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Calorie Count Blog

What to Choose if You Want to Lose


By +Elisa Zied on Feb 10, 2011 10:00 AM in Dieting & You

By Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN

You know that eating less is easier said than done. If losing weight were really that easy, 68 percent of American adults wouldn’t be overweight or obese, and we wouldn’t, on average, gain one pound a year between the ages of 20 and 60.  So, how can you lose weight - or at least, prevent weight gain - without feeling deprived and unsatisfied? Instead of focusing on what to eat less of – focus on what to eat more of! 

Instead of focusing on particular foods to avoid, think in terms what you should eat and about following a diet rich in a wide variety of healthy foods.  A healthy nutritious diet can help you feel satisfied (instead of deprived) and feeling satisfied makes it easier to manage your weight for life.

Here are some foods and food groups that were recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans based on the latest scientific evidence about food and nutrition and what to do to reduce overweight and obesity and the risk of chronic diseases.

Fill Up on Produce

  • The evidence shows that adults who eat more fruits and vegetables seem to be protected against weight gain.  Consuming fruits and veggies may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart attack and stroke) and protect against some cancers. 
  • The current recommendation for most is 3.5 to 4.5 cups a day of fruits and vegetables combined.  That’s 1.5 cups of fruit and 2 to 2.5 cups of vegetables for a 1,600 to 2,000 calorie dietary pattern (which is appropriate for most women.) 
  • Aim for at least ½ cup of fruits or vegetables every time you eat, and mix up choices to get different tastes and combinations of nutrients and powerful plant chemicals.

Get More Whole Grains

  • The evidence shows adults who eat more high-fiber whole grains weigh less than those who eat fewer whole grains.  Consuming whole grains may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • The current recommendation is 5 to 6 1-ounce servings a day of grains, with at least half as whole grains.  (A 1-ounce serving equals about ½ cup pasta or rice, 1 slice of bread, or 1 cup flaky cereal.)
  • Unfortunately, Americans don’t eat enough whole grains.  In one day, they average only one serving of whole grains and about 7 servings of refined grains.
  • Eat twice as many whole grains as refined grains.  Replace refined grains (white bread, enriched grain cereals, crackers, and pasta, and white rice) with whole grains (whole wheat pasta, bread, crackers, oatmeal, brown rice, and others) often.

Milk Your Diet

  • The evidence links a higher intake of milk and milk products with improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents.  Consuming milk is also linked to lower blood pressure and reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • The dietary guidelines recommend 3 cups a day – or 3 1-cup equivalents - of low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.  A 1-cup equivalent is 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1.5 ounces of processed cheese, or 2 ounces of hard cheese.
  • Add one more cup of low-fat or fat-free milk every day, rounding out your intake with yogurt and/or cheese.  You can have milk straight up, easily add it to oatmeal or a smoothie, or pour in your coffee.  Most of us get only 1 serving of milk a day instead of the 3 servings we need. 

Power Up with Protein

  • The new dietary guidelines count “protein foods” as:  seafood (fish and shellfish), meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, nuts, and seeds.
  • Consuming more protein won’t magically help you lose weight.  In the short run, high-protein, low-calorie diets promote greater weight loss, when compared to low-calorie, high-carbohydrate diets, but after one year there is little difference in total weight loss between the two.  Protein is important to consume when cutting calories because it can help reduce the loss of lean muscle tissue that accompanies weight loss and it can fill you up to prevent wide swings in energy and blood sugar levels.
  • The dietary guidelines recommend around 5 ounces a day.  They also recommend weekly totals for seafood (8 ounces); meat, poultry and eggs (24 and 26 ounces, respectively); and nuts, seeds and soy products (4 ounces).
  • Incorporate some protein-rich food into each meal and snack.  To save calories and minimize saturated fat, choose the leanest meat options such as skinless, white meat chicken, and sirloin instead of prime rib.


Your thoughts....

Do you follow the recommendations for produce, whole grains, milk, and protein?


Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and award-winning author of "Nutrition At Your Fingertips," "Feed Your Family Right!," and "So What Can I Eat?!." She is also a past national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. For more information, go to www.elisazied.com. Follow Elisa on Twitter/elisazied and on Facebook.



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Comments


I don't know if I necessarily agree with this entire article.  If you look at most European countries like Italy, they don't eat all the food we eat.  I lived in Europe for 10 years and the one this I noticed the most is that they just didn't sit inside, and walked or bicycled everywhere they went.  They don't have the luxury of riding up in an elevator.  The other thing I noticed is that when they sit down to eat, they enjoy their food and usually take at least 2 hours to have a meal.  Americans are obsessed with everything even food me included or I wouldn't have a weight problem!  Also, Europeans don't have the fast food restaurants that we have.  We are such a society of over indulgence.



Milk and protein are not the way to a healthy diet or for weight loss. It has been proven time and time again that animal products are linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease,  and certain forms of cancer. The countries that consume the highest dairy and animal protein also have the highest rate of osteoperosis.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you- eat/calcium-and-milk/index.html

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/12/protein_cancer .html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12 /07/AR2006120700845.html



Original Post by: donnasuzie

I don't know if I necessarily agree with this entire article.  If you look at most European countries like Italy, they don't eat all the food we eat.  I lived in Europe for 10 years and the one this I noticed the most is that they just didn't sit inside, and walked or bicycled everywhere they went.  They don't have the luxury of riding up in an elevator.  The other thing I noticed is that when they sit down to eat, they enjoy their food and usually take at least 2 hours to have a meal.  Americans are obsessed with everything even food me included or I wouldn't have a weight problem!  Also, Europeans don't have the fast food restaurants that we have.  We are such a society of over indulgence.


....yes, but in Europe everything is so close. You don't need a car for the little corner grocery store ......

Just walk to your closer Safeway ....You will lose weight :-))))



Often (nearly on a daily basis), I lack in whole grains, milk, and water. And, then I wonder why I feel hungry so much of the time...

I'm pretty consistent with eating enough protein in lean meats, nuts, and low-fat cheeses. 

I get in a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, which isn't a struggle because I love to eat them.

 



I have a caisen allergy so can not tolerate dairy.  I can have some yogurt.  What are some good alternatives to get my calcium?  I take a supplement, but would rather meet requirements with food.  Also, my daughter is gluten free, so other than brown rice and quino most whole grains are out.  Any suggestions there? 



I love yogurt.  But a serving of let's say-  Light & Fit-  only has 15% calcium.  Does that mean I have to eat almost 8 yogurts to reach 100% of my daily calcium?  That is 600 calories!  Which yogurt has the highest calcium?



Fruits and veggies, yes, I agree.  However, I found that dairy set me back on my goal.  I could not loose weight while eating low cal yougurt and drinking skim milk.  Once I eliminated the low cal cheese and most dairy, the pounds dropped.  I eat a lot of lean protein, greens, and I use a good bit of healthy fats.  I just had more success eating protein and fiber rich foods minus the dairy.  My body wieht has gone down 70 pounds with that and exercise.  I found dairy to be a stumbling block in my efforts.  I tried to eat from all food groups, but I say no success until I retricted the dairy.  I think everyone's chemistry is different.



I have always wondered about the recommendations for dairy intake. Is this just for calcium? Or specific nutirients? I have never seen recomendations for those who CAN'T eat dairy. Even though dairy allergy is like the second most common food issue, or something like that.



For those who can't eat dairy, you can try soy or almond milk.  Silk brand is pretty good.  I have replace white flour and regular pasta with brown rice and whole wheat, lots of veggies, very little sugar even if fruits.  I have been able to lose weight and at the same time stick to my diet.  For those who have never tried almond milk, try it today!



You can also get your calcium in other ways like milk in your cereal, cheese in your sandwich, plian greek yogurt on a baked potato and so on.



I just went to the Almond Breeze website because that is what I drink on a regular basis. "Refigerated Almond Breeze products contains 30 % of the daily calcium value per serving. Shelf stable aseptic Almond Breeze products contain 20% if the calcium value per serving". So by that standard, it seems to me, that 3 servings (also recommended for adults 19-50) should be enough to contribute to your calcium intake daily. If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me.

"Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and bok choy or Chinese cabbage are good sources of calcium.

Other sources of calcium are salmon and sardines canned with their soft bones. Shellfish, almonds, Brazil nuts, and dried beans are also sources of calcium. It is difficult, however, to eat adequate quantities of these foods to achieve optimal calcium intake." http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002412.htm



BTW what I was trying to say is that adults 19 -50 are recommended to get in three 8 oz. glasses of milk on a daily basis to achieve the benefits.



This is not true:  In the short run, high-protein, low-calorie diets promote greater weight loss, when compared to low-calorie, high-carbohydrate diets, but after one year there is little difference in total weight loss between the two.

There are several long term studies out recently that showed even though the weight loss is about the same after 1 year between low carb and regular diets those that follow the low carb diet after two years have 33% lower cholesterol than the regular low fat higher carb diets. The research is showing that is the way we are supposed to eat. Most people don't realize the stuff that clogs our arteries is produced by the carbs we eat (breads, grains, sugar, etc). It is not produced by fat or meats. Our liver's convert those carbs into triglycerides that clog our arteries.



I disagree that dairy is altogether bad for you.  Growing up my family were  huge consumers of milk, cheese, etc., and my bone density tests are off the charts. My Mother is 93 and while she has fallen too many times to count, she has never broken a bone and she drinks A LOT of milk! 

I believe in a well-balanced diet including protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables AND dairy.  Portion control, moderation and exercise are the keys. 

One thing - does anyone know of a good whole wheat pasta?  Every one I've tried is nasty - grainy texture, weird flavor, etc.!  Help!



Please read Good Calories Bad Calories to find out the science of how our bodies make triglycerides.  Even a steak is 70% good cholesterol and only 30% bad cholesterol. Our brains are 70% fat do you think that nature might know what it has done by making even a steak have 70% of the fat be the good cholesterol we need. Where does the bad cholesterol come from.... mostly the carbs we eat.



To Tracynymeyer- try Brown rice pasta inside of the ww pasta. Its a great taste and I find it more digestable(less bloat).

 

I like the Tinkyada brand found at most general grocery stores in the organic isle.

 



My triglycerides are very low; my cholesterol is always 165-170 & the only time my bad cholesterol went up was when I was on Medifast!!  While I don't eat an excess of red meat, we usually have it at least once a week and I buy lean cuts.  We do eat fish about 2-3 times a week and chicken the rest of the time. 

I really try to not "over think" this whole nutrition thing and just use basic common sense.  Too many studies conflict their findings.  You have to find the lifestyle that fits your needs and go with it.  Whenever I've tried to follow a "plan", I've ended up losing some but never feeling completely satisfied and in turn gaining again.  Since I've adapted this mindset, I feel energized and unencumbered and I've lost 36 pounds!

 



Broccoli is a good source of calcium.....there are other "veggie choices" as well.  A quick look up on the web should help you!



I buy the 32oz light & fit and use 1 cup to make a smoothie (25% calcium-110 calories) add 1/2 cup soy milk (15% calcium-35 calories), two slices of pineapple and about a cup of ice. Blend well and you get 40% of your calcium for about 200 calories as well as a great tasting drink!

I have one every night!  ENJOY



Original Post by: donnasuzie

I don't know if I necessarily agree with this entire article.  If you look at most European countries like Italy, they don't eat all the food we eat.  I lived in Europe for 10 years and the one this I noticed the most is that they just didn't sit inside, and walked or bicycled everywhere they went.  They don't have the luxury of riding up in an elevator.  The other thing I noticed is that when they sit down to eat, they enjoy their food and usually take at least 2 hours to have a meal.  Americans are obsessed with everything even food me included or I wouldn't have a weight problem!  Also, Europeans don't have the fast food restaurants that we have.  We are such a society of over indulgence.


I've lived in Europe all my life and I'm sorry to say that I disagree with everything you say. For some reason, many Americans idealize Europe (which by the way, consists of many countries, each of them with lots of regions that have different cultures).

More and more, "European kids" are becoming couch potatoes addicted to video games, and that is obviously affecting their weight and overall health. Only in some northern countries it is customary to ride everywhere, even in big cities with great distances to cover. However, Mediterranean people tend to use cars and scooters (which are bad both for us and for the environment) to go anywhere, even if it just takes 20 minutes to walk to the place in question.

As for taking 2 hours to have a meal, well, that is just a myth. It may happen on special occasions (like Christmas and New Year's Day), but most people only enjoy a 1-hour break from work, which includes going to a wherever you are going to eat, ordering, eating, and getting back to work on time. Oh, and we don't nap, not even on weekends. I don't even have time to get 7 hours of sleep a night! Just babies and toddlers can afford that luxury nowadays, and retired people with nothing to do (not all of them).

In Spain (where I come from) most women are obsessed with food, and EDs are rampant among teenagers. And even though most of my fellow country people always criticize American food culture and boast of our healthy Mediterranean diet, it is rare to find someone that actually follows it. Instead, most people eat junk food on a daily basis (there are McDonalds, Subways, and the like on every corner here) and when I tell someone that I'm a vegan, they have no idea what I'm talking about, and after I tell them a bit about it, they refuse to believe that my diet is both delicious and nutritious.

I'm just trying to say that you shouldn't be so critical of American culture in general, and American eating habits in particular. There are lots of vegetarians and vegans in the U.S., and omnivores who care about what they eat, and do their research to get information on how to eat a nutritionally-balanced diet (this is unheard of in Spain, where most people believe they already know all there is to know about food). I've embraced the good aspects of the American diet and I feel great thanks to it. For example, instead of drinking a cup of coffee and eating a sugary store-bought doughnut (typical Spanish breakfast), what better way to start the day than with a nice hot bowl of oatmeal with berries and walnuts and a couple of home-made muffins? (I know not all Americans bake, but it's just an example!)



P.S.: Almost forgot! We've had elevators & escalators for decades. It's 2011 here too.



odettebrennan, thanks for your comments. I think we are too critical of the American diet- yes, it can be bad- but we also have a shocking variety of good nutritious foods, lots of information at our disposal, and the most alternatives to allergenic foods that I have found anywhere. Whole wheat products in other countries were such a pain to find when I lived abroad! Made me grateful.

This article was good. I struggle with the milk requirement, however- as I get older I am increasingly sensitive to most forms of dairy and do not believe soy milk is very good for you...and almond milk, unless you make your own, is often loaded with sugar (and nasty IMO). I just haven't found a good alternative to dairy, probably because I love it so much. :-(



All in moderation. Also, the more processed food is the less goodness it has. That is the basics.



I agree with fitandactivemama. I've just spent 4 weeks travelling in the US & was surprised by the choice of good quality food you have available. (Loved Trader Joe's in Vegas). Australian supermarkets are no better & probably offer less variety so I think we criticise American produce way too much. You have good & bad at your disposal like most places.

I will say that portion size is over the top though, that really made an impact on us. Our family of 6 (includes two 6 ft+ teenage boys) started to order 4 meals between us after the first few days & usually still had food left over. And refillable sodas are rare down here so you tend to only get your kids 1 & then make them drink water, being able to use cost as an excuse.



Ah, what a coincidence– this week's Nutrition Diva podcast is about the same subject. Here's the link, if anyone is interested:

http://nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com/how-to-eat-less-w ithout-feeling-hungry.aspx

Some of it's the same as what's here, but she mentions a few other things, too, and explains a bit about the science of satiety, as well as link to some research about it. Nice.

Sigh. I'm finding it hard to eat a lot of veg most days, and usually manage around 2-3 serving instead of the 4-6 I'd like to have :/



Hi to every one with eat problem and with problem to lose , here is my suggestion

1)what you like eat Italian? French? English? choose one

create a week list  lung and dinner Monday to Sunday chose a good blog and pick up one meal for each what you eat at lunch don't eat at dinner and what you eat on Monday you don't eat Tuesday, create one map of food with every

quality of food fish meat red or white vegetable cheeses and sweet, but eat only one a week, and if you eat pasta you don't eat bread.

and wen you portion on you plate  make smaller this is the trick



Portion control is a really big thing.  I've been off actual calorie restriction for a couple of weeks but I didn't go back to my pre-loss eating habits (mostly, the big portions and the dessert snacking).  I weighed myself this morning out of curiosity and, nope, I haven't gained.  Lost a pound, in fact.  So, I'm not even on a diet any more and I can still do this.  The biggest factor, though, was retraining myself not to eat more than I really need to satisfy my physical hunger. 

I try to eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole-wheat bread and pasta, beans, etc., anyway; they do keep me feeling full.  This morning I had a whole-wheat-sweet-potato cinnamon roll and an egg, and that kept me going for hours.

I agree that we need to be careful about idolizing Europe.  Yes, Europeans on average are thinner, but we don't live in Europe and most Americans will just get frustrated if we try to copy their lifestyles in our reality.  I was in Italy last fall.  One, Italians smoke like crazy.  Two, yes, they walk a lot, but then they CAN because cities are set up that way.  I can't do that here.  That's why I jog.  We need to find ways to live more healthfully in an American environment.



You can get calcium from leafy greens such as kale and spinach!



my above comment was to jegvlf3



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lottafuss - soy milk and almond milk provide the same amount of calcium as dairy milk. In fact,  Silk (brand) Pure Almond offers 45% calcium -- more than soy or dairy milk! As for your daughter, she can eat whole grains like amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat and quinoa, as well as the likes of soba noodles and corn (corn tortillas!). Hope that helps :] There is a lot of info out there on the Internet.



OH! And I know not everyone is a fan, but sardines provide a LOT of calcium!



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Original Post by: ninav

Milk and protein are not the way to a healthy diet or for weight loss. It has been proven time and time again that animal products are linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease,  and certain forms of cancer. The countries that consume the highest dairy and animal protein also have the highest rate of osteoperosis.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you- eat/calcium-and-milk/index.html

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/12/protein_cancer .html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12 /07/AR2006120700845.html


I don't exactly agree with your comment here.  I have lost over 15 pounds in the past three weeks by eating animal proteins.  True, I don't drink milk or eat many dairy products...but that is primarily because I don't like milk!  I believe that if we eat all things in moderation we wont have a problem with weight gain.  This article is not saying that you should consume large quantities of dairy products or animal proteins.  It is just giving you a recommendation as to how to live a healthy and wholesome life.  It might be a personal preference to not eat animal proteins or dairy products and that kind of lifestyle is great for some people.  Just not me! Moderation is the key thing to take away from this article!  To much of anyone thing can be very unhealthy.  Lets face it a 18 oz prime rib is probably not the best choice to make but a 6 oz cut of lean rib eye has many healthy benefits (and tastes great!).  One glass of skim milk a day also has many great healthy benefits...but eating a entire tub of ice cream is probably going to cause some health problems! Its all in how you, as an individual consume your food!



Original Post by: lottafuss

I love yogurt.  But a serving of let's say-  Light & Fit-  only has 15% calcium.  Does that mean I have to eat almost 8 yogurts to reach 100% of my daily calcium?  That is 600 calories!  Which yogurt has the highest calcium?


Dried beans (including canned), soy products, nuts. There is a chart here:

 

http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/nutrition/calcium.html

 

Scroll down to "calcium rich foods"



Ok, somehow that "replied" to the wrong comment. :-/



I ate wedding cake once. I lost 25 years of my life. I would advice against it.



Original Post by: michellemav

To Tracynymeyer- try Brown rice pasta inside of the ww pasta. Its a great taste and I find it more digestable(less bloat).

 

I like the Tinkyada brand found at most general grocery stores in the organic isle.

 


OK- I have tried a zillion (not much of an exxageration) different brands of Brown Rice...my husband loves it- but apprently I cannot cook it correctly!!  Any advice?????  I have never eaten it(except when I make it) and so I don't know what the sticky factor should be, or the taste/flavor, etc.  Help!!  Embarassed



Original Post by: gotnoworrys

I ate wedding cake once. I lost 25 years of my life. I would advice against it.


LOL  -  Thanks - That's hilarious!  

:-) 



Original Post by: jegvlf3

I have a caisen allergy so can not tolerate dairy.  I can have some yogurt.  What are some good alternatives to get my calcium?  I take a supplement, but would rather meet requirements with food.  Also, my daughter is gluten free, so other than brown rice and quino most whole grains are out.  Any suggestions there? 


Wild rice is an excellent whole grain and very versatile - can be eaten warm, cold, as breakfast cereal, hotdish for supper, etc.  I had wild rice, oatmeal, raisens, cherries, walnuts and yogurt as breakfast cereal mix this morning.  Tuesday I prepared wild rice for lunch by adding Middle Eastern spices and shredded chicken.  Wild Rice is also high in potassium, and has 7 g protein in each 1 cup serving (cooked) and is a great system cleanser.  My cholesteral dropped like a stone just by adding regular intake of walnuts and Wild Rice to my diet.   

Go for the real thing (many stores sell "paddy rice" which is a genetically modified version and does not have health benefits of the real thing).  For more info about how to tell the difference:  http://www.saveourrice.org/wild_rice_conservation.html



Not quite true anymore.  I live in Italy and only about 2 hours from France.  I can tell you that every town of reasonable size will have at least one McDonald's, the larger towns have Burger King and every tiny village will have a pizzeria that does eat in or take out.  True we don't have avenues of fast food outlets and everyone does stop for lunch.  What the locals here have taught me is it is the digestibility of food that counts.

A bowl of pasta with a fresh tomato based sauce and a sprinkle of parmisan cheese is readily digested.  A bowl of pasta covered with a 'Italian Style' sauce manufactured to cater for American tastes will probably send you to the sofa for a snooze as it takes for ever to go down.



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