Tag Archives: soluble fiber

Bo Derek

Ten, A Very Important Number

Aside from Bo Derek’s movie, Ten, with her gorgeous body running on the beach knowing how good she must feel, the number 10 is important in health coaching.  The number 10 is where we want our clients to reach in terms of their energy level.  When someone rates themselves a 10, they are able to accomplish more, overcome obstacles, achieve hopes, improve health, and feel life is full of possibilities.  The number 10 is also important in some areas of health.  When these guidelines below are achieved, any individual can feel like a Bo Derek and reach a 10 in energy level.


Fiber – Ten Grams Per Meal

You laugh, but face it, without having a daily poop our comfort is compromised and we feel bloated.  The average American eats only 15 grams of fiber a day – mainly from processed foods.  The U.S. government guidelines recommend 25 – 35 grams of fiber a day.

But fiber does more than just make us happy in the morning.  Soluble fiber helps lower the artery clogging LDL cholesterol.  Insoluble fiber feeds gut flora that helps to boost our immune system and gives bulk to our morning constitution.  Fiber has been linked to body weight regulation and helps to keep people fuller longer.  Aim for about ten grams a meal by eating fruits and veggies, nuts, beans and whole grain breads, cereal, and crackers.  And watch out for isolated fibers like maltodextrin, inulin and polydextrose that are processed fibers and do not give the same health benefits and can cause gas and bloating.

Exercise – Ten Minutes At A Time

The American College of Cardiology looked at the association between jogging at a leisurely pace and it’s impact on mortality and presence of heart disease in over 55,000 patients between the ages of 18 and 100.   They concluded that even jogging at a leisurely pace for 5-10 minutes each day was associated with a significantly reduced risk of death from all causes and heart disease.  Imagine that as few as five to ten minutes will give you a healthier, extended life.  If you have bad knees or joints then try an elliptical or the Arc, these are just as effective,  and you can watch TV or be in your skivvies and no one will know.

Saturated Fat – Less Than Ten Percent Of Your Daily Calories

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 which are updated every 5 years, recommend no more than 10% of total daily calories come from saturated fat.  For a 2000 calorie diet that would mean about 22 grams a day.  For an 1800 calorie diet it tops out at 20 grams.  For a 1500 calorie diet that would mean no more than 17 grams.  Saturated fat comes mainly from animal fats, but also palm and coconut oils.  Saturated fat is only part of the total fat on the nutritional label, but along with transfats, can lead to heart disease.

Saturated fats can add up.  A Big Mac has 10 grams, a double quarter-pounder with cheese has 19 grams – adding an ounce of cheese to any sandwich will add about 6 more grams of saturated fat.  A half cup of ice cream has 4 grams of heart-clogging fat.  A venti Vanilla Latte from Starbucks has 4.5 grams of saturated fat.  An apple crumb donut from Dunkin Donuts has 9 grams of saturated fat.  You can quickly see how all these numbers add up.  Awareness is empowerment so you can make an informed decision.

It’s All About Getting to Ten

Feeling like a 10 is possible.   Eating using these guidelines along with getting even 5-10 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily is going to improve your circulation, digestion, immune system and satiety.  You will have more energy to do what makes you happy.

It doesn’t have to happen overnight.  It starts with getting familiar with food labels and eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and nuts.  Increase you activity by parking further away during errands, taking the stairs more and gradually work towards that 5-10 minutes of exercise.  You don’t have to look like Bo to feel like a 10!

Avoid All Or Nothing Thinking – #1 of Ten Actions To Improve Health

Sometimes my clients have “all or nothing” thinking.  If they do not do something 100% perfectly, then they think they failed and will not give themselves any credit at all.  I tell them that small changes do add up and do count and to adjust how they think about changing habits.  That no matter what, they are on a different path than they were on last week.  They have already left their old lifestyle and are moving towards a healthier version of themselves.

I tell my clients that my motto is “enhance the good and dilute the bad”  which corresponds to my belief that our actions do not have to be perfect, they can just be better choices.   It’s when you add up all the small changes that real achievement is acknowledged.

Dilute the Bad

So what are some of those small steps?  You can “dilute the bad” with some of these suggestions. Switching from 2 Tbsp of half and half in your coffee to 2 Tbsp of 2%  milk will save you 25 calories and 2 grams of artery clogging saturated fat. And that’s just one cup of coffee.  Switching from 1 cup of whole milk to 1% milk will save you 50 calories and 5.5 grams of saturated fat. Using  2 Tbsp of light ranch dressing instead of regular ranch dressing will save you 84 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat.  Eliminating the thin slice of American cheese on your sandwich will save you nearly 100 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat. You can see how combining all these small changes can save over 300 calories a day.  It takes about 3500 calories to lose one pound, you can see that in about a month one could lose about three pounds.  Weight comes on gradually; why not have it come off gradually so it feels more natural and sustainable.

Enhance the Good

On the “enhance the good” side of the motto, adding chopped frozen spinach, turnip greens or broccoli to a chili adds all kinds of wonderful nutrients like potassium that are important for heart function and can improve blood pressure eating proper amounts.  Adding low calorie foods like vegetables reduces the calorie density of foods, gives us more volume to help give us a feeling of fullness after eating without all the extra calories of just the standard meat chili.  Switching from regular yogurt to Greek plain fat free yogurt and adding your own fresh or frozen fruit will give you much more protein – one of the macronutrients that helps maintain our muscles and prevents the aftermeal sleepiness that often happens. And since our body does not store protein, it’s important to eat some with every meal. Topping your potato with plain fat free Greek yogurt sprinkled with fresh chives instead of sour cream will save you about 25 calories and 2.5 grams of saturated fat plus it will give you added protein.  Adding barley to your rice or adding kidney beans or some other canned beans to your soups will give you added fiber, particularly the soluble kind, that will fill you up, improve bowel health, help with weight loss, lower blood sugars for those with diabetes or prediabetes and lower cholesterol.

Each of these small steps, done on a daily basis, can add up to gradual, sustainable weight loss but more importantly a healthier, better performing body!

2.  Eat More Veggies ….next week