Tag Archives: exercise; healthy eating; diet;

Mini-Meals Vs. Three Squares a Day

mini-meals

Eating small, frequent meals can take the edge off your appetite. But which is better for controlling your waistline – eating three squares a day or grazing?

Do you find yourself in the employee break room every day at 4 pm because the pretzels, chips and candy bars are calling to you from the vending machine? Even though you had a healthy and nutritious lunch, you can’t seem to resist the temptation because you’re hungry again and waiting until 6 or 7pm for dinner seems like an eternity!  You’ve heard varying advice but wonder which is better for controlling your waistline – eating three squares a day or having smaller, more frequent meals?

Actually, it depends. Many people eat three nutritious meals a day and have no trouble maintaining their weight. But studies have suggested that grazing (eating smaller amounts of food more frequently) can make it easier to maintain or lose weight.

Eating four to six small meals each day can take the edge off your appetite. This makes it less likely you’ll binge on fast food or empty calories. And some research has shown that more frequent, smaller meals may help increase your metabolism.

Mini-meals may have health benefits, along with making it possible to fit into your blue jeans. Research has shown that this eating pattern may contribute to lower cholesterol levels and better blood sugar control. That means added protection from heart disease and type 2 diabetes – two conditions also linked to obesity.

Smart grazing tips

That being said, your mini-meal choices still have to be nutritious to count. If you are not careful, more meals can easily turn into more calories per day. In the end, total calories are going to count, no matter how many meals you eat.

If you decide to try eating mini-meals for weight control, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep a food diary so you can keep track of your calories. Eating more meals is not permission to overeat. After all, calories from even small snacks and meals can add up quickly.
  • Use mypyramid.com guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help guide you on reasonable serving sizes.
  • Eat whole foods instead of processed foods. A mini-meal is just that – a smaller version of a larger meal, not an excuse to eat junk food. Go for things like a bowl of soup, a large rice cake with natural peanut butter, half a sandwich, yogurt and fruit, a hard-boiled egg and raw veggies, or whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese.
  • Plan ahead. Don’t get caught at the vending machine. Keep your kitchen or work place stocked with nutritious options.
  • Make sure your mini-meals balance out. Choose from the various food groups (meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy) to get protein, carbohydrates and a little fat.

Almost all nutritionists agree that the most successful formula for maintaining a healthy weight includes:

  • Portion control
  • Balance of calories consumed versus calories burned off
  • Exercise
  • Daily breakfast
  • Regular eating pattern (whether that means three or six times/day)
  • A healthy balance of complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fat
  • A good night’s sleep

In the end, do what you feel works best for you. A good eating plan is only as successful as the person who is able to stick with it.

Source: Thank you to Fleet Feet Sarasota and United Health for sharing this article with us!

NEED MOTIVATION TO EXERCISE? — How About Lowering Your Cancer Risk?

exercise

A recent study found that increased levels of exercise and physical activity have a direct impact on lowering the risk of 13 cancers. These include esophageal, liver, lung, kidney, gastric, endometrial, leukemia, myeloma, colon, head/neck, rectal, bladder, and breast cancers.

The findings indicated three factors that contribute to lowering cancer risk. They are:

  • Estrogen – studies show these levels are lowered in physically active women.
  • Insulin – active people typically have lower levels of insulin; that alone is a cancer risk factor.
  • Inflammation – a general risk factor according to the study.

The research indicated that “median” activity level was defined as just over two hours per week or one hour of intense activity per week; the median age of participants was 59. Overall, the researchers were able to conclude that either length of activity results in a 7% decreased risk of cancer.

This is great news and supports the popular and increasing quest to get out and MOVE!

What are some other things we can do to lower our cancer risk?

  • If you smoke, STOP! A 2014 study determined that smoking a pack of cigarettes a day can cut 10 years from a person’s life. Even second-hand smoke is harmful.
  • Maintain a healthy weight; obesity is a factor in 14% of cancer related deaths. Have you heard the phrase, “Plant Your Plate”? The American Institute of Cancer Research suggests two-thirds of your plate should come from plants: fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.
  • Decrease your alcohol consumption, although red wine has been shown to have heart healthy benefits. More than two drinks a day can cut your lifespan by 20 years.
  • Stress can become the foundation for overindulgence in bad habits like smoking, overeating, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Methadone and cocaine users die at an average age of 42. Try to “shake it off” instead with meditation, yoga, and movement.
  • Sunscreen should be applied even on a cloudy day when the sun’s rays are still harmful but not felt. It’s possible to get a painful sunburn at the beach even on a cloudy or windy day!
  • Regular screenings like prostate and mammogram tests may help detect early, treatable problems.
  • Know your family history. Some conditions are genetic and knowing how to combat them and may make a difference. “Knowledge is Power”.

Exercise-and-diet

Why not make it a point to do something wonderful for yourself today … adopt a new attitude … eat healthy, move those bones and muscles, and most of all, take care of yourself!  Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can help when those bones and muscles don’t feel the way they should. We have four locations and offer same day appointments when needed.  Call 941-951-2663 for an appointment.  You may also schedule an appointment  online from our website at  www.SOA.md … just click on the green button.

 

Sources: JAMA Intern Med 5/16; National Institute of Health; Medscape