About Major League Nutrition

Major League Nutrition is owned by Nicole Chenard, award-winning registered dietitian, sports nutritionist, and fitness expert. Nicole provides nutrition counseling & health and wellness coaching & education as well as corporate wellness presentations virtually. Her expertise in counseling and leadership has been awarded by the Massachusetts Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a result of her achievements at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Tufts. Nicole also works with her favorite brands and teams as a consultant, media spokesperson, public speaker and group educator. Read more about her background here or contact directly. For internship requests, click on the interns page.


Mediterranean Diet Linked to Improved Cognitive Function in Diabetes

Mediterranean diet may improve cognitive function in diabetes.
Patients with type 2 diabetes who closely followed a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in:
  • fish
  • fruits
  • healthy fats
  • legumes
  • whole grains
  • vegetables
experienced greater improvements in cognitive function, and word recognition than those with and without diabetes who ate other diets, including the DASH diet, according to a study in Diabetes Care.
Researchers followed 913 patients from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study and found the Mediterranean diet’s brain health benefits were limited to those who had good blood sugar (glucose) control from the start or had improved blood sugar control over the course of the study.
Bottom line: Following a Mediterranean-style diet may improve brain health in people with type 2 diabetes.
Photo cred: Photo

The Shocking Costs of Dining Out

Research from the USDA shows that people usually underestimate the number of calories they’re consuming when they eat outside of the home. Why?


Outside foods typically have more:

  • calories
  • sodium
  • sugar
  • and saturated fat (fats found from dairy, meat, and coconut and palm oils)

Restaurants don’t typically list their hidden calories and their menus may show only an estimate of calories per meal. According to the USDA, the portion of daily calories Americans consume from foods eaten away from home is 1 in 3.

A patient of mine recently admitted, “I realized every time I eat out, I want apps, I want dessert, and I eat a ton more. When I am home, I don’t feel like I need all that extra food.”

Also, the portion sizes at restaurants are too big. In response to this dilemma, “In May 2018, Federal regulations went into effect that are designed to help inform consumers about the calorie contents of the foods and beverages offered by many of the Nation’s restaurants.” More info here:

New National Menu Labeling Provides Information Consumers Can Use To Help Manage Their Calorie Intake


Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss

After discussing weight loss tactics with hundreds of patients over the years, a lot of people are trying Intermittent Fasting for weight loss. My job is to give you the facts, so here they are:

There is limited long-term research on intermittent fasting and weight loss.  More research is needed to see if behavioral and metabolic changes with intermittent fasting are sustainable. The research that is out there are based on studies that are only 3-24 weeks longs.  In those studies, when intermittent fasting and a standard calorie restriction approach are compared, there are comparable reductions in weight loss, insulin resistancefasting insulin and visceral fat mass.

Any calorie restrictive program will result in weight loss. Weight loss whether by intermittent fasting or standard calorie restriction will improve insulin resistance and inflammatory markers.

Bottom line: There is no evidence to date showing that intermittent fasting is any more effective than a standard calorie restriction diet.


Medical terms explained:

Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, body fat and liver start resisting or ignoring the signal that the hormone insulin is trying to send out—which is to grab glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells. Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is the body’s main source of fuel.

Visceral fat is body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and is therefore stored around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines.


visceral fat diagram



More info here:



#1 Tip to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are upon us, and you know what that means…

The average American can gain up to 5 pounds over the next couple of months. Why? Shorter days, darker days, more time inside, an exponential increase of treats and beverages everywhere we turn. I’ll add stress to the list too, why not?

As a registered dietitian and fitness expert who has worked on 3 of the largest and very significant weight loss studies in North America, we have taken note of what works and what doesn’t in terms of not only losing the weight, but keeping it off, and preventing weight gain.

Tip #3 Those who track what they are eating and drinking are 50% more likely to lose the weight and keep it off (those who pretend the weekends aren’t real, and don’t track on weekends, are not the people who see results, and those who pretend their alcohol has no calories also do not see results – it has 7 calories per gram, almost twice as much as carbs and protein).

Tip #2 Fill up on vegetables, fruit and whole grains first (the foods that have fiber, water, and nutrition you need). You can still have all the other stuff, but have those 3 first and you’ll be way ahead of the game!

Tip #1 Invest your time into some strength training. As you lose weight, you lose muscle. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat (helps you burn more calories), so you want to keep it. You keep muscle by getting enough protein and by strength training (walking is great, but doesn’t make the cut). If you continue to lose muscle as you lose weight (which you will if you don’t strength train), your metabolism will slow down and you will need to consume fewer calories just to maintain your weight (which makes the holiday season even tougher if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight). More details on strength training here


Thanks for reading! If you would like individualized help with your weight, health or disease management goals, Nicole is available for in person and video/phone counseling (Telehealth) Monday – Saturday in Boston, Brookline and Newton. Please send an e-mail to chenard.nicole@gmail.com or sign up on the homepage to book today! 

3 Top Exercise at Home Tips

Not sure how to fit an effective workout into your new schedule?


Here are my 3 top tips for free, effective, any ability workouts on YouTube (that I actually use) when I don’t have time to go to the gym, or it’s just to cold/hot/crazy outside:


1. For total body conditioning, toning, and getting your heart rate going, Autumn Calabrese from BeachBody is my go-to because she always has someone in the group showing an adaptation (ex: stepping instead of jumping), she recommends stopping forwater/pausing the video whenever needed and she has 10 minute, 20 minute, 30 minute etc., length videos. You can use weights, or not, it’s up to you! Any workout is better than no workout!


2. For yoga, I like Yoga With Adriene because you can literally type in anything into the YouTube search bar (ex: 10 minute post-run yoga for hamstring stretch, or 7 minute wakeup yoga) and she has it. She’s calm, knows her stuff and is comfortable to watch (some videos are a bit racy on YouTube for yoga). All you need is a mat, but you could do the workout without a mat too.


3. For people who like to dance, I love the Fitness Marshall. He teaches you how to dance to popular songs like Britney Spears, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, etc. Over the years, the dances and song choices (and backgrounds of the video) have seriously improved. I can’t get enough of the Fitness Marshall! You will not only burn a TON of calories, you will be laughing the entire time. Now get going and start your workout!FitnessMarshall

Healthy BBQ Side Dishes

Love to attend or host BBQs, but don’t love the typical meat-focused menu? Try something new this summer and bring protein-packed iron-boosting lentils to the party!

Here are some lentil-buying tips to get you started (click on the recipe link below for recipes and everything else you need to know about lentils):

The most commonly found lentils in grocery
stores are split red lentils and whole green
lentils – often these can be found near the rice
or soup mixes, or ethnic flavours aisle of your
local grocery stores.


Healthy Fats Healthy Heart

Need to lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol or raise your “good” HDL cholesterol? Eat some heart healthy avocados! This green pitted creamy tropical fruit can be swapped with your usual butter to upgrade your heart health. Click on the PDF below for some example meal plans to make it easier for you to plan your day the heart healthy avocado way. Thank you Hass Avocado Board for these healthy meal plans and recipes!


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