Spring Cleaning for your Health

Spring is a great time for renewal and fresh starts--especially for your health and well-being!   Many of us get concerned about our body image at this time of year as we shed our winter clothing for lighter and more skin-exposed attire.  Let's be clear--does a perfect body actually exist (other than the the air brushed and augmented ones we see in fashion magazines)?  I say let's focus on healthy bodies and acceptance of our bodies we are inhabiting at this moment, AND if weight loss is a goal, here are some easy steps to take to lose 6-10 pounds in a realistic way.
   
1.  Fast overnight for 11-12 hours.  This means allowing 11-12 hours between dinner from the night before and breakfast the next morning.  This gives digestion a rest and can help lower blood sugar levels.  If you are overweight or obese or have elevated fasting blood sugar or at risk for cardiovascular disease, you can go a step further and for 5 consecutive days a month, you eat a no sugar, no animal fat, lean protein, unsaturated fat (olive oil, a few nuts, avocado) 750-1,100 calorie eating plan--again for 5 days in a row each month for 3 months.
     An example would be:  1 cup berries and 1/2 cut oatmeal for breakfast, an avocado and tomato salad for lunch, 2 oz of skinless chicken, turkey or fish with 1 cup broccoli, steamed spinach or cauliflower. Beverage:  water or unsweetened tea.

‚ÄčThis is for ONLY 5 DAYS A MONTH FOR 3 MONTHS!!

2.  No snacking at all, and at least 4 hours between meals.  Stop eating 2-3 hours before bed.
3.  150  minutes of exercise a week--30 minutes 5 times a week seems to work best--walk, dance, swim, ride a bike--we are meant to move around.
4.  Cut waaay down on sugary foods, juices and NO soda (even diet). Dessert twice a week--think dark chocolate or fresh fruit at room temperature.  Have a minimal serving of special occasion desserts.

Author
Nancy Aton, NMD

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