Theresa Gentile Nutrition

Your Neighborhood Nutritionist

Theresa Gentile Nutrition

Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, CDN is a Brooklyn based dietitian who counsels patients in an intimate setting using sound science and holistic and intuitive approaches to eating. When she’s not out promoting local foods or biking, she’s in her kitchen testing out healthy recipes on her family.

How NOT to gain weight this holiday season

Holiday cheer can lead to extra holiday pounds if you're not careful. Here are some tips to avoid excess calories at your next party.

1. Don't stand next to the buffet

You're less likely to keep eating If you have to dodge through a crowd and interrupt a conversation to get to where the food is.

2. Keep up a conversation

More time talking means less time eating. And don't eat mindlessly - pay attention to what you eat by avoiding the urge to nosh while in a conversation.

3. Fill up your plate with fruits and vegetables

You'll be filling up on phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber without much calories

4. Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water

Or make your glass of wine a spritzer by adding seltzer water. You'll make that 5 oz glass of wine 60 calories instead of 120.

5. At the desert table, choose one and enjoy

Don't let variety fool you by letting a sugar rush take over. A few bites of sugary goodness creates a need for more. And, in one study, participants who had a variety of colors of M&Ms ate more than if they had just one color in front of them. Since all M&Ms taste the same, it was concluded that variety increases intake.

6. Don't go back for seconds

Enough said. Why double your calories? You needn't feel excessively full after your meal. Start to practice walking away from the table feeling satisfied, not full.

7. Bring a healthy dish

If you're not sure what will be at the party, don't go hungry and bring a healthy dish that you know you can enjoy.

8. Keep the holiday to one day...not a holi-week

Don't keep leftovers around to pick on all week.

9. Enjoy in moderation and be in the moment with family and friends

Remember, shiny colored chocolates are the same ones sold all year long, there is no reason to be gluttonous now. Enjoy some special meals and recipes in moderation.

Lose Weight with a Plan

Many people equate the holiday season with automatic weight gain. If you're determined not to let that happen this year, you should stick to a plan. Small, measurable goals outlined with your specific needs in mind works best. And what happens when you go off track? Just dust it off. Don't throw the whole week away because you got off track on the weekend. Being held accountalbe to your nutritionist and family has been shown to improve success, too. So, start by choosing 3 things to work on this week, write them out and make a plan for change.

Are you at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

Many people are walking around with prediabetes and don't even know it. Prediabetes should be taken seriously - those with prediabetes have a 20% increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with their peers. They also have increased rates of damage to small blood vessels of the eyes, nerves, and kidneys. So what should you do if you've been diagnosed?

1. Lose excess weight

The Diabetes Prevention Program found close to a 50% reduction in progression to diabetes with modest weight loss.

2. Cut out sugary drinks

It looks like fructose - the sweetener in table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey and agave - may make the body more resistant to insulin.

3. Limit carbohydrates

A diet low, but not extremely low, in carbohydrates has been shown to lower blood sugar and insulin levels after meals. And the carbs you eat, should be whole grains or come from fruit, vegetables, and legumes. Oh, and the literature does not suport glycemic index as making a big difference in insulin sensitivity.

4. Drink Coffee

Coffee consistently is linked with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Even decaf.

5. Magnesium

Foods high in magnesium are linked to a lower risk of diabetes. Whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, and beans.

6. Vitamin D

Those with high levels of vitamin D have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. The results seem more promising in those with existing insulin resistance.

Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year!