Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekly Challenge: Be Un-American

What!? You want me to be unpatriotic? Absolutely not! This challenge is all about not being the average American when it comes to having heathy habits.  Americans are infamous for our indulgences.  We want everything bigger, badder, and better than everyone else.    Everything from the size of our houses to the size of our food portions are bigger! We want everything cheaper, so we allow food companies to put harmful chemicals, additives and preservatives in our food.  It's no wonder we have such a huge problem with obesity in the US! We also have such a low work ethic compared to yester-year that we couldn't possibly get close to burning off all the junk we consume.  There are many different ways you can form healthier habits, but I'm just going to touch on a few.

First, control your portion sizes.  You'd be amazed at how much bigger our portions are than what they ought to be.  There are several different guidelines to help you judge how big a portion is.  The best tool, though is just to look at your hand.  Below is a chart from this site that will help you see what a portion is like compared to your hand!  This other site is also great for foods that aren't on the chart below, or don't relate to your hand.  Look them both over and learn them well!  Even if you've selected healthier options, overeating is not going to get you anywhere on your weight loss.
Second, make better choices.  Dong the Grocery Overhaul challenge will help you a lot with this. Choose baked chips over regular, whole grains over white grains, and add in LOTS of fruits and veggies.  Also read the labels on the things you purchase and try to avoid foods with names you can't pronounce as much as possible.  Especially avoid things like MSG, red food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oils.  Most of those things are found in highly processed foods.  You might be surprised to find that a lot of DIET foods contain those ingredients.  Try as much as possible to stick with the things God gave us and not the things man decided to add in to raise their business profits. (I recommend watching the documentaries Food Matters, and Food, Inc.)

Thirdly, get off your butt.  A recent study suggests sitting more than six hours a day can increase your chances of heart disease and therefore death.  One news report I heard said this may be because of the type of fat in your body.  Athletes have fat thats similar in consistency to olive oil, whereas a couch potato's fat is more like butter.  It sticks to your insides, even your organs such as your liver, and is harder to get rid of.  Getting in a good workout everyday is important, but If you're sedentary the rest of the day it may not be enough.  Try getting up and walking around, or doing squats, or any other type of exercise every so often while you're at work.  Maybe you can arrange your desk in a way that your computer is at standing level, so you can use it with out sitting all day.  Even little things like parking further away from the door or taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or walking to a person instead of using the intercom will make a big impact.  One of the things I try to do is pay careful attention to how I'm moving my body.  I'm pretty bad about just flopping down into a chair or couch when I'm sitting, but if I pay attention and sit by squatting then I'll be getting in a squat each time I sit.

I hope these simple tips can help you get in better shape.  Losing weight is a marathon not a sprint and every little bit you do can have a large impact on your quality of life!

3 comments:

  1. hey! just found you through 3FC .. and am a follower now! feel free to stop by my blog anytime.
    good luck!!

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  2. Awesome! LOVE 3fc :). Going to check it out now, I'm sure I'll return the follow :)

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  3. Me personally meat portions are good at 6-8 oz, I follow a low carb diet so I eat more protein, and also my veggie portions are more like 1/3 to 1/2 my plate :)

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