BY WENDY M. HENRICHS
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
Summer is a great time to trim some of the fat you may have gained over the Northwoods winter. Getting outside and being active is an inexpensive and easy way to burn extra calories, but there are other simple things you can do daily to get to your goal. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. If you cut just 100 calories per day it can add up to 10 pounds in a year. Here are some strategies to cut extra mostly empty calories, and ultimately extra fat from your waist line.
Switch out your soda: Switching from soda pop to sparkling water can add up to almost 15 pounds of fat loss in a year. The average soda contains approximately 140 calories. If you drink a soda a day, that is an extra 51,000 calories in a year. Not only will you cut a lot of extra calories, but you will be eliminating some of the added sugar from your diet. Remember that sugar is highly addictive, causes inflammation which leads to pain among other things, and makes you fat. I enjoy adding Dynamic Fruits and Greens to sparkling water for a nutritious and refreshing summer drink.
Skip the bun: Who doesn’t enjoy a grilled burger, especially in the summer. The average American eats approximately three hamburgers every week mostly from fast food restaurants. The bun adds about 150 extra calories. If you enjoy burgers, try skipping the bun at least once a week, which equals about two pounds a year. Your waist line will thank you.
Drink water before your meal: Drinking water 30 minutes before your meal will curb your appetite and prevent you from over eating. Have two 8-ounce glasses of water before you eat, not with your meal. This has been shown to reduce your calorie intake as much as 13 percent. That’s just over 28,000 calories in a year or eight pounds of fat for the average person. Refrain from drinking water with your meal and for approximately one hour after your meal for better digestion.
Chew slower: You may have read to be mindful when you are eating and to take your time and enjoy your meal. Who knew that chewing slower can get rid of 28 pounds of fat or more per year? It takes time for your brain to register that you are satisfied. When you slow down your eating, you have less chance of continuing to eat once you are full. That can save 100 calories or more every meal. If you eat three meals every day that can add up to 96,000 calories or more every year. That is a lot of fat.
Switch to black coffee: Try enjoying your coffee black. Many of us add sugar to our coffee. A dash of sugar every day in your coffee daily adds up to just over 3 pounds of fat in a year. If you like the sweetness of sugar, try Stevia. The no calorie plant-based sweetener. It has not been shown to not have the negative side effects of aspartame or other artificial sweeteners. What about lattes? An average latte is around 150 calories. That is not the kind with the whip cream and the fancy flavoring. If you enjoy a latte every day that is about 15 extra pounds of fat per year, and even more if you skip the caramel macchiato with whipped cream.
Most of us consume empty, fat storing calories every day that are either sugar or from foods readily converted to sugar. Try one or more of these strategies for a few weeks and see the difference in your waistline.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.