Posted by Andie on February 17, 2010
A few weeks ago we had a company wide health fair at RC Willey. Employees and their spouses were encouraged to attend a free screening to check out their blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose level, and Body Mass index. My husband and I went together.
Side note: I am a little neurotic when it comes to doctors offices, hospitals, and needles. I've been this way since I was a kid, and as hard as I try, there is no changing me.
Anyway. I had convinced myself that this little screening wasn't a big deal. I wasn't going to embarrass myself in front of all my co-workers. Well, I made it through the blood drawing and cholesterol stations like a normal human. I stood up, feeling a little dizzy, and stepped in line to get my body fat measured. I thought I was in the clear by now, but that's when it started happening (like it always does)....Everything got really fuzzy. My vision became blurred, and my ears started ringing. Just then, I was called up to get my body fat measured. I made it to the table, told the nurse my height and weight, and seconds later I was on the ground. Yes, I FAINTED. Not in the privacy of a doctor's office, but in front of about 20 co-workers. And it wasn't because I had a needle in my arm or I had seen blood. That's how crazy I am when it comes to this kind of thing. Next thing I knew my husband was picking me up and a nurse was frantic trying to find a nearby clinic to take me to. "That won't be necessary" we told her,"this happens regularly." Busted. Now everyone at the office knows I'm a total pansy when it comes to anything medical.
I don't remember much more about the health screening. I got the heck out of there so fast that I missed out on all of the cool healthy lifestyle pamphlets they were handing out. I did manage to get my hands on some copies later on though and I thought I'd share. The article posted below suggests some simple changes you can make to lose weight- and you don't even have to live off carrot sticks and celery, give yourself HCG shots, or run 10 miles a day. Check it out. Here's to hoping that I make it through the whole health screening next year.
10 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting- by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD.
1. Eat Breakfast Every Day
"Many people think skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories, but they usually end up eating more throughout the day. Studies show people who eat breakfast have lower BMIs than breakfast-skippers and perform better, whether at school or in the boardroom" says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD. Try a bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with fruit and low-fat dairy for a quick and nutritious start to your day.
2. Close the Kitchen at Night
Establish a time when you will stop eating so you won't give in to the late-night munchies or mindless snacking while watching television. "Have a cup of tea, suck on a piece of hard candy or enjoy a small bowl of light ice cream or frozen yogurt if you want something sweet after dinner, but then brush your teeth so you wil be less likely to eat or drink anything else," suggests Elaine Magee, MPH, RD.
3. Choose Liquid Calories Wisely
Sweetened drinks pile on the calories, but don't reduce hunger like solid foods do. Satisfy your thirst with water, sparkling water with citrus, skim or low-fat milk, or small portions of 100% juice. Try a glass of nutritious and low-calorie vegetable juice to hold you over if you get hungry between meals. Be careful of alcohol calories, which add up quickly.
4. Eat More Produce
Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetables crowds out other foods that are higher in fat and calories. Move the meat off the center of your plate and pile on the vegetables. The U.S. government's 2005 Dietary Guidelines suggest that adults get 7-13 cups of produce daily. Barbara Rolls, PhD, claims it's not really so difficult to do: "Stock your kitchen with plenty of fruits and vegetables and at every meal and snack, include a few servings. Your diet will be enriched with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and if you fill up on super-nutritious produce, you won't be reaching for the cookie jar."
5. Go for the Grain
By substituting whole grains for refined grains like white bread, cakes, cookies, and pretzels, you add much needed fiber and will fill up faster so you're more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Choose whole-wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, bran flakes, popcorn, and whole-rye crackers.
6. Control Your Environments
Another simple strategy to help cut calories is to control your environment- everything from stocking your kitchen with lots of healthy options to choosing the right restaurants. That means avoiding the temptation by staying away from all-you-can eat restaurants. When it comes to parties, "eat a healthy snack before so you won't be starving, and be selective when you fill your plate at the buffet," suggests Elizabeth Ward. Before going back for more food, wait at least 15 minutes and have a big glass of water.
7. Add More Steps
Get yourself a pedometer and gradually add more steps until you reach 10,000 per day. Throughout the day, do whatever you can to be more active-- pace while you talk on the phone, take the dog out for an extra walk, and march in place during television commercials. Having a pedometer serves as a constant motivator and reminder.
8. Trim Portions
If you did nothing else but reduce your portions by 10%-20%, you would lose weight. Most of the portions served both in restaurants and at home are bigger than you need. Pull out the measuring cups to get a handle on your usual portion sizes, and work on paring them down. Get instant portion control by using small bowls, plates and cups, says Brian Wansink, PhD. You won't feel deprived because the food will look plentiful on dainty dishware.
9. Have Protein at Every Meal and Snack
Adding a source of lean or low-fat protein to each meal and snack will help keep you feeling full longer so you're less likely to overeat. Try low-fat yogurt, small portions of nuts, peanut butter, eggs, beans, or lean meats. Experts also recommend eating small, frequent meals and snacks (every 3-4 hours), to keep your blood sugar levels steady and to avoid overindulging.
10. Switch to Lighter Alternatives
Whenever you can, use the low-fat versions of salad dressings, mayonnaise, dairy products, and other products. "You can trim calories effortlessly if you use low-fat and lighter products, and if theproduct is mixed in with other ingredients, no one will ever notice," says Elaine Magee. More smart substitutions: Use salsa or hummus as a dip; spread sandwiches with mustard instead of mayo; eat plain roasted sweet potatoes instead of loaded white potatoes; use skim milk instead of cream in your coffee; hold the cheese on sandwiches; and use a little vinaigrette on your salad instead of piling on the creamy dressing.