Posts Tagged ‘why drink water’

Look Great and Feel Great This Summer

An easy way to remember the servings of fruits and vegetables you should be eating daily is to think, “five is fine, nine is divine”.

Everyone wants to look great and feel great, especially in the summer months. Cooper Clinic dietitian Elana Zimelman, RDN, LD, CDE, provides simple strategies to wear summer tank tops, shorts and swim suits with confidence.

Hydrate every day. It is recommended that women get 11 cups of fluid per day and men get 15 cups of fluid per day. These do not have to be solely water. Keep a water bottle handy so you have it on your mind and have it with you all of the time. Water prevents over-snacking; we think we are hungry but we are probably thirsty. Not only will hydration help you feel great at the pool, but studies show dehydration can affect energy levels, fitness and even job performance.

Don’t overdo the alcohol. Moderation is essential when it comes to alcohol, because there’s a fine line between a potential benefit of a glass of red wine and doing harm to your body. Alcohol provides extra calories—that add up quickly! It reduces your inhibitions, which leads you to eat unhealthy foods and more of it. To moderate your alcohol intake, alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water, decaffeinated tea or another sugar-free beverage.

Don’t eat a lot of salty foods. To look and feel your best, plan a clean diet with fresh produce, fruits and veggies. This is easy to do in the summer with watermelon, peaches, plums and more, all in season. Elana says fruit is nature’s candy—enjoy it!

With a turkey sandwich for lunch, replace the starchy pretzels, crackers or chips with crunchy carrot sticks or cucumber slices. This will help get rid of processed foods that are high in salt, which makes us retain water.

Receive proper nutrition every day and keep your calories in check.

  1. Eat breakfast every day. Eating breakfast has proven to decrease the chances of overeating during the day and it helps to pack in the nutrients early! Aim to pair fiber and protein to start your day. Prepare a bowl of oatmeal, sweetened with raspberries with a side of egg whites. If you’re not an oatmeal lover, try natural peanut butter on 1-2 slices of whole wheat toast with a sliced banana.
  1. Eat every 3-4 hours. Plan three meals, with 1-2 snacks prepared throughout the day. Measure and pre-package snacks to manage portion control. Ideally each snack should be approximately 150-200 calories. My two favorite snacks that Elana suggested to pack for the office are 1) a small handful of nuts (10-14 almonds) with an apple and 2) a high fiber granola bar like the Kashi® Dark Chocolate Mocha (it goes great with a cup of decaffeinated coffee!) When selecting protein or snack bars, look for lower amounts of sugar and plenty of protein and fiber. View Cooper Clinic healthy snack recipes here.

With these helpful strategies, soak up the sun (don’t forget SPF) and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. For information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition services, click here or call 972.560.2655.

Savor Healthy Eating This Summer

Summer is a time for bare feet, swimming at the beach, backyard barbecues and vacation adventures! Kids are out of school and home from college and the leisure days can get you out of your normal routine. Cindy Kleckner, RD, LD, a registered and licensed dietitian at Cooper Fitness Center shares how to brighten up your family’s eating habits and make good nutrition a part of your summer.

Explore the local farmers markets. Take your family on a field trip and enjoy the open air markets. Everyone can pick a new food to try, which gets kids involved in the process and makes them more likely to eat fruits and veggies! When local produce is at its peak, getting your nine servings in a day effortless. You’ll also support your local economy and community.

Enjoy the wide variety of summer fruits and veggies. It’s easy to sink into a vegetable rut. Summer includes a colorful variety that gives your body a nutrient kick! Find seasonal recipes, purchasing tips, and much more from Fruits & Veggies More Matters.

Use the backyard grill to say yes to simple suppers. Cook the whole meal on the grill: meat, seafood and veggies. Combine a few simple ingredients for exceptional flavor. You’ll enjoy easy prep time and real cost savings using a variety of grill baskets or Reynolds Wrap® foil packets.

Downsize your dinnerware by switching from a 12-inch dinner plate to a 10-inch plate can help reduce calorie consumption by 20-22 percent. That can equate to nearly two pounds of weight loss per month, without changing any other aspect of your diet.

Get inspiration for a new recipe from cookbooks but pay more attention to flavors than instructions. Experiment with different herbs and spices. Let your palate embrace a spirit of discovery with bold and unique flavors. Science continues to reveal the promise of many health benefits from the antioxidants in these treasures.

Hydrate often. The Texas summer heat makes you more susceptible to dehydration. Start your day by drinking two glasses of water and keep drinking at each meal, as well as before, during and after workouts. Carry a reusable bottle as a reminder to drink up! For some added flavor squeeze a slice of lemon, lime or orange. For workouts lasting longer than 45 minutes, grab a sport drink to help maintain energy and increase endurance.

Eat healthy on the go. While at the beach or pool steer clear of the concessions by planning ahead. Pack a cooler with ice, bottled water, sandwiches on wholegrain bread, pita chips, hummus, yogurt, nuts, and lots of fruit. As summer months heat up, remember to put your health in center stage and you’ll reap the benefits year round!

For more healthy eating tips from Cindy Kleckner, grab the family for a culinary class with emphasis on healthy cooking at Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch.

Maintain Your Weight Throughout Your 40s and 50s

ImageWe’ve all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’ – this is especially true for women who are approaching their golden years. A 2010 study in the International Journal of Obesity found women gain an average of 12 pounds within eight years after menopause. The drop in estrogen decreases fat burning by 32 percent, the study notes. In the absence of estrogen, the hormone that is lost with menopause, women whose excess pounds once settled on their thighs or hips (in the form of subcutaneous fat) find the weight shifting to the belly as visceral fat wrapping dangerously around the body’s organs.

But there are preventive measures women can take to stay healthy when aging. Once women enter their 50s, they need about 1/4 to 1/3 fewer calories than in their 20s and 30s to maintain their weight, but you need the same amount of protein. So it becomes this challenge of doing more with less, and trying to pack more quality into fewer calories. This is because your metabolism, or the rate at which your body burns calories, slows down as you age.

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Registered Dietitian at Cooper Clinic, offers a plan to compensate for the changes in metabolism.

  • Don’t skip breakfast. It wakes up your metabolism – incorporate some lean protein such as eggs or egg whites. This is the time to have smart carbohydrates such as oatmeal or wholegrains.
  • Instead of three big meals, have several small meals to keep your energy up and reduce hunger and cravings.
  • Choose lean protein throughout the day.
  • Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables – they keep you feeling full and supply nutrients, antioxidants and fiber.
  • Drink lots of water (and have some tea) to stay hydrated.
  • Add extra fiber to help keep you feeling full.
  • Get some shut-eye. If you don’t get enough rest, it’s hard to lose body fat. Aim for 7-8 hours.

The other good news is that you can increase your metabolism rate by increasing lean muscle mass through strength training and aerobic activity. Your metabolism can also be affected by how frequently you exercise – the more physically active you are, the more you can boost your metabolism.

Meridan recommends the following:

  • Include resistance training two to three times a week to help boost weight loss and build bone density. Without it, women tend to lose bone density after menopause.
  • Commit to cardio! Do aerobic exercises at least thirty minutes four or five times per week, as the American College of Sports Medicine recommends. That can mean walking, jogging, biking, Zumba or any continuous movement. If you want more fat reduction, talk with your doctor about increasing the intensity or duration of your exercise.

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