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The Weight is Over

Do Not “Sack” Your “Life Style Change for Life” By Watching the Super Bowl

by Anne Jones 23. January 2015

Many of us made the commitment to change our life style on January 1st, 2015. We want to be healthier. This includes moving more and eating healthier. Then, with much fanfare, comes the Super Bowl. A day that, traditionally, includes over indulging.

Here is what many of us partake in at a Super Bowl Party; Pizza, wings, nachos and beer. We also find that nice comfortable chair and stretch out to watch, hopefully, an exciting game, classified as Americas’ favorite “pass” time, as well as clever commercials that keep us entertained, even if the game does not.

So here’s the breakdown of what many of us might consume, and I am underestimating the portions: 12 ounce Beer, 6 chicken wings (not to mention the bleu cheese dip), 1 slice of cheese pizza and 6-8 nachos with cheese. I am not including dessert because the calories we would consume with the above reached nearly 1300 calories. That is more calories than many of us should consume in 1 day.

We will not burn those calories by sitting in the comfy chair watching the game and commercials, but we can burn them by SPRINTING 25 lengths of a football field.

So…what to do? Be prepared! If you are hosting the party, you have the control of what to serve.  Appetizers of raw veggie platters, shrimp cocktail and hummus with baked pita chips. Your main course can include chili made with ground turkey, roasted vegetables and a fruit salad. Have bottled water and no calorie drinks close by the television and keep the beer in the kitchen. Consumption then takes some effort.

My co-workers have told me about “Buffalo Cauliflower Wings” and have said they are delicious. I looked up some recipes and the ingredients look healthy and there are multiple recipes. I may give them a try.

If you are attending a party, bring some healthy alternatives to share and make sure to eat a meal prior to attending the party. You will be satisfied and less likely to over indulge.


New Year, New You

by Anne Jones 5. January 2015

Okay, enough with the New Year’s resolutions that go absolutely nowhere. Make 2015 the year things change for you, by understanding that the answers to better health are actually quite simple.

No Secrets – It’s Common Sense
There is no magic pill or magic wand out there to help you lose weight. In order to lose weight, you have to consume less calories than you burn, which means eat less and exercise more.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation,” as Oscar Wilde once said, are words to live by, especially when it comes to diet and exercise.

The skinny on a proper diet can be found at choosemyplate.gov and by talking with your doctor, among a myriad of other sources. Essentially, you want to eat a variety of foods from the main food groups that are high in nutrients. Additionally, be sure to keep unhealthy things like saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt and alcohol to a minimum. You should also stay away from the “diet” mentality. Don’t think of it as having to be on a “diet.” The changes you are making are for a healthy lifestyle for life.

Define your long term goals and then start by making small changes. Success will come if you start small. Aim to make one tweak a day: add a new fruit to breakfast; skip your pre-dinner cocktail; or use a smaller plate at a buffet.  

Some people have to ask themselves if they are using food as a coping mechanism to deal with stress in their lives. If the answer is ‘yes,’ you should talk with your doctor or possibly see a counselor to help you better deal with the underlying problem.

The winter months tend to keep us indoors more, so it does take some extra effort to exercise. Consider walking at the local mall and exercising in your home with a treadmill or to a workout video that suits your level of activity. 

Standard guidelines suggest adults should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. 60 minutes of moderate to higher intensity activity on most days of the week, while not exceeding caloric intake requirements will provide greater health benefits and better weight management for most people. You should consult your doctor before you begin any new exercise routine to ensure it’s safe for you.

When All Else Fails…
Sometimes obesity cannot be treated by diet and exercise alone. For people who are severely obese and can’t lose weight by traditional methods or who suffer from serious obesity-related health problems, weight loss surgery may be a viable option. Visit ellismedicine.org for more information about our comprehensive, nationally recognized weight loss surgery program.

What Are You Waiting For?
So are you ready to make 2015 the year you get healthier? Before you answer, consider what good health is worth to you? Better yet, ponder what is more valuable than your health.

For more information about nutrition services, including programs available at the Ellis Medicine’s Medical Center of Clifton Park, visit ellismedicine.org or call 518.243.4345.

Fit Tips

  • Get motivated. Keep yourself motivated during your weight loss journey by doing the “write thing.” Writing down your weight loss goals reinforces them in your mind.
  • Want it. Another "stick with it strategy" is to use the word "want" instead of "should." Saying you "should" do something, like exercise, implies that you feel the activity is a burden. Tell yourself you want to work out or you want to eat less is the better approach.
  • Shop the Perimeter. When grocery shopping stick to the outside walls of the store to get the freshest, healthiest foods. The packaged, less healthy food choices tend to be kept in the aisles in between.
  • Wear a Pedometer. A pedometer can actually prompt you to be more active. Aim for 2,000 steps per day, and work up to 10,000. Consult your physician before beginning any new physical activity.
  • Protein first! Gram for gram, protein has the same number of calories as carbohydrates and half the fat, but takes longer to digest, so you feel full longer. Include a serving of lean protein with each meal and snack.
  • Stop Smoking. The adverse health effects for smokers are staggering. Sign up for a smoking cessation class (ellismedicine.org) or call the NYS Quitline at 1.866.NY.QUITS (1.866.697.8487). 

All About Spaghetti Squash

by Tara Joyce 17. December 2014

Remember last week when we talked about Volumetrics and how 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash only has 42 calories? This week I thought we could compare spaghetti squash and regular spaghetti and see how their nutrition facts compare.


Spaghetti Squash


Serving Size

1 Cup

1 Cup




Total fat

0 grams

1 gram


10 grams

43 grams

Dietary Fiber

2 grams

3 grams


1 gram

8 grams


33 mg

10 mg


180 mg

62 mg


1 mg

2 mg

Vitamin A

9 ug (1% target)

0 ug (0% target)

 Check out that calorie difference! 42 calories for 1 cup of Spaghetti Squash versus 220 calories in a cup of Spaghetti.

Wins for Spaghetti Squash:

  • Lower Calories
  • Less Carbohydrates
  • More Calcium
  • More Potassium
  • More Vitamin A

Check out Hungry Girl’s Website on recipes and ideas for how to use Spaghetti Squash:

Question of the day?What is your favorite way to use Spaghetti Squash?


by Tara Joyce 8. December 2014

As promised, this blog we will discuss the benefits of volumetric eating!

Volumetric eating was originally designed by Dr. Barbara Rolls, professor and Chair of Nutritional Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focused on weight loss, satiety and how to lose weight without feeling deprived.

So many diets fail because we get HUNGRY! The body does not like to not be in balance and starts to release hormones telling the brain to get something to eat!

With Volumetrics eating however, the stomach feels full and satisfied, making it easy to stick to!

On the Volumetrics eating plan, a person gets to eat A LOT of food.

Yes you read that right, they get to eat A LOT of food.

But, it is low-calories food (ie. Vegetables).

This helps the stomach feel full and satisfied, thus promoting weight loss!

Let’s take a look at some foods that would be allowed on the Volumetrics eating plan:


Serving Size



1 Medium Apple

95 calories


1 Cup

30 calories


1 Cup

85 calories


1 Cup

17 calories


1 Cup

27 calories

Chicken (no skin)

3 oz.

120 calories


1 Cup

16 calories

Egg Beaters

3 Tbsp

25 calories


1 Cup

62 calories


1 Cup

5 calories

Greek Yogurt (light)

5.3 oz

80 calories


1 Cup

60 calories


1 Cup

31 calories


3 oz.

84 calories


3 oz.

95 calories

Spaghetti Squash, cooked

1 Cup

42 calories


1 Medium

22 calories


As much as you want!

0 calories J

Wraps (low-calorie) such as Flatout Wraps

1 Wrap

100 calories

No Sugar Added Fudgsicles

2 Bars

80 calories


1 Cup

21 calories

Just like before, check out those serving sizes! You can have 3 cups of spaghetti squash for just over 100 calories!

And the good news does not stop with saving calories! Many of these foods are chock-full of nutrition loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Moral of the story: You don’t need to feel deprived while cutting calories.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite low-calorie food?

Small Size Does Not Always = Low Calorie

by Tara Joyce 2. December 2014

Have you ever thought “I don’t know why I can’t lose weight, I don’t eat a lot?” and then sat down to calculate how many calories you ate and the total was way more than you thought it was?

The truth is, is that the size of a food is not always indicative of how many calories it has.

Here are some examples of foods that are very small, but also loaded with calories:


Serving Size


Alfredo sauce

¼ cup

100 calories


1/5 medium 

50 calories


1  slice

41 calories


1 Tbsp

102 calories

Caesar Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp

78 calories


1 oz.

100 calories


1 bar

210 calories

Cream Cheese

2 Tbsp

100 calories

Dried Fruit

½ cup

200 calories


2 Tbsp

130 calories


2/3 cup

230 calories


1 Tbsp

60 calories

Olive Oil

1 Tbsp

120 calories

Premium Ice Cream

½ cup

300 calories

Peanut butter

2 Tbsp

180 calories

Sour Cream

2 Tbsp

40 calories

And check out how small those serving sizes are! Who eats ½ cup of ice cream or eats just 1 slice of bacon?

By now we know that serving size is not always a good indicator of calorie count, but we can also use this information to our advantage!

What if we flipped this around to find larger portions with lower calories?

This is called “volumetrics.”

Which is similar to our “Lean and Green” weight loss plan where patients get to eat a lot of food, but low calorie foods (vegetables) to promote weight loss.

More on volumetrics eating on the next blog Smile

Question of the day: Have you ever thought you were eating healthy only to discover that your “health food” was loaded with calories?

Don’t Step on The Scale Every Day!

by Tara Joyce 26. September 2014

That’s right. I’m telling you to stop stepping on the scale every day. When trying to lose weight, one might assume that we WOULD recommend weighing oneself daily as a way to track and monitor success. 

However, quite the opposite is true. Too many times we see patients become scale obsessed, stepping on the scale every single day and sometimes multiple times throughout the day!


Real weight changes occur over time.

A calorie deficit of approximately 3,500 calories will promote a weight loss of one pound. Therefore, weight loss (and weight gain) occur over time and it is pretty much impossible for a person to truly lose or gain one pound of fat tissue in one day unless they eat 3,500 calories less than they burn or eat 3,500 calories more than they expend.

Water weight on the other hand, can fluctuate throughout the day.

Water weight can fluctuate based on a variety of things:

  1. Time of day – we tend to weigh less in the morning
  2. Salt intake – Salt will promote water retention and cause the scale to tip upwards
  3. How heavy  our clothes are – Heavier the clothes, heavier the weight
  4. Exercise – we can lose a lot of water weight through sweat.
    Try it! Weigh yourself before working out then make sure to work up a sweat and weigh yourself after exercise and see how much you can lose!
  5. Your carbohydrate intake – Carbohydrates also promote water retention (This is why the low-carbohydrate diets cause such rapid weight loss)

What I recommend is picking one day of the week and at the same time every week, hop on the scale to monitor weight. Do not allow the box on the floor to have control over how you feel. Weight loss and weight maintenance is a process that requires healthy lifestyle changes.

Question of the Day: How often do you weigh yourself? Do you have a healthy relationship with the scale?

Losing Weight is “Easy.” Maintaining is Difficult.

by Tara Joyce 24. August 2014

How many times have you seen someone lose a ton of weight dieting only to gain it all back, plus some once going off the diet?

Losing weight is “easy,” in the short term. Maintaining weight loss requires a person to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here at Ellis Bariatric Care we try to avoid words like “diet” and prefer to say “lifestyle” because healthy living should be a lifestyle compromised by healthy eating and staying active.


What exactly defines a “healthy lifestyle?”

Eating a variety of foods
Include different colors of vegetables, a variety of fruit, whole grains, lean meats and fat-free or low-fat dairy in the diet to ensure adequate nutrition is consumed.

Balancing calories
Everybody has their own individual calorie needs based on age, gender, height, weight and activity level. In order to maintain a healthy weight there needs to be a balance of energy consumed and energy expended.

Drink water
The body is made up of approximately 70% water, when the body is dehydrated it cannot function properly. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink throughout the day!

Move the body
Regular exercise and moving the body is essential for healthy living. Our bodies were designed to move so make sure to get up and stay active. 

Stress Management
Develop a healthy way to cope with stress. Go for a walk, write in a journal, call a friend or participate in your own healthy stress reduction technique. Too much stress can take a toll on both your mental and physical health so developing healthy stress coping techniques is essential for optimal health.

Question of the Day: What have you done for yourself lately to improve your quality of life?

Chew, chew, chew!

by Tara Joyce 15. August 2014

Check out this video from the Wall Street Journal on new devices that can monitor how many bites you are taking!

There are new devices that will be on the market soon!

1. A Bite Counting Watch

What is it?

It is a watch that counts how many bites a person takes.

How does it work?

The watch works by measuring the rolling motion of the wrist to determine how many bites a person is taking.

How can I learn more?

Check out the website on The Bite Counter Project to read more about the research from Clemson University 

2. A Talking Plate

What is it?

A Plate that is also a scale and a computer that monitors how quickly a person is eating.

How does it work?

The plate/scale monitors the weight of the food and if the weight is reducing too quickly, tells the person to slow down

Research has shown that when the more we chew our food, the less we tend to eat.

Here at Ellis Bariatric Center, one of our eating “rules” is to “Chew, chew, chew” food before swallowing. 

If food is not chewed thoroughly, it tends to not digest well and patients might experience discomfort and feeling as though the food is “stuck” in the esophagus.

There are a lot of strategies for slowing down and chewing thoroughly:

  1. Count your bites
  2. Use an App like Eat Slower
  3. Place your fork down in between bites
  4. Finish the bite that is in your mouth before stabbing your next bite of food (This one is my favorite!)

Question of the day: What strategies do you use for making sure you chew your food thoroughly?


Eat Your Produce!

by Tara Joyce 1. August 2014

Yet another study came out supporting the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables.

Researchers report that “eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day can help us live longer.”

That’s right, simply eating produce can lower our risk of heart disease and prolong our lives!

Despite these phenomenal findings, we still are not eating enough fruit and vegetables.

While 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day may sound like a lot, the serving sizes of fruit and vegetables are deceivingly small compared to our super-sized American portions.

But, what is a serving size?

Check out this link to view what a serving size of vegetables looks like.

That’s right, just ½ cup spinach is one serving!

Just 5 broccoli florets is a serving.

Check out this link to view that a serving of fruit looks like:

  • ½ cup of strawberries is one serving!
  • ½ grapefruit counts as one serving. 

 Here’s an example of what getting “5-a-day” would look like:

  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup cauliflower
  • ½ cup zucchini
  • 1 small apple
  • ½ peach

Moral of the story: Eat your Lean and Green!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable? 

10,000 Steps

by Tara Joyce 15. July 2014

At Ellis Bariatric Care, we are participating in Ellis Medicine’s 2014 Walking Challenge! 

The goal is for employees to break into teams of 4-10 people, track their steps from July 14th to August 10th and see who can walk the farthest!

The challenge is to walk the equivalent of the amount of steps it would take to get from New York to California

At the office we have 2 teams:

  1. The Weight Warriors
  2. The Walking Wonder Women

Why is it important to walk and stay active?

  •  Walking burns calories
  • Walking is a great way to relax and clear your head
  • Our bodies are designed to move, not be sedentary

 I’m sure many of you have heard of the research suggesting that “sitting is the new smoking” and it is a good goal to aim for 10,000 steps per day. 

Why 10,000 steps per day?   

Well, there really isn’t any magic to the number and it actually started in Japan as a marketing campaign to sell pedometers. However, it was a good marketing campaign and a healthy goal. Since then, medical authorities and the American Heart Association have agreed that 10,000 steps per day is a good goal to aim for.

Moral of the story: just move! 

Question of the day? How many steps to you get per day?