1) Workout first thing in the morning before you start your day. Then, you will have no excuse later in the day.
2) Be more active – choose to walk or ride a bicycle or swim as much as possible, swimming is one of the highest calorie burning activities you can do.
3) Focus all your meals around a good source of protein and healthy fats. This will help maintain muscle. Protein and fats have the highest thermic effect of food which allows you to burn more calories digesting it.
4) Consider getting sorbet ice cream if you do have dessert. They are usually very low in calories compared to fancy Italian gelato.
5) Eat foods high in fiber for breakfast and this will keep you feeling full all day long.
6) Never have 2 “cheat meals” in a row. For example, if you have pasta for one meal, make sure the next meal is something that is healthy, such as lean fish and vegetables.
7) Ask for the dressing or sauce on the side when you order food at a restaurant – you can add the right amount you want as you eat.
8) Drink water based on your body weight throughout the day. The more water you drink, the less likely you will consume large calorie meals.
9) Drink zero calorie drinks. For example, drinks with stevia will help with sweet cravings and do not contain calories which can cause weight gain.
I should trade mark this last piece of advice – I say it to patients all the time:
10) “If you are going to cheat, cheat well.” Do not cheat with junk foods with artificial or junk ingredients. Cheat with food that feeds your soul and your belly – foods that are decadent and worth the calories. Follow the 80-20 rule or the 6 days on, 1 day off rule.
People gain weight when they go on holidays or travel because there are so many different food choices and options. I hope you found these 10 tips useful and you can apply some of them for the fall. If you do need help with a specific diet to achieve the health goals you want, feel free to reach out and let me help you!
Dr. Sanjay Mohan Ram, N.D.
What is a food allergy?
Patients often ask me – “what is a food allergy?” Or “what is a food sensitivity?” Is that the same as a food intolerance? The word “allergy” is derived from the Greek word meaning “altered reaction”. These reactions can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, hives, migraines or difficulty breathing with exposure to the allergen. Some patients, however, can have no overt symptoms, but suffer a general malaise possibly due to an internal inflammatory reaction. The substance which provokes a reaction is called an allergen. There are many allergens we can be exposed to, the most famous ones being house dust, dog dander, and tree pollen, just to name a few. More often than not, a patient can have “hidden” food allergies, and these are known as IgG food sensitivities, which will be explained in the remainder of the article. Food sensitivities and intolerances are very similar, the main difference being that a sensitivity can produce little to no overt reaction, and an intolerance produces a reaction in the digestive tract. A food allergy is seen when the food proteins are recognized by the immune system as being harmful like a virus or bacteria. In my practice, I see dairy, eggs, gluten, pineapple and kidney beans as being the most common offenders.
For most people, the term “allergy” denotes images of itchy eyes, a runny nose, congested sinuses, etc. However, an allergy can affect any organ system, such as the digestive tract, skin or joints. Irrespective of how they present, allergies are common with an estimated 30 to 50% of the population affected. Allergies can begin or resolve at any point in life – patients can grow out of allergies or develop allergies at any time.
Having allergies impacts a person’s activities of daily living, and can cause low work productivity. Some individuals have a serious food allergy, such as celiac disease. Depending on the severity of this disease, associated treatments might be medications or even surgery.
A food allergy has a classic immune response with numerous IgE immediate hypersensitivity antibodies to a specific food protein being released. In these cases, the immune system thinks that the food protein is similar to a harmful pathogen, such as a bacteria or virus, and mounts an immediate immune response. With repetitive exposure, the immune system produces large quantities of histamine which adversely affect the lungs, heart, skin and gastrointestinal tract. If the histamine release exceeds a certain point, the person could suffer a fatal anaphylactic reaction.
In the middle, between the food sensitivities and food allergies, there are food intolerances, wherein a larger amount of food has to be consumed in order to produce symptoms. The most common example of this would be lactose intolerance, where the enzyme lactase is deficient. When taken in smaller quantities, most people with this intolerance can handle the lactose, especially when the lactose is combined with other foods. However, when larger quantities are consumed, a person will suffer from abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, and bloating. Food intolerances can be considered a milder form of an allergy, even though there is no immediate allergic response like the classic food allergy – they tend to be delayed, sometimes up to 72 hours.
The top 10
Here is a list of the top 10 foods I see showing up on testing:
- Green/Kidney/Navy Beans
If you are curious about which foods will be beneficial to your body, versus which foods can create an inflammatory reaction, a simple blood test at the clinic to detect these antibodies. Based on the results of the blood test, a treatment plan will be prepared to address the “damage” that the food intolerances have formed in the body. With time, the patient’s body recovers and the patient feels better overall. Feel free to contact me if you have questions, and I look forward to helping you in the future.
Dr. Sanjay Mohan Ram, B.Sc. (Hon.), N.D.