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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

Sports drinks—when do you need them?

Players of the Colorado State University footb...

Colorado State University football team (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Drinks—when do you need them?

Karin Hosenfeld—sports dietitian for the Allen Americans Professional Hockey team—and I talked about sports drinks and other liquids for hydrating. (To watch the video click here or scroll to end of blog post.)

Neily: We’re talking about hydration. It’s summer now and very, very important. But it’s important all year around. So let’s talk a little bit about hydration.
Karin: Yes. Important all year round because people walk around dehydrated most of the time. A good way to check if you are dehydrated is to check the color of your urine. If you are light, very light, pale lemonade color then you are pretty well hydrated. But if you are heading towards that dark, apple juice color, tea color, then you really need to hydrate better. Drink lots more water. And we are going to talk about that…Really important to hydrate with water most of the day. Sometimes, people can get a little bored of the water. I get that. Any kind of flavorings are good. I happen to like the Crystal Light Pure.  I know you like it too.
Neily: I do… I do. (Crystal Light Pure has no artificial colors, preservatives or sweeteners)
Karin: A lot of times, people think if they are working out that they need Gatorade or Powerade automatically.
Neily: Right…
Karin: And that is just not the case unless you are working out for more than 60 minutes at a time, vigorous activity. The American College of Sports Medicine says only then should you be reaching out for a sports drink, per se with the full calories in it.So, a better thing to go for is Propel. Say for example you are working out for 20 mins, 30 mins break up into a little sweat, then you can have something like this. There are no calories, has a little bit of electrolytes but it’s not so heavy or have as many calories as the Gatorade…
Neily: Yeah. Too often, I see people fueling with a Gatorade when they are just doing a short work out. And often times, they are working out to burn calories because they are trying to lose weight. And then they’re just putting back the calories they’ve just burned.
Karin: Or worse. It’s hot outside and people drink it all day long.
Neily: Yes..I know. I see recommendations for that…nothing against these products. They are great products for athletes and sport workouts for more than 60 minutes
Karin: Absolutely. If you are doing 30 or 45 minute workout, you are breaking up a pretty good sweat—working out a bit harder, but it’s still not 60 min, you can do something like a G2 or a Powerade Zero and those have much fewer calories. They still have the electrolytes. So, if you are sweating, you can get that back. But not the huge calorie burden of say a Gatorade or Powerade.So again, these are for 60 min or more vigorous activity. A great choice—great products for what they are for.A lot of people, these days, I have been noticing are doing these here—which is either coconut water or Vitamin Water. They do have a Vitamin Water Zero. A lot of people think, ‘I am saving the calories but I need the vitamins.’ But really, if you are eating a variety of foods, a generally healthy diet you don’t need them. And if taking vitamins, you have to watch out for that because you can have too many vitamins. So really something to be concerned with. Many of these people are doing 2 or 3 of these every day and you have to watch out that you are not getting too many of these vitamins
Neily: Right…
Karin: There’s 100% of vitamins in here for some of these. And then another one that people do a lot of lately is the coconut water.
Neily: Yes. Those have gotten really popular.
Karin: And for a sports recovery drink, there is a lot of potassium in it…it’s great for that but the sodium is not there. So if you are really breaking a sweat and you want something that has more sodium, you can really go for the Powerade or Gatorade, Powerade Zero or Gatorade 2 (G2) rather than this because it just does not have the sodium that you want (and need).
Neily: There is a great marketing program behind it. And quite honestly, so much of this is marketing…
Karin: It’s time to drink more water. Really… for the kids too, it is water. A lot of times, people give Gatorade or something like that throughout the day because it’s hot outside. But it’s 60 min of vigorous activity—then they can have some Gatorade. Usually they are getting it all day long.
Neily: Hydration is critical..
Karin: Yes. If you lose 3 to 4 percent of your body weight—which might just be several pounds depending on how much you weigh—it can decrease your performance by up to 20 percent. No athlete I know wants to decrease their performance by 20 percent. That’s huge.So we start with the water. Make sure we stay well hydrated. Check your urine and you’re good to go!
Neiy: Excellent. Great information. Again Karin Hosenfeld, sports dietitian for the Allen Americans Professional Hockey team. Thanks for watching Neily on Nutrition and we’ll see you in the next video.

Swimsuit season is just around the corner! 6 small steps to get you ready.

By Ashley Harvill, Dietetic Student

It’s that time—warm air, backyard barbecues and getting the swimming pool ready. It’s difficult to avoid the taunting images on magazine covers and department store commercials. This year, instead of hiding in cover-ups or avoiding outdoor parties, here are small, easy changes that can get you one step closer to being swimsuit ready.

  • Eat a good breakfast. Eating a nutritionally balanced breakfast of lean protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats is a fantastic way to start your day. By not skipping breakfast, you can control weight more and have better performance throughout the day. Another benefit—you will be less ravenous at lunch because you are not working on an empty stomach. This will save calories in the long run and your stomach will thank you for not overindulging.

  • Exercise. This one word carries so much weight! You don’t need to live at the gym to get ready to fit into that swimsuit or shorts and tank top. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (5 days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (3 days per week). Saying “NO” to one television show and taking a walk outside or playing with your kids at the park will not only burn calories but will boost mood and give you the opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones.

  • Eliminate one or two sugar filled drinks. If you survive off Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper or Red Bull and water intake is seriously lacking, try to replace 1-2 soft drinks/energy drinks with an 8 ounce glass of water. Take baby steps to cutting back on the sugar and adding water. Start off by replacing a full sugar drink with a diet drink for two weeks. Then, replace the diet drink with crystal light or tea for two weeks. Lastly, try drinking just water. You should notice weight loss just by cutting out sodas.
  • Add more fruits and vegetables. Add a serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal and eat these first. Be realistic too. If you hate asparagus, don’t make yourself eat it. Eat something you like and periodically re-introduce it to your palate by cooking it different ways. Hopefully, your taste buds will adjust and you will love something you thought you hated.
  • Take the stairs. Oh the dreaded stairs! We all know that taking the elevator is the easy way and you might need to get to your office faster; however, take a couple of minutes to get in the extra exercise. If feeling extra ambitious, walk up every other step to make your muscles work just a bit more. You can also use this time to clear your head and take a little break from all the hustle and bustle in the office.
  • Create a food journal. This is a fantastic way to track what you eat, how much and how often. If you are tech savvy, use a website or application on your smart phone to track your food. This can really put into perspective how many calories you take in.

By incorporating these 6 steps hopefully you’ll be more confident

removing your swimsuit cover-up!

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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