Dear Diet Diary,
I really did not want to have a weigh-in the week of Chanukah, but that was the only appointment that was available. I guess in a way it was good knowing that I had to face the scale right after Chanukah, because it did help keep things in check, but unfortunately I still gained some weight. When discussing this with Alice she explained that sometimes we feel we are making good choices when in fact the foods we are eating are far from dietetic. Here are some examples she gave:
Carrot muffins, apple cobblers, zucchini cookies, and the like: We are so conditioned to believe that foods that incorporate fruits and vegetables are good for us that we forget that what we are really eating is cake. Packed with flour, sugars, oils, and calories, these foods often appear at Shabbos or Yom Tov meals, or as “healthier” dessert options. Fruits or vegetable that find their way into a recipe that is filled with white flour, sugar, and oil does not change the fact that it is filled with calories. It just makes us more likely to eat it even when we are on diets.
Vegetable chips, kale chips, Terra sticks, etc: I did a great job staying away from foods like potato chips that not only are very high in fat and calories, because they are fried, but also have an addictive quality, where having just a few chips is never enough! It even says so on the Pringles can: “Once You Pop You Can’t Stop!” That’s their actual motto! However, snacks like vegetable chips, Terra sticks, and sweet potato chips seem much more dietetic. I snacked on some of these fancier chips that were at the parties, thinking that they are more waistline friendly. They aren’t. Turns out, they have very similar fat and calorie content to their regular potato chip counterparts, and because they seem so innocent, people are more likely to eat a lot at a time.
Salads: When Alice told me she doesn’t like the word salads, I was pretty surprised. What does she have against salads? Well, nothing, as long as they consist solely of non-starchy vegetables and a bit of light dressing on the side. But this isn’t what most people think of when they hear the word salad. Salads usually consist of add-ins such as croutons, craisins, mangos and berries, glazed nuts, starchy vegetables, ramen noodles, sunflower seeds, oil and/or mayonnaise measured by the cupful. In fact, a salad can easily have more calories than a big bowl of pasta, but it sounds so much more innocent.
I guess looking back at my Chanukah, it is not surprising that I gained weight! While I stayed away from chocolates, fried food, and extra challah, I definitely did not eat perfectly, especially considering the above. However, I feel good about the fact that I did not binge or drop my diet completely, and I am ready to get back on track!
Thanks for listening!
Alice’s tip of the week: When having salad by a meal, make sure that the salad is only vegetables, and keep the dressing on the side so you don’t end up eating more than one tablespoon. The fats in salads do matter!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me any time and I’ll be happy to help or direct you to someone who can.
Thank you, and have a TAPtastic day!
Alice Harrosh, is a nutrition counselor and manager at Nutrition by Tanya, with 10 locations plus a brand-new one in Queens. Alice knows that making healthy choices is not always easy, as she has been through the struggle herself. As an optimistic person, Alice’s favorite quote is: “It’s never too late to start eating better. If you have a bad morning, make it a better afternoon.” For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya-approved products) food line, please visit www.nutritionbytanya.com or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, you may follow @nutritionbytanya on Instagram.