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“I just have to get rid of this weight quickly. I can’t stand this uncomfortable stuff around my middle” she complained with disgust while grabbing the flesh at her waist.  “I know everyone says to lose weight slowly, but that just won’t work for me... “


My client was clearly uncomfortable with her body and eager to transform her physique. Unfortunately, she failed to recognize that quick weight loss offers only short-term benefits. Quick weight loss inevitably results in long-term fat gain because of the physiology of starvation. That is, when you drastically reduce your food intake, your body’s physiology wants to binge eat to quickly regain all the weight you lost (and likely even more pounds).


As a human, your body requires fuel. The body perceives a strict diet as a famine. When the opportunity to stop the famine presents itself, the drive to eat becomes overwhelming. This overeating has little to do with “will power” and lots of do with the physiological response to extreme hunger.  It’s sort of like how you have to breathe rapidly after having spent too long holding your breath. Your body gasps for air, just as it gasps for food after a “famine.”


Depending on your level of discipline, weight regain might not happen for a week, a few months, or a year, but it will inevitably happen. That’s because crash–dieters learn only how to white-knuckle weight loss, but do not learn how to eat appropriately. Inappropriate eating creates your weight problems.


If having excess body fat is an issue, your goal for 2010 needs to be to learn how to manage the overabundant food supply, manage stress and emotions without overeating; manage to find time to exercise, and manage to get enough sleep. Weight reduction has more to do with management of food, stress, sleep, exercise and emotions than it has to do with food…


Your best bet for learning how to chip away at slow but steady weight loss is to meet with a registered dietitian (RD) who can help you develop the skills you need to lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life. To find a local sports dietitian, use the referral network at Alternatively, my Sports Nutrition Guidebook has a strong section on how to lose weight and have energy to exercise.


Here’s to a healthy New Year!


Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD


PS. Tell me about your quick weight loss efforts -- were they worth it?

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A sports diet need not be a “perfect diet” to be  “good diet” I tell my clients to aim for a food plan that includes 85-90% quality foods and 10-15% “treats.”

Here’s a recipe that fits into the “treat” category and adds a nice ending for a special holiday meal.

Enjoy the season,




This brownie pudding is a low-fat yet tasty treat for those who want a chocolate-fix. It forms its own sauce during baking. If you need to rationalize eating chocolate, remember it does contain some health-protective phytochemicals...


Reprinted with permission from the recipe section in Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook (


1 cup flour, preferably half white, half whole-wheat

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened dry cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons oil, preferably canola

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened dry cocoa

1-3/4 cups hot water                  

Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts


1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, white sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt; add the milk, oil, and vanilla (and nuts). Mix until smooth.

3. Pour into an 8” x  8” square pan that is lightly oiled.

4. Combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, and hot water. Gently pour this mixture on top of the batter in the pan.

5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.


Yield: 9 servings                                              

Total calories: 2,100

Calories per serving: 230                                 

46 g Carb

3 g Pro

4 g Fat

1,738 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: recipe, holiday, chocolate, chocolate_lush

If good health is your wish, get caught on fish! Yes, you know you should eat more fish to reduce your risk of heart disease—but what if you just don’t like the taste of salmon or strong-tasting fish? What can you do?


Try Barramundi!  Barramundi, which means “fish with big scales” in an Australian aboriginal dialect, are a sweet, mild-tasting white fish (similar to cod). Yet, they have the omega-3 content of wild Coho salmon without the “fishy” taste. Unlike other omega-3-rich fish that eat smaller fish, Barramundi have the rare ability to make omega-3's from plants. This means Barramundi are not mercury-laden. Eat as much as you want!


Another selling point is barramundi farms are eco-friendly. They are raised using sustainable aquaculture and have a smaller environmental footprint compared with other fish farms. They were crowned the 2009 “Seafood Champion” for ocean-friendly production practices.


Barramundi are definitely worth seeking out (either fresh or frozen) at Whole Foods, Costco, Legal Seafoods, and likely your local supermarket. A good catch!


(Disclosure: I have NO financial connection to the barramundi business.)


Nancy Clark

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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

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