Some days you want to eat well and some days you don’t. Have you ever noticed if your exercise affects how you eat? A research article published in the May 2019 edition of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics looks at this very question.
After surveying 1600 women between the ages of 40-50, the following obeservations were made:
Those who exercised with the main motivation to lose weight, were less likely to eat intuitively, less likely to listen to their body’s feelings of hunger and satiety, more likely to restrict their food choices based on a specific diet, and more likely to eat for emotional reasons instead of physical reasons.
Those who exercised because of intrinsic motivation (health, enjoyment, improvement of mood, and pleasure) were more likely to eat intuitively, listen to their body’s signals of hunger and fullness, not restrict their eating to a certain diet, and eat for physical reasons instead of emotional ones.
This study illustrates that if you can focus on exercise for the positive benefits it brings to your life, instead of weight control or improving your appearance, you may be more likely to eat intuitively. And why is that important? Because intuitive eating has been linked to the following benefits according to other research:
Of course, everyone is anxious about getting sick right now,
thanks to the coronavirus. My clients
have started asking me what they can do to keep their immune system in top
shape. Your immune system is an amazing
and complex microorganism-fighting machine.
It defends your body from harmful virus and bacteria that enter your
body through mouth or nose. Because it
is so complex and involves other systems in your body, there is no guaranteed
way to ensure that some microorganisms won’t get past your defenses and cause a
cold, virus, or infection. However, you
certainly can do some basic things every day to give it the best shot
possible. There is no magic bullet on
this list (sorry). There is no strange
concoction of herbs and fruits mixed together in a drink (thank goodness). Or no pill you can take (save your money for
more exciting things). It’s the basic (sometimes boring) things that will give
us the best chances:
Get enough sleep. Your body cannot fight off sickness if it is tired and weak. Make sleep a top priority. The recommendation is 7-9 hours of sleep per night. (To learn more about sleep, attend my Masters Group class on May 12th or May 14th: The Healing Power of Sleep).
Take a multivitamin as “insurance” if you eat very few fruits and vegetables. Don’t waste your money on super- or mega-vitamins. The extra vitamins and minerals don’t provide extra benefits. A simple, multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is all you need. Make sure it is certified by an independent lab or you might be wasting your money. (If you need a good one, I offer Opurity vitamins in my office.)
Wash your hands often, especially before eating and preparing food.
Eat yogurt with live and active cultures daily. The probiotics in yogurt feed your immune system.
Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Make sure to get a variety of colors to ensure you are eating a wide range of immune-boosting nutrients.
Reduce stress by taking on less projects and tasks, deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, meditation, or prayer. (I’ll be teaching about this at Masters Group on July 12th and July 14th: Implementing Mindfulness into your Busy Life.)
Eat protein with each meal to meet your minimum recommendation of 0.35 grams x your body weight. Protein is found in dairy foods, meat, seafood, nuts, beans, and tofu.
Don’t age. (I had to throw this one in there.) The older you get, the weaker your immune system becomes. There is nothing we can do about that, though.
By following these steps as best as you can, you’ll be well
on your way to keeping your immune system performing at its best.
If you’ve got nutrition concerns or questions, apply to become a client with one of our highly knowledgeable dietitians here.
Snack time is not just for filling little stomachs until the next meal. Think of it as a perfect time to fill in some nutritional gaps. Try to offer a fruit or vegetable and a good source of protein and carbohydrate at each snack. Choosing the right snacks will fuel your child’s mind and body for optimal growth and performance in school and activities. Here are some examples:
Sliced or diced fresh fruit
Sliced vegetables with low-fat dressing, salsa, or bean dip
Nuts/seeds (over 3 years old)
Edamame (soy beans)
Bean dip (rinse and drain your favorite canned beans, puree in blender with seasonings and a little water)
Whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter
Sugar-free pudding cup
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread
Sugar-free punch, Crystal Light, Capri Sun Roaring Waters, water, and V8 V-Fusion
Whole grain crackers (Triscuits, All-Bran, Wheat Thins) and low-fat cheese
Whole grain pretzels (hard or soft)
Whole wheat mini bagels with peanut butter or light cream cheese
Multi grain chips or baked chips with salsa
Low-fat chocolate milk or soy chocolate milk
String cheese or cheese cubes
Whole grain dry cereal
Granola bars (Nature Valley, Kashi, Fiber One)
Dried fruit such as raisins, Craisins, banana chips, and apples
Fig newtons (whole grain)
Homemade “Chex mix”
Smoothie: yogurt and frozen fruit pureed in blender