It’s Thursday, but I’m still thinking about a ridiculous experience I had at a restaurant last weekend. We were at a new trendy – but casual – neighborhood place for dinner. I scanned the salad offerings – dismissing the vinaigrette-dressed roasted beets (not my favorite) and the “southwest” (loaded with refried beans and cheese) – and zeroed in on the mixed baby greens with creamy buttermilk dressing. I asked my server (“Mike, I’m happy to be taking care of you tonight”) if I could please have the mixed baby greens with the vinaigrette instead of the buttermilk dressing. “I’ll need to check with the chef,” he told me. “Our menu clearly states, ‘no modifications’.” Huh? After a few minutes he came back – with attitude. “The chef said he’ll make an exception.” Looking down his nose at me, I half expected him to add, “… just this once.”
Posts tagged: Nutritionist
January is all about resolutions and “turning over a new leaf”. So all this month, we’re talking about the big nutritional benefits you can get from making just a few small changes. Now let’s take a look at ways you can start to eat less without leaving your tummy grumbling.
We started with little adjustments you can make when you’re buying food, and in the last post I suggested some ways in which you could make changes in the way you prepare your foods to shave calories and make them healthier. You might already be reaping some benefits if you’ve been trying to make these changes – and you may even be thinking that there isn’t a whole lot more tweaking you can do. Maybe you haven’t given it much thought, but a little fine-tuning in the way your foods are served can also affect your food intake, too.
Now that the holidays are solidly behind us, the reality of those New Year’s promises we made to ourselves are starting to settle in. Many of us start out the New Year with big plans for big changes…which is why all this month we’re focusing on the ‘little things’. That’s because small steps – taken together – can add up to big results, and are often easier to handle than huge sweeping changes that can be unsettling. In the last post, I made some suggestions for small changes you can make at the grocery store – that is, after all, where the path to healthy eating begins. But now that you’ve brought your healthy ingredients into the house, you want to make sure to keep them that way when it’s time to cook. And with just a few small changes, you can make every dish you prepare at home a little bit better for you.
If you were to ask a group of 40-somethings if they have more trouble managing their weight now than they did when they were in their 20s, you’d likely hear a chorus of ‘yeses’ in response. They know all too well the meaning of “middle age spread” (which always sounds to me like margarine that’s been in the refrigerator too long) – the slow, steady march towards a thicker waistline that seems to go hand-in-hand with getting older. Many of my middle-aged patients consider this ‘creeping obesity’ to be inevitable – something that just “happens to everybody” and is therefore completely out of their control. But is it?
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A friend and I were swapping stories about last week’s Thanksgiving feast, and she mentioned to me that her uncle was the fastest eater she’d ever seen. When she was a little girl, she used to think her uncle was a magician – it seemed to her as if one minute he had food on his plate, and the next minute… zap!… his food had simply vanished. One Thanksgiving, her aunt set a mirror infront of his dinner plate, thinking that he might just slow down if he watched himself shoveling it in. Instead, he simply sat down – and complimented his wife on the creative table decor.
Want to change your diet behavior? Break through these diet barriers first! Getting out of your usual comfortable routine is hard and the first step is figuring out why you’re resisting change in the first place.
When my son turned 5 years old, we had an “inside-out, upside down, backwards” birthday party for him. We handed his friends their goodie bags and waved goodbye as soon as they arrived at the house, and we ate cake and ice cream before the pizza. The parents had a lot of laughs, but the kids were totally bewildered – in no small part, I’m sure, because we were also wearing our underwear over our clothes. So why am I telling you this? Because sometimes when I’m talking to clients about the lifestyle changes they need to work on, I see that same bewilderment – as if I’m suddenly turning their world inside-out, upside down and backwards. Why is change so hard for some people?
Years ago, I had a client who was truly ‘fat phobic’. If she could detect any trace of fat in her food, she’d reject it. She’d dissect a piece of roast chicken into tiny pieces, teasing out any specks of fat she could find between the muscle fibers, and she dressed her salads with straight lemon juice – never a drop of oil. She did this primarily as a weight control strategy – she was a tiny woman and intended to stay that way – but she’d also heard that people need to eat fat. So she was worried. Was being this finicky about fat bad for her health? And – more importantly – did she really need fat in her diet at all?
Do you remember the old nursery rhyme about Jack Sprat who ate no fat, while his wife “could eat no lean”? As the tale goes, things with Jack and his wife worked out pretty nicely – he ate his foods, she ate hers – and between them, they “licked the platter clean”. But what happens in real life? How do couples work it out when one person needs to lose weight and the other one doesn’t?
Ever had this happen to you? You finish eating a meal and all of a sudden – you can practically watch it happen – your belly seems to almost double in size. It’s not that you’ve eaten too much – it’s more like your belly has suddenly been pumped full of air, like a balloon. Your tummy presses against your belt or your waistband, and you grow more and more uncomfortable. Finally, you just have to give in – loosening your belt, unzipping your pants or rearranging the elastic on your underwear – since your increasingly fat-looking belly is becoming more uncomfortable by the minute.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”
“Eat breakfast like a king!”
“Eat diamonds for breakfast and shine the whole day!”
It’s shaping up to be another summer of record-breaking high temperatures. And the news media is beginning to sound like a broken record, too – over and over again we’re reminded to keep ourselves well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. But it’s an important message – not just during a heat wave, but also throughout the year because water serves so many critical functions in the body. Read more »
I begged him not to leave me. Right now, he needed me more than ever. But I’d been through this before, and I knew he’d be back. And I would be waiting for him….
His name was Frank. He’d been my patient for nearly a year, and with plenty of guidance on my part, and a lot of hard work on his part, he was 60 pounds lighter. But the day he hit his goal weight, he decided we were through. In his mind, his weight lost task was accomplished – like something he could check off his ‘to do’ list – which meant he could push all thoughts of dieting aside and move on. As we said our farewells, I left him with only this: “there’s a reason they call it weight management, Frank.” Read more »
Everybody eats. Which is why people are so willing to throw in their two cents when it comes to any nutrition debate. One thorny issue has to do with meal frequency and weight control. There are those who ‘just say no’ to snacking – the ones who restrict themselves to three meals a day, period. In their view, snacking is simply a bad habit that can pile on the pounds. In the opposite corner are those who say that small, frequent meals will help control hunger, so it’s better to eat five or six times a day. Read more »
Seasoned dieters know plenty of the tricks for keeping their eating in check. Beyond the usual strategies - eating right, getting plenty of exercise and maybe keeping a food diary – they might use more subtle tactics for keeping portions down. They’ll use smaller plates or taller glasses, for instance, to give the illusion that they’re getting more food and drink than they really are. They’ll make sure to put tempting foods out of sight – and keep healthy ones in plain view. What they may not realize is that there are other influences in the environment – much less obvious ones – that could still throw their eating off course. Read more »
Kids can be picky eaters, but here’s a short list of some nutrition-packed foods that most kids enjoy.
It’s always funny to me when people ask me how my kids ate when they were little. I’m sure that most of them think that since I do what I do, my kids must have been perfect eaters – or that I had some special tricks up my sleeve that made them beg for broccoli. Truth be told, my kids were no different from most other kids – they had their likes and their dislikes – and they’d go on food jags where they’d want to eat the same thing every single day. Read more »