Are You Drinking Fat?

Drinking soda is the same as drinking fat. Sounds disgusting, but sugar is the new fat, and many of those soft drinks are literally like downing a can of fat. You hear it all the time now-a-days: Sugar makes you fat!

One can of soda contains between 150-300 calories, and that’s empty sugar calories that get stored in your body as fat! Even healthy sounding fruit drinks, like orange juice, apple juice, etc. are loaded with sugar calories.

Water is the best choice.

I know it’s hard to go cold turkey, so start cutting down on your daily intake of sugary drinks by alternating. Either alternate water, sugar drink, water, sugar drink each day, or try drinking water and sugary drinks on alternate days all together. That can cut your sugar intake in half.

And for the guys out there who love their soda, there’s new research that shows in addition to promoting fat storage, sugar adversely affects your manlyhood.  Sugar reduces testosterone levels. Testosterone is the (male) hormone that promotes muscle growth (and fat loss), gives men their facial and body hair, and keeps that sex life crackling! So, a reduction of testosterone means that you could potentially have less muscle and a not so sizzling sex life.

Is sugar really worth the side effects?  I’m not saying live without sugar, but many people don’t think that beverages (especially juice and soda) can make them fat or unhealthy. So keeping your sugary drinks in check can make a huge difference.  And if you are looking to get more fruit in your diet, skip the juice and eat an orange!

Juice is not a great choice for kids either. Don’t let your kids drink too much. 

5 Tips for Superbowl Sunday — How to Indulge, not Bulge

It’s like Halloween for adults — 155 Billion Calories. That is how many calories will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.  

Whether you are going to a party or staying home, here are five Super Bowl eating tips.

1. One of my favorite sayings is to make your calories count. On Super Bowl Sunday this is key. If you are staying home, you are in complete control of what treats you have. Get only the things you really love. If you are going to a party or bar, when you arrive, take a quick inventory of what food is available. Choose only your absolute favorites, and INDULGE! (I will not be eating Pringles, but may eat my weight in pizza, or Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Macadamia!)

2. Use a small plate for your food. So many studies are out now that say if your eye perceives a small amount of food, your brain will tell your stomach that you are not satisfied. A reasonable portion on a regular size plate may not look like a satisfying amount, but a reasonable portion on a small plate can trick the eye and brain so that the signal to the stomach is that you are getting enough food to satisfy your hunger. This works great for kids too!

3. Before you go, eat a small healthy snack at home. Sometimes we think that we should “save” our calories until the party, so we don’t eat anything all day. When we show up, we are starving and go crazy on the food. If you have a healthy snack before you go, you won’t pig out right when you arrive. If you are staying home, don’t start eating your Super Bowl cupcakes for breakfast. Decide on a time frame that you will have your treats out.

4. Indulge in your favorite treats within the first 30 minutes of the “party”. Be mindful and recognize when you are full. Chances are your faves will be higher in calories and higher in fat, so they will really fill you up fast. For the next four hours or so, everyone will be sitting around the television munching, mindless munching. You will already have eaten your favorites (and have that full feeling), but if you want to munch make veggies your mindless munching choice. Guacamole and salsa with carrots would be a good choice, and most parties are going to have a fruit plate or a veggie tray (or you bring one, so you know there is a healthy option).

5. Seat strategy: choose your seat so that it is across the room from the coffee table loaded with treats. You may not want to walk across the room in front of everyone.

Go Team! Yea Food

Tips to Avoid The Holiday Binge

The eating season is in full swing, bringing joy for some, stress for others. This is for those of you who may experience anxiety as each new day brings a different holiday treat in the break room, and each weekend is filled with holiday get-togethers that revolve around the most decadent food. Not to mention running the gauntlet of holiday goodies that line the supermarket shelves — chocolate drizzled kettle corn and sea salt caramel chocolates, really? It’s hard to resist.

We are all going to cave at one point or another, so here are my favorite tips to beat the binge.  The best part — the tips allow you to enjoy that holiday food and still feel good about yourself.

1. Fit chicks don’t skip meals to “save” calories for a party. If you do this, you are more likely to eat everything in sight once you arrive, as you are starving.

2. Fit chicks wear snug clothes to any type of holiday gathering. Trust me, you are way less likely to overeat if your clothes are snug. First of all it is uncomfortable, and second of all it is a constant reminder to watch your portions.

3. Fit chicks keep one hand busy at holiday gatherings. While you are standing around, hold a drink in your dominant hand. This makes it harder to grab food.

4. Fit chicks cut back on the “extras” if they really don’t add too much enjoyment. You decide what that can be for you. Butter, whipped cream, gravy, mayo, dip.

5. Fit chicks skip the everyday stuff. Don’t waste your calories on food that you can eat every day. Indulge in the egg nog or pumpkin cheesecake… the foods that you may only see once a year.

6. Fit chicks alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic beverages (like a ZERO CALORIE seltzer water – also see trick #3 above)

7. Fit chicks pop a piece of gum in their mouth and wait around 20 minutes before jumping right into the buffet line. This gives you time to strategize and be very mindful about your choices and figure out your trade-offs and compromises.

8. Fit chicks ask one key question. The key question to ask yourself is “how do I want to feel”? If you are constantly asking yourself this, it will guide you when choosing what and how much you eat. The choices you make will determine how you feel later. Remember, nothing tastes as good as fit and healthy feels.

Goodbye, Low Fat Diet – I Will NOT Miss You

I recently met a woman who was following, or trying to follow a low fat diet. She was asking me if I thought low fat diets really work. Like most of us, she has been googling diet and fitness with a somewhat confusing result. So here is my two cents.

Low fat diets have been extremely popular. But recently there has been a trend to reduce carbohydrate consumption and increase fats and proteins. This diet strategy has shown to be extremely effective in improving overall health, body composition, and performance.

There is definitely confusion regarding low fat diets, because there is still ongoing research that examines the efficacy of low fat/high carbohydrate diets for weight loss. A lot of the confusion stems from the fact that low fat diets work when it comes to weight loss. But keep reading, there is more to this story.

The reason low fat diets work is because anytime you decrease a person’s caloric intake to a level significantly below their energy expenditure they will lose weight. It isn’t rocket science just simple math. The question should not be if low fat diets work but if they work the best?

From my own experience, the answer to that is NO. And trust me, I have been on some crazy low fat diets. Low fat diets usually include high carbohydrates, but lowering your carbohydrate consumption and increasing your fat and protein intake leads to a diet that is more effective at preserving and building lean body mass, and improving health.

I used to be “afraid” of fat. I would never eat anything with over 2 or 3 grams of fat. What a bore! Then as I started to learn more about the effects of high carbs and the math game (calories in v.s calories out), I realized I would not gain weight if I ate more fat here and there. I actually noticed my physique looking better and healthier after tweaking the fat consumption in my diet. When you can eat more than 4 grams of fat, it opens up a world of new and delicious foods!

The math game is most important when you are dealing with dietary numbers (calories in v.s. calories out), so once you have your math under control look for balance. A balanced carbohydrate/protein/fat diet is key to increase your level of satiety (you feel full longer), making it easier to stay on track. The more you stick to your plan, the better your plan will work.

Easy Ways to Reduce FAT-SALT-SUGAR from Your Diet

Lowering the saturated fat from your diet and reducing added salt or sugars is an easy place to start on your way to a healthier way of eating. If you have been in the habit of eating packaged foods, your pallet has been trained to crave all the “wrong” things. So it is important to find a way to make healthy foods taste great, so they become your “go-to” foods. Make them delicious without all those addictive additives that often resemble a science experiment gone awry. Here are some great tips from Dr. Seymour Weaver.

FIVE Tips for Reducing Fat in Your Diet Without Compromising Taste:

1.Use water, wine or low fat, sodium free stock in place of oil or butter when sautéing. You will not miss the flavor since the oil or butter is usually only used to keep whatever you are cooking from sticking to the pan. If the liquid evaporates just keep adding a little more until the food is cooked.

2.Instead of putting butter or margarine on your potatoes, top them with a dollop of fat free sour cream instead. Sprinkle with a little chives or your favorite herbs or spice blend and you will never miss the butter.

3.Skip the butter when making sandwiches and go with fat free condiments like your favorite mustard or fat free mayo instead. Most of the time we reach for the butter by habit rather than necessity and you will never miss it.

4.Replace cream or whole milk with skim milk in all of your favorite recipes. If the recipe calls for butter, substitute it with a healthier alternative such as olive oil.

5.Buy only the leanest cuts of meat and trim away any fat and skin from chicken. Marinade the meat to tenderize it and replace the flavor of the fat. Whenever possible, bake instead of frying and if you do have to pan fry something, use non-stick cooking spray or brush the meat with lightly with olive oil rather than adding oil to the pan. Making sure you pre-heat the pan will keep the food from sticking.

FIVE Tips for Reducing Sodium in Your Diet Without Losing Flavor:

1.Replace the salt shaker on your table with a sodium free spice blend. Most of the time we reach for the salt shaker out of habit rather than because our food needs it. A spice shaker on the table will satisfy that “shake” habit and add flavor to the food. There are tons of ready-made spice blends available or you can create your own custom blend using your favorites.

2.Trick your pallet. Sour and salt are recognized by the same group of taste buds. Instead of adding salt to your foods while they are cooking, try adding a splash of lemon or lime juice or flavored vinegars instead. Balsamic vinegar is particularly good to cook with as it adds a ton of flavor.

3.Read the labels. If you must purchase any packaged or canned goods, get in the habit of comparing labels for sodium levels. Chances are pretty good that a different brand may be a healthier alternative to the brand you are used to buying.

4.Add aromatics such as finely diced raw onion, scallions or shallots, roasted or raw garlic, fresh ginger or fresh herbs to foods as a hit of flavor instead of salt. Not only do these add flavor, they also bump up the nutritional value of your foods.

5.Make your own salad dressings. These are super easy to make and they taste much better than store-bought dressings. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Italian spices and minced garlic are a sodium free dressing that is packed with flavor. Experiment and find combinations you and your family will love

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