Managing our Weight: Through Thick and Thin

Summer into Fall is when many of us have trouble managing our weight.

The key elements of maintaining a proper weight are learning to control portion size, eating a balanced diet, getting in touch with your hunger and exercising on a regular basis. Though exercise has always helped to burn calories, lose body fat and keep muscle tone, exercise alone will not keep your weight in check. Eating only when you are truly hungry can help you stay on track. Many of us engage in emotional eating: we eat when bored, depressed angry or even happy. To curb this tendency we must reckon with our inner selves. This can be getting on a scale, putting on a pair of pants that used to fit, and writing down what we are putting into our mouths.

For me, maintaining my proper weight is a constant struggle but it is one I embrace and so can you. Remember, the real reason for food is to keep us alive and well.

Choosing healthful foods is integral to feeling good and possibly preventing diabetes, cancer and heart disease and numerous other health problems. Between fast food and vending machines, it’s often a challenge to eat basic foods that are not prepared or processed with too much salt, sugar and preservatives. Yet a wealth of fresh vegetables, fruits, dried beans, whole grains and nuts are available if you just know what to look for and make time to prepare nutritious meals.

As we age, our immune systems become more vulnerable – especially if we are recovering from illness. The food and agriculture industries are allowed by the FDA to use a multitude of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and even insect-based dyes to produce as much food as cheaply, and therefore profitably, as possible.

The movement toward organic foods and support for local farming in the U.S. has grown as more people become aware and concerned about the untested and unlabeled additives in our food supply. Although organic foods are often more expensive, the cost can be balanced by avoiding non-nutritious prepared foods – such as snack items, candy, sugary sodas and frozen meals – while choosing fresh produce, dried beans, whole grains and a limited amount of low fat dairy and lean meat and poultry.

Here is an important meal tip; eat a healthy breakfast. Why? Because it will give you energy to last through the morning so that you are not ravenous and prone to overeating at lunch. For the longest-lasting energy, balance three types of food in your breakfast: A serving of whole grains (a piece of whole wheat toast, a half-cup of oatmeal or a serving of whole-grain cereal per size listed on the package); two servings of fruits (which can include a glass of 100 percent juice) and a bit of low fat protein – such as yogurt, an egg, reduced-fat cheese, or skim milk on whole grain cereal. In calories and nutrition, it will beat a sugary, fatty pastry any day. Studies show that women who eat a healthy breakfast each day have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight.

Informative food-related web sites are:

Center for Science in the Public Interest (www.cspinet.org)
American Institute for Cancer Research (www.aicr.org)
USDA Food and Drug Administration (www.nutrition.gov)
Organic Consumers Association (www.organicconsumers.org)

Share

Vitamin D: The Sports Vitamin?

Vitamin D is an important Vitamin.

It’s the sunshine vitamin you absorb through your skin when you’re outdoors.

  • It helps stabilize our mood. That’s why people in northern climates with less sunlight get SAD, Seasonal Depressive Syndrome, those winter blues.
  • It works with other chemicals in your body to help keep your immune system healthy.
  • Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, and important element in building and maintaining bone mass.
  • And preliminary scientific evidence points to Vitamin D as a sports performance aid.

A 2009 study with adolescent girls at the University of Manchester, England found that the girls with higher levels of vitamin D had better muscle performance and speed than those with lower Vitamin D levels. It’s also thought that exercise may increase your body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D.

Anecdotal evidence shows sports performance appears to improve in the summer when people are exercising in the sun and Vitamin D levels would be highest.

There are 2 types of Vitamin D:

Vitamin D2 –the kind that’s found in fortified food and supplements and Vitamin D3 the kind you absorb from sunlight.

Conventional wisdom was that Vitamin D3 was more effective, particularly when it came to your bones, than D2. But recent research at Boston University School of Medicine showed that effectiveness is about the same for both types

Because of our lifestyles, most people don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight.

Even those who are outdoors a lot use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and therefore don’t absorb enough Vitamin D.

So, most of us need to eat Vitamin D rich foods like Eggs (particularly yolks), Liver, Mackerel, Tuna and Salmon or fortified foods, like milk, or orange juice, and Cereal, or take Vitamin D supplements to get the daily recommended adult dose of 400 – 800 international units (IU) per day.

Adults over 50 should get 800 – 1000 IU daily.

These are just general recommendations. Actual requirements vary from person to person. Check with your doctor.

Send your Moving Free® with Mirabai questions to: askmirabai@movingfree.com

Share

Talking Off The Pounds

[tag] begin read [/tag]Was it Einstein who said “I talk to myself in order to have an intelligent conversation”?
Maybe it was Buddha.

Anyhow, I’m in a conversation with myself right now. I’m trying to knock off a few winter pounds, (If you think being a fitness pro makes you immune think again) and I find talking to myself is not so crazy. We all need a support system. Mine happens to be me.

So every night before I go to bed, I have a little chat with myself. I plan my meals for the next day and approximate calories, and the type of exercise I am going to do. I like to switch it up so I’m not doing the same thing every day, which sometimes requires a little more planning.
I get my workout clothes and other stuff ready the night before so I have no excuse and I tell myself what a good idea that was.
Although I teach classes and work with clients, my body has gotten use to that, so when I want to lose weight, I need to do more.
For motivation, I talk to myself about a piece of clothing I’m determined to get into.
I put myself on a realistic, achievable timeline. So, if I’m trying to lose five pounds I give myself about 5-6 weeks.
Now this sounds like I’m really in charge doesn’t it? But I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.

For instance, this morning my husband brought home a bag of bagels for breakfast.
As soon as I saw them, calorie numbers started to flash in my brain. So instead of denying myself all together, I told myself I could have a serving that would equal the calories, if not the nutrition, of the oatmeal I was about to prepare. And I must say I savored every bite.

As I ate my half a bagel watching my husband eat a bagel and half, I told myself that I made the right choice. I had my taste, and I was thankful for it, and I wanted those pounds off more than I wanted the rest of that bagel.

So if you are looking for some support, why not try talking to your best friend, you![tag] end read [/tag]

Share