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Bell Nutrition and Fitness

Healthy Living Through The Ages


Controlling Calorie Intake During The Holidays

Posted on November 23, 2015 at 9:31 AM Comments comments (222)
Some tips to controlling calorie intake during the holidays

Bring a healthy dish
Remember it is a social event, so socialize don't look at it as an eating event
Set the table as a buffet style not family style, if you have to get up to get more you are less likely to get up and get it
Fill your plate with the vegetables first and then go back for the rest after, you are less likely to eat a lot of the starches and meats
Use smaller plates

Why you may not be successful with maintaining weight

Posted on November 16, 2015 at 4:16 PM Comments comments (138)

Protein, carbohydrates and fat

Posted on November 9, 2015 at 2:51 PM Comments comments (59)
Things to know about protein, fat and carbohydrates


It is used to build muscle and repair cells.
If over consumed it can not be stored.
If over consumed it is turned to a sugar, if they can not be used as energy then stored as fat.
There are essential and non essential proteins.  
Foods that provide protein are rated by who they match our protein make up (high biological value)
Eggs are consider the highest value with meats behind that.  


As much as they have been villainized over the years, they are vital part of your diet.
They are used for energy.  Our brain, muscles, and organs need carbohydrates for energy to perform there duties.
They it can be stored in muscles as glycogen for quick source of energy, but there is a limit to how much can be stored as glycogen.
Excess carbohydrates are stored as fat.
In the end all carbohydrates that we consume they are broken down to glucose. How fast they get there is based on the type of carbohydrate.


Only source of food that contains fat soluble vitamins.
Only source of essential fatty acids.
Vital for cell repair.
In excess stored as fat.

So the take away of this is that they are all vital parts of your diet and can all be over consumed.  So just because you cut back one and eat more of another eventually they will turn to fat if your body does not need them at that point in time.  

Throw the scale away

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 2:19 PM Comments comments (15)
The scale does not lie, oh but it does.  It makes me so frustrated when I hear clients or even friends say that the have been watching what they eat and exercising and have not lost any weight.  So they are going to take some pill or do some diet that cost $400 or $500 a month.  The thing about your weight on the scale is it is irrelevant.  In my practice, I am weigh my clients once in awhile or not at all.  Your weight depends on many different things, it could be the time of the day, day of the week, time of year, hormones, water retention or medications.  If you weigh what the charts say you need to weigh; but do it by starving yourself or eliminating important food groups, you can still not be healthy.

Recently I saw an interview with Rosie O'donnell,  she was speaking about her recent weight loss.  I was so impressed with her, she was saying that after her heart attack last year her doctors told her she needed to change her lifestyle because she is lucky she is alive.  She said that she changed the way she eats and exercises now.  She said that it more about being healthy not how much weight she is losing.  She said that there may be months where she only loses a half a pound and she is ok with that. 

I think that a lot of people have forgotten what is important in all this.  It is not about the number on the scale, it is about being healthy.  We have become a society that is obsessed with appearances, selfies, and needing validation from others about how we look.  I am not saying that I don't love cute clothes, shoes and purses; but I know that I will never look like the women on the front of fitness or shape magazine and I have come to grips with that.  I focus more on the accomplishes that I have made. Such as, finishing a half marathon, doing a triathlon or even how many pushes that you can do.  

The important thing that you always need to remember is that it is about your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels being normal; feeling good, preventing cancer and other preventable diseases.  I am not saying it is ok to be obese or overweight; but you need  to not focus on the number on the scale, it is about being healthy.  

Can you lose inches without losing weight

Posted on August 3, 2014 at 6:44 PM Comments comments (19)
Yes you can.  Many factors go into what you weigh on a scale.  Your weight can fluctuate about 5 pounds in any given day.  So many people complain that they have been working out, but have not seen any change on the scale.  That is very normal.  Muscle weighs about 3 times what fat does.  So if you are a person who never exercised before and did not have very much muscle mass in the beginning.  When muscle replaces fat when you work out the muscle will be more compact but weigh the same as the fat did.  So it is very possible to lose inches without losing weight.  However, after 3 to 6 month, depending on your diet,  you will start seeing the change in the scale because the rate at which you are building muscle and losing fat changes.  The muscle you have built has become so much more metabolically active you will burn so much calories that you are losing more fat.  So to me it is more about how your clothes are fitting and not what you weigh on a scale.  

Finding your balance in healthy living

Posted on June 27, 2014 at 11:14 AM Comments comments (26)
One thing that most people do not understand about weight control is that you need to find a balance in life.  Taking care of yourself is part of your job.  If you do not feel good and have any energy, you are unable to perform your work or take care of others.  

Part of controlling your weight is physical activity.  The American Heart Association recommends for heart health 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity 5 times a week or 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity 3 times a week, along with 2 days of moderate to vigorous strength training per week.  The CDC recommendation for overall health that adults get 300 minutes of physical activity per week.  With these guidelines in mind, it is important to find something that you can do for the rest of your life.  I have people tell me all the time that they hate running and my response is, " no one said you have to run".  Just find something that you can continue, not do it for a couple of months and stop.  Not everyone likes to do the same type of exercises.  There are certain types of exercises that I do not like to do and that is ok.  Find what works for you.  

The biggest thing in weight control is what you eat.   I would say that this is the hardest to find balance in.  One thing everyone needs to understand with food and drink choices is that it is not an all or nothing kind of thing.   I would not say that I make every right choice, but it is not about that.  It is making the healthier choices most of the time and refining the choices that you typically eat.  For example,  if you enjoy eating chicken alferdo then you can make it with fat free half and half, use whole grain pasta and add spinach, mushrooms and other veggies to reduce the amount of pasta and sauce that you use.  However, if you eat something that is not the right choice it is not the end of the world.  Do not sit there and say well I messed up so who cares and just giving up.  It is all about BALANCE!  It is not a start and stop kind of thing.  A glass or 2 of wine occasionally is fine but not 4 glasses everyday of the week.  You will gain weight.  Finding your balance is important to healthy living and finding happiness in life.  And it is about being healthy not perfect!

Why am I not losing weight

Posted on May 26, 2014 at 3:46 PM Comments comments (12)
I get some many clients who are frustrated with not losing any weight.  There about 10 top reasons why you are not losing weight.  

1.  Skipping meals.  Just because you skip meals you think you will take in less calories and lose weight.  It does not really work that way though.  When you skip meals your metabolism lowers and in the end you gain weight.  Also, later you will probably overeat because you are so hungry.  

2.  Drinking too many of your calories.  Between sodas, juices, alcohol and even "healthy" shakes.  You have to remember they count!  The only time I recommend that you drink your calories is when it is a meal or snack replacement.  Juices for one are typically just sugar, which causes an insulin response and in the end cause a crash and you are hungry again.  As for alcohol, a lot times when you drink it lowers your inhibitions and you end up eating things that you would never had before and the way our bodies process alcohol it is typically stored away as fat not used for energy.  If you plan on drinking alcohol, alternate each glass with water and add tonic or sparkling water to the drink to water down the calories.  Last but not least,  shakes may have lots of vitamins and minerals, however you have to remember they are meal replacements not in addition to the meals.  

3.  Not taking in enough calcium and vitamin D.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that you can get from the sun.  Vitamin D helps prevent the parathyroid from dysfunctioning.  The parathyroid produces hormones that control the thyroid and calcium functions.  It is not well know why calcium helps but the theories are that it stops fat from being stored away.  

4. Not drinking enough water.  Drinking water makes you feel fuller and you ate less calories.  A lot of times people think they are hungry, but in reality you are thirsty.  So keeping hydrated will prevent you from eating when you are not hungry.  When you drink a lot a water it acts as a diuretic.  The more water you drink the less your body holds onto and the less you feel bloated and the less you way.

5.  Treating yourself too often.  We all deserve a treat once in a while, but not everyday.  If you do not ever allow yourself to eat some of the foods you love, but you need to remember that you can not allow yourself to have them all the time.

6.  Not taking in enough protein. You have to have protein with every meal and snack.  It will help you feel fuller for a longer period of time.  It also slows down how fast your body breaks down the food and therefore controls the insulin reaction, in turn helping with weight loss.

7.  Not exercising consistently or hard enough.  Studies have shown that in order to lose weight you have to exercise at least 5 times a week for 60 minutes or 30 minutes 6 times a week at a very high intensity.  

8.  Too many cheat days.  Everyone should set a side one day a week to eat without guilt within reason.  Does not mean to eat a whole pizza, 10 dough nuts and a whole chocolate cake in one day.  

9.  Not enough sleep.  Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep affects your weight.  When you do not get enough sleep it affects your hormones.  The thought is that your leptin levels (the hormone that indicates fullness) is driven down lower, so you never get full.  

10. Not taking in enough calories.  We are all have a resting metabolic rate, that is the calories that you burn just staying alive.  If amount of calories you consume is less then 200 calories below that then it lowers your metabolism.  So you have to account for exercise when you are figuring how many calories you should eat per day.  So typically I would never recommend that you eat less then 1200 calories per day.