Tag Archives: Weight Loss

Successful Weight Loss

Successful Weight Loss: Easy as 1, 2, 3 by Vijaya Botla RDN, LD

In our efforts to keep you healthy and help you achieve your goals, we have been including guest blogs here by Registered and Licensed Dietitian Vijaya Botla.  I hope you find these posts helpful and that they help guide you in your better health endeavors.

Although there are many factors to weight loss, studies have shown that these top three things are done by people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off:

  1. 72% Watch less than 10 Hrs. of TV per week- Watching lots of TV can have many negative effects including mindless eating, product placement, and decreased activity level. Mindless eating increases while watching TV because many times we are not aware of how much food is being consumed when our mind is distracted. Studies show people eat two times more food in front of the TV which means twice the calories and twice the weight gain. We are constantly bombarded with TV advertisements for restaurants, food products, and alcoholic beverages. These often trigger feelings of hunger even if you are not really hungry. Finally, and probably most obvious, is that the longer we spend in front of the television, the less physically active we are. Watching TV burns approximately 50 calories an hour. Walking for 30 minutes burns 90-200 calories depending on the speed. That’s almost twice the calories burned for half the time!
  2. 78% Eat breakfast each morning – How often have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Why is that? Because often we haven’t eaten or drank anything for almost 10 hours (due to it being nighttime) before we get up in the morning. Your body is craving some fuel to get you started and if you don’t do this, you are basically running on an empty tank. People who skip breakfast often make unhealthy choices later on in the day because you are starving for any energy and usually that comes in the form of simple carbs or high-fat foods (donuts, muffins, French fries or cupcakes sound familiar?) Eating a breakfast that is nutrient dense will satisfy you and keep you on track for lunch and dinner. A healthy breakfast should include a carbohydrate, protein, and a healthy fat. Examples of good breakfasts are oatmeal with a small handful of nuts and fresh sliced fruit, whole grain English muffin with an egg and lean ham, a peanut butter and banana sandwich and even leftovers from the night before.
  3. 90% Exercise every day – Some form of physical activity whether it be walking, running, swimming, or dancing must be done for at least 30 minutes to an hour (ideal) every day. Increased physical activity boosts your metabolism, helps with digestion, and just makes you feel good! Often, people who exercise regularly tend to make better food choices because they make health and wellness a priority.

Although there are more factors to successful weight loss, following these three guidelines will definitely guide you in the right direction towards your weight and health goals.

Vijaya Botla RDN, LD is the President and Lead Dietitian at Alamo Nutrition Consultants. Let ANC help you reach your health goals with one on one nutrition counseling. Call or visit our website at 210-971-0044 or www.ANCtexas.com`

plastic surgery running on trail

You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet

plastic surgery running on trail

by: Vijaya Botla RDN, LD

I have tried many exercise regimens: running, Zumba, kickboxing, hip-hop, boot camp, etc. When people find out I’m a dietitian they always ask me the same thing; why are they not losing weight when they are exercising “all the time”. Let’s break it down shall we?

First and foremost, many people tend to overestimate how much and how often they workout and underestimate how many calories they eat.  Let’s be honest, working out for 30 minutes 3 days a week is not going to burn enough calories to lose a significant amount of weight. Often we feel that since we are exercising we can indulge in extra treats or bigger helpings at meals without us noticing what we are doing. This leads to frustration when you step on the scale and don’t see any progress.

Others actually workout very hard, 4-7 days a week for an hour each day but still don’t see results. Why? Most likely it’s because their daily calorie intakes are higher because they feel they can eat whatever they want because they exercise. Unless you’re a competitive athlete, this is not true (and in most cases they too have to restrict their diets to perform at an optimal level).  A proper diet is 70% of weight loss and exercise is 30%. But when both are done in unison you will get 100% results!

How can you be successful in creating a winning combination?

  • Do some form of physical activity for at least 150-250 minutes a week.  This sounds like a lot but is just 30 minutes 3-5 times a week. Without any changes to your eating, this can lead to 4-7 lbs of weight loss per year.  With some appropriate calorie restriction, this can be significantly increased (average between 10-20 lbs in a year). 
  • Can’t exercise for 30 minutes at a stretch? Break it down to 10-minute segments throughout the day. Every minute counts towards your daily goal!
  • Which workout burns the most calories? Answer:  the one you stick with! If you don’t love (or at the least like) the physical activity that you’re doing, you won’t stick with it or do it consistently. Whether it’s walking, dancing, gardening or any form of activity that gets your heart rate up for a sustained period of time, just do it and do it often.
  • Instead of 3 large meals, start eating 5 smaller meals/snacks throughout the day. Fueling your body with small frequent meals and snacks make it a calorie burning machine. Each meal or snack should consist of a protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat.
  • The kind of calories you eat makes a big difference in your success. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well as lean proteins and healthy fats (yes fats are important) in the right amounts can leave you feeling satisfied and happy rather than deprived.


The road to success awaits you; so eat and run, walk, or dance your way to a new you!

Vijaya is the lead dietitian and president of Alamo Nutrition Consultants LLC, a private nutrition counseling practice located in San Antonio. If you would like to schedule an appointment to jump start your weight loss goals, ANC can help. For more information, call 210-971-0044 or visit their website at www.ANCtexas.com

Cuckoo for Coconuts!

Cuckoo for Coconuts!

It’s the latest health craze sweeping the nation. Coconut oil, coconut shavings, coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut water…the list goes on and on! Americans have been going cuckoo for all things coconuts.  The internet is full of websites stating that consuming coconut products can improve your memory, boost immune health, is heart healthy and even aid in weight loss. It’s not surprising that most of these websites are also selling coconut based products for you to use on your journey towards a healthier, slimmer new you 😉

Here are the facts:

  • One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 117 calories and 14 grams of fat, of which 12 grams are saturated fat.
  • A 2 inch square of coconut meat has 160 calories and 15 grams of fat (13 grams are saturated).
  • One cup of coconut milk contains 552 calories and 57 grams of fat (51 grams are saturated)
  • One cup of coconut water has 46 calories and less than 0.5 gram of fat

Saturated fat is fat that is solid at room temperature (like butter, shortening, lard, etc). Typically, our diet should include no more than 25% dietary fat per day and of that saturated fat should be no more than 10%. The fat in coconut oil is more than 90% saturated fat! Valid research has shown that saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease, blocked vessels, stroke and other heart health issues. I say valid because there are many studies that claim coconut oil actually does the opposite.

These studies point to countries in the South Pacific and India which have been using coconut oil and its products for thousands of years without health issues but what they fail to mention is that these same people also do intense physical labor as part of their daily routine (serious calorie burning going on here) and that the rest of their diet is mostly plant based with very little meat and almost no processed foods consumed. If most of us lived this lifestyle, we wouldn’t have to worry about our health or weight either. But the majority of Americans don’t, so the data isn’t very reliable now is it??

If weight loss is your goal, then a daily dose of coconut is probably not the best idea. Coconut products are very calorie dense so if you enjoy the taste of them in your cooking, use them sparingly…a little bit goes a long way!

The one exception is coconut water which is low in calories and high in potassium. When you sweat, your body loses potassium and coconut water can function as a good recovery drink post exercise. Make sure to look for ones with no added sugars to get the most benefit!

Coconut oil does have one great benefit…it’s a great moisturizer so it is wonderful to use for dry, damaged hair and on your skin. So if you’re trying to lose weight, most coconut products won’t help in getting you to your goal quicker but if you use them to moisturize your hair or body…you will definitely smell yummy (and that’s calorie free).

Vijaya Botla RDN, LD

Vijaya is the lead dietitian and president of Alamo Nutrition Consultants LLC, a private nutrition counseling practice located in San Antonio. If you would like to schedule an appointment to jump start your weight loss goals, ANC can help. For more information, call 210-971-0044 or visit their website at www.ANCtexas.com