The biggest low carb nutrition companies maintaining dominance over the marketplace are Atkins and Quest. Atkins has an advantage in terms of name recognition, but Quest bars have gained an advantage with the variety of flavors they’ve introduced. They all sound very tempting—yet they also sound like they shouldn’t be allowed on a low carbohydrate diet plan. For example they have flavors like Cookies & Cream, Apple Pie, Strawberry Cheesecake, Banana Nut Muffin and several other decadent sounding bars
Each of these products contain somewhere between 3-5 gm of net carbs per bar. They achieve these low levels of carbs through the use of various sugar alcohols including erythritol, steviol and sucralose.
They’ve done a pretty good job at controlling the glycemic index of their foods. Our average blood sugar level rose by 25 mg/dL during the first 30 minutes after eating the bar. That’s compared to a change of 8 mg/dL for the Atkins Peanut Caramel Cluster Bar.
It’s also interesting to note that the peak rise in blood sugar for the Atkins bar occurred about 30 minutes later than the peak for the Quest bar. Given these results, I would say that the Atkins bar has an advantage over the Quest product in being more low carb.
As for taste, the Quest bar was quite good. We gave the bar a favorable score. It should be noted that all the Quest bars I have tried have the same texture and consistency. They are a soft, somewhat mushy consistency that people may tire of eventually.
This is the perfect recipe for a light but satisfying low-carb meal—Low Carb Tuna Nicoise Salad. It’s a classic summer salad that is easy to prepare and one that the whole family will enjoy. Our weight loss doctor recommends it because it’s filling but very nutritious. It’s great as a side or an entrée and will only take you a few minutes to make.
Tuna is loaded with the omega-3 fatty acids that reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, make your skin glow and help satiate your appetite. It is an excellent source of protein, as are the eggs, which are actually considered a “complete” protein, which means they have all the amino acids our body needs to function properly. Our weight loss doctor recommends striving to incorporate lean protein into every meal, as it helps us build lean muscle mass, promotes healthy digestion and keeps us fuller for longer periods of time.
The vegetables in this recipe are packed with dietary fiber, which also helps fill us up and boasts spectacular nutrients, as well as an array of beneficial antioxidants. Keep in mind that you can add whatever other vegetables you and your family enjoy! Mix it up with colorful summer produce such as cucumber, red and green peppers, artichoke hearts, white onions, shallots, beets, radishes and whatever you can think of. This recipe makes about two servings.
1 can of tuna steak in spring water, drained or 8 oz. seared tuna
½ cup scallions, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup spinach of butter lettuce
1 tbsp capers
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Himalayan sea salt to taste
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil
Quarter or chop the hardboiled eggs and set aside. Rinse the capers and drain. Lay out the salad greens and add the tuna to them. Toss the tomato, scallions and capers together and then add to the salad greens. Add some Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and then drizzle over the salad greens. Enjoy!
This chilled soup is a refreshing way to start a meal while staying on track with diets and weight management plans. It’s super simple and easy to make, yet tastes rich and is very appetite-satiating. The entire family will love this recipe, especially during the hot summer months. The dill adds a tasty contrast that makes for a delicious way to enjoy a low carb diet.
Due to their low calorie, low carb and high water content, cucumbers are a perfect food for those trying to lose weight with diets and weight management plans. Their dietary fiber content helps flush the body of toxins and promote healthy digestion, while helping to fill up your stomach.
Cucumbers are an excellent source of the B vitamins and therefore boost your energy. Since cucumbers are around 85 percent water, they help fill you up and rehydrate your as body as the toxins are flushed out. They also contain about 10 percent of our daily vitamin C requirement and are loaded with folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and D.
This recipe is unbelievably easy and takes just minutes to prepare. The amounts listed makes about 6 servings.
1 lb cucumbers, peeled, sliced and de-seeded
1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tbsp dried tarragon
4 ½ tsps. fresh dill
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
dill and chopped onion for garnish
Toss the cucumbers with the Himalayan sea salt in a bowl. Let them stand for between 30 and 40 minutes. Squeeze and pat dry. Then place them, along with the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, onions and tarragon in a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the dill and season with freshly ground pepper to your liking. Garnish with the additional dill and chopped onion. Serve in chilled bowls.
Summer can be a very motivating time of year when it comes to weight loss and getting in shape—our weight loss clinic gets a ton of new members this time of year. Perhaps it’s the onslaught of potential bikini and swimsuit moments, summer parties, weddings or all the outdoor activities coming into play—whatever the reason is, we advocate taking the time to get healthier, no matter what time of year.
Here are a few tips from our weight loss clinic to help you kick start your summer weight loss.
Avoid multitasking. Tempting as it is to get some work done or watch your favorite show while you’re eating, research performed by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that multitasking leaves people less satisfied and more likely to overeat. Step away from the computer, put down that tablet and eat mindfully. Savor each bite and enjoy whatever company you have, even if it’s just your own.
Plan ahead. One of the most efficient ways to hit your weight loss goals is to carefully think about what you’re going to eat for the week and plan your meals. When you have a concrete plan, write it down and build your shopping list around it, chances are you will follow through with execution.
Watch what you drink. When it’s hot, those frozen daiquiris and margaritas can be oh-so-tempting. Refreshing as they are, they are loaded with sugar and calories. Instead, up your water intake, and if you can’t resist an alcoholic drink, try something lower in calories such as a white wine seltzer or vodka or tequila with soda water.
Feel the heat. Or consume it, rather. Much research shows that spices can boost our metabolism, especially “hot” spices such as cayenne and chili peppers. Chili peppers contain Capsaicin, a compound that makes them “hot” and boosts metabolism. Studies also indicate that spicier foods can trigger feelings of fullness faster than blander foods.
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Our weight loss doctor recommends incorporating as many green leafy vegetables into your diet as possible. They are loaded with hunger-satiating fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and helps us feel fuller longer, and are rich in an array of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that boost our health and can help prevent chronic illnesses and diseases.
Summer is the perfect time to increase your intake of green leafy vegetables. Here are a few types that our weight loss doctor recommends.
Kale. At only 35 calories per eight ounce serving, kale contains more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. This nutrient-dense leafy green is an excellent source of calcium, potassium and folate, which helps prevent homocysteine build up, a contributing factor in cardiovascular disease. Kale is also loaded with vitamin A, which promotes eye health and prevents macular degeneration, vitamin C, which boosts immunity, and vitamin K, which protects against certain forms of cancer. Kale is an ideal food for those on a diet or following weight management programs, as it is rich in fiber and sulfur, which are detoxifying and help keep your liver healthy.
Spinach. While it only contains 20 calories per eight ounce serving, spinach packs a serious antioxidant punch—maybe that’s why Popeye liked it so much. It’s a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, and flavonoids, which combats free radical damage. Spinach is also rich in vitamins A, C, K, D and E, as well as folate, calcium, magnesium and a host of trace minerals.
Mustard Greens. When it comes to cruciferous vegetables, mustard greens contain some of the highest concentrations vitamin A, K and C, three very powerful antioxidants. Mustard greens are also highly detoxifying and an excellent source of fiber, folate, manganese and vitamin E. Like their green leafy siblings, mustard greens are a great source of potassium and calcium.
Did you get off track during the 4th of July weekend? Many people visit our weight loss clinic after a big weekend feeling depressed because they overate and strayed from their healthy routines. If you fall into this category, don’t get down on yourself and don’t give up on your weight loss goals. Resist the urge to get out the scale and beat yourself up—instead follow these steps to get right back on track with your healthy lifestyle.
1. Don’t give into guilt. While overindulging is not something we promote, we don’t advocate guilt either. Beating yourself up for getting off track will only make you feel worse. Instead, think about the weekend as a learning experience. Evaluate and come up with strategies for handling the next big weekend that comes your way. What could you have done differently this weekend? What triggered you to give in to cravings? What can you do differently the next time?
2. Lose the bloat. You may have retained some extra water this weekend, which is probably making you feel even worse. For the next few days, drink some extra water and green tea to help flush the toxins and excess sodium from your system. Also avoid any high-sodium foods, such as canned soup or frozen foods.
3. Consume lots of vegetables. Load up on an array of colorful vegetables for their fiber, vitamin and mineral-rich content. Make sure to consume some green leafy vegetables as well, such as spinach, kale, broccoli and asparagus. This will help flush out your system while filling you up so you don’t do any more damage after your big weekend.
4. Squeeze in some extra movement. Get your metabolism revved so you can burn some of those extra calories you took in over the weekend. Don’t go too crazy and try to overcompensate—follow the safe guidelines you received from your doctor or the staff at our weight loss clinics. But do squeeze some extra movement in over the next few days and boost the intensity and duration of your regular workouts.
The Fourth of July weekend promises lots of fun for many families across the country—but for those striving for success with diets and weight loss management, it can be difficult to navigate the festivities without going off track. Below are some tips for maintaining your healthy lifestyle and keeping the pounds off this holiday weekend—without giving up the fun.
1. Schedule a workout. Even though it’s a holiday, don’t take the morning off. Get up and hit the gym, go for a run or take a walk around the block. It’s a great way to start the day, boost your energy and rev your metabolism so you can burn off some of the calories you’ll be consuming at the day’s events.
2. Hydrate like crazy. Drink lots of water, especially if you plan to indulge in any alcoholic drinks. Skip the sodas, which will only dehydrate you, and drink as much water as possible. Drink a glass of water in between each libation to fill you up and help buffer the effects of the alcohol.
3. Bring something healthy to the table. Bring a healthy dish so that you know at least one item on the buffet will be something that’s in alignment with your diet.
4. Load up on produce. If there are fruit and veggies at the spread, fill at least half your plate with a colorful array. The fiber will help fill you up and leave less room for fattening treats, while providing healthy nutrients and promoting healthy digestion.
5. Keep it moving. Physical activity is a key component for successful diets and weight loss management. Keep it moving throughout the weekend’s events. If the group is playing a sport, join in. Stay active and aware—you’ll be able to better enjoy your holiday without expanding your waistline.
When you’re striving to lose weight and achieve better health through nutrition, exercise can expedite and help you maintain your results. Many members of our weight loss center want to know which the best type of workouts are. In an ideal scenario, we would like them to do what many consider the three pillars of fitness: cardiovascular, resistance and flexibility training.
Cardiovascular. This includes any type of exercise that boosts your heart rate, works your respiratory system and increases circulation. Some common forms include walking, jogging, running, swimming, elliptical cross-training, cycling, hiking, Stairmaster, jumping rope, martial arts, boxing and rowing, among many others. Members of our weight loss center love cardio because it helps you lose weight by burning calories and boosting your metabolism. It’s also great for your health because it reduces the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, boosts heart function, and improves blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Resistance training. Also known as strength or weight training, this type of workout uses resistance to build and strengthen muscles. Common forms include working out with free weights, resistance bands, weight machines, medicine balls and using your own body strength with exercises such as push-ups, lunges, squats, chin-ups, sit-ups and crunches. Resistance training is a great way to supplement your efforts to achieve better health through nutrition, as it increases muscle tone, boosts stamina, enhances mobility and balance, and improves posture.
Flexibility. Stretching and engaging in flexibility training is essential for muscle recovery, pain management, improving circulation, better posture and increasing your range of motion. Many people ignore this aspect of training, yet it’s essential for injury prevention—when our muscles are tight, it can make it difficult to perform everyday activities and make us more prone to injury. Popular forms include regular stretching and yoga, Pilates and gymnastics classes.
The staff at our weight loss clinic promotes starting your day right with a healthy, low-carb breakfast—it’s the most important meal of the day, so why not make something extra delicious? This recipe for a low carb Mexi-Scramble is easy to make and packed with flavor and nutrients. Plus, it’s a great way to take advantage of all the tasty summer produce.
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, eggs are an excellent source of lean protein. They are one of the few foods that are considered a complete protein, which means they contain all of the essential acids your body needs to function properly. The staff at our weight loss clinic also promotes eggs as part of a healthy breakfast because they are nutritional powerhouses—they contain choline, which boosts brain health and cognitive function, and are an excellent source of folate, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins A, B2, B5 and B12.
Adding as many colorful veggies as you can boosts this recipe’s antioxidant content and the flavor punch it packs. It’s also an excellent way to incorporate spinach into your diet, which is loaded with nutrients and fiber to help us feel fuller longer. This recipe is a great way to get your day going!
1/4 cup scallions, diced
1/8 cup chopped red, greem or yellow pepper
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 tbsp water
5 jalapeno pepper slices, chopped
1 slice of low-fat pepper jack cheese
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fresh salsa to taste
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Whisk the eggs, pepper, onion, tomatoes, spinach, jalapenos and water in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the pan, slowly stirring until the eggs are scrambled the way you like them. Right before you’re ready to remove them, turn off the heat and add the slice of low-fat pepper jack cheese over the top. Cover with a lid and let the cheese melt for a few minutes.
Spoon salsa over top and serve.
Summer is the perfect time of year to diet and get in better shape. Our weight loss doctor sees an influx of patients every year when summer rolls around—it’s time to shed the layers of clothing and get outside and enjoy the weather. Take advantage of the long days and kick up your weight loss plan with the tips below.
1. Get outside. Step away from the computer or tablet and hit the great outdoors—studies show that sunlight promotes weight loss by increasing serotonin levels and reducing cravings for fattening comfort foods. Research also shows that people eat less when the weather is hotter. In addition, the sunny weather is a great excuse to take part in outdoor exercise, sports and other physical activities.
2. Plan ahead. According to a study conducted by Psychology and Health, when dieters plan their meals ahead of time and schedule them at regular times, they had an easier time sticking to their weight loss goals. Write down your meals in advance and plan your grocery list to accommodate your diet. It’s also helpful to write down your dietary goals, such as “eat three green leafy vegetables per week,” “drink a glass of water with every meal” or “eat three pieces of fruit per day.” If you need recommendations for such goals, ask our weight loss doctor for suggestions.
3. Increase your intake of spicy foods. Much research has proved that spicy foods boost metabolism and may trigger a sense of fullness quicker than blander foods.
4. Take advantage of summer produce. This is a great time of year to enjoy all of the colorful fruits and veggies available. Hit the farmer’s market and load up on fiber-rich, green leafy vegetables, berries, grapefruit, apples, peaches, plums, melons, tomatoes, zucchini, beets and other healthy produce. Enjoy refreshing salads, cold soups and whole fruits as snacks throughout the day