Popcorn and Resolutions
As we look forward to a new year, we often dream big about the changes we are going to make in an effort to become healthier. Too often, these big dreams become just that: dreams, and little more. In December, the Medical Trust is inviting you to look at the ways in which small changes can have big effects. For instance, losing one third of a pound per week would leave most people frustrated. However, if you stayed on this course for an entire year you would be 17 pounds lighter next year!
Here is one example of a seemingly innocent behavior that can have big consequences: movie theater popcorn. According to WebMD, movie theater popcorn contains as much as 1200 calories, 60 grams of saturated fat, and 1500 mg of sodium! A large soda (you'll need to wash down that popcorn) can add 500 calories and 33 teaspoons of sugar. WebMD suggests you make a healthier choice: share a small, unbuttered serving of popcorn with a friend and ask the theater to pop you a batch without salt and wash it down with water. Your body will thank you for reducing the shock value of that 'snack'. Don't forget: since you've been sitting for a few hours in the movie, you'll want to take a walk after the movie!
It is not necessarily the big changes made over a short period of time, but instead the small changes implemented over the rest of our lives that have the biggest impact. What are the seemingly harmless choices like movie theater popcorn that sabotage your best efforts? What small changes are you making to get healthier this year? For more ideas about small changes that can have a big impact, visit SmallStep.gov.
Matthew Ellis serves as executive director of National Episcopal Health Ministries (NEHM).