HOLIDAY ROUNDS WITHOUT GAINING THE POUNDS!

Healthy Holiday Eating

Food is everywhere during the holiday season, making it tough to stick to your healthful eating and exercise habits. However, with a little attention, you can make it through the holidays without losing track of your healthy lifestyle.

Is it true that the average person gains 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day?
People often do gain weight during the holidays, but how much weight? In 2000, a study of 195 adults showed an average holiday weight gain of between .75 pounds (lb) and 1 lb. However, 14% of those studied gained 5 lb or more. In this study, those who were overweight or obese gained more holiday pounds than those who were normal weight. According to the study, while most people gain less than 1 lb during the holidays, the holiday weight gain is one reason that your weight creeps up from year to year.

Woman Standing on Scale

What can I do to prevent gaining weight over the holidays?
Are you dreading the holiday season because you think you will gain back all of the weight you have lost in the last 6 months? The best advice is to change your mind-set. Do not expect to lose weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Instead, focus on not gaining weight. For success, keep a regular exercise pattern and healthy diet during this time. After all, the fine food of the holiday is one of the pleasures of the season.

Allow yourself to splurge on foods that make your holiday season meaningful. Enjoy your favorites in small amounts. Try to cut back in other ways, and keep your exercise schedule on track.

What can I do to stay active when I am traveling and cannot get to my gym?
Exercising during the hectic and sometimes stressful holiday season can help you maintain your weight and sanity. If you are a true “gym rat,” most gyms will allow you to visit as a guest, although sometimes at a hefty fee! Walking, running, or stair-climbing are easy when you are traveling—you can do these activities almost anywhere. For resistance training, check your sporting goods store or online for rubber resistance bands (They are only about $10 and work really well.  I also posted several tips for quick work outs you can do anywhere – look for them!). They slip easily into a travel bag and are lightweight—use them to strengthen and tone almost any body part.

Danskin Toning Band (2) (570x428)

You may need to adjust your expectations for holiday exercising. Try to stay flexible. Know that you might miss out on some workouts. Sneak in exercise whenever you can by taking a walk after a large meal, for example. Make sure to get back to your regular exercise routine when you return home.

How can I stay on track and not overeat at holiday functions?
You can keep your calorie intake under control in many ways. Try these tips and see which ones work best for you:

  • Survey the entire table before you take any food. Decide what foods are worth eating and which you can ignore, and then stick to that decision. Why waste calories on foods that do not bring you pleasure?
  • Eat a snack before you leave home. If you arrive at a party starving, you are more likely to eat too much.
  • Eat your calories instead of drinking them. Stick to lower calorie or calorie-free drinks (diet sodas, water, lite beer, or a wine spritzer), instead of punches, eggnog, and mixed drinks that can have up to 500 calories/cup.
  • Sip a large glass of water between every alcoholic drink, nonalcoholic punch, or eggnog. This will help keep you hydrated, and you will drink fewer calories by the end of the night.

Woman Drinking Glass of Water

  • When you are hosting, make sure the menu includes lower-calorie foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. When you are a guest, bring along a lower-calorie dish to share.
grinch kabobs

GRINCH KABOBS

GRINCH KABOBS:

Layer mini marshmallow, strawberry, banana slice, and a grape on a small stick and you get Grinch Kabobs!

  • Try not to hang out near the food. Find a comfortable spot across the room, and focus on people instead of eating.
  • Watch your portion sizes. Do not cover your plate completely with food. When it comes to holiday sweets and alcoholic beverages, less is better.
  • Drop out of the “clean plate club.” Leave a few bites behind every time you eat, especially if you are eating something you do not really care for.
  • Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but take a small portion, eat slowly, and savor the taste and texture of the wonderful foods of the season.
  • Visit these Web sites for free reduced-calorie and reduced-fat recipes:
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THE BATTLE OVER FLUORIDE

I HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS ANY CONTROVERSY OVER FLUORIDATING THE WATER!  IT’S BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS AND I’VE BEEN OBLIVIOUS!

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Environmental health groups are looking to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to impose tougher standards on fluoride in drinking water, building on a decision Friday by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to lower the recommended level for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The HHS move came in the wake of a government study showing that about 2 out of 5 adolescents have tooth streaking or spottiness because of excessive fluoride. In extreme cases, teeth can become pitted.  (side note from friendsofwater: this totally contradicts claims from the initial studies saying this would be a rare problem.  Gee, maybe some of the other claims may not be true too!  Do YOU think damaging the teeth of 40% of our youth is okay?) 

fluoride effects

The dangers may go beyond cosmetic issues. The EPA released two new reviews of research on fluoride Friday. One study found that prolonged, high intake of fluoride can increase the risk of brittle bones, fractures and crippling bone abnormalities.  (another side note:  this has actually been well understood for decades.  fluoride has a negative effect on calcium bonding – this is not news.)

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It is our impression that the tide is just beginning to turn on the question of fluoridation in the water.  Time Magazine included fluoride on a list of “The Hazards Lurking at Home.”  As they point out, fluoride is “neurotoxic and potentially tumorigenic if swallowed; the American Dental Association advises that children under 2 not use fluoride toothpaste.”  Of course that is far from the whole story, but it does seem that awareness of the serious risks of fluoridated water has built considerably. 

fluoride effects 1

But it may be some time yet before most municipalities remove fluoride from your water supply.  This issue has been fought for decades now, and the those who do not want to remove fluoride still have the upper hand.  There have even been a couple of US cities that recently started to add fluoride, although others recently dropped it.

fluoride effects 4

WHAT A DENTIST SAYS ABOUT WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS: FLUORIDE IS GOOD FOR YOUR TEETH!!! I am a dentist and am disgusted you are trying to market the removal of fluoride being a good thing. Fluoride is added to water supplies for a reason. You need to find a more ethical marketing ploy! When I was searching for a water filtration system to buy, I looked for those that removed as little fluoride as possible (and recommend the same for my patients).”

FLUORIDE

OTHER SOURCES OF FLUORIDE: found not only in the water supply but fluoride is found in produce, in most foods now that have water in them, and in toothpaste. There is lots of fluoride in canned foods, like soup for example. There is a lot in soda cans.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  FLUORIDE IN THE WATER:  GOOD OR BAD?

BEVERAGES: WATCH THE CALORIES

am very careful about what I eat, but I am not losing weight. Why not?
Your question may have a simple answer. Have you considered what you are drinking? How many cups of sugar and cream-laced coffee or cans of sugary soda do you drink each day? Some drinks can have as many as 500 calories (Like those Tim Horton’s Iced-cappuccinos). If you consider that most people need somewhere between 1800 and 2500 calories to maintain their weight (and less to lose weight), you can see how what you are drinking might affect your success.

A recent study showed that 21% of Americans’ calorie intake comes from the beverages they drink. Americans are drinking more sweetened beverages than ever before. Between 1977 and 2001, the proportion of calories obtained from calorically sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks (sweetened fruit beverages, not 100% fruit juices) increased three times.

Your body does need liquids to keep it healthy. The amount of liquid you need depends on your health and body size. Meeting all of your fluid needs with beverages containing sugar is not a good idea.

What is the best thing to drink?

Woman Drinking Glass of Water

For calorie-free hydration, you cannot beat good old water. Water is one of the best fluids to drink, because it contains no calories, no artificial flavors or colors, and no sugar.

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Other calorie-free beverages, such as black coffee and tea without sugar or milk, are good beverage choices. Although these beverages do contain caffeine, they do not appear related to any health problems. The Beverage Guidance Panel recommends you limit your intake of caffeine-containing drinks to three to four 8-fluid-ounce (fl oz) servings/day.

Artificially sweetened teas, lemonades, and sodas also are calorie-free choices that are preferred over sugary drinks, such as soda, fruit punches, and regular lemonade. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved artificial sweeteners are considered safe. Using this type of beverage can add variety and taste without the extra calories.

milk glasses

Low-fat milk, skim milk, soy milk, and 100% fruit juices are good beverage choices, because they are loaded with nutrients your body needs. However, it is important to realize that these drinks contain calories. Too many calories, even healthy ones, can result in weight gain. Therefore, you should limit yourself to three 8-fl-oz servings of low-fat milk/day and one 4- to 6-fl-oz serving of juice/day to help meet your nutritional needs without adding to your waistline.

What about sports drinks?
Sports drinks contain sugar and also small amounts of nutrients. Most experts agree that sports drinks can replenish nutrients, such as sodium and potassium, when you exercise for more than 60 minutes. However, sports drinks do contain around 150 calories for 12 fl oz. For the average exerciser, the electrolytes lost during exercise are easily replenished through eating a healthful diet. Unless your exercise is long and intense, water is a great calorie-free way to quench your thirst.

Does alcohol have more calories than soda?

red wine, sunny afternoon
Alcohol and soda are both high in calories. A 12-fl-oz beer has about the same number of calories as a 12-fl-oz cola. However, a 1.5-fl-oz serving of spirits (gin, vodka, etc) has about 100 calories. Combine that with 8 fl oz of a mixer and your drink will have more than 200 calories. Large specialty drinks can contain up to 500 calories. To save calories, drink diet soda or water, use diet sodas as mixers, or drink lite beer or wine. Remember, the larger the portion of any drink, regular or alcoholic, the more calories you will consume.

I love specialty coffees. Are they healthy?

Latte, closup
Many of these delicious coffee and tea drinks are loaded with calories. For example, a 16-fl-oz café mocha with no whipped cream contains 240 calories. Whipped cream, cream, and whole milk add many calories to any coffee or tea drink. Instead, order a smaller drink with skim milk to save fat and calories.

The following table shows the number of calories in 12 fl oz of several different types of drinks. This 12-fl-oz serving is the size of a beer or soda can.

Beverage (12 fl oz) Calories Beverage (12 fl oz) Calories
Fruit punch 192 Whole milk 150
Lemonade 168 Fat-free milk 90
Kool-Aid® 174 Orange juice 168
Tonic water 124 Grape juice 255
Sports drink 99 Coffee 0
Cola 136 Tea 0
Fruit smoothie 225 Beer 139
Frappuccino® 320 Lite beer 110
Diet cola 0 Wine (3.5 fl oz) 70

7 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR METABOLISM

BOOST METABOLISM 1

Many of us have a sluggish metabolism. This can make it really difficult to lose weight and extremely easy to gain weight. A slow metabolism can also make you tire out easily so you don’t get to enjoy all that life has to offer. However, there is good news. You can easily boost your metabolism naturally if you know how. Below, you will find 7 ways to increase your metabolism:

1. Early Morning Intense Exercise – A short burst of intense exercise when you first get up can do wonders for your metabolism. Dr. Oz has advocated for this method of speeding up the metabolism. The best part is you only have to do about five minutes of intense exercise to reap the benefit all day. The exercise you do can be really simple. Examples would include running in place, jumping jacks, and lunges. Of course, if you have a stair master or a jogging machine, that would work too. Just get your heart rate up for five minutes and cool down for two minutes.

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2. Eat More Spicy Foods – Hot spices like curry, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cumin, and turmeric all help the body speed up your metabolism. There are other “hot” spices that you may not think of as hot but they react in the body in this way. They include cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Try adding these tasty spices to your soups, stir-fries, casseroles, and other dishes. Curry goes great in some type of salads like quinoa salads. Some people love the taste of cinnamon in their coffee. Just add it to the grounds before you brew it.

3. Drink Lots of Water – Water is magical in this way. Drink a lot of water and your metabolism will magically increase because the metabolic process needs water to fuel it. It’s even better if you make sure you are drinking alkaline water.

BOOST METABOLISM

4.Keep Your Thyroid Healthy – To work efficiently, the thyroid needs selenium, zinc, copper, and iodine. However, the American diet is notoriously low in these important minerals. To get more of these minerals, eat more seafood and nuts.

5. Never Skip Breakfast – Unfortunately, in this fast paced world we live in, many of us have a tendency to skip breakfast or grab something nutrient poor on the way out the door. This is one of the worst things you can do for your metabolism. Always eat a healthy breakfast. This should include a healthy protein like eggs from pasture raised chickens and fruit bursting with antioxidants like blueberries or strawberries.

Cereal 9

6. Don’t Eat As Much Late In the Day – Unfortunately, most of us eat more at dinner than we do at breakfast. We also tend to snack at night before bedtime. This is exactly the opposite of what you want to do to speed up your metabolism. Try to eat more earlier in the day and less at dinner. Plus, try not to eat for at least three hours before bedtime.

7. Build More Muscle Mass – Weight training isn’t just for body builders. Building muscle mass should be part of all fitness programs. Even if you can’t join a gym or buy fancy equipment, you can build muscle mass. A couple of cans of food or water bottles filled with water can serve as weights for your arms and you can use those big rubber bands (cheap) or your own body weight to provide resistance to your legs to build more muscle mass.

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JOIN ME ON THE ‘FAST’ TRACK OF METABOLISM!