Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween: "tricks" to avoid overeating the "treats".

Halloween is the official beginning of the holiday season. For those who are watching their weight or trying to follow a diet plan, this can be a VERY difficult time of year.

Here are a few tips or "tricks" to help you avoid overeating those Halloween "treats".
  1. Start at the store. Avoid buying the Halloween candies you love. For me, it is Kit Kat or Reese's PB cups, so I buy other types of candies to hand out at the door. After the big night is over, I won't have a bunch of leftover candies that I know I will eat.
  2. Out of sight, out of mind. Avoid setting the big bowl of Halloween loot on the kitchen counter where you can easily walk by and eat several pieces without even realizing it. Put the candy in the pantry or cupboard, and instead put sliced fruit or veggies on the counter.
  3. Help friends & coworkers too. Avoid bringing all your extra candy to your workplace. I am a big advocate of workplace wellness. They too are probably watching their weight or trying to be healthy, so no need to sabotage their efforts. If you really want to get rid of the candy, just throw it out. Yes, it may be wasteful, but it's better than you and your coworkers being "Waist-FULL". 
  4. Be real. Allow yourself some treats, but do so in moderation! Make a deal with yourself about how many treats you will allow yourself each day and account for those calories in your daily calorie plan or workout schedule. 
  5. If you do go overboard on Halloween treats, DO NOT beat yourself up about it! Avoid the negative thoughts about yourself. It doesn't mean that you are "weak" or "worthless".  Avoid the all-or-nothing talk, like "I should just start my diet over again after the New Year."  Try to stay on track. Just own it, move on, and stay focused one day at a time. The holidays can be a challenging 3-month period for weight loss, so weight maintenance may be a more realistic goal.
  6. Use physical activity to help you through the Halloween munchies. Below are samples of some common Halloween candies and their calorie contents. As a guideline:  To "burn off" an additional 200 calories of Halloween treats you need to: walk 40 minutes, run 20 minutes, bicycle 25 minutes, or swim 25 minutes (based on a 150 lb. person). Walking the kids around the neighborhood on Halloween night is a great start!
Candy Corn, 22 pieces = 140 calories
Little Fun Size Bars of Nestle’s Crunch, Snicker's, Milky Way, Kit Kat, Hershey's chocolate, Reese's PB Cup, Butterfinger, Twix, Almond Joy, or similar = 70-100 calories each
Peanut M&M’s – 2 Fun Size Packs = 180 calories
M&M’s – 2 Fun Size Packs = 140 calories
York Peppermint Pattie – 1 pattie = 70 calories
Milk Duds – 1 treat size box = 40 calories
SweetTarts – 1 treat size pack = 50 calories
1 Tootsie Pop – 1 pop = 60 calories
1 Tootsie Roll – 1 small roll = 13 calories
Twizzlers – 1 treat size pack= 45 calories

Happy Holidays 
& don't forget to "Fuel Excellence!"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What percentage of US adults consume the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies daily?

First, what are the recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption?
  • 2 or more servings of fruit per day  AND
  • 3 or more servings of vegetables per day

So, how did we do America?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2009 only 33% of adults consumed fruit 2 or more times per day and only 26% of adults consumed vegetables 3 or more times per day.
Looks like we could use a lot of improvement! 

Eating fruits and vegetables (F&V) has so many benefits:
  • Reduced risks of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. F&V are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and beneficial phytochemicals which all contribute to optimal health and wellness. 
  • Most Americans do not meet the daily recommendations for fiber intake (25-35 grams per day). This deficiency in fiber intake has been linked to constipation, diverticular disease, and colon cancers. Guess what? F&V are also great sources of fiber, so eating your F&V may help with constipation and diseases of the colon as well.
  • Eating fresh F&V adds volume and bulk to your diet, helping you feel full and potentially eat less. This is a great tool for weight management. 

Now that we know the benefits of eating more F&V, how do we add more into our diets?

Tips for Breakfast (yes, you should be eating breakfast...please see my last blog if you are not.)
  • slice a banana into your morning bowl of cereal
  • sprinkle 2 Tbsp of raisins or dried cranberries on your bowl of oatmeal
  • pair an apple or pear with a granola bar for a quick on-the-go breakfast
  • enjoy a 1/2 cup of orange juice with your bagel
  • make a breakfast smoothie: blend together a 1/2 cup low-fat milk, 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen berries, and 1/2 cup yogurt.
Tips for Lunch
  • add extra produce (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green peppers, etc) to your deli sandwich
  • have a side salad (go easy on the dressing)
  • enjoy pre-cut veggies in a bag (i.e. baby carrots) with lunch
  • add a piece of whole fruit to your lunch (apple, pear, orange, etc)
  • spread a whole wheat tortilla with 1 Tbsp peanut butter and then wrap it around a peeled banana..another great on-the-go meal! got milk?
Tips for Dinner
  • fill half of your dinner plate with veggies. This is also a great weight-loss tool.
  • chop dark green veggies and add to your stews, casseroles, and pasta sauces. If the kids are not big fans of vegetables, this is a great way to sneak them in.
  • make home-made veggie pizza with an array of vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
  • grill colorful vegetable kabobs with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc
  • make a quick fruit salad with sliced bananas, canned pineapple & peaches in juice, and strawberries.
Tips for Snacking
  • berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc) or grapes are great little sweet snacks on their own
  • add berries to your yogurt container
  • mix together a 1/4 cup of dried fruit with a handful of nuts
  • spread 1 Tbsp of peanut butter on slices of apple or celery 
  • snack on sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, or green pepper strips with 2 Tbsp reduced-fat ranch dressing 
Add some color to your life and to your meals with F&V. Your body and your mind will thank you!

Fuel Excellence