Factory of Temptation

Submitted by L_ANSARI on Sat, 12/23/2006 - 10:45pm.

Dec 14, 2006
Day 135

I admit that I haven’t been doing very well recently. Now that my fiancé is here, I go out to eat regularly on Friday night. We have a short lived debate about where to go which usually ends in only one answer, The Cheesecake Factory. I don’t know why but we feel comfortable there so that’s where we end up. But I dare anyone to resist the temptations of the quesadilla, pot stickers or pile of chicken and dumplings! Perhaps it is because it is where we first met up again after 15 years to talk and eat until they closed the restaurant. Maybe it is because the menu is as long as a Dickens novel and represents food from pretty much everywhere. Whatever the reason is, we keep going back. We chat about light topics over coffee and appetizers, we do some financial budgeting, future planning and gossiping about people over entrees and reminisce about the past over dessert. It works. It’s awesome. It also results in a massive stomachache for me later on in the evening.

Day 69

Submitted by Janetcooper07 on Sat, 12/23/2006 - 12:02pm.

I am really busy today, but I lost another lb.! even during a holiday week.  I have a coworker (monica) who is interested in joining DSP after the holidays, she went to the website (www.thedietsmartplan.com) at lunch yesterday and she said that the cost was $14.95 for six months! I guess they are running a holiday special. 

I will write after Christmas, Merry Christmas everyone!

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day 66

Submitted by Janetcooper07 on Wed, 12/20/2006 - 11:41am.

Hi everyone, I guess my ranting and raving and pouring my heart out was just steam.  I am down another 1/2 lb. this morning!  I also think with cookies and such in the oven tonight that weight loss from here on in until new years maybe tough. 

Danny surprised me last night with tickets for new years and then lined up a babysitter for the night.  I have to go and buy a new dress.  I am looking forward to buying a size 10 rather than a size 14, so maybe the cookies will have to weight.

My food diary this week looks better than I thought, DSP has said some nice things about the last fe

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Day 65

Submitted by Janetcooper07 on Tue, 12/19/2006 - 12:15pm.

I am feeling somewhat better today, but I am still overwhelmed with the holidays on top of me.  This is my first season working and I feel I am so far behind, I doubt that everything will be done by xmas.  The kids are decorating and Danny has been a big help.

Speaking of big help, the diet coaches at DSP have been great.  Every day I get a tip of the day and some of them are really good.  The problem I am having is that I don't have time to incorporate all of them, I am having trouble simply weighing in and eating my snacks. I think I need to email them and ask them to start snack time over for me until the 1st.

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Day 64

Submitted by Janetcooper07 on Mon, 12/18/2006 - 12:30pm.

NINE WEEKS ON A DIET, I really feel like I am missing out this time of year.  I am really depressed and I am not happy right now, it maybe just the monday's but I was not happy this weekend and self denial did not help.  I am stressed about the shopping, I haven't sent out the first xmas card, I have not wrapped nor shipped gifts, the kids are out of control, they are out of school all next week and I have to work a couple of days since I don't have vacation.

Danny has lost weight too, he is starting to look very good.  I am noticing probably about a 10 lb. weight loss in him and he is t

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Expert Q&A

Pregnancy & weight gain: How much is normal?

Isn’t it inevitable that women gain weight with pregnancy? How much weight gain is normal?

By the end of a normal pregnancy, the baby is about 7-10 pounds, the placenta is about 1-2 pounds, the extra blood and fluid for the baby is about 5 pounds, and the uterus has increased by a few pounds as the muscles grow. It all adds up to about 20-25 pounds of extra weight for a normal pregnancy. After delivery, the baby, placenta and a lot of fluid account for about 15 or so pounds lost. The uterus shrinks over about 4-6 weeks and some of the extra blood supply is eliminated. If the mother nurses, she will have lost about 20-22 of the 25 pounds she gained with the pregnancy by about 6 weeks after delivery. 

So, why is it that so many women gain and retain their “baby weight?” Probably because they have been told they are “eating for two” when they are pregnant. Really, they are only eating for one until about the last 6 weeks as the baby does not use up many extra calories until then. What really happens is some women use pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever they want, gaining 30, 40 or more pounds with pregnancy. 

A newborn keeps a new mom very busy and she may not take the time to exercise, especially if she did not exercise before the birth. Now that she is used to so many calories every day, she continues to eat as though she were pregnant and fails to lose weight. 

Increased maternal weight poses risks for her and for the baby. If a woman starts her pregnancy overweight, her doctor might even restrict her calories so she gains little or no weight during pregnancy. 

Properly planned, a woman can eat well to provide the best for her baby and be back to her pre-pregnancy weight by the second month after delivery as long as she keeps her weight gain to less than 25 pounds.

For more information on losing weight after pregnancy see the following article from TheDietChannel: Lose That Baby Weight: Weight Control Tips For New Mothers.

John Messmer, MD
Contributing Expert

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Expert Q&A

Vitamins: Where should you buy them?

I've heard that vitamins sold at grocery stores (as opposed to health food stores) are only partially absorbed by your body. Is this true?

The theory that vitamins from health stores are better is false. Because vitamins are not regulated by the FDA, no one checks to make sure that they contain what their bottles claim they contain (or that they are absorbable, etc.). As a result, there can be a wide variance between any type of vitamin - grocery store or health food store. The best thing to do is research the particular vitamin you're taking, and find out more about its makeup. Consumer Labs is a good resource because it independently tests all types of products. They test many multivitamin supplements for purity, bioavailability (how readily they’re absorbed), contaminants, and vitamin content. They list vitamins that pass their tests, and you can see that some of the grocery store brands are on the good list (Centrum, Puritan's Pride, etc). Although you must subscribe to get a complete listing, Consumer Labs gives a good example of the variability in supplements—and proves that where they're purchased makes no difference.

For more information on purchasing vitamins and supplements see the following articles from TheDietChannel: How to Protect Yourself When Purchasing Supplements and Nutrition Quackery.

Erin Dummert RD, CD
Contributing Expert

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Expert Q&A

Vitamins: Supplement suggestions for people 50+

How do the body's vitamin requirements change as we age? I'm 55 years old. What supplements should I be taking?

People who are 50+ have an increased risk for nutrient deficiencies, and should ensure adequate intake of certain nutrients. As your body’s own natural antioxidant system becomes less effective, you need to increase your intake of antioxidant and potassium-rich fruits and vegetables. Remember that nutrients obtained from our diets are always preferable to supplements.

In addition to taking a multivitamin, you should take a calcium supplement that includes vitamin D. These nutrients are needed for bone health as well as energy metabolism and heart health. Ideally, your calcium supplement will contain 1200 milligrams (mg) calcium and 400 I.U. vitamin D. Your multivitamin should contain at least 100% of the RDA for vitamin C and  E, B12, B6 and folic acid, as well as for the minerals selenium and magnesium. There is some evidence that vitamin K may also be an important nutrient for your age group, so look for a multivitamin that offers at least 25 micrograms (mcg). The exception for this recommendation would be for those people who are taking Coumadin or any other blood thinning medication (vitamin K is contraindicated with those medications).

Vitamin A intakes in the elderly are generally below the current standard of 800-1000mg per day. Despite these low intakes, liver stores of vitamin A are well preserved with advancing age so supplementation is more detrimental in elderly persons than in younger persons because of a diminished ability to clear this vitamin from the body, leading to potential toxicity. In addition, multivitamins should contain little or no iron as it too can be stored and become toxic.

Michèle Turcotte, MS, RD/LDN
Contributing Expert

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Expert Q&A

Multivitamin/mineral supplement: Should you take one?

I eat a healthy diet. Do I need to take a multivitamin/mineral supplement?

Many experts now agree that there's sufficient evidence that taking a daily multiple vitamin-mineral (MVM) supplement makes sense. The primary purpose of taking one is:

  • Provide a convenient way to obtain a variety of supplemental nutrients in a single product,
  • Prevent vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and
  • Achieve higher intakes of nutrients believed to be of benefit above typical dietary levels.
    • Note: According to current research, nutrients needed at increased levels include folic acid, vitamins B6, B12, D, C, E and calcium. These nutrients help to prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases.

The westernized diet provides does not come close to supplying the minimum nutrients necessary for optimal health. The environment plays a role also (less nutrient-rich soil and air pollution). The perfect diet would include lean protein, 5-10 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables (think dark green leafy, deep orange-yellow, and a citrus selection), a serving of nuts, seeds, beans and plenty of whole grains as well as plenty of calcium-rich foods… just for starters! 

A standard MVM does not make up for an unhealthy diet, however. It does not provide the hundreds of compounds (phyto-chemicals such as lycopene) that offer tremendous health benefits and must be consumed from natural plant foods. A MVM provides a mere shadow (sort-of nutritional safety net) of what's available from eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

In addition to the above nutrients, vitamin A (in the source of beta-carotene), vitamin K, vitamin B-complex and the minerals magnesium, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, and possibly iron are all necessary in a good, complete MVM. I n general, we could all benefit from a daily MVM to supplement a healthful diet. One-a-day type formulas are convenient and safe so long as they are balanced and not too high in any one nutrient. Not all MVMs are created equal. For detailed information on what you should look for in a MVM, see this article.

Michèle Turcotte, MS, RD/LDN
Contributing Expert

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Expert Q&A

Sports drinks: Do you need them to rehydrate?

Do I need a sports drink when I work out? Why? What should I look for when I buy one?

Keeping cool means staying hydrated so that your body can perspire. The best way to do both is to consume plenty of water. During summer months, you may need 10-12 8-ounces glasses of caffeine-free fluids. Physical activity at any time of year increases your body’s fluid requirements, and with the heat of summer it needs even more. When you’re physically active, perspiration evaporates from your skin and thus increases your needs for fluids an additional 2-4 cups daily.

To keep hydrated, drink:

  • At least 2 cups of water, 2-2½ hours before your activity
  • 2 cups 15 minutes before your activity
  • ½ cup – 10 ounces every 15 minutes during the activity (depending on intensity)

When do you need to replace electrolytes with a sports drink?

After an intense workout that lasts more than one hour, or after you’ve exercised in extreme heat, you may need to replace electrolytes with a sports drink. Recommendations are 16 ounces for each pound lost post-exercise. The carbohydrate solution of a sports drink should be less than or equal to 6%. This prevents the bloating and discomfort that can be caused by some flavored beverages. A sports drink that is formulated as a 6% carbohydrate solution means that it contains 60 grams of carbohydrate per liter of water. This is the right amount of carbohydrates to enable your body to absorb the sports drink as fast as water, as well as quickly working muscles with needed electrolytes. Research shows that a carbohydrate solution that contains more than 6% is not better and won’t further improve your performance.¹

Calculating the carbohydrate percentage (%) in a sports drink

You can calculate the carbohydrate percentage of any beverage simply by knowing the total carbohydrate content (on the nutrition facts panel of the label) and the serving size in milliliters (also listed on the label). For example, if a sports drink contains 14 grams of carbohydrate for a 240 milliliters (8 ounces) serving, you would divide carbohydrate grams by serving size (in milliliters), then multiply that figure by 100.

So, 14/240 x 100 = 5.8% carbohydrate (under 6%). If you do choose a sports drink (not for regular exercise), look for one without caffeine and non-FDA approved herbs or additives that are touted as performance enhancers.


¹ Shi, X. et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 27: 1607–1615, 1995.

Michèle Turcotte, MS, RD/LDN
Contributing Expert

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