Beyond the scale: How to beat bloating

All right, Eva, thank you. To our series “Beyond the scale” and this morning we’re showing you how to win the battle of the bloat. Our nutrition dream team is here. Senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton and dietitian Maya feller. We have your attention. Let’s fight the bloat here.

Why do we experience this? That’s the million dollar question. A complex condition. It’s a symptom that a lot of people deal with. There are a lot of theories out there about what causes intestinal bloating range from intrinsic G.I. Problems like irritable bowel and alteration in the bacteria or gut microbiome, certain medications and dietary sensitivity or slow gut motion.

So let me show you why this is uncomfortable, robin. If you imagine this is the intestine. It’s normally collapsed. Things move through. It moves, it’s called peristalsis. In bloating it’s not just the volume in there, it’s actually — ? Oh, wow. The stretch in the intestines that causes so much pain. It is stretch sensitive. It can be so incredibly painful. Okay. So it helps when you feel this way, we make bad food choices. Absolutely. When you feel that stretch and that distention, you think, look, I’m not going to eat anything. I’m not going to drink anything and that’s exactly the opposite of what you want to do. You actually want to eat and drink so that you can move food through the bowel rather than be stuck and distended.

You talk about food and that is a big key. What are the ones we should avoid?

Look, everyone will be a little different with this but these are the big offenders, mainly processed foods. High in sugar and salt. Things that say fat-free actually can increase bloating so this is some examples. We kind of know that. But over on the side what can help us? So here we’ve got these gorgeous potassium rich foods and also have fiber in them. They’re easy digested. That will help the movement through the bowel, low stress. Okay, you all have some little tips that you think could help. What’s yours. That’s why I’m wearing my sneakers today. Right. Exactly because physical activity moves that abdominal wall, right.

Hes to get you moving and other things through. You thought we were going to have the treadmill for you. All bummed out. Here’s the secret weapon. We learned this in the surgical literature. Chewing gum. We would give it to patients after surgery who have what we call a postop I willous. Their intestines are temporarily paralyzed. The theory is the secretions and nerve signals get that intestinal movement we’ve been talking about moving forward and could work in a nonsurgical patient as well. If only I could chew gum and walk at the same time. Ba-dum-dum.

What to know about popular ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet, described as “Atkins on steroids” for its focus on foods high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates, is growing in popularity but some nutritionists warn it may not live up to the hype.

The diet’s proponents say that it is the best way to lose weight without feeling hungry and that it increases energy levels. Celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Adriana Lima and athletes from LeBron James to Tim Tebow have all reportedly followed some form of low carb diets.

“Absolutely this diet works,” New York-based registered dietitian nutritionist Maya Feller told ABC News. “It is going to give people weight loss.”

The ketogenic, keto for short, diet was developed in the 1920s after it was noticed that after fasting, epileptics would experience a marked reduction in their seizures. The diet is designed to get your body into a state called ketosis where your body is so low on carbohydrates it starts burning fat for fuel.

Ketosis is also what the body does when fasting.

Keto dieters drastically cut carbohydrates to about 10 percent of their daily diet, which in some cases can be just 20 grams of carbohydrates per day.

That amount of carbohydrates is equivalent to one slice of white bread per day, according to Feller.

Nutritionists also stress that followers of a keto diet should get their fat intake from healthy fats like olive oils and nuts.

Samantha Kafedzic, 31, has lost 17 pounds since starting on a keto diet four weeks ago.

Kafedzic, who admits she now eats “very different” meals from her daughter, said she feels better overall in addition to the weight loss.

“I have more energy with this one running around,” Kafedzic said, pointing to her daughter. “My workouts are so much better. I definitely have more stamina.”

The key to being successful on the keto diet is getting about 20 percent of your calories from protein and eating lots of fat. For some keto followers, the amount of fat could equal more than 70 percent of their diet.

The amount of fat someone following the keto diet may consume in one day could be more than five times the recommended intake for daily fat for the average American, according to Feller.

The diet’s critics argue that it is nearly impossible to follow long-term, could lead to muscle loss and could deprive your brain of its preferred source of fuel, carbohydrates.

Feller agrees that the keto diet is not a diet she would recommend following for an extended period of time.

“The jury is out on if that is safe for the long term,” she said. “What most studies say is that you can follow a ketogenic diet for some months. You don’t want the body to stay in ketosis long term.”

Fruit smoothies may not live up to health hype


If you drink fruit smoothies for breakfast, there’s something you should know.

It may be better to skip the blender, and just eat the ingredients.

ABC’s Becky Worley ate a breakfast of mango, pineapple, banana, yogurt, and apple juice.

The next day, she drank a smoothie of the same ingredients.

After eating the fruits, her blood sugar levels went up but stayed fairly even.

After the smoothie, blood sugar spiked right away, then dropped barely an hour later.

That caused her to crave snacks, something she didn’t experience the day before.

When you eat fruit, the fiber slows down the digestion.

“You could say fiber is like a mesh-netting, so that it slows the sugar-absorption down, so that it’s not going rushing in,” says registered dietitian Maya Feller.

But with a fruit smoothie, you miss that first step, breaking down the fiber with the blender.

A better way to make smoothies altogether is to only pick one or two fruits, add some vegetables, such as a leafy green.

And add protein, such as protein powder, nut butter, or milk.

The protein will also keep your blood sugar more stable.

6 Ways to Fight Holiday Flab on New York Post

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New York Post

There’s still leftover Halloween candy strewn around the house, the start of the holiday party season is just weeks away and dropping temperatures are making hearty comfort food look far more appealing than the salad bar. Winning the battle of the bulge this time of year can be especially challenging. Here are six strategies.

1. Spirits, away

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Holiday cheer often involves plenty of boozy calories. But there’s an easy way to include alcohol in a healthy diet: Skip the sugary cocktails and stick to vino.

“A glass of red wine at 100 calories per serving is a better selection compared to mulled wine, a combination of wine, cider, honey and sweet liquor that pours an additional 50 calories and 7 teaspoons of added sugar into your glass,” says Catherine Hauser, a dietitian with F-Factor.

2. Go crazy with cauliflower

Instead of loading up on carb-rich mashed potatoes, Carlo Filippone of Elite Lifestyle Cuisine recommends subbing the tubers for mashed cauliflower. “It has tons of potassium and it’s high in vitamin C,” he enthuses. To make the mash, boil florets until tender and puree in a food processor with a bit of olive oil, stock or milk, and your favorite spices.

Dietitian/nutritionist Lauren Minchen says that the vegetable is also great in lieu of rice. “[You can] cut 100 to 150 calories and 20 to 40 grams of carbs.”

3. Don’t sweat the sweets

Tame your sugar cravings by adhering to the three-bite dessert rule. “The first taste is the best, then two more to indulge,” says nutritionist Amy Shapiro of Real Nutrition NYC. “After that your brain isn’t really registering the flavor anymore — you are just eating for sport.”

Another option? Skip dessert altogether and order a cappuccino. “Dust the top with cinnamon and sip away while everyone else indulges,” she says. And, go ahead and order it with whole milk. “It will feel decadent without pushing you over the edge.”

4. Sub out the pasta

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“Spaghetti squash is super easy to prepare and can be used in place of pasta,” says nutritionist Lisa Jubilee of Midtown’s Living Proof nutrition counseling. Just cut the squash in half, remove seeds and bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out the filling and top with your favorite spaghetti sauce.

“Unlike with pasta, you can feel free to eat a nice-sized portion of this spaghetti, with only 42 calories per cup.” If gutting a gourd is too daunting a task, then opt for store-bought black-bean spaghetti. “It is both high in plant-based protein and fiber to keep you satiated,” says Brooklyn-based nutritionist Maya Feller.

5. Party smart

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Scope out the food first. “Always do a full loop of the buffet table before you put anything on your plate, decide what you want, [fill your plate once] — and then walk away,” says dietitian Mandi Pek.

Another strategy? Only choose one of the three “c’s” — cake, carbs or cocktails — advises Real Nutrition NYC’s Shapiro. “Picking one per event keeps your calories down and your waistline small,” she says.

6. Soup it up

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Another bulge-battling basic is to start your meal with a satisfying bowl of soup. “It fills you up without a lot of calories and leaves less room for the heavier entree,” says Shapiro.

But, be careful. “It can add up quickly with heavy calorie- and fat-laden choices,” says dietitian and nutritionist Lauren Minchen. Make sure to go for something broth-based — like chicken or vegetable — instead of a creamy soup.