The following are two of the Chesprocott’s Healthy Communities Coalition Health Tips, being offered by the Health District on a weekly basis throughout 2018:
Healthy Hint ONE:
Whether you eat three or six meals a day, maintaining a healthy weight comes down to what you eat, how much you eat and how much energy you use. People gain weight when they eat more calories than they burn, so it is very important to couple balanced meals with an active lifestyle.
Everyone has different calorie needs in order to function. Avoiding extra pounds is just a matter of making sure your energy in—calories from food—equals your energy out—daily energy usage—over the long run. Once you learn your daily calorie needs, you can plan the right kind of diet and exercise to keep a healthy weight.
If you consume more calories on average than your body uses, then the extra energy, no matter what the source, will become body fat. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories.
Some simple habits to achieve better health and weight loss include:
- Eat protein with your first meal of the day.
- Cut your starch servings in half and double your vegetable intake.
- Swap liquid calories for calorie-free alternatives.
- Go for a walk during your lunch break.
If you want to achieve any goal, you have to start by breaking your goals down into skills and then into practices. For instance, if you want to lose 20 pounds, you have to assess your skills:
- Hunger and appetite awareness.
- Eating whole, fresh food consistently.
- Minimizing processed carbs and fats consistently.
- Systematically planning healthy meals.
Then, you need to concentrate on the practices that address each of those skills:
- Eat slowly and only until satisfied, not “stuffed.”
- Eat lean protein with each meal and five servings of produce a day.
- Make smart carb choices and eat healthy fats.
- Plan meals in advance and record what you eat.
All of this will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Healthy Hint TWO:
It’s important during the winter months to do everything possible to keep the germs away.
Take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs. These include:
- Covering your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when sneezing or coughing and disposing of those used tissues immediately into trash containers.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing or using a tissue.
- Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers if your hands are not visibly soiled.
- Staying home if you have a fever and not returning to work or school until you are fever-free for 24 hours.
In addition to germs, it’s also important to remember that exposure to the sun is an issue 12 months out of the year. Everyone thinks about sun safety during the summer or at the beach. But it’s important to protect yourself all year long — even on cloudy and hazy days.
The sun, as well as tanning beds and sunlamps, gives off an invisible kind of radiation called ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much exposure to UV rays can damage your skin and eyes, and lead to cancer.
The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most dangerous for UV exposure. To play it safe, stay in the shade, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and wear full-coverage clothing, sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats.
Did you know that the sun’s harmful rays are just as strong and damaging despite what your thermometer says, particularly the UVA rays that are responsible for aging skin? Almost 80 percent of UV radiation is reflected from snow while only 25 percent from sand.
Purchase a moisturizer with SPF in it.