diet and exercise

What is your desired weight? Below are some easy, common sense (but not common practice?) tips on how to get there.

Eat Small: Portion Control is Key! It is all too easy to go on a “See Food” diet: if we see it, we eat it, if it is in front of us, we eat it. Because the “full” reflex is on about a 30-minute delay, we tend to stop when the food in front of us is gone not when we are full. At a buffet, I always grab a small dessert plate and use it as my entrée plate. I tell myself if I want more I’ll go back but I rarely do. Frequently at a restaurant I will ask that only half my meal be plated, the rest to remain in the kitchen to be taken “to go”.

Eat Smart: Acquiring nutritional knowledge is a must for anyone who wants to live long and healthy. Here is the Cliff Notes version: Leafy greens, fruits, veggies, whole grain breads, some nuts, if you eat meat, stay with fish, chicken, perhaps pork i.e. the light meats. AVOID: Processed Foods, Red Meats, Sugar (i.e. anything that sounds like or ends in glucose, also do NOT be fooled by such labels as high fructose corn syrup, concentrated fruit juice, evaporated cane juice, cane crystals, raw sugar or malt syrup).

Eat Slow: You like food? So do I! So let’s slow down and savor our meals! I sometimes tell myself I can eat as much as I want as long as I eat sloooowly! Taking small bites, chewing deliberately until the food virtually disappears, putting down my fork or spoon between each and every bite, frequently taking sips of water. I find I enjoy my meal much more, eat less, and give my “full reflex” plenty of time to kick in. You can think of it as mindful eating, meditative eating. Make leisurely eating a lifelong habit and you will live long and happy!

Two closing thoughts:

1) Do NOT diet! I mean, come on, the word starts out as “die”! When you diet or excessively or quickly cut calories, your body’s starvation mode kicks in and it conserves by burning fewer calories. Instead, eat small, slow, and smart!

2) Exercise is WONDERFUL for your health, both physical and mental, and yes, muscle mass burns more calories than fat BUT don’t count on exercise to lose weight: one chocolate cookie has more calories than the marginal benefit of an hour of exercise (remember, you have a resting metabolism calorie burn rate so it is only the extra marginal calories of exercise that really make a difference in getting rid of that cookie.) That said, if you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, get up and move around for 5 minutes every hour; not that it burns that much calories but it does do wonders to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier