Perhaps the season’s emphasis on “boardwalk banquets,” pool-side margaritas and drive-by ice cream vendors has caused you to gain a few extra pounds. There are several steps you can take now to help you keep your weight from escalating and still enjoy some of your fun-in-the-sun favorites.
“If you have eaten too much during the summer, cutting any amount of calories will help you lose weight. Increasing daily activity will also help, starting with a daily 30-minute walk while the weather is still beautiful,” said registered dietitian Angela Shaw, D.T.R., coordinator of “The Healthy Weigh” weight management program offered at Cooper University Hospital’s out-patient locations in Cherry Hill and Voorhees.
Shaw offers these quick tips to help you eat smart and hold down the pounds:
- Eat a breakfast with protein, whole-grain carbohydrates (breads, cereals) and a small amount of fat every day. It will keep you satisfied much longer than had you grabbed a bagel.
- Try not to dine in restaurants more than once a week. Portions are grossly oversized and contain hidden calories. Stock your kitchen with healthful foods and cook at home.
- “Veggie-up” at every meal to add bulk with few calories.
- Serve all sauces and dressings “on the side.” Dip your fork in before every bite instead of dredging the food. Remember: Fat on the lips is fat on the hips!
- Choose “loin” and “round” cuts of beef and pork, and white meat chicken and turkey without skin.
- For calcium and protein, consume only low-fat or fat-free yogurts and cheeses. Drink skim or 1% milk.
- Eat only when you’re hungry and concentrate only on eating. Do not eat in the car, in front of the TV or the computer. This is mindless eating. Sit at a table and enjoy every bite.
- Balance out your splurges with more activity or eating less before those special occasions when you know you’ll be eating more. Make trade-offs!
- Try to stop eating after dinner. Go take a walk instead.
- Increase physical activity any way you can. Wash your car, work in the garden, clean the house. Find a partner and set up walk dates. Exercise is so much more enjoyable with the support of others. Walk while you talk on the cell phone. You can walk anywhere–it’s free and effective. Wear a pedometer to track the number of steps taken each day and set higher goals for yourself. The recommendation for good health is 10,000 steps a day; for weight loss, it’s 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day.
- Beware of party drinking! Those frozen margaritas could contain 300-500 calories each. These are called “empty” calories–no nutritious value. Stick with white wine spritzers or light beer—in moderation, of course.
About “The Healthy Weigh”
“The Healthy Weigh” is Cooper University Hospital’s individualized weight management program featuring a refreshing approach to successful weight reduction and nutritional well-being. Participants learn to identify the personal steps they need to take to achieve and maintain their optimal weight and good health. Also provided is information on foods to lower cholesterol and/or blood pressure and to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
The six-week program consists of six evening classes held on consecutive Tuesdays at 1210 Brace Road, in Cherry Hill, and on consecutive Wednesdays at 900 Centennial Boulevard, in Voorhees. The fee for each six-week program is $175. New classes begin on September 15 in Cherry Hill and on September 16 in Voorhees. The Healthy Weigh program is reimbursed by many insurance plans.
To learn how to effectively manage your weight, call (856) 321-0012 for details about “The Healthy Weigh,” Cooper’s weight management program.