By Michael Sena,
C.F.S. with Kirsten Straughan, R.D., L.D., and Tom Sattler, Ed.D.
Mom, Fit Family is a 6-week plan for moms who want to get in
slim down and bring their families along for the fun.
begin by filling out
a quiz that allows you to track your progress throughout the 6-week
You'll then take simple actions to improve your scores and reshape your
health. This book also includes easy meal planning including 50 great
nutritious recipes. This motivational and easy-to-follow 6-week plan
improve the whole family's fitness and health, one member at a time!
Here is an excerpt from
may seem as if it will
be an uphill battle to get your family to switch from heavily
sodas, energy drinks, and sugary juice drinks to healthier beverages
as water and milk. Believe me, though, it's a battle worth fighting.
high intake of these
sugar-sweetened drinks has been a driving force behind the high
of obesity among our children. Did you know that one 12-ounce can of
has 10 teaspoons of sugar? I'm sure that none of you would knowingly
that much sugar to your kids with their meals or snacks.
drinkers are also more
likely to have a lower intake of important nutrients, such as vitamin
vitamin A, folate, magnesium, and calcium. The decrease in calcium can
result in reduced bone mass, which can contribute to broken bones in
and can possibly lead to osteoporosis later in life.
are two ways to win
this battle. One is to make sure everyone understands just how
sugary drinks can be. Let your kids and spouse know that these drinks
leading culprits in weight gain and dental problems and how the lack of
dairy-based drinks can lead to broken bones.
other necessary tactic
is to provide healthier choices that your family will learn to love.
Good Drink Options Your
Family Will Enjoy
you are convincing your
family to decrease their sugary drink intake, you can introduce them to
these better choices.
Whether it is flat
or fizzy, flavored or plain, water is a fundamental component of your
fitness plan and is the perfect beverage for everyone. It helps to fill
you up and is important for many bodily functions. There are many
masquerading as water that still have sugar or artificial sweeteners
Check to be sure the label lists no calories or artificial sweeteners
you get the real deal. Show your kids that the ever-present water
that lots of pro athletes, teenagers, and health-conscious young adults
carry with them are healthy and cool! Here are some ideas for making
more appealing to your kids.
plenty of flavored seltzer
waters available as an alternative to plain water. Use fresh lemon,
or other citrus fruit slices in your water. Or try cucumber slices for
a refreshing taste. Always keep water bottles in the car or in your
backpacks to encourage water consumption.
fat-free milk are healthful beverage alternatives. Next to water,
or fat-free milk and soy milk are the best beverage options for your
Milk contains calcium, which we often don't get enough of, as well as
Soy milk is a great alternative to cow's milk, especially if you are
intolerant, have problems with chronic upper respiratory infections
infections or ear infections), have asthma, or are just looking to
more soy in your diet. Chocolate milk is okay for an occasional treat;
just try to control the amount of chocolate added to keep the sugar
percent fruit juice.
100 percent fruit juice is just that -- it is made solely from fruit
no sugar added. Fruit juice has the added benefit of being full of the
vitamins that are naturally found in fruit, such as vitamin C and
It's very important to remember, however, that a serving is only 4
The typical juice box is 8 ounces, and many bottles can be up to 20
I would suggest limiting the total amount of juice for the day to 4 to
8 ounces. If 8 ounces is much less than your family is used to
dilute the juice with water. Start with 25 percent water and 75 percent
juice, then slowly increase the percentage of water to 50 percent. Or
mixing juice with seltzer water for a fizzy treat.
juice is a great low-calorie choice that offers antioxidants, such as
A and C, and other nutrients such as lycopene, which has been linked to
a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Eight ounces of vegetable juice has
2 grams of fiber, is very low in sugar, and has only 50 calories.
Unsweetened teas -- those that are already bottled -- and homemade iced
or hot herbal teas can be great calorie-free options. Black and green
also have proven health benefits, such as decreasing your risk of
and lowering cholesterol. Many herbal teas taste sweet enough on their
own, so you don't need to add any extra sugar or honey. If they don't,
try adding a small amount of 100 percent fruit juice for a delicious
Teas come in many family-friendly flavors, such as berry, orange, and
so you have plenty of options to try. When buying bottled teas, be sure
to check the nutrition labels to make certain they have no calories.
drinks are very popular among kids, due in large part to great
and advertisements. Sports drinks contain only about 50 to 80 calories
per 8 ounces, making them lower in calories than juices, fruit drinks,
and soda. They don't, however, offer the nutritional benefits of 100
fruit juice, vegetable juice, or milk -- so drink them only
Water is still the best fluid choice for any activity that lasts less
60 minutes, making it ideal for a typical workout. Water also won't
the calories that you're working to burn off!
some of your favorite
drinks aren't described above -- and for good reason. Here's the skinny
on some other popular drinks that you'll want to avoid.
Soda. My tendency
is to recommend eating real foods and avoiding artificial sweeteners
fat replacements, such as aspartame and Olestra. Aspartame, a common
in diet soda, has been linked to migraine headaches, among other
health reactions. In addition, there is a small amount of preliminary
indicating that your body releases insulin in response to artificial
The release of insulin causes your blood sugar levels to drop and
makes you hungry. Trying to decrease the amount of sweeteners you use,
whether they're natural or chemical, is the best bet. However, allow
to enjoy your favorite sweet occasionally, made with real sugar. If you
choose to drink diet soda or use artificial sweeteners, do so in
(once or twice a week).
the rise of the chain coffee houses has come the popularity of creamy
drinks that are chock full of sugar and calories. A 16-ounce
mocha averages 300 to 350 calories, while a 16-ounce frozen coffee
can have anywhere from 300 to more than 500 calories, depending on what
"extras" you have added. Whipped cream alone can add more than 100
treats such as banana bread, muffins, and scones have, on average,
350 and 450 calories, while a caramel sticky roll or slice of coffee
can have upwards of 700 calories. Yikes! You could easily get more than
half of your daily calorie allowance from your coffee break.
you don't have
to forgo your treat. There are many lower-calorie choices, such as a
café latte or cappuccino made with fat-free milk (about 120
You could also try a 12-ounce Chai tea with fat-free milk for about 170
calories. Choose from a selection of herbal teas or, of course, plain
zero-calorie black java. And instead of the muffins or cake, try a
biscotti for around 120 calories.
another underestimated calorie source. A 12-ounce beer, a 7-ounce glass
of wine, or a 2.5-ounce martini each adds around 150 empty calories.
that can double if you're drinking a tall glass of a creamy mixer such
as piña colada. Also, alcohol tends to lower your
you are more likely to take a few extra bites of dessert. In addition
contributing to extra weight, alcohol has been shown to have differing
effects on your health. Moderate amounts of red wine (one drink a day
women and two drinks a day for men) have been shown to lower the risk
coronary heart disease. However, research has also shown that alcohol
higher amounts can be a contributor to cancers of the breast,
stomach, and colon. Use judgment and moderation when fitting alcohol
your meal plan.
Mom, Fit Family: The 6-Week Plan for a Slimmer You and a Healthier
by Michael Sena, C.F.S. with Kirsten Straughan, R.D., L.D., and Tom
Ed.D. (August 2005) © 2005 Michael Sena. Permission granted by
Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.
Sena, C.F.S., is
one of America's most respected personal trainers and fitness experts.
His fitness advice has appeared in USA Today and the Washington Post
on CNBC and CNN's Headline News. He was named one of the 100 best
in America by Men's Journal in 2005 and is a founding member of Mayor
Fitness Council. He lives in Chicago.
L.D., is a registered dietitian who has worked in a variety of
including hospitals, private counseling, nutrition seminars, and
and nutrition television news reports.
Sattler, Ed.D., has chaired
the graduate specialization in applied exercise physiology at the
of Illinois in Chicago. Dr. Sattler has also supervised training for
NHL's Chicago Blackhawks (1978-1982) and the Chicago Cubs (1982-1988).
He is currently the director of education and programming for the
FITness division of Alliance Rehab, a Health Resources Alliance
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