Thursday, February 26, 2009

Calories Count When It Comes to Weight Loss

Low-Carb? Lowfat? Study Finds Calories Count More
By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer - Thu Feb 26, 4:15 AM PST

LOS ANGELES - Lowfat, low carb or high-protein? The kind of diet doesn't matter, scientists say. All that really counts is cutting calories and sticking with it, according to a federal study that followed people for two years. However, participants had trouble staying with a single approach that long and the weight loss was modest for most. As the world grapples with rising obesity, millions have turned to popular diets like Atkins, Zone and Ornish that tout the benefits of one nutrient over another.

Some previous studies have found that low carbohydrate diets like Atkins work better than a traditional low-fat diet. But the new research found that the key to losing weight boiled down to a basic rule — calories in, calories out.

"The hidden secret is it doesn't matter if you focus on low-fat or low-carb," said Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which funded the research. Limiting the calories you consume and burning off more calories with exercise is key, she said.
The study, entitled Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates, which appears in Thursday, March 26, 2009 issue of New England Journal of Medicine, was led by Harvard School of Public Health and Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana.

Researchers randomly assigned 811 overweight adults to one of four diets, each of which contained different levels of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Though the diets were twists on commercial plans, the study did not directly compare popular diets. The four diets contained healthy fats, were high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and were low in cholesterol.
Nearly two-thirds of the participants were women. Each dieter was encouraged to slash 750 calories a day from their diet, exercise 90 minutes a week, keep an online food diary and meet regularly with diet counselors to chart their progress.

There was no winner among the different diets; reduction in weight and waist size were similar in all groups. People lost 13 pounds on average at six months, but all groups saw their weight creep back up after a year. At two years, the average weight loss was about 9 pounds while waistlines shrank an average of 2 inches. Only 15 percent of dieters achieved a weight-loss reduction of 10 percent or more of their starting weight.

Dieters who got regular counseling saw better results. Those who attended most meetings shed more pounds than those who did not — 22 pounds compared with the average 9 pound loss.
Lead researcher Dr. Frank Sacks of Harvard said a restricted calorie diet gives people greater food choices, making the diet less monotonous." They just need to focus on how much they're eating," he said. Sacks said the trick is finding a healthy diet that is tasty and that people will stick with over time.

Before Debbie Mayer, 52, enrolled in the study, she was a "stress eater" who would snack all day and had no sense of portion control. Mayer used to run marathons in her 30s, but health problems prevented her from doing much exercise in recent years. Mayer tinkered with different diets — Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach — with little success. "I've been battling my weight all my life. I just needed more structure," said Mayer, of Brockton, Mass., who works with the elderly. Mayer was assigned to a low-fat, high-protein diet with 1,400 calories a day. She started measuring her food and went back to the gym. The 5-foot Mayer started at 179 pounds and dropped 50 pounds to 129 pounds by the end of the study. She now weighs 132 and wants to shed a few more pounds.

Another study volunteer, Rudy Termini, a 69-year-old retiree from Cambridge, Mass., credits keeping a food diary for his 22-pound success. Termini said before participating in the study he would wolf down 2,500 calories a day. But sticking to an 1,800-calorie high-fat, average protein diet meant no longer eating an entire T-bone steak for dinner. Instead, he now eats only a 4-ounce steak. "I was just oblivious to how many calories I was having," said the 5-foot-11-inch Termini, who dropped from 195 to 173 pounds. "I really used to just eat everything and anything in sight."

Dr. David Katz of the Yale Prevention Research Center and author of several weight control books, said the results should not be viewed as an endorsement of fad diets that promote one nutrient over another.

The study compared high quality, heart healthy diets and "not the gimmicky popular versions," said Katz, who had no role in the study. Some popular low-carb diets tend to be low in fiber and have a relatively high intake of saturated fat, he said. Other experts were bothered that the dieters couldn't keep the weight off even with close monitoring and a support system. "Even these highly motivated, intelligent participants who were coached by expert professionals could not achieve the weight losses needed to reverse the obesity epidemic," Martijn Katan of Amsterdam's Free University wrote in an accompanying editorial.
On the Net:
New England Journal:

*Note: This study seems to indicate that folks will have the most success losing and keeping weight off if they find a diet or eating plan that they find fits into their lifestyle and tastes good to them.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How is Tim The World's Cutest Dog Getting Red Carpet Ready for The Oscars?

Taking a long walk to work off those Calories and trim his waistline.  Then, a nap to calm his nerves, as he is rooting for SlumDOG Millionaire of course!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tiny Tim The World's Cutest Dog!

This site was just created by my webmaster, Mike Casentini.  

Monday, February 16, 2009

Do Soup Diets Really Work?

My last post about soup had a lot of responses.  Wow!  Who knew that soup was so popular? May be because it's so comforting?  I am posting a great article that seems very well researched by Pat Solly of

Do Soup Diets Really Work?
By Pat Solly of

ONCE UPON A TIME, soup was primarily perscribed to stimulate the appetite—not depress it. That magnificent "Monarch of the Kitchen" Antonin Carême--chef to Talleyrand, Tsar Alexander I, George IV, and Baron Rothschild—stipulated that soup "must be the agent provocateur of a good dinner." And gastronome Alexandre-Balthazar-Laurent Grimod de la Reynière opined that "soup is to dinner what the portico or the peristyle is to an edifice. That is to say, not only is it the first part, but it should be conceived in such a way as to give an exact idea of the feast, very nearly as the overture to an opera should announce the quality of the whole work."

Not so anymore. And isn’t it great that soup, an early way to stretch tough and meager ingredients, later a way to tickle dainty taste buds, is now, in its soulful adaptability, one of the most reliable ways around to shed those unwanted pounds.
How so? For a bunch of reasons, all working together in a frugally nutritious and delicious way to shrink our burgeoning waistlines.

ITEM 1. Eating soup at the start of a meal fills the stomach, which signals the brain to curtail appetite.
A 10-week study involving 10,000 students at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 70s gave proof to this commonsense observation. Imagine! Ten thousand contrary kids (that's more than the entire population of Bill Clinton's hometown of Hope, Arkansas) agreeing that when they started a meal with soup, they got full fast then, ate less during the meal.

ITEM 2. Eating soup fools the body's natural sensors into thinking more calories have been consumed than actually have.  Dr. Elizabeth Bell, University of Pennsylvania, conducted a study in 1999 to determine "if the effect of increasing the water content of food can enhance the effect of that food on satiety, therefore reducing subsequent calorie intake." That is to say: One day her cadre of 24 women began lunch with a 270-calorie chicken-rice casserole; next day they started with that same casserole plus drank a 10-ounce glass of water with it; on the third day, they started with the casserole and water mixed together, heated, and served as a soup. After each round, researchers measured exactly how much the women ate during the rest of the meal. Hands down victory for the soup: instead of chowing down for 300+ calories at the open buffet, as they had the first two days, the soup eaters daintily pushed their plates away after 200 calories.

ITEM 3. Eating soup is a low-calorie way of satisfying a person's need for a certain VOLUME of food.  Nutrition researcher Barbara Rolls conducted studies in the late 1990s that show people eat the same weight of food day after day, pretty much no matter what. So you can eat that weight in hamburgers or in tuna fish sandwiches or in candy bars...or you can eat that weight in soup. Now then: if you regularly choose those nice low-calorie soups--say, every day at lunch--you're going to lose weight. Just that many fewer calories to burn.

ITEM 4. Eating soup regularly helps you lose weight because it changes your eating patterns.
In 1979, Dr. Henry Jordan, behavioral weight-control specialist, made some 500 volunteers eat soup for lunch every day for 10 weeks. His findings? Soup eaters consumed fewer calories and lost an average of 20% of their excess body weight. Why? Because soup is complicated to eat—it takes time and motor skills to consume, so you tend to eat less: You have to sit down to eat it. You have eaten it with a utensil—and can only shovel in so much soup per spoonful. You can't gulp it down, because it's hot. If you put it in a big bowl, you're fooled into thinking you're eating a big portion. Then, because it comes as a complex package of stuff including different textures, shapes, and tastes all together and all at once, you have to work it around in your mouth; not to mention worrying about slurping and slopping it all over the place. Compare the 500-calorie bowl of phó, which takes a good 30 minutes of concentrated pleasure to get down along with the intense heat produced that requires wiping the sweat off the back of your head, versus going to McDonald's car take-out window so you can wolf down that 1,420 calorie Extra with cheese and super fries while you've still got the blinker on to pull out of the parking lot.
If you want to drop some pounds fast, rediscover your waist, or kick starts a longer weight-loss campaign, the happy and fast weight loss solution may be a 7-day cup of soup before meals diet. It's low fat, high fiber, and low calorie, high vitamin C/vitamin A/potassium, and only pennies per cup if you make it yourself. Plus, it's cleansing--trés detox. You can eat it like a pig. And you can vary it endlessly: hot or cold; big chunks, fine dice, or puree; spiced, herbed, and/or splashed with balsamic vinegar.

So that's how it is for soup and soup diets. Of course there's also spicy soups that cure migraine headaches. Chicken soups that cure colds. Broths and bouillons for restoring invalids to health or strengthening new mothers after the rigors of childbirth. Soups that drive away hangovers…. Ah, but these all have stories of their own…

For a great tasting soup diet that really helps you start losing weight from day one visit:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Only 130 Calorie 5 Winter Vegetable Lentil Soup!

It's a cold, rainy day in LA.   I'm off to the Sunday farmer's market to buy some vegetables to make my 5 Winter Vegetable Lentil Soup, which is part of my SOUPer Slim Diet ebook at  It's yummy, hearty, and filling on a cold, winter day, and it's just 130 Calories per cup with 12 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fitness Icon Kathy Smith Joins Make Healthy A Lifestyle E-Magazine Editorial Staff

Hey Everyone-I am so excited and happy, because my friend fitness icon, Kathy Smith,, just came onboard as a special contributing editor to Make Healthy A Lifestyle E-Magazine!  How awesome is that?

Kathy is a leading and well respected force within the fitness industry.  With over 16 million workout videos sold since 1980, Kathy Smith has become a household name in fitness. A mother of two, Kathy also serves on the board of the USC School of Gerontology, the Women's Sports Foundation and is a recipient of the IDEA Lifetime Achievement Award from IDEA Health & Fitness, the world's largest professional fitness organization.

I invite you to join free, and start getting healthy today!

Linda LaRue, RN MEd, ATC

Monday, February 9, 2009

Must Love Dogs: The Bow Wow Workout

I thought I’d give animal lovers like me another idea to get a great workout with a loved one—that is your 4-legged loved one—this Valentine’s Day. The Bow Wow Workout is an outdoor, semi-private exercise class for your dog and you that was created by my friend, certified personal trainer, Bruce Gilbert.

Bruce is the owner of, whose primary focus is 1:1 functional training designed to help people regain their strength after injuries, and correcting muscular imbalances to prevent these injuries from reoccurring. Bruce came up with the idea for The Bow Wow Workout several years ago when on a surfing trip to Costa Rico. While there, he noticed that dogs and their masters were allowed to go everywhere together. The camaraderie and love between dog and master was the concept he wanted to duplicate. "I really love dogs. It struck me that there are a lot of overweight and out of shape people and their dogs that need to move, lose weight, and get in shape."

Since he was already bringing his border collie, Louie, to Runyon Canyon, a no leash dog park, several times a week to hike, he thought, 'Why don't I have people come to the park with their dogs, and put together a program that's more structured than only hiking?”

The workout makes use of natural and man-made items scattered throughout the park using a versatile, exercise tube for resistance. Bruce has created a format of cardio-hiking/resistance-training stations for a total body, 60-minute, circuit-training workout. One station is an old tennis court, where Bruce has dogs and owners doing shuttle, running drills across the court. Bruce hands out no more than three gourmet dog treats for good behavior (it is a weight loss—not gain workout:) Here, it’s time for the dogs to shine.

The Bow Wow Workout is a great, out-of-the-box exercise alternative for you and your cherished 4-legged loved one—especially if you hate being inside stuck on a treadmill going nowhere fast. There’s lots of chatting and social interaction for all. Plus, as dogs are pack animals, it’s the perfect mind-body exercise solution. What could be more healthy and fun than being outside in the sun, moving with your dog this Valentine’s Day?

For more great health and fitness tips and articles, join my free, monthly Make Healthy A Lifestyle E-Magazine at

Have a happy Valentine's Day,


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are Lisa Loeb and Linda LaRue Long Lost Twins:)?

Thought this photo on was a LOL, because Lisa Loeb and I are dead ringers when we wear our glasses.  Here's a funny blog about Crunchless Abs and me on a site, Girl and a Boy.   Check out this month's special Valentine's Day Make Healthy A Lifestyle E-Magazine on  The site crashed yesterday due to overwhelming popularity.  How awesome it that?  Many thanks and gratitude to everyone's support.

With blessings and abundance,


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

35 Calorie Deep Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookie Crisps

Just picked up an email from Dot Curtis who recommends to bake the deep chocolate chip meringue crisps, turn off the oven and open the door (to let some of the heat out), then, leave them in the oven overnight. This will make them light, airy, and crisp.  I think I'll try this out...


Better Sex and the Kama Sutra

Make sure you check out Make Healthy A Lifestyle's special Valentine's Day e-issue at, featuring some better sex Crunchless Abs Kama Sutra moves along with my sinfully delicious dark chocolate chip meringue crisps that are only 35 Calories each!  I love popping a couple of these little chocolate dreams into my mouth whenever I am having a chocolate craving.




Monday, February 2, 2009

World Shoe Relief: Go Green and Help the Homeless too!

Now you can green your workouts and help the homeless too by recycling your running shoes at Recently as I was buying a new pair of Nike’s at my neighborhood, running store,, I happened asked if they sold any recycled, eco-friendly products. My friend general manager, Linda Sparling, said they take their customers old shoes then, ship them to The World Shoe Relief organization, This organization resoles the shoes then, distributes them to the homeless.

I’d like to ask you to recycle your workout shoes by shipping them to Run the Planet or if you live in the LA area, take them to Front Runners in Brentwood. Let’s start a new, eco-friendly, good Intentions Recycling Running Revolution! And, it’s a tax write off including shipping and mailing—how frugally green is that?

With blessings and abundance,


*Make sure you read this month's special Valentine's Day Make Healthy A Lifestyle emagazine for Better Sex Moves with the Kama Sutra, and only 36 Calorie sinfully delicious Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookie Crisps!