Thursday, December 15, 2016

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The challenge: Hard-to-resist homemade holiday treats.

Stay-healthy strategy: If decadent holiday treats are your downfall, make room in your diet to eat them. Allow yourself one small treat per day—but plan for it by eliminating something else and be sure to account for the calories. If it’s too tempting to keep treats in your house, say "no thanks" next time or, if you do give in, share some with a friend.

The challenge: A decadent buffet spread at your friend’s annual holiday party.

Stay-healthy strategy: Don’t graze. With all the nuts, crackers and cheese, veggies and dip, mindless picking can easily add up to a meal’s worth—or more—of calories. Instead, plan to eat one of your three daily meals at the party. And when you do, inspect the offerings first before loading up your plate. Make your first trip for vegetables and salad (bring a veggie tray to share if menu choices are in doubt).

The challenge: You’re eating out a ton.

Stay-healthy strategy: Make a plan. If you don’t think about dinner until, well, dinnertime, you’re likely to end up eating out or bringing takeout home. The problem with that: the meals you get out are typically packed with more calories, carbs and fat than those you’d make at home. So keep healthy staples on hand to whip up a quick dinner: canned beans and tuna, whole-wheat pasta and couscous, frozen veggies and shrimp are all good choices. Or set up meals to be ready when you get home. To that end, two words: Slow. Cooker.

The challenge: You’re reaching for sugary caffeinated drinks when you need a boost.

Stay-healthy strategy: Skip special coffee drinks that may pack several hundred calories (if you order the generous size and opt for whipped cream), and instead go for smarter sips. Try swapping a fully loaded mocha for a skim latte (about 130 calories for 16 ounces), preferably without sugar or syrup. Feel good knowing that you’re getting in a full serving of calcium-rich dairy.

The challenge: Forgotten calories.

Stay-healthy strategy: Write down everything you eat—including the chocolate you swiped from the staff kitchen after lunch. Keeping a food diary may seem like a lot of effort, but it empowers you to budget in small treats; for instance, perhaps you eat one holiday cookie instead of that roll with your salad at lunch.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Portion Control and Diet: 10 Easy Tips for Smaller Servings

Portion Control and Diet: 10 Easy Tips for Smaller Servings

1. Measure accurately. For foods and beverages, use gadgets like a measuring cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, or food scale.

2. Learn how to estimate serving sizes. “‘Ballpark’ food portion sizes by estimating serving sizes in comparison to known objects,” . For example, three ounces of cooked meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards.” Other easy measurements to eyeball include:

½ cup is the size of an ice cream scoop
1 cup is the size of a tennis ball
1 ounce of cheese is the size of a domino

3. Use portion control dishware. Pick out smaller plates, bowls, cups, and glassware in your kitchen and measure what they hold. You might find that a bowl you thought held 8 ounces of soup actually holds 16, meaning you’ve been eating twice what you planned.

4. Dish out your servings separately. Serve food from the stove onto plates rather than family-style at the table, which encourages seconds.

5. Make your own single-serving packs. Re-portion bulk quantities of foods such as pasta, rice, and cereal into individual portions in ziplock bags so that when you’re in the mood for some food you’ll instantly see the number of portions you’re preparing.

6. Add the milk before the coffee. When possible, put your (fat-free) milk into the cup before adding the hot beverage to better gauge the amount used.

7. Measure oil carefully. This is especially important because oil (even the healthful kinds like olive and safflower) have so many calories; don’t pour it directly into your cooking pan or over food.
Put the oil in a spray bottle.

8. Control portions when eating out. Eat half or share the meal with a friend. If eating a salad, ask for dressing on the side. Dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad.

9. Add vegetables. Eat a cup of low-calorie vegetable soup prior to eating a meal, or add vegetables to casseroles and sandwiches to add volume without a lot of calories.

10. Listen to your hunger cues. Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied or comfortably full. “Try to gauge when you are 80 percent full and stop there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ten Tips For Healthy Holiday Eating

Ten Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.

Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating.

Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.

Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.

Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy. Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar.

If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie!

Take the focus off food. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food.

Gravy — Refrigerate the gravy to harden fat. Skim the fat off. This will save a whopping 56 gm of fat per cup.
Dressing — Use a little less bread and add more onions, garlic, celery, and vegetables. Add fruits such as cranberries or apples. Moisten or flavor with low fat low sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.
Turkey – Enjoy delicious, roasted turkey breast without the skin and save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.
Green Bean Casserole — Cook fresh green beans with chucks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings.
Mashed Potato — Use skim milk, chicken broth, garlic or garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.

Desserts — Make a crustless pumpkin pie. Substitute two egg whites for each whole egg in baked recipes. Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk in cheesecakes and cream pies. Top cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of fattening frosting
Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Incorporate some of these simple-cooking tips in traditional holiday recipes to make them healthier.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Spectrum Diet

The Spectrum Diet
The Spectrum diet is the latest lifestyle and weight-loss plan created by Dean Ornish, MD, the pioneer researcher who showed that a low-fat, vegetarian diet can reverse heart disease in his past best-seller, Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease.

The Spectrum diet has three components: nutrition, stress management, and exercise. The Spectrum is not a diet. It’s really about lowering your risk for diseases by making better food and lifestyle choices. 

In the Spectrum diet, foods are sorted into five groups:

Group 1 is the healthiest. Foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and non-fat dairy products.

Group 2 is also primarily plant-based foods, but they have slightly more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, or healthy, fat such as avocados, seeds, nuts, and canola oil.

Group 3 includes some seafood, such as salmon and anchovies, and reduced-fat dairy.

Group 4 foods have higher fat and animal protein and fewer nutrients. These foods include poultry, whole milk and dairy products, mayonnaise, cakes, cookies, and pastries.

Group 5 is the least healthy category and includes foods that are highest in unhealthy fats such as saturated fat and trans fatty acids. The foods include hot dogs, fried food, butter, and red meat.

If you consume a lot of foods from group 5 and very few from group 1, you’ll want to make changes in what you eat. “People need to move toward group 1 as best as they can,” says Dorfman.
But the Spectrum diet is not all or nothing, says Gidus: “Ornish says to eat from groups 1 and 2 and try to eat only once in a while from groups 4 and 5.”

As an example of healthful eating, breakfast might be quinoa (a whole grain) and dried fruits. For lunch, you can start with a base of Asian noodle salad with onions, peppers, and carrots, and possibly add chicken or shrimp. A dinner recipe might be zucchini squash stuffed with soy burger, onions, and tomatoes. The Spectrum diet plan has recipes created by chef Art Smith with variations that include ingredients from the different Ornish food groups, allowing you to decide when you want to add meat to a meal for instance.

The Spectrum diet offers good nutrition. People will eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and less animal protein. It also gives you exercise guidelines.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Joy Bauer's Your Inner Skinny Diet

Joy Bauer's Your Inner Skinny Diet:

Joy Bauer offers four steps for successful weight loss in her diet book Your Inner Skinny. Her program emphasizes healthy eating and exercise and includes tips for preparing the food you will need to succeed.
People who suspect they have a skinny person (or at least a fit and trim person) hidden inside can turn to dietitian Joy Bauer’s diet and exercise plan and book, Your Inner Skinny, to learn how to make the changes that lead to weight loss and let the smaller you out.

Her book and program divides dieting into four steps. The four basic steps of the Joy Bauer program are:
Release (Stage 1). This is an intense week to eliminate all “bad” food habits from your life.
Relearn (Stage 2). During this time, you will start to practice new diet habits.
Reshape (Stage 3). This period lasts until you are satisfied with your weight-loss results. This is when you make a regular habit out of the new healthy diet and lifestyle choices emphasized by Bauer.
Reveal (Stage 4). At this point you can enjoy your new weight while continuing to practice your new habits.

The book contains many strategies for weight loss, including:

Exercise — 30 to 60 minutes daily,
Identifying and avoiding trigger foods
Turning off the TV (or at least not eating in front of it)
Stocking up on healthy snacks and foods
Planning and shopping for healthy meals in advance
Ending your loyalty to certain types of foods or certain ways of eating, if those loyalties continue unhealthy habits.

On this diet you will be eating three meals a day and one afternoon snack. Bauer recommends eating within 90 minutes of waking up in the morning and not eating after 9 p.m. The following foods are emphasized:
Good carbohydrates. These come from foods that are high in fiber, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
Healthy fats. In moderation, you can have olive oil, canola oil, nuts, flax, walnuts, and avocados.
Lean protein. Bauer recommends lean proteins, eggs, fish, chicken, soy, beans, lentils, and low- or non-fat dairy.
Unlimited snacks. For those who want to snack between meals, Bauer provides a long list of “unlimited” snack foods (non-starchy vegetables) and beverages (zero-calorie drinks and coffee with milk). As you progress toward your weight-loss goal, more options for healthy snacks are given.

The diet provides lots of variety. Bauer recommends filling up with her vegetable-rich salad or vegetable soup before meals, especially early on in the diet. After one of these appetizers, dinner might feature poached salmon and steamed broccoli.

The diet has not been tested clinically, but weight loss is likely for most people who stick to the plan.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What is a Healthy Diet?

What is a Healthy Balanced Diet?
A healthy diet doesn't mean surviving solely on bird seed, rabbit food and carrot juice! The new approach to eating healthily means we’re positively encouraged to eat a wide range of foods, including some of our favorites – it’s just a question of making sure we get the balance right. As no single food provides all the calories and nutrients we need to stay healthy, it’s important to eat a variety of foods to make a balanced diet. Meanwhile, most nutrition experts also agree that mealtimes should be a pleasure rather than a penance. This means it’s fine to eat small amounts of our favorite foods from time to time.

A balanced diet means eating plenty of different foods from four main groups of foods and limiting the amount we eat from a smaller fifth group. Ultimately, it’s as simple as eating more fruit, veg, starchy, fiber-rich foods and fresh products, and fewer fatty, sugary, salty and processed foods.

Bread, Other Cereals and Potatoes:
Eat these foods at each meal. They also make good snacks.
Foods in this group include bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes, rice, pasta, noodles, yams, oats and grains. Go for high-fiber varieties , such as whole grain cereals, whole grainl bread and brown rice. These foods provide carbs, fiber, B vitamins and small amounts of calcium and iron. They should fill roughly a third of your plate at mealtimes.

Typical serving sizes:
2 slices bread in a sandwich or with a meal, a tennis ball sized serving of pasta, potato, rice, noodles or couscous, a handful of breakfast cereal
Fruit and Vegetables:
Eat five different servings every day.
Foods in this group include all fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned and dried products, and unsweetened fruit juice. Choose canned fruit in juice rather than syrup and go for vegetables canned in water without added salt or sugar. These foods provide fiber and a range of vitamins and minerals. They should fill roughly a third of your plate at mealtimes.

Typical serving sizes:
a piece of fruit - apple, banana, pear, 2 small fruits - plums, apricots,
a bowl of fruit salad, canned or stewed fruit, a small glass of unsweetened fruit juice, a cereal bowl of salad, 3tbsp vegetables

Milk and Dairy Foods:
Eat two or three servings a day.
Foods in this group include milk, cheese, and yogurt . Choose low-fat varieties where available such as semi-skimmed milk, reduced-fat cheese and fat-free yogurt. These foods contain protein, calcium and a range of vitamins and minerals. They should fill no more than a sixth of your plate at mealtimes.

Meat, Fish and Alternatives:
Eat two servings a day.
Foods in this group include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds. Choose low-fat varieties, such as extra-lean minced beef and skinless chicken and don’t add extra fat or salt. These foods provide protein and a range of vitamins and minerals, especially iron. They should fill no more than a sixth of your plate at mealtimes.

Typical serving sizes:
a piece of meat, chicken or fish the size of a deck of cards, 1-2 eggs, 3 big tablespoons of beans, small handful of nuts or seeds

Fatty and Sugary Foods:
Eat only small amounts of these foods.
Foods in this group include oils, spreading fats, cream, mayonnaise, oily salad dressings, cakes, biscuits, puddings, crisps, savory snacks, sugar, preserves, confectionery and sugary soft drinks. These foods contain fat, sugar and salt and should only be eaten occasionally.

Typical serving sizes:
a small packet of sweets or a small bar of chocolate, a small slice of cake, a couple of small biscuits, 1 level tbsp mayo, salad dressing or olive oil

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Flavor Point Diet

The Flavor Point Diet
Is based on the neuroscience of appetite and teaches dieters to reduce hunger by organizing meals based on flavors. Learn the pros and cons of the Flavor Point Diet and whether it could help you lose weight. You organize your eating according to the flavors of food, while still eating a balanced diet.
When a flavor is tasted repeatedly throughout the day, the brain’s appetite center is more quickly satisfied, so the body senses satiety more quickly and we eat fewer calories. 

The Flavor Point Diet: The Plan

The diet is organized into three phases.
Phase one involves planning your meals around one particular flavor, called flavor themes. For instance, all of the meals for the first day of the diet emphasize the flavor of raisins and currants. Breakfast consists of whole-grain cereal with raisins; lunch is a currant-lentil spinach salad. On day two, or pineapple day, there is a pineapple smoothie for breakfast, a pineapple-walnut chicken salad for lunch, and pineapple shrimp for dinner.

“Phase two of the meal plan includes a greater variety of daily flavors whereby only meals, not entire days, are flavor-themed,” says Gazzaniga-Moloo, a dietician and a spokesperson for the
American Dietetic Association.

Phase three, which is intended to be the phase you can continue indefinitely, allows you to choose your own meals based on the principles you have learned in phases one and two.

Flavor Point Diet: Sample Menu
As an example, here is “Spinach Day” from the third week:
Breakfast: Spinach and feta cheese omelet with whole-grain toast
Snack: Crackers or baby carrots with spinach-yogurt dip
Lunch: Turkey and spinach salad
Dinner: Pasta with spinach marinara sauce, salad, and mixed berries.

The flavor themes throughout the book build on an abundance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, and poultry, and encourage limiting fat and opting for healthier snacks.
The diet emphasizes weight management through calorie reduction. All meal plans are 1,000 to 1,500 calories. “Even cheat day [which involves flavors such as chocolate] is calorie-controlled,” says Clark.

The plan is well laid out. Gazzaniga-Moloo says the book is easy to understand. There are over 100 recipes. According to the book, it is possible to lose up to 16 pounds in six weeks.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

P.I.N.K. Method Diet

P.I.N.K. Method Diet

The Promise

Like many other diet plans, you go through different phases on the P.I.N.K. method. In the first phase, which lasts 3 to 14 days, you’ll be eating very few calories: about 1,000 a day, according to the sample menus.

In the second phase, protein, vegetables, and fruit are on the menu, and you’ll start the plan’s DVD workouts.

Once you're near your goal weight, it’s time for the “7-Day Shred” phase, which curbs carbs and fats in favor of a vegetable soup to help you drop those last few pounds.

When you reach your goal weight, you’ll start the maintenance phase, which calls for eating 1,400 to 1,800 calories per day.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't:

Fresh vegetables and fruits; “light” proteins such as turkey, chicken, lentils, black beans, and salmon; and high-fiber carbs form the core of the menus; though in Phase 1, your carbs are mostly limited to vegetables.

You can have one to two servings of alcohol a week after the first 9 weeks. Processed foods and refined sugars are not on the menu, so forget cookies and packaged meals.

You can have moderate amounts of caffeine.

You’ll exercise hard on this plan, and the first phase calls for eating very few calories per day.

Limitations: If you’re used to eating a lot of frozen foods, packaged foods, or fast food, you may find this diet very challenging.

Cooking and shopping: Plan to buy a lot of vegetables and fruits, and to cook most lunches and dinners from scratch. The menus call for some special ingredients, such as whey protein, that you may not have on hand.

Exercise: Required. Intense exercise is a key component of this plan. The kit comes with three exercise DVDs featuring strength, cardio, and flexibility workouts of increasing difficulty. They may not be suitable for beginners.
There isn’t any research specifically on the P.I.N.K. diet, but the low-calorie diet mixed with vigorous exercise will certainly drop the pounds. Overall, the diet includes foods that are not only low in calories but also rich in nutrients, and it limits bad stuff that puts on the pounds. The key is whether you can stick with the very low calories initially and the intense exercise that comes later in the program.

Losing weight helps control diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even heart disease. So the P.I.N.K. diet could improve all these conditions. Weight loss may even lessen your need for medicine. But the intensity of the program may not make it ideal for people living with certain health problems.

This is an intense program, so check with your doctor first to make sure it’s right for you. This is especially important for people with diabetes, because the extreme changes in your diet and exercise could cause dangerously low blood sugar. Your doctor may need to adjust your medicines.

Some individuals with heart disease may have a tough time with the level of exercise in this program.

The Final Word:

The strength of the P.I.N.K. program lies in a healthy diet and exercise. The focus on vegetables as a go-to carb source is one of its strongest features.

The very low calories at the beginning are a bit concerning, because it can be tough to get all the nutrients you need in less than 1,200 calories a day. It’s unlikely to have a negative impact on your health since that phase lasts no more than a couple of weeks. But you’ll have to dig deep to get through it.

If you don’t exercise regularly, you may have to take it slow at first and work your way up toward the higher levels of exercise. If you have any health issues, get your doctor’s OK before jumping in.

This program is ideal for people looking to lose weight more quickly, but the intensity of the P.I.N.K Method will make it hard to stick with for some. If you’re looking to more slowly ease your way into a healthy lifestyle, this approach may not work well for you. You’ll also need to be committed to eating a very healthy diet and preparing meals rich in fruits and vegetables at home. You won’t be able to meet the requirements of the program if you eat out much or like to splurge.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Shape-Up Meal Plan

The Summer Shape-Up Meal Plan

Eat Fresh (and Light!)
This plan from Jackie Newgent, RD, author of Big Green Cookbook, was created specifically for summer when farmers' markets offer an endless variety of veggies and fruits and fussy meal prep is the last thing anybody wants to be doing. The combo of fresh and fast fare is so tasty you'll be tempted to keep eating this way long after you've retired your swimsuit for the season.
During the first week's 1,200-calorie jumpstart, choose a breakfast, an a.m. snack, a lunch, and a dinner for each day. After the first week, add an extra snack in the afternoon or evening.

Breakfast: Yogurt or Cereal
(300 calories each)
Fruit Yogurt + Nutrition Bar
• Enjoy a 6-oz fruity nonfat Greek yogurt and a Kind Mini Almond Cashew + Flax (Omega-3) bar, and a small fresh peach.
Cereal with Fruit
• Combine 200 calories' worth of whole-grain cereal made with flax or other seeds, such as 1 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch!, with 3/4 cup plain light soy or fat-free milk and 1/2 cup assorted fresh berries.
Herbed Eggs
• Cook 1 egg plus 2 egg whites, omelet style, in 1 tsp olive oil. Top with 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs like basil, parsley, and tarragon, and a pinch of sea salt. Serve with 1/4 cantaloupe, sliced, plus 1 piece whole-grain toast spread with 1/2-oz goat cheese.
Breakfast Sandwich
• Have a wrap, such as Starbucks Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap or Cosi Roasted Veggie and Egg White Wrap.
Summer Waffles
• Top 2 whole-grain blueberry waffles, such as Van's Organics, with 1 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup and 1 fresh nectarine, sliced.

(300 calories each)
Turkey Arugula Sandwich
• Stuff a 2-oz whole-grain baguette portion with 1 TBSP creamy horseradish sauce, 1 1/2 oz smoked turkey, and 1 1/2 cups baby arugula. Enjoy with 1 large sliced tomato sprinkled with sea salt and balsamic vinegar.
Sushi to go
• Order 1 (6-piece) vegetarian sushi roll, such as avocado with brown rice. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger to taste, plus 3/4 cup steamed edamame.
Confetti Mexican Salad
• Toss together 2 cups finely chopped romaine, 1 cup finely chopped red cabbage, 1/2 cup each diced yellow squash and quartered grape tomatoes, 1/3 cup finely diced or shredded fennel bulb or carrot, 1/4 cup each canned white and black beans, drained, 1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tsp olive oil, juice of 1/2 lime, and sea salt to taste. Serve with 8 blue corn tortilla chips and 1/4 cup salsa.
Serrano Chicken Caesar
• Toss 3 cups romaine lettuce with 2 TBSP low-cal Caesar dressing, 3 1/2 oz pre-grilled chicken breast strips, 1 minced serrano pepper, and 2 tsp sunflower seeds. Serve with 15 grapes or 1/8 honeydew melon.

(450 calories each)
Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
• Pan-cook or panini-grill 2 thin (2-oz) lean turkey burgers. Arrange in alternating layers with 2 large pieces roasted red bell pepper, 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, and 12 large basil leaves. Top with slices from 1/4 avocado. Serve on a bed of 1/2 cup steamed red quinoa, with lemon wedges.
Veggie to go
• Select a fast casual restaurant vegetarian meal (about 450 calories), such as Panera Bread Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich (on rye, no feta). Or go a la carte at Panera: low-fat garden vegetable with pesto soup, Caesar salad (skip the croutons), and an apple.
Shrimp Salad & Corn
• Toss 2 cups salad greens with 10 large grilled shrimp, 1 cup chopped fresh or grilled seasonal veggies, such as broccoli, zucchini, carrots, or sweet onion, and 2 TBSP vinaigrette of choice. Enjoy with 1 ear grilled corn with 1/2 tsp butter and 2 tsp grated Romano cheese, plus a 1 1/2-oz whole-grain roll with 1/2 tsp butter.
Thai Salmon & Soba
• Brush 5 oz wild Alaskan salmon with 1 tsp sesame oil and grill or pan-grill. Serve with 8 grilled asparagus spears and 1 1/2 cups soba (buckwheat) noodles tossed with 1 1/2 TBSP Thai peanut sauce and garnished with 2 TBSP each minced fresh scallions and red cabbage.

(150 calories each)
• 3/4 cup fresh raspberries and 1 (3/4-oz) piece of dark chocolate
• 1 small (6-inch) or 1/2 large banana cut into 10 slices crosswise and paired with 1/2 tsp chocolate-hazelnut spread between each pair, then freeze it.
• 1 scoop (1/2 cup) fat-free frozen yogurt in a sugar cone
• 2 cups sliced strawberries tossed with 1 1/2 tsp honey or agave nectar and 1 tsp white balsamic or Champagne vinegar
• 1 cup snow peas with 1/4 cup hummus
• Smoothie of choice (up to 150 calories)
• 15 roasted pistachios with 1 oz aged goat cheese or Gouda

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Protein Power Diet

The Protein Power diet:

The Protein Power diet was first introduced in 1996 by Michael Eades, MD, and Mary Eades, MD, both family practice doctors. Their book, Protein Power, continues to be popular.

"The Protein Power diet is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. This diet is based on about 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates and lots of lean proteins.

How Does the Protein Power Diet Work?
The theory behind the Protein Power diet is based on lowering your body's insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone in your body that regulates carbohydrate metabolism, or breakdown. High insulin levels are not good. Some effects of high insulin levels include:

Conversion of dietary fat into body fat
Increased cholesterol levels
Increased fluid retention by your kidneys

The theory is that if you keep your carbohydrate intake low and rely on protein and some fats in your diet, your insulin level will be lower. The Protein Power diet authors say that lower insulin and fewer carbohydrates will lead to weight loss.

The Protein Power Diet: Sample Menu

Foods that are encouraged in the Protein Power diet include beef, pork, wild game, and eggs.
Restricted foods include cereals, bread, pasta, refined sugars, and large portions of fruit. Here is a sample menu that has about 1,600 calories, of which 25 percent come from protein, 50 percent from fat, and only 25 percent from carbohydrates:
Breakfast: a poached egg, toast with butter and a one-ounce breakfast sausage, and coffee or tea
Lunch: three ounces of tuna and one-half of a boiled egg, seasoned with mustard and low-fat mayonnaise, a limited amount of pita bread, lettuce, tomato, bean sprouts, pickles, olives, green onion, and sunflower seeds
Dinner: four ounces of grilled salmon with one cup of zucchini and one-half tablespoon of butter, a mixed green salad with an oil and vinegar dressing, and four ounces of white wine
Snacks: typical snacks include two ounces of Gouda cheese and a large orange

The Protein Power Diet: Pros and Cons

"In addition to weight loss and improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, the benefits of high- protein, low-carbohydrate diets include less hunger, which leads to fewer calories," says dietitian Bonnie J. Brehm, PhD, professor in the college of nursing at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. “This diet also helps preserve lean body mass — dieters retain muscle mass while losing fat." On the negative side, says Brehm, "restriction of carbohydrates may lead to inadequate intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals due to decreased intake of grain, fruit, vegetable, and dairy groups. Also, high intake of protein may lead to stress on the kidneys."

Some other concerns about the Protein Power diet include:
Insufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium could contribute to osteoporosis.
Allowing saturated fats in this diet could contribute to heart disease.
Elimination of carbohydrates such as fruits, sweets, and baked goods could make the diet hard for many people to follow.

The Protein Power Diet: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects

Some good, short-term benefits exist with this diet. It's not too extreme. Eating lean protein, allowing some fat, and eliminating refined sugars are all good strategies.
“But for the long term, I'm not sure you would want to give up the benefits of healthy quantities of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables," says Kimball.
Says Brehm: "For the long-term, a diet moderately increased in protein and modestly restricted in carbohydrate and fat, particularly saturated fat, will have a beneficial outcome."

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Mind Diet

The MIND Diet

The aim:
Preventing Alzheimer’s disease with brain-healthy foods.

The claim:
You may lower your risk of mental decline with this new hybrid of two balanced, heart-healthy diets – even without rigidly sticking to it – early research suggests.

The theory:
The MIND diet takes two proven diets ­­– DASH and Mediterranean – and zeroes in on the foods in each that specifically affect brain health.

The emphasis is on eating from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables in particular, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. Meanwhile, avoid foods from the five unhealthy groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheeses, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

The MIND diet, which stands for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay,” was developed by Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center, through a study funded by the National Institute on Aging and published online February 2015. Morris’ team followed the food intake of 923 Chicago-area seniors. Over 4.5 years, 144 participants developed Alzheimer’s disease. The longer people had followed the MIND diet patterns, the less risk they appeared to have. Even people who made “modest” changes to their diets – who wouldn’t have fit the criteria for DASH or Mediterranean – had less risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The study found the diet lowered Alzheimer’s risk by about 35 percent for people who followed it moderately well and up to 53 percent for those who adhered to it rigorously.

Two previous, large U.S. studies have found significant slower cognitive decline in people who ate at least two servings of vegetables per day, with the strongest effect seen with at least six weekly servings of leafy green vegetables. Several animal studies show that eating a variety of berries is tied to better memory performance. Studies suggest eating a single fish meal a week is related to Alzheimer’s prevention.

Morris emphasizes that findings on the diet are not definitive, with more long-term, randomized comparison studies needed. Her team’s second paper on the MIND diet has found the MIND diet superior to the DASH and Mediterranean diets in preventing cognitive decline. Every day, you eat at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and another vegetable, along with drinking a glass of wine. (While a little alcohol consumption seems to be better for the brain than none at all, you could skip the wine since it’s not necessary to follow the guidelines to the letter to benefit.) On most days you snack on nuts, and every other day you eat half a cup of beans. At least twice a week you have poultry and a half-cup serving of berries (blueberries are best), and you dine on fish at least weekly. Olive oil is what you primarily use at home.

You limit unhealthy foods: fewer than four servings of red meats a per week; fewer than five weekly servings of sweets or pastries of any kind; less than 1 tablespoon of butter a day; and less than a serving a week of cheese, fried or fast food. There’s no daily calorie limit or specification – but keeping a healthy weight is important, Morris says.

How much does it cost?
Berries, fresh vegetables and higher-quality olive oil are often pricier than processed, fatty, sugary foods.

Will you lose weight?
Possibly. While the MIND study was not geared toward weight loss, the brain-unhealthy foods frowned on in MIND – such as whole dairy products, pastries, sweets and fried foods – are also tied to weight gain. By avoiding these foods, you might take off pounds while staving off dementia.
With broad food group recommendations, and “permission” to stick to guidelines loosely, the MIND diet should be easy to follow.

Alcohol. Enjoy a daily glass of wine for women, or two for men, but not more.
Receiving a 4.0 score from panelists, the MIND diet reached third place for heathiest diets in a tie with its Mediterranean parent diet.

What is the role of exercise?
Exercise is not addressed in the MIND diet to date. However, physical activity may help protect the brain in people at higher risk for Alzheimer’s, suggest previous studies.
Government guidelines encourage adults to get at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity activity (like brisk walking) each week, along with a couple days of muscle-strengthening activities.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Cambridge Diet

Cambridge diet

The Cambridge Weight Plans are based around buying and eating a range of meal-replacement products with the promise of rapid weight loss. There are six flexible diet plans ranging from 415 calories to 1,500 calories or more a day, depending on your weight loss goal. There is also a long-term weight management program. The bars, soups, food mixed with water and shakes can be used as your sole source of nutrition or together with low-calorie regular meals. While on the program, you receive advice and support on healthy eating and exercise from a Cambridge adviser.

Many people on very low calorie diets find the weight loss to be sudden and quite dramatic. The meal replacements are all nutritionally balanced, so you're likely to be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need, albeit not from real food.

Initial side effects can include bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation from cutting down on carbs and fiber. The hardest part of the plan is sticking to it. Giving up normal meals and swapping them for a snack bar or a shake can be boring and feel socially isolating. This isn't a plan you can stick to in the long term.

You need to like the meal replacement products to stay with the plan. Rapid weight loss can be motivating, but it is unsustainable. A very low calorie diet that involves eating 1,000 calories a day or fewer should not be followed for more than 12 continuous weeks. If you are eating fewer than 600 calories a day, you should have medical supervision.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Instinct Diet

The Instinct Diet

The Promise
Your brain already holds the tools you need to lose weight and keep it off. At least, that's the theory behind the Instinct Diet. You learn how your brain responds to eating and how various foods affect the brain. Then you use the information to shed pounds.

The Instinct Diet comes from creator Susan Roberts, PhD, a nutrition professor at Tufts University. She says you don't have to count calories, but you do have to base your eating around protein, certain carbohydrates, and fiber.

On average, people will lose an average of 30 pounds over about 6 months on the Instinct Diet, Roberts says.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't
The diet is divided into stages.
In the first stage, which lasts 2 weeks, you won't be able to eat refined carbohydrates like white bread or drink alcohol.
In the later stages, you can add "free choices" like steak fries (only six at a time) or one glass of alcohol.
The diet is flexible and gives you lots of food choices.

Limitations: Once you finish the first stage, you'll be able to choose from a wide variety of foods, including treats such as chocolate.

Cooking and shopping: You can use the diet's shopping list at any grocery store. The book includes recipes and ideas for meals you can serve up from prepared food from the supermarket.
It can help you lose weight. That's because the diet is based on eating mostly healthy, whole foods that fill you up on fewer calories. The foods also are low on the glycemic index, meaning they won’t raise your blood sugar too much.

The Final Word
The Instinct Diet provides healthy eating advice and helps you understand why eating certain foods can control your appetite.
The downside is that it doesn't give specifics on exercise, and you might feel like you're eating the same foods over and over.
If you’re starting your first diet or don’t like to cook, then the requirements of this plan might be a challenge for you.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The aim:

Optimum mental and physical health, along with disease prevention.
The claim:

Chronic inflammation causes chronic disease. Reducing inflammation prevents age-related disease and promotes overall wellness.

The theory:

Developed by Andrew Weil, the Harvard-educated doctor and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, this diet reflects Weil’s belief that certain foods cause or combat systemic inflammation. Unlike the redness or swelling that occurs when your body fights a chronic or low-grade infection, inflammation can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Stress, environmental toxins, physical activity and diet all play a role in one’s inflammatory state, Weil says. His diet aims to boost physical and mental health, provide a steady supply of energy and reduce the risk of age-related diseases by serving up healthy fats, fiber-rich fruits and veggies, lots of water and limited amounts of animal protein – except when it comes to oily fish.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is based on a daily intake of 2,000 to 3,000 calories, depending on your gender, size, and activity level. About 40 to 50 percent of your calories will come from carbs, 30 percent from fat and 20 to 30 percent from protein. Weil suggests striving for a mix of all three nutrients at each meal.

It’s based on the Mediterranean diet, Weil says, with a few extras such as green tea and dark chocolate. The program calls for a variety of fresh foods, with a heavy emphasis on fruits and vegetables, which Weil says provide phytonutrients that fight cancer and other degenerative diseases. In addition, he recommends routine consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and avoiding fast and fried foods at all costs.

The guidelines get more specific by dietary component. For example, when it comes to carbs, you want the kind that will keep your blood sugar low and stable. Toward that end, opt for less processed foods, filling up on healthy carbs such as whole grains, beans, squashes and berries.
You’ll cut down on saturated fat, which is found in butter, cream and fatty meats, and steer clear of margarine, vegetable shortening and partially hydrogenated oils. Instead, your dietary fat will come from extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation. The plan stresses substantial intake of omega-3s from cold-water fish such as wild salmon, sardines and herring. If you’re not eating oily fish twice a week, Weil recommends a daily fish oil supplement that includes EPA and DHA. Protein sources include fish, yogurt, cheese and beans, especially soybeans.

You’ll aim for a variety of colorful produce, especially berries, tomatoes, orange and yellow fruits, cruciferous veggies and dark leafy greens. Whenever possible, choose organic to avoid pesticides. Weil suggests drinking only purified water to avoid toxins such as chlorine and chloramine. Opt for tea over coffee, particularly the white, green and oolong varieties. He also permits plain dark chocolate (with a minimum cocoa content of 70 percent), which contains antioxidants, and red wine, in moderation, which has been linked to cardiovascular health.

Weil takes a holistic approach to wellness, and exercise is part of his overall regimen. Although it’s not explicitly outlined in this diet, Weil encourages it for physical and mental health. Walking is one of the best exercises, because it boosts bone, organ and immune health, he says, but he also plugs the benefits of yoga, belly dancing and tai chi

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Skinny Bitch Vegan Diet

Skinny Bitch Vegan Diet
The Promise

Drop all animal products, plus a few other things from your diet, and get a great-looking bod and better health. That’s the plan laid out in the best-selling book Skinny Bitch.
Co-authors/modeling industry vets Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin don't offer specifics about how many pounds you'll lose or how long it will take. They simply note that you'll get slim if you adopt their "way of life."

They say that the massive changes you’ll likely need to make with this diet are worth it -- for the sake of your health and waistline, and the well-being of animals.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't
You need to cut all meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. You'll also need to shun sugar, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbs.
Caffeine and alcohol are strongly discouraged. But an occasional cup of coffee or glass of organic sulfite-free red wine is allowed. They also ask you to eat only organic.
Mostly you'll be eating fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. You can eat as much of these as you like. There’s no calorie counting.
The ideal Skinny Bitch breakfast is fruit. Lunch is a salad and/or vegetables. Dinner is something "heavier," such as a fake chicken patty or tofu stir-fry.
Unless you're already a vegetarian, be prepared for a major lifestyle overhaul. Even the authors acknowledge that adapting to their regimen may leave you feeling "deprived, angry, overwhelmed, and frustrated," especially for the first few months.
Exercise: Skinny Bitch recommends carving out about 20 minutes, 5 days a week, for any exercise of your choosing.
There's some wiggle room. For example, while Skinny Bitch recommends a fruit-only breakfast, it also includes a list of acceptable packaged breakfast items.

If you follow the Skinny Bitch plan, you’ll probably lose weight because it’s very low in calories, which may also make it hard to follow long term. You may also fall short in some areas of nutrition.
While most people would benefit from eating a more plant-based diet, cutting out all animal products isn’t necessary.

A vegan diet can be healthy, but some of the suggestions in this book, like waiting until you’re ravenous before eating or fasting to jump-start your weight loss, are not safe and have no evidence to back up their claims.

A well-balanced, calorie-controlled, plant-based diet can be good for heart health, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. But this plan lacks the necessary guidance and includes too much questionable advice to be recommended for any health conditions.
If you're interested in trying a vegan diet, talk to your doctor or dietitian to be sure you're meeting your nutritional and health needs.

The Final Word
If you're looking to clean up your diet with a strict, low-calorie, vegan lifestyle, this book offers a first step, but it also comes with some problematic recommendations.
If you like to eat out, enjoy convenience foods, or eat on a schedule, this diet is not for you.
The straightforward, in-your-face tone of the book is not for the meek or faint of heart.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Fresh Diet
The Promise
Designed by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, The Fresh Diet serves up fine dining with calories in check. You get every meal delivered directly to your door.

Each day, you get three portion-controlled meals, plus side dishes and two snacks. The meals fall within a set calorie range based on your gender and diet goals.

Most women get 1,200 to 1,400 calories a day, while men follow a 1,600- to-1,800-calorie plan. How you adjust your calories will depend on how much weight you want to lose.

What You Can Eat
You get fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains served up in mouth-watering combinations, like persimmon and fig marmalade-stuffed French toast with turkey bacon, or miso halibut with wild rice and cabbage. You can even eat desserts like caramel panna cotta or cappuccino cheesecake.

You have two plan options. If you choose the Premium Plan, you design your own menu. On the less expensive Chef's Plan, your meals are chosen for you.
Drinks aren't part of the program. You can drink as much water and calorie-free drinks as you'd like, but adding sugar-sweetened or alcoholic beverages will raise your daily calorie count.

The Fresh Diet is simple. You order the food online, and it arrives in prepackaged containers ready to heat up in the microwave or oven.

Limitations: Though you have some flexibility in choosing your own meals, options are limited. There's no room for adding foods from your fridge or pantry. The delivery options depend on where you live. In some areas it's daily delivery, but in most it's twice a week. You can enter your ZIP code on the web site to find out.

Cooking and shopping: You won't have to do any, since all of the food you need each day will be delivered right to your door.

Exercise: Recommended.
Cost ranges from $35 to $60 a day. There are 7-, 14-, 21-, and 28-day plans. The longer you stay on the diet, the less you'll pay per day.

Support: An online meal planner will help you choose nutritionally balanced foods that you'll like. The plan also gives you access to a certified dietitian to help you make smarter food choices.The Fresh Diet is based on portion control and low calories, while focusing on healthy, whole foods. Although there is no research on whether this specific plan works, it is likely to help people lose weight.

It's not clear whether a dietitian is calculating the nutrition content of their food. So, if you have a health condition -- like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or high cholesterol -- you would need to ask about the saturated fat, carb counts, and sodium in their meals. Check with your doctor about whether this diet is OK for you.

The Final Word
The benefits of this diet are that it’s tasty, convenient, and takes the guesswork out of meal planning. Plus, the focus on fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables, is good.
The downside is its cost, especially over the long-term.
The diet may work for people who are very busy, can't cook, and can afford the meal service. It's not for you if you love to be in the kitchen and would rather save money by shopping and cooking for yourself.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cheater's Diet

The Promise
You have to cheat on this diet. You eat a Mediterranean-style diet during the week, “cheat” on your diet all weekend long, and you’ll still lose weight, according to The Cheater's Diet by weight-loss doctor Paul Rivas, MD.

Purposely blowing your diet on weekends, Rivas claims, cranks up your metabolism, reversing the metabolic slowdown that happens when you restrict calories. Your furnace stays hot, so that when you eat fewer calories Monday through Friday, your body burns fat. Rivas doesn’t cite research to back up this theory, however.

Weekend “cheating” also strengthens your resolve to eat well the rest of the week, Rivas says (though it seems some people may find it even harder to stick to healthy eating after a weekend off). You can even cheat on exercise, working out only twice a week and doing “lifestyle” exercise, such as cleaning the house, on other days, according to the plan.

What You Can and Can't Eat
Pizza, ice cream, steak, wine, beer, cinnamon buns -- they’re all fair game from Saturday morning to Sunday night. In fact, they’re downright encouraged. Only foods that might trigger overeating are off-limits.

On weekends, you add an extra 10 calories per day for every pound you weigh, which could mean a whopping 1,500 additional calories or more on both days.
On all other days, you fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, one-quarter with lean protein (such as fish, chicken, beans, “and some pork loin thrown in now and then for taste”), and one-quarter with whole grains.

You have at least three servings of fruit per day (not bananas, which contain too much starch) and at least four servings of vegetables.

Low-fat yogurt, peanuts, eggs, and skim milk are specifically endorsed.
Sugar, bread, white rice, potatoes, saturated fats (like butter, cream, marbled meats, and most fried foods), and alcohol are off-limits during the week.
Preparing healthy meals, avoiding potatoes and other foods, and fitting in exercise during the week will take some effort.

Limitations: Many foods are off-limits during the week, as is alcohol.

The Final Word
The Cheater’s Diet is based on healthy foods, at least on the weekdays, and can help you get used to portion control.
Allowing yourself a guilty pleasure once in a while might be enough to stave off boredom and help you keep your diet on track, but letting yourself eat whatever you want on the weekend might not be a habit you want to develop.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Looking to Shed Pounds in the New Year

Looking to shed pounds in the New Year? Perhaps you’ve dieted and lost weight, only to regain it again. It can be frustrating, but the good news is that long-term weight loss is possible. While there’s no magic pill, decades of research have yielded clear strategies for increasing your chances for success.

Here are 5 strategies proven to help you lose weight:

1. Keep a Food Journal
It may sound too good to be true, but there is one simple strategy that can help you double your weight loss: write down everything you eat and drink.
Studies indicate that writing down what you eat can help you lose weight and keep it off.
With apps like LoseIt and MyFitnessPal, it’s easier than ever to keep track of meals, snacks and beverages. And if you want to go low-tech, a simple notebook will do.

2. Get on the Scale
Afraid of stepping on the scale? You shouldn’t be. Regular weigh-ins are one of your best weapons in the battle of the bulge. According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers reported that people who weighed themselves daily lost about three times as much weight as those who were more lax about stepping on the scale. In fact daily weight checkers lost an average of 20 pounds, compared to an average of just seven pounds for those who weighed themselves only five days per week.

3. Eat at Home
Prepare more meals at home. A recent study published by Public Health Nutrition found that people who eat at fast-food or full-service restaurants consume an extra 200 calories per day on average compared to those eating at home. Those calories added up to about 10% of their total daily intake. What’s more, the researchers found that people who ate out consumed more sugar, salt and saturated fat.

4. Know Your Portions
You may not realize it, but we live in a ‘super-sized’ culture. Looking at data from national surveys involving more than 60,000 Americans, researchers found that serving sizes have gotten bigger over the past 20 years – not only at fast-food chains and other restaurants, but even in homes. How much bigger? The study found that hamburgers have increased by 23%; soft drinks are 52% larger; and snack foods like potato chips and pretzels are a whopping 60% bigger.
It’s no coincidence that as portions have grown, so have waistlines. In the 1960s, 45% of Americans were overweight or obese. Today that number is nearing 70%!
When we’re given larger portions, we eat and drink more. One way to fight back against supersizing is to use smaller plates, bowls and silverware.
When dining out, a simple rule to follow is to eat half of what is served. Have the server put the rest in a take-away bag and you’ll have a second meal for later.

5. Turn off the careful what you watch
Put down that remote and step away from the TV. The more time you spend watching television or staring at a computer screen, the less time you have for just about everything else, including physical activity.
What’s more, what you watch can influence how much you eat! Researchers at Hobart and William Smith Colleges found that viewing just 10 minutes of a food show may lead to cravings and overeating.
Tempted to watch TV? Limit viewing to just 2-3 hours a week and avoid watching food and cooking shows.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Body Reset Diet

Body Reset Diet:
The aim:
Jump-start your metabolism, reboot your system and set yourself up for sustained weight loss.
Low-calorie Diet: These diets provide far fewer calories than is generally recommended, which leads to weight loss.

The claim:
By getting most of your nutrients through smoothies and then incorporating solid food back in your diet over the course of 15 days, you’ll “reset” your body, lose weight quickly and sustain that weight loss long term.

The theory:
While many diets will help you lose weight while you’re on the diet, the results are often not sustainable. Instead, you need to restart your metabolism and kick it into gear. By eating a low-calorie plant-based diet made up mostly of smoothies over the course of 15 days, you can train your body to use energy more efficiently and burn calories faster, even while you’re asleep. Combine this with resistance exercise three days per week, and you’ll set yourself up for long-term, sustained weight loss.

The Body Reset Diet was created by celebrity fitness trainer Harley Pasternak, who holds a masters degree in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences from the University of Toronto and co-hosted ABC’s daytime talk show “The Revolution” in 2012. Pasternak has worked with celebrities such as Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Bono.

Will you lose weight?
Probably. There isn’t any clinical evidence behind the diet, but sticking to smoothies full of fruits and vegetables will likely result in a calorie deficit, which would help pounds drop off. How quickly and whether you keep the weight off, however, is up to you.