November 2013 Newsletter

 

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

‘Tis the season when every store greets you with a cinnamon aroma, every restaurant boasts their new pumpkin-flavored baked good, and holiday parties encourage consumption until every rich morsel is gone. Luckily there are experts to help those of us who need a little assistance when it comes to avoiding temptation. WebMD, an online medical resource, contacted dietary experts who together created a list of top 10 recommendations on how to enjoy the holidays without sabotaging weight loss goals. A common tip is to chew gum, or eating a meal before attending a holiday party to avoid splurging on the calorie-laden buffet. Another tip is to wear tighter fitting clothing; thus, you are more likely to become self-aware of keeping your stomach tight and less likely to indulge in foods that may cause bloating. Even so, splurging once in awhile is not the end of the world. Amp up your exercise regime or load up on veggies the next day to reward yourself with staying on track even after temptation strikes.

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Diet Soda....The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

If you think drinking diet soda is healthy because it keep calories at bay: think again. Researchers from Purdue University collected data from the past 5 years, analyzing the health outcomes of those who drink diet soda compared to those who drink regular soda. The data suggests that drinking diet soda is much like the body's way of crying wolf: "The fake sugar in diet soda teases your body by pretending to give it real food. When your body doesn't get what it wants, it becomes confused on how to respond." The hormonal response that regulates blood sugar is thrown off, leaving the body to crave sugar and increase appetite levels. This may be why those who drink diet soda typically weigh more; plus, the sodium content in diet soda causes bloating. Experts suggest drinking diet soda on rare occasions just as you would any other indulgence like candy or chocolate. In the meantime, drink up on water which will refresh, hydrate, and satisfy your body much better than any substance full of artificial chemicals.

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Are Cookies More Addictive than Cocaine?

How many times have you been able to eat one Oreo then close the package and put the rest back in the cupboard? More than likely, the answer is never. This seemingly addictive nature of Oreos and similar sweet treats has prompted continuous scientific evaluations of brain activity when stimulated by sugar. The most recent study performed at Connecticut University utilized lab rats to compare the "pleasure center" brain response when given an Oreo compared to when injected of Cocaine. The results were staggering: the rats injected with Cocaine actually experienced lower levels of pleasure as compared to the rats eating Oreos. Researchers are quick to suggest that people find difficulty in controlling their sugar intake much like a person struggling with drug abuse. The holiday season is full of indulgences that many folks find difficult to avoid. If you are on a weight maintenance or weight loss path, try keeping healthy snacks available at work to avoid the alluring candy bowl. Remove all temptation from midnight bingeing by throwing out those bags of candy in the cupboards if you haven't done so already. Stay strong and surely you will thank yourself in January!

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November Menu Highlights

Delightful Dinners

Grilled Eggplant Stack  •  Guava Barbequed Hawaiian Wahoo  •  Vegetable Lasagna  •  Prosciutto Ham Crusted Turkey Breast  •  Braised Beef w/ Aromatic Vegetables  •  Grilled Chicken Marsala

Lunch Favorites

Cecilia's Summer Field Fruit Salad  •  Thai Basil Chicken Wrap  •  California Quinoa Salad  •  Grilled Vietnamese Beef Bowl  •  Caramelized Onion & Blue Turkey Burger  •  Lentil & Goat Cheese Salad

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