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Thanksgiving Calorie Counter: A Handy Calculator for Your Holiday Meal

Avoid packing on the pounds this holiday season by figuring out how many calories are in your favorite meals using this handy, holiday calorie list.

Salads and Appetizers:

3 cups salad (with light dressing): 100 calories ½ cup jello with fruit: 120 calories ½ cup Waldorf salad: 110 calories 1 cracker with cheese: 70 calories ½ cup mixed raw vegetables: 25 calories ½ cup mixed nuts: 440 calories 1 oz. tortilla or potato chips: 150 calories (75 extra calories per tablespoon of dip)

Main Course:

6 oz. cured ham: 300 calories 6 oz. white and dark turkey: 340 calories ½ cup stuffing: 180 calories ½ cup cranberry sauce: 190 calories ½ cup mashed potatoes: 150 calories ½ cup gravy: 150 calories ½ cup green bean casserole: 225 calories ½ cup candied sweet potatoes: 150 calories 1 dinner roll: 110 calories (45 extra calories with one pat of butter)

Drinks:

1 mixed drink: 250 calories 1 glass of wine: 120 calories 1 glass of cider: 120 calories 1 cup eggnog: 343 calories

Desserts:

2 small chocolate chip cookies: 150 calories 1 piece apple pie: 410 calories 1 piece pecan pie: 480 calories 1 piece pumpkin pie: 180 calories ½ cup whipped cream: 75 calories ½ cup ice cream: 145 calories

Leftovers:

1 turkey sandwich with mayo and cranberry sauce: 450 calories 1 open-face turkey sandwich with stuffing and gravy: 290 calories

 

Overcoming Obesity in Today's Society

Any way you look at it the statistics regarding obesity are unbelievable:

In the U.S., 55% of adults are overweight, nearly 25% are obese.

Each year there are approximately 280,000 deaths in the U.S. that can be attributed to obesity.

There is no longer any doubt that the most widespread and the largest threat to our health is being overweight or obese.

And while these statistics are shocking to most, there are still as many as 80 million people in the United States dealing with obesity.

According to Mayoclinic.com obesity can be defined as having an excessive amount of body fat. And it is more than just a cosmetic concern; it increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Doctors use a formula called the body mass index which is based on your height and weight to determine if you are actually obese.

If your BMI is below 18.5 you are underweight 18.5 : 24.9 is normal 25.0 : 29.9 is overweight 30.0 and higher is obese 40.0 and higher is extremely obese

The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity.

Experts are trying to get across to these millions of people who are dealing daily with obesity is that it is not going to cure itself overnight. There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

Losing weight and keeping that weight off is a commitment : a lifelong commitment : and something that won't come easy to many people. Weight loss is not a short term goal. It is a long term lifestyle change that you must be ready to take on before you start any type of diet or fitness regimen.

However, even just getting started will get you on the right track, and quickly. Keep in mind there are plenty of support groups out there that will help you get you where you need to be as far as diet and fitness goals and most importantly, don't give up and just get started!

 

Discover the Secret to Avoiding Winter Weight Gain by Passing Up Comfort Foods

Studies have shown that during the months of December and January, many people gain at least one pound , every year. Why? One main reason is that besides being less active during the winter months, we also turn to comfort foods to get us through those dark, dreary winter days.

According to WebMD there are many culprits for winter weight gain including less outdoor exercise, endless weeks of holiday celebrations, ultra fattening comfort foods, and more layers of clothing to hide our expanding waistlines. It's ok to splurge on occasional small portions of decadent foods and holiday delights but if you want to prevent packing on those unwanted pounds you may want to steer clear of the following foods or eat them in moderation:

Macaroni and cheese- An all-time favorite comfort food for children and adults alike, a healthier modification to this classic fat bomb is to use low-fat cheese, low-fat milk and add additional veggies.

Cream based soups and bisques- Anything loaded with cream is also loaded with calories, so instead you may want to choose warm winter soups that are broth based like vegetable or minestrone.

• Cream and cheese based casseroles- One serving of a traditional hash brown casserole topped with cheese, bacon, or fried onions has nearly 600 calories, 40 grams of fat and 21 grams of saturated fat. To shave calories off of this seasonal favorite by substituting low-calorie mix-ins such as fat-free sour cream, low-fat cheese or reduced-fat soups or try over-roasted veggies for a healthy side dish.

Cheesecake- Try to stick to small amounts of cheesecake or try satisfying your sweet tooth with a 150 calorie sugar free ice cream dessert or suck on a peppermint stick.

Chili and stews loaded with ground beef, sausage and cheese- If making this dish yourself stick to small portions of lean meat, lots of vegetables and beans, sprinkle with low-fat cheese and skip the crumbled crackers on top.

Cookies- Nothing says the holidays like Christmas cookies and enjoying one small cookie isn't a problem. At around 200-250 calories make sure you only eat one or split one half and eat the other half later.

Creamy pot pies (with pastry top and bottom)-When you have pastry on the top and bottom, you get a double dose of high-fat crust plus the fatty filling. Forget the creamy pie and enjoy a roasted chicken breast and a whole-wheat roll for a fraction of the calories.

A few bites of even the most fattening foods can fit into your diet, but it's important to consume these types of food in moderation. Keep in mind that most adults need fewer than 2,000 calories, 65 grams of total fat and 20 grams of saturated fat each day.

Just by making some slight alterations and by avoiding these fattening foods you will see that you will not only feel better but you can prevent packing on those unwanted pounds, too.

 

Weight Loss around the World

travel destinations Even though we constantly hear about the obesity rate in the United States, people all over the world are struggling with weight loss. Every country seems to have some custom that many are following to help drop the pounds and slim the waistline. Here are a few weight loss tips from around the globe.

Germany: A whopping 75% of Germans eat breakfast every morning compared to only 44% of Americans. British researchers have found that if you haven't eaten breakfast, your brain's reward center will light up more vividly when you see a high-calorie food making you more likely to indulge.

Japan: Take a page out of the Japanese residents' book and take time for a nap each day. Even just a 20- or 30-minute nap per day makes a huge difference when trying to lose weight. Studies show that sleep deprivation raises the risk of weight gain due to two hormones, leptin and ghrellin, that lead us to believe we are full and triggers hunger, respectively. The less sleep you get the lower your leptin levels and the higher your ghrellin levels. This causes people to think they are hungry when they are really just sleepy. According to lifemojo.com fish is also a very important part of the Japanese diet. Fish is a very good source of essential fatty acid like Omega 3 which help you get rid of cholesterol and raises your metabolism. Always steam or stir fry rather than fry in heavy oil.

Brazil: Brazilians stay slim by eating red beans and rice basically with every meal. Studies show that a diet consisting of these two items lowers the risk of becoming overweight by 14% when compared to typical Western meals.

Hungary: Pickle fan? Well maybe you should be! Hungarians have found that eating pickles help to keep them thin, primarily because of the acetic acid, the main component of vinegar. The acid is known to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar levels and the formation of fat.

Stock PhotoMexico: Eat like the Mexicans for your midday meal. Mexicans traditionally eat their largest meal between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. If you eat less at night, you will wake up hungrier and you will eat a bigger breakfast, thereby maintaining the best weight control. A general rule of thumb reminds us to get the bulk of your calories for breakfast and lunch.

China: Start your meals with soup. The Chinese philosophy of having a soup before a meal actually helps them to reduce their calorie intake. Soups are usually broth based and low in calories. As they are enjoyed before a meal, they reduce your hunger and help you eat less.

Poland: Poles spend typically only 5% of their family budget by eating out compared to approximately 37% of American families who spend their budget eating out. Most people who don't cook at home tend to eat less healthy food and make the wrong choices at the wrong times.

France: A leisurely family meal is the biggest secret of the French. An outrageous 92% of French families eat together on a nightly basis. American families rank at about 28%. Studies show that lengthy meals actually encourage less eating because conversation interrupts the eating process. In addition, the French philosophy, according to lifemojo.com is ‘eat petite, be petite' (literally meaning eat small, be small) plays a crucial role in their diet. They regularly eat small portions but they eat very frequently (sometimes 4-5 meals a day). This keeps their metabolism active throughout the day helping them burn more calories.

Finland: The Finns suggest taking up Nordic Walking to help lose the weight. All you need to get started are two inexpensive, lightweight walking poles. Because you are using so many muscles to use them (shoulders, arms, torso, legs) you get a total body workout that burns 20% more calories than typical walking.

 

Atkins Diet- Revamped

low carb diet The Atkins “carb-cutting” craze has produced controversy since its debut in the 1970s. Yet the popular diet plan is not only still around, but it was also recently revised. The latest version, The New Atkins for a New You, is a more flexible approach to “carb cutting,” according to an article on WebMD.

Under the old plan, dieters could eat as much high-protein food such as red meat and cheese as they wanted, but most carbohydrates were banned. The latest 12-week program is split into four stages. Within each stage the amount of carbs one is allowed to consume is increased. The basic principle, however, remains the same: to train your body to burn more fat by cutting back on sugars and other refined carbohydrates. Dieters count carbs, not calories.

According to the dailymail.co.uk, the rules advise dieters to get the fat intake right, exercise, eat until they are full and include protein in every meal. For the first two weeks, dieters eat only 20g of net carbohydrates (carbohydrates minus protein) made up of foods such as seeds and berries.

In the period called 'ongoing weight loss', this allowance rises to between 30g and 60g and includes carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, wholegrain pasta and whole wheat bread. Those who want to eat more carbohydrates just balance the increased intake with exercise.

When thin enough, it's time for the 'life maintenance phase', in which white bread, sandwiches and desserts can be introduced with about 120g of carbs a day.

While the old Atkins diet did include vegetables, the new version encourages even more greens. Dieters, though, are warned to stay away from the starchy ones, such as corn. In addition, dieters are now advised to subtract the amount of fiber, which doesn't affect blood sugar levels, from the total number of carbs in a food. This focus on "net carbs" allows more vegetables to be eaten.

Take a look at a sample plan on your new Atkins diet revamped:

Breakfast: 2 eggs Sausages Steamed spinach

Snack: String cheese Half an avocado

Lunch: Roast beef on 4 cups mixed salad ½ cup mung bean sprouts 5 black olives Onions 2 tablespoons vinaigrette

Snack: 10 green olives 1 slice cheddar cheese

Dinner: Salmon with 2 tablespoons garlic mayonnaise 6 asparagus spears2 cups arugula 5 cherry tomatoes ½ cup sliced cucumbers 2 tablespoons Italian dressing

The new version of Atkins does not come unjustified. In fact, more than 50 research papers verify the safety of low-carbohydrate diets. However, it seems likely that the latest plan will come in for similar criticism to its predecessor. In 2005, an Oxford University study found the diet could damage the heart. And demand further dropped after founder Dr Robert Atkins died in a fall in 2003, at 72. A report showed he had heart disease and was clinically obese.

In the new version of the Atkins Diet, besides sticking to the diet in each of its phases, the new plan also recommends that you take a daily multivitamin and mineral with an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.

For more information on the new Atkins diet, please visit www.atkins.com.