Archive for the 'Weight Loss Tips' Category

The Best Way To Exercise….

September 21, 2007

imagese.jpgExercise as we all know has all the benefits to promote and maintain health.  Several guidelines have come up based solely on experience rather than observed studies.  Recently, a new study looked at and concluded thast there indeed is  a significant impact and benefit of both aerobics and resistance training among diabetic subjects as published in the Annals of Internal Mediicne , Sept issue.

However, when the general issue of exercise is discussed… the main question has been… what’s the best way to exercise? How long and how much activites are needed to protect oneself from illness.

Recently the American Heart Association published their guidleines  in association with the American Society of Sports Medicine. Through these guidelines, we can have a better understanding with regard to the question of how to exercise and how to do it best.


  • all healthy adults aged 18 to 65 years need moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days each week or
  • vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on three days each week.
  • Combining these exercises is also acceptable

What To Exercise:

  • walking briskly or
  • performing an activity that noticeably accelerates the heart rate for 30 minutes twice during the week
  • jogging for 20 minutes, or
  • performing any activity that causes rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate on two other days.
  • moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercises are complementary to daily living
  • Muscle-strengthening activities are advised 
  • Shorts bouts of activity — 10 minutes or more — can be combined to meet the 30-minute daily goal. 


We know exercise works.  We know its almost always a doctor’s advise with regard to controlling weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol and blood sugar.  It is an important lifestyle change that each individual should pursue.  It is really easier said than done BUT the new guidelines have set up a compormise.  Short bouts of exercise is better than none and combining the total bouts of exercise as long as they accumulate to 30 minutes should do the trick in helping us build a healthy lifestyle.

There you go….  New Rules on an Old Issue.

Exericise Is Still The Best Prevention….

Just A Plate A Meal…To Make You Lose Weight

August 27, 2007

I’ve been counseling my patients with regard to a meal that they should only eat the foods that can fit in a plate and that’s it! I have written about it here in my website: The Will Power To Stop the Urge To Eat suggesting that the food should consist of rice, 2 slices of meat, 2 cups of vegetables and a fruit.  I was actually happy to know that a August 2007  article in the Harvard Health Letter recommends the same concept:


Balance your plate

Balance Your Plate

A balanced plate helps you reduce your total calories, reduce the saturated fat and carbohydrates in your diet, and increase heart-healthy nutrients like antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber.

It’s also important to make sure you’re getting all the important nutrients your body needs. Here’s an easy way to see if you’re eating a well-balanced meal. As you prepare or serve your food, think of a three-section plate.

In the big section (half of the plate), serve yourself two different vegetables or a vegetable and a fruit. In one of the two smaller sections (a quarter of the plate), put a serving of fish, poultry, beans (like black, pinto, or kidney beans), or another healthy protein. Fill the remaining section with a whole grain, such as brown rice or a whole-wheat roll, or another healthy carbohydrate.

As you divide your plate, keep in mind that vegetables are not all the same. Starchy vegetables-sweet potatoes, peas, corn, and winter squash-have about triple the amount of calories and carbohydrates as nonstarchy vegetables. So reserve the vegetable section for the likes of broccoli, leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, and green beans. And put starchy (but nutrient-filled) vegetables in the carbohydrate quarter.

A balanced plate helps you reduce your total calories, reduce the saturated fat and carbohydrates in your diet, and increase heart-healthy nutrients like antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber.


Simple and Balanced… Easy to remember.  It is the concept and remembering it that counts.  I have been sticking to this simple formula for a long time and I myself is doing this to limit and balance my meals.  Likewise this is one way to limit intake and therefore lose weight.

BUT on very important maneuver to do to make this diet a success is to avoid further visual stimulation by leaving the table after consuming the food in the plate!  Otherwise the temptation to eat more will overcome the discipline to eat the balanced meal prepared on the plate!  Guilty? 

A Balanced Diet In A Plate For Health!

The Many Benefits of Walking…

August 17, 2007

imagesedg.jpgIs walking good? Is it enough as an exercise? Or Do we need to do more intense exercise to achieve benefit?  I love to walk…it’s my form of physical activity every afternoon after work.  I have fun doing it walking around the house or around our subdivision.  You can enjoy the view while walking… you can do it anytime and anywhere and the most important of all is that…It is FREE!

Dr James Levine who is a colleague of mine at the Mayo Clinic wrote a nice editorial at the

Mayo Clinic Proceedings based on this news report from the Mayo Clinic newsroom:


“Getting out there and taking a walk is what it’s all about,” says James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., and a Mayo Clinic expert on obesity. “You don’t have to join a gym, you don’t have to check your pulse. You just have to switch off the TV, get off the sofa and go for a walk.”

The health benefit associated with walking is the subject of Dr. Levine’s editorial in the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Dr. Levine’s piece is entitled, “Exercise: A Walk in the Park?” and accompanies a Proceedings article that showcases the merits of walking as beneficial exercise.

The study, undertaken by physicians from the Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Matsumoto, Japan, determined that high-intensity interval walking may protect against high blood pressure and decreased muscle strength among older people.

Over five months, the Japanese researchers studied 246 adults who engaged in either no walking or moderate to high-intensity walking. The group who engaged in high-intensity walking experienced the most significant improvement in their health, the researchers found. In his editorial, Dr. Levine says the study lends credence to the notion that walking is a legitimate, worthy mode of exercise for all people. Dr. Levine says it’s a welcome message for his patients, who fight obesity and appreciate that a walk is one way to improve their health.


It is therefore a package deal…you walk…you exercise as well as keep your health in control. There is no way I will accept any patient of mine telling me he has no time to exercise because walking can be done anywhere and anytime!

Do it now and this very minute… after reading this article…turn off your computer or TV for a while and take a stroll.  In simple terms…Just move.  It is much better than staying put and be sedentary.

Life is too short…enjoy your surroundings and walk because once you get the dreaded complication of obesity and diabetes which is a stroke or heart failure…you will end up in bed for the rest of life anyway…by then…you will miss walking!

Take A Step Forward Now For Health!

The Will Power To Stop The Urge To Eat…

July 11, 2007

3582617281.jpgI follow this simple principle to following a strict dietary habit that I feel is the most rewarding in terms of curbing one’s desire to eat… and eat MORE!

When I see a patient in the clinic who is apparently Gaining Weight or with fluctuating blood sugars especially 2 hours after a meal, I know there is a problem of Discipline and Will Power. The Urge to Eat defeated his Desire to stop eating and as a result, the patient gains weight and has high blood sugar levels. 

Because of my family history of Diabetes with my two siblings having Prediabetes, my risk is high to have the same problem…so I follow what I preach to my patient.  Experience wise…I know the Will Power should defeat the Urge To eat!

It may not be easy but it’s a doable thing.  I eat my oat meal for breakfast at around 6 AM. I then have a half of a sandwich by 9 AM plus a cup of Kafe Latte which I place in my coffee heater and have small sips in between patients and finish it by 12N.  Dont wait before you feel hungry beofre having lunch- eat at 12N whether you’re hungry or not! Sometimes the Desire to eat more can be rather strong but if you have the Will Power then after finishing a plate of half a cup of rice, 1 slice of meat/fish and veggies you should STAND UP and leave the dining table and start working on something else.  If you continue to nurture that desire to eat then definitely you will eat more! Then the guilt feeling starts to sink in once you feel bloated and FULL! You therefore FAILED!

Then slowly, you will notice that you feel good because you were disciplined enough to know when to stop and fight that bad desire to make you sick!

Remember my simple meassage of Will Power… and if you carry this habit for life… then I guarantee you good health.  Remember also that everything that comes out in our body comes from what and how much we put inside our mouths! Out due to IN!

Have the Will Power To Fight The Urge To Eat For Health! 

Obesity Surgery Can Help Diabetics Live Better Lives….

July 9, 2007

imagesobesir.jpgThe prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes is fast rising with an apparent increase of 60 to 70% within a 10 year period.  The relationship between the two is closely linked which brought a new disease state called: Diabesity or Diabetes plus Obesity!  Two major epidemics in one… result into TROUBLE!  They have the same major problem of lifestyle: improper food intake and plain inactivity and the same kinds of complications long term.

One magic bullet to hit two birds with one stone is the procedure called: Laparoscopic Gastric Banding.  This is a procedure that we now routinely perform in our institution with remarkable success.  It is a less invasive procedure than gastric bypass and has written about its procedure in one post in this website.  In a study done recently, not only did the procedure resulted in weight loss but likewise resulted in changes that reduced the culprit of developing diabetes , hypertension and high cholesterol: the Insulin Resistance State.

Below is the summary of the results of the study from the American Physiological Society Homepage


   *      prior to surgery, there were expected gender differences in body composition measures. Men were heavier, had greater waist circumferences, and HbA1c( a measure of overall blood sugar control). Women had higher a percentage of body fat.

*      6months after surgery the overall group had a l5 percent reduction in body weight (275 vs. 233 pounds), a 14 percent reduction in BMI (43.4 vs. 37.3), a 13 percent reduction in body fat percentage (49 vs. 43 percent), a 13 percent reduction in waist circumference (53 vs. 46 inches) and a 10 percent reduction in hip circumference (57 vs. 51 inches).

*      six-months after surgery the insulin resistance was reduced 60 percent, according to a HOMA score. This was due primarily to a 50 percent reduction in fasting insulin concentrations with no change in fasting glucose concentrations.

*      there were a few gender differences in surgery-related changes. In women only, the waist-to-hip ratio tended to decrease (0.92 vs. 0.86), and the HbA1c tended to decrease (5.8 vs. 5.6 percent).  Diastolic blood pressured tended to decrease (81 vs. 75 mmHg) and CRP tended to decrease (8.3 vs. 4.7 mg/L).


The findings are really promising.  If we reduce the state of Insulin Resistance by making a patient lose weight then we unburden our pancreas from over producing insulin in response to our meals. Likewise we therefore reduce a patients risk from developing chronic complications that can cause disability.

The authors concluded that:” These improvements occurred despite the fact that patients were still clinically obese. Rapid improvements in insulin resistance after surgery will have a positive impact on long-term patient health and may delay or prevent progression to diabetes.”

Behavioral Therapy remains the cornerstone of losing weight as well as managing diabetes.  If one can lose weight without invasive procedures through discipline with proper food intake and physical activity…the BETTER! 

But for weight loss remedy beyond the weight loss achieved by behavioral modification that may have lasting long term outcomes especially with regard to risks for chronic complications like heart disease and stroke…then

LAP Banding Is The Way To Go!

For further readings on Lap Banding: The Magic Way To Lose Weight

Yoga and Your Weight…

June 13, 2007

2622133215.jpgExercise your body has been shown to help lead healthier lives.  But there may be some exercises which make a person more inclined to eat.  It is now known that aerobic exercises like running can trigger this response.  But a study conducted on yoga proved this to be a better option in helping patient maintain weight or be conscious of their body image resulting in weight loss.

But waht is Yoga?  According to Wikipedia: Yoga is a group of ancient spiritual; practices that originated form India and has become primarily associated with the practice of asanas  or postures.  You can see several yoga centers anywhere in the world but I have only come accross this article only now that looked at the benefit of yoga on weight.

It is said that “Yoga may make women feel better about their bodies, steering them away from eating disorders.”, according to a  new study  published in Psychology of Women Quarterly by affecting the mind-body relationship.  Likewise, yoga may actually help prevent and treat eating disorders.

In the study, the authors compared women who practiced yoga regularly with those who did other forms of exercise. Women who hadn’t done either form of exercise for at least two years were also included.  The result showed that yoga indeed can affect a persons attitude to self image and may in fact affect bad eating habits that may lead one to gain weight.

Here’s one tip for those desiring to exercise but is confused as to what regimen to use.  Is Yoga good for you?  Well based on this study… it has benefits.  Its a form of mind and body relaxation and an activity that may prove to work for you! 

Cheers To Yoga!

Tips To Eat Less

May 4, 2007

imagesl.jpgThe main obstacle in losing weight is FOOD. The availability of tasty high caloric foods  in a glance within minutes within our sight anytime and anywhere tempts us to eat, savor the taste and enjoy! That’s how man was born to live! To work hard and enjoy the fruits of ones labor by eating a satisfying meal after a hard days work.  Unfortunately… we enjoy the food so much and its overabundance has lead to a lot of suffering instead! 

BUT…by eating well and balancing the kinds of food and taking time to consider what to eat and how much during each meal should make a difference long term. 

I found this interesting  article on tips on how to eat small from the April issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter which I want to share: 

  • Select smaller bowls, plates and spoons for serving and eating. Research has shown that people eat more when food is served in or eaten from larger dishes.
  • Get rid of high-calorie leftovers; store them in inconvenient locations or in opaque containers. — Seeing a calorie-laden goody can trigger the desire to eat. Food in the basement pantry is less tempting than leftovers on the kitchen counter. Weight loss is easier when healthy, low-calorie foods are within sight and easy reach.
  • Buy small packages and serve or order small quantities. Larger packages or larger portions often lead people to eat more than they would if the serving or package were smaller. After serving appropriate portions, put leftovers away immediately or, at a minimum, keep the serving dishes off the dining table.

Actually, we know these tips exist but constant reminder may help us follow these tips if we are really serious in our quest for…

Better Health Through Healthy Weight!

Losing Weight By Managing HUNGER

April 30, 2007

imagesrt.jpgOf the many diet fads that are out today… probably the one that I believe has the best physiological basis is limiting intake by preventing hunger.  And of the different foods that we eat, we seldom select which of the many can make us feel full faster without necessarily putting us off balance in weight!

In one study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the lead author Dr Susan Holt established a satiety index. Taking similar portions of popular foods with the same amount of calories… then compare them with a slice of white bread, giving it a rank of 100.  The popular oatmeal ( which I eat every morning) has a high satiety level at 209.  The yummy doughnut on the other hand ranked 68. A similar calorie serving of boiled potatoes ranked highest at 323,  while French fries score just 116.

The above study shows that with the same amount of calories, eating a bowl of oatmeal already makes you feel full.  BUT you need to eat 3 to 4 doughnuts or 2 packs of french fries to reach your satiety level!  But how many calories have you accumulated?

Water on the other hnad play a very important role in achieving satiety BUT not the water we drink with our meals.  Talking about satiety or the feeling of fullness and satisfaction, unfortunately we dont feel that with water alone!  It’s the water or volume coming from the fruits and vegetables and soup that gives us the fullness faster.  THUS, the recommendation ( which I have been advising in the past) is to start ones meal with a broth based soup to help you achieve satiety faster at a lesser calorie load!

Managing hunger in between meals with snacks can also come a long way in helping you curb that urge to eat more when your hungry. Again high in volume from fruits like apple can help achieve that satiey faster with more fiber helping you achieve fullness longer!

The key to successful weight loss is based on what you feel you are comfortable with.  It has to be a discipline or habit change that you can sustain throughout your life…to be effective and lasting!

Eating What’s Right Does Not Mean Feeling Deprived!

Attacking Childhood Obesity: A Major Emergency!

April 27, 2007

imagesdfghj.jpgHere are some important facts I read in the book Food Facts by Dr Brownwell on childhood obesity.  If the facts wont make you wonder what the hell are we doing to the kids…am not sure what will make us wake up to take a closer look at the health consequences of obesity in children….

  • Prevalence of childhood obesity : Increased by 3 fold in US & England; 4 fold in Australia and Egypt
  • Overweight children who develop Diabetes may have heart attacks and need Bypass surgery before they reach age 30!!!!
  • In France; obese children had stiffer arteries and unhealthy changes in the arterial lining… important early findings before they develop stroke.
  • In Canada: obese children who develop Diabetes before the age 17 were experiencing blindness, amputation and kidney failure including premature death as young adults.

Remember… parent have the responsibilities to track the weights of their children.  We are responsible for what we feed our kids.  Simply put…research has shown that…. 

  • Parents diet and exercise patterns predict the child’s likelihood of being overweight giving rise to the term: OBESIGENIC Families…

 Look around the school grounds or the shopping malls… obese parents are strolling around or eating fried chicken with their obese kids inside a fast food resto. Obese parents beget obese kids…what we eat and do is what we show our kids and they then follow what we do even if they’re wrong or unhealthy!

The good news is according to Dr Brownwell, research shows that children can be persuaded to eat healthy foods and be able to differentiate between ” persuasion” and “information”:

  • Children who watched public service announcements focusing on nutrition chose more vegetables and fruits.
  • A Canadian study showed children ages 5 to 8 picked more candy than fruit following a candy commercial but showing fruit commercials encouraged children to eat more fruits.
  • A Stanford study showed reduction in TV time decreased the frequency of meals eaten while watching resulting in effective weight control.

The above studies therefore prove that as parents we have the say as to how to shape our kids future health! My kids rooms have no cable TV as a result less viewing time to watch Nickelodeon or Cartoon network and more play time and more activities. Now that its summer, I join them in swimming and do at least 10 lapses across my pool while playing and swimming leisurely in between. I likewise do swimming competition to make them do lapses while enjoying the fun on their faces by making them win! Walking together or biking should do the same in terms of bonding and increasing activity.

Lets take care of our kids.  Obesity among our kids is now becoming a medical emergency…let’s all act together before this becomes a global pandemic!

Loving Our Kids Does Not Mean French Fries As Treats!

A Way To Permanently Remain THIN

April 25, 2007

3582380440.jpgHave you experienced being envious to a friend who eats but never gets fat?  It may really be in the genes but now a new study can make this a reality if the problem is resolved early in life.  We know that by the time we drink milk… we see babies getting bigger and bigger because of the saturated fat and the high sugar content in full cream milk.  Once the habit of over feeding is in place… then the difficulty in losing the accumulated fat results when we reach adulthood.  Needless to say, the parents or the grandparents just want the babies to look fat so they can look CUTE!

29037632431.jpgIn a recent article published in the January 2007 issue of the American Journal of Physiology, incorporating LEPTIN in a baby formula resulted in subjects remaining slim with lesser chances of developing obesity related illnesses like diabetes even on a high fat meal.

Leptin, a breakthrough hormone in the field of obesity is the fat hormone that turns off hunger in the brain.  In the study, the rat subject fed with formula supplemented with leptin, remained slim even if they were fed with high fat diet!  SOUNDS GREAT! 

 This is the first study that looks so promising that incorporating leptin in a meal may hopefully mean the end to our quest to combat obesity!  It is still far from reality but again this can lead to more studies to exploit the finding and hopefully be funded to become what we hope to be reality!

The studies therefore help us understand that the effect of leptin in a human body may start early in life even before we are born.  In fact, feeding the hormone to pregnant rats resulted in a  animals born to remain lean even when fed a high fat diet, compared to animals born of untreated mothers suggesting the impact of leptin in the developing fetus!  The authors believe that “the difference boils down to energy expenditure. such that the offspring of leptin-treated mothers burn up more energy.”

More good news to us who love food and want to remain thin! The thought of just putting a pinch of leptin to a pound of steak of a pan of pizza seems Magic!

BUT…definitely for now… the recommendation remains: 

…eat the right food….

…..exercise daily and live positively…

Stay Healthy To Be Wealthy!

The Magic Way To Lose Weight….

April 23, 2007

3755688817.jpgThe rising obesity epidemic and the need for better and safer drugs for weight loss, has made a lot of doctors and patients in need for better alternatives.  As a result, you hear a lot of patients going after alternative forms of therapy and herbal preparations devoid of any scientific proofs and opt to try medications advertised on TV with image models like Judy Ann Santos claiming weight loss in front of all of us!

The truth of the matter is… weight loss depends solely on YOU!  One’s discipline to achieve the goal of weight loss depends solely on ones will to do it and achieve that goal.  There is no easy way out or a magic pill that will allow us to eat and yet lose weight! PERIOD! I have made some recommendations in this website that are deemed safe, effective and practical.  If you are willing to follow the rules of the game, then you should make it big time in weight loss. Am sure we all know how to lose weight BUT we just cant bring ourselves to cut the meat and the fat, or to bring ourselves outside to run or walk because the comfort of the bed and TV is so tempting match it with chips and soda! HOLA…. more fat is welcome and less energy is utilized!

The magic formula for the year 2007 if you want to lose weight big time is SURGERY!  There’s no other MAGIC way at the present time.  The only one procedure I will recommend to my patients at the present time if they are deemed candidates to it is the so called LAP BAnd.  It is now the widely accepted procedure in the US and in our country.  But IS IT SAFE?

4119225528.jpgA small pouch in the upper part of the stomach is created with a controlled and adjustable stoma, without stapling, thus limiting food intake.  A gastric band device is introduced through tiny (1cm) incisions laparoscopically without making a big cut in the abdomen and is placed around the upper part of the stomach.  The whole procedure can be done in 30 minutes to 1 hour and the band that is fitted in the stomach and be inflated or deflated reversibly.  Within 48 hours…you are discharged from the hospital.

In a recent article published in March 2007, Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases,

a 5-year study of the safety of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) was compared to laparoscopic Roux-en Y gastric bypass (LRYGB), two bariatric surgical procedures performed in the United States for the treatment of morbid obesity. All patients undergoing LAGB received the LAP-BAND(R) System, which is the only FDA-approved adjustable implant device for individualized weight loss. found it to have a significantly fewer complications, shorter operative times, and shorter hospital stays when compared with LRYGB….

In that study the patients who were advised surgery were categorized a morbidly with either a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more or a lower BMI of 35 or more with at least one obesity-related co-morbidity, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, or hypertension. 

Weight loss from these procedure can be dramatic.  But again, you should be ready enough to stop eating once you feel full.  Since your stomach is now literally small… you feel full easily and therefore, the WANT to eat should take a back seat and the NEED to stop eating because your ” small” stomach is now full to its capacity should supersede the WANT!

A Magic Pill definitely is better…but there is still NONE available… and definitely NOT the ones advertised on TV! The ads just take advantage of the people’s despair to lose weight fast!

I still and will continuously recommend and promote the safest way to lose weight … through discipline, determination and will to eat what is right and what is healthy!

Eat Right and Bright To Stay Light!

Read My Other Related Posts:

The Practice of Eating Low Fat ….

April 7, 2007

This week since Thursday has been a long holiday in our country as we celebrate the Holy Week in commemoration of the Death and Suffering of Jesus Christ.  As such… it is both discipline and our catholic practice to adhere to sacrifices by not eating meat and not to do things you like best like…blogging:). 

This practice is really good since you only are allowed: Fish and other seafood and vegetables! This is what I call the practice of losing weight that’s really low fat: fresh food mainly Fresh fish, Water and water to fill you up and veggies for fiber and lasting satiety!

Unfortunately though, by eating low fat does not allow one to eat as much as we want.  The cartoon below sourced from Crazy Laughs Website illustrates the point I want to make!


I just hope everybody after this week will continue to practice the way of healthy eating and onward to a healthier way of life!  Thanks to Holy Week!

Remember… Fresh Fish…Veggies and Plenty of Water!

The Way To Lose Weight: Japanese Style!

March 19, 2007

3197292687.jpgMy wife and I just had a 4 day cultural sight seeing visit to Kyoto, Nara then Osaka.  I consider this trip one of the best I had so far.  (I will soon post these sights in my travelogue blog so try checking it out what these historic sights of Japan can offer.) But one thing that really bothered me in this trip is that...There’s no DIET COKE in Japan!

If you try watching the Japanese in the streets, except for the Sumo wrestlers, they are all slim! I havent seen a single japanese whom I consider obese or overweight.  It must be their diet and their way of living and lifestyle.

This trip of ours was purely cultural.  We stayed in a Ryokan house where we slept in the floor.  Fortunately we had our own private bath but otherwise it would have been in a public bath where clothes are a NO NO!  2011165386.jpgWe were then entertained by true Geishas in Gion district and had a chance to be served food by them. We ate traditional japanese food from breakfast till dinner.  And this is where you will realize that traditional japanese servings are really small!

Kaiseki- ryori which is Japan’s artistic and seasonal way of serving food that uses the freshest ingredients of the season…says it all. It was like an eleven course meal but every dish was artistically presented in small servings that by the time you reach the fifth serving you are already full. 

The concept of losing weight by eating little and slowly may have come from this tradition.  Since the foods are served in small quantities then you have the liberty to really taste each bite and enjoy the food!  We were not feeling deprived but in fact it was the opposite… we ate in small servings but boy… we were literally satisfied!

Even in their buffet … you are offered a small plate.  Not the usual plate we have in our own homes. And the chioces are filled with seaweeds, raw fish and other seafoods.  What’s interesting though is the small serving sizes they offer including the desert.  The fruits are offered to you only 1 slice of each including their yummy chocolate cake… a small really small slice that is only enough for one bite!

Now I know why when you order Diet Coke?…. you are faced with a blank stare! It’s an unknown entity in Kyoto! 

Let’s all learn from the Japanese way of eating

  • eat in small portions 
  • use small serving plates and
  • eat slow to allow some time to taste each dish before another one is served!

It’s the our discipline and lifestyle that matters! 

Foods To Eat If You Are a Diabetic: Part 2- A Simple Meal Plan To Also Lose Weight

March 12, 2007

3678081641.jpgI often find a lot of my patients having second thoughts when they see a meal plan… and when you ask them the next visit… it’s almost totally ignored.  The trick that often works is to simplify a regimen whether you are talking about a diabetic meal plan or for weight loss.  Choices should be better with more options to be free to choose and change.

When I see a diabetic patient or any patient that I deemed prediabetetic or at risk to become one become he or she is obese, than I usually challenge them to make a simple meal plan that they can follow. 

MY simple rules are:

  • Stop once you fell full! 

  • Eat at a specific time and eat even if you’re not hungry. The main reason we recommend eating in between for snacks is so that you wont feel hungry before lunch or dinner then as a result you are more prepared to be disciplined enough to eat the right kind and the right amount.

  • Make sure to eat breakfast and dont attempt to lose weight by eating one meal a day only!  This attempt will backfire and make you even more obese.

  • Use a small plate and fill it up with rice, meat or fish, vegetables and a fruit. Once you have finished the meal…then stop because for sure you are already full!  Don’t grab for something else because it’s obviously out of the urge to eat more.  Stand up and leave the dining table AT ONCE!

  • Make sure to eat snacks in between to prevent you from becoming hungry in between.

  • If you still feel hungry after the meal, grab for more vegetables or additional half of an apple.

  • Drink lots of water before each meal and afterwards

  • EAT SLOWLY… enjoy the taste of each bite!

  • It is usually the first and the last bite that we can remember.  So if you want to eat chocolate: eat 1 bite before the start of the meal…then eat a bite of the cake after the meal!  Is this a compromise or what!

  • Some free foods ( with less than 5 gms of carb)that you can enjoy without adding much calories include: Bouillon or broth, sugar free 3 in 1 Coffee or tea, Diet soft drinks,  Sugar-free hard candy or Jell-O.  But make sure you spread out free foods throughout the day and not eat them in one sitting.

  • Obviously however…I want my patients to refrain from sugary beverages like ice tea, juices and soda drinks.

There you go… I havent specified what and how much to eat or how many grams or ounces of meat etc.  What’s important is: you have a cup of rice, a serving or two of meat ( lean preferably or even white meat), 2 cups of vegetables and a fruit!  It’s your choice of what kind!

If you dont follow a meal plan because it’s complicated enough…hope you can remember my simple rules! It’s may not be perfect or ideal but better than none … and works for me!


Rules Need To Be Simple To Be Followed….

Read My Other Related Posts:

Can A High Fiber Cereal Breakfast Help You Lose Weight?

March 10, 2007

3458544841.jpgExercise alone is not enough for one to lose weight.  I hear many complaints from patients that they’ve been playing badminton at least 1 hour on most days of the week and yet they havent lost weight.  Why?  Because after their game, it’s EATING time!  And this is where calories accumulate more than the calories burned during the exercise.  So in general: weight loss equates to cutting down of high dense calorie foods to lose weight then be more active to maintain that weight!

One important finding that can help us lose weight is to incorporate high fiber foods to our diet.  This one study recently published in the September 2006 issue of the Journal of American Dietetic Association showed that incorporation of a high fiber cereal to the daily meal resulted in more weight loss than in the group who only cut down their calories.

The other advantage of adding cereals to the meal plan is that… while cutting out calories or certain foods can result in some nutrients being from the diet, the addition of high fiber cereal can avoid such loses.

The study involved comparing three weight-loss strategies: exercise only; exercise plus a reduced-calorie diet that emphasized whole-grain cereals; and exercise plus a low-cal diet that included no cereals. 

Those in the “cereal” group were given packets of whole-grain breakfast cereal.  The dieters lost roughly 12 pounds. What was intersting is that, the cereal group lost weight by also cutting down on saturated fat while increasing their intake of fiber, magnesium and Vitamin B-6.

Breakfast cereal with milk should not be bad after all because not only  is it high in fiber but also you  lose weight with it. 

You therefore get the best of both worlds:

 The benefits of High Fiber Diet and The benefits of Eating Breakfast!

Plan To Be Healthy… Start Losing The Excess!

The Waist Twisting Disc: Another Gadget to Help Lose Weight

February 27, 2007

imagesdfghfgh.jpgI just discovered this gadget given to me by a pharmaceutical company which has been sitting on my bathroom floor together with my bathroom scale.  It’s actually an innocent looking small round disc shaped exercise gadget that can make you move in one place anywhere anytime.

This device is an innovative and a safe home fitness device that is made of a strong plastic platform that “allows you to produce an intensive rotating movement when standing on it.”  It allows you to move sideways without stressing your back.  It is small but actually durable enough to withstand our weight and still allows our whole body to move sideways freely. 

It is suited for individuals who are lazy enough to change to a sports attire and drive to a gym.  Great for people who wants a home fitness equipment that can give one a great aerobic exercise program.   And since it is small and light weight, it can be carried inside a backpack and used anywhere, anytime!

I am now a great fan of this gadget.  I started using it during one rainy day and just missed my daily walking regimen.  So as not to give an excuse to not doing my routine, I grabbed my iPod, stepped on the disc and started twisting.  And to my amazement I enjoyed it without having to change my boxer shorts and “kamiseta”.   And to think, I was able to exercise even if it was raining outside.

I thought of writing about it after I’ve been doing this regimen for quite sometime.  I have to make sure it serves its purpose without giving me the muscle aches from the twisting that you have to do.  I do few twists in the morning with my sit-ups before I take a bath then my full routine in the afternoon alternating it with my walking exercise and swimming.  Again… no more excuses that it is raining or the usual excuse “that my knees hurt when I walk”….

imagesas.jpgHere’s One small lightweight gadget that I strongly recommend….

It can help anyone keep fit and healthy…

 and likewise …

help one lose weight while having fun…

The Waist Twisting Disc… Grab One For Health! 

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The Best Time To Do Your Exercise

February 24, 2007

ty.jpgIve been asked this question several times already.  Am not sure if there is a right or wrong answer to it.  What I know is there should be no excuse NOT to exercise because we own our time and therefore we can always incorporate a time to do physical activity anywhere and anytime we deemed it best.  Just like scheduling a meeting with a partner to discuss business prospects, we always allow time to do it in our day to day activity.  So why not put the same scheme with regard to exercise?  Well… just excuses not to do things we hate to do!

Just came from Butuan to give a lecture to my fellow doctors in the Caraga region.  I have to fly to Manila first then to Butuan… it’s pretty tiring but after seeing the doctors appreciate what you have sacrificed for them to educate them further in their quest for further education… it was really worth it!  But since the next day flight out of Butuan was still at 12:30 PM, I had idle times to do things I want to do.  I did not bring my shorts so I cant swim.  I dont have my rubber shoes so I cant walk or run outside.  But I brought my iPod… so with my boxer shorts and sleeveless shirt… I was off to my exercise regimen inside my room!  My point is… you can be physically active ANYTIME, ANYWHERE as long as you have the WILL to do it!

So guys… dont give excuses.  We all know the benefits of being active but we always give excuses not to do it because we’re busy and the lack of time!  Busy earning money enough to spend it all when we get sick! 

So…The Best Time To Do Exercise? ANYTIME!

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Can Coffee Help Prevent Diabetes?

February 19, 2007


On Why I Drink Coffee Everyday…… 

I start seeing patients and doing my thyroid biopsy procedures at 7:00AM.  I do this so I can finish my work early and be home at 3:00PM.  By doing so, I have more time to do other things… for myself… like exercise, doing repairs in the house and other stuff like banks, etc. and the most important part…to have time with my kids!

To keep me active throughout the day, I usually have my coffee beside me. I like caffee latte but with skim milk rather than full cream milk.  No added cream and other fancy frostings because they add up the calories in your coffee.   Likewise I use it to trick my body and tummy that I am putting something in it to keep it from growling for food! As a result  it keeps me from being hungry in between meals.  Another trick that I use to maintain my weight! To my luck, a recent study showed that indeed coffee can help reduce one’s weight.

But what became more interesting with coffee are the studies showing that coffee intake can help lower ones risk to develop diabetes.  This should be GREAT!  You see, my mother is a diabetic, I have 2 siblings who are now prediabetics… so the risk is high for me to become one!  Therefore I follow my own recommendation to everyone: I have to keep fit by making sure I take care of what I eat and be physically active.  The beneficial effect of coffee on ones risk to develop diabetes is a PLUS!  Meaning I am not drinking coffee to prevent diabetes but since I enjoy it every morning, the results of several studies that it can prevent diabetes is an extra benefit to me. 

  • Increased coffee consumption appears to be associated with a decreasing risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to findings of a prospective study of Finnish men and women published in JAMA 2004;291:1213-1219
  • The recent ARIC Study involving 12,000 individuals, showed a significant reduction in the risk of developing diabetes with coffee consumption published in American Journal of Epidimeology in Sept of 2006.
  • The Harvard study based on data collected from >80,0oo female nurses published in Diabetes Care in 2006 showed a 50% reduction in the risk of developing diabetes…  The same institution in their earlier study likewise showed that Men who drink six or more cups of coffee a day were less than half as likely to develop diabetes compared with nondrinkers. While drinking four to six cups helps cut their risk cut by 29%
  • In a recent prospective study among 28,000 postmenopausal published in Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006, coffee consumption was associated with >20% reduction in risk to develop diabetes.

Dr Hu of Harvard Medical School did a systematic review of all proofs regarding coffee and his conclusion was:

Habitual consumption of coffee indeed can lower ones risk for developing diabetes.  And the reduction can be as much as 35% for inidividual taking more than 6 cups a day.

There you go… now you know why I have a cup of coffee on my table while seeing my patients.  And why I prefer drinking coffee than any other beverage: less calories, filling and lessens my chance to become a diabetic!

Another Good News For Coffee Lovers!

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Meal Replacement : Another Way To Lose Weight…

February 9, 2007

37907386321.jpgOne easy way to convince patient in strategies to lose weight is meal replacement.  We have heard of Slim fast and locally Herbalife.  Both strategies use meal replacements in a form of low calorie drinks.

Theoritically, it is an acceptable option because you are not deprived of a meal.  The shakes are calculated to give you enough calories for the day but not too much to store these calories as fat.  The problem with these products is the expense associated with buying them because of networking and marketing costs.

Here’s a simple way to do just the same with similar results that’s easy on your pocket.  Meal replacement shakes are available in the market if you just have the time to look for them.  Being an endocrinologist, I usually go for the calculation of 40% of the total calories from fat but should be predominantly monounstaurated with around only 40% of calories from carbohydrate.  This to avoid a sudden surge of sugar after a meal.

I usually advise my patients to replace their morning meals and evening meals with a meal replacement shake.  My choice for this is the product of Nestle called Nutren For Diabetes.  It stands out over the rest because of its whey protein content.   As we know, whey protein contains high levels of both essential and non-essential amini acids, and is low in fat content ideal for my diabetic patients.  The shake can be combined with a fruit ideally an apple, and a pear.  I usually avoid fruits with high glycemic load like banana or mango.

Patient can eat a regular meal for lunch. I also advise them to eat the Nutren Balance cereal bar as mid morning and mid afternoon snacks.  This oatmeal based cereal bar is also calculated with enough calories to avoid weight gain but has enough fiber bulk to delay hunger.

The whole day should end with plenty of water, one multivitamin per day and of course for weight maintenance, daily exercise like walking.

Make sure though you feedback me if this strategy worked for you….

Meal Replacement: Another Alternative to A Healthy Weight Loss Strategy!

Do Read My Other Weight Loss Related Tips:

Weight Loss Surgery: Is It For You?

January 27, 2007

2459156720.jpgIn one recent survey, weight loss surgery is now increasing as a preferred way of losing weight in the US especially among baby boomers.  In a report by  Zhao published in Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief#23, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in January 2007, “more Americans are turning to weight loss surgery and that an increasing number of younger people are undergoing these procedures.” 

In my practice nowadays, our center is also getting more patients requesting for weight loss surgical procedures.  Cebu Doctor’s University Hospital has the required facilities to do the procedure.  But who are candidates of these procedures?

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Do you have a BMI of 40 or more?
  • Are you suffering from mechanical problems due to obesity like arthritis or difficulty getting employment because of your weight affecting your work?
  • Are you suffering form obesity related medical complications like diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea or heart disease?
  • Have you tried unsuccessfully other non invasive techniques of losing weight especially behavioral therapy?
  • Are you well informed that the procedure may entail some risks?
  • Are you really determined to lose weight and improve your health and has thought about it for quite sometime?
  • Are you ready to change you way of life and some habits after the operation?
  • Do you know that you may need and be committed to life-long medical follow-up?

The most difficult part in weight loss surgery is if a patient does it solely for cosmetic reasons and not health and hasn’t focused enough to know the difference.   For me… I always tell my patient that…

 “To be Successful Requires More Than Want But NEED!… The need to promote, preserve and enjoy health!” 

It is also very important that the patient needs to understand that there is a difference between: “I want to eat but I cant! “and “I don’t want to eat because I’m full!”  Once you have undergone gastric weight loss procedures like gastric banding… you’re desire to eat remains but you cant because you feel full easily.  This is where discipline to stop eating or face the risk of vomiting complications come in!  I always tell my patients: it’s like having the desire but you cant because you are impotent.  If you are not ready to face this challenge then the procedure is not for you!

 If you have answers to each question and we deemed you as a candidate for surgery then off you go…..

Weight Loss Surgery: Another Option For Health!

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