Ask the Expert: Diet, Exercise

One of the biggest ways we can all be healthier is by eliminating added sugars in our diet.

But it’s harder than it sounds. Not only because sugar is everywhere, but because we can easily become addicted.

Dr. Patrick Friedli from Munson medical center’s healthy weight center has some advice if you’re looking to kick the habit:

“It’s going to take a multi-team approach because we understand sugar is just as addictive as cigarettes, alcohol and other things. We can get habituated to. So you have to have a plan a plan of action, plan ahead and say I’m going to stop buying it and bringing it into my home environment. You’re going to have to let your family know, hey, I’m making a lifestyle commitment. I need to get that out of the environment. If you’re going to a family get-together where food is available buffet style, you’re going to have to enlist the help of somebody to help keep you accountable because we lose that over time.”

We hear over and over again that we need to establish a healthy lifestyle and not seek a temporary fix.

But it’s so easy to “fall off the wagon” and get discouraged.

Wellness Consultant Brittany Miller has advice for creating healthy habits that stick:

“It’s not easy to make a habit, we’ve all heard it takes 8 weeks. Maybe it takes 14 to 16. So knowing ahead of time that it’s going to take some time. One thing I like to do is attach new, healthy behaviors to more routine behaviors. So whether or not that’s every (morning) you wake up, make your coffee, attach to that putting some good fresh fruit into the blender to make your smoothie so that way over time you automatically trigger by making coffee oh I’m going to make my smoothie.”

Miller says when embarking on a journey towards heath, a misstep is just that.

“I think it’s really important to be kind to yourself, and it might sound cheesy, but it’s true. We all make mistakes. We are human. So if your willpower at the end of the day you have non left and you unfortunately make that bad choice and eat that donut someone offered you, it’s ok. We all make mistakes, and it’s alright because the next meal you can start right over. So don’t beat yourself up.”

Q: How many calories do you burn when you hit the treadmill hard for a half hour?

Probably not as many as you think.


“One thing people don’t often realize is when it comes to weight, nutrition and what you eat is really the most important. It’s really about 75 to 80 percent what you eat and 20 to 25 percent what you move for weight-loss. So focusing on making those healthy behavior changes in terms of what you eat is so important because it’s so easy to go to the gym, feel really good about how hard you worked out, and then grab a Little Caesars Pizza on the way home. What you don’t realize is that one mile of running burns a lot less calories than we might think, so that slice of pizza is going to outweigh those calories burned.”

But adopting and sticking to a healthier way of life is possible.

Friedli has some tips to help make it happen:

“It takes at least two weeks to be consistent at something, so if you fall down you have to get back up on the horse. Baby steps. So setting small goals that are achievable really help with the confidence level. Many people when they’re first starting get frustrated. They lose confidence and give up too easily. We really want to say they make it an achievable goal initially, don’t make it unrealistic. Stick to your guns and enlist the help of others because that’s really critical in getting a new habit built into your life.”

Categories: the four, Wellness Wednesday – the four