All Posts tagged Nutrition

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


Cardio + Nutrition + Weight training

In my practice, I educate clients that every intelligent weight loss program needs three core elements: Nutrition, resistance training (bodyweight, free-weight &/or kettlebells), and cardiovascular training.  Lean, muscular, flexible, pain-free, healthy and vital are the goals. The weight training helps us build strength and increase muscle mass (see my 20 minute workouts); the cardiovascular training increases endurance and improves the function of our cardivascular system (see my 20 minute workouts). The nutrition is as important as any. When intelligent nutrition is combined with intelligent training, results are amplified. The results have been exceeding realistic expectations: lean muscle mass is dramatically increased, body fat is dramatically decreased. Every health goal can be enhanced by increasing muscle mass and by decreasing body fat percentiles. Want to fit into your favorite pair of jeans again?  Increase muscle and decrease body fat. Want to run faster? Increase muscle and decrease body fat. Want to look better and feel better? Increase muscle and decrease body fat.
I don’t have all the answers but I am certain that to elevate our health we need to utilize nutrition, resistance weight training, and cardio. You cannot overemphasis one aspect of the three elements to the near exclusion of the other two. Realistically and empirically, the dramatic progress comes from concentrating on weak points and not continually playing to our strengths. 


Within cardio, there is three types 1) steady state 2) interval 3) sustained strength:

Steady State cardio is when you seek to attain a smooth pace during the cardio exercise session. These cardio sessions are usually long. The idea is to keep the muscles relaxed while keeping the oxygen requirement low so you don’t exhaust the muscles. Watching a Kenyan marathon runner or Michael Phelps swim 10,000 meters, the observer is struck by how effortless and graceful the athlete seems – the steady state purposefully relaxed propulsion mode enables athletes to go far longer than they would were they to “power’ their way through selected mode.


Interval cardio, is when you use intermittent bursts of muscle contractions to sprint, bound, leap, lift or run as fast as possible for a short period of time – 20, 30. 40, or 60 seconds and then come back to a normal pace for a minute or two, and then repeat the burst cycle. The benefit of interval training is that it creates an ‘afterburner’ effect and creates oxygen debt. The burst must be followed by a rest period to allow lactic acid to be cleared; at that point the athlete can burst again. Intense games such as basketball, soccer, football or tennis are examples of burst cardio.   

Sustained strength) splits the difference between steady state and intervals. The idea is to engage in a cardio mode that requires muscular contractions for a prolonged period of time. My 20 Minute Workout combines cardio and resistance. You will use bodyweight, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, bands and balls to create sustained strength resistance.

Nutrition + Weight training + Cardio


Varicose Veins

Are there vitamins that can help my varicose veins?

Answer: There is no magic pill to get rid of unsightly veins on your legs. Prevention of vein problems is much easier than treatment.
– Avoid standing in one place for long periods of time the way that a hostess, hairdressers and cashiers do.
– Stretch or take a walk periodically and invest in elastic support hose.
– Exercise because it gets your blood flowing while strengthening your calf muscles.
– Losing weight if you need too is important to take the burden off the fragile blood vessels in your legs.
– Make sure your hormones are balanced since high estrogen may be partially to blame.

Supplements and natural remedies that I have seen help are
1) VenaPlex by Metagenics. It contains Rutin, Horse Chestnut Seed Extract and Arjuna Bark.
2) EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics.


Resveratrol – Do You Take It?

Resveratrol is a component of red wine and has been shown to provide important health benefits, including:
Anti-inflammatory effects
Inhibition of blood clotting
Help in prevention of LDL cholesterol from depositing arterial plaque
Stimulation of an enzyme that promotes repair of DNA
Protection of heart and nerve cells

2008 research from the UK reveals another potential benefit for type 2 diabetics.

High levels of glucose cause cellular damage to the blood vessels of type 2 diabetics. Specifically, the – the mitochondria – these will become weakened, setting off a reaction that produces free radical activity. Studies show that regular exercise is the ideal way to stimulate and repair mitochondria. And along with a daily exercise regimen, a little resveratrol might help.

Resveratrol may protect damaged cells by preventing a “leakage” of electrons from the mitochondria. If you have type 2 diabetes I definitely recommend Resveratrol.

The resveratrol supplement I recommend is Resveratin (30 mg) by XYMOGEN. Order by calling 1-800-647-6100.

In addition to red wine, resveratrol can be found in red grape skins, peanuts, and some berries. Red grapes also contain anthocyanins – antioxidants that protect arteries and microcapillaries – a key benefit for patients with circulation-related health problems such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and varicose veins.


Eat Fat To Lose Fat?

This continues to be a big topic. I am all about helping clients reduce body fat, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and dementia. It’s true, daily consumption of saturated fats (like coconut oil) can help reduce abdominal fat which helps reduce your risk of these other diseases.

I recommend a whey protein powder by Metagenics called UltraMeal Plus 360 as a shake in the morning. I also recommend Meta Lipoate 300. I always tell clients that they have to stay on this program for at least for 12 weeks (daily shakes of UltraMeal Plus 360). Follow a balanced, low-carb diet with increased protein and fiber intake, start exercising with a 20-30 minute walk each day and I know changes will take place.

Bad LDL cholesterol and good HDL cholesterol levels improve,
body mass index improves, waistlines look better.

Don’t be skeptical about saturated fat!

What I am seeing is that people who eat the most saturated fat, the most cholesterol and the most protein calories weigh the least. I get my clients more physically active and they have the ideal serum cholesterol levels.

Animal fats are not bad for you. They boost your energy and your immunity. They help your body build stronger and more resilient cells. They contain chemicals that help your brain stay focused, and even contain concentrated levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.

Let’s discuss your specific needs!


Osteoporosis Supplements – Ostera

Metagenics has a product called Ostera, a fully absorbable supplement, for treatment of postmenopausal women who have a high risk for osteoporotic fractures, including those with a history of fracture or multiple risk factors for fracture, or those who have failed or are intolerant to other osteoporosis therapy.

Ostera supports bone health. I highly recommend this natural product over injections or medications with uncertain side effects.

Proper nutrition and exercise reduces the incidence of vertebral, nonvertebral, and hip fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Common side effects of prescribed drugs for Osteoporosis include back pain, pain in the extremities, musculoskeletal pain, high cholesterol levels, and urinary bladder infections. ostera does not have these side effects.

Ostera is manufactured by Metagenics. Please click on the link to Metagenics.


Eating ginger can help ease muscle pain

A daily dose of ginger can relieve the aches from sport, or even gardening and heavy housework, by as much as a quarter.
For centuries, ginger root has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments, such as colds and upset stomachs.

Ginger is particularly good for staving off muscle pain because it has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. It is known to contain chemicals that work in a similar way to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Studies have shown it can be effective in relieving the pain of arthritis.

Product recommendation: Metagenics makes a powder to use as a shake called UltraInflamX 360. Be consistent for at least 3 weeks consecutive days. Otherwise you can take two grams of ginger daily (cooked or uncooked).

Daily ginger intake reduces exercise-induced pain by 25 per cent. Heating the ginger had no effect.

Read more:


Healthy Food Choices

EGGS: The protein found in eggs has the highest “biological value” of protein — a measure of how well it supports your body’s protein need — of any food. In other words, the protein in eggs is more effective at building muscle than protein from other sources, even milk and beef. Eggs also contain vitamin B12, which is necessary for fat breakdown. Even during all those years eggs were considered bad for you, I never saw it that way. Eating an egg or two a day will not raise your cholesterol levels.

BERRIES: Berries carry powerful levels of antioxidants: all-purpose compounds that help your body fight heart disease and cancer. The berries’ flavonoids may also help your eyesight, balance, coordination, and short-term memory. During the summer months plan on eating a cup of raspberries or blueberries a day. One cup has about 6 grams of fiber and more than half of your daily requirement of vitamin C.

BEANS & LEGUMES: Pick whichever you like – Black, lima, pinto, navy. They are good protein, fiber and iorn sources, and low in fat. When people think of fiber they forget to think of beans as a great source.
Researchers in Australia, Indonesia, and Sweden studied the diets of 400 elderly men and women, and found that those who ate the most leafy green vegetables and beans had the fewest wrinkles.

SPINACH & OTHER GREEN VEGES: These foods have high nutrient content — especially vitamins A, C, and K; folate; beta-carotene; minerals including calcium and magnesium; fiber; and antioxidants. They have antioxidants and fiber that helps fill you up without loading you up with calories.
Snack on more vegetables – period!

TURKEY: Turkey breast is one of the leanest meats you’ll pick, and it packs nearly one-third of your daily requirements of niacin and vitamin B6. Dark meat, if you prefer, has lots of zinc and iron.

PEANUT BUTTER: I know it’s high in calories but it has heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. For guys that means it can increase your body’s production of testosterone, which can help your muscles grow and your fat melt.
Avoid “classic” peanut butters such as Jif and Skippy – they have added sugar and trans fats. Purchase all-natural butters with one ingredient: peanuts.

EXTRA PROTEIN POWDER: I add BioPureProtein from Metagenics to my protein smoothie shakes. In conjunction with my UltraMeal powder (Metagenics) or FitFood (Xymogen), it is a total meal replacement. I’ll say it again, the most powerful fat-burning meal is high in protein and low in carbs. The UltraMeal powder and the BioPureProtein shakes are high-quality protein that contains essential amino acids that build muscle and burn fat. It’s simple, it has the highest amount of protein for the fewest number of calories.


Weight Loss: Fast or Slow?

If you thought the best way to lose and maintain weight was the slow and steady approach, think again. A new study by Lisa Nackers and colleagues, from the University of Florida in the US, suggests that the key to long-term weight loss and maintenance is to lose weight quickly, not gradually, in the initial stages of obesity treatment. Their findings(1) are published online in Springer’s International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Successful weight loss in obese individuals is defined as a reduction of 10 percent or more of initial body weight maintained for at least a year. The jury is still out, however, as to whether fast or slow initial weight loss is the best approach for long-term weight control in obese patients. On the one hand, there is evidence that losing weight slowly initially results in continued weight loss, reduced risk of weight regain, and successful long-term weight loss maintenance. On the other hand, it has also been shown that the greater the initial weight loss in obese patients, the larger the total weight loss observed longer term.

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