Rev Up Your Metabolism in 2011
Are you sick of being 10, 20 or more pounds overweight and ready for a change? Let's rev up your metabolism in 2011 so you can look and more importantly, feel great! Many people want a quick fix and get caught up in all of the fad diets and temporary weight-loss eating programs, but the problem is they cannot maintain it and end up gaining weight back. One goal of starting a new eating program should be to get your metabolism burning and make lifestyle eating changes. It's often not the easy way, but is a healthier form of weight loss that tends to outlast the fad diet results. It's not rocket science! There are 3 easy ways to get the metabolism burning:
1. Eat Small Frequent Meals!
Many people think skipping meals is the way to lose weight. Not true!!! Your metabolism actually raises each time you eat to digest the food you are eating. Thus, eating six times per day versus three times per day keeps the metabolizing up and running. Your goal should be to eat three small meals and two to three snacks per day. Each meal should contain nutrient rich foods to help you stay full and satiated throughout the day.
Eating frequently does take some time and effort. Just remember, if it was easy everybody would be doing it! So, in order to be successful, consider making your meals and snacks on the weekends so it does not cause extra work during the week. Grab some snack baggies and bag up nuts, whole grain crackers, turkey, raw veggies, etc so they are ready to grab. Make it a habit and it will get easier.
2. Pay Attention to What You Are Eating!
Each meal should contain a serving of whole grain carbohydrate (granola bar, whole wheat crackers, 1 slice whole wheat bread) or fruit. Carbohydrate will give your body energy over the course of the day. However, eating carbohydrates along will spike your blood sugar and cause it to drop more drastically. So, pair your carbohydrate with a lean protein (2 percent cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, deli meat) or healthy fat (peanut butter, nuts, avocado, egg). Protein and fat slow down digestion, help prevent blood sugar from spiking and keep you feeling full longer.
Be sure to include non-starchy vegetables (starchy = corn, peas, potatoes, winter squash) in as many meals as possible. Veggies are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber! They will help you feel full for little calories.
If you want your metabolism to rev up, you gotta get moving!!! Exercise not only speeds up metabolism, but also burns calories. Cardiovascular and strength training together burns calories and builds lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is more dense than fat and thus takes up less space. So the more muscle you have, the smaller and leaner you look! In addition, exercise has a variety of cardiovascular benefits from helping lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol to increasing good cholesterol and decreasing triglycerides.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 60-90 minutes a day of moderate exercise, most days of the week, for weight loss. So if you are not moving at all, let's get started! Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week to get your metabolism up and burning!
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Myth vs. Fact
"I'm starting my annual New Year's Resolution diet and now can't eat anything bad!"
Diets are never a good plan! The goal is to create a plan of healthy eating known as the "80/20 Rule." Eighty percent of the time, focus on eating for health including lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Twenty percent of the time you can eat for pleasure, including foods like desserts or Mexican food. The key is that the majority of the time you are eating healthy and eating higher calorie foods in moderation. Remember, no food is bad!
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The Executive Health Scoop
Kick off the New Year with a Vascular Screening at the Executive Health Program!
The Executive Health Program offers a variety of preventative screenings to help identify potential health risks. In addition to a comprehensive physical, Executives may also take advantage of a vascular screening. A vascular screening can identify individuals at risk for stroke, ruptured aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease. The screening includes simple, non-invasive tests that will determine if a patient has a vascular problem.
Persons age 55 or older with vascular disease risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol or a family history of stroke, heart disease, aneurysm or other circulatory problems should strongly consider screening.
The screening takes about 15 minutes and includes an ultrasound of neck arteries, an ultrasound of abdominal artery and Doppler measurements of the ankle arteries.
For more information, please contact Clint Sanders at 817-250-3877 or e-mail us. If you have a nutrition question, visit TexasHealth.org/AskAmy.
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Keep the Commercials!
Looking to start a fitness routine in 2011? Can commercials help you? Yes they can! This day and age many people don't have the time or money for a gym, but that does not mean exercise is out! The truth is that some of the best exercises can actually be done at home with literally no equipment. So where do the commercials come in? Well, what a great place to "squeeze in" bout of exercise into your day or night! Most TV shows have at least three sets of commercials per 30 minutes, so if you were to jump up and exercise during those commercials over an hour show, you could get six three-to-five-minute exercise bouts in. That's almost 30 total minutes!
So where do you start? First, it is important to start with a warm-up. This could include a variety of things such as jogging in place, walking with high knees, and marching to get your body warmed up. Then after getting warm, do some stretches such as bending at the waist to stretch the hamstrings (muscles on the back of your legs), pulling your heel to your bottom to stretch your quads (the big muscles on the front of your legs) and then stretching the upper body by doing arm circles then gently pulling each arm across the body. Take about five to eight minutes to get warmed up and stretched out (first commercial break).
Here is a sample workout plan for an hour show:
- First commercial: Warm-Up described above
- Second commercial: Cardiovascular exercise (high knees, running in place & jumping jacks)
- Third commercial: Strength exercise (push-ups on your feet or knees; do 10 and rest, then repeat)
- Fourth commercial: Cardiovascular exercise (skipping across your living room with high knees)
- Fifth commercial: Strength exercise (standing lunges, alternate sets of 10 per leg)
- Sixth commercial: Cardiovascular and strength exercise (10 basketball jumps then 10 squats with knees 90 degrees over heels, then repeat)
- Finally, cool down with light jogging and repeating warm-up stretches
Please check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
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10 Super Foods for Your Grocery Cart
Nutrient-rich and tasty — a must for every grocery cart!!!
Let's face it: there is no one food that will cure all. The truth is that single, unprocessed foods are best for you because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, etc and these are the exact things that help the body fight off disease. However, there are some "super foods" that are a grocery cart must because they provide the body with a vast amount of nutrition for minimal calories.
Ten of the Top Super Foods
- Nuts: Nuts get blamed for being high in fat, and they are, but it is heart-healthy fat. Not to mention they also have fiber, plant protein and antioxidants like Vitamin E. Thus, they are at the top of the Top 10 list! Portion size is key so aim for an ounce of nuts a day as part of lunch or a snack.
- Berries: High in antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber, berries are low in calories and a rich source of nutrition. Blueberries lead the group with their antioxidant value!
- Low-fat plain yogurt: Low-fat yogurt is higher in calcium and protein than other dairy foods. It is also typically enriched with probiotics which are important for gut health. Look for yogurts fortified with Vitamin D as Vitamin D is a vital component to absorbing calcium.
- Eggs: Eggs get a bad rap, but they are actually a great source of protein, iron and Vitamin B-12. Rich with 12 vitamins and minerals and only 70 calories, they are a great source of quick protein. According to the American Heart Association, you can enjoy up to one egg per day. If you want more, consider adding egg whites that do not have fat or cholesterol.
- Beans: Beans are heart healthy because they are loaded with fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. They are also a great source of protein, magnesium and potassium. Beans are a great choice for people who are vegetarian or don't like meat sources of protein.
- Quinoa: This grain tops the charts with 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per cup! Quinoa is also a great source of selenium, iron and zinc. It is as easy to prepare as rice and can be mixed with nuts, veggies or lean protein for a complete meal.
- Broccoli: Did you think beta-carotene only came in yellow and orange foods? Well, broccoli is actually a great source of it, along with Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Full of fiber, it will help you feel satisfied at a meal without lots of empty calories.
- Sweet potatoes: Full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium, sweet potatoes are a rich fiber source of nutrition. Substitute a sweet potato for a loaded baked potato and think of all the fat and calories you will save!!!
- Salmon: Salmon tops the charts as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. High in protein and low in saturated fat, salmon is a great choice. The American Heart Association recommends eating a fatty fish, like salmon, twice a week. And though many worry about the mercury content of fish, most research shows that the beneficial heart healthy component outweighs the mercury risk.
- Oats: The ultimate grain! High in soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol and full of vitamins and minerals, oatmeal is a great, filling breakfast choice. Mixed with nuts, peanut butter or trail mix, it will keep you full for hours!
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Healthy Bites Recipe of the Month
Weeknight "Cassoulet" with Rotisserie Chicken
A tasty, comfort recipe for the cold weather
Fire burning, sweatshirt on, cozy in your living room — what sounds better than a warm, comfort food? Can a French cassoulet be healthy? Sure it can! It's all about your ingredient choices. The "Weeknight Cassoulet" includes rotisserie chicken, which is rich in protein and satiating to your appetite. Be sure to pull off the skin, as that is where the saturated fat resides. This recipe also includes beans, which a plant-based protein and contain a healthy serving of fiber and other vitamins and minerals. Dashed with a tablespoon of olive oil, which is a great source of healthy fat, and a sprinkle of 2 percent Parmesan cheese, which is a rich source of calcium, this recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds and your tummy!
- 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
- 1 can white beans (Great Northern, Cannellini, or similar) drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked white beans
- 1 lemon, juiced and strained
- 1T olive oil
- 1 cup (+ extra as needed) chicken broth
- 1 bunch Italian (flat leaf) parsley, rinsed and stems removed
- ½ cup Grated 2 percent Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Total Prep/Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Clean all meat from chicken. Try to preserve as large of pieces as possible. Discard skin and bones. In the meantime, heat chicken broth, olive oil and lemon juice in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Once simmering, add in beans and chicken. Keep at a low simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until beans and chicken are warmed through. Gently stir, occasionally. Grate in Parmesan cheese to taste and gently stir to melt. Remove from heat. Mix in parsley. Divide and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
A lighter, quicker version of a classic French bean dish, this "cassoulet" is brightened with the addition of lemon and parsley. The final dish should be thick like a stew, warm and satisfying.
Nutrition Facts per Serving:
Calories: 450, Carbohydrate: 35 gm, Fiber: 5.5 gm, Protein: 13.5 gm, Fat: 11 gm, Cholesterol: 137 mg
Recipe created by Heidi Gastler
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Dietitian's Product Pick
Soups: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Most people love soup in the winter because it is warm and soothing! Plus, the liquid content of a small serving of soup helps us feel full and thus we feel like we are making a healthy choice. It is true that there are some healthy soups on the market, but there are a variety of soups that appear healthy when really that is not the case. However, if you look for three things on the label you will likely choose a healthier, more nutrient-rich soup.
The Salt Content
Many soups are loaded with sodium because it prolongs shelf life. Some canned soups can have more than 1,000 milligrams per can! This is a challenge because sodium can contribute to high blood pressure. The recommendation is to consume less than 2,400 milligrams per day, and for those with blood pressure issues that number is even lower. So when you shop for soups, look for soups that say "low-sodium" or "no added salt." One away to avoid added salt is to make your own soups with chicken/vegetable broth and add fresh vegetables and lean protein with seasonings instead of salt.
The Fat Content
A good rule of thumb is, "If you can't see through your soup, you might want to reconsider eating it!" Many thick and creamy soups are made with actual cream, whole milk and flour which makes them very high calorie. Soups such as broccoli cheese, potato, bisques, chowders, chunky soups and even some thick tomato basils are loaded with calories and fat. Some have up to 30 grams a fat per serving! So, when shopping at the grocery store, look for "low-fat" or "96-99% fat-free" soups and when at a restaurant, choose a broth-based soup that is lower in fat and total calories.
The Serving Size
One of the biggest challenges with soup is the serving size! The nutrition label might read 150 calories, 4 grams fat and 20 grams carbohydrate, but that is for one serving and there are actually three servings in the can topping off that can at 450 calories, 12 grams of fat and 60 grams of carbohydrates! So when checking out the nutrition label of the can or package, look at the servings per container as many soups can provide a lot of sodium and calories if you eat the whole can. Another good tip is to look at the ingredient list and choose the soup with the least amount of ingredients and additives; the less processed the better!
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Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Executive Health Program
1325 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 50
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
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