All Posts tagged diets

I’m going to tell you if you need to lose weight

One in Four Women Misperceive Their Own Body Weight
We have become desensitized to people that carry too much weight, and begin to believe that excess pounds are normal and healthy. The University of Texas Medical Branch did a study that shows nearly 25 percent of women misperceive their own body weight and are unlikely to take the necessary actions such as reducing calories to lose weight. This places these women at considerable risk for adverse health consequences.

Study Finding Reflects ‘Fattening of America’
The study, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology is the first large scale research to explain the dynamics behind a cultural phenomenon that has been manifesting for several decades. The study authors found that overweight and obese Hispanic and African American women were more likely than white women to categorize themselves as normal, and they were much less likely to report weight loss related behaviors such as dieting as a result.

The study concluded that the findings were a part of the cultural ‘fattening of America’ brought about by decades of a processed food diet and a shift away from foods in their natural form. According to corresponding author Dr. Mahbubur Rahman, “As obesity numbers climb, many women identify overweight as normal, not based on the scale but on how they view themselves.” Currently 82 percent of African American women and 75 percent of Mexican-American women meet the criteria for being overweight or obese.

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Dr. Tucker’s health program

It’s about feeling better, losing weight, getting leaner, toning muscles,  and having a healthier outlook. How do I do it with clients? I suggest easy lifestyle changes that will transform your life—for the better.

Dr. Tucker on overeating : Mindless eating is excessive eating. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts discovered that people who watched TV while they ate consumed nearly 300 more calories than those who dined without an eye on the tube. You need to pay attention to the messages your stomach is sending to your brain; if the TV is blaring, you won’t see the “slow” and “stop” signs.

Eat slow
Fast eaters become fat people. If you consciously stop to take a breath between bites, you can cut your food (and calorie) intake by 10 percent, according to researchers at the University of Rhode Island. 

Always serve snacks in a bowl or dish, and put away the packages. Never eat from the bag or container. That way you won’t ever eat an entire bag of something in a single sitting.

Limit fruit to two a day. Grab a peach, apple, orange, pear, or other piece of fruit on your way out the door in the morning, to munch on during your commute or as a snack later in the day.

Eat lots and lots of vegetables: Tomatoes, brocolli, carrots, celery, spinach, lettuce, parsley, and watercress, and on and on. Strive for five to six servings daily.

If You Can’t Bear to Eat Vegetables, Hide Them in Your Sauce
Using a fine grater on your food processor, grate 2 cups total of onions, garlic, carrots, beets, and zucchini (or any combo thereof), then sauté the microscopic vegetable bits in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add 4 cups of basic marinara sauce and simmer to an anonymous tomato flavor.

Drink Protein Shake Smoothies
I use UltraMeal protein powder by Metagenics. The ingredients in this powder actually help you lose fat mass and build lean muscle. Shakes are an important part of my program – 2 scoops of powder with 1 glass of juice, almond milk, soy milk, or water is best; at least one shake per day. Some people require two per day.

Never Eat from the Box, Carton, or Bag
The theory: You gauge the amount that’s “reasonable” to eat by the size of the container it’s in. Put two cookies on a plate, put a scoop of ice cream in a bowl, or lay out a small handful of potato chips on your plate, then put the container away; you’ll eat far less of the treat.

Limit the Fried Stuff
Fun fact: Fast-food burgers and chicken from KFC and McDonald’s are the most frequently requested meals on death row. It kinda makes sense. The inmates won’t be around to suffer the aftermath. Fried foods are packed with calories and salt, and that crunchy, oily coating beats down any nutritional qualities that whatever is entombed inside might have. 

Oils & Fats
Make sure your diet is filled with healthy fats in the forms of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines), fatty fruits (avocados), extra-virgin olive oil, eggs, and healthy-fat snacks. I even give bacon in moderation a green light; at only 70 calories per strip, it carries big flavor and belly-filling capabilities.

Keep a Food Diary
Those clients that really do this and don’t think of it as a hassle, get better results.

Dr. Tucker on exercise:

You have to become more active: exercising for 30 or more minutes per day, and adding physical activity to daily routines. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology reported that when people chose healthier foods and combined that benefit with exercise, they torched 98 percent of their weight directly from their fat stores. People who changed their diets alone were much more likely to break down muscle for fuel, and that’s a big problem. Muscle is one of your prime metabolism boosters, so it will help you burn fat for up to 24 hours after a workout. 

Start Walking for Exercise
Is there a simpler exercise than walking? A study from the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada found that largely sedentary people who wore a pedometer for 12 weeks increased their total steps by 3,451 a day, to about 10,500. By walking more, they also lowered their resting heart rates, BMIs, and waist measurements. Once you start paying attention to footsteps, you’ll find ways to bank the extra strides. Thirty here, 300 there, 1,000 after dinner, and suddenly you’re walking away from your old weight. Why not start right now? 

Once I get someone walking for about 3 weeks, then we can talk about bike riding, running or other activities.

Lift Weights
It’s my job to teach and create a personal weight lifting routine that you can follow at home or in the gym. Most of the programs are also designed to improve posture and strengthen weak backs. 

Just be consistent 
There’s nothing magical about running, weight lifting or walking. They’re just the most common activities people choose in order to add more activity to their days. The only one that’s important to you is one that a) you enjoy, b) fits into your life well enough that you can do it most days, and c) allows you to up your energy expenditure.

You can do that by adding three 15-minute walks to your day or by scheduling 2-hour bike rides on weekends. Or simply by walking more, standing more, lifting more, and sitting less.

Just look at your whole day as an opportunity to make the smart choices that will help you lose weight and feel better. Achieve that, and where might you be next month? Or next year? Some place far better than where you are today!

Call me at 310-473-2911


Detox Diet’s

The detox diet I recommend isn’t about colonics and starving while fasting. My detox program can be as simple as removing processed foods and refined carbs from your diet. Simple carbs give you “fake energy,” and are calories that add fat. My detox strives to increase protein in your body so you feel less ups and downs in your workout and workday. 

Start by cutting out refined sugar: soda, alcohol, anything with high-fructose corn syrup. Next, chop out the “bad” fats, those of the trans like fried foods. I don’t mind saturated fats found in full-fat dairy and red meat. I just ask that you eat grass-fed beef and free range chicken (hormone free). You’ll need to drink more water. 

One of the key components to the program are protein shakes. I recommend the OptiCleanse powder by XYMOGEN or UltraMeal by Metagenics.

Order Metagenics @


“Can I lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks?”

Dear Julie, The program we discussed on the phone will help you achieve your goal. You really can lose the fat and add lean muscle mass in just 4 weeks. I start by performing a Body Composition Analysis. This is a simple procedure that tells us how much body fat, lean muscle mass, and water content you have. It also tells us the number of calories you burn per day, and so much more. I’ll provide you with a list of foods that you can eat. It’s a very extensive shopping list and there is something for everyone. I’ll also recommend a medical food that you have as a shake. These shakes are delicious breakfast meal replacements and can also be an afternoon snack. The shake itself has nutrients in it that help people lose fat and increase lean muscle mass. 


In summary, here’s what will happen: 
Lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks!
Obliterate fat from your belly! 
• Increase muscle mass!
• Fill up on food like chicken, fish, turkey – and still lose weight!
• Learn exercises routines that increase your metabolism for the ultimate fat-burning results!

I look forward to working with you.


Weight loss: Avoid carbs with high GI scores

I’ve suggested that my patients trying to lose weight should limit carbs to 100-150 grams per day. It’s not just avoiding sweets, but  controling starches overall. The key is to avoid carbs with high GI scores.
Here’s a list of five bad carbs:

Bagels (GI score of 69)

Breakfast cereals (Kellogg’s Cornflakes has a GI score of 80; Kellogg’s Raisin Bran has a GI score of 61)

Breads (Pepperidge Farm white bread with wheat flour has a GI score of 71)

White rice (GI score between 73 and 89)

White Potatoes (Baked potato with skin has a GI score of 69; mashed potato has a GI score of 83)

Replacing your grains with whole grains effects only a small improvement. Compare a porridge made of whole-grain rolled oats to the breakfast cereals above. The porridge scores 55 on the Glycemic Index. Brown rice – another whole grain recommended by the USDA Food Pyramid – is certainly better than white rice. But it scores between 66 and 87 on the Glycemic Index. 

Select foods that have a low Glycemic Index. When you have breakfast, don’t grab a bowl of cereal or a bagel-on-the-run. Instead, stick with the breakfasts our grand parents opted for: a high protein options including lean meat and eggs.
According to, “Foods containing little or no carbohydrate (such as meat, fish, eggs, avocado, wine, beer, spirits, most vegetables) cannot have a GI value. No carbs = no GI.”

Low-glycemic foods include:






Plain yogurt

Most berries

I highly recommend using the UltraMeal shakes as a breakfast replacement. They offer a well balanced breakfast with good quality protein. Order @


“I need to lose weight, about 50 pounds”

This person told me he’s addicted to fast food, carbs, and hates to exercise. He’s on statins for high cholesterol; he’s tried different methods of drugs for weight loss. His question is ” What supplements can I take & what will help me get started again?”

Answer: First off, I recommend you start a walking program. Build up to 30 minutes 5 days a week. There is no  pill to substitute for exercise. It’s not so much about burning extra calories, you need to reboot your hormones. We need to shift your metabolism and get your  body to burn fat. After 3 weeks of walking and creating a foundation of exercise time, you’ll need to increase the intensity of the exercise.  

I guess you figured out that over-the-counter fat-blockers and prescription diet drugs were not the answer to your weigh loss goals.

The answer to your question is no secret. Fill your meals & snacks with HEALTHY food that tastes good to you. Read some of my posts about food choices. I hardly ever recommend counting calories, but maybe for you it is a good choice. Generally speaking, for one pound of fat loss per week  to occur, you need to decrease your calories by 500 per day or have a 3,500 calorie deficit per week. For some people it’s as easy as getting rid of a bagel with cream cheese, a soda, or a muffin a day. Plus add in the walking calories and you are on target. By having a Body Composition Analysis test done in the office, I can tell you the amount of calories you can consume per day, plus the amount of protein you need to consume. 

The total caloric intake for a burger, fries, soda and iced coffee add up to 1,250! That’s just one meal. This is why making healthy food choices assures us that you’ll lose weight. Avoid boxed and processed foods because these are loaded with trans fats and artificial chemicals. 

The statins you take to control cholesterol, are they making your muscles sore? If you get muscle soreness and have stopped moving around because you ache (lack of COQ10) we need to deal with that issue too.  Statins also can slow down production of your sex hormones. That could lead to erectile dysfunction and will make you depressed in a hurry. Depressed people seek food for comfort.

You are going to need a personalized program to hit that 50 pound goal. I act as an ‘accountablity partner’  for my clients. I’ll help you, or get someone else to support you. Make sure your hormones are balanced – especially check thyroid. Hypothyroidism is an extremely common cause for weight gain and it’s easy to correct with meds or natural alternatives. When balanced, excess weight comes off, the cravings ease up, and your fat-burning potential increases. One hormone that often needs reducing is insulin. It spikes after you eat fast food. Chronically elevated insulin has been linked to Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes. It comes down when you eat more vegetables which ‘feed’ your body rather than just filling it up with empty calories. 

Ask your doctor to measure your thyroid,  sex hormones and DHEA hormone levels. If they’re low you may need thyroid therapy, (estrogen for women) testosterone, or DHEA cream or supplements. DHEA helps balance a stress hormone called cortisol which is associated with belly fat.

I recommend taking UltraMeal Plus medical food shakes. UltraMeal Plus ( is a medical food formulated with a proprietary soy protein and plant sterol blend to nutritionally support the management of conditions associated with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Make sure you have a shake every morning and another in the afternoon as meal replacements or snacks.

Start with these recommendations and get back to me.


Weight loss

I spend a lot of my free time keeping up with the world of health, healing, fitness, and weight loss. I have heard about  most diet programs out there. In fact, at this point I’m pretty skeptical of any new diet program that comes across my desk. Look, we both know weight loss is not easy and the truth is, most diets are hard to follow.

I don’t have a ‘new weight loss program’,  rather I teach my clients the things that I have seen really work over my 27 years of practice – which is why I recommend either the Paleo diet or the Mediterranian Diet. Both are highly successful protocols. I recommend one or the other, or a combination of both. It all depends on who is sitting in front of me or who’s lab work I’m looking at. 

I typically help clients manage consistent, reliable weight loss. I have programs that can help my clients lose 1-2 pounds of FAT per week, or lose 3-5 pounds per week!  

I don’t want you to be  HUNGRY. I’m after seeing you enjoy more energy… and finally break the craving cycle that dooms almost every diet.

The problem with most diets is that without the optimum carb level, insulin spikes and your body stores fat instead of losing it. I encourage exercise and personally teach it to my clients, that way you won’t lose precious muscle mass.

If you want the summer of 2010 to be the year you finally regain your energy and health, call my office 310-473-2911.


Leptin & Ghrelin Lessons

You know my hat’s off to you if you are trying to lose weight. You know I want you to stay away from sugar-added foods, fried foods, other simple carbohydrates. 

Have you heard about ghrelin? You need to know this stuff. When it comes to desire for food, you’re largely at the mercy of the hormones leptin and ghrelin. A rising ghrelin level prompts your brain to register the sensation of hunger. As you eat and fulfill your body’s need for nourishment, leptin rises, ghrelin drops, and hunger fades.

I wish it was that simple. A 2002 New England Journal of Medicine study followed subjects’ ghrelin levels over the course of a six-month weight reduction effort. After the first three months, each of the overweight subjects had lost an average of nearly 40 pounds. By the end of the study they had managed to maintain that level of weight loss.

One of the key reasons dieters typically regain lost weight is that as body weight dropped, ghrelin output increased. At the end of the study, the subjects’ LOWEST ghrelin levels were almost as high as their pre-meal ghrelin peaks before their weight-loss program began.

 There are three steps you can take to help control ghrelin levels.

1) Get enough sleep

Research shows that ghrelin levels are generally higher and leptin levels are lower in people who regularly get inadequate sleep. As a result, hunger is more pronounced during the day. And worse: Sleep-deprived people tend to desire calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

But for most people, a full eight hours of sleep each night may not be necessary to moderate ghrelin/leptin levels. A 2006 sleep study shows that many overweight people may experience benefits by adding just 20 minutes of additional sleep each night.

2) Avoid fructose

Fructose makes ghrelin rise. And fructose shows up in a wide range of processed foods.  High fructose intake is linked to higher ghrelin levels, and lower leptin and insulin levels.

3) Don’t attempt a crash diet

A weight-loss diet that starts right in with a steep drop in calories is a shock to the system – a shock that’s more likely to prompt ghrelin increase. If you ease into a new regimen of less caloric intake your body adjusts incrementally. And of course, avoiding simple, refined carbs is a must. Consumption of inferior carbs just makes you hungry for more carbs.

I wish you the best on your diet journey!


Weight-Loss Rules that Work

Here are the suggestions I hear myself telling clients about weight loss advice everyday.

Don’t worry about fat, carbs are the culprit. Limit carbs to 100-150 grams per day. Get your Protein intake up to 100 grams a day for women and 120 grams for men. This number varies but I can be more exact if I can perform a Body Fat Analysis on you.

I generally see better results with a low-carbohydrate plan. You still have to eat fewer calories than you burn if you want to lose weight. So the truth is, the perfect weight-loss diet is the one you can live with, whether you cut fat, carbs, or some combination.

Just don’t cut protein. Protein-rich foods make you feel fuller. Snacks between meals are advised and should include protein. The most important meal is breakfast. In my opinion, the best food for breakfast is a whey (rice protein or soy protein is my second choice) protein shake. A daily breakfast shake made with two scoops of UltraMeal whey protein powder, a little fruit (fresh or frozen berries or a banana), and water or crushed ice will help you lose fat (not muscle). You can buy UltraMeal whey protein powder at my Metagenics link. Some clients have two or three shakes a day instead of lousy fast food meals.

Animal proteins are fine. I encourage eggs. I am an ex-vegetarian and have been on both sides of the camp. Protein from animals increases thermogenesis more than vegetable proteins, so the best calorie-burning foods are lean meats. So eat some protein at each meal—build your dinner around lean chicken, beef, or pork. That way, you’re burning the most calories through digestion at the end of the day, when your metabolism is slower.

Not only is it Ok to eat lots of meat, but dairy products as well.

Restrict fructose-sweetened beverages and breads. Breads are just not going to work. A few are OK but you’ll have to email me separately for those name brands.

Restrict potato chips and french fries.

Include a lot of vege’s. Vege’s are fiber’s and when you have fiber in your stomach, food takes longer to enter the bloodstream, and your blood-sugar level stays steady. The benefits: You’ll have a more consistent energy supply and less between-meal hunger. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussel Sprouts, tomato, and salads are great examples. Eat lots of these with eat main meals and as a snack.

Use Olive oil (which contains a cancer-fighting fat called beta-sitosterol) for dressings. I love to cook with coconut oil.

You’ll need to take omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, which are found in fish, nuts, seeds, flaxseed and fish oils. (supplement with EPA-DHA 720, available at my Metagenics link).
Omega-3 fats reduce inflammation throughout your body. That not only prevents heart attacks (inflammation in the tissues surrounding blood vessels is a major cause) but also helps your muscles recover faster from workouts I’ll be teaching you. If you don’t eat fish twice a week and can’t stomach fish-oil supplements, try eggs high in omega-3s, which are found in the dairy case, next to the regular eggs. You can eat 3-4 of them a day without any negative effect on your cholesterol levels.

You must keep a food diary. The more honest you are, and the more detailed it is, the better. You can’t wing it and expect to see results.

The best plan is likely to include these elements:

• Meals and snacks are based on some lean protein source—fish, eggs, dairy, meat.

• More meals are better than fewer. Five or six meals and snacks a day is ideal.

• Low-fat and high-fat diets can both work, but one that cuts almost all fat is doomed.

• Eat— no more than 2 per day of fruits, eat lots of vegetables, and a minimal amount of whole grains, nuts and seeds. Avoid potatoes (except Yukon gold & yams), pasta, rice, popcorn, and white bread.