Portion Distortion

How to Estimate Portion Sizes for a Low-Carb Diet


A low-carb diet relies on knowing portion sizes to help you eat the proper quantities of the proper foods.  Some people eat healthy food, but do not watch their portion size  and then wonder why they aren’t losing weight.  To determine the number of low-carb servings you’re eating, you need to estimate portion sizes. You may be surprised to see that normal portion sizes are a lot smaller than you think, as the comparisons in the following table show:

Measurement Size
1/2 cup About the size of a cupcake wrapper
1 cup About the size of a tight fist or a tennis ball
1 medium fruit About the size of a tight fist or tennis ball
1 medium potato About the size of a computer mouse
1 ounce cheese About the size of your thumb or a pair of dice
3 ounces meat About the size of the palm of a woman’s hand or a deck of cards
2 tablespoons reduced-fat salad dressing About the size of a Ping-Pong ball
1 teaspoon oil or butter About the size of the tip of a thumb


Remember:  6 proteins a day, spaced out 3-4 hours.  Two veggies (approx 1 cup each)  a day, two fruits (1/2 cup each) a day, 2 cups of lettuce at lunch and 2 cups at dinner.  I have a salad with veggies and protein for lunch and dinner and it fills me and it kills a lot of birds with one stone.


Obesity May Change Your Brain!

Obesity may change how the brain is hardwired, impairing the blood-brain barrier and affecting memory and learning skills, indicates a study from American University in Washington, D.C. According to the data, the changes in the blood-brain barrier may encourage overconsumption of fatty foods and those full of refined sugar, resulting in what researchers call “a vicious cycle.”  And at some point, the damage can be permanent.

“What I think is happening is a vicious cycle of obesity and cognitive decline,” Terry Davidson, director of American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, said in a statement. “The idea is, you eat the high fat/high calorie diet and it causes you to overeat because this inhibitory system is progressively getting fouled up. And unfortunately, this inhibitory system is also for remembering things and suppressing other kinds of thought interference.”
Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/obesity-brain-learning-skills/#ixzz2EyRyU6qf

I can’t help but think of the line from Animal House about being fat, drunk and stupid.  I had no idea that obesity could actually result in cognitive decline.  This might be even more of a good reason to lose weight.  You will be healthier and STAY smart….and don’t add in drinking either!


the KETOGENIC DIET: Turns out that a low-carb diet makes you thin AND delays the AGING PROCESS


Reducing calories and eating low-carb foods, something scientists at the Gladstone Institutes call the Ketogenic Diet, could delay the aging process. According to a study headed up by Gladstone Senior Investigator Eric Verdin, MD, the development of this anti-aging ketogenic diet could help to eventually combat age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and certain forms of mental deterioration.



“Over the years, studies have found that restricting calories slows aging and increases longevity—however the mechanism of this effect has remained elusive,” Verdin said in a statement. “Here, we find that βOHB—the body’s major source of energy during exercise or fasting—blocks a class of enzymes that would otherwise promote oxidative stress, thus protecting cells from aging.”
Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/ketogenic-diet-low-carb-low-calorie/#ixzz2EswKVfaQ

How To Stick with a Low-Carb Diet

How to Stick with a Low-Carb Diet

Sticking with your low-carb diet is much easier if you set yourself up for success.  You have to prepare yourself and your kitchen for a low-carb lifestyle.

The following list of six items can help you realize your goals:


  • Set your kitchen up for success.  You must always have low-carb foods around, ready to eat. Remove and keep away irresistible temptations.
  • Avoid excessive hunger. Eat befoe you’re starving.  Eat your proteins every 3-4 hours before it is hard to make a good decision when you are ravenous.
  • Prepare snacks in grab-and-go sizes.  Make prepackaged snacks from cut-up veggies, nuts, meats, cheeses.  Buy and bring low-fat Greek yogurt cups, protein bars or drinks and measured fruit.
  • Eat a variety of foods.  Make sure you eat a variety of foods for better nutrition–fruit two times a day, veggies two times a day, salad two times a day, protein 6 times a day.
  • Find activities and exercises that you enjoy. If you find something you really enjoy, you’re more apt to do it every day. If you’re social, find friends to walk with (running club, Zumba, Pilates or yoga class, spinning, etc).  If you like to exercise along, make and plan that time.  Make your workout personal.
  • Forgive yourself when you fail. Everyone experiences a setback from time to time. Don’t use it as an excuse to give up completely. Figure out where you went wrong and start again.

How to Eat the Low-Carb Way

How to Eat the Low-Carb Way

Eating the low-carb way means building your diet around lean proteins along with vegetables and fruits prepared fairly simply. If you were a meat-and-potatoes eater, focus on the meat more than the carb-heavy potatoes. The tips in the following list offer advice on what foods to choose:

1. Build your meals around lean protein, fruits, vegetables.

2. Choose whole grains or legumes for your daily carb choices. Minimize your intake of processed foods. Personally, I say you are better off trying to exclude whole grains, except for one or two per week, in place of a fruit.

3. Choose very low-fat milk and dairy foods. Check carb content. There are some Greek yogurts with 8g of carbs per container, and there are some with 20g of carbs for the same sized container.

4. Choose monounsaturated rather than saturated fats. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/NU00262

5. Eat 6 small proteins a day (approximately 4 ounces of meat. Egg, protein drink or bar, etc.) and salads twice a day along with small amounts of fruits and vegetables 2 times per day. Never starve yourself and never skip meals. If you eat between meals, eat healthy foods that are also filling, like salad, fruit, vegetables, milk product like yogurt, low-carb ice cream, or cheese, or a handful of nuts.

6. Do not eat a full meal right before bedtime. A bedtime snack such as nonfat yogurt or cottage cheese and a cup of fruit or less is okay.

7. Drink plenty of water — eight glasses a day

8. Exercise moderately 30 to 60 minutes at least five times a week.

9. Allow a cheat only one to two times a week, max.


Low Carb Holiday Booze, How-To…..

Holiday Drinks


Alcohol, by nature, isn’t particularly low-carb. Yet if you want to indulge at the holidays, choose from one of these lower-carb options.

Low-Carb Sangria: Enjoy this refreshing drink using the traditional ingredients, or add some mulling spices to make it more seasonal. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/george-stella/sangria-recipe/index.html. 

Low-Carb Eggnog: For some people, it just wouldn’t be the holidays without eggnog. Luckily, there’s a great low-carb recipe to be found here.  http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/beverages/r/lowcarbeggnog.htm

Irish Coffee:  Enjoy this rich drink without worrying about the carbs when you use this recipe.  http://voices.yahoo.com/sugar-free-cocktail-recipes-78239.html?cat=51

Sugar-Free White Russian:   Learn how to make a White Russian that’s South Beach-appropriate with this recipe. http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/alcoholicbeveragerecipes/r/whiterussian.htm

Low-Carb Vodka Collins:  This twist on a classic will help you celebrate the holidays without all the carbs.  http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/alcoholicbeveragerecipes/r/tomcollinsdrink.htm.

Low-Carb Cosmo:  This popular and seasonally appropriate drink gets a makeover using this recipe that cuts out some of the carbs. http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/beverages/r/lowcarbcosmo.htm

Rum and Diet Soda:  There is no way to cut all the carbs from alcohol, but this drink is about as close as you can get.http://jerryg2.hubpages.com/hub/Low-Calorie-Alcoholic-Drinks

Bloody Mary:  Try out this alternative recipe for a spicy classic this holiday season.  http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/alcoholicbeveragerecipes/r/bloodymarydrink.htm

Holiday Food Time Again and Low-Carb RECIPES!

So many people I know tell me that they are going to eat what they want for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and pretty much for the entire month of December because (their excuse to go food nuts) IT IS THE HOLIDAYS!  When did the holidays become about pigging out and not celebrating the Pilgrims and Native Americans, the birth of Baby Jesus, the oil staying lit and the fact that there are Christmas lights up all month and we have to listen to Holiday music for over a month?  Why are we doing this?  I still think it is because people associate it with “comfort” of family and “comfort” food.  It reminds them of home, but it is also a great excuse to be bad without having to say you are eating fattening food because you just feel like it.

So, a lot of people put on weight starting with Halloween and starting January 1–they join health clubs and weight loss centers.  It reminds me of bears that eat up before the hibernation, except that we are not bears.  Why do this to yourself every year?  It makes no sense.  It is hard on the body and the wallet.

So, the holidays are here.  Here are some tips to not overeat fattening foods and still have holiday feasts.  You can even use substitutes to create many traditional meals.  You can even start NEW TRADITIONS with new meals.  I have turkey, vegetables, salad and I make them as interesting as possible.

Many people seem to think that “Thanksgiving is all about the carbs.” But it really doesn’t have to be that way. You can decide to have a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal with any carb level you want. I have found some really good tips online.  These Thanksgiving tips work well for any large holiday meal.


1) Choose traditionals that are lower in carbs.

Turkey is obviously the low-carb star of the meal. There might be vegetables, which are family favorites,  that don’t have a lot of starch or added sugars. Think back through holidays past and resurrect the least carby side dishes.  Stay away from yams with cream, mashed potatoes, etc.

2) Consider scaling back some of the traditional side dishes.

Did you know that plain roasted yams with salt, pepper and butter are really delicious even without a pile of marshmallows on top? Instead of a rich vegetable casserole, how about a simpler vegetable side dish, such as green beans with almonds? Have a simple sautéed mushroom and peppers dish, get some good low-fat cheeses and cut cucumbers, or a salad with a  cranberry vinaigrette dressing.

3) Serve low-carb, high-flavor nibbles first.

If you decide to eat more carbohydrates than usual, consider holding off until you get to the table. Use vegetables with dip, cucumber rounds instead of crackers for spreads, and peanuts or other nuts, instead of chips.

4.  For meals and desserts that are low-carb, go to this site for recipes for low carb meals, ideas and desserts–including low-carb pumpkin pie and other pies.  There are low-carb alternatives to everything so you don’t have to be that bad!


Be Your Own Weight Loss Boss: 5 Steps to Set Up Your Own Success

Weight Loss Boss is a book  by David Kirchhoff, President and CEO of Weight Watchers, It is about  the struggle of losing weight and maintaining it by the head of one of the most successful weight loss brands in the world.

Kirchhoff’s advice and tips are realistic and practical for everyone, and his rules pave the way for a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.


Here are 5 steps he talks about that you can use to set yourself up for your own success:

1. Willpower is overrated

When you rely on willpower alone you set yourself up to fail. Routine and habits will win out over willpower and this is why diets don’t work. They rely on short-term changes that no one can keep up!  I talk about this all of the time in my blog.  You have to prepare yourself.  At least once a week, you have to go shopping and buy all you need for the week to stay on track.  You need to have some ideas about the foods you need.  Most of it is protein choices, fruits and vegetables.  You also have to know what days and times you can exercise.  If you plan your everyday routine around exercise, nutritional meals, and reaching realistic goals, you set yourself up for success.

2. Create Good Habits

A good habit doesn’t require willpower or discipline. By definition, a habit comes automaticly and you don’t have to think about it. With a bad habit, you probably don’t think about it until you suffer the repercussions. Kirchhoff outlines the Formula for Behavioral Change created by B.J Fogg, a professor at Stanford. If there’s a habit you’re trying to shed, you need to be motivated to lose it. You need a reward (not food!) to make it worthwhile; you need the steps to get rid of it in the simplest way possible.. Finally, you need a new habit starter trigger. This can be anything from a personal trainer, exercise buddy, or  friend–who will remind you, or use your Google calendar or IPhone alarm clock to remind you and get you going.  It takes 4-6 weeks to internalize that trigger mechanism and establish a habit, and now is the best time to start!  So start and keep it going until it sticks.  Wallah-a new habit!


3. Managing your Environment

Kirchhoff says, “Out of sight, out of mouth” and don’t bring it in to your house or your office. Make the better alternatives for yourself easily accessible, and learn to predict what David calls “hot states” and “cold states.” Hot states are when you’re tossed into a situation where temptation is all around you, like a buffet at a busy conference that is filled with foods out of your normal routine that will kill your calorie budget and make you feel horrible afterwards. The best way to deal with these situations is with a plan when you are in a cold state, before temptations present themselves. Most of the time you can predict your “hot states” – our brains can get us in trouble with cravings, but they can also help us behave. The longer you’ve been practicing your routine, the less you’ll be prone to give in to a hot state situation.  I actually HATE buffets.  They are triggers for gluttony.


4. Build a Support Network

We tend to think that we’re the only ones who are having a hard time, and everyone else eats well and exercises without any effort. Wrong! Opening up about your experience helps to hold you accountable for your actions. Before writing Weight Loss Boss, Kirchhoff started a blog called “Man Meets Scale” to share his struggles and triumphs with weight maintenance. He found that men and women opened up, and found encouragement to keep going and keep sharing. The more people who know about your goals and struggles, the more people are able to help and support you in your journey.  This is why I discussed my weight loss work and accomplishments on my Facebook and started a blog.  Some people NEED to go to meetings.  I started to enjoy going to Lindora for weigh ins and their positive encouragement.  I love the encouragement I get from my online support too.  And I have a couple of friends who work out with me or discuss working out with me and it is very motivating for all of us.  I also LOVE going to my yoga and Pilates classes because I have bonded with people there and we are all in it together!

5. It’s about Food & Exercise

It’s one thing to lose the weight, but how do you keep it off for the rest of your life? He talks a lot about maintenance: I am in the middle of that right now. THe key to maintaining weight loss is  continuously setting new goals and being accountable are the keys to maintaining weight loss. It’s a sobering truth that if you struggle with weight, you will always struggle with weight, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to live a life without enjoying food!   This is why I constantly look up new recipes, do them and write about them.  The best thing you can do for your relationship with food is to love food that loves you back. Stay away from the “bad girlfriends of food,” as Kirchhoff  calls them. They’re the ones that give you a quick thrill and make you feel like crap afterwards, leave you wanting more and are TERRIBLE for you in the long run. “Settle down” with great food, and you’ll be in a happy and satisfying commitment for life.  Make great food taste good and have fun with it.  Experiment.  I am learning to cook this year for the first time in my life and it is kind of fun and not as bad as I thought it would be.

All proceeds of “Weight Loss Boss” the book go to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, a nonprofit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America. You can check out “Weight Loss Boss” on Amazon and where books are sold. For more information visit www.ManMeetsScale.com


Rice is NOT Nice!

I have learned how to make cauliflower as a replacement for rice!  I don’t eat rice anymore.  I don’t eat it because the carb content is INSANE.  It just isn’t worth it.  AND, now we have to worry about arsenic and getting cancer!  It is dangerous to eat rice.  If you want to learn more about why it is giving people cancer, according to Consumer Reports (a reputable place), read this link:



Per cup, rice varies from about 33 to 53g of carbs!

If you eat about a cup of rice with your Chinese food, you are eating most of your carbs for the day just in that cup of rice.  (I limit my carbs to 50 to 100 a day to stay slim)

http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/food/rice/carbohydrate  (see the different numbers in grams)



Here is a recipe to make a rice dish, but it is actually cauliflower to look and taste like rice. (looks like rice, right?)   http://lowcarbslowcarb.com/recipes/cauliflower-rice/

How to rice a cauliflower:  http://video.about.com/lowcarbdiets/Low-Carb-Cauliflower-Rice.htm

When I make chicken masala, I rice cauliflower in a cuisinart and I put it on my plate, place the masala on it and it is delish and I am not missing the rice.

I make cauliflower-based pizza and it is delish!

Cauliflower is my new, safer, lower carb rice.

See my blogs with those recipes:


I realized that I cannot remember if I wrote a blog on my cauliflower pizza, so that will be coming up soon.  It is delish and even my friend’s husband liked it and he is fussy!

Here is the pizza  recipe from another site.  And let me tell you, it is delish!  Thanks to my sister-in-law for that site.


Remember to incorporate ways to use vegetables into your diet more and more, and rice–less and less.

Cauliflower:  It is extemely low on the glycemic-index and it is about 14g net carbs for an entire head and you will never eat an entire head with a meal!  You would be lucky to eat 5g net carbs compared to about 50g carbs of rice.  That is a HUGE difference!