Investing in Your Health: Quick fixes out; lifelong changes in
Maintaining good nutrition and a steady exercise regimen can be difficult for busy professionals, executives and business owners. That’s where a new group of experts called “body composition specialists” come in. Lisa Jubilee, M.S., C.D.N. and co-owner of Living Proof Nutrition & Fitness, is one of them. Jubilee offers clients healthy meal alternatives when they are too busy or exhausted to cook for themselves, as well as nutritional advice if they are looking to gain, lose or maintain their weight. At Living Proof’s New York City facility, you can even take one-on-one sessions with a Pilates instructor and with the on-staff personal trainer to create an appropriate exercise regimen for your body.
“Many of my clients rely on outside food for most meals,” says Jubilee. “And many times the responsibility of ordering food falls on the assistants, who don’t always order healthy choices.”
If you are too busy to make breakfast, Jubilee recommends nutritional cereal bars—they’re low in sugar and high in fiber—fruit or yogurt. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, she emphasizes, because it refuels your body with energy and gets your metabolism started. Skipping meals leads you to overeat when you are hungry and slows down your metabolism and energy level, since you burn fewer calories. Jubilee notes that many people mistakenly consider muffins a good breakfast alternative, but a blueberry muffin has 400 calories, compared to 280 calories from two eggs on toast.
“The human body is basically a machine. If you intake a certain number of calories but don’t burn the same amount, your body will store that energy as fat,” Jubilee says.
By most health-watch accounts, Americans are devouring Web sites and magazines dedicated to healthy living, television shows that focus on dramatic weight loss with such procedures as liposuction and plastic surgery, and stories about gastric bypass surgery. Amid this seeming health frenzy, African-Americans are more likely than any other ethnic group to suffer from diabetes, die from strokes and develop hypertension and high cholesterol.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, 12.4 percent of African-American men and 17.7 percent of African-American women aged 20 and older have high cholesterol; 63.6 percent of African-American men aged 20 and older and 77.1 percent of African-American women are overweight or obese. In 2002, for every 100,000 African-American men aged 18 and older, 81.7 died of strokes. The ratio for African-American women the same year was 71.8 per 100,000.
Jubilee suggests a cardiovascular workout twice a week for 30 minutes, as well as weight training, to get into shape. When weight training is done correctly, she notes, your body will continue to burn calories for 24 to 48 hours. “Making these changes in your lifestyle will also improve your work performance and your life,” she says.
Jubilee recommends the following six practices for a healthier life:
1. Eat breakfast. Avoid pancakes and sausage; strive for healthy protein, high fiber and whole grains
2. Drink at least two liters (0.53 gallons) of water a day.
3. Get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
4. Become active. If you can’t get to the gym, you can walk in place at home while watching the news. Take the stairs more often.
5. Try to eat smaller meals frequently. Don’t skip meals, because this will cause you to overeat.
6. Take baby steps. Don’t put excessive pressure on yourself by setting unattainable deadlines or goals. Analyze your habits.
“[Changing your patterns] is a very emotional undertaking. Slow and steady wins the race,” she adds. “Don’t go for quick fixes. Instead, think of it as a lifelong change. But, most important, don’t get on the guilt train; these changes are a lifetime investment in yourself.”
Living Proof Nutrition & Fitness
226 E. 54th St., Suite 501
New York, N.Y. 10022