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weight loss

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

The No Diet Diet for 2015

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-old-bathroom-scale-image24205556It’s the New Year and most certainly we can expect to be bombarded with all sorts of diets and folks setting New Year’s resolutions.

Sure, much of my work is with weight loss, though here’s the kicker, I actually de-emphasize the scale. More importantly, it’s the lifestyle and behavioral changes that ultimately will provide my clients with the abundant energy and life of their dreams. The phrase the no diet diet came to my mind. (Darn, it’s already taken.)

Diets have been around for centuries. Why do people diet? If dieting worked, wouldn’t everyone that went on one be skinny? Of course! In reality it’s quite the contrary. Continue reading

Yes, you can overeat ‘good for you’ foods!

Previously I wrote about a common reason someone might hit a plateau in their weight loss efforts. This post is not about plateaus but just weight loss in general—why someone may not make the progress they feel they deserve.

Let me tell you about another client I had and not an uncommon issue I see amongst individuals doing all the right things but lamenting, “I just don’t get it. I don’t eat fast food, fried food, refined white flour, highly processed foods, etc. but I’m not losing weight. I should be losing weight eating the way I do.” 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

6 simple tips to eat healthier now

Eating better may not be as hard as you think. An overhaul of the diet isn’t necessary – just start doing one thing at a time. (Prefer to watch versus read? Look below for video.)

Here are 6 simple tips for healthy eating – one tip at a time and you’ll be eating healthier before you know it!

  1. Double the number of vegetables on your plate and downsize the starchy carbs. Save 75% if not more of your caloric intake.
  2. Buy fruits & veggies on sale or at least when in season; they will be much less expensive. You can always buy frozen and have them year around – fruits and vegetables. They’re often just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts.
  3. Go meatless on Monday or at least one day of the week. You will save the saturated fats in your diet, increase fiber AND you will be helping the environment. Check out www.MeatlessMondays.com
  4. Drain and rinse canned beans first and cut sodium content by about 40%.
  5. If you eat rice, make sure you eat brown rice or wild rice which are both whole grains. And you will be getting more vitamins and minerals as well as more fiber than its white counterpart.
  6. If you do dairy, make sure you are drinking nonfat or skimmed milk or soy milk. And if you drink whole milk (which btw is 3.25%), then you may want to switch to 2% first before ultimately going to nonfat or skimmed milk. Nutritionally, they are all the same except for the saturated fat and the calories in them. And if you don’t like that ‘blue water’ then you may want to switch to lactose-free milk or organic milk, which have a much richer consistency than regular nonfat milk. I think you will enjoy it more!

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

 

You don’t say….device makers urge coverage of weight loss surgery

Why am I not surprised that the leading makers of the adjustable gastric band (AGB) for weight loss surgery are pushing for more coverage? Didn’t they appeal to the FDA to lower the qualifying BMI (body mass index)?  Do you REALLY think it is to help more people or perhaps to sell more devices…

I don’t know.  Regardless of motives I have the opportunity to meet with many individuals pre-operatively as they prepare for their weight loss surgery (WLS).  Fortunately it is a requirement of many insurance companies (at least in Texas) that they meet with a registered dietitian at least once.  Many insurance plans require a 3-month or 6-month “waiting” period as they undergo a supervised diet.

In my visit I make it a point to ask, who do you know that has had the surgery and what has their experience been?  Have they been successful?  WHY have they been successful?  If not, why have they NOT been successful?  Not ONCE in these conversations have I heard someone is not successful because they are following the guidelines and exercising.  Furthermore…every success story?  What are the secrets?  The patients are doing what they are instructed to do and 99.9% are exercising.

What I fail to see in the stories of promoting weight loss surgery is the importance of compliance.  I constantly hear (by promoters of WLS) how it’s the “cure” for diabetes, meds will be stopped, it gives a new lease on life, etc.  Perhaps it does (for some), BUT recognize that it is not a magic cure.  It is ONLY a tool that restricts the size of the stomach.  That’s it.  A tool.  There is no guarantee an individual will automatically eat less because if they really want to eat some food, they’ll find a way to eat it.  Ice cream and other “sliders” as we call them go down really easily.

Read the forums and you’ll see people who are wildly successful – yay!  Why?  Because they follow the rules and most importantly, exercise!  And then you’ll read all about ways to cheat the system and what we call “eat around the band”.  Seriously?  Why oh why go through this and not follow guidelines that will almost guarantee success?  I just don’t get it.  These are the people coming back years later because “the band did not work” and are now getting another weight loss surgery.  Which of course insurance is paying for.  Really?  The band (and other WLS) didn’t work?  The band works, IF it is made to work.

Just this week Dr. Oz had a show about weight loss surgery.  I don’t recall any discussion of the importance of compliance.  Tsk. Tsk.  WLS can be a wonderful tool – FOR the right person.  But, surgery is performed on the stomach, not the brain.

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