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Staying in the High-Response Cost, High-Yield Zone


By JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFI

As you all know from reading Dr. Phil's The Ultimate Weight Solution, managing your weight successfully involves changing your lifestyle and mastering the keys in the book. This is a process that involves exchanging unhealthy habits for healthy ones.

One of the habits we have been working on is exchanging Low Response Cost, Low Yield (LRC/LY) foods for High Response Cost, High Yield Nutrition (HRC/HY) foods. Part of the way we have been doing this is by retraining your taste buds to appreciate the sweetness of fresh fruit, and the different flavors you can create from herbs, mustards and vinegars.

In the program, we allow diet sodas and sugar substitutes like stevia and xylitol, and recommend low fat and non-fat products. These can be part of a healthy diet when used correctly. We can use these to enhance HRC/HY foods.

Used incorrectly, these fat-free and sugar-free products can keep you hooked on sweet tastes and LRC/LY foods. Dr. Phil stresses whole and unprocessed foods as the foundation for a healthy eating program. These HRC/HY foods are also fantastic "hunger suppressors," as he discusses in the book. Many of these fat-free, sugar-free foods are highly processed and are LRC/LY foods. People mistakenly believe them to be "healthy" because they contain no fat or sugar; therefore, it's tempting to overeat because they seem safe. They also keep your taste buds craving sugar and fat.

It's time to teach your taste buds to appreciate the sweetness in fresh fruit. If you want to enhance the sweetness, add a little cinnamon or real vanilla (no sugar). These spices are naturally sweet and are good for you, too.

Try to combine fat-free or low-fat dairy products with other HRC/HY foods. You can eat cottage cheese with berries, put some low-fat or non-fat cheese on a salad or spice up some plain non-fat yogurt with mint and top your grilled chicken with it.

I have emphasized trying a new vegetable every week. I want you now to try a new spice as well. Try adding basil to your salad, crushed sage, parsley and garlic as a "crust" for your chicken or mint to your fruit and yogurt parfait.

Make holidays a time to create a special favorite that is HRC/HY and be the one to start some new healthy family traditions!

To all of the Challengers

Carry your food journal with you and write down every time you eat or drink something. When you try to remember at the end of the day you may forget something. Also, make sure you are checking all of your portions and following the nutrition chapter recommendations explicitly.

Here is a review of the portions:
This means — protein at each meal — palm-sized portion

  • 2 low-fat dairy servings a day (1 cup milk* or yogurt, ½ cup cottage cheese, 1 slice cheese or 1 oz)
  • 2 fruit servings (1/2 cup = tennis ball or cupped hand)
  • 4 vegetable servings (same as fruit)
  • 2-3 carb servings (you can exchange these for more veggie servings — 1 slice of bread, ½ cup or tennis ball, cupped hand)
  • 1 fat serving (size of your thumb or a tbsp)

    *If you are insulin resistant, you should not use milk and avoid caffeine until we get that resolved.

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