Healthy Nutrition News: Nutrition offers key to healthy weight loss

/ January 9th, 2013/ Posted in Nutrition & Diets / No Comments »

Nutrition offers key to healthy weight loss

Over the years, Craig’s weight had become so high he stopped weighing himself because he couldn’t bear to look at the number. A friend of his, concerned about his laboured breath and evident fatigue, had convinced Craig to buy a treadmill for his home.

Tired of being the fat guy, Craig began the very difficult task of working up a sweat on the treadmill almost every day. Several months into his new exercise regime and having lost virtually no weight, he wondered why the scale refused to budge.

If you are overweight or obese and have a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, adding more exercise can improve your overall health and cardiovascular fitness, but it may do little to drop the number on the scale.

A 2011 article published in the American Journal of Medicine reviewed 14 trials and 1,847 patients, and found that moderately intense exercise programs of six months only resulted in a 1.6-kg weight loss and 2.12-cm decrease in waist circumference. Similar programs of a year didn’t offer much difference (1.7-kg and 1.95-cm decrease).

If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, these small losses may feel like plenty of hard work without getting a paycheque. This may be one of the reasons fitness facilities are so busy in the New Year and then see a large drop-off in the months to come. No results, no motivation to continue.

Research over the years consistently shows that while you can lose small amounts of weight by initiating an exercise program, much bigger weight loss results come from nutrition changes. Even better, using a combination of reducing your calorie intake and adding exercise can offer a slightly better weight loss than just nutrition alone.

So if exercise alone isn’t the best strategy to lose weight, you might wonder how someone you know has lost plenty of weight simply by exercising more. One theory is that this has more to do with the influence exercise has on reducing your intake (calories in) than the calories burned during exercise (calories out).

A 2011 article in the Journal of Obesity suggested that metabolic, hormonal and psychological changes are involved. Exercise can help improve your overall mood and stress response, which can help you tackle emotional eating and regulate how much you eat. Physical activity also helps combat depression and sleep issues, which in recent years have been linked to higher risk of obesity.

Also important to note is while exercise alone may do little to help you lose extra pounds, research shows that exercise is one of the best ways to prevent weight gain and also to maintain weight loss over the long run.


Where to start

If you have a large amount of weight to lose, you could begin a new eating plan as well as a new fitness regime at the same time — but I would encourage you to start with one or the other.

It’s very challenging to successfully start and maintain both areas of change, especially when you are living a real life with big family and work commitments. Go easy on yourself and commit to one major lifestyle change at a time.

Start with your nutrition first, since the above research shows you can begin seeing faster changes on the scale, which can be more motivating to continue on your journey to better health.

Once you see the changes in your body from improved nutrition, it can be psychologically as well as physically easier to get going on a healthy exercise plan for life.

Chick-fil-A Debuts One of America’s Most Nutritious Kid’s Meals

According to the Let’s Move initiative, one in three American children is considered overweight or obese. Children also consume 31 percent more calories and 56 percent more fat than their peers did 40 years ago. Starting today, Chick-fil-A® is taking another step in continuing to address the issue of childhood obesity by debuting one of the nation’s most nutritious kid’s meals.

In recent months, many fast food chains have updated their side options in an attempt to offer healthier children’s menu items. Chick-fil-A instead is concentrating on making the entree healthier by adding Grilled Chicken Nuggets as an alternative for children. The move marks the first time a national fast food chain has offered a grilled entree as part of a children’s menu.

The chain also is enhancing its side choices, adding Buddy Fruits® Pure Blended Fruit To Go applesauce as a complement to the Fruit Cup option Chick-fil-A added to its menu in 2004. And, the chain is changing its children’s beverage line to only feature one percent milk, 100 percent apple juice, its signature freshly squeezed lemonade, and water as drink choices.

Chick-fil-A’s Grilled Nuggets, paired with the Fruit Cup and one-percent milk, is one of the most nutritious children’s meal combinations offered among any major fast food chain. The meal has only 210 calories and 3 grams of fat – reflecting an 86 percent cut in fat grams and a 56 percent calorie reduction compared with its previous offerings.

“According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control, Americans frequently choose convenience over nutrition. This has created a greater likelihood of our children becoming overweight or obese. The reality is that we live in an on-the-go world where parents have limited healthy meal options for their kids on the way to and from recreational activities, school or other events,” said Woody Faulk, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of brand strategy and design, who oversees Chick-fil-A’s menu. “Our new Kid’s Meal reflects our commitment to helping parents strike a balance between nutrition, convenience and price. We want parents to know that they do have a choice at Chick-fil-A.”

Following is more information on Chick-fil-A’s new Kid’s Meal offerings:

Introduction of Grilled Nuggets: These gluten-free Grilled Nuggets are made from a boneless, skinless breast of chicken tumbled in a salt and pepper spice blend and then grilled to perfection. The four count is only 80 calories and 1 gram of fat, while the six count contains 110 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.
Addition of Buddy Fruits ® Pure Blended Fruit To Go: Apple Cinnamon: Each squeezable fruit pouch is gluten-free, all natural and contains 100 percent pure fruit. It is 60 calories, 0 grams of fat and equals one serving of fruit.
Improved beverage options: Kid’s Meal beverage offerings will be changed to only feature one percent milk, 100 percent apple juice, Chick-fil-A’s freshly squeezed lemonade (30 percent DV vitamin C), and water as drink options.

According to Chick-fil-A’s full-time dietitian Jodie Worrell, these new menu additions come as part of Chick-fil-A’s broader initiative to offer healthier menu options to customers. Initiative highlights include the addition of the Fruit Cup in 2004 and moving to a complete menu (including all condiments) with zero trans fats in 2008. Chick-fil-A also is actively working to reduce sodium across its menu, including a 40 percent sodium reduction in its Chargrilled Chicken filet, 25 percent less sodium in breads and removing 10 percent of sodium in dressings and sauces.

“While we are excited about the moves we have made on the Kid’s Meal menu, we also are extremely proud of the progress we have made with our overall menu,” Worrell added. “Removing trans fats, adding more nutritious salads and reducing sodium are examples of some of the steps we have taken in recent years to further our commitment to customers of offering a well-balanced menu of choices. Our work is not complete though. We are constantly looking for a better way to offer our customers healthier choices.”

Kid’s Meal Commitment Extends Beyond the FoodChick-fil-A’s commitment to families extends beyond offing more nutritious menu options. The chain also uses its “Growing Kid’s Inside and Out®” Kid’s Meal program as an opportunity to nourish young minds through the premiums included as part of the meal. Rather than offering a toy promoting the latest movie or television series, Chick-fil-A complements its quality children’s menu offerings with meaningful and fun tools that encourage interaction between children and their families. Examples include Little Gold Books, VeggieTales CDs, Discovery Kid’s activities and books adapted from the Martha Speaks PBS series.

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