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Health & Food

Holiday Weight Managment, and a Coffee/Tea/Caffeine Update

Earlier in the year I confessed to drinking about 600-800 mg caffeine per day. My goal was to cut this in half, and so far, so good. As of now I am consuming around 300-400 mg caffeine per day, which is a huge improvement. I recently learned that the average daily consumption of caffeine in the USA is 1000 mg, so perhaps I wasn’t doing so bad after all. Yikes!

An article I recently Tweeted about made these claims regarding caffeine:

– Prolonged administration of caffeine is not associated with a significant elevation in blood pressure.

– Caffeine consumption does not result in water-electrolyte imbalance (mainly a concern of athletes).

– Although the above has been shown in studies, be aware that side effects could include anxiety, jitters, inability to focus, gastrointestinal distress, insomnia, irritability, and with higher doses possible heart arrhythmia.

Source: NCSA’s Performance Training Journal, volume 8, Issue 6

Speaking of caffeine, here are some excerpts from an article found in BBC news regarding yet another possible benefit of tea and coffee!Researchers looked at 18 separate studies involving nearly 500,000 people.

The analysis revealed that people who drink three or four cups of coffee or tea a day cut their risk [of diabetes, type II] by a fifth or more, say researchers. The same amount of decaffeinated coffee had an even bigger effect, lowering risk by a third.

If the findings prove true, doctors may well start advising people to put the kettle on as well as take more exercise and watch their weight, say the researchers.

When the authors combined and analyzed the data, they found that each additional cup of coffee consumed in a day cut diabetes risk by 7%.

Compounds in coffee and tea – including magnesium and antioxidants known as lignans or chlorogenic [which have been shown to slow down the release of glucose into the blood after a meal] acids – may be involved.

NBC4, Columbus News Segment

If you don’t already know, I’m the local NBC4 news “Health and Nutrition Expert”. I got lucky because my friend is the producer of the show  For the month of December I was asked to do a segment on “how to maintain your weight over the holidays”. Sorry there isn’t a clip of my news segment, but if you want to see my last one (about vitamin D) look on the side bar, I added it! Here are some of the points I made:

1) Increase your exercise, even just a little. Add 5-10 minutes to your normal routine, or include some cross training and/or intervals. If you don’t workout, start walking around the block after dinner, or lifting small weights to build a bit of muscle and make up for those extra calories inevitably consumed.

2) If you have a party to go to at night, remember it’s not good to skip meals during the day (many people do this so they can “enjoy” the party and eat whatever they want). This is a bad idea because your metabolism slows down and you usually end up eating a lot more than you should, because you’re so hungry! Just eat normally throughout the day and don’t go to the party overly hungry.

3) Plan ahead. Make a goal of a specific number of treats to allow yourself at any holiday party. I like the goal of 2 or less treats, which includes alcoholic beverages. Another treat might be a piece of fudge or 2 small cookies. If you plan ahead, you are more likely to stick to your weight management goals.

4) Modify traditional, higher calorie holiday foods/drinks. Check out the eggnog I made on camera here. It’s not me, just the recipe. Leave a fun comment if you feel like it!

Update

I hope everyone has a fun week ahead of them! I have a tiny bit more shopping and a lot more wrapping, plus a lot of actual work to do before Thursday. Nick and I got a lot done this weekend, but I feel like the “to do” list is never ending. Alright, deeeeep breaths…in….out….. Off I go! Pepperoni bread and my new favorite iPhone application coming up on my next post. Everyone, have a great Monday and thanks for reading!

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