Oct 22

Eating Out

Nearly 60 billion meals will be eaten in restaurants and school or work cafeterias this year.  Most of these meals aren’t even remotely healthy.  People who frequently dine out get more starch, sugar, salt, and fat than those who eat prepared meals at home.  What can you do to help curb this trend?

The Plan for Eating Out

1.  Make healthy choices when you eat out. Most restaurants, even those that serve fast food, now have salads and other low-fat, low-sugar choices.
2.  Look for a sign on the menus.  Many restaurants have a symbol next to their meals that are more healthy for you.
3.  Compile menus from local eateries and identify healthy items to choose from.
4.  Try not to eat at restaurants or cafeterias more than three times a week.  Take a sack lunch a couple of days a week, or have several healthy meals that are fast and easy to prepare at home.

Diet Sodas

Image

Diet Sodas

Question:
If one woman typically drinks calorie-free soft drinks and another typically drinks a regular soda (usually containing about 150 calories), who is more likely to become overweight over time?

According to an eight-year study done at the University of Texas Health and Science Center the more diet soda a person drank on a daily basis, the greater risk she had of becoming overweight. Surprising? The findings are opposite of what we would expect. What factors could be contributing to this?

The researchers came up with two conclusions:

  1. Artificial sweeteners in diet drinks may actually increase food cravings for some people and they will be more likely to overeat.
  2. Diet-soda drinkers may think that they can afford to indulge elsewhere. A rationalization could be “I can have a hot-fudge sundae since I had a diet soda.”
Dec 22

Cravings

Food Cravings

A food craving is more than a preference for particular foods, or an impulse to buy certain snacks. A food craving is an insistent desire for a type of food (eg. candy, pizza) which we often go to some lengths to satisfy.  Cravings can be detrimental for our dietary goals! Fortunately, with a little forethought and planning, it is not too difficult to curb our craving desires.

What causes food cravings?

Cravings are usually more psychological than physical. The most common emotional or psychological triggers for food cravings are stress, depression, boredom or a general need for comfort.  Changes in hormone levels (such as during PMS), or low or imbalanced blood sugar levels can also cause cravings.

How can I avoid cravings?

  1. Eat small, frequent meals. When you get hungry between meals, enjoy a healthy snack.
  2. Reduce your intake of sugar and salt since overconsumption of these foods can aggravate cravings.
  3. Drink water instead of searching for a snack.   Oftentimes, we confuse thirst with hunger.
  4. Food cravings are satisfied best by the actual substance that is craved.  Forget eating carrot sticks to satify your craving for ice cream.  Instead have a reasonable portion of ice cream.  In moderation, favorite high-calorie foods can help you stay within a well-balanced diet and achieve a healthy weight.”
Dec 22

Cholesterol

Know your cholesterol levels

19% of Americans ages 20 to 74 have high cholesterol levels.  Are you one of them?

How do I get checked?

Your doctor can conduct a simple, inexpensive test to determine your cholesterol level.  When the test results are back your total blood cholesterol will fall into one of these categories:

Desirable — Less than 200 mg/dL
Borderline high risk — 200–239 mg/dL
High risk — 240 mg/dL and over

How often should I be checked?

Young Adults should be checked once every five years. Men over 45 and women over 55 should measure their cholesterol levels at least once a year.

Keeping tabs on your numbers can go a long way in preventing a number of serious medical complications (heart attacks and strokes included).

Dec 22

10 Ways to Make You Look and Feel Better

number

Ten Ways to Make You Look and Feel Better!

  1.  Make up your mind. Decide you are going to change. Partial commitment will yield partial results. Consistency is the key.
  2. Think before you eat. Assess what you are considering to eat. Ask yourself, “Will eating this get me closer to my goal?” If not, make a better choice.
  3. Eating for pleasure is distinctly a human experience. Choose foods on nutritional value not simply taste.
  4. Food choices are a habit. Replace poor choices with good ones, and it will become a new habit. It is simple, bad food make you feel bad, and healthy food make you feel good.
  5. Do not buy junk food. Similar to #4, omitting these foods at home will make a huge difference. If they are not around you won’t eat them.
  6. DO NOT SKIP MEALS! The key is to keep you body’s metabolism burning all day. Food is your fuel. Skipping meals will lead to a decline in your metabolism.
  7. Listen to your body. When you are hungry eat. Stop when you are comfortable, not when you are stuffed.
  8. Be honest with yourself. Half a cookie still contains calories. Little bites throughout the day add up to a meal. Everything counts, so count it!
  9. Weigh and measure food for a week. This may be inconvenient, but can be very valuable in educating oneself about nutrition. ( Here is a food scale that I like )
  10. You have to move. Incorporate more movement into your daily routine. Park further away at work or at the store. Use the stairs, or start to exercise. Do not take the path of least resistance. It will pay off. And remember, BE CONSISTENT!
Dec 22

7 Ways to Win the Desk Diet

7 Ways to Win the Desk Diet

DESK-JOB DIETERS HAVE A COMMON CONCERN:  HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LOSE WEIGHT WHEN IʼM SITTING IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER ALL DAY?

This can be a big problem for many individuals.  Proper nutrition is key in losing or maintain­ing weight with a sedentary, working lifestyle.  Weight control is a simple equation in nutrition terms.  Calories in = Calories out.  If calories in is greater than calories out you will gain weight, and vice versa.  Here are some simple suggestions to help win the desk diet battle.

Snack wisely.  A lot of individuals tend to snack while working on the computer or watching television.  If you are one of those people, keep healthy snacks available at all times.

Drink Up.  Keep water at your desk.  Water quells the appetite, and it is healthy for you. ( Here is the water bottle that I keep at my desk )

Plan Lunch.  Do not skip meals.  Cravings tend to creep up on us when we forget to eat regular meals.

Move.  Moving at least 10-15 minutes per day at an elevated heart rate is a great start.  Use the stairs, park at the far end of parking lots, or walk to lunch.  The key to moving is to move, start today!

Exercise dur­ing off hours.  If you live close to work, try walking or riding a bike.  Exercise at home or a fitness club in the morning or just after work. ( Consider TRX Suspension Training at Home, Click here to check it out )

Find help with friends.  Everyone has heard that “ Two Heads Are Better Than One.”  This saying goes for exercising as well.  Fitness can be a lot of fun when you involve others around you.  Get a coworker active or take your spouse or children to the gym with you.

Use Your Tools.  This means to be creative.  Trade in your work chair for a fitness ball.  This will do wonders for your posture.  We cannot carry a treadmill or weights around with us to use anytime, so give yourself options.  Research exercising tips while on your computer, plan your meals each day, get encouragement from those you work with and your family.  Most importantly, make a com­mitment.  Changing your lifestyle is not easy, but living a high energy lifestyle is worth all the work.  Do not forget to reward yourself.  Good luck, remember to have fun and enjoy life.

Dec 22

Boost Metabolism

Facing the next bigger size of cute jeans at your favorite store?

It may be that your body needs a metabolism boost.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to determine your daily caloric needs. To rev up your fat-burning engine, you don’t want to burden your system with too much or  too little food.

 Figure out how many calories you need to consume each day to lose weight and keep your metabolism humming. Caloric level is determined by taking into account your age, sex, height, weight, lean body mass and activity level.

Use this quick formula to give you an idea of how many calories you should need on a daily basis.  You may want to consult with a nutritionist for individual needs. Multiply your body weight by 11. For example, a 150-pound woman on average would need to consume 1,650 calories per day to lose weight. If you’re very active, you can multiply your weight by 12.

Dec 21

Beat Your Genes

Beat your genes!

Many people, especially women, believe that their genetics are their destiny.  The belief is that if you come from thin stock, you will be thin.  If your mother and grandmother were overweight you are destined to follow.  But is that necessarily true?  Thankfully a healthful lifestyle can help almost anyone overcome obesity and the health problems which usually come hand in hand with being overweight.  Don’t just sit back and settle for a body you are uncomfortable in because you don’t think you can do anything about it!  Empower yourself with the knowledge of a healthy lifestyle and then take action to help you beat your genes!

In some cases of genetic coding, a person is destined to have trouble with their weight. More often than not, it is the combination of genetic coding and the person’s behavior or environment which contribute to the overweight condition (such as abundant food supply and/or little physical activity.)   Take a moment to do a truthful self evaluation of the things you are doing that are healthy and the things you are (or aren’t) doing that are making a negative impact on your overall state of health.

Families share diet and lifestyle habits that may contribute to obesity.  What type of foods you were raised on?   How active have you been through-out your life?  What changes can you make to get you to your optimal weight and fitness level?

Be aware of health complications that run in your family (i.e. heart conditions, diabetes, kidney problems, etc.).  Take action now to prevent those diseases from becoming a part of your life. Sometimes disease prevention is the best motivator for doing all those things we know we should be doing.  Determine to lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise not only for the changes that will occur in your outward appearance, but especially for the benefits your body will gain on the inside.

Regardless of your genetic make-up and/or past health habits, you can take control of your lifestyle habits now.  By taking care of your health you will look and feel your best.  Not only will your health have improved, you will truely enjoy the change in your way of life!

Dec 21

May Diet

Long summer days can help you lose weight.

Most people tend to set new diet and exercise goals for themselves at New Year’s. But the best time to start a diet and exercise program is in May.

 Why in May?

  • The days are very long, which makes your energy levels go up and your food cravings go down.
  • You’re more likely to eat less and exercise more.
  • When you get home from work it’s still light outside, which allows more time for you to go on that run.
  • Many more fruits and vegetables are in season which makes them cheaper and more delicious.
  • There are a wide variety of fun, outdoor recreational activities to get involved in.

If you have lost sight of your New Year’s goals now is a great time to jump back in to health and fitness.  Take advantage of the success this time of year can offer.