Archive for the ‘weight loss’ Category

Game Plan: Smart Snacking for Football Weekends

November 30, 2014

It’s no surprise that so many people get off track with snacking during football season, especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fewer hours of sunlight, colder weather, and boredom can lead to lots of junk food consumption, just for the fun of it.

Do you ever find yourself wondering what you can eat, five minutes after the last snack?

OK. Let’s fix that! Here are 5 simple tips for the right foods to keep on hand. These are foods that are satisfying, will quench your hunger, and just happen to be nutritious.

The DASH Diet BountyGame plan: Keep these key foods on hand.

  • Fruits: Apples, pears, berries, sliced melons, tangerines
  • Cut up raw veggies: bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, radishes, raw green beans, celery, and more.
  • Nuts including nut butters: Cashews, almonds, peanuts (preferably in-the-shell), hazelnuts, etc.
  • Dips: Salsa, guacamole, hummus
  • Cheese (Preferably light): Swiss (very low in sodium), Colby-Jack, Cheddar, Brie, etc.
  • Protein-rich foods: Hard-boiled eggs, slicked turkey, chicken, or beef, chickpeas, etc.

Mix it up. Something bulky, with something satisfying.

Pair up fruits or raw veggies with nuts, cheese, or the other protein-rich foods. Or top your raw veggies with one of the dips. The fruits and veggies are bulky and filling. The foods that have the protein and/or the heart healthy fats (nuts and guacamole) are going to quench your hunger, without putting you on a sugar roller coaster that can trigger cravings.

All of these foods are simple to keep on hand, ready-to-eat. If healthy, good snacks are easily available, you don’t have to have lots of discipline or willpower to stay on track. The new style of dieting doesn’t have you fighting how your body works. What a concept! This actually is easy to do!

This season is fraught with eating and drinking pitfalls. Make it easy on yourself by keeping great snack foods on hand.

And learn more easy-to-follow diet moves in The Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution.




DASH as the Anti-Diet

February 4, 2014

The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution

Too many of us think of diets as something involving slavish devotion to reading labels, calculating calories and fat grams, and mustering up self-discipline to lose weight. What if you didn’t have to do this? What if you could jettison your calculator, put your reading glasses away, and learn to eat in a healthy way that naturally cured cravings, kept your hunger under control, and made it easier to maintain your new healthier weight.

That is the promise of The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution.

  1. No calorie counting. Nope, none! You eat a variety of foods that happen to be lower in calories, are filling, and help to quench your hunger, naturally.
  2. Eliminate (most) label reading. Unprocessed and minimally processed foods tend to be rich in what’s good for you, and not have additives that you want to avoid.

How could you possibly lose weight with this kind of plan? Having bulky, filling fruits and veggies helps you get lots of volume without lots of calories. Including protein and/or heart healthy fats at every meal and snack satisfies your hunger and keeps you feeling full longer. Avoiding most refined starchy and added-sugar foods helps you get off the blood sugar roller coaster, minimizing cravings. And by ensuring that you get enough protein, you are able to maintain more muscle (and thus, higher metabolism) than you would on the old-fashioned type of diet plan. And you will see how it wan’t a lack of willpower that made previous plans unworkable, it was the design of the old plans that didn’t work.

This is a very intuitive plan, that allows you to trust your own sense of hunger and fullness. Yes, we give you suggested meal plans. But you can make your own choices and substitutions. You can follow them exactly, choose a few that seem to work for you, or just use them as a jumping off point. We also give you an ultra-simplified version, so that you can easily visualize how to eat in any type of venue, when new situations arise.

So the DASH diet is remade into the anti-diet. It becomes your new lifestyle plan, to follow for the rest of your life.

The trouble with swaps

June 18, 2013

Lots of diet plans promote swaps. Substitute this for that and save so many calories.

Everyone knows the drill. Make salads with yogurt instead of mayo. Replace sugars in baked goods with artificial sweeteners. Use low fat dressings. Have wraps instead of big sandwiches. Indulge your urge for crunch with popcorn instead of chips.

So what is wrong with that?

It doesn’t have you eating healthier or in a way that naturally satisfies hunger.

And, so sadly, swaps often leave you feeling that you have saved calories, so why not do a little splurge on, say, a Frappuccino in the afternoon.  And the weight doesn’t go anywhere.

If you know about all of these swaps and still are struggling with how to lose weight and keep it off, you need to lose these dieting “tricks” and get real. If you want different results, you need to do something different.

And that is the premise of The Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution. It teaches you how to eat again. Without gimmicks. No rice cakes. No sugar-free cookies. No air-popped popcorn. Not even counting calories or obsessing about nutrition labels.

Mostly freBlack bean burgersh and natural foods, with a few minimally processed additions for fun, make it so easy to follow a healthy plan. Resetting your appetite gives you a plan you can follow for a lifetime. No more yo-yo dieting. Just healthy eating. With a positive focus.

Add more protein-rich foods to satisfy hunger. Fill up with lots of veggies and fruit. Add low-fat and nonfat dairy for protein and probiotics.  Yes, you can have nuts, which provide protein, fiber, and heart healthy fats. Include fish that are rich in protein and healthy fats. Choose olive oil and other beneficial fats that also quench hunger.

Have 3 abundant meals and 2 – 3 snacks every day to keep hunger at bay, and make it so easy to lose weight, naturally.

Photo © Marla Heller, MS, RD, from The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook

Cereal rights. How big is your bowl?

April 6, 2013

But it’s healthy.

That’s what I always hear when I recommend to a client that they eat less cereal. Many of us overdo cereal. Either our portions are quite large or we are having it too often, to the exclusion of other healthy foods.

Cereal bowls have gotten larger, which trick us into having larger serving sizes. A serving of cereal is 1 ounce by weight, uncooked. It is about a large handful of flaked cereal. Check out my cereal bowl (below) and how 1 ounce appears to be quite small. But when I add raspberries and milk it looks more abundant.

Watch out for dense cereals like Grape Nuts. I have had many clients who discovered that their normal serving size of 1 1/2 cups was actually 6 servings, the equivalent of having 6 slices of bread. And 1/3 cup cooked oatmeal is a serving; most packets are 2 servings. Restaurant servings may be 6 to 8 servings. It is so easy to overdo. And, most of us are just not active enough to burn off all those extra calories.

How many times have you had cereal for a quick, late dinner? Now, that isn’t a terrible thing to do once in a while. However, if it’s your habit, you might be missing out on vegetables and protein-rich foods that you would normally have at a dinner meal. Don’t let cereal crowd out the variety of foods that you need in your diet.

To keep cereal being a healthy part of your DASH diet, watch the size and eat a variety of foods each day.



New Year’s Resolutions for Healthy Eating

December 27, 2012

The key requirements for resolutions, whether for the New Year or any other time of year, is to make them specific, actionable, and achievable. Even better, also include a statement about why each of these steps will help you reach the goal.

In addition to the objective, the resolution should include the action steps that someone will take to reach that goal. Don’t forget that the resolution should focus on things that improve quality of life, since that will make the goal more sustainable. A goal to lose 100 pounds by March would not be achievable and would certainly not improve someone’s quality of life, even if it were something that could be done.

For a better example, if you want to lose 20 pounds by March, set your resolution to be something like,

“I will lose 20 pounds by March, by doing these actions. . .”

Have 3 meals and 2 – 3 snacks every day; because deprivation doesn’t lead to weight loss.

Make colorful veggies the center of my meals. They are bulky, filling, and so healthy, while

low in calories.

Add lean protein-rich foods, to make meals that satisfy, and won’t leave me hungry an hour later.

Include 2 – 3 dairy foods (low-fat or nonfat) to boost protein intake, help quench hunger, and lower blood pressure.

When I have grains, I will make them whole grains.

Add fresh fruits to satisfy my sweet tooth, the healthy way.

Include nuts and seeds, since they make fun, heart-healthy snacks.

Follow these guidelines from the plan in The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, to boost weight loss and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Blackened Chicken and Berry Salad

Blackened Chicken and Berry Salad

The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution

December 20, 2012

The DASH Diet Weight Loss SolutionYes, there is a new DASH diet book. And its premise is to show you how to reframe your eating habits, and learn how to eat in a way that is more satisfying and helps you curb your cravings. This book is based on long-overlooked DASH research that shows improved results with lower levels of refined, starchy foods. And it also incorporates newer research for weight loss that shows how to maintain muscle, keep blood sugar on a more even keel, and improve health.

All this works without counting calories and without being overly rigid on measuring portion sizes. The new plan actually becomes more intuitive. You fill your plate with lots of low-calorie veggies. You include plenty of protein to quench hunger, longer. You get your sweets from fresh fruit. You have 3 meals and 2 – 3 snacks everyday. You don’t go hungry. And yes, those cravings disappear.

How do we know this? This plan was developed with my patients in my private practice, and perfected with my patients at a US Naval Hospital. Active duty military people need to meet weight standards and they need to be physically fit. This plan helped them meet their goals. And just this fall, we invited people to join a group to be early adopters of the plan from the new book. And they loved it! They saw so many benefits for health, weight loss, and long-term healthier eating.

Now this plan is available to everyone. And you can join our online support group on Facebook and join our Twitter chat at #dashweightloss on December 30 at 2:00 pm EST. See you there!

Lighten Up Your Holiday Desert for the DASH Diet

December 19, 2012

I love pumpkin pie. But after eating lighter all year, I don’t want to overdo things at Christmas dinner. So I bring this light pumpkin pie, and no one except me is the wiser.

Low Fat Pumpkin Pie

4 egg whites, slightly beaten

16 ounce can pumpkin (or the meat from 1-lb pumpkin)

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp molasses

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

12 oz can evaporated skim (fat free) milk

9″ unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine ingredients in above order. Mix well. Pour into pie shell (or into an au gratin dish for a fat-free dessert). Bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Then reduce temperature to 350F, and bake for 45 more minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Each piece of pumpkin pie has 240 Cal, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, and 7 mg cholesterol.

Without the crust, each piece would have 130 Cal, 0 fat, 0 saturated fat, and 2 mg cholesterol. For a low sugar version, use Splenda™ instead of brown sugar, and increase molasses to 3 tablespoons.

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