The world is changing; you are changing.

Have you made the necessary adjustments to be healthy?

We now have every modern convenience at our finger tips, which gives them a lot of exercise, but unfortunately finger exercises don’t burn many calories or tone our body.

Our new world – Just look at how things have changed over the last 50 years or so…

Activity Levels:
Then: Walk many places Now: Drive everywhere
Then: Manual transmission Now: Automatic transmission
Then: Hand crank window Now: Automatic car windows
Then: Walk to mail box Now: Send E-Mail
Then: Walk to answer a corded phone Now: Wireless phone in your pocket
Then: Get up & down to change TV channel Now: Change TV channel by remote control
Then: Hands push lawn mower Now: Riding or self powered lawn mower
Then: No air-conditioning get outside and swim Now: Stay inside because of air conditioning
Then: Play or work outdoors be more active. Now: Spend hours sitting in front of a video screen
Then: Chop wood for the wood stove and fireplace Now: Turn up the thermostat
Then: Walk up stairs Now: Take elevator

Then: 9-inch plates Now: 12-inch plates and platters
Then: Pasta Entree -1.5 cups (300 calories) Now: Pasta Entree – 3 cups (600 calories)
Then: Vanilla Ice Cream – 1 scoop (270 calories) Now: Vanilla Ice Cream – 3 scoops (810 calories)
Then: McDonald’s Burger 2 oz (145 calories) Now: McDonald’s Burger – up to 8 oz (582 calories)
Then: Movie Theater Popcorn small -(400 calories) Now: Movie Theater Popcorn – large (1160 calories)
Then: Movie Theater Soda – 8oz (100 calories) Now: Movie Theater Soda – 44 oz (550 calories)
Then: Muffin – 2 oz (200 calories) Now: Muffin 4-7 ounces (400-700 calories)
Then: 6 oz beverage serving size Now: 12-20 oz beverage size
Then: 10-12 inch pizza Now: 12-16 inch pizza with extra cheese/meat
Then: Most food fresh Now: Much food highly processed

Our new world – of modern conveniences stacks the fat gain deck against us. However you can take steps to counteract this. Simply including more physical activity each and every day can make a big difference over a year’s time. Walk everywhere you can, park farther away from driving destinations, take the stairs instead of the elevator…

You are changing – you are constantly aging which slows metabolism over time. This means you do not burn as many calories as you once did. However you can make small changes with exercise and diet to maintain or reduce your weight. Consistent weight training exercise keeps muscle mass high and slows down metabolism losses. Small changes in diet can add up over a year’s time. Reduce or eliminate soda and sugary coffee and juice drinks. When you do drink 100% juice drinks limit them to 6 ounces per day. Split a restaurant portion with someone – most are double or triple in size already! Skip the bread and start with a vegetable soup or small salad with lite dressing. Slow down your eating pace. Practice putting down your fork for 1-2 minutes at least three times each meal. Be mindful of food quantity and level of fullness. Stop just before you are full. Eat less food out of a box or can – most are highly processed, high in fat and sodium. Fresh, unprocessed foods are always a better choice…

The Triple whammy:
1. Modern conveniences – are removing many calorie burning activities.
2. Bigger Portions of food – add up to excess calories.
3. The natural aging process – slows metabolism over time.

Many people are recognizing this and making lifestyle changes. They have learned that small changes do really add up in the long run. You too can succeed – all it takes is building a system that works for you and staying with it 90 percent of the time! Why 90 percent of the time? Because we all need a break once in a while. Why not 60-80 percent of the time? Because our body stores fat much easier than we can take it off. So even following a program 60-80 percent of the time will not work over time!

As little as 3 or 4 visits with a registered dietitian can make a world of difference in getting you on the right track in our modern world…

By Paul Maduri, President and CEO of Fitness Unlimited Milton, MA