing. Healthy living isn't about making drastic changes all at once; it's about adding small pieces to the puzzle to end up with fantastic and sustainable results over time. No healthy choice is too small, either: See how these seemingly tiny changes can add up to better your health BIG time in the long run! Try adding some of them to your routine and see where they take you.
Posted 2/7/2013 12:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 38 comments 36,540 views
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has recently released their Xtreme Eating 2013 report. This yearly publication highlights the most shocking levels of calories, saturated fat, sugar and sodium in restaurant dishes across the country.
We've seen some noteworthy diet-friendly dining choices over the past several years, but restaurants still have a lot of work to do in the nutrition department—and this list is proof of that! Check out some of these outrageous meals from CSPI's ''no-no'' list, plus smarter alternatives. Have you tried any on the list?
Posted 1/24/2013 6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 44 comments 29,879 views
Happy New Year!
If you're reading this, you're probably gearing up to make 2013 your healthiest, fittest year yet. Although weight loss takes a lot of old-fashioned hard work and basic knowledge, it never hurts to have a few extra tools in the box to help you out along your journey. Here are seven essential items for your ''weight-loss survival kit'' that will help you build a healthier life this year, one goal at a time.
Posted 1/1/2013 12:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 30 comments 21,594 views
We hear in the media all the time about the calorie-laden fare that’s regularly served up at fast-food chains and casual-dining restaurants. But what about the sensible options? Are there any truly healthy choices at restaurants anymore? There sure are—and we’ve got a whole list of them! Here are some of the best restaurant meal options of the year to help make your dining-out decisions a little easier. See if any of your favorites made the cut!
Posted 12/27/2012 6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 38 comments 72,206 views
Many exercisers agree that uplifting music helps increase energy and motivation while working out. This is especially important during the holiday season, when ''to-do'' lists are long and the temptation to skip workouts is high.
Making fitness a priority is a key to holiday weight-loss success. Use these festive songs of the season to help you create a perfect holiday workout playlist that will keep you moving and in the holiday spirit at the same time!
Posted 12/13/2012 10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 22 comments 54,620 views
Congratulations on making it through all of those Thanksgiving temptations! Now, it's time to face the upcoming barrage of holiday parties over the next month. Between the office buffets, neighborhood open houses, family gatherings, religious festivities, and community get-togethers, sticking to a healthy eating plan can become difficult, to say the least.
While there are a variety of excuses to overindulge during the holidays, the best defense against holiday eating disasters is a good plan of action. There is no better way to formulate a plan for holiday survival than to learn from how others stay healthy during this time of joy and celebration. Use these helpful SparkPeople member tips to stay on track into the New Year.
Posted 11/29/2012 10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 22 comments 29,145 views
Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and, of course, food. According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American eats more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day. This includes nearly 1,500 calories consumed from appetizers, chips and dip, and drinks before sitting down to the dinner table for the annual feast.
If you're trying to lead a healthier lifestyle during this time of year, those statistics can be a little hard to swallow. But don't panic! We have plenty of holiday survival strategies to keep you on track with your health goals. Here are some useful tips and ideas to help you enjoy a full Thanksgiving that's trim--but not missing any of the trimmings.
Posted 11/15/2012 10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 3 comments 11,923 views
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 937 times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? You just spent eight hours without food or water while your body continued to use energy. You’re dehydrated, your blood sugar is low and you have little energy. And now it’s time to start a hectic day.
Breakfast eaters typically cruise until lunch, while beaming with energy compared to those who skip the meal and tend to snack before lunch and throughout the day, and tend to be drawn to unhealthy, high-calorie options. While quick and healthy breakfast ideas help with meal selection, they don’t help make breakfast a habit. If breakfast isn’t part of your morning routine, use these three tips to help you develop a new daily habit.
Posted 10/29/2012 10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 10 comments 21,710 views
McDonald’s has begun posting calorie information on restaurant menu boards and highlighting items under 400-calories to help people make healthier choices when eating away from home. Other restaurants are choosing to wait for the FDA to set final guidelines before posting calorie information as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
With such a large number of high calorie choices available in restaurants, will any of this really make a difference? If you believe the information produced by a leading market research company that tracks consumer foodservice choices, calorie information availability on menu boards will likely not influence order selection on a long-term basis.
There is now a new way for diners to enjoy food in a correct portion size and limit calories while also helping others. But would you be willing to receive a smaller portion while paying the same price?
Posted 10/15/2012 10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 77 comments 14,967 views
Back in the 1980s when I was playing high school and college sports, there weren’t a lot of healthy options when my teams would travel to tournaments or meets. Standard options at concession stands included hot dogs, chips, candy, and soda. Back then, bottled water was nowhere in sight. McDonald’s was the typical bus stop choice on the way home because they were the only fast food chain coaches could count on. Meals were burgers that came with fries and a soda. To substitute milk for the soda would cost you extra and courtesy cups for water were the size of three ounce Dixie bathroom cups. Many times my mother would send me off with a snack of nuts and raisins or orange segments to try and balance things out.
My college volleyball coach selected Wendy’s as her restaurant of choice when we were on the road each weekend because they were the only fast food option back then with a salad bar. Coach didn’t pay for soda, fries or desserts like a Frosty out of the team budget, which helped a little. However, it was still a choice of a hamburger or the salad bar as our meal option. Today we know that not every salad bar is diet-friendly but back then only the nutrition majors like me knew the strategies for salad bar survival.
Unfortunately not that much has changed today. Busy lives continue to make healthy eating a challenge for a young athlete. Weekday practice schedules cause families to grab Food on the Run on their way to the next event. Parents spend weekends sitting at soccer and football fields or ball diamonds causing children options like “walking tacos,” candy or chips from the concession stand or the after game snack provided by a team parent.
With snack food and hectic schedules continuing to influence young athletes for several decades, it isn’t any surprise that an article published online in April for the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that parents tend to be dissatisfied with the healthfulness of food offerings at youth sport settings. Here are some tips to help keep your young athletes active and healthy at the same time.
Posted 10/8/2012 10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 4 comments 9,927 views