The Diabetic Diet Myth!

Many people ask, “should I follow a diabetic diet?”.  This is a common myth for type 1 diabetics, type 2 diabetics and for anyone that wants good nutrition. The fact is that diabetics can absolutely eat what others can eat as long as the goal is well controlled blood glucose and a healthy diet.  The same applies to those non diabetics that are looking to lose weight.  *Note that type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with weight gain (or loss) and is very different as a diagnosis in itself from type 2 diabetes.

Any diabetic, regardless of their type is seeking a healthy diet to assist in glucose control for a lifetime of wellness (and without complications).  All of us, (with or without diabetes) also need to work hard to have a healthy diet to avoid heart disease, illnesses and obesity.  Here are a few tips to satisfy a healthy meal plan for all!:

  1.  Spend your carbohydrate grams wisely and spread them through the day.
  2.  Factor in your own personal weight loss goals and your activity level.
  3.  Consider any health factors and medications you may be taking.
  4.  Choose whole grains and high fiber carbohydrates.
  5.  Budget your overall calories.  Make sure you burn more than you consume if weight loss is your goal.

Choosing a meal plan that is right for you is something to discuss with a professional.  When in doubt, reach out!

*This article is not intended to give medical advice.


Facts about drinking alcohol

img_4212There are always lots of questions in check in emails about this topic!!
Alcohol is labeled as containing 7.1 calories per gram. But the real value is slightly lower. That’s because alcohol elicits a thermogenic response, which means it raises your metabolic rate for some time after you drink it.
Once this rise in metabolism is taken into account, which is larger than the rise seen with carbohydrate or fat, the “true” number of calories in a gram of alcohol is somewhere between 5.7 and 6 calories.
Whether or not alcohol is “fattening” is a very controversial subject, mainly because the main fate of alcohol is NOT to be stored as fat. In fact, less than 5% of the alcohol you drink is turned into fat. Rather, the main effect of alcohol is to reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy.
Rather than getting stored as fat, the main fate of alcohol is conversion into a substance called acetate. In fact, blood levels of acetate after drinking vodka are about 2.5 times higher than normal. And it’s this sharp rise in acetate that puts the brakes on fat loss.
To summarize, here’s what happens to fat metabolism after drinking alcohol:
1. A small portion of the alcohol is converted into fat.
2. Your liver then converts most of the alcohol into acetate.
3. The acetate is released into your bloodstream and takes precedence over the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
The way your body responds to alcohol is very similar to the way it deals with excess carbohydrate. Although carbohydrate can be converted directly into fat, this doesn’t happen unless you’re eating large amounts of it.
Instead, one of the main effects of overfeeding with carbohydrate is that it simply replaces fat as a source of energy. By suppressing fat burning, it enables the fat in your diet to be stored a lot more easily.
It’s important to point out that alcohol is only having this effect while it’s being metabolized by your body.
With this all said, it is your personal preference in regards to enjoying an occasional drink of choice. There is extensive research on the benefits of a glass of red wine! There is also the choice to have a “reduced” calorie drink without added sugars while having a typical mixed drink. Try substituting sugary mixers with seltzer and pure lime or lemon juice. This will avoid an empty calorie overload!

*This document is not intended to give medical advice and must not be reproduced or distributed. Individuals results may vary and all dietary considerations should be discussed with your physician.

Holiday Time Survival Guide

img_42111. Keep your SHORT TERM GOAL written down where you can see it every day. VIEW it often! It is ok to cut back on commitments, but never throw away your goals for anything or anyone! *KEEP where you will see it!
2. Increase WATER. Herbal teas, seltzers and pure water is best anytime. Lemon added is cleansing to the body!
4. “HIIT” your cardio sessions! Even though free time is short, keep cardio strong and use short duration HIIT training, which keeps you burning calories long after your session. Do interval if you are not up for HIIT.
5. Wake up and put on workout clothes. You are more apt to work out if you are wearing gear to go!
6. Drink green tea….effective as a thermogenic to the body and fine in moderation.
7. Keep sight of your LONG term goals! Health and wellness is a year round commitment to your body. Keep that thought tucked away as you have a flexible holiday weekend or week! Don’t give up just because the feeling left for a moment of fun!
8. Make time for YOU. Sleep 8 hours when you can, put your feet up once a day, treat yourself to any relaxation that is nonfood related. Be present with yourself and enjoy the clarity of that. *BOOK TIME IS A MUST to clear the mind and fill your brain power!!
9. Be positive and be around supportive people. Your vibe often mirrors your tribe and vice versa. This applies to your home, personal and fitness life.
10. Enjoy every moment with your loved ones. There is no time like the present to cherish who is most important to you. Make health a priority for you and FOR them. Involve them on your journey for your best YOU!

STRESS Eating? Stop it in its tracks!

Stress eating or emotional eating is a frequent topic between my coaching clients, training clients, class students and myself.  Most adults, women in particular are dealing with stress in their daily life, coupled along with some daily habits in our routines that fuel this problem!

The first thing to identify in regards to stress eating is your food habits and food cravings.  Are you eating more  at certain times of day or around certain people?  Are you choosing comfort foods around regular scheduled meals?  Is healthy food what you are thinking about (true hunger) or is it more about the emotional “filling up” at certain times (lots of thought about certain food).  Once you can identify these times, foods and habits that you want to change it is time to get “mindful” of all of these factors!

If you can be mindful, or aware of your tough times, tough foods and tough feelings then you can change the scenario completely.  DECIDE to be aware of filling your BELLY when needed (on a schedule preferably) vs. filling an emotional need.  Focus on actual hunger and not a certain salty or sugary food that is a craving for fatigue, stress or a habitual timed event (ie: the late night snack, uh oh!!).  Keep foods on a schedule that you know you body needs, instead of emotional wants.  When we feed feelings instead of our bodies, we store excess food that otherwise we don’t need typically.

Some practical tips:

identify your triggers (write it down if that helps you to see it)

adjust daily routine/habits so they are not about food

learn your cues and know your weak times to fill with alternatives

set yourself up for success with food prep and healthy choices

eat slowly and on a schedule

“take 5” before caving into that craving/sometimes it is thirst or fatigue!

enjoy relaxation and favored activities over food

be confident with social influences, choose what is best for YOU.

At the end of the day, do not beat yourself up. Focus on your healthful journey and what comes next.  Love your body and it will love you back.

Barbecue Blowout!

Barbecue Blowout!

How to host and enjoy those spring and summer barbeques without gaining an ounce!  Here are ten ideas for spring and summer success!

  1. When making your own burgers, substitute lean ground turkey or chicken for ground beef when possible. If vegetarian burgers are on the menu, keep fat content low.
  2. Add egg white to your burger mix to add lean protein and keep seasonings in!
  3. Top burgers and proteins with fresh grilled vegetables and a heaping scoop of a fat free condiment such as sugar free ketchup, mustard, salsa or hummus
  4. Try a themed flair when making your menu; Mexican burger with taco seasoning, salsa, and avocado (side bar of toppings is fun for kids), or an Italian burger with fresh basil, low fat mozzarella and fresh tomato
  5. Try whole grain rolls or flatbread as your burger bun (*best bet: serve on ½ a bun only)
  6. If serving/having a hot dog, go with turkey or chicken, nitrate free organic varieties
  7. Choose salads that are mostly GREEN. Stay away from your WHITE salads (potato/pasta) which are mostly fat and carbs (mayonnaise and salad dressings can be loaded with unhealthy fats) Pasta salads are likely refined starch unless prepared with whole grain pasta.
  8. Serve or bring a VEGGIE platter with GRILLED vegetables brushed with olive oil and garlic
  9. Have a light meal or snack before attending any outdoor festivities so that you are not tempted to over indulge on heavy foods and fatty snacks. Bring along whole grain crackers and low fat cheese to avoid the chip overload (who ever eats just one???)
  10. Enjoy fresh fruit that is in season to satisfy your sweet tooth. Top with Greek yogurt for a healthy, protein rich topper.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, the active things we can do in this beautiful weather that New England brings in the summer, and most of all, your time with your family around the table with delicious, healthy foods!

*see your physician before starting any new exercise or nutrition program