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Welcome to “21 days of Health Email Style”!  Whether you’re just checking us out, or you’re diving in, good luck and remember, you can do this.  One day at a time!

 

Weight Management Week 1

Weight Management 101 – let’s cover the basics.

 

Over a quarter of Americans are obese – learning from our own blunders can help us avoid more mistakes in the future. Here are the top 5 reasons why America has become a nation of overweight people – avoid these and you can free yourself from our nation’s “fat trap”:

 

Trap #1                    

Processed foods overload – they are cheap and convenient, but they are also full of sodium, sugar, chemicals and empty calories. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it will crave more food.

Solution #1

Crowd out processed foods by adding in more unprocessed, whole foods into your diet. They are nutrient-dense, and when your body gets the necessary nutrients, you will have fewer cravings. To reduce the cost of buying fresh produce, visit the farmer’s market to get seasonal fruits and vegetables that are available in abundance. Plus, since they are local, you are not paying for the long-distance transportations cost.

 

Trap #2

Sedentary lifestyle – many people are taking in more than they burn.

Solution #2

Find the kind of movement that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a sweaty workout in a boring gym! Physical movements can be taking a walk with your dog, playing catch with your kids, dancing with your friends or tending to your garden. Start small – how about taking 15 – 30 minute during lunch break to walk around the block?

 

Trap #3

Supersize me – we have become a nation of supersized portions and supersized dishware. Our plates have become larger and larger. We need more food to fill the plate. Our perception of portion size is affected by the size of the plate – the larger the plate, the larger the portion, and the more we eat.

Solution #3

At home, use smaller plates, and even try eating with a salad plate. It’s ok to go for seconds, but you have to pause, get in touch with your sense of hunger, before you put more food into your body. When eating out, order appetizer as main course, share a main course with a friend, or ask to have half of your main course put into takeout container before it’s served.

 

Trap #4

Time management – most people are always on the go. They eat while they are multi-tasking, and this mindless munching often makes people overeat because they don’t register how much they have eaten. Many people don’t have time to cook – they depend on fast food, take out, or dining out – more often than not such foods are loaded with fat, sugar, sodium, and hidden calories.

Solution #4

Take time to develop mindful eating habits. Get slow, take deep breaths, and make a point to appreciate the taste, texture and smell of every bite. Make some rules for yourself – e.g. never eat in the car while driving, never eat any snacks right out of the bag (pouring it out into a bowl can increase awareness of portion size), or always eat sitting down with utensils.

 

Trap #5

Stress – when we are stressed, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol, which packs a triple whammy. Cortisol slows metabolism, affects blood sugar level, increase fat storage, and promote cravings for fatty, salty and sugary foods.

Solution #5

Slow Down!

Stress management is a huge topic and we have an entire segment (stress-free Fridays) dedicated to it. For now, when you feel stress coming on: sit down, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Try to block out at least 5 minutes a day of quiet time when you can sit and relax – no computer, no cellphone, no kids – that will help you refocus you energy.

 

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Day 1 Assignment

Are you falling into any of the traps that we looked at today? Write down 3 of them that you can improve on, and implement one recommendation from each of the 3 solutions.