Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lost and Found: Losing Weight and Terrific Finds

The battle of the bulge just might be won through small victories-- one portion, one pound and one pair of shoes at a time! While the major health benefits of achieving a healthy weight include reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and osteoarthritis; relatively minor and unexpected changes may provide the day to day motivation needed to maintain weight loss. Dieters sharing thoughts on the Calorie Count pages of listed “Being able to walk in heels a lot longer and a lot easier” and “I can now wear regular-width shoes” among the happy side effects found after losing weight.
Dietitian Marsha Hudnall, of Green Mountain at Fox Run, a women’s wellness retreat in Ludlow, Vermont says, “The rewards go beyond the numbers on the scale. Women tell us they sleep more soundly, have more energy and feel better when they begin to eat more healthfully and learn how to be physically active again.” Hudnall spoke in Atlanta recently at the American Dietetic Association’s annual symposium for registered dietitians who work in the field of weight management.
2011 James Beard Award nominated Atlanta chef Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene spoke to the dietitians about the importance of teaching clients simple ways to add healthy flavor to foods by demonstrating an easy recipe for citrus vinaigrette, “I use fresh lemon in everything. It’s a gift along with fresh parsley and cracked black pepper.” This got me thinking about more examples of “lost and found”- such as losing the habit of adding too much salt or sugar to foods and finding flavors in healthy ingredients. Hopkins deftly cut up a whole organic chicken and tossed the carcass in a pot of water with bits of carrots, celery and onion to quickly create the beginnings of a chicken stock; another healthy kitchen staple, “Chill the stock and the fat rises to the surface. Then skim it off and you’ve got a fat free stock to add flavor to cooked vegetables or grains or make a soup.” But, Hopkins did present a plea to the dietitians on behalf of bacon and his southern food heritage, “I never want to feel that I’m denied. If you take away bacon you take my grandfather away from me.” Not to worry Chef Hopkins or other bacon lovers.
State of the art nutrition guidance from weight management experts includes advice to be mindful when eating by savoring the flavors you love. Another example of ‘lost and found’; lose the notion that eating healthy excludes all forms of fat, sugar and salt and find ways to add a just a bit of sweet, salty and rich ingredients to liven up recipes. For instance, a pinch of salt is only an eighth of a teaspoon. One more tip from Hopkins, “I use Kosher and sea salt exclusively in the kitchen. Season a little at the beginning not just at the end and you won’t need as much.”
While television weight loss competition programs such as “The Biggest Loser” focus on the numbers on a scale as the single sign contestants are heading toward healthier bodies, success can be measured in many other ways.

Lost Weight and Found Surprising Benefits

-I've noticed that as my fingers shrink the diamond in my engagement ring is getting larger!
-My shoes don't wear out as fast (except my gym shoes!)
-Getting in and out of small car easier. I feel much more agile.
- Discovering that I like veggies!
-I am able to jump around and dance and be goofy with my kids.
-I've been told I look anywhere from 10-20 yrs younger than I did when I was heavier.
-So much more energy!
(Compiled from comments posted on Calorie Count page)


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