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Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle Part 3: Your Metabolic Set Point

Welcome back to “Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle” a short series dedicated to providing tips for sensible adults who are looking to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Part one of this series dealt with the concept of eating for nourishment versus eating for pleasure. Part two focused on avoiding the temptation of junk food by keeping it out of reach. In Part three, we will explore metabolic set point theory.

Although metabolic set point theory may sound complicated, the concept is actually quite simple. Basically, set point theory states that each individual has his or her own metabolic set point. This set point causes adults to maintain body weight at a relatively stable level for long periods of time through a variety of complex mechanisms. It operates very much like the thermostat in your residence. If you set the thermostat to 70 degrees and the temperature drops to 68, the thermostat will signal your furnace to fire up until the temperature reaches 70 degrees, at which point the furnace will shut off.  Interestingly, regulation of your body temperature is another set point mechanism.

Unfortunately, there is no direct way to measure an individual’s metabolic set point and there is controversy regarding what alters set point. Additionally, it has been theorized that it takes at least 12 months of consuming a “normal” diet and participating in moderate exercise to reach one’s ideal set point.

There is no denying that genetics play a role in determining body size and weight and therefore some individuals will have a higher set point than others. However, I firmly believe that it is possible to “reset” an individual’s set point over time by maintaining a consistent diet and exercise regimen. Consider that the average adult gains almost a pound per year. According to research by the Harvard School of Public Health, this weight gain is caused primarily by diet and lifestyle choices. In other words, the average person is slowly and steadily adjusting their set point (albeit in the wrong direction).

The key is to have a lifestyle that is congruent with your health goals. Diets simply do not work on a long-term basis for the vast majority of people who attempt them. I believe the primary reason for the failure of these diets is they are not sustainable and cause weight loss through caloric restriction. Once the diet is no longer being followed, the individual’s body simply goes to work bringing body weight back to its pre-diet set point. It is the same with people who exercise via boot camps or 90 day programs and burn off a ton off calories and speed up their metabolism for a short period of time. Once the boot camp is over it is back to their prior set point.

Not only are these methodologies for weight loss ineffective, they are dangerous. According to a study conducted at UCLA, evidence suggests that repeatedly losing and gaining weight is linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and altered immune function. And obviously, living with one’s body weight in a constant state of flux is not ideal from a lifestyle standpoint.

In the final installment of this series I will offer some tips on setting up some easy-to-implement nutrition and exercise “success rituals” to help maintain a healthy body weight and metabolic set point

Kickboxing Union County NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Kickboxing, Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Kickboxing Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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February 24, 2014 Posted by | Karate Union County NJ, Kickboxing Union County NJ | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kickboxing Union County NJ | Kickboxing Summit NJ | Kickboxing Berkeley Heights NJ

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Kickboxing, Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Karate Union County NJ – Martial Arts for Life

August 27, 2013 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cruel Summer

IceCream

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and it will soon be time for barbecues, day trips and vacations, oh my! Summer tends to be one of the most challenging times of the year to stay disciplined with workouts and diet regimens. After all, we all want to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation and take advantage of the seasonal goodies we look forward to. The goal is to find a balance between enjoying the food and leisure activities while maintaining some semblance of a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Here are 5 tips to help you stay on track:

1.) Decide In Advance. When attending barbecues, parties or any gathering where there will be abundant food and drink use the “decide in advance” strategy. Simply decide in advance how many beers, hamburgers or hot dogs you will indulge in. Once you have decided, discipline yourself to stick to your plan.

2.) Don’t Take The Summer Off. Reducing your level of physical activity and increasing your intake of high calorie, fatty foods is a recipe for rapid weight gain. Be sure to maintain your level of physical activity throughout the summer. Keep in mind it is a hop, skip and a jump from September to the “holiday season” and it can be a real challenge to get back on track after Labor Day rolls around.

3.) Modify Your Workouts. Sometimes it is necessary to modify your workout routine in the summer. It is not advisable to go for an extended run when it is 100 degrees outside. Consider joining an air conditioned gym or exercise facility so you can continue to work out safely. Many facilities now offer short term summer memberships that you can take advantage of. You can also move your outdoor training to later in the day when it is not as hot out.

4.) Don’t Go Overboard. Enjoy yourself this summer, but don’t go completely overboard when indulging in junk food. Have one scoop of ice cream instead of two and order the small size tub of boardwalk fries. Often times you will find that your eyes are larger than your stomach and a smaller size treat will satisfy your craving.

5.) Drink Water. Avoid sugary drinks which contain empty calories and do a poor job of quenching thirst. Opt for water instead, which will keep you properly hydrated. Also, drinking water during and soon after alcohol consumption may reduce the level of dehydrating effects of alcoholic drinks.

Remember, with just a little planning and self-discipline, you can maintain a nice balance between summer fun and healthy living!

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Karate Union County NJ – Martial Arts for Life

May 8, 2013 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Martial Arts Union County NJ | Kickboxing Union County NJ | Karate Union County NJ

Martial Arts For Life Chief Instructor Rich Brugger at Renzo Gracie workshop in NYC.

Martial Arts For Life Chief Instructor Rich Brugger at Renzo Gracie workshop in NYC.

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Karate Union County NJ – Martial Arts for Life

February 18, 2013 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Martial Arts Union County NJ | Kickboxing Union County NJ | Karate Union County NJ

Kickboxing Union County NJ | Martial Arts Union County NJ | Karate Union County NJ

I Have No Time For This…

no-time1

It’s January and that means droves of people who have resolved to exercise and get in shape in 2013 are joining gyms, buying yoga mats, and ordering running shoes. Unfortunately, many of the “New Year’s resolution crowd” will abandon their goal of living a healthier lifestyle in the not too distant future. According to psychology professor John Norcross, the success rate of folks who resolve to lose weight starting January 1st is a mere 19% after 24 months. Further, 60% of all resolutions are dropped by the six-month mark.

While those statistics are not particularly encouraging, research also indicates that those who make resolutions are still 10 times more likely to successfully change their lifestyle than those who do not. If you have taken the plunge and made a commitment to a healthier lifestyle this year, I’d like to congratulate you on taking the first step. The next step is to follow through with your commitment and stay the course.

Many people who fail to stick with their resolution to exercise regularly fall into the trap of making excuses.  And of course, the habit of making excuses is invariably deadly to success. There are 3 main excuses most people fall back on when it comes to giving up on their fitness-based New Year’s resolution.

“The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.” – Dr. Robert Anthony

Reason #1: “I don’t have the time to stick to my work out plan.”

Time is probably the biggest reason people give when they talk about why they can’t seem to stick to their workouts. Unfortunately, time is rarely the problem. The problem is almost always a simple matter of priorities. The challenge for many folks is they prioritize leisure time and recreation above their own health and well being. For example, according to A.C. Nielsen and a Gallup poll, the average American watches over 5 hours of TV each day and spends 66 hours on the internet each month (including 7 hours on Facebook)!*

I believe people who enjoy success in any area of their lives have an uncanny ability to be completely honest with themselves. The next time you find yourself using the time excuse, take a good hard look at how you are actually spending your time and see if you are completely booked up for 168 hours every week.

If your schedule is such that you absolutely cannot commit to joining a gym or attending a class, could you find 10 minutes out of your day to do some form of exercise? Most cable television subscriptions have on demand workouts for free. Video-sharing websites such as YouTube have literally thousands of body-weight workouts that can be done with no equipment and very little time – and they are FREE! Remember, a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

Reason #2: “I have a bad (insert body part here).”

If you’re over 25 you probably have at least one joint or body part that has been injured, and the older you get, the more things will ache (especially after working out).  Many people who haven’t worked out in years expect their body to perform and recover similarly to when they were in their physical prime. This is an unrealistic expectation. Accept that working out can aggravate orthopedic issues and temper your workouts accordingly.

If you have some serious physical issues and certain types of exercises are impossible, find something else that is lower impact. If you have arthritis in your knee, running is probably a bad idea. If you have issues with your shoulder, doing heavy free weight exercises are going to be out. I believe there is a workout plan out there for everybody, whether it’s yoga, tai chi, swimming or something else. Your physician can often make suggestions based on your pre-existing conditions.  Don’t hide behind old injuries and physical challenge, simply work around them.

Reason #3: “I never see any results.”

In any undertaking, progress leads to motivation. As human beings, we can quickly become discouraged when we feel as though we are not improving. However, most people expect instant gratification and don’t even give themselves a chance to see any measurable results. I like to refer to this problem as the “instant gratification trap.”

We live in a day and age when almost anything we want is at our fingertips. If we need information on any subject it is available in a matter of seconds on our smart phone or our computer. If we want to find a product we need, find out how much it costs and have it shipped to our home, we can do it in a matter of minutes. We don’t even have to leave the house to rent a movie anymore! This means collectively we tend to lack patience.

Furthermore, we are bombarded with pills, potions and diets that promise quick results with minimal work. And let’s not forget about the 90 day miracle workout plans. Notice that the words, “RESULTS NOT TYPICAL” or “RESULTS MAY VARY” are tiny but never absent from advertisements for these products. My point is we are now conditioned to expect results instantly and with minimal effort. When it comes to diet and exercise, this is completely unrealistic.

You can make progress in 30 days and you can make more progress in 90 days. However, give yourself a minimum of 6 months of consistent training and proper diet before you judge your results from any program.

When you refuse to make excuses and give up on your goals, you refuse to be denied and you will succeed. I’d like to wish you the best of luck in 2013 on all your goals!

*http://www.statisticbrain.com/television-watching-statistics/

*http://www.statisticbrain.com/internet-statistics/

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Karate Union County NJ – Martial Arts for Life

January 10, 2013 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After The Holidays…

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

The six week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is perhaps the most challenging part of the year to stay consistent with a workout plan and maintain a healthy diet. Many folks simply stop trying during this time of year and pledge they will get back to exercising and eating right “after the holidays.”

If you choose to take a break, do not underestimate the physical and mental output required to make a 180 degree turn when the season ends. It is incredibly difficult to switch from practicing minimal self-discipline to working out regularly and eating a proper diet. Every January many people’s resolution to exercise and eat right end up failing because of the tremendous effort required.

Slacking off on your workout routine is especially dangerous if you are new to the fitness game. It is very easy to slip out of your routine and lose the results you have worked hard for. In addition, when you decide to get back on track, you will lack the stamina and fitness level needed to exercise with the same intensity. In fact, it is estimated that after four to five weeks without exercise your fitness level may decreases by as much as fifty-percent!

However, the fact remains that the holiday season is a tough time. There are more temptations than usual with office parties, holiday dinners, and family gatherings. Holiday shopping and visits make scheduling workouts difficult. Your goal should be to take a balanced approach that allows you to keep the gains you have worked hard for and also indulge in some holiday cheer.

Here are 5 ways to find balance this Holiday Season:

1.) Decide In Advance. Decide in advance to exercise moderation when it comes to food and drink. Before attending holiday celebrations, make a decision to limit yourself to one slice of pumpkin pie instead of two – or two cocktails instead of three. Many holiday dishes and treats are high in calories. For example, one cup of egg nog contains nearly 350 calories and a slice of pumpkin pie has about 320 calories and 17 grams of fat!

2.) Avoid An All Or Nothing Approach. Even if you cannot maintain your regular workout schedule, you should still stay physically active. Remember the concept “to maintain is to gain.” If you are able to maintain your current fitness level (or a portion of it), that is an achievement in and of itself. Even small things like walking more or taking the stairs is helpful.

3.) Eat Before You Go. Consider eating a lean, high-protein meal and/or drinking plenty of water before attending a holiday event. This strategy will help curb your hunger and prevent you from completely overindulging.

4.) Observe the 70/30 Rule. During the holiday season, eat healthfully and avoid excess sugar, alcohol and fatty foods seventy percent of the time. The other thirty percent of the time allow yourself to enjoy your holiday favorites (without going completely overboard).

5.) Get Enough Rest. Many times feeling tired or stressed is mistaken for hunger. Proper rest also helps you to deal with the stressors that often accompany a hectic holiday season.

If all else fails, be sure to get back on track as soon as possible. Try to follow a simple rule: If you eat more, exercise more.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

November 15, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “63 – 60” Arm Workout

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

October 18, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Safety Training: Awareness & Distance

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

Special thanks to S.A. Arrango for his research.

According to recent data provided by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation:

Every 22.2 seconds – a violent crime occurs
Every 30.9 minutes – a murder occurs
Every 1.2 minutes – a robbery occurs
Every 36.6 seconds – an aggravated assault occurs
Every 3.2 seconds – a property crime occurs
Every 14.4 seconds – a burglary occurs
Every 4.8 seconds – a larceny-theft occurs
Every 26.4 seconds – a motor vehicle theft occurs

In any crime situation, the victim will fall into one of two categories: he or she will either have some idea of what to do to in order to survive and escape or no idea whatsoever – which category would you rather be in?

Awareness and distance are our two most important safety skills. People young and old can learn to be more aware and how to create distance from potential danger.

-Walk purposefully, communicate calm and confidence. Protect your personal safe zone and trust your instincts. Re-alert yourself as you pass through doorways and entrances/exits. Practice using peripheral vision.

-Develop a habit of raising your awareness and being sure you have full use of your hands and feet when moving in or out of a secure area. Have your faculties about you and focus your attention briefly on being in a safe and aware state of mind.

-Evaluate entry areas to your home and garage. Consider locations that could hide an intruder from your view while entering or leaving your home. Consider removing shrubbery or lighting any location than could conceal an attacker. Use motion sensor lighting near doors or driveway access points.

-Keep garage doors closed and locked. Remove remote door openers from vehicles regularly parked in your driveway. 

-Teach children the importance of Safe People and Safe Places. Show your children common safe places and how to recognize them – a policeman, a store clerk at the checkout counter, a Mom with children. Teach children how to recognize a safe place if they feel threatened – the checkout at a store, a group of well dressed adults.

-Try not to carry a purse, if you must, carry it securely under your arm. Never wrap the strap around your arm or enter a tug-of-war if a thief grabs your purse. You could be seriously injured.

-Adults and children alike should avoid walking alone and stay away from dark walkways, stairwells and alleys. Learn to avoid short-cuts that take you from the public view. Teach children how to say “No” to adults asking them for help. Adults should ask other adults, not children, for directions, help with packages or for other assistance.

-Consider your return approach when you park your car. Pass up parking spaces in corners and without a clear view from several angles. Stalkers generally attack on your return to the car when you are distracted, your arms are full and they have evaluated you as a target.

-Learn and teach loved ones the importance of maintaining a safe distance in any situation. Experts teach three primary safe zones – about 20 feet, about 10 feet and reaching distance. At each of these distances we can develop effective safety responses to danger or aggression.

-Have a “safety drill” rehearsed with your children to escape danger or safely lock them in the car if you are threatened. Practice this drill just as you would practice a fire drill in a school or business. Teach loved ones there is always a safer place to be if danger presents itself.

-Glance into your backseat and floorboards before entering your car. Always lock your doors whether you are in or out of your vehicle, or home. Keep windows at least partially rolled up to avoid someone reaching in to unlock and open your door.

-Keep your purse, wallet or briefcase on the floor or under the seat at all times. Do not leave any packages, packs or bags in your parked and locked car even if they don’t contain valuables.

-If you are bumped from behind by another vehicle, do not immediately exit your car. ASSESS THE SITUATION. If you feel uneasy, remain in your vehicle until police arrive. If the other party leaves the scene note vehicle description and tag – do not follow.

-If someone threatens you with a weapon, give your vehicle up immediately after you collect your children. DO NOT FIGHT OR ARGUE. Your life is more important than your car.

-If your car breaks down, raise the hood to signal for help. If possible remain in your car. If someone stops to assist you, have them call for help. Do not allow strangers inside your vehicle and do not accept a ride from them.

Remember, awareness and distance remain the two most important safety skills for people of all ages!

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Personal Safety | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything Counts!

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins

When it comes to your exercise and eating habits – everything counts. Research in the area of human behavior indicates that over 90% of our daily actions are habitual. Everything that you decide to do (or not do) on a regular basis adds up to shape your level of health, fitness, and well-being.

In his book, “The Compound Effect,” Darren Hardy uses the example of a person who chooses to eliminate just 125 calories per day from his or her diet and in 31 months loses thirty-three pounds. The math works like this:

31 months = 940 days

940 days x 125 calories/day = 117,500 calories

117,500 divided by 3,500 calories per pound = 33.5 pounds!

Is this a bit of an over simplification? Perhaps, but the principle is sound. The calories that you consume (and burn) according to your daily habits will compound over time.

By the way, a 12 oz. can of cola has 150 calories. By simply substituting one bottle of water for one can of soda each day, you would instantly eliminate 150 calories from your diet. Do you work in a place where co-workers take turns brining in doughnuts or doughnut holes each morning? Two of those little doughnut holes contain between 120 and 140 calories. Half of a glazed doughnut contains about 125 calories. Caloric values of almost anything you eat can be found by doing a quick internet search.

You can now see how making a very small improvement in your diet could easily lead to cutting 125 calories. Now just imagine if you combined that change with a regular exercise routine – your results would increase exponentially.

“The things that are easy to do are also easy not to do.” – Jim Rohn

The best way to make this simple, healthy change is to track what you eat every day for a week. Keep a small pad and a pen with you and jot down everything that you eat or drink. This is not fun or easy, but it is educational. You will uncover hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of empty calories in your diet that are the result of mindless snacking and poor food choices. Armed with this information you can then take a step towards making small (or even large) changes in your daily eating habits and start your own positive compound effect.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

June 3, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Tips To Healthy Eating

Compiled by the International Food Information Council Foundation.

Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Use the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels as handy references.

Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Surveys show most Americans don’t eat enough of these foods. Do you eat 6-11 servings from the bread, rice, cereal and pasta group, 3 of which should be whole grains? Do you eat 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables? If you don’t enjoy some of these at first, give them another chance. Look through cookbooks for tasty ways to prepare unfamiliar foods.

Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that’s right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you’re constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to maintaining a healthy weight.

Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it’s easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards? A medium piece of fruit is 1 serving and a cup of pasta equals 2 servings. A pint of ice cream contains 4 servings. Refer to the Food Guide Pyramid for information on recommended serving sizes.

Eat regular meals. Skipping meals can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you’re very hungry, it’s also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don’t eat so much that your snack becomes an entire meal.

Reduce, don’t eliminate certain foods. Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, the key is moderating how much of these foods you eat and how often you eat them.

Identify major sources of these ingredients in your diet and make changes, if necessary. Adults who eat high-fat meats or whole-milk dairy products at every meal are probably eating too much fat. Use the Nutrition Facts panel on the food label to help balance your choices.Choosing skim or low-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat such as flank steak and beef round can reduce fat intake significantly.If you love fried chicken, however, you don’t have to give it up. Just eat it less often. When dining out, share it with a friend, ask for a take-home bag or a smaller portion.

Balance your food choices over time. Not every food has to be “perfect.” When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy pattern.

Know your diet pitfalls. To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what’s wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list according to the rest of these tips. Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.

Make changes gradually. Just as there are no “superfoods” or easy answers to a healthy diet, don’t expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too fast can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skim, too.

Remember, foods are not good or bad. Select foods based on your total eating patterns, not whether any individual food is “good” or “bad.” Don’t feel guilty if you love foods such as apple pie, potato chips, candy bars or ice cream. Eat them in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment