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How to plan for a healthier business meeting

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Feb 1, 2013

business meeting

Stay healthy at the office

From birthday parties to business meetings, social events almost always involve food and lots of it. While we can’t get away from that fact, we can approach it in a healthier way. Here are some healthier ideas and alternatives for the next time you plan another business meeting or social gathering.

First on the agenda: Healthy meeting food

In business meetings especially, you need to be able to focus, but why do they feature sugary and fattening foods like donuts and pizza? Those who are trying to stick to a diet either give in to temptation or skip eating—neither of which benefits you. Instead, why not provide healthier foods and snacks so people can actually be nourished? Bonus: people will also be able to pay attention without suffering from a sugar crash.

The following are just a few tips and guidelines for healthier making healthier choices when planning for business meetings or any other kind of gathering:

  • Serve water, skim or low-fat milk, real fruit juice and unsweetened drinks
  • Present foods in halves and smaller portions
  • Offer real Fruits and Vegetables
  • Choose whole grain breads, pastas and cereals
  • Serve a max of 4 ounces of meat per serving
  • Always have a vegetarian option available
  • Instead of a heavy dessert, include something small such as fruit or a small cookie

If you still don’t know where to start, check out these healthy and delicious options below for inspiration.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal, Fresh Fruit, Veggie Omelets or High-Fiber cereals

Snacks and Refreshments:

Whole Grain muffin halves, Fresh Fruit and Veggie plate with Low-Fat dips, Whole Grain crackers and Low-Fat cheeses

Lunch or Dinner:

Mixed Green Salad with low-fat dressing, sandwich halves, broth-based soups, Veggie pastas with low-fat cheese and Tomato sauce, Steamed Vegetables

Weight Loss Plan

Get a structured weight loss plan and diet from Dr Oksana Aron of WeightLossNYC. If you’ve been struggling too long on your own, now’s the time to get real help. Call 718-491-5525 to make your first appointment with Dr. Aron, who will work with you one-on-one to help you achieve the results you seek.

Source: New York State Department of Health Center for Community Health

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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10 Important Reasons to Cut Sugar

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Apr 10, 2012


Sugar's toll on your health


The bitter news that the average American eats 130 pounds of sugar a year explains why obesity and other weight-related health problems are on the rise. Sugar causes weight gain and can also affect your health in the following negative ways, which is more than enough convincing evidence to show that sugar has no place in your diet.

What the research says about sugar

  1. Sugar is believed to be the main cause of childhood and obesity
  2. Sugar is believed to be the main cause of childhood sickness
  3. Sugar is believed to be the main cause of Type 2 diabetes
  4. Sugar is believed to be the main cause of hypertension
  5. Sugar is believed to be the main cause of heart disease
  6. Sugar is blamed as a culprit of rising rates of number one killers such as heart disease
  7. Sugar increases blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol
  8. Sugar increases risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  9. Sugar helps cancer cells grow
  10. Sugar is addicting and has a drug-like effect on the brain

The sugar solution

Your solution to avoiding the above health problems is to cut sugar from your diet. As the evidence shows, sugar is toxic and has no health benefits. It's not only harmful to your health, but it can also be addicting, so even a small amount could potentially lead you to wanting more, which can make you gain weight and also put you at risk for serious health conditions.


Foods with hidden sugar

In addition to avoiding processed and packaged foods that are high in sugar, look out for foods with hidden sugar in them. You'd be surprised which ones do contain sugar: bread, yogurt, sauces and peanut butter.

Are you frustrated with fad diets or dieting with no direction? Learn how to lose weight the fast and healthy way with WeightLossNYC! Call 718-491-5525 for your first appointment.

Source: cbsnews.com

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What You Should Know About 'Vitamin' Drinks

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Mar 15, 2012

Vitamins + Sugar = ?

Adding vitamins to popular sugary drinks, from Vitamin Water to Coca-Cola is all the rage right now.

These drinks may even have a healthy-sounding name, but don't be fooled by the slick packaging. These drinks still aren't good for you or your weight. If you look closely at the nutrition facts, you'll quickly realize what you'll be getting: lots of sugar and calories that can cause weight gain.

Vitamin Water, for example, contains 13 grams of sugar per serving, 32.5 grams per bottle; and more than 100 calories per bottle, which actually contains 2.5 servings.

Additionally, the added "vitamins" offer no real benefit to you:

Because the sugar found in Vitaminwater or Coke is made from a refining (or purifying) process, it contains no nutrients or vitamins beneficial to our health. It instead acts only as a source of energy -- once anything with sugar is ingested, the sugar skips digestion by passing through the stomach wall and raising blood sugar levels. Since your body is programmed to keep its blood sugar at a certain level, the pancreas secretes insulin to balance everything out.

If you aren't exercising these calories off, you will gain weight from drinks with added sugars and calories.

The best choice for quenching your thirst still remains: pure, unadulterated water. Your body needs it to function, it can also facilitate weight loss and it contains no harmful additives. Getting the right nutrients in your body means eating a healthy diet full of delicious natural foods. A multivitamin should only be a supplement to your already healthy diet.

Lose weight the safe and sane way, and call us at 718-491-5525 for your first appointment at WeightLossNYC.

Source: HowStuffWorks.com

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Eat More Food Without Labels ... Especially Plants

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Apr 1, 2011

Don't Judge a Box by its Cover

Nutritional labels on prepared foods are meant to guide consumers in making healthy choices. What has evolved in recent years are scores of empty and misleading claims requiring time and perhaps a college degree to decipher which foods really are “good for you.”

Common misleading food labeling includes empty claims that imply health benefits which have no backing. Among these are “Made with natural flavor,” “Doctor recommended,” and “Made with natural goodness.”

Some claims are accurate but don't give the consumer additional information such as pasta packages labeled “no cholesterol” — Plain pasta does not contain cholesterol! More misleading are labels such as on Edy's Dibs Bite Sized Snacks. They boast “0 grams of trans fat!” giving the impression that these chocolate covered morsels of ice cream are heart healthy when in fact a serving contains 16 grams of saturated fat. The Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibit companies from boasting of “0 grams trans fat” on products with more than one gram of saturated food per serving.

Don't Believe the Hype

Many labels for fruit-flavored items suggest that products offer the health benefits of fresh fruit when in reality, real fruit is found in small quantities if at all. Gerber Graduates Juice Treats-marketed for preschoolers- depict six different fruits on the package. The product actually contains grape juice concentrate and less than two percent raspberry and apple juice concentrate. The main ingredients are corn syrup and sugar, 17 grams worth, or about four teaspoons of refined sugars per serving.
obesity weight loss scale
One of the most widely used claims capitalizes on the food pyramid's recommendation that “at least half of recommended total grain intake should be whole grains.”[5] Bread, cereal, cracker and even cookie packages often feature their whole grain and high fiber content. Yet these products often have refined flour as the first ingredient and a minimal amount of whole grains. Furthermore, a number of products which claim to be good sources of fiber are peddling fiber not from traditional sources such as whole grains, beans, vegetables or fruit, but from “isolated fibers” made from chicory root or purified powders of polydextrose and other substances. Unlike traditional sources of fiber, isolated fibers have not been shown to lower blood sugar or cholesterol, two of the key benefits of eating fiber.[3].

Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal boxes tout “Good Source of FIBER & Made with WHOLE GRAIN.” (A green leaf adorns the ampersand further fostering the image of healthy food.) While Froot Loops boxes list whole grains among the first five ingredients, the first ingredient is sugar. Ditto for many cereals and cookies labeled “made with whole grains.“

While the Center for Science in the Public Interest continues to urge the FDA to crack down on false and misleading food labeling, consumers can take proactive steps towards better nutrition. Read labels discriminately. When faced with choices among products (such as different yogurts), compare the nutritional facts and choose products with less saturated and trans fats and sugar, fewer artificial ingredients, and more nutrients such as protein and vitamins.

Eat more foods without labels, the foods your great-grandparents would recognize. As food guru Michael Pollan says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
– Healthcare Author, Sima Michaels Dembo

Reference:
  1. Center for the Science in the Public Interest, www.cspinet.org/new/200912291.html
  2. Niman, Nicolette Hahn “Defending 'Foodies': A Rancher Takes a Bite out of B.R. Myers,“ February 17, 2011, www.the atlantic.com/life/archive
  3. Parker-Pope, Tara, “Six Meaningless Claims on Food Labels,“ New York Times, January 28, 2010.
  4. Wikipedia, Nutritional Facts Label
  5. DietaryGuidelines.com

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New Year's Weight Loss Resolutions

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Dec 29, 2010
avocado guacamole

Make Smart Food Choices

Every day we make food choices, and for those of us seeking healthy options often find ourselves tripped up by seemingly safe if not favorable choices, only to find, well, read on..

Men's Health recently exposed unhealthy ingredients lurking in many popular foods, serving up a reminder that we should always read the labels when buying any packaged foods.

Read Nutritional Labels

For regular readers of our WeightLossNYC™ diet blog, you already know to read nutritional labels with special attention to sodium, sugar and fat, and especially artificial sweeteners especially high-fructose corn syrup

We've even advised you that organic foods aren't always good calories. Here are a couple more key examples of how food labels can expose the hype:

Duck the Dip

Even seemingly healthy avocado goes incognito when packaged as "guacamole dip" — watch out for such products offering even as little as two percent avocado. (Do you even want to know what the other 98% is?)
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that American men eat 7% more calories than they did in 1971; American women [are eating] 18% more—an additional 335 calories a day!”

Low Hanging Fruit

Popular yogurt cups with fruit on the bottom are often really laden with so much sugar negating any real benefit of favoring yogurt for your diet. Consider adding your own fresh fruits to healthier yogurt brands.
yogurt diet

Got Questions?

We're here to help. Dr Aron & WeightLossNYC™ staff can help you make smart choices with your diet plan. Consider Antoinette who recently shared with us how her love for her native foods were adapted to suit her weight loss plan.

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Fast Weight Loss the Low Fat Way

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Oct 7, 2010

Fast Weight Diet Program


Trimming the fat in one's diet can be a great way to lose weight,and for those with high LDL cholesterol, it can pack a double punch by lowering cholesterol as well. Sometimes one change yields a huge difference. One patient just cut the weekly block of cheddar cheese out of her diet. After two weeks, she was surprised and thrilled to find that her pants were looser.

In most cases, particularly when high cholesterol is an issue, bodily changes may take longer. The steps below provide guidelines of where to look for unnecessary fat within your diet. Many programs suggest making changes gradually so that they can become part of your lifestyle and not leave you feeling deprived and prone to binge-ing on "forbidden foods." Our fast weight loss program encourages you to take more serious steps forward.
Dr. Aron, Weight Loss NYC

Here are some of Dr. Aron’s low fat diet tips:

watermelon and fresh fruit
  • Don't Be Chicken

    Stick with naturally lowfat chicken, turkey and fish. Limit red meat consumption to once a week or less. Trim all visible fat from meat. Remove the skin from poultry. Look up fat content in fish. While the fat in fish can be heart healthy omega 3s, if weight loss is the goal, choosing lower fat options can speed progress.
  • No Day is Fry Day

    Baking, grilling, broiling and roasting meat/poultry/fish serve up less fat than pan or deep frying. Note that sauté means "fry" in French so don’t be fooled that sautéed foods are healthier than fried dishes when reading recipes and menus.
  • Butter or Not

    Cut back on butter. Lowfat or fat free cream cheese is an option as are some of the butter alternatives on the market. Read the labels to make sure margarine is free of partially hydrogenated oils (transfats). When cooking, use cooking spray on pan surfaces. Sprays come in olive oil, butter and other varieties so you can choose what works best for dinner dishes, baking or the morning omelette.
  • Moo-ve on over

    Switch to low or nonfat dairy products. Lower fat versions of mozzarella, cottage, feta or ricotta cheeses hardly taste different from their full fat cousins, if at all. For dessert, nonfat frozen yogurt, sherbet , sorbet or soft-serve ice cream are generally lower in fat than hard ice cream. Be sure to check nutritional labels though because some brands do have high fat content despite their "frozen yogurt" or "sorbet" label. Experiment with various low fat dairy products to see which suit your taste. Some brands of the same product taste and/or work better in recipes than others.
  • Read the Labels

    Read nutritional labels and steer away from foods containing partially hydrogenated oil, palm oil, coconut oil or lard. These are notoriously high in bad cholesterol. Beware of store bought baked goods which often contain these ingredients. Look for low fat alternatives or bake your own using small amounts of unsaturated oils and fats (e.g., vegetable oil, lowfat yogurt).
  • Be Fruitful

    The healthiest lowfat or nonfat dessert is fruit. Try new fruits in season. Combine them with Cool Whip topping and angel food cake (which are also lowfat) for special occasions. Other lowfat desserts to satisfy a sweet tooth include sugar free jellos and puddings, flavored lowfat/nonfat yogurts and frozen fruit bars (that don't contain cream). If overall healthy eating is a goal, steer clear of products containing artificial sweeteners.
  • Salad Days

    Use salad dressings, homemade or store-bought, that contain olive oil or other unsaturated oils. Mix together with vinegar, lemon juice and/or mustard and fresh or dried herbs to taste. If the dressing has fat of any type, use it sparingly. Many a healthy vegetable salad has turned into a high fat sabotage due to liberal use of dressing.
  • Dining Room

    Restaurant eating can pose special challenges since diners are not aware of all ingredients used. Some basic guidelines: order meat/fish/poultry that is grilled, roasted or baked. If choosing broiled meat, ask them to broil without oil. Request sauce and dressings on the side so that the amount consumed can be limited. Skip the butter on the bread. Ask for lowfat milk instead of cream for coffee. Stay away from soups unless the fat content is known; many restaurant soups contain high amounts of oil or cream.

Free Weight Loss Consultation

Call Weight Loss NYC today and schedule a free initial consultation, 718-491-5525

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New Protein Bars with Satisfying Flavor

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Oct 4, 2010

Protein + Great Taste = Less Hungry

weight loss protein bars

Strawberry Cheesecake protein bar only 140 calories?

It's great to know you have a new choice with new flavors - ask the front desk on your next visit for a variety box (shown) or buy any single flavor seven-pack for the same great tasty price.

New protein bars with satisfying flavor

Remember that proper nutrition and balance are crucial for your weight loss diet success.

Exclusively available at WeightLossNYC

Ask Dr. Aron if you have any questions about inclusion of any meal substitution supplements or to give us feedback on the items you like best.

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Sugar-coating High Fructose Corn Syrup

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Sep 23, 2010

Savvy consumers have increasingly become aware of what's in the foods they eat, including the health risks of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Food makers have caught onto this and now want to change the name of HFCS to simply "corn sugar" so consumers don't perceive it negatively. But is that strategic move in the best interest of the shopper trying to buy healthy foods?

HFCS is found in sodas, candy and many processed foods. A combination of fructose and glucose, it's used as a sweetener and preservative. It's also been blamed for being a major cause of the obesity (which also puts you at risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease) epidemic in the United States.

Doctors advise against all types of sugar -- HFCS, sucrose, fructose and glucose -- which have the ability to make you gain weight. They are all believed to be equally harmful when absorbed into the bloodstream. Some lab rats in studies have shown to gain more weight with HFCS compared to other sugars, but sometimes they did not.

Limiting your intake of all kinds of sugar and sweeteners is recommended to avoid unnecessary weight gain. Read those nutrition labels and look out for sugar content. And soon enough, you may have to look out for one more -- corn sugar.

Sources: NYTimes.com, MayoClinic.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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