Tag Archives: calories
“My friend just told me that he has to lose 10 pounds by next week … isn’t that unhealthy?” asked my 17-year-old son. Perplexed and troubled, he went on to say that unless his friend“starved” himself, he wouldn’t “make his weight” for his wrestling team.
Unfortunately, this is not atypical. Anywhere from one-quarter to two-thirds of high school wrestlers use fasting, excessive exercise, unbalanced diets, and voluntary dehydration as techniques to help them achieve a fighting weight, according to some estimates. Ironically, these behaviors only sap athletes of the strength and energy needed to compete in this sport—and they’re particularly dangerous for still-growing teens, who demand calories to fuel both mind and body. Furthermore, an improper diet can have a profoundly negative impact on learning and focusing at a time when students can barely afford to divert their attention from college applications and SAT’s to rigorous after-school workouts and weekend tournaments.
In his 2001 report published in Contemporary Pediatrics, “Aiming for Healthy Weight for Wrestlers and Other Athletes,” the late Vito Perriello, Jr., a pediatrician and pioneer in the field of sports medicine, wrote that participants of “weight-sensitive sports” are likelier to engage in unhealthy eating practices than are other athletes. Wrestlers in particular “feel that to succeed they must punish themselves in order to make themselves tougher,” wrote Perriello, adding that they think they’ll also “gain an advantage by competing at a lower weight.” However, studies have determined that wrestling performance is optimal at one’s ideal weight versus a lower weight, since the latter could cause weakness and reduced endurance. Continue reading
Can you recognize the difference between a physical craving and an emotional longing for food? Sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. A stressful day may bring on the urge for a gooey bedtime snack, but if that desire had struck two hours after a filling dinner, it’s more likely that eating would be an attempt to satisfy your mind, not your stomach.
Let’s look at the discrepancy between being hungry and having the hunger for food. A physical craving is based upon actual hunger, created by the body’s real need for food. You may feel your stomach rumble, or you may have a headache and feel weak or find it difficult to concentrate. Once you eat, you should feel “full” and stop eating.
An emotional craving, on the other hand, is often triggered by needs other than true hunger, like stress, boredom, or loneliness. These types of cravings can also be created by environmental cues such as a tempting television commercial, the scent of a food, or the sight of your favorite dish (even if you’re not hungry). Emotionally driven cravings are rarely satisfied, no matter how much you eat, because it’s not food that you need to “fulfill” you. Food, at that point, will only make you feel full and filled.
When you eat for the wrong reason, it often leads to binge eating, weight gain, and guilty feelings… not good side dishes to a meal. But these strategies can help you decide whether to respond when you could swear that food is calling out your name: Continue reading
For many households, an outdoor barbecue could resemble an all-you-can-eat buffet. Like it or not, some seasonal dishes can cause you to want to reach for your cover-up. Here’s how to help ensure your barbecue has a lasting impact on your palate and not on your pant size.
For many households, an outdoor barbecue could resemble an all-you-can-eat buffet. Like it or not, some seasonal dishes can cause you to want to reach for your cover-up. Here’s how to help ensure your barbecue has a lasting impact on your palate and not on your pant size. Continue reading
This is the time of year when saying, “bottoms up” may effect the way your bottom looks! I notice that my patients often overlook their ‘liquid calories,’ particularly those that come from alcoholic beverages. It may seem obvious that a frozen Margarita served in a glass the size of a small swimming pool could be excessive, but did you know that a nice, clean, colorless gin and tonic packs over 300 calories? (And that could be even higher, depending on who is pouring and how much is being poured!)
When it comes to wine, it is true that the resveratrol (an antioxidant that has been linked to heart health) may be good for you, but your heart is close to your waistline, and adding inches to your mid-section is not going to make your heart happy. If you drink wine, do so in moderation, and if you don’t drink, don’t start drinking to protect your heart. A balanced diet and exercise will boost heart health more effectively.
But if your summer bar-b-que doesn’t seem the same with a frosty glass in your hand, here are some tips to help you not tip the scale and not get too tipsy: Continue reading
“I can’t lose weight anymore because of my age.” “My weight will never be the way it was when I was younger.” “Once I hit menopause, my weight shot up.”
I hear statements like this from my patients regularly. One patient even told me that she felt like she, “went to bed slim and woke up fat.” Although that may sound like an extreme exaggeration, for some women, it feels like excess body weight escalates quicker than justified. This seemingly abrupt weight change stirs up feelings of frustration, anger, and depression, which unfortunately lead to less attention to healthy habits. Since most of these behaviors are subtle, they are often overlooked and repeated day after day. When women in this state come to see me, either because I am their “last straw” or because their doctors send them to me, there are several common practices I notice that play a starring role in causing clothing to suddenly shrink.
Some statistics have shown that 90% of women gain weight during menopause, with an average gain of 12 to 15 pounds between the ages of 45 and 55. And it’s not like the weight settles in your biceps – is most cases, extra pounds tend to cling to your midsection quicker than paper clips on a magnet. Hormonal changes set the table for fiery flashes, sweaty sleeps, and libido loss, often resulting in an apathetic attitude towards balanced eating or an attraction to unrealistic fad dieting. Women, in general, have a hard time putting themselves on their ‘to-do’ lists, let alone focus on their own health when they are feeling tired and heavy. Bloat weighs heavily on their minds and bodies like an anvil they can’t seem to remove.
If you feel that you’ve “tried everything” and you can’t lose an ounce, even after moving your scale all around the bathroom floor, here are some tips that might help you get longer lasting results: Continue reading
No, the title of this story dies not contain a typo.
Let’s face it — estimates show that a basic Super Bowl extravaganza could contribute a whopping 3,000 calories, the majority of which is derived from fatty, fried foods. But before you scroll to another article, let me say that this is not one of those “don’t eat this” and “eat lots of that” pieces. I’m thinking way beyond that point — I’m here to tell you what you need to do to help those wings and things get out of your body once you’ve swallowed them.
To prevent that potentially uncomfortable, bloated feeling, here are a few tips that are sure to move you … even if your team doesn’t score any goals. Continue reading
This may seem like a round-about way to get my point across, but you’ll understand where I’m going with this soon enough.
While playing with our dog, Webster, the other day, my husband noticed that he had two lumps above his hips. It just so happened that my four-legged friend had an appointment with the vet, so during that visit, I expressed our concern about his health. The vet immediately knew the diagnosis: “love handles,” she said. Love handles? Was she telling me that my 28 pound, little stuffed-animal-looking companion was chubby? She suggested that I cut back on his food a bit (since exercise would probably stay stable) and to create a safer weight.
After 30 plus years of counseling humans about how to slim down, I Continue reading
After five long years, at a press conference today, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were announced to the public. You don’t have to be a scientist, dietitian, or doctor to know that the state of health of each and every one of our states needs help. Statistics show that only 15% of us are getting the recommended amount of whole grains, and 59% of vegetables, 42% of fruits, 52% of milk, and 61% oils that were suggested a half-decade ago. Studies have shown that as a nation, we eat 150-280% more of saturated fat, added sugars, solid, fats, refined grains, and sodium than we need.
So if previous words of wisdom were not taken to heart, why would these new guidelines be any different? Before getting bogged down with all of the details, just take a first-hand look at the USDA’s selected messages for consumers proposed today:
“Take action on the Dietary Guidelines by making changes in these three areas.
• Enjoy your food, but eat less.
• Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to Increase
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
Foods to Reduce
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.”
I chose to highlight these points because they can be real, they can be a part of your everyday practices, and they can become healthy life-long habits. They’re not too scientific or too overwhelming and there’s barely an excuse that could keep you from experimenting with any one of these suggestions.
If you’re a parent, you know that you can give the best advice to your kids to help make their lives safer, and healthier, but that doesn’t mean they’ll follow your direction. In this case of the Dietary Guidelines, I’m hoping that Americans will take small steps to incorporate just a few of the sage suggestions mentioned above to help make healthier decisions throughout their lives.
Stay tuned for more of my stories on how you can make these recommendations into realistic routines.