Monthly Archives: February 2016

5 Habits that Guarantee Long-Term Weight Loss

There’s a problem with the way the world looks at weight. For many, weight loss is considered a short-term thing. You have a big event coming up, or summer is creeping up on you, so you have to scramble to lose those pounds that you put on during the rest of the year. Or you reach a point when you become so fed up with how you feel and look, that you decide it’s time to get really strict with yourself and start a weight loss regimen that is full of deprivation.

Once the event is over, or winter comes around again, it’s back to old habits. The weight slowly creeps back on and before you know it, you’re back to scrambling to try to lose the weight. The problem with this is that it misses the big picture. When you focus on weight loss as a goal for a specific event or reason (other than your health and confidence), it becomes a chore – and one that is not attainable for the long-term.

sleep

The people who are most successful with losing weight – and maintaining that weight loss – are those who realize that you need to create habits that are conducive to a happy, healthy body. That doesn’t mean crash dieting or depriving yourself of everything you love. It means making small changes to the daily habits that, collectively, make up your life. So what are the most important habits? Well, it will probably come as no surprise that healthy eating and regularly exercising make the list, but you may be surprised at some of the other contributing factors.

1. Put Diet in the Forefront

Diet is not a four-letter word. Well, it is, but not in the way people make it out to be. Your diet is simply the foods that you choose to eat. Diet should not be synonymous with deprivation and sadness and it should never be something you’re forced to be on. In order to maintain long-term weight loss, you need to view your diet as a long-term strategy. It’s your way of life. It’s the way you always eat.

You should be focusing on clean, whole-foods at least 80 percent of the time (all the time). Your regular eating plan should consist of lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. You can veer off this track every once in a while – for special occasions or when you want to enjoy a glass of wine at night – but then get right back to it.

2. Make Exercise a Hobby

Exercise is also an important factor for maintaining a healthy weight, but it’s not as important as you may think. Now, hear me out: many people think that as long as they’re exercising regularly, they can eat whatever they want; but this is not true. The problem is that people tend to overestimate the amount of calories they’re burning during exercise and underestimate how many calories they’re actually eating during the day. Obviously, this combination is not a good one when you’re trying to lose or maintain weight.

The key to making exercise a routine is to find something that you love doing. You shouldn’t be forcing yourself to sweat; eventually, it should become enjoyable. If you hate the treadmill, stay off of it! Join an aerobics class or take up swimming. The best thing you can do is turn your exercise into an enjoyable hobby.

3. Figure Out to Manage Your Stress

Stress can prevent you from reaching or maintaining your ideal weight even if your diet is pristine and you exercise 7 days a week. Unfortunately, stress is an unavoidable part of modern life; the key is in how you deal with that stress.

Do you do anything to manage your stress levels? (And no, drinking two glasses of wine when you get home from work doesn’t count). You need to incorporate healthy, stress-reduction activities into your daily routine, until they become a habit. Meditate for 10 minutes in bed before you start your day, take a hot Epsom salt bath at night, write in a journal releasing any and all negative thoughts before bed. There’s no right or wrong way, but it’s important to find whatever way works for you.

4. Kick Your Sugar Habit

Added sugar isn’t just bad for your waist line, it’s bad for your health. Over the years, our consumption of added sugar has increased dramatically – and with some major consequences.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is ditch added sugar. This means no sugar in your coffee and ditching that after-dinner sugar fix. It may seem like a difficult thing to do, and we agree, those sugar cravings can be hard to kick, but the sooner you do it, the better.

5. Get Enough Sleep

In today’s fast-paced world, sleep has lost its place as a priority. We prioritize work over sleep, exercise over sleep, watching TV over sleep. Part of the problem is that many of us don’t realize how important sleep is for our well-being.

Sleep is when your body recovers from all the stressors of the day. Quantity is important, but so is quality. It’s ideal to make sure you’re getting 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night on a regular sleep schedule. We know you probably thought your days of a bedtime were over, but a self-imposed bedtime may be one of the best things you do for your health.

Healthy Recipe: Berry Banana Overnight Oats

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it’s also one of the most commonly skipped meals, for several reasons. We understand that it’s not practical to think that you’re going to be able to get up extra early to prepare yourself a healthy meal before work every single day, so we wanted to make things easy for you by giving you a recipe that’s so simple, it’s foolproof.

This overnight oatmeal requires absolutely no cooking – and it can be prepared in advance. You just throw everything together in a jar, set it in the fridge, and forget about it until you’re ready to grab it on your way out the door in the morning.

oatmeal

This simple berry banana oatmeal is one of our favorites, but this recipe can be easily adapted to your tastes. Switch up the fruit, add nuts or coconut shavings, use coconut milk instead of almond milk, add a little stevia to sweeten it up a bit – whatever it takes to make it your own.

What You Need:

  • 1/3 cup whole-grain oats
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup sliced bananas
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract

What To Do:

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a mason jar.
  2. Shake vigorously to make sure ingredients are evenly mixed.
  3. Cover with lid and leave in the fridge overnight.
  4. Enjoy cold or heat up for 30 seconds to one minute prior to serving.

The Age of Sitting: How to Move More at Work (and Why You Want To)

In recent months, there was an article headline that proclaimed that sitting has become the new secondhand smoking. Most of us know that there’s a recommendation to exercise at least 30 minutes at least five days a week, but new research is showing that this may not be enough to keep you healthy if you’re otherwise sedentary.

sitting

For many people, a typical day looks something like this: wake up in the morning and sit in your car on the ride to work. Once at work, you plop down in your office chair for a few hours, before you get up for lunch (which you sit to enjoy), and then you return to your desk and sit out the rest of your eight hour work day. You then get back in the car (more sitting) and drive home. You may stop at the gym and work up a sweat for an hour – or do 30 minutes of yoga when you get home from work. After you shower, you spend the rest of the night sitting on your couch watching your favorite TV shows or reading.

The problem is that this 30 to 60 minutes of activity that you squeeze into your day is not enough to counteract the 10, 12, or 16 hours that you spend sitting the rest of the time. Prolonged sitting is associated with heart disease, increased risk of diabetes, neck and muscle strain, muscle degeneration, poor circulation in legs, and damage to the spine and back. In addition to this, researchers found that the increased sitting during the work day also led to a decreased calorie burn – around 100 calories per day.

The obvious solution may be to just stand, rather than sit, as the increase in production of stand-up desks would have to believe; but it’s actually not that simple. The key to counteracting the risk of these health problems is to make sure you have the correct posture when sitting and to incorporate more movement into your day.

So what can you do?

  • Sit or stand on something wobbly. If you have a sitting desk, a stability ball is a great way to keep your core engaged and your body moving slightly throughout the day. You should be sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor to take full advantage. If you’ve invested in a standing desk, you can purchase a balance board that you can stand on during the day. Like a stability ball, a balance board focuses you to correct your posture and keep your core engaged.
  • Alternate between sitting and standing. If you’re forced to sit at a desk all day, take a 3 to 4 minute break every hour. Get up and walk to the water cooler or go up and down a flight of stairs a few times. If you’re watching TV, make an effort to move during the commercials. Stand up and jog in place or do some stretching.
  • After you eat your lunch, take a leisurely stroll with your co-workers; or suggest having a meeting while walking labs around your work building, if that’s an option, instead of sitting in a conference room for an hour.
  • Stand up whenever you have to make or receive a phone call. You can up the movement factor by shifting your weight from foot to foot every so often while you’re standing.
  • Every time you need to use the restroom, take the stairs to a facility on a different floor. Better yet, go two floors up.

Do you have any other ideas to keep you moving throughout the day at work? If so, we want to hear them!

Starting Your Day Right: How to Choose a Healthy Breakfast Cereal

cereal

According to ABC News, 31 percents of adults who actually eat breakfast (you should be one of those adults, by the way), choose cereal as their morning meal. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of them, of course, is convenience. Cold breakfast cereal is fast, it’s easy, and it can be portable. You can throw some dry cereal in a to-go container, bring it to work with you, and eat it right at your desk with some milk from your work cafeteria. No excuses, right?

The problem with cold breakfast cereal, though, is that they’re not all created equally when it comes to nutrition. Unfortunately, many of the cereals available, especially those marketed toward children, are full of sugar. It’s not just the obvious cereals that are way too sugary, though. Some of the cereals you might think are healthy, like raisin bran, can also start your morning off to a not-so-sweet start.

There’s literally a whole aisle in the supermarket devoted to breakfast cereal, so it can certainly be difficult to navigate the choices, especially when cereal marketers want you to think their cereal is the right choice by labeling them with things like “heart healthy” or “whole grain”. The answer to whether or not a cereal is a good choice always lies on the nutrition facts label, not on the claims made on the front of the box.

Start with Calories

At the top of every nutrition facts label, you’ll see a calorie count. When you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, you want to always choose a cereal that contains fewer than 250 calories per cup. It’s even better to find one that contains fewer than 120 calories per cup. When checking calories, pay close attention to the serving sizes listed on the label. Depending on the type of cereal (granola versus flakes, for instance) servings can vary from ½ cup to a full cup.

Move on To Fiber

Once you’ve figured out the calories per serving, next up is fiber. Fiber keeps you full, helps lower cholesterol and keeps you regular. Many people fall short of their daily fiber needs, so it’s always a good idea to start your day off with a healthy dose of fiber. Choose a cereal that contains at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. If you can find a cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, that’s even better.

Size Up the Sugar

Sugar is the area where many cereals fall short. Even if a cereal is high in fiber, it may still contain way too much sugar. Ideally, you want to choose a cold cereal that contains fewer than 5 grams of sugar per serving. It’s difficult to rely on the nutrition facts label alone though because it lists both sugar from natural sources, like raisins, and added sugar. Look at the ingredient list for words like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, rice syrup, sucrose, or dextrose. All of these words indicate that sugars have been added to the cereal – and they’re ingredients that you want to avoid.

Go Whole

Many cereals have claims on the front that boast that the cereal is “made with whole grains”. While this may be true, it doesn’t mean that the cereal contains enough whole grains to classify it as healthy. In order to figure out if a cereal is actually 100 percent whole grain, you’ll have to look to the ingredient list. One of the first two ingredients should be whole grain wheat or whole grains oats. If instead, the ingredient list contains enriched wheat or bleached wheat, it’s a good indication that the grains are refined and not the best choice.

What is your favorite cereal and how does it stack up against these recommendations?

Product of the Month! Mango-Plex with Raspberry Ketone

February may be the shortest month of the year, but there’s still plenty of time for you to crush your weight loss goals. We do want to make life a little easier for you, though, by offering one of our best selling supplements – Mango-Plex with Raspberry Ketone – as our FREE product of the month with 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!

mangoplex

There is a reason Mango-Plex with Raspberry Ketone is one of the top selling supplements here at Valley Medical. It’s loaded with beneficial ingredients, including African mango seed, green tea, green coffee bean, and the star of the show: raspberry ketones. Raspberry ketones get a lot of attention for their ability to boost metabolism and support weight loss*, but many people are not entirely sure what they are or how they work, so we’re here to clarify.

What Are They?

Raspberry ketones are natural substances that give raspberries their smell. Cranberries, kiwis, and blueberries also contain small amounts of raspberry ketones, but as the name implies (or rather states outright), the concentration is highest in raspberries. Raspberry ketones are used in small amounts in some processed foods as a natural flavor, but are also used in higher doses in weight loss supplements, like Mango-Plex.

How Do They Work?

Researchers became interested in raspberry ketones as a weight loss supplement when they noticed that the molecular structure was similar to that of two other substances already known to boost metabolism: capsaicin and synephrine. Because the structure was so similar, researchers concluded that raspberry ketones would work in the same way as these two metabolism-boosting supplements. Then they set out to test that theory.

The Science

Researchers’ suspicions were backed up when a 2010 animal study reported that raspberry ketones can help increase the breakdown of fat and stimulate the release of adiponectin, a hormone that helps boost metabolism and regulate blood sugar levels. In most cases, thinner people have higher adiponectin levels than people who are overweight. On the other hand, low levels of adiponectin are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Summary of Benefits

  • Aids in weight loss by increasing metabolism*
  • Lowers cholesterol levels due to the high fiber content helping to remove bad cholesterol*
  • Improves diabetes control by enhancing metabolic pathways linked to insulin resistance*
  • Regulates blood pressure by affecting the blood vessels*
  • Can have anti-cancer potential*
  • May have antibacterial properties*

If you’re interested in seeing what raspberry ketones – paired with several other metabolism-boosting ingredients – can do for you, take advantage of our February monthly special by coming in to either of our locations. No appointment necessary!

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.