Why do health “rules” change so often over the years?
I suppose we need to drop the gauntlet and accept reasoning such as “new” technology, a better mousetrap of knowledge…well, you get the picture.
What I don’t quite understand is when we think we have a handle on the rules for good health, those pesky rules change! For example, I remember when there was a huge campaign warning us all about cutting back on eating eggs. So, we cut back. The rules now state that eggs in moderation are good for us.
So what we really need to put together a home-run game plan is for some individual to cut through all the sticky cobwebs of changing health news and advise us on how to make better choices in our lives.
The following information was compiled by Robin Westen to help us identify the best ways to beat the Top 4 Threats to our health as we age: Obesity, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Diabetes.
For the next 4 weeks, the Boomer Explorer will provide 10 Ways to Stay Healthy Right Now and Control Obesity!
As I’ve explained to my mother numerous times, it’s OK to carry a bit of extra padding: this was research reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association which found that being slightly overweight possibly may reduce your mortality prematurely. On the other hand, being obese raises your risk of dying by 18%.
Listed below are 10 ways to fight fat and WIN:
- Crash? It has been noted that dropping pounds gradually results in more or blue plates permanent weight loss. A recent Australian study showed that those who severely restrict calories are both more likely to achieve their target weight faster and to have the same chance of keeping that weight off as those who do this over time. Make sure you speak to your Doctor before doing any weight reduction.
- Naturally Sweet. Research finds that artificially sweetened “diet” foods and beverages tend to trigger your appetite. Try to avoid or go to healthy sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup.
- Pull a fast-one on your appetite. Try this trick: Eating off smaller plates can cut how much you eat. A study from the Cornell University determined that eating off a 10-inch plate instead of a 12-inch one resulted in 22% fewer calories served. The Journal of Consumer Research concluded that eating off a blue colored plate will make food appear unappetizing and you will be likely to eat less.
- What’s Uncomfortable for you? Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain its internal temperature when you live in constantly comfortable temperatures. Try keeping your home a bit cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. You may force your body to burn more calories to adjust…plus you could save a few bucks as well.
- Keep your eye on your Cravings. Research presents that depressed people with decreased levels of the hormone serotonin also have a tendency to overeat, leading to obesity. Overeating, especially carbs, may be an attempt to self-medicate to restore the serotonin levels back to normal. Talk to your doctor about alternatives to increase your serotonin levels.
- Beware of over-taking antibiotics. We all have read about not taking antibiotics for everything under the sun. They can be lifesaving, but skip the minor complaints unless absolutely necessary. The overuse of antibiotics may contribute to obesity in some. These meds seem to have an adverse effect on digestive microbes that influence your metabolic rate.
- All hands on “neck.” If you seem to be gaining weight for no obvious reason, it possibly could be a faulty thyroid gland. Thyroid disease can slow metabolism, which can lead to weight gain. Good news: contact your doctor, medication can usually fix this.
- Cut back? Ok…I better listen to this one. Although I’m as guilty as anyone of blaming those few extra pounds on lack of exercise, an expanding body of scientific evidence shows that exercise alone has almost no effect on weight loss. That means that if I am trying to lose some weight, I need to focus on food intake and quality.
- Protein, Protein, Protein? Recent studies found that if you ate eggs instead of a bagel for breakfast lost 65% more weight and had a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference.
- Take stock of what and when. This is definitely my downfall. I took a look at what I was eating at my 3 meals. Then I looked at what happened after 7…I grazed for a few hours. I would have popcorn, cookies, some candy, and maybe ice cream. What was I thinking? This is what I need to focus on and the reason I cannot lose 10-15 pounds.
So, there you have it, fellow Boomers!
This is the first post of a 4-post series on staying healthy after 50. The next post in the series will focus on Cutting Your Cancer Risk.
Please jump in and join the dialogue on healthy living! Your experiences, suggestions, and tips are most welcome and appreciated.
As always, I am…the healthy-striving Boomer Explorer.