Seen on Saturday morning: March 15th

March 15, 2008 9:03:22 AM PDT

They're the rules of thumb you've been taught for years for healthy weight loss such as drinking eight glasses of water a day or avoiding juice. But not so fast according to women's health magazine.

Joining us this morning with more "diet myths" and real-life alternatives is Lisa Drayer, a contributing editor for Women's Health Magazine.

Chug 8 glasses of water a day - (2 bottles of 1.5 liter of water, 2 juices, 1 tea)

  • The eight-glass quota is NOT etched in stone-depending on your activity level, your body may need more or less than eight glasses.
  • Hydration is important, but running to the bathroom every twenty minutes isn't exactly convenient.
  • Gauge your hydration level by the color of your urine-if it's clear or close to it, you are probably getting enough fluids.
  • Don't forget that all liquids-including tea and juice-help keep your body sufficiently hydrated. That's a great segue into our next myth?

    Don't drink juice - it's a sugar bomb - (Small bottles of 100% juices with a 6-8 oz serving poured on display)

  • Juice can pinch hit for fruit-one 6 oz. glass of 100 percent juice also counts as a full serving of fruit and delivers many of the same vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Juice does have a lot of sugar so be sure you choose 100 percent fruit juice and limit yourself to one 6-8 oz. serving a day. That way you're not breaking any good rules of nutrition.
  • Plus, juice is an essential ingredient in smoothies and a breakfast staple.

    Simmer steel-cut oatmeal instead of nuking the instant kind - (Instant oatmeal)

  • Instant oatmeal's name says it all-it's instant! Who has time in the morning to cook up a batch of steel-cut oatmeal? Instant oatmeal is better than no oatmeal.
  • Instant oatmeal uses whole grain oats so it comes with most of the same health benefits, including the cholesterol-lowering, hunger-satisfying soluble fiber betaglucan.
  • If you're concerned about sugar the sugar levels in instant oatmeal, go with a brand like Quaker Oatmeal's Weight Control, which keeps sugar down to one gram, or try mixing half a plain packet with half a flavored packet.

    Put half your entrée in a to-go box before you start to eat - (Bread basket as the stay-away, fork and napkin)

  • Asking for half your meal to be wrapped before you even start eating may be a little awkward.
  • Instead use other tactics to cut back on restaurant binging.
  • Pretend the bread basket isn't there
  • Double up on veggies sides instead of ordering fries
  • Put your fork down in between bites. That gives your stomach and brain time to register that you're full.

    Have just one bite of dessert - (Serving size of a high-calorie delicious-looking dessert - Whole Foods has great single-serving cakes)

  • Don't deny yourself small indulgences. It's unrealistic to think you'll be able to stop at one bite, and you shouldn't have to!
  • If you know you'll be eating dessert, make better choices earlier in the meal. Skip the appetizer, the bread or the glass of wine.

    -----KITTY SEASON-----

    Spring is near and kitten season is among us. Joining us this morning with how you can add a kitten to your family or take advantage of free spay and neutering events in our area is Kerri McKeon, Bideawee's feline behavior expert.

    What is kitten season? What time of year does it occur?
    Kitten season is the time of year when there is an influx of kittens born. Historically, kitten season begins in spring, peaks in late spring/early summer, and winds down in the fall. Over the last several years, we have been experiencing an extended kitten season due to global warming, however.

    On average, has kitten season been getting better or worse over the past few years?
    As weather has been warmer longer and earlier than usual these past few years, kitten season has become a larger problem.

    How can this influx of kittens be prevented? What can we, as New Yorkers, do to help curb the problem?
    The easiest and most effective way to help curb kitten season is by spaying/neutering. Other options are to adopt a cat/kitten during this time of year, donate time/resources to your local shelter, or foster cats or kittens in need.

    How old does a kitten/cat have to be before it can be spayed/neutered?
    Generally, kittens should be at least ten to twelve weeks old and weigh at least two pounds before being altered.

    If people are interested in adopting a cat/kitten, what is the best way to go about it?
    First of all, it is important to make sure to be prepared and understand what it is like to own a pet. It is a life-long commitment, both financially and emotionally. Cats can, on average, live to be fifteen years old. That said, owning a cat or pet can brighten your life tremendously. Once people feel that they are prepared to commit to owning a pet, they can contact local shelters in their area. A list of shelters can by found at the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals website, .

    What are the resources available to help people who would like to adopt?
    Adoption is a great option! The benefits of adopting from a local shelter are that usually pets are already spayed/neutered, have their shots, and are microchipped. Many people also forget that shelters likely have purebred cats and dogs. The Mayor's Alliance website ( has a list of area shelters. is another excellent resource. Prospective owners can also go to one of their local shelters such as the ASPCA, AC&C of NY, Humane Society of NY, Bideawee, or Animal Haven. In addition, many pet stores work with rescue groups that have animals for adoptions (i.e. KittyKind at Petco in Union Square).

    What are the resources available for people who would like to spay/neuter their cats?
    There will be a free neuter day for male cats on Sunday, April 6 at Brooklyn Animal Care & Control. Pre-registration is required. For more information please visit the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals website at In addition, low-cost spay/neuter programs are available throughout the city. Low-cost or free services are available through the ASPCA, Humane Society of NY, and AC&C. Owners can also check the Mayor's Alliance website for information on the Maddie's fund spay/neuter program.

    For more information, go to

    -----CORE WORKOUT-----

    From flab to flat without doing one sit up - new research shows that lifting heavy weights actually burns the fat that is concentrated in the abdominal area.

    Joining us this morning with a demonstration and more advice is fitness expert, Penny Hoff.

    We will talk about:

  • Why is focusing on your core important?
  • How can lifting weights burn belly fat?
  • How heavy should the weights be?
  • Are sit ups still required? What kind?

    I want to make the point that washboard abs are out but flat bellies are still in and lots of stuff we can do at home can make a difference.

    For more information, go to

    Penny Hoff has a new book coming out called "Fitness Rants of the Chronologically Enriched."