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Originally published February 25 2011

Yes You Can - Prevent weight gain

by Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D.

(NaturalNews) It is easier to avoid gaining weight than to lose it, especially during certain times of the year, when even the best intentions are quickly replaced by phrases like just one taste. If only our sampling ended there! But as most of us know from experience, willpower is seldom enough to survive the season so we can still fit into the same clothes we wore when it began.

And yet it can be done, says the Center for New Medicine nutritionist Liliana Partida. She backs up that promise with four steps that allow you to enjoy festivities with your friends or family and food without guilt or frustration.

One: Start the day with a protein shake.

Breakfast is essential for stabilizing blood sugar and eliminating carbohydrate cravings. The best way to do that, says Partida, is with a Power Shake.

Start with 15 to 28 grams of whey protein in unsweetened almond milk or similar liquid. Add low-sugar, high-antioxidant fruits like raspberries, blueberries and the like: preferably organic, and frozen if necessary. Add one to two tablespoons of high-fiber, ground flaxseeds and a fat emulsifier/brain food in the form of lecithin and you are good to go.

Having ample protein at each meal makes it easier to resist temptations that come with the holiday season. So Partida recommends including a small amount of protein in each meal. If lunch is a Caesar salad, order it with chicken. Or have an omelet with veggies and a small amount of mozzarella cheese. Don't forget to make sure the cheese, chicken, eggs, and vegetables are organic. And always eat at least half the protein first, she advises, to quell hunger and reduce the likelihood of overeating.

Two: Limit starchy carbs and focus on foods that contain water.

A meal should only include one starchy carbohydrate, such as rice, peas, beans, potato or carrots, says Partida. Be generous with non-starchy, water-rich vegetables, like zucchini, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and salad greens. Studies show that water-rich, high-fiber foods contribute to post-meal feelings of satisfaction.

Water-rich veggies play another role in weight management, says Partida. Our brains want to see ample food at mealtime; she explains that a plate filled with salad and colorful, non-starchy vegetables, plus a small amount of protein, looks substantial.

Feeling drowsy after a meal? You have probably eaten too many carbs, says Partida, spiking blood sugar and raising levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to weight gain. A brisk walk helps burn off excess cortisol. Cortisol is an action hormone, she explains, so you need to help your body get rid of it.

Three: Stick with the two polite bites as a rule of thumb.

Sugary treats are less tempting if you allow yourself two small bites and then STOP. Do not torture yourself watching other people enjoy things while you are feeling deprived, Partida acknowledges. So, instead of trying to resist completely, eat half a cookie and move on.

Finally, Partida recommends enlisting family members and friends in your healthy holidays approach. Explain what you are doing and why, so they can provide support, she says. Sharing tips can keep you on track and benefit everyone around you.


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Rumawas ME, Meigs JB, Dwyer JT, et al. Mediterranean-style dietary pattern, reduced risk of metabolic syndrome traits, and incidence in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009 Oct 14.

Perez-Lopez FR, Chedraui P, Haya J, et al. Effects of the Mediterranean diet on longevity and age-related morbid conditions.Maturitas. 2009 Oct 20; 64(2):67-79.

About the author

Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. has specialized in Integrative Medicine for over twenty years, using conventional and natural methods to determine and discover the "root of the cause" in her clinic, Center for New Medicine in Irvine, California, each and every day. Many people come in to the clinic from all over the world with severe chronic illnesses that conventional medical protocols have been unsuccessful treating. She realized early on that she can truly change lives through education as well as treatment protocols.
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. and her medical staff strives to look at the whole person while exploring the effects and relationships among nutrition, psychological and social factors, environmental effects and personal attunement. Out of frustration of trying to find the right products to help her patients she formulated the perfectlyhealthy brand of products. All perfectlyhealthy products are clinically tested. For more information on recommended products, please visit or

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