We make and break new year resolutions every year. This year, why not take up small, doable and meaningful resolutions that can be lived up to the promise made?
Every year, many of us take a resolution to lose weight, quit smoking, restrict alcohol or decrease anger levels, but these vaporize into thin air in due course of time. So, if an oath or some motivating factor cannot help you achieve health goals, what can you do? Achieve big results by working on small factors.
Instead of taking a resolution to reduce 20 kilograms of weight, control BP levels or quit smoking altogether, a more modest resolution is more achievable. The goals given here are feasible, practical and can help you on your path of achieving the bigger goals in mind:
Walk at office: Walking 6-8 kilometers daily might be your desire, but if you are not in a situation where this goal is achievable working on smaller goals such as simply sitting less and moving more might be your encouraging factor. Being active helps to reduce the chances of heart disease, high blood pressure, non-insulin-dependent diabetes and colon and breast cancer. Try using the restroom in another floor by walking up/down the stairs, walk to your colleague’s desk to inform something instead of texting or emailing and also use the pantry in another floor. Walking meetings are also gaining priority now as more employers and employees are becoming health conscious. If you want your company to organize such meetings, put forth the benefits of the same from www.firsteatright.com.
Start sugar-replacements for foods and beverages: Too much sugar is bad for health and the processed foods available nowadays are loaded with plenty of sugar. So, instead of drinking a sugary coffee or eating a calorie-rich sweetened snack, try something different, such as a bowl of unsweetened yogurt with fresh fruits of your choice for your snack.
Prepare homemade salad dressing: Fats are needed for health, but the only condition is that they must be good fats. Replace saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. Start preparing your homemade salad dressing with olive oil and use them on salads and marinades. Once you get used to it, you can use olive oil in other recipes such as pasta sauce, popcorns, etc.
Start cutting 50 calories a day initially: Cutting 50 calories every day or few days in a week can help you cut down on overall food intake over time. This also helps you focus on the small goal of reducing 50 calories initially instead of being overwhelmed by the big goal.
Exercise at workplace: Rather than sitting and complaining that you are unable to go to the gym for workout, use your coffee breaks at office to do some squats or stand up every hour or so in your workplace to do a few stretches.
Go meatless once a week: Health sectors are promoting the benefits of a vegetarian diet compared to an animal-based diet as vegetarians consume less of saturated fat and cholesterol and more of vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids. This makes them more likely to have lower LDL levels, low BP and lower body mass index. Incase you had tried switching over to a vegetarian diet previously and failed miserably, you can start by at least going vegetarian once a week. In due course, you might be encouraged to eat a vegetarian diet more often after experiencing its advantages of delicious taste and inexpensive pricing.
Breathe clean air in and around your house: If you really don’t feel like moving out of your house, get a few inexpensive houseplants for your home and your workspace which can improve air quality. All you have to do is maintain the plants by watering them to fulfill their purpose.
The Global Nutrition Summit happened in Milan on November 4th. Malnutrition in any form, undernutrition, obesity or both, is a terrorizing crisis that threatens to derail human development in almost every country in this earth-this is the most crucial finding of this year’s Global Nutrition Report.
The report states that the world faces a grave situation: All 140 countries deal with at least one of the nutrition problems, almost 88% (123 of 140) of countries face a serious burden of either two or three forms of malnutrition-childhood stunting, anemia in women of reproductive age and overweight in adult women, 2 billion people lack key micronutrients like iron and vitamin A and 1 in 3 people are malnourished. Although globally many significant steps have been taken towards nutrition improvement in the past few decades, the job is far from done. The Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) indicates that the number of people having insufficient access to adequate calories has increased since 2015 and the number of undernourished people has increased to 815 million (up from 777 million in 2015).
A Ray of Hope
The Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) of the UN included targets to end malnutrition in all forms in 2015. The members of the WHO have pledged to achieve these nutrition related targets by 2025.
Target 1: Achieve 40% reduction in stunting among children under 5 years of age.
Target 2: Achieve a 50% reduction of anemia in women of reproductive age.
Target 3: Achieve a 30% reduction of low-birth-weight infants.
Target 4: Curb increase in childhood obesity.
Target 5: Increase exclusive breastfeeding (during first six months) rates by 50%.
Target 6: Reduce and maintain childhood wasting by less than 5%.
Sadly, there is less than 1% chance of meeting the global target of halting the rise in obesity and diabetes by 2025. That’s mainly due to the fact that governments overlook the different forms of malnutrition and the linkages between nutrition and other development goals. One thing that is clear across all nutrition-related goals is that, maternal and child undernutrition on one hand, and overweight and obesity on the other hand are deeply connected having poor diet as their root cause. A mother’s poor nutrition choices before and during pregnancy can result in preterm birth, low-birth-weight infants and increase the risk of maternal anemia.
Improve Nutrition Among Nations
Good nutritional benefits help nations to sustain on long-term peace and stability. Let’s make good nutrition the global social norm and focus on increasing global investment in nutrition. Every country should make a commitment towards achieving these targets and steer the world towards prosperity.
People fall into two categories: those who don’t indulge in anything during the festive season to prevent weight gain and those who indulge in everything making up their minds to take up weight loss as a New Year resolution next year. But one must draw a middle line between these two extremities and find a way to enjoy the holiday season while preventing weight gain too.
Decide before partying
Although banal, deciding on certain limits prevents you from eating mindlessly during the party and also helps you stay away from the temptation of enjoying an extra drink or two just for the sake of drinking or because you have been offered so.
Once you take a look at the calorie values of different alcoholic drinks, you are sure to stick to your limits:
Pop a sugar-free mint or gum into your mouth once you reach your decided food and drinks limit.
Refrain from desserts at the party
Either have desserts at home before going to the party or stay away from desserts at the party to look forward to something once you are back at home. The second option is better, as it gives you the determination and a strong reason to stop overloading yourself.
Drink enough water
Although we repeatedly hear about the benefits of water on our human body, we don’t stick to it most of the time. In reality, drinking plenty of plain water, eating water-laden foods such as fruits and vegetables or consuming other calorie-free beverages helps to fill your stomach and also to consume fewer calories. Drink water throughout the day, especially before every meal and exercise. Drink two glasses of water and also munch on a plate of colorful produce before heading to the party so that you don’t start eating too much due to hunger. If you don’t find it interesting to drink plain water, you can visit the website www.firsteatright.com for creative options such as lemon mint detox drink (3 calories) and sparkling cucumber detox (8 calories).
Children spend most of their time in school apart from home. In recent times, many schools have started offering breakfast and lunch to children to fulfill their dietary and health requirements as a child’s performance in school depends on his/her energy and fitness levels which are provided by the food they eat.
Schools play a critical role in monitoring and improving the dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents. Schools have the potential to nurture healthy children by creating environments that encourage healthy eating practices, promote performing physical activities daily and teach children about health.
Schools strive to:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.