Teaching Patients How to Eat Focus

Steven Austin • Special to The Clarion-Ledger • November 19, 2008


What Does Your Doctor Look Like Naked? is the title of the best-selling book by Dr. Warren Willey, the medical director of a medical weight loss center and primary care office in southeast Idaho. He offers a full-service walk-in medical clinic that uses the "urgent care" format for preventative medical intervention by helping people obtain optimal health and fitness through elite nutritional programs, diet strategies and exercise programs. Along with his book he has helped thousands of people lose weight and obtain and then maintain optimal health. He recently released Better Than Steroids!, a summary of what you need to know to be a successful bodybuilder, athlete or just "...look so good your friends won't believe it!." He also writes for a number of periodicals and Web sites. More info: www.eatright4u.com.

Q: Let's say a patient in her early 20s comes to the office. She is in relatively good health and says, "I have to lose 10 pounds in the next month before I go the beach with my friends." How do you respond?

A: That can be done, but I am insistent on doing it correctly. This means that I will help her lose 10 pounds of FAT, not just scale weight. I suggest real foods and instruct her on the "how" to eat, not the "what" to eat. I teach in my clinic that food is a drug. If you know how to use the drug to your benefit, any food is fair game, and we use the drug-like properties of food to build muscle and burn fat. Ten pounds in a month is comparatively simple when you understand this concept.

Q: Any food items you would never eat under any circumstances?

A: No! When you know how to eat, the world, forgive the pun, is your oyster. I teach patients daily that there is no such thing as a bad food, just bad timing. Restriction breeds failure - one of the primary reasons all of these "diets" out there do not work for the long run. Now it goes without saying that there may be some better choices than others, but I do not believe in restriction. This also brings up the all so important role of knowing foods. When you understand the difference between a carbohydrate, a protein, and a fat, and can understand amounts and food timing - you are set! Mistakes occur when you do not know your food and you assume an Awesome Blossom from Chili's Restaurant at (2,700 calories) is a vegetable!

Q: Every other day you hear or read some news story about wine. One day a glass is good for you. Another day, you shouldn't drink alcohol. Any thoughts about alchohol?

A: Alcohol, in moderation, has some very positive effects. It raises your good cholesterol (HDL) and has a number of well documented antioxidant effects. As I mentioned above, I do not think there is a bad food out there - when you apply moderation, knowledge, and understanding. Alcohol has calories, an important fact unbeknown to many, seven calories per gram to be exact, so be aware of that fact as you tip a glass.

Protein Muffins

1 cup any flavor whey protein powder

3 tsp. baking powder

1 egg

3/4 cup skim milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

Mix dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. Beat wet ingredients in a separate bowl then add to dry mixture. Blend well by hand. Divide dough into two portions. To half add 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. To the other half add 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon ginger. Oil mini muffin cups, using fat-free cooking spray (PAM). Fill muffin cups with dough to about 2/3 full. Bake at 425 degrees for 6 minutes.

Nutritional information: 1 muffin from a 12 dish muffin pan: 85 calories, 5 grams fat, 2 grams carbs, 8 grams protein, 31 mg. sodium.

Contact Steven Austin at www.favefoods.com.