Summer is here and the opportunity for enjoying improved health beckons us. Being more active expands our energy output by 8-14% during the summer months. Increased exercise and greater activity often result in weight reduction, which is one reason many folks feel better in the summer. Increasing your activity level, paying close attention to your diet, and drinking sufficient water are a few sure ways to help you feel your best.
As we age, we have a more difficult time losing ‘winter weight’ so it’s best to make a conscious effort during the winter months to not gain. When talking about weight loss to my patients, I try to keep my explanation simple: If you consume more calories than you burn off you will gain weight.
I love getting outdoors as much as I can this time of year. I walk out my back door and into the garden for hours of enjoyable ‘work.’ Everywhere I have lived since 1973 I have tended a garden and enjoyed the fruits and vegetables of my labor.
Bicycling is another passion that helps my well-being. Road biking and mountain biking became my mainstays, but living in rainy Portland makes mountain biking too muddy too often, so road biking it is. I tend to ride in the country, where drivers aren’t in such a hurry; where I enjoy fresh air, open green spaces, and farms with livestock and orchards. Before every ride, I prepare my water bottle with our Energy Formula™ powder mix, an excellent way to boost energy and remain hydrated.
Drinking water is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. Two new studies found that even mild dehydration brings big consequences: Altered mood, impaired memory, trouble concentrating, fatigue, headaches and anxiety. Researchers at the University of Connecticut Human Performance Laboratory noted that dehydration causes changes in electrolyte balances in the blood as well as serotonin levels in the brain, which can affect memory and mood. Another benefit of MPN’s Energy Formula™ is electrolyte replacement.
The recommended daily consumption of water is one ounce per 2 pounds of body weight. If you weigh 150 lbs., then you should drink 75 ounces of water each day, approximately 8-10 glasses. One way to determine if you’re drinking enough water is to check that your urine is a pale yellow hue; anything darker means that you need to drink more water. B vitamins will affect the color of your urine, turning it to bright yellow as the excess vitamins pass through the bladder and exit the body.
Part of the obesity issue in the U.S. is what we eat and the quantities we consume. The typical American diet is too high in fat, contains too much sugar (on average, a person consumes 135 lbs. of sugar per year) and is too highly processed (fast, convenient, ready-made). Overeating is a serious problem, as is junk food and sugary soft drinks. Doctors strive to teach their patients the specifics of a healthy diet. Diet diaries are a wonderful teaching tool, helping patients keep track of what they eat as well as showing doctors how to better treat their patients. MPN will gladly send you a diet diary, just call!
One of the most common problems for people trying to lose weight is snacking after the evening meal, or any time after 8pm. This is how people often exceed their daily caloric needs, adding to weight issues. Some suggestions for losing weight are paying attention to portion size, to stop eating when you are satisfied (not stuffed), and drinking an eight ounce glass of water 30 minutes before mealtime, which helps to suppress the appetite and, consequently, decreases the amount of food consumed.
Remember to establish a routine with aerobic activities that you like. Enjoy your summer, drink lots of water, take your vitamins and continue on your unique path to better health and wellness. Cheers! Jim