The Bad Habit That Can Make You Eat an Extra 200 Calories a Day

A new study finds that people who eat out consume an average of about 200 calories more a day than when they cook at home.

They also take in more saturated fat, sugar and salt.

The study has limitations. It doesn’t say anything about whether frequent restaurant diners are unhealthier than at-home eaters, and it doesn’t take into account the potential benefits of eating out, such as socializing and reducing the stress of cooking.

Still, the findings show that “eating out at restaurants should be the exception, not the norm,” said study co-author Lisa Powell, a professor of health policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Powell said the researchers wanted to better understand the role of restaurant food in people’s diets. “We know that parallel to the rising rates of obesity, Americans have been increasingly eating food away from home, and they now take in, on average, about 600 calories a day from restaurants,” she said.

That wouldn’t be a problem for people’s health if their diets were similar on the road compared to at home. But the study found otherwise.

The researchers based their findings on the responses of over 12,000 people aged 20 to 64 who took part in federal surveys from 2003-2010. The participants answered questions about what they ate over two separate days.

People who ate at fast-food places or full-service restaurants consumed an average of 194 and 205 extra calories per day, respectively. They also consumed more saturated fat (3 and 2.5 grams extra, respectively) and salt (296 and 451 milligrams, respectively).

Where do all the extra calories come from? “More energy-dense foods, larger portions, more empty calories such as sugar-sweetened beverages,” Powell said.

Previous research suggests that 36 percent of adults eat food, drinks or both from fast-food restaurants per day, and 27 percent eat at full-service restaurants. With those numbers in mind, Powell estimated that the typical person in the United States consumes an extra 24,000 calories a year by eating out — the equivalent of 6 to 7 pounds annually.

Susan Roberts, director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, said it’s possible that the people who ate out at sit-down restaurants actually consumed more than they recalled because it’s hard to estimate portion size at those eateries.

“We always underestimate large portions, so people don’t realize that restaurant portions are as excessive as they are,” she said. “This is why we need menu labeling on all restaurant meals, not just the fast-food and larger chains.”

How can people avoid extra calories when they eat out?

“See if you can order a half portion,” Powell said. “When there is a choice of sides, opt for veggies and salad rather than fried items. See if you can get the sauce or dressing on the side, and drink water rather than soda.”

Roberts suggests assuming that all restaurant meals include two to three times the calories that you need. “That means at the minimum you should eat half or less of a portion in order to not gain weight,” she said. “You can ask the server to box up half before it gets to the table. You can also ask for salads with dressing, cheese, croutons on the side, and then just use what you want. Micromanaging your order generally is a great way to go.”

These are all great tips that Weight Loss Surgery patients can follow too!

This article originally appeared on Health.com


One Step To Combat Obesity: Make Stairs More Attractive

If there’s a single invention that helped shape New York City, literally, it might be the elevator. Along with steel frame construction, the elevator allowed New York City to grow up.

But according to architect David Burney, former New York City commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, it’s time to celebrate the steps.

“There was a time before the elevator when the staircase was a huge opportunity for architects — three-dimensional space, the sculptural quality of the stair,” Burney says. “So we’d like to bring the staircase back.”

Why the enthusiasm for the stairs? The answer is more medical than architectural. This is a public health campaign.

“As architects and planners, we’ve been part of the problem, in terms of making our lives so sedentary, making things so easy. And there are ways that we can and should correct that,” Burney says.

The city wants more steps, and more people to climb them, because of the research showing health benefits to taking the stairs.

“It’s a vigorous activity. It burns more calories per minute than jogging,” says Dr. Karen Lee, who advises governments around the world on public health issues related to the built environment, and is a special adviser to the World Health Organization.

Lee cites a long-term study of 10,000 men. “Men who climbed 20 to 34 floors of stairs per week — that’s about 3 to 5 floors a day — had a 29 percent reduction of their risk of stroke,” Lee says. “That 29 percent reduction was independent of whether people exercised in leisure time.”

Here’s another piece of evidence: Researchers calculated how many calories stair-climbing burns. “If the average American adult was to climb just two more minutes of stairs per day,” Lee explains, “we could burn enough calories to offset the average annual weight gains we see in American adults.”

U.S. adults, on average, gain about a pound a year. And just two additional minutes of stair climbing per day should prevent that gain.

New Yorkers confront steps often whether they like it or not — walking through the city and getting in and out of the subway. But how do you get people to climb by choice? New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has been hanging posters.

“Our stair prompts are neon green, really eye catching,” says Christine Johnson, assistant commissioner for the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control at NYC’s Department of Health.

The posters tap into two classic New York motivators: guilt and vanity. They read: “Burn Calories, Not Electricity. Take the Stairs!”

“We have distributed 30,000 stair prompts in over 1,000 buildings,” Johnson says.

Of course, not everyone can take the steps — there are people with disabilities, or who are carrying packages or pushing strollers. But the campaign isn’t just about stairs. It’s part of a bigger movement called “active design.” The term was coined when New York City agencies came together a few years ago and created Active Design Guidelines for architects and planners. The idea is to build an environment that can help us expend energy and use architecture to promote health. Now all new city buildings must consider active design strategies. And the idea has caught on around the country.

“We always say that this is not rocket science,” says Joanna Frank. She’s the executive director of the Center for Active Design, a city-funded nonprofit that promotes the guidelines.

“The actual individual strategies that we’re advocating for are simple,” Frank says — “planting street trees, putting in a bench, closing off a small piece of street to create a plaza.” There’s good evidence that improvements like that entice people to walk more.

David Burney says it’s one more way of using design to promote health.

“If you think about the history of disease, like typhoid, tuberculosis and cholera, a lot of them were solved by changes in the built environment — improved water supply, better sanitation,” says Burney, who leads the Center for Active Design’s governing board. “So actually there’s a strong relationship between architects and planners and public health.” Obese people, and weight loss surgery patients for example can benefit greatly from increased activity.

Of course, unlike with pipes, in order for stairs to improve health, people have to play along. Building the stairs is not enough; you have to get people to use them.

“We’re not asking people to go to the gym every day,” Burney says. “We’re trying to do this in a way that is seamless.”

A good example of attractive stairs can be found at Grand Central Station, home to some of the most iconic steps in New York City. They’re prominent. They’re marble. Tourists stop to take pictures of them. And, most importantly, people climb them.

This article was originally published by NPR


5 Tips to stick with your workouts

exercise friends shutterstock_136960493

Post Weight Loss Surgery, Sticking to your Diet and Fitness Routine are the Two Most Important Things You Can Do! Here Are Some Tips to Help You Do Just That:

1. Drink 10 cups of plain water a day. Your muscle is approximately 75% water and this healthy habit will give you more energy!

2. Eat 3 meals that include protein and 1 good snack that includes a fresh whole fruit. Regular meal timing, adequate protein intake and healthy fibers from fruits and vegetables improve blood sugar control for sustained energy!

3. Schedule your workout like you schedule your breakfast. Get them both done so you can feel your best!

4. Exercise regularly and without too many days off in between. The more steady days of exercise that you string together the more motivated you will feel toward your next workout!

5. Get a workout buddy. The obligation, entertainment and comradery will increase your exercise “mojo!”


Study indicates that changes in appetite and taste are very common after gastric bypass surgery


Changes in appetite, taste and smell are par for the course for people who have undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery during which one’s stomach is made smaller and small intestines shortened. These sensory changes are not all negative, and could lead to more weight loss among patients, says Lisa Graham, lead author of a study by researchers from Leicester Royal Infirmary in the UK. Their findings, published in Springer’s journal Obesity Surgery showed that after gastric bypass surgery, patients frequently report sensory changes.

Graham and her colleagues say their day-to-day experience with patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery suggested these changes, but surprisingly little has yet been written about it in scientific literature. To this end, questionnaires were sent out to patients who had undergone the procedure at the University Hospitals of Leicester between 2000 and 2011. In total, 103 patients answered the 33 questions about appetite, taste and smell set to them.

Of the respondents, almost all (97 percent) reported changes to their appetite after having the surgery. Their experiences varied, with subjects reporting that their sense of smell and taste were either unchanged, heightened or reduced. Forty-two percent of respondents said their sense of smell changed. Seventy-three percent of patients noted change in the way food tasted, and especially in their sweet and sour palate. Respondents especially noted a change in the taste of chicken, beef, pork, roast meat, lamb or sausages, while fish, fast foods, chocolate, greasy foods, pasta and rice were also high on the list.

Three out of every four (73 percent) patients noted that they had developed an aversion to specific foods after the surgery. Meat products topped the list, with one in every three patients steering away from chicken, minced beef, beef steak, sausages, lamb, ham or bacon. Starches such as pasta, rice, bread and pastry and dairy products such as cream, ice cream, cheese and eggs were a no-no for almost 12 percent of respondents. Only 4 percent of respondents reported having an aversion for vegetables, 3 percent for fruit, and 1 percent for tinned fish.

Interestingly, patients who experienced food aversions enjoyed significantly more postoperative weight loss and reduction in their body mass index (BMI) compared to their counterparts without such dislikes. They typically experienced weight loss of around 8 kilograms and a loss of BMI of 3 kg/m2 greater than their counterparts.

It is still unclear what the role is that perceptual changes in the taste and smell of food play to influence calorie intake, meal composition and subsequent weight loss following bariatric surgery. However, Graham believes the sensory changes are due to a combination of gut hormone and central nervous system effects.

“This study indicates that subjective changes in appetite, taste and smell are very common after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass,” Graham summarizes the findings of the study, which are in line with that of other ones done. Patients are routinely counselled about the potential loss of taste and smell in consenting for surgery.


This article was originally published by news-medical


Cauliflower Popcorn

cauli popcorn

Yes, we said popcorn! We love this roasted-toasted and deliciously tasty treat because it is healthier than popcorn, filling and fits the bill for a healthy bariatric lifestyle. Snack on!

1 large head cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

*Place cauliflower in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.
*Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garlic salt; toss to coat. Bake,
uncovered, at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until tender, stirring
once. Sprinkle with cheese.

4 Servings, serving size 3/4
Calories: 88
Protein: 5 grams
Carbohydrate: 11 grams
Fat: 4 grams

This recipe was originally pubished by Taste of Home


The 92 percent clean plate club: You’re not alone in eating everything on your plate

If you’re a member of the Clean Plate Club — you eat pretty much everything you put on your plate — you’re not alone! A new Cornell University study shows that the average adult eats 92% of whatever he or she puts on his/her plate. “If you put it on your plate, it’s going into your stomach,” says Brian Wansink Ph.D., author of the forthcoming book, Slim by Design, Professor of Marketing and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Wansink and co-author Katherine Abowd Johnson analyzed 1179 diners and concluded that we’re a Clean Plate Planet. Although diners were analyzed in 8 developed countries, the US, Canada, France, Taiwan, Korea, Finland, and the Netherlands, the results were nearly identical. If we serve it, we’ll eat it regardless of gender or nationality. “Part of why we finish most of what we serve is because we are aware enough to know how much we’ll want in the first place,” says Johnson.
The finding did not hold true with children. Analysis of 326 participants under 18 years old, showed that the average child eats only 59% of what he or she serves. “This might be because kids are less certain about whether they will like a particular food,” says Wansink. “Regardless, this is good news for parents who are frustrated that their kids don’t clean their plate. It appears few of them do.”

Wansink says that these findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, can positively impact an individual’s eating behavior, “Just knowing that you’re likely to consume almost all of what you serve yourself can help you be more mindful of appropriate portion size.” Next time you grab that serving spoon, think to yourself, “How much do I want to eat?” and serve accordingly. Eating correct portion sizes is a valuable habit that many weight loss surgery patients learn to incorporate into their lifestyles post-surgery.

The above article was originally published by Science Daily with the journal reference – B Wansink, K A Johnson. The clean plate club: about 92% of self-served food is eaten. International Journal of Obesity, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2014.104


Many kids don’t have a realistic take on their weight

Nearly one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are obese or overweight, but many don’t realize that they fall into that category.

According to new government statistics, approximately 30% of children and adolescents ages 8-15 years (32% of boys and 28% of girls) — an estimated 9.1 million young people — don’t have an accurate read on their own weight.
About 33% of kids (ages 8–11) and 27% of teens (ages 12–15) misperceive their weight status, says the report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Based on data collected between 2005 and 2012 from more than 6,100 kids and teens for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the report also finds:

• 42% of those classified as obese (48% of boys; 36% of girls) considered themselves to be about the right weight.

• 76% of those classified as overweight (81% of boys; 71% of girls) believed they were about the right weight.

• 13% of those classified as being at a healthy weight considered themselves too thin (9%) or too fat (4%).

Studies have shown that recognizing obesity can be an important step in reversing what is a major health problem for U.S. children and adolescents, and it can be an important predictor of later weight-control behaviors, says Neda Sarafrazi, a nutritional epidemiologist at NCHS and lead author of the report.

“When overweight kids underestimate their weight, they are less likely to take steps to reduce their weight or do additional things to control their weight, like adopt healthier eating habits or exercise regularly,” Sarafrazi says.

“On the other hand, when normal weight or underweight kids overestimate their weight, they might have unhealthy weight-control behaviors,” she says.

Weight misperception varied by race and Hispanic origin, according to the report. Black and Mexican-American youths were more likely to misperceive their weight than white children. It also varied by income level and was significantly less common among higher-income families compared with lower-income families.

The report’s findings are not a surprise, says Timothy Nelson, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was not involved in the study.

“In general, children and adolescents have a tendency to underestimate their health risks, and this certainly appears to be the case with obesity,” says Nelson, who studies pediatric health behaviors. “We see a similar pattern of misperception when parents are asked about their children’s weight. Parents are often unaware of the problem.”

With obesity so prevalent today, it’s understandable that many kids might have a skewed take on their weight, he says. “If they are surrounded by people who are overweight, they may be less likely to label their own weight as a problem.”

The findings highlight the need for health professionals “to communicate with families about the child’s weight,” Nelson says. “This can be a tough conversation when the child is overweight, but it is critical that pediatricians help parents understand where their child stands and what steps need to be taken to get the child on a healthier track.”

This article was originally published by USA Today


What to Look for in a Fitness App

Follow these tips, and save your data for the app you really need


A Fitness App could be the perfect tool to help keep you motivated during your weight loss surgery journey! But, before committing to a fitness app, ensure it will provide a personal experience and read the reviews.

Search for a fitness or weight-loss app in your phone’s app store, and you’re bombarded with thousands upon thousands of programs promising to help you get in shape. But how do you know which one is right for you without trying them all? Health experts knowledgeable about the fitness app market suggest a few questions you can ask to figure out if the app you’re thinking about downloading is worth your time.

Does it fit your skill level? Apps come in all shapes and sizes, says John Higgins, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas ​Health Science Center at Houston, and it’s important to find one tailored to your workout regimen. “Someone who is a newbie or does not like exercising may need an app that is in their face and is going to continually stimulate and encourage them,” Higgins says. “On the other hand, people who are already fit and know the basics are often looking for something more data driven to help them reach that next level.”

[Read: How to Turn Your Phone Into the Ultimate Weight-Loss Tool.]

Is it personal? Everyone’s body is different, so no fitness app should take a one-size-fits-all approach to your health. It’s important to look for apps that tailor their recommendations to you. “The more the app knows about you, the better it’s able to help you,” Higgins says. “If an app doesn’t get any information about your height, weight, age, sex and intensity level, that’s a sign you should uninstall it.”


Does it use all your phone’s features? Your phone is a marvel of technology, and the best apps take advantage of all your phone has to offer, Higgins says. “The best apps use your GPS and accelerometer to track your workout,” he says. “Some will use sound to motivate you, and others use your phone’s camera to help you nail down the correct form for an exercise.”

Is it connected? The fitness app you choose shouldn’t be a standalone program – it should work with your other phone apps to give you as large a view of your health as possible. “We know that fitness and health is a combination of diet, exercise, sleep and more,” Higgins says. “Having apps that work together and talk to each other to track all of those factors is imperative.”

[Read: Making the Most of Your Fitbit.]​

Does it have good reviews? While you shouldn’t base your decision solely on reviews, a poorly reviewed app is a sign that it isn’t the one you want, says David Leal​, a nutritionist and health educator at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. “Check for reviews that go into detail about what [the reviewer] did or didn’t like about the app,” Leal says. “You can always test it out for yourself, but if a lot of reviews mention similar issues, you might want to just stay away.”

Is it social? One of the hardest parts of getting into shape is sticking with the program, which is why having people to encourage you and keep you accountable is​ key to reaching your goals. “Many apps will allow you to share your workouts to Twitter and Facebook,” Higgins​ says. “You can have a comparison and competition with friends, and if you see that you’re behind, it might encourage you to work out more to try and beat them.”

[Read: Are Mobile Health Apps Helpful?]

Does it keep you interested? Downloading the best app in the world won’t make a difference if you never actually use it, Leal says. That’s why the right app for you is the one that keeps you interestedand keeps you coming back. “Simply having the app on your phone isn’t going to help you lose weight,” he says. “They make it easier to engage in good behaviors, but it’s ultimately up to you to go out and exercise.”

This article was originally published by US News Health


60 Percent of Diners Use Calorie Labeling When Posted: CDC

About six out of 10 adults make use of calorie information on menus, if it’s available, to decide what to order in restaurants, according to a new U.S. study.

Women in particular review the menu labeling, said the study’s lead author, Seung Hee Lee-Kwan, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two-thirds of women surveyed said they used menu labeling to help choose their meal, compared with just under half of men, the study reports.

That women are using the calorie postings can be seen as good news for the ongoing battle against childhood obesity, said Libby Mills, a registered dietitian/nutritionist in West Chester, Penn.

“It’s encouraging because they are typically caretakers of the children,” said Mills, who is also a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “If they are looking at the nutrition information, children can learn from them and model that behavior, and I think that’s exciting.”

Using that information, women also can help their kids make healthier meal choices, she said.

The findings appear in the July 11 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report is based on information from more than 100,000 people in 17 states who participated in the agency’s 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.

In all 17 states, menu labeling use was highest among women. However, use varied widely among states.

Overall, 57 percent said they used calorie labeling at least some of the time. Montana had the lowest proportion of label readers, with 48.7 percent of diners using the information to select items. New York had the highest proportion with 61.3 percent of diners using the calorie counts, followed closely by Hawaii.

This variation could be explained by the fact that there is no universal menu labeling requirement in effect across the United States, Lee-Kwan said.

Congress passed legislation in 2010 requiring menu labeling at restaurants with at least 20 locations nationwide, as part of the Affordable Care Act. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet issued the regulations that would enforce menu labeling everywhere in the United States.

Some restaurants voluntarily display the information, Lee-Kwan said, and some jurisdictions — most notably New York City — have passed local laws requiring menu labeling.

“Those local requirements could actually increase the menu labeling use in some states,” Lee-Kwan said. “If it’s not available, you can’t use it.”

Prior research has shown that many diners underestimate the caloric count of meals when they eat out, the report noted. It’s believed that calorie labeling can help people who want to lose weight to order less fattening dishes.

Lee-Kwan and Mills said they’re concerned that so many people — 4 out of 10 in this survey — still don’t use the calorie information to help guide their meal choices.

Although the CDC study didn’t address the point, prior research has shown that people who already eat right are more apt to use menu labeling, Mills said.

“I was not surprised that the data is not being universally used,” she said. “Those who basically had healthy diets in the past were typically ones who used the nutrition information.” This could blunt the impact that menu labeling could have on the obesity epidemic.

More than one-third of American adults is obese, the CDC says.

Marketing and communication strategies that draw attention to the menu labels or highlight particularly healthful options could attract more attention from people who usually ignore nutrition facts, the CDC report said.

“The implication is out there that if the nutrition information is posted and some groups are downright missing it or not using it, there’s got to be some way to appeal to their interest and attention,” Mills said.

This article was originally published by Consumer Healthday


Citrus Basil Mojito Pops


We love these delicious mojito ice pops because they are a fun, completely bariatric and family friendly are the perfect balance of orange, lemon, lime, fresh mint and basil! Healthy mojitos for all!

1 1/4 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
8 tsp raw sugar, or your favorite sweetener (non nutritive sweeteners like truvia or Splenda work well too)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
3/4 cup water
8 fresh mint leaves
8 fresh basil leaves

*Squeeze the orange juice, I used about 2 to get 1 1/4 cups. Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour about 1/3 cup into each popsicle mold and freeze until solid.

Servings: 8, Size: 1 pop
Calories: 34
Protein: 0 grams
Carb: 8 grams
Fat: 0 grams

Chef’s Tips:
*Popsicle mold is from Progressive and can be ordered on Amazon
*Small plastic dixie cups may be used too, just freeze them for about an hour until almost set, then insert the wooden sticks so they stay in place.

This recipe was originally on Skinnytaste.com

The information presented in the blog pages of Khalili Center is for educational and informational purposes only and should not considered personal medical advice. Consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your own personal medical care.