Submitted by Hillary on Tue, 02/27/2007 - 9:54pm.

Day two of my six week burst was a bit of more of a success than day one. I managed to both eat healthy and make it to the gym, which I’m sure will be the key to pulling this off right. Ok, I admit that I may have swung by the candy corner at work, but I didn’t actually eat any of the candy. I just considered eating it. Hey, my job is related to the stock market, so today was a busy day for me. Considering candy doesn’t seem like all that much of a fault.

But I made it through the day, and then put in 30 minutes on the elliptical and 35 minutes on the treadmill. It was tough going on the treadmill because the room was really crowded and way too hot, but I stuck with it.

Split Decision

Submitted by Hillary on Mon, 02/26/2007 - 8:45pm.

Day one of my six week burst was only partially successful.

I had my official weigh-in. I'm starting at 142 pounds.

I was able to stick to my goal of eating healthily all day. There were no cups of hot chocolate, and no unauthorized snacking. I ate my healthy lunch that I brought from home, and had my apple and string cheese with whole wheat crackers at my usually scheduled snacking times.

But then I got stuck at work late, and I had to run errands, and by the time I got home I was so hungry there was no way I could work out before dinner. And since I didn’t get home until after 8:30, I was too tired to work out after dinner. Stupid Oscars keeping me up late and tiring me out.

And we’re back

Submitted by Hillary on Sun, 02/25/2007 - 9:01pm.

The Diet Channel had us on a hiatus for a little while there so they could do something technical and upgradey. I don’t know exactly what. And then when they let us bloggers back in, it coincided with an insanely busy week for me, so I’m even farther behind everyone else.

But I’m back now, and raring to go. In fact, the timing is particularly good, because my weight loss has slowed to a rate that is best described as glacial, and I needed something to give me a push. It’s not that I’ve gone back to eating junk food or I’m not working out. I’ve been exercising faithfully. In fact, just last Friday I ran six miles for the first time. I’m steadily getting stronger and fitter and even thinner looking. But the scale is not budging. This may be because it is hard to always be vigilant and perfect. I may not be going out of my way to eat junk food, but I have had pizza when they got it in at work, and I may have scarfed down a girl scout cookie or two lately. Always carefully portion controlled but perhaps I have not been as strict as I could be.

Rebalancing My Calorie Limit

Submitted by Janetcooper07 on Sun, 02/25/2007 - 6:37am.

This week I am down to 161.5 lbs. for a total lost of 31.5 lbs since I started.

This week I also exchanged emails with my coach Barry on the idea that I should lower my calorie count to 8X my body weight now to continue losing at 2+ lbs a week. He was very much against the idea and cautioned me not to do it and stick with my original calorie limit.

His rational was that I needed to learn that a diet is not a short term weight loss program, but a life long way of living so I needed to learn to live at a reasonable calorie limit so I don't yo-yo and go back to my heavy weight once I achieve my goal.

My Diet Smart Plan and Work

Submitted by Janetcooper07 on Mon, 02/19/2007 - 6:30am.

The thing that I am getting used to in my return to the workforce is the routine and the comfort that many of my coworkers get from food. It consumes them, they are lost in it. For example, friday, the girl in the cube next to me said "I am having a bad morning, do you want to go grab some lunch?" You see, emotions and food. I went, she ate like a pig that hasn't seen food in years and the entire time ate fast and talked fast. She had no concept of what she was eating, neither in calories or in just pure junk.

Man, I have come a long way.

It's me again!

Submitted by Janetcooper07 on Sat, 02/17/2007 - 5:15am.

Wow, I am back to writing! The good news is that in my 3 weeks off, I have lost another 4.5 lbs for a total of 30 lbs. Yep, I am down to 163 lbs!

The biggest change has been the adaptation of the plan into my life. Danny has lost a ton of weight (LOL) and looks great too. the kids are much less crazy from their sugar fits that I was not aware of either. The key was the I had to consider our nutrition and prior to the diet smart plan, I didn't and it really does impact your life.

Once again, here is the link for my loyal readers and friends who I wish would check this plan out, it really is worth it:

Weight Loss Sabotage: Supersize Meals Cause Supersize Damage To Your Waistline

Monday, February 5, 2007 - 4:35pm

By Donna Feldman, MS, RD

Until recently, the word “supersize” was not listed in any dictionary. The concept was made famous several years ago by the McDonald’s marketing department, and followed by the infamous 2004 film Supersize Me. Even though McDonald’s has dropped the supersize menu option, the word and the practice lives on. Portions at many fast food and casual restaurants are still obviously supersized. Unfortunately, supersized meals can seriously undermine to your weight control efforts.

Why supersize?
Restaurants want your business. One proven way to get it is to appeal to your sense of value. It’s very easy to do that with visual cues: “Wow! Big portions, not much money, what a deal.” How can you resist that message? If the extra large size of fast food only costs 10% more than the regular size, you go for the deal. Sit-down restaurants create the same illusion of a great deal with, for example, a breakfast that includes eggs, several strips of bacon and a giant stack of pancakes all on one plate. Truthfully, few people in our sedentary society have any need to eat all that food. But the power of the great deal causes us to buy anyway.

I ate all that?
The ultimate problem with supersized meals is that we tend to eat everything we’re served. And when restaurants supersize your meal, they use the cheapest items available: fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, pancakes, toast, Texas toast, chips and the like. When has your meal ever been supersized with extra broccoli or fresh fruit? Or extra chicken? Never. Those are expensive ingredients. It costs almost nothing for the restaurant to dish up extra French fries. They cover the plate and create the illusion of a deal.

Strategies for avoiding the supersize trap
Most people aren’t going to stop eating out just because restaurants serve too much food. If you’re watching your weight, you must create a plan for dealing with the temptation to eat everything on your plate. Ask for a substitution. If the menu says your fish or chicken is accompanied by fries, ask your server for a tossed salad or steamed veggies. Many restaurants will substitute, even though they don’t announce it on the menu. Others do list these options on the menu. Outback Steakhouse offers vegetables instead of potatoes, which makes the steak dinner more attractive for weight-conscious customers. Wendy’s, McDonalds and other fast food restaurants offer salads. Many chain restaurants have nifty web tools that enable you to build a meal online and get a calorie count. It’s informative to see that supersizing small fries to large adds almost 300 calories, most of it fat.

When you’re dining at restaurants that don’t offer alternatives, avoid combo meals and order separate items. At restaurants that offer the same item in different sizes, such as Subway’s 6-inch or 12-inch sandwiches, use restraint and choose the smaller size. You only need a 12-inch sub if you are an athletic teenaged boy or you just ran a marathon.

Just Say “No.” That is probably your biggest defense against supersized portions. You can say No by not choosing oversized items just for the bargain, or by asking for an alternative. The more asking you do, the easier it gets. As more restaurants get requests for alternatives, the smart managers will come up with ways to please the customers by meeting those requests. And if you still find yourself face-to-face with a giant box of French fries or a stack of pancakes, just say No to yourself. You definitely don’t need to eat the whole thing unless you just climbed Denali.

Calorie Obsession: How Many Do You Really Need?

Monday, February 5, 2007 - 4:33pm

By Donna Feldman, MS, RD

Calories. Dieters think of them as the enemy, the part of food that prevents weight loss and deposits itself on the thighs. Food packages list calorie content per serving. You can track your calorie intake with computer software. Calorie information overload can turn eating into a numbers game instead of a pleasurable part of daily life. But what’s the truth about calories? Is there a one-size-fits-all calorie limit?

Everyone needs calories
The truth is everyone needs some calories every day. Unless you are a highly trained athlete, your biggest daily calorie cost is something called Resting Metabolic Rate, or RMR, the calories you need just to exist. Breathing, heart beat, cell metabolism, kidney function and even thinking and dreaming use calories. Muscle cells use calories even when at rest. Eating and digesting food, standing, sitting, talking and surfing the Internet all burn calories beyond the basic RMR requirement.

What’s a calorie?
Calorie is a term for the energy content of food. Some food is very dense in energy, like butter or vegetable oil. Some has much less, like celery or cucumbers. It’s a bit like comparing octane in gasoline. Higher octane fuel will make your car go a bit further for every gallon burned. Likewise, a tablespoon of canola oil (which has approximately 100 calories) will get you further than a tablespoon of chopped celery (which has about 1 calorie). Unlike cars, humans don’t have limited fuel tanks. We have expandable fuel tanks called fat cells. Also unlike cars, we can ramp up our daily calorie use by adding physical activity.

Measuring individual calorie use
It’s not easy to come up with an accurate number for your individual calorie needs. Accurate measurement of calorie requirements is limited to research settings. Subjects sit in a closed chamber for hours, while researchers measured the amount of oxygen used. Calculations based on oxygen use give the number of calories burned in a day. This procedure isn’t practical for widespread use. There are mathematical equations that attempt to estimate calorie needs based on simple body measurements, such as gender, age, height and weight. But equations have limitations. Research shows that most are off by anywhere from 5% to 25% when used to predict a person’s basic calorie requirement. If you are trying to plan a reduced calorie diet, it’s not helpful if the equation overestimates your basic needs by 25%.

Recently, small portable calorie measuring devices have been developed. Some health clubs, medical offices and wellness clinics use these to help clients plan weight loss diets. The procedure usually involves wearing a nose clip and breathing by mouth into a small, hand-held device for several minutes. This is an attractive concept for dieters, but there are many complications. Exercise, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and eating too soon before the test can throw off results. In addition, anxiety or fidgeting will result in falsely high results. If you decide to have a measurement done, be sure to carefully follow all the instructions for pre-test preparation.

What’s your number?
If you don’t have access to a metabolic measurement, you can use an equation to estimate your basic calories. The most accurate one is the Mifflin-St. Joer equation. Weight must be converted to kilograms by dividing weight in pounds by 2.2. Height must be changed to centimeters by multiplying inches by 2.54. Plug your height and weight into the basic equation:

9.99 X weight + 6.25 X height - 4.92 X age.

Men then add 5; women subtract 161.

The total is your approximate calories per day for resting metabolic rate. The RMR for a 40 year old man who weighs 190 lbs and is 6’1” is 1800 calories per day. A 25 year old woman who is 5’6” and 140 pounds has a basic calorie requirement of 1380. Because the equation isn’t completely accurate, real RMR may be slightly lower or higher.

In addition to the RMR calories, each person needs additional calories for daily activities and exercise. A sedentary person needs fewer than an active person.

Move more to burn more
Physical activity not only burns calories, but helps you burn extra calories all day, even when you’re not exercising. Active people have more muscle than sedentary people. Muscle tissue has higher calorie needs even at rest than fat tissue. This is an excellent reason to include exercise in your daily routine.

In the future, when the technology improves, fast accurate metabolic measurements might be part of the bathroom scale. Until then, the one true, but indirect, way to know your calorie intake is to monitor your weight. If your weight is stable, you’re eating the same amount of calories you burn. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat less than that amount or burn more with exercise.

Ovarian Cancer & Dairy: Is There A Link?

Monday, February 5, 2007 - 4:31pm

By Erin Dummert RD, CD

For years, questions about the link between dairy foods and ovarian cancer have gone unanswered. Unfortunately researchers still haven’t clearly identified the association, leaving the public with little direction. What does current research say about this confusing subject?

Does dairy decrease risk?
A 2002 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that a woman's risk of ovarian cancer was decreased the more dairy products she consumed. However, this study showed that low-fat milk decreased the risk of ovarian cancer, but whole milk did not. Butter also decreased the risk of ovarian cancer, but yogurt, cheese and ice cream did not. (1)

Or, does dairy increase risk?
More recent research performed in Sweden found that women who ate 4 or more servings of dairy foods a day— including milk, yogurt, ice cream and butter—had twice the risk of developing ovarian cancer. This study showed that women who drank two or more glasses of milk a day had twice the cancer risk as those who drank one glass or less a day.(2)

A report from an ongoing study involving 80,000 nurses in the United States published in 2000 found a 44% increase in ovarian cancer risk among frequent milk drinkers (over infrequent milk drinkers). In both studies, milk was identified as the dairy product having the most impact on ovarian cancer risk. (3)

What’s in dairy?
Until recently, researchers thought that eating low-fat or nonfat dairy products helped protect against ovarian cancer. However, in the Swedish study mentioned above, ovarian cancer risk increased no matter what type of milk the women drank. To explain their results, the Swedish researchers suggest that lactose (milk sugar) may be responsible. There are also other studies that have shown a link between galactose, a smaller sugar molecule derived from lactose, and ovarian cancer.

These studies, and many before, suggest a link between dairy and ovarian cancer risk, however the picture remains unclear. The benefits of dairy products are clear. Calcium and magnesium for bone and colon health are just two. However, the public must weigh all of the risks and benefits. If you are concerned about your risk for ovarian cancer and choose to limit or eliminate dairy products, it is strongly recommended that you first discuss this choice with a registered dietitian to ensure you can replace the important nutrients found in dairy products.



(1) Association of Dairy Products, Lactose, and Calcium with the Risk of Ovarian Cancer, Goodman et al, Am J Epidemiol 2002 Jul 15; 156(2): 148-57.

(2) Milk and lactose intakes and ovarian cancer risk in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, Larsson, SC etc, al, Am J Clin Nutr 2004 Nov;80(5):1353-7.

(3) A prospective study of dietary lactose and ovarian cancer, Fairfield et al, Int J Cancer 2004 June 10;110(2):271-7.


Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels

Fitness guru Jillian Michaels offers a well-rounded, practical approach to losing weight. Her program is a great match for people who are tired of fad diets. It provides a complete and supportive plan for individuals searching for a way to create lasting, positive, healthy habits that can be incorporated into their lifestyle. For people who are ready to make a change in their life and health, but need support and guidance in finding the right mindset, Jillian’s program is an empowering and effective way to make those changes a reality. It is a complete diet program that helps people to find their true shape.