Archive | Diet & Nutrition

What is the Carb to Protein Ratio on the Medifast Diet?

Someone recently sent me an email asking “what is the carb to protein ratio in most of the medifast meals and also in the “lean and green meal” that you are supposed to eat each day?” I didn’t know the answer to this question off of the top of my head. So I set out to research it. What I found was that I was pretty much going to have to figure this out myself if I wanted a very precise answer. The company’s literature encourages a favorable ratio and the foods appear to be very specifically designed to be low in carbohydrates and high in protein. But, for those who want more specific measurements than this, I’m going to look at some of the more popular medifast meals to really determine the protein to carb ratio on these items.

The Shakes: Probably the most popular meal on this diet is the shakes. There are many different varieties of them. Some are meant to curb your appetite or to bump up your metabolism. Others are designed for diabetics or for women who are approaching menopause. Some are meant to boost heart or joint health. But, for the purposes of this article, I’m going to be focusing on the 55 shakes, since I believe these are the most popular. The Dutch chocolate flavor contains 13 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein. The ratio here is 1.18.

The Bars: There are two main types of medifast bars: the maintenance or the crunch. You are only supposed to have one of the maintenance bars each day because they are higher in carbohydrates and sugars. So, I’m going to use the crunch bars because they aren’t limited. The chocolate crunch flavor is actually the same as the 55 shakes with 13 carbs and 11 protein grams. Again, the ratio is 1.18.

The Brownies: The medifast brownies are a relatively new addition to the menu. They are extremely popular and can be served warm. These are a bit higher in carbs at 15 grams. But they also have 11 of protein. So the ratio here rises a little at 1.36. By the way, the oatmeal (apple cinnamon flavor) comes in with the exact same numbers.

The Pudding: This is a bit higher in terms of carbs, but this is also true of the proteins, so it evens out. For the banana flavor, the carbs weigh in at 15 while there are 14 grams of protein. This puts the ratio at 1.07 or about 1.1 like the bars and the shakes.

The Soups: There are many varieties of soups, but I like the chili a lot so that’s what I’m going to look at here. This has the exact same numbers as the pudding, which is 15:14, and ultimately equaling out at around 1.07.

Now, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the medifast foods, but it does include many of the more popular meals. And, your lean and green meal composition is probably going to slightly vary, but I suspect that there’s a reason that give you such specific lists about the recommended ounces of lean protein that you should include and how to chose low glycemic vegetables.

So, while some of the foods varied slightly, I hope this article may have shown you that most of the foods limit the carbs at around 15 while having at least 11 proteins. I’m certainly no math or diet expert, but it seems to me that the goal was to keep the ratio as close to even as is possible. And, if you’ve been checking out the nutritional labels of those grocery store diet foods, I think you’ll find that very few of them completely succeed at this in the way that these examples used here have.

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Fingernail Disorders – Paying Attention To Your Nail’s Health Might Save Yours.

Fingernail condition has been used for thousands of years to accurately diagnose ailments and maladies in the body. Chinese physicians mastered this practice.

Fingernail changes may signify a number of disorders elsewhere in the body. These changes may indicate illness even before the rest of the body shows any signs. Although I will discuss later in this article what nutrients may help with actual nail problems you should always seek professional help if any of the below changes are observed on the nail.

o Thick nails may indicate a vascular problem.

o Ridges running lengthwise may indicate a kidney disorders.

o White moon area turning red may indicate heart problems. If it turns dark blue then lung problems may exist.

o Brittle nails may indicate possible iron deficiency.

o Yellow nails may indicate internal disorders.

o White nails may indicate possible liver or kidney disorders.

o Nail beading may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

o Nails that chip, peel, crack, or break easily show a nutritional deficiency.

o Brittle, soft, shiny nails with no moon may indicate an overactive thyroid.

o Nails separated form the nail bed may indicate a thyroid problem.

o White lines across the nail may indicate a liver disease.

o Red, inflamed looking skin at the bottom of the nail may indicate a connective tissue disorder.

o Ridges across the nail may be a sign of the flu.

o Nails curving downward at the ends may indicate heart, liver, or respiratory problems.

o White lines show possible heart disease, or arsenic poisoning.

o Unusually wide, square nails can suggest a hormonal disorder.

These are a sampling of nails conditions that may point to serious health problems. These are not intended to serve a diagnostic tool. If in doubt seek the diagnosis of a physician.

Don’t wait if you suspect a problem. Seek help. Also consider looking at your eating habits, environment, and general well-being. Consider taking extra vitamin supplementation to balance out your system.

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A Poor Man’s Guide to Fat Loss and Six Pack Abs

While I was searching for the best way to get rid of my chunky midsection, I noticed that so Called Nutritional “experts” seem to disagree to what the best foods are that help melt fat away, plus gain overall good health.

I’m here to tell you that from my experience one of the most important lessons that I have gained has been that I don’t need to conform to any of the “fad diets”… low carbs here, low fat there type of ideas. I have always had ripped six pack abs, they were just hiding under a layer of stubborn, chunky body fat… not anymore! I think balance has been the key to my success along with eating a diet of unprocessed, nutritionally based foods. Let’s face the facts here; it’s the heavy processing of today’s foods that makes our system go haywire.

OK, here it is… the following is what the experts said for me to do, that I followed with great success:

1) Getting enough good protein in your diet is a good thing. Not only are you satisfied longer without wanting to knock over a candy store, but it’s the stepping stone to building and maintaining lean muscle. It’s said that the amount of lean muscle you carry is one of the main factors for controlling your metabolism.

2) Fiber is the next one on the list. There is a good source of Fiber in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Try to avoid refined sugars and refined grains, it’s one of the enjoyments that I had to knock out of my daily routine, and one of the reasons many people struggle with body fat. Like protein, fiber also helps fill you up.

3) This next one is, don’t cut fat completely out of your diet… little did I know, it can affect your hormone level in a negative way, plus cause cravings. The experts say “Try to eat enough healthy fats daily”. Once I found out what they were talking about, I was happy to follow. Some of the great foods that I like that have the fats the experts are talking about are: avocados (great on grilled chicken sandwiches), olive oil (when cooking), nuts (one of my favorite snacks) and eggs (perfect start to the day).

4) There are two things that I learned that were a little harder to follow, but I set myself a goal, and I was willing to follow it to the end. Many processed foods have the following good tasting, but yucky for you crap in them.

– high fructose corn syrup: in most sweetened products out there.

– artificial trans fat: margarines, shortening, and hydrogenated oils that seem to have made their way into most of the processed foods we eat today.

I learned that if I were to follow these 4 guidelines, I too could lose the stubborn fat that was making me hesitant to remove my shirt in public. There is so much more to share with you, but old age has taken a toll on my memory. I would like to share with you where I became informed about nutrition, and in turn, lost my flab covering my six pack.

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Apple and Coffee Diet – Can You Really Lose 15 Pounds in Just One Week?

No doubt already you think I’m crazy to suggest this diet. But did you know that top catwalk models the world over swear by this diet? For example, it is rumored that Giselle could be using this diet to keep herself looking amazing. Still not convinced? You can lose over 15 pounds in a single week on this diet – let’s find out how, in this article.

The Rules

Basically you can only drink black coffee and eat apples. Any kind of apples will do, as will any kind of coffee so long as it’s black i.e. no added milk or sugar. The idea is that you can drink or eat as much as you feel like.

Of course you can also drink water too because it contains zero calories. You’ll rely on the volume of water in your belly to stave off hunger pangs. I recommend drinking plenty of water also to accompany the coffee and keep your stomach healthy. Otherwise that amount of coffee alone could give you indigestion problems.

Does It Work?

Apples are well known for keeping away hunger pangs while coffee will raise your metabolism. You can lose a serious amount of weight this way. But the problem is that this extreme diet is extremely lacking in nutrition. You CAN take supplements but they are not the same as getting your nutrition from your food.

If you do decide to do this diet then I personally recommend no more than 48 hours. It is unlikely that you’ll have the willpower to tolerate any more than this anyway.

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Weight Loss Diet Plan – Jason Hunter Carb Rotation Diet Plan

Diet plans come and go, but it really says something when a plan has staying power – that means it’s working for people. The Carb Rotation Diet plan, created by Jason Hunter, falls into this category. Being a registered dietitian, Jason has the nutritional credentials to give dieters the kind of plan that works fast and effectively.

First off, he has divided the plan into two parts: one for men and one for women.

The female version is called: The Dramatic Dress Size Reduction Diet

The male version is called: Get Rid of My Gut Diet

This makes sense, because men and women tend to gain and hold weight in different parts of their body. Women mainly want to lose unwanted fat in their hips, thighs and waist, while men want to get rid of that belly fat that can blow up to huge proportions.

Because he’s educated in nutrition, Jason spends some time in his book, teaching you about staying fit and healthy for the long term. I really think this is important information that constantly needs to be repeated, since, most people experience the disappointment of losing weight, then gaining it all back. It doesn’t have to be that way if you learn how your body really works with food.

The Carb Rotation Diet involves going on a weekly meal plan that uses calorie cycling to achieve a desired weight loss. Every three days, you’ll be shifting the amount of carbs, fats and proteins that you eat. Some days you’ll be eating low carb meals, some days you’ll be eating high carb meals, and other days you’ll be eating meals with no carbs in them whatsoever.

Because there’s a whole bunch of foods you can eat that fall under each cycle, you won’t be starving for foods that fill you up. In fact, Jason believes that starving yourself to lose weight is a losing method. The body responds to starvation by holding onto calories – exactly the opposite effect you’re trying to achieve.

You should avoid any diet that has you eating like a rabbit for several days in a row (cabbage soup diet for example), because you’re going to burn out on it real fast, then you have a high possibility of returning to all your favorite fatty foods to make up for feeling hungry.

This diet is for people who can faithfully follow a detailed eating plan for 30 days, and who are ready to take their eating choices and nutritional health seriously. Calorie cycling is a proven weight loss method that works, and you can easily learn to do this at home.

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The Anti Toxin Diet – Drink Juice and Lose Weight

This diet is the best if you want to get rid of the extra toxins in your body. The juice diet not only detoxifies your body, but also does magic to your facial and physical appearance. Not only will you be shedding off pounds your face would glow. Your typical day should include a glass of low fat or skim milk In the morning as breakfast.

After a couple of hours you should have a cucumber juice with lemon. Make sure you do not drink half glasses, try having a big glass of these juices have a lot of water in between. for lunch have a big glass of orange juice with two boiled eggs. For your mid evening snack have a glass of banana, carrot, kiwi, grapefruit, orange, apple, mango, juice you can make a juice out of these fruits and veggies, or you can make a smoothie. The smoothie should be made in low fat yogurt and no extra sugar should be added.

Let’s say you are a veggie hater and only resort to eating meats and eggs. so you can stick to drinking fruit juices rather than vegetable juices. Try drinking the broccoli and mint juice. Not only will your system be purified, you will get all the required nutrients in your body. You can also drink tomato juice, as long as you do not have uric acid. But do not have a lot of tomato juice since the sugar in tomato can be problematic with the weight loss. a lot of people follow the orange juice diet, but a variety of juices made with fresh veggies and fruits can be healthier.

Make sure you check with your doctor before doing the juice diet. Once you have lost all the desired weight on the juice diet. Adding solid food should be done slowly and you should only introduce the easily digested foods first. For instance yogurt, cereal, salads etc. do not start your solid food diet until you have fully lost your desired weight. Drink a lot of water while doing the diet.

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Fruit and Vegetable Diet – How I Lost 13 Pounds in 14 Days With a 2 Week Fruit and Vegetable Cleanse

Fruit and Vegetable Diet Cleanses are really gaining in popularity as a way to accomplish very fast weight loss!

After a particularly stressful winter I had packed on some unwanted unsightly pounds that I wanted gone quick.

Summer was coming and that meant skimpier clothes and shorts and I did not want to be wearing layers of clothes to hide my rolls and bulges if you know what I mean. In addition my normally comfortable clothes had become much less comfortable (read: tight around the middle!).

I had lost weight before and kept it off for years but because of my emotional eating during a long period of stress in my life some weight has slipped back on my body and I was miserable! I knew the usual weight loss tricks and plans and options but I was darn sick of them.

I did not want to see another frozen diet meal from Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers. I knew down deep those frozen concoctions were packed with preservatives and quite often loads of sodium and chemicals.

In addition I had been a vegetarian for many years in my past and my gut was telling me I needed to get away from eating inhumanely treated factory farmed animals that have had a slaughter house experience.

So it seemed like a natural progression for me to take a look at a way of eating I had embraced in the past and see if it would give me the results I was looking for. I wanted to lose weight fast, improve my energy and stamina and improve the look of my skin and my overall health.

I started with a 14 day fruit and vegetable diet cleanse and I was blown away! The pounds came flying off so fast it made my head spin. I was never hungry and I ate lots of delicious healthy foods! You can imagine how excited I was to get on the scale after 14 days and see the huge loss of weight.

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Slim Fast Shakes Vs Medifast Shakes – A Comparison

I get a lot of emails asking me to compare medifast products to other diet products.  One very popular request is to look at both the medifast and slim fast shakes side by side.  So, in the following article, I’ll do just that.

Choices / Flavors: It used to be that medifast won in this category hands down as it boosts it’s “regular” 55 shakes as well as the higher protein 70 variety, the ready to drink variety, the appetite suppression, the diabetic option, the joint health, the women’s health, the ready to drink, and the momentum metabolism boosting. Almost all of these have several flavors available so there are tons of different options and varieties here.

Recently though, slim fast has come up with some more options in addition to the “original” line.  There is a now an “optima” line which is said to control hunger, the higher protein line, the easy to digest option, and the “low carb” variety.  If you want to get really technical about it, medifast still does have more choices available, but, slim fast has come a long way with this, so I’m going to call it a wash.

Calories / Carbs / Protein Content: I know that few people consider these variables as important as I do.  But my opinion and experience is that drinking diet shakes is a waste of time if they are contain too many carbs and calories (and not enough protein) to get you into fat burning mode (called ketosis.)  When I compare shakes, this is often where medifast comes out way on top.  Many grocery store products contain way too many calories and sugars, so let’s take a look.

If I compared every shake on both plan, this article would take forever to read, so I’m going to go with what I feel are the most popular shakes on both plans. This would be slim fast’s “original” and medifast’s “55.” First up, let’s look at slim fast.  This shake has 220 calories, 25 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein.  Now, onto medifast.  We’re looking at 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of protein.

So how significant is this difference? I believe it’s pretty significant.  In terms of calories, you could drink two of the 55 and still have calories to spare.  And, 40 grams of carbs is in my opinion too many to get you into ketosis.  At the very least, you should look at the lower carb option if you are interested in slim fast, but I have to tell you that even this option has around 190 calories.

Taste / Texture / Cost Comparison:  To be honest, other than the high calories and carbs, the biggest drawback that I see to the slim fast shakes is the chalky texture that these are sort of known for.  There are some decent flavors, but there’s just not getting around this odd texture.  This is my opinion and I realize that others may have a different one.

Granted, the medifast ready mixed shakes aren’t my favorite either in terms of texture.  But, the 55 are so versatile that you can make sure that you get them creamy and light. This makes a big difference to me.  If I’m going to stick with a diet, then I’m going to need for the food to be palatable.

In terms of cost and price, there is not as big a difference as you might think.  You’re looking at around $8.50 for a case of 6 for the slim fast.  There’s no denying that medifast cost slightly more, but if you buy this as part of a package, you’re only paying around $2.00 each.  This small difference is most definitely worth it to me because I’d rather pay slightly more and actually lose weight pretty quickly and enjoy consuming the product. 

Also, Medifast offers many other foods (chili, soup, eggs, oatmeal, pudding, etc.) which gives you more options and keeps you from getting as bored. This makes it the better option in my own opinion, but everyone will have their own criteria in making this determination.

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Rob Nevin’s Skinny Switch Secret – Menu and Meal Plan

The Skinny Switch Secret weight loss plan is marketed by Guthy-Renker, one of the largest marketing companies in America. They show their info commercials all over the United States.

Rob Nivens, a self professed weight loss guru from Connecticut originated the plan.

His plan uses a method of confusing one’s metabolic system by changing what and the amount of food eaten on a daily basis.

And every third to fifth day is called a load up day where anything can be eaten.

Allegedly, eating in this manner doesn’t allow the body to grow accustomed to the daily calorie levels and food choices which trigger a higher metabolic rate thus burning more calories then normal.

There is no science behind this plan, only speculation that because it makes sense, it should work. We believe that any positive results are due to a member eating fewer calories then burned up which result in weight loss.

The members of the Skinny Switch Secret, after logging in, navigate to the meal plan section of their web site.

Questions concerning food likes and dislikes are asked. When completed with the questionnaire, the weight loss program generates a 3 day meal plan and shopping list.

The shopping list is comprised of all the foods in the generated meals. At first thought, this seemed like a good idea until reading the list. For every minuet ingredient, it’s listed on your shopping list no matter on small a quantity is used.

For example, if butter is used in the meal (how did butter get on a diet plan?), the shopping list will show it as one tablespoon butter.

This really clutters up the list and makes it practically useless.

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On Pregnancy and Nutrition

Nutrition And Pregnancy

Eating well is one of the most important things you can do you for baby. Healthy eating is important for the health of your baby and should be planned in advance and implemented before pregnancy. Nutritious foods can help you get and stay fertile and are important before and during the entire term of your pregnancy.

The best diet is the simplest and you may be aware of it as something you’ve seen it on a wall at school or in a doctor’s office. A well-balanced diet means 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (organic is best, especially during pregnancy; you and your baby don’t need all the extra chemicals). Fresh fruit and juiced fruit from fresh vegetables are best. Starch and starchy food: breads, grains and cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, avoid bleached or blanched breads and flour and always go for wholegrain options. Eat foods with lots of protein: lean meats, seafood, eggs, pulses, legumes, beans (again, organic if it’s available for eggs, pulses, legumes and beans). Eat a fair amount of dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt to make sure you get sufficient calcium.

Dairy food made from unpasteurized milk may contain listeria which could harm your baby and lead to miscarriage. It’s a harmful bacteria detrimental to pregnancy contained in unpasteurized dairy products. Pates, raw or undercooked meat or eggs are also potential sources of bacteria that can harm your unborn baby. Make sure everything you consume is well-cooked. It may be a wise idea to avoid raw seafood like sushi as well.

As for other seafood-any sea fish may contain unsafe levels of naturally occurring mercury, so it’s wise to avoid these during pregnancy.

Liver and liver products (e.g. pates, liver sausage, etc.) should be avoided because the possibility exists of them containing large amounts of vitamin A in the form of retinol. Too much retinol could be harmful to your developing baby.

Alcohol during pregnancy is a big “no-no” and should be avoided entirely as well as smoking and being around people who smoke.

Caffeine consumption should be no more than 200mg a day (2 cups of coffee, 4 cups of tea or less)

Remember, when you’re pregnant eating healthy foods becomes top priority for you and your baby. Having a baby is a lot of extra strain on your body. You need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid than ever before. You also need more calories. On the other hand, eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much, but the foods you eat must be the main source of nutrients for your baby. Sensible, balanced meals are best.

You should gain weight gradually during pregnancy, not all at once, and most weight should be gained in the last trimester. The following growth rate is often recommended by doctors:

2 to 4 pounds total weight gain during the first trimester

3 to 4 pounds each month during the second and third trimesters

300 calories a day more during at least the last six months of pregnancy is what most women need compared to their caloric intake before pregnancy. Remember, the quality of calories you take in is more important than the amount. A growing baby needs healthy foods with a lot of nutrients, so avoid junk foods and foods with a lot of sugar, fat and other empty calories.

Stan P. Wright

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