New Year New You: Control portions with MyPlate

Eating proper portions and being mindful about the amount of calories consumed each day can help aid in weight maintenance and weight loss. A study published in the American journal of Preventative medicine has shown those who keep a food journal lose about two times more eight than those who do not. Benefits of keeping a food journal include: acknowledging how much you truly eat; encouraging mindful eating; helping to ensure you are consuming a balanced diet; keeping track of extra calories; and increasing self-control.

Tips to shave calories while staying on track with your food journal:

  • Downsize your dishes. Use smaller plates and bowls to help you eat less. Our brains think we are getting more when the same amount of food is placed in a small dish.
  • Savor your meals. Eating slowly helps you consume only what your body needs to feel satisfied.
  • Don’t eat out of a bag or box. Pour one serving into a small bowl to better track how much you are eating.
  • Choose your glass wisely. When glasses are short and wide, we tend to fill them with more fluid and to drink more. Use a slender glass for any beverage except water.
  • Rethink your drinks. High-calorie beverages like soda, juice, energy drinks, specialty coffees and alcohol add calories.
  • Keep track as you go. It’s a lot harder to remember the whole day versus one meal at a time.
  • Practice proper portion size. Measure out your food when eating at home.
  • Keep in mind what one serving looks like. Some examples are: cooked pasta or beans = computer mouse; bread = compact disc; fresh fruit or raw vegetables, yogurt, or dry cereal = baseball; meat or French fries = deck of cards; cheese = four dice; peanut butter = ½ ping pong ball; grilled or baked fish = checkbook.

Follow the MyPlate method when planning healthful meals. MyPlate is based on the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010,” which was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

At each meal you should try to fill half your plate with a colorful array of fruits and vegetables. Choose lean proteins such as: chicken, lean beef, pork, beans, lentils or peas and limit those to one fourth of your plate. Fill the remaining quarter of your plate with a grain source. Aim to make half of your grains whole with whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, oatmeal or brown rice. Additionally, choose one serving of low fat dairy to have with your meal. Exampl.es of low fat dairy include: low fat or fat free milk, reduced fat cheese and yogurt.

Fats, sweets and desserts should be eaten sparingly.

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Physical Activity vs. Exercise

“I don’t understand. I am busy and active with tasks all day long, but I just can’t seem to lose any weight.”

A common misconception is that physical activity and exercise are one and the same. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a very important difference in the purpose and outcomes.

Physical activity is defined as the process of exerting energy for a task. Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning the body. Exercise is prolonged physical activity that is of a higher duration than typical daily tasks.

Many of us get physical activity during working hours or at home with chores. During this time the heart rate is increased above the resting state, but only for a few minutes. We work hard for a short interval followed by rest, allowing the heart rate to lower again. Incorporating this type of physical activity into your day is encouraged and beneficial. However, when it comes to a goal of improving cardiovascular health or weight management, your body needs planned and structured exercise.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults are to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. An example of this would be to ride a bike for 30 minutes for days per week. It is also acceptable to accumulate this in short 10-minute bouts throughout the week. More exercise, 300 minutes per week, is recommended to improve health status or to reduce body weight.

Adults should also incorporate resistance training to improve muscular strength and endurance. Increased lean muscle tissue boosts the metabolism so that the body burns more calories even in the resting state. Strong muscles allow you to more easily complete regular daily activities, reduce fall risk and create an appearance of a toned body.

The annual New Year, New You community wellness challenge begins Monday. Get your co-workers, friends, or family together and form a team to compete within our community for a healthier lifestyle. The challenge is a great opportunity to start or support your current personal wellness plan through motivation, accountability, variety and education.

Registration information can be found at http://www.jrmcnd.com or call the Jamestown Regional Medical Center Wellness Center at 701-952-4891 for details.

Healthcare group picks problems to focus on solving

Obesity; distracted and drunken driving; youth drinking and smoking; and suicide and lack of mental health awareness — these are the community health priorities set by people and health care stakeholders in a meeting Thursday.

The gathering of 30 people was a culmination of sorts of a multi-agency process aimed at the creation of a community health assessment (CHA) and community health improvement plan (CHIP).

The 47-page CHA data book, located at http://www.centralvalley health.org/databook.php, brings together information on many health-related topics from many sources, putting numbers into charts and graphics but also providing some analysis of what the statistics mean.

On Thursday, community members and representatives of community health organizations sorted through a list of 11 community issues, ranking them by importance, number of people affected and by how doable working on them would be.

From there, some of the issues were combined — youth and adult obesity and lack of physical activity were combined into a single priority, for example. Drunken driving and distracted driving were combined, too, as were youth alcohol and smoking. Mental health awareness and suicide were paired together.

The next step in the process will be formulating goals and measurable objectives for those priority areas. Then strategies, tactics and performances measures can be determined as part of the CHIP.

Most likely, the next meeting will focus on the core team of people involved in health organizations rather than the public, but the public will still be welcome to attend, Dillman emphasized.

That meeting will likely be set for two weeks in the future, she added. Anyone interested in attending can call CVHD at 252-8130 to be put on the notification list.

Eventually, a Health Partnership Committee will be created to help groups working on the same priorities link up with each other, and a list of community health assets will be developed.

“We’re trying to be proactive instead of reactive,” said Robin Iszler, unit administrator with Central Valley Health District, adding that having a plan in place would allow community health organizations to react more effectively as well.

Led by Central Valley Health District, Jamestown Regional Medical Center and Wishek Community Hospital & Clinics, the project has brought together collaborators from many health-focused community groups, such as the Healthy Lifestyle Coalition and the nursing department at Jamestown College, along with interested community members.

“Aligning our community health priorities and working on them in a collective way will allow us to create a greater impact,” said Todd Hudspeth, CEO of JRMC. “Moving forward with a shared focus will prevent duplicated efforts and help us effectively accomplish results.”

Originally posted in the Jamestown Sun
Kari Lucin, Sun Reporter
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at klucin@jamestownsun.co