Tuesday, December 22, 2015

FREE Winter Comfort Recipes Cookbook, PLUS FREE “Holiday Survival Library” from Dr. Warren!

Many of us are tired and frazzeled with last minute rushing and preparations for the holidays. We are scrambling to try to find time for healthy meals and snacks for ourselves in the midst of all this, how to stay as healthy as possible!  We are also on the lookout for healthy and tasty - and simple - recipes and ideas to feed our family and friends as we gather together.  

Are you looking for a last minute gift, or a gift to yourself, to get a jumpstart BEFORE the New Year?
We can help!

Dr. Warren just collected a library of her best holiday survival strategies! She also
has created book called “Winter Comfort Recipes”, full of tasty, simple, and healthy recipes which can be “scaled up or down” depending on the number of people eating at the time.

As a gift to all she put a link to all the holiday articles here - click and they are yours right now: http://www.healthyweightcenter.blogspot.com/#!http://healthyweightcenter.blogspot.com/2015/12/winter-weight-gain-help-for-holidays.html
Winter Weight Gain & Help for the Holidays:  A Survival Library by Dr. Warren

Need simple, healthy, portable high protein snacks to get through the holidays?  Power protein for breakfast and lunch?  We can send them to you!  Our two week “Fast Track” food gives you these (and you don’t have to use them all during the two weeks, you can spread the protein supplements over time if you choose.)  Purchase the simple and affordable  two week “survival supply” package, and we will also send you Dr. Warren’s Winter Comfort Recipes Cookbook for free!  

The recipes are simple, tasty, and fun!  They do not require  Fast Track food, but can be incorporated into the plan - AND be used for family and friends!  Call today at (603) 379-6500, or go on our website: seacoastnutrition.com
Read more about our full program:  healthyweightcenter.com

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Winter Weight Gain and Help for the Holidays: A Survival Library by Dr. Warren

Winter Weight Gain & Help for the Holidays:  A Survival Library by Dr. Warren

Dr. Warren has written over 90 articles herself, and has been featured in numerous magazines for her advice as a medical weight loss expert. Here is a collection of her posts addressing the challenges we face through the holidays, and over the winter - we’ve included the links to make it easy to find them! You can also call us any time for personal help.

Are you looking for a last minute gift, or a gift to yourself, to get a jumpstart BEFORE the New Year?
We can help! We will send a free copy of Dr. Warren's Winter Comfort Cookbook with every order of 2 week Fast Track protein snacks and delicious shakes. Call us at (603) 379-6500, order here: seacoastnutrition.com , and you can email us at healthyweightcenter@hotmail.com

Strategy to get through the holidays: lead with the PROTEIN! http://healthyweightcenter.blogspot.com/2014/12/one-simple-trick-to-get-through.html

'Tis the Season - for Sugar Addiction?

Weight Critics Only Make Things Worse! 

Seasonal Eating Challenges ("Seasonal Eating Disorder"!) http://healthyweightcenter.blogspot.com/2014/12/flashback-thursday-seasonal-eating.html

Four Culprits of Relapse: Why we fall off the wagon with healthy habits, and how to get back on!

12 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain or "Attack of the Killer Stuffing!" http://healthyweightcenter.blogspot.com/2015/11/12-tips-for-avoiding-holiday-weight.htm

Beth's Favorite Tips for Weight Management through the Holidays http://healthyweightcenter.blogspot.com/2015/12/beths-favorite-tips-for-weight.html

You can have personal, private, individualized consultations with Dr. Warren and her team of warm, caring professionals at Physicians Healthy Weight Center in her offices in North Hampton and Dover NH.  For those who prefer, or are unable to visit our program in New Hampshire, we are now able to offer customized nutrition and lifestyle assistance via email, phone, or Skype.  Read more about our program at:  healthyweightcenter.com, and call any time:  (603) 379-6500.

About Us

As New Hampshire's most comprehensive non-surgical medical weight management center, we offer an individualized program to help you achieve real and lasting success.  
Our Clinical Team: 
Jennifer Warren, M.D.
Co-Founder and Medical Director
Dr. Jennifer Warren is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine, a diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
After completing advanced training in medical weight management, Dr. Warren developed her comprehensive program, and founded Physicians Healthy Weight Center in 2004. Since then, she has helped patients lose tens of thousands of pounds.  Dr. Warren lectures to other physicians locally and nationally on weight management, and has volunteered in the development of programs to combat childhood obesity, serving on the obesity expert panel of the NH Foundation for Healthy Communities, and HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living). Dr. Warren has been featured as a medical weight management expert in both local and national media outlets. She is a frequent contributing medical expert for Allure magazine, Women's Health magazine, and has been a lecturer for WebMD University. Dr. Warren also co-hosted her own radio show, "Healthy Weight Talk" on WGIR in Manchester.

Pat Pappal, ARNP
Pat is a board certified Nurse Practitioner, with 30 years experience in the nursing field, with a focus on healthy lifestyle coaching.  Pat has been personally trained by Dr. Warren on all phases of the Healthy Weight program, and works closely with Dr. Warren.  Patients are extremely appreciative of her thorough, careful approach, and warm support.  

Beth Almstrom, Nutrition Director
Beth studied nutrition at Keene State College, and has extensive experience developing nutrition education materials.  Beth is particularly talented in "translating" healthy nutrition principles andguidelines into practical, realistic, eating plans.  Whether you are challenged by a busy lifestyle,frequent travel, long work hours, stress, or medical issues, Beth is an expert at problem solving for real life success.
Amy Buzzell - Nutritionist

Amy Buzzell has a Bachelor of Science degree in in Nutrition Science from the University of New Hampshire, and an M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from the New York Institute of Technology, and was awarded membership in the Alpha Eta Honors Society, the National Honor Society for Allied Health Professions.  Amy is also a certified Personal Trainer by the ACSM and the AFAA, has completed Kinesis Training, Next Level Performance Series Dynamax and Kettle Bell Training, and has been certified by the FPTA Fit-Pro Personal Training Academy by Dave Parise, and Latitude Fitness.  Before working with us at Physicians Healthy Weight Center, Amy had extensive experience designing and running her own personal training program.  Patients can visit Amy at our North Hampton and Dover offices.
Cara Gourgoumis, Registered Dietitian
Cara is a graduate of George Washington University and The University of Hawaii where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition, Dietetics.  Cara did her dietetic internship at the University of Nevada, where she worked as a clinical registered dietitian in both small and large hospitals.  She also worked in a community health center in Hawaii, where Cara was the primary dietitian, counseling patients on everything from diabetes to obesity. Cara's experience and dedication to nutrition make her a great addition to PHWC patients by guiding and developing their personalized lifestyle plans, regardless of their previous nutritional knowledge.

Beth's Favorite Tips for Weight Management through the Holidays

Our nutritionist Beth's Favorite Tips for Weight Management through the Holidays!

  • Portion control-use smaller plates.
  • Exercise!
  • Watch out for excess calories in alcoholic beverages.
  • Going to someone’s home for the holidays? Bring a veggie platter or fruit platter, or maybe shrimp cocktail.  Stay away from dips.
  • Don’t eat the pie crust and say no to the whip cream.
  • Keep your body properly hydrated.  Skip the juice and soda and opt for water.
  • Make sensible substitutions for your favorite holiday dish.  Bake plain sweet potatoes
  • Substitute skim milk for whole, and non-fat sour cream or greek yogurt for dips.
  • Use chopped vegetables instead of butter or sausage to moisten stuffing (cook outside the bird).
  • Include steamed veggies at holiday meals.  Your guests will appreciate your healthier choice of steaming instead of baking them in sauce or cheese.  Try a broccoli or brussel sprout bake.
  • Buy plastic containers-give your guests the high calorie foods so you won’t be tempted later on.
  • Use unsweetened cocoa powder for unsweetened baking chocolate.
  • Sorbet instead of premium ice cream.
  • Soy chips instead of potato chips.
  • Non fat mayo or laughing cow cheese wedges for regular mayo.

Sneaky ways to reduce calories in your foods.
  • Evaporated skimmed milk for heavy cream
  • Ground turkey for ground hamburg
  • Canadian bacon or turkey bacon for regular bacon
  • Dill pickle for black olives
  • Lite or non-fat cheese for regular full fat cheese.
  • Mashed cauliflower with laughing cow cheese wedges for mashed potatoes

Baking Substitutions:

  • Non-fat plain yogurt instead of oils when making quick breads or brownies
  • Leave the frosting off the cake and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on top instead.  A light sprinkle over  cakes and brownies significantly cuts calories and fat compared to having frosting.
  • Add more cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves or ginger to recipes that call for these spices and decrease the amount of sugar the recipe calls for.
  • Toast nuts before mixing them into batter or dough and decrease the amount needed in the recipe.  Toasted nuts have a stronger flavor so you can use less.

Beth Almstrom, Nutrition Director
Beth Almstrom studied nutrition at Keene State College, and has extensive experience developing nutrition education materials.  She is known for her unique talent in "translating" nutrition principles and guidelines into practical, realistic eating plans.  Whether you are challenged by a busy lifestyle, frequent travel, long work hours, stress, or medical issues, Beth is the expert who can help with problem solving, for real life success.  
You can make an appointment and meet Beth in person, or have a nutrition consult online or via phone.   Call any time at (603) 379-6500.  Read more about our program here: http://www.physicianshealthyweightcenter.com/about_us

Friday, December 4, 2015

Portion Distortion, Serving Size, and Weight Control: Scale Down Calorie-dense Foods, But Scale UP Healthy Veggies!

"Portion distortion" - bigger isn't always better!  Most of us are aware that serving sizes of food and drink have ballooned over the last few decades - right along with ballooning rates of obesity, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems related to excess weight.  Here is the problem:  on one hand Americans tend to have over-sized servings of unhealthy food...but on the other hand, we have under-sized servings of healthy vegetables, and fruit!  

Research confirms our suspicions that we tend to consume more when we are served larger portions of food and drink.  We also tend to eat larger portions when we use larger plates, forks, spoons, and drinking glasses. We serve ourselves more, and then eat more per bite. The latest research published in the British Medical Journal states that eliminating oversized portions could reduce calorie intake by 12-16% in the United Kingdom, and 22-29% in the United States.  That is a pretty impressive improvement by simply using smaller plates, utensils, and having smaller portions served to us.

But here is the problem  - we have to be VERY careful with the message about portion control.  Some people have gotten the idea that we should cut down portions of ALL types of food.  I don't know about you, but I have never met anyone who was eating too much broccoli, or too many healthy salad greens.  

The message should be that we should DECREASE the servings size of "calorie-dense" foods (fatty and sugary processed foods which have a lot of calories per bite), but at the same time we should INCREASE the serving size of our high fiber, lower-calorie foods (salads, broccoli, etc - see our prior blog post for a list: http://healthyweightcenter.blogspot.com/2015/06/high-fiber-low-carb-foods-for-weight.html )!  We can fill up on the "good stuff" and feel full and satisfied, and get plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and more, while simultaneously cutting down on calories, excess saturated fat and processed carbohydrate. Adding higher fiber foods may also help us lose weight: http://healthyweightcenter.blogspot.com/2015/02/fiber-and-weight-loss-new-research.html

I shared the research on Facebook earlier today, and a very successful, healthy patient of ours made the following comment: "Been doing this trick for several years now. My dinner plate is 7 inches and my salad bowl, which I lovingly refer to as my feeding trough, is quart-size!" Bingo, we have a winner here! This strategy helps down-size the calories, while up-sizing the nutrition!

And now, a quick update on our American Viking Diet. For those who don't know, we are working on a book - and a series of cooking videos - featuring the healthy Nordic Diet (which has been studied in Scandinavia for over 10 years, and has health benefits similar to the Mediterranean diet.) We are adapting the European version to our American foods and tastes - and we'll show you simple, healthy recipes using locally available, seasonal foods! I'm working with fabulous cook Melissa Clifford of Sweet Melissa's in Dover, and we've already filmed two recipes...we'll let you know when we're done with editing, and have them online. We hope to have the book out this spring, but will get you sneak peaks at the recipes even earlier!

As always, we are here to help you set up, fine-tune, and maintain (or rework) your healthy lifestyle plan! Call anytime at (603) 379-6500. We are available for private consultations in person, online, on the phone, or via Skype. Read more about our program here: healthyweightcenter.com

Thursday, November 19, 2015

12 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain or "Attack of the Killer Stuffing!"

The holidays are fast approaching, and while we look forward to spending time with family and friends, we don't look forward to holiday weight gain.  We eagerly anticipate the stuffing, but not stuffing ourselves into our clothes.  Is there a way to stay healthy and still have fun?  If we use  a little strategic planning, and new research, the answer is yes!
First of all, let’s start with a “hit list” of my patients’ biggest concerns, fears, and questions:
How do I deal with rich desserts?  Stuffing, potatoes, and starchy carbs?  What about alcohol?  Is there a way to have fun with the family besides eating?  What do I do about sweet treats at work?  How can I stay active when there is no time to do a full workout?  

Here are some strategies - some classic ‘tried and true”, and some brand new, based on new research:

1. Be a little bad.  It’s no surprise that people really like this strategy!
What do we mean by “bad”?  We mean have a little fun, let yourself feel like you’ve indulged a little.  Like you’ve “gotten away with something”.  This strategy is actually based on research which shows that people can only stand feeling deprived for so long… then they ‘act up’ in some way.  If they are on a very tight financial budget, they tend to overindulge in unhealthy foods.  And if they “treat themselves” in a non-food way (indulging in some retail therapy, sneaking away to a bookstore or cafe, stealing some me-time with a favorite hobby, a quick spa treatment, or a warm bath) they may find it easier to control their eating, and stay on track with healthy food patterns.

People often feel rushed, stressed, and over-stretched during the holidays.  It can feel self-indulgent, “bad”, simply to sneak away and get some privacy.  DO IT!  Whenever you can.  You’ll recharge your batteries, have more fun and BE more fun when you are in large gatherings.  And you won’t feel as much urge to ‘emotionally eat’ to calm yourself down after that certain relative stresses you out.

2. Do not skip entire meals to save calories - this can slow your metabolism, and lead to out-of-control overeating later, often of the wrong choices!  We call that "sumo dieting”, because it has been rumored that this is a strategy used by sumo wrestlers in order to GAIN weight.  Not what most of us are trying to do during the holidays.  

Research shows that eating a high protein breakfast - particularly one with 35 gram of protein - can help control your appetite all day - even into the evening.

3. Have your stuffing for dessert.  In other words, eat protein at the beginning of the meal, and your carbohydrates later in the meal (“for dessert”).  Saving stuffing (or bread, or dessert) for the end could help you control your blood sugar after the meal, which may help your waistline.   It’s best to save special desserts and treats for AFTER a healthy meal or snack.  
So much for my parent’s family tradition of having apple pie before the turkey!  We’ll switch that back around this year, and have at least a few bites of protein before stuffing, bread, mashed potatoes, etc.  


Protein also creates a low glycemic effect, and helps keep blood sugar from ‘spiking’.  Given that 50% of all Americans have blood sugar problems which qualify as prediabetes or diabetes, this is an important strategy for health for so many people!  

Think of it like this:  protein enters your stomach, triggers fullness hormones to close the ‘exit valve’ to the stomach, so food leaves your stomach very slowly.  So, if you start a meal with protein, your stomach HOLDS ONTO FOOD LONGER (the medical term is ‘delayed gastric emptying’) so you STAY FULL LONGER.  Carbohydrate you eat AFTER the protein ALSO stays in the stomach longer, and is released more slowly and gradually after the meal.  Your body is more likely to ‘burn’ those carbs when they are absorbed gradually into the bloodstream.  If, on the other hand, you start a meal with rapidly digestible carbs, they can ‘spike’ your blood sugar up quickly and high - and your body will tend to store them quickly as fat, rather than burn them off as energy.  So remember, lead off the meal with protein to ‘slow down’ your meal, so you have time to ‘burn’ those calories, instead of storing them as fat!

To summarize, starting a meal with protein, rather than carbohydrate, leads to better “postprandial glucose” (blood sugar numbers after the meal).


4. Think before you Drink.  Patients have been telling me that they know they will be drinking more during the holidays than they regularly would, and asking if that could be problematic.  Unfortunately it can, and drinking alcohol in excess can create a dangerous problem called “Holiday Heart Syndrome” - in short, you can give yourself a cardiac arrhythmia by drinking over the holidays.  No one wants to be in the emergency room having treatment for atrial fibrillation if they can avoid it, and keeping control of alcohol is one way to prevent that from happening.

Alcohol can also contribute to weight gain beyond just adding empty calories - alcohol actually impairs fat breakdown.  To quote the book Best Weight by Sharma and Freedhoff,  “At 7 kcal per gram, one large glass of wine a night adds up to 65,700 kcal per year (the equivalent of nearly 9 kg [20 lbs] in weight gain), and has no effect on satiety.  In most situations, there is no compensatory reduction in other calories consumed.  Alcohol can produce a positive fat balance, as it has a sparing effect on fat oxidation and promotes fat storage. Alcohol is also an appetite stimulant, often used as an aperitif, and has a tendency to reduce a person's resolve.”

So, what can you do?  Limit overall intake, eat first before drinking, alternate with non-alcoholic options, and be aware that many medications such as antidepressants can increase the impact of alcohol -so one drink might ‘feel’ like four!

5.  Remove and Replace.  How else can we “splurge” without overindulging in fatty, sugary excess?  By using the “Remove and Replace” technique.  Swapping a healthier version of an old standby.  This strategy is a cousin to the “Be a little bad” tactic, since it involves indulging your sweet/fat tooth/carb craving without making yourself feel sick. My husband used to turn up his nose at this idea...until he started making Hungry Girl’s Wayne's Pumpkin Smash instead of pumpkin pie. It’s like a crustless pumpkin pie, but it’s so high in protein, we can use it as a healthy snack.  And it’s delicious!  He’s hooked.

And here is our favorite light Eggnog recipe from Hungry Girl!  My daughter Olivia especially loves this one:  http://www.hungry-girl.com/show/holiday-no-nonsense-nog-recipe

Other swaps:  protein bars instead of candy (I have my favorites), yogurt with fun toppings instead of pudding (yes, I’m a maniac for chocolate, so I drizzle Trader Joe’s Organic Chocolate Moo syrup on my fat-free Greek yogurt, and sometimes put a little light Cabot whipped cream on top), frozen yogurt pops such as Yasso or Enlightened instead of ice cream, fat-free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in dips and other recipes, and mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. That’s just to name a few!  There are many great websites with recipes, and we’re working on our own recipe book.  If you’d like a sneak peak, email us at healthyweightcenter@hotmail.com.  My husband checks all the emails; tell Ron that Dr. Warren sent you.

6.  Adopt a “Love It, Need It, or Leave It” policy.  This one comes under the “tried and true” category - it was feature in a prior blog called, “Flash back Friday: Tips to survive the holidays!”
In this strategy we recommend you save your “special treat” calories for foods you REALLY love - don’t waste them on high calorie food that you can get any time of the year, or treats that don’t taste really fantastic.  Remember, you can always be a “taster”; if you don’t love it, don’t finish it - leave

7. Plan for Parties. Here are the basic principles…Before the party, eat a snack with protein - this can help you stay in control when faced with a buffet. If you are bringing an item, make it a healthy choice such as fruit/veggie with yogurt dip plate, or lean protein such as shrimp cocktail, chicken kabobs on skewers, or vegetarian/turkey chili. Once you arrive - don’t head straight to the food; find your hosts, and start with a low calorie drink such as flavored water or a spritzer, and then socialize. Minimize the alcohol - it can make you lose control with food, among other things! When you do head to the buffet, choose a small plate, and scan for healthy starter items, and then special treats (see tips one and two!). Enjoy!

8.  Walk it off - Even before you eat!   A quick 15 minute walk - brisk is best - before and after a feast can help improve insulin function - so you ‘burn’ those calories more effectively, and ‘store’ fewer!

Walking  can also destress you - the Japanese call the technique “forest bathing” - shin rin yoku - and research shows walking outside can lower stress hormones.  Walking may also raise serotonin as much as Prozac - which can help lower stress and improve mood.  So yes, do it!

Keep up with your routine exercise plan, despite temptations to “just take a break” for the holiday season. Exercise can be the single most important factor when it comes to your health during this time. In addition to the calorie and metabolic benefits, exercise can help you relax,control stress, re-energize, and clear your head during the whirl and confusion of the holidays. Make this a top priority for yourself and your family - be a role model for them, and encourage them to participate. A neighborhood walk can also be a great way to reconnect and bond with family.

9.  Play with the Family!  This is another the ‘tried and true” technique - also in our prior blog.  Plan some non-food oriented activities such as family walks to gather balsam, holly, and sea shells for wreaths, centerpieces or crafts.  Have an ornament painting party with simple wooden shapes and acrylic paints.  Turn on music and encourage kids (and adults) to dance.  Play family games such as Pictionary, bingo, or hold a Yankee Swap. And encourage guests to bring home leftovers.  You may want to invest in some inexpensive containers to facilitate this!

By the way, the Scandinavians are really into creating ‘coziness’ through the holidays, and even year round.  They call it “hygge”.  You can read about it here:  http://www.visitdenmark.com/danish-meaning-hygge
10.  Don’t try to be perfect - but try to be good enough! If you are able to keep up your healthy basic eating this time of year - with three meals of healthy lean protein, high fiber whole fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and a little bit of “good fat” - you'll feel much better, and glide right over the occasional indulgences.
11.  Indulging a little is better than indulging a lot.  Quantity is key - too much fat/sugar can trigger an addictive response - the ‘ice cream brain effect’.  So keep the treat as small as possible, and you’ll save yourself three days of headache.

12. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles - whether you are traveling to visit family, or just heading to the mall for holiday shopping - plan ahead by bringing healthy portable snacks for yourself and companions. Don’t get “caught hungry” with only high calorie, nutrient-poor options. Bring along a few healthy protein bars, some nuts and dried fruit, and bottled water - examples of portable healthy options that can save you in a pinch.  This is another oldie-but-goodie strategy, and a simple one but we sometimes simply forget what works!  

Above all, take care of yourself, so you can enjoy your time with others. If  you are over-tired and cranky, you won’t be any fun at all! Take some “down time” for yourself - don’t over-commit - and make adequate sleep a priority. Relax with whatever method works for you - meditation, yoga, stretching, listening to music, dancing, reading, or being creative with arts and crafts, knitting, writing, or painting, for example. If your family is lucky, perhaps you’ll share some of these activities with them!

Would you like personal help getting on track and staying on track? We can help! Check out our website: healthyweightcenter.com, and call any time: (603) 379-6500. We offer personal, custom, one to one support in person, on the phone, or online!