September 2012 | Dr. Stephen Gullo

Monthly Archives: September 2012

Preventing Childhood Obesity: Weight Gain in a Cup?

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Man with Huge Soda

Image source: Entrepreneur.com

We all know that preventing childhood obesity starts with teaching healthy eating habits early in life and encouraging regular physical activity. But sometimes it’s hard to convince a kid to turn off a video game and go play outside, or to put down their trendy new smartphone with its multitude of apps and games. And sometimes it might seem that giving a kid a soda now and then won’t really do any harm. But new weight loss research has uncovered a link between sugary beverages like soda and changes in a person’s genetic code. First, let’s start with the good news. Two major studies have demonstrated that substituting calorie-free drinks instead of sugary drinks results in reduced weight gain amongst children and teens. So prying the soda bottle out of your child’s hand is an important step in the fight against childhood obesity.

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Unusual Weight Loss Foods You Should Try: Guar Gum

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Growing Guar Gum

Image source: Blogs.worldwatch.org

Weight loss foods are typically vibrantly green or orange and found in the produce section, so eating guar gum, which is a powder, might sound a little odd. And please don’t try to eat it by itself, or you’ll run for the nearest water fountain and dunk your head in it. Instead, incorporate it into your other recipes for its weight loss benefits. Guar gum is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from guar beans. So it’s a good choice for dieters looking to include more natural foods in their diets.

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Bored with Your Diet? Try These Winter Squash Varieties

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Child Bored with Dinner

Image source: Epicureanenthusiast.blogspot.com

Most of us have those moments when we’d rather skip dinner than face yet another bowl of boring soup or plate of mediocre chicken and broccoli. But studies have shown that skipping meals can actually ruin your diet and accelerate future weight gain. When your blood sugar levels crash, you’re much more likely to reach for a box of doughnuts and scarf them all down. Instead of making the same recipes with the same ingredients over and over, try different types of foods like the array of winter squash varieties. Including winter squash varieties in your diet will give you a boost of healthy nutrition. In particular, they tend to be very rich in vitamins A and C. They’re also surprisingly low-calorie and low-fat, considering the density. Use Dr. Gullo’s technique of reminding yourself that thin begins in the supermarket, and check out some ingredients that you’ve probably never experimented with before.

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7 Great Snacks for Your Tailgate Party

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Classic Tailgate Party Food

Image source: Blog.syracuse.com

Mindlessly overeating while staring at a TV screen is a recipe for dieting disaster. But if you love football, the season really isn’t complete without at least one tailgate party. And everyone knows that “football party” equals wings, pizza, and beer. These fattening, high-calorie snacks can not only leave you with a stomachache the next day, but also a rapidly expanding waistline. Instead of cutting out your favorite foods entirely, find healthier food substitutions. Becoming thin begins in the supermarket, as Dr. Gullo’s revolutionary weight loss books point out. Do your research and read nutrition labels before buying snacks for your next tailgate party. You could also make some delicious, low-fat tailgate party snacks from scratch without too much fuss. And remind yourself of all the reasons why you would like to lose weight.

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Food-Bourne Illness Cartoon

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Food recalls seem to be increasingly common these days. Trader Joe’s just recalled its peanut butter after a couple of dozen people were stricken with salmonella. And cantaloupe seems to be on a perpetual list for food recalls. As you plan your weight loss diet with Dr. Gullo’s proven techniques, remember that cooking techniques matter nearly as much as the ingredients themselves. Use cooking spray instead of oil to reduce calories and cook your food to the recommended temperature to reduce the chance of visiting the emergency room later. You can also use recent food recalls as an excuse to find healthier weight loss food substitutes for frequently contaminated items like fattening ground beef and ice cream. So it’s time to put on your P.I. hat, break out the Phillip Marlowe quotes, and do a little investigating into some of the foods that most frequently make people sick.

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What You Didn’t Know About Whole Grain Foods

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Assorted Whole Grains

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You hear the term “whole grains” bantered about a lot in commercials for healthy foods, but what are whole grain foods? The official definition from the Whole Grains Council is that whole grain foods “contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed.” This does not necessarily mean that the grain cannot be processed in any way. It simply means that all of the bits and pieces must be present. These parts include the bran, germ, and endosperm of the grain seed. So, for example, although flour is processed, a flour could qualify as “whole grain” if it has all of the essential parts of the grain.

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Health Benefits of Butternut Squash: Lose Weight with Gourds

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Halved Butternut Squash

Image source: Reclaimyourself.wordpress.com

If you’re only familiar with the type of squash that you play with a racquet, it’s time to broaden your food horizons. Squash is incredibly versatile, and its many varieties are great foods for weight loss. Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) is an oblong gourd with a pale yellow to orange skin and a sweet, orange flesh. In addition to its health benefits, the decorative nature of the squash makes it an ideal addition to a centerpiece for an outdoor fall wedding.

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Easy Dip Recipes for Your Tailgating Party

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Guys Watching Football Game

Image source: Publicgoodreporting.wordpress.com

No tailgating party is complete without a big bowl of dip. But many dips have a ton of saturated fat from the cheese, sour cream, refried beans, etc. And let’s face it; when you’re watching your favorite team score a touchdown, you’re probably not thinking that it’s time to stop eating chips. Watching sports often encourages mindless overeating. As Dr. Gullo notes, portion control simply doesn’t work. Instead, fuel your tailgating party with healthier, lower-calorie options like these easy dip recipes listed below. Pair these healthier dips with cut veggies. If you absolutely must have chips, choose baked, whole grain varieties. And read the nutrition labels before you buy them.

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Healthy Eating: 7 Best Foods at Starbucks

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Inside a Starbucks Store

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Starbucks has a reputation for feeding its customers chocolate-drenched coffee drinks and fattening, sugary pastries. Pair a high-calorie drink with a scone for breakfast, and you could be looking at half a day’s worth of calories before you even get to work. But healthy eating at Starbucks is possible. Use Dr. Gullo’s smart food strategies to indulge your cravings without expanding your waistline. Read the nutrition information carefully and make your selection before you even go to Starbucks. That way, you won’t be as tempted by all those delectable pastries in the display case. You could choose a breakfast for under 300 calories, lunch for under 400 calories, and even dessert for a negligible 170 calories. Check out these healthy eating selections below.

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Healthy Eating: 7 Worst Foods at Starbucks

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Starbucks Food Display

Image source: Washingtonpost.com

When you think of the name “Starbucks,” your thoughts probably turn to caramel mocha lattes with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. And it’s certainly true that while Starbucks might be a coffee lover’s delight, it can also be a dieter’s nightmare. But high-calorie, fattening drinks aren’t all that you have to beware of from Starbucks. They also offer some pretty high-cal food items. If there is one rule to healthy eating at Starbucks, it is probably “stay away from the scones.” The bakery items might look delectable, but some of them equal about 25% of a day’s worth of calories for the average person. Just remember Dr. Gullo’s philosophy: if you don’t want to wear it, don’t eat it. Use meal planning strategies to find healthier options instead.

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