Nutritional Questions

Should you strictly diet when trying to lose weight and then eat a balanced one to maintain your weight?

Healthy weight loss should not normally eliminate any food groups. Portion sizes, however, may need to be closely regulated. If there is an instance when particular food groups must be eliminated, this should be supervised by a doctor/dietitian.

Is increasing fluid intake (especially water) good to suppress hunger and lower food intake?

The researcher, Dr. Barbara Rolls, identified that the weight of food affects satiety. Water can be filling because it has significant weight. Also, some eat when they are truly thirsty. Fluids between meals and prior to meals may suppress hunger.

Do organic foods provide ANY weight-loss benefits compared to non-organic foods?

Absolutely not.

What's your opinion on deli meats? Are they healthy to consume or would you prefer to eliminate from diets?

It is recommended that we avoid processed meats. Some stores will sell turkey breast fresh off the bone. Try cooking extra fresh meat at dinner and freezing it in small portions for sandwiches.

How effective are herbal supplements in aiding weight loss? How about Acai? I hear so much about it.

There is no research to recommend any supplements for weight loss at this time. Some may be dangerous, so if considering them check with your doctor or dietition.<br /><br />The Acai berry may serve as a good antioxidant to help prevent your cells from disease. However, there is no association with weight loss. Don't count on one fruit, however, to meet your antioxidant needs; a variety of colours of fruits and vegetables within any particular day is the disease preventive route.

Is there any type of diet that will help me lose weight better than another?

“Dump the diet”. To maintain a consistent healthy weight ultimately comes down to calories; you need to put less fuel (food) in your body than it needs so that your body will have to go to its reserve fuel tank – your fat stores.

If you had to select foods. . . what would you avoid completely when trying to lose weight?

Foods that are of high caloric density (many calories for the weight of that foods). full-fat cheese, Full-fat ice-cream, pastries, butter, fried foods, sweets, refined pasta, rice and bread, sugar-sweetened beverages, chips.

What about snacking? I am in my 50's, perimenopausal and I want to eat anything sweet that is not nailed down! Also - the recommended serving size portions don't fill me up. Any suggestions?

First, are you having a healthy snack between meals? 4-6 small meals a day are associated with maintaining a healthy weight and can help satisfy you till the next meal. Try having something with fibre and protein between meals, such as a few nuts, which will help with satiety.

I need to increase my fibre, what are the best foods to eat??

Fibre is the non-digestible portion of plant foods. Therefore increasing plant foods is the way to go. Whole grains, vegetables (particularly legumes or starchy beans), fruits and nuts and seeds are all good sources of fibre.

Do you agree with a diet plan that says to eat nothing after a certain hour (say 7pm), not even a snack? I see nothing wrong with eating something in the evening. I seem to do better when I plan a snack, hopefully preventing “bingeing” because I am hungry.

Its a myth that eating late at night will cause weight gain. Yes, it can prevent bingeing. Eating late can be a problem with people who do not eat enough during the day, and then go home to a huge meal and continue to snack all night. The total calories per day is what counts.

I work 10 hour days (when lucky) and eat dinner at about 8 pm. I have no control over my work schedule and seem doomed to gain weight. What can I do?

In your case, you might be better off having a “mini-meal” at about 4 or 5 p.m. If your inter-meal period is too long, you may be eating too quickly and too much, and wind up regretting it later.<br />If you have someone else who has prepared your food, you could ask them to plate up a healthy portion of food and put the rest away in foil or in the freezer, so that it is easier to limit your portions. Also, try to relax and wind down before you eat.

My goal is not weight loss but to feed my family a healthier diet. What are the best foods to buy?

Shop around the perimeter of the store. The least processed foods are typically the healthiest. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, lean poultry, fish and meats and low-fat dairy products are the way to go. If you are not reading labels, start comparing similar products. Shy away from those containing trans fat, more than a couple of grams of saturated fat and that have sugar or forms of sugar in the first few ingredients.

I eat chocolate when I get home from work. I also eat ice cream as a treat because I feel I deserve it! How do I change this habit? I depend on it. I am a hard working person, thus feel it is my reward!

You need to make a choice: Do you want to reward yourself with chocolate and gain weight or do you want to be healthy and lose weight?<br /><br />Focus on the long-term gratification that eating healthily will bring you. You deserve reward and pleasure, using non-food ways to meet your need. Also, do something calming before you get home, get the junk food out of the house and direct yourself to do something awayfrom the kitchen immediately when you get home.

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