July 2015 | Dr. Stephen Gullo

Monthly Archives: July 2015

Can Green Coffee Beans Trim Your Waistline?

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I am a self-confessed coffee freak. I don’t get cravings for dessert nearly as much as I get cravings for coffee, particularly when it’s deliciously organic, fair-trade coffee from Costa Rica. Coffee is also good for dieters (as long as you don’t overdo it) because it accelerates the metabolism. But drinking too much of it can lead to jitteriness, insomnia, and other side effects. This is where green coffee beans come into play. According to a recent weight loss study, green coffee beans may actually help reduce your body fat. Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton was one of the researchers who conducted the study. He presented his research at the American Chemical Society in the spring of 2012.

Vinson studied 16 overweight young adults for 22 weeks (a larger study is being planned). The volunteers took green coffee capsules of either a 700-mg or 1,050-mg dosage three times daily. Other volunteers took a placebo. Volunteers did not follow a special diet. The volunteers who took the extract made from green coffee beans lost an average of 17.5 lbs. and reduced overall weight by 10.5%. While this research is promising, remember that there’s no magic bullet for weight loss. Taking all the supplements in the world won’t help you lose weight if you eat eight boxes of doughnuts for breakfast every morning. But by all means, go ahead and take nutritional supplements as long as you also follow my healthy weight loss strategies of customizing your diet according to your food history.

weight loss meal plans New York, NY

weight loss meal plans New York, NY | 7 Frozen Meals To Avoid When Dieting

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7 Frozen Meals To Avoid When Dieting

It’s a challenge to cook a delicious, nutritious meal every night of the week. Between soccer practices or speech therapy sessions for the kids, work obligations, and everything else that life throws at you, the last thing you feel like doing when you get home is chopping up carrots and steaming kale. Besides, if you’ve been walking around in stilettos all day, you really just want to sit down for a while. Frozen microwave or skillet dinners exploit those very desires. It’s convenience in a box. But everyone knows that they are not healthy, and they are certainly not good for your waistline. Some frozen foods are worse than others. If you do need to resort to the frozen foods aisle now and then, read the nutrition labels. And steer clear of the frozen foods listed below, weight loss meal plans New York, NY.

weight loss meal plans New York, NY

1. Tony’s Pizza for One
The pepperoni variety has an incredible 12 g of saturated fat packed in a tiny pie, along with 550 calories.

2. Kashi Sweet and Sour Chicken
Despite the healthy implications of the brand name, this meal has an irresponsible 25 g of sugar. To put that into perspective, a glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut has 10 g of sugar.

3. Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Sandwich
Just one package has 734 calories – nearly half your daily calorie intake – along with 35 g of fat.

4. Jimmy Dean Sausage, Egg & Cheese Croissant
One of these will set you back by 510 calories, 39 g of fat, and 900 mg of sodium.

5. Bertolli Shrimp Scampi & Linguine
Half of the package will cost you 540 calories, 24 g of fat, and 850 mg of sodium. And most of us would probably eat more than one serving size.

6. Bird’s Eye Pasta & Vegetables
A veggie side dish seems like it should be healthy, but it’s smothered in cheese sauce – one cup has 170 calories, 3.5 g of fat, and 590 mg of sodium.

7. Banquet Classic Fried Chicken
This microwave dinner with mashed potatoes has an incredible 690 calories, 29 g of fat, and 950 mg of sodium.

What You Don’t Know About Whole Grains Could Hurt Your Diet

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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.

So what does all of that mean for your weight loss diet? Despite what low-carb and no-carb fanatics would have you believe, whole grain foods are an essential part of any healthy diet. As opposed to refined grains, whole grains can help lower the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and even gum disease. Whole grains can also encourage weight management and they are essential for heart health. Most people should try to eat 3 to 7 servings of whole grains daily. Integrating whole grains is an essential part to any smart and effective weight loss strategy!

The Best Weight loss Health Program in New York, NY

The Best Weight loss Health Program in New York, NY | 7 Essential Foods Diabetics Should Be Eating for Weight Loss

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7 Essential Foods Diabetics Should Be Eating for Weight Loss

Weight loss is a priority for many of us, but for some, it is a medical necessity. Weight loss for diabetics can not only improve general health, but it also helps control the disease. According to WebMD, a person with diabetes who is overweight can dramatically drop their blood sugar levels by losing just 5% to 10% of their body weight. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause so many health complications: from foot problems to blood vessel damage. Weight loss for diabetics requires a doctor-approved plan, so consult the doc before changing your diet or workout plan. I, along with most other doctors, agree that trying a crash diet based on food deprivation is not healthy, especially for diabetics. Instead, focus on healthier food substitutions. Diabetes patients benefit from choosing foods with a low glycemic index, which means that the food will not spike blood sugar levels. Check out my recommendations below, The Best Weight loss Health Program in New York, NY.

The Best Weight loss Health Program in New York, NY

Sprinkle some on your coffee to help stabilize your blood sugar levels; plus, cinnamon can take the place of unhealthy additions like cream and sugar.

Berries have a low glycemic index, which means they won’t elevate your blood sugar levels quickly.

Oat Flour
Grind uncooked oatmeal in your food processor until it becomes fine and powdery –use it as a whole grain substitute for white flour.

Kidney Beans
The Mayo Clinic recommends including legumes as part of your healthy diet; they are a low-calorie, low-fat, energy-dense food that helps prevent blood sugar spikes.

A study published in Diabetes suggests that broccoli may help reverse some of the damage that diabetes can cause to your body; specifically, it protects blood vessels and your heart.

Select types that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, for their anti-inflammatory benefits; an anti-inflammatory diet can also help protect your blood vessels.

Choose non-starchy veggies like daikon to keep your carb count in check; plus, roasted daikon makes a great substitute for starchy potatoes.

Diet Pills Don’t Change People; People Change People!

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Charlton Heston’s famous line that, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” has more to do with dieting and weight loss than you might think.

Recently, there has been an explosion of weight loss pills, designer diet drugs and injectables, aimed at helping people lose weight and at stemming the tide of obesity in the in the United States which has reached epidemic levels (36% of adults in the US are obese).Sadly, the majority of these new drugs come with serious side effects, like vomiting, headaches, dizziness and memory problems and elevated heart rate.

And while the resurgence of medically studied and issued diet pills might seem like a panacea that can cure our weight loss woes, they are insufficient for fighting our obesity problem.

Said Dr. Elias S. Siraj, professor of medicine and director of the diabetes program at Temple University School of Medicine, “At its core, obesity is a lifestyle disease associated with too much food and too little physical activity. If you want an absolute reversal (of obesity), you have to correct the lifestyle.”

It’s what I have been saying all along. Pills don’t change behavior and it’s our behavior that makes us fat. The analogy is diabetes. Today, there are more ways to treat Type 2 diabetes than ever before, but the rates are still skyrocketing. Why? Because diabetes is a complex behavioral disorder that requires people to make changes. Pills don’t change people!

How Menopause Effects Women’s Weight Loss Battles

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There’s no question that menopause changes your life in significant ways. For starters, the hot flashes will probably make you want to check into a hotel carved entirely of ice. But menopause isn’t just about hot flashes; it’s also about changes in your weight. Researchers have long known that women tend to carry fat in their hips and thighs and men carry it in their bellies. But after menopause, your fat starts to travel, and you’ll be more apt to carry your excess weight on your midsection. You might be wondering why this is important. After all, if you’re trying to lose 5 lbs., does it matter if it’s on your thighs or stomach? Yep, it does!

Fat stored on your stomach carries an extra risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. This makes it particularly important for women who are around the age of menopause to send their fat packing… and not just elsewhere on their bodies. Whether you’re already entering that glorious era of hot flashes or just beginning to dread it, you can benefit from Dr. Gullo’s weight loss techniques. Start implementing healthy changes to your lifestyle, like taking a new fitness class. Swap out your usual desserts for lower-calorie alternatives and look for ways to make family dinners healthier by trying vegetarian options instead of red meat.

The 7 Best Vegan-Friendly Proteins

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One of the most common questions asked of vegetarians and vegans is “Where do you get your protein?” For die-hard carnivores, it seems unthinkable that vegan diets yield sufficient protein for good health. It might also seem like you would practically have to hire a private investigator to search around for healthy protein sources for vegan diets. But you really don’t need a professional sleuth to build a healthy meal plan; just follow my meal planning strategies through a vegan lens. Protein is found in some surprising places, from oatmeal to broccoli. It’s really quite easy to eat plenty of protein on healthy vegan diets. If you’re bored with tofu, check my list of top protein sources below.

1. Oatmeal
A surprising 6 g of protein in just 1 cup, but don’t ruin it by adding brown sugar – try a little soy milk and berries instead.

2. Broccoli
Just 1 cup of cooked broccoli has 4 g of protein!

3. Bulgur
Vegan diets might encourage you to cook outside your comfort zone – try heart-healthy bulgur for 6 g of protein per cooked cup.

4. Quinoa
This is an absolutely delicious whole grain that tastes much better than it sounds – pronounce it keen-WAH – with 9 g of protein per cooked cup – try it in casseroles.

5. Kidney Beans
Beans and other legumes are an essential part of any healthy vegan diet – they’re a great source of fiber as well as protein.

6. Soy Yogurt
Brands vary, but 6 oz. of soy yogurt will typically yield about 6 g of protein – select unsweetened varieties and add your own fresh fruit.

7. Spinach
1 cup cooked yields 5 g of protein – if you’re not partial to spinach as a side dish, try adding a cup to your favorite soup or casserole recipes.

7 Butter Alternatives You Might Not Know

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When you begin a weight loss diet using my dieting techniques, you’ll examine your food history to customize a plan that’s right for you. You might notice that you tend to go overboard with butter products. According to Eating Well magazine, butter has an average of 100 calories and 11 g of fat with 7 g of saturated fat per tablespoon. That’s an awful lot of fat and calories for such a little serving size. Instead of depriving yourself of buttery goodness, find a healthier alternative. Store shelves are stocked full of alternative butter products. Look for one that ideally contains less than 50 calories and less than 3 g of saturated fat per serving. As well, check for trans fats. Even if a product proclaims that it is “trans fats-free,” it still has less than 0.5 g of trans fats if the ingredients list includes hydrogenated oil.

Below check out my list of 7 alternative butter products you might not know:

1. Applesauce
Yes, you read that correctly: applesauce. Revamp your baking recipes to use unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas, or other fruit purees instead of butter.

2. Ricotta Cheese
You can also substitute ricotta cheese instead of butter in baking recipes, but always select the low-fat varieties.

3. Roasted Garlic
If you love garlic bread, make it healthier by substituting whole wheat bread and roasted, mashed garlic heads instead of butter.

4. Greek Yogurt

Select plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt and use it as a substitute for butter products in baking recipes and on dishes like potatoes.

5. Baba Ganoush
Spread this dish, made of roasted, mashed eggplant, on wraps, sandwiches, or any other food item on which you would ordinarily use butter products.

6. Light “Butter” Spread with Sterols
These lower-calorie spreads are substitutes for regular butter products; check the label for the presence of plant sterols, which have been proven by one study to lower LDL cholesterol by 14%.

7. Whipped Butter
Whipped or light butter contains fewer calories and saturated fat than regular butter, but check the label to choose the best brand; as well, if your food history reveals that you’re a butter fanatic, skip this altogether and choose alternative butter products.

Dieting and Healthy Eating: Why These Two Things Are Not The Same

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There’s a new study from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) that promises to radically change how Americans eat when trying to shed body fat and get healthy. But, in reviewing the study you might notice that the researchers are suggesting a “dietary intervention.” That’s a problem. This country’s 108 million dieters don’t need a dietary intervention. They need a behavioral intervention since it’s their behavior that causes them to overeat. The lead researcher frequently comments about “healthier eating.” We can’t say it enough, if you appeal to “health” you will lose your audience. Dieters don’t always care about healthy eating. They want to fit into a little black dress or a summer swim suit. So healthy eating is missing the point.

According to a story from UAB News, UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center researchers Kevin Fontaine, Ph.D., and Amy Goss, Ph.D. are enrolling participants who are 60 years or older and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30. The participants will take part in a two-month dietary intervention in which they will be randomized to either a lower-carbohydrate/higher-fat diet or a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet group. “We’re looking at a diet low in carbohydrates and higher in fat compared to a low-fat, higher-carbohydrate diet — the typical American diet — which is traditionally thought of as healthier,” said Dr. Fontaine.

In other research conducted by Dr. Goss, the transition to a low-carb, higher-fat diet (think meats, eggs, seeds, nuts, and other whole foods instead of pasta and bread) has been beneficial to healthy overweight/obese adults younger than 65 years and women with polycystic ovary syndrome. “We saw phenomenal results in these study groups’ consuming a reduced-carbohydrate diet,” Dr. Goss explained. “They depleted body fat, maintained lean mass, lost visceral fat — the kind associated with disease — and had improvements in insulin sensitivity, likely lowering risk of type 2 diabetes.” Some participants in the new study will receive higher-carb cereal bars, and some will be instructed to eat three or four eggs a day. The groups will be chosen randomly, will be given the same nutritional counseling, and the researchers will not know which participants received which diet.

“Our emphasis won’t be on losing weight, but on nutritional intervention to improve health function and quality of life,” said Dr. Fontaine. “But weight loss might also be a result.” Additional research at UAB, published in 2014, found that a low-carb diet can be used to successfully manage type 1 Diabetes, and could even help reverse type 2 Diabetes.
“For many people with Type 2 diabetes, low-carbohydrate diets are a real cure,” said Dr. Barbara Gower. “They no longer need drugs. They no longer have symptoms. Their blood glucose is normal, and they generally lose weight.”

The important thing to remember when looking at all these studies is that healthy eating and dieting to lose weight are not always the same thing. In fact, many dieters will go to unhealthy extremes to reach their ideal weight. And many others, will commit to a healthy lifestyle but not see the weight loss they hope and work for. For that reason, I urge my clients to look at smart and effective strategy on how to diet right without throwing what we know about healthy living out with the kitchen sink.

Why Willpower Isn’t Enough To Meet Your Weight Loss Goals

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Have you ever eaten a meal, felt totally stuffed, and then become hungry again just a few hours later? The problem isn’t your stomach; it’s your brain. According to a recent weight loss study, a diet that is high in saturated fat and refined sugar can change the chemistry of your brain. As Dr. Gullo has been telling his patients for years, the psychology of weight loss is just as important as the physical changes. The weight loss study was conducted by Terry Davidson, the director of American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience. He found that the changes that this type of diet causes in the brain leads to an overconsumption of yet more saturated fat and refined sugar. Furthermore, the thought suppression that occurs in the brain’s hippocampus is negatively impacted, which means that a dieter’s thoughts can drift more toward unhealthy foods. This is why relying on willpower and portion control for weight loss simply doesn’t work.

Davidson’s study split rats into two test groups. One group was fed a low-fat diet and the other a high-fat, calorie-dense diet. After a period of time, the rats were given free rein to chow down on as much food as they wished. The rats in the high-fat diet that became obese performed poorly on tests designed to measure learning and memory, functions of the hippocampus. The blood-brain barriers of the obese rats also became impaired. What this means for you is that selecting a high-fat, calorie-dense diet can change your hippocampus. Davidson pointed out that this could be why formerly obese people have trouble keeping the weight off; the changes in the brain might be permanent. So instead of trying trendy weight loss fads and crash diets, take small steps toward permanent lifestyle changes. Remember that thin begins in the supermarket. Instead of relying on willpower or portion control, plan out meals in advance and stick to a shopping list with healthy stuff listed on it. For example, instead of buying white bread, find a low-calorie, whole grain brand without high fructose corn syrup. Instead of buying processed, sugary cereals for breakfast, try a bowl of rolled oats with your favorite fruits. And instead of a bowl of ice cream at night, try a cup of low-fat, low-sugar yogurt.