The yourwellness for families plan is about making lifestyle changes that can lead you toward a healthier life for decades to come. While it is not strictly a weight loss program, if one of your goals is to lose weight, Harris Teeter’s yourwellness for families program provides the information you need to be successful.
The key to long term weight management is incorporating healthy eating and appropriate physical activity into your life, and making them lifelong habits. If weight loss is one of your goals, it is vital that you have access to credible information on topics like these:
Calories in = Calories out
What does this mean? Simply put, you must balance how much you eat (calories in) with your activity level (calories out) to maintain your current weight. You will need to eat less and move more (consistently!) in order to lose weight.
Don’t simply add healthy foods
If you are increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins you will need to decrease your intake of other foods (namely sweets, chips, sodas, white breads and other “junk food”). Otherwise you are simply increasing your total food intake, which will not lead to weight loss.
Bump up your fiber
Fiber has no calories, so even though you are eating a lot of foods containing fiber, you are not necessarily getting more calories. Fiber helps with weight loss in two ways; it make you feel full longer, and it helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, freeing you from energy lows that make you want to snack.
The more lean muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn. The amount of muscle you have decreases naturally with age, so it’s important to take steps to preserve the muscle you have, and even build some in the process.
Water is the best beverage to enjoy if you are trying to shed pounds. Not only can this zero calorie thirst quencher replace high calorie sodas, juices and sweetened teas, it also keeps you well-hydrated during those long walks or workouts. A final bonus? Sometimes that hunger pang you feel is actually just a sign you’re thirsty. Have a glass of water before you reach for a snack and see if your hunger goes away!
Cardiovascular workouts such as biking, swimming and gardening increase your heart rate and burn calories. Walking is another great option. Gradually work up to maintaining a brisk walk for 30-45 minutes at a time. You will have to walk for longer periods of time to burn the same amount of calories than you would with the higher intensity cardio workouts.
Write it down
Did you know that keeping a food journal can actually help you eat less? Studies have shown that when people write down everything they eat each day they tend to eat fewer calories (usually by skipping junk foods they don’t want to record in their journal!). Keeping a food journal is easy. Carry a small note pad and write down the food you ate, the amount you ate, and time you ate it.
Manage Your Stress
Stress contributes to weight gain by its effects on specific hormones and digestion. We all have stress, but few of us possess adequate means to manage stress. Be kind to your self, and learn healthy ways to cope with life’s challenges.
Get Some Sleep
Insufficient sleep also contributes to weight gain. Establish a set time to go to bed each evening so you can plan to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
Weight Loss Supplements
Most don’t work, or worse, can be dangerous. Talk to your doctor before using any kind of weight loss aid.
Eat Only When You’re Hungry
Many of us eat when we’re bored, upset, or simply when we think we should even if we’re not hungry! Next time you reach for a snack or sandwich, check to make sure you’re really hungry. If you are, eat until you are comfortably full. If you’re really not hungry, reach for a glass of water instead.
Use Smaller Plates
Start with an appropriately-sized dinner plate for your child’s age: the youngest use the smallest sized plates (about 5 inches wide), while an older child (and adults!) may use a 9-inch dinner plate. Avoid using the oversized 10- and 11-inch plates that have become popular in recent years, as they promote overeating.
Alcohol and Your Weight
Many of us don’t realize how many calories some of the most popular alcoholic beverages contain. If you are trying to lose weight, it is important to avoid alcoholic beverages.
Glycemic index = an indicator of the relative rise in blood sugar associated with eating specific carbohydrate foods
| High GI
(70 and above)
(56 to 69)
| Low GI
(55 and under)
Glycemic Load = takes into account the total amount of carbohydrate in the food (more accurate)
High: 20 or more, Medium: 11-19 and Low: 0 -10