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“How to get a gut”

December 8, 2008

Hello and Happy December! The holidays are in full swing! Are you being careful? Keeping up with your exercise? I hope so! 😀

I just read a great article in a publication called “Nutrition Action”. It is called “How to get a gut”. The article is tongue in cheek, but offers some great advice as to why people gain weight over the years. Here are the eight reasons the article pointed out. I will summarize them in my own words.

Also, why worry about weight gain in the midsection? Gaining weight in the midsection can be detrimental because it can eventually lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

1. DON’T BOTHER GETTING UP. This day in age, we are seated for most of our day, especially if you work at an office. We are sitting in the car, at our desks, home computer, in front of the TV, etc. As humans, we NEED to move, it is not an option. If not, expect to see the weight creep on throughout the years. If you work at a sedentary environment, exercise every day is a MUST. Try your best to get it in-at lunch, before or after work…something is better than nothing.

2. KEEP EATING AS MUCH AS YOU ATE IN YOUR 20’S. As we get older, our requirements for calories decrease, so if you are not making adjustments in how many calories you are eating, you will see the weight creep on. I think that most people don’t realize how much they need to cut, and the change comes as a big shock. Men may need to eat 1,000 calories less at 60 than they did at 20-that’s a huge cut! If need be, use an online calorie tracker for a few days to really see how many calories you are eating. It can be tedious, but it’ll be worth it!

3. BUMP UP YOUR CALORIES PER BITE. Eat calorie dense foods such as sweets, croissants, pies, chips, cookies, cakes, energy bars, and pretzels, and your calorie count for the day will add up fast. Eat high volume foods such as fruits and vegetables, and you can eat MORE yet consume less calories.

4. DRINK YOUR CALORIES. I’m constantly telling my clients about the adverse affects that high calorie drinks have on the body. Yes, wine and alcohol may taste wonderful and give us a lovely buzz after a hard, stressful, tiring day, but drink often and your body will pay the price (unless you have a ridiculously high metabolism). Also, we are less likely to compensate for extra calories consumed through beverages, which means the total caloric intake on a day where one consumes high calorie drinks is likely to be extremely high. If drinking high calorie drinks and alcohol is worth it, then go ahead, keep drinking. But remember that the weight gain will happen, if you are not cutting those calories elsewhere.

5. EAT OUT MORE OFTEN. Plain and simple, restaurants foods taste better because they contain more additives such as butter and sauces which pack on the calories! Between drinks, appetizers, the meal, dessert, going out to eat often is a dangerous game. Even if you think you are being good, a restaurant meal will most likely contain more calories than a meal made at home. So, think of going out to eat as a treat. You don’t have to completely cut it out, that is unnecessary, but just be aware of how much you are eating.

6. LOOK FOR TRANS FATS. Although harder to find these days (yay!), trans fats can be found in some pie crusts, pastries, popcorn, frozen pizzas, and biscuits. What does trans fats have to do with your waist? In a Harvard study of more than 16,000 men, researchers found that those who ate more trans fat were more likely to gain waist circumference over eight years. Trans fats are bad news, we all should know this by now-so be sure to stay away from them as much as possible!

7. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH FOOD. When someone offers you food, do you oblige (even if you aren’t hungry) or do you turn it down? Do you eat the donuts at work even though you aren’t hungry? Or that slice of b-day cake at the office, just to fit in with everyone else? Well, I’m here to tell you that you can say NO, and it isn’t rude to do so.

Coming from a Serbian family, I understand the pressure of being forced to eat when I am not hungry. But I got over that fear of hurting someone else’s feelings long ago. Sure, there are times when I think it’s fine to indulge when it’s appropriate and only if I want to. But if I am truly not desiring to eat something, I never do because I fear that I am being rude. And if the person offering the food feels that you are being rude, it’s their problem, not yours. Don’t eat when you don’t want to eat. It’s your health and your body. Period.

8. GET LESS SLEEP. The cycle of getting little sleep and loading up on caffeine can have an affect on your body. Studies show that there is a relationship between short sleep duration and obesity. When people are deprived of sleep, their appetites go way up. Sleep deprived people (those who sleep no more than five hours per night) are more likely to crave sweets and carbs, meanwhile ghrelin (the hormone that makes you hungry) is more likely to increase, while leptin (the hormone that curbs appetite) is more likely to drop.

Think about it-do you find yourself more likely to make poor choices when you are sleep deprived? I know that I sure do! And I don’t need any study to prove this to me, I feel the affects! Please try to get enough sleep-your body will thank you for it!

Well, that’s it! I hope that you learned something from this article. 🙂 I will be back soon-I am reading a great book that I am excited to tell you all about!

Best,
Jeannette

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    December 16, 2008 4:37 am

    All good points…especially drinking the calories! That is sooo easy to do this time of year. Ads for gingerbread lattes and peppermint mochas are in abundance. The can be psychologically addicting..
    ~Nikki~

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