It’s the holidays, a time for fun, family and, of course, food.
So what can you do to get a jump start on a New Year’s Eve resolution after end-of-year overindulgence?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and contributor editor to O, The Oprah Magazine, appeared on “Good Morning America” today to shared a few simple steps from his 28-Day Fresh Start plan to help you tackle the issue.
The doctor focused on what food you should eat, ideal portions, how much exercise you should get and how you can keep your mouth – and your dentist – happy.
The plan emphasizes the following simple steps over big, sweeping plans that may possibly be overwhelming.
Dr. Oz’s Tips for Healthier Eating
- Drink Green Tea
Oz says: Green tea is good for you, but not everyone likes the taste. However, green tea comes in varied flavors, including pineapple, mint and honey, so you can try it in these flavors. Because green tea isn’t fermented, as black and oolong teas are, it contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants. In fact, green tea contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), the most powerful antioxidant. Studies show that a few cups of green tea per day can lower bad cholesterol and promote weight loss.
- Don’t Forget to Walk!
People are supposed to walk 10,000 steps per day, but the average American woman walks less than half that, so Oz encouraged people to start counting their paces so they can get closer to their goal number of steps. As an incentive, he discussed two pedometers that can turn meeting that goal into a game: The Omron keeps up to a week of data so walkers can compete with their previous numbers and try to improve your performance. The other pedometer, the S2H, allows user to rack up points which they can redeem for a rotating list of prizes, such as gift cards to various stores.
- Watch Your Portion Size
We often don’t realize that the little things can make a big difference when we step on the scale after the holidays. One of the biggest mysteries for those who are watching their weight is how to gauge portion size. Here’s Oz’s guide:
Rice: If you’re trying to eat healthy and having rice, you should have about 150 calories’ worth. How much is that, really? It’s the size of a lightbulb, or about one-half of a cup.
Peanut Butter/ Hummus: How much peanut butter do you put on your morning toast? How much hummus goes in your afternoon sandwich? Try the size of a golf ball.
Low fat cheese: It’s a great source of calcium, but don’t overdo it at the party. A serving size is about the sizes of three dice – that’s just three cubes.
Chicken breast/turkey on a sandwich: If you’re putting it onto a sandwich, keep the portion to the same size as a deck of cards.
Olive oil: This one is tricky and most people get it wrong. Oz says a serving of olive oil – for cooking or putting on a salad – should be about the size of a poker chip.
Cereal: People get this one wrong, too. You shouldn’t eat an entire bowl full of cereal. The amount of cereal should be about the size of a tennis ball.
Change Your Snacking Ways
If you snack on something different, you often can eat more of it. There are about 90 calories in nine potato chips. Or you can eat three cups of air-popped, fiber-packed popcorn, also about 90 calories. Put a little garlic salt or cinnamon on the popcorn – instead of butter – for great flavor.
Flossing Is Important
If you don’t floss, it’s not just bad for your mouth, it’ll bad for your health. That’s because bacteria from your mouth gets into the bloodstream. If you’re somewhere where it just isn’t convenient to floss, you can try the Interplak Dental Water Jet and Waterpik water flosser.
One More Thing: Catch Up on Your Family Medical History
If you’re going to be with family, take the opportunity to talk to them to find out what illnesses they’ve had so you can get a good idea of your risks.
The surgeon general has a tool that will compile your notes into a report that you can give to your doctor. Click HERE to see the tool.