How to Stop Overeating?

weight loss doctor Bergen County NJ Dr. Betty Keller

How to Stop Overeating? Tips from Weight Loss Doctor Bergen County NJ, Dr. Betty Keller

Appetite is controlled by two hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells your body when it’s hungry and leptin signals all full. But when you constantly overeat, your natural appetite control system stops working and YOU DON’T KNOW when you’re full.

Overeating is also triggered by stress. When you’re under stress, your body secretes high levels of the hormone cortisol. This can make you increase your intake of food, because eating causes your brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.

To curb overeating, you have to give your appetite-control hormones a chance to reset, so they can do their jobs. It helps if you chew each bite longer and eat more slowly. Put your fork down between bites. Savor the flavors.

Another way to reset your appetite control system is to get regular exercise. It makes your body more sensitive to leptin’s signal that you’re full. Aerobic exercise also decreases cortisol levels and elevates dopamine levels to give you the same mood boost you can get from eating.

3 Easy Portion Size Tips for Reaching a Healthy Weight

Proper portion size for weight loss isn’t about starving yourself.  It’s about enjoying what you eat, in healthy amounts.  Often, weight creeps up simply because we aren’t aware of how much we actually eat.

Learning proper portion sizes sounds a lot harder than it really is. Here are 3 easy tips and tricks to ensure that you eat what you need shed and keep off excess weight.

Tip 1)  Don’t Eat Out of the Container

One easy way to avoid snacking too much is to not eat directly out of the container. Take a serving from the container instead. The packages that foods come in are large. Helping ourselves from the package encourages us to keep eating whatever’s in front of us. If you’re eating while watching TV or reading a book, being distracted often leads to eating more than you meant to out of the box or bag. Instead, pour the amount you plan to eat in a bowl and keep the rest out of eyesight.

Tip 2) Use Familiar Things to Measure by Eye

One good way to eyeball healthy portions is by comparing them in your mind with familiar things. For instance, one serving of fruit, like a small apple or orange, would be about the size of a tennis ball. One carbohydrate serving of cooked rice (1/3rd cup), is the size of a hockey puck. Make it personal! Find objects that can help you remember the amount intend to eat as a serving size.

Tip 3) Fill Your Plate in Sections

A good way to fill a plate with well-sized portions is to use sections of your plate as your guide.

Half the plate should be lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. The more color, the better! It means that you are getting lots of different vitamins and minerals.

A quarter of the plate should be protein. Choose proteins that are rich in nutrients, such as beans, nuts, fish, or chicken. (Avoid red and processed meats such as beef or bacon. Even small amounts can lead to future health issues. )

The last quarter is for grains. Whole grains are the healthiest choice. Avoid processed options like white rice or white bread — go for more fiber, vitamins, minerals and rich natural flavor of whole grains. Wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat and barley are a few of many to choose from.

Finding your proper portion size is about learning how much and what you plan to eat for a healthy weight.

Taking time to take proper portions can make a big difference in losing weight and keeping it off for good.

Eat and Lose Weight with Dr. Keller’s Menu Planner

Dr. Keller’s weight loss program includes a free menu planner. You can see what meals others created to help them lose weight, and plan your own meals with foods you enjoy.  Find out about Dr. Keller’s weight loss treatment program and call us at 201-485-7930 to get started.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

How Can I Stop Emotional Eating?

Learning to control emotional eating is much more about what goes on in your mind than what goes on in your stomach.

The first thing is to acknowledge your emotional attachment to food. Then you want to recognize the symptoms of your emotional eating.

Generally, emotional hunger is sudden and urgent, and you reach for junk food without really being aware of what you’re doing.

You also want to identify feelings that fuel your impulse to eat when you’re not really hungry. Is it anger? Sadness? Loneliness? Tension? Anxiety?

You may need to talk with a therapist to unravel this connection completely, but you can improve your impulse control yourself.

Why Skipping Alcohol is Important for Weight Loss

Why Skipping Alcohol Is Important for Weight Loss

You may already suspect alcohol can sabotage your weight loss goals.  Drinking weakens your willpower – and more. Here are 5 important facts you need to know about alcohol to help you lose weight.

1) Alcohol is high in calories. Alcoholic drinks are full of calories. In fact, on average alcoholic drinks contain 7 calories per gram. To get a better idea of how much this is, protein and carbs contain 4 calories per gram.  You may be getting more calories than you realize from alcohol: as much as drinking a can of soda.

2) Alcohol may increase appetite, even for moderate drinkers.  Have you ever noticed that you eat more while you’re drinking? Several studies show that we are more likely to indulge when we are served food with beer or wine than with soda. Alcoholic drinks can irritate and wear away your stomach lining, which makes it vulnerable to the digestive acids. If you drink moderately to excessively, this can make you feel hungrier than you really are and encourage you to take larger portions of food.

3) Alcohol hinders fat-burning processes.   The body metabolizes alcohol first, which unbalances your body’s normal fat burning processes.

The liver is the body’s biggest fat burning organ.  Normally, the liver cells turn fatty acids into a form that the rest of the body uses. But, the liver is also the ONLY organ that can break down alcohol.  When alcohol arrives in the bloodstream, the liver must process it first.  The unprocessed fatty acids build up and clog the liver — a process observed even with just one bout of heavy drinking.

4) Alcohol encourages fat storage.  Your body doesn’t store everything the same way. Most of the time, fat is burned into fuel. Alcohol is converted into two substances: acetate, and acetyl CoA. Both make getting weight loss harder in different ways.

Acetate slows down the burning of fat. When your body produces too much acetate, it spends more time getting rid of it than the fat. This can lead to more fat being stored for longer. Acetyl CoA encourages the production of fat cells.

5) Alcohol weakens liver health.  Alcohol causes cell damage in the liver in complex ways.  Fat buildup in the liver is one harmful result.  Another cause comes from free radicals, or unstable molecules, which are created when the liver breaks down alcohol.  Acetaldehyde is the main product when alcohol breaks down.  It appears to be a major source of cell-damaging free radicals in the liver.

Weight control depends on having a healthy liver.  The liver makes or triggers all the body’s fat burning hormones. The healthier the liver, the better the fat burning power your body has.

Alcohol is bad news if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight!

Not only does it add extra calories. It hinders your body’s power to burn them off.  Skipping the cocktail helps you take one giant step closer to your weight loss goals.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.


How Can I Lose Belly Fat?

Belly fat – also called visceral fat – is particularly dangerous for your health. It surrounds your organs and fuels body-wide inflammation that increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and dementia.

To lose it you need to adopt a healthier diet that focuses on high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and 100% whole grains. In addition, you need lean proteins such as fish and skinless poultry, and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Your goal is to eliminate processed foods – remember many baked goods contain harmful trans fats – that’s partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. You also want to cut out simple carbs that the body sees as sugar – and excess sugar is stored as fat.

To lose belly fat it is also important to reduce stress. The stress hormone cortisol causes you to store fat around your middle. So make sure to get regular exercise. Buy a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day.

What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

The best diet for weight loss is one in which you take in fewer calories than you expend every day.  And one that you can stick to. We do know extreme diets that eliminate whole categories of foods, leave you hungry and unsatisfied and can slow your metabolism, making it harder to lose that excess weight. Fad diets do not work in the long run.

In order to sustain permanent weight loss you need to make healthy lifestyle choices, including a diet based on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and some whole grains and healthy fats. Make sure you watch your portion sizes! Healthy choices have calories too.

Regular exercise is also important to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. You should aim for 1 to 2 pounds weight loss a week. And studies prove building in diet days off help you stick to your plan and actually lead to more weight loss.

What Are Whole Foods and How Do They Help You Lose Weight?

Many people aren’t sure exactly what whole foods are.  Because so much of our food is processed and promoted as ‘organic’ or ‘natural’, we often don’t recognize whole foods or see their role in a healthy diet.

Whole foods are those we eat their natural state. Manufactured, refined or processed foods aren’t whole foods, no matter what other labels they have. Even staples like bread, peanut butter and jelly don’t qualify.  That’s because all (or almost all) of their ingredients are machined to a far cry from their natural state. They’re fast and convenient, but do you wonder what’s in them and what this means for your health?

Why Processed Foods Are So Unhealthy

According to researchers, most Americans are essentially malnourished. By some estimates, 90% of the food we buy is processed. Because nutrients get removed with processing, we receive too little vitamin C, fiber, and other essential nutrients every day. When you look at the quality of food we eat, it isn’t surprising.

Processed food contains more fat, sodium, oils, and empty calories than their natural counterparts. Their ingredients also include artificial dyes and flavors, chemical sweeteners, and preservatives to extend shelf life.  Products made from corn are often added, usually under many different names like citric acid. This causes problems for weight loss, because it concentrates more calories into what we consume than we need to eat.

Processing and refining ingredients removes the fiber, vitamins and minerals our bodies need to keep our muscles and organs working well, to fight disease, and use for energy.  Worse – it throws out of balance the proportions of nutrients and calories we absorb during digestion, and the body stores more fat as a result.

When your body goes without the nutrition of natural foods, weight control and health suffers.  Everything from metabolism to waste elimination to food cravings becomes maladjusted to too much fat, sugar, and too little vitamins, minerals and fiber.

But, how do you avoid this?

By eating more foods as they come from nature.

Why Whole Foods Help with Weight Loss

Whole foods are in their original state – or very close to it – when you eat them.  Because they’re intact, you get more fiber and complete nutrients, and sugars and carbohydrates in natural proportions.

By eating whole foods, you feel satisfied without eating unnatural levels of calories per serving.  Your body is better able to maintain a regular metabolism, decrease cravings, and avoid turning extra calories into fat.  With the right fuel, you can lose weight more easily and feel healthier.

Examples of Whole Foods and Their Benefits

There are all kinds of great whole foods to choose from. Here are some examples:

  • Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, chia, and flax, contain omega 3 – an essential fatty acid that helps prevent heart disease.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, especially when they’re raw. They can help reduce the risk for many illnesses and lower blood pressure.
  • Whole grains reduce the risk of chronic illness and obesity. You may have heard people say that whole grain is better than white bread, and it’s true! White flour is highly processed and lacks the nutrition in the entire wheat grain.
  • Legumes such as black beans, lentils, and red kidney beans are a great source for fiber and protein. They help in reducing cholesterol and maintaining sugar levels.

Some nutritionists say that your body can better use vitamins from the food you eat than from pills and supplements—it’s certainly a lot more fun!

Eating whole foods is one of the best ways to take care of yourself.

It’s a simple change that can help boost your health.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.


Green Tea, Antioxidants and Weight Loss – Connected?

Green Tea and Weight Loss connection

Green Tea and Weight Loss
We hear more and more about foods that are high in antioxidants, and their help in fighting disease and losing weight. But what exactly are antioxidants and what do they do?

Antioxidants protect healthy cells from damaged molecules. The damaged molecules, called free radicals, come from the things we encounter everyday – such as air pollution, pesticides and chemicals in the environment.

The Problem With Free Radicals

A free radical is a molecule with a missing part. One or more electrons are gone, causing a tiny negative charge.  The unstable molecule takes electrons from whatever is nearby – such as your healthy cells. This creates a second free radical in your body.  The electron stealing continues in a chain reaction that damages cells.

Our bodies produce free radicals naturally. They occur when our body breaks down food or fights infection.  Mental, emotional and intense physical stress can also produce free radicals.
Free radicals affect the immune system, harden arteries, and play a role in many chronic diseases.

Antioxidants Make Stable Molecules

Fortunately, our bodies also make antioxidants.  These are molecules that can lose an electron or two without becoming unstable.  They can stop the chain reaction started by free radicals.

A regular, balanced exercise routine, healthy food choices, and stress management help the body make antioxidants to reduce cell damage from unstable molecules.  However, the body makes antioxidants only in limited amounts.  The good news is, we can add more by what we eat.

The Benefits of Antioxidants for Weight Loss

More research needs to be done to explore the role of antioxidants in losing weight.  But they have many known benefits that can help. Antioxidants promote a healthy immune system. They help your organs work efficiently and properly, which keeps your metabolism running well. They clean damaging molecules out of your body.

The amount of fiber in antioxidant rich food helps you feel full longer.  Some spices like turmeric and ginger help the body fight inflammation too, helping prevent cancers and cardiovascular disease.
The health-boosting role of antioxidants enables you to lose weight by staying well and active, exercising and burning calories more easily and naturally.

Foods High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants come in a wide variety of foods. Brightly colored berries, fruit, and vegetables are among the best sources. Colorful plates are healthier plates!

Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only foods that have antioxidants. Meats such as poultry, seafood and nuts contain zinc and selenium, which help immunity.

Even some beverages are a healthier for you than you might think! Coffee, natural grape juice, and pomegranate juice have antioxidants in them. But the best choice by far is green tea.  One cup gives you more antioxidants than a cup of coffee, and less caffeine.

Eating to increase antioxidants in your body leads to better food choices.  You choose more leafy greens, vegetables, fruits and whole foods when you choose foods to help prevent cell damage and disease.  You may find yourself spicing up your plate with ginger, black pepper, red pepper and oregano – all good sources of antioxidants.

Most experts agree that the best way to benefit from antioxidants is by adding them to your diet. Supplements can help, but they don’t benefit the body as well as antioxidants from food sources.

Antioxidant Foods Promote Health and Good Eating for Weight Loss

Antioxidants have many benefits and are worth checking out. Not only do they help you fight disease and inflammation.  Choosing high antioxidant foods means getting more nutrition in the right proportions.  This helps extra weight come off more easily, while satisfying your taste buds and your appetite.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.