As I wrote in the last blog, lifestyle modification is difficult and nearly impossible if we try to bite off more than we can chew. Trying to fix everything at one time can be overwhelming even for the most disciplined. Breaking changes into smaller pieces makes the task of a healthier you much easier.
Lifestyle modification is ranked in one of the most difficult tasks we face. Fortunately, you have help!
One Year, One Healthy Change has been developed to help you become healthier by making one small change at a time. I am a firm believer in the idea that small changes over time can reap huge benefits. These benefits are achievable by the vast majority of people, including you.
Here’s an interesting illustration. A 40-year-old friend, Joe, is 100 pounds overweight. Can you guess how many extra calories he has eaten per day as an adult to find himself in this condition?
Answer: Fourty-year-old Joe has eaten only 25 extra calories more than the number of calories he has burned off, resulting in that 100 pounds of extra weight. Small change
s over time make a huge difference.
If you chose healthier eating as your goal this year, we have some extra help for you this month. As part of this program, we created a free lecture series scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month at the downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library at 7 p.m.
Last night we addressed the topic "Not Your Mother's Eating – Savvy Nutrition for the 21st Century.” Kathy Wehrle, a registered dietitian and the Community Health Coordinator at Parkview Health is a fun and engaging speaker who takes a common sense approach to eating. It would be nice if we were all able to go away to "camp" and have our healthy meals prepared for us and have personal trainers assisting us on a day to day basis but this is reality only on TV. For the rest of us we have to balance jobs, school, kids, etc., and still find the time to cook a healthy meal and of course exercise. Kathy understands reality, outside TV land, and will help you with this healthy goal with common sense tips that can help you achieve your goal of a healthier you.
Kathy’s shared with us a snapshot of the recent history of eating:
Early 20th century – Grandma’s dinner table: farm-based eating. We consumed food that was raised locally (high meat, whole milk, vegetables from the garden, etc.)
Mid-century – Mother’s dinner table: the golden age of “processed food.” Remember Tang, potato flakes, TV dinners, Velveeta, and Wonder® bread? “Innovation” introduced new flavors and more fat, salt and sugar into our diets. Butter was considered a food group. Not healthy.
End of the 20th century – your own dinner table: more awareness of the connection between diet and disease. The Harvard School of Public Health states that 80 percent of heart disease and 90 percent of diabetes could be prevented – IF we eat a diet that replaces unhealthy food with vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains and uses small amounts of fish, poultry and low fat dairy. Eating this way is vastly different that our mother’s diet.
Now, even worse, we face a toxic food environment. Food is in your face 24/7. It is highly marketed, much of it low in nutrition and inexpensive. That’s why obesity and diabetes are epidemics in our society.
Small changes in your food choices, activity and environment make a huge difference in your health.
Eat only at the table.
Eat more vegetables.
Drink more water.
Take on strength training.
Whatever works for you, focus on one goal. Then select three small habit changes to support that goal, form a simple plan and follow your plan every day!
I encourage you to take advantage of all the One Year, One Healthy Change program has to offer on the website and the free community education opportunities. If you have faltered some in your resolve or "fallen off the wagon" do not get down, remember the “small changes” mantra and keep at it.