Archive for the ‘Wise-Guy Rule’


WISE-GUY RULE: Don’t Be a Food Hound This Holiday

g-hth-091123-tday-meal-noonhmediumA recent piece on MSNBC.com highlighted an issue that often comes up between BFBs and the ones that love them this time of year: What do you do when the person you care about most is eating lots of high-calorie, not-good-for-them foods over the holidays, especially if they have a health issue like heart disease or diabetes or are already tipping the scales toward an unhealthy weight? Do you say anything? Do you give them “the look” when they reach for a third serving of mashed potatoes or a fourth cookie or slice of pie?

No, no you do not. Bethany Thayer, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, made a few great points in the article and I agree with them all, especially this one:

“It’s really hard to watch the people you love do things you know may cause them discomfort, hurt them or even shorten their lives. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot control other people’s behavior, only our own.”

In chapter 9, Health-ify That Boy, I talk all about this issue and the very, very fine line that exists between nudging because you care and very destructive nagging. Whether it comes in the form of eye rolling, words, or the before-mentioned look, the only thing it’s going to do is cause fights and resentment between you both.

Especially during the holidays, if the man you love loves holiday goodies enough to pile on holiday pounds, plan a few active dates (ice skating, skiing, power shop the biggest mall in your area, cut down your own Christmas tree!), and then forget about it and focus on yourself. Try bringing a healthier option to the table (for instance, I always make mashed cauliflower at Thanksgiving so I can have mostly that and just enough mashed potatoes to feel satisfied), up your own activity to give yourself a burst of mood-upping endorphins, and remember that the best thing you can do is be a good example and take care of yourself. Then, focus on all the reasons why you love him and enjoy the holiday!

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BFB BEER REPORT: Sip Slower to Keep Your Oktoberfest From Adding Pounds

1355Pumpkins and weather cool enough for layering might be what you look forward to each fall, but for many BFBs, it’s football and the return of their favorite beer—Oktoberfest. Not only are these varieties popping up on bar menus, but there are also the parties and fests themselves.

If you can’t help but swap out your regular lite order for a sweet, fall-filled glass, you’re not alone. Just keep in mind that, on average, Oktoberfests run about 80 to 100+ calories more per bottle than calorie-conscious beers like Miller Lite (96 calories per 12-ounce bottle).

To keep calories in check, tip back half the number of glasses that you usually would when you’re drinking. Luckily, thanks to the full-bodied nature of these autumn beers, sipping is the best way to enjoy them anyway.

Check out the calories of some of the most popular Oktoberfest brews below. Continue Reading →

De-Stress With Your Sweetie to Lose Belly Fat and Fight Heart Disease

destress-and-make-love-again-afA new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that social stress may lead to heart disease by causing the body to deposit more visceral fat in the abdominal cavity and speeding up the buildup of harmful plaque in blood vessels—the perfect storm for the world’s number one killer.

Obesity and heart disease have also been linked to lower socioeconomic status, and Carol A. Shively, Ph.D., a professor of pathology and the study’s principal investigator, says it may be because the fewer resources you have to buffer yourself from the stresses of life (aka bills, long hours at work, hard-to-please bosses, or staying in an unhealthy relationship), the more likely you are to experience these health problems.

But why do they think it’s stress and not just multiple meals off the Dollar Menu? Continue Reading →

Wise-Guy Rule: Chase Your Drinks With Water

120px-roadsign_-_alcoholsvgNothing is more romantic than sharing a bottle of wine, but drinking a quarter of your daily calorie needs in liquid form is never a good idea. Of course, racking up alcohol calories on a date is much too easy. There’s the pre-dinner drink at the bar as you wait for your table, the shared bottle — or two! — of wine at dinner, and sometimes, even the after-dessert digestif, or the “let’s pour one more drink now that we’re home and snuggled up on the sofa” martini. And if your night out is the bar, drinking is the main event.

Why’s it so easy? (Other than the annoying fact that after a certain number of drinks you’re too relaxed to really care all that much? Well, until, maybe, you go to pull out your swimsuit?) One shot of alcohol has about 80 calories, a bottle of wine clocks in at over 500 calories (a single 4-ounce glass will cost you about 70 to 80. Which means that 8-ounce pour your guy usually hands you is closer to 150!), and, depending on the brew, a 12-ounce beer can be anywhere from the high 90s to 150 or more.

To avoid the calorie calamity, alternate your drinks with water. If it seems too plain, ask for seltzer with a slice of lemon or lime. You’ll stay hydrated, enjoy the bubbles, and you’ll kill some time so you aren’t downing as many empty calories. (You’ll also have a much better chance of avoiding the dreaded hang over — which means you’ll actually get yourself out of bed the next morning for that yoga class that sounded so sweet until you agreed to have another!)

So when your sweetheart so kindly offers to refill your glass, or the amazingly efficient waiter starts to top you off, or that cute boy at the bar offers you another beer, make sure to order that good-for-you chaser of water in between. Your pants, your body, and shoot, your wallet (or his!), will thank you for it.

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Wise-Guy Rule: This New Year, Say “No” to Dieting!

The ball has dropped, but for many the numbers on the scale have edged a bit higher. It’s all too easy to roll over January 1st and realize you and your honey have racked up a few extra lbs. since the Halloween candy hit stores. But whatever you do: DON’T MAKE A RESOLUTION TO DIET. Studies show that dieting sets you up for binge eating and failure—which usually leads to additional pounds. And once off the wagon, most people gain any weight they’ve lost and more.

In my book, I go over my healthy-eating guidelines, aka: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Food. The hope is that you follow them about 80 percent of the time. Trying to have a perfect diet or timing out exactly when and what you eat only leaves you more tied to food than you were before. Start thinking of food as energy, something that allows you to get out and do everything ELSE that matters in life, and that makes you smile and leaves you feeling great.

So, what do I propose for your 2009 New Year’s resolution? Vow to have more fun, to feel better about the body you are in and take care of yourself. Because once you know the basics of a healthy diet (there a few sneaky things that seem healthy, but really aren’t, like artificial sweeteners!) you can mix and match and find what works for you. Sure, you gotta be smart about it—too many M&M’s doesn’t make anybody feel healthy and strong—but take the focus off food, turn off that TV, get away from the snacks, and get out there and have fun with your BFB (There are tons of fun active date ideas in the book, too, from hitting a museum to exploring a new town!). You’ll burn calories, have fun together, and the more you move, the less inclined you’ll be to scarf down too many sugary snacks. Happy New Year!

Wise-Guy Rule: Throw That Junk in the Trunk

Holiday sweets are hard enough to resist when you’re not locked inside a four-door box shooting across asphalt at 70 mph. So whether you’re on the way to Grandma’s or on a two-hour trip across state lines to meet friends for a New Year’s Eve celebration, ask your boy to stash his snacks out of arm’s reach and tuck any home-baked goodies in the backseat. You’ll have to make a conscious decision to pull over to start snacking—and when you pull that little LBD over your head NYE you’ll feel beautiful, not bloated.

Wise-Guy Rule: Pop Vitamin D for Daylight Savings

Turning back the clock gives you an extra hour of snuggle time with your sweetie, but it also means the start of darker days, longer nights and too little sunshine—a problem that can lead to a vitamin D deficiency (the body makes vitamin D when the sun’s ultraviolet rays hit your skin). According to a recent review of clinical research, lack of vitamin D can cause a whole slew of health problems, including everything from a dip in mood and energy levels to bone and joint pain and fibromyalgia. To banish the blues, soak up as much sun as possible and pop between 1,000 IU and 2,000 IU of D daily.