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What's in your diet?

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Feb 10, 2021

Healthy Diet Plan

Food awareness is important for all of us. Whether or not you are trying to lose weight, you still need to be concious of the calories you consume and quality of the nutritional content.

Nowadays, with food labels as available as they are, they don't always capture the complete picture of the quality of your food, most notably the source and processing of the ingredients, as well as informed knowlege of the additives and non-food ingredients therein.

person eating junk food
Keeping a food diary can provide powerful insights into your habits

Best Steps

Your best diet plan starts with choosing real foods with minimal processing, and solid nutritional value. Ideally, if you like to cook, you are able to steer yourself to healthier recipes and freshest ingredients. If cooking is not an option for you, you can still work within your plan and fill in as many healthy options as able, such as a fresh salad bar instead of packaged foods, etc.

Food Journal

Keeping a food diary can be a powerful insight tool, as well as a habit tracker, for what, when and how you are eating. Choose a method that works best for you:

  • Paper Journal This may be the easiest way, as you can just jot down what you are eating and other observations, and go back to fill in any details when you have more time.
  • Online (free) The USDA provides a national database that is most often the source for many other websites, tools and apps. You can access their database to get current food facts, via their MyPlate app.
  • Other apps Many third party food trackers are available if you are more inclined to do your research for which one suits your personal style and needs. Some are visual, some more technical, some incorporate fitness tracking and more. Ideally what will work best is what is easiest for you to maintain on the go, and not be bogged down trying to keep up with a fussy app. Popular apps include Lose it and My Fitness Pal and many more popping up every year.

Thick and Thin

Most importantly now is what to log in your journal (or app). Hopefully, as Dr. Aron advises, you are eating at a mealtime in a relaxed setting, eating mindfully not rushing thoughtlessly at your desk or tv. You can facilitate this in your log:

  • Why am I eating
  • How hungry I am
  • Where I am eating
  • How I am feeling
  • and of course, What am I eating

Include portion sizes and calories as minimal facts, with fat and other elements as you wish to track. Consider any condiments, and snacks and more — be honest with yourself, this is a guide for you only.

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Dining Out Doesn't Have to Be Dangerous

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Jun 19, 2015

Weight Loss Tips for Dining Out

Nationwide statistics show Americans dining out for almost 1/3 of their meals, with almost 1/2 of their food budget spent at these establishments.[1]

Given our tendency to dine out, it is worthwhile to consider ways you can manage and maintain your weight loss dieting program on the go. Some simple guidelines follow, as well as some links to some of our more popular posts past:

healthy dining out

Simple Tips for Planning Ahead

  • Avoid unlimited buffets and junk food franchises. Salad bars are good if you choose the healthy staple items not the dangerous ones.
  • Cater to places with extended menus to help you find healthy choices you will like. Favor seafood and salad places for healthier fare. Soups can be good, but know what you are choosing. Ask.
  • Best to plan ahead to dine out instead of splurging on surprise outings. Consider reviewing online menu before going so you will know what you will have.
  • Focus on eating for nutrition, not as a social activity. Make reservations to manage your cravings and limit the temptations to drink and snack while waiting. You can even have some small healthy crudite before leaving home to settle your stomach.
  • Stay away from large portions and fried food places. Know what is reasonable for you to eat and enjoy with your diet.
  • Consider sharing entrees with friends to manage your portions. Don’s be shy about tossing aside bread and extra carbs. Send away any extra munchies the waiter puts on your table. Only eat what you intend to eat.
  • As always, start to drink water as soon as you arrive and while waiting for meal.
  • Ask your server about options — extra salad instead of a heavier side dish. Bring your own dressing if you want to be sure of low calories. Add veggies to your entree to fill you up and slow you down.

Power Tips — Know your Menu Vocabulary

  • Bad: Buttery, Breaded, Buttered, Fried, Pan-Fried, Creamed, Scalloped, Au Gratin.
  • Better: Grilled, Baked, Steamed, Broiled, Poached, Stir-Fried, Roasted, Blackened.
  • Avoid: Cream sauces, made with milk, mayonnaise, cheese or oil.
  • Look for tomato based sauces instead. Order all sauces on the side and use sparingly.

Follow Your Diet Plan

As always, follow the diet guidelines presented to you by Dr. Aron. She will have told you your calorie limits and suggested foods for you to enjoy and avoid. Fill up on water, salad and vegetables first. Focus on your friends more than the food. Slow down and pace yourself so you can enjoy your meal and not be left hungry and crave more. Your body also needs time to recognize the food in your system to trigger satisfaction. It is also more than OK to leave the table a little hungry. You never need to stuff yourself, be gentle to your body.

Looking for More Motivation to Lose Weight?

Align with Dr. Aron at WeightLossNYC™ and start losing weight today. Call 718-491-5525 or visit WeightLossNYC.com

Sources: [1] USDA, National Restaurant Association. Adapted from Sparkpeople

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Fast Food Getting You Down?

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Dec 4, 2012

New Fast-Food Health Risk: Depression

fast food link to depression

Don’t let fast food super-size you

Is fast food your weight loss kryptonite? Do you let yourself splurge while on the go, telling yourself, “It‘s just this once,” and that you’ll eat healthier tomorrow to make up for it?

Well that doesn’t work because you’ll just do it again. And again. Before long, you’ve packed on a few extra pounds and you don’t even know why.

Why is fast food bad for you?

Sure, fast food is convenient and cheap, but its unnatural ingredients come with health risks. When consumed regularly, fast food fills you up on fat and empty calories, causes you to gain weight and puts you at risk for obesity. Even worse, you can increase your chance of heart attack, stroke and liver disease.

But that’s not all. New evidence shows that fast food lovers have a higher risk of depression. A Spanish study published in Public Health Nutrition found that people who ate fast food were 51 percent more likely to be depressed.

What’s more, the study authors discovered what’s called a “dose-response relationship,” which means that the more fast food subjects ate the higher their risk of developing depression. And in this case fast food was not limited to just hotdogs, hamburgers, and pizza, but also what the researchers refer to as “commercial baked goods,” meaning foods like doughnuts, croissants, and snack cakes.

The healthy alternative

Think twice before you grab a bite to eat. Instead of dining out, dine at home. Follow a delicious, healthy recipe and learn how to cook for yourself. Knowing what’s in your food and how it’s made will keep you on the road to a healthy weight. People who cook at home are said to live longer too, so it can benefit you in many ways!

Healthy Weight Loss

Get answers to your weight loss and dieting questions today: If you need real guidance from a licensed bariatric physician on how to lose weight, call us at 718-491-5525 for your first consultation with Dr. Aron. You’ll receive clinically proven weight loss treatment that will make you a success story.

Sources: EverydayHealth; Huffington Post

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