Diet over the Edge

How to recognize when your diet has gone too far.

Losing weight is no easy task. In fact, if you’re going to lose weight, you have to be exceptionally dedicated, not allowing anything to get in your way. However, your desire to trim up can occasionally come at a price. Sometimes your dieting can become so extreme that your body becomes deprived of the basic vitamins and minerals necessary for functioning during daily life.

Want to keep a tight reign on your diet and make sure it’s not going too far? Make sure you don’t experience these signs and symptoms of a diet gone wrong.

Mood Swings

Even when you’re not dieting, if you don’t eat, you probably get a little agitated. It’s normal, as not getting enough of the right foods will put anyone in a bad mood. In the event you’re undergoing an intense diet that robs you of the stuff you need to keep going strong, you’ll wind up with regular mood swings that can be rather severe.

Lack of Energy

As you probably know, your energy level is directly proportionate to the amount of energy-filled foods you consume. Stop eating fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich lean meats without substituting these foods for other items and your energy level will plummet.

Half and Half. An amazing 50 percent of all American women are on a diet at any given time.

Muscle Loss

At the same time your energy level drops, so will the amount of muscle in your body. While a low- or no-carbohydrate diet will probably result in some weight loss, it comes at a cost. In order to maintain muscle, your body needs a certain amount of carbs, and robbing your body of all carbohydrate intake prevents your body from being able to maintain muscle.

Urinary Tract or Kidney Infections

Crash diets come in all kinds of forms. While many of the consequences of a crash diet can be overcome fairly quickly, crash diets that are maintained for a long period of time can put stress on your kidneys. The end result could be multiple infections in the urinary tract or kidneys.

Constipation

Nearly every diet encourages you to eat less of something. Some simply reduce your overall intake, while others focus on a specific type of food. Unfortunately, if you cut out fiber or other elements that are essential to good digestive health, you’ll wind up with constipation or other complications of an unbalanced diet.

Frequent Illness

Cut back severely on the foods you eat and your body won’t have access to vitamins and minerals necessary to keep your immune system strong. When your immune system is compromised, you put yourself at a much greater risk for illnesses ranging from the common cold to the flu to pneumonia and beyond. But dietary deficiencies don’t just result in physical ailments. They can also result in depression and other mental health issues.

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult a physician or dietitian immediately. Be open about your concerns and be willing to make changes necessary. Since your dangerous dieting may be tied to other issues, you may require more than simple dietary changes. But by using the same determination that helps you say “No” to unhealthy foods, you can beat other underlying issues.

Trust Your Friends

If you’re dieting on your own, you may find yourself being questioned on a regular basis. “Come on, one little bite won’t hurt.” “Are you sure you don’t want some?” Often, these questions are asked by family and friends who are impressed by your will power and are interested in testing it.

However, if your loved ones begin to express concern about your diet, you should pay attention. If their questions begin to call into question whether you’re eating enough to maintain your good health or if they are constantly talking about how skinny you are, your diet may have gone overboard. Speak with your physician or a dietitian to get it back on track.

Share This Article

Five of the Fattiest Foods

You may love these foods, but they’re no good when it comes to your good looks and good health.

Need to hit the store or a restaurant to pick up something to eat? There are some things you’d be better off avoiding. What makes these foods even worse is that the fat found isn’t just your everyday, run-of-the-mill fat. Much of it is trans-fat. These do much more than add unwanted weight to your arms, legs, and middle. Trans-fats are a highly dangerous fat that turns into cholesterol once in your body. In other words, these fats increase your weight and instantly increase your likelihood for suffering heart disease and stroke.

Here is where to watch for fat in the course of your dietary day.

Breakfast

Overflowing with 659 calories and 45 grams of fat, the Bob Evans Country Biscuit Breakfast may be the worst way to start your day. While it may taste good going down, the long-term effects of eating such an unhealthy breakfast counteract any happiness the flavor may provide. And if you’re drinking soda with your breakfast, it’s time to stop. There is no nutritional benefit to drinking soda, and when matched with the Bob Evans Country Biscuit Breakfast, you’re setting your body up for a short and diseased existence.

Lunch

If you’re heading out for lunch, you may want to steer clear of the Wild Buffalo Chicken Strip Basket at Dairy Queen. While you may expect chicken to be relatively healthy, these fried up goodies pack an 870-calorie, 96-gram punch. In the event you choose to take a drive to pick up some fries from another establishment, stay away from Jack in the Box’s large order of Natural Cut Fries. Dipped in grease and fried to fattening perfection, they come with 300 calories and 33 grams of fat.

Snack

Between meals, you need something to keep your energy level on high. What you don’t need is excessive fat. So stay away from Nacho Cheese Doritos. If you think there is nothing dangerous about those little chips, you may be surprised to learn that a single ounce (approximately 11 chips) has 8 grams of fat. Since you probably never eat a mere 11 Nacho Cheese Doritos, you’re probably getting a lot more fat than you think. Oh yeah – there are also 140 calories in that tiny bag, another reason to steer clear of the chips.

Dinner

It may not be the fattiest dinner dish available, but the 12-inch Blimpie Veggie Supreme is listed here because of the cunning nature of the item. The Veggie Supreme sounds like a perfectly healthy option for you and your family. However, with 1,106 calories and 56 grams of fat, this sandwich is not nearly as healthy as its name implies. If you’re hungry for a hoagie loaded with all kinds of goodness, you can easily cut the fat grams in half or more by making it yourself at home.

Dessert

If there’s one food item to avoid purchasing, Baskin Robbins’ large chocolate Oreo shake is it. Containing an amazing 2,600 calories (yes – that’s more than you should eat in an entire day), 139 grams of fat, and 1,700 milligrams of sodium, this seemingly innocent after-dinner delight is one of the most dangerous additions to your diet. While it may look beautiful and taste fantastic, eating a large chocolate Oreo shake cannot be excused by anyone with a desire to live healthily

Swap It Up

Feeling down because some of your favorite foods are on the fatty list? Cheer up! With a few substitutions, you can easily make your favorite dish a little less fatty. Sometimes, all it takes is asking your server for a lighter option. At other times, you may need to request a food be cooked a different way (grilled instead of fried). In yet other circumstances, you may have to cook it yourself or change your order altogether.

Whatever it takes, remember – you’re doing it for the health and longevity of your body, so any sacrifice you have to make is well worth it.

Share This Article

Eating for Energy

If you want energy, you don’t have to fill up on sugar-laden energy drinks any more! You can get all the energy you need three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to rely on energy drinks to keep your eyes pried open and your mind and body attentive and ready for action? Well, you’re in for a treat, because if you want energy, you don’t have to fill up on sugar-laden energy drinks any more! You can get all the energy you need three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Big, Bad C

Thanks to a fellow named Dr. Robert Atkins, carbohydrates have picked up a lot of flack from folks trying to improve their health. His world-famous Atkins diet has caused countless people to stop eating breads and pastas in order to lose a few quick pounds. Unfortunately, carbohydrates are essential when it comes to boosting your body’s energy levels.

And what is a man without energy? Nothing – nothing at all. – Mark Twain

Don’t eat enough carbs and you won’t be able to push your body to its limits in the gym. So while you may lose a few pounds from not eating carbs, you’re going to have a hard time keeping the pounds off when you go back to carbs, and you won’t build much muscle mass in the meantime. Instead of starving your body of fuel, eat smart carbohydrates, such as whole-wheat bread, cereal, and brown rice.

The Magic M

You probably don’t think about including magnesium in your diet, but if you’re looking for energy, it’s time you reconsidered. Otherwise, the sugar that makes its way into your body isn’t going to offer you anything but extra weight. That’s because magnesium has unique properties that turn sugar into something useful: energy. In other words, you can get away with a little sugar as long as you get enough magnesium. Since going without any sugar every day is nearly impossible, magnesium is your lifeline to healthy energy levels.

Fortunately, getting sufficient magnesium in your diet isn’t rocket science. Many foods have plenty of magnesium, including bran cereals, certain nuts (almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts), and halibut. By keeping magnesium in your system, you help your body turn sugar into energy and prevent yourself from feeling worn out.

A person of intellect, without energy added to it, is a failure. – Sebastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort

The Fabulous F

Few nutrients are given as much media attention as fiber – and for good reason. It helps regulate intestinal issues and prevents dangerous and deadly diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. On top of these wonderful perks, fiber also helps you feel full of vigor and energy.

Unlike other energetic foods, fiber doesn’t necessarily provide you with an instant energy boost. Instead, fiber helps regulate how quickly your body uses the energy it has in storage. By eating plenty of fiber, which can be found in fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain breads and cereals, you can maintain a steady flow of energy throughout your daily routine.

The Basic H

Need to stay focused? Expect your body to go strong until the end of the game? You’re going to need to stay filled up on H20. According to research, even a tiny lack of water in your system can instantly lead to feelings of fatigue. By making regular trips to the water fountain or keeping other unsweetened drinks at your disposal, you take a huge step toward ensuring your energy levels are at their peak, so you’re always able to do what you want to do when you want to do it.

Another way to get fluids in your body is by eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Not only do they offer an instant rush of hydrating fluids, but they also taste wonderful and come with an array of additional health benefits.

Runners Up

As you know, there are plenty of places to get energy boosts. In case you’re wondering about some other items that are guaranteed to increase your energy levels, the following are a few fast energy pick-me-ups:

  • coffee
  • dark chocolate
  • energy drinks
  • tea
Share This Article

7 Steps to a Perfect Packed Lunch

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

Summer vacation is winding down, fall is approaching and the kids are going back to school.

It’s time to examine the art of packing the perfect lunch.

While it is easy to rely on the school cafeteria for the kids and fast food meals for you, this method will quickly result in unwanted pounds.

The only way to ensure that you and your kids are eating a nutritionally balanced, health promoting lunch is to pack it yourself.

According to Ann Cooper and Lisa M. Holmes in their book, Lunch Lessons, “When it comes to nutrition, children are not just miniature adults. Because they’re growing, they have different dietary needs.” (Their daily serving recommendations are in boxes below.)

Use the following 7 steps as your guide for packing healthy lunches that cover the spectrum of nutrients that your growing kids needs.

Don’t have kids? Keep reading. You’ll need these steps when packing your own nutrient-dense, fitness lunches.

Step 1: Hydration

Every function of the human body requires water, so it’s a no-brainer that water should be included in your packed lunch. Eight glasses a day is a minimum.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of giving kids juice or soda pop, and once your kids are accustomed to drinking these sugary treats expect a battle when you switch to water. This is one fight that is worth winning.

Remind yourself that the sugary drinks are filled with empty calories, which quickly lead to weight gain. Sugar also robs the body of vital nutrients and minerals.

Step 2: Protein

  • 2 – 3 servings daily
  • 1 serving equals: 2 – 3oz meat, 1/2 cup cooked beans, 1/3 cup nuts or one egg

Protein is an essential part of lunch, both for you and your kids. Kids need protein to support their growing body, and you need plenty of protein in order to grow and maintain lean muscle tissue.

Here’s a list of healthy protein sources: fish, beans, tofu, nuts, eggs, chicken, turkey, lean pork and lamb.

Limit the amount of high-saturated-fat protein that your kids eat to no more than 3 servings per week. These include cheese, hot dogs, salami, bacon and sausage.

Step 3: Whole Grains

  • Kids 6-9 yrs: 4 – 7 servings daily
  • Kids 10-14 yrs: 5 – 8 servings daily
  • Teens: 6 – 9 servings daily
  • 1 serving equals: 1 slice of bread, 1/2 bagel, 1/2 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup pasta, 1 cup of whole grains

Whole grains are one of the major building blocks of a healthy meal. The key word here is “whole” meaning not refined.

White bread, bagels, pasta and rice have been stripped of the nutrients and minerals. As a result these items convert quickly into sugar, leaving your child drained after an initial quick burst of energy. Always avoid refined white grain products.

Here’s a list of healthy whole grains: oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, millet, bulgur, whole-wheat or sprouted grain bread, barley, whole grain cereal and whole wheat pasta.

Step 4: Veggies

  • 4 – 9 servings daily
  • 1 serving equals: 1 cup raw of 1/2 cup cooked vegetables

When it comes to veggies, variety is key. Choose a array of colors like orange, red, purple, green, blue, white and yellow to make sure that your kids are getting all of the necessary vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Don’t save vegetables for dinnertime. Pack each lunch with lots of colorful vegetables.

Try these veggie-packing ideas: Put a small container of hummus with cut veggies for dipping. Fill your sandwiches with baby arugula, roasted peppers and slices of tomato. Pack a container of veggie and whole wheat pasta instead of a sandwich. Invest in a small thermos and fill it with vegetable soup.

Step 5: Fruit

  • 3 – 5 servings daily
  • 1 serving equals: 1/2 cup cut fruit, whole fruit size of tennis ball, half a banana, 1/2 cup 100% fruit juice

Fresh fruit is filled with vitamins, nutrients and minerals. As with your veggies, choose a variety of colors to ensure that your kids are getting a range of nutrients.

Stay away from fruits that are canned and coated in syrup, and also from fruit snacks and chews that contain added sugars. If fresh fruit is not readily available then go for plain dried fruit, with no added sugar.

Unlike veggies, it is possible to eat too much fruit. Though the natural sugars within fruit are much healthier than refined sugar, too much of it will have a negative impact on your blood sugar levels and the extra calories will be stored as fat. Stick with 3 – 5 servings per day.

Step 6: Calcium

  • 2 – 6 servings daily
  • Serving size based on the amount of calcium in the food. Examples of 1 serving: 1 cup cooked beans, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup dried figs, 1/2 cup dark leafy green vegetables, 1/2 cup tofu, 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 cup low-fat yogurt

Your kids need calcium in order to build strong, healthy bones. It is important to incorporate calcium into each meal.

Calcium isn’t just found in dairy products. There are many plant sources that contain calcium that is more readily absorbed by the body than the calcium found in dairy.

Try these sources of calcium: nuts, dark leafy greens, salmon, broccoli, tofu, soy milk, sardines, beans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt.

Step 7: Healthy Fat

  • 3 – 4 servings daily
  • Serving size based on the amount of healthy fat in the food. Examples of 1 serving: 1 teaspoon of olive, safflower, sesame, flax or canola oil, 1/2 cup nuts, 1 tablespoon peanut, almond or cashew butter, 1 cup cooked beans, peas or lentils.

You may think of all dietary fat as being bad, but fat from plant sources are very important to the growth and development of a child’s body.

Limit animal fats, which are filled with saturated fat and cholesterol, and eliminate trans-fatty acids contained in foods that are labeled as hydrogenated.

There you have it, 7 steps to the perfect packed lunch. See the recipe below to get you started on your first perfect packed lunch.

Remember that eating right is only half of the equation. Exercise is just as important when it comes to fitness and weight loss.

Are you ready to get started on a personalized fitness program? Call or email today to set up a consultation.