Monthly Archives: January 2016

Beyond Weight: Why Soda Is Bad For You

This sentence is probably not going to come as a big surprise: soda is bad for you. Most people are aware of this fact, and yet it’s estimated that nearly 50 percent of Americans still drink soda at least once a day.

soda

One of the major problems with this, and another statement that’s probably not a surprise, is that drinking soda doesn’t just stall weight loss, it can very easily contribute to weight gain. Drinking just one can of soda per day can add 200 additional calories per day or 1,400 calories per week. Keep this up, and you’ll gain about a pound every two weeks or so.

Soda is also high in sugar and devoid of any nutrients that help keep you full or promote health in any way, which around here, we consider a losing combo.

It’s not just its high sugar and calorie count that makes soda a no-no, though. The sweet drink can damage your health in other ways too.

Increased Risk of Diabetes

A study published in the journal “Diabetes Care” reported that people who drank one to two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, each day were 26 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who rarely, if ever, touched the stuff. Drinking soda is also associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a non-specific condition that describes a group of risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by high triglycerides, high bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood sugar, and a large waist.

Brittle Bones

Regularly drinking soda may also decrease your bone mineral density, which in turn, can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Most sodas contain a flavoring agent called phosphoric acid. According to Dr. Thomas Weber, who is an osteoporosis specialist at Duke University, drinking a lot of soda may expose your kidneys to more acid than they can handle. In response to this, your body needs to figure out how to neutralize the acids with substances called buffers. Calcium is a common buffer and if there isn’t enough available in your blood, your body may pull it from your bones, which weakens them in the long-run.

Bad For Your Teeth

Regularly drinking soda is also one of the most significant contributors to the development of cavities. The sugar in the soda serves as a feeding ground for the natural bacteria in your mouth, while the phosphoric acid can soften the enamel on your teeth. This two factors together can weaken the tooth structure and contribute to tooth decay.

Is Diet Soda the Answer?

It may seem like the solution to these problems is diet soda. After all, it contains no sugar and no calories, so it has to be harmless, right? Not so fast! Diet soda comes with its own set of issues.

Your best bet is to save soda for very special occasions and to switch to water instead. If its soda’s bubbles that you crave, try sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lime or orange in place of plain flat water.

Stuck on Sugar? How to Stop Cravings in Their Tracks

Although it may seem sweet, sugar can be anything but. It appears to be fine in moderation, but overdoing it on the sweet stuff can contribute to weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, and the development of cavities.

sugar cravings

The sweetener has absolutely no nutritional value and yet the average American consumes about 160 pounds of sugar each year! Some researchers speculate that this may be due to potentially addictive properties. One study out of Princeton University found that cutting out sugar cold turkey can lead to both withdrawals and intense cravings.

If you crave sugar regularly, you’re certainly not alone. Sugar cravings are one of the biggest weight loss and health challenges that we run into; however, taking the steps to stop sugar cravings can improve your health and reduce your risk of chronic disease and can lead to weight loss, especially if you tend to overdo it on the sweet stuff now.

The Mechanism of Sugar Cravings

Unlike hunger, which is physical, cravings often have an emotional or psychological cause. When you’re hungry, you’re usually satisfied after a wholesome meal. When you have a craving, you may eat several cookies, but still yearn for more. Although researchers are still trying to figure out exactly why people have sugar cravings, they believe that the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for your well-being and happiness, plays a role. Low serotonin levels can cause unhappiness and depressed feelings, which leads the brain to crave carbohydrates, like sugar. When you eat sugar, it temporarily increases serotonin, which then improves your mood.

Although there is nothing wrong with giving into a craving once in a while, overdoing it can negatively affect your health and cause weight gain.

Preventing the Craving

The first method of attack is to prevent sugar cravings from happening in the first place. Although you may not be able to stop the cravings completely, there are things you can do to help curb them – or make them happen less frequently.

Eat three meals a day and have a couple snacks between meals, even if you don’t feel hungry. This helps keeps your blood sugar levels steady, which can diminish the urge for cravings. Include complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fat at each meal and snack. This keeps you satisfied until your next meal. Try an apple with 2 teaspoons of almond butter or cottage cheese with a handful of fresh berries.

You may also want to consider taking a supplement, like Crave-Away, that can help reduce sugar cravings, as well as cravings for other carbohydrates and alcohol. Crave-Away also contains a combination of amino acids and vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, and vitamin B6)that work together to boost weight loss.*

When the Craving Hits

It’s inevitable that a sugar craving will hit you once in a while. Cravings often arise out of boredom, stress or loneliness rather than real hunger though, so when that happens, try to keep your mind busy by doing other things.

Distract yourself for 15 to 20 minutes by reading a book or going for a short walk. In addition to providing a distraction, exercise has the same serotonin-boosting effect on your brain that sugar has. You can also make a phone call to a friend or start organizing a drawer or closet.

Giving In to the Craving

It’s nearly impossible to completely avoid or stop every single carbohydrate craving. Hey, you’re human; and despite your best efforts to prevent cravings, sometimes they hit you out of the blue. Depriving yourself too much can actually lead to binging on the foods you’re trying to avoid.

Every once in a while, allow yourself to have whatever it is that you’re craving, but be mindful of what you’re eating and don’t overdo it.

DISCLAIMER * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Water Hacks: Tips to Drink More Water

In the beginning of this month, we explained the reasons WHY drinking water is so important. Yet, even though you know you’re supposed to be drinking plenty of water, and you have every intention to do so, you may still fall short of your needs from time to time. First of all, you’re not alone. We hear a lot of people say that they try to drink enough, they just forget, or they don’t always have water with them, or they’re not thirsty. We want to share with you some everyday “hacks” that can help prompt you to drink water throughout the day.

water2

And remember, thirst is one of the first signs of dehydration – so even if you’re not feeling thirsty, it’s important to drink up all day long!

Water Hack #1: Keep It Visible

One of the easiest things you can do to encourage yourself to drink more is to simply keep a water bottle visible and within reach at all times. Get a fun, reusable water bottle that you can keep filling up and keep it on your desk at work or in your car. Give yourself some type of visual to keep track of how much water you’re drinking. For example, if you need to drink 6 bottles full, group 6 elastics together on your water bottle. Each time you refill the bottle, move an elastic down or up. Continue this until all 6 elastics are grouped together again.

Water Hack #2: Incorporate Water into Your Routine

We all have something that we do every day. It might be drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, taking a shower, or exercising before dinner. Figure out how to incorporate water in that regular part of your day and make it part of your routine. If you drink coffee in the morning, make it a routine to drink a glass of water while you’re waiting for your coffee to be ready.

Water Hack #3: Set a Timer

All new habits take some time to really sink in and become a mindless part of your routine – and that includes drinking more water. The ultimate goal is to drink enough without any outside triggers, but while you’re getting used to it, set a timer on your phone – or on your watch if it has the capabilities. Every hour on the hour, set the alarm to remind you to drink 8 ounces of water. When the timer goes off, stop what you’re doing and drink that water right away.

Water Hack #4: There’s an App for That

You can go a step further than your alarm on your phone and download an app whose sole purpose is to remind you to drink water. Many of these apps, like Water Log and Water Alert, not only to remind you to drink water throughout the day, but you can track how much water you’re drinking and how much you have left to meet your goals.

Water Hack #5: Make It a Competition

Start a challenge with your coworkers or family members. Okay, if you’re not a competitive person, consider it a friendly challenge. Make a common water goal, such as 5 glasses during the work day, and use some type of form to track your intake in a common area like a calendar or on your desks. You can put a friendly wager on it, like the person who finishes last or doesn’t complete the challenge has to bring in the morning coffee the next day.

Does the Shoe Fit? How to Choose Athletic Shoes

After a hiatus that lasted longer than expected, you’ve made the decision to get back into an exercise routine. You’ve already figured out where you’re going to work out (some of you are going back to the gym, while others are choosing an at-home routine); but now you need to get into the proper gear to make sure you get the job done right. One of the most important things you’ll need to get is the right workout shoe. You walk into the shoe store and stare at the full wall of athletic shoes with your jaw on the ground. When did they start making so many different styles? And how the heck will you choose?

Sneaker

It can be overwhelming if you get sucked in, but we’re here to help you narrow it down so that you can choose the shoe that works best for you and avoid getting distracted by the rest.

Figuring Out Your Fit

As an adult, you’re probably pretty confident that you know your shoe size, right? Not so fast. In 2014, a study estimated that up to one-third of people are wearing the wrong size shoe! In addition to being extremely uncomfortable (can you say sore, tired feet?), wearing the wrong shoe size can create health problems, like bunions, blisters, and heel pain.

Another uncommonly known fact is that your shoe size can actually change in small, but meaningful ways as you age. If it’s been more than a year since you’ve had your foot measured, make sure to go get that done before doing anything else. Once you’ve determined your accurate shoe size, you can move on to the next step – and that’s figuring out your style.

Choosing a Style

Even if the shoe fits, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be wearing it. You also have to consider your foot shape and what exercise you’re going to be doing. Are you buying a shoe for yoga? Is running your exercise of choice? Are you more of an elliptical type of person? Once you’ve decided what your main objective is, then you’ll be able to narrow down your choices by shoe type.

If you’re planning to do aerobic-type exercises, you’ll need a lightweight, aerobic shoe that has shock absorption right under the ball of your foot. If you’re going to start jogging or running, choose a running shoe that gives you balance and allows for more flexibility in the toe area. If you’re not really sure what activity you’re going to be doing – or you want to try a range of different activities – a cross trainer may be your best bet. Cross trainers are a good general athletic shoe because they combine several features, like shock absorption, a flexible toe, and a lightweight body.

Considering Your Shoe Shape

Once you’ve decided on a style, you still have to figure out what shape will work best for you. Some shoes are made for narrow feet with a high arch, while others are made for wider, flatter feet. Most athletic shoes have three sole options – straight, curved, or semi-curved. If your feet are flat, you’ll want a straight sole. If you have high arches, a curved sole and lots of cushioning is a better bet. If you have a normal arch, you can get away with any of the sole styles.

If you’re unsure of where you stand as far as foot arches go, you can do a quick test at home to figure it out. Wet your foot and step on a dry paper towel. If the imprint left behind is your whole food, you have flat feet. If you leave an imprint of a solid heel and your toes, but the arch is missing, you have a high arch.

Pro Tip:

It’s best to shop for athletic shoes at the end of the day instead of first thing in the morning. Your feet tend to swell as the day goes on, so trying them on later in the day will make sure that the shoe doesn’t get too tight when blood flows to your feet when you’re exercising. You should also wear the athletic socks that you plan to wear to the gym when trying on a new pair of shoes. Athletic socks tend to be thicker than other types of socks – like dress socks – to provide extra cushion, but this also means that they’ll take up more space in the shoe.

Your shoe should fit firmly in the heel, but give you about a quarter of an inch of space between your longest toe and the inside edge of the shoe. Wiggle your toes, jump around, and jog in place to make sure the shoes are comfortable. They should feel somewhat comfortable out of the box. Unlike leather dress shoes, you typically don’t need to break in athletic shoes.

Bottoms Up! Why You Should Drink Water All The Time.

You’ve been told time and time again that water is important for your health; that you should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day (even though this general advice may not be entirely accurate), but do you know why? You could just take our word for it – we don’t mind – but we think it’s helpful to know the WHY behind certain recommendations. In our experience, when someone understands why they’re doing something, they’re more likely to stick to it.

water

It’s estimated that a whopping 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. This is a major health concern because every single one of your body systems relies on water to function properly. Being hydrated is associated with a good mood, healthy, glowing skin, and a normal functioning digestive system (you know what we’re talking about!).  Proper hydration also helps suppress your appetite and plays a role in helping you maintain your weight.

Since we’re a weight loss clinic, we’ll start with the weight benefits of drinking enough water. According to researchers from the American Chemical Society, people on a diet who drank two cups of water lost 4.5 pounds more over a 12-week period than dieters who didn’t have any water before their meals. While this may seem minimal, it adds up to an almost 20 pound difference over the course of the year. And it’s a simple lifestyle change.

Staying hydrated can also ensure that your metabolism is working the way it’s supposed to. Researchers found that even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism by as much as 3 percent!

Water is not just important for weight loss though. Drinking enough water helps prevent sagging skin, especially after a significant weight loss. That’s because water fills up the spaces in between the cells and plumps skin up, while also reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Water also ensures that your digestion system is moving smoothly – dehydration is associated with constipation – and it can even boost your mood. According to researchers at Tufts University, mild dehydration can leave you feeling tense, angry, fatigued, and even depressed.

So how do you make sure you’re drinking enough water? DO you drink enough water? If not, what are your plans to incorporate some more?

Product of the Month! Skip-a-Meal Meal Replacement Beverage

Our Skip-a-Meal Replacement Beverage is one of our customer favorites, so we thought January – the month of resolutions and new beginnings – would be the perfect time to offer it as a part of our monthly special.

With this special you receive 4 WEEKS of everything listed below for only $295 (that’s a savings of over $200)!

Physician Consult & Weekly Weigh-ins
Meal Plans
FDA Approved Medications
Meta-Blast Supplements
Crave-away Supplements
Weekly Upgraded Injection of B-12
Bi-Weekly Injection of Lipo X
Full Body Analysis on our BODYCOMP Scale

Plus, the product of the month ABSOLUTELY FREE!

skip a meal

The Skip-a-Meal Replacement Shake is a whey protein meal replacement shake that serves as a high-protein, low calorie replacement for a higher calorie meal. You can replace one meal with a shake each day, or all three meals. It’s totally up to you.

In addition to being low in calories (only 192 per serving!), the shake is also loaded with several vitamins and minerals so it serves as a balanced nutrition source, just like a healthy meal would. One serving of the Skip-a-Meal replacement shakes provides at least 30% (in some cases, it provides 35%) of each of these vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, vitamin B-12, biotin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, zinc, and copper. So if you’re drinking the meal replacement three times a day, you don’t have to worry about getting the nutrients you need.

A single serving of the shake also provides 24 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber but only 2 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fat. The even better news? One tub contains 15 servings and you get it FREE when you sign up for our monthly special. Choose from vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry.

If you have any questions about Skip-a-Meal or you want to take advantage of our monthly special, contact us TODAY!

DISCLAIMER * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.