Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Starvation Mode is a Myth.

Starvation mode is a myth.
Yes, you read that right—it doesn't exist.  No matter how many times you’ve heard it and from however many sources-- it simply is not true.  It’s what my friend Blake refers to a “bro-science” (as in “Hey, Bro, I heard… [insert latest health claim here]”).
Your body requires a certain amount of calories to maintain weight—if you fall below that , you lose weight.  Period.  If you fall way below that, you will continue to lose.  There is no magic number of extremely low caloric intake where your body will refuse to lose weight.
But please keep reading!!!
However, if you consistently take in fewer than your basal metabolic rate (you can find this out through the Bod Pod or I can calculate it for you) you are setting yourself up to fail.  For starters, periods of severe caloric restriction almost always lead to periods of overeating, which makes weight loss virtually impossible.  Also, your body is an amazingly adaptive organism.  If you consistently take in very few calories, your body will adjust to this by becoming very efficient.  Simply put, you will burn fewer calories to accomplish just about anything, making weight loss virtually impossible.  Taking in fewer than 1200 calories a day makes adequate protein, vitamin and mineral intake impossible to achieve, as well, meaning your overall health status declines (the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do!) and your body burns muscle for fuel—muscle is metabolically active tissue, so this causes your body’s calorie-burning power to decrease even more.
So now what?  Well, if you are not losing weight but your caloric intake is at or below the minimum, the answer is not always “eat more.”  More often than not, there is an error in your estimated intake or you are overcompensating for restriction by overeating on other days.  My suggestion, in this case, is to stop counting calories.  (Yes, you read that right.)  Focus instead on listening to your body.  Eat at regular intervals throughout your day, and include a protein, lots of vegetables and a little bit of quality carbohydrates (fruit, sweet potato, beans, brown rice, etc.).  If the scale is stuck, focus on your healthy habits (the things you can control)… work out regularly, eat intuitively and nutritiously and avoid the scale for a week or two.  Keep a log of your food choices, but don’t count the calories—just use it as a tool for mindfulness.

Karen Lacey, MS, RD, LDN

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
From EatingWell:  February/March 2005, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)
Our savory cauliflower puree makes a perfect low-carb stand-in for mashed potatoes. It gets its fabulous flavor from garlic, buttermilk and a touch of butter and, best of all, it has about one-quarter of the calories of typical mashed potatoes. If you like, vary it by adding shredded low-fat cheese or chopped fresh herbs.
4 servings, 3/4 cup each | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
  • 8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Snipped fresh chives for garnish
1.     Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)
2.     Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.
Per serving : 107 Calories; 7 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 3 mg Cholesterol; 10 g Carbohydrates; 5 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 339 mg Sodium; 288 mg Potassium
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat
Tips & Notes
  • Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Healthy Restaurant Eating

Healthy Restaurant Eating
General Tips:
Ø  Don’t arrive starving (don’t skip meals prior, don’t overdo pre-meal foods or SKIP)
Ø  Skip the fried stuff
Ø  Check out websites for healthiest choices in advance
Ø  Cut your meal in half (save for later or split with a friend)
Ø  Don’t drink your calories
Ø  Personalize it (sauce on side, extra vegetable, substitutions)
Ø  Avoid buffets
Ø  Use the Plate Method

Mexican Restaurant:
Ø  Portion out 15 chips and send the rest back (or skip entirely)
Ø  “On the rocks” vs. frozen margarita (or just drink WATER)
Ø  Choose a veggie burrito
Ø  Fajitas with chicken and veggies (limit to 2 tortillas, skip the extras)
Ø  Chicken soft tacos or Fish tacos (NOT fried)
Ø  Sub corn or wheat tortillas (fewer calories and a good whole grain source) or NAKED J
Ø  Grilled chicken with vegetables
Ø  Use salsa as dressing and skip the cheese and sour cream
Ø  Don’t eat the bowl if choosing taco salad
Italian Restaurant:
Ø  Skip the breadbasket
Ø  Choose soup and Salad
Ø  Stick to plain pastas with red sauce and skip the added cheese
Ø  Grilled chicken or fish and vegetables (Chicken Cacciatore)
Ø  Box at least half your entrée before eating
Ø  Order  thin and crispy crust
Ø  Vegetarian pizza
Ø  Half the cheese
Ø  Stick to 2 slices and a big salad
Asian Restaurant:
Ø  Start with soup instead of egg roll (skip the crunchy noodles)
Ø  Chicken, shrimp or tofu with vegetables in light sauce (NOT fried)
Ø  Choose brown rice when available
Ø  Limit to one cup of rice (NOT fried!)
American Restaurant:
Ø  Start with a broth-based soup or salad with vinaigrette dressing (on side and use lightly)
Ø  Skip the breadbasket
Ø  Choose whole grain bread for sandwiches, or open-faced
Ø  Grilled fish, pork tenderloin or chicken and vegetables
Ø  Make a meal at the salad bar (limit toppings like cheese, bacon, croutons, dressing)
Ø  Top baked potatoes with salsa or steak sauce instead of butter and sour cream
Ø  Watch portion size on steak and choose leanest cuts (sirloin, flank, tenderloin)

Fast Food:
Ø  6” Subway sub with carrots or fruit for side item (skip mayo, ½ cheese)
Ø  Grilled chicken sandwich (skip the mayo)
Ø  Small or Junior hamburger (Happy Meal)
Ø  Turkey or veggie burger with non-fried vegetable side dish
Ø  Salad with low fat salad dressing (skip cheese and croutons)
Ø  Don’t assume something is healthy/low cal—look it up

My Favorite “Best Bites” Restaurant Meals… These meals have 500 calories or less:
·       Chick Fil A – Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich, Fruit Cup and Diet Lemonade (370)
·       Taco Bell - Two Fresco Soft Beef Tacos with Mexican Rice and a bottle of water (470)
·       Subway - 6-inch Roast Beef Sub on 9-Grain (no cheese, oil or mayo) with Veggie Delite Salad with Fat-Free Italian Dressing and Medium Unsweetened Iced Tea (400)
·       Panera – Spinach Power Salad and Unsweetened Tropical Hibiscus Herbal Iced Tea (460)
·       Pizza Hut - Two Slices Thin ‘N Crispy Pizza (12") with Quartered Ham & Pineapple, and Medium Diet Coke (360)
·       McDonalds - Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich with a Side Salad with Newman's Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette, and a Medium Unsweetened Iced Tea (480)
·       KFC - 3 Crispy Strips with Green Beans and 3" Corn on the Cob, and a Medium Diet Pepsi (475)
·       Mooyah – Turkey Iceburger with pickles and tomato, Small Fries and water (495)
·       Ruby Tuesday’s  – Top Sirloin steak with Steamed Broccoli (471)
·       Applebee’s – Weight Watchers Jalapeño Lime Shrimp (300)
·       Olive Garden – Herb Grilled Salmon (480)
·       Red Lobster – Oven Broiled Fish, Steamed Broccoli and Side Salad w/ Red Wine Vinaigrette (480)
·       Chilis – Chicken Fajitas w/o tortillas and condiments (330) (or “naked” Fajita Trio for 510)
·       Outback – Outback Special 6 oz. with Grilled Asparagus and Mixed Seasonal Veggies (403)

More Information: