April 23, 2011
How did he chicken get to the other side of the road? “One step at a time.” In a few months, my first book will be published. “Chicken steps” is a central concept of the book, designed to help people improve their health in simple, easy steps.
MedPage Today’s edition on my morning medical news reported on the findings of the EuroPRevent trial. According to the report, “Shedding Pounds Lowers BP.” While the results were not surprising (I have been asking my patients to lose weight for years), what was noteworthy was that losing as little as 5% of your body weight resulted in a significant decrease in blood pressure. A significant drop in blood pressure may give your physician the ability to lower or even stop medications previously prescribed to control your blood pressure, as well as lessen your risk of diabetes, hypertension and stroke.
“Diet, Exercise Sufficient to Lower Triglycerides” by Chris Kaiser, also published in MedPage Today, addresses the issue of patients who have high triglycerides. “While cholesterol control is often balanced between statins and lifestyle changes, reducing triglycerides can usually be accomplished with diet and lifestyle changes alone”, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Again, while not shocking, the fact that small changes in diet and exercise can have a major, positive effect on your life is dramatic.
“For those outside the normal range of triglycerides, Miller and colleagues recommend limiting:
- Added sugar to less than 5% to 10% of calories consumed — about 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories per day for men
- Fructose from both processed foods and naturally occurring foods — less than 50 to 100 grams per day
- Saturated fat to less than 7 percent of total calories
- Trans fat to less than 1 percent of total calories”
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is change. Change takes effort and the amount you need to change can be overwhelming. Think about from the chicken’s perspective and cross that road one tiny step at a time. You will eventually reach the other side.
Start with one thing on the list, not the whole list and do that for two weeks, then add the next thing, and so on. Get out a calendar or whiteboard, something visual and watch your progress as you cross to the other side, one tiny step at a time. You really will get there!