Today’s blog subject is dedicated to one of my friends in Pilates class.  She brought up a subject that is important to discuss in my blog because it comes up all of the time when people ask me how I keep the weight off.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating large amounts of sugar and carbs!  I do eat very well.  Salads twice a day.  Four servings of veggies a day (small ones), 2 small fruits a day, 6 protein-based foods per day, water, etc.  But, keep in mind that I want to keep my carbs between 50g to 100g per day.  Also keep in mind that it takes about 4g of sugar/carbs per 1 sugar cube.

We get conned into eating and drinking things based on their nutritional qualities, but in fact, they are LOADED in “unhealthy” amounts of sugar and carbs.  Trust me, I know.  I gained over 40 pounds at one time just eating “healthy foods”, without knowing the secrets behind their fat-causing carbs!

If you want to lose weight, you want to eat six protein-based “small” meals per day.  Here are 10 items to stay away from, but I mention how to do it with low-carb or replacements for them.  I am letting you in on my found-out secrets!



If you have a smoothie, it has to be more vegetables than fruits (fruits have a lot of sugar and carbs) and the size you drink has to be small.  Depending on what you put in your smoothie, perhaps about 4-6 ounces is enough.  Are your smoothies bigger than that and has a combination of high carb/sugar fruits in them?  A few berries, citrus–that is ok….but loaded in apple, banana–you are looking at a lot of carbs.  Some of the smoothies at a regular juice place, like Jamba Juice, have 67g of carbs (This is over 20 sugar cubes–would you eat 20 sugar cubes?)  in a basic 16 ounce smoothie.  If you are only supposed to have between 50-100g of carbs per day to stay thin, that is a lot for one drink.  There goes the rest of the carbs for the day!  Instead, I personally recommend eating real veggies and two small fruits a day.  Smoothies are really for people who can’t stand eating veggies and it is the only way to get it into your diet.  Don’t drink orange juice–eat an orange.


Loaded up with granola (NOT A HEALTH FOOD–way too much sugar.  Use plain nuts instead).  I never eat granola.  A lot of people see it as a health food.  NOT!  It has 38g of carbs in just half of a cup!   An Acai Bowl has about 125g of carbs between the granola and the banana, etc.  These are not diet foods.  WATCH OUT FOR NUTS:  20g or so in carbs per cup.  Limit them or measure and bag them in advance when used for a snack.  My snacks usually consist of a few nuts and cheese (little to no carbs in cheese).  Western Bagel has a low carb bagel called the Perfect Ten, that is usually a special breakfast item for me out of my usual eggs.

Stay away from cereal.  Mostly carbs, sugar and chemicals.  Try oatmeal instead, but keep it to a small serving because it is high in carbs.  Read the labels.

Also, muffins have grains.  Grains are higher in carbs.  I don’t care if it is a bran muffin or a blueberry muffin–it is still a muffin. It wiIll add to a muffin top, if you know what I mean.


Has a lot of sugar and carbs.  Instead, eat fruit.  2 small amounts of fruit per day.  If you eat a banana, one serving is HALF of a large banana.

4.  RICE:  

High carb, little nutritional quality–even the brown stuff.  Quinoa is better, but it is also high carb, so limit it to a few spoons worth in a serving.  A cup of Quinoa is over 100g of carbs.  As high as rice.  Also, rice has arsenic in it.  Yuck!  ALSO RICE CAKES ARE HIGH IN CARBS TOO!

5.  WRAPS:  

Bread products of all kinds are high in carbs.  I don’t eat sandwiches either.  A slice of bread can be around 30g of carbs. Some of the lower carb breads like Ezekiel, is about 10g EACH slice.  But, a medium sized wrap is about 22g of carbs.  I eat salads with meat and other proteins on them or a sandwich or burger that is wrapped in lettuce and not a bun or wrap.  Watch out for tortillas too, unless they are the specific low-carb ones, which you can see at any store, even Trader Joes.  A regular tortilla can be over 30g of carbs, but a low carb one can be about 5g net carbs, once you factor in the fiber.

Watch out for JUICE.  It is just liquid sugar.


All laden with high carbs.  Only get ones that are low carb.  Less than 20g of carbs is best.  Or you can factor in fiber.  Look at the total carbs and subtract the fiber and you have net carbs.


Very high in carbs if you pick the wrong one.  Buyer beware.  Some of them are only 10g of carbs.  So choose wisely and look at the nutritional labels.

Most of the low-cal frozen foods are high carb and will put weight on you.  Just look at the labels.  They are also loaded in sodium (as is canned soup) and are not good for your heart.


Some of them are so high in sugar and carbs, it should be illegal.  You could be looking at 20-30g of carbs per cup.  Greek yogurt has better options and if you choose the ones that are unflavored, there are hardly any carbs. There are a few products like Danon Lite and Fit Greek Yogurt flavored,  with only about 10g or less of carbs per cup.

Frozen yogurt is laden in sugar, carbs and a lot of really nasty chemicals.  There is nothing “yogurty” about it.  You are better off having a no-sugar added scoop of Dreyers or Breyers ice cream.  Breyers Carbsmart ice cream bars are delish and low in carbs.  I get them at Ralphs, Smart and Final, and Wal-Mart.

9.  BEANS:

Yes, they are good for you–in small amounts.  A tablespoon is about 8g of carbs.  A cup of them is about 120g of carbs.  So, your burrito with the high carb shell, high carb beans and high carb rice will easily top you over 100g of carbs for your one very healthy organic Chipotle burrito.  I always do a salad version, limit the beans, no rice.

10.  AGAVE!


One of the more popular “natural” sweeteners is Agave nectar, also called agave syrup.You will find this sweetener in all sorts of “health foods,” often with attractive claims on the packaging.

The problem with Agave is that it is no better than sugar. In fact, it is much, much worse…

One of the main problems with sugar is that it has excessive amounts of fructose, which can cause severe metabolic problems when consumed in excess.

Whereas sugar is about 50% fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup about 55%, Agave contains even more… up to 70-90%.

Try Stevia or just use natural sugar, in moderation, because sugar is not good for losing weight.  And if you are putting fruit in your smoothie (and I don’t recommend smoothies and I don’t do them anymore), then you have enough fructose sugar from the fruit, so why add more?  Stop being a sugar junkie!

Juice Drinks: Healthy and Diet Friendly?

I thought that I was eating so healthy when I was gaining weight and when I was about 40 pounds heavier and dying to lose weight. I had my facts all messed up. I guarantee that you have the facts wrong too. Let’s look at some “healthy” foods, which are not so healthy and how they also are making you fat.

Today we will start with one Not So Healthy Food, JUICE DRINKS

Have you ever looked at the labels on your fruit drinks?

Bottles mention serving size at the top of their nutrition label. You might think that the whole bottle is a serving size, but actually if there are two or three servings in one bottle, then you have to multiply the label information by the amount of servings in it–if you plan to drink the whole bottle (as many of us do).

I know someone who thinks that Odwalla and Naked Juice is good for their diet. In those drinks, the fruit is genetically modified and that is a whole other health issue.

Fruit is not the only ingredient in those bottles, and many of the other ingredients are not good for you. The amount of carbs and sugar in one serving is usually staggering. I believe that in my example’s one serving, there was about 50 or more grams of carbs–and he drank more than one serving (the whole bottle). There was the equivalent of about 11 whole sugar cubes in his drink. Would you willingly eat 11 sugar cubes?

Naked juice was in the news recently for getting in trouble for labeling their product as “all natural,” when it isn’t. These products are not honest. Now, they have to remove that from their label.

Jamba Juice is another scary choice. Between too much fruit (fructose sugar), sherbet or ice cream, and milk—a serving can be about 100g of carbs. The lighter versions, “Fit and Fruitful” have about 50g. And to rub salt I to the wound, there is usually only one gram of protein. Yes, you can add protein to your smoothie, but you are still drinking a lot of carbs. You could have had a cheeseburger on a bun for less carbs and you are choosing a smoothie instead?

If you want to maintain your weight or lose weight, you should consider between 50g and 100g per day. You wind up blowing most of your day’s carbs on this one drink and it will also cause a massive sugar mood roller coaster ride. You will be really tired later, when the roller coaster comes down and you are now craving more hair of the dog that bit you–sugar. And if you don’t follow the rules of 6 proteins every 3 to 4 hours, two servings of fruit a day and four servings of vegetables (no starches) per day, then your weight loss will be questionable. You need protein to lose weight, gain muscle and to fend off hunger cravings. These smoothies will not do the job.

For those of you who argue that fruit is healthy, yes to is, but not squeezed from large quantities and without pulp and especially not if the fruit is genetically modified.

INSTEAD: Eat two small cup-sized servings of organic fruit a day. Berries and citrus are the lowest in carbs. Have one earlier in the day with your protein and one later in the day with a protein. Or make your own smoothie with the right amount of fruit, protein powder, some almond milk and lots of ice. Heck, throw some spinach in too. It is all blended and tastes great. You can even throw in a little Splenda, Truvia or Stevia.

Honey, You Might Be Killing the Kids!

I know someone who came to my office this weekend with his son. This man wants to lose weight and he wants his children to lose weight too. He says he is watching what they eat, and they were late to my office that morning and came in with “breakfast drinks.” What were they drinking that was “good” for them, as he put it?

Nestle Strawberry flavored milk (30g of sugar) and Naked Juice (38g of carbs). There are approximately 4g of sugar per sugar cube. So, I pulled out my sugar cube box and I showed him 7.5 sugar cubes and asked him if he would give them to his son. Of course, he declined, but I told him he was with the chocolate milk–as that is how many sugar cubes are in his drink. And there were about 9 in Dad’s drink.

But, milk and juice is healthy!? Not so much. A balanced amount of milk as a protein, each day, is good for you. However, flavored milk AKA SUGAR milk is not good for you. And, the juice is overkill. FRUIT is good, the pulp and the fiber is needed and NOT in that juice. So, in his juice is 1/2 a banana, 1/3 of a mango and 21/2 apples. If you had to eat that many pieces of fruit in one sitting, you could not really do it. So, EAT fruit, don’t drink it. It is less fiber and too much sugar. Plus, both the milk and the juice were in huge containers and they were both trying to drink the whole thing. They should have just had a little bit of it.

So, what should dad have fed himself and his kid for breakfast? Sure, they were in a hurry that day and they wanted something easy and quick. So, what could Dad have done instead?

Parents need to educate themselves. No wonder there is a problem with a large amount of childhood obesity, and more adults are obese now than ever in the history of the United States. So, here are some ideas!

Quick Low-Sugar Breakfast Ideas:

1. Hard-boiled eggs (pre-made) or just scramble some eggs–quickly.
2. Microwaveable STEEL cut oatmeal (there is some at Trader Joes and at Costco) and put some blueberries in it.
3. A low-carb protein bar.
4. Low-fat string cheese or mini baby bells.
5. Worse case scenario–fast food place, just order scrambled eggs and bacon.
6. Turkey or chicken slices with low-fat cheese or microwaveable turkey bacon or sausage
7. A low-carb protein drink.
8. Put ONE piece of fruit in a blender with some ice and some veggies (there are recipes online) and make a small smoothie.
9. A glass of low-fat milk, low-carb Greek yogurt.
10. Low-carb pancake mix and syrup.

(yes, some of that is processed meat, and nothing is perfect, but it won’t add to your waistline like sugar drinks will.)