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Saturday
Sep262009

A Healthy New Year!

By Dr. Stein

 

With Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays just around the corner, don’t worry; you can be healthier in the New Year. Just remember — even the toughest “dieter” should use a cheat day.

Here are some tips you can use to make the New Year healthier:

We all know that when you eat food, your body gains potential energy. If this energy isn’t used, it will be stored as energy. The reason why many of us go on a diet is that we don’t like the looks of this storage of energy. It may come as “love handles” or a “beer belly”. Basically, you have to add less energy to your body than you will use and your body will lose weight. However, your body is more complicated. Your body requires a certain amount of resting energy. That’s the energy needed to keep you going in a resting state. Some gyms have a fancy snorkel-like apparatus which measures your energy needs. For me personally, it is about 3000 calories per day (but also remember that I am 7'2" and about 290 lbs). Ok, now you know the resting calorie needs of your body (there are several fitness websites where you can calculate your personal one). Make sure you NEVER get below this number. If you do, your body will think you are going into starvation mode and your metabolism will get lowered. Now you will lose weight, but your body will make itself store more fat. Fat — that’s what we want to avoid.

Don’t go crazy over fat — your body requires it. As a matter of fact, what makes people truly fat is the storage of carbohydrates. Without getting into nutrition too much, follow this procedure:

The main meal: Drink 30 minutes before the meal and wait 60 minutes after eating before you drink again. This way your stomach can use the digestive juices totally undiluted. Obviously eating smaller portions instead of one giant portion will help your digestion as well. Little snacks on the table don’t have to consist of sugar and heavy cheese — try fruit or vegetables. Before you go for seconds, wait 10 minutes (that’s how long it takes for your brain to register that you’re full). After your meal, get your family to take a 20-minute walk together. You will recharge your energy level and do something good for your metabolism and lymphatic system.

 

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