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Jeff Novick's Blog

Jeffrey S. Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN

Jeff’s insightful and humorous approach to nutrition and health has helped thousands worldwide make the transition to healthy living. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University in nutrition with minors in Exercise Science.

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New Years Resolutions: The Keys To Success PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Thursday, 01 January 2009 00:00

Happy 2009!

With the New Year here and everyone reaffirming old resolutions or making fresh new ones, everyone is looking for the keys to help them achieve and maintain their goals. 

So, if you are looking to fine tune your program or wondering why you may be struggling and/or not seeing the results you would like to as quickly as you would like, you may want to review these 9 key points.

1) Poor adherence/compliance. Sometimes this results from a lack of application of the guidelines and  principles of health and sometimes this results from a lack of understanding of the guidelines and principles of health. Either way, the best approach is to review the principles and guidelines as recommended here in this blog and at this website.

2) Misdirection of focus/priorities. There is a lot of misinformation out there and as a result many of us may be focusing on matters that don't really effect our health while not focusing on the ones that do.

3) Minimizing/Rationalizing the effect of certain behaviors and/or personal preferences, especially in regard to certain foods.   This is usually accompanied by sayings such as, "oh, it's only a little bit,    "it is just this one time, "  "I only do it on occasion," or,  "but I head it is good for you."

Does Dieting Lead To ED? Eating Disorders That Is (Not Erectile Dysfunction) Pt 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 26 December 2008 15:53

As we saw, dieting, in general does not lead to an eating disorder.   However, it is important to acknowledge that there are some really bad diets out there, that many people have really bad experiences with these bad diets and many people do some crazy/dangerous things to lose weight, and there are even some of us (health professionals) that recommend really bad diets.

But, that doesn't mean that "all" dieting is bad, or that "dieting" per see is bad or my recommending a very healthy, high carbohydrate, high fiber, nutrient dense and filling diet for someone trying to lose weight, that it is somehow dangerous and will lead to an eating disorder.  

In fact, it seems to me that the above article supports such a recommendation and this distinction.  As did the article, "Psychologic and Physiologic Effects of Dieting in Adolescents," which appeared in the Southern Medical Journal

 South Med J 95(9):1032-1041, 2002

The article clearly states exactly that..."Among these adolescent dieters, a significant percentage report unhealthy or dangerous weight-loss methods, including use of diet pills, fasting, skipping meals, or using very-low-calorie diets (Table 2). Dieting can be associated with both positive and negative consequences. Dieting adolescents report more health-promoting behavior, such as increasing fruit and vegetable intake, decreasing fat intake, and increasing exercise;"

Does Dieting Lead To ED? Eating Disorders That Is (Not Erectile Dysfunction) Pt 1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 00:00

Often times, in my personal and professional life, I have heard the following statement.

"Dieting can lead to disordered eating and full blown eating disorders."

This topic came up recently in a discussion amongst professional colleagues, so I decided to pursue the matter and respond directly to it.    Upon requesting support information for the above statement, I was sent a brief description of the famous Ancel Keys starvation study which was done at the University of Minnesota in the 1940's  (Keyes A, Brozek , Henschel A, et al.  The biology of human starvation. Vols 1 and 2. Minneapolis: University Press, 1950).   I was also told that in the Keys study,  

"Some (of the men) engaged in bizarre food rituals and eventually cycles of binge eating and some purging."

In addition, I was sent this reference,

"Starvation and self-imposed dieting appear to result in eating binges once food is available and in psychological manifestations such as preoccupation with food and eating, increased emotional responsiveness and dysphoria, and distractibility.  Caution is thus advised in counseling clients to restrict their eating and diet to lose weight, as the negative sequelae may outweigh the benefits of restraining one's eating".  J AM Dietetic Assoc. 1996: 96:589-592

During a similar discussion several years ago, I was even told be a colleague that she has several clients who developed eating disorders from their stays at a renowned health center.

So, is this true?  Can "dieting" and focusing on improving ones eating result in an eating disorder?

Seaweed and B12 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 00:00

Those who choose to follow a vegan diet, need to ensure an adequate source of B12.  Usually this means a supplement.  However, many people rely on seaweed as a source of B12 as they have heard it is a good source, specifically nori. 

Nori, is the seaweed that is commonly used to make sushi (or nori) rolls that have been very popular in our culture.  Some studies have found that nori has a significant amount of B12 and the researchers have even states that nori is a, “most excellent source of vitamin B12 among edible seaweeds, especially for strict vegetarians.”

Watanabe F, Takenaka S, Katsura H, Masumder SA, Abe K, Tamura Y, Nakano Y. Dried green and purple lavers (Nori) contain substantial amounts of biologically active vitamin B(12) but less of dietary iodine relative to other edible seaweeds. J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Jun;47(6):2341-3. 

One study found that the B12 in the nori comes from a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria that live on the nori. 

The Myth Of The Maximum Heart Rate Formula's, Pt. 3 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 12 December 2008 00:00
As we left off, we were about to discuss the RPE or Rating of Perceived Exertion.  

The following article, from the CDC, provides an explanation of the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE).

Perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working. It is based on the physical sensations a person experiences during physical activity, including increased heart rate, increased respiration or breathing rate, increased sweating, and muscle fatigue. Although this is a subjective measure, a person's exertion rating may provide a fairly good estimate of the actual heart rate during physical activity* (Borg, 1998).

Practitioners generally agree that perceived exertion ratings between 12 to 14 on the Borg Scale suggests that physical activity is being performed at a moderate level of intensity. During activity, use the Borg Scale to assign numbers to how you feel (see instructions below). Self-monitoring how hard your body is working can help you adjust the intensity of the activity by speeding up or slowing down your movements.

Through experience of monitoring how your body feels, it will become easier to know when to adjust your intensity. For example, a walker who wants to engage in moderate-intensity activity would aim for a Borg Scale level of "somewhat hard" (12-14). If he describes his muscle fatigue and breathing as "very light" (9 on the Borg Scale) he would want to increase his intensity. On the other hand, if he felt his exertion was "extremely hard" (19 on the Borg Scale) he would need to slow down his movements to achieve the moderate-intensity range.
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