Snug swimsuit shows it's time to eat better
June 27, 1997
Web posted at: 7:00 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT)
From CNN Interactive Writer Kristin Lemmerman
(CNN) -- Welcome to swimsuit season.
If you've already tackled the task of trying on last year's
model, you probably found that your holiday eating binge
lingers on your hips, and the New Year's resolution you made
to exercise more and eat better lasted roughly until you saw
that new flavor of Ben & Jerry's in the ice cream freezer.
There's barely a nutrition story on all of CNN.com that won't
tell you what you already knew: that keeping your weight down
will keep your heart healthier and lower the risk of a
zillion other maladies. And the only sure way to keep your
weight steady is to eat properly and exercise regularly.
Most of us know how to exercise. Take a brisk walk around the
block -- or a brisk jog, if you're up to it -- or go to the
gym for an hour a day, three days a week. Sticking to your
regimen is, in many cases, just a question of convincing
yourself that you're forming a new habit.
But eating right? The information out there is too
contradictory and frustrating, and seems to deny you most of
the foods you like. Where to turn for guidance?
itself as a site aimed at achieving a healthy lifestyle, and
its information backs up the claim. When you're ready to
start eating better and taking better care of yourself, use
their body mass index chart to find out your status and how
far you have to go to reach your goal.
You can calculate your hip-to-waist ratio to find out where
your body is carrying most of its weight, which helps you
determine if you fall into a number of health-risk
categories. Based on your height, weight, gender and activity
level, you also can figure how many calories you should be
eating daily to lose, gain or maintain your current weight.
Once you know how many calories you need, the site has a list
of foods and drinks you can consume for breakfast, lunch,
dinner and snacks; recipes are included. Use the "update"
feature to select how many portions you should have of each
item each day; when you're done, the site will automatically
tally up your daily calorie consumption.
French fries are never on the menu at Cyberdiet, nor is
chocolate heavily featured. Guess that tells you something
else you already knew.
Magazine site offers holistic choices
Although there are many choices on the Cyberdiet menu,
eventually you're bound to get bored. To find new eating
inspiration, check out Delicious! magazine's Web
site, updated monthly.
The magazine's primary focus is living holistically. Thus,
you will find stories such as June's "Travel Smart" article
on using herbs and natural unguents to keep your skin from
drying out during air travel. But the name of the magazine
is Delicious!, after all, and if they want you to live a
healthy life, their recipes should mirror their name.
Vegetarian is the key word to remember in Delicious! recipes.
For June, they feature a grilling extravaganza, with an
emphasis on bean curd products. Archives for the past three
years are available on the site. And, of course, there is a
nutritional breakdown for every recipe.
Let your heart be your guide
"Wait a minute," I can hear you exclaim. "You want me to
cook?" Pardon me for jumping ahead. If you're in the
beginners' group, and barely know what constitutes a balanced
meal, it's time to visit the American Heart Association site for a lesson.
The so-called four basic food groups have fallen out of favor
among nutritionists, most of whom now recommend you follow
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid to
satisfy your daily nutritional needs.
This is harder than the old system; it's harder to remember
the ins and outs of the pyramid, but nutritionists think it's
a more accurate guideline for eating well.
The American Heart Association is one of the many groups that
has adapted the pyramid for its own purposes.
The association really couldn't care less whether last year's
swimsuit fits you properly; its goal is to keep you from
getting a heart attack (a considerably less pleasant
experience than shopping for new beach gear). To learn about
the food pyramid and find out how it applies to your
grocery-shopping habits, check out their "Home,
Health & Family" guide on their Web site.
Association cookbooks also are available for sale on the
site. A sample recipe from each book is included, as are
unrelated recipes-of-the-month. May's recipe was "Normandy
Pork with Calvados Cream Sauce" which, remarkably, had only 6
grams of fat per serving. The June recipe, "German Bundled
Trout and Vegetables," has 10 grams of fat per serving.
(It's fish and vegetables wrapped in foil, then baked. You
can do that. Trust me).
Check out the Food section in CNN Plus
Still not convinced that you can motivate yourself? If
calorie counts are the only thing you can relate to, go
pronto to the Food area of the new CNN Plus site.
It will tell you everything you want to know about the food
you eat -- from quick takes on food additives -- "What is
carrageenan and what does it do for me?" to the basics of
vitamins and minerals -- "How much salt am I allowed to have
every day?" A comprehensive nutritional chart is available,
with numbers from the USDA's Nutrient Data Lab. It ranges
from booze to beef (as well as healthier choices). Calories,
fat, fiber, cholesterol, protein and iron are in the
While this information is constant, the site also provides
meal suggestions. You can check out the recipes under the
"Healthy" category on the page, or search the Cooking Light
recipe archive -- type in the ingredients you have on hand in
the Cooking Light search engine, and it will pull up recipes
with those ingredients.
With all these tasty alternatives available, won't you please
put down that cheeseburger? You can do better than that.
The Web makes it easy.
See previous site seer reviews.
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
Some newsgroups may not be supported by your service provider.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.