Healthy Weight Management

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Excess body weight is associated with many health risks including diabetes, high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, gallstones, sleep apnea, hormone disorders, and cancer. Weight gain predominantly around your midsection increases your chances of developing a serious health condition. Weight management involves treating your body respectfully so it can continue to serve you well. You must be willing to promise your body a lifestyle that gives it good nutrition, exercise, and rest after stress. Conquering food cravings and managing your portion sizes are essential parts of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

Do You Eat Smart? – 5 Questions

1. Am I truly hungry?
2. Am I eating out of habit or just seeking comfort?
3. Is this food going to nourish my body or is it empty calories?
4. Will I stop eating when I am full?
5. Is my body relaxed enough to digest the food I am eating?

Food Cravings —
The next time you "need" chocolate or automatically pick up chips, take a moment to tune in to your body. Notice your emotions. Food cravings are often related to mood, but can also alert you that your body wants to correct a nutrient imbalance. Cravings for sweet foods may be related to an overgrowth of yeast. Salt cravings may be indicative of adrenal fatigue. Sometimes food cravings are not cravings at all, just habits.

Here are some helpful hints to help curb your cravings. Eat colorful meals of fresh food and take a high-potency multivitamin and multimineral supplement. A mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats helps balance blood sugar levels and provides lasting energy. Drink a full glass of water (only water) instead to see if your body was really craving hydration. Avoid highly sweet or artificial foods designed to trigger cravings. Food cravings tend to last 10-15 minutes, so wait before responding to them.

Portion Sizes — Eating at restaurants makes it easy to overeat, especially when they offer all you can eat buffets and serve overflowing plates of food. Managing the size of your portions is key to maintaining a healthy weight. When eating at restaurants, get into the habit of taking half of your meal home and, when eating at a buffet, use a smaller-size plate and skip that trip for seconds. Having handy examples of portion sizes is a helpful tool for controlling your portions. Here are some examples of reasonable portions:

PROTEIN — 3 servings/day

HEALTHY FATS / OILS — 2 servings/day

CALCIUM RICH FOODS — 3 servings/day

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES — 3 servings of starches and 4 servings of vegetables, plus 3 servings of fruits/day

One serving equals:

Deck of cards = 3 ounces of lean meat, fish, poultry, or pork
Rounded handful (only in palm) = ½ cup of rice, pasta, cut fruit
Four dice = 1 ounce natural cheese
Clenched fist = 1 cup skim milk, most vegetables Hockey puck = ½ bagel
Baseball = apple, orange
Thumb tip = 1 tsp butter
Computer mouse = potato
Golf ball = 2 tbsp nut butter

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