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Entries in calories (6)


My daughter has lost a lot of weight since she gave up eating cheese. I need to lose some weight too. Should I give up cheese?

There is nothing wrong with cheese. Cheese is a great source of healthy fat and an excellent source of protein as well, not to mention calcium. Your daughter has lost weight because she gave up calories. She took a regular source of calories in her diet and removed it. Fewer calories means weight loss! It doesn’t really matter what food is given up if you want to lose weight. What matters is not replacing the calories you took out with calories from another source.

What your daughter is doing is concentrating on what she is eating, how much she is eating, when she is eating and why. She is focused. She has chosen to give up a steady source of calories (cheese) and so far it’s working. If she is happy with her weight loss and wants to resume eating cheese, she may have to reassess her diet and may have to cut calories somewhere else. Alternatively she could cut the portion sizes of the foods she eats.

The key to keeping a stable weight is to always be aware of the calories going in to your  body, your activity level and how many calories are going out due to that activity.


I always cook yummy and nutritionally balanced meals, buy organic, and never, ever have anything with hydrogenated oils in our home. My problem is at night I crave snacks, what can I do?

Simple - eat good healthy snacks of a reasonable size at night! Really! We should all eat more reasonable sized portions at our meals and eat more like 5 or 6 times a day. So this nighttime snack will actually be a small “meal.”  I eat dinner at about 9 pm almost every day since I teach fitness at night!

It looks as though you understand what a healthy snack is so go ahead and have one! Why worry? Concerned about too many calories? Trying to lose weight? Just watch your portion size and you should be fine. If you are really concerned about taking in too many calories, be sure and journal your total consumption during the day so you know for sure. If you need to adjust, do it by controlling your portion sizes not by cutting out your late night “meal.”

Another thought is to substitute the behavior with something else such as reading, or knitting, or if it is still light out, by taking a walk. However a late “meal/snack” shouldn’t be a problem as long as you aren’t eating junk and not gaining weight!


I’m overweight and have been inactive for years and get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. I joined my local YMCA and started working with a personal trainer. I’m improving my diet by eating fresh food prepared at home, but not seeing much weight loss yet. I have cravings for high-calorie treats that I haven't been able to give up. Will working out help me overcome these cravings?

Congratulations on your choice to change your life! Isn’t it great to feel healthy?

The cravings you have for your favorite high calorie foods shows that you had developed a mild addiction to these foods and that makes it hard to give them up. Studies have shown that foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt content (all three) impact our brain chemistry and thus are very difficult to give up. Try to focus on portion size for now. Rather than give them up, eat smaller portions as treats, or even better, find a close substitute.  For example, substitute dark chocolate (60 to 70% cocoa) bars for milk chocolate bars. Another example - instead of eating pizza that is store bought or delivered, make your own using fresh ingredients. Pizza is pretty easy and fast to make and you can have a really nutritious meal this way.

Working out will improve your endurance and develop muscle mass which will burn more calories at rest. However there is still an energy balance involved with losing weight – calories in vs. calories out. If you eat more than you need even if it is from healthy sources, you will not lose weight. Try to journal everything you eat, even if it is one of those candy mints given out by restaurants. By the way most of those are about 70 calories a piece.  Don’t try to be “good,” just eat normally as you usually do for a week. After a week, take the journal to your trainer. The two of you can then sit down, review the journal and see if you need to tweak your dietary intake.  The fact that you are feeling better and improving your diet are signs that you are on your way to a new and healthier you!

Be sure to keep in mind how long it took to put that weight on. Make sure and be patient and give your body some time to readjust and make this work. The weight will come off.


I am overweight and for this New Year, 2011, I am really determined to lose the weight. How can I be successful this time?

Remember that you didn’t gain weight overnight so it will take time to lose it. Losing weight is not a temporary fix. It needs to be a total lifestyle change that becomes permanent. I’d suggest considering the following plan.

First, gradually switch your foods from prepackaged, processed, refined foods to whole, natural, unrefined and unprocessed foods. For example, once you run out of soda pop, don’t replace it. Instead start to drink water. If you want flavored water, you can freeze grapes, strawberries and melons and use them as ice cubes or simply try using frozen fruit.  Be conscious of how much food you consume, when you consume food and why.  Try writing down exactly what you eat for a week without really making any attempt to change anything. That will give you a good basis for where you are starting. You want to be somewhere around 2000 to 2200 calories a day to lose weight. Start an exercise program doing an activity that you enjoy, not one that you think will burn the most calories. Unless you engage in an activity you enjoy, you will not do it consistently. If you can’t or won’t be consistent, or if you feel lost, consider hiring a personal trainer. They are worth the expense – and so is your health. Most importantly, be consistent and try to exercise at least three times a week! Once you start, make your desire to change become an important part of your life and guard your workout times jealously. Make it a priority! The best gift you can give yourself and your family is a healthier, happier you!  Search this site for more information on personal trainers, food, and exercise and I believe you will find a lot of helpful information and success stories!


I like red wine and drink a couple of glasses in the evening before dinner. However, I would like to decrease my caloric intake just a bit so I was wondering if white wine has few calories?

White wines are mostly made of white grapes without their skins or seeds. The skins are separated from the juice and yeast is added for fermentation giving white wines their light, crisp, fruity flavor and aroma. Red wines are made from the darker red and black grapes. The crushed grapes along with their skins are fermented for one to two weeks and have a richer flavor. Tannins which are found in the skin of the grapes, provide the main difference between red and white wines and contributes to the color and flavor of reds. The difference in calories provided by white wine and red wine is negligible and depends on the type of wine.

The human body burns alcohol calories differently than it does calories in other foods and beverages. If you're watching your caloric intake, you'll need to understand how your body processes the calories contained in wine and other alcoholic beverages. Excess calories that come from foods and non alcoholic beverages are converted to fat. This The majority of alcohol calories are converted to acetate and this takes place in the liver which is the reason that alcohol consumption should be in moderation in order to prevent liver damage from long-term or excessive use. Calories in wine are not as critical to your general dietary count as are those in other foods and drinks you consume because acetate burns more rapidly than fat. You can count on as much as 95% of the calories in wine being converted to quick burning acetate.