Q&A with: Heidi Reichenberger McIndoo, Author of When to Eat What

In her book, When to Eat What, Heidi Reichenberger McIndoo, MS, RD, LDN provides practical advice on how to lose weight in a healthy way.

She picks apart the tough eating scenarios from the daily lives of busy individuals balancing families, jobs and other responsibilities. We all know the basics of eating healthy, but throw a few long days in a row into the mix, and how can we prepare our food in a healthy way, get to the gym, and still make sure our body is recieivng the proper nutrients?

This book provides the practical advice that answers those tough questions. For example, one of the many Q&A pages in the book tackles this issue:

I like to exercise after work, but often find myself dragging by the end of the workout. How can I get the energy I need to exercise without feeling weighed down?

Heidi’s answer includes a few tips like staying hydrated throughout the day while at work, and planning an afternoon snack at work that includes some fiber and protein.

“Eat it halfway between lunch and  your workout to ensure that your snack is digested  and absorbed for your body to use.” Heidi wrote. She also included these three snack ideas:

  • Mini whole wheat pitas with hummus
  • An apple with peanut butter
  • Nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt with nuts and fruit

The book is a blend of recipes, advice on timing of meals and what to do in special circumstances (BBQ, traveling for work, weddings, alcohol, how much fat to eat, etc.)

The overall message is that no food should be restricted from your diet, and that everything in moderation is the most nutritious way to diet. Even some fat is necessary for proper nutrition absorption. Recently, I asked Heidi a few questions about something called ketosis, which is the body burning fat for energy – instead of carbohydrates. Like any diet that excludes a nutrition group (in this case, carbs) Heidi did not recommend putting the body into ketosis. Below, are some of her thoughts on the subject.

1. Is it a good weight-loss strategy to only eat protein and fats with limited carbohydrate to deplete glycogen stores?

Eliminating an entire nutrient can be dangerous and leave one feeling deprived. The best method for healthy weight loss with long term maintenance is to eat moderate portions of a variety of foods throughout each day while exercising on a regular basis.

2. Is it unhealthy to limit calories, drink a lot of water and eat small meals every several hours?

Limiting excess calories, drinking water, and eating small meals can help promote weight loss and no, those steps are not unhealthy.

3. I’ve heard that even one small portion of carbs stops the glycolysis (burning glucose as fuel). Is this true? Or are small portions okay?

Carbohydrates are your body’s major source of energy, in fact, approximately 50% of your daily calories should come from carbs, so moderate portions of them spread throughout the day is perfectly healthy.

4. How can dieters keep their bodies in a constant state of ketosis (Of burning fat for fuel.)?

I don’t recommend this practice.  Instead I believe it’s healthier and more long lasting to eat moderate amounts of a variety of lean protein, whole grains, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and low fat dairy foods throughout the day while striving to be active at least 30 minutes a day.

*Full disclosure: The copy of  When to Eat What that I read was sent to me as a review copy by the author.

Heidi McIndoo, MS, RD, LDN is an award-winning, registered dietitian.  She’s a nationally recognized nutrition expert who’s written for and been quoted in hundreds of publications and media outlets.

Heidi began her love of food & cooking as a very young girl.  Living with food allergies for many years gave her an understanding of how challenging eating can be for some.  In deciding to become a registered dietitian, she combined these two very important parts of her life to help others eat healthfully, manage their personal eating issues, and most importantly enjoy food.

As a busy working mom with 2 young children, Heidi practices what she preaches every day—balancing work, family, and play while enjoying and nurturing healthy habits.  For more than 17 years she’s helped teach men, women, children, and families how important, easy, and delicious eating nutritiously can be.


About the13thmile

I am proud to now say I am a half-marathon runner! Three half-marathons qualify for that status, I think. I blog about about running, nutrition and sometimes some other stuff. I share my research, tips and experiences with you, and am inspired by the supportive running community! I enjoy connecting with other runners, and hearing about other people's running experiences. Feel free to reach out if you have ran marathons or half marathons in the past!
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