Are you ready for spring? I mean, is your body ready ... to shed the heavy coats and sweaters, to wear lighter weight, more form-fitting clothes? If not, or if you would just like to learn some good tips, follow me in The Georgetown Dish every Monday with proven strategies to lose weight, improve your health or just increase your knowledge about nutrition. Through spring, we'll be losing weight together, so you'll be ready for the warmer days to come!
Losing weight is not about discipline or will power. It's about controlling your environment. Period.
We all have different strengths and weaknesses which must be considered when cutting calories or making any other healthful lifestyle changes. Let's talk about me, Katherine Tallmadge. One of my main weaknesses is chocolate. I can't stop with one piece. That's simply not "normal" for me. I'll occansionally indulge my passion with a small piece of dark chocolate, but I've learned never to bring home a full box of chocolate-covered caramels. It will be gone in a day or two, max.
I'm no better with chips. I have no self-control, and I know it. So I'll occasionally buy a 1-ounce bag. But a big bag? Never!
One of my strengths (finally, something positive!) is that I love fruit. I stock up on cut-up fruit so I always have it at my fingertips.
You have to recognize your own "mines." I advise everyone to minesweep the kitchen for those calorie bombs that can explode your weight. Have a hard time resisting ice cream? Then get rid of the half gallon. Candy bar pitfall? Toss out the leftovers from the Easter season.
Minesweeping your kitchen periodically to get rid of things you shouldn't have in the house in the first place will save a tremendous amount of calories over time. Add the things that you like and should be eating, and you'll do even better! Be good to yourself and make your negative behaviors hard and your good behaviors easy.
If just one candy bar is replaced by an apple every day, you'll save 175 calories. That adds up to about 18 pounds lost in one year!
* Excerpted from "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations" (LifeLine Press) by Katherine Tallmadge
For decades, scientists have argued about fiber's impact on disease rates. American studies often found no links to the prevention of cancer and heart disease, while European studies did. A new Harvard study found dietary fiber eaten in the teenage years and early adulthood significantly decreased breast cancer rate later in life, especially with premenopausal breast cancer, the most dangerous kind. And this result was unchanged by red meat and animal fat, while previous studies have found a significant link.
"Adolescence and early adulthood is a period when breast cancer risk appears to be very important," according to the study.
Several biological mechanisms explain the role of fiber on breast cancer risk. Because eating high fiber foods tends to keep blood sugar at lower levels, insulin levels may be lower. When insulin is higher because of a higher blood sugar level, "insulin-like growth factors," which are associated with higher cell growth and cancer rates, reduce. Also, dietary fiber may lower estrogen levels in the blood by increasing bowel excretion.
Our grandmothers have been extolling the virtues of roughage for generations. Turns out they were right. But the benefit of "roughage" aka fiber, are far more vast than our grandmothers ever realized.
Fiber is mainly carbohydrate, the undigestible part of plant foods - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.
All types of fiber were associated with decreased risk, including fiber from fruits, vegetables, insoluble and soluble fibers.
For the first time, scientists have discovered certain fruits and vegetables - and not others - are associated with preventing weight gain over the course of many years regardless of calories, according to a recent Harvard study published in the British Medical Journal. These fruits and vegetables contain a class of phytonutrients called flavonoids, a plant compound with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, among other benefits.
"The particular fruits and vegetables associated with less weight gain are rich sources of several flavonoid subclasses, particularly flavonols, anthocyanins, and flavones. Animal models and short term human studies provide evidence for underlying mechanisms that relate flavonoids to weight: several flavonoid subclasses have been shown to decrease calorie intake, increase blood sugar uptake in muscle in humans, and decrease blood sugar uptake in fat tissue in test tube studies. Other studies, predominantly focusing on green tea, a rich source of the flavan-3-ol subclass of flavonoids, provide evidence to suggest that flavonoids may decrease fat absorption, increase energy expenditure, and inhibit body fat synthesis," according to the study.
In the study, anthocyaninins, the blue pigment in many fruits and vegetables, were mainly found in blueberries and strawberries, among others. Flavan-3-ols were mainly from tea, apples, pears, and peppers.