Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Savor the Season

At this time of year, indulgences seem to be around every corner. Tips to enjoy your favorite treats but eat less include:

 1.      Eat mindfully. Many people eat their way mindlessly through their days and nights. I interview people all the time who cannot remember what they had to eat the day before. This is one of the reasons keeping a food diary can be such a powerful tool.  It helps you pay attention to what you eat.  But mindful eating goes beyond knowing what you’re eating.  Mindful eating also means focusing on how you eat. Taking time to chew thoroughly. To sit down and focus on your meal. It means paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues.  It means savoring, with all your senses, the flavors and tastes.  Eating to nourish your hunger and not out of boredom or stress.  The first few bits provide the ultimate pleasure so keep this in mind and learn to be satisfied with a few bits of your favorites.  If it isn’t a favorite, pass it up.

2.     Choose nutrient dense foods instead of calorie dense foods. With over 40 different nutrients required by our bodies daily, what you choose to eat will either nourish you and help meet those needs or simply provide calories that fill you up without meeting nutritional requirements. High fat and high sugar foods such as fried foods, sweet drinks, cookies, candy and pastries are calorie dense foods that supply a lot of calories with little nutritional value.  Nutrient dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and dairy foods, without added sugar or fat, provide the nutrients we need without a lot of calories. Fill your plate every meal with these nutrient dense foods. 

3.     Exercise. People who exercise regularly, pay more attention to the way they eat. Research proves that exercise has a role in the treatment and prevention of more than 40 chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension.  So get moving and make it a priority.  Get dates on your calendar.  Do things you enjoy and have fun and you will be more likely to stick with it.   

Upcoming programs to help you stay or get healthy include:

Change to Win is a nutrition and weight management program taught by Theresa Stahl, RD, LDN and a team of registered dietitians. The next Change to Win session starts January 7th or 8th and runs for 10 weeks. To register or for more information, call Theresa Stahl, RD, LDN at 240-964-8416 or email Theresa at

Weight Management Support Group meets from 5-6 pm on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.  This will be January 12th and 26th in Auditorium Room 3.  Call Carey Moffatt, Certified Health and Wellness Coach at 240-964-8418 for more information.