Welcome to our program dietitian, Vicki Bovee, and her husband Bill’s healthy lifestyle challenge. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.


phone 1Challenge #7 — Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone.
We spend too much time sitting and it is killing us. Our bodies are meant to move, not to be parked on our bums for hours and hours every day. We sit in our car, we sit in front our computers, and we sit to watch TV. Too much sitting is linked to an early death. Even if you exercise regularly, you still shorten your lifespan if most of your waking hours are sedentary.

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy you expend for everything that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like activities. You can burn more calories during the day by changing the way you do your daily activities. Standing up burns more calories than sitting down so any activity you can do standing will increase your NEAT as opposed to sitting. Granted, NEAT most likely will not cause weight loss but it can help prevent weight gain. A bonus is that you will be strengthening your leg muscles by getting up out of your chair.

And so this week we decided to stand while talking on the phone because this is one activity we can easily do standing up. This challenge will be more difficult for Bill than me because he spends a lot more time on the phone than I do. We have cell phones and “walk about phones” as Bill has always called cordless phones. At work my phone cord is long enough to allow me to stand or I can use the speaker. We have no excuses.

Vicki’s observations:
• At work, every time my phone rang I jumped up to attention.
• At home I had to get up to answer the phone. I don’t keep the cordless phone handy and I don’t carry my cell phone on my body around the house.
• Although I started my conversations on the phone, there were several times I realized I sat down without even thinking about it. And when I realized it I stood up.
• I had to sit down to use my computer or take notes while on the phone.
• Hmmmm. I have a laptop in the kitchen at a desk space. If I move it to the counter I can use it standing up and increase my NEAT.

Bill’s observations:
• I had to hang up a sign, like the sideways challenge, on my monitor to remind myself to get up.
• My tendency was to look for a place to sit after I was on the phone for a while. There are too many places in the house to sit so I went into the backyard and walked around.
• I ended up sitting during long conference calls.
• I cut some of my calls shorter than usual because I was tired of standing.
• I also had to sit down to use the computer or write.

Your challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, is to stand and walk (if possible) while talking on the phone to burn more calories. If you can’t do it at work, do it at home. And if you’re in your car, delay your conversation (if possible) until you can stand.
Next week’s challenge will have you looking at the food you are eating.
Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?
The road to success is always under construction. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge-week-one/
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-two/
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-three/
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-four/
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-weekly-challenge-week-five/
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-6/

Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian with Western Bariatric Institute (WBI) with over 25 years experience in weight management and 12 years in bariatric nutrition. Vicki works with both weight loss surgery patients and nonsurgical weight loss patients. Vicki received her master’s degree in nutrition from Montana State University and her Bachelor of Science degree in home economics from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.