“>With the American Medical Association saying obesity now should be considered a disease, “it’s clear that a really fundamental paradigm shift in lifestyle is needed for an enormous swath of the U.S. population – but there are also Americans who have already reshaped their eating and exercise habits, and they’re looking to not only maintain their health, but also take it to the next level,” says Dr. Susie Rockway, a veteran nutritional and biochemical expert in the U.S. health industry.
“These are often busy, professional people who make an effort to eat healthy with most meals and make time throughout the workweek to move their body and get their blood pumping.”
“Still, they also want to be able to enjoy an indulgent meal every once in a while – birthdays, family barbecues or date night with the spouse. Dr. Rockway offers tips for people who want to maintain their weight while still enjoying the occasional burger, chicken wing or greasy pizza slice:
• Food diary: So, nine times out of 10 you eat healthy, eh? That may not really be true, but a food diary can help clear up any confusion. How much fattening mayo was used to make that tuna salad? If you’ve sworn off meat, are you getting enough protein and are you eating too many carbohydrates? What kind of carbs are they? Are you eating a diverse diet that provides all the necessary nutrients? A food diary will help challenge your assumptions and make you more aware of everything you’re eating, how much and where you might make healthy adjustments.
• Stay hydrated: Whether you’ve upped the ante on your workouts or you’re consuming too much salt or too many caffeinated beverages, which act as a diuretic, doctors and researchers believe as many as 75 percent of Americans experience dehydration throughout the day. Dehydration can make you confuse thirst for hunger, cause fatigue and a fuzzy memory.
• Relaxation: If you’re always on the go, chances are you may be suffering from excessive stress, which according to the American Journal of Epidemiology, raises levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make you feel hungry. Stress can also make busy people more prone to comfort eating, including excessive amounts and foods filled with fat, sugar and salt. Consider breathing techniques, yoga or meditation for handling a busy schedule.
• Slightly increase/mix-up cardio: It’s easy to get into a routine in your workout. After a certain point, however, your body gets used to the exercise and you get less of a workout. You don’t have to drastically alter things though; increasing the incline on your treadmill by just 5 percent can help you lose 15 percent more calories during your walk/jog/run. If you want more muscle definition, consider trading a walk for a shorter jog, or a jog for a shorter sprint.