All Posts In Diets & Weight Loss

Should You Follow an Acid-Alkaline Diet?

by in Diets & Weight Loss, May 24, 2013

acid-alkaline diet
Should you follow an acid-alkaline diet? This question was the hot topic at the last cocktail party I attended. The answer, however, isn’t as straightforward as it’s made out to be.

What’s the pH Diet?
The theory behind this plan is that if you consume loads of acid-producing foods it will lead to a metabolic imbalance. The body will try very hard to regain its equilibrium, making you sick in the process.

The diet claims that if you eat more alkaline and less acid-forming foods, it will help reduce inflammation and increase your resistance to disease.

According to the diet, you should be eating 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association determined how different foods affect the urine’s acidity. The results found that the most acid-forming foods included poultry, fish, dairy products, meat, caffeine, sugar and salt. Grains were found to be slightly acid forming. The most alkaline-forming foods were fruits and vegetables.

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Supplement Savvy: Moringa Oleifera

by in Diets & Weight Loss, May 14, 2013

green tea
It’s the newest supplement making headlines. Does moringa live up to the hype? More importantly, is it safe?

What Is Moringa?
Also known as the “Drumstick Tree” moringa oleifera is grown in the Himalayas, as well as throughout India and Malaysia. The bark, leaves, fruit, seeds and root are edible and are used to make teas, oils, extracts and other supplements.

Peddlers of morgina products claim it can boost energy, suppress appetite, lower blood pressure and improve mood.

Morgina products range from teas and oils, to capsules and liquid extracts. And these supplements aren’t cheap! A bottle of 120 capsules costs about $30 to $40.

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How to Adopt a Mediterranean Lifestyle

by in Diets & Weight Loss, May 3, 2013

It’s not just about eating more fish and using olive oil. To get the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, you need to embrace the lifestyle.

The Benefits
Many researchers have found that those living in the Mediterranean have a lower risk of certain types of disease. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that incorporating more olive oil and nuts may help reduce the risk of heart disease by about 30% in folks who are at high risk. Since the release of this study in April 2013 the popularity of the Mediterranean diet has skyrocketed—and with good reason. On top of incorporating many good-for-you foods, the cuisine is pretty darn tasty.

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Lose Weight by Eating Mindfully

by in Diets & Weight Loss, April 24, 2013

man eating rice
More and more studies have been supporting the concept of mindful eating when it comes to weight loss, weight control, and overall health. Here’s the 101 on this popular method that can help you develop healthier eating habits.

What’s Mindful Eating?
Eating mindfully involves an awareness of the foods you choose to eat, the environment you eat in and your hunger cues. Many folks don’t pay attention to their daily habits which may be leading to unhealthy eating (such as mindlessly munching in front of the TV). It’s common practice to take a bag of chips and relax in front of the TV for the evening. By the time the commercials hit, you’re wondering where all your chips went.

You really want to use all your senses when eating mindfully. Taste the food by savoring every bite, eat in a quiet environment or with pleasant conversation, smell the delicious flavors, and look at variety of colors (from fruits and veggies) that are on your plate.

Some mindful eating programs also incorporate meditation and gentle stretching. These techniques help decrease overall stress, which can help lower calorie intake if you like to eat when you’re stressed.

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Diet 101: The 5-Factor Diet

by in Diets & Weight Loss, April 2, 2013

5 factor diet
During the Grammys, Katy Perry was looking pretty va va voom. While I was in Grammy Twitterland, I found ooglers reporting that she’d been hitting the gym and following The 5-Factor Diet.

From John Mayer to Kim Kardashian, creator Harley Pasternak has built himself a sweet Hollywood client list. His plan promises to lower insulin levels, provide you with more energy, ignite metabolism, improve mood and reduce stress by using the magic number 5 (i.e. 5 meals a day, exercise 5 days a week).

Paternak is educated in and has experience in the field of nutrition and exercise. He earned his Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto, and an Honors Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario. He has also worked as a nutritional scientist for the Canadian Department of National Defense.

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7 Signs You’re Getting Bad Nutrition Advice

by in Diets & Weight Loss, March 12, 2013

nutirition advice
There’s tons of nutrition information swirling around and oftentimes you’re left wondering what or who you should believe. Here are 7 signs that you’re receiving bad (and sometimes even dangerous) nutrition advice.

#1: Lack of Significant Research
Nutrition advice should be based on significant scientific research that was conducted in peer-reviewed journals over months or even better, years. The majority of the research will back up a specific theory with a few straggler studies that may point at the other side. If you’re being quoted a study, be sure what you are being told reflects all the research in that area. In addition, ask who sponsored the research as sponsored studies may be one sided. Oftentimes, this will raise a big red flag if someone hasn’t done their homework.

#2: Lots of Persuasive Anecdotes
You may find a diet or a diet expert with tons of followers who all swear that the diet plan or advice is THE BEST they ever followed. These folks will tell you how they lost hundreds of pounds—and that you will too.

Although it may sound like you MUST try it, it’s important to remember that every person is different and has individualized needs. Some diets or advice may be not be safe for folks on certain medications or with certain diseases (like Parkinson’s or diabetes), so you need to check with your doctor before trying anything new. It’s also important to make sure the science is also there to back the advice up — just relying on anecdotes just isn’t enough.

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Ask the Dietitian: Does Lemon Juice Speed Weight Loss?

by in Ask the Experts, Diets & Weight Loss, March 1, 2013

lemon juice
I’ve been approached with this question more times that I can remember. If you’re looking for a quick-fix weight-loss solution, this isn’t it.

Q: Does drinking lemon just help with or speed up weight loss?

A: If you’re looking to lose weight or speed up your efforts, it’s all about eating right and regular physical activity. Sipping on lemon juice or adding lemon juice to warm water isn’t the magic solution.

There are many myths surrounding lemon juice that just don’t have the scientific evidence to back them up. I’ve heard that lemon juice improves digestion and regulates sugar absorption — both don’t have enough scientific evidence to make strong claims. One of my favorite myths is squeezing lemon juice on chicken in order to melt the fat away– unfortunately, that’s an unfounded claim. Acidic ingredients like lemon juice, however, are used in marinades to help tenderize meat and poultry by breaking down collagen, a fibrous compound that aids in the formation of connective tissue.

A second myth that’s often discussed around the water cooler is that when lemon juice is mixed with cold or lukewarm water it’ll dissolve fat in your body. Again, this doesn’t happen metabolically, though drinking more water (cold or lukewarm) will help you stay hydrated.

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Gina Neely’s Slim-Down

by in Diets & Weight Loss, February 15, 2013

gina neely
Gina Neely, co-host (along with her husband, Pat) of Down Home with the Neelys, and co-owner of three barbecue restaurants, made a few lifestyle changes recently that helped her shed 20 pounds (in 12 weeks!). How did she do it? She stresses that she didn’t go on a diet (no one likes that word, especially Gina), but rather made easy, yet, important changes to her lifestyle. She loves burgers, but now chooses turkey burgers. She makes sure she doesn’t skip breakfast and starts her day with a hearty morning meal of maple oatmeal with raisins. And she added exercise to her daily routine — strength training and walking extra steps using a pedometer.

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Should You Follow An All-Fruit Diet?

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Food News, February 8, 2013

The all-fruit (AKA fruitarian) diet has gone viral ever since Ashton Kutcher ended up in the hospital after eating only fruit. The actor was throwing himself into his new role as Steve Jobs in the film about the early life of the Apple co-founder. Jobs was known to be an extreme dieter since his freshman year in college.

What’s A Fruitarian Diet?
The fruitarian diet is a variation on a vegan diet but it consists primarily of fruit. It’s an extreme type of plan where nuts and seeds are also on the menu, but fruit makes up about 90% of the food.

Steve Jobs was reported to have read Mucusless Healing System by Arnold Ehret, where the recommendations are to only eat fruit and starch-less veggies.

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Glycemic Index 101

by in Diets & Weight Loss, January 27, 2013

You’ve most likely heard of it, but do you really know what it’s all about? Get some education about what the glycemic index is and if you can use it to help make better dietary choices.

What is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index (GI) is an old-school tool in the nutrition world. Basically, it’s a scale used to measure how quickly blood sugar goes up after a particular food has been digested. The scale is organized from 0 to 100, with quickly digested foods scoring highest. The GI of a particular food can be affected by numerous factors including how much fiber it contains. Since foods with more fiber take longer to break down, they will have a lower GI.

The GI was established back in the early 1980s. Despite its age, it’s still used very commonly as the foundation for diets and meal planning for weight loss, heart heath and diabetes.

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