"Best and Worst Meals for Diabetes-Savvy Dining" Review

Are you prediabetic or diabetic and attempting to lose weight? Here are 3 examples that you can keep in mind while dining out (from the Webmd article "Best and Worst Meals for Diabetes-Savvy Dining”).

Worse Bet #1: Farm Breakfast


The count: 2,060 calories, 276 g carbs
3 pancakes, 2 sausage links, 1 hash brown patty, and 2 scrambled eggs

No food is off-limits with diabetes, but this brunch will blow your carb and calorie budget in a hurry. Experts suggest that meals for people with diabetes should have 45-75 grams of carbohydrates, depending on individual goals. Your body weight, activity, and medications all matter. This meal packs enough carbs for four to five meals.

Better Bet #1: New American Breakfast


The count: 294 calories, 40 g carbs
Oatmeal with blueberries and scrambled eggs with spinach and light cheese

This quick meal delivers protein in a scrambled egg, and just 40 carbs, mostly from fiber-rich oatmeal and blueberries. Fiber slows digestion to help prevent blood sugar spikes. People with diabetes need to watch all types of carbs: cereal, bread, rice, pasta, starchy veggies, sweets, fruit, milk, and yogurt. Spread your total carbs across the day.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: While I think your philosophy should be figuring out what you can get away with when it comes to eating, you have to be careful if you’re prediabetic or diabetic. In many cases, a meal overloaded with carbs can send you into a coma (a concern that shouldn’t be taken lightly….something I learned firsthand when a loved one passed several years ago). With this being said, you need to be mindful of your choices. If a meal is made on the farm, it must be healthy, right? I wish (although I love my visits to the Ray Farm in southern Indiana every summer). Although the farm breakfast is a favorite go-to, a whopping 276 g of carbs will send your blood sugars levels to the moon. Pancakes, potatoes, and syrup, oh my! Settle for WebMD's better combination of complex carbs and protein. Don’t kid yourself though: There are carbs in most dairy products. Choose unsweetened almond or coconut milk with your oatmeal to please your favorite Chicago personal trainer. Annnnnnnd, by the way, WebMD, some foods SHOULD be off-limits….but that’s another conversation.

Worse Bet #2: Chips, Salsa, Burrito


The count: 1,760 calories, 183 g carbs
Chips, salsa, and everything you imagine on the burrito

Before one bite of burrito, you can get 98 grams of carbs and 810 calories in a basket of chips and salsa. If you're trying to slim down and eat less sodium, like many people with diabetes, the burrito adds 950 calories. You also get way more than a whole day's worth of sodium.

Better Bet #2: Beef and Bean Enchilada


The count: 443 calories, 48 g carbs
Beef and beans, and veggies in a corn tortilla shell topped with salsa and light sour cream (with a side of guacamole and chips)

Lean beef and black beans make this Mexican dish a good option for a diabetic diet. The fiber in the beans can help lower blood cholesterol and control blood sugar. Go heavy on the veggies and light on cheese. Enjoy 10 small corn chips (1 ounce) with a little guacamole.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I love Mexican food. Please believe me when I say that it can be healthy. Of course, this isn’t true when you have something with the name “basket” in it (as well as “burrito as big as your head”). We want carbs…but the good carbs though (think: veggies, beans, legumes, etc.). Anything with corn or flour will push you beyond your limits. If you need a tortilla shell, choose a non-GMO corn tortilla shell and cut down on the size. An enchilada may be a smaller option right up your alley. Still be mindful of your calorie/fat, increasing consumption of cheese.

Worse Bet #3: Southern Rib Plate


The count: 2,510 calories, 83 g carbs
Ribs, macaroni and cheese, and corn on the cob

This classic Southern meal loads too many splurge foods onto one plate. Fatty pork ribs are dripping in sugary barbecue sauce and flanked by macaroni and cheese and corn on the cob. Corn is a high-carb vegetable, with about 19 grams of carbs in one medium ear. It's just too much, all around.

Better Bet #3: Pork Tenderloin Meal


The count: 360 calories, 42 g carbs
Pork tenderloin, broccoli, and pureed cauliflower

Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest and most versatile cuts of meat. Here it's prepared in a Dijon mustard glaze, and served with steamed broccoli and mock mashed potatoes. Pureed cauliflower stands in beautifully for carb-heavy white potatoes. Round out the meal with a whole wheat dinner roll.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Even I will admit that this isn’t a fair tradeoff, WebMD. Most people won’t say, “I really, really, really want ribs with the mac and cheese but I guess I’ll have the alternative: Pork tenderloin.” Since you’re in the mood for a treat, I recommend the following instead: A well-done portion of ribs without the bbq sauce (cook off the fat and remove the carbs from the sauce), collard greens with minimal oil and no bacon, and corn on the cob. Less fat, calories, and carbs! Sorry, no mac and cheese, gang.

Photo Credit:
Andrea Woo Wordpress.com–Will this dish send you into a diabetic coma?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "Best and Worst Meals for Diabetes-Savvy Dining" on Webmd.com.
" Best and Worst Meals for Diabetes-Savvy Dining " Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"40 Habits Making You Hungry" Review

Instead of looking at why you’re not losing weight, you may want to look at what causes your endless hunger. Here are the top reasons why from the Zerobelly article "40 Habits Making You Hungry”.

SKIPPING BREAKFAST


All that talk of breakfast being the most important meal of the day rings truer than you might think. In the morning, your body’s concentration of hunger hormone ghrelin tends to be higher than during the rest of the day. However, when you skip breakfast, you’re putting off the uptick in satiety hormone leptin, keeping you famished and more prone to grabbing something unhealthy when you finally do eat. In fact, research presented at the Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting reveals that average weight individuals who skipped breakfast and then looked at photos of food chose high-calorie treats more often than those who had eaten a morning meal.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I think the most important point in regards to skipping breakfast is the one that’s missing: You create a deficit in your body when you deprive it of the fuel it needs while skipping breakfast. The body hacker will argue that fasting will cause the body to employ its backup system to assist a person with his or her weight loss. Let’s consider this for a moment as truth. Maybe you will lose weight because your metabolism has “lit” up (not simply because of your calorie reduction). Is this a long term result? Wouldn’t your body return to its set metabolism once your habits stabilize? Wouldn’t the risk of malnutrition, fatigue, and additional internal organ work be enough to encourage you to do what you’re simply avoiding: Eating a balancing diet when your body demands it? Your body is an efficient machine. Let it work the way it should.

GRAZING ALL DAY


Eating snacks to tide you over between meals can help prevent binges later on, but if you’re grazing all day long, you might be making yourself hungrier. Research published in the January 2016 edition of the Journal of Nutrition reveals that grazing didn’t actually curb the appetite of study participants. Grazing all day may also make you more likely to forget what you’ve eaten, contributing to a higher total caloric intake.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you’re eating with intent, grazing doesn’t exist…and your appetite will be satisfied. Again, this is another theory related to the speed of your metabolism. Ironically, this failed attempt can lead you to a deficiency and the mindless eating of calories.

NEGLECTING SLEEP


Catching some Zs may not be the most calorie-burning activity you do all day, but it can make a major difference in terms of your hunger. Research published in the December 2004 edition of PLoS Medicine reveals that inadequate sleep triggers the body’s production of ghrelin, a hunger hormone, while suppressing the production of leptin, the hormone that signals satiety. Couple that with the increased stomach acid production — a feeling often mistaken for hunger — that many people experience after a sleepless night and you’ve got a recipe for some serious munchies.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you’re going to continue to run the machine without rest, it will continue to demand fuel. Are you willing to wear down the parts without maintenance? If you sacrifice sleep, you’re sacrificing your body. Time to ease off the coffee, relax a bit, and hit the hay.

CHOOSING CANNED FOODS


Canned foods may be convenient and economical, but turning to them on a regular basis might be the reason behind your persistent hunger. Not only can salty canned foods increase thirst, which is often mistaken for hunger, research conducted at Carleton University in Ottawa reveals that the BPA in certain food packaging can decrease the body’s leptin receptivity, making it harder to determine when you’re satisfied.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Sodium is a hidden killer and it finds itself in many of your packaged goods. Be especially mindful of most pasta sauces (500-800 mg per serving) and canned fish (300 mg per serving). if you trying to staying in the recommended range of 500 mg of sodium per meal.

ENDING THE DAY WITH A NIGHTCAP


If you think that end-of-the-day drink is helping you wind down, think again — it might just be making you hungrier. Not only does alcohol have an inhibition-lowering effect, making you eager to eat, even when you’re not particularly hungry, it can also disrupt your REM sleep, leaving you poorly rested and more prone to grabbing convenience snacks to tame your rumbling tummy.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most important, you achieve the most physical recovery during REM sleep...something you shouldn’t take lightly. Try to minimize anything that will affect this important time of night.

WEANING OFF MEDICATION


Whether you’re tapering off your antidepressants or have finished a prescription for painkillers after surgery, finishing a medication can have a serious effect on your hunger level. Many medications, from those that treat chronic pain to those designed for individuals with ADHD, can have appetite-suppressing effects. Unfortunately, when you finish your course of treatment, your old appetite can come back in full force, so it’s important to pay particular attention to your food choices if you’re weaning off your meds.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: No matter the medication always be mindful of your physical self while starting or weaning off a regiment. Essentially, you are changing your chemical balance - a shift that could lead to a number of effects including fatigue and weight gain.

Photo Credit:
Zerobelly.com –Will one cocktail before bed make you hungry?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "40 Habits Making You Hungry" on Zerobelly.com.
"40 Habits Making You Hungry" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"Is pizza healthy?" Review

Finally…the most important question of our times will be answered: Is pizza healthy? Find out here (from the CNN.com article "Is pizza healthy?" Review).

Pizza is healthy. And it isn't healthy.

Depending on the type of crust, the amount of cheese and the toppings used, pizza can rank anywhere from nutritionally decent to a diet disaster.

Even healthy pizzas deliver a good amount of sodium from tomato sauce and cheese, so if you are watching your salt intake, you should eat with caution. Of course, the size of the slice and the number of slices you eat count, too.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: “To be or not to be….that is the question” is what I thought of when reading the first line of this article. Let’s be honest, you, like I, have been lured in by CNN with their Shakespearean introduction. Without any further banter, the author dives right in to answer this question. Without further ado, let’s evaluate:

While I also think that there is a spectrum of “healthiness” when considering a slice of pizza, I want to assure you of one thing right away: Pizza isn’t healthy. It fails miserably to reach your nutritional ratio of need and the main ingredients (cheese and crust) will most eventually send you to the ER with heart disease or diabetes (If you don’t believe it, check out published lists of the number killers of Americans).

With this being said, I absolutely love pizza. I worked in a pizza kitchen for three years in high school and often dream about dancing slices. If you do the same, be honest with yourself: It is a treat, not a nutritional meal. We can call it a filler as well (and you may feel filled up while you sleep on the floor after eating it). What if you plan to eat it anyway? Then, this is what you should know. Putting aside the ingredients, the sodium is usually a big problem. You shouldn’t eat consume more than 1000-1500 mg of sodium per day, and a personal pan pizza will give you at least that. Definitely be mindful of your portions.

Pizza pros include the fact that it offers calcium from cheese and disease-fighting lycopene from tomatoes. And pizza crust made with whole-wheat flour (including whole white wheat flour) is healthier than regular white crust, as it offers whole grains and fiber and is digested more slowly than refined grains.

But what you put on your pizza can significantly impact its nutritional value. Toppings such pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese can boost saturated fat, sodium, and calories, while slices made with thinner crusts and topped with veggies tend to have lower calorie, saturated fat and sodium counts.

For example, a large slice of Pizza Hut's Thin 'N Crispy Veggie Lovers pizza has 240 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat and 710 milligrams of sodium. But a large slice of the chain's Meat Lovers pan pizza with pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, pork, and beef has 480 calories, 10 grams of saturated fat and 1,180 milligrams of sodium.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: First, dairy can cause inflammation in the body. If you’re seeking calcium, choose more nutrient-dense sources like dark leafy greens (yes, I know…not as exciting). Second, whole grains can also cause inflammation as; they are highly processed and lack nutrition density, and they spike your blood sugar levels (though not as much as white flour). Unless whole grains are in the whole form, don’t convince yourself that you’re making a healthy choice here. Translation: If you crave this treat, go all in with the white flour crust but less of it.

The second part of this section regarding the ingredients is dead on. You control whether this garbage can fire turns into a 5-alarm fire. Calories, fat, and sodium are the main culprits….your toppings will determine how far off the cliff you fall (especially if you’re already dancing on the line with the other choices you’ve made that day). By the way, Chicago has so many great options for pizza you should avoid anything with “Hut” in the name.

Frozen pizzas can be a convenient dinner, but they too can vary regarding ingredients and nutritional value, especially with sodium counts, so it's important to read labels carefully (some contain small amounts of trans fats, too). Dairy-free and gluten-free pizzas are available, but as with their traditional counterparts, their healthfulness varies.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Short and sweet: Avoid the frozen pizzas. More processed, less fresh, and the taste rarely compares to the real experience. Keep in mind that I ate one frozen pizza per weight to help with my misguided, immature attempts to gain weight and muscle.

When it comes to kids and pizza, one recent study concluded that pizza consumption among children and adolescents was associated with a higher daily calorie intake and higher intakes of saturated fat and sodium. The study also found that pizza eaten as a snack or from fast-food restaurants had the greatest negative impact on calorie intake.

Pizza consumed in schools did not significantly affect children's calorie intake, probably because it may not be that nutritionally different from other school entrees, according to study authors.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Repeat after me “Kids cannot eat whatever they want”. I know…you don’t believe me because they’re not overweight and they can “burn it off”. Don’t kid yourself, though (pun intended). The biggest phase of a child’s physical development occurs between the ages of newborn to 8/9 (and I can argue to the age of 18-21).

Consider this: Would you give your car watered-down fuel or oil? Probably not because you know that it won’t run efficiently (and may break down during your busy life). The same applies to your child when he or she needs the best fuel for a pivotal point in his or her life. You don’t need to completely remove it from your child’s life…just view it, again, as a treat, not a weekly meal (and make sure your child understands why).

If you enjoy pizza on a regular basis, try making it at home using healthier ingredients, such as whole-wheat English muffins, part-skim mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce without added salt. And don't forget to top it with lots of vegetables; the more colorful your pizza, the better!

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Please don’t enjoy pizza on a regular basis. Despite the efforts to make it healthy, it isn’t a great source of nutritional fuel. I often order a cheeseless pizza with extra vegetables. It is my attempt to lessen the effects while still enjoying one of my favorite indulgences. Ultimately, though, life isn’t about living perfectly. Whatever you indulge in, be sure to realistically assess its value and think about its relationship to the other choices for that day. With that being said, who wants to grab 1-2 small slices of pizza?

Photo Credit:
CNN.com – Are the extra ingredients really the difference?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "Is Taking a Multivitamin Worth the Risks?" on CNN.com.
"Is pizza healthy?" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.