Resolutions: Making a Plan

We have been very busy getting our new satellite office up and running in the last couple of weeks. If you have not seen it, the office is located at 307 Euless Westpark Way.

This time I’m going to talk about the next section in our healthy dietary change resolution for 2010. Once you make your resolution specific and achievable, make a plan. Again, make your plan specific. In our plan we have added our short-term goals. I tell my patients that this is what you will focus on. As I said in the previous blog, don’t focus on the end result. Keep your focus on what you are going to do today or this week.

MacArthur OB/GYNs’ Plan

  • Each person will weigh once a week
  • Each person will keep a weekly food diary
  • Each person will attend the diet and nutrition classes provided
  • Each person will begin to incorporate more activity (we will also walk as a group on nice weather days at lunch)

Our Short Term Goals include:

  • A 1-2 pound weekly weight loss
  • An improvement in dietary choices (one MA learned that the instant oatmeal has a lot of sugar in it and one MA learned that eating too much fruit can also prevent weight loss)
  • Some will learn how to read a package label and be able to incorporate that into daily food intake (a couple MA’s learned that the microwave meals they eat have too many carbohydrates in them)
  • Planning weekly menus

I am very proud of the accomplishments the staff has achieved so far. They are all making better choices. For instance, one day pizza and salad was brought in for lunch. Everyone ate only 1 to 2 strips of pizza instead of a plate full and filled up on the salad. I find the staff reading the package labels, looking at the carbohydrate count and the serving size. A couple of our more serious participants have joined a gym and are exercising.

Now that you and the staff are more aware of the amount of carbohydrates you consume, are making healthier carbohydrate choices and are keeping the serving size appropriate, let’s talk about that scary word…HUNGER.

Why do we get hungry?

  • We eat
  • Food digested turns to glucose
  • Sugar level in blood rises
  • Pancreas secretes insulin
  • Glucose and insulin enter cells
  • Glucose level in blood falls
  • Brain says its hungry
  • We eat again

Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Many people mistake being hungry for being thirsty. Once you become thirsty you are already behind on your fluids.

This is probably the most asked question by the staff “Kim, I’m hungry. What can I eat?” The answer is “Whatever you want, as long as the portion is correct and you incorporate what you ate into your daily food intake”.

Snacking periodically throughout the day is important. It helps prevent you from overeating at your next meal and keeps your energy level up. Here I encourage both patients and staff to make healthy choices in your snacks. The snacks I take to work are very portable and easy to eat between seeing patients. Some of the things I like to take to work to snack on include:

  • Low-carb yogurt
  • Fruit and 6-7 2% cheese cubes or mozzarella cheese stick
  • Whole-wheat crackers and low-fat spreadable cheese
  • Beef jerky
  • Lunch meat and vegetables
  • Nuts
  • A dip to be enjoyed with vegetables or whole-wheat crackers
  • Salad
  • A couple of lettuce rolls (Roll a slice of turkey, bell peppers, onions, and stone ground mustard in your favorite lettuce leaf. Make it your own and change the type of meat and vegetables).

It takes about 20 minutes from the time food hits your stomach until your brain realizes there is actually food in your stomach. I am starving especially at the end of the day. I usually eat a snack before I leave the office. If I didn’t, I would easily be able to consume the entire contents of my pantry and/or refrigerator after I got home and then eat what I prepared for dinner. By the time I make my 30-45 minute trip home my snack has kept “Mr. Hungry” under control. I can then fix a healthy dinner, keep portions under control, and not consume the contents of my pantry and/or refrigerator before sitting down to eat my meal.

Here are a couple of dip recipes that you can make ahead of time, package in small containers, and easily take these to work.  This artichoke dip I brought to work with some whole-wheat crackers. The staff really loved it.

Warm Artichoke Dip

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup 1% milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Non-stick cooking spray
Whole-grain crackers

Blend cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk, cheese, garlic, and hot pepper sauce in food processor until smooth. Add artichokes and pulse until well combined but still chunky. Transfer to a microwave-safe serving dish. Microwave on medium heat until heated through, turning once or twice, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Serving size: ¼ cup
Calories 140
Fat 11 grams
Saturated fat 3.5 grams
Protein 4 grams
Carbohydrates 5 grams

Source: The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook by Arthur Agatston, MD


  • Use fat-free cream cheese
  • Use light mayonnaise
  • Use skim milk
  • I baked this in the oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes until bubbly, stirred in the lemon juice, topped it with shredded Parmesan cheese, baked for another 5-10 minutes until cheese melted
  • I did not use the hot sauce or season with salt and pepper
  • Can also use fresh vegetables instead of crackers

Cucumber Rounds With Salmon Spread

6 ounces packaged or canned salmon in water
2 ounces low-fat cream cheese
½ tsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste, if desired
Fresh vegetables (cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers)

In bowl, mix the cream cheese, salmon, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories 135
12 grams fat
4 grams unsaturated fat
4 grams carbohydrate
12 grams protein
1 gram fiber


  • Use fat-free cream cheese
  • Try lime juice


MacArthur OB/GYN update:

Total weight loss for week for week: 17 pounds
Number of people who stayed the same: 2
Number of people who gained: 2
Number of people who did not weigh in: 7