JumpStart Your Spring Weight Loss

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 3.51.43 PM.png

With the warm weather setting in, many folks are starting to acknowledge the few (or more) pounds they put on during those winter months. Second to New Year's Day, spring is the time when many people make a commitment to lose weight. If you are on a mission to lose weight by summertime, make sure you aren't sabotaging your efforts with one of these common missteps:

  1. You are not on top of your stress: Often overlooked in weight loss, stress can keep you stuck at a certain weight or cause you to gain. If you're stressed to the max, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, and if not controlled, your body can increase its fat storage. Plus, how often have you turned to a favorite food or snacked endlessly when you're stressed out? Get ahead of your stress watch the numbers go down on the scale. Take a walk, get some fresh air, meditate, do something fun, read a book, laugh, call up a friend or seek some alone time. Find ways to reduce your stress and commit to doing a few of those things each week. Managing your stress effectively is an essential component of weight loss.

  2. You’re eating too many carbs: You're eating too many carbs. If you want to slim down, one of the first things you should do is reduce your intake of starchy carbs. Avoid white breads and white rice, potatoes, fried foods and processed foods. Add lean proteins to keep you feeling full longer.

  3. You are skimping on sleep: Straight to the point: Missing sleep increases your stress level and makes you hungrier. With a lack of sleep (less than seven hours a night) your ghrelin level increases and stimulates your appetite more and your leptin level (responsible for suppressing your appetite) goes down. If you want to lose more fat, get more sleep! Your body will be able to operate at its best!

  4. Setting unrealistic goals: Before crafting your goals, look at where you are in terms of your eating habits. With summer around the corner, it can be tempting to create super lofty goals and just focus on the big picture, which can be daunting and wind up sapping motivation. Instead, incorporate challenging-yet-doable food goals from your starting point. Be sure to revisit and revise these goals as you move forward.

  5. You do the same thing all the time: Your body gets used to the same exercise if you do it every day, and weight loss can be much more effective when you surprise your body once in a while. Change up your workout and mix it up by increasing the intensity or duration of your exercise.

If you find yourself stuck on a plateau or not losing weight like you want to, put a little spring in your step and make sure you aren't doing these five things to sabotage your weight loss!

Fresh Fruits & Veggies Month


June is Fresh Fruits and Veggies month. Some "diet plans" will tell you that vegetables & fruits are "free" and you can eat all of them and as many as you would like. Everything in moderation! Knowledge is the key, you have to understand what you are eating and what to pair with it. There are several fruits that the American Diabetes Association tells diabetics to limit or avoid because they continue to ripen and sweeten after they are picked. Of course most of these are summer fruits everyone wants to enjoy. Knowing nutritional information on a variety of fruits and veggies is key. It's not that you can't eat them, just not by themselves. Pair them with protein, the amount of protein should be equal to the amount of sugar in the fruit you're consuming. By doing so, you avoid the blood sugar spike. So with fruit, match or pair it with the same amount of lean protein to create a sneal®. 

A Note From Dr. Powell, MD- The Ketogenic Diet

CE_Dr PowellSeal.jpg

The latest diet craze that you are seeing across all of social media is the KETOGENIC diet. The catch phrase is ketosis and only the KETOGENIC diet can do this for you. Is that really true? The answer is no. Ketones or Ketosis is a normal metabolic process by the human body. When the body does not have enough glucose (sugar) or carbohydrates for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. The way I teach my patients is this example, when you burn gasoline you get carbon monoxide, when you burn fat the exhaust is a ketone. So any nutritional plan that causes you to burn fat puts you into Ketosis. Think about the following diets: Atkins, Sugar Busters, The Zone, Paleo, Mediterranean and South Beach what is the fundamental theme that they have you follow? You are getting rid of the simple carbohydrates which then causes you to burn fat which puts you into Ketosis. It doesn't mean that it's ok to eat all the fat in the world. Everybody's KETOGENIC diet is different depending on what book you read or website or social media you follow. Unfortunately it's even more complicated than just going low carb. How low carb do you go? How much fat do you eat? But most importantly how much protein do you eat? If you don't consume enough protein your body will start to take the protein you store to use for all it's daily functions. Where do you store protein? It's your muscle mass. But there is a huge list of other functions that your body needs a variety of different proteins for. For example, your immune system, red blood cell function, neurochemistry, hair and nail growth, and your skin elasticity just to name a few. So when you lose weight on any diet if you do not know what the nutrition is of that diet, you have to ask yourself what are you losing?

Water-The Orphan Nutrient


Although you might overlook water, it serves many important purposes. Water helps carry other nutrients throughout the body and helps transport waste products out of the body. It functions as a “joint lubricant” and a “cell shock absorber.” It enables numerous chemical reactions to take place and helps regulate your body temperature. When it comes down to weight loss, water plays a notably important role. As fat breaks down, the body requires increased fluids to help eliminate the resulting wastes. Water also aids in controlling bowel regularity. Plus, drinking more fluids can help you feel full.

Steer Clear of Fad Diets

fad diet.jpeg

With all the focus on weight in our society, it isn't surprising that millions of people fall prey to fad diets and bogus weight-loss products. Conflicting claims, testimonials and hype by so-called "experts" can confuse even the most informed consumers. The bottom line is simple: If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are no foods or pills that magically burn fat. No super foods will alter your genetic code. No products will miraculously melt fat while you watch TV or sleep. Some ingredients in supplements and herbal products can be dangerous and even deadly for some people.  



Obesity is the leading cause of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease. 33% of U.S. adults are obese and 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

Know your waist circumference:

Waist circumference is far more accurate than the Body Mass Index (BMI). Make sure to measure at your belly button.

  • Males: Greater than 40 inches equals obesity and increased risk for heart disease.
  • Females: Greater than 35 inches equals obesity and increased risk for heart disease.


Dr Powell is a triple Board Certified Physician in Emergency Medicine, Bariatric Medicine, and is a Physician Nutrition Specialist; and more than 20 years of experience performing laser and injectable aesthetics. After patients lose weight, they start to look at other ways to feel better about themselves. We offer additional services such as laser treatments and facial aesthetics.  Dermal injections help restore volume to different parts of the face and are useful for improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


  • Works to correct and prevent wrinkles by stopping muscle movement
  • Improves moderate to severe crow's feet and frown lines
  • An injectable treatment that can last 3-4 months


  • Works to smooth parentheses lines and wrinkles
  • Plumps and smooths lips to appear fuller
  • Results may last as long as one year

Why are consumers turning to cosmetic procedures?

  1.  "I want to feel more confident"
  2.  "I want to appear more attractive"
  3.  "I want to look as young as I feel"

A Note From Dr. Ray Powell, MD "Stress Affects Your Body Weight"

I looked at myself when I was 38 years old and I was amazed, I was 250 pounds. I was at least 75 overweight, I hated myself. I looked at my wife and wondered how she could have been attracted to me. My back was always killing me and I could not even keep up with my 5 kids. I was in my second year of my Emergency Medicine Residency. Yes, a doctor who is morbidly obese. How can that happen? Aren’t doctors supposed to know how to stay healthy? Aren’t they taught everything there is about nutrition? The reality of it is that I, like most of us, had been hit with multiple stressors over several years. But life as we all live it is never stress free. When we are stressed two things immediately get pushed aside, how we eat and how we move our bodies (exercise). As I looked at myself in the mirror one day and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I realized after 6 years of medical training I had no clue what to do about my nutrition. Should I do a ‘Low-Carb Diet’? ‘Low-Fat Diet’? ‘High-Protein Diet’? Most doctors, according to a recent Congressional hearing, get less than 3 hours of nutritional education in their entire medical training. So I tried Atkins (Low Carb), Sugar-Busters, Slim Fast, and essentially lost a little bit of weight but then put it right back on. I started to research everything I could find about nutrition and the science of Obesity and how to treat it. Obesity has been defined by just about every medical organization including the World Health Organization as a Chronic Relapsing Medical Disease and I have it. I have learned about treating myself and thousands of patients for Obesity. The science of nutrition, what is the right combination of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats, and how much and when it should be eaten. It is not as easy as many people think. If it were we would not have a world that has become obese. After I realized how little I knew about my own nutrition and treating patients for Obesity for several years, I realized that all these patients had one thing in common: they needed to be shown what, when, and how to eat.


Hormones are often a hidden reason why people have difficulty losing weight. There is more to losing weight than just exercising and sticking to a healthy diet. For optimum weight loss we have to activate certain hormones in the body which are the T3 and T4 hormones released from your thyroid. These help get your metabolism moving and when they are out of sync it is dicult for your body to break down food properly. Couple that with estrogen and testosterone not working properly and often, especially in females, iron deciency and the weight loss process slows signicantly. Overeating is a big problem for many people and can often be handled better by sticking to a diet which involves eating more protein. Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain you are full, this helps avoid over eating. Eating protein helps your brain become more sensitive to leptin. Fatty processed foods can cause inammation in the brain thus causing leptin to be less effective which can cause you to eat more, even when you are not really hungry. Leptin is produced while you are sleeping and anything less than 6 hours may mean that there isn’t enough of this hormone being produced. This will make it less effective in communication with your brain. Your body will do this on purpose so you will eat more in order to make up for the lack of sleep and energy. This is not what you want when you are trying to lose weight. Ironically when trying to lose weight it is important to eat regular, proper portioned meals as these will help activate your hormones. Skipping meals will have the opposite effect and slow your metabolism down.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month


The National Cancer Institute says that weight gain is a major risk factor for developing breast cancer. Gaining weight in adulthood appears to increase the risk of breast cancer before and after menopause. One large study found that women who gained about 20 pounds after age 18 had a 15% higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who gained little or no weight. Women who gained 55 pounds or more had a 45% high risk. It is important for both men and women to keep a healthy weight. Managing weight is a challenge for most people in the U.S. In Fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 69% of American adults are over weight. 

6 Tricks To Avoid Treats


Halloween can be pretty darn tricky if you’re trying to stick to a diet plan. Regular sugary treats that you’d otherwise be able to resist shrink down to delectable, fun-size versions. Having just one certainly can’t be so bad, right? Most likely not, but the problem is, we normally don’t just have ONE. We tell ourselves one won’t hurt, then what happens is we have a few more until we look down and there is a pile of wrappers that is now equivalent to a king size candy bar. 

1. Stick to your regularly scheduled Sneals®.

2. Buy your candy last minute.

3. Be the boring house on the block.

4. Take Control.

5. Limit mindless eating.

6. For those of you who do end up splurging–bounce back!

Metabolic Minute about Liquid Calories

So you heard my Metabolic Minute about the liquid calories that we drink and that we are the only animal that drinks calories once we are weaned.  We do most of it for pure pleasure and not for nutrition.

What I have found when you put yourself out there on the radio and you make a statement or comment you almost instantly get people letting you know how smart they are and that you forgot this or that.

So as I racked my brain and searched the internet and I did find two animals that do drink their calories but it is for nutrition and not just for pleasure.

I am sure someone will come up with other animals that drink calories and if they are right I will add them in to this blog.

So the two animals are:

         1.  The Common Vampire Bat is found in the tropics of Mexico, Central America, and South             America.

The eating habits of this bat are said to be the most unique of all mammals. Vampire Bats feed off of blood, and this liquid diet is called Hematophagy. They are able to use receptors from the nose to help them find food. You may be wondering how they can live on blood, and it has to do with Draculin in the saliva. This substance ensures the blood from their prey doesn’t end up clotting in the body of the Vampire Bat.

         2.  The Hummingbird:

A hummingbird must consume approximately 1/2 of its weight in sugar daily, and the average hummingbird feeds 5-8 times per hour. In addition to nectar, these birds also eat many small insects and spiders, and may also sip tree sap or juice from broken fruits.

Thanks for listening to my Metabolic Minutes and you have any constructive friendly comments do not hesitate to email me directly at Drpowell@physiciansplan.net


Alcohol And It’s Impact On The Body

Alcohol use—as a well-established part of human culture—is something that has become almost as acceptable as eating and breathing. As a social facilitator and feel good drug of choice for many, alcohol is very popular indeed, with consumption at mass levels. One effect of alcohol, which is not widely discussed, is its impact on body composition. In its purest form, ethyl alcohol, which supplies seven calories per gram,  provides energy, bumping up ones total energy balance whenever it is consumed. Unlike macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, alcohol supplies what we often refer to as empty calories: calories without nutrition. To make matters worse, it is the first fuel to be used when combined with carbohydrates, fats and proteins, postponing the fat-burning process and contributing to greater fat storage.

4 Ways Alcohol Hinders Weight Loss

1. Alcohol Supplies Almost Twice As Many Calories As Protein And Carbs At seven calories per gram, alcohol supplies almost twice as many as protein and carbohydrates. In fact, alcohol has only two fewer calories than fat, which has nine per gram. It must also be remembered that the calories in alcohol lack the nutrients beneficial for a healthy metabolism and will therefore hasten fat storage. The calories found in the average alcoholic drink are quite concentrated compared to many foods, and this actually causes one to inadvertently take in many more calories than would otherwise be consumed. Alcohol is quite deceptive in that it passes through the system rapidly, often before the drinker is aware of the number of drinks they have had.

2. Alcohol Loosens The Inhibitions While drinking, people usually will not stop to consider the impact alcohol is having on their bodies; such is alcohol's affect on loosening the inhibitions. The result of this relaxed thinking could mean more calories consumed and extra body fat gains. Those drinking might also eat more of the wrong kinds of food, without thinking of the consequences. Alcohol tends to have an appetite stimulating effect as it provides little in the way of nutrition, leaving a craving for other foods at the time of consumption. Add this to the fact that fatty and salty foods tend to accompany most occasions featuring alcohol (as well as alcohol actually stimulating one's appetite for these kinds of foods), and the general loosening of resolve that goes with an inebriated mindset, and you have a recipe for excess fat gain. Alcohol has also been shown to affect motivation, making a healthy diet harder to stay on while it is being used.

3. Alcohol Can Damage The Stomach, Kidneys, And Liver Given alcohol is a by-product of yeast digestion; it can have an irritating effect on the lining of the stomach and gradually weaken the kidneys and liver, leading to serious health problems—even death in certain instances. Any weakening of the stomach will lessen the rate and efficiency at which food is digested, which ultimately interferes with a healthy metabolism and the weight loss process. The liver—which processes toxins and breaks down fats for fuel—is crucial when it comes to maintaining a healthy body composition. Alcohol is at its most destructive during the liver's detoxification process.

4. Alcohol Increases Appetite Touched on briefly in point two, alcohol can increase appetite, making the combination of alcohol and a fattening meal all the more worse. A study showed that alcohol consumed before a meal increased caloric intake to a far greater extent than did a carbohydrate drink. 

Click Here for Dr. Powell's ALCOHOL STORY!

Why portion control is the secret to losing weight

One of the major factors that can help you to achieve your weight loss goals is proper portion control. The crucial thing to realize as you attempt to manage your weight is that your weight is a direct function of the number of calories that  you ingest through food and drinks as compared with the number of calories that you burn off. You can burn off calories through normal activity and bodily functions as well as exercise. By adjusting these input and output levels, you'll adjust whether you gain, lose or maintain your weight.

How Portion Control Helps to Lose Weight

Portion control directly helps you to lose weight by tipping the scales in favor of the output of caloric energy. When you carefully monitor your portion sizes, you decrease the amount of food that you eat. This decrease in food intake also represents an overall decrease in the number of calories that you eat, provided that you eat the same foods that you did previously. This makes it easier for you to burn off  calories through less activity. Therefore, you will begin to gain weight more slowly or, ideally, maintain or even lose weight.

Other Benefits of Portion Control

Proper and healthy portion control is characterized by moderation. While it's important to not eat too much of any particular type of food,  it's also equally important to avoid eating too little. Learn about the recommended serving sizes of various types of food, and do your best to adhere to them. This will ensure that you are eating a proper amount and that your body is fully nourished. 

Proper Portion Control

There are a number of other benefits of portion control. First, you'll condition your body to become full after consuming a smaller quantity of food. This means that controlling your portions should become easier and easier over time, and that you'll have to concern yourself less as time goes on. Additionally, many people find that they generally feel better and have more energy when they've eaten moderate portions than they did when they ate overly large portions. Finally, monitoring your portions appropriately can help to improve your digestion process and your regularity as well.

Meat Nutritional Information

After you decide how many calories you need to eat per day and which foods you're going to eat, don't let super-sized portions ruin your good plans. Try to visualize the items below when you're planning a meal, ordering food out, or grabbing a sneal®.  For example, 3 ounces of meat, poultry, or fish is about the size of a deck of cards. Studies have found that the typical portion size is 2 to 8 times as large. Reducing your portion size is a good step toward a healthy diet.

Check Out These Recipes!

Watching portion sizes is an effective way to stay on top of your weight management goals. Make portion control easier by visiting our blog at carbessentials.net or our recipes page at physiciansplan.net for recipes that call for 3 ounces of meat. 

Dr. Powell's Summer Survival Guide

Summer-Proof Your Waistline

It’s summer time! Between barbecues, hanging out poolside, hikes and family vacations, your healthy eating efforts may take a backseat during these fun — but busy —summer months. Even when you’re on the go this time of year, you can still make healthy, wholesome eating choices. In general, eating healthy requires planning and thinking ahead to minimize eating out. While eating out is fun and delicious, indulging too often can lead to your body feeling sluggish and low on energy and can detract from fun experiences this time of year. Let’s talk through some of the most tried and true ways to make nutritious eating happen during the busy summer months.

1. Be Realistic. Trying to lose weight during the summer may be a self-defeating goal. Maybe a better goal is to maintain your weight. Set a goal that’s realistic. But if you plan on losing weight you have to have a plan.

2. Eat Before You Eat. Your first challenge is here! A lot of people try to starve themselves before a big meal. Don’t do it! The best strategy is to eat before you eat. An ideal amount is at least 60 calories of lean protein 20 minutes before the event.*Remember the gut lecture–see video.

3. Get Enough Sleep. During the summer, prioritize your sleep. This is a busy time of year, but at least 7 hours of sleep helps control your hunger and stress levels. *Remember the Ghrelin concept–see video.

4. Sneal Every 2–3 Hours. Try to eat a small meal or sneal every 2-3 hours to keep your digestive system constantly working. Learn more about Snealing at CarbEssentials.net.

5. The Secret To Losing Weight Is Eating. Don’t skip meals. This backfires because you come to the next meal over-hungry and eat even more. Eat sneals throughout the day. *Remember the 4-hour rule.

6. Plan For BBQ’s. Before you go to a BBQ, decide how much you are going to allow yourself to eat and remind yourself of your weight goal. Fill your plate with protein first. Eat a sneal before you go! See rule #2.

7. Contribute Something To The Cookout. If you bring guilt-free food, that's one less item on the table with a big caloric question mark over it. We're not suggesting you roll up with a bag of celery -- check out our blog at Carbessentials.net for recipe ideas everyone will love.

8. Use Your Grill. Summer is the best time of year to crank up the grill for your meals. Avoid things like brats wurst, hot dogs or fatty meats. Take advantage of the grill for making lean delicious things like pork loin, chicken breast, turkey burgers and even lean hot dogs.

9. Have A Strategy For Stress. If the summer months are stressful for you, have a healthy plan in place to deal with your emotions and stress instead of turning to food. Try to find a healthy activity that you can turn to when you feel stressed.

10. Keep Active. If you spend all day, every day, just sitting around your home, you'll be more likely to idly munch out of boredom. Rest and relaxation are great, but get in some activity too! The calorie burn is an added bonus...if you burn it, you earn it!

11. Stay Hydrated. It's hot out there! And did you know dehydration can trick your body into thinking its hungry, when what you really need is some good old-fashioned agua? Remember to keep the water flowing wherever you go, and carry around a refillable water bottle when possible. Ask for the water handout.

12. Socialize Over Eating. When you first get to a BBQ/event, take time to engage people in conversation instead of heading directly to the buffet line.

13. Ignite Your Metabolism. Despite the summer rush, eat something when you first wake up and start your day. *Remember my 4-hour rule.

14. Slow Down. Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful. You’ll eat less. Grandma was right, slow down and chew your food. *Remember my gut lecture–see video.

15. Beware Of The Buffet. Too much choice can leave us feeling overwhelmed and lead us to making rushed decisions. Be aware that while it may seem obvious which dishes are good and bad options, salads with lots of dressing or mayonnaise are not ‘good options’ just because they are better than fried foods. You don’t need to load your plate and make several trips just because the food is there.-Ask Dr. Powell about his buffet story. Go for the protein first!

16. Be Ready For A Reset. Let's face it, indulgences happen, and they should. But don't let a weekend of brunches and birthday parties turn into a month-long affair. Start fresh the very next day.

17. Beware Of Why You Are Eating. Make sure you are only eating if you are hungry, and not just munching because food is near.

18. Build A Better Burger. Create a healthier burger with half of a whole wheat bun, lean meats, and delicious veggie toppings. Add our calorie-free Walden Farms condiments.

19. Fill Your Hands. When you attend a cookout, grab a glass of water to hold in your hand so that you aren't as easily tempted to keep reaching for the finger food.

20. Traveling. As soon as we reach the airport or make the first stop on the highway, we are in holiday mode. Setting yourself up for many bad eating choices throughout your vacation. Plan your food well before you set off bringing plenty of healthy sneals with you to avoid craving other sugary or fatty foods. Bear in mind that on your day traveling to and from your vacation you really are not burning enough calories. Find other things to amuse you on your journey instead of resorting to eating out of boredom.

21. Eating On Vacation. One of the best things about visiting a new place is trying the local cuisine and dining out socially with family and friends. We can often do this every night while on vacation without thinking anything of it. Opt for grilled dishes with veggies and protein.

22. Find Eating Alternatives. Make a list of things to do besides eating: take a walk, call a friend, do some cleaning, etc.

23. Use A Calorie Counting App. Such as; Lose it, My Daily Plate, My Net Diary. Ask our staff to show you your particular nutritional requirements.

24. Check Yourself Out When Eating. Hang a mirror up opposite you when eating, as seeing your reflection appears to cut down on how much you eat by a third.

25. Change Your Coffee Order. While coffee itself is not a bad thing, the dairy and sugars that often go into it can be real calorie traps. For the next few months, swap your usual latte for black coffee, green tea or herb tea. You may well find that after a few weeks, the milky, frothy lattes you once adored have lost their allure… this is the ‘brain retrain’ you’re after: a change of mind to change your shape.

26. Use A Plate. Always eat everything off of a plate. This helps you see exactly how much you are eating vs. snacking or sampling that can add up to more than you’ve estimated. This is called food amnesia.

27. Bored With Plain H2O? Staying hydrated is vital during the summer heat. If you are bored with drinking water, sip on any zero calorie beverage.

28. Take A “Alcoholiday”. Sadly, alcohol is chemically similar to sugar, so drinking it will set off the same insulin resistance that can promote weight gain. Your glass of Chardonnay or your Mojito contains plenty of calories, but very little nutritional benefit — so, for a few weeks, aim to give it (and your liver) a break. Think of it as an "alcoholiday." And if you must drink? Try a white wine spritzer; make every second drink water; and watch the mixers. (OJ will double the calorie count of a vodka shot.)

29. Add Minutes Between Seconds. Try to wait at least 15-20 minutes between each trip to the buffet. This will help your body get to the point of feeling full before you overeat.

30. Move Your Body. Any additional activity will burn calories. Go on a walk, play with the kids, do anything that helps get you up and about to help counteract the inevitable extra vacation calories.

31. Look For Small Steps With Big Rewards. Small things can help cut your total calories, such as scraping off some of the icing from a cake or cupcake.

32. Ready To Drink/Eat Sneals. Take your bars and shakes with you when you are on-the-go. If you have access to a microwave then our entrees and soups are also suitable to be taken away with you, offering that little bit of support when you need it.

33. Celebrate The holiDAY, Fourth of July. Remember it is a holiDAY, not a holiWEEK, not a HoliMONTH. Only allow yourself the actual holiday to splurge if you want, but keep to your plan the rest of the season.

34. On the Side Please. Order any dressing or sauce on the side Remember to dip, not drench!

35. Read The Menu Carefully. Where you can, try and pick one of the healthier options on the menu. Bear in mind that the way something is described to be cooked is likely to give you a clue about how many calories it will contain For instance, anything that is pan-fried or roasted has probably been cooked in oil or butter. Pick steamed, boiled and/or grilled instead.

36. Be Prepared. Pack emergency sneals that can stand the heat, like our jerky, chips, ready to drink protein shakes, and bars without meltable layers.

37. Stay Positive. Listen to that voice in the back of your head. Is it positive and moving you toward your goals? Or is it destructive and undermining your weight loss efforts? Remember, even negative self-talk can be changed by positive thinking.

38. Eat A Sneal Before Drinking. Alcohol on an empty stomach will make your blood sugar drop and your body will want to EAT. It is best to never drink on an empty stomach, be sure to eat some protein and carbohydrates prior to drinking.

39. Use A Small Plate. When you select your plate, pick the smallest plate available so that your portions will be smaller.

40. Give Your Leftovers To The Guest. If you struggle with eating too many leftovers, send them home with your guests when you host a party or BBQ this season.

41. Make A List Before You Shop For The Big Event. The "plan your meals" bit works only if you also write down everything you need before you shop. Again, it's common sense, but it's uncommonly used.

42. Focus On The Process, Not The Outcome. When you're losing weight, think of an outcome and then find a process that takes you there.

43. SHARE. Share an entree when you go out for dinner. This will help you avoid over eating.

44. Pass On The Breadsticks. Ask your waiter to take away the bread basket! Instead, have a glass of water before your meal. Example:Olive Garden breadsticks are 140 calories each!

45. Prepare For The Boat Trip. Our non-melting sneals are guaranteed to help keep you feeling full for a longer period of time--bonus! These foods don't need to be kept cool, and therefore can be left in the heat.

46 Get A Cooler. If you're going on a road trip or to the lake you'll be able to cart along healthy options, like cut veggies, lean cut meats, and light yogurt. If you're going to the beach for the day, you won't be stuck buying cold drinks every hour. And if you're camping or picnicking, you'll be a hero to the whole group!

47. Take It One Day At A Time. It’s easier said than done, but the basic rule of thumb is to take it one day at a time. You’re more likely to fail if all you focus on is the end goal. Concentrate on the day ahead of you.

48. Check Out All The Options Before You Chew. Going to a BBQ? Peruse all the food items being offered before filling up your plate. This will help you find the most diet-friendly options and determine what might be worth splurging on. Go for the protein first!

49. We Are Your Weight Loss Partner. Be accountable to someone else for your weight. Be sure to come in and we will weigh you weekly, that way someone else is seeing your weight instead of just you.

50. Consistency Is Key. Staying consistent is important because it provides you with the time you need to build new habits and see the results of your hard work. It takes about 3-4 weeks to implement a new habit, stick with it! You can do it!.

51. Be Careful About Chip & Dip Purchases. Don’t buy chips too far ahead of an event or you may be tempted to eat them. Store them out of sight to help save them for the event instead of becoming a snack.

52. Brush Your Teeth After Meals. Flossing or brushing your teeth after eating will limit your desire to snack or eat between meals. As a result, you will not feel like eating after brushing your teeth and not to mention the bad taste that it gives the food.

53. Beware Of The Ribs. Ribs come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter how you cut ‘em, restaurant ribs need to stay off your summer menu. A quarter pound of beef or pork ribs weigh in at 534 calories and are loaded with saturated fat, and that’s before you slather on barbecue sauce. When cooking ribs at home, skip the sauce and us low-fat spices like mustard, garlic, and chili powder. They’ll add delicious flavor without many calories.

54. Avoid Grazing Stations. If you tend to graze during BBQ’s or cookouts, do not stand in the same area as the food.

55. Pay Attention To Portions. Use these 3 memorable points of reference: A tennis ball or baseball = about 1 cup. This measurement is useful for scoopable sides (think: potato, pasta and bean salads). Aim for 1 cup. Your iPhone = about 3 ounces of meat. This measurement comes in handy for steak, chicken and fish. Your thumb = about 1 tablespoon. This measurement comes in handy when you’re trying to estimate dressing or a spread. Choose reduced-fat varieties, which usually have half the calories, whenever you can.

56. Have A 2-Drink Minimum. If you're drinking alcohol, remember that it is high in calories so try to limit your consumption to a drink or two.

57. “Prioritize” your favorite food. If you’re dying for a big cheeseburger, get in line at the grill. Stick with a green salad or grilled vegetables and fruit as sides. Not so big on buns? Go for grilled chicken or fish on top of greens and spend that starch serving on a scoop of the creamy potato salad you truly love. Does dessert look irresistible? Dig in. Just make room for it first. Have a piece of lean protein (chicken,fish), grilled vegetables and a healthy side.

58. Go For A Morning Walk. Get outside in the morning before the summer sun hits, and have a nice stroll down the block.

59. Try A Workout Video. Try a workout video if it’s too hot to go outside.

60. Wrap Your Burger. Burger crazy? Skip the bun and wrap it in lettuce for a savings of about 150 calories!

61. Go For The Protein First. Lean proteins help you to feel fuller than carbohydrates or fats, so enjoy a little bit of what’s grilling: chicken, fish or a lean-beef burger.

62. Fill up on vegetables. Eat loads of green salad—with a couple of teaspoon–caps of dressing, preferably one that’s lower in fat. Crunch on the veggies—go easy on dips—instead of chips.

63. Don’t go crazy with starchy carbs. If you’re trying to keep a cap on calories, limit yourself to 1 cup—total—of starchy side dishes, such as potato, pasta and those delicious bean salads. Of course, you’re not going to whip out a measuring cup at a social event! Instead, visualize a tennis ball—that’s about the size of 1 cup. So is the size of a woman’s fist.

64. Junk The Juice. Fruit juice is a higher sugar, lower-nutrient version of it’s source — and it contains less fiber, too. You might as well be drinking a sugary soda.

65. Go For A Swim. Keep cool and burn calories. Swimming burns tons of calories! Water is 800 times denser than air, it burns more than twice the calories of walking.

66. When You’re Finished, Go Play. Start tossing a ball with the kids. Rally the adults to play horseshoes or some other outdoor game. No need to jump around like a fool to “burn off” dinner; the point is to pull yourself away from the chips and salsa.

67. Avoid Nighttime Hunger. When nighttime hunger strikes, distract yourself until the temptation subsides by exercising, reading or taking a bath. Never reward yourself with food.

68. Slim Down Favorite Recipes. Look for and invent lower-calorie versions of your favorite summer recipes. CarbEssentials has many ingredient options that can help you with this. Come in and ask our staff for help!

69. Add Water. Drink water with your meal, hydration can curb hunger and boost your metabolism by up to three percent.

70. Love Yourself. Think positive and speak kindly to yourself and about yourself to others.

71. Relax With Stretches. Avoiding the heat? You can do stretches while watching your favorite show in the comfort of your air-conditioned living room.

72. Eat The Same Number Of Sneals Every Day. You shouldn’t skip a meal or planned sneal. It disrupts your hunger cues and puts you at risk of eating stuff you'd typically avoid, or of overeating when you finally do eat.

73. Skip The Breakfast Carbs. Skip the breakfast cereal, muffins, bagels, and donuts. These just make you hungrier!

74. Focus Your Food Passions. You don't have to eat only carrot sticks, but practice moderation and don't eat every dessert available. Pick one dessert that you love and savor it.

75. Avoid Office Land Mines. Summer brings office potlucks. Limit yourself to one trip, load your plate with protein and avoid the potato salad.

76. Swap Desserts For Fresh Fruit. Even though I don’t normally suggest eating fruit due to it’s sugar content, it is the better alternative to ice creams and cookies. Fruit is also high in nutrients.

77. Pair Fruit With Meat. Eat equal amounts of meat and fruit. Fruits such as melons are 90% water. Eating more will keep you hydrated, which is especially good for your skin. Eating the protein with the fruit will keep blood sugars stable.

78. Reward yourself. Weight loss is about discipline. It’s ok to indulge and reward yourself every once in awhile, as long as it doesn’t turn into a whole day or week of rewards. Weight maintenance works best when you occasionally give in to temptation.

79. Use A Personal Activity Monitor. These are a great tool for motivating you to move more. Set a goal of walking so many steps in a day and use your tracker to meet your goals.

80. Cut Out The Soda. If you cut out two cans of soda a day, you can lose 1/2 lb a week–even if you make no other changes.

81. Protein, Protein, Protein. Always include protein in every meal/sneal. Protein is the component of your meal that keeps you fuller longer and controls your appetite and blood sugars throughout the day.

82. Know Your Treat Intake. If you have a sweet tooth, allow yourself a small amount on a plate. It will help you to eat only that amount.

83. Keep Sneals On Hand. Always pack some sneals and keep them in your purse and car for those times when you are hungry while out and about.

84. Move To Make You Happy. Move your body everyday in a way that makes you happy. Try to get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes.

85. CHEW. Chew your mouthful at least 20 times. Eating slower can help you eat less because it gives time for your brain to recognize when you are full. It will shut off your appetite before you’ve eaten too much.

86. Beware The Meal Size. Make your breakfast and lunch the larger meals of your day, and make dinner a sneal.

87. Have A Daiquiri Strategy. Daiquiris sound light and refreshing, but their nutritional profile is big and bloated. An 8-ounce strawberry daiquiri, for example, packs more calories than a double-patty hamburger and is loaded with fat and sugar! Limit your supply, and look for zero calorie mixers.

89. Pay Attention. If you’re not paying attention during your meal you are more likely to lose track of how much food you’re eating, and end up consuming 25% more calories than you really need.

90. Take A Break Before Overeating. If you are tempted to overeat at a meal, tell yourself that you can always eat more later, and put your utensils down and take a break.

91. Package Up Half Your Meal. When eating out ask your server to package up half your meal before they bring it out.

92. Vitamin C. Vitamin C inhibits the production of cortisol, a hormone that essentially tells your body to ‘store fat’.

93. Hydrate Often. The summer heat makes you more susceptible to dehydration. Start off your day by drinking two glasses of water and keep drinking at each meal, as well as before and after your workout, to stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you as a reminder to stay hydrated.

94. Don’t Let Temptation Control You. Sit further away from the snack table, eat smaller portions, and have small sneals® throughout the day so you’re not tempted to gorge.

95. Stand Whenever You Can. Standing burns 1.5 times more calories than sitting. Stand when you’re at the doctor’s office, when you watch TV, even when you work at your computer. JUST STAND.

96. Start Your Day With Protein. Eating at least 15-20g of protein first thing in the morning will increase your calorie burn all day long.

97. Instagram Your Meal. Taking a snap of your meal cannot only make others envious of your food, but it also benefits those love handles. Researchers suggest that taking a photograph of food just before you eat, concentrates the mind to eat not only healthier foods but also less of it.

98. Eat Fresh. Every Sunday, take 15 minutes to plan what you’ll eat for dinner in the coming week, and then hit the store with a list. If you’ve got what you’ll need to make dinner each night you’re less likely to reach for a takeout menu.

99. Drown Out The Pounds. Water is like fat-burning fuel: It’s what your metabolism requires to function, especially in the summer heat when we tend to lose water faster than normal.

100. Beware Of Liquids. Fruity drinks, beer, soda, and wine go down so easy and can add hundreds if not thousands of calories to your daily intake. Drink more water.

5-HTP an Enhanced Formula

Our 5-hydroxytryphan (5HTP) formula is specially designed to help reduce cravings, improve overall mood, improve sleep patterns, and with addition of Vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, and L-glutamine helps improve other functions within the body. This natural supplement can be used by any of our patients that are on any of our programs. It can also be used as a “stand alone” supplement for patients that cannot or choose not to use the prescription appetite suppressant medications. Stop by your nearest Physician's Plan and ask for our 5-HTP handout today!


A Note From Dr. Powell- Liquid Calories

Have you ever thought about how many calories you drink in a day? Hidden calories, that are of no nutritional value, can add up quickly. Your body stores these extra calories as fat. We are essentially the only animal (with a few exceptions) that continues to consume liquid calories after weaned from our mothers. Particularly, drinking these calories for pure pleasure, not nutrition. Think about it: what does an adult zebra, gorilla, bear, deer, elk, raccoon, cow, sheep, or a chicken drink? That's right: WATER. Do you ever see a zebra drinking a sugary soda? Or how about a gorilla with an energy drink? Or what about a bear drinking a beer or a glass of wine? Nope, they all drink water only. So think about all the calories we drink in this country: sodas with 140 calories per can; or what about the calories in a 44oz super-sized soda with 513 calories; the specialty coffees that can range from 190 to 470 calories; a glass of orange juice (a regular household glass holds 8oz ounces) can easily be 100 calories; and don't forget the cow milk that we drink at over 148 calories per glass. What about a beer that can be 80 to 250 calories per bottle or a glass of wine at 160 calories?! Don't forget the daiquiris and margaritas that can be over 400 calories! When I review with my new patients about their liquid calories, many do not realize how many calories they are drinking. Now I'm a realist, I'm not going to tell someone to stop all of their liquid calories at once unless they want to. And I'm not going to tell them to give up all their liquid pleasures forever. What I tell them is this, "It's not about giving anything up, it's about how much and how often" How many liquid calories do you drink?

Blood Pressure Education Month

High Blood Pressure, also know as Hypertension, increases the risk of serious diseases and conditions such as heart disease and stroke. In the US, heart disease is the most common form of death and stroke is the third leading cause. Other risk factors of high blood pressure include congestive heart failure & kidney disease. High blood pressure can have a huge impact on a person’s life. Overall, the incidence of hypertension is about the same in men and women. However, there are gender differences between age groups. In people under the age of 45, the incidence is higher in men; in the over 65 year age category, it is higher in women. There are also race differences; it is more common among African Americans than Caucasians and less likely to occur in Mexican-Americans. In the US, approximately 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure, however most people are not aware they have this condition due to a lack of signs or symptoms.

High Blood Pressure Education Month encourages people to look at various lifestyle factors which may be contributing to high blood pressure. It is well documented that high levels of sodium (salt) is linked to high blood pressure. In the US, the majority of people consume more than twice the level of recommended sodium intake. Guidelines recommend up to 2,300mg of sodium per day for an adult. Those at higher risk should consume even less (up to 1,500mg of sodium a day). Higher risk groups include those who have diabetes, kidney disease, existing high blood pressure, and African American people.

Lifestyle changes which can help reduce blood pressure, include maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, quitting smoking and following a healthy low sodium diet.


Blood-Pressure-Infographic 2.jpg

6 Egg-cellent Tips For Staying On Track This Easter


Just when you thought all the holidays were behind you (and no longer threatening your weight-loss), along comes Easter. Towering displays of marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies fill the stores, and you may be planning a massive feast but don't let it deter your weight loss efforts.

Here are some tips to survive this Easter weekend:

Don’t sit down to dinner on an empty stomach.- You’ll be more likely to overeat. Eat about 60 calories of a lean protein, about 20 minutes before dinner. This will enable you to enjoy your meal without feeling famished and overeating.

Be active –Go for a walk before church or coordinate a street-wide Easter egg hunt or parade. You would be amazed at all the local offerings. Get outside!

Rethink that Easter basket- Purchase nontraditional gifts like books, costume jewelry or gift certificates. Instead of buying lots of candy, buy plastic eggs and fill them with stickers, money or small toys.

Shift your focus -Remind yourself that holidays are not a whole season, a whole weekend, or even a whole day. Think about what is actually on the menu you are planning and if there are any healthier alternatives you can incorporate. You might surprise yourself and your family with something new!

Spread the wealth –Don’t buy a big bag of candy. And if you end up with one: Share, share, share! Adults like to share in candy they only see once a year. 

Change the sweets to natural sweets – Now is a good time to switch out candy for fruit that is in season. 

For fresh ideas on how to put those leftover Easter eggs to good use, checkout our blog on CarbEssentials.net!