Dr. Phil Shares: What To Eat To Shed The Pounds

 There’s no getting around it — if you want to lose weight, your nutrition game needs to be on point. As the saying goes, you can’t outrun a bad diet.

But, there’s nothing worse than suffering through a diet that makes you miserable — especially when you still don’t see the results you want. Many fad diets are based on rules that are easy to memorize — No starchy carbs! Fast for 16 hours every day! — but are impossible to sustain.


Eating healthy isn’t supposed to be a temporary blip. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it takes commitment.

If that sounds daunting, it’s probably because you’re used to diets that kind of suck. But they don’t have to. Eating healthy isn’t about swearing off your favorite foods and nibbling on kale leaves all day. It’s about learning to fuel your body the right way and understand how to eat so you can lose weight without feeling deprived.

One of the most important lessons you can learn from losing weight successfully is how to eat healthfully. For the rest of your life.

We favor nutritionally balanced, long-term approaches to weight loss, but the truth of the matter is that counting calories, calculating macros, monitoring portion sizes, or even cleansing may or may not help you lose weight for a variety of reasons, many of which have to do with sustainability.

So, we’re not going to provide you with a list of 25 foods to eat that are “good” for weight loss. If that’s what you’re looking for, check out the detailed recommended food and beverage lists in the Beachbody Portion Fix Eating Plan or any Beachbody program nutrition guide.

But keep in mind that these are just places to start your healthy eating education. We want to drive home the facts that it’s your weight to lose, it’s your preferences, and it’s your life that should help guide you to what you should eat — not only to lose weight, but also to live a more vivacious life.

This isn’t to say that you won’t need to retrain your palate to accept whole foods without much adornment (ie., lots of added salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats), or that you won’t need to sacrifice the richness of some of your favorite comfort foods (we’re looking at you, mac and cheese) for healthier, slimmed-down versions, or that you won’t need to trim back on portion sizes. You will likely need to do all of these things in order to lose weight.

But, the key mindset to embrace is that you do have choices. You ultimately get to determine what will and won’t go into your weekly meal plans. What you eat to lose weight shouldn’t be all that different from what you eat to maintain your health after you shed the excess pounds. So, yes, you’ll likely need to cut calories to lose weight, but you’ll also need to learn how to eat differently to maintain your results.

No matter which way you prefer to cut calories, you should focus on improving the quality of the calories you do ingest first and foremost. We’ve reduced it to three simple steps you can start today to maximize the calories you do consume when you want to lose weight.


 and Eat Healthy

 1. Drink water first and most.

When you’re trying to lose weight, cleaning up your diet also means watching what you drink. If done right, juices or shakes can be healthy weight-loss tools to enhance your nutrition plan, and Shakeology is a good way to assure you’re getting plenty of nutrients when eating at a deficit (or anytime!). Just try to keep your calories from beverages to a minimum (most Shakeology varieties contain about 160 calories per scoop).

Of course, water is calorie-free and incredibly good for you. Beachbody recommends you drink your body weight, divided by two, in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds — that would be 150 divided by 2, which equals 75. That’s 75 ounces of water you should be drinking every day. To a die-hard soda drinker (even a diet soda drinker) or someone who doesn’t think about hydration much at all, this might seem like a lot of extra trips to the bathroom. To make all that plain water more palatable, try:

  • Carbonated water. Try flavored varieties without added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and caloriesUnsweetened tea. Use caffeine-free tea if desired, and spruce up the flavor with lemon or lime slices, or muddled fruit
  • Adding sliced citrus, cucumbers, strawberries, pineapples, or fresh mint leaves
  • Adding citrus peels
  • Flavoring with natural combos: ginger + cucumber + mint, or pineapples + orange peel, or strawberries + kiwi + basil.

Your mom may have told you as a 5-year-old not to fill your belly with liquid so you’d eat some dinner, but feel free to defy that rule as an adult. In fact, one study published in the journal Obesity asked 84 obese adults to either drink two cups of plain water before their main meals every day for three months, or to imagine the feeling of being full. Those who drank water before their meals lost about 2.6 pounds more than those who didn’t. These findings suggest that drinking water before your meals may be an easy way to take the edge off hunger, and possibly stop you from eating too much.


2. Replace refined, processed foods with whole ones.

It may seem obvious that in order to lose weight and eat healthier, you need to cut way back on fried foods, creamy casseroles, and sugary confections, but it may seem less obvious what to eat instead.

As much as possible, try to cut back on highly processed foods, such as frozen meals, packaged snacks, sugar-laden cereals, bottled sauces, meats with added preservatives, etc. Instead, choose whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, lean proteins (ie., chicken, turkey, eggs, tempeh), healthy fats (ie., avocados, hummus, extra-virgin olive oil, nut butters), and whole grains (ie., oatmeal, barley, whole-grain bread, brown rice).

Whole foods provide nutrient-dense fuel that contribute to greater satiety (when compared to processed foods).

The naturally occurring fiber, water (in foods like fruits and vegetables), or protein in these foods can contribute to an increased feeling of satisfaction — often with less food (read: fewer calories).

Protein can help you feel satiated longer than carbohydrates or fat. This may be due to increased thermogenesis (the metabolic process of your body burning calories), which influences that physiological “I’m satisfied” feeling you have after consuming higher amounts of protein.

Fiber, a form of carbohydrate found in plants that humans lack the enzyme to digest, helps us feel fuller on fewer calories. A food diary analysis of successful MyFitnessPal (MFP) users (defined as those who came within five percent of their goal weights) revealed the faithful food trackers who came closest to their goals ate 30 percent more fiber. That may seem like a lot, but really the difference was only three grams per day more than other MFP users — the equivalent of having one small apple or swapping a traditional English muffin for a whole wheat one.

3. Add volume with vegetables.

Volumetrics is a way of eating that may help you feel satisfied by consuming foods with low calorie density, or less calories for any given amount. It’s essentially a fancy way of telling people to eat the majority of their calories from mostly vegetables and fruits.

Low calorie density foods such as apples are higher in fiber and water, so you’re able to eat more in volume for a similar amount of calories (compared to a higher calorie density food such as apple pie). There’s evidence to say that fiber helps you feel fuller faster, and keeps you satiated long after you eat. A small study did find that water incorporated into food (as in the case of soup) did help subjects eat less, but not if that same amount of water was served in a glass on the side.

One study confirms that when people eat foods low in energy density, their total daily calories are significantly less than when they eat foods high in energy density.

If you’re hoping that eating more whole foods will help you lose weight, you’ll want to eat these foods in lieu of processed foods, not in addition to them. Because, in the end, weight loss generally boils down to eating fewer calories.

5,000 Reasons to Eat Vegetables

I was only looking for 6 key reasons to eat vegetables.

I found five thousand. How can this be? PHYTOCHEMICALS. There are more than 5,000 phytochemicals identified plus many we suspect still remain unknown. Turns out, mother nature has packed a punch of power in the plant kingdom. Many plants contain one or more of these 5,000 nutritional perks that helps us:

  • Defend against pathogens, parasites, and predators.
  • Protect against chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer.
  • Purify and renew the blood
  • Nourish
  • Cleanse body of toxins
  • Stimulate effects
  • Relaxing effects
  • Anti-inflammatory

Food for …

As a part of the Forty-three Eighty Fitness challenge, for the next six weeks we are going to cover the elementary need for food. Function. That doesn’t mean it has to boring and mundane. It just means we are going to get back to providing our body with the building blocks it needs for life. It is about food for sports performance, energy, mental clarity, good digestion, glowing skin and good sleep. It is not all-inclusive, as they are general dietary guidelines. Each week we will dig a little deeper into the 6 daily tips. If you are not a part of the program and not a patient of mine, don’t worry, there is still lots right here in the Forward Health Journal and on the Naturalaura site.

In our society we relate to one another so much through food. It is really a part of our heritage, our culture and our social connection. This is partly what makes it so difficult to make changes. It’s not just a little corner of your life. Eating is something we do everyday. Every time we eat we make a choice. What drives that choice? Taste? Texture? Atmosphere? Experience? Promise to make you happy? If you suspect you might make choices driven by emotion, you might like to join me next Wednesday, March 15th at Goodness Me! in Guelph from 6:30-8pm for a free educational session on Food or Mood, Which Comes First? Register here.

Evolution, Not Revolution!

It won’t work if you try to make all the changes at once. As I say to my patients, it’s about evolution, not revolution. Did you learn to ski by jumping on the black diamond hills first? Not likely. You needed to build some strength, add some skills, practice them in safe small ways and build your confidence. Ditto for making changes in diet. Start somewhere. Carve out an area and make some attempt for small changes. This week we are going to start with vegetable awareness! Goal is 6 cups of vegetables a day. Many people struggle to get one. If you are the one cup a day kind of person right now, then maybe you aim to get two or three cups a day as a place to start. What’s in it for you?

Guideline Goal: 6 cups of Vegetables a Day

3 Cups of Cabbages

The cabbage also known as cruciferous or brassica family helps support phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification of the liver. This means eating more of this family of vegetables provides support for your natural detoxification process. Your liver is in charge of over 300 jobs. Not a bad thought to give your liver a hand.

Interesting to note: broccoli contains abundant B vitamins, vitamin A, has more vitamin C than citrus and is rich in chlorophyll.

  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Swiss chard
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Turnip
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radish/ radish greens

3 Cups Leafy Greens

Bitter greens help stimulate digestion. Good digestion means good energy! Some cultures find this helpful before a meal, others after. Leafy greens also provide fibre, vitamin K, chlorophyll, vitamin A and C. Lettuce leafs contain the sedative lactucarium, which relaxes the nerves, helping the rest and digest nervous system do its thing.

  • Dandelion greens
  • Carrot tops
  • Romaine
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Endive
  • Radicchio
  • Watercress
  • Chicory
  • Beet greens

1 Cup – Mix of Orange and Red

Red and orange means a rich source of beta carotene / vitamin A. Carrots and beets are blood purifying and anti-inflammatory for mucus membranes. Bell peppers are additionally an excellent source of vitamin C. Sweet potato and squash have great fibre and help reduce inflammation.

  • Carrot
  • Bell pepper – red/orange
  • Squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Beet

1 Cup Other

For appetite control, celery can be eaten between and during meals. Celery root is excellent sliced thin and baked on parchment paper. Fennel root has a mild licorice flavor and is an excellent add to soups. Parsnips slow cooked with carrots marinated in a little olive oil and sea salt is delectable. Peel them and cook them whole! Cucumber is very cooling and better eaten in the hot and dry times of the year. A couple slices of cucumber and maybe a sprig of mint in water is a very refreshing. summer drink.

  • Celery
  • Celery root
  • Fennel
  • Parsnip
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Turnip


Ideally more cooked in the fall and winter and start introducing more raw in the spring. Cooking vegetables will destroy some of the nutrients, however softens the fibres and makes them easier to digest. Digestive fire is stronger in the hotter months, so lots of raw in summer is just fine. Fall, winter and early spring we are better to eat more slow cooked, lightly steamed vegetables. I often preserve the water I steam my veggies in and use it in stir fry to add moisture or add it to soup. Eat your cooked veg or broth within 24 hours to obtain the maximum nutrition. Don’t forget an easy way to add up the vegetable tally is to throw a stick or two of celery, and a handful of greens into your smoothie. My favourite energy-boosting green smoothie has 2 sticks of celery, a handful of leafy greens- whatever is in the fridge, a bunch of dried mint from the garden and a little ground ginger with my pea protein.

Cornerstones of daily eating.

Jessica Cosby and Brett Milton’s Forty-three Eighty Fitness six week challenge kicks off in Guelph this month. My part is to provide some education for the nutritional aspect of good health. Thanks to Carrie and Mark Godman we set up at the prestigious Granite Homes showroom this Friday and delved into the general aspects of the 6-Daily Diet Tips. 

For the next six weeks, there will be weekly posts to provide a little more information in each of the areas of:

Week 1 – Value of Vegetables
Week 2 – Power of Protein
Week 3 – Friendly Fats
Week 4 – Function of Fibre
Week 5 – Controlling your Carbs
Week 6-  Flourish Your Flora

Oh, I almost forgot! 

To find your personalized “food fingerprint I often encourage people to have their food sensitivities evaluated. Then we map this with the six daily diet tips to maximize your results. To have this test done, call 519. 826-7973 and ask about the KORU food testing.

From the heart, mind and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

More about naturopathic medicine here.

Del Rio D, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Spencer JPE, Tognolini M, Borges G, Crozier A. Dietary (Poly)phenolics in Human Health: Structures, Bioavailability, and Evidence of Protective Effects Against Chronic Diseases. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2013;18(14):1818-1892. doi:10.1089/ars.2012.4581.
Pitchford, P. 2002. Healing with whole foods. Asian traditions and modern nutrition. 3rd ed., North Atlantic Books, Berkely, California.
Temple N, Wilson T, Jacobs DR. 2006. Nutritional Health—Strategies for Disease Prevention 2nd ed, , Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.

Recipe for BBQ Lamb & Meal Plan

Lamb finished

New Zealand Spring Lamb

Follow this meal plan and Father’s Day dinner will be simple to prepare for and easy to please Dad on his special day.

Chops are easy to manage and quite tasty. I buy mine at Costco on Imperial Road in Guelph. One tray has about 8 chops.  Of course if you are an Ontario Lamb fan, that’s always fantastic to support local farmers.  Marinade 12-24 hours ahead of cooking and if you don’t need all 8, freeze the remaining marinaded chops for a future date. They easily defrost within 12 hours in the fridge, so take them out in the morning and they’ll be ready for BBQ that night.


Olive oil – about 1/4 cup

Fresh Sliced Garlic – 1 bud

Rosemary – about 1 Tbsp

Ground black pepper corns – about 1 Tbsp


Usually I find a glass Pyrex rectangular container or something similar works best for this. One with a plastic seal able lid so the whole fridge doesn’t smell like garlic while it is marinading. Use about 1/4 c of olive oil, pour this in the glass container, then add about 1 tbsp of dried rosemary, slice up one bud of garlic thinly or in chopped finely. Course ground black pepper or grind peppercorns fresh with mortar and pestle – about 1 Tbsp. Rinse lamb chops off in cold running water, drip dry for a moment, then transfer to container with oil and herbs. Roll the chops around in the marinade so each is well coated. Arrange in the pan – a tight fit is good as it keeps the air out. Allow to marinade in fridge for 12-24hours.

BBQ Time

Lamb3Heat the grill with all burners on high. Allow to come to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. We have three burners on our BBQ, which is average sized. After all is hot, turn the one burner at the far end where you will place the meat on low, the middle burner with nothing on it at medium and the burner furthest from the meat, leave on high. This will give lots of heat to the cooking (mine went up to 700degrees Fahrenheit) and will minimize flares. Note to the chef… charring meat to a crisp is not healthy! Close the lid. Cook on one side for 6 min. Then turn meat over. Cook on other side for additional 6 min. When lamb comes off the BBQ it will continue to cook for a minute or two. Once it reaches the plate it will be pink in the middle but cooked.

Side Dishes

BBQ Lamb goes great with whipped sweet potatoes. Peel, chop and boil in a little water. Drain water once potatoes are soft. (Hint: I save the water the sweet potato boiled in a mason jar and will add to soups or use as a stir fry base later in the week.) Back to the day: Add 1 Tbsp of coconut oil to the cooked sweet potatoes and use a hand mixer on medium or high for 2-3 minutes until all the lumps are out.

Lamb isn’t the same without mint sauce or jelly. Mint is growing fresh you might take task to do this at home. Everyone in our home likes the Presidents Choice Mint Sauce and Mint Jelly you can find in the condiments section at Zehrs. Even the smaller Zehrs at Gordon and Clair area in Guelph carries this.

Veggies: hmm… any will do & lots. Steamed organic broccoli or peas and mushrooms or grilled or steamed asparagus is always a great companion. Of course always a big side serving of healthy leafy salad greens with a balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette.

New thing we found follows the meal very well  is sliced mango. Peel the mango and slice onto a plate – it’s great to taste near the end of the meal.

Vino – a glass a day is OK

I would pair this lamb meal with a glass of Valpolicella Ripasso, Amorone or Chianti Classico.

 From the heart and kitchen of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

10 Healthier Holiday Treats For The Whole Family


Fruity Candy Cane
Delight your kids with this candy cane from Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth. All you need are strawberries, a banana, and a knife!
Banana Strawberry Candy Cane


Christmas Tree Pizza
Lunchtime looks delicious with this fun Christmas Tree Pizza idea shared by Caro & Co. Use our recipe for healthy Whole Wheat Pizza Crust and cut out tree shapes before baking. Decorate with your favorite holiday-inspired toppings. Here, sliced olives form garlands. How about topping the pizza in leaves of spinach and decorating with “ornaments” made from red and yellow bell peppers?
Christmas Tree Pizza with Olives


Snowman Hard-Boiled Eggs
Why did the snowman take a dip in boiling water? Because he was made from hard-boiled eggs! These adorable snacks from Roxy’s Kitchen are cleverly held together with a stick of dry spaghetti. Carrot slices form hats, sprigs of parsley shape the arms, and buttons and eyes are affixed with black peppercorns (you could also use black sesame seeds). Take it a step further and use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons of zucchini for scarves!
Snowman Eggs


Santa’s Belly Cheese Snacks
Ho-ho-ho! Santa’s belly is coming to town. Cute Food for Kids wrapped holiday cheer around Babybel individual cheese snacks and used construction paper to craft belts and buckles.
Cheese Santa


Snowman Snack Platter
This snowman is playing in a winter wonderland! We love this fun, open-faced sandwich idea from Creative Food. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles of bread and cheese. Add a hat and scarf made from bell peppers, and a sliver of carrot for the nose. This snowman has eyes, a mouth, and buttons made from plum, but you can use black sesame seeds. Popcorn snow is the finishing touch.
Snowman Snack Platter


Reindeer Pancakes
Add extra holiday cheer to your morning with these Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer pancakes from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons. For a healthier version use Greek yogurt instead of whipped cream, turkey bacon, and our recipe for Cashew and Oat Hotcakes or Multi-Grain Banana Pancakes.
Rudolph Pancakes

Tortilla Snowflakes
These pretty snowflake-shaped tortillas are dusted with a light sprinkling of Parmesan. They’re simple, savory, and kids of all ages will have fun cutting out snowflake shapes. Get the how-to from Carpé Season.
Parmesan Tortilla Snowflakes


No-Bake Granola Bars
Make your own granola bars like these from Life Made Sweeter. Kids will enjoy mixing the ingredients and pressing them into the pan! For a lighter version, try our recipe forCranberry Granola Bars.
Holiday Granola Bars


Grinch Grapes
Grapes get a dose of holiday cheer, just like the Grinch did in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, with cute hats made from strawberries, sliced banana, and a miniature marshmallow.
Grinch Grapes


Fruity Christmas Tree
This decorative tree takes a little more effort than the other snacks on this page, but it will make kids (and grownups) ooh and ah, and you’ll have a healthy, edible centerpiece for your table. Click to find out how Ginger & Garlic assembled it!
Edible Christmas Tree


Looking for more holiday treats? Check out this Candy Cane Shakeology, theseGingerbread Protein Pancakes, and these Gingerbread Balls!

What are your favorite holiday snacks? Tell us in the comments!

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Thanks to http://www.beachbody.com