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Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week. An interview with author Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE

Diabetes Wt Loss week by week - jill pic of book

Interview with RD Jill Weisenberger author of Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week

I was so fortunate to catch my friend and peer, Jill Weisenberger, for some interviews during a long layover in Dallas. She is a certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian AND now author of Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week: A Safe, Effective Method for Losing Weight and Improving Your Health. (To watch video scroll to bottom or click here.)

Neily: Congratulations Jill! Where can we get the book?
Jill: Thank you. You can get it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, the publishers—the American Diabetes Association ( If it’s not in the bookstore yet, it will be there any day. (NOTE: Jill’s book IS now available in bookstores.)
Neily: Wonderful. So, someone who is diagnosed with diabetes. What would be the first words you would say to them?
Jill: Well, often the first thing I SEE in people, is a down look, they’re feeling very upset with this diagnosis. And I can understand that because this is a life-changing diagnosis. But my first bit of advice is not to despair and get some education. There are so many resources out there. We just need to ask our physicians for referrals and we can get what we need. Really and truly all   the resources are out there. So the first thing would be to get a referral for diabetes self-management education classes. That is usually about 9 hours and it could be over several days or over several weeks. And then I would also ask for a referral to a registered dietitian for medical nutrition therapy. Somebody can help you plan the diet that is right for you, right for   your diabetes, along with your medication, your lifestyle, your food preferences. Doesn’t mean you do not have to make changes because you do, but things can be tailored for you. So, it is a very time intensive illness but it can be managed. It starts with education and a good attitude and a willingness to take on new things.
Neily: Excellent. So, there is no ‘diabetic diet’ per se. A registered dietitian is going to help you to plan specifically for you.
Jill: Right. What we often hear about the ‘diabetic diet’ but nothing like that really exists. So there are many ways to a healthy plate. And a registered dietitian can help that person who is newly diagnosed with diabetes find his or her own healthy path to eat right.
Neily: Great. And to help you out, Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week: A Safe, Effective Method for Losing Weight and Improving Your Health by Jill Weisenberger. Available now. Thanks so much Jill—great to see you! And thanks for watching Neily on Nutrition and we’ll see you in the next video.
  (Make sure to read and/or watch all 5 interviews with Jill!)


Neily’s Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

16oz whole wheat rigatoni, dry
Leftover from rotisserie chicken (3/4c white, 1/4c dk meat)*
2oz sugar snap peas
3/4 red onion
40 cherry or grape tomatoes
1c chopped carrots
1/3 c Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette
2T balsamic vinegar

Cook pasta. Mix all ingredients. Chill before serving.

*Can leave out for vegan dish or substitute shrimp.

Servings: 8

Nutrition information per serving:

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!

Registered Dietitians are not the Food Police

Big day tomorrow – Super Bowl Sunday!  Regardless of who’s playing I love to hang out with my friends and enjoy their company and of course some good food.  I might DVR it at home so I can re-watch any particularly great commercials.  (Yes I am one of those that loves the ads.  Sure hope there are some good ones!)

Most of the people I’ll be with know my profession and for those that don’t, I won’t publicize. You see, as a registered dietitian sometimes as soon as someone knows, they become self-conscious of what’s on their plate.  Oh gosh – I really hate that.  There is no need to!  And as you watch this video you’ll see I’m not alone in my feelings. My colleague registered dietitian Angela Lemond and I have a nice chat. Many of us like to practice and encourage the 80/20 rule.  If 80-90 percent of the time you do the right thing – eat a healthy diet of fruits/veggies, whole grains, and lean protein, 10-20 percent of the time it’s okay to have a bit of indulgence.

So, if you see me tomorrow, I PROMISE not to say a word about what’s on YOUR plate if you promise not to notice what’s on mine.  Deal?

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.

Registered dietitians want to help Paula Deen

Big news in the media last week – at least in the world of nutrition and healthcare – Paula Deen made public that she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago.  Numerous people have blogged about it and rendered their opinions.  My colleague Angela Lemond, RD, CSP, LD and I had a chat about it. Tune in!

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