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Small Changes Can Have Big Lifetime Results By Johanna Hicks

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Small Changes Can Have Big Lifetime Results

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During my recent Texas Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences state conference in Round Rock, our opening session speaker provided some great information that we, as Extension Family & Consumer Sciences agents, have been teaching.  It’s always good to know that the same messages are being shared across the state.  Roberta Anding, clinical and sports dietitian for Baylor College of Medicine Corporate Programs Department of Orthopedic Surgery, is passionate about helping individuals understand that their choices can greatly influence well-being, and she shared the following information.

The title of her presentation was “Health 401K – Making Deposits in Your Wellness Bank.”  Wellness is something that should be sustainable.  When it comes to diets, if it sounds too good to be true, it is!  She indicated that small changes can have big lifetime results.  For example, switching from whole milk to skim milk can save 25,000 calories per year.  Switching from a 12-ounce soda to a diet soda can save 54,000 calories per year.  Note, we’re not necessarily advocating diet soda, but the calorie savings are dramatic.  Of course the best beverage choice is water to quench thirst.  Adding one more fruit or vegetable per day adds 1,825 grams of fiber per year.

So, the whole goal is to make deposits into your Health 401K, rather than withdrawals!  Taste and convenience seem to be the two driving forces behind food choices.  Research indicates that whatever size plate we use, we will fill it and consume 92% to 100% of what’s on the plate.  So, the key is to limit the plate size as an effective tool to limit caloric intake.  Check the size of the dinner plate you use at home.  A 9-inch plate is the maximum recommended size.

Another key to remember is that protein has the biggest impact on satiety.  You need protein at each meal, whether plant or animal-based.  At any given meal, eat the protein food first.  You will feel more satisfied.  Eating a high-protein breakfast has benefits that last throughout the day – better appetite control, better satiety, and reduction of evening snacking.  When it comes to protein, lean is still best.  Lean = loin when it comes to beef and pork.

Physical activity also plays an important role in your health.  Thirty to sixty minutes of physical activity per day is recommended.  Anding also said that everybody needs strength training twice a week, as well.  As we age, we lose muscle at an increasing rate.  Simply using one to three pounds weights for upper body strength training can have good results.  Ten thousands steps per day (approximately 5 miles) are needed.  Unfortunately, the average American gets about 5,500 steps per day.  Consider 10,000 steps as your WD-40 – it makes everything on the inside work better.

So, work on making deposits in your Health 401K just as you do your financial 401K!


Twogether in Texas Marriage Education Workshop

This workshop is only two weeks away, and we still have room for more couples!  Marriage Expectations, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Money Management, and Goals and Dreams are the topics to be covered, and engaged couples will receive a certificate to save $60 upon applying for a marriage license.

The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, August 29, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 1200-B West Houston Street, Sulphur Springs.  We’ll start at 8:30 a.m. and end around 3:30 p.m.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided, and perhaps the best part is that this is a free workshop! This is a funk informative workshop that includes, videos, couple interaction, and group activities.  That’s a win-win situation.  Please call the Extension Office at 903-885-3443 to reserve seats.


Closing Thought

You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do.

Johanna Hicks
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
1200-B W. Houston
P.O.Box 518
Sulphur springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 – phone
903-439-4909 – Fax
[email protected]

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Author: Savannah Everett

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