Measuring your Personal Metabolism

weightKnowing the number of calories you burn when your body is at rest will help you determine how much physical activity you require, and better manage your nutritional input. Even a small change to your diet and lifestyle may help you reduce your risk for a number of chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

BMR explained

Difficulty losing fat pounds is not uncommon. Often, we attribute it to a slow metabolism, which may be correct, but how can you confirm this? Similarly, putting on weight can be challenging for some people. In this case, a fast metabolism is often blamed, but this is often a guess and other factors may be responsible.

The inability to maintain an appropriate weight is not as difficult as it may seem, once you have determined your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
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What’s For Dinner? If you had a meal plan, you would know!

Nothing strikes fear into the average person like the question “what’s for dinner?”

And isn’t it true that we have all found ourselves frantically scouring the grocery store for a quick answer to that question around 5:30pm on a weeknight?

Here’s a better way to handle that query: look on the meal plan!

A meal plan is your list of what you are going to cook for the week ahead, and on what day. This simple concept does so much more, however! It will keep you sane and organized while also helping you:

  • save money on your grocery bill
  • save time and frustration
  • reduce waste and make better use of leftovers
  • avoid trips to fast food restaurants
  • enjoy cooking more
  • eat more nutritiously

Meal planning isn’t a daunting task. You only need about 20 minutes each week to make a meal plan. A meal plan can include breakfasts and lunches but most people really only need to plan for their dinners. And since many of us are likely to eat out at least once during the week, that means we need only plan 5 or 6 evening meals.

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5 Tips For Better Bone Health

Our bones support us – literally – throughout our lives. It’s especially as we age – and when those bones start to creak a little – that we tend to become more aware of the importance of bone health, and of the risk of osteoporosis, a disease marked by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue (which often leads to increased bone fragility and breakage). But keeping our bones strong and healthy should be a priority at any age. 

Visit londondrugs.com/osteoclinics to schedule an appointment to learn more about bone health.

We spoke to Tanya Long, Senior Manager of Education for Osteoporosis Canada, about ways that you can boost your bone health at any age. She offers these five tips.

Balance Your Diet

A well-balanced diet, says Long, is one that features foods rich in calcium, adequate protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Foods like these not only ‘feed’ the bones, but provide other nutrients that are important for bone health, too.

Get Enough Calcium

Food, Long says, is the very best place to get your calcium. But if, for any reason, your food sources are not adequate in terms of providing the calcium your bones need, speak to your doctor. You may then consider taking a calcium supplement, on your doctor’s advice.

Supplement Your Vitamin D

Osteoporosis Canada recommends routine daily Vitamin D supplementation all year round for adults. Vitamin D, Long explains, isn’t always easily found in food sources and she says sun is simply not a reliable enough source of Vitamin D. Seek medical supervision, however, if you’re thinking of taking more than 2,000 International Units of Vitamin D per day.

Exercise

We know that exercise is crucial in building and maintaining strong bones. Long says your exercise routine should include strength training (such as wall push-ups or working with free weights), balance and posture training, as well as weight-bearing activity (weight-bearing means any activity requiring you to be on your feet, like dancing, walking, stair-stepping, etc.)

Your doctor can advise about helpful medications.

See Your Doctor

Over 50? Talk to your doctor about a fracture risk assessment, which will tell you your risk of breaking a bone in the next 10 years. Also, all women and men 65 years or older should have a bone mineral density test. If you are at high risk of fracture, Osteoporosis Canada recommends medication, on advice from your doctor. Find out more about the role of medication in treating osteoporosis here. 

To find out more about osteoporosis and bone health in general, please visit the Osteoporosis Canada website.

And find out more about how to identify your osteoporosis risk factors – and how to minimize that risk – at one of London Drugs’ Osteoporosis Screening Clinics.

What you should know about sweeteners

Image_002Sugars and sweetened foods may be eaten in moderation by people with diabetes. Their effect on blood glucose levels will vary, because not all sweeteners affect blood sugar in the same way. The following tables provide information that will help you understand the differences. And your dietitian or diabetes educator can help you plan how to fit sweeteners and sweetened foods into your meal plan.

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What’s in your glass?

The hot weather is upon us! If you find your thirst rising with the temperatures it may be time to think about what’s in your glass. This is because the variety of beverages is ever-increasing, and so is the size of the container. In past years we have seen an explosion of large beverage containers, especially for soda pop and coffee-type drinks. In fact, new cars even have a larger-size cup holder! As for variety, there are literally thousands of options, from vitamin-added water to energy drinks, juices, sweetened milks, non-dairy beverages, iced or hot coffees, milkshakes and smoothies; and new products continue to be created.

It is wonderful to have such a selection of drinks but it is wise to know a little bit about what you are consuming. Most people are truly shocked to learn how many calories beverages can contain. A drink can have as many calories as an entire meal. Look at the chart below and see for yourself!

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