Online Diet Consultations by Samia Khoury Diet Clinic

Hi Everybody !!!

I am happy to be your dietitian, helping you get rid of your excess weight, alleviating diabetes problems, putting your blood exams
under control, and helping you work on the mental side of dieting


I provide my services at my clinic in Beirut, Lebanon or online in 5 different languages: English, Arabic, French, Portuguese & Spanish.
So whether you live in Lebanon or abroad, contact me at to know how to set up a session.

I can help you achieve all your health and weight loss goals now! Check some success stories here and get motivated to start a diet with me whenever you like, wherever you live!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Friday, December 24, 2010

All I want for Christmas is to be in shape

Let me guess…you are coming back to Lebanon on vacation and you not only know that you’re going to eat till you drop on Christmas and New Year’s Eve but also each day and night in between. It might be the other way around?…you live in Lebanon and your friends and relatives are coming from abroad and its everyday eating, drinking and partying!
Well in both cases, here are some suggestions and guidelines to help you curb overeating, gaining 3-4 kg, and thus ruining the last 2 months of diet you’ve been putting all your efforts in! Well, I can’t promise you will lose weight during end-year festivities but I promise the following tips will help you maintain your weight! So here they go:
First I should make sure you know that it’s not the Christmas vacation lunch and dinner menus that need to change, it’s your eating behavior that should change!
1-       Do not sit at the table if you are very hungry: Avoid staying more than three hours without food. Take small snacks throughout the day, like vegetable soup for example that does not have high calorie levels, and increases satiety at the same time! This way you will not overeat during main meal! This method also helps you to keep your metabolism elevated!
2-       Do not deprive yourself from eating your favorite foods. To avoid weight gain, try eating small portions accompanied by vegetables and 1 or 2 fruits.
3-       Try not to abuse of alcoholic beverages. Those are very high in calories especially sweet cocktails! (Stay tuned, my next article is on alcohol beverages, its caloric content and impact on health).
4-       Drink lots of water: If you are not well hydrated, you will feel hungrier! Water will make you feel satiety by filling up your belly. IT also helps your metabolism work perfectly! And all that with ZERO CALORIE!
5-       Stay away from foods that do not need forks, knives, spoons to eat. This way you eliminate fat and high-calorie choices like chips, cookies, cakes, dough and pizza
6-       Drink lots of teas. Whether it is ginger tea, flower tea, chamomile, peppermint and herb teas those will make you feel full and prevent you from nibbling all day!
7-       Snack on a handful of nuts, walnuts, chestnut, almonds or a few dried apricots, figs, raisins 2-3 hours before big meals. The high content of fiber present in such foods will give you a feeling of satiety, preventing you from overeating when you have a lunch or dinner to attend. Do not exceed a handful of those since they are high in calories.
8-       Avoid sauces such as mayo, blue cheese, fatty chicken or meat stock. Enjoy lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, low-fat yogurt and taste your foods with all types of herbs such as cinnamon, oregano, saffron, rosemary, etc…those are not only tasty and add flavor to your foods but are very beneficial for the functioning of your cells, heart and arteries!
9-       Don’t eat all! Take some home! Don’t be shy to take home, you will feel shyer if you gain 4 kg at the end of the year!
10-    Don’t sit next to the sweets table; you will be tempted to eat more sweets even if you are not hungry.
11-    Eat in a small plate! Whether it is the main dish or the sweets dish! And of course don’t Refill!
12-    When filling your plate, start by picking the healthiest foods such as salads (eating plenty of green leafy veggies makes you feel full), low fat meat cuts and turkey, this will leave less space for fatty, saucy foods!
13- Take you time to chew your food while eating; this is better for digestion purposes. If you take your time to chew you will eat less because 20 minutes is the time your brain needs to give the signal that you are full.
14-    Walk, walk, and keep walking!!! Walk in the streets, walk for hours in the malls before starting to buy. Take the stairs instead of escalators!!  This will help you maintain your weight to a great extent while you taste some yummy goodies from here and there!
15- If the dinner or lunch party is at your place, avoid cooking fatty, sugary, and salty foods abundantly and whatever leftovers you have, distribute among your friends before they leave your house!
Please between lunch invitations, dinner invitations, party here and party there don’t forget the Reason of the Season… find time everyday to feed your spiritual part through prayers, reading God’s scriptures, going to Church and doing some Charity! You will find yourself a more complete person and true happiness will be seen in your smile!
I wish this Christmas that God bless you all!
Samia Khoury Dietitian

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Diet-ing…it all starts in the mind! Change your mind before changing your diet to finally feel comfortable with your body!

How many times have you tried so many different ways to lose weight fast? I have a lot of people that come to me looking for a new miracle diet that could make them lose 5 kg in one week! Quick miracle diets, though might be effective sometimes, are nonetheless bad for your health and won’t help you maintain your new weight for a long time.

I communicate to my clients and patients that before they attempt to start any diet, they need to have the will to do it; otherwise they will stop even before the first week of diet ends! Has this ever happened to you?

Everyone knows the formula for weight loss: a balanced diet combined with calorie burning through exercise. But did you also know that emotional aspects contribute to the success or failure of a diet –like in every situation, emotions affect anxiety and other feelings that lead us often to take refuge in food. Therefore, in order to obtain positive results in weight loss process, we must also find the emotional balance. there isn't a worldwide healthy long-lasting and guaranteed method to lose weight, without starting by changing the way you think and behave being a person who wants to achieve, and primarily maintain ideal weight.

Let me help you out with some tips on how to build a good will so then you can finally start a diet and most importantly do it until you lose every kilo you need to and keep the weight off after the diet (The maintenance part is even more important than the dieting part). For both dieting and maintenance you need to set your minds on mode: I love myself!!! If you start by loving yourself you are most likely to reach your goal!

1.      You need to set a goal and keep it in mind for if you don’t know where you’re headed you probably won’t reach there. Every time you are in a tempting environment full of delicious foods you should not give up! Even if you feel you are not losing weight quickly. Just forget about the scale and keep your goal in mind, Trust me you will reach it.

2.      You need do have a succession of “NO”! No to quick radical diets, no to giving up, no to frustration, no to cheating on diet, no to impatience, no to sweets, no to dough, no to fried items...and a beautiful YES to beauty and health!

3.      Imagine that those irresistible sweets or chips or whatever you love and make you gain weight simply don’t exist. When you see them in front of you or on TV or billboards, just train your brain and eyes that you are not seeing anything interesting and think of your goal immediately and repeat many times: I am not interested in this cookie I prefer to be healthy and wear my new jeans or dress. You should imagine these cookies are your enemies and want to destroy you!

4.      Find a reason to motivate yourself to lose weight. Motivation has to start from within. Some people are motivated by a love relationship, some to fit in a dress, some to improve his/her bad blood tests but most importantly is to know that after losing the weight a constant weight should be maintained, this will become your new goal to reach. Write a reminder of the reason you want to lose weight and place it in a place you can read it several times per day!

5.      Don’t focus on food. Forget about it. It shouldn’t be the center of your attention. We have other things to do than just think of eating. Keeping yourself busy in shopping, movies, reading, Praying, dancing, sports, helping, entertaining family, etc… Choose distractions that won't encourage eating.

6.      Pray. What seems impossible to you is possible to God. It’s the same as when you ask Him to help you find a husband or wife, to have healthy kids, to make more money, to live a healthy life, to get a better job or position etc... You can also be creative with your unlimited free requests to God by asking Him to give you the will to start a diet and to maintain it till the end.

7.      Avoid the “all or nothing” mindset. Many people think that they either don t eat anything at all or they eat till they drop. We need to find a balance and learn to eat a variety of foods in right quantities, otherwise the yo-yo effect will be inevitable

8.      Have positive thoughts and say out loud every day that you will succeed in your diet! Don’t be negative, don’t think you “can’t make it” or “it’s too slow it will take you forever”. Repeat many times per day: I am beautiful, I have a fit body, and you will end up by believing its true, this will help you continue your dieting and later on maintaining your ideal weight. Be positive and you will see how things will move faster and easier!

9.      Find the reason that made you gain weight and solve it. Sometimes just by solving the primary cause that made you gain weight will help you solve reach your goal.

10.   Try your jeans every week to motivate you to continue your effort and reward yourself

11.   Delay! Every time you feel the craving for a snack, just say to yourself: “I can make it just 5 more minutes” that’s the time you need to get rid of the snack!! J

12.   Keep a role model in mind. Put the photo of your favorite shape on your fridge I bet it will help you think twice before opening the fridge and ruining all your efforts to keep your weight off

13.  Walking 30 minutes everyday releases anxiety and helps you think things over — try it for a few weeks.

To succeed at weight loss, it's not our diets we need to change -- it's our minds. That's why only permanent weight loss solution is to correct the self-sabotaging thinking that caused it in the first place and shift the focus from a new diet to a renewed mind.
Anything achieved quickly won’t last, if we want to succeed in anything we need to have a goal combined with hard work, patience and faith.

Always remember: The battle to lose weight begins in the mind where will power and the discipline necessary to succeed originate. Win the battle of the mind first and you'll have a greater chance of winning the battle to lose weight!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Careful with hidden causes of obesity! Inadequate sleep increases weight gain!

The fast track lifestyles we are living driven by the demands and opportunities of the modern society we belong to is causing the habit of not having the regular 8-hour sleep.

Several studies have concluded that people who sleep less than 6 hours per night are more susceptible to obesity.
This forms the relationship between irregular sleep and increased body mass index (BMI); so when the BMI* is more than 30 Kg/m2 this indicates that a person is obese.
Inadequate sleep is linked to hormonal imbalances regulators of appetite, increased incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure, noted James Gangwisch, a respected sleep researcher at the University of Columbia. Short periods of sleep increase the ghrelin hormone levels and decrease the leptin hormone levels thus generating hunger and an increase in appetite. This can lead to a largest caloric intake (especially of foods rich in fat and carbohydrates as seen in the studies) promoting obesity.
Briefly stated, leptin is the hormone that sends a signal to the brain that the body has had enough to eat— this promotes satiety. Ghrelin, on the other hand is responsible for informing the brain when we need to eat. During sleep, levels of the hormone leptin increase informing the body that we have enough energy for now while that of ghrelin go down.
Furthermore, staying awake a longer time may allow greater opportunity for food intake during night and can also result in fatigue the next day which tends to decrease the level of physical activity.
My advice to you is to pay attention to the duration and quality of your sleep (minimum of 8 hours) as a way to control your weight and prevent obesity. Please, never forget to always combine this with a regulated diet and physical activity!

A few good tips for a good nights sleep:
1.   Solve your problems during the day, reconcile with those you have argued with and only think of praying before bed,
2.   Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunchtime,
3.   Avoid sleeping immediately after dinner; the ideal is to give an interval of 4 hours before bedtime. Also avoid high fat dishes at night!
4.   If you're having trouble sleeping, take a hot drink. Chamomile or warm milk are always great choices,
5.   Perform physical activities at least 3 hours before bedtime — those help in the release of certain hormones that regulate sleep and let your body tired at bedtime, making you feel the need to sleep
Samia Khoury Dietitian

·         BMI = (Weight in Kilograms / (Height in Meters x Height in Meters))

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Massages and good nutrition boost your immunity!

Hey guys did you know that MASSAGE is one of the ways to prevent you from contracting diseases?

Research shows the benefits of consuming nutritious foods on your health, being the most powerful means to prevent diseases. Nutritious foods such as antioxidants, Omega 3 rich foods and other immunity boosters might go as far as to treat diseases of all kinds even those that we fear the most like cancer.
Antioxidants fight the free radicals in your body and boost your immunity, the most powerful are:
  • Vitamin A rich foods in yellow and orange fruits and veggies apricots, peach, carrots, and sweet potatoes, etc…
  • Vitamin C rich foods in orange, kiwi, broccoli, and green bell peppers, etc…
  • Vitamin E in walnuts, almonds, avocado, and olive oil, etc…
  • Zinc in meat and whole wheat grains, etc…
  • Selenium in Brazilian nuts, tuna, beef, poultry and fortified breads, and other grain products, etc…
Omega 3 rich foods such as flaxseeds, fish oil, sardines, tuna, and salmon greatly help in the process of fighting disease as they are anti-inflammatory. They should be consumed daily!

Top immunity boosters are garlic, onion, green tea, ginger, oregano, yogurt, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, soja while foods that decrease the levels of immunity are those containing saturated fats such as meat, dairy and butter.

It might come as a surprise to everyone but massage therapies are also immunity boosters according to a research conducted by doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, USA. Massages are well known to decrease body pain, improve mood and relieve stress.

Researchers found that during one hour of massage your body passes through a series of important biological reactions leading to a reduction in the levels of cortisol, a hormone produced during stress and responsible for killing cells that are important for immunity, it also leads to a reduction in vasopressin levels that stimulate the contraction of the arteries and an increase in the number of white blood cells which fortify the immune system. Massage also elevates the levels of the hormone oxytocin associated to feelings of well being and relaxation

Massage reduces your stress levels thus helping you avoid getting a cold or another illness while under stress.
Other scientific research studies clearly show the many positive benefits of massage on our health and well-being such as:
  • Relieving stress and promoting an overall feeling of relaxation which helps you move more easily
  • Alleviating pain and tension
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Promoting speedy recovery from injuries (work, trauma, accident or sports-related)
  • Improving blood circulation as well as high blood pressure
  • Improving and strengthening the immune system
  • Relieving musculoskeletal problems and improves posture
  • Relieving pregnancy discomforts
Samia Khoury Dietitian

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lose Weight with Flaxseeds ─ the Star of the Century

Have you always dreamt of having a flat tummy like Brazilians do? Now it’s your chance!

There’s a secret you should know about Brazilians…They consume flaxseeds as part of their daily diet!

Why is it effective?

Because of so many reasons… the first being that Science has proved that flaxseeds make you feel full, awake a lazy intestine and accelerate fat burning!

Flaxseeds contain fiber, omega 3 and protein among other components. Of the 3, the fibers (present in the seed peel) are the main reason that flaxseeds help in weight loss since they give satiety, stimulate a lazy intestine, and most importantly control the blood sugar levels! The link is, the higher the blood sugar level, the higher insulin needed, the hungrier we feel, so controlling blood sugar levels means controlling hunger!! This is why the fibers flaxseeds contain are so important! Please also note that it is extremely important to consume 2 liters of water throughout the day to benefit more from the fibers in the seed and to avoid constipation!

So if you are the type of person who keeps on snacking, try including crushed flaxseeds in your yogurt for a snack and its guaranteed that you’ll feel full for a longer period and avoid overeating all day and  night!

Furthermore, Omega 3 in flaxseeds, which help reduce food craving, has a major role in helping fight inflammation of the cells thus avoiding your body from accumulating fat!

How to eat it:

Every morning at breakfast, or with snacks, you can powder it on yogurt, fruit, salad or even rice.

How to use it:

1 or 2 table spoons of crushed flaxseeds are recommended to reach the results you are looking for! Just know that 1 table spoon of flaxseeds has about 60 kcal so don’t exaggerate in consuming it!

It is very important to buy the flaxseeds with the peel and crush a bit in a blender every time before you consume! The flaxseed’s rough skin, which is hard to bite with the teeth, hides a lot of nutrients so by crushing it, the nutrients will be more available for our body to absorb!

How to store it:

You can blend all the content once instead of bit by bit everyday, but you will have to store in the fridge in a closed opaque box (to avoid oxidation) for a maximum time of 15 days.

Never forget: a healthy and balanced diet along with regular exercises will always be the key to the most sculpted body ever…just like Brazilian men and women…

And by the way, flaxseeds are also a good medicine for the heart and arteries, lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels, prevent certain types of cancer, help prevent premenstrual pain and are good for your skin!
So enjoy your new ingredient and soon your new look!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


A big mistake us nutritionists often hear from our clients who work out is that they believe that they should completely cut on carbohydrates (bread, rice, potato, pasta) and just live on proteins (meat, tuna, eggs) to gain muscle or that they should not have dinner after exercising. This is very wrong! And it’s actually the contrary that is true and will give you the results you opt for.

It is very important to have a healthy, balanced and varied diet with 5 frequent small meals to always keep your energy up and help restore fuel to your muscles. Glucose that comes from carbohydrates is stored in the muscle and if your muscles are depleted from it, you will feel very weak at the start of the exercise and you won’t be able to continue your training, so there’s no point in cutting on carbs!

After sports the muscles start to recover and the body needs a new stock of carbohydrates and protein. This is why it is so important that your meals contain the two: pasta with chicken, tuna with bread or potato and meat both at lunch and dinner. Always have a source of protein: fish, meat, chicken, and eggs with a source of carbohydrate like a slice of bread or some side rice. Salad alone is not enough!

If you are exercising late afternoon, have a snack 1 hour before composed of milk, cheese, and toast and don’t forget to drink 8-10 glasses of water all day long to hydrate your body!
For optimum burning of fat, you have to be exercising within your Fat Burning Zone. In this zone, the cardiovascular system is exercised and fitness levels are improved.  
  1. First calculate your Maximum Heart Rate (BCMax) of the heart frequency zone: 220 – your age
  2. Find the low end and high end of the heart frequency zone calculated as 60% – 70% of the maximum heart frequency zone.
For example, a person of 30 years has a 190 (220-30) Maximum Heart Rate. The fat burning Heart Rate Target Zone would be between 114 (190 x 60%) and 133 (190 x 70%) heartbeats per minute.
If you don’t have a heart monitor you can find your heart rate per minute by:

Placing the tips of your index, second, and third fingers on the palm side of your other wrist or place the tips of your index and second fingers on your lower neck and press lightly with your fingers until you feel the blood pulsing beneath your fingers. You might need to move your fingers around slightly up or down until you feel the pulsing.

Using a watch in the second hand and count the beats you feel for 10 seconds then multiply this number by six to get your heart rate (pulse) per minute.

If it’s between 114 and 133 (like in our example for a 30 years old person) then you are in the right way to burning fat!

It is dangerous to operate the heart at a rate above 85% of the maximum heart frequency, so never go beyond! ─ Just so you know, our normal heart rate at rest is between 60-100 beats per minute.

Finally, please remember that every person is physiologically different and this will reflect on the food and work-out program. Always check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program. Your health care provider, trainer or nutritionist can help you find a diet and fitness program as well as the accurate target heart rate zone that matches your needs, goals, and physical condition.

I hope this was useful to you! Have a great week!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Accelerating Metabolism…Secrets to Losing Weight!

Hola amigos! After last weeks article on how to avoid over snacking and the consequent weight gain that ensues, I’m back this week with tips on how to burn more calories to eventually LOSE WEIGHT!!!
Metabolism, experts say, is the amount of energy or calories your body burns to maintain vital functions, or in other words metabolism is a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel. At every moment, be it sleeping, working or exercising, your body is constantly burning calories.

Not everyone burns calories at the same rate. Heredity plays a role as well as age ─ our metabolism is influenced by our age and it naturally slows at about 5% per decade after age 40; Sex ─ men generally burn more calories at rest than women; Proportion of lean body mass ─ the more muscle we have, the higher our metabolic rate tends to be; and Healthy living and correct eating
If our metabolism is slow, anything we eat per day more than what we burn will make us gain weight. Hereditary and gender characteristics, sadly we cannot control…but don’t get upset just yet! Secrets to increasing our metabolism lie in exploiting the later duo.
Here go some tips:
1-      Work Out:
Exercising, especially weight lifting, help us gain muscular weight, and the more muscle mass gained, the more energy we spend to maintain the muscle and the faster our metabolism gets. But without a balanced diet between consumption and energy expenditure, strength training offers no difference in weight loss.
2-      Drink lots of water:
Our body needs water for almost all its basic functions; with little water the metabolism takes more time to burn the calories.
3-      Don’t skip meals:
When we skip meals our metabolism is tricked into storing more energy in anticipation for the next meal. But when we acquire the habit of eating multiple meals throughout the day (small but frequent meals) our metabolism starts to burn more calories.
An important tip is to never skip breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day. It is in the morning that our metabolism is faster and needs more energy, so if we don’t feed ourselves in the morning our metabolism will decrease the energy consumption throughout the day.
4-      Sleep Well:
When we don’t get enough sleep, our metabolism slows down to save energy. But if every night we sleep an average of 8 hours, our metabolism knows it can spend energy during the day since it will be recovered during sleep.
5-       Hormone Production:
In some cases, difficulty in weight loss might be due to decreased production of hormones by the thyroid gland, called hypothyroidism. Check with an endocrinologist to see if your hormone production is functioning properly and include foods containing potassium, calcium and magnesium in your diet! They help in the functioning of the thyroid gland:
- Foods that contain potassium are mainly fruits and vegetables like banana, pear, figs, peach, tomato, spinach and cabbage
- Foods that contain calcium like milk, yogurt, sardines, broccoli, sesame and cheese
- Foods that contain magnesium like walnuts, almonds, soya, cacao, dark green veggies, beans and whole wheat rice and grains
6-      Consume thermogenic foods:
They increase the internal body temperature thus speeding up our metabolism. Some foods like red pepper, ginger, green tea, omega-3 rich foods like salmon, tuna and flaxseeds are thermogenic! Ice water is also a thermogenic it will make the body burn more calories since your metabolism will burn more energy to warm the water to body temperature! Include more of these in your daily diet!
See you for the next hot topic about nutrition and healthy weight! Till then stay in peace and enjoy the end of summer!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Snackaholics… Time to rethink your diet!

Dear readers, we must admit that most of us share the same feeling of guilt when we want to snack, but Don’t Fret!

Snacking is totally alright and is crucial to our well-being! You should not leave your stomach empty for a long period of time. If you do, chances are that you might overeat during meals (even unknowingly).

So snack yourself healthily between meals but make sure you snack once or twice a day, eat enough well-balanced food with the right amount of whole wheat carbohydrates (high in fiber) and of protein (to give the sensation of being full) and stay away from fatty, sugary and high caloric foods.

The best part of it all is that healthy snacking is not all that difficult. You just have to have willpower and follow a few simple tricks (secretsJ) to enjoy the diverse benefits of health snacking:

1- The impulse to grab a crunchy, fatty or sugary snack takes between 3 and 8 minutes, so if you can distract yourself during this time you’ll win the fight!
Notice that when you are eating and the phone suddenly rings and you talk for 15 minutes or so, the urge to continue your meal is lost. So if you don’t have the self-control to say no to your favorite snack, go walk the dog! Talk on the phone, or do anything that gets your hands busy and away from the high calorie snack!

2- Another important secret is to keep healthy options always readily available at home. Keep your fingers near to baby carrots, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflowers, artichokes, bell peppers, celery sticks, apples, berries, fresh salad mixes, and other vegetable treats. Soups without a cream base can also be good snacks. So remove all high calorie snacks like biscuits, ice creams, and candies from home and keep your fridge and cupboards full of readily available healthy snacks.

3- Another trick can be also to have a journal and keep noting down whatever you eat during the day. This will help you control the number of time you snack and the portions you are eating at each meal. Also keep the food wrapping so you can actually see how much you’ve eaten (having all ice cream and high caloric chocolates packages assembled together every end of week will definitely deter you from eating more the following week).

4- It is so important not to snack while watching TV. When you are focusing on another activity and eating at the same time your body will not receive the signal that you are full from your brain and you will continue eating. An option would be to exercise while watching TV.

5- Yet another well-known but not much practiced practice is to brush your teeth when you feel like snacking on high calorie items, this will help so much as it might stop the urge of putting anything in your mouth.

6- It is very important to drink water when you feel hungry in the middle of the day or night as the body might misread thirst for hunger.

Whether you’re a sweet tooth or anywhere on the opposite spectrum, the below healthy and delicious suggestions will satisfy any snackoholic’s taste sensations and craving.

If your craving is sweet or creamy try light or frozen yogurt, ice tea, cranberry light juice, low calorie ice cream (100-150 kcal), moderate amounts of fruit, dried fruits, sugar-free pudding, JELLO, a 100-120 kcal chocolate bar or low calorie hot chocolate. You can also have a blend of low fat milk with two kinds of fruits, e.g. strawberry and banana.

If your craving is crunchy or salty try pretzels, popcorn, a handful of unsalted nuts, two whole wheat toasts with low fat cheese or turkey ham, a green apple with a very bit pinch of salt.

TIP: A 100-150 kcal snack between lunch and dinner will help you avoid eating uncontrollably at night.

A final note for the readers is to always choose items with protein for such foods satiate your hunger feelings and choose also items high in fiber as they tend not to quickly increase insulin levels in the blood keeping the hunger levels minimal.

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


It’s the wedding season! Ladies and gentlemen…know why you gain weight after marriage to try to avoid this trend!
Research conducted around the world has proven that couples gain weight, especially in the first years of marriage. The reasons for weight gain are many:

One factor is the need to please the companion through the preparation of tasty and "full of affection" foods. Often, the husband's favorite meal consists of foods of animal origin (meat, eggs, and cheese) as well as pastas and pizzas, along with beer and potato chips. The wife just can't resist to the temptation of joining the hubby!

Moreover, many couples turn a meal into the main (or only) time of leisure and with marriage couples tend to always invite people over for dinner and are themselves invited all the time, turning eating into a pastime event. In addition, many women, while unmarried, were not responsible to perform household chores. After marriage they find themselves having to cater to cooking, cleaning, ironing, etc… as well as to their professions forcing them to take the easier path of buying fast food and easy-to-prepare dishes. This inevitably leads them to choose the tastier foods that are usually full of fats, sugars, and salts; foods loaded with empty calories that "kill hunger" without nourishing their bodies.

Another reason is that men and women tend to neglect their physical appearances after they have established a stable relationship and found their significant other. The woman is feeling more secure now that she has guaranteed a husband and "abandons the sacrifices of the diet" to "reward" herself with the goodies she enjoys.

A day has 24 hours, so with good planning you can accomplish everything you need without having to put your health in danger and all with good humor.

We forgot that when we dine indoors (with or without guests), there is a substitute for everything. We can serve fruits and sorbet instead of ice cream for desert, lemonade with little sugar instead of soft drinks and alcohol, low fat appetizers like chunks of low fat cheeses with olives and mint, artichokes, tomatoes filled with tuna, light popcorn, delicious salad recipes with low fat sauces, and many more if we really decide we don’t want to gain weight! When we go out, we can eat home before going so we better control what we eat outside.

In the life of couples, it is always important to help each other, for example:
-     Not filling the house with high-calorie foods
-     Choosing healthy restaurants
-     Preparing meals containing fewer calories
-     Practicing and encouraging others to do physical activities
-     Finding other ways of leisure than food

Remember: the physical form is a reflection of health, so sleep well, eat healthily and always cultivate a positive mind. Think healthy diet as a way of life and do not forget the physical activity (preferably along with partner). Maintain a balanced diet with less fat and more whole wheat carbohydrates and fiber.

And to end, we shouldn’t forget an important aspect of marriage to avoid weight gain:

We have to accept the other's character, avoiding stress because a joyful heart reflects a healthy body. Newlyweds must be prepared to face stresses of life brought on by the bills to pay, the division of roles, and the process to cope with each others characters — this, for most women, is balanced with the intake of sweets, leading to weight gain.

So let’s think positively and enjoy all the positive aspects that marriage brings to a couple’s lives, feeling safe and loved, and enjoying other leisure activities than just food!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Friday, July 2, 2010

Anti-stress foods can save your life during the World Cup - Stress of fans can lead to high incident rates of heart attack:

During World Cup seasons football fans gear up to watch the games. Being at the stadium or in front of the television, the heart of fans fire at every shot during the game — this, according to researchers, increases the risk of having a heart attack during championship games.

A study conducted in Germany by researchers of the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich during the 2006 World Cup examined the occurrence of such strokes. Results showed that on days without games between 9 and 22 cases of strokes were observed. The first match of Germany registered 44 cases.
Studies point to one case of sudden death to about every 580 000 football spectators.

Cardiologists explain that heart attacks are caused by a release of stress hormones. In aggressive situations the body releases adrenaline which can cause the disruption of a plaque. Adrenaline increases your heartbeat and promotes vessel constriction, raising blood pressure. That is why strong emotions, such as those during a football game, elevate the risk of arrhythmia (instability in heartbeat) and sudden death (the heart stops beating due to some blockage in the artery).

Increased intake of saturated fat from foods such as French fried potatoes, beef fat, pork, cheeses and salty foods when accompanied by stress, physical inactivity, alcohol and coffee consumption, and smoking can increase the risk of cardiac attacks.

It is time to change our eating habits and lifestyle to a healthier and less stressful one by including the below in our diet:
-     Spinach, soya, pistachios, walnuts and almonds, which are rich in magnesium which defends the body against stress

-     Dark green leaves, eggs, fish, white beans and asparagus contain folic acid, a potential anti-depressive vitamin

-     Chick-peas, milk, bananas have tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts serotonin, the hormone that induces sleep and transmits wellness

-     Avocado regulates blood levels of cortisone, the stress hormone

-     Passion fruit, celery, cucumber and lettuce have a calming action, and fight insomnia

And most importantly: Supporters should change attitudes about football. Sport is not war. Defeat is part of the game and life goes on...

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Look healthily tanned this summer at the beach!

A month of good nutrition full of beta-carotene can be enough to achieve this “longed for” lasting tan.
It’s the time of year to show your flat tanned belly under the sun, walking on the beach…

But there’s no point spending hours in the sun if your body does not have the right nutrients to stimulate tanning of skin cells.
A diet rich in beta-carotene accelerates the tanning process because it has photo-protective action that maintains the luscious color.

Fruits and vegetables that are orange, yellow, and red are rich in beta carotene, which helps in the formation of melanin, the pigment in the skin that promotes a proper tan. Foods that fall within this category are melon, papaya, bell peppers, peach, apricot, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and mango. Dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and cabbage give a great color as well!

It's always good to consume these foods in moderation, but beware of overconsumption. If you find that the palms of your hands, your forehead and/or back have a yellowish color, just decrease the consumption.

Also water loss from the body is much greater in summer; to keep your skin moisturized during the tanning process drink plenty of water and low sugar fluids.

And don’t forget to use sun block to protect your skin!

TIP: A glass a day of one carrot with half a beet blended with orange juice is excellent for the tanning process. It also fortifies your blood and provides you with energy!

Samia Khoury Dietitian