Weight loss secrets of diet doctor

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The secret to looking and feeling younger than your years is following a nutritious diet and exercising regularly. But there are many different strategies for battling everyday temptation and staying slim. We asked three top diet doctors how they do it…

Mary dan eades, md

My diet is focused on getting the correct balance of foods so that metabolic hormones, particularly insulin, help the body use nutrients as they should. As a result, consume moderate amounts of protein and fat, and selective about the carbohydrates. Today I weigh 135 pounds and stand five feet, five inches tall with less than 24% body fat.

• I eat adequate amounts of protein

Protein is the most essential food that the body needs to survive. I eat at least 10 to 12 ounces of protein each day when I am trying to lose or maintain my weight.

I get the protein in the form of lean red meat, fish, poultry, low-fat cheese, eggs and tofu. By eating protein in correct proportion to other dietary components, I am able to burn the incoming fat as fuel for energy rather than store it as would be the case if I were eating a lot of protein-rich foods and not enough of the other types.

• I select my carbohydrates carefully

I keep my carbohydrate intake to a minimum about 60 to 80 grams daily because of their adverse impact on insulin especially starchier sources and refined carbohydrates. I primarily get those carbohydrates from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that pack a big vitamin punch.

• I take a daily multivitamin supplement

I take a daily multivitamin supplement to ensure I’m getting all of the nutrients I might otherwise miss.

• I exercise regularly

I practice kung fu a high-impact aerobics and resistance training regimen four times a week for one hour. Or, if I can’t get to kung fu class, I run and work out with weights.

Stephen gullo, PhD

Living a very busy lifestyle surrounded by fine foods, I frequently find myself tempted to overeat. Obesity runs in my family, and I have the same weight-control problems as my patients. If I’m not careful about what I eat, I can easily add eight to 10 pounds to my 5’11”, 168-pound frame. I’m especially prone to weight gain around the abdomen. And that is particularly unhealthful.

Pizza is my downfall. Just one slice can cause me to experience continuing cravings for more pizza, bread and other flour products for weeks. To cap my craving for pizza, I try to minimize my trigger-food problem by “boxing it in …

  • Limiting the quantity I eat.
  • Controlling how often I eat it.
  • Avoiding all the locations at which I usually am inclined to eat this particular food.

If self-control doesn’t work, I “box it out” temporarily banish pizza from my diet. It’s hard at first, but eventually I stop craving the food. If I find myself thinking about it, I use diversion. Some activity that diverts the mind usually turns off the craving almost instantly.

To avoid temptation, I follow a few basic guidelines…

• Shop carefully at the supermarket

Shop carefully at the supermarket, since that’s where most weight problems begin. I avoid shopping in the late afternoon or right after work, when blood sugar plummets and we’re prone to impulsive food purchases. Before I put any product in my shopping cart, I ask myself, Is this food I have a history of abusing?  If it is, I put it back on the shelf.

• When traveling, I don’t accept hotel mini-bar keys.

I also ask the maid not to leave cookies or candy on my pillow. Availability creates craving.

• Never show up at a restaurant hungry

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It is easy to attack the bread basket. Instead, I eat sugar-free Jell-O, nonfat yogurt, nonfat soup or fruit before dining out. Sometimes before a meal I have cold tomato juice, which is a natural appetite suppressant.

• Exercise regularly

I jog or put in time on the “strength trainer” NordicTrack for 45 minutes two to three times a week and do additional strength training. This helps me burn 10% to 15% more calories than I would normally.

• Take supplements

I believe in the importance of vitamins and antioxidants. Every day, I take vitamin E (400 international units [IUD, vitamin C (500 milligrams [mgj in the morning and 500 mg at night), foliate (400 mg), selenium (100 mg) and a baby aspirin.

• Use cognitive-switching techniques

This involves replacing negative food thoughts with healthy ones.

Example: Instead of saying, I’ll have just one slice of pizza (which is not true to my history with this particular food), I tell myself that the craving I’m feeling is only temporary, the desire will pass and that as much as I want a slice of pizza at that instant, I want to be healthy and in control of my life

John mcdougall, MD

At age 22, I weighed 220 pounds and stood six feet, one inch tall. Today, I’m 49 and I weigh 175 pounds. I’m a vegetarian who relies on the starch-based diet followed by the people from China, Japan and the Middle East.

In these cultures, people have lower levels of obesity, heart disease, breast cancer and other health problems than do those who follow the typical high-fat American diet. Here’s what I do…

• I eat minimal amounts of protein and fat

As a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or dairy products. I believe they lead to medical problems. I get all the protein I need from vegetable sources. I also avoid vegetable oils, margarine and shortenings as well as refined and simple sugars.

• I eat mostly carbohydrates

My diet consists largely of whole grains (such as breads, pasta and rice), root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, parsnips), beans, peas and lentils and green and yellow vegetables. I can eat these foods until I’ve satisfied my hunger. I eat limited amounts of fruits (because they can be high in sugar and calories) and limited amounts of low-fat dressings and sauces.

• I don’t take vitamin supplements

I don’t take vitamin supplements because I get all the nutrients I need from my diet. While I don’t eat dairy products, I get sufficient calcium from potatoes, rice, corn and other vegetables that contain the mineral.

• I exercise moderately

Luckily, my low fat diet doesn’t call for intensive activity to maintain my weight. I try to be physically active in my routine. I downhill ski in winter and swim, windsurf and walk in summer. I also work out with weights with a personal trainer one hour each week year-round although I wish I had time to do more.

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