Stop at 80 Percent
Residents living in the original Blue Zones® areas share common lifestyle habits called Power 9®. Eating wisely is one of them. People who live in Okinawa, Japan have a wise strategy when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. They call it “hara hachi bu”, which means to stop eating when you are 80 percent full. Studies show that cutting back on calories can lead to better heart health, longevity, and weight loss. In fact, losing just 10 percent of your body weight offers significant health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Did you know that our bodies are made up of 50 to 75 percent water? The average adult loses about 10 cups of water every day. Replenish your water supply by trying to drink at least eight cups of water each day. If you’re being moderately active, increase that amount by one or two cups. For strenuous activities lasting more than an hour, increase your average water intake by two to three cups for every hour of activity.
Smart Snacking Strategies
Well-chosen snacks can offer you nutrients and an energy boost to power you through a busy day. They can also satisfy hunger so you can keep your meal portions in check. The next time a snack attack strikes, refuel with these tasty, nutrition-packed snacks:
• Peel a banana, dip it in low- or non-fat yogurt, roll it in crushed cereal, and freeze.
• Spread celery sticks with a tablespoon of peanut butter and top with raisins.
• Stuff a whole-grain pita pocket with ricotta cheese and apple slices. Add a dash of cinnamon.
• Mix ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit, and nuts in a sandwich bag for an on-the-go snack.
• Smear a scoop of low- or non-fat frozen yogurt on two fat-free graham crackers and add banana slices for a yummy sandwich.
• Top low- or non-fat vanilla yogurt with crunchy granola and berries.
• Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on apple slices.
• Blend low- or non-fat milk, frozen strawberries, and a banana into a delicious smoothie.
• Dip baby carrots and cherry tomatoes in low- or non-fat ranch dressing.
• Eat a handful of nuts.
• Wash your healthy snack down with a glass of water.
Source: The American Dietetic Association
Test Your Weight-Loss Wisdom
What is the very best way to lose weight and keep it off?
a. Exercise more
b. Eat less
c. Burn more calories than you consume
d. All of the above
The correct answer is d. All of the above. You must eat fewer calories or burn more calories than you consume. The best way to lose weight is to do both. Combine regular physical activity (think of ways to move your body naturally, like riding your bike, walking, or gardening) with a healthy, low-calorie, low-fat diet to achieve and sustain weight loss, and remember "hara hachi bu" - stop eating when you're 80 percent full!