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fitness

How to eat a lot and still lose weight

I love to eat. I love good food. And I like to eat a lot of it. But that’s a problem because I can’t. Not if I want to maintain a healthy weight. Many years ago I learned to volumize food. It’s a concept more common and popularized thanks to the terrific work of Barbara Rolls, PhD, her research and many subsequent books on Volumetrics, her first written in 2000. The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off is more recent. It’s not a new concept to lose weight. Volumetrics is based on the idea that people tend to eat about the same quantity of food per day, regardless of calories. Continue reading

One reason you hit a weight loss plateau!

Hit a weight loss plateau? I get that. It happens.

Years ago when I worked at Cooper Clinic I acquired a client when another staff dietitian left. The client had great success losing about 60 pounds in less than a year—just over one pound per week which was fabulous weight loss! But she had hit a plateau and her weight had not budged for several months. Continue reading

Write before you bite – keeping a food journal

Years ago I had a client losing weight but hit a plateau. She was frustrated her weight loss had come to a halt. On several occasions I had asked her to keep track of her food so I could help identify where she might need to make modifications. She was very resistant to keeping a log—too busy, always forgot etc. At one appointment she said to me, “You know, I eat different when I write it down.”

I let that statement sink in for a moment and it didn’t take long for her to start laughing. She realized, that’s the point right? Indeed. It is. And eating different in a positive way. Continue reading

Why the Paleo Diet amuses me

Paleo

This is what really cracks me up about the Paleo diet. Jan D came for a visit – wanted to know my thoughts about it. I can’t argue with many of the components – more protein, fewer carbs, and of course, no processed foods. But then Jan pulled out a “Paleo” turkey jerky bar, “what do you think about this?” I chuckled and we laughed together when I asked how in the world can a Paleo product exist in a package. Seriously? I googled Paleo diet, clicked on a page (developed by one popular fitness chain) and it had an impressive list of what you can and can’t eat. No potatoes. Okay then why was there a recipe right next to the article that included sweet potatoes? And maple syrup. That’s a sugar. Why is that allowed and not “sugar” sugar. I find it amazing to see how many recipes there are for Paleo bread, Paleo pancakes,

Alcohol? Depends on which Paleo version you look at. Diet soda is even allowed on one. Hmmm, wonder where our ancestors made that stuff.

Why diets don’t work (or do they?)

Why diets don’t work (or do they?)

Diets actually DO work. They (usually) help people lose weight. How many people do you know that went on the Atkins diet? Lots? They lost weight right? Did they keep it off? Likely not. Why? It’s not sustainable. But it is so easy! ALL you have to do is stop eating carbs. That’s it! But is it the baked potato that’s the bad evil creature? OR is it the company it keeps? Can’t have a baked potato without the butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon!

Okay so the Atkins diet is passé’. Been there done that. Let’s look at a more popular diet – the Paleo diet! Why has it gotten the attention of so many people? I’ll tell you why. Before embracing the miracle, Tony J was eating crap. Fast food almost every day, beer frequently. He suddenly discovered Paleo and turned his eating habits around. Was it the Paleo diet or because he stopped eating crap?

Are you keeping a food log?

Food journaling

I acquired a client when a dietitian left Cooper Clinic where I worked. Joyce was awesome. Ate healthy, lots of fruits and veggies, kept a food log. But weight loss had stalled. She had already lost a significant amount of weight and we figured she just hit a plateau. Plateaus can last weeks or months. In reviewing her food journal Joyce had written one cup of Kashi GoLean cereal for breakfast and a snack was one tablespoon of peanut butter with an apple. I asked Joyce if she measured the cereal and peanut butter. No, she used to but got away from the habit. I asked her to measure everything for the next two weeks. Be honest. Two weeks later she was down three pounds. Her eyes had deceived her. It happens. A lot.

 food journal

 

Do you need a sports dietitian? Dave Ellis, sports RD, answers

Dave Ellis pic

Why do athletes need a sports RD? A message from sports dietitian Dave Ellis

Dave Ellis and I had a chance to talk recently when he was in town for an EAS Sports Performance seminar at Athletes’ Performance Training Center. (To watch the video, scroll to bottom or click here.)

Neily: I’m with Dave Ellis, veteran sports dietitian and we’re at the Athletes’ Performance in Frisco, Texas. I have the privilege of interviewing Dave because he is here for a seminar. So, let’s talk a little about sports nutrition. Why are dietitians so important in the world of sports?
Dave: I think there is no shortage of nutrition advice out there when it comes to athletes but very few people can bring food to life and give it value like dietitians. That’s what they are specially good at. So, at the end of the day, athletes’ success is really built around whether they are eating properly, whether their meal patterns are appropriate. And you can have the best supplement systems in the world but at the end of the day, under-fueled athletes are very vulnerable. That’s what sports RDs do—bring home that food first message.
A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neily:  Excellent. What do you see is the biggest challenge when you first start working with an athlete?

Dave:  Well, a lot of them have been eating on the fly their whole life. Multi-sport athletes probably didn’t grow up in the “Beaver-Cleaver” house with meals every night at home as a family. So they’ve been eating on the fly and eating at drive-thrus. Some of them don’t even know how to eat fresh produce. It is the weak link in their diet. We have bad quality meals with no fresh produce and we have very poor meal patterns—there is meal skipping going on. They don’t have much of an appetite in the morning. At a very fundamental level between their sleep, their meal patterns and the quality of the meals they have, we have our hands full.

Neily:  That’s great information. What would be the take home message for somebody listening? Just one thing that you can tell somebody that would be most important, you think.

Dave:  For the athlete, my advice would be don’t reach for some dietary supplement  when you don’t have the fundamentals buttoned up. If your sleep and your diet quality and diet pattern and your lifestyle are all frazzled at the ends, don’t think a dietary supplement is going to patch everything up for you. I have seen too many young athletes fall prey to that thinking

Neily:  Great advice—thanks!  Dave can be reached at www.DaveEllisBio.com Thank you for watching Neily on Nutrition and we’ll see you in the next video.

Vitamin D. Do you need to supplement? An interview with Todd Whitthorne of Cooper Aerobics Center

Chemical structure of cholecalciferol, aka vit...

Vitamin D – part 2 w/ Todd Whitthorne, Cooper Aerobics Enterprises – Do you need to supplement?

To watch video scroll to bottom or click here.

Neily: I’m with Todd Whitthorne—an executive at Cooper Aerobics Enterprises in Dallas. He also oversees the supplement line Cooper Complete. We are outside today appropriately because we are talking about the sunshine vitamin—vitamin D.
Todd: Yes. The vitamin that’s not a vitamin.
Neily: Exactly. And why is that?
Todd: Most vitamins we can’t manufacture; we have to get in supplements or ideally in food, obviously. But vitamin D we can make and we’ve been making it for a long, long time. When that sun hits our skin, beautifully we manufacture vitamin D. We synthesize it in the kidneys and liver and what is interesting is that it’s really not a vitamin. It’s a steroid hormone and it is so important in all aspects of overall health because about 10% of the human genome is regulated by vitamin D. So, it’s just a messenger hormone. It flips on the switch or turns off the switch depending on what’s supposed to happen within the cell and if your bucket is low in vitamin D that’s a problem. And a lot of people have empty buckets.
Neily: I get from my clients how do I know if I need a supplement or not and the answer is…
Todd: There’s only one answer and that’s to get a blood test because you can never ever guess what your vitamin D level is. You have to ask your doctor. Sometimes doctors will do it; now more and more routinely doctors will automatically measure it. But not all doctors are created equal so you have to ask. The test is called 25 hydroxy-vitamin D but just ask your doctor for a vitamin D test; he’ll know what you’re talking about and get it measured.
Neily: Okay.
Todd: The data is really fascinating. We know at the Cooper Clinic where we see about 7,000 patients a year that 82% of our first time patients are lower than we would like them to be in vitamin D. The cut point—the bare bones cut point for vitamin D is 30 nanograms per milliliter and the research indicates nationally in NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 77% of American adolescents and adults are low in vitamin D. That means they’re below 30, sometimes below 20 and even in the single digits. So don’t be surprised if you’re tested and it’s really really low. But it’s not where you want to be. You absolutely want to get your blood level vitamin D up to at least 30. You can do it from the sun or from supplements as you certainly know. And the great thing about vitamin D supplements is they are cheap. They are not expensive.
Neily: Right. So, the bottom line is the only way to know is by getting a blood test from your physician.
Todd: Exactly.
Neily: Great take-home message. Thanks Todd. Thank you for watching Neily on Nutrition and we’ll see you in the next video.

Disclosure: I was employed at Cooper Clinic from 2004 – 2009 but have no financial affiliation.

Thanks to my RD peers for the inspiration!

I have finally entered the 21st century with the rest of the progressive registered dietitians I know.  Forgive me as I attempt to get up to speed.  Welcome to Neily on Nutrition!

What can you expect?  Likely whatever is on my mind.  Which often may be prompted by things I see, hear, or read and feel the need to react to.  It might be silly.  It might be serious.  I do expect a lot of what I will be writing about will be nutrition and health in the media. There is so much information on the internet who knows what to believe.  I will try to keep you abreast of what’s hot in the nutrition news.  Although I make no promises because I’ve no idea where this blog is headed!

Being a registered dietitian, I do have a passion for food – eating it, making it, talking about it.  So expect me to muse on various culinary inspirations.  I grew up in the kitchen at my mother’s side.  She’s a fabulous cook and taught me everything I know.  I remember her telling me to “go in the garden and get our salad.”  Ah, to pick fresh lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and enjoy the freshness of it all.  Although I really took it all for granted back then.  When I was out on my own, buying tomatoes for the first time and expecting the deliciousness of what I grew up with.  Reality set in.  What a disappointment!

My wonderful mother – Monet Fennema – and me in Grand Rapids, Michigan September 2009

I long for the days to pick my salad from my own garden.  But I live in Texas now, not the Midwest.  I know it’s possible but you do need sun which I have none.  A wonderfully shaded backyard but not conducive to growing things.  Unfortunately too I was not blessed with a green thumb.  And then I have Great Danes that I’m sure would have a field day playing.  Hmmm, but I can always dream and what’s that saying?  In dreams become realities.

Thanks for reading and I do hope you stick around and read more!  Cheers!

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