This is the time of year when many of us become aware of the few pounds we might have added on during the winter months! Suddenly, we are alerted to our desire to lose the weight and change our eating habits. It seems that during Spring, all things are possible … so, let’s take advantage of this special time of year to regenerate ourselves for health!
Let’s start with our diet: your goal should be to create a healthy, energy-rich diet that is nutritious and delicious.
The energy in food is measured in calories, a measurement of unit of energy … so, calories are good; we need energy. Just don’t consume more calories than you expend!
A simple start to a healthy diet is to eat foods that are less calorie-dense. Try a switch-a-roo: instead of a bowl of ice cream, have a few spoonfuls. Instead of a few spoonfuls of fruits and vegetables, have a bowl full! Below are a few suggestions to help guide you to new healthy eating habits and food choices to take off your winter weight:
- As Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”
- A good rule of thumb: consume 2,000 calories a day. (Consult with your doctor if you’re on a special diet.)
- Eat a “colorful plate” with fruits and vegetables leading the way. See choosemyplate.gov.
- Read and compare food nutrition labels to achieve the best daily percentages and values. It’s fun to find the foods that “win!”
- Eat lean meats, lots of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and watch your cholesterol and sodium.
- Remember the 8 X 8: drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily.
- Slow down when eating. It takes your stomach 15 to 20 minutes to tell your brain that you’re full.
- If you’re overweight, losing 10% of your weight is proven to have immediate health benefits.
Now that the weather is better, it’s time to be outside and enjoy the great outdoors! Remember that walking is great exercise that almost everyone can do. Whether you walk fast or slowly, try to find a few friends and get outside to take a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes at least three times a week. If you feel like doing more, and it’s safe for your medical condition, please do. Of course, don’t forget to continue to do your basic strength and balance exercises.
To read more of my health tips, order your copy of my book, “The Doctor In The Mirror”.