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Quinn on Nutrition: Proven weight loss techniques

Jan. 9, 2017

My four year-old granddaughter was busy with her coloring book and crayons. After a few minutes, she gave out a sigh and with much drama said, "Itís so much work coloring between the lines!"

My feelings exactly as I consider how to remove some of this holiday cheer from around my girth. If I want to be successful, I need to stay within the boundaries of proven weight management techniques. Here are a few to color into the New Year:

Pull out the measuring cups. Especially if you have ever said, "I donít really eat that much. Why am I fat?"

Honestly, Iím a nutrition professional and Iím still amazed ó when I actually measure ó how small a 1/2 cup serving of my morning granola turns out to be. Portion control, say experts, is one of the most effective ways to manage those extra calories that can slip in when weíre not looking. And in the case of foods packed with calories (such as granola) the difference between a half cup and a full cup over time may also be the difference between weight loss and weight gain.

Be accountable for your choices. When I was a kid, my mom had a habit of getting into the groceries on her way home from the supermarket.

"Would you look at this?!" sheíd say with a straight face as she unpacked the bags. "Someone opened this package of cookies! I may have to complain to the store."

"Thatís terrible!" my sisters and I would tease back. "How dare them sell you a package of half-eaten cookies!"

We all have choices. Admit when we eat the cookies.

Carve out time each day to move out of a sitting position. For example, one of the newest guidelines from the American Diabetes Association to help people with diabetes keep blood sugars in control is this: At least once every 30 minutes of prolonged sitting, get up and treat yourself to a short bout of physical activity. Stretch. Lift your legs. Walk. Breathe. Brilliant.

Go to bed! Insufficient sleep (less than 7 hours a night, according to most studies) is associated with weight gain and obesity. Why? Scientists find that even though we burn about 5 percent more calories a day when we donít get enough sleep, we also tend to eat more calories when we are burning the midnight oil.

Studies have also found that appetite goes up while the ability to restrain eating goes down when we are sleep deprived. When we begin to transition into a regular sleep pattern (set a time to go to bed that is 8 hours before you need to wake up, for example) we tend to eat fewer calories, especially from fats and carbs.

Hereís to staying within the lines ó most of the time ó this New Year.

 

 





 


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