Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trimming Down Excess Fats from My Wheel Chair

I just turned 40 over a month ago. They say life begins at this age but it is also at this midlife that health problems start to manifest. It is very important that we are watchful because if not, we will begin to feel the pain not only on the body but also in the purse.

I’m not really a health buff type with the great curves and abs. In fact, I think I’m overweight. The last time I’ve weighed on a scale, I’m already at 175 lbs. I think that’s over the right weight for me. I’m 5’10” in height, which is tall for an average Filipino but I have a problem with mobility. Thus, I could not burn the calories. Well, even if I want to, it is difficult for me because of movement restraints due to paralysis. I know that there are body builders on wheelchair but my condition is more severe than theirs. It’s almost impossible to trim down excess fats from a wheel chair in my case.

Fortunately, Mom has a glucose meter and a BP (blood pressure) kit at home. I could check myself too and based on the latest result, I’m diabetic and slowly developing hypertension perhaps, because of obesity as seen on my bulging belly, although, I’m not yet a morbid case.

But before things get out of hand, I’ve got to start trimming down my extra fats even while on my wheel chair. I’ve seen exercise techniques that would be doable for a paralytic like me; I just need to make an extra effort. More than that, I’m starting to cut down on rice, fatty foods and sweets. I’ve stopped eating chocolates and drinking soft drinks during snack. I’m preparing a good and reasonable diet plan that would give enough calories for the day. My goal is to shred off at least 20 lbs for the next six months. I guess, that’s reasonable besides, it’s difficult to move if you’re too heavy.

I also intend to submit this blog post for One Year, Thirty Pounds, A Few Steps Back and Ten Steps Forward blogging contest. It’s a contest about your weight loss or health and fitness goal for this year and how do you intend to achieve it. It’s by Fat Girl No More. Read her weight loss success story because it’s absolutely inspiring.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How can I Identify a Low-Fat Food Product?

Read food labels. Some people find it awkward to read food labels at supermarkets but they shouldn’t be not unless they’re already creating a long line behind them.

When reading food labels, consider the following:

  • Is fat a major ingredient?
  • Is there more than one type of fat in the product?
  • Is the serving size appropriate?

Read food labels carefully. Go easy on products made with any ingredient that is high in saturated fat and cholesterol like oils, lard and cheese. When you see several high-fat ingredients on the label, the product is more likely to have too much fat. When trying to figure out the fat content of a food product, make sure that you use a serving size that is close to what you would really eat. This is often more than what the label indicates.

To calculate the percentage of fat per serving,

  • Take the amount of fat and calories, and then divide it with the total number of calories
  • Take the amount of fat calories and divide it with the total number of calories
  • 90/100 = 90% of calories come from fat (this is the food to avoid)

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Monday, February 21, 2011

How Do I know if My Diet Plan is Correct?

A diet plan is not always applicable to everyone because it varies from each person’s daily calorie needs based on his natural body frame, height or age and many other factors. An athletic person on diet would still need more calorie intake in comparison with one with a sedentary lifestyle. It may also depend on the purpose for dieting, if it is simply for losing weight or for controlling the diet of a person with a cardiovascular disease.

I’ve heard someone say that she has stopped dieting because she feels weak. Perhaps, her case is a matter of incorrect dieting. She is eating less than what her body actually needs for her daily activity.

If you want a scientific and professionally-done diet plan, it would be best to consult a doctor or a health professional about the number of calories that you need each day to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. After you have determined that, it would be easier to prepare a diet plan.

Basically, eat low fat food. Keep fat intake to less than 30% of your total daily calorie intake. Replace some saturated or unhealthy fat with healthy oil or fat. Limit your intake of saturated fat to just 8-10% of total daily calories. Lower your cholesterol intake to less than 300mg per day. Choose foods that are high in starch and fiber. If you can’t avoid alcohol, drink moderately.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Heart-Friendly Diet- Part II

For breads, cereals, pasta, rice, dried peas and beans, we can have 6 or more servings per day. We can have most breads, wheat bread, rice cakes, low-fat crackers; hot and cold cereals; spaghetti, macaroni, noodles, plain baked potato and rice. We should go easy on store-bought pancakes, waffles, biscuits, muffins, and cornbread. We should avoid croissants, sweet rolls, donuts, and crackers made with saturated or unhealthy oils; egg noodles, pasta, and rice prepared with cream, butter, or cheese and French fries.

For fruit and vegetables, we can have up to 6 or more servings per day. We can choose fresh, frozen or dried fruits. Just go easy on canned fruit in heavy syrup and avoid coconut, vegetables prepared in butter, cream or sauce.

We can have snacks but in moderate amounts. We can choose low-fat frozen yogurt, popsicles, hard candy, plain pop corn, pretzels, fruit juices, tea and coffee. We should go easy on ice milk, home-made cakes, cookies and pies prepared with unsaturated oils. We should avoid ice cream, candy, chocolate, potato chips, buttered pop corn, milkshakes, frappes, floats, store-bought pies, most store-bought frosted cakes.

The heart is such a valuable part of the human body that we need to make some dietary sacrifices. Perhaps, we can try healthy alternatives to the high fat, high cholesterol, high carbohydrate but great tasting food that we have always feasted on. Care for your heart this Valentine’s Day! Whew!

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Heart-Friendly Diet- Part I

According to a health expert, to get the nutrients that we need, we have to eat a variety of foods from different food groups but first we need to consult our doctor to determine our personal dietary goals. Then, we can adjust the number and size of portions to reach and maintain our ideal body weight.

For meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, experts recommend up to 6 ounces per day. We can choose lean cuts of meat with the fat trimmed, chicken and fish. We should go easy on mollusks and oysters and avoid fatty cuts of duck meat, liver, kidneys, sausage, bacon, roast pork, regular luncheon meats, hotdogs, cheese burgers, adobong baboy and diniguan.

For dairy products, 2 or more servings per day would be good. Pregnant and breast feeding mothers may take around 3-4 servings. We can choose skim milk, 1% fat milk, low-fat buttermilk, evaporated skim milk, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheeses with no more than 3 grams of fat per ounce. We should go easy on milk and yogurt with 2% fat content, part-skim or imitation hard cheeses, “lite” cream cheese, “lite” sour cream and avoid whole milk, cream, whipped cream, hard cheeses, cream cheese, sour cream, white cottage cheese and queso de bola.

We can have eggs 3-4 times a week. If we would want more than that, we can choose egg whites.

We can take approximately 5-8 teaspoons of fat and oil per day. We can choose corn, olive, canola, sesame, soybean and sunflower oils; margarine that has liquid vegetable oil as the first listed ingredient and less than 2 grams of saturated of unhealthy fat per serving. We should go easy on nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and peanut oil. We should avoid saturated or unhealthy fat, butter, lard, bacon fat and coconut oil.

To be continued...

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Eating Healthy When Eating Out

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Definitely, restaurants and dine-in bars would be filled with dating couples. Eating out is the simplest and most common activity that most couples choose to celebrate the special occasion but sometimes it breaks your diet especially if you are on a slimming regimen.

I have stumbled upon a brochure that has tips about eating healthy when eating out. I guess, this would be helpful especially to people who would want to please a loved one with a dinner date while staying on a healthy diet.

  • It says, when eating salads, it would preferable to use vegetable oil and vinegar dressing instead of mayonnaise.
  • On your bread, it would better to choose margarine instead of butter.
  • For your chicken, choose broiled or grilled, and remove the skin before eating.
  • If you would have a steak, don’t hesitate to ask the chef to trim off excess fat before cooking.
  • If you would want hamburgers, avoid cheese or mayonnaise toppings. It would be better to put tomatoes and lettuce instead.
  • With fish, broiled or poached fillets or would be good.
  • When it comes to pasta, if you can choose the sauce, use marinara, clam, or tomato sauce without meat or sausage and creamy sauces.
  • You can eat a lot of vegetables just avoid heavy sauces.
  • For your dessert, sherbet and fresh fruits are excellent choices.
  • For your tea or coffee, use skimmed milk or a non-dairy, non-fat creamer.

This would be helpful to health buffs out there that would want to eat out on a date however, don’t let your diet program steal the thrill away. It’s important to enjoy each other’s company more than anything else.

Information from:
Alagang Pfizer, Alagang Sulit Brochure

Image above courtesy of:
Giselle and Robert Philip, a scene from the movie “Enchanted”
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