How Healthcare Reform Will Make Healthy Eating Easier
The technique of rationalization over impulse is one I have used for years to guide my clients'—and my own—weight loss plans. There is a good scientific explanation for why there is a difference between your automatic urges are and what you do when you are informed. Between thinking and acting there is a significant change in neuro-transmitters in the brain. No surprise, then, that when nutritional information is included on every menu, as they will be thanks to the healthcare reforms, we are likely to see a noticeable change in what people choose to eat.
In one of the corporate wellness programs I have designed, I made a simple change in the way the calorie count per tablespoon of dressing at the salad bar was labeled. That simple change resulted in the elimination of one entire type of dressing from the menu as employees shifted from a high-calorie to a low-calorie dressing.
So, what should you look for when you see the new calorie counts that will soon be posted alongside foods in restaurants and cafés?
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Multiply by 10
For the average person to maintain their weight as it is, try this simple formula: Multiply your weight by 10. That is the total number of calories you will need to consume in a day without exercise to maintain your weight exactly as it is.
The Truth About "Low-Fat"
Low-fat does not mean low calories. Most low-fat items have the same or about the same number of calories as the full-fat versions. So if those extra calories are finding their way onto your plate, don't fool yourself by sacrificing taste for fat. Just keep them as a once a week or a once a month option.
According to weight loss experts, fat grams should be kept to no more than 30 to 35 grams per day. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website suggests the following:
- A 1,600-calorie-per-day diet should contain no more than 18 grams of saturated fat and 53 grams of fat in total.
- A 2,000-calorie-per-day diet should contain no more than 20 grams of saturated fat and no more than 65 grams of fat in total.
- A 2,200-calorie-per-day diet should contain no more than 24 grams of saturated fat and no more than 73 grams of fat in total.
- A 2,500-calorie-per-day diet should contain no more than 25 grams of saturated fat and no more than 80 grams of fat in total.
- A 2,800-calorie-per-day diet should contain no more than 31 grams of saturated fat and no more than 93 grams of fat in total.
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