Weight Management Through Thick Or Thin

Weight ManagementSummer into Fall is when many of us have a problem with weight management.

The key elements of weight management 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, weight management 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.

Weight Management Techniques

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)

For more info on at home exercise programs for women visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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The Skinny On Your Hidden Fat

 

A too-thick waistline, especially paired with high levels of a particular fat in the blood called triglycerides can greatly increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease. Triglycerides are both produced by the body and ingested through the food you eat.

High triglyceride levels can increase your risk for heart disease and are more common among inactive people with larger waistlines. Normal triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL. The risk of developing coronary artery disease doubles when triglyceride levels are above 200 mg/dL.

Triglycerides are called the hidden fat because they are too often overshadowed by the highly publicized LDL bad cholesterol.

However triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL and “good” (HDL) cholesterol is below 40 mg/dL, a person is at four times the risk.

The good news is that a study at Duke University Medical Center has produced some surprising and encouraging results. Moderate aerobic exercise like walking a half hour at least five days a week can signicantly reduce the triglyceride levels in the blood as well as boost your HDL (good cholesterol). Burning 200 calories or so on that half hour walk doesn’t hurt either.

The study also showed that more intense exercise did help with belly fat but produced only half the triglyceride lowering results.

So my recommendation is: consult your doctor, find your triglycerides level and get clearance to exercise.

If it is elevated and belly fat is not an issue do moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking or cardio dance. If you also have extra belly fat, consider adding strength training exercise every other day to help your body burn more fat.

Don’t over do it. Ease-in. Start with a few minutes a day of something fun. Pleasure is the key to sustainability.

Couple this with a low fat diet and moderate alcohol consumption and you’ve got a recipe for better quality of life and maybe even a longer one.

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Exercise Smart: Remember The Tortoise And The Hare! By: Mirabai Holland, MFA © 2013


Have you started that exercise program that you promised yourself? If not, you’re not alone. Only about 8% of Americans keep their New Year’s resolutions, and starting an exercise program is a particularly tough one. The very thought of knocking yourself out with exercise every day makes you cringe. Me too. It reminds me of the old story of the guy who beats his head against the wall. When his friend asks, “ Why on earth are you doing that ”, the guy replies “Cause it feels so good when I stop”. Crazy? Maybe. But that’s what’s going on with fitness today. We’re told we have to push our selves beyond all reason to get fit and then maintain with some austere, joyless regimen forever. Yea, can’t wait.
Well that’s just nonsense. Exercise should be something you look forward to instead of dread. You can get every bit as fit without the drudgery. I’m not saying that you should never do vigorous exercise. I’m saying don’t do it until your body is ready to enjoy and benefit from it. It’s not exercise Light; it’s exercise SMART.
So here’s the plan. The first step is get up and move. Start today and spend 5 minutes doing something really easy like putting some favorite music on and dancing around. Or take a 5-minute walk.
Try to do this at the same time every day, the earlier the better.
Pick something fun, something you can look forward to doing again tomorrow.
Do 5 minutes a day until it gets too easy. Then add another 5 minutes.
The idea is to ease up to 30 minutes of moderate movement a day.
This may take weeks or months. It doesn’t matter how long it takes.
Trying to go too fast is what makes people quit. Remember the tortoise and the hare!
If you have already started apply this gradual method to any program you’re on. It will help you stay on track.

Let me know how you’re doing. If you have any questions or comments my email is at the bottom of this article.
Of course always consult your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program.

You can contact Mirabai at: askmirabai@movingfree.com

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