Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ways to Shave Calories

Small steps are key to healthy weight management. Little changes in eating and activity level may have more of a positive impact on health than drastic ones. This is because we are more likely to stick with smaller changes over time rather than extreme, drastic changes that we can quickly become inconsistent with.

Small changes include:

•  Lighten up your coffee with fat-free milk or sugar-free syrup instead of creamer.
•  Trim all fat off of beef, pork and chicken.
•  Enjoy slow-churned, reduced-calorie ice cream instead of regular.
•  Choose healthy snacks such as raw veggies with fat-free dip, mixed nuts, or whole grain                     tortilla chips with fresh salsa instead of chips and candy bars.
•  Downsize your Dishes: Use smaller plates and bowls to help you eat less. Our brains think                          we are getting more when the same amount of food is placed in a smaller dish.
•  Savor your meals: Eating slowly helps you consume only what your body needs to feel                                satisfied.
• Don't Eat Out of a Bag or Box: When you eat out of a package, you are likely to keep    eating until it's gone, no matter how many servings the package actually contains. Pour one  serving into a bowl for more control.
• Choose Your Glass Wisely: When glasses are short and wide, we tend to fill them with                               more fluid and drink more. Use a more slender glass for any beverage except water.
• Rethink Your Drink: High-calorie beverages such as soft drinks, juice drinks, energy drinks, specialty coffees, and alcohol add up in calories, just like solid food. Whenever possible, replace these drinks with plenty of water.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


These tiny little seeds are not only fun to say, they offer many health benefits as well.  Although chia seeds are relatively new on the popular food scene, they've been around for quite a while as part of an ancient Azetc diet.   Interestingly enough, the plant that produces the seed is actually a member of the mint family.  Chia seeds are well known as being an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.  Plus, they also contain protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.  If that’s not enough motivation to pick some up, as a bonus, you can grow your very own chia pet!

When placed in a liquid, chia seeds take on a unique gel-like texture making them perfect to add extra creaminess to your morning oatmeal.  Or if you’re craving a crunch, sprinkle some on top.  These seeds are extremely versatile and can be added to just about anything, even salads!  In fact, they make an excellent egg replacer in baked goods.  You won’t regret giving them a try.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Smartest Time to Weigh In

Researchers from Finland recently found that Wednesday is the day your weight is least likely to fluctuate. In this study, 40 overweight adults were weighed nearly 2,900 times over the entire year. Wednesdays were found to be the most accurate reading of weight since the weekend showed greater gains and losses. It is common that people tend to gain weight on the weekends due to eating out more often, snacking, drinking alcohol or even soda. More weight is typically lost during the week due to the regular routine and workout schedule. When tracking your weight, be sure to stay consistent using the same scale, the same time of day, wearing the same clothing, and weigh in on Wednesdays. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Are Front-of-Package Labels Misleading?

Food labels include a lot of information about packaged products and can often be very difficult to understand. Recently, fewer consumers have been using the nutrition facts panel and ingredient list and have been relying more on the overall impression of the package. A study was conducted using a focus group by Colorado State University to discuss the perception of packaging and the influence it has on product choice. Parents reported that they perceive foods with bright packaging, or characters, as less healthy and those with health claims, such as “natural”, and “realistic graphics” as more healthy choices. A trend was also seen in more well-known product brands. The well-known brands were found to create perceptions of health and trust. Participants admitted that they realize well-known brands, with realistic visuals, and health claims may not actually be healthier than other products. Yet, when they are in a hurry they will choose the healthier looking product. Looking at packaging and being aware of marketing techniques is a great starting place for choosing a healthy product, but the nutrition facts panel and ingredient list can provide more conclusive information.

For label reading tips please visit the following website:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Beware of Binge Drinking

USA Today’s National News has reported that binge drinking activity kills six individuals per day and most of these are male. The binge drinking occurring in a single binge can lead to alcohol poisoning. The Center of Disease Control defines binge drinking as four or more drinks in about two hours for women and five or more drinks it two hours for men. But, most binge drinkers consumer more- up to 8 drinks or more. It’s not just college students experiencing this binge drinking; 77% of deaths caused by alcohol poisoning occurred among the ages of 35-64.

Why is binge drinking so harmful? When alcohol levels in the blood are high enough to shut down control of the brain this impacts breathing, heart rate and temperature.

“The number of drinks and the blood levels of alcohol that put someone in danger vary greatly from person to person,” says Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician in Lexington, KY.

Experiments and challenges should not be centered on alcohol; this can put you or others at dangerous alcohol overdose levels. With lack of responsibility, a fun time can turn into a series of physiological changes that can lead to hospitalization or death. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Changing Your Holiday Feasting Mindset

The holidays shouldn’t be binging until there’s no tomorrow, but also shouldn’t be a time of restriction. There are special dishes and treats that only appear once a year and you can still enjoy it! Here are a few tips to help get you through the holiday parties:

Don’t skip meals- trying to save up for the main event will cause even a greater risk for overeating. Truly, the body only needs a certain amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins at one time and then either excretes it, uses it, burns it or stores it. If excess calories are taken in, the extra will be stored as fat—thus the weight gain. Instead try to eat balanced meals including breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch and dinner.

Check the beverages- another main cause of holiday weight gain in the extra calories taken in by drinks. Mixed alcoholic drinks are typically the most calorie and sugar laden. Stick with water, wine and beer in moderation because these are on the lower calorie side. If you would like a drink, have it before or after the meal. Most people do not really taste their drinks while eating, so enjoy it more before or after the meal.

Take food home- if friends or relatives always give you food to take home, then save some of the food you would like to have for leftovers. Make your plate up with the foods you absolutely want, and the others can be packed in portions for the next day.

Ultimately, you get to make the food choices. Enjoying food does not mean you have to overdo it at each and every party, which can make the world of difference with holiday weight gain.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vegetarians and Vegans Converting Back to Meat-Eating

A recent study found that 84% of vegetarians and vegans have found their way back to eating meat again. Dietitian, Lisa Young, suggests that the reason this is happening so frequently is because these individuals may have gone cold turkey too dramatically. Starting to slowly remove these certain food groups can give the individual a better perspective on how life would be without these food groups. The cravings of meat are typically the reason why they abandon these diets that are actually short lived of about 2 years. On the other hand, this research also found that 37% of these prior vegetarians and vegans said they would be interested in returning back to this diet in the future.

So, if you are considering implementing a plant based diet, such as veganism or vegetarianism into your New Year’s Resolution, be sure to take smart steps to adapting this diet. Also, refer to a Registered Dietitian, Physician and health care professional about diet adequacy before starting.