Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Ikea cinnamon bun is cheap, cheerful and chock full of caloriesJune 9, 2010Megan Ogilvie
DISH: Cinnamon bun with cream cheese icing
RESTAURANT: Ikea’s “Exit Café”
LOCATION: Ikea Burlington, 1065 Plains Rd. E.
Serving size: 114 grams
Fat: 13 grams
Sodium: 752 mg
Protein: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 67 grams
RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE
Fat: 60 to 105 grams/45 to 75 grams
Sodium: 1,500 to 2,300 mg
Carbohydrates: 281-325 grams
There’s a reason berries are called superfoods. The vitamins, minerals, fibre and protective plant nutrients that are jam-packed into sweet, juicy red, black or blueberries do your body good.
Food isn’t usually on the top of the shopping list for Ikea-goers. But once inside the sprawling space, it’s hard not to get sucked into wanting everything the neat, sleek, Swedish life has to offer.
Most of us have been known to come away with an “I-don’t-really-need-but-would-look-nice-on-my-couch” cushion or an architecturally pretty glass vase or a cinnamon bun from the conveniently located “Exit Café.”
Suddenly, it becomes nearly impossible to get out the door without a warm, sticky cinnamon bun in hand. That’s what half a million of us found last year, anyway.
According to Ikea, 500,000 cinnamon buns were sold at the four GTA stores in 2009.
You might have thought: “I just spent $50 on a lamp. What’s $1.30 for a tasty, to-go treat?”
Well, a lot of calories.
Ikea’s cinnamon buns aren’t the biggest — they’re about the size of a thick-slice of bread. But that impulse buy still packs 414 calories.
“That’s really what you should eat in a meal,” says registered dietitian Zannat Reza. “While this is good for your wallet, it’s not great for waistline if you eat this on a regular basis.”
And the bun is pretty salty. With 753 mg of sodium, it contains about half of what your body requires in a day and is the equivalent of 12 shakes with the salt shaker.
People who grab and go know they aren’t getting a nourishing snack. But Reza says they might be surprised that a single cinnamon bun has about the same amount of calories as two maple-dip donuts.
“You might think twice about eating two donuts, but not give a second thought to eating a cinnamon bun.”
The calories come from processed and refined carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar levels to spike, then crash, leaving snackers hungry soon after eating the bun.
“These 414 calories are not satiating,” Reza says. “There’s no protein here, there is no whole grains and hardly any fibre, the things that help you feel full.”
Those looking for a sweet after the check-out could opt for a cone of frozen yogurt, which likely has about 100 calories.
And cutting the cinnamon bun into two — or, even better, into four — pieces to share with your shopping buddy or your kids will cut the calories to a reasonable snack amount.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
Will posting calorie content on menus lead to healthier choices?May 7, 2010Megan Ogilvie
Students at the University of Waterloo will soon have an edge on the rest of us when they grab lunch at the school’s food court.
They’ll know, from just a quick glance at the menu, whether the healthy looking salad will do more harm to their waistlines than the meat-covered pizza, or if the benign-sounding turkey club is in fact a lurking calorie bomb.
Unless policy-makers make a sudden move, the students will be the only ones in Canada to see a restaurant list an item’s calorie content alongside its price tag.
It’s all part of a new study to test whether posting nutrition information on restaurant menus helps people to make healthier food choices. The study, funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, is the first of its kind in Canada.
“This is potentially a high-profile policy issue, it’s surprising that more hasn’t been done,” says the study’s lead researcher David Hammond, an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo.
“The reality is Canadians are eating more and more outside the home and really don’t know anything about what they’re eating. . . . It’s difficult when you can have coffee products that either have 20 calories or up to 800 calories.”
While no jurisdiction in Canada has moved to label menus, a half-dozen U.S. states, including California and Oregon, as well as New York City, have passed legislation requiring restaurant chains to post calorie information on their menus. And the newly signed U.S. health-care bill contains national regulations that will require any restaurant with five or more locations to put the calorie content of their meals on menus.
With more than 60 per cent of Canadian adults and close to one-third of children overweight or obese, Hammond says it is critical to look at whether changes in our environment can help stem the obesity epidemic.
“We need to make it easier for Canadians to make healthier choices and this is one option,” says Hammond, noting the Canadian Cancer Society funded his work because of the growing link between obesity and cancer risk.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, healthy diets, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight may reduce the incidence of cancer by up to 35 per cent.
Right now, many fast-food chains in Canada voluntarily provide nutrition information for their menu items either on their company websites or in a brochure at the restaurant. Consumers have to make an effort to find out Tim Hortons’ BLT sandwich contains 420 calories, for example, or McDonald’s Caesar salad with crispy chicken has 670 calories.
Hammond’s study will investigate whether posting calorie information on menu boards at fast-food outlets on the University of Waterloo campus affect food choices of students and faculty.
The study will also determine what kind of menu labelling is most effective by providing 600 adults with four different kinds of menus featuring Tim Hortons fare.
Hammond says the two-year study, for which he received $276,000 from the Canadian Cancer Society, will help move the policy debate forward in Canada.
“We want to provide evidence to decision makers in Canada to help them determine whether or not this is a good thing to consider,” Hammond says. “And if they do want to do it, what is the most effective approach.”
U.S. studies have shown mixed results about whether menu labelling helps consumers make healthier choices. Hammond says there is evidence that women, people who already pay close attention to their diet, and those who are well-educated and of a higher socioeconomic background make use of the nutritional information.
However, he adds, since the policy has potential to reach millions of people a day, even a modest impact will translate into a huge benefit at the population level.
“There is some research showing that even if only one out of 10 people changes what they order and eat, and that change only amounts to about 100 calories a day, that is still millions of pounds in the population that won’t be added.”
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Monday, April 05, 2010
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Mind Skills for Lasting Weight Loss
By The Weight Watchers Research Dept.
Knowing what to do to lose weight and applying that knowledge to daily life are two very different things.
For many years, weight-loss programs have expanded education to include several techniques from the field of behavioural psychology. Examples include self-monitoring food intake, exercise and body weight; altering the environment to avoid problem foods, and goal setting.
More recently, behaviour modification methods have expanded to include techniques from the field of cognitive therapy. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, or CBT, involves the identification and modification of thinking patterns and negative mood states that can undermine lasting weight loss.1
It is widely recognised that the development of behavioural and cognitive skills learned during weight loss is critical to successful maintenance. Indeed, lacking coping and problem-solving skills appear to be important factors in weight regain after a loss.2 Black-and-white thinking, a cognitive style characterised by viewing actions as being good or bad and as right or wrong, is also a significant predictor of weight regain.3
People who have never been overweight as well as those who have successfully achieved a lasting weight loss share the characteristics of confronting problems directly (95% and 60%, respectively) and using personally developed strategies to help themselves. Those who have lost weight only to regain it are much more likely to eat unconsciously in response to emotions (70%) and not confront problems directly (10%).4
Role of Coping Skills
Successful weight-loss maintainers are less likely to be emotional eaters (using food to regulate their mood).5 They have developed coping skills to deal with stress as well as the skill of flexible restraint,6 which refers to a moderate level of control on eating. The development of coping skills is particularly helpful in dealing with food temptations and preventing the abandonment of weight-management efforts.7 Mental simulation, a cognitive skill that involves creating the process for reaching a goal or dealing with a stressful situation, has also been shown to produce positive results.8
Other Science Library Topics:
- Are You Ready? Introduction to Behaviour Change
- Are You Ready? Behaviour Change and Weight Management
1Liao KL. Cognitive-behavioural approaches and weight management: an overview. J R Soc Health. 2000 Mar;120(1):27-30.
2Byrne SM. Psychological aspects of weight maintenance and relapse in obesity. J Psychosom Res. 2002 Nov;53(5):1029-36.
3Byrne SM, Cooper Z, Fairburn CG. Psychological predictors of weight regain in obesity. Behav Res Ther. 2004 Nov;42(11):1341-56.
4Kayman S, Bruvold W, Stern JS. Maintenance and relapse after weight loss in women: behavioural aspects. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Nov;52(5):800-7.
5Byrne S, Cooper Z, Fairburn C. Weight maintenance and relapse in obesity: a qualitative study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Aug;27(8):955-62.
6Westenhoefer J, von Falck B, Stellfeldt A, Fintelmann S. Behavioural correlates of successful weight reduction over 3 y. Results from the Lean Habits Study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Feb;28(2):334-5.
7Carels RA, Douglass OM, Cacciapaglia HM, O'Brien WH. An ecological momentary assessment of relapse crises in dieting. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2004 Apr;72(2):341-8.
8Taylor SE, Pham LB, Rivkin ID, Armor DA. Harnessing the imagination. Mental simulation, self-regulation, and coping. Am Psychol. 1998 Apr;53(4):429-39.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
A hiatus from meetings made Elizabeth painfully aware that they are the key to her success.
I work as an administrative assistant for a vascular surgeon. My sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition had contributed to some weight gain through the years. Because I am around doctors all day, I became concerned when I noticed that my feet and ankles were swelling. I had gone from a size 10 shoe to a 12 in no time. I asked one of the doctors in the office to take a quick look and was shocked when the doctor informed me that I had developed edema, a swelling caused by fluid in your body's tissues. The main cause of edema is eating a poor diet high in salt and carbohydrates.
The diagnosis was the wake-up call that I needed, and I started to change my eating habits, tackling weight loss on my own. I had a small amount of success, but became frustrated and decided I needed some additional support. I joined Weight Watchers meetings and started following the POINTS® Weight-Loss System. I immediately fell in love with the plan and all that I was learning. I quickly realised that I simply had lacked knowledge of proper nutrition. Suddenly I had resources and information about how to feed my body to keep it healthy.
As time went on, I decided that I would stop attending meetings and could continue on my own with the plan. Within a few weeks I realised that without the accountability and support of the meeting I was putting the weight back on. I got scared. I saw myself going right back to where I had started. As difficult as it was, I took myself back to meetings and the support and accountability I enjoyed there.
Return and lose
A funny thing happened when I decide to go back; the weight started coming off again! As I sat there the second time through, I realised something. During every meeting I received not only the tips and education I needed to lose the weight, but got well needed support from people who were going through exactly what I was. This isn’t a simple process and being around others who struggle along with you is inspiring.
I love the new me. I can finally buy clothing that I like in stores and have energy and confidence that I thought was gone for good. In meetings I learned skills that have helped me tackle cultural, emotional and physical challenges. I am active and healthy and there is no looking back for me now!
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Shelley was one of the organizers of the Saint John X-Weighted event. Her motivation for wanting to be involved and help other people lose weight, came from her own success which has been partially motivated by her love of the show.
Before making the decision to lose weight Shelley was 358.8 pounds. "That was my heaviest,” she says. She started going to Weight Watchers, although she initially went to support her friend, and not because she was really that bothered about losing weight herself. “But I found that I loved it and in the 2 ½ years that I have been going to Weight Watchers, I have only missed three meetings in total. I’ve organized my life around that, I try really hard not to miss meetings,” she says.
Shelley says that she got to that 358.8 pounds through mindless eating and although she knew that she was big, she says that she got a real shock when she saw the number on the scale. "I had done a couple of the quick fix diets before that, where I'd drop 30 pounds and then put it back on soon after. But they really were diets, and not sustainable, Weight Watchers just clicks for me and matches my lifestyle," she says.
Too Big to Exercise?
Initially, Shelley was not exercising much as she felt like she didn’t know what she could do when she was that size. She had been using the elliptical trainer, but was flicking through the channels one day when she came across the episode of X-Weighted where Paul Plakas was saying that he thought elliptical trainers were useless.
“I missed his reasoning for that and so I e-mailed him. He emailed me back with the explanation, and I then asked his advice on what I could do when I weighed as much as I did," she says, "and he was really good and helped me lots.”
With Paul's advice, Shelley started to use the treadmill, holding on to both rails at first. "He told me that at one point it would just happen for me, and eventually I would be able to run on the treadmill," she says, "and it was true, eventually I let go of the rails and I was able to up the speed. Eventually one day it was too slow when I was walking and all of a sudden I was running and I really have never looked back."
Shelley is taking part in the National Challenge, and is trying to lose another 50 pounds.
In the 2 ½ years of her journey, Shelley has reached plateaus and says that being part of Weight Watchers was really helpful for getting through those times. "It lets me know that everybody has been there, and for me it's about mentally not getting down about it. I've been stuck at this weight for a long time now and I think it's because I'm really getting close, and that was one of the big benefits of having Paul here: He gave me a different kind of workout to do that would step it up and help me get back to losing weight," she says, "the workout he suggested is really kicking my butt.”
"I just really like Paul's approach," say Shelley, who became such a fan that she now says she could probably recite what was said on every episode there is. "I don't want anybody to sugarcoat it, because I don't sugarcoat it for anybody else," she says, "I do take a lot of things that he says on the show and use that advice."
Shelley says that if you do reach a plateau, it is important not to let it derail you. “Every day is a new day, that is the way I have approached it. There are days when you get off-track but I have never let myself regret it, I just start again that day,” she says.
Shelley says that to succeed, you need to keep your goal in mind at all times. “I have a clear goal so when I'm a restaurant I have no problem asking them for an alternative meal or to bring the fruit instead of desert and they are usually quite accommodating," she says.
Shelley says that she never focuses on the big numbers of how much weight she wants to lose, she just kept focusing on losing the next 5 pounds. "Because really, when you think about having to lose 150 pounds, it is a lot of weight and it is demoralizing to think of that," she says.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
So this morning I went on the scale....