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January 4, 2023. The little things that get big results, slowly but surely.

If you want to prevent weight gain, it seems you just have to knock off 100 calories per day. That’s a brisk 15-minute walk. Or a can of Coke. Do either or both of those little daily things to prevent putting on a couple of pounds a year, which is how most of us gain weight over time. For a decade. Or two. Or three. A couple of pounds a year for 30 years: plus 60 pounds from age 20 to age 50? Yikes.

All calories are not created equal. Pay attention to the kind of calories you eat. You want more of the low glycemic kind (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish) and fewer of the high glycemic ones (highly refined flour and sugar in mass-produced snacks and sodas). This doesn’t mean you should cut out all carbs. Just lower your daily Glycemic Load. Want to eat pasta? Fine, just don’t cook it too long.

4 amazing little things: Al dente pasta – pasta cooked just long enough to be tender, not crunchy – has an unusually low glycemic index. Cook your pasta too long – to that soft, flaccid state – and its glycemic index actually increases about thirty percent. Serve it with super-low glycemic broccoli. Don’t overcook that, either. Steam it for just three or four minutes to maximize its cancer-fighting benefits.

And toss it with some good olive oil. It’s not just fragrant and delicious. It makes a big contribution to the feeling of satisfaction you get from this meal. And it’s what you need to get the actual nutritional value of the fat-soluble nutrients in your broccoli.

Use the olive oil and some lemon to dress your potato salad. Get this: Chill your potato salad in the fridge for at least an hour. This “high carb” vegetable dish turns into a Low Glycemic Load dish. A Better Carb potato salad. Because the refrigeration and the acidity of the lemon in the dressing combine to give Perfect Potato Salad a much lower Glycemic index than potatoes served hot from the oven or stovetop. The cold storage increases the potatoes’ resistant starch content by more than a third. And the acid in the dressing slows down “stomach emptying”. The result: longer, slower digestion. Slower release of glucose into the bloodstream. No sugar spike. Just a huge blast of flavor from a very satisfying, creamy potato salad.

Walk this Way. When you’re out walking to burn your good, low glycemic calories, keep your pace above 2.5 miles per hour. If you walk faster, the benefits are significantly greater. This report, “The Relationship of Walking Intensity to Total and Cause-Specific Mortality”, concludes: “The risk for mortality: 1) decreases in association with walking intensity, and 2) increases substantially in association for walking pace > 24-minute mile …“. How much faster? Doesn’t seem to matter much. The study subjects who walked a moderately brisk 3 mph, a very brisk 3.75 mph and a race-walking 4.5 mph all benefitted similarly in terms of reduction in risk for premature death, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. Compared to the slower-walking group, their “all causes” risk was 44% lower. And much lower for dementia.

Let’s Be Better at the Small Stuff this year. The details matter. Help someone you love Be Better at The Small Stuff. Just $10 for a Happy One-Year Gift Subscription to Better Cheaper Slower.

2020 Resolutions
#1 Better in Bed

#2 Better in the Kitchen

#3 Better Outdoors

#4 Better at The Small Stuff

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