Tag Archives: snacks

Drunk Munchies are Real! 3 Ways to Combat the Morning After Bloat

drunk munchies

You’re trying to lose weight, but you still deserve a social life, so you start your night out with a plan — because fail to plan, plan to fail, right? You’ll have a low calorie cocktail or two, you’ll drink lots of water in between, and you’ll steer clear of those the appetizers you know your friends will order.

But before you know it, you’re having a great time and that plan goes right out the window. While your night is amazing, the next morning: not so much. You wake up feeling bloated, sick and remorseful. What the heck happened?

Drunk munchies are real. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people eat more calories and make unhealthier food decisions on days that they drink. Read: fried, greasy foods consumed well after dinner time.

It makes sense because, as we all know, alcohol lowers your inhibitions. We’ve all woken up thinking, “why did I do/say/eat/text that?”. It’s because alcohol causes us to focus on immediate gratification (yummy, fatty food) rather than long term goals (yummy, flat tummy). (more…)

Travel Tips from Eli Sapharti, Author of “From Fat Boy to Fit Man”

eli sapharti

After conquering obesity, losing over 100 lbs, and getting in the best shape of my life, I have learned that when I am taken out of my regular daily routine and environment I can easily fall prey to old eating habits. One of the most challenging situations for me has been while traveling.

This reminds me of a particular airplane trip that I took a few years ago. One that I would soon like to forget if it weren’t for the lessons that I learned.

As I prepared to leave on a three-day business trip, I made sure I had everything I needed. Or so I thought. I had the right clothing, toothbrush, shaving blades, deodorant, and all the necessary toiletries. (I even packed extra undies.) What I didn’t prepare for were my meals that I was so used to  having ready during my regular weekly routine at home.

My first challenge was when my flight was delayed and I found myself at the airport for an unexpected extra 2 hours. I was starving. (Well, not literally, but I WAS very hungry.) Since I didn’t want to sit at a restaurant and order grilled chicken and veggies (which would have been the best choice), I grabbed what I THOUGHT was the next best choice. A prepackaged turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. Healthy, right? WRONG! I later learned that this sandwich had more fat, more sugar and more carbs than if I had ordered a burger a a sit down restaurant. Big oops.

My next challenge was while in the air.  I don’t know about you, but I get especially hungry while traveling. Perhaps its not “real” hunger, but it seems these instances awakens my inner “snack monster”. So, I snacked. The problem was that the only snacks available were potato chips, cookies, or honey roasted peanuts. So of course I chose the peanuts—they were obviously the best option, right? Probably, but the issue was that one little bag (ok FOUR little bags) of peanuts didn’t satisfy me. So since eating FIVE bags of peanuts would have been excessive, I had a bag of chips instead. After all that saltiness I got a major sweet craving, which made me reach for a bag of chocolate chip cookies! Talk about a binge!

Luckily, after this binge I fell asleep and when I woke up, we were ready to land. Thank goodness for that or I may have been charged an extra fee for excessive snacking on-board!

The good thing about this trip was that it forced me to think and prepare before embarking on any trip, whether on a plane, a road trip with the kids, or even my honeymoon cruise which I cannot wait to go on!

Here are some rules I learned from this experience, which you too can use to avoid a travel binge:

1) Calculate how many hours you will be traveling and pack adequate meals for that time frame. For instance, pack a healthy sandwich or two that you can take with you on a plane, train, or automobile. By eating real meals you’ll reduce your in-between meal cravings. (more…)

Insider Tips: A Nutritionist Shares 7 Guilt-Free Ways to Cheat!

Chocolate cake 

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

I generally practice what I preach: My diet is high in fruits and vegetables, pretty much all my grains are whole, fish is my primary high-protein food… you get the picture. Fortunately, I like these healthy foods, so none of this is a sacrifice, but I also like some very fattening and/or unhealthy foods—and I’m not willing to give them up.

How can you have your cake and stay trim, too? Here’s how I do it. Feel free to use these tricks or tweak them so that you can come up with your own creative ways to enjoy less-than-stellar fare without packing on pounds.

Just remember one ground rule: Your diet should be nutritious and you should stick to at a calorie level that keeps you at a healthy weight. (Of course, getting regular exercise helps a lot.) Once you’ve nailed that—at least most of the time—you should be able to use my indulging tips!

  • Don’t be in calorie denial. Know just how many calories are in your favorite treats, or in that extra slice of pepperoni pizza, or whatever it is you’re indulging in. (more…)

70 More Calories in Baked Cheetos Than Crunchy and More Junk Food Hiding Behind Health Halos

I’ve often joked that the only reason baked chips are listed as healthier than their traditional counterparts is because you get less product per bag. Apparently, my jokes weren’t too far from the truth.

cheetos

We’ve discovered that Baked Cheetos in particular actually have 70 more calories than their crunchy counterparts. It’s an excellent example of how “positive” branding can make a consumer assume a product is healthy, even when it isn’t.

This is what’s known as a health halo. It’s the perception that one thing is healthy or has healthy qualities because something with similar qualities is healthy. Using the Cheetos example; we know baked foods are usually healthier than fried foods, so when consumers see the word “baked” on a label, they assume the product is better for them.

Health halos aren’t limited to Cheetos. You don’t have to search the grocery shelves too hard to find other foods getting more glory than they deserve. (more…)

Healthy Surprise Delivers a Bounty of Vegan Snacks Each Month

Healthy Surprise is a company that ships out gluten-free, vegan, and raw snacks to the door steps of their subscribers. Founder Joe Winke stumbled upon the idea of sending healthy snacks to people after a friend sent him healthy food in the mail for his birthday. Who knew that making an assortment of healthy snacks and putting them in boxes would be a hit?

The snacks range from nuts to granola bars and cookies. You can find them in larger grocery stores or at your local health food store, and certainly online.

Joe and other “snackologists” try all of the snack items before they are placed in the boxes. Since people are particularly fond of kale, Healthy Surprise tries to send kale snacks every month in the boxes, but the rotation of different snack items changes monthly because they want subscribers to receive a healthy surprise each month! (more…)

Dr. Oz Will Discuss the New Science Behind “Eat More, Weigh Less”

Dr. Oz will have all of our attention on this Friday’s episode of The Dr. Oz Show. He’s claiming that there are ways to eat more and weigh less. This is the premise for his upcoming “Snack Attack” episode.

Dr. Oz will be discussing new science that proves snacking on the right foods at the right time can turn a body into a fat burning machine. The episode will be teaching viewers what and when to eat. Dr. Oz will be displaying foods that target specific problems. One high protein snack is being called the “belly blasting tri-fecta.” He’ll also be giving food alternatives to curb salt cravings and kill a sweet tooth. Perhaps the most enticing snack Dr. Oz will discuss is one that he says will keep one full for two and a half hours. In addition to all these snacks, many more simple and quick snacks will be announced.

Gail Simmons will also be joining the show on Friday. Simmons is a trained culinary expert, a food writer, and a television personality. Simmons is a regular judge on Top Chef and is the host of Top Chef: Just Desserts. Simmons’ new book, Talking with My Mouth Full, was just recently released. The memoir is said to trace Simmons’ career, how she started as a young chef and became a professional eater. Hopefully the pro will weigh in on the snack menu as well.

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5 Factor Diet Offers New Snack Line

5-factor snack bars and chipsThe 5-Factor Diet is now offering snack bars and chips, which are available online to everyone, regardless of enrollment in the diet program. The 5-Factor Diet calls for two snacks per day, in addition to three meals.

The 5-Factor snacks are high in protein and fiber, which promotes fullness. The baked chips contain 210-220 calories and are made from lentils, soy beans and garbanzo beans. There are three flavors: Sea Salted, Barbecue and Sour Cream and Onion. “It doesn’t feel like you’re eating something healthy,” says Harley Pasternak, the creator of 5-Factor, on his site.

The bars contain 190 calories, and come in Very Berry, Peanut Butter Crisp and Apple Cinnamon flavors. They contain 12 grams of protein, nine grams of sugar and five grams of fiber. For a previous story, I asked Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, author of Nutrition At Your Fingertips about her guide lines for snack bars. Her advice is to “look for one that has no more than 100-150 calories, and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (preferably less), two grams of saturated fat, no trans fats, and at least three grams of fiber.” So, although these bars have more calories than she suggests would be ideal, they do contain considerably more protein.

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Gluten Free Treats for Classroom Halloween Parties

October brings about the official start of holiday parties. For parents of school aged children, this season will last all the way until February. It’s a fun and exciting time for kids. It can also be a frustrating time for a child with a gluten allergy.

The season kicks off with Halloween and fall classroom parties. Whether you’re the parent of a child with gluten allergies or needing to be conscience of other children, there are several easy and fun treats you can prepare.

While there are many brands of gluten free flours to make particular baked goods, this list is comprised of items that are naturally gluten free and available at all stores. When it’s understood how easy gluten free cooking is, it’s even simpler to make the extra effort to accommodate.

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South Park Creators Bring Cheesy Poofs to Walmart

Matt Stone and Trey Parker have created some of the most cutting edge satire and cultural lampooning in TV history. Are they setting themselves up to be goofed on themselves? The creators of South Park have struck up a deal with Frito-Lay to manufacture 1.5 million packages of their famous Cheesy Poofs, Cartman’s favorite junk food snack. It’s set to appear in Walmart in August.

For a couple of guys who do such a good job of poking fun at just about everything in our society, it’s hard to imagine they don’t see the irony in contributing to one of the biggest plights in modern history: childhood obesity. Usually you would think they would be on the side of goofing on our society’s dietary problems and addictions to processed foods, however distasteful or offensive they may be. (more…)

Fatty Foods Trigger Marijuana-Like Experience

I have long thought in my own nonscientific way that certain foods aren’t a whole lot different than illicit drugs. In fact, I wrote about a study from last year that likened food cravings to that of a drug addict. Now here comes another study, this one concentrating on a natural chemical released by our bodies when we eat fatty foods.

A study out of the University of California found that our bodies release a natural chemical called endocannabinoids when we taste fatty foods. I’m as guilty as the next person. If I have a bag of kettle chips in my lap – particularly my favorite, salt and vinegar – you’ll have to pry them from my cold dead hands.

After the researchers fed rats various food items, they measured the production of endocannabinoids in each case. What they found was that fatty foods triggered the chemical, but not sugars or proteins. This makes total sense to me since, even though I can have a sweet tooth, I don’t find that I could sit and eat 20 Snickers bars. (more…)