Sunday, February 21, 2010

What to Seek, Avoid in Frozen Diet Meals

(CBS) When you're watching your weight and don't have much time to prepare meals, frozen entrees can be convenient ways to help you control calories.

But beware - they're not all necessarily good for you, says Health magazine Senior Food and Nutrition Editor Frances Largeman-Roth.

Some have more of certain things than you should have at a time, and some are so light you might be heading for the kitchen cabinet just a few hours after eating them.

Largeman-Roth offered guidelines on "The Early Show Saturday Edition" to help you navigate the frozen aisle and be diet- and taste-smart.

Generally, what should people look for when choosing a frozen entrée?

Look at the ingredient list: The first ingredient should be real food, whether it's chicken or pasta or vegetables. It shouldn't start out with stabilizers and fillers. Next, you want to make sure that you're not topping out over 500 calories. And you want to make sure that the sodium in it is no more than 30 percent of the daily recommendation of 2300 mg.

The meal should have at least three grams of fiber to help you feel full, and look for ones with about 10 grams of satiating protein. And now that there are so many tasty whole grain options, look for meals made with things like brown rice and whole wheat pasta. All of Kashi's meals are based on its seven whole grain mix.

What should people avoid when choosing a frozen entrée?

Avoid high fat entrees. A person on a 1500 calorie diet (for weight loss) is limited to about 50g of fat or less per day. Stick to entrees with less than 15g of total fat, and no more than 5g saturated fat. For sodium, make sure they have less than 700mg. And if you happen to choose one that has more fat, calories, or sodium, it's not a total disaster - just make sure you balance out the rest of your day with lots of low fat, low sodium choices.


I tried to fill out what the meals I'm pointing to might be low in (fiber, protein, etc) with some add-ons, while also balancing them out, taste-wise. So, a spicy entrée gets paired with a refreshing orange, and the mac and cheese gets colorful carrots, since there are no vegetables in the dish.

And, since we're all supposed to be getting our five-to-nine servings of fruit and veggies each day, pairing a piece of fruit or veggie with your meal is an easy way to do that and boost fiber. Also, carrots are great for weight loss, but it's thanks to the fiber - not the beta carotene.

And remember: Never buy anything when the major ingredient consists of stabilizers and fillers.

Best entrees, based on taste and nutrition content:

Kashi Red Curry Chicken
Topping out at only 300 calories, this flavorful option gives you a great bang for your buck at the grocery store. In order to make you feel more full for a longer period of time, add a small whole-wheat pita (74 calories, 1g fat) to round out the dish.
Entrée alone: 300 calories, 9g fat (3.5 sat fat), 470mg sodium, 5g fiber, 18g protein
Total meal: 374 calories, 10g fat
Price: $5
TIP: Do not exceed 700mg of Sodium per meal

Lean Cuisine Macaroni and Cheese
The creamy texture and rich cheese sauce make this Lean Cuisine "Simple Favorite" entrée a great substitute for real comfort food if you're watching what you eat. For the amount of food you're given, the dish is somewhat filling, but don't forget to add fresh veggies! Fresh carrots will give you a nice boost of vitamin A and E as well as beta-carotene, which can be helpful in weight loss.
Entrée alone: 290 calories, 7g fat (4g sat fat), 630mg sodium, 1g fiber, 15g protein
Total meal: 410 calories, 10g fat
Price $4
Tip: Look For meals with 15 grams of total fat or less

Amy's Indian Vegetable Korma
The most intense flavor of the bunch, this meal packs organic vegetables in a curry sauce flavored with coconut milk, organic raisins, cashews, slivered almonds, and organic tomatoes. Combine these intense flavors with hearty golden basmati rice and a dal consisting of a mixture of six delicately spiced lentils and beans and you have a nice little meal. Add one navel orange (70 calories, 0g fat) to balance out the spices-the citrus is a nice complement.
Entrée alone: 310 calories, 12g fat (3.5g sat fat), 680mg sodium, 7g fiber, 9g protein
Total meal: 380 calories, 12g fat
Price $5
Tip: Make sure each meal has on average 10 grams of Protein

Spa Cuisine from Lean Cuisine Apple Cranberry Chicken
Available in freezer sections nationwide beginning in March, this dish is a great representation of the new frozen entrees on the market. The Apple Cranberry Chicken combines grilled chicken in an apple reduction with cranberries, French cut green beans and whole-wheat pilaf. The dish itself is colorful, tasty, and has 6g fiber - one of the highest counts we've seen. Be sure to add a medium apple to round out the meal, which has about 95 calories.
Entrée alone: 300 calories, 4g fat (1.5g sat), 500mg sodium, 6g fiber, 14g protein
Total meal: 395 calories, 4g fat
Price $4
Tip: Buy meals with at least 3 grams of fiber.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Do Body Wraps Work for Weight Loss?

Two Types of Body Wraps Examined

Ostensibly in today’s world, there are two types of body wraps.  The older and more conventional kind of body wrap is done with bandages or plastic and is designed in theory to increase the vasodilation in your body and create rapid weight loss as a result.  The newer body wraps attempt to create quick weight loss through detoxification and vasodilation and uses a mask created from products like lotion, cream, clay, mud, seaweed or algae.

These methods are interesting, but the question is do body wraps really work?  As with most things, the results on that front are mixed.

Conventional Wraps

The conventional wraps were supposed to constrict the body and essentially force a loss of weight and inches through the same principle that corsets use.  What has been found when investigations of these wraps were done is that weight loss and a smaller waistline can indeed be attributed directly to the use of these wraps.  In other words, if you take the time to get a really tight body wrap treatment, what you’ll find is that you’ll lose some weight and some inches in the immediate aftermath of that treatment.

That being said, the investigation also found that the weight loss was only temporary.  In almost all of the cases that have been looked at, the body type and weight would revert back to their pre-wrap condition within a week or two of the wrap treatment taking effect.  The main reason for this is that even though body wraps can help you gain some short term improvements in both your weight and your inch counts, only a lifestyle change can preserve those gains.  Your body has an equilibrium position based on your current lifestyle and while a wrap can move you positively away from that position, continuing your current lifestyle will eventually move you back.

Modern Wraps

Modern wraps are a bit of a different beast.  The reason for this is that they don’t use plastic or bandages, but rather natural substances that affect you both on a physical level and a biological level.  At the same time that they are constricting you in the same way a conventional wrap would, they are also increasing the temperature of your body (i.e. “sweating” out the bad substances), stimulating your metabolism and attempting to detoxify most of the really bad substances from your body.

What does this mean?  It means that in the long run, modern wraps will have better results than conventional wraps.  This is shown by the evidence as well since most people that have been subjected to both treatments have incurred more long term gains from conventional wraps than modern wraps.

That being said, benefits like metabolic boost and detoxification, while longer term than simple vasodilation, will also eventually be brought back into your body’s equilibrium state if you continue with your diet and exercise how they currently are.  Based on the results discussed above, it is best to think of conventional wraps as a short term solution and modern wraps as a medium term solution.  If you want to be fit in the long term, you need to change your lifestyle.  Wraps can’t do that for you alone but a healthy lifestyle can.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The WEIRDEST Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty for Weight Loss

In the quest to get fit, things sometimes get weird. Very, very weird.
From hula chairs to tweeting scales, plate-weighing-machines to robot trainers, we've scoped out some of the weirdest weight-loss gadgets around.
 For More Weird Weight Loss Gadgets...go here------>

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Is this a joke? New packaging for Diet Coke aims to inspire heart-health awareness

To bring heart health into the spotlight during February, American Heart Month, Diet Coke is distributing special limited-edition packaging. The new packaging is part of The Coca-Cola Company's efforts in partnership with Heidi Klum and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in a national heart health awareness campaign called The Heart Truth. 

The limited-edition packaging graphically depicts one person's journey from heart health awareness to empowerment to advocacy with an eye-catching large red heart as a major graphic element. The Heart Truth's Red Dress logo also appears on each limited-edition can; the logo also will appear on more than 6 billion packages of Diet Coke throughout the year.

Klum will model for the Diet Coke sponsored Red Dress Collection Fashion Show on February 11, which kick-offs Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. "The Heart Truth movement is near and dear to my heart, and I'm honored once again to join Diet Coke as their ambassador for the program," says Klum.

The Coca-Cola Company states that heart disease is the No. 1 killer among women, and The Heart Truth campagin has doubled awareness of the dangers of heart disease for women since the campaign's debut.

If you are using aspartame and have headaches, depresion, slurred speech loss of memory, fibromyalgia, loss of sensation or shooting pains in the lower legs, loss of equilibrium, vertigo, anxiety attacks, crhonic fatigue, vision loss, floaters, retinal detachment, seizures or heart palpitations you may have ASPARTAME DISEASE! Many physicians diagnose as multiple sclerosis what is simply methanol poisoning from aspartame, mimicking MS. Get off this killer drug now! MS is not a death sentence but methanol poisoning is! CARDIAC ALERT: aspartame triggers abnormal heart action, can lead to complete heart failure, sudden death!