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Keys to a healthy diet and lifestyle

Keys to a healthy diet and lifestyle

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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A National Institute of Health funded study published last week reported that research showed a low-carb diet, that emphasized fish, chicken, beef and some fruits and vegetables while avoiding pasta, bread, and potatoes, resulted in about 300 fewer calories than low-fat and Mediterranean type diets.  Is it the final word on how to lose or maintain weight?

diets-girl-on-scaleNIH indicated the findings were preliminary and weren’t ready to provide a definitive answer.

Many Americans are constantly in search of the elusive diet that keeps them at a healthy weight.  But apparently, many others aren’t because the Centers for Disease Control says 35.7% of Americans are considered obese and another 34% are overweight.  They are at risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

Exercise is one key to good health but so is nutrition and eating habits.

In this episode of Radio Smart Talk, Julie Stefanski, a clinical dietician at York Hospital addresses what we eat.

Listen to the program:

diets-healthy-whole-grainsA low-carb diet may result in weight loss, but it can actually increase stress and cause constipation. Julie recommends a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein. She encourages people to not just focus on weight, but to focus on achieving health.

Julie has found that most people actually start losing weight when they turn their focus from losing weight on an unhealthy regimen to actually thinking about nourishing their body... taking care of it ad respecting it, instead of overfilling it.

Turning away from stimulus like the Food Network and food advertising that encourages eating, can help a person achieve weight loss goals. Marketers and advertisers are actually changing their strategies to promote healthy foods to children by using cartoon characters on packaging and in ads.

diets-father-on-veggiesThere are a lot of hidden calories each day that people don’t pay attention to, such as coffee creamer. That can add another 500 calories to a drink that could derail weight loss progress.

Listen to your body. Eat slowly and stop eating when slightly full, she says. And, never eat when you aren’t hungry. Breakfast is a great way to start the day because it fills a person up and paves the way for healthier food choices throughout the day. Eating breakfast can also help a person from overeating at other meals.   Use this calorie counter tool to see how many daily calories your body needs.

Julie says that although strict guidelines can help guide a person towards making better choices, people need to know how to incorporate their favorite foods and treats into those regimens. But, they need to add things in like a cookie or ice cream in as a treat, not an everyday thing. Everything in moderation.

diets-exercise-biking-friendsIt is recommended that a person who is trying to lose weight get 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week. It’s important to note that after a person loses weight, this should increase to 90 minutes most days of the week.   Use this exercise calorie counter to see how much you've burned.

She recommends the book titled “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribble. This book explores our relationship with food and ho we can make better choices about what we put in our bodies.

Pay attention to BMI (body mass index) and work towards a number that is a healthy weight for you. Click here to calculate your BMI.

diets-weightsMeeting with a registered dietician for personalized counseling about food choices and health is a great idea, she says, and can help identify goals and ways to reach them.

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