Shape Up America! Newsletter
Shape Up America!
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 Shape Up America! Newsletter . Real Help for Real People 
January 2004 
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Greetings!

HAPPY NEW YEAR !

In this issue
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  • SHAPE UP AMERICA! SURVEY ON LOW CARB DIETS
  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - WHAT IS "MODERATE" ANYWAY?
  • PORTION CONTROL - A TERRIFIC BOOK TO HELP YOU
  • Walker's Daily Logs
  • Walking for Fitness ( Now in Spanish)

  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - WHAT IS "MODERATE" ANYWAY?
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    Our email continues to include questions and complaints about the definition of "moderate" physical activity. One particularly thoughtful letter from Sarah F. points out that walking at a pace of 5 miles per hour is NOT moderate (in fact, it is impossible for her to walk that fast). To say such a pace is "moderate" is very discouraging. We agree. It is perfectly OK to start out at YOUR pace - whatever it is. You can do what Sarah did two and a half years ago: work up from a much slower pace (Sarah could walk two or, at most, three miles in an hour). Today Sarah walks a more rapid pace (she can cover 4 miles in one hour). She knows she is fit and looks great. Most important, she feels great. So remember to start out slowly and work your way up slowly. If you take a year or two, or even three years to walk at a faster pace, that is great. There is no rush. All that matters is that you add more physical activity into your life.

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    PORTION CONTROL - A TERRIFIC BOOK TO HELP YOU
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    When it comes to portion control, the first step is to visit the Shape Up America! CYBERKitchen to find out how many calories are right for you each day. The next step is to purchase a copy of Bowes and Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used (Seventeenth Edition) by Jean A.T. Pennington, PhD, RD. This is the book we keep handy (one copy in the office and another in the kitchen) when we want to look up a food to learn how many calories are in a serving. In the U.S., you can place your order toll free by calling 1- 800-223-2400 [512 pages/0-397-55435-4/$49.95]
    Walker's Daily Logs
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    We have been asked time and again for a Walker's Daily Log to keep track of your 10,000 Step Program and so here they are!

    These logs are available with the Shape Up America! imprint or your organization's if ordered in bulk. We will have them available in small quanities shortly.

    Contact Us For Customized Gifts! »

    Walking for Fitness ( Now in Spanish)
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    Health benefits of walking Finding target heart rate How to start a walking program Stretching calves, quadriceps, and more Safety tips for walkers

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    SHAPE UP AMERICA! SURVEY ON LOW CARB DIETS


    Millions of Americans have made New Year's resolutions to lose weight and a new Shape Up America! survey released on December 29 found that low- or no- carbohydrate diets are widely misunderstood. Many dieters are exposing themselves to serious health risks without even realizing it.

    The national survey showed that millions of Americans are putting their health at risk because they don't understand the safety issues, the drastic restrictions and the unrealistic adherence required to follow low- or no-carbohydrate diets. We were disappointed to learn that among low/no carb dieters surveyed, more than half (51%) mistakenly believe that carbohydrates play a more significant role in weight loss than calories, when in fact all weight loss is based on consuming fewer calories than you use.

    In a BBC-One program that aired on December 1, 2003, "Real Story with Fiona Bruce," the weight loss progress of three doctors was documented for four weeks as they followed one of the most popular low- /no-carbohydrate diets. Although all three lost weight, one physician was hospitalized with severe pain from an acute attack of constipation and a second developed a 24% increase in bad cholesterol. Yet most of these dieters do not understand the potentially dangerous side effects of low-/no-carbohydrate diets. Only one out of four (25%) were aware of the risk of increased cholesterol; only 20% were aware of the risk of osteoporosis or bone loss; a mere 7% were aware of the risk of gallstones.

    Thus, many low-/no-carb dieters are exposing themselves to significant health risks without being aware of what those risks are. Nonetheless, the vast majority (67%) of all dieters, including low-/no-carb dieters, acknowledge that these diets are not good for children. This finding betrays an underlying belief that a low- or no-carbohydrate diet is indeed dangerous, but there is a "disconnect" between this belief and the desperate dieting behavior of millions of dieters. Don't be fooled by low carb diet hype. If you want to take the weight off safely and keep it off, learn how to control calories by eating smaller portions and cut back on fat and sugars. Choose a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, high- fiber grain products and low- or no-fat dairy products. Reasonable portions of meat, fish, eggs, poultry, beans and legumes are an important part of any healthy diet plan. After you take off some pounds, you can keep them off by developing a more active lifestyle that includes an hour a day of moderate physical activity. Why not start today?

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