Healthier Eating Plans

Late night snacking is an element which can ruin your diet. If your time is structured, you will be less likely to think about food. The question is why are so many people tempted to snack late at night?

The first reason is boredom. When the mind isn’t stimulated, it tends to seek pleasure; and eating is a very pleasurable experience.  Here are tips for eating healthy which will prevent those unplanned snacks that can add unwanted calories.

Do not skip dinner. Skipping dinner will set you up for failure. The temptation to eat junk food or whatever is available will become overwhelming when you are very hungry. You can help your weight loss effort tremendously by simply not skipping meals.

Include a light dessert for your dinner. If you love sweets, any light dessert will do. Desserts which are less than 150 calories can easily be added to your diet to give your sweet tooth a real treat. When you are satisfied, you will be less tempted to snack later on at night.

Watch less television. Weight loss certainly won’t come by way of deceptive infomercials. You will also be surprised at how watching television can cause you to snack and generate “out of control” eating. When your mind is not working, boredom unsuspectingly creeps in. And boredom can cause you to want something pleasurable such as food. Further to that, TV commercials, with their tempting portrayals of food constantly coming at you, are notorious for triggering you to start eating again, especially treats which aren’t healthy.

Plan some fun projects. Take note of some projects that you always wanted to do. Using your spare time to do worthwhile chores can help to keep your mind off food. Projects can include helping your kids with homework, sewing, developing some business plans, playing some family games, 30 minutes on the treadmill or stationary bike.

It is hard to believe, but very true that fun and productive projects can help you lose weight in a very healthy way.

Plan your snacks. If you are the type of person that just cannot avoid snacking late at night, then plan 1 or 2 low calorie snacks. Plan something like some sugar free hot chocolate with some light whipped cream or 1/2 bag of light microwave popcorn at the time when you are most vulnerable to eating snacks. This way, you’ll consume only 70 to 100 calories, and do very little damage to your weight loss efforts.


John Rifkind is a contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Recognizing A Certified Nutritionist

The title certified nutritionist (CN) or certified clinical nutritionist (CCN) shows that a person has had extensive education and training in nutrition science, and has also met national testing standards.

Both C.N.s, and C.C.N.s work together with clients to assess and analyze individual nutritional needs and develop personalized nutrition plans. During this process, they educate, advise, counsel, monitor, and provide their clients with support. Both conventional doctors and alternative health practitioners often refer their patients to nutritionists for dietary counseling.

The dietary information that you receive from a certified nutritionist is most likely to be reliable and based on current knowledge in the field if the nutritionist has been working in the profession for a minimum of one year and holds one of the following certifications:

Certified Nutritionist (C.N.): C.N.s must earn a Bachelor of Science or a higher degree in nutrition science from an accredited college or formal training program which is recognized by state licensing agencies.

They must meet any state licensing or certification requirements in their state, and must also comply with all statutes related to the practice of nutrition counseling. Furthermore, C.N.s must also complete a series of examinations required by the National Institute of Nutritional Education.

Certified Clinical Nutritionist (C.C.N.): To earn the C.C.N. credentials, nutritionists must have received a graduate degree in a health-care field or, if they only hold a B.A. degree, they must complete 900 hours of medical and clinical nutrition internship as well.

They will then be qualified to take case histories and to use various tests and observations to assess an individual’s nutritional needs. C.C.N.s may use the results of their assessments as a basis for referring clients to a licensed physician or other health-care professional.

Choosing A Practitioner

When you’re looking for responsible nutrition advice, look for a certified professional. Always keep in mind that the simple title “nutritionist,” although used by many qualified nutrition and dietetic professionals, is a moniker that may also be adopted by virtually anyone who needs to hang up a shingle.

Be careful of bogus qualifications, as well as of what can seem to be extreme dietary recommendations. Because irresponsible information on nutrition can be dangerous to your health, be very cautious to ask specific questions and verify the practitioner’s education, training, and professional credentials.

Although most states do require a license for professional dietitians, the situation is murkier for nutritionists. This is why it is important to be sure any nutritionist you consult has one of the credentials listed above. These will assure you of consistent standards of education, training, and professionalism.

If a nutritionist practices in a state that doesn’t regulate their qualifications, you should still try to look for one of the above certifications, which are granted for C.C.N.s by the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCN), and for C.N.s by the National Institute of Nutritional Education.

It’s also a good sign if the nutritionist is a current member of the Society of Certified Nutritionists (SCN), which is working to establish higher national standards of practice whilst promoting continuing education in the field.


John Rifkind is a contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Are Liquid Supplements For You?

Until recently such products as Ensure ™ and Boost ™ were primarily used to meet the special needs of patients in hospitals and in nursing homes. Lately, we have seen companies marketing these sorts of drinks to people of all ages and states of health.

Supposedly, liquid supplements are the answer for busy moms with a tight schedule, business people running out without time for a sit-down breakfast, and older adults wanting to guarantee that they’ll be able to enjoy their grandchildren. What are the benefits liquid supplements reportedly offer?

Generally, these supplements are composed of water, sugar, milk and soy proteins, oils, vitamins, and minerals. A typical 8-ounce can contains 250 calories, and the Aplus@ version may contain as many as 355 calories. Most are lactose free, some have added fibre, and some are specifically designed for children or adults with certain health problems.

Companies are also selling supplements in the shape of pudding or bars, with a varying nutrient content.

What nutritional needs are these companies trying to help consumers answer? Here are some of the reasons companies give for buying their products.

Advertisers sometimes use fear tactics to make you worry that you’re not getting proper nutrition through ordinary foods. Although some people are consuming less than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for certain nutrients, this does not mean they will develop a deficiency disease. If you truly feel you’re not getting enough nutrients from your food, consult a registered dietician or a KSU Extension Specialist in nutrition. They will be able to help you evaluate your need for supplements.

“Too busy to eat properly” – Liquid supplements may be a fast way to get vitamins, minerals and protein, but there’s more needed for good health! Scientists continue to discover new compounds in certain foods that provide health-protective benefits. Whereas the canned supplements may lack fibre and other healthy components, they may be high in sugar and calories. Although this was ideal for the original intent of these products, most healthy consumers do not want or need all the extra calories that these supplements provide.

“Difficulty preparing meals or no appetite” –  Liquid supplements can provide an answer for occasional use, but a continued use may lead to boredom and even less interest in eating. For a consumer with a poor appetite or impaired ability to fix meals, the solution might be found in home-delivered meals or eating at a group meal site. These meals can offer more variety and may be available at little or no cost to the consumer.

“Nutrition after surgery, during an illness or a chronic disease” –  Liquid nutritional supplements can prove to be beneficial for people with special nutritional needs brought on by serious illnesses. For example, people with AIDS or cancer have some increased nutritional needs, and liquid nutritional supplements are appropriate and valuable in this situation.

To summarize it all, whereas there is a need for liquid nutritional supplements in certain medical conditions, these products are unnecessary for the average, healthy person. The cost for a 8-ounce can of standard formula, and more for specialized formulas must be part of a decision if a person is considering to use a liquid nutritional supplement.


John Rifkind is a contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.