Tag: diet

January 25, 2015

What Is Overweight?

Overweight refers to an excess of body weight compared to set standards. The excess weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. One scientific tool to estimate a healthy body weight is a Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a measurement that compares a person’s weight and height. For children and teens, age and gender are also taken into consideration. For adults, a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 or over is considered obese. For Asian adults, a BMI of 23.0 to 27.4 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 27.5 or over is considered obese.

To calculate your BMI and see what it means to you:
For adults and teens – http://cchrchealth.org/en/calculators/


What Is a Healthy Weight Loss?

Studies show that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1-2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping the weight off. Healthy weight loss is not just about a diet or program. It is about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. In the process, it is extremely important for you to have a properly planned diet, which should not only limit your calorie intake but also, more importantly, provide you with all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.


How To Lose Weight On A Healthy Diet

The key is to avoid high-calorie items and eat a variety of healthy foods. A healthy diet should:

  • Be within your daily calorie needs
  • Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
  • Be low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.

Stay away from junk food and impulse eating. Try to keep a “food diary” for a few days. This is a good way to become more aware of what and when you are eating and to help yourself avoid unhealthy eating habits.

 Good Eating Habits

Most overeating is due to bad habits. Good eating habits help you to counteract the tendency of gaining weight.

  • Eat regular meals, including breakfast.
  • Chew your food slowly.
  • Watch portion sizes.
  • Stop eating when you feel full (Don’t insist on cleaning your plate).
  • Skip the desserts.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.
  • Make plans for what you are going to eat.
  • Avoid eating when you are not hungry.


Burning Calories With Exercise

When combined with a good diet, daily exercise increases the rate of weight loss and improves your general physical wellbeing.

  • Exercise for about 60-90 minutes a day, for at least 5 days a week.
  • Try a variety of sports: walking, running, hiking, biking, skating, swimming, dancing, basketball, tennis, and group exercise classes.
  • Have specific plans: Instead of  “exercise more,” tell yourself to “Walk for 60 minutes a day, 3 days a week for the first week.”
  • Walk or ride a bicycle instead of riding in a car.
  • Use stairs instead of elevators.


Other Tips:

  • Set realistic goals.
  • Focus on lifestyle changes that you can maintain.
  • Limit the time spent watching TV, playing video games, and on the computer.
  • Participate in meaningful extracurricular activities to keep your mind off food.
  • Remind yourself again and again of your original motivation and the health benefits of weight loss.


Helpful Resources:

January 24, 2015

IMG_9980What Is Vegetarianism?

Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes meat, poultry, and fish (including other seafood). There are several variations of vegetarianism, some of which also exclude eggs, dairy foods, or other animal by-products:

  • Lacto-vegetarians: Eat dairy products, but no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs
  • Ovo-vegetarians: Eat eggs, but no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Eat dairy products and eggs, but no meat, poultry, or fish.
  • Vegans: Do not eat any animal products.


Why Do People Become Vegetarians?

There are many reasons why people choose to follow a vegetarian diet, some of which include:

  • Food likes and dislikes
  • Animal rights concerns
  • Religious or cultural beliefs
  • Diet and health concerns
  • Family decision

These are acceptable reasons for choosing not to eat meat. It is important to note that in some cases, the decision to avoid meat or to be on an overly restrictive diet can be an early sign of an eating disorder, which is a negative eating behavior that affects one’s physical and mental health. If you have questions or concerns about your diet, talk to your health care provider for professional assistance.


Is It Healthy To Be a Vegetarian?

Being a vegetarian can be either helpful or harmful to your health, depending on whether you get proper nutrition. A properly-planned vegetarian diet is able satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and can significantly reduce the risks of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, and some types of cancer. This is true provided that you continue to eat a variety of healthy vegetarian foods, and do not substitute potato chips and candies for meat.


How Can I Make Sure That I Am Getting Enough Nutrients As a Vegetarian?

The key to a healthy vegetarian diet is to eat a variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and soy products. If the diet is not properly planned, vegetarians may not get enough vitamins and minerals that are found in dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish. These include calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. You also need to have enough protein. Discuss with a registered dietician or other health professionals about an eating plan that works best for you and whether a vitamin/mineral supplement is helpful for you. Below is a list of important nutrients and their sources.

  • Protein: Dried peas and beans, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, tofu.
  • Calcium: Leafy greens, broccoli, tofu (made with calcium sulfate), dried beans, fortified soymilk and fortified orange juice.
  • Iron: Dried beans, oatmeal, spinach, iron-fortified cereals and bread.
  • Zinc: Wheat germs, nuts, fortified cereals.
  • Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and juices (oranges, tangerines, grapefruits), peppers, strawberries, kiwi
  • Vitamin B12: Eggs, dairy products, fortified cereals and breads.
  • Vitamin D: Milk, fortified soymilk, fortified cereals


Vegetarian Recipes: