Archive for the ‘diet’ Category

The best brownies ever … not kidding!  Not only are they seriously great, they’re  unbelievably easy to make. The recipe is here, along with something like 3,000 comments from hard-core brownie freaks. (Personally, I’d recommend skipping the frosting. The brownies are heaven all by themselves — trust me!)

So you’ve sworn off fast food because you know it’s better to avoid all that fat, sugar, salt  and processed ingredients. But … one day you’re out, you’re starving and before you know it, your car just seems to turn into that MickeyD drive-through lane all by itself. Meanwhile, your brain is working overtime on rationalizing — “it’s just one meal,” “is fast food really that bad?” and the classic, “but I’ll have something healthy for dinner tonight to make up for it.”

Here’s a happy discovery to go with that Happy Meal: Researchers have found that downing  a glass of orange juice instead of soda or water puts the brakes on inflammation caused by fast food. Minimizing inflammation is important, because it makes us more vulnerable to heart attack and strokes.

Before you race out for a Big Mac, though, be aware that this was a very small study, so it needs to be replicated with more people to make sure the findings hold up. But at least next time you’re faced with choosing between a fast food fix and passing out from low blood sugar, go ahead and eat, but be sure to swap the soda for orange juice. You’ll still be getting a lot of calories from not-so-good fats and sugar, along with waaaaay too much salt and processed ingredients, however, so if you’re serious about staying healthy, don’t make it a regular event!

Weight Loss 101

Posted: March 4, 2009 in calories, diet, success, weight loss

Back to basics — that’s the message from the latest study on weight loss and it’s creating a buzz among health experts. Why? The research, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, is truly impressive, consisting of “the longest, largest and most rigorous test of several popular diet strategies.”

The bottom line: after years of fad diets, new research shows that successful dieters are the ones who simply go back to the old notion of cutting calories.

The best summary I’ve read so far is this one in the Irish Times. Here’s a small sample:

“There isn’t any one way. That is the nice thing about none of these diets in particular winning,” says Christopher Gardner, a nutrition researcher at Stanford University’s Prevention Research Center. “We don’t have any right to push low fat or low carb or high protein. If one of these approaches is more satiating, where you will not be hungry and have cravings, that is the one that will work for you.”

As you might imagine, I’ll have a lot more to say about calorie cutting in the very near future. In the meantime, the photo above is worth at least 1,000 words — and if it keeps you away from fast food, it just might save you 4,000 calories!

There’s nothing like finding someone who agrees with you — especially on a touchy subject like the fact that diets don’t work. But now you don’t have to take my word for it … Pam Anderson (not the boobs-bikinis-and-boyfriends Pam, this is the one who’s based her career on being a great cook! In fact, she’s the CookSmart columnist for USA Weekend.) has a new book detailing how she lost forty pounds — and kept if off, hello!! — without giving up good food.

It’s hard to imagine a tougher situation than being an acclaimed food expert and trying to lose weight. So what’s her secret? In two words — common sense! After years of dieting, Ms. Anderson realized that the hunger and deprivation that go hand in hand with most diets are killers. Instead of a temporary solution (in other words, yet another diet), she changed her lifestyle — and lost the extra pounds she’d been struggling with for years.

If you’d like to know more, here is a link to an interview, plus an outstanding and very personal podcast in which she talks openly about her lifelong struggle with weight. Great stuff, all of it! (In the interests of full disclosure, I am not receiving any compensation of any kind for recommending this book. Also, I do not know Ms. Anderson and have no personal interest in her work. I just loved what she had to say, mainly because she agrees with me!!)