Update from a Successful Patient

eating-at-work.jpgMaking permanent changes in behaviors are difficult – whether the changes are in your eating, exercise, drinking, or even shopping habits. For example, I am sure you know that eating a candy bar in the afternoon is not the healthiest habit, but how do you go about stopping yourself from doing it if you are an emotional eater when your boss assigns you another project at 4 pm … to be completed by the end of the day?

I’d like to share an email I received from a client whom I had worked with in July 07  for several months on a weight loss eating plan. She has been successful in making behavior changes.

Here is some background info on the client:

K.N. is a 23 year old women who weighed 162 pounds and was 5’10. She wanted to get to a goal weight of 150 pounds. K.N.  had a busy work and social schedule, frequently having business dinners during the week and eating out with her boyfriend on weekends.  She usually skipped dinner but “grazed” most of the night on peanut butter, apples and cheese. This grazing dinner frequently came to 1000 calories. She was really hungry at that time because her lunch often didn’t include enough protein nor did she have an appropriate afternoon snack. Her afternoon snacks tended to be something like granola bars.  She was a carb craver but had omitted most bread during the day in an attempt to lose weight. However, when the bread basket came with dinner, her “no bread” rule went out the window due to her hunger.  She usually exercised 3 times a week.

 Here is an email I recently received from K.N:

Dear Martha,
You may not remember me- I very unfortunately was unable to continue meeting with you beginning this past fall because of various family emergencies that limited my ability to meet with you on a regular basis, but I hope to be able to begin with you again soon.
In any case, I wanted to tell you how very much you have helped me with my eating habits and my attempts at weight loss.  I have lost 7 lbs over the last few months and could not be more pleased!!! I feel very much in control of my eating and feel I have found a ‘happy medium.

Few things that have helped me in particular: your great advice to keep hard boiled eggs in my refrigerator at all times– I eat the egg whites only (unless I feel I need a little extra ‘something’ and have part of the yolk) and often have two egg whites for breakfast with egg-whites.jpgsome fruit, which I really love!  I also keep string cheese in my fridge at all times and find both are great things to have to snack on when needed. I have focused on having a piece of fruit as my ‘snack’ mid morning and mid afternoon- (instead of a granola bar or something sweet) and this has made a huge difference in my control of cravings and energy levels.  I really love fruit and had sworn off it in attempts to limit my sugar in previous years, but ended up eating too much cheese or wayyy too many nuts to make up for it!

I also followed your advice on having more broth-based soups before meals and find they really help fill me up with relatively little sandwich.jpgcalories (Also very welcome in the winter months in particular!)  I also got over my ‘fear’ of sandwhiches which you were great to point out are not necessarily the enemy–and have found that a small turkey sandwich on whole wheat toast with tomato / cucumber /lettuce and either a tiny bit of light mayo or mustard (from Lenny’s) for lunch fills me up, is very satisfying and yet ends up being a whole let less total than a large salad where I mix in all sorts of things that add up- and still inevitably leaves me feeling hungry afterwards!

I found that when going out to dinner, if you focus- you really can avoid indulging in the bread basket- and it only becomes more of a habit the more you do it- until you hardly think of it anymore!.. I have continued to be disciplined at going to the gym 4 times a week- and it continues to lift my mood and give me lots of energy.

Thank you so much for all your help- you have truly helped me so much.
P.S. I recently bought a new product that I was curious to see what you thought of- the Planters ‘Nutrition- Digestive Health Mix’ they recently came out with. It is super super yummy and I think is a nice change from nuts alone (so long as you can portion control of course) but I don’t know if I am just falling in their marketing trap. It is a combo of pistachios, almonds, cranberries, granola and cherries-  they say serving size is 1/4 cup (8 servings per container) with 150 cal, 70 from fat- 8 grams of Fat, 17 grams of carbs, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugar and 4 grams of Protein. 
Also- is there much cholesterol in egg whites? Is it a problem if I have them everyday?
Thanks again for your help!

My answer to K.N:
1. That Planters product you described sounds fine as long as you can control your portion.

2. Egg whites don’t contain any cholesterol or fat and are very low in calories (only about 15 calories per egg white). You can definitely eat them daily!

Check out my other ideas for breakfast choices,  snack tips and crunchy snacks.


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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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