Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Does any drink with no calories count as water?

Thanks for your question, Sarah B.!

The answer is "it depends who you ask". Some people believe your water intake must be pure water to count, because there are additives in other beverages that prevent you from being fully hydrated. Just today someone told me that the 'chemicals' in soda 'stay in your body and never leave'... not true, of course, but everyone has their own thoughts on this subject.

Recently I read an article in a medical journal that denounced the old theory that 'coffee doesn't count as water, because the caffeine contained in coffee acts as a diuretic". They have now apparently shown that the diuretic effect (which makes your kidneys eliminate more water) is not enough to counter the benefits of taking in the fluids while you're drinking the coffee.

So, yes, I believe that anything you drink counts as water--even beverages which contain calories, such as milk or juice-- because they put fluid in your system. Whether it's 8 cups of water versus 8 cups of soda definitely has an effect on your system in other ways, but as long as you drink plenty of 'fluids' you should remain well hydrated!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How Much Weight Can I Lose by Exercising?

Yedda – People. Sharing. Knowledge.Burning a 1000 calories a day how much weight will I lose?

For every 3500 calories you burn you should lose one pound.  This means by burning 1000 extra calories each day you will lose 2 pounds at the end of each week.  If you are really burning 1000 calories you are probably working out for two extra hours a day, and that's a lot.  I'm sure it doesn't seem like much weight loss for all that exercise, but it goes back to human preservation in the caveman days--if the weight just fell off us for doing a few hours of exercise we would starve to death too easily!

Keep up the good work and enjoy the success from your hard work!


Answered by coachlaurierd on December 09, 2008

View the entire discussion on YeddaYedda – People. Sharing. Knowledge.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why Eight Glasses of Water?

Wherever did the "Eight Glasses" of water requirement come from?

When working with patients to estimate their fluid needs, calculations are based on one's size and calorie intake. A person is estimated to need one cc (or one milliliter) of water for each calorie they consume. An average calorie intake is 2000 calories per day. This is the level on which the daily values are based on food labels. When translating the metric 2000 milliliters (ml) to ounces, you divide 2000 by 30 because there are 30 ml in one ounce. You get 66 ounces, divide by 8 ounces per cup, and that is just over eight cups of water! This is why you always hear people suggest you need about eight, 8-oz cups of water each day.

If you are a larger person and consume more calories or if you are more active, you will need to adjust upwards and drink a few more glasses to adjust for metabolizing the extra calories, or to compensate for losses in sweat. Likewise, if you are a smaller person and consume fewer calories you might be fine drinking just six glasses of fluid each day. Extra fluids you do drink in moderation are easily excreted by your kidneys, so unless your doctor has suggested otherwise, at least eight glasses is suitable for anyone in good health.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey Leftovers

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday! If you have lots of leftover turkey, check out this great article from with the top ten recipes for using up the rest of the bird.

A few tips about food safety:

1. Don't continue to heat and reheat leftovers. The more often they end up in the "danger zone" (between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit) the more likely it is that bacteria will grow and cause some type of food poisoning. Only heat up the portion you will be using at that meal (that goes for turkey, stuffing, potatoes--the works!) and keep the rest refrigerated.

2. Don't leave food at room temperature for more than two hours. Either keep it hot in the oven warmer (above 140 degrees) or let it cool slightly and put it back in the refrigerator.

3. Foods like turkey and the accompaniments only stay safe in the refrigerator for five to seven days. If you know you won't be able to eat it all by next Thursday, portion it into meal-sized servings and place it in labeled containers (contents and date) to freeze. It can stay in the freezer for at least six months. When you're ready for a repeat, either defrost in the fridge for a day or two, or microwave on medium for several minutes before heating it up to eat.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving leftover foods safely, and enjoy the memories of the day :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm Trying to Lose Weight, But I'm Always Hungry!

First of all, be sure you are not depriving yourself of all the calories you can have, while still being able to lose weight. There is virtually no one who needs to be on a diet lower than 1200 calories, and it's nearly impossible to get the nutrients you need if you're eating less than that. Figure about 10-12 calories per pound is what you need to maintain your weight (eg if you weigh 200 pounds you are burning approximately 2000-2400 calories a day). Of course this varies greatly depending on your age, gender, and activity level, and there are websites to help you estimate your needs a little more closely.

Take 250 to 500 calories away from this number (now your range for weight loss if you are 200 pounds will be between 1500 calories and 2150) and you can expect to lose one-half pound to one pound a week. True, if you eat 800 calories you can lose 3 pounds, but it's not worth it to starve yourself and be miserable for an extra couple of pounds, is it? The fact is, you can learn to eat an 1800 calorie level for the rest of your life on most days and then you will never have to 'diet' again!

So, now to address the hunger issue. Think about how you feel when you say you are "hungry". Is your stomach growling, are you lightheaded, or do you just feel like eating more food because it tastes good? If you just like to eat, you will have to develop some strategies to distract yourself after you've eaten the proper portion at each meal and snack. Leave the table, have a cup of tea or a hard candy, go for a walk, call a friend, listen to music--whatever you enjoy that will distract you from the idea of eating more.

Some tips to help keep you from feeling empty:

1) Eat all the food allowed on your meal plan. Don't skip a meal, don't skip a serving of vegetables. You'll stay more full during the day when you eat consistently

2) Enjoy a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. There is a book called "volumetrics" that explains how to eat a lot of food volume without taking in a lot of calories.
3) Mind calories taken in from foods that will not fill you up at all: simple carbs like pretzels and crackers; hidden fats like melted butter and cream sauces; and one of the worst culprits--sweetened beverages like soda and sweet tea.
4) Before a party or a meal, have a handful of nuts--just about 10 or 12. They send a chemical message to your brain within about 30 minutes that says you are not hungry!
Hang in there, and take it slow and steady. Enjoy the food you do eat, and find other things you like to do to keep your mind occupied.
Let us know what strategies work for you!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How Often Should I Weigh Myself?

Like many behaviors that can aid in weight loss, this answer will vary from person to person. Some people really hate to get on the scale. And the answer for them would be "you never have to". But most people find it encouraging to see the numbers go down and this keeps them plugging away at keeping up their healthy eating and exercise.

It does get frustrating if the numbers don't go down quickly enough--and if you're looking to lose 9 pounds this week, you will be very frustrated! The typical recommendation is to weigh weekly and expect to see a one or two pound loss. I find it helpful to keep a graph and track weekly weight loss, because the pound or two lost each week is much more meaningful at the end of the month. When your graph shows 5-10 pounds lost, frustration easily turns to encouragement!

Some people--and this is true of many who have lost weight and kept it off--weigh themselves daily. Yes, that's right, every day. If you do this, it is very important to know that daily weight fluctuations are not the same as fat loss or gain. A person's weight can change by 2-4 pounds each day based on water retention, as an effect of sodium intake, after eating a large meal, etc. Then why weigh every day? It helps you learn that weight is a just a number; that eating a large meal can't really mean you gained six pounds of body fat; and that if the number keeps going up it's tme to change something right away. Frequent monitoring helps people see when they need to adjust their diet so they can maintain their rate of loss, or maintain the weight they are comfortable being.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's the Best Diet To Follow?

This solution is going to be different for everyone, but basically the answer is "the one you can stick with". Studies show that people successfully lose weight as long as they are on any regimen that is helping them eat fewer calories than they burn. If you start a program and you're not ready to devote the time and energy to stick with it; if it's too difficult to continuously be calculating; or if it leaves you starving all day, you're not likely to remain on it for more than a few days.

Think about giving something new a shot: learning to eat a healthy and balanced diet every day! This means you don't have to give up anything forever. You can still have snacks, desserts, even chocolate :) You just have to set your mind to eating all things in moderation and putting some attention to planning ahead. This means simple strategies such as having only one dessert a day; eating smaller portions at meals; making an effort to include plenty of fruits and vegetables and adequate servings of dairy products to meet your nutrient needs; and planning meals ahead of time so you don't end up ordering pizza night after night because you have nothing in the house to cook!

Some helpful tools to use are the food guide pyramid website and the Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight six week program.

Please post your comments here: we'd love to hear what you tried and what worked for you!

Butter or Margarine--Which is Better Now?

What a confusing topic our spreads have become.
Margarine was first invented with the intention of developing a product healthier than butter. In the late 1960's when studies found people who had high cholesterol were having more heart attacks, the food science community went about trying to lower the cholesterol intake of consumers. Since butter contains cholesterol, the search was on for a substitute.
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring fat in all animals. It's made in the liver and does serve some good purposes (it's a precursor to vitamin D). But too much can clog our arteries and lead to heart and artery disease.
So the bright idea was to take corn oil, which is cholesterol free (as are all plant oils) and make a yellow stick of spread out of it to mimic the butter we love.

A decade or so later, scientists found that cholesterol in the diet is not, in fact, the primary cause of elevated cholesterol levels in the blood. It's saturated fats (those solid at room temperature) that are responsible for raising the levels of so-called bad cholesterol.
Now let's take a look at that unsaturated corn oil margarine. Ooops! They had to saturate it (a process filling certain openings in the structure with hydrogen atoms) to make it solid so it would look and feel more like butter. Now that it's solid, it's not so good for you anymore! The idea of margarine being "healthy" because it contained no cholesterol changed in the eyes of the nutrition science community to "unhealthy" because it's a saturated fat. Now we know the trans fats (those that are changed from unsaturated to saturated) are so unhealthy they are becoming banned in some places. Other oils have been replaced in commercial products over the years such as coconut oil and palm oil, both of which are naturally more saturated because of their chemical composition.

Fortunately, there are many other options available. While I wouldn't choose a stick of margarine over a stick of butter, margarine comes in many forms that are more healthy because they are less solid. A tub of margarine is more healthy than a stick because it's less saturated (you can tell because it's softer). The squeeze margarines are still more healthy (more liquid, less solid). The spray margarines are best of all if you're watching your blood lipids. The simple rule is, the more liquid (the less solid) the better these are for your cholesterol levels.
Many of the less-solid forms are also lower in fat and Calories too--and we're always watching our calories!

Are Meal Replacements a Good Idea?

Meal replacement diets such as slimfast, medifast, and Jenny Craig have been around for decades. Do they work? The answer is, "Yes! As long as you stay on the diet". For years dietitians fought the idea of having their clients use these pre-packaged powders and potions, insisting that people need to learn how to prepare a balanced meal and train themselves to eat proper portion sizes. But now conventional wisdom says the most important outcome for people with health issues is to lose weight.
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or other conditions affected by obesity, losing just 10% of your current body weight can make a huge difference. So, by all meals consult your dietitian and other health care professionals to get the best advice for you. But the bottom line is, use whatever works--as long as it provides the nutrients you need in the right balance for you--to help get your weight down.