To Snack or Not to Snack for Weight Loss?

Check out this article in the Huffington Post from fellow Dietitian Manuel Villacorta! The article describes the relationship between ghrelin (the hunger hormone), snacking and weight loss.  Definitely worth a read! 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Can a veggie burger have taste? Maybe...check out my review of the Qrunch Burger.

Ok, I know what you're thinking...a blog about veggie burgers, you're kidding right?  Aren't veggie burgers those sad, tasteless, poor imitations of the real thing?  Well, maybe.  What if I told you that I found a veggie burger that both meat eaters and vegetarians agree is the real deal, has flavor, and is satisfying?  It's called the Qrunch Burger (not with a C, but with a Q).  Takes about 1 minute in the microwave or 5-10 minutes in the oven, these burgers are full of high quality, whole, natural ingredients that is subtle, but flavorful.  Check out the ingredients below from their 'original' recipe:

Water, Organic Millet, Organic Quinoa, Organic Refined Coconut Oil, Organic Onion, Organic Carrots, Organic Broccoli, Organic Spinach, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt, Organic Arrowroot Starch, Organic Psyllium Seed Powder, Organic Garlic, Organic Sunflower Oil.

How do I like them?  2 slices of toasted whole grain bread, hummus spread on each side, sliced onion, cucumbers or lettuce, sliced red pepper and Sriracha sauce for a little spice.  If you're in a pinch for dinner, this burger's precooked (just keep frozen) and it's ready in just a few!

The question is, where to find these burgers?  Click here for a list of grocers from the Qrunch website.  However, while my local Whole Foods doesn't carry them, my local Mom's Organic does, so it may vary per your locale. 

Any way you slice it, if you're open to trying something new, this veg burger may just have what it takes, to make it on to your plate!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

P.S. I have no affiliation and receive no compensation from Qrunch. 

Does the NBA love PBJ? Yes...and we'll show you how to make a healthy one!

I admit it, I love a good PB and J sandwich and recently have been eating one most days of the week!  According to a recent article from ESPN, so do many NBA players!  Click here to read the original article!  Now wait a minute, I know what some of you are thinking, PB and J can't be healthy right?  White bread, processed sugar and fatty peanut butter?  Wrong.  How about unprocessed whole grain bread (Food for Life, the Breadery etc.), natural peanut butter (the kind with the healthy oils floating on top in a jar or just crushed peanuts from the health food store), with a natural preserve jam or jelly?  I say, the right PB and J is a highly nutritious, power packed meal (add some non starchy veggies to round it out) to fuel your work day, workout, or weekend!  Simple to prepare, easy to eat on the go, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner (if you're into that kind of simplicity for dinner), and works great for travel!  Ok, let's check it out what's in a healthy PB and J:

1. Whole grain bread- on average has 80 cal per slice (or 40 per slice for some low cal breads).  Should have the following ingredients (one or more whole grains such as wheat, barley, oats etc.) yeast, a little salt (or not), water and that's about it!  Check out the ingredients from this Flax bread from Food for Life.  This bread adds some wheat gluten as well, but they do make gluten free breads as well. 

2. Natural peanut butter- 1 tablespoon is 100 cal.  A good sandwich has between 1-2 tbsp IMO.  Ingredients should say, 'Peanuts,' and maybe 'salt' if you want it.  Are peanuts healthy?  You bet!  A good source have healthy monounsaturated fats, a moderate amount of plant protein, and no cholesterol (plants don't products cholesterol).

3. Jam, preserve, jelly, fruit spread to name a few or a banana- To complete the meal, a fruit or fruit spread is needed.  There are a large variety to choose from and average about 30-50 cal per tablespoon or about 50 cal for a 1/2 sliced banana.  I'd say, one tablespoon or two max is about right for a spread, but everyone is different.  I enjoy many varieties but Crofters is one that I like, among others.  Check out the previous link and scroll down for the ingredients and nutrition facts. Some are concerned that jelly or jam is all table sugar which are 'added' sugars and not naturally occurring such as found in fruit.  Not true for all.  Some have more added sugars than others and some not at all.  Unfortunately the nutrition facts label will not differentiate between 'naturally occurring' sugars found in fruit and 'added sugars' from processed table sugar.  The label just says, 'sugars.'  If you look at the ingredients listed, Crofters did not have 'sugar' listed, as it's sweetened with fruit and fruit juice, so that let's us know that no processed sugar was used in the spread.  Another option is a PB and banana sandwich which isn't quite as sweet, but can work well in a pinch!

What's the final calorie count?  350 calories = 160 cal- 2 slices bread, 1.5 tbsp PB- 150 cal, 1 tbsp jam- 40 cal = 350 calories.  Not too high or too low.  If you need more calories, aim for 2 tbsp's of PB, or if less, aim for 1 tbsp PB. 

All in all, PB and J with the right ingredients is a good source of healthy carbs for energy, protein, and healthy fats, all in moderation to provide the fuel you need to power your day!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Fantastic Lentil Soup Recipe!

A delicious and simple to prepare lentil soup recipe from Dreena Burton!  The soup has a rich and aromatic flavor that satisfies!  It's an easy lunch or dinner option and works great for easy to heat up leftovers too!  Add some veggies on the side either roasted, steamed or as a salad to round out the meal!  Good source of protein and carbs to keep you satisfied and fiber to help with healthy gut function!  Click here to check out the recipe. 

Delicious Thai Red Curry Recipe with Brown Rice!

Just made this delicious Thai Red Curry Recipe and wanted to share!  I cooked brown rice instead of white rice for a heartier meal and higher nutritional value.  Click here to view the recipe. 

Yours in Great Health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Certified Personal Trainer

Can a Pecan Pie bar pack both flavor and health in one wrapper? Check out my review...

Looking for a sweet and healthy snack idea?  Try the Pecan Pie bar from Lara Bar!  Why do I like this bar?  It's simple, tasty, natural and healthy with only three ingredients (dates, almonds and pecans)!  I love products that are made of whole, natural ingredients and you won't do much better than this.  A healthy source of carbs for energy (from the dates), healthy fats (from the nuts), and fiber (from the dates and nuts), this bar has balance.  Protein is on the lower side at 3 grams, but this bar isn't trying to be a high protein bar, and the nuts help to keep you satisfied like a protein bar would.  Lastly, this bar is moderate in calories (220) which will help keep you satisfied between meals, but not too full.  Whether you choose to have a handful of nuts with a fruit or grab this bar instead, either would be a great choice for a snack!

Disclosure:  I have never received compensation from the Lara Bar company. 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Scott Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

To measure or not to measure? That is the question!

Need help reaching your weight loss goals?  If so, try measuring your proteins (with a food scale), fats (with measuring spoons), and starches (with either a food scale or measuring cups) whenever possible!  You may be eating more calories than you think and measuring (after cooking) may give you the data you need to get on track with your goals!

Check out these scales from Amazon that run only about $10-15!  I recently bought one for $15.00 and it works great!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer

 

 

How to achieve your health goals with the 3 P's of success?

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Follow the 3 P's of Success!  Plan all meals and snacks for the workday and weekend in advance.  Prepare your food or buy your meals and snacks within your calorie goals. Keep it simple.  I can pack all my food for the workday (except dinner which I eat at home) in about 20 minutes.  Pack your meals and snacks anytime you are out of the house for more than 2 hours!  By using the 3 P's of success, watch your health and nutrition vastly improve!  P.S., don't forget to use the bonus P (Practice)!  The more you practice, the easier it gets!  By the way, if you slip, no big deal!  Next meal or snack get back on track!

Do you want to get healthier in 2017? If so, check out Kevin in the Baltimore Sun!

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Do you want to get healthier in 2017? 

If so, click this link to read the article that feature's Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN in the Baltimore Sun!  The article is entitled 'Nutritionist's dish on New Year's Diet Resolutions.'

Wishing you a healthy, fit, and happy 2017!

Kevin

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist
Certified Diabetes Educator
web: www.nutritioncoachingcenter.com
email: kevin@nutritioncc.com
Tel: 410-989-1886
57 W. Timonium Road Suite 111
Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093

How often should you weigh yourself for maximum weight loss?

Are you trying to lose weight and not sure if you should weigh yourself, and if so, how often?  Here are a few options to consider:

1. Some avoid weighing themselves

Some patients report that weighing themselves can be discouraging or upsetting, so they avoid the scale and prefer instead to monitor how their clothes fit or how they look.  This is understandable.  Why weigh yourself if it only discourages you from staying on course?  However, while this strategy can work for some individuals, there are some pitfalls.  While not weighing yourself will reduce the ups and downs that accompany your weight changes, it can be difficult to accurately detect changes in weight in the range of 2-5 lbs and for some 10 lbs or more by clothes or appearance alone.  Why is this a problem?  If a person weighs themselves more frequently, they may be able to detect weight gains sooner, look to identify the causes, and make changes to correct.  I'd rather try and correct a 3 lb weight gain than a 5 or 10 lb.  I once met a new patient who hadn't weighed themselves in 6 months.  They'd gained 20 lbs prior to us meeting and had no idea!  This may be an extreme example, but for some, whether it be 3, 5, or 10 lbs or more, it's best to catch weight gain as early as possible (such as 2-3 lbs) and more frequent weighing may help. On the other hand, if someone can manage their weight without weighing themselves and use their appearance or the fit of clothing alone, more power to them. 

2. Some weigh themselves once per week

Others prefer to weigh themselves more often, approximately once per week.  The benefit of this approach is that it allows them to recognize smaller weight gains, take action, and reverse course.  In addition, if they lost weight, they'll be encouraged to stay on track with their weight loss program.  For many, this is a tried and true method that helps them monitor their weight on a regular basis, avoid the ups and downs of more frequent weighing, and correct minor weight changes over the week. 

3.  Some weigh daily or most days of the week

What is the main benefit of daily weighing or most days of the week?  Daily weighing can quickly cue a patient to the cause of a weight change, up or down.  For example, if a person notices an approximately 1/2-1 lb weight gain each morning after eating higher calorie take out or dinner out the night before, then it may provide the motivation to eat out less or eat a little lighter when eating out.  On the flip side, if a person weighs only once per week, less often, or not at all, it may be harder to zero in on the exact cause of the weight gain, particularly over a seven day period or more.  A morning weight allows some relatively instant feedback.  Now, if a patient tells me that they get discouraged with daily or frequent weighing, we will reduce the patient self weighing to less often or only in my office.  The key to reaching your weight loss goal is to find nutritional and behavioral strategies that work and self weighing more frequently can be a great tool for some, whether once per week, most days of the week, or daily!  Last but not least, don't forget to write down your weights and the date taken to have a written log (computer, phone or paper), to kept accurate record keeping!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN                                                                            

 

 

 

 

Does Food Journaling Help You Lose More Weight?

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The answer is yes!  According to the following randomized controlled trials, clients who were more successful in losing weight and keeping weight off were significantly more consistent with self-monitoring (keeping a journal). 

Lose More Weight With Journaling

In a study by Baker and Kirschenbaum, 1998, 32 females and 6 males with a mean age of 43.6 years, self monitored (kept a food journal) for 10 weeks (3 weeks during holidays and 7 weeks during non holidays).  Results showed that highly consistent self-monitors lost an average of 10 pounds more than low self monitors!

Keep the Weight Off With Journaling

In another study by Mattfeldt-Berman et al 1999, 224 male and 84 female participants who successfully maintained weight loss were significantly more likely to adhere to the following strategies:  exercise, self-monitoring of food intake (keeping a journal), and weighing themselves weekly.

In practicing nutrition for over 15 years, I have found that patients who consistently keep a detailed food journal lose the most weight.

In addition to keeping a food journal, patients also need to have a target for the quantity of food in meals and snacks. Without targeted goals for total calories and portion sizes, weight loss will be less than optimal.  

What are the different ways to journal? 

Using an app, a computer based tracking program, and simple pen and paper are the most popular.  To minimize the time required to journal and simplify the process, I now provide my patients with a customized nutrition planner with exact portion sizes that drastically minimizes the amount of writing needed and removes the need to count calories by the patient.  So, instead of taking 10-20 minutes to journal daily (a barrier for some), my customized tracker takes about 1-5 minutes per day.

Top 5 benefits of keeping a journal:

  1. Helps to keep you focused on your meal plan and nutrition goals
  2. Provides a target for meal and snack portion sizes
  3. Keeps you accountable
  4. Reduces mindless eating
  5. Provides a written record and when combined with weight data, can provide valuable information as to how you lost weight!

Whether you prefer an app, a computer based version, pen and paper, or a customized meal planner from Nutrition Coaching Center, the key is to track your foods and portions to optimize your weight loss, keep it off, and help you accomplish your goals! 

Yours in Good Health,

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, ACE-CPT, LDN

 

 

 

 

What's in a slip? How to reach your nutrition goals despite a slip now and again?

Have you ever slipped with your diet and allowed that slip derail you?  If so, your not alone.  Many on the diet 'merry go round' have found themselves in a similar situation.  Guess what?  You don't have to let one slip stop you from reaching your goals!  Read on to learn more!

First of all, what's a slip (in regards to food and nutrition)?  It's a one time instance when you overate or ate something that wasn't what you intended.  Maybe it was that second piece of desert, or one too many late night tortilla chips and cheese, or some other food that you didn't intend to eat or overeat. 

How can we stop a one time slip from derailing our goals? 

  1. Build flexibility into your nutrition plan.  No one is perfect.  By allowing some flexibility in your plan, you may feel more confident in your ability to stay on track. I aim for one to two 'eating out' occasions per week.  This gives me the flexibility to have dinner with my family at a restaurant or enjoy a nice meal at a holiday occasion or event without feeling like I've 'failed' at my nutrition goals.  This way, if I eat a little 'off my usual eating plan,' it's actually 'on my plan.'  So, consider building in a little flexibility into your nutrition plan to help you stay on course! 
  2. Give yourself a break.   We all slip sometimes, and when you do, don't be hard on yourself!  We are all human, and it's totally normal to slip given the food temptations that surround us.  It's what you do after the slip that counts.  Next meal or snack, get right back on track!  Forgive yourself, drop the guilt, and move on.  When diets or workouts are too restrictive, a slip (one time), may turn into a lapse (multiple slips), a relapse or maybe even a collapse.  Not anymore, right?  Next time you slip , brush it off, forgive yourself, and get right back on track!

Yours in Good Health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN