To Your Health
April, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 04)
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After a couple of weeks of exercising, you'll have more energy during the day, sleep better at night and start noticing physical differences in your body. Enjoy these benefits! Vary your exercise routine to include weight-lifting, walking or running on the treadmill, aerobic classes, swimming and other activities to make each day interesting.

Making exercise fun requires that you understand your likes and dislikes, so get thinking and make a plan that is finely tailored to your particular definition of fun.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Telling yourself little white lies about your diet and exercise habits is one of the quickest ways to sabotage your health plan. No one knows your eating and exercise patterns like you do, and therefore, no one is more qualified to hold you accountable than you. Did you eat healthy foods today? How many times did you work out last week? Most people answer these questions with half-truths. Half-truth: "I'm eating healthy. I ate fruit for breakfast, a salad for lunch and roasted chicken breast for dinner." Great, but what about all of the snacks spread throughout the day - the chip here, the soda there - and the dessert after every meal? Full-truth: You consumed 2,500 calories but convinced yourself you consumed only 1,500. The sad reality is, if you drink an extra soda every day for a year, you'll gain 15 pounds! Those little snacks and treats add up throughout the day, and if you can't be honest with yourself about how much you're eating, or how frequently (or infrequently) you exercise, you can't begin to fix problem areas.

Learning to look at nutrition labels and estimate the number of portions you consume is an important first step in being honest with yourself. According to the USDA, one serving equals:

  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta
  • 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes
  • 3-4 small crackers
  • 1 small pancake or waffle
  • 2 medium-sized cookies
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup (4 leaves) lettuce
  • 1 small baked potato
  • 3/4 cup vegetable juice
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1/2 grapefruit or mango
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1 cup yogurt or milk
  • 1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 medium pork chop
  • 1/4 pound hamburger patty