June 7, 2012
Five Changes to Help You Get Healthy This Summer
Slash the white stuff: This includes the obvious, like white breads, pastas and rice, as well as sweets and sugary drinks (including fruit juice, sweet tea and many smoothies and specialty coffee drinks). It also includes those perceived-as-healthy foods like restaurant-style wraps and deli bagels. While they may seem diet-friendly, many can pack in the carb-equivalent of six slices of bread.
Blast excess bloat: Not only are the above-mentioned sugars and white carbs typically calorie-dense foods that won't keep you full for long, these carb-rich foods and drinks can also cause you to retain fluid.
Cutting back, an obvious way to avoiding bloat, gives us just one more reason to adhere to the USDA's recommended upper limit of 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. Keep in mind that limiting high-salt foods requires more than simply putting down the salt shaker. It also means nixing most fast food and canned goods, and checking the labels on "diet" foods such as reduced-fat salad dressings and low-calorie frozen dinners, since many can be packed with hundreds of milligrams of sodium.
Prevent muscle loss: Not only does muscle mass help to give a lean, toned appearance, it also increases the number of calories we burn. Maximize muscle maintenance and growth by incorporating a protein-rich meal or snack every three to four hours throughout the day, emphasizing lean proteins such as seafood, skinless poultry, extra-lean ground beef and pork tenderloin, as well as nonmeat options such as plain low-fat Greek yogurt and veggie burgers.
Move it: The immediate benefits of exercise are three-fold: You burn more calories, shed excess water via sweat you get a boost to mood (potentially helping to fend off cravings). Aim for at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate to intense exercise on most days (for example, a brisk walk, running, singles tennis, or cycling). If that's too much at first, start small and gradually increase time and intensity.
Track it: Keeping a log of food and exercise can help you stay focused and identify potential problem areas. Old-school pen and paper journaling works just fine, or try an easy-to-use smartphone app like My Fitness Pal.
Posted by Lisa at June 7, 2012 2:29 PM
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