Dr. Oz's Summer Slim-Down Secrets
According to Dr. Oz’s special guest Kristen Kirkpatrick, RD a wellness manager at Cleveland Clinic, summertime offers opportunity to defeat those stumbling blocks that prevent you from achieving a slimmer body that is bikini-ready for a day at the beach. Summertime, she says, is the best time for slimming down because it is the time of the year when healthy produce is in abundance and can be applied toward knocking-down three stumbling blocks she classifies under the categories: junk food junkie, stress eater and portion distortion.
Junk Food Junkie
“Junk food junkies are mindless eaters,” says Kirkpatrick. The problem she explains is that junk food junkies are not only eating junk food, but also eating throughout the day. One way around this type of eating is to substitute your junk food with a healthier choice. One example she offers is switching from potato chips to turnip chips. Turnip chips are preferable because they are much lower in their carbohydrate content in comparison to potato chips.
Another solution is to start your day the right way. “…basically, have one meal the same--every single solitary day,” advises Kirkpatrick. “Studies have shown that if you do this that you actually are more likely to lose weight.”
One example she gives is to start your day with a hard-boiled egg and a whole wheat English muffin with added black pepper for breakfast. Black pepper contains “piperine”—the primary alkaloid from black pepper that gives black pepper its characteristic flavor and has been found in studies to help stop the formation of new fat cells.
“You want to fuel your body, not your stress,” says Kirkpatrick. “Stress eaters are seeking foods that really affect those pleasurable effects that the brain gives us.” She advises stress eaters who are prone to emotional eating to try a combination of sweet potatoes and parsley that can be made into a hummus. Sweet potatoes she explains contains compounds that tap into the brain’s neurotransmitters that gives a person feelings of calmness.
Dr. Oz also points out that the added parsley acts as a natural diuretic, which will help with bloating.
A second food to relieve stress is that rather than reach for that ice cream so many people find calming and pleasurable while under stress, is to instead have what Kirkpatrick calls a “poolside peach popsicle.” A poolside peach popsicle consists of a cup of almond milk, a chopped banana, 2 diced peaches and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract mixed together and frozen in a popsicle mold. It both satisfies the taste buds for something sweet and provides added fiber explains Kirkpatrick.
“Our goal is to curb your hunger…with something super quick that is definitely going to work,” says Kirkpatrick. She advises people who eat more than they should such as with pasta dishes to try “Resistant Starch”—a non-digestible starch that is found in fruits and veggies like bananas and corn. She says that you can get it in a powdered form that you just sprinkle over a small-portion meal, which will then provide more bulk and a fuller feeling after eating.
Another way to take the Resistant Starch is in a dessert-like dish using Greek yogurt and mixed berries. Her recipe is to take 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt with 10 ounces of mixed berries, plus 1 tablespoon of Resistant Starch powder and 1 teaspoon of agave nectar. “The key is to have this before you go home for dinner [to curb your hunger]… the Resistant Starch is your secret weapon,” she says.
A final bit of advice by Kirkpatrick is to think of your feelings of hunger as being on a scale of 1-10 where 1-3 is feeling like you are starving; 4-7 is feeling moderately hungry; and 8-10 is being full. She says that we should always eat when we are at the 4-6 level on the scale to curb our hunger and control how much we eat.