Dear Diet Diary,
I really did not want to have a weigh-in in the middle of Chanukah, but that was the only appointment that was available. I guess in a way it was good knowing that I had to face the scale right after Chanukah, because it did help keep things in check, but unfortunately, I still gained some weight. When discussing this with Alice, she explained that sometimes we feel we are making good choices, when in fact the foods we are eating are far from dietetic. Here are some examples she gave:
- Carrot muffins, apple cobblers, zucchini cookies, and the like: We are so conditioned to believe that foods that incorporate fruits and vegetables are good for us that we forget that what we are really eating is cake. Packed with flour, sugars, oils and calories, these foods often appear at Shabbos or Yom Tov meals, or as “healthier” dessert options. Fruits or vegetables that find their way into a recipe that is filled with unhealthy ingredients do not change the fact that it is not the best choice. It just makes us more likely to eat it even when we are on diets.
- Vegetable chips, kale chips, Terra Stix, etc.: I did a great job staying away from foods like potato chips, that not only are very high in fat and calories, but also have an addictive quality. (It even says so on the Pringles can - “Once You Pop You Can’t Stop!” That’s their actual motto!) However, snacks like vegetable chips, Terra stix and sweet potato chips seem much more dietetic. I snacked on some of these fancier chips that showed up at the Chanukah parties, thinking that they were more waistline friendly. They aren’t. Turns out, they have very similar fat and calorie content to their regular potato chip counterparts, and because they seem so innocent, people are more likely to eat a lot at a time.
- Salads: When Rachel told me she doesn’t like the word “salads,” I was pretty surprised. What does she have against salads? Well, nothing, as long as they consist solely of non-starchy vegetables and a bit of light dressing on the side. But this isn’t what most people think of when they hear the word salad. Salads usually consist of add-ins such as croutons, craisins, mangos and berries, glazed nuts, starchy vegetables, ramen noodles, sunflower seeds, oil and/or mayonnaise measured by the cupful. In fact, a salad can easily have more calories than a big bowl of pasta, but it sounds so much healthier.
I guess looking back at my Chanukah, it is not surprising that I gained weight! While I stayed away from chocolates, fried food and extra challah, I definitely did not eat perfectly, especially considering the above. However, I feel good about the fact that I did not binge or drop my diet completely, and I am ready to get back on track!
‘Til next week,
Tip of the week: When having salad at a meal, make sure that the salad is only vegetables, and keep the dressing on the side so that you don’t end up eating more than one tablespoon of it. The fats in salads do matter!
Alice Harrosh, Alice Harrosh is a Nutrition Counselor and Manager at Nutrition by Tanya, with 12 locations, including one on Main street in Queens! Alice knows that making healthy choices is not always easy, as she has been through the struggle herself. As an optimistic person, Alice’s favorite quote is: “It’s never too late to start eating better. If you have a bad morning, make it a better afternoon.” For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya-approved products) food line, please visit www.nutritionbytanya.com or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, you may follow @nutritionbytanya on Instagram.