e-Wise Woman: Health tips for women on the go | Issue 3 | Summer 2012

Healthy Habits Halted Over the Holidays?

1. Eliminate one sugary drink a day to help you maintain a healthy weight.

People tend to eat the same amount of food no matter what they drink, and liquid calories don’t satisfy your appetite or help control hunger.

One reason for this is that the body is able to self-regulate its intake of food, experts say. If you eat a big lunch of solid food, you’re more likely to eat less at dinner, but the same is not true for liquid calories. Part of the satisfaction of eating comes from the action of chewing and feeling the texture of food.

Sugar-sweetened drinks account for more than one-third of the beverages consumed by Americans. An 8-oz. glass of regular soda has 100 calories, while 8 oz. of sweetened fruit drinks can contain anywhere from 110 to 200 calories. Not to mention that holiday eggnog or fancy coffee drink! These are empty calories.  Instead try a refreshing glass of water, a soothing cup of hot tea with lemon, or a glass of skim milk that will provide some nutritional value from calcium and vitamin D.

2. Squeeze in a little workout during this hectic time of year – otherwise you might be squeezing into your jeans in 2013!  Why not try a little interval training? You’ll spend less time and may get faster results.

This “added-value workout” involves short bursts of heart-pumping, intense activity followed by longer periods of less intense work. The easier interval is described as “active recovery.” It gives your heart a rest, but you’re still working.

Running for 30 seconds followed by walking for three minutes for a total of 30 minutes is a typical example. To make it simple, you could run one block, then jog or walk the next three or four for 30 minutes. If you don’t have 30 minutes, try a 10 minute block of time to mix up your workout activities.

This technique could also be used with biking or swimming. Be sure to get your doctor’s OK if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or are over age 60.

These short workouts are great any time of year, and have been shown to motivate people who claim they don’t have time and don’t see results.

Sources: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 1, 2009; American Dietetic Association, American Council on Exercise

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