New year and new resolutions, right? Wrong! I see patients in my practice every day that have been on every diet around and still have weight problems. I have clients referred from physicians on weight loss pills that have not worked and are robbing them of precious sleep. I have seen it all and take it from me, a new diet in the new year is not the solution to the extra twenty pounds or to your happiness. I know you are thinking 'wait a minute, you are a dietitian, don’t you put people on diets?' 90% of my clients do not go on a diet, they are taught a number of key principles of nourishing their body and energy balance. Read that again: nourishing their body and energy balance.
In my practice we go over things like hormone implications on health and weight, thyroid health, meal timing, composing healthy meals, shopping on a budget, planning meals for you and your family, cooking tips. A key component to managing healthy weight, fueling your body to have consistent energy, and avoiding chronic disease is education, the RIGHT education. With all of the diets, nutrition plans, smoothie replacements, and diet industry gimmicks, it is hard to weed through all of this and know simply: what to put on the table every night. That is why education is the number one thing I work on with patients.
The second key piece is INDIVIDUALIZATION. Not every body is the same (duh), because every single person has a lifetime of likes and don’t-likes, habits, even addictions (ie carbs, sugar, alcohol, starbucks, etc). Each household has different food budgets, schedules, and picky eaters. Taking key concepts and adjusting them to your health history, your health goals and your life right now is why seeing a professional is better than picking a brand new fad diet and implementing it for the next 30 days and then quitting and going back to your old lifestyle.
The other major role, or third place I see myself as a healthcare practitioner in nutrition is in providing accountability. I play the role of a friend to go to the gym with in terms of motivation, I provide guidance, and you can’t hide from the scale at my office (well you can). Studies show having an accountability partner will help you succeed when implementing new habits both in the kitchen and at the gym.
The right information, customized for your life and help holding you to your goals is the formula I have seen work for people.
Diets do not work for a number of reasons. The first being that they often lack long term sustainability. Ask yourself the question: Can I do this for the rest of my life without swaying from this diet for one meal, one day, one evening, one holiday? If you can not commit in that way, the diet will not work for you. Diets also do not work due to long term damage they often cause your metabolism. When severely restricting calories you slow your metabolism down and effectively teach your body to go into starvation mode. This is difficult to rehabilitate out of. Once you abandon said diet, and go back to your normal lifestyle, you return in a somewhat damaged state because you have slowed your metabolism down. Thus any weight you regain will return in the form of fat. So if you lose 10 pounds and gain back those 10 pounds, don’t think it is the “same” 10 pounds. You first lost muscle and fat, and now you have gained back almost all fat. Adipose or fat tissue is less metabolically active. This is the reason you will always gain back more weight.
The diet industry knows these principles and thrives off of them, because they make money every time they regurgitate to you a “new” diet that is just a slight tweak from one they have sold in the past. Don’t fall victim to this in the new year. If you need help, seek it out from someone qualified to support you through to the end of your goals. If you won’t seek help, at least do yourself a favor and don’t go on a diet.
You should also check out my post from last year: Dieting and broken metabolisms, why is it so hard for some to lose weight and keep it off.
This isn’t a confessional or a Dear Abby response, and when I say alone, I don’t mean by myself in a dark room watching TV. I mean without the addition of fat or protein… but please read on.
Carbohydrates have been vilified in the weight loss world since the end of the low fat diet era. It was almost like one day someone woke up and realized, when people stop eating fat, they get, well, really fat. About that same time the Atkins diet was on the rise and someone else was trying to make a few million (perhaps billion) dollars by figuring out a quick way to send every house wife in America to the health food store to purchase a wonder food called “protein powder”. This left the industry needing to find another reason to blame for everyone getting fat. In terms of macronutrients: carbohydrates were the only one left. So began the era of low carbohydrate dieting.
Now let’s get real for a minute. Who wants to live forever without pizza, pasta, bread, fruit or the countless other wonderful foods that have higher amounts of carbohydrates? When I was a young child unless a food was white and fully carbohydrate, there was no chance of me eating it. When I say white I mean: mashed potatoes, noodles (with parmesan), bread, macaroni and cheese (you are right, that is yellow), and frozen waffles. I have had a love affair with carbohydrates my entire life. I promise you, it is not about to end here and now.
As a nutrition professional what I understand now is that there really are two ways to alter your diet to induce weight loss: lower your calories OR lower your carbohydrates. The problem with these two approaches is that in most cases they are not long lasting and sustainable. Since this is the case people enjoy weight loss for a season, and then when diet habits change back over time, the weight comes back with a vengeance. Hence, Americas billion dollar industry feeding our yo-yo dieting habits.
The answer to losing weight over time and keeping it off lies not in a simplistic caloric restriction or carbohydrate restriction which are very near sighted and proven not to last. Rather the focus needs to be in speeding up your metabolism. It also lies within telling your body through hormone signals that you don’t need to store fat right now; instead you can tap your fat stores consistently when you need more energy.
Carbs are not the enemy. However, eating carbs alone is the enemy of weight loss. Let me explain why. When you eat carbohydrates alone your stomach empties it’s contents faster into your small intestine where most absorption happens. Let’s call this mostly carb meal white bread and jelly. This type of meal allows for very fast use of these carbs. In all of evolutionary time, this is a good thing, when needing to run from predators or catch a beast for dinner. However, in modern times with very processed food this makes for a huge up surge in blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is not a bad thing, but a huge spike in it is. The spike leads your pancreas to excrete a huge amount of insulin to combat the large surge. And insulin tells the rest of the cells in your body to absorb the sugar floating around in your blood. This is what it is supposed to do, however it also tells certain portions of your body to store energy as fat. When it is STORING energy as fat it is of necessity not utilizing fat for energy.
Now consider if you instead of having toast with jelly chose to have toast with peanut butter or a slice of deli meat on it. The fat and protein from the peanut butter or deli meat make your stomach do some extra work as it empties it’s contents. It blunts the effect of a quick raise in blood sugar. This slower increase over time allows your pancreas to produce less insulin. Your body still gets all the necessary signals for it to absorb blood sugar for energy, but it doesn’t send out the entire arsenal of insulin tipping the threshold and making it so your body doesn’t respond by storing fat.
This may seem like a super scientific explanation, but if you think about it you may realize there are many things you eat regularly that don’t have the added combo of protein and/or fat. Something as simple as a piece of fruit.
Carbs are not the enemy, eating carbohydrates alone will cause you to store fat, making it more difficult to lose weight. Eating simple carbohydrates and very highly refined and processed carbohydrates will do the same thing. Think about the difference in the look of a whole grain bread vs. a white bread. You can see the difference with your eyes, believe me your intestines, pancreas and liver can see the difference too. The fiber helps in slowing down the digestion and the added protein and fat from a whole grain provides the added benefit of slowing absorption.
There are foods that have high carb and high fat levels which some of you may be reasoning are still going to be okay to eat. These are foods like tortilla chips, potato chips, donuts. You are thinking, come on there is fat to slow the process down and blunt the blood sugar response. You are right, but they are still providing you little to know benefit in terms of nutrients. You are getting a whole lot of calories without any vitamins and fiber. Say no to these foods more often than you say yes. And join me in not eating carbohydrates alone. Have a handful of peanuts when you eat a piece of fruit, grab a piece of cheese if you are about to have a slice of toast, instead of eating spaghetti marinara add some meatballs to the mix.
Most Americans don't eat anywhere near the amount of fiber they should. Let's change that! Fiber is critical for many organ systems from your heart to your bowels. It can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and is great for weight loss efforts. It's actually pretty easy to add into your diet. Check out the suggestions below:
1. Eat more fruits and veggies!
Try to add a piece of fruit to your breakfast routine, and choose fruit as an option for a morning snack. Make sure you inculde at least 1-2 vegetables in your lunch and evening meal. Eat the skins and peels of fruits and vegetables.
2. Choose whole grains whenever possible.
Look for "whole grains" on the packaging. If something says wheat flour, it isn;t the same as whole wheat flour. Choosing whole grains means that you get the whole or entire grain. You are getting the roughage in addition to the sweet tasty white carbohydrate parts we all love. It usually helps incorporate a fun nutty flavor.
3. Add legumes to your diet.
When making dishes look for opportunities to add in beans or lentils. I like to add black beans to enchiladas, garbanzo beans to shepards pie, kidney beans to italian soups, and hummus to sandwiches.
4. Make my recipe below to add a natural fiber mix to your oatmeal or drink it in some luke warm water right before dinner. This fiber mix will help even out your blood sugar throughout the day, improve your bowel habits and help you feel more full.
Natural Fiber Mix
Mix together equal parts of the following:
Ground Flax Seed
Ground Chia Seeds
Store in a tupperware, plastic bag or mason jar and keep in the fridge. It is good to limit the amount of air that touches (so a plastic bag is GREAT) it will limit oxidation frmo the ground flax seeds and chia seeds. I would start with just one teaspoon per day and gradually increase to two heaping tablespoons.
My favorite way to take this mix is in 6 oz of hot water about 10 minutes before dinner. I recommend having this drink right before dinner, it will help bind extra fats. It also will help you feel super full - this is great for portion control.
The thyroid gland is a 2-inch butterfly shaped organ located at the front of the neck. This is often times the gland a physician is checking during an exam when they are touching your neck. It is small in size compared to other organs, however it is a major command center in terms of hormone health and metabolic health. It affects nearly every organ in the body. It helps to regular fat and carbohydrate metabolism, breathing, body temperature, brain development, blood calcium levels, menstrual cycles, skin, integrity, cholesterol levels, and MORE.
The thyroid gland is often one of the big players wreaking havoc in my patients’ bodies as an underactive thyroid has a profound impact on the ability to lose weight. It is an important organ to pay attention to as those with underactive thyroids are at an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. 27 million americans have one form or another of thyroid disease. The most common condition being hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. In the US this is most commonly caused by an autoimmune response known as Hashimoto’s disease. Essentially, your body creates antibodies that target the thyroid and decrease thyroid function significantly. Other conditions include hyperthyroidism (overactive), goiters (not enough iodine intake), or thyroid cancers. Since hypothyroidism is the most common we will focus on lifestyle and nutrition factors that can help an individual with hypothyroidism.
How do I know if I have an underactive thyroid?
This requires blood testing and is a diagnosis your physician will provide for you. Often physicians will check TSH (thyroid stimulating horomone), T3 and T4 levels. I always recommend a patient ask their physician to also check for the thyroid antibodies such as TPO antibody, Anti thyroid globulin antibodies and thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin. Often times if the thyroid is underperforming, there is a link to adrenal function so checking DHEA-S and cortisol levels is helpful. If your physician is ordering labs, ask them to include these adrenal markers as well.
What symptoms accompany an underactive thyroid?
Potential causes of hypothyroidism
Inflammation that goes haywire causing an immune response that leads to an attack on your bodies own organ.
Leaky gut syndrome
Pregnancy (causes postpartum thyroiditis)
Certain medication interactions
High levels of stress (persistent)
Toxic burden (heavy metals)
What medications will a physician prescribe?
Typically the first line of treatment is with a synthetic drug called synthroid. This supplies only T4. Many, many people are on this drug and see some benefits in symptoms and ability to lose weight, increased energy levels, etc. There are more “natural” forms of medication, the most popular is called Armour, it is sourced from porcine (pig) thyroid glands. It contains both T4 and T3 in a ratio more similar to what a human produces. It is worth asking your physician why they prescribe one over the other. Most will not even consider Armour.
Lifestyle and diet are two of the biggest factors that contribute to healing your thyroid, and if healing it is no longer available, we can support it allowing the most optimal functioning.
Let’s consider lifestyle factors first.
SLEEP MORE, aim for at least 8 hours of sleep at night. I know this sounds like a lot, but your body needs it when your thyroid is underperforming. It will allow for optimal healing.
AVOID STIMULANTS, caffeine in any form is best to be avoided. If you can’t avoid it, I recommend choosing a green tea, so that you get the antioxidant benefits.
MOVE YOUR BODY, but not too much. Choose gentle exercise activities until your medication and stress levels are lowered. Try longer low impact walks or an activity like yoga.
Be patient with yourself and inform your family members what you are dealing with so they can be patient and understanding with you too.
Food and Nutrition
You can do a lot in terms of supporting your thyroid with the right food. Let’s get down to it.
AVOID EXCESS SUGAR. I am serious. Your body doesn’t need it, and your immune system most importantly, doesn’t need it. Cut out cakes, cookies, candy, soda, sugary coffee beverages, etc. A little maple syrup in the oatmeal is fine, but really, take this seriously. It’s the most important food choice to help you recover.
COOK CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES (goitrogenic foods). Your body needs iodine for optimal thyroid function, however these vegetables in the raw form have an incredible ability to block iodine from being absorbed. To combat that, cook these vegetables. Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Brusell sprouts, Bok Choy, Kohlrabi, Mustard and Mustard greens, Cabbage. If you are one to add greens to your smoothie, choose something other than Kale, like spinach or arugula.
ADD SEA VEGETABLES OR NATURAL SEA SALT. This will help increase your mineral and iodine intake.
CHOOSE ORGANIC PRODUCE WHEN POSSIBLE. These have higher levels of trace minerals and significantly lower levels of pesticides, which are known endocrine disruptors.
INCORPORATE FOODS RICH IN TRACE MINERALS AND VITAMINS YOUR THRYOID NEEDS TO CREATE THRYOID HORMONE AND CONVERT FROM T4 to T3.
ZINC: red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood
VIT E: liver, eggs, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes and avocados
B2, B3, B6: meat, seafood, green vegetables, mushrooms, eggs, almonds
Selenium: brazil nuts
Vit C: veggies and citrus
STICK TO WHOLE FOODS. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Choose fruits and vegetables as snacks throughout the day with a handful of nuts.
What about supplementation?
There are some antioxidants that research has shown improve thyroid function, they include vit C, vit E, turmeric(curcumin) and glutathione. There is a place for supplementation with thyroid issues. However, it’s important to seek the help of a qualified professional. For instance, if you have Hashimoto’s you do not want to supplement with iodine, it can increase the rate of thyroid destruction. This is not the condition to play around with, I would not consult the vitamin clerk at your local healthfood store, speak with a physician or dietitian to get evidence based, proven solutions.
If you suspect Hashimoto’s you most likely have leaky gut and would benefit from food sensitivity testing and an immunocalm diet. You would also consider as a first line of defense, decreasing gluten in your diet as it has been shown to affect hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
I recently joined a new gym and fell back in love with an old friend of mine, spin class! It didn’t take long for me to find my two favorite instructors at the gym. It’s a mix of a lot of sweat, some high speed yet stationary cycling (just the kind I like, with no cars next to me), good music, and the right words.
The right words is what I would like to focus on in this post. Speaking to yourself kindly, with encouraging and motivating language will help you reach for your goals. Negative self talk and negative views toward yourself, reciting these thoughts to your self will continue to put larger and larger mountains between you and your health goals. Check out these two sayings: ‘Yes You Can’ and ‘I See You.’
One of the teachers will just out of the blue say “Yes You Can”. It’s not that someone in the room has said, I can’t, or I won’t. Maybe she sees it in someone’s face or diminishing energy levels. But, I eat it up. Every time I hear her say “Yes You Can”, I am like “Hell Yes, I Can!”. And just then I have more energy than the second before. I never tire of her saying it. And now even when I don’t take her class and I’m in someone elses class I will say it to myself. “Yes You Can”. It’s this self talk that is so positive. It helps me get through a long, hard workout. I’ve brought it into my business practices too. Whenever I have a moment of doubt that I may be attempting something too big or too far out of my reach I say “Yes You Can”, Sometimes I say it over and over again. I say it until I believe it, and then I push on.
This is something that can help as we make decision by decision for health. Whether it is taking the screens out of the bedroom at bedtime so you can sleep more soundly, or at the grocery store when the amount of produce you put in your cart seems like more than you’ve ever eaten in an entire week before. I want you to stop, and say “Yes You Can”. Make it personal, [insert your name] you can! Caitlin, you can! Jason, you can. Lilly, yes you can. Slowly not only will you realize you can, but you will DO.
The other spin teacher I really like will randomly in class say “I See You”. This isn’t like a mother saying “I See You” as you reach for the cookie jar she told you was not available until after dinner, or the teacher responding to wandering eyes during a quiz. It’s an “I See You Working”. I see that effort! It’s an “I’m Proud Of You, And I’m Telling You!” I love it when he says it. It seems so simple but, when he says it, I feel proud of me too and the work I’m putting in. It is one that feels a bit more silly to incorporate into self talk. But, I recommend you try. When you make the choice of a piece of fruit instead of cookies as a snack or you choose yogurt as a bed time snack instead of ice cream, let yourself know, that you recognize the change and the decision. Let yourself know how proud you are. Reward yourself with these positive thoughts. I promise there are chemical reactions happening in that brain that will increase the satisfaction as you reward yourself with gratitude that is associated with these choices.
I know many of you read this blog to learn about health and nutrition. I want to let you know I will continue to post information… and though I don’t know exactly who is reading, I can tell how many of you are. I see you and I’m proud. Whatever your health goal, I want you to feel empowered to reach for it, Yes You Can! I BELIEVE IN YOU. If you find that you need more help reaching for those goals, consider hiring a health coach. I would be happy to help encourage you, provide you with the education you need and the hand holding, cheerleading and accountability to reach your health goals.
This week's recipe is inspired by a client of mine that has a slight aversion to meat and is looking for more ways to incorporate protein into their diet. Not technically a "sauce" but this dip is like hummus and is great as a spread on sandwiches, you can dip vegetables into it or even whole grain chips or crackers. This has a Mediterranean flare, but you could experiment with different herbs if you like. You could add basil and oregano for a more italian twist, or cilantro and a jalepeno for a more latin flare. However you choose, please give this recipe a go!
-3 cups cooked white beans (I like cannellini), you could also just use 2 - 15 ounce cans of beans, make sure to rinse in lots of water to help with the flatulence.
-1 red bell pepper, roasted (you could also use jarred if you prefer - you'll need about 1/2 cup - make sure to rinse any juice it was jarred with)
- 1/2 cup almond butter (or 1/3 cup tahini)
- juice of two lemons, or about 1/4 cup
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder, (I also like to add 2 cloves of fresh garlic crushed)
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water (you can use more if needed for desired texture)
- if you like it spicy you could add a pinch of cayenne or crushed red peppers
To roast the bell peppers, place them in a baking dish under the broiler until all the skin is charred turning frequently. Usually takes about 8-10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the baking dish, transfer to a paper bag or covered glass bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes. Remove the peppers, peel of black charred skins, cut peppers and remove the seeds.
Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor, process until smooth and creamy. Taste the bean dip to see if it needs more lemon, garlic, or salt. I like to refrigerate before serving so it is cold rather than room temperature.
Let me know when you try it! Happy Saturday!
8 Easy Ways to Support Digestion... that you can do anywhere- make sure you read to number 8, it's my favorite.
Tummy trouble got you down? Here are 6 simple ways able to assist your body in digesting a little more effortlessly.
1. Chew. Chew. Chew, and Chew Some More. Yes (my husband is smiling while reading this, because he is SO good at chewing each bit of food, and the amount of chewing he does some times drives me a bit nutty, however, he is really doing something great for his body), digestion begins in the mouth and the chewing both mechanically breaks food apart leaving less work for your stomach (which doesn't have any teeth) but it also allows for ample exposure to saliva. Saliva is key to digestion and has enzymes, protein and bacteria in it taking some of the first most important steps in digestion. It's all there for a reason! Helpful Tip: Try slowing things down and counting out 10 actual connections between your upper and lower teeth (or 20 or 30 if you can) and see if that helps.
2. Take a digestive enzyme before a meal to help give your digestive capacity a boost! I personally like a very inexpensive pineapple or papaya enzyme from Trader Joes, but just about any health food store has digestive enzymes. Normally, when we eat, our body squirts out some enzymatic juices to help you break down the food that’s coming into your stomach and intestines. However, if your GI tract, pancreas or gall bladder are compromised, you might not be producing as much as you need. Give this a try. Especially before very large meals- like a birthday supper or Thanksgiving..
3. Drink only about 4 ounces of a liquid with meals. When large amounts of fluid are consumed with a meal it dilutes digestive enzymes, stomach acid, and other important cofactors that assist both in the food breakdown and maybe more importantly ABSORPTION. Try drinking it before the meal if you are super thirsty- but leave at least 15-20 minutes before eating. Allow for at least 60 minutes after a meal before drinking a large amount of liquid.
4. Take a probiotic. These beneficial bacteria should be residing in your intestines. They aid in digestion of food, most especially fiber that makes it's way to the colon. Medications and stress can deplete our good bacterial supplies and allow for the bad bacteria to take over. You can easily supplement or include fermented/cultured foods at every meal which contain probiotics: sauerkraut, kim chi, miso, tempeh, yogurt, kombucha, kefir are all great examples.
5. Add more herbs and spices to your meals. Herbs and spices are included in the traditional dishes of almost every culture because of their ability to offer a touch of assistance to our digestion. Parsley, ginger, cumin, cilantro, fennel, mint are all a few examples of items you can toss into just about anything that you are cooking. They are known as “carminatives” and help to stimulate the production of “bile” which helps break down fats. You can also try things like Dandelion, Ginger, Mint, or Fennel tea.
6. Eat smaller more frequent meals. Not only will this aid in allowing your body to get the most out of everything you eat, you will be less tempted to over-eat or choose foods that are not as beneficial for your body, This alone will help improved digestion, by eating foods that are better for you.
7. Up your fruits and vegetables. This is a good idea for almost everyone for so many different reasons. Why this aids in digestion is due to the fact that God so miraculously packed into most fruits and vegetables the exact enzymes needed to digest them. They are foods that are packed with self-eaters, giving your body a little break as you eat them from doing and producing all of the work. Amazing right?
8. Smile while you eat and be thankful. A merry heart doth good like medicine. Think about the food you are eating and be grateful, think about the farmers that helped produce it, the rain it took to keep the fields hydrated, think about all that goes into making a meal, when it is prepared so lovingly for you. This may be the most important part of getting ready to eat.
What do YOU do to support your digestion? What has worked with tempering your tummy? I'd love for you to comment and share! Thanks again for reading.
Shepard and Cottage pies were considered meals for common people in Ireland. They generally had a meat and vegetable mixture on the bottom and a crust of mashed potatoes on top (making it an economical choice). Oft times people would even use left over meat from other meals and "repurpose it" in a meat pie. Cottage pie is traditionally made with ground beef and shepard's pie with lamb. Both will work in this recipe, or you can even leave the meat out all together and just use chickpeas instead for a vegan version. Both versions are full of Moroccan spices and warm flavors: cumin, chili, garlic, ginger, hints of cinnamon and cilantro. I've replace the more traditional white potato with sweet potatoes for a more nutrient dense meal (full of B6, vit C, magnesium, and vit A. It is also a great antifungal and antibacterial with the amount of onion, garlic and cumin in the dish. It was so good we hardly had any left overs, ENJOY!
For the bottom:
LET'S MAKE IT!
For the bottom:
I had a hungry family so I returned my dish to the oven for about ten minutes and then turned the broiler on for about 3 minutes. All the ingredients should be fully cooked at this point, so you are really just looking for some browning to happen to the potatoes. I assembled straight into my large cast iron pan for the sake of less dishes. I also didn't have currants or raisins which really bummed be out- but I chose to make it anyways, I think they only could have added to the dish, but if you don't have them around the house, the dish was AMAZING without them. If you make this, please send me pictures of yours!
One of the key first steps I ask my clients to take is incorporating a small, healthy and reasonable bedtime snack. Why? To boost their metabolism! I know you are thinking, but bedtime snacks make you fat. Or: Don't eat past 8 pm.
Why are you thinking that? Because this is the information you have been fed by the diet industry. It is true choosing the wrong bedtime snack (ie icecream, cheesecake, or a slice of bread) may have negative effects on your waist-line, however choosing the right foods can lead to a metabolism slowly burning through the night.
In a Florida State University study, fit college-age men who consumed a 150-calorie carb- and protein-rich shake 30 to 60 minutes before bed increased their metabolisms. When researchers did the same experiment with young obese women, they saw improvements in blood pressure and metabolic function. With the men, they found it didn't even matter what the men were eating, they had increased metabolic function.
Why does increased metabolic function provide a benefit? If your metabolism is burning more calories it will be easier to capitalize on this for weight loss. Now, it didn't matter what these young, active men ate at night, they still had quicker burning metabolisms, you won't find me telling my clients to eat ANYTHING. Partly why the diet industry stressed no food late in the evening, is this is when people tend to reach for more caloric, fattier, more craving-driven choices that do not aid an individual in weight loss efforts.
Ready for some free tips? It's better NOT to choose fruit as a dessert right before bed. If you like fruit after dinner, eat it right after dinner (or with dinner). It is better to choose a mixture of a complex carb and protein. And it's best to eat this meal 2-3 hours after dinner but before bed. Examples of late night snacks I recommend to my patients:
I know for some this seems counter intuitive, however the metabolic benefits yielded from a portion of protein and some good carbohydrates being burned as fuel while you sleep provides you with an engine that is still slowly burning when you wake up.
This is part of why my clients have such success with weight loss. We are turning the diet world upside down. My clients are eating more than they were before and losing weight while not feeling hungry. It does take discipline to make the right choice of food right before bed, and I admit it isn't the sexiest thing to grab a handful of peanuts as you march towards your room, however you will feel better as your body changes as it takes advantage of your new metabolic rate.
Caitlin Johnson is a dietitian, wife, lover of ice cream, chef wannabe, California-girl, Christian, liver eating, "food-avore."
218 W. Carmen Lane, Suite 108
Santa Maria, California 93458
Hours: Tues and Thurs 9-5 PST