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Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths: Day 6

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

 

Myth: Low-fat or fat-free means no calories.

Fact: A low-fat or fat-free food is often lower in calories than the same size portion of the full-fat product. But many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat versions of the same foods—or even more calories. They may contain added sugar, flour, or starch thickeners to improve flavor and texture after fat is removed. These ingredients add calories.

Tip: Read the Nutrition Facts on a food package to find out how many calories are in a serving. Check the serving size too—it may be less than you are used to eating.

 

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Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Among them, choosing a balanced diet or eating plan. So how do you choose a healthy eating plan? Let’s begin by defining what a healthy eating plan is.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs
Eat Healthfully and Enjoy It!

A healthy eating plan that helps you manage your weight includes a variety of foods you may not have considered. If “healthy eating” makes you think about the foods you can’t have, try refocusing on all the new foods you can eat.

  • Fresh fruits ― don’t think just apples or bananas. These are great choices, but try some “exotic” fruits, too. How about a mango? Or a juicy pineapple or kiwi fruit! When your favorite fresh fruits aren’t in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety of a fresh fruit you enjoy. One caution about canned fruits is that they may contain added sugars or syrups. Be sure and choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in their own juice.
  • Fresh vegetables ― try something new. You may find that you love grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven’t tried like rosemary. You can sauté vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish — just microwave and serve. When trying canned vegetables, look for vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Commit to going to the produce department and trying a new vegetable each week.
  • Calcium-rich foods ― you may automatically think of a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk when someone says “eat more dairy products.” But what about low-fat and fat-free yogurt without added sugars? These come in a wide variety of flavors and can be a great dessert substitute for those with a sweet tooth.
  • A new twist on an old favorite ― if your favorite recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier variations using baking or grilling. Maybe even try a recipe that uses dry beans in place of higher-fat meats. Ask around or search the internet and magazines for recipes with fewer calories ― you might be surprised to find you have a new favorite dish!
  • The DASH eating plan was originally developed as an eating plan to reduce hypertension. (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.) However, the plan also represents a healthy approach to eating for those who do not have a problem with hypertension.
Do I have to give up my favorite comfort food?

No! Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while and balance them out with healthier foods and more physical activity.

Some general tips for comfort foods:

  • Consume them less often. If you normally eat these foods every day, cut back to once a week or once a month. You’ll be cutting your calories because you’re not having the food as often.
  • Eat smaller amounts. If your favorite higher calorie food is an afternoon chocolate bar, have a smaller size or only half a bar. Be careful! This technique works well for some people, but others may find it is too tempting to have their favorite food available, even in smaller amounts.
  • Try a lower-calorie version. Use lower-calorie ingredients or prepare it differently. For example, if your macaroni and cheese recipe uses whole milk, butter, and full-fat cheese, try remaking it with non-fat milk, less butter, light cream cheese, fresh spinach and tomatoes. Just remember to not increase your portion size.
photo of 2 variations of macaroni and cheese, one with 540 calories and one with 315 calories

The point is, you can figure out how to include almost any food in your healthy eating plan in a way that still helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Being consistently healthy in your eating choices is the key. Making the same healthy eating choices over time can lead to better eating habits. By thinking more positively and focusing on what you can have, you’ll help yourself establish healthy eating habits.

Being healthy is a BIG Deal!

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

Being healthy is a big deal. Eating healthy foods and being active are good for you and your family.

Here are a few tips.

1. Eat breakfast every day! Breakfast gives you energy. It can help you at school and at play.

2.  Eat healthy foods. Try fresh fruits like apples and oranges. Eat vegetables like broccoli and carrots.

3.  Try not to eat too much fast food, like pizza and french fries.

4. Drink healthy drinks like water or milk. Try milk that is low in fat or fat-free. Try not to drink sugary drinks like soda.

5. Help your family shop for food. Ask if you can help fix a meal! Remind your family that it is important for everyone to eat healthy foods.

6.  Get active! Turn off your TV. Take a break from video games.

7. Play outside with your family, friends, or your pet. Kick a soccer ball around or jump rope. Just get moving!

8. Talk to your family about being healthy and having fun.

Don’t Take a Vacation From Your Healthy Habits This Summer!

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 14, 2012 at 8:00 am

1. Choose water workouts and make a splash as you get fit and strong.

2. Add color and variety to your meal by including seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh from your local farmers market.

3. Visit museums, the zoo, or an aquarium and walk for hours without realizing it.

4. When the temperature sizzles, get moving to a fun fitness video at home.

5. Start a small garden in your yard or in a community garden to combine healthy eating and physical activity.

6. Plan a weekend hike through a park, a family softball game, or an evening walk around the neighborhood.

7. Boost the flavor and nutrition of your meals with garden-fresh herbs.

8. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise, especially when the temperature soars.

9. Buy only as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you will use, so they won’t spoil.

10. Beat the heat with an early morning activity. Go for a walk or bike ride while watching the sun come up.

20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 18

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

18. MANAGE YOUR OWN STUFF

Fact: While cleaning and re-organizing, we use both Left and Right sides of brain. It also improves neuromuscular co-ordination and burns almost 170 calories per hour.

You may be the lazy one and getting stuff done by your mother or spouse. For a change try to do your own stuff. From laundry to dishes or cleaning your room. Just do it without being a burden on others. On the flip side, you may be the one doing most of the stuff for others around the house. Its time for a break now. You need to involve other people to get to go their own chores. Tell them that you need help and they will do it. This will solve two problems. First, you will get a break for resting. Secondly, by giving them opportunity to work, you are helping them to be responsible. It is must for parents to involve their children in daily chores to make them responsible and good human beings later in Life.

20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 11

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

11. ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET

 

 Fact: Organizing closet saves time in mornings, keeps your mood right and improves your organizing skills. It is well known that people who keep their closet organized are good organizers overall.

Our belongings stay in closet. The way we carry ourselves can be easily correlated with the condition of our closet. So clean it. How we are inside is how we are outside. If inside is good, outside always turns good.

The idea is to organize. When we organize, we feel good, we get a sense of achievement. All high achievers are good organizers. Just keeping your closet organized, would lead to cleaning your subconscious mind, improving sense of well-being.

A few easy ways to do is to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the things we have are only used 20% of the times and 20% of the things are used 80% of the times. So put the 20% items in front where they can be easily approached and kept. The rest 80% good stuff that you piled up over time thinking that you will be using it, but as usual did not get a chance to use, needs be the one that needs sorting out soon.

Take 2 big plastic or cardboard boxes. Separate the ones that you honestly feel that you would be using in future and the ones that really fit well. Put them in the Box named MINE.

The ones that do not fit, or are now old fashioned or the ones you have used enough that you don’t feel wearing anymore, put them in a box named DONATE. Most people are able to get at least 25-40% of the stuff in Donate Box.

Now your closet is clean and very well organized. Take a picture with your digital camera to remind you of that moment.

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