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weight control

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A 'Fantastic' Diet Plan? Really?

Not every smart person gives smart dietary advice!

Maybe he knows something about business, but Donald Trump in his 2004 book Think Like A Billionaire, misses the mark on how to avoid weight gain: "To summarize the Mar-a-Lago Diet:

  1. It has to be served in a fantastic setting.
  2. It has to look fantastic.
  3. It has to taste incredible.
  4. It cannot make you gain weight.

If you eat the best foods and watch your waistline, you’ll begin to look and feel great in no time."

PositiveTip: Beware of magical thinking! 

New Guidelines for Old

Patient focus

Late in 2013 new guidelines were published for health care professionals to manage people at risk of cardiac or vascular (stroke) disease. The guidelines were written because the old guidelines did not 1) address the risk of stroke, 2) consider younger patients with risk factors but normal cholesterol numbers, and 3) make recommendations in the area of lifestyle and obesity concerns. The old guidelines focused on cholesterol numbers. The new guidelines focus on the patient.

The guidelines written by the American Academy of Cardiology and the American Heart Association address four specific areas:

A Re-Evaluation

"Hello, Susan. Come in and sit down. I've been expecting you." Dr. Robbins came from behind his desk, motioning to a leather arm chair.

"Good afternoon, Dr. Robbins," Susan responded."Yes, mother's heart attack got my attention." She perched on the edge of the chair, tightly clutching her purse.

"I suspect it did," he mused aloud, leaning against the edge of his desk. "But we already had a conversation about her condition at the hospital, so I suspect that this visit isn't about her."

"No, it's not." Susan looked up at him. "It's about me. What are my chances of having the same thing? You know that my father died of congestive heart failure just two years ago. He was only seventy."

"Yes, I remember."

"He wasn't that old. Seventy isn't that old," she hurried on, "and mother is only sixty-eight. What's wrong with us?"

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Small Dietary Changes Add Up

Small dietary changes can combat the skyrocketing obesity challenge.

Ben Franklin said, "A penny saved, is a penny earned." Yet we haven't yet learned the corollary: A few calories skipped, results in significant long-term weight loss. NHANES data reveals that between 1971 and 2002 Americans increased their daily caloric intake by 200 calories for men and 300 for women. Yet, the calories per eating episode increased by only 60 calories (5 per day).

PositiveTip: Small cuts in calories over time can make a significant difference, positive or negative, over time! Skipping a snack or two per day will make an impact.

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High Nutrient Plant-based Diet Reduces Hunger Pangs

Cut those "hunger pangs" by 90% on a plant-based diet.

Ever tried eating less--then experienced uncomfortable "hunger pains"? Researchers have discovered that consuming a plant-based diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, with beans, seeds and nuts can reduce the discomforts of hunger by nearly 90% compared to those who consumed high levels of animal products and processed foods.

PositiveTip: Eat more plant-based foods while cutting calories. You may discover less is actually more comfort!

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Only 1200 Calories, and I Can't Lose Weight!

Food tables don't always use the same serving size that you do!

Frustrated with your weight loss efforts? Try some honest realism. A quick visit to MyPyramid Tracker will reveal that the average baked potato served in America has 2.5 times more calories than the one listed in the food tables, thus underestimating actual calories. Or maybe one day you did eat 1200 calories, but the next two days you splurged on much more. 

PostiveTip: Accurately keep track of what you eat, including the snacks. It will help you learn what contributes to your total calorie intake over time.

Overheard in a Food Mart

“Kate? Is that you, Kate?” Clarissa froze in her tracks, blocking the entry door to the food market, mouth open, staring.

“Hi, Clarissa,” her friend answered while pulling out a grocery cart. “Better come in before you get run over.”

Kate jumped out of the way of several shoppers as they rushed by. “I didn’t recognize you. I mean . . . you are . . . that is . . .”

Kate was at a loss for words.

“You mean . . . I'm so much smaller.” Kate opened her coat and twirled about, obviously pleased with the effect. “A new plan and a new me,” she said with gusto.

“Wow. Well, it is a new you all right.” Clarissa said, finding her powers of speech.

“You bet it is. Forty-five pounds lighter and four dress sizes smaller!”

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Cycling Keeps the Pounds Off!

Bicycling and brisk walking help women prevent weight gain.

We know that brisk walking helps to control weight. Now a 16 year follow-up of 28,414 healthy women found that bicycling as well as brisk walking resulted in less weight gain. Slow walking showed very little benefit to weight gain.

PositiveTip: If you don't care for brisk walking, hop on the bicycle and pedal away to banish those extra pounds!

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Visualize the Impact of High Sugar Sodas

Drinking 1 can of soda each day for a year results in 15 pounds weight gain!

How would you illustrate the consequences of drinking one can of soda per day for a year? Last year the New York City Department of Health unleashed a series of posters in a campaign to get people to reduce their intake of sugary sodas. Now they have kicked it up a notch with a wordless 30-sec video that certainly grabs attention! The truth is actually worse. One daily 12 oz. can of soda would result in 15.5 pounds of weight gain in a year.

PostiveTip: Beware of the big gulp, even if consumed in smaller gulps. They have no nutrients, just unneeded calories.

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An Hour of Exercise a Day Keeps the Pounds Away

An hour of daily exercise lets middle-aged women eat the same but gain less weight.

A thirteen year study of 34,000 middle-age women in the Women's Health Study has found that over any three year period women who engaged in moderate exercise less than 420 minutes a week (or 60 minutes a day) were significantly more likely to gain five pounds while eating their usual diet. However, this worked only for women who had a body mass index lower than 25. Heavier women may need to restrict the calories they eat in addition to exercising regularly, if they want to control their weight.

PositiveTip: Make exercise a priority each day. The benefits are significant.