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September 2009

September 30, 2009

Wendy’s; Eating Healthy While Driving Thru

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Eating Healthy While Driving Thru Series.

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September 28, 2009

Sugar VS Artificial Sweeteners

The question was sure to come up …

… what about calorie free sweeteners?  Stevia, sucralose, and the rest of the bunch?

Are they a better option than calorie containing sugar options when trying to lose weight and burn belly fat?

Let’s delve into them a bit and discuss some of the realities and myths with calorie free sweeteners.

First, when I say “artificial sweetener” what am I talking about?  There are a bunch, but the most commonly used are Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), Sucralose, Saccharin,  and Aspartame.


And then there’s this “new” guy on the scene, Stevia (it’s not artificial, but it IS a sweetener).

And each of the artificial sweeteners has an “acceptable daily intake” (ADI) – meaning according to the FDA, you should not consume MORE than the amounts listed below per day.

* Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal) = 18-19 cans of diet cola
* Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low) = 9 to 12 packets
* Acesulfame K (Sunett, Sweet One) = 30-32 cans diet lemon-lime soda
* Sucralose (Splenda) = 6 cans diet cola

Fair enough?  Now depending on who you talk to, or what you read, you’ll hear all different opinions – “I only use sucralose, because xxxx” or “stevia is natural, so I use that…”

If you look at the values above, you may notice that according to the ADIs, the max for Splenda is just 6 cans of diet cola/day, whereas Equal is 18-19 cans.  Does that mean Splenda is more of a concern than Equal?  It might.

But as a side note, if you’re drinking THAT many diet colas/day, your diet needs an overhaul as there are absolutely zero positive qualities to diet colas (or any diet soda for that matter).
Let’s cover a few of these in more detail.

Sucralose (Splenda):


While this one has received safety approval from the FDA, it’s surely not without controversy.  Picking sides with this is like jumping in to the Health Care Reform debate!

But I’m ready to go for it.

First, the upside of Sucralose:

* it has virtually no aftertaste
* it’s stable when heated so you can cook and bake with it
* it’s stable at different acidities (pHs) so it can be added to things like lemon juice without affecting its sweetness
* it has a proven track record of safety in many research studies.


* anecdotally (meaning personal stories) have tied intake to migraine headaches
* may affect healthy bacteria in the gut, according to animal data
* it may cause weight gain?

This last one is a bit more controversial.  In a nutshell, one study using rats fed them different quantities of sucralose.  At the end of the 24 week study, the rats consuming sucralose gained weight compared to the ones that didn’t take any in.


Weird.  Zero calories, how can it cause dangerous belly fat to creep up on us?

I will say at this time I’m not impressed with the data showing artificial sweeteners cause us to gain belly fat … I clearly need to see more research to support this theory. The thought was that while artificial sweeteners themselves don’t have calories, they “trick” the body into craving more sweet foods…

…voila, belly fat and overall weight gain is through the roof.

It’s correlation data, but if I remember anything from statistics, it’s that correlation doesn’t mean causation.  In a nutshell, the correlation that those who used diet soda weighed more doesn’t mean the diet soda itself caused them to gain weight.  More research clearly needs to expore this.  Keep in mind, also, that the doses used in this particular study were very high if we tried to extrapolate these findings to humans.  At this point I just don’t buy into that conclusions of this data and am surely calling for more.

Again, another red flag for me here is that the “maximum” recommendation is 6 cans of diet cola – for some, that’s a ton, but for others, that’s breakfast.  Regulate your intake!

Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal):

You’ve seen the little pink packets … pink packets of poison, according to some.  Like the others, this has the stamp of approval from the FDA.  But opponents of this suggest it causes migraines, causes cancer,brain tumors, and evil belly fat.

Like the others, the research is mixed – some studies show a negative effect, others show a positive effect.

I hate to give the “more research is necessary” answer, but, well, it’s the best answer to give.

I talked about my feelings on the weight gain and artificial sweeteners with sucralose.

As for cancer – it’s a hard one to pin down.  These data are all done in animals, usually given very high doses, to see what happens.


For some reason the review boards look very unfavorably at loading up humans with artificial sweeteners and seeing if they cause cancer; therefore, we’re reliant on animal data.  But even if there is that chance, that concerns me … stamp of appro

I don’t like the idea of artificial … I don’t want artificial ingredients in my body and try to limit them as much as possible.  I do that by knowing what I’m eating, being able to pronounce all ingredients, and eating foods as close to the earth as possible.


With that said, I AM supportive of making the transition to calorie free drinks if someone is a regular soft drink (or juice, or sweetened tea) drinker …

…For example, a former client started our relationship with regular stops at 7-11 for Big Gulps, where regular coke was his product of choice.  Several times a day – he drank 3,000 calories EACH day in soda alone.

Would he benefit from switching to diet soda?  For sure!  And he did, greatly.

And overtime I got him to drink less and less diet soda as well, as 1 case each day of that is surely not great for you.


But as a whole, sweeteners aren’t my favorite.

I also have yet to find one without an off flavor.  Call my crazy, but I want to eat a food that, well, tastes like food – not have some bitter aftertaste that’s CLOSE to being real, but not quite there.

I’d personally rather have a REAL sweetener, infrequently.  Moderation.  That’s a very unsexy word in marketing and the media, but it’s true.

You want a cookie?

Eat a cookie – occasionally.


Is a fat free, sugar free, calorie free flavored chocolate chunk piece of cardboard REALLY going to help out your desire for a cookie?

Not a chance.

Eat the real thing, on occasion, then get over it.  Fair enough?

Eating real foods is what will help you live as healthfully as possible, burn belly fat, and look and feel great!


Dr. Saman Bakhtiar is weight loss and fitness expert.

He is truly concerned about each of his clients.

Check out the great results here!

Montclair Personal Training

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September 27, 2009

Richard Ward’s Incredible Transformation


Finally I have a chance to get back to you and tell you my story of how I found you and how I was able to take control of my life.

It all started in late July, 2008 when I took a look at the pictures of my son’s wedding a year earlier.


I couldn’t believe that I was, and looked, that heavy. I was not a novice at working out, as I belonged to another local gym and worked out on a fairly regular basis.

As I gained weight, I thought that if I ate less frequently, I would lose weight. The problem was, I limited the times I ate, but what I ate, and how much, was a major problem.

Being single and not wanting to cook that often, I ended up at Carl’s Jr., In N Out, Jack in the Box, etc. for my one or two meals a day.


I also drank plenty of regular soda and ate other “junk” food. No matter how much I worked out, I continued to gain weight. I weighed 250 pounds, had high blood pressure and was on three medications.


Finally, I saw your ad in West Coast magazine and decided to make a commitment.


I came in, met with you and you gave me a realistic plan to get in shape and lose weight.


First, it was a nutrition program that called for a change in the way that I ate.

Instead of one or two meals a day, I was to eat four or five smaller meals.


Also, I met with a Fitness Concepts personal trainer three days per week.

First Jacob and now Nicole tailored a fitness program for me and provided motivation.

Armando kept me honest. You said to not expect miracles, but that I should expect to lose one pound per week.

I didn’t have to starve myself and could eat most of my favorite foods including, chicken, turkey, steak, salad and vegetables.


I just followed your plan. To my amazement, the pounds started melting away.


The eating plan became second nature and by the end of the year, I had reached my original goal of losing 50 pounds and 17% body fat. In December, I had my annual physical and my doctor couldn’t believe the positive change in my lab results.

Look no more Rx!!

Look The Rx List Is Shrinking!

I have now incorporated fruit, brown rice. potatoes and whole wheat pasta into my diet. Since the first of the year, I have lost an additional 15 pounds and am currently at a healthy 185 pounds.

Sam, I can’t thank you enough for your dedication and support in helping me meet and exceed my weight loss goals.


Richard Ward Before


Richard Ward After

Rich Ward
Chino Hills Resident


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September 22, 2009

Eating Healthy at Jack in the Box


Click here to Check out their Website and view Nutritional Facts


Thank you and if you enjoyed this Blog please click the facebook icon below and share with your friends.

If you haven’t visited our website and would like to….click here.

Looking forward to bringing you more tips next week on our Eating Healthy While Driving Thru Series.

If there a place you would would like us to visit just post a comment.

We are having a Blast doing these Blogs for you!!

Thanks for tuning in!

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