Maria Dorfner, an award-winning TV producer and founder of NewsMD Communications and Healthy Within Network joins Late Night Health to discuss the best ways to stay fit in a world where obesity continues to be on the rise. Maria is a lifelong health advocate and has professionally been specializing in health journalism for over three decades. We discuss nutrition and how important it is in daily life and to maintaining weight or losing it. We also discuss exercise, how much of it you need and why. We discuss why it’s important to be an active participant in your own healthcare.
Maria states, “The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says 90% of Americans SAY diet and exercise is important, but nearly HALF don’t know or understand HOW to achieve a balanced diet. Bob Harper, fitness trainer for “The Biggest Loser” was recently on the Today Show on NBC and he says losing weight is 80% NUTRITION and only 20% fitness. That’s huge. The TYPE of foods we eat is important, but the AMOUNT is even more critical. Calories count.”
We also discuss how much men and women should be eating daily. Maria states,
“The average woman needs 2000 calories a day to maintain weight and 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. The average man needs 2500 calories to maintain weight and 2000 calories to lose one pound of weight per week.”
Maria discusses which types of foods are best and then discussed how much we should be exercising in order to optimize our health. She states:
“The Department of Heath and Human Resources recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. What kind? I say do something that you enjoy, and mix it up so you don’t get bored. If you only enjoy walking –then do that. Swimming is great. But make sure to break a sweat and get vigorous at it. Physical activity not only helps with obesity, but it’s proven to improve cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes, pulmonary disease, neurological diseases and depression. Plus, it improves cognitive functioning. Your mind works better after exercising.”
“We actually grow new brain cells from it. It’s known in the scientific community as neurogenesis. That 20% is still vital because without exercise only a portion of weight loss is from fat. Even thin people can have unhealthy fat, which surrounds vital organs. ” We also discuss the importance of staying hydrated.
Maria says, “I can’t stress enough the importance of drinking enough water. Health authorities say people should drink half a gallon of water a day. The Mayo Clinic advises 9 eight oz. cups a day for women, and 13 eight oz. cups a day for men. This is based on The Institute of Medicine’s recommendation. Water actually helps with weight loss because it flushes out toxins and carries nutrients to our cells. Without it, you can feel tired all the time. And people who are tired will not feel like exercising. Additionally, people often mistake feeling tired with feeling hungry and that’s whens they’re most likely to reach for sugary foods or junk food. Remember, 60% of the human adult body is water. Our muscles, kidneys, brain, lungs, bones and skin need it to stay healthy.
On the future of health, Maria says:
“I actually think the future of health is going to pay more attention to advocates of health in the past that stressed the mind-body connection. More and more studies are confirming what I spoke of earlier –that exercise has cognitive benefits for the brain, which could prevent cognitive decline from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease as we age.
“I know there are a lot of apps and digital health technologies out there, but in my eyes the future is in people being proactive about their health and bringing it back to the basics of 1) getting 9 hours of sleep each night 2) meditating when they wake 3) getting sunshine daily along with vitamins 4) making healthier food choices based on educating themselves 5) making daily exercise a priority in their lives and 6) realizing the power of their own minds to heal and being more mindful of what and who they expose their minds to and making a choice to make that positive.”