Saturday, February 19, 2011
Getting Back Into a Routine
Here is the latest Get Fit email from Dr. Jacobs.
Back in the Saddle
By: Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
The holidays have come and gone, now it back to the grind... Without the delicious treats haunting us at holiday parties. Learn how to renew and restore healthy habits from Cooper Clinic.
Parties, cocktails, fudge, frosted sugar cookies, anything that starts with “our traditional family recipe (insert something cheesy, creamy and indulgent here)” are all things of the past.
It is that time of year to renew and restore our positive attitude toward health.
First, clean out the fridge and the pantry. Get rid of any high-fat or high-calorie tempting foods that may undermine your success. There is that elusive skill called willpower, but studies show we really shouldn’t rely on it as part of our weight management plan. We are chemically hardwired to overeat when we start to cut back on food intake. Make it easier for everyone in your family by surrounding yourselves with healthy options for meals and snacks.
Making Trade Offs
Fuel your new goals with a vegetable tray. It’s already cut up and ready for snacking. Trade the chips for baked chips or whole grain crackers. Lose the ice cream and substitute a low-calorie frozen yogurt. Position water bottles on your desk, in your car, or by the phone, that way it will be easier to remain hydrated and likely eat less as well. Roast a whole chicken so you can have a great meal today and have something healthy to pick on for the next several days. Get out the crock pot to get a veggie bean soup going that will be ready for you as soon as you walk in the door after work. It’s that kind of planning ahead that will help us break through the pattern leftover from our holiday food frenzy.
Plan to exercise. This may seem obvious, but when you are out of the routine, it takes some planning, commitment, and consistency to get back to your pre-holiday self. Even ten minutes helps to keep the theme of restoring your health alive and well. Ten minutes is approximately 100 calories burned, which over time can lead to a great change.
Try eating smaller meals more often (300 to 400 calorie range per meal) that are higher in water content such as soups, salads, fruits, and vegetables. This will help stabilize your blood sugar levels that may help to control cravings and assist in better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Consider including 10 to 15 grams of protein at most of those meals and snacks. Protein takes a bit longer to digest than carbohydrates and will help you feel full for a longer amount of time. This is most helpful at breakfast where studies show that people who had a higher protein breakfast ate less throughout the day. You can try a whole-grain English muffin with an egg, a piece of turkey sausage, or a slightly higher protein breakfast cereal with low-fat or non-fat milk.
Don’t Forget Breakfast
The breakfast cereal option also works well because it is higher in fiber. In a recent large study, the difference between normal weight women and those who were overweight was the amount of fiber in their diet – the quality of the foods they were eating. The average person takes in about 10 grams of fiber per day with our goals being 25 grams for women and 35-40 grams for men. Finding ways to increase your fiber is a worthy focus for 2011!
See the chart below for some fiber fantastic finds:
Food Amount Fiber (grams)
Bran Cereal 1 cup 19.94
Avocado 1 medium 11.84
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4.50
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 14.71
Green peas, cooked 1 cup 8.84
Kale, cooked 1 cup 7.20
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 13.33
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 15.64
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 13.16
Oats, dry 1 cup 12.00
Raspberries 1 cup 8.34
Rice, brown, uncooked 1 cup 7.98
While we are focusing on scaling things back, consider using more than the scale to assess change and determine your progress. You might use the scale once a week, but also use body fat composition analysis. You can get this checked easily with the help of Cooper Fitness Center professional trainers through calipers or bioimpedance method. Cooper also offers even more precise methods called DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) or hydrostatic weighing. At the very least, get out the old measuring tape and do a waistline measurement – not only will that tell you if your weight loss efforts are on the right path, it can also be an indicator of heart heath.
Pick one of the many steps to work on this week and add in another one next week. Add in a third the week after that and pretty soon, you will have restored your body and renewed your healthy spirit and maybe even inspired someone else to do the same!