elizabeth fassberg

The Secret to Workout Success

Walking

When you start a new exercise regimen, slow and steady is the best way to make it a part of your lifestyle. It’s important to set realistic expectations and attainable goals. When the Avagliano family started their exercise regimen, the first trainer was too ambitious. Just like changing diet behaviors, adding in an exercise plan takes time. It’s important to be patient and build up your endurance to prevent injury and burnout.

Remember: Your time spent in the gym is not the only time you can work on being fit. Any chance you get to move is a chance to burn some calories: walking your dog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, gardening, doing housework and running around in the playground with your kids all count!

Even working out ten minutes at a time is fine. Guidelines recommend adults get 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (i.e. brisk walking) or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity  (i.e. running or jogging) every week and 2 days of muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


The Exercise Myth: You Can’t Eat Whatever You Want

peanut butter toast and grapes

Just because you’ve started a workout routine, doesn’t mean you can suddenly eat whatever you want. In fact, people who are just starting out may only be burning 200 or 300 calories in a 30-minute routine. The latest research shows that diet is most important when it comes to losing weight and unless you are working out for more than 60 minutes at a high intensity, you’re not going to burn a lot of extra calories.

But that’s not a reason to stop! The physical and mental benefits of exercise are immense. Exercise can help your mood and self-esteem, keep your heart pumping strong, and assist your organs with functioning better. People who exercise have been shown to develop less cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses. Research also shows that people who exercise are better able to maintain their weight loss. But you’ve got to watch those post-workout splurges and night-before carbo-loads.

Here’s how easy it is to eat the calories you’ve burned (and more):

  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is 200 calories.
  • Gatorade G03 Recover has 220 calories in 16 ounces.
  • A Starbucks Blueberry muffin has about 380 calories
  • A low fat yogurt and a large banana have about 200 calories.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


How to Calculate the Amount of Sugar in Drinks

bowl of sugar and spoon

The enemy in your drinks is sugar. And the empty calories it brings may be causing you to gain weight and damaging your teeth.  A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey showed that sugar consumption continues to increase every year and most of that increase was due to people drinking more sweetened beverages.

To figure how much sugar is in your favorite can or bottle, take a look at the label and get ready for some math. Four grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar. So if a drink has 65 grams of sugar, that’s more than 16 teaspoons of sugar.

Now put on your detective hat. Sugar goes by many names, so don’t be fooled if you don’t see it explicitly on the ingredients list. Look for pseudonyms for the sweet stuff, such as high fructose corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, honey, syrup, corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maple syrup, agave, and molasses.

If the amount of sugar in a drink doesn’t scare you off, then the excess calories will. If you’re having a 20-ounce bottle of soda, then you’ve just consumed about 240 calories worth of empty calories. Sweetened iced tea in a bottle isn’t a better option—a 16 ounce bottle has 200 calories.

You’re probably thinking about “sugar-free” beverages now. But don’t rely on those diet drinks. Just because they don’t have calories does not mean they are healthy. We’re still not sure of the long-term effects of artificial sweeteners, so I say water or seltzer are the best options to quench your thirst!

How much sugar is in your favorite drink? Post a comment and tell me!

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


4 Easy Ways To Drink More Water

water

To pump up your intake, you first need to recognize all the places you can (and can’t) turn to for hydration. Yes, beverages like milk and juice give you a dose of H20. But so do popular summertime foods like watermelon, tomatoes and leafy greens. A glass you don’t want to reach for if your goal is hydration: a tall iced coffee or a margarita. Anything that contains caffeine or alcohol will act as a diuretic, causing you to lose water through frequent urination.

Committed to the “clear” choice? Here are some simple ways to get more water into your day:

  • Drink up first thing. Instead of a hot cup of coffee, start your morning with a cool glass of water.
  • Dilute your fruit juice. Try mixing it with seltzer or water. Consider filling your glass ¾ or almost full of water and just topping it off with a little cranberry juice or orange juice.
  • Keep a large water bottle on your desk and make sure to finish it every day.
  • Drink a full glass with each snack and meal of the day.

Reminder: It’s important not to wait until you are thirsty to drink water. By then you’re probably already dehydrated!

How do you get more water into your day? Post a comment and share here!

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


Are You Hungry? Or Just Thirsty?

water

Did you know a hunger cue is the same as a thirst cue? It’s true. And it’s another eye-opening tip I provided the Avagliano family.  Because the signal your body sends when it wants a tall glass of water can be mistaken for the sign it sends when you need a snack, you have to react wisely to save yourself hundreds of calories. Your best bet: have a drink first, wait to see if you’re satisfied and then eat if you are still hungry.

You can avoid cue-confusion by staying hydrated in general. How much water should you be drinking every day? According to the American Dietetic Association’s (ADA) Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, the average adult loses about 10 cups of water daily. You’ll need to replenish at least this. If you are a smaller person, you may need less. If you’re a bigger person or you’re sweating a lot due to exercise or the weather then you’ll need more.

That probably sounds like a lot. But consider this: You could survive without food for a month or so. When it comes to water, you probably couldn’t last longer than a week. Water is essential and is needed in almost every part of the body including the cells, tissues, and organs.

How much water do you drink in a day? Post a comment here and tell me.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.