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Organic Junk Food Is Just as Bad

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 28, 2010

Organic cookies, gummy bears and ice cream can now be found at grocery stores everywhere. Eating healthy organic food is healthier for you, but organic junk food is where things get tricky. Many people trying to lose weight mistakenly think organic junk food is permissible -- even healthy -- but they are just as bad for you as traditional junk food.

Researchers in the Department of Psychology at University of Michigan found that when faced with an organic junk food item vs. a non-organic junk food item, consumers seemed to think the organic version had less calories and was less fattening even though that was not correct. There is also a misconception that "organic" equals "healthy," which isn't necessarily true.

This is important for those watching their weight, especially as consumer interest in organic food rises.

When grocery shopping, read the nutrition facts and ingredients and watch for the following things to make healthier choices (whether organic or not):

*How many calories does it have?
*How much saturated fat?
*How much sodium?
*How much cholesterol?
*How much sugar?

It's okay to occasionally indulge in an organic junk food item -- just exercise caution (and don't forget to do physical exercise, either!). Even though an organic snack is made with organic unbleached flour and organic sugar it still can make you gain weight, especially if those calories are not used up.

Source: Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2010, pp. 144–150

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When Salads Sabotage Your Diet

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 25, 2010

When dining out, salads are the go-to menu option for those trying to lose weight. You think that fresh veggies are healthier and contain less calories than the other carby menu items. But sometimes, a salad is just as bad as anything else on the menu and here's why.

On a recent "Eat This, Not That!" segment on the "Today Show," Editor in Chief of Men's Health, David Zinczenko, showed us that many salads at popular chain restaurants are loaded in calories, fat and sodium, which could wreck anyone's weight loss plan.

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad
1310 calories, 93 g fat, 1470 mg sodium
With not-so-great-for-you fried chicken, this salad has the same calories as a McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder, fries and a coke.

Wendy's BLT Cobb Salad and Ranch Dressing w/ croutons

760 calories, 51g fat, 2090 mg sodium
This salad is just as bad for you as 2 bacon cheeseburgers from Wendy's.

Quizno's Chicken Caesar Flatbread Salad
920 calories, 66 g fat, 2090 mg sodium
With more sodium than you need in a day (max is 2000 mg), this seemingly innocent salad is the equivalent of 3 White Castle bacon and cheese sliders plus 3 fried chicken rings!

TGI Friday's Santa Fe Chopped Salad
1800 calories
Need we say more? This meal contains as many calories as a Burger King Double Whopper, fries and chocolate shake.

California Pizza Kitchen Waldorf Chicken Salad w/ bleu cheese dressing
1570 calories, 30 g fat, 2082 mg sodium
This delicious and healthy-looking salad is just as fattening as a Wendy's 1/2 lb double cheeseburger, fries and medium frostie.

You can still dine out and even order a salad every now and then, just follow the tips below for guidance.

Fattening ingredients to avoid
Fried ingredients, tortilla chips, creamy dressing, cheese

Diet tricks
*Sometimes the portions are out of control. Just eat 1/3 of the meal once you've eaten enough healthy calories and take leftovers home.
*Ask for your dressing on side, then drizzle a small amount as needed.
*Choose oil and/or vinegar-based dressings. One tsp. of balsamic vinegar (not vinaigrette) can contain as little as 5 calories!

Source: "Today Show," msnbc.com

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The Hara Hachi Bu Diet

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 21, 2010

Starvation-inducing diets du jour aren't the way to a better body. What matters most is eating healthy, exercise and lifestyle choices.

There are tricks you can learn to help you along the way. Today, we look at the Japanese concept of Hara Hachi Bu. It's not a fad diet concept, but merely a way to gauge how much food you are putting into your body.

This idea that originates in Okinawa, Japan -- where the average person mainly consumes lean meats, healthy vegetables, soy foods, fruits and whole grains -- is to eat until you feel that you are 80% full.

Your stomach takes about 20 minutes to register that it is "full," so it's a great strategy to eat slowly and stop once you start to feel somewhat full. Think you're still hungry? Wait a half hour to see if you're still hungry, but usually your stomach will be satisfied.

Because of a healthy diet rich in anti-oxidants, Okinawans have 80% lower rates of heart disease and 50-80% lesser chance of breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer compared to Americans.

Healthy Eating Tip

If you struggle with figuring out when your body is 80% full, try taking away 20% the amount of food you would normally eat.

Source: Okinawa-diet.com

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Dieting, Minus the Crankiness

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 14, 2010

When you're dieting, it's easy to feel deprived and cranky. After all, you feel like you're missing out on all the foods and treats you love -- all for the sake of losing a few pounds. The danger in all that sacrifice is that it's easy to slip and make a dieting mistake that results in weight gain.

Dieting doesn't have to be so difficult. In fact, your diet can be full of healthy and delicious choices. Sometimes, you just need some tantalizing ideas to get started.

Healthy Diet Tips to Keep in Mind

Protein Packs a Mean Punch

You need protein in your diet because it not only does it make you feel full for a long time, it suppresses your hunger. It's also necessary for building muscle when you are working out. Be sure not to just picky any ol' protein source; lean protein is what you need, such as peanuts (or peanut butter), non-fat or low-fat yogurt, eggs and lean meats.

Make Room for Snacks

It's easy to skip snacks, thinking it will help you lose more weight, but you actually need them! Healthy snacking can keep your blood sugar in control, curb binging and prevent overeating at meal time. Not eating or snacking enough can cause blood sugar to crash and make you irritable.

Get Your H2O

Drink water to keep your body running efficiently, but also to stay fuller between meals.

Be Fab with Fiber

This cannot be harped upon enough: you need fiber in your diet to be healthy and lose weight. Get it via whole grains, oatmeal, beans, brown rice, fruits and veggies as well as fiber supplements. These foods are nutritious and keep you feeling more satisfied, preventing you from unhealthy cravings.

Fight Those Cravings with These Tips

Craving: Ice cream sundae
Healthy option: Fat-free yogurt, sprinkled with granola, blueberries and strawberry and banana slices

Craving: Cheeseburger
Healthy option: Veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with two slivers of avocado, onion slices, alfalfa sprouts and a dab of mustard

Craving: Alcoholic beverage or cocktail
Healthy option: Fruit smoothie made with fresh berries and vanilla soy milk or skim milk

Source: HealthyWomen.org

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Would you like to appear on the Rachael Ray show?

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 10, 2010

Call WeightLossNYC Today

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Popular media mogul Rachael Ray contacted us to help them find guests for an upcoming show about weight loss. We respect your privacy and offer you the opportunity to request your possible inclusion in the show by calling WeightLossNYC today for details on what is happening with weight loss in the media today.

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Why You Need Water

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 8, 2010

Drinking water is a must if you are serious about losing weight. A smarter choice than soda or juice, water is pure, and contains no calories, sugars or fat. Not only does it keep your body hydrated to run properly, it can prevent you from eating too much.

These are just some of water's health benefits:

*Increases metabolism and keeps appetite in check
*Improves blood circulation
*Flushes out wastes and bacteria
*Decreases risk of some cancers (colon, bladder and breast cancers)
*Helps your complexion look better

A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that people who drank water before meals consumed 75 fewer calories per meal on average. This translate to a loss of 14.5 pounds if you eat 75 fewer calories at lunch and dinner over one year.

The body can't always tell the difference between hunger and thirst, so we often eat when we are actually thirsty. This is helpful to note, especially since it can cause you to overeat.

Be sure to drink enough water and eat foods with high water content such as fruits, vegetables and soups. Usually eight 8-oz. glasses of water is enough for most adults to stay hydrated, but other factors such as being overweight, exercise activity, hot weather and pregnancy can affect that amount. Drink enough so that you are not thirsty and have about 6.3 cups of colorless urine per day. Too much water, however, may deplete your body of too many necessary salts and can have serious side effects. If you are still unsure about your water intake, discuss it with your doctor.

Sources: Huffington Post, CNN, Mayo Clinic

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