Thursday, October 30, 2014

5 Tips for Avoiding Halloween Weight Gain

Halloween is here—but don’t be scared. If you’ve been working hard to lose weight, this fun holiday doesn’t have to derail your efforts or start a downward holiday spiral. With a few favorite tips from members of our medical weight loss centers, you can avoid gaining any weight without sacrificing any fun.

1. Filter your treats. If you decide to indulge a little, be discerning, just like when you were little and would sort through your loot and trade out or give away your least favorites. Only have your favorites so that you can really savor the treat. Most importantly, don’t overdo it—have just one or two bite-sized versions.

2. Stay on your normal meal plan. Even though you may indulge in a treat this holiday, stay on track the rest of the day. Eat breakfast and opt for fiber- and protein-rich foods throughout the day so that you can keep hunger pangs at bay. Don’t “save up” for treats—if you do this, chances are you will end up binging when you do get to the candy bowl or Halloween party.

3. Move it! Hit the gym on Halloween day. You’ll feel better in your costume and will work off some of the additional calories you may indulge in later on. If you’re taking the kids trick-or-treating, be sure to walk.

4. Start fresh. Regardless of how well you do or don’t do on the actual holiday, give yourself a clean slate the next day. Get right back on track with the diet recommended by our medical weight loss centers and don’t beat yourself up over any treats you indulged in on Halloween.

5. Buy your treats the day of. Instead of stocking up days in advance of Halloween, buy candy that day. Studies show that when you have candy on hand and can see it, it triggers our brains to imagine ourselves eating it and therefore crave it. Get it the day of so you avoid temptation. Plus, many stores off steep discounts on last minute Halloween candy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

5 Superfoods for Fall

With the fall season comes a delicious array of superfoods that provide an excellent way to reach your weight loss goal. Whether you’re using weight loss products or an exercise regimen to lose weight, there is a bevy of fall superfoods that will load you up with antioxidants and other nutrients without breaking your calorie bank. The bright colors that fall produce boasts are an indicator of the nutritional punch these tasty superfoods offer.

1. Pomegranates. The juicy fruits boasts a very high antioxidant content and is therefore loaded with properties that reduce inflammation. Recent research indicates that they have many powerful health benefits that may reverse the progression of coronary heart disease, slow the growth of prostate cancer and improve blood flow.

2. Red Bell Peppers. With only 45 calories per cup, red bell peppers are the perfect food for those trying to lose weight. Red bell peppers are especially rich in vitamin C, which boosts immunity and keeps our skin looking young, as well as vitamins A, E and B6. They also contain beta-carotene and lutein, which prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. In addition, red bell peppers boast capsaicin, which wields anti-inflammatory properties and can reduces “bad” cholesterol.

3. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which gives them their vibrant color and can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and various forms of cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium and vitamins A, C and E.

4. Pumpkins. A seasonal favorite, pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and various forms of cancer. Pumpkins are ideal for those on a diet and working with weight loss products because they are packed with fiber, which helps us feel fuller longer and promotes healthy digestion, yet are low in fat, calories and sodium. Note—don’t throw out the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein, iron and magnesium.

5. Butternut squash. Butternut squash is one of the healthiest vegetables you can find! Like its cousin, winter squash, butternut squash is packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene. It’s also rich in vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that maintains the integrity of our skin and mucus membranes, while promoting healthy eyesight. It’s also low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is an excellent course of dietary fiber and phytonutrients.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Top 5 Weight Loss Tips from Our Members

There’s more to losing weight than just consuming less calories and increasing physical activity. We recommend that members of our medical weight loss centers adopt new habits and overhaul their current regimen to achieve a healthy lifestyle that will help them maintain their weight loss for the long term.

There are many ways to lose weight, but don’t you want to keep it off? Below are some favorite tips from members of our medical weight loss centers that have helped them achieve the results they wanted and remain at their dream weight.

1.    Pace yourself. One of the best ways to eat less at meals is to slow down so that your stomach has time to signal your brain that it’s full. Try setting your utensils down between each bite and sip water frequently throughout the meal. Savor each bite and enjoy the meal—chances are you’ll eat noticeably less at each setting.

2.    Get rid of your “fat” clothes. Once you start dropping pounds, get rid of all the clothes that don’t fit. You won’t feel like you have a wardrobe to fall back on—and the idea of buying a whole new wardrobe if you gain the weight back will motivate you to stay on track.

3.    Keep a meal diary. Research shows that people who keep a meal log eat up to 15 percent less than those who track their intake. Log everything you consume for one week—you’ll quickly see where you can make cuts. Just make sure to always log everything you consume, including drinks, sauces, condiments, etc.

4.    Only eat when you’re hungry. Unfortunately, many people eat out of boredom, anxiety, frustration or just plain habit. If you’re thinking about a certain food, it’s most likely a craving, not hunger. Really wait until you’re actually hungry before reaching for a snack or preparing a meal.

5.    Avoid sugar-laden foods. Read the labels on whatever you buy—and if the item lists sugar, fructose, or corn syrup among the first four ingredients on the label, ditch it. You can definitely find a similar item with less sugar.


Monday, July 28, 2014

3 Tips for Losing The Last 5

If you’ve ever tried diets or easy weight loss programs, then you probably have hit a much-dreaded plateau at one time or another—and often times, it’s those last five pounds. After months of seeing results, the plateau strikes and tries to shake your confidence and motivation—but you don’t have to let it. When the scale stops budging, there are a few things you can do to break down the wall and lose those last five pounds that stand between you and your weight loss goals.

Re-visit the basics. Once you’ve been following diets or easy weight loss programs for a while, it can be easy to get a little lax when it comes to how much you’re eating and portion sizes. This is a good time to re-evaluate your program and get your portion sizes back in check. Start by logging your meals again for a few days to see where you can make some important cuts or identify any culprits that may be setting you back. Then take another hard look at your portion sizes and make sure you’re not underestimating them. Bring out the old measuring cups and do a full survey of your next few meals to make sure you aren’t going over your portion budget.

Move it more. As you have probably learned, physical activity and exercise can really boost your weight loss efforts and rev your metabolism. If you’ve hit a plateau or are trying to get those last five pounds to budge, chances are that increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts will help bolster your efforts. If you aren’t exercising at all, then try to incorporate some basic physical activity and extra movement into your daily activities. Even taking a few short walks here and there will help.

Watch the drinks. Many people forget to track what they’re drinking when they diet. Sugar-laden juices, soda, alcohol and even some coffee drinks can pack on the pounds if you’re not careful. Often times they have no nutritional value but really pack on the calories and sugar. Stay away from the heavy drinks and drink as much water as you can.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7 Summer Weight Loss Foods That Will Surprise You

Summer is an awesome time of year—not just for all the great weather and fun activities but also for the delicious, colorful produce and other foods that become available during the warmer months.

We’ve made a list of some of the top weight loss foods that we recommend to members of our medical weight loss centers during summertime. Some of them might surprise you!

1. Watermelon. Watermelon is one of the best foods you can eat when it comes to shedding pounds. Juicy and sweet, watermelon is 92 percent water and very low calorie. Yet it’s delicious, filling and packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene.  

2. Mulberries. We always recommend that members of our medical weight loss clinics load up on fiber-rich foods like berries, which also boast an array of antioxidants. Mulberries tend to be forgotten, despite their juicy, delicious taste and high vitamin C content. They are also rich in potassium and the phytonutrient resveratrol.

3. Pineapple. Sweet and juicy, pineapple can satiate a sweet tooth while helping to reduce inflammation. In addition, it contains an enzyme called bromelain, which promotes healthy digestion.

4. Peaches. Peaches are packed with beta-carotene, which has an array of benefits and helps your skin glow. They also contain nearly two grams of fiber and loads of vitamin A and C, iron and potassium, with only 38 calories per medium-sized fruit.

5. Nectarines. If the fuzz on peaches turn you off, nectarines are an excellent alternative. They are low calorie and loaded with flavonoids, lycopene, and lutein, which helps prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

6. Soft shell crab. Crab is an excellent source of the lean protein we need when we’re trying to lose weight and build lean muscle mass.

7. Green peas. These babies are packed with protein and iron, more so than most other veggies. Plus, they are so versatile—they can be served hot, cold, in salads, as sides, in casserole—you name it.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

5 Tips for Recovering from Your 4th

We all love a good barbecue and the other festivities that accompany the 4th of July—but if you went a little too big this weekend, it’s time to get back on track and undo some of the damage. Whether you were dieting and working with appetite-suppressing weight loss products up until this weekend or are just getting started now, below are some fail-proof tips for moving forward with your weight loss and fitness goals.

Get back to your normal routine. A holiday weekend throws your timeline off track, so get back to your normal eating and fitness routine as soon as possible. Eat small meals at the times of day you usually do and incorporate some healthy snacks throughout the day. Head back to the gym, jogging path or exercise class as soon as you can.

Up your protein intake. Now is the best time to strive for a high protein diet that’s low in carbohydrates. Aim to consume between 20 and 30 grams of lean protein at each meal to help lose some of the water you may be retaining and stave off those cravings for unhealthy, refined carbs.

Snack healthy. Snack on some fruits and veggies to help flush your body and compensate for some of the fattening, processed foods you indulged in over the weekend. Reach for low-fat Greek yogurt with berries and appetite-suppressing weight loss products when you feel those hunger pangs coming on.

De-bloat. You may be feeling extra bloated in response to the heat, dehydration, caffeinated sodas, alcoholic beverages and high sodium foods that were prevalent throughout the weekend. Drink extra water this week to help flush the toxins and excess sodium from your system.

Stay positive. Avoid the scale for a few days and instead focus on healthy habits. The worst thing you can do is think, “I blew it, so it doesn’t matter what I do now.” Put it in the past and move forward. Stay positive and focused on your goals.


Monday, June 30, 2014

4 Tips for Staying on Track on the 4th

The 4th of July can be such a fun holiday and a great day to spend time with family and friends. Yet many members of our medical weight loss clinics worry that it means they’ll have to sacrifice their diets every time they hit a party or barbecue. Lucky for you, this blog post gives you four awesome tips for enjoying your holiday festivities without doing damage to your diet.

1. Forgo the really empty calories and carbs. The thing about refined carbs is that they won’t fill you up and they cause those sugar spikes that ultimately make you eat more. Stay away from the bread, chips and crackers—there are so many other delicious protein-rich choices to make at a barbecue that are protein-rich that will fill you up.

2. Fill up on healthy foods. Start with the healthiest items available first, to fill you up so you don’t have that much room for the more sinful items. We always recommend that members of our medical weight loss clinics start with a cup of soup or a salad if either are available. Salads are typically filled with fiber-rich veggies that slow down digestion and are lower in calories, which will make you feel fuller longer and keep you from binging.

3. Opt for small plates. Many studies show that people who use smaller plates eat as much as 50 percent less than they would if they filled up larger plates. Use an appetizer plate and stop once you’ve finished it to let your stomach signal your brain that it’s full. Chances are you won’t need to make a second round.

4. Moderate your alcohol intake. Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you need to forgo alcohol altogether—just make smart choices. Instead of a sugar-laden libation such as a margarita or daiquiri, which can add up to somewhere between 500 and 800 calories (a small meal in itself), opt for a glass of white wine, a light beer or a light-colored alcohol with soda water as a mixer.