Author Archive for: ‘smeyer’

Part 1-Habits for Weight Loss & Maintenance

Last month’s blog covered the topic of long-term weight loss success. The age-old question, how do I lose weight and keep it off? The recent article titled 7 Habits of People Who Lost 30+ Pounds — and Kept the Weight Off is certainly relevant to that question. The study participants are on the National Weight Control Registry & have successfully lost weight that has been maintained for at least one year. While none of this information was new or earth shattering, it is a good reminder that successful weight loss & maintenance require life long healthy habits, not a diet.

Habits 1-4

They eat fewer calories than the average American
Over the years science has shown a calorie is not just a calorie. It’s the quality of calories that is important. 100 calories of fiber-filled apple slices can help you feel fuller longer than 100 calories of licorice. Counting calories is helpful, but can be a tedious process that is not conducive to your lifestyle. This is where portion control can help; controlling portion size will help you determine the right amount of food (i.e. calories) for you.

They eat often, up to five times a day
While research has not always consistently shown that people who eat more frequently weigh less-the registry participants in this study eat more frequently. Eating 5 times a day breaks out to 3 meals & 2 snacks. Eating more often may be a good strategy to help with hunger; a ravenous state often results in poor food choices. Aim for well-balanced meals that contain plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein & healthy fats. Snacks can include things like nuts, fresh fruits & veggies, string cheese & Greek yogurt.

They stick to a consistent diet
Weight loss participants eat a fairly consistent diet, whether it’s a weekday, weekend, holiday, or vacation. Results show that those who ate a consistent diet the entire week were 1.5 times more likely to maintain their weight within five pounds. This was over the course of one year compared with those who ate a healthy diet strictly on weekdays, while indulging on the weekends.

They don’t skip breakfast
More than half the study participants eat breakfast daily. Aim for a breakfast with a balance of protein, fat & carbohydrates— like two eggs scrambled with vegetables and maybe 1/4 of an avocado, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, and one cup of fruit — can set the tone for the rest of day. All this can build up to better food choices throughout the day & minimize the risk of making poor food choices resulting from ravenous hunger.

Read full article here

Part 1-Habits for Weight Loss & Maintenance

Last month’s blog covered the topic of long-term weight loss success. The age-old question, how do I lose weight and keep it off? The recent article titled 7 Habits of People Who Lost 30+ Pounds — and Kept the Weight Off is certainly relevant to that question. The study participants are on the National Weight Control Registry & have successfully lost weight that has been maintained for at least one year. While none of this information was new or earth shattering, it is a good reminder that successful weight loss & maintenance require life long healthy habits, not a diet.

Habits 1-4

They eat fewer calories than the average American
Over the years science has shown a calorie is not just a calorie. It’s the quality of calories that is important. 100 calories of fiber-filled apple slices can help you feel fuller longer than 100 calories of licorice. Counting calories is helpful, but can be a tedious process that is not conducive to your lifestyle. This is where portion control can help; controlling portion size will help you determine the right amount of food (i.e. calories) for you.

They eat often, up to five times a day
While research has not always consistently shown that people who eat more frequently weigh less-the registry participants in this study eat more frequently. Eating 5 times a day breaks out to 3 meals & 2 snacks. Eating more often may be a good strategy to help with hunger; a ravenous state often results in poor food choices. Aim for well-balanced meals that contain plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein & healthy fats. Snacks can include things like nuts, fresh fruits & veggies, string cheese & Greek yogurt.

They stick to a consistent diet
Weight loss participants eat a fairly consistent diet, whether it’s a weekday, weekend, holiday, or vacation. Results show that those who ate a consistent diet the entire week were 1.5 times more likely to maintain their weight within five pounds. This was over the course of one year compared with those who ate a healthy diet strictly on weekdays, while indulging on the weekends.

They don’t skip breakfast
More than half the study participants eat breakfast daily. Aim for a breakfast with a balance of protein, fat & carbohydrates— like two eggs scrambled with vegetables and maybe 1/4 of an avocado, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, and one cup of fruit — can set the tone for the rest of day. All this can build up to better food choices throughout the day & minimize the risk of making poor food choices resulting from ravenous hunger.

Read full article here

A Clue to Long-Term Weight Loss Success?

The National Weight Control Registry, (the largest prospective investigation of long-term successful weight loss maintenance) has shown that only ~ 20 % of overweight individuals maintain their loss after one year. Given this less than stellar long-term success rate, I was intrigued by this article explaining the concept of reverse dieting. Reverse dieting, not a term I was familiar with until fairly recently, is a term typically used in body building circles. Reverse diet describes “a period after a calorically restricted eating protocol (i.e. diet) during which you slowly work to increase calories back to a maintenance level.” In layman terms it is essentially “easing” back into normal eating, after following a strict eating plan & vigorous exercise (i.e. dieting), by adopting sustainable eating habits. The goal of reverse dieting (when used correctly) is to promote long-term weight maintenance (i.e. keep off the lost weight) & to stop the unhealthy cycle of yo-yo dieting. One benefit of this plan is that it gives dieters structure, something they desperately need once they have reached their goal weight. Often people return to their pre-diet habits, resulting in weight gain that exceeds the pounds lost. Working with a nutrition professional, such as a registered dietitian, can assist you in coming up with a plan that works for you.

Is Reverse Dieting the Key to Weight Maintenance

A Clue to Long-Term Weight Loss Success?

The National Weight Control Registry, (the largest prospective investigation of long-term successful weight loss maintenance) has shown that only ~ 20 % of overweight individuals maintain their loss after one year. Given this less than stellar long-term success rate, I was intrigued by this article explaining the concept of reverse dieting. Reverse dieting, not a term I was familiar with until fairly recently, is a term typically used in body building circles. Reverse diet describes “a period after a calorically restricted eating protocol (i.e. diet) during which you slowly work to increase calories back to a maintenance level.” In layman terms it is essentially “easing” back into normal eating, after following a strict eating plan & vigorous exercise (i.e. dieting), by adopting sustainable eating habits. The goal of reverse dieting (when used correctly) is to promote long-term weight maintenance (i.e. keep off the lost weight) & to stop the unhealthy cycle of yo-yo dieting. One benefit of this plan is that it gives dieters structure, something they desperately need once they have reached their goal weight. Often people return to their pre-diet habits, resulting in weight gain that exceeds the pounds lost. Working with a nutrition professional, such as a registered dietitian, can assist you in coming up with a plan that works for you.

Is Reverse Dieting the Key to Weight Maintenance

Fitness Trackers – Love it or Leave it?

I have been a devoted Fitbit wearer for many years now and am always interested in what research has to say about the effects of the devices on not only our weight but other health related behaviors. Despite my dedicated commitment to achieving my 10,000 steps a day, I am under no illusion that achieving my step goals will result in automatic weight loss. In truth, my weight has remained relatively unchanged throughout my years of Fitbit use. Some may find this frustrating, but my purpose in using this device is to remind myself to move throughout the day rather than the goal of weight loss. The health benefits of movement throughout our day has been well documented and this is motivation enough for me. Regarding weight loss, research has shown that fitness tracker wearers are no more likely to lose weight than non-wearers. Part of the reason for this may be due to the fact that users rely on the devices’ daily calorie burn number to determine how much food they eat. Additionally, a recent study showed that 7 popular fitness trackers reported inaccurate caloric burn estimates (the number which many rely on to estimate calories in vs. calorie out). So, what is a fitness device devotee like myself to do?
  
Food First, Exercise Second:
research has consistently shown that diet is more important than exercise for weight loss.
 
Avoid Food Rewards:
food should never be a reward for steps walked or calories burned.  Use non-food rewards to celebrate success.
 
It’s All Relative:
almost all monitoring devices (scales, diet trackers, exercise equipment monitors, wearable fitness trackers, etc.)-have margins of error. Consider the data relative and only use this data as one tool to help you achieve your fitness goals, be it weight loss or just overall health. Data is most useful when it is viewed and compared over time, rather than relying on one variable alone.
 
Waist vs. wrist:
for the die-hard data fans, waist wearable devices are more likely to be accurate than their wrist device counterparts.
 
Remember the goal of a fitness tracker should be achieving good health, not weight loss.  While a fitness tracker can be a useful tool in your weight loss journey (if that is your goal) never rely on this instrument as a single tool for achieving success.

Fitness Trackers – Love it or Leave it?

I have been a devoted Fitbit wearer for many years now and am always interested in what research has to say about the effects of the devices on not only our weight but other health related behaviors. Despite my dedicated commitment to achieving my 10,000 steps a day, I am under no illusion that achieving my step goals will result in automatic weight loss. In truth, my weight has remained relatively unchanged throughout my years of Fitbit use. Some may find this frustrating, but my purpose in using this device is to remind myself to move throughout the day rather than the goal of weight loss. The health benefits of movement throughout our day has been well documented and this is motivation enough for me. Regarding weight loss, research has shown that fitness tracker wearers are no more likely to lose weight than non-wearers. Part of the reason for this may be due to the fact that users rely on the devices’ daily calorie burn number to determine how much food they eat. Additionally, a recent study showed that 7 popular fitness trackers reported inaccurate caloric burn estimates (the number which many rely on to estimate calories in vs. calorie out). So, what is a fitness device devotee like myself to do?
  
Food First, Exercise Second:
research has consistently shown that diet is more important than exercise for weight loss.
 
Avoid Food Rewards:
food should never be a reward for steps walked or calories burned.  Use non-food rewards to celebrate success.
 
It’s All Relative:
almost all monitoring devices (scales, diet trackers, exercise equipment monitors, wearable fitness trackers, etc.)-have margins of error. Consider the data relative and only use this data as one tool to help you achieve your fitness goals, be it weight loss or just overall health. Data is most useful when it is viewed and compared over time, rather than relying on one variable alone.
 
Waist vs. wrist:
for the die-hard data fans, waist wearable devices are more likely to be accurate than their wrist device counterparts.
 
Remember the goal of a fitness tracker should be achieving good health, not weight loss.  While a fitness tracker can be a useful tool in your weight loss journey (if that is your goal) never rely on this instrument as a single tool for achieving success.

Healthy Eating “Headlines” – Part 2

With all the confusing messages about healthy eating & nutrition science I decided this important topic warranted two separate blogs. Last month’s blog focused on nutrition priorities and this month I will discuss some of the popular nutrition headlines.

 

Gluten Free-the cure all?

No one can deny the current popularity of gluten free diets. Books & celebrities are advocating for a gluten free diet for “clean living” and weight loss. What the promoters fail to point out is that cutting out gluten containing foods like cookies, cakes & deep fried battered foods is a positive nutritional change that results in fewer calories consumed (hence weight loss).  This effect is not directly related to gluten consumption. Additionally, three large studies have shown that people with the highest gluten intake were actually 20 % less likely to develop diabetes.  Furthermore, these studies debunk the claim that eating gluten causes weight gain as evident by the finding that there was no relationship between gluten intake and weight. There is no benefit to avoiding gluten if you do not have a gluten sensitivity or allergy.

 

Health Halo Package Claims-Help or Hinder?

While food label reading is a component of healthy eating, it may unfortunately bring out the unwanted side effect of health halos. A halo effect on a certain food or brand causes the person to perceive the product as healthy, thus resulting in overconsumption of said product.  Health claims on a food package does not mean that food provides nutritional benefits, as these claims can be misleading.  Always check the Nutrition Facts panel & pay attention to portion sizes.  Healthy, unprocessed food does not contain (nor need) a health claim.

 

Does Healthy Eating Cost More?

The claim “healthy eating is too expensive” is often cited as a reason for consuming cheap, processed convenience food. Current research contradicts this belief by showing that people who prepare home cooked meals engage in healthier eating habits & actually spend less money on food.  Frequent eating out is associated with poorer health habits.  Processed, convenience “health” foods actually cost more money than preparing a home cooked meal.  If you struggle with ideas for healthy meal preparation, research quick and easy ways to prepare meals at home.  The Internet contains an overabundance of healthy recipes & tips-just know where to look.  Explore websites such as Ellie Krieger’s Real Good Food, Cooking Light & Eating Well (to name just a few).

 

The research on nutrition & health will be ever evolving, this much we know.  However, we can be confident that the basic principles of healthy eating won’t change, consuming real, whole foods with a variety of plant rich foods including fruits, vegetables & whole grains.

 

Source:

Karen Collins-Behind the Headlines

Healthy Eating “Headlines” – Part 2

With all the confusing messages about healthy eating & nutrition science I decided this important topic warranted two separate blogs. Last month’s blog focused on nutrition priorities and this month I will discuss some of the popular nutrition headlines.

 

Gluten Free-the cure all?

No one can deny the current popularity of gluten free diets. Books & celebrities are advocating for a gluten free diet for “clean living” and weight loss. What the promoters fail to point out is that cutting out gluten containing foods like cookies, cakes & deep fried battered foods is a positive nutritional change that results in fewer calories consumed (hence weight loss).  This effect is not directly related to gluten consumption. Additionally, three large studies have shown that people with the highest gluten intake were actually 20 % less likely to develop diabetes.  Furthermore, these studies debunk the claim that eating gluten causes weight gain as evident by the finding that there was no relationship between gluten intake and weight. There is no benefit to avoiding gluten if you do not have a gluten sensitivity or allergy.

 

Health Halo Package Claims-Help or Hinder?

While food label reading is a component of healthy eating, it may unfortunately bring out the unwanted side effect of health halos. A halo effect on a certain food or brand causes the person to perceive the product as healthy, thus resulting in overconsumption of said product.  Health claims on a food package does not mean that food provides nutritional benefits, as these claims can be misleading.  Always check the Nutrition Facts panel & pay attention to portion sizes.  Healthy, unprocessed food does not contain (nor need) a health claim.

 

Does Healthy Eating Cost More?

The claim “healthy eating is too expensive” is often cited as a reason for consuming cheap, processed convenience food. Current research contradicts this belief by showing that people who prepare home cooked meals engage in healthier eating habits & actually spend less money on food.  Frequent eating out is associated with poorer health habits.  Processed, convenience “health” foods actually cost more money than preparing a home cooked meal.  If you struggle with ideas for healthy meal preparation, research quick and easy ways to prepare meals at home.  The Internet contains an overabundance of healthy recipes & tips-just know where to look.  Explore websites such as Ellie Krieger’s Real Good Food, Cooking Light & Eating Well (to name just a few).

 

The research on nutrition & health will be ever evolving, this much we know.  However, we can be confident that the basic principles of healthy eating won’t change, consuming real, whole foods with a variety of plant rich foods including fruits, vegetables & whole grains.

 

Source:

Karen Collins-Behind the Headlines

Healthy Eating “Headlines”

There is no shortage of headlines toting the latest development in nutrition science and I will fully admit that it makes my head spin. We all know how important science is, but sometimes it appears that the science is constantly contradicting itself.  To avoid this conundrum, I only seek out information written by qualified (i.e. science) experts, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore what consumers are readings.
 

Recently I read an article simplifying some of the more confusing messages about nutrition science.   And despite all the hype we hear, it still comes down to the simple message of eating more plant-based foods, less processed meats & lower sugar intake.  The first part of this blog I will sum up the basic messages (which many of us have already heard) and part 2 will address more of the catchy headlines we have seen lately (gluten free among others).
 

Part 1: Nutrition Priorities
 
10 dietary factors that show strong evidence as causes of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure & diabetes.

  • Excess sodium (i.e. salt) intake
  • Low intake of nuts and seeds
  • High intake of processed meats (such as bacon and sausage),
  • Low seafood omega-3 fats consumption
  • Low vegetable & fruit consumption
  • High sugar-sweetened beverage intake
  • Low whole grains consumption\\
  • Low polyunsaturated fats, (vegetable oils)
  • High intake of saturated (unprocessed) red meats (beef, lamb, pork).

 
Optimal dietary intake
 
What does “optimal” dietary intake look like? Optimal daily intakes include:

  • Vegetables-400 grams daily (~ 2 ½ cups) this includes dried beans & peas
  • Fruit-300 grams daily (about 2 medium pieces of fruit or 2 cups)-not including juice

o   Whole grains-at least 125 grams daily (total 5 or more)-1 slice whole grain bread, ½ cup whole grain ready to eat cereals, cooked whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa or other
o   Nuts & seeds-equivalent of at least five 1-ounce servings per week

o   Seafood-supplied omega 3 fats-at least 250 mg per day-available from 8 oz of a variety of fish per week or 4 oz /week of high omega 3 fat
 
Source: Healthy Eating Roundup: Behind the headlines

Healthy Eating “Headlines”

There is no shortage of headlines toting the latest development in nutrition science and I will fully admit that it makes my head spin. We all know how important science is, but sometimes it appears that the science is constantly contradicting itself.  To avoid this conundrum, I only seek out information written by qualified (i.e. science) experts, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore what consumers are readings.
 

Recently I read an article simplifying some of the more confusing messages about nutrition science.   And despite all the hype we hear, it still comes down to the simple message of eating more plant-based foods, less processed meats & lower sugar intake.  The first part of this blog I will sum up the basic messages (which many of us have already heard) and part 2 will address more of the catchy headlines we have seen lately (gluten free among others).
 

Part 1: Nutrition Priorities
 
10 dietary factors that show strong evidence as causes of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure & diabetes.

  • Excess sodium (i.e. salt) intake
  • Low intake of nuts and seeds
  • High intake of processed meats (such as bacon and sausage),
  • Low seafood omega-3 fats consumption
  • Low vegetable & fruit consumption
  • High sugar-sweetened beverage intake
  • Low whole grains consumption\\
  • Low polyunsaturated fats, (vegetable oils)
  • High intake of saturated (unprocessed) red meats (beef, lamb, pork).

 
Optimal dietary intake
 
What does “optimal” dietary intake look like? Optimal daily intakes include:

  • Vegetables-400 grams daily (~ 2 ½ cups) this includes dried beans & peas
  • Fruit-300 grams daily (about 2 medium pieces of fruit or 2 cups)-not including juice

o   Whole grains-at least 125 grams daily (total 5 or more)-1 slice whole grain bread, ½ cup whole grain ready to eat cereals, cooked whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa or other
o   Nuts & seeds-equivalent of at least five 1-ounce servings per week

o   Seafood-supplied omega 3 fats-at least 250 mg per day-available from 8 oz of a variety of fish per week or 4 oz /week of high omega 3 fat
 
Source: Healthy Eating Roundup: Behind the headlines

Page 2 of 29«12345»1020...Last »