Nutrition: Recommendations for Weight Management

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Nutrition: Recommendations for Weight Management




Guest:  Tanya Turner – Registered Dietician

Host:  Dr. Linda Austin – Psychiatry


Dr. Linda Austin:  I’m Dr. Linda Austin.  I’m interviewing Tanya Turner who is a registered dietician with the Weight Management Center here at the Medical University of South Carolina.  Tanya, we have a lot of podcasts on many different topics, including diet and nutrition, that I would refer our listeners to.  But, in this, let’s focus on some of the things that you recommend or help people with over at the Weight Management Center, for example, the use of protein, supplements, shakes, powder supplements, etc.  Tell us what you generally recommend and why.


Tanya Turner:  We definitely recommend meal replacement supplements as an option for a weight loss program.  One of the main things about them is that they just help you get focused on, you know, maybe your meal spacing versus what you’re actually eating.  When I recommend a supplement, whether it be a bar or a shake, one of the biggest things is you want to make sure that it has some balance to it.  So, you’re looking for it to have a certain amount protein.  And we at least recommend a bar or a shake that has about 12 to 15 grams of protein with some carbohydrate, as well as adequate fiber, so that it’s not just strictly a protein shake or protein bar, that it’s actually more of a meal replacement bar.


Dr. Linda Austin:  And, specifically, what brand do you recommend?


Tanya Turner:  Over at the Weight Management Center, the bars are made by Robard.  The shakes are made by HMR.  For over-the-counter products, we recommend EAS, as well as the Myoplex Lite, and some of the South Beach products.


Dr. Linda Austin:  How about the issue of preservatives in those supplements, is that a concern?


Tanya Turner:  For somebody who’s trying to lose weight, I think more of the concern is controlling the calories and making sure that you’re getting a balance.  The bars and the shakes are fortified, so it’s not something, obviously, you’d want to do for the rest of your life, in terms of a balance.  But it does give you adequate vitamins and minerals.  As for the preservatives, I usually take the stance that it’s the patient’s choice whether or not they really want to be consuming that many preservatives or processed foods in their diet.


Dr. Linda Austin:  For those who choose not to go that route but do want a sense of just not wanting to have a lot of choices and having a really a basic snack where there’s calorie control, what do you recommend?


Tanya Turner:  Anything that’s really going to be almost prepackaged and calorie-controlled, if they don’t necessarily want to do a shake or a bar, if they feel those supplements are too rigid, even keeping things as basic as, you know, I’m going to do one certain type of lunch, whether it be Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice, that type of thing, or preplanning your calorie level at each of your meals.


Dr. Linda Austin:  So, in other words, you have to do that when your tummy is full, not when you’re ravenous?


Tanya Turner:  Exactly.  Usually after you’ve had a meal and you’re pretty satisfied, then you can start preplanning for the next day.


Dr. Linda Austin:  Right.  When you have a little guilt on board too, that probably helps.


Tanya Turner:  Definitely.


Dr. Linda Austin:  How about timing and spreading out of carbs and proteins throughout the day, do you have any recommendations there?


Tanya Turner:  In general, we definitely encourage people to eat more regularly than the average person probably would.  Initially, we really would like you to eat within about two hours of getting up in the morning.  That’s going to get your metabolism started.  And then you really don’t ever want to go much longer than about four hours without consuming something.  The reason being, it takes about four hours for things in your stomach to be completely digested.  At that point, you should be getting very hungry. 


And when you look at that balance, like I said with the bars or shakes, we really look at having an adequate amount of carbohydrate and protein as a combination so that you’re getting energy, but also staying more satisfied.


Dr. Linda Austin:  Any other tips, recommendations, that come to mind that your patients have found especially helpful?


Tanya Turner:  I thing the other thing is looking at, if you are doing all food versus the supplements, or even when you’re doing the supplements, making sure there’s adequate fiber.  That is something that keeps you more satiated for a longer period of time.  We usually recommend for something to have at least 2.5 grams of fiber or more per serving so that you’re staying more full.


Dr. Linda Austin:  How often do you recommend folks should weigh themselves?


Tanya Turner:  Every single day.


Dr. Linda Austin:  Everyday?


Tanya Turner:  Everyday.  First thing in the morning, preferably before you have anything in your system, just because, then, it’s more of constant.


Dr. Linda Austin:  Because?


Tanya Turner:  Research has really shown that if you weigh yourself on a regular basis, you really start to see how your body not only trends, but you start to see, you know, if I do eat something and I see a fluid fluctuation, how it will go up and down, just makes you very aware of what your body is doing.  Also, if you’re weighing yourself everyday, you can, hopefully, if you’re trying to stop or prevent weight gain, catch it within a day or two, versus a week or two later, if you’re only weighing once or twice a week.

Dr. Linda Austin:  Are there any little sort of mischievous habits that people have that you see commonly catch up with them in ways that they would not expect?  I’m thinking of things like a latte at Starbucks, where you’re thinking, oh, it’s just a coffee drink.  What are some sort of sneaky little problems?


Tanya Turner:  We see a lot of hidden calories.  And it could be something as simple as the coffee in the morning where they’re putting, maybe, Splenda, but then they’re putting two or three creamers in it.  Those creamers will add up over time.  Other things are, you know, small pieces of cheese, or mayonnaise on a sandwich, that maybe you don’t think a whole lot about, as well as even, you know, a candy dish somebody may have at work, walking by and grabbing a piece of candy.  Little things add up.  And it really doesn’t take much more than, you know, ten to fifty calories extra, on a daily basis, to see a weight gain over a year.


Dr. Linda Austin:  Last night my husband and I didn’t have any food in the house and thought, well, we’ll just have a little pizza out of the refrigerator.  And I got this little package of pizza for one that was, I mean, a pretty scrawny little thing.  It could not have been more than five or six inches across, and it was labeled for one.  It had 770 calories though.  And that’s just for a little pizza.  That doesn’t count the salad or anything else with it, the little chianti on the side, or whatever.


Tanya Turner:  Right.


Dr. Linda Austin:  It is shocking how, if you’re not aware, calories can really sneak in where you don’t expect them.


Tanya Turner:  Especially with packaged food, or if you’re dining out, the calories add up so quickly.  People don’t even realize it.  They think they’re getting something healthy, like a salad, and then there’s the added cheese and croutons, or even just the little bit of protein that’s on it.  They may have eight ounces instead of the four ounces that they need.  It definitely adds up quickly.


Dr. Linda Austin:  Tanya, thanks so much for talking with us.


Tanya Turner:  Alright.  You’re welcome.


If you have any questions about the services or programs offered at the Medical University of South Carolina or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, please call MUSC Health Connection:  (843) 792-1414.


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