Archive for June, 2011
Last week saw the launch of the new version of the traditional food pyramid by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The new version has a much more simplified look with an image of a dinner plate, and next to it a dairy cup. The vertical sections of the food pyramid have been done away with. MyPlate shows the basics, with emphasis on fruits and vegetables as an important component of a balanced diet. Having many colored sections depicting the various food groups, the government has sought to encourage healthy eating among the people of America through what they are calling the ideal meal plate.
The Dietary Guidelines are as follows:
• Enjoy your food, but eat less.
• Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to Increase
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Make at least half your grains whole grains.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
Foods to Reduce
• Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Last year Michelle Obama announced her Let’s Move program to help combat childhood obesity, so this seems like another step in the direction of combating the obesity epidemic that is plaguing the United States.
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There is a new study that suggests the presence of brown fat or good fat in an area extending from the front of the neck to the chest. This brown fat is totally opposite and in contrast to the calorie storing white fat. It is mixed with the white fat cells but the oxygen consumption rate widely differs. Brown fat is the one that burns calories to keep us warm.
A new federal report suggests that the overall obesity in the population of Canada can be brought down with just 15 minutes of extra activity daily and also by eating more of fresh fruits and vegetables. It has been totally criticized by the health industry experts as being too simple a solution and that just these two points will not lead to a fall in the obesity figures that have shown a huge increase in the past few years.
The statistics show the number of obese people (including children) is on the rise and the condition is getting just more severe. It was suggested that with an improvement in diet, fewer men and women would be obese. It was also stated that simple regular exercises like walking would definitely bring about positive changes in the health of the people of Canada.
Obesity, taken in its entirety is complex, and a simple solution of 15 minutes of extra activity daily or including more of fresh fruits and vegetables in the daily meal will not cause a significant impact on the obese population. There are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration like a change in the lifestyle habits, mental health, caloric intake and regular physical activity to bring about substantial change in the health of Canadians.
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If you are wondering what sleep apnea is, it’s a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. It is a condition that affects people leaving them tired the next day. Due to a disturbed sleep, the person feels less energetic and productive in the morning after. Untreated over long periods, it can leave people with severe health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure among others.
A new study has shown that if the individual suffering with sleep apnea sheds his/her excess weight, the condition improves. Losing the excess pounds has helped people suffering with this condition. Mostly those who are obese suffer with it and on losing weight, have seen remarkable improvement and for some, sometimes even a complete cure of their sleep apnea.
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What is the DASH Diet? It is the ‘Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension’. It generally emphasizes on the individual consuming more of low-fat dairy products; as well as fish, chicken, nuts, fruits, whole grains and vegetables. This diet was promoted by the American Heart Association as following these dietary rules. Using it people experienced lowered blood pressure.
Now, the breaking news is that adolescent girls between the ages of 9 and 19 whose general diet resembles the DASH Diet were slimmer and trimmer. There are only small gains in the body mass index during this time period. Studies showed that if one followed the DASH Diet, there will be effective weight control during the adolescent years where often now American children tend to get overweight. Statistics show the frightening numbers of children who are obese or at risk of becoming so. If children (and adults) comply with the DASH Diet then there is increased promise of them maintaining overall good health as they age.
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Recent news articles about weight loss emphasizes the need to eat right in order to lose weight. Although you can certainly find literally hundreds of weight loss products on the market today, very few of them actually help you lose weight by changing your mindset about how to lose weight correctly so that the weight stays off and you lose the weight easily. By changing your mindset and understanding how weight loss actually occurs, you will improve your chances of not only losing weight, but being able to change your life so that the weight does not come back to haunt you later.
How Metabolism Works
Metabolism is literally how the body processes food and transforms it into energy. A simple way of understanding the process is to think of food as the gasoline in your engine, and metabolism has happened when you press on the gas pedal and the car moves forward.
When you begin to feel hungry, your body begins to shut down and attempt to reserve energy that is stored in fat cells. One of the ways many people attempt to lose weight is to simply starve themselves and severely reduce the amount of food they are eating. Unfortunately, this can stop the weight loss process because the body interprets lack of food as starvation and will hold on to the fat cells as a survival mechanism.
The best method to increase metabolism and increase weight loss is to eat small meals throughout the day. Instead of only eating two or three times a day and eating large meals, you can actually improve your metabolism by eating very small meals throughout the day. The optimal number of meals is six at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day.
As counter-intuitive as it sounds, by eating throughout the day, you keep your body from feeling like it is starving and prevent it from holding onto the fat it stores in reserve against starvation. Eat low calorie-dense foods that are also low in fat content and high in fiber to help in your quest to lose weight. Avoid processed foods and fast foods that are high in sodium and fat.
Weight Loss Mindset
When you change your way of thinking about food, you will change your eating habits becomes much easier. When you are embarking on a weight loss program, keep in mind your ultimate goal – not only to lose weight but also to improve your overall health.
Eat mindfully and with increased consciousness. When you are shopping for food at the grocery store, read labels and make deliberate choices that will support your weight loss goals. Be willing to try new foods that can provide you with lots of flavor and interesting textures to make eating more enjoyable.
If you train your mind to use food to live, rather than live for food, then soon your body will follow and you will begin to see the pounds fall off.
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Here’s to changing your mindset and finally reaching your ideal weight.