_ How fast are you going? Most people have no idea it is just 10 years later and 30 extra pounds. Then you show up at my door and want to go in reverse at 100mph! Anyone who has been steadily gaining weight, first must STOP gaining. Seems simple, but it is not all that satisfying when people want to watch their love handles immediately melt away.
I consider it a great success when I can get someone to stop gaining weight. This is a key principle of pediatric nutrition. If I can get a 6 year old to stop gaining weight at such a rapid pace, he or she will then grow into that weight eventually. Unfortunately, adults will not grow into their weight when they stop gaining, but just as you would not take a car going 70 mph on a freeway and throw it into reverse; I do not take an adult who has been gaining weight and throw them into weight loss mode the first week. First we must stop the weight gain.
When calculating how much weight one has lost, people forget to add in how much they would have gained had they not been paying attention. Eventually those love handles will melt away, but give it some time. So let me ask again, how fast are you going? Are you flying forward gaining weight at a shocking rate or are you in reverse? Remember you do not want to reverse too quickly, you might hit something!
Are you thirsty? You may have heard before that it is easy to mistake thirst for hunger and it is SO true. As I write this, I am extremely thirsty. It is so easy to go all day and not drink any water. We constantly think about food we want to eat and look forward to meal times but water can easily be off our radar. Of course, we can only survive about 3 days without water so obviously people are not dropping dead of dehydration on a regular basis in America, but health is about more than just not dying.
You may be feeling more tired lately. My question to you is: Are you well hydrated? Dehydration can make you tired. Do you crave sweets and sodas? Again: Are you well hydrated? Sometimes our bodies draw attention to thrist by craving sweets which then draw you to drink something or you may crave sodas to get extra fluid.
You may have a morning cup of coffee and a soda with lunch as many people do, but that does not keep you well hydrated. It keeps you living but not well hydrated.
If you want to FEEL good and look great, stay well hydrated! A water bottle on your desk at work may help you more than RedBull, coffee, Coke, and Prozac combined! Oh, and you don't need a sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade unless you are doing more than 2 hours of strenuous exercise (and no, cleaning your house does not count!).
Is chocolate good for you? It is true, chocolate has potential health benefits. It contains flavonoids and magnesium which have potential blood pressure lowering effects. Flavonoids are mostly found in plants and in humans have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants in simple terms run around your body finding "chipped" cells and fix them which decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer, etc, etc.
Now not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate gets such a better reputation with the health conscious because it contains twice the amount of flavonoids as milk chocolate. Also, the extra milk in milk chocolate decreases the absorption of the flavonoids. If you are eating chocolate for the most health benefit, choose at least 70% dark chocolate and make sure it contains only one type of fat - cocoa butter. Often palm oil, coconut oil, and milk fat may be added but are not as neutral for your cholesterol as cocoa butter.
HOWEVER, even with the most optimal chocolate, remember portion is everything. Chocolate is high in fat, cholesterol, sugar, and calories. It can easily lead to weight gain. A one ounce portion will cost around 150 calories of your total daily calories. And remember, chocolate can be a migraine trigger for many people who suffer from migraines. It can also be an IBS trigger. If you experience discomfort after consuming chocolate, you may need to avoid it all together. So PLAN, PORTION, and ENJOY!
Happy Valentines Day!
With all the fantastic recipes scattered throughout the internet right now, I want to take this week to introduce you to some of my personal favorite food blogs. Not every recipe is a healthy recipe, but browsing these websites can be a fantastic way to brain storm meal ideas to keep you from eating out and get you excited about cooking. You can also use your nutrition knowledge to modify recipes and make them more nutritious!
I picked out a few fun recipes for you:
Baked Hushpuppies [from tastykitchen.com]
Loaded Nachos [from cookinglight.com]
Mini Pretzel Dogs [from my Favorite Blog: joythebaker.com]
Cookie Dough Dip
Nutrition from the dietitian
Blog of Abrea Nutrition.