Awesome Fat Loss Food Strategies (Part Two)

Part two from Registered Dietitian Frances O’Neil. PK


By Frances O’Neil, R.D., M.S.W., C.D.E.

Fiber Facts

  • What is fiber? Fiber is found in plant foods such as grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Fiber is the part of the plant that the human body cannot digest and absorb into the bloodstream.
  • What are the benefits of fiber? Different sources of fiber may help prevent or control:
  • Heart disease
  • Blood sugar levels
  • Blood cholesterol levels
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation & hemorrhoids
  • Diverticulosis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Good sources of fiber:
  • Bran cereal; rice bran; oat bran; oatmeal
  • Whole grain breads and cereals
  • Barley; Popcorn
  • Beans, lentils, peas
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • How do I get more fiber? Remember to include more:
  • Vegetables – 3 or more servings per day
  • Fruits – 2 or more servings per day
  • Whole grains such as whole wheat bread or high fiber cereal – 3 servings per day
  • Beans and peas (legumes) such as kidney beans, pinto beans, and lentils – several times a week
  • Check fiber on the label – a good source has at least 3 grams fiber for every 100 calories.
  • Important:
  • Add fiber-rich foods gradually to your diet. If added too fast, fiber can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea.
  • Drink water throughout the day.

Food Label Practice: is this bread high in fiber?

Milton’s Whole Grain Plus Bread

Ingredients: Whole wheat flour, water, wheat gluten, brown sugar, yellow corn grits, whole oats, yeast, wheat bran, rolled oats.

Nutrition Facts 

Serving Size 1 slice (38g)

Servings: about 18

Amount Per Serving
Calories 90 Calories From Fat 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5g  1%
Saturated Fat 0g                               0%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0mg                                  0%
Sodium 125mg                                    5%
Total Carbohydrate 16g                    5%
Dietary Fiber 5g                             20%
Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium        10%        Iron               10%

 Label Reading Tips

Terms and Their Meanings

  • High fiber: 5 grams or more per serving
  • Good source of fiber: 2.5 grams to 4.9 grams per serving
Sample Foods: 

Total Dietary Fiber (soluble and insoluble fiber) content

Food Serving Size Grams of Dietary Fiber 

(Soluble & Insoluble)

Apple, with skin 1 medium 3
Banana 1 medium 2
Blueberries ½ cup 2
Orange 1 medium 3
Strawberries 1 cup 4
Asparagus ½ cup, cooked 2
Broccoli ½ cup, cooked 3
Carrot 1 medium, raw 2
Green beans ½ cup, cooked 2
Lettuce, romaine 1 cup 1
Potato, with skin 1 medium, 6 oz 4
Potato, without skin 1 medium, 6 oz 3
Legumes, cooked:
Green peas; lentils ½ cup, cooked 4
Black beans; kidney beans ½ cup, cooked 7
Breads & Grains:
White bread 1 slice 1
Whole-wheat bread 1 slice 3
Rice, white, cooked ½ cup 0
Rice, brown, cooked ½ cup 2
Snack Foods:
Almonds ¼ cup (1 oz) 3
Popcorn 1 cup 1
Triscuits® 6 crackers 3
Breakfast Cereals:
All Bran ½ cup 10
Bran Flakes ¾ cup 5
Cherrios® 1 cup 3
Cornflakes®/Special K® 1 cup 1
Fiber One® ½ cup 14
Kashi Go-Lean® 1 cup 10
Oatmeal, regular, cooked 1 cup (½ c dry) 4

Sample Foods: soluble fiber content

Eating 10 – 25 grams of soluble (viscous) fiber per day can also help lower cholesterol. The list below gives you an idea of which types of foods are good sources of soluble fiber.
1 cup cooked Quaker Oat Bran 

1 ¼ cups ready to eat Quaker Oat Bran cereal

1/3 cup Kellogg’s® All-Bran® Bran Buds®

1 cup cooked oatmeal

1 cup Cherrios®

¾ cup cooked pearl barley

1 Tbsp ground psyllium seeds

1 rounded Tbsp Metamucil®, smooth texture

1 packet Bios Life 2®

½ cup cooked black beans

½ cup cooked kidney beans

½  cup cooked lima beans

½ cup cooked navy beans

½ cup cooked northern beans

½ cup cooked pinto beans

½ cup cooked lentils (yellow, green, orange)

½ cup cooked chick peas, black eyed peas

1 medium apple, banana, nectarine, peach, or plum

½ cup blackberries

1 medium citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit)

2 dried figs

2 kiwi

½ mango

1 medium pear

¼ cup prunes

1 medium cooked artichoke

½ cup cooked broccoli

½ cup cooked Brussels Sprouts

½ cup cooked carrots

½ cup cooked sweet potato

½ cup baked acorn squash

1 medium baked potato with skin

































Awesome Fat Loss Food Strategies

This is an incredibly succinct article to help you get off to a great, healthy new year and get your bodyfat down beginning – TODAY. It is written by an amazing woman who has a Masters degree in nutrition and specializes in helping overweight individuals with diabetes optimize their fat loss and metabolic health. PK


By Frances O’Neil, R.D., M.S.W., C.D.E.

1. Think small.  Making drastic changes like eliminating certain foods from your diet is not necessary and for many people can be counterproductive.  For some, making such changes is like trying to convert a lion to vegetarianism, it’s not in their DNA or upbringing.  Small changes are all you need to change your relationship with food and therefore your eating habits.  Examples of small changes are leaving a spoonful of food on your plate or in your bowl at each meal, drinking at least 10 oz of water before each meal, having a piece of fruit each day as a snack, eating a piece of fruit on the way home from work each day, filling ½ your plate with vegetables at dinner, eating breakfast every day.

2. Pay attention to your thoughts.  Anticipation of eating is just as damaging if not more than the actual eating.  It starts with a thought of food or eating.  You keeping putting it off, but continue to think about it.  The thought creates a level of excitement or even anxiety surrounding the food or eating experience.  The more you think about the food/experience, the greater the expectation and desire for it.  When it can’t be satisfied, there is a let down, a negative mood shift.  If you do experience the food, it may be disappointing due to the huge build-up that was created and therefore you eat more in hopes of eventually reaching nirvana or you simply gorge.  Avoid over thinking about food or the anticipation of eating by enjoying healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, light popcorn as well as regular meals throughout the day.

3. Stay well hydrating.  Being well hydrated will help stave off hunger and cravings.  Experiment with different waters, i.e. flavored, carbonated, with lemon, cold, hot, herbal teas either cold or hot.  You know you are well hydrated when your urine is pale yellow.

4. Try an “experiment” instead of “diet.”  When making dietary changes, refer to it as an “experiment.”  A “diet” has an end a negative connotation.  An experiment is just that, an experiment.  If it isn’t working, you stop instead of trying to muscle through only to ultimately give it up.  If the experiment does work, you retain the choice to continue or not.  Replacing the word “diet” with “experiment” gives you the freedom to choose which is a critical element in creating behavior change.

5. Do not deprive.  You like certain foods because they evoke strong feelings/sensations.  The cravings come from a need to experience those feelings/sensations and unless you can find a lower calorie, healthy way to give you that same experience, the need to experience them will not go away.   Best not to keep these “favorite” foods in the house, though, but know where you can get them preferably in small portions such as bulk bins at the health food store or single servings at your favorite chocolate shop or at the check out counter at the store.

6. Plan your meals.  It relieves the stress or “what can I eat” and prevents “anticipation.”  Stress of any kind can trigger unhealthy eating experiences.  Are you meal preparation challenged?  Look into your local community colleges or cooperative extensions, cooking channels, magazines like Cooking Light for ideas and classes to take or seek help from a registered dietitian for easy, healthy convenience meals.

7. Eat breakfast and every 3 -4 hours after that.  Eating breakfast and then regularly throughout the day reduces your chances of getting overly hungry.  When you are overly hungry, you want something that will squash your hunger and that unpleasant feeling immediately.  Those foods will be the types you tend to crave or overeat, the ones that make your mouth go “WOW!” and your stomach feel full quickly, i.e. high fat/sugar and/or salt foods.

8. Eat high fiber.  Fiber is like the air that fills a balloon; it fills you up, but doesn’t add weight.  See the attached link for some helpful tips on fiber.

9. Identify your stressors.  Get to know what stresses you out so that when you know that stressor is coming, you can prepare, i.e. learn to say “I’m not available,” or “no thank you,” or simply, “no.”  Be sure you’re exercising regularly which is your best defense against stress.  Be well-rested.  Have meals planned out.  Have healthy snacks available.  Have a good book/magazine/movie available for destressing.  Be ready to pick up the phone or go visit your favorite confident to vent.

10. Limit your choices. Avoid situations in which you have excessive choices especially at home.  Use the principle of “out of sight out of mind” which means if it’s not visible or within reach, you don’t think about it.  Like an unpaid bill.  If you tuck it away, it’s not nagging at you.

11. Focus on something other than a number.  Instead of focusing on a number as your goal, focus on how you feel, how your clothes feel, how you look in your clothes, your energy level all the things that make you feel better and feel better about yourself that doesn’t have to do with a number.  Numbers come and go often without a definitive reason.  Also, when a number is the goal, when you reach the number, you discontinue the changes.

12. Tone down the WOW!” factor.  Added fats, sugars and salt convey very strong tastes to foods that make it difficult to stop eating and thinking about the food.  Like the old Lay’s potato chip commercial, “bet you can’t eat just one.”   Purchase foods that have around 3 grams total fat per serving, around 5 grams per serving of sugar and around 300 – 400 mg sodium per serving and then limit your portions.

Combine exercise with healthy eating.  Permanent weight loss can only happen when regular exercise is combined with healthy food choices at least 80% of the time.  Exercise is medicine.  It changes the body chemistry in a spectacularly favorably way without any negative side effects, but you have to “take your medicine” regularly.  Those positive shifts in body chemistry have to happen on a regular basis for those changes in body chemistry to be experience regularly which then also provide the much needed motivation to continue “taking your medicine.”  One other important note about exercise, for those who not exercised in a long time, even the smallest amount exercise will provide feel good rewards, i.e. exercise for 1 minute at a time.