The Coconut Oil Cure: Who is Really Benefiting from this Miracle Oil?

One of the biggest nutrition topics and trends over the past few years has been coconut oil. When Dr. Oz referred to this oil as the miracle oil that helps you lose weight popularity quickly sky rocketed.

Many of my clients report that they are cooking at home with coconut oil beaming with pride and the belief that they are doing something healthful for their diet. The real question though, is coconut oil actually a healthy option? Today’s post will give you the inside scoop on two of the biggest health claims surrounding coconut oil.

Claim 1: Coconut oil is good for your heart

Saturated fats increase your LDL cholesterol, also known as your “bad cholesterol”. LDL has this reputation of being bad because when your levels are high, it increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Coconut oil, like other tropical oils such as palm kernel oil are high in saturated fat. Coconut oil specifically has 92% saturated fat which is actually higher than butter. Shocking…..I know!

A science advisory from the American Heart Association after analyzing over 100 research articles confirmed that saturated fat increases your bad cholesterol and found that coconut oil raised the bad cholesterol in seven different controlled clinical trials. Most experts therefore agree that coconut oil should be consumed in moderation and has yet to prove itself as a protective agent in heart health.  

Claim 2: Eating coconut oil can help you lose weight

Coconut oil, unlike many other oils is comprised of a unique type of fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Medium chain triglycerides are different from long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) because they are made up of fewer carbons and are immediately taken to the liver for processing. Some research studies have shown higher fat breakdown and more satiety (fullness with meals) when eating MCTs versus LCFAs.  

Most of the research available that showed promise for weight loss with MCT oils  however used C8 and C10 fatty acids, and coconut oil is only made up of about 15% of these.The remaining medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil are C12 ( lauric acid), which there currently is lacking scientific research to prove that the medium chain triglyceride C12 has the same potential weight loss effects as C8 and C10.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all we had to do to lose weight was to eat some of this “miracle oil”? As the saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. There currently is no concrete evidence to validate coconut oil as an effective or practical weight loss aid.

So now that you have the facts, does this mean you can never eat coconut oil again? No of course not. A healthy diet is truly just a balancing act. My recommendation is to think of coconut oil as an occasional indulgence versus your everyday cooking oil. Aim to choose cooking oils that are lower in saturated fat and higher in heart healthy unsaturated fats such as olive, avocado, canola, and grapeseed oils. Trust me your heart and cardiovascular health will thank you for it in the long run. Until next time.

Royally yours,

The Diet Duchess

The 50 Percent Rule: An Easy Way to Make Every Meal Healthier

There are many great tools available that make healthy eating and weight loss more manageable. Calorie counting apps, measuring cups, and activity trackers are some great examples. While each tool or method may not be a perfect fit for everyone, there is one simple strategy that you can use anyplace anytime. The 50 percent rule is where you aim to fill up half of your plate with veggies.

The 50 percent rule is easier than counting calories, because you don’t have to worry about the exact number of calories or macro nutrients you’re consuming. Instead you bring more balance to your meals by upping your intake of healthier, more nutrient dense foods.

Most people know or believe that vegetables are good for you. There are many health benefits that go along with eating a diet rich in veggies. Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. Dietary fiber can help with lowering cholesterol and is linked to lower rates of obesity and heart disease. Fiber can also give you more fullness (satiety) with your meals which can be helpful with portion control and overeating. Studies have also found that higher intake of dark leafy green vegetables lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet for cancer protection. Not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight are the two most important things you can do to lower your risk of cancer and eating more vegetables in your diet is a great way to help maintain a healthy weight.

Not all vegetables are created equal. They each provide different nutrients, so variety is key. Aim to fill up half of your plate with non starchy vegetables. Grains or starchier vegetables like corn, potatoes, and peas should instead comprise a smaller portion of your plate, just 25%, while the remaining 25% of your plate should be protein.

Non starchy vegetables

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Beans (green, wax, Italian)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chayote
  • Cucumber
  • Daikon
  • Eggplant
  • Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)
  • Sprouts
  • Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini)
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomato
  • Turnips
  • Water chestnuts

This week I challenge you to put the 50% rule to practice. All you need to do is literally eyeball your plate and make sure that half of it is covered with non starchy veggies. If you don’t eat a lot of vegetables normally, you can ease your way in by just applying the 50% rule to one meal a day. Be bold and adventurous by trying new vegetables and recipes that you haven’t before. Until next time.

Royally yours,

The Diet Duchess

Keto Craze: 5 Things You Should Know About The Popular Ketogenic Diet

Would you like to be able to lose weight and still be able to eat things like butter, bacon, meat, cheese, and heavy cream? It may sound crazy, but there is actually a diet out there where you can freely eat those foods and still lose weight. The ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, is one of the most currently talked about diets.This weeks post will give you a little insight into this diet to help you decide whether or not it is the right fit for you.  

 

1. The keto diet has been around for almost a century

Many of you have probably heard about the ketogenic diet as a popular new approach for weight loss. Even though this diet has grown in trendiness and buzz over the past few years, the ketogenic diet has actually been around for decades, initially being introduced back in 1920.

2. The keto diet is used for the management of epilepsy

One of the medical applications of the ketogenic diet is as nutrition therapy for the management of epilepsy. Seizure control has been shown to improve after 2 to 3 days of fasting and the ketogenic diet offers an approach that yields the effects of starvation in the body without causing malnutrition.

3.  On the keto diet your body burns fat for energy

Carbohydrates traditionally function as the body’s main source of energy. On the ketogenic diet however because your intake of carbohydrates is so low (typically less than 20 grams per day) your body is forced to use fat instead (in the form of ketone bodies) as its main energy source. The keto diet typically aims to provide anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of total calories from fat, 6 to 15 percent from protein, and 2 to 10 percent from carbohydrate depending on which  ketogenic diet ratio is being followed (for example, 4 grams of calories from fat to every 1 gram of calories from carbohydrate and protein combined (4:1 ratio), versus the 3:1 and 2:1 ratios).

Ketogenic Diet

Starchy vegetables and sweeter vegetables like potatoes, corn, peas, and carrots (to name a few), are not allowed on the diet in order to successfully keep the carbohydrate intake low enough to induce ketosis. You can also say goodbye to other tasty carbohydrate rich foods like pasta, bread, fruit, cereal, rice, ice cream, and chocolate. One of the drawbacks of restrictive diets that cut out entire food groups, is that when you cut out those specific groups of foods, you’re also losing out on the healthy nutrients they provide. Fruits and whole grains for example, which are not allowed on the keto diet, are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients.

 

4. The keto diet is high in saturated fat

One of the primary concerns of dietitians, nutritionists, and other health professionals when it comes to the keto diet is whether or not the higher intake of fat will negatively affect cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health. Saturated and trans fats are known to increase your bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) which can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Saturated fats are primarily found in meats and high fat animal and dairy products, which as we discussed earlier many of those foods can be eaten in large quantities on the keto diet.

After looking into some of the research on the ketogenic diet’s effect on cholesterol levels I found mixed reviews.  If you decide to give the keto diet a try, my personal recommendation would be to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels, especially if you already have a history of hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). Also aim to choose more heart healthy unsaturated sources of fat, such as avocados, walnuts, almonds, and olive oil.

5. The Ketogenic diet can help suppress your appetite

One of the positive side effects of the keto diet, is having a decreased appetite which can be a helpful factor in weight loss success. Lower appetite is achieved with the higher fat and moderate protein content of the keto diet which offers more satiety (fullness) with meals. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when the body was in ketosis, there was a decrease in the body’s hunger hormone ghrelin and an increase in the hormone leptin which tells our bodies when we are full. These hormonal changes can make it easier for you to avoid overeating and promote weight loss.

Is it possible to lose weight on the keto diet? Yes it is. Research shows it is possible, and I personally know people who have. I think the real question is, will the keto diet be a practical longer term solution for you? Will you be able to cut out major carbohydrate players like fruit, bread, pasta, rice, cereal, ice cream, and chocolate? If like me, your answer to this is no, then this diet is probably not a practical long term approach for you and could potentially just lead you back on the path of yo-yo dieting.

It is always important to consult your physician prior to beginning any new diet or exercise program and it’s wise to remember that we all have different medical histories to consider when determining which diet and lifestyle approach is best for you. I hope this week’s post gave you a little more understanding of the ketogenic diet. Stay tuned for next week’s post with more diet and fitness tips to help you Royally Rock Your Diet.

Royally yours, 

The Diet Duchess

Meal Prep Mastery: 5 Easy Steps to Plan Healthier Meals

Imagine, it’s the middle of the work week and you are completely spent after a long and tiring day at work. All you want to do is relax at home but you still have a laundry list of things to do including picking up your kids and figuring out what to do for dinner. You want to have something healthy, but you can’t bring yourself to cook a homemade meal after the day you’ve had. So, because of the convenience and your physical exhaustion, you decide to hit up the drive through of a fast food restaurant……..does any of this sound familiar? We’ve all been there at some point. Let’s be real, it’s hard to work a full day and then still have the energy to come home and put together a healthy dinner. So more often than not, convenience wins out.

One of the best ways to eat healthy and save money and time throughout the week is with meal prepping. Meal planning and prep involves preparing food up to 3-4 days in advance. The beauty of this strategy is that when you come home exhausted from work, you already have a healthy dinner that’s either fully or almost completely prepared. On average it is almost 5 times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant than it is to cook at home.

Another benefit of cooking at home is you can control how much salt, sugar, and fat is being added to your food, which is something we have little control over when eating out. This is especially helpful for pre-existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  

To help get you started, here are five easy tips to help you become a master of meal prep.

1. Choose recipes or meals that you want to have throughout the week

You can further save money and stay within your budget by trying to plan meals or recipes around ingredients you already have at home. Start with simple dishes that are easy to cook to further simplify the process. For recipe ideas you can check out some of the recipes on The Diet Duchess Pinterest page.

   2. Create a grocery list

Make a list of the grocery items you need for your chosen dishes and recipes. Having focus and a grocery list can help you choose healthier options when going to the grocery store, will limit impulse buys, and can help keep you in budget financially.

3. Pick a day to prepare meals

Ideally you want to choose a day that you don’t have to work and can dedicate some time in the kitchen preparing and cooking your food for the week.

4. Multi-task with meal prep

Cooking multiple dishes at a time on your meal prep day can help reduce the overall amount of time you need to spend cooking. For example- something can be cooking in the crock pot, while another dish bakes in the oven, and you assemble and pack salads or cold lunches for the week. The more prep you accomplish on your meal prep day, the less work you will need to do throughout the week.

5. Wash, cut, and prepare fruits and vegetables

Have fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables ready to enjoy as a snack or add to one of your meals for a boost of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. To save further time, you can even buy produce that is already washed, cut, and ready to cook or eat. Line containers with paper towels to absorb moisture and help prevent fresh fruits and veggies from spoiling sooner.

Another option that you have at your disposal is to use one of The Diet Duchess 7 day meal plans that are officially being launched today. They can be found in the Products section of the website. Meal plans are $29.99 and can simplify your meal prep even further by already having healthy meals and recipes selected for you. The meal plans have different calorie levels so that you can choose the calorie level best fit for you for either weight loss or healthy weight maintenance. The meal plans are also suitable for people with diabetes. 

To determine what calorie level is best for you, visit the following calorie calculator from the American Council of Exercise. It will take into account your age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level. The calculator will estimate how many calories you need daily to maintain your weight. If your goal is to lose weight, you can either:

  • Option 1: subtract 500 calories from this daily amount (this will allow you to achieve 1 pound of weight loss per week)

or

  •  Option 2: subtract 1000 calories from this daily amount (this will allow you to achieve 2 pounds of weight loss per week)

Healthy, natural weight loss is right around 1-2 pounds a week so I would not suggest subtracting more calories than suggested above. Eating too little calories can also be an inhibitor to weight loss.

I hope you enjoy The Diet Duchess 7 day meal plans and that they get you one step closer to Royally Rocking Your Diet. If you have any questions about them or have questions about what calorie level to choose, feel free to shoot me an email in the Contact section of the website.

Royally Yours,

The Diet Duchess

Weight Worry: Who’s Really Benefiting from Regular Weigh-ins?

Let’s face it, one of the most notoriously dreaded parts of tracking weight loss progress for many people is stepping onto the scale. It’s a truth tell all moment where you get to see if all your hard work to lose weight is starting to pay off. I’ve had so many clients report in my office that they’re weighing themselves daily or even multiple times a day in the hope that they will see their weight moving in the downward progression. The real question though is, how often should we be weighing ourselves?

Don’t panic if you step on the scale twice in one day and notice the numbers don’t match

The first most important truth to realize is that our weight changes throughout the day. We do not weigh the same in the morning as we do later on in the day. There are many things that affect the number on the scale as the day progresses such as the foods we eat and our hydration status (for example, how much water or fluids we are drinking and whether or not we have recently gone to the bathroom or lost fluids through sweat). So don’t panic if you step on the scale twice in one day and notice the numbers don’t match.

Not all scales are created

Another important truth to realize is that not all scales are created equal. You can weigh something completely different at the doctor’s office than you do at home. Your best bet is to track your progress on the same scale for better accuracy. Additionally you want to avoid weighing yourself on carpet because it can give you an incorrect reading. Always make sure your scale is on a flat hard surface and that your weight is evenly distributed.  My general rule of thumb and recommendation is to check your weight once a week. Aim to check your weight the same day of the week, at the same time (in the morning when you first wake up after using the bathroom is best), and try to wear the same clothing (if any at all). Following these guidelines can help give  you a more accurate picture of what your weight is and which way it is trending.

Now you may be thinking, let’s just avoid the scale completely. I never want to weigh myself again! Before you make that decision, it’s important to know what some of the research says. A study done by the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2012 found that people who lost weight were more likely to keep it off if they weighed themselves regularly. In addition the National Weight Loss Registry found that 75 percent of people who lost weight and successfully kept it off were weighing themselves at least once a week. Using the scale as a tool for weight loss and weight management therefore has the ability to help keep you on track.

Say goodbye to scale anxiety

There may be a group of us though that have had some negative experiences with stepping on the scale and may actually have serious anxiety at the thought of even doing it. If you fall into this category, and the number on the scale has the ability to drastically change your mood or the way you feel about yourself, then consistent weigh-ins may not be your friend and can potentially cause more harm than good. I myself fell into this category and gave up routine weight checks years ago. Instead I keep my focus on staying active, eating right, and the way I feel. It’s important to remember that the number on the scale is just that, a number. Nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t define who you are.

Alternatives to stepping on the scale

If you decide that routine trips to the scale aren’t for you but you want other methods to track your progress, I have a couple of suggestions for you:

  1. Measure your weight loss in inchesUse a measuring tape to track the inches you lose (for example measure your waistline, chest, hips, thighs, and arms and re-measure every three to four weeks to track your progress )
  2. Track your body fat percentageUse a handheld body fat analyzer to observe the trend of your weight loss and fitness level through your body fat percentage. Many body fat analyzers can be bought online for under forty dollars.
  3. Monitor your weight loss by clothing sizeSize unfortunately is not standardized, so I would recommend picking one brand of clothing that you already wear and celebrate when you achieve the victory of making it down to a smaller size.

I hope this week’s post answered some of your questions on weigh ins and weight loss, and how often (if at all for some of us) we should be stepping up onto that scale.  I encourage you to consider yourself and whether or not a weekly weigh-in or one of the alternatives I suggested will be the most productive tool for you in your weight loss and weight management journey. Make the decision and start implementing whatever is going to work best for you.

Until next week,

The Diet Duchess

Weight Loss in 2019…..Resolutions for the New Year

The year is coming to a close, and 2019 is just around the corner…..which means New Year’s resolutions aren’t far off. You may have already thought of the list of things that you want to work on in the new year, or maybe you haven’t given it any thought yet.

What I like about creating resolutions is the fact that you are working to better yourself, whether it’s with healthier eating, time management, traveling, weight loss, or anything else in between. Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and exercise more. If you have one of these goals for the new year, one of the best ways to be successful with them is to make sure you’re making SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For example, your SMART goal for the new year could be:

Within six months I will be consistently exercising at least three times a week for 30-45 minutes.

This goal meets all five criterion and is a lot more specific than if you just said your goal in the new year was to exercise more. Being SMART with your goals will help you to be more successful at reaching them. Below I’ve shared with you some dietitian approved tips to be successful with your exercise and weight loss goals in the new year.

Ways to be successful with exercise:

  1. Start small and gradually increase your workout routine. Even 10-15 minute increments of exercise add up and make a difference.
  2. Find something that you love to do. It can be kickboxing, swimming, Zumba, yoga or anything really……. the key is finding something you enjoy. Try a new class or activity if you don’t know what you like. The fact is, if you like your workouts you are more likely to stick with them long-term.
  3. Use the buddy system. Whether you have plans to meet up with a friend to work out, or incorporate physical activity as a part of your family’s lifestyle, there is strength in numbers and accountability in working out with others.
  4. Include both cardio and weight training (for example weight lifting or exercises that use your body weight such as push ups, lunges, and squats) in your workout routine. Both types of exercise are important and offer your body different benefits.

Ways to be successful with weight loss:

  1. Focus on building a healthier lifestyle instead of trying to follow a temporary fad diet. These diets are often very restrictive and practically impossible to maintain long-term. Aim to have your weight loss be healthy and natural.
  2. Try to include veggies and a lean protein such as eggs, tofu, chicken, fish, or turkey with most meals.
  3. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals can lead to overeating later in the day and can be counterproductive to weight loss.
  4. Limit your intake of sugary drinks such as soda, juice, Gatorade, vitamin water, sweetened iced teas, etc. They are limited in nutrients and high in sugar and excess calories and can easily contribute to extra weight gain.
  5. Allow yourself to have a treat every once in a while. It will satisfy your craving and help you keep on track with your healthy eating by not depriving you. Telling yourself you can never eat your favorite food (for example- ice cream, french fries, or pasta) anymore can be a way to set yourself up for failure.  

There you have it. I hope you found my tips to get you started with your goals in the new year helpful. Like and comment below…..and if you’re feeling really bold, share what some of your resolutions for 2019 are. 

Royally Yours,

The Diet Duchess

All Hail Kale: 4 Ways This Popular Super Food Can Benefit Your Health

Kale has been a popular topic over the past few years, and for good reason. This leafy green vegetable is jam packed with nutrients and has a handful of health benefits.

Unfortunately kale is not always an instant palate pleaser to everyone. You may have tried it before and felt like Loretta Devine on the Carmichael Show who described kale in the following words, “it’s nasty, that tastes like Christmas tree”. Not to worry. In addition to reviewing some of the great health benefits of kale in this week’s post, I’ll also provide some suggestions on different ways you can include kale in your diet in a tasty way.

First let’s run through some of the health benefits of kale so that you will have some motivation to try it (or for some of you, try it again).

  1. Improved Eyesight

Kale contains the following nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin which can protect your eyes from sunlight damage and can lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Kale is also rich in vitamins A, K, C, and the mineral manganese.

  1. Weight Management

One cup of raw kale contains just 8 calories. This nutrient rich low calorie vegetable can be helpful with weight management and glycemic control. Kale is also a good source of fiber which can aid your body in digestion and give you more satiety with your meals.

Protection Against Disease

  1. Antioxidants

Kale is also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants work to protect our bodies by fighting free radicals that are known to damage cells and cause diseases such as cancer. Carotenoids, vitamin A, and vitamin C are the main antioxidants found in kale that are fighting to protect your body.

  1. Anti-inflammatory

In addition to functioning as antioxidants, some of these valuable vitamins and nutrients found in kale also offer an anti-inflammatory effect (vitamin C and polyphenols), defending the body against inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods may be beneficial in the management of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Tasty Ways to Enjoy Kale

There are many different ways you can enjoy this nutritious vegetable. Here are some examples to help get you started.

Saute kale in a little olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste

  • Mixed in a salad

Eating raw kale will not be appealing to everyone. I therefore suggest using baby kale or lacinato kale due to the softer leaves and milder taste. Additionally, you can try mixing the kale with other greens and lettuce that you are more accustomed to such as spinach or butter lettuce (Do Not eat romaine lettuce right now because of the recall for E.coli) . Due to the bitter flavor of kale, you may also find it helpful to add something sweet to your salad to balance the flavor such as carrots, fresh strawberries, or dried fruit.  

IMG_0084 (1)
Strawberry kale salad

 

  • Cooked in a soup or casserole

Often times non starchy vegetables are limited or completely missing in many soup and casserole dishes. This is a great way to add this healthful green to your favorite dish.

Kale Quiche
Kale and onion quiche
  • Blended in a smoothie

Try adding a few leaves of kale into your favorite fruit smoothie. The natural sweetness of the fruit will help even your kids forget that there is a vegetable in their drink.

Kale Smoothie
Fruit smoothie with kale
  • Baked as kale chips

Toss 1 bunch of chopped kale leaves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt to taste, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes until the edges of the kale leaves are browned.

Kale chips
Kale chips

There are so many different ways to try and enjoy kale. I hope this week’s post has given you a deeper look into the nutritional value of kale, but more importantly has given you some practical ways to experience the benefits to your health first hand.

Royally yours,

The Diet Duchess

Healthy holiday hacks: 5 tips to eat healthy this holiday season

The holidays are a joyous time of year filled with family gatherings, annual traditions, and let’s not forget the fabulous food!! I myself get excited every time the holidays roll around each year. 

Another less fortunate trend of the holiday season is found in expanding waistlines. The Calorie Control Council estimates the average holiday meal has 3,000 calories, and this is without even including the additional calories consumed in appetizers and drinks. On average Americans experience 1 to 2 pounds of uninvited weight gain during the holidays. That amount may seem pretty insignificant but when you have an extra pound or two creeping on each year and compounding year after year, before you know it you’re ten pounds heavier and can no longer fit into your favorite pair of jeans.

Not to worry, this week’s post will give you a few simple tips to keep you on track with your healthy eating during the holidays and still allow you to enjoy a little pie.

Holiday tip # 1 Don’t skip breakfast

I myself have been guilty of skipping breakfast on Thanksgiving in the past. I used to think that since I knew I would be eating a large feast later in the day I should skip my food intake in the morning. What can actually happen when we skip or miss meals though, is we end up overeating later on. Research even shows that people who eat breakfast actually eat fewer calories throughout the day. Therefore an easy way to reduce the amount of calories you eat at Thanksgiving is by making sure you include breakfast. It truly is important and can set the tone for your whole day. Eating breakfast has also been found to be a common denominator of people who have been able to successfully maintain their weight loss.

Holiday tip # 2 Downsize the carbs

Holiday feasts are usually full of carbs galore with everything from mashed potatoes, dressing, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, bread rolls, and macaroni and cheese to name a few. No wonder it’s easy to overdo it in the carbs department. Carbohydrates are not bad, it’s just when we eat them in excess that things become problematic. Aim to limit your portion of carbs and starches to just 1/4 of your plate. This will help you to get a more balanced meal and allow more room on your plate for non starchy vegetables. Try adding some of these tasty veggie dishes to your holiday spread:

Thanksgiving Salad

Holiday tip # 3 Include activity in your family celebration

To help balance out some of the extra calories you’re bound to consume during the holiday season, make an effort to do something active the day of your family get together. You can try going for a morning hike, playing an afternoon game of football, or even have a dance battle on Nintendo Wii. The most important thing is to find a physical activity that you and your family can enjoy together.

Holiday tip # 4 Take leftovers to go

Remember that there are always ample leftovers at Thanksgiving. Keep in mind that you don’t have to have heaping portions, or even a bite of every dish the day of. Stick to modest portion sizes knowing that you can have more at a later meal or even later on in the week.

Holiday tip # 5 Be mindful of your portions

Portions have drastically increased over the years which has contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States. Cut back on your portions to lower your overall calorie intake. Even a small sliver of pie can satisfy your craving for holiday sweets. Eat slowly and savor your bites so that you can enjoy the fall flavors of your meal. Choosing a smaller plate can also help you keep your portions in check.

Hopefully these 5 tips for healthy eating during the holidays help you to finish your holiday guilt free and thankful for finding the right balance in the most indulgent meal of the year.

Royally yours,

The Diet Duchess

Welcome Blog Post

 

I remember how it was for me before I got my nutrition degree, there were so many different sources of diet information, it was difficult to decipher what was valid and who to trust. There are constantly new fad diets and different weight loss products hitting the market promising miraculous weight loss and health benefits, but it can be extremely difficult knowing what’s true and where to invest your money.

When I was still doing my general education courses in college, I tried the maple syrup diet master cleanse where you literally have no food to eat and only drink this concoction of maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and water. Isn’t it amazing the crazy things we will do in the name of weight loss? Suffice it to say, I wasn’t able to do this for a very long period of time despite my best efforts and it definitely didn’t help me to eat any healthier. If anything I think it was harmful to my relationship with food (along with other dieting approaches) with the yo-yoing back and forth between restriction and indulgence.  

As you can see from my personal story, I have been just where you are, desperate to try any diet or miracle supplement that will help you to lose weight. Don’t beat yourself up. Some of the promises and results of  the many different fad diets and weight loss products can be enticing. The US weight loss market is a 66 billion dollar industry, and I personally have invested money into different products over the years, but with no long term success or practical understanding of how to eat healthy.

Various research articles have shown that one of the common trends of fad dieting is the weight regain afterwards. Fad diets are usually too good to be true. Think of it this way, if the new diet you’re planning on trying is offering a quick fix or is cutting out major food groups, it’s not likely going to be something that you can maintain long term. Your success therefore, will be short lived.

If you are ready to let go of temporary solutions to your lifelong goal of healthy eating and weight management, then follow my blog, The Diet Duchess, each week for a new nutrition topic to help you better understand how to gradually modify your eating behaviors and build your way towards a healthier lifestyle. I am excited to share my passion and professional expertise with you to help you achieve your diet and weight loss goals. Stay tuned as we begin our journey together to “royally rock your diet”.

Estrella, MS, Registered Dietitian

“The Diet Duchess”  

Continue reading “Welcome Blog Post”