Health Tips

A wise person once said “Good health just doesn’t take care of itself, and it is most often lost by assuming it will”.
Start today with 3 positive measurable actions . . .

(1) Move more

Even 15 minutes a day of brisk walking makes a difference to stress levels and weight control. Thirty minutes a day is even better.

Doing daily sit-ups works to reduce “belly (or gut) fat”. Belly fat, also known as visceral adipose tissue (VAT) produces naughty substances (polypeptide hormones and cytokines) leading to inflammation which can damage blood vessels and major organs.

Simply said, think of cytokines as “body rust”. As rust is bad for a car, cytokines are bad for us! Research has shown high amounts of “gut fat” (VAT) precedes chronic health problems of high blood pressure, glucose intolerance leading to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

There are many ways to reduce the “belly fat” so plan to find one or two and do several repetitions of them daily. Besides sit-ups, another one is to touch your right foot with your left hand — “cross-overs/bend-overs” is one you might start doing every morning while watching early day news and weather. Every little bit helps!

“Move ye couch potato!” is the perfect Little Nudge for this goal.

(2) Eat less

Pay attention to the amount of food you eat at a meal if 15-20 minutes after you finish you feel bloated and uncomfortable. Some of this discomfort is due to food starting to expand in your stomach as it is getting digested.

You’ll understand this better with this little experiment. Drop a cracker into a glass of water. In just a few seconds, you will notice that it expands, taking up more space. A similar situation happens in your stomach after you eat. The food expands, taking up space in your stomach. Add to this the stomach acid which is being produced to digest that food, and it needs some space too! This is one reason you might feel uncomfortable and reach for anti-acid medication. Ditch the anti-acids. Simply put the fork down.

“Weight! Weight! Don’t tell me!” is the Little Nudge which remind us of the eventual consequence of eating too much.

And aim to eat better. Natural wholesome unprocessed foods provide the best nutrition. To remind you of what a healthy plate should contain, the best Little Nudge for this is “D.I.E/e.T*”. (*Discover Intelligent Eating/ exercise Today.)©

SPECIAL message for “moms-to-be”. . . eating healthfully has never been been more important than before and during pregnancy. The fetus only has one source for all the important nutrients needed for his or her brain development and muscles and bones creation: YOU! If you are planning a family and are a bit overweight, start NOW to increase physical activity to lose some poundage and improve food choices. Researchers have found over and over that pregnancy complications (pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature deliveries and “c-sections”) increase with pre-pregnancy poundage and excessive gestational weight gain.

The Little Nudge for this goal — “A D.I.E.T. for Motherhood” is what you’ll want on your refrigerator now!

No less important is your diet and breastfeeding: the quality of the nutrients on your daily plate are reflected in breast milk.

If pregnancy is complicated with morning sickness, see resources at www.morningsickness.net.

There are many excellent calorie and physical activity counters on the internet. Find one that appeals to you and start using it daily. One that we like is www.myfitnesspal.com.

(3) Believe that HEALTH IS WEALTH!

How healthy you are affects your quality of life physically and emotionally. Your state of health (outside of genetics which you did not pick!) depends largely managing food choices, activity and stress. (and taking any medications prescribed by your providers).

Don’t waste another minute not taking care of your most important asset: YOUR OWN HEALTH! (We’re just giving you a “Little Nudge” here . . .)

We invite queries from health leaders about using Little Nudges in weight management programs and wellness clinics.