Nutritionist’s Corner by NSWG2 Nutritionist Lori Tubbs

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Nutritionist’s Corner by NSWG2 Nutritionist Lori Tubbs

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Vie 18 Feb 2011 - 12:04

Realistic Resolutions to a Healthier New Year

As news of increased risks of diabetes, obesity and inactivity headline our attention during this holiday season, taking small steps to improving or maintaining good health can make a difference in the years ahead. Holidays are a time of gatherings which means feasting on potluck lunches at work, evening socials and family festivities. Planning for high risk eating situations can counteract excess calorie intakes and the high risk of putting on pounds that in many cases do not go away. Research has shown that adults tend to gain an average of one-half to two pounds every year. People already battling the bulge before the holiday season tend to gain more weight than average, while people who maintain normal activity levels gain less weight.

According to the latest research by the University of Missouri, people who sit at desks for hours are increasing their chances of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. In order to safeguard physical and emotional health, regular exercise that includes aerobic, resistance training and stretching is a must no matter how busy the holidays become. Physiologists found that sitting affects the circulation of the fat-absorbing enzyme called lipase. Movement engages muscles and promotes the distribution of lipase using blood glucose and prompting the body to process fat and cholesterol. Sitting too much has affected over 47 million adults in the U.S. who have metabolic disorders which causes premature death and poor quality of life due to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Sitting excessively also reduces good cholesterol levels by 22%

Breaking up sitting time by standing can burn an extra 60 calories an hour. Rather than emailing colleagues, walking to speak in person will enable better calorie expenditure over time. Standing while talking on the phone or watching television will help shrink the waistline and prevent longer stays in the hospital. Obese people, on average, stay at least one to one and a half days longer than normal-weight individuals.

The right amount of exercise along with the right amount of nutrition is the formula for maintaining a healthy weight. The following strategies are recommended for successful weight maintenance during the holidays:

■Watch the scales – weighing yourself regularly during the holiday season is practical in helping control excessive weight and body fat gain.
■Moderation – a little bit of everything is better than piling the plate with holiday comfort foods. Take a plate-to-go of your favorite holiday treats and freeze them for another time.
■Stay fueled - skipping meals as a way to load up during the feasts is not a good plan. Eating moderately every four hours is a good strategy to prevent excessive hunger. Eat a piece of fruit and vegetables to satisfy hunger.
■Connections –connect with people rather than food during holiday gatherings. Focus on conversations with friends as the stimulant rather than the food fest.
■One-for-one drinking – for every alcoholic beverage, drink a glass of water.
■Move - sign up for a community run/walk event after the holidays. Paying for a community fun run will help stay focused on a fitness goal and maintain fitness.

Putting this time of season in perspective will free the mind of guilt and prevent hours of effort to get back in shape. One or two days of heavy eating and little exercise are not going to start the year on the wrong track. Put the indulging days behind you and look forward to improve better eating and exercise habits in the year ahead for a better quality of life and longevity.

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