"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Healthy Lifestyle

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about what I had done to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.  I then asked the WMHS Dietitians to validate my recommendations.  The following is a response from Theresa Stahl, RD, LDN.  I guess that I was on the right track. 

Congratulations, Barry, for leading by example in promoting a healthy lifestyle for our staff and community!  I was excited to read the health and nutrition tips that have helped you to personally lose 25 pounds over the past few months.  
As a registered dietitian who has been counseling people on healthy eating and providing weight loss tips for over 25 years, I recommend many of the same tried and true healthy habits.  These include:
·         Exercise regularly – 30-60 minutes most days of the week
·         Drink plenty of water – 8 glasses per day is a good estimate, but one’s actual needs may be more or less depending on age, sex, weight, health, activity level and weather.
·         Choose whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, bran cereals, barley, and oatmeal. 
·         Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables - make half your plate fruits and veggies.
·         Choose healthy protein sources at meals, such as fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef or pork, beans, nuts, low-fat or non-fat dairy or soy products, and eggs.
·         Decrease unhealthy fats, such as trans and saturated fats, such as those found in many processed foods and high fat meats. 
·         Limit empty calorie foods, such as sodas, cakes, cookies, pies, candy and other sweets.
These are healthy habits for life.  We all know there are many paths to weight loss, but adopting healthy habits that promote a healthy weight for a lifetime is the key to long-term success. 
Readers may be interested to know that there is an organization that tracks people who have succeeded at long-term weight loss.  The National Weight Control Registry (http://nwcr.ws/) is tracking over 5,000 individuals who are 18 or older and who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained that loss for one year or more.  They have found that successful individuals have certain habits in common.  The majority of them eat breakfast every day, watch less than 10 hours of TV per week and 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day. 
Basically, what we’re looking for as nutrition professionals is not the latest trend in dieting, but true permanent change in eating behavior.

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