Kathy and The American Heart Association

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This week, Kathy is talking about the American Heart Association along with healthy eating and exercise.

One of the most exciting parts of losing weight for me is when I am asked to speak to others about healthy eating and exercise.  I have been the MC of the local Heart Start walk for the American Heart Association for the last 3 years.  The first year that I told my story a cardiologist came up to me and told me that I did what he had been telling his patients to do for years.  He said that he wished that I could talk to all of his patients.  I enjoy encouraging others when it comes to losing weight and how rewarding my success has been.

 The American Heart Association has the same advice that I have experienced.  Lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains along with cardio activity is the way to go.  Here are 5 tips from the AHA that I find helpful.

  1. Keep portions smaller than your fist. It’s easy to overeat when you have too much food on your plate. Smaller portions help prevent overeating. Overeating can make health problems worse, especially if you have diabetes. One way to control overeating is to reduce portion sizes when you eat. For most foods, a reasonable portion is ½ to 1 cup – about the size of a woman’s fist. Even if your fist is larger than that, it is still a handy measuring tool that goes everywhere you go. Just keep your portions smaller than your fist. See our Suggested Servings from Each Food Group and Healthier Kids portion sizes. Not all foods fit the “fist” rule.

The two most common exceptions are:

  • Meat, chicken and fish. For these foods, keep portions the size of a deck of cards (about half the size of your fist.)
  • Plain vegetables, including salads without dressing. You can have as much as you want because these foods are filling and low in calories.
  1. Control your hunger with filling foods that are low in calories. Foods such as soup, salad, fruits and vegetables can help fill you up without adding a lot of calories. These foods will satisfy hunger and help you lose weight. Research shows that people feel less hungry when they eat a certain volume (amount) of food. High-fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables, can provide a feeling of fullness and also digest slowly. That helps you feel satisfied longer so you eat less.
  2. Keep track of what you eat. When you keep track of what you eat, you’re more likely to meet your food goals. Studies show that keeping a food log or diary helps people lose weight and keep it off.
  3. Make trade-offs to reduce how much fat and sugar you eat. Foods high in fat and sugar are usually high in calories, too. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods. Learn to make trade-offs instead. If you want to indulge in your favorite dessert, eat a lower-calorie meal.
  4. Enjoy more physical activity. As you already know, regular physical activity is important for keeping your heart healthy. Increasing physical activity may help you lose weight and strengthen your heart at the same time.

You can find more great tips by checking out the American Heart Association.

Kathy has been posting with us every Wednesday and sharing her story and ideas for weight loss and a healthy life. Miss any of the previous posts?

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