Eat Smart!

Eat Smart! Keep up your metabolism

Drinking water boost your metabolismWeight management is all about calories in and calories out, but how fast your body burns calories depends on a number of factors. Your size and composition (muscle to fat ratio) impact how your body burns calories – the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. Also, men tend to burn more calories than women and the body’s metabolism slows year after year after age 40.

So when developing a healthy eating plan and working your walking program, keep these in mind.

Stop yo-yo dieting, it confuses your body. Drastically reducing your daily calories or skipping meals signals your body that you are starving. Your body will shift its metabolism into survival mode by burning fewer calories and storing more as fat. Also, when you eat too few calories you risk losing muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat.

Keep your body running efficiently by eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day, approximately every three to four hours. This forces your metabolism to burn calories all day long. Think of it like stoking a furnace, a fat burning furnace.

Be realistic about your weight loss goal. Aim for a weight loss of one to two pounds per week which can be done by reducing your caloric intake by 500 calories a day. Studies show that people who lose weight gradually are more likely to keep it off.

Drink water, drink water, drink water. Your body needs water to process calories, so when you are dehydrated your metabolism may slow. Studies show that people who drink eight to 12 glasses of water throughout the day have a higher metabolic rate than those who drink four glasses.

Your body burns more calories digesting protein than fat or carbohydrates. Replace some of your carbs with lean protein like chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, beans, eggs or low-fat yogurt and eat protein at every meal.

Build muscle to burn more calories. Incorporate strength training into your exercise plan and interval walking into your routine. Changing up the intensity levels while walking will increase your metabolic rate. Boost your walking speed a few minutes at a time during your walk. Also, increase resistance by walking up hills or adjusting the incline on the treadmill. Taking the stairs also helps build leg muscles.

Remember, the more you move throughout the day, the more calories you burn.

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A Guide to Fall Food Infographic

Fall brings an array of color to your meals with pumpkin, squash, apples and more. The Guide to Fall Food Infographic shows benefits and diet tips for several fall foods.
A Guide to Fall Food
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Eat Smart! Serving Size Infographic

In today’s world of super size meals, we’ve become used to distorted serving sizes. This infographic will help you determine proper serving sizes when preparing your meals. Don’t forget you can use the Walkingspree Food Tracker to find out how many steps you need to walk to burn off a particular serving of food.

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Eating more fruits and vegetables

Improving eating habits can be as simple as including plenty of color to your plate, according to the American Dietetic Association.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

THE BASICS:

Fruits and vegetables are edible plants that can be eaten raw, cooked or dried. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your food plan results in weight loss and fights chronic diseases.

RECOMMENDED SERVINGS:

Guidelines suggest women should eat 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-2.5 cups of vegetables. Men should eat 2 cups of fruits, and 2.5-3 cups of vegetables. Bottomline: Aim for five 1-cup servings a day.

THE RESEARCH:

A variety of fruits and vegetables protect you from a variety of health risks, and their color provides a key associated to these benefits. Try to eat some of these at least once a week:

Green produce promotes healthy vision and may reduce cancer risks. Choose avocados, apples, grapes, honeydew, melons, kiwi, limes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach.

Orange and deep yellow promotes healthy vision, immunity, and may reduce cancer risks. Choose apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruits, mangos, papayas, peaches, pineapples, carrots, yellow peppers, yellow corn and sweet potatoes.

Purple and blue has anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and may reduce cancer risks. Choose blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins, eggplant, purple cabbage and purple-fleshed potatoes.

Red helps maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce cancer risks. Choose cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grapefruit, red grapes, watermelon, beets, red onions, red peppers, rhubarb and tomatoes.

White, tan and brown contain nutrients that promote heart health and may reduce cancer risks. Choose bananas, brown pears, dates, white peaches, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potatoes and white corn.

QUICK TIPS:

  • Buy in season, when flavors are at their peak and produce costs less.
  • Buy pre-cut packages of fruits or vegetables for snacks, instead of chips or candy.
  • Keep a bowl of fruit in sight, or wherever you go first to find a snack. If you see them, you will eat them.
  • Add fruit to food you already eat, like cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt and salads.
  • Add veggies to food you already eat, like pasta dishes, canned soups, frozen pizza.
  • Shred carrots or zucchini into meatloaf, quick bread, muffins.
  • Use chunky salsa instead of thick, creamy snack dips.
  • Dip fruit in yogurt, low calorie pudding, peanut butter.
  • Dip veggies in salsa or low calorie dressings.
  • Fill half your dinner plate with vegetables.
  • Include a green salad with your dinner every night.
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24 Tips to Beat Hunger Cravings

Do you eat out of hunger…or do you eat out of habit?


Often it is difficult to determine if you are craving food because of physiological hunger or psychological hunger. This method may help give you the time to determine if you really are hungry or if you just need an alternative to keep you busy.

Rate your level of hunger: 0 – 10

Ask yourself, why are you hungry? Is it because you skipped a meal or snack? Sometimes we become so busy we forget to eat our snack or even skip a meal. Be sure to have your snack with you if you are not at home. If you are home, make sure that your snack is easy to grab. If you skipped a snack or a meal, then your body is telling you that it is  hungry and needs to be fed. If that’s the case, choose healthy options. Eat a handful of nuts, nibble on some raw veggies or drink a bottle of water to hold you over until you either eat your snack or eat your meal

Ask yourself, are you hungry because you are just having a bad day or are you bored? If that is the case then your hunger is psychological and you can try journalling what you’re feeling and keep this in a feelings log to see if there is a pattern.

Try some of the following activities the next time you want to eat.

  • Go for a walk
  • Fix that leaky faucet
  • Call a friend
  • Play a board game
  • Brush your teeth
  • Work a crossword puzzle
  • Take a bath
  • Write a note to a friend
  • Check your email
  • Re-pot a plant
  • Take a drive
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Read a book
  • Work in the garden
  • Work on a hobby
  • Clean a closet or organize a junk drawer
  • Visit a neighbor
  • Write in a journal
  • Pray or meditate
  • Go to the library
  • Get up and stretch
  • Look at a photo album
  • Vacuum your car
  • Practice your golf swing
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