April 2016 | Dr. Stephen Gullo

Monthly Archives: April 2016

Britney Spears’ Strict Dieting Strategies

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Britney Spears is famous for her tight abs, but her weight also has a tendency to fluctuate. Over the years, she’s adhered to strict diets when she needed to lose weight, and frequently deprived herself of her favorite foods. Unfortunately, this meal planning strategy doesn’t seem to work on a long-term basis for her.

When she’s had enough dieting and deprivation, she indulges in her addiction for drive-thru burgers and high-calorie pasta with hot dogs. She’s also been caught with a cocktail mix of various diet pills, herbal diet remedies, and Red Bull mixed with energy drink shots, indicating that her dieting strategies simply don’t give her enough energy to last throughout the day.

In the past, a typical Britney Spears diet relied on lean proteins like egg whites for breakfast, and chicken or salmon for lunch and dinner. She also ate rice, avocados, and turkey burgers, and renounced all forms of sugar, including fruit. This diet totaled about 1,200 calories per day.

More recently, Britney Spears attempted a 1,600 calorie diet, consisting of the same foods she’s relied on in the past: turkey burgers, avocados, and salmon. She also tossed in the occasional bowl of oatmeal. But what about vegetables, Brit? The next time she decides to ditch her diet and head for the fast food drive-thru, perhaps she could try some black bean burgers and garlic roasted veggies instead.

When she’s trying to lose a little weight, Britney usually works out every other day, but sometimes she also works out on her off days. She relies on hotel treadmills when she’s on tour, and also lifts light dumbbells now and then. In the past, she’s enjoyed boxing and Tae Bo. And of course, she burns off plenty of calories during her dancing and singing routines.

Britney Spears Sample Daily Diet plan

  • Breakfast: Egg whites or oatmeal
  • Lunch: Turkey burger
  • Dinner: Chicken or salmon & rice

Hugh Jackman’s ‘X-Men’ Diet and Workout Secrets

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Hugh Jackman flaunted his defined muscles as Wolverine in the “X-Men” movies, but he used to be a lot scrawnier. When his physical trainer first met him in 1989, Jackman earned the nickname “Chicken Legs.”* When he scored the role of Wolverine, Jackman worked hard to sculpt his muscles and do justice to the character. After all, who wouldn’t want to walk around with deadly metal shards in their knuckles?

Aside from pumping iron, Hugh Jackman knew that to get ripped muscles, he’d have to eat right. And who better to ask for diet advice than legendary pro wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? After Jackman watched one of The Rock’s movies, he got a serious case of muscle envy. He called up The Rock pronto and coaxed a diet plan out of him.

Jackman’s “X-Men” diet plan consisted of 6,000 calories a day—not something recommended for ordinary people. Eight times per day, Jackman shoveled food in his mouth. He force-fed himself tons of broccoli and cauliflower, steak and chicken. Jackman also ate rice, but not during the latter half of the day. Jackman’s goal was to put on 30 to 40 lbs. of muscle.

Bodybuilders always eat a lot of protein to support muscle growth, so the extreme amount of chicken is not surprising. Hopefully, the steaks were lean and the rice was brown. Broccoli and cauliflower are great vegetables to fill up on. Cruciferous vegetables may help lower cholesterol, and they have also been linked to lower incidences of cancer. However, we are a bit concerned about the lack of variety in Jackman’s diet. Eating a wide range of healthy foods is essential for good nutrition.

Growing up in Australia, Hugh Jackman played lots of rugby. When he works with his trainer, he does barbell squats, lunges, and leg presses. He likes to change up his workout every few weeks. Jackman prefers benching heavy weights, rather than doing more reps of lighter weights. He’s been known to bench 315 lbs. Hugh also does cardio workouts, typically running or swimming.

*Source: http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercise/celebrity_bodies/2112/exclusive_hugh_jackman_wolverine_workout.html

Hugh Jackman Sample Daily Diet Plan

  • Breakfast: Rice, cauliflower, & broccoli
  • Lunch: Rice, cauliflower, broccoli, & chicken
  • Dinner: Chicken or steak, broccoli, & cauliflower

Simple Vegetable Stock

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Vegetable stock is a multipurpose liquid that can be used as a base for soups and sauces as well as a cooking tool. Although almost any vegetable can be used for stock, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and their relatives) should be avoided, since their distinctive flavors can overwhelm a stock.

1 onion, finely chopped
3 spring parsley
2 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 table spoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (preferably canola or olive)                                    
2 whole cloves
2 garlic cloves

  1. Rinse and peel all the vegetables. (If you’re using organic produce, just rinse.)
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil. Quickly add the onion and cook until light brown, stirring occasionally. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cover. Cook 10 minutes on low heat.
  3. Cover with 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 1 ½ hours. Strain the stock and use immediately or refrigerate for future use. If a more intense flavor is desired, return the strained stock to the stove and reduce the liquid by half.

Kris Jenner’s Menopause Meal Plan

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Like many very busy moms in Hollywood, Kris Jenner has tried a diet delivery service. Although we’re still not sure what it is that’s keeping her so busy, except perhaps having cameras follow her around all day and keeping an eye on her overly famous, histrionic Kardashian brood. Kris Jenner doesn’t appear to frequently experience weight fluctuations, but when she entered menopause, the Kardashian mom noticed that she was gaining a little belly fat. Fortunately, it appears that she avoided resorting to the diet pill that daughter Kim Kardashian has used.

To combat the bulge, Kris Jenner has used a meal plan service that emphasizes seasonal produce, lean proteins, and some whole grains tossed in now and then. Unfortunately, the diet delivery service she chose also focuses on the concept of portion control. Translation? Their meals are likely very small, which could lead dieters to “cheat” and overeat. Portion control really doesn’t work, because it relies on the dieter’s willpower. Instead, plan your meals in advance and eat plenty of low-cal foods that fill up your stomach, like veggies.

A typical day on this diet plan for Kris Jenner might begin with a blueberry ricotta crepe with blueberry compote. Blueberry compote is definitely healthier than syrup, but this meal sounds like it could use some whole grains. Another breakfast option is a turkey bacon burrito with scrambled eggs.

For lunch, Kris Jenner might eat an Asian-style grilled beef salad with mixed greens and ginger dressing. A typical snack includes cut vegetables and a spinach dip. Kris Jenner’s diet dinner might feature orange roughy, roasted green beans, and saffron rice. Another dinner option is baked turkey with cornmeal stuffing and cranberries. We’d recommend whole grains with these dinners, such as quinoa and brown rice, instead of saffron rice and cornmeal stuffing.

To complement her weight loss diet, Kris Jenner works with a physical trainer. Prior to gaining a bulge around her middle, Kris Jenner typically focused on cardio workouts. These days, the Kardashian mom’s workouts center around strength training that works her whole body, in addition to 20 minutes of high intensity cardio. As women grow older, strength training becomes increasingly more important. It helps preserve bone mass, as well as muscles.

Kris Jenner Sample Daily Diet Plan

  • Breakfast: Blueberry crepe & compote
  • Lunch: Asian-style beef salad
  • Snack: Cut veggies
  • Dinner: Fish & green beans & saffron rice


Are ‘Healthy Foods’ Ever Really Bad For You?

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You may have seen a similar headline before: “7 Healthy Foods That Are Actually Bad For You.” The idea here is that dieters have somehow been tricked by the dieting industry and by fad diets into thinking unhealthy foods are actually healthy. While that may be the case with certain fads like the Master Cleanse—deprivation is never healthy—most of these claims about ‘healthy’ foods actually being unhealthy are just plain false.

Take this new article published in the NY Post (below). It claims that eggplant is bad for you so you should substitute broccoli rabe instead. Aside from the shoddy science (replacing eggplant with broccoli rabe would hardly be an improvement because broccoli rabe frequently contains arsenic, as do a number of cruciferous veggies), the real problem with this article is that it overdramatizes the so-called “dangers” of eating these healthy foods. The truth is that any food can become unhealthy if you eat too much of it. Also, the emphasis in the article is on substituting one food for another when the real emphasis should be on understanding the food history of the person eating the food. That is what ultimately determines success or failure at weight control.

This article is a perfect example of what passes for advice in the diet field but is simply contributing to people’s weight problems. Fat people know what and what not to eat. The problem is they can’t stop eating.

Source: NY Post

No-Fat “Fried” Zucchini Sticks

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Deep-fried vegetables are often all but unrecognizable beneath layers of batter and grease. This no-fat version replaces the batter with a flavorful marinade, and roasts the zucchini to a crispy finish with a melt-in-your-mouth center. It works equally well with broccoli and cauliflower.

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium gold or green zucchini

½ cup balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Brush a baking sheet with the olive oil, wiping away any excess oil.
3. In a shallow bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper.
4. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thick, 3- to 4-inch-long sticks.
5. Place the zucchini into the marinade and toss so that all the sticks are well coated. Arrange the zucchini on the baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.

Molly Sims Embraces Healthy Food Substitutions

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Molly Sims began her career as a model, appearing in “Sports Illustrated” multiple times. During her modeling days, Molly Sims estimated that she’d done just about every crazy fad diet out there. These days, Sims insists that although she’s a little thinner now, she doesn’t obsess over her weight. Instead, Molly Sims decided to deal with her weight fluctuations by focusing on healthy living.

With this in mind, we were disappointed when we saw that Molly Sims extols the benefits of a juice cleanse on her website. Delving into it a little further; however, it seems that Sims cautions her readers not to expect permanent weight loss from the cleanse, but rather to use it as a way to kick food cravings and addictions. This is a more thoughtful approach, but we’d still advise against embarking on a radical diet in which you’d only drink liquids for a few days. Dieters who deprive themselves of food usually end up overeating later.

Juice cleanses aside, Molly Sims appears to have a very positive attitude toward dieting. She recommends healthy food swaps, such as frozen yogurt instead of a hot fudge sundae. Instead of drinking sugary soda, Molly recommends water with a splash of cranberry juice. To encourage herself to drink more water, Molly infuses pitchers of water with lime, mint, watermelon, and even cucumber, along with the traditional lemon.

On a typical day, Molly Sims will drink a glass of hot lemon water when she wakes up to cleanse her palate. No word on what she eats for breakfast, but she insists that she doesn’t starve herself, so we’ll assume that she does eat. Molly Sims tries to stick to a high-fiber diet, so oatmeal or another high-fiber cereal is a likely breakfast for her. For lunch, she often enjoys sushi, or she might eat white bean stew with kale.

Molly Sims also praises her juice extractor on her website, so it’s likely that she juices tons of veggies and fruits for snacks during the day. Instead of eating pasta for dinner, Molly Sims often enjoys spaghetti squash or a zucchini pasta dish (made with zucchini ribbons). She might top this dish with some tomato sauce and grilled shrimp.

When Molly Sims embarked on her new healthy living plan, she decided that she was fed up with her erratic workout routine. Sims resolved to work out for 30 consecutive days—no excuses. She changed her workout each day. At the gym, she hit the elliptical, the treadmill, and the yoga mat. Sims also picked up boxing and went to spinning classes. After 30 days, Sims kept going with her exercise program because it gave her an incredible energy boost. These days, she works out for about 60 to 90 minutes, five to six days per week.

Molly Sims Sample Daily Diet Plan

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal
  • Lunch: Sushi
  • Snack: Juiced veggies & fruits
  • Dinner: Zucchini pasta & shrimp

Demi Moore Suffers From Serial Dieting

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The Mirror said it best when it labeled Demi Moore a “serial dieter.” There’s little evidence on her face that Demi Moore is a day past 30, but what toll is all that restrictive dieting taking on her body? The actress has tried starvation diets, meal replacement diets, and extreme exercise routines to maintain her slim figure. Following her split with Ashton Kutcher, Moore came under fire in the media for looking anorexic

Whether or not Demi Moore has actually developed an eating disorder remains to be seen. But the actress checked herself into a hospital (or possibly rehab) recently, and rumors are flying that she might have had a seizure. Seizures are a possible complication of eating disorders; they can occur due to dehydration caused by chronic vomiting or diarrhea.

Before being stricken with her so-called heartbreak diet, Moore tried other starvation diets in the past. While she was still with Ashton Kutcher, the two of them tried the same “cleanse” diet that Beyonce was so fond of for her role in “Dreamgirls.” This starvation diet involves eating nothing at all. Instead, dieters drink several glasses of water daily, spiked with cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and a dash of maple syrup.

It’s interesting to note that this starvation diet doesn’t recommend exercise to its participants. There’s a good reason for that. In addition to extreme exhaustion, dieters can look forward to experiencing nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. Demi Moore apparently didn’t enjoy the side effects, because she stopped using the diet after four days.

After her adventures in self-imposed starvation, Demi Moore switched to another fad diet, which she praised as being “far healthier and more liveable.”* This diet is a meal replacement plan. Demi Moore would drink a special diet “shake” for breakfast, eat a salad for lunch, and drink another shake for dinner. We checked out the nutritional facts on the diet shakes. Turns out, they’re only 90 calories each, for a total of 180 calories daily. Even if you eat a monstrously large salad for lunch, there isn’t much hope of getting in at least 800 calories daily, which officially makes this yet another starvation diet.

In previous years, Demi Moore sustained punishing exercise routines. She says that she’s toned it down a bit since then, probably because she doesn’t have much energy on all those starvation diets. Demi Moore used to enjoy running, but these days she prefers a brisk walk. Moore also does Pilates and uses light dumbbells.

*Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/28/demi-moore-get-defensive_n_662372.html

Demi Moore Sample Daily Diet Plan

  • Breakfast: Diet shake
  • Lunch: Salad
  • Dinner: Diet shake

Can Dieting Reduce Your Feelings of Hunger?

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Can Dieting Reduce Your Feelings of Hunger? 

One struggle dieters frequently combat when trying to lose weight is an increased feeling of hunger that is often so strong it can derail even the most motivated person. However, a new study suggests that if you stick to a dieting plan long-term, those hunger pangs will eventually subside. Plus, the study found that if you maintain your weight loss for at least 52 weeks, it’ll be easier to maintain that weight loss long term.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen put 20 obese people on an 8-week low-calorie diet. After that period, they put the participants on a 52-week weight maintenance track, which included meetings with a dietician and diet tracking. The researchers measured the participants’ levels of hormones associated with hunger, including ghrelin, which increases hunger, and GLP-1 and peptide YY, which suppress or regulate hunger. They took these measurements before the diet, shortly after, and at 52 weeks. After weight loss, the participants’ appetite-regulating hormone levels increased by 40% and rose even more to 65% at week 52. The hunger-inducing ghrelin levels, on the other hand, increased 23% after the weight loss. (Dieting can make you feel hungrier!) But after sticking to the maintenance plan for the rest of the year, those hunger-related hormone levels fell back to their before-weight-loss levels.

In other words, the diet and long-term focus helped the participants adapt and overcome the surge in hunger that dieting usually causes. Participants got over the “critical point” for rebounding after weight loss!

This is good news but how do you accomplish just such a feat? This study cries out for Dr. Gullo’s strategies of behavioral nutrition.

Source: http://lifehacker.com/stick-to-your-diet-for-at-least-a-year-for-potentially-1771203147

How Sara Rue Found the Motivation to Lose Weight

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Sara Rue has appeared on numerous TV shows, including the comedy show, “The Big Bang Theory.” She’s also appeared in the WWII movie, “Pearl Harbor,” alongside Ben Affleck. Over the years, TV viewers have noted her weight fluctuations, and TV execs have also rejected her for roles because of her fuller figure.

Sara Rue began overeating as a child, when her parents would encourage her to join the clean plate club. This turned into using food as an emotional crutch when she was picked on at school. In 2002, Sara Rue decided to slim down for her role in “Less Than Perfect.” She embarked on an extremely low-carb diet, eating only hard-boiled eggs, salad, and fruit. Rue’s extreme diet didn’t last long, fortunately.

After her 2006 divorce, Sara Rue once again turned to overeating to cope with her emotional problems. She tried numerous diets, including juice fasts, to lose the weight, but she finally succeeded in weight loss after she became engaged. Using her upcoming nuptials as a motivator, Sara Rue finally started eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Rue signed up for a diet program that includes counseling with a weight loss specialist and prepackaged meals. She also learned a few tricks such as layering the bottom of a pasta bowl with fresh spinach in order to cut the calories. Prior to her wedding, Sara Rue successfully lost 50 pounds.

On a typical day on Sara Rue’s diet, she would eat whole grain cereal or a whole grain cereal bar. The other breakfast options in her diet program look rather sugary, such as the cinnamon rolls and banana nut mini loaf. You don’t need a diet service in order to eat a healthy breakfast  just stick a bowl of oatmeal in the microwave and flavor it with fresh fruit instead of brown sugar.

Sara Rue’s lunch options included a turkey burger, a chicken sandwich, or various stir fry options like chicken teriyaki or beef chow mein. Dinner might feature cheese ravioli, chicken fettuccine, or three cheese ziti marinara.

While most of the dinner options do have a few vegetables thrown in, Sara Rue’s dinner choices seem to emphasize cheese. Cheese is fine on a diet as long as you select nonfat or low-fat; however, we recommend making vegetables the centerpiece of a weight loss diet plan. The snacks are equally disappointing. Typical snacks include cookies or chocolate cake. We’d recommend swapping out these empty calories for fresh fruit, which can satisfy a sweet tooth while providing vitamins. If you’ve got a raging chocolate craving, try a sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding cup.

Sara Rue also dramatically stepped up her exercise program to lose the 50 pounds. Her exercise used to consist of walking her dogs around the block. Rue began jogging on the treadmill five to six days per week. At first, she could only run for a minute, and then walk for 10. Sara Rue gradually built up her endurance. These days, she regularly runs for at least 45 to 60 minutes. We’d recommend adding some strength training with resistance bands or light dumbbells.

Sara Rue Sample Daily Diet Plan

  • Breakfast: Whole grain cereal
  • Lunch: Turkey burger
  • Dinner: Chicken fettuccine
  • Snack: Cookie