Why the “pause-button mentality” is ruining your health and fitness

Do any of the words below resonate with you?

“I’ll resume healthy eating after my vacation… once the baby is born… after Dad gets out of the hospital… January 1… Monday.”

While this kind of “pause-button mentality” seems reasonable, it could be ruining your health and fitness. Co-founder of Precision Nutrition, John Berardi, Ph.D. tell us why, and what to do about it.

He explores:

  • Why the pause-button mentality only builds the skill of pausing.
  • Why it’s not about willpower, but about skills.
  • Fitness in the context of real human life

This must-read article can be found here.

Colorado Residents – Get paid to be a healthy weight!

As the new year approaches consider taking advantage of the weight loss initiative “Weigh and Win“.  This free, measureable weight improvement program pays Colorado adults (18 and older) to achieve a healthy weight. Weigh and Win is funded by Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Community Benefit in an effort to improve community health by making an effective weight management program accessible to the general public. Community partnerships have also been critical in making the program available by providing additional funding, resources, and promotional support. Each participant receives personalized health coaching by email and/or text message, including a daily meal plan, fitness plan, motivational tips and a weekly grocery list. Unlimited access to Weigh and Win health coaches is also provided via phone or email.

In addition to these great resources, cash incentives are distributed to those who begin the program with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater. Participants who join with a healthy BMI (less than 25) are eligible for monthly prize drawings.

Participant progress is tracked through quarterly weigh-ins at community kiosk locations. The kiosk takes a validated weight measurement, BMI reading and a full-length photograph – providing a visual progress report of the participant’s weight improvement.

This unique behavior change program has helped Coloradans lose more than 258,000 pounds since 2011. The average weight loss for a participant after one year in the program is 8 percent, or about 18 pounds. Weigh and Win has nearly 80,000 participants. If you are interested in participating, you can sign up for the program for free by visiting weighandwin.com or stop by one of your local kiosks locations:

COLORADO SPRINGS – American Furniture Warehouse 

2805 Chestnut St, 
Colorado Springs, CO, 80907
HOURS: Mon-Sat: 10am-10pm, Sun: 10am-7pm
NOTES: Inside the main entrance on the left toward the cafeteria

COLORADO SPRINGS – East Library 

5550 N. Union Blvd, 
Colorado Springs, CO, 80918
HOURS: Mon-Thur: 7:30am-9pm, Fri-Sat: 8am-6pm, Sun: 12pm-5pm
NOTES: Left side of main entrance

COLORADO SPRINGS – Southeast Family Center & Armed Services YMCA

2190 Jet Wing Dr, 
Colorado Springs, CO, 80916
HOURS: Mon-Fri: 5:30am-9pm, Sat: 7am-7pm, Sun: 1pm-5pm
NOTES: Across from the front desk and swimming pool

9 Ways To Sneak Produce Into Your Day

Get strategic — and a little tricky — to eat more fruits and veggies
Are you getting your fruit-and-veggie quota? You want to eat a variety of these nutritious and delicious foods. Why? Because it’s simply one of the best things you can do for your health. Each heading also provides a link to recipes or additional information!

1. Top off breakfast
Use mixed berries, sliced peaches or chopped apples to dress up oatmeal, whole-grain pancakes and low-fat yogurt. Mix diced peppers, tomatoes and olives into scrambled eggs. Add sliced or mashed avocado to whole-wheat toast.

2. Whip up a smoothie
Blend bananas, berries or peaches with low-fat milk or yogurt for a cool and creamy breakfast or snack. Use frozen fruit to make it a frosty treat.

3. Take a dip
Raw or lightly steamed vegetables offer the same satisfying crunch as crackers. Dunk them in salsa, hummus, garlicky low-fat yogurt or low-sodium marinara sauce.

4. Snazz up your sandwich
Go beyond the typical tomato and lettuce. How about tucking in some baby spinach, sliced peppers, avocado or cucumbers — or even sliced apple?

5. Make a Sunday roast
Of veggies, that is! In a hot oven, roast a colorful assortment of cut-up veggies, such as broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Use these flavorful jewels for dinners or quick snacks all week long.

6. Go for grate-ness
Grated vegetables add an extra layer of flavor and nutrition to your favorite recipes. Try any number of veggies — carrots, beets, squash, cauliflower, etc. — in sauces, mashed potatoes, meatloaf and casseroles.

7. Be a puree pro
Blend steamed butternut squash to make soup or for mixing into mac and cheese. Do you like to bake? Try fruit purees, such as mashed banana and unsweetened applesauce, to replace about half the fat in recipes for muffins, breads and other baked goods.

8. Grill to perfection
Veggie kebabs can add color and flavor to your plate. Grilling makes fresh corn even sweeter. And for a super-fast dessert, you can even grill watermelon slices for 30 seconds on each side.

9. Order up
When dining out, select a light salad, steamed vegetables or fresh fruit as your side dish. And ask for extra veggies to enhance your omelet, tacos, pizza or pasta.

 *Source: United Health Care newsletter September 2016

Aerobic activity. Are you doing enough?

Check yourself. How many minutes of structured aerobic activity do you accomplish weekly? According to federal physical activity guidelines, which are supported by the American Heart Association (AHA) & American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) we should strive to achieve:

150 minutes of moderate-intensity (65-85% of max heart rate) aerobic activity (a.k.a. “cardio”) per week. 

This amount is for enhanced health and quality of life. In other words, this is the minimum amount of cardiovascular activity every individual should strive for to maintain their health.

Are you training for an event or race? Are you wanting additional health benefits? Looking to lose weight? If so, you’ll require additional aerobic activity. Yes, you have to do more! Such as:

300 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity (a.k.a. “cardio”) per week.

To ensure that you are meeting the aerobic activity guidelines, use the steps below:

Step 1
Choose your mode of activity.

Examples include: walking, running, aerobics class, cycling, swimming, hiking, Tabata, circuit, interval

Step 2
Create a weekly action plan. You will write down your plan for each week by listing:

  • Your mode or type of activity (ex. cycling)
  • The day of the activity (ex. Tuesday)
  • The time you will perform activity (ex. 5:45PM)
  • The duration of the the activity (ex. 1 hour)
Step 3
Record your daily aerobic activity.

Tools such as apps, pedometers, heart rate monitors, activity tracking devices, journals & online websites can be used to hold you accountable. Choose what works best for you and use it consistently!

How to accumulate 150+ minutes of aerobic activity per week. According to the CDC, 10 minutes at a time is fine!

We know 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot of time, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Not only is it best to spread your activity out during the week, but you can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. As long as you’re doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time. Try going for a 10-minute brisk walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week. This will give you a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

Apps that can help Habitica, MapMyWalk, MapMyRide, MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal, Charity Miles

Additional resources:
CDC

ACSM

AHA

TRACKING SHEET

WALKING

 

Your Key To Successful Weight Maintenance

The National Weight Control Registrys research tells us that successful weight maintenance stems from “frequent self-monitoring of…food intake and high levels of regular physical activity” (Wing RR & Hill JO. (2001). Successful weight loss maintenance. Annual Review of Nutrition, 21, 323-341). So, tracking food intake and physical activity can be your key to success. You can keep record of these and then observe your choices and behaviors. With these observations, you’ll be able to see where changes need to occur.

There are many ways to track your physical activity and food intake. This WeeklyFoodIntakeLog and this WeeklyActivityLog  allow you to view your trends in a concise format. Apps like MyFitnessPal are great tools as well. Regardless of your method, track both your physical activity and food intake each week.

As you review your worksheets, take note of any trends appearing with your activity and food. Ask yourself questions like these:

  • What food choices am I making on a regular basis?
  • What is my go-to food choice and is it a healthy one?
  • Am I lacking in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, legumes, healthy fats?
  • How many minutes of activity am I engaging in each week?
  • Am I varying my activity?
  • Am I active most days of the week?

Through reviewing your records, you can recognize areas that need improvement. Once you create healthy habits to address these areas, you’ll be on your way to successful weight maintenance!

Additional reading material:

How do I keep a food log?

Keeping a daily food log could be your secret weapon to weight loss success

Physical activity vs. exercise: What’s the difference?