What changes did you make for '08?

Published 11:45 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2008

By Staff
Happy New Year. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and was able to find time to spend with family and friends. As we embark on another new year, many of us resolve to make changes in our lives. I have included information in this news article that I hope will help you to reach some of those goals.
From learning how to better manage your money to losing those extra holiday pounds Extension is your source for the latest research-based information. And speaking of learning new things I hope you will take advantage of the many Extension workshops, information in news articles and news letters we will offer this year. Call (251) 867-7760 to get added to our different newsletters list.
Losing Extra Holiday Pounds
During the holidays you probably consumed a few extra calories each day which has led to some weight gain. It is a good idea to get rid of those extra pounds before they become a permanent addition. The only problem is that you are used to eating those extra calories each day and when you cut back on the amount of food you are eating your stomach sends out a reminder that it is not pleased with the decreased food intake. It is time to remind your stomach who is in charge and take control of the situation. Like all unpleasant situations it is going to take determination and persistence to be able to be successful. Make it worthwhile by making healthy lifestyle changes that you will maintain for the rest of your life. A New Year's resolution for many of us is to lose weight. Unfortunately, many of us are unable to keep it.
According to Dr. David Levitsky, a nutritional sciences and psychology professor at Cornell University, when you eat more than usual, your brain becomes comfortable with being overly full and your hunger hormones that control your appetite lose control. The key to getting control of your appetite is to retrain your body and hormone response to be comfortable with eating less. Stop eating before you feel full. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full. So eat slowly.
Don't skip breakfast. Research shows that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. Eat three meals a day around the same times each day so your body avoids the starvation mode.
Take time to enjoy your meals. Meals should include good quality carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables as well as a source of lean protein and some healthy fats. Protein, fat, and the fiber in whole grains and fruits and vegetables take longer to digest and help you to feel full longer.
If you feel hungry between meals, keep healthy low calorie snacks close at hand to prevent your stomach from leading you astray. There is no reason to starve. Stay in control of those hunger pangs by eating low calorie, nutrient rich foods.
Watch your portion sizes. For some reason, most Americans believe they need to eat large portions of food to survive. Visit www.MyPyramid.gov and find out how much you should be eating each day for your age and activity level.
It is recommended that a person with a 2,000 calorie requirement consume 6 ounces of grain with half of the servings coming from whole grain, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 2 cups fruit, 3 low-fat servings from the milk group, and 5.5 ounces of lean meat and beans.
In order to lose one pound of fat, you have to “burn” 3,500 calories. That means eating 500 fewer calories a day for one week. You can help to burn those 500 calories a day by exercising and eating less. A 30-minute walk at a moderate pace (4 miles per hour) will burn approximately 200 calories, which leaves you with eating 300 calories less for the day.
To help you keep your New Year's resolution for a healthy weight, we need to develop a long-term plan that starts with small daily changes.
Set achievable goals, aim for improved health, keep track of your efforts by using food and exercise logs and reward yourself when you accomplish a goal. Only a very small amount of extra calories or lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain.
Eating fewer calories while increasing physical activity are the keys to controlling weight. Many healthy weight plans suggest eating just 100 fewer calories a day, which can lead to about a 1 pound weight loss per month and can prevent gradual weight gain.
Changes in your intake that equal 100 calories can be as simple as eating tuna packed in water rather than oil.
Eating 1 cup of whole-grain cereal instead of two
Substitute tomato slices, lettuce leaves and pepper strips on a sandwich for mayonnaise.
Other changes include drinking 2 cups of skim milk per day instead of 2 cups of whole milk
Eat one cup of low-fat, sugar-free yogurt instead of a doughnut, cookies or a candy bar
Drink a glass of ice water with lemon instead of a soft drink. It's so refreshing.
Physical activity offers many health benefits including decreased risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, joint problems, obesity and others.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily to reduce disease risk and 60 minutes a day to prevent weight gain. For sustaining weight loss, at least 60 to 90 minutes a day of physical activity may be required. Exercise examples include walking, gardening, raking or even dancing.
So, put on your tennis shoes and head for the door. Of course, check with your doctor first before starting a new exercise routine. On your way home from your brisk walk,
stop at the grocery store to pick-up a good supply of fruits and vegetables to help you quiet those hunger pangs. Tell your stomach it will get used to eating less in a couple of
Cold and Flu Season
The new year also brings signs that the cold and flu season is now in full swing. Don't forget that simple hand washing continues to be one of the most effective ways to fight disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rigorous scrubbing with warm, soapy water for at least 15 seconds can prevent the spread of germs. Keep your families healthy this winter by making frequent hand washing a top priority in your house-hold.
2008 Money Management Calendars
The 2008 Money Management Calendars are now available -FREE. Please STOP by our office on Hwy 31 South (behind Southern Pine Electric Company) or visit your local public library today to pick up your copy.

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