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Enjoy your July 4 parties and barbeques tomorrow and through this weekend … but make sure you know what you’re putting in your mouth. I came across this great graphic that spells out the best choices from a nutrition and healthy-eating standpoint. Don’t get too hung up on trying to eat perfectly today, but do make sure you don’t undo all the good choices you have been making on non-holidays!
Summer is here, and with the July 4 holiday coming up next week, grilling season is in full swing. But do you know what the best burger option is?
Prevention came up with this great graphic comparing both turkey burgers and veggie burgers (sorry, carnivores, no red meat here). Food manufacturers have come a long way on taste throughout the years, so don’t be afraid to venture away from the cow to get your burger fix.
So, what should you choose as you go about your weekend and upcoming holiday celebrations? Take a look:
I feel like I’m constantly having the conversation with my parents about foods being actually healthy, or just appearing that way. My dad is usually the main offender – he’ll be convinced something is “healthy” because the front label is screaming “low fat” or “only XX calories.” What I always need to explain is that low fat doesn’t necessarily equal healthy … especially when there is extra sugar and empty carbs used to make up for the taste.
Keep in mind that a little fat is not bad for you – as long as it’s the good kind of fat – and that sugar (often used to replace the fat to keep taste), though naturally fat-free, is like any other calorie – if it doesn’t get used, it will be converted to fat. And let’s be honest … as a society, we eat WAY more sugar than we should (and yes, I’m guilty of that one, too … you’d be AMAZED how quickly you consume more sugar than you should eat in a day). But sugar isn’t the only culprit: there are plenty of chemicals, food dyes, and empty, stripped down carbs that contribute nothing to our diets, but potentially do contribute to our waistlines.
Here are a few things to think about as you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping. Bottom line? Make sure to actually read the entire label to see what you’re actually eating … without the flashy marketing trying to convince you that junk is actually good for you.
Did you know that Wednesday, March 13 is the 6th annual Registered Dietician Day? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the purpose of this day is to, “commemorate the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.”
One of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle revolves around eating nutritious, whole foods. You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” and most athletes would agree that diet plays just as much (some would argue more) of a role as exercise in maintaining a strong body and healthy weight.
So, to all the RDs out there: thanks for making our world a healthier, more nutritious place! Here are a few tips from www.eatright.org on why consulting a dietician or nutritionist can be helpful:
We’ve made it through Christmas, and with only New Year’s Eve and Day standing between us and the start of the January gym rush, now is the time to start burning off those inevitable pounds burned during the holiday season. The beauty of working out this week? A lot of people still consider themselves to be on the “free pass” that is the holiday season. But why put off until tomorrow what you can start (or resume) today?
The jury is out on how much weight people typically gain over the holiday season – I’ve seen anywhere from 5-10 lbs., to as little as 1-2. Personally, I’m weird, as I historically lose a couple between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (though in full-disclosure, I may have been down 2 lbs. before I headed home for the holidays, but the verdict won’t actually be in until after I get back to Virginia tomorrow afternoon and on the scale on Friday morning … and yes, I am kind of dreading what I’ll see … though I’d like to believe the scale in my parents’ bathroom, which claimed that I had lost somewhere between 18-20 lbs. in a span of three days. That would have taken me significantly below my “goal weight” – if only!!)
Why get started (or get back to it, even if you only took Christmas Day off) today?
- It’s easier to lose 2 lbs. than 20. Let’s be honest. We tend to give ourselves a little pass on the healthy eating during Christmas (Yes, I did have prime rib two nights in a row. It was the first time I’ve eaten red meat in … I don’t even know how long. A long time). One day off and one day of less than stellar eating won’t kill you. But giving up – and putting it off – will only bring you farther from your goals.
- The New Years rush starts next week. Throughout the years I’ve found that the January rush doesn’t typically start January 1 – but come mid-January, the gym is a zoo. For those of us who are as likely to be in the gym in September as we are in January, this is irritating. So get into your groove now, and enjoy the fact that you won’t have to wait for an elliptical or stalk the weight floor for a bench for another week or so.
- You’ll feel better. Too much family time and travel woes got you down? There is no better mental therapy than a good workout. Zone out to some good tunes, get your sweat on, and forget than Aunt Margie asked you when you’re getting married for the 45th time (thankfully, my family has just stopped asking this question … I’ll get there when I get there, it’s not from lack of trying!)
Hope you all had a great Christmas! Now is a great time to start re-evaluating your goals and setting a plan to achieve them in 2013. It’s almost here – so get ready to make it your best year yet!
The first Monday after Thanksgiving. Ugh. You know what that means … everyone is trying to make up for the long weekend full of indiscretions (I may be guilty of consuming four pieces of pie in a span of two days…). I always think it’s funny how people suddenly resurface after a food-heavy holiday.
And it also makes me start to think that we are a mere six weeks away from several months of insanity. The New Year’s rush is just around the corner … and yes, just knowing that it’s coming has me anxious already.
That said … don’t use the holiday season, now in full swing, as an excuse to undo all the good you have done for yourself throughout the rest of the year. If you haven’t made it back into your workout schedule after the long holiday weekend, there is no better time than now. What can you do in addition to adding a few minutes onto your cardio? Here are a few ideas:
- Drink more water. It’ll flush any of the bad stuff still floating around in your system, and keep your full (remember, sometimes “hunger” is actually dehydration). And make it ice cold – it forces your body to work just a little harder to warm it up to body temperature.
- Get back on your healthy eating plan! Vegetables, fruits, lean protein – all great options to help your body get back to normal after an overindulgence or two during the holiday weekend.
- Hit the gym. Sweat out the extra calories you took in over the last few days – it’ll do double duty, helping you get past any stress that too much family and travel may have bogged you down with, too.
As a final note … I’m convinced I’m not a normal person. I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, to find myself a full three pounds lighter than I was before I headed to the grandparents’ house on Thursday. Not that I’m complaining – if eating pie can, in fact, lead to quick weight loss, I’ll gladly pick up my fork!