Nutrition and Exercise

The issues of nutrition and body weight should be emphasized during the three major transitional periods in a woman's life:

1. Puberty

2. Pregnancy

3. Menopause

One's body weight is determined by three major factors:

1. Genetics and heredity, which control:

■ Resting metabolic rate

■ Body fat distribution

■ Predisposition to physical activity

2. Nutrition

3. Physical activity and exercise

High-fat diets have adverse effects on lipid metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and body composition, even in the absence of weight gain.

Exercise will increase the body's metabolic rate and prevent the storage of fat.

Alcohol:

■ Accounts for 100,000 deaths per year in the United States.

■ Excessive use for women is about one half the quantity considered excessive for men.

■ When compared to men, women have relatively reduced activity of gastric alcohol dehydrogenase to begin alcohol metabolism and have less body water in which to distribute unmetabolized alcohol.

Goals 1.

Maintain a healthy diet consisting of small frequent meals (i.e., four to six instead of two to three):

■ Utilize the Food Guide Pyramid as a tool in making food choices in daily life.

■ Adjust caloric intake for age and physical activity level:

■ As one ages, there is a decrease in resting metabolic rate and loss of lean tissue.

■ Older women who are physically active are less likely to loose lean tissue and can maintain their weight with higher caloric intake.

Physical activity during all stages of life should include exercise at moderate intensity for 30 minutes on most days of the week.

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