Tag Archives: weight loss

Weight Loss Program Duration

Weight Loss Program Duration and Factors

Maintaining an ideal body weight range comes easier to some than others. If you are considered “overweight” or “obese”, weight loss can be tough, regardless of where you are on your journey.

Living at a higher weight means you’re at a higher risk for many serious health problems including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Losing even just a few pounds can improve your health, so every step in the right direction counts!

When your weight is in a healthy range:

  • Your body more efficiently circulates blood.
  • Your fluid levels are more easily managed.
  • You are less likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, gallstones, osteoarthritis, breathing problems and sleep apnea.
  • You may feel better about yourself and have more energy to make other positive health changes.

Losing weight sounds simple enough: To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. And to stay at a healthy weight, you need to balance healthy eating and physical activity. But it’s not always simple. You need to learn how to maintain a healthy weight for years to come, not just for a short amount of time. There are resources available to help you on your journey.

Factors That Affect Weight Loss

Gender: Fat-to-muscle ratio greatly affects your ability to lose weight. Because women typically have a greater fat-to-muscle ratio than men, they have a 5–10% lower RMR (resting metabolic rate) than men of the same height. This means that women generally burn 5–10% fewer calories than men at rest. Thus, men tend to lose weight quicker than women following a diet equal in calories.

Age: One of the many bodily changes that occur with aging is alterations in body composition — fat mass increases and muscle mass decreases. This change, along with other factors like the declining calorie needs of your major organs, contributes to a lower RMR. In fact, adults over age 70 can have RMRs that are 20–25% lower than those of younger adults. This decrease in RMR can make weight loss increasingly difficult with age.

one night of sleep deprivation has been shown to increase your desire for high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods.

Other factors: Several other factors can affect your weight loss rate, including:

  • Medications. Many medications, such as antidepressants and other antipsychotics, can promote weight gain or hinder weight loss
  • Medical conditions. Illnesses, including depression and hypothyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too few metabolism-regulating hormones, can slow weight loss and encourage weight gain
  • Family history and genes. There is a well-established genetic component associated with people who have overweight or obesity, and it may affect weight loss
  • Yo-yo dieting. This pattern of losing and regaining weight can make weight loss increasingly difficult with each attempt, due to a decrease in RMR

How Long Does It Take To See Weight Loss Results?

Individual weight-loss experiences and time frames can vary heavily. However, most people who start dieting by cutting out a certain amount of calories each day will see results within one to two weeks, even if it’s just one pound lost.

The more intense the lifestyle and dietary changes you undertake, the faster your weight loss results will be noticeable, and the more dramatic those results will be.

For example, if a person cuts out only 100 cal from their daily diet, they might see a weight loss of one pound or so within two to three weeks if they are already somewhat overweight. If a person cuts 500 cal from their daily diet and performs 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day, they could theoretically see weight loss results of one to two pounds per week for the first 4-8 weeks of their weight loss journey. In the earliest days of weight loss, the first weeks are usually the most dramatic and noticeable.

There are additional means that can help you on your weight loss journey. How quickly you see results can depend on how your body responds to these programs.

The initial weeks of a new diet or exercise regimen are typically marked by more significant weight loss results. This is usually a result of water loss, not necessarily body fat loss. Our bodies need a certain amount of water to store carbohydrates, which our bodies then use for energy later down the road. As we eat fewer carbohydrates – or as we give our bodies fewer carbohydrates to store for long-term energy by exercising more regularly – our bodies detect that they need less water. Therefore, our bodies shed that additional water weight. Many individuals find that their stomachs become flatter, or their weight loss results are concentrated around the abdomen. These early losses can feel quite dramatic because they are. Only two cups of water can translate into about one pound of bodyweight.

The initial weeks of excellent weight loss results are also important for maintaining motivation. Most weight loss journeys take months, if not years, to complete. Getting early, positive results can motivate you to stick with a dietary regimen even when the results slow down.


It’s important to note that weight loss results aren’t everything when it comes to looking great or showing results of your efforts.

While a body weight scale can be helpful when targeting certain weight loss benchmarks, it’s not always reliable. You might notice that you look a little better but haven’t lost any weight according to the scale. That could be, for example, because you packed on additional muscle but shed some body weight, so you look better even if your weight is the same.

Our clothing can significantly affect whether weight loss results are noticeable.
Clothes that conform to the body or that are more well-fitted will show off your new shape more dramatically and may help your weight-loss results seem even more dramatic than they might be. You know whether or not that pair of jeans feels looser or tighter, despite what the number on the scale says.

Keeping The Weight Off

Maintaining weight loss can take just as much effort as losing it. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Know your triggers, roadblocks and favorite excuses. We all have them!
  • This is a long-term effort. The first months or even years after significant weight loss may be the hardest. But if you can stick it out you’re more likely to make it in the long run.
  • Learn from others who’ve succeeded and follow their example.
  • Make sure you have a social support network of friends, family and health professionals who will support your new healthy habits.
  • Find healthy ways to motivate yourself to stick with it.
  • Hold yourself accountable for the decisions you make.
  • For people trying to keep weight off, exercise is essential in addition to a proper diet. The American Heart Association recommends 200 to 300 minutes of physical activity a week to keep those extra pounds from creeping back.

In Summary

It can take anywhere from one week to several months to see noticeable weight loss results. It all depends on your daily activity level, your exercise, and your diet. Combining good exercise, a smart diet, and calorie-burning activities along with utilizing the medical expertise of professionals, can help you reach your goals.

Want to know more about how Valley Medical may help you reach your wellness goals? If you are interested in learning more about any of our weight loss programs, we’re happy to offer a consultation. Booking an appointment is unnecessary as we are a walk-in-only clinic. Simply come in at your convenience, Mon, Tue, Thu, or Fri between 9 am-4:30 pm, or Saturdays from 8 am to 1:30 pm, or you can contact us HERE with any questions.

stick to your weight loss goals

How to Stick to Your Weight Loss Goals Through the Holiday Season

Sticking to your weight loss plan is hard no matter what time of year it is–the holidays can make it even more challenging. Here’s how to overcome the temptation to throw your diet out the window and instead stick to your weight loss goals while enjoying the occasional holiday treat.

The holiday season is here and that means more than gifts, celebrations, and pretty lights. It also means it’s the time of year when we have so many of our favorite holiday treats. Whether it’s a family tradition to have a special holiday dessert or the temptation of all those holiday flavors at your favorite ice cream parlors and coffee shops–it seems like there’s more delicious food to try than ever at this time of year.

If you’re on a diet, that means that this can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. 

Quickly following Thanksgiving, which is one day of feasting, we have the whole of December with multiple holidays and more gatherings than any other time of year. That means there’s more alcohol flowing and more food for eating so you have more opportunities to slip back into your old eating habits. The stress comes in when you know you want to achieve a weight loss goal but you also want to enjoy your special holiday.

When you feel like you have to avoid your favorite foods or feel left out by turning down gatherings to make sure you stick to your diet, it’s a downer for your whole holiday season. That’s why so many people end up giving up on their diet around the holiday season.

The good news is that the holiday doesn’t have to be a stressful time if you want to lose weight. It’s possible to stay on track with your goals for the month of December and enjoy all the holiday gatherings. 

5 Tips to stick to your weight loss goals

  1. Get clear about your goals

The first and most important step for weight loss is to get very clear about what your weight loss goals are. It’s impossible to achieve your goal if you aren’t super clear on what it is.

But here’s the thing about your weight loss goals during the holiday season–they might have to be slightly different than at the other times of the year. Whether you travel or have family visiting, or just have more social gatherings to attend, you likely cannot follow the same routine you typically do. This makes it difficult to stick to your regular diet plans.

So with that in mind, it’s helpful to create short-term goals for your most busy and tempting weeks in the holiday season.

These short-term goals help you get through the day-to-day of the holiday season and help you keep the few weeks of the holiday in perspective. This is just a few weeks of the year–you don’t have to give up on your diet just because there’s more temptation at this time than others.

2. It’s okay to make slight adjustments to your diet at this time of the year

While adjusting your short-term goals for the holiday season, you can make minor changes to your diet too. Take a look at your calendar and see when you’ll be expected to attend holiday gatherings where non-diet-friendly food will be amply available. Consider what your plans with family and friends are that revolve around special meals and treats for the holiday.

To be able to both enjoy the holiday and stay on track, you can work your favorite holiday treats into your diet in moderation. Consider your regular ideal calorie intake and how you may fit your favorite holiday dessert or special meal into your plan for the week.

Remember that these adjustments are temporary. You are not defined by eating your favorite chocolate at the holiday or by having a deviating one day of the year to enjoy quality time and traditions with friends and family. The very next day, you can get right back to your typical diet for weight loss success.

3. Have a post-holiday plan for how to get back into the swing of your regular diet

Once you’ve created your smaller goals to get through the holiday season with balance and moderation, it’s important to get back to your weight loss diet quickly. It’s easy to use the holidays as a means to completely give up on your goals as many do. But it’s easier to stick with it if you have a plan to get back on track again. Here are some tips to get back to your regular diet:

  • Create a plan for how to keep away from food that’s not part of your regular diet
  • Make sure any holiday treats aren’t left in your home or within easy reach
  • Get back on your regular meal plan and schedule

4. Have a weight-loss buddy so you can hold each other accountable 

Achieving weight loss goals is easier with others. If you know that others you’re close with also want to lose weight, make plans to help each other stick to your diet goals during the holiday season. This can take form in a number of ways:

  • Agree to follow the same daily diet and track your results
  • Get together to meal prep with your weight-loss buddy to follow through on cooking what you’re supposed to according to your goals
  • Check in with each other if either of you feels tempted to deviate from your agreed-upon plan

4. Opt for making healthier versions of your favorite holiday recipes

Finally, a simple way to prevent eating too many more calories during the holiday is to adjust your favorite recipes. Look for diet-friendly options for your favorite meals and desserts that cut back on sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt. Opt to make meals with as many fruits, veggies, and other whole foods as possible. You can still enjoy delicious food while being calorie-conscious.

Even if you aren’t the one cooking, see what healthy options are on the menu for holiday dinners at restaurants. Although the temptation is always there with heavy comfort foods, almost every restaurant has smaller and more calorie-friendly options available. When in doubt, enjoy your meal out and factor those calories into the rest of your day by cutting out calories from other meals in your day to stay on target for your daily goals.

Stick to your weight loss goals and start the new year off right

As part of your post-holiday plan to achieve your weight loss goals, we’re here at Valley Medical Weight Loss to help you.

You’re more likely to achieve your weight loss goals with the support of doctors and weight loss professionals. We offer weight loss programs that fit anyone’s goals, no matter how much weight you want to lose. You can start one of our programs or try our weight loss supplements. We have options that suit any lifestyle and any goal. 

When you come in for a consultation with one of our doctors, you’ll get to discuss your health history, your lifestyle, and your ideal weight goal as they help you determine the best weight loss plan for you.

Contact your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today to get on the right track for 2022.

effective diets for weight loss

5 Effective Diets for Weight Loss

Learn 5 effective diets for weight loss so you can better understand which diet might be better for your weight loss goals.

With so many diets out there, you may wonder: Which diets truly work? 

It seems like every week there is a new fad diet and a lot of hype around a “secret” solution for weight loss. 

The truth is that what it takes to lose weight isn’t much of a secret. There are a couple of features your diet should have if you want to lose weight–and the most effective diets for weight loss all have these things in common.

What is necessary for weight loss?

There are certain similarities between most diets, especially if you’re following that diet to lose weight. When you start a diet to lose weight, you’ll want to ensure your diet helps you do these two things: achieve energy balance and cut out processed foods.

  1. Achieve a calorie deficit

To lose weight, it’s important to achieve the right energy balance. 

Energy balance is when the number of calories you eat is equal to the number of calories you burn. There are a lot of factors that influence your energy balance, like exercise, genetics and body composition. But one of the most important factors is diet because that is how you consume calries that get used by your body.

When you want to lose weight, you want to change the balance of energy in your body. Instead of taking in too many calories to burn, or instead of taking in just enough to remain at the same weight, you want to achieve what’s called a calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit is when you consume fewer calories than your body burns overall.

Achieving a calorie deficit is important for any of the effient diets for weight loss. But it’s also true that your weight is related to many factors of your body and health working together. That is why it’s important to not just focus on calories alone but to also look at other health factors and activity level when you start a diet to lose weight.

2. Cut out processed foods

Even diets as polar opposite as the carnivore diet and the vegan diet have one thing in common: they cut out the vast majority of highly processed foods found in the American diet. You’ll find that this is true of almost every diet out there.

Food is considered processed if it’s been altered in any way during the preparation or packaging process. Some processed foods make only slight modifications–like baby carrots or canned vegetables. But other processed foods change so much that they lose their original nutritional value and have so many additives that they’re in many ways unrecognizable compared with the original food it was derived from.

Processed foods are particularly unhealthy because of the high levels of sodium, fat, or sugar they contain. Diets high in all of these are correlated with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions and diseases.

As far as weight loss, these foods are particularly damaging to weight goals because they are not filling but have more calories than whole, natural foods. It’s easier to eat more calories than you should when you eat heavily processed foods. And it’s made especially easy to overeat when you consider how addicting these foods are as well.

5 effective diets for weight loss

Although it’s important to achieve energy balance and reduce your processed food intake, there are multiple effective diets for weight loss. There is not a single, one size fits all solution that everyone who wants to lose weight must follow.

Instead, with the right knowledge and support, you can achieve your weight loss goals with a diet that suits you. There are diets that emphasize carbs, and other diets that cut carbs out. There are diets that manage the timing of meals while other diets are more flexible.

You can choose to eat food that suits your taste and lifestyle while still losing weight.

  1. Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is consistently ranked as one of the best diets–if not the best–for overall health. It is one of the most helpful diets to get diabetes and heart disease under control.

The diet can be helpful specifically for weight loss goals as well, but it does require being proactive about calorie counting. There is a bigger variety in what you can eat on the Mediterranean diet versus other diets. It’s a diet if you want more flexibility and don’t need as much structure.

The Mediterranean diet is also a primarily plant-based diet, but you can eat meat in moderation. Another bonus of this diet is that some who want to be able to continue drinking wine in moderation are able to on this diet. While limiting alcohol to rare instances is best for overall health, you can drink a glass of wine a few nights in a week on this diet.

Check out our Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet article to see the whole picture on why this diet is ranked by doctors as being the best.

2. DASH Diet

The DASH diet is right up there with the Mediterraean diet as one of the best and healthiest options. It’s especially helpful for those who want to improve their heart health.

DASH is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet emphasizes choosing foods with lower sodium content and eating predominantly fresh, whole foods as much as possible. It’s a flexible diet compared to many others, and is one of the most sustainable diets for that reason. Plus, when combined with a calorie deficit, it’s a healthful option to lose weight.

Look at our Why the DASH Diet Is One of the Best Diets article to get a better idea if this is a diet that can help you achieve your health and weight goals.

3. Keto Diet

The Keto diet is an increasingly popular diet. It cuts out carbs and emphasizes eating proteins and fats. The diet is high in meat, healthy fats, while low in carbs.

Many have cited successful weight loss results from the Keto diet. But it is one of the more extreme diets because it restricts a lot of the foods you can eat. Some find it difficult to sustain for the long run.

Read our Keto Diet article to get a better idea if it’s right for you and how to follow the diet.

4. Intermittent Fasting Diets

Intermittent fasting is when you use timing of meals versus strict elimination of foods to manage your diet. When you do intermittent fasting, you don’t eat meals at traditional times on a consistent basis. Instead you go for extended periods of time without eating, and then eat what you normally would for the rest of the day.

Learn more about intermittent fasting in our Does Intermittent Fasting Really Work for Weight Loss? article.

5. Paleo Diet

The goal of the Paleo diet is to eat as close as possible to what our ancestors ate. It’s one of the best diets for cutting out processed foods and emphasizing fresh, whole foods. It has been connected with weight loss and improved health outcomes like lower cholesterol.

Check out our Benefits of the Paleo Diet article to learn more about following the Paleo diet.

Get a diet tailored to your goals and the best weight loss support in the Valley

At Valley Medical Weight Loss we help you achieve your weight loss goals with personalized support from our doctors.

You are more likely to lose weight when you have the support of a professional. We offer a number of weight loss programs and diet plans. When you follow any of them, our doctors learn your health history and track your progress to make sure you lose weight safely and efficiently.

To get your first appointment with us and finally achieve your weight loss goals, visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.

losing weight makes you healthier

6 Benefits of Weight Loss: How Losing Weight Makes You Healthier

While looking and feeling more like yourself is one major reason you may have decided to lose weight, your overall health drastically improves. Learn six of the ways losing weight makes you healthier.

Although much of the focus on weight loss is on our outward appearance, losing weight changes you from the inside out.

When you lose weight, you don’t just look better, your health improves too. It’s the reason why doctors all over the country are concerned about the obesity epidemic and want to educate people on healthy lifestyles. Healthy weight loss plans save lives. 

Losing weight can increase your lifespan and your overall quality of life.

How losing weight makes you healthier

  1. Improved mental health

Losing weight helps improve an often-overlooked measure of wellbeing — your mental health.

Weight loss helps improve your mental health in a few ways:

  • Improves sleep quality: If you are overweight, you’re more likely to have difficulty sleeping. The excess weight around your neck can obstruct your airways as you sleep. Some who are overweight even develop sleeping disorders. Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to be disrupted, is common in those who are overweight. But losing weight can help get your sleeping back to normal again.
  • Improves self-esteem: Many people experience a boost in their self-esteem when they lose weight. To start, activities that promote weight loss can also help you get a boost of happiness too. During exercise, your body releases endorphins—molecules in your body that make you feel exhilarated. On top of that, there are studies that show how losing weight helps you feel better about your body image and overall self-worth.
  • Improves energy: Extra weight makes it harder to energize your body to move. As a result, when you lose weight, it takes your body extra energy to perform daily tasks like walking up stairs, cleaning, and taking the dog for a walk. It also takes the pressure off your respiratory system and improves your sleep quality, giving you more energy and making it easier to move. 

Increased energy, better self-esteem, and nightly high-quality sleep are all important parts of maintaining your mental health. If you feel that your weight might be contributing to mental health struggles, getting on a plan to lose weight can be the first step to feeling like yourself again.

2. Increased mobility

Carrying excess weight makes it harder to get around. Losing weight can make it easier for you to do regular daily tasks without feeling exhausted or in pain. On top of that, with increased mobility often comes reduced joint pain. Being overweight can cause your joints to become inflamed and damaged. Part of the cause is the extra pressure the weight puts on your joints. The extra weight can cause your joints to wear down and experience more friction than they otherwise would. That damage is what causes stiffness and pain in your joints.

3. Decreased risk of cancer

Cancer is a disease where cells when your body grow and divide uncontrollably. These rapidly dividing cells destroy healthy body tissue and can be fatal.

Losing weight helps you drastically cut your risk of developing certain cancers. Some of the cancers you can help prevent by getting to a healthy weight are: 

  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Endometrial cancers

While the link between being overweight and getting cancer isn’t fully understood, there is a correlation between being overweight and getting cancer. Research done by the American Cancer Society suggests that complications caused by obesity account for 7% of all cancer deaths. Their research also finds that weight has a greater role to play in some cancers versus others. They specifically cite that weight plays a critical role in the development of endometrial cancers, with more than half of those cases being influenced by weight.

4. Reduced risk of diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that develops when you become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone produced in your pancreas that helps your body use the sugar you eat. Those with diabetes have to regularly track their “blood glucose level” — in other words, the amount of glucose, or sugar, in their blood because their bodies no longer respond to insulin. Too much sugar in your blood (called hyperglycemia) can cause damage to blood vessels and increase the chance of stroke, kidney problems, and heart disease.

One of the biggest risks of weight gain is developing diabetes. It turns out, that the majority of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. As a result, type 2 diabetes is a treatable and preventable disease. 

By losing weight, you can reverse type 2 diabetes if you already have it. That doesn’t mean symptoms or the need for medication will be eliminated in everyone. But it does help improve insulin sensitivity and prevent developing diabetes if you don’t have it.

5. Improved heart health 

Your heart is greatly impacted by your weight. One of the most important ways losing weight makes you healthier is by taking pressure off your heart. 

When you lose weight, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. This lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Your blood pressure is the pressure against the walls of your blood vessels. When pressure is too high, it damages your blood vessels and makes it harder for blood to get to important organs. 

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that’s found in your body. While we often hear about cholesterol in a bad light, it’s not all bad. We need some cholesterol to stay healthy. But with high fat and highly processed diets, it’s common to have too much cholesterol buildup in your arteries.

Both high blood pressure and cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease. But losing weight can decrease your blood pressure and reduce your cholesterol. 

6. Reduced risk of stroke

Similar to your heart health, high cholesterol and blood pressure levels can lead to a greater risk of stroke.

A stroke is when the supply of oxygen is reduced to your brain. The shortage can be because of a blood vessel breaking, blockage, or narrowing the blood vessels. As a result, blood cannot reach brain cells and the cells can die. It’s a dangerous health risk as some who suffer a stroke can recover, but others face life-long health complications after the fact.

Losing weight can reduce your risk of stroke by lowering the chance of obstruction. Not only that, but strokes are associated with other health conditions related to obesity. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol all increase the risk of a stroke.

Make your weight loss happen faster

When losing weight makes you healthier, it’s normal if you want a solution that can help you lose weight fast. When you’re ready to achieve your weight loss goals, our doctors and staff at Valley Medical Weight Loss are here to help you. We help our patients lose weight quickly and keep the weight off. Our patients get personalized diet plans that work and the healthy lifestyle knowledge they need to stay healthy for the long run. And, we make sure you get regular check-ins and support from our doctors. 

For a premier weight loss program and supplements that can make your weight loss easier, book a consult with one of our doctors at your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.


How to Get Liposuction Results Without the Surgery

Liposuction is an option for some who want to lose a lot of weight. But as an invasive procedure, there’s a lot of recovery and complication concerns that come along with it. What if it were possible to get liposuction results without going under the knife? 

There’s no doubt that losing weight can require a lot of effort. You have to make major lifestyle changes that happen that are challenging to stick to. Some weight loss plans require medications and supplements. And sometimes, surgery helps those who want to jumpstart their fat loss process.

One of the most common surgical options for fast weight loss is liposuction.

Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure that gets rid of excess fat that is difficult to get rid of through diet and exercise. It’s an option for those who want to lose a lot of weight fast and need the additional support to remove particularly stubborn fat. 

But liposuction also requires going under the knife and a long recovery time. That means that while it has a high rate of success, there is also a higher rate of complications that come with surgery and recovery.

But what if you don’t want to go under the knife to lose weight fast?

The alternatives to liposuction

There are alternatives to liposuction out there. And we don’t mean long-term strategies like exercise and diet—but those are important too.

You can lose weight fast with results that compare to liposuction with two other options: cool sculpting and lipo laser.

Cool sculpting is a completely non-invasive procedure that works by freezing fat cells. 

During the procedure, your doctor will use the CoolSculpting applicator on the treatment areas. The applicator freezes and kills the fat cells in that area. When these cells die, they are processed out of your body over the next few weeks.

Research shows that it’s safe and effective, with the ability to reduce fat by 23% in each treatment. But it’s not an ideal procedure for anyone with skin conditions or blood clotting disorders.

One of the benefits of the cool sculpting procedure is that it’s not invasive and can take as little as 35 minutes for the procedure. But the results do take a few weeks and up to two months to be noticeable.

Lipo Laser, on the other hand, produces immediate results.

Lipo laser is only minimally invasive but still has little to no recovery time. The procedure is so minimally invasive that it only requires local anesthesia to comfortably undergo.

When you get a lipo laser treatment, your doctor will make a tiny incision in the skin after they numb the area. They then put a tiny laser that liquefies fat under the skin. Once the fat has been liquefied, then a small cannula, or tube, is used to suck the fat from under the skin.

Any swelling or bruising is minimal, especially when compared with the effects of liposuction. You can also return to your normal life in just a couple of days, although strenuous physical activity isn’t recommended for a few weeks after the procedure.

Strawberry Lipo Laser

Another option is the Strawberry Lipo Laser.  It is one of the FDA-approved Lipo Laser treatments available and has proven to shrink fat cells and create tighter and smoother skin.

How does the Strawberry Lipo Laser work

The procedure works by using a laser to safely target fat cells just under the skin. When the laser hits these cells, it creates open pores. Then, when those cells are open, they release the excess fatty acids, glycerol, and water stored inside. These fluids are processed and released through your lymphatic system, and the fat cells shrink in size.

The shrinkage in cell size is typically noticeable immediately. But to see a complete reduction in fat cell size, it is typically recommended to get up to 8 treatments. This helps to target stubborn fat in different areas to achieve your ideal weight and tighten your skin. 

Side effects of the Strawberry Lipo Laser

The Strawberry Lipo Laser procedure comes with fewer side effects. There is no bruising, swelling, or downtime required. The minimal recovery time makes it an ideal option for anyone who wants to get quick results without the potential complications of traditional liposuction.

Who can get the Strawberry Lipo Laser?

Just like with liposuction and other weight loss procedures, there are limitations on who can get the procedure.  The Strawberry Lipo Laser is typically for those who are within 30% of their ideal weight. 

The procedure does help you lose weight faster than diet and exercise alone. But if someone is not within their ideal range, they will have to use other methods like medications, diets, and exercise to reach their ideal weight.

There are also health complications that make someone ineligible for the Strawberry Lipo Laser. If you have any of the following, you are not likely to be recommended for the procedure:

  • Pacemaker
  • Unregulated hypertension
  • Kidney or liver disorders
  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Tattoos in the targeted areas

We help you lose weight fast

At Valley Medical Weight Loss Center, our doctors and specialists help you achieve your unique weight loss goals quickly and safely.

We offer the Strawberry Lipo Laser for patients who are ready to lose the stubborn fat that hasn’t been easily lost with diet and exercise. Plus we provide personalized diet plans that help you lose weight fast. 

Our patients have high success rates not just because of the quality of our weight loss plans, but also because of the support from our doctors. Our patients get unparalleled support from everyone on our team because we know that your life changes when you have the right support to achieve your weight loss goals.

To start your weight loss journey with a personalized program and the support of doctors who listen to your needs, come in for your first consultation today.

Plant-based Diet Can Help You Lose Weight

How a Plant-based Diet Can Help You Lose Weight

More and more research shows the benefits of plant-based diets for maintaining a healthy weight. Here’s how to choose the right plant-based foods to improve your overall health and lose weight.

Plant-based diets are becoming more popular in the US with 23% of people choosing a diet of mostly plant foods.

The reason is because of the growing amount of research in recent decades about the benefits of increasing plant intake and cutting back on meat, especially red meat.

While there are a lot of ways to do a plant-based diet, and some are more strict than others, the research shows that getting more plants in your diet is beneficial for your health.

So let’s break down some of the most common plant-based diets and how a plant-based diet can benefit your weight loss goals.

A plant-based diet can help you lose weight

A plant-based diet done right can help you lose weight.

“Done right” means eating whole foods instead of heavily processed plant-based foods.

For example, highly-process cereals are a plant-based option. There are no meat or animal products in them. But because they’re highly processed, they’re high in extra sugar and calories. Plus they end up not being very filling and you have to eat more to get full.

So highly processed cereal is plant-based but it is not a healthy or weight-loss friendly option.

Instead, to lose weight on a plant-based diet

So rather than cereal, choose oatmeal mixed with fruits, cinnamon, and honey to achieve a sweet and palatable flavor. 

When you choose whole foods and complex carbs over the highly processed plant options, then a plant-based diet is effective for losing weight.

One study found that those on a plant-based diet were able to cut calories more effectively than those including animal products in their diet. This is due to the nature of whole plant-based foods being higher in fiber and are more filling. So a full plant-based meal is more likely to keep you fuller longer and help you consume fewer calories.

Another review of 12 different studies found that those who followed a plant-based diet to lose weight lost significantly more than those who kept meat in their diets.

So if weight loss is your goal, a plant-based diet can help you lose weight. Plus going plant-based provides other health benefits as well.

Other health benefits of a plant-based diet

Diets low in meat and animal products are associated with lower incidents of many diseases and conditions.

According to Harvard Medical, those on a plant-based diet are less likely to develop:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cancer

So while losing weight on a plant-based diet is a beneficial short-term goal, cutting meat out of your diet or consuming it in moderation also has long-term health benefits.

Types of plant-based diets

Choosing a plant-based diet isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. 

While the vegan and vegetarian diets are the most commonly talked about, the category of plant-based is much broader than that.

The reason is that when you talk about a plant-based diet, the key is in thinking about what foods make up the foundation of your diet.

In other words, what do you eat the most of?

On any plant-based diet, plants will make up the majority of your diet. That means that while some people make plants 100% of their diet, for many others plants are the majority of their diet and they also eat small amounts of animal products.

That’s why the percentage of plant-based eaters is as high as 23% of the population.

If plant-based meant plants ONLY, then the percentage would be much lower. Only 2% of people consider themselves vegan or only eat plants at all times.

Below are some of the most common plant-based options out there, plus the pros and cons of choosing them.

Vegan diet

The vegan diet is one that only allows for plants. 

Many people find it unsustainable in the long term.

While restaurants and our culture as a whole grow more accommodating to a vegan diet, it’s still not easy to find balanced vegan options everywhere.

It’s also a restrictive diet. While there are many plant-based foods to choose from for a varied diet, you also have to cut out a lot of foods that are a staple in diets all over the world.

You can count out things like honey, eggs, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, or anything with gelatin in the ingredient list. And of course, any meat.

While for some removing all of this from the diet is possible, for others it’s a challenge that makes a vegan diet too difficult to maintain.

But there less restrictive plant-based diets out there.

Vegetarian diet

The vegetarian diet is the less strict version of the vegan diet.

You primarily eat plants but can eat some animal-based foods.

The deciding factor on a vegetarian diet is if an animal was killed to get the product. So you can still eat eggs, honey, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. But gelatin and any meat like chicken, pork, or fish would still be off the list.

This option gives a bit more flexibility than the vegan diet. But to be done right, like the vegan diet, the vegetarian diet requires focusing on adding non-processed foods to your diet.

It’s easy to find highly processed vegetarian options and think it’s good for your health because it’s plant-based. But remember that whether you’re choosing vegan or vegetarian, the emphasis should be on choosing a wide variety of whole foods.

Flexitarian diet

A flexitarian diet is what it sounds like—a flexible diet.

The term was coined and written about by Dawn Jackson Blatner in her 2009 book, The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life.

It’s a diet where someone will primarily eat plants and veg-based protein sources. But they will not say no to the occasional animal-based product or meat. 

They may choose to rarely cook it themselves or just save their meat-based meal for the rare special occasion. The purpose of the diet is to make eating more plants a consistent habit without the restrictions of a vegan, or vegetarian diet.

The flexitarian meal plan as put forward in the book also helps with weight loss by keeping calorie count around 1,500 each day. This is within a reasonable window to make weight loss progress over time. As a result, this diet is one that’s good for weight loss and for overall health as you reap the benefits of going primarily plant-based.

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet doesn’t get talked about much in plant-based circles because it still includes meat in moderation.

But the diet is plant-based and predominantly made up of whole fruits, vegetables, and legumes. But you can still consume dairy and some meat.

Not only have studies shown that they’re good for heart health, managing diabetes, and weight loss. It’s also one of the most sustainable diets.

These more flexible plant-based diets are sustainable because the foundation is whole foods and plants. But there’s still room to enjoy the foods you enjoy in moderation. 

For example, with the Mediterranean diet, you can have red once a month. Fish or chicken a few times a week. You can have dairy in the form of Greek yogurt or low-fat cheese daily. And you can have wine.

The thing about dieting is that losing weight fast is only one piece of the plan. 

You also need a plan for how to keep that weight off in the long run.

And that’s why flexible diets, like the Mediterranean diet, that allow you to eat a variety of foods win across the board for weight loss and overall health. They’re both healthy and sustainable.

Looking for support to make long-term weight loss?

We offer a range of options for our clients because we know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to weight loss.

That’s why we provide a range of diet plans, injections, and supplements that help you lose weight safely and with the support of our team.

With us, you can have a steady weight loss strategy under the supervision of our doctors.

You also need a plan to eat well and keep losing weight for the long run. And that’s where we continue to support you until you achieve your goals.

We get to know you, your health, and your diet preferences to create a long-lasting and sustainable plan. 

While a plant-based diet can help you lose weight, we know there are many options out there to help you lose your goals.

Whether that involves a flexible diet or a more strict diet will depend on your goals and the advice from your doctor. But there is a way for you to lose weight and feel healthy again.

We’ve helped hundreds of people across the Valley and we’re here to help you too when you’re ready.

Reach out to us with any questions or visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location to start your weight loss plan today.

best weight loss programs

How to Choose the Best Weight Loss Program for You

When you’re looking for the right weight loss plan for you, here’s what you need to look out for so you get the best solution and results for your health and goals.

There’s an overwhelming number of weight loss programs out there.

Some you can go through alone, while others give you much more support.

If you’ve decided you want to find support for your weight loss goals…you’re making the best decision to make your weight loss goals a reality—truly.

There’s growing research that shows the power of having a support network and the guidance of professionals to help you reach your weight loss goals faster.

Whether you enroll in a program to get support or you start a weight loss goal with a friend, you are more likely to successfully lose weight when you don’t do it alone.

But knowing how helpful support is doesn’t help you narrow down your options. There are so many programs and clinics that offer such services—how do you know which one to pick?

Your best bet for finding a weight loss program that’s worth your time and money means looking for the right things. Like professionals who care, accountability, and a track record of success.

Here’s what you should look for and ask about before signing up for any weight loss program to make sure you choose the right option and see results.

What you’ll find in the best weight loss programs

They aren’t selling miracles

We’ll be the first to admit how marvelous it would be if there was a miracle option for weight loss.

But even on our fastest diets and weight loss programs, there’s still a level of commitment and dedication you must stick to.

And that’s going to be true to get results out of anything to make a long-term change to your body and health. 

So be wary of anyone saying they’ve found a “secret” or their patients experience miracle weight loss.

You benefit from working with doctors, nutritionists, and fitness professionals who understand the science behind how your body works and can give you the best, safest options for your weight loss goals.

They won’t promise the impossible and will be real with you about what you can achieve in a given amount of time.

That’s not to say there aren’t options to lose weight fast. There are. But they aren’t secrets that the rest of the medical community won’t be aware of.

They offer professional guidance

If you want support, you want to seek out help from a doctor or other weight loss specialist. Someone who has studied the science behind weight gain and weight loss. 

As tempting as it may be just follow the same plan that worked for your friend or family member, they aren’t an expert and they can only tell you anecdotally what worked for them. And sometimes it may not even be a fully accurate picture of what they went through.

Here are some things that the right professionals will factor in when they meet you to determine your path forward.

Health history

The best weight loss program for you depends on your health history. If you have allergies or certain medical conditions, then some weight loss programs will be better for you than others.

A real professional is going to go over your health history. They won’t prescribe a solution without knowing what your body might be sensitive to or what could cause complications.

Past challenges and successes with weight loss

Similarly to your health history, finding the best solution for weight loss will depend on what factors contributed to weight gain in the first place. The reason losing weight isn’t easy is because it’s connected to so much in our history, long-term habits, and beliefs about ourselves and food.

And on top of that, it’s important to consider what you have tried in the past. What has been particularly difficult and what is easier for you to manage?

Some people have an easier time with intuitive eating while others thrive with more structure and restrictive diets. 

When the key is to create long-term health changes, a professional can help you see what works well in your weight loss plans versus what doesn’t serve you.

It’s often easier for them to do so as an outside third-party observer. Whereas we tend to often overlook our own failures and successes. Usually because of how connected we feel each up and down in our progress.

Health goals

By factoring in all of your health history, challenges, and successes, a professional can draft the right program for your goals.

Everyone has different health goals. And a healthy weight will be different for everyone. So a professional will listen to your health goals and give you the right plan to get there.


Support is one of the most helpful pieces for anyone on a weight loss journey.

But not all support is equal. You want a support team that’s an interactive part of your success. That shows up and takes initiative, and encourages you to do the same.

Here’s what the right kind of support for achieving weight loss looks like:


It’s not easy to lose weight. And we know that the more you want to lose, the harder it is.

That’s why being held accountable is so helpful to get you there.

On the right program, you’ll have someone to check in on a regular basis. Someone who can keep you on track, remind you why you started, and encourage you when you want to give up. This kind of accountability is one of the biggest factors that make it easier to lose weight when you work with a weight loss professional.


Losing weight is never as simple as “eat less, exercise more.” If it was, no one would struggle with their weight.

That’s why you need someone who understands what you’re going through. Maybe they’ve been where you are before. Or through all their research and work in weight loss they deeply understand what you face and how challenging it is.

You deserve someone who understands the ups and downs of your journey and won’t make you feel like a failure when you make a mistake every once in a while.


The right program will help you learn how to make long-term goals a reality.

When you decide to lose weight, you want to do it for the long term, right?

The way you make these changes stick is with the right knowledge and strategy that you can one day implement without the same level of support.

The best weight loss professionals explain to you every step of the way why they’re making certain recommendations and how you can keep this strategy going for the long term.

Why work with us at Valley Medical Weight Loss

We know how challenging it is to lose weight, but we also know how to inspire and motivate you so you can achieve those goals.

We provide a range of services for our patients and what we suggest always depends on where they’re starting out and where they want to end up.

Here’s what patients have said about working with us:

  • “What an AMAZING experience I have had here at Valley Medical Weight Loss. Everyone from the check in process up to meeting the doctor was simply, easy and stress free…” – German C.


  • “I am down 12 pounds and have only been at it 2 weeks. The B12 and the fat blockers give you energy and leave you feeling refreshed.. More than the pounds that disappear, the inches disappear! If you are like me, you may not know where to start when trying to eat healthy. No worries. They will help you with meal suggestions and planning.” – Amy R.


  • “I’ve been eating healthy and exercising regularly but felt like I needed some extra help. I’ve been going for a month and can see the difference! The doctor I saw was so informative and everyone on staff is knowledgeable and supportive.” – Danielle B.

The reason our clients have great results is that they get accountability from knowledgeable and compassionate doctors every step of the way.

Many of our patients keep the weight off because our doctors teach them how to live a healthy life in a way that’s empowering and enjoyable. 

We want to see you reach the weight that makes you feel like yourself and be able to stay there for the rest of your life. 

We know there are scientifically-backed ways to lose weight faster than you could alone. Based on your health history, goals, and current needs, we create the right program for you. This may include injections or it may not. It might include a more restrictive diet, or one with intuitive or flexible eating. Some of our clients exercise a lot (and discover they enjoy it!) while others do light exercise they found to enjoy. 

The point is that we have the capacity to the best weight loss program for you. One that will get you results and that you can enjoy in the process. 

When you’re ready to get the support you deserve for your weight loss goals, visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss center to see how we can help you.

benefits of the Paleo diet

Benefits of the Paleo Diet: Does It Work For Weight Loss?

If you’ve been wondering if the Paleo diet is worth a try, here are some of the benefits of the Pale diet—and whether or not it actually works for weight loss.

The Paleo diet—sometimes called the Caveman Diet—is all about eating in the way our ancestors did.

The diet has been around since the 1970s. But it didn’t become mainstream popular until the early 2000s when Loren Cordain published The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat. 

The whole purpose of the diet is to eat what our early hunter-gatherer ancestors presumably ate. “Presumably” because we can never know with 100% certainty what they ate most of across the board, how much of their diet was intentional, and how much was due to environmental circumstances and location.

But the diet has maintained its popularity for decades now. So you may be wondering…how healthy is the diet and can it help you lose weight?

Let’s break down what the research says about the Paleo diet so you can decide if this could be the right diet for you.

What can you eat on the paleo diet?

So what do advocates of the Paleo diet say our prehistoric ancestors ate?

If you want to follow the Paleo diet, then you can count out any processed food to start. That means no potatoes, grains, dairy, and most other desserts.

On the paleo diet, you eat primarily unprocessed meats, fish, eggs, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Benefits of the Paleo diet

A systemic review from 2019 found that there is a clear connection between the Paleo diet and weight loss.

One reason it helps with weight loss is that the diet is made up only of filling unprocessed foods. It’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates, and protein is more filling than carbs. 

When the foods you eat are more nutrient-dense and filling, this can help curb cravings for other foods later in the day.

This ultimately makes it easier for you to eat fewer calories every day.

Especially when most people’s extra calories come from the snacks and extras we eat. Like when we have a sweet tooth craving. Or the desire to eat half a “family-sized” bag of chips in one sitting (we’ve all been there!).

But the benefits can go beyond weight loss when the diet is done correctly and all nutritional needs are still being met.

Here are three other benefits of the Paleo diet that have been reported in studies:

Improved Glucose Tolerance

One study tracked the differences in weight loss between those on a Paleo diet and the Mediterranean diet.

While participants following both diets had significant and similar weight loss results, there was a difference in their glucose tolerance.

A glucose tolerance test measures how effectively your body clears glucose from your blood. If it doesn’t happen efficiently, then it can be a sign of diabetes and insulin resistance.

By the end of the study, researchers discovered that only the participants on the Paleo diet experienced a notable improvement in glucose tolerance. They even found that at the end of the 12-week study, everyone from the Paleo group had normal blood sugar levels, but only around half from the Mediterranean diet did by the end.

Improvements in cardiovascular risk factors and other metabolic factors

In another comparative study, the Paleo diet was compared to a standard diabetes diet. 

A diabetes diet is typically one developed with your doctor or dietician that involves eating whole foods at specific times during the day. The timing is to help moderate the production and usage of insulin.

The results showed greater weight loss and an improvement in other factors by the end of the study for those on the Paleo diet instead of the diabetes diet.

After three months on the diet, those on the Paleo diet lost more weight and saw their triglycerides drop more significantly. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood that your body uses for energy. 

Paleo participants also had an increase in HDL cholesterol. HDL is the good cholesterol (LDL is the type you want to avoid).

Another study noted similar results when one group followed the Paleo diet for just ten days. Those participants experienced a decrease in their LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

Possible concerns with the Paleo diet

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the primary concerns with the Paleo diet is the absence of certain food groups.

While cutting out highly processed fats and sugars does have health benefits, the diet leaves out whole grains and legumes. Both types of foods are high in fiber, vitamins, and other micronutrients that make positive contributions to your overall health.

There are also some concerns about the claim that our ancestors didn’t eat grains. Some archaeologists have found evidence that humans ate grains as far back as 30,000 years ago. 

And there’s some genetic evidence that our biology changed to easily digest grains and other foods the Paleo diet cuts out. Meaning it’s a nonissue for your digestive health unless there is another underlying condition at play (which is certainly possible if you have a difficult time with gluten).

There’s also no way to prove that our ancestors’ diet was healthier than the standard whole-foods-based nutritious diet. It’s difficult to know and prove what diseases or health complications early humans had or didn’t have as a result of their diet.

And finally, the Paleo diet is also more restrictive than other diets. Restrictive diets can be harder to follow in the long run unless you find the diet enjoyable and easy to stick to.

Is Paleo right for you?

Whether Paleo is right for you will depend on many factors—your health concerns, your preferred mode of dieting, and your lifestyle.

The diet has proven beneficial for some who want to lose weight and improve their cardiovascular risk factors. 

Fortunately, deciding whether or not the Paleo diet is right for you isn’t something you have to guess at or figure out alone.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss, we work with each of our weight loss patients to figure out what the right weight loss plan is for you. We factor in everything about your health, your individual needs, and your long-term goals. 

There are so many ways to tackle your weight loss journey, and we’re here to help you get through the overwhelm of figuring it out alone.

When you’re ready for support and a real plan that’ll get results, reach out to your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location

Our experts are ready to help you achieve your weight loss goals.


  1. Challa, Hima J. “Paleolithic Diet.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 July 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482457/#:~:text=The%20concept%20of%20the%20Paleolithic,by%20Loren%20Cordain%20in%202002.
  2. de Menezes, Ehrika Vanessa Almeida, et al. “Influence of Paleolithic Diet on Anthropometric Markers in Chronic Diseases: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Nutrition Journal, BioMed Central, 23 July 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6647066/.
  3. C. Nielson, T. Lange, et al. “A Palaeolithic Diet Improves Glucose Tolerance More than a Mediterranean-like Diet in Individuals with Ischaemic Heart Disease.” Diabetologia, Springer-Verlag, 1 Jan. 1970, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-007-0716-y.
  4. Jönsson, Tommy, et al. “Beneficial Effects of a Paleolithic Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes: a Randomized Cross-over Pilot Study.” Cardiovascular Diabetology, BioMed Central, 16 July 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2724493/.
  5. Frassetto, L A, et al. “Metabolic and Physiologic Improvements from Consuming a Paleolithic, Hunter-Gatherer Type Diet.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 11 Feb. 2009, www.nature.com/articles/ejcn20094.
  6. “Paleo Diet: Eat like a Cave Man and Lose Weight?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 25 Aug. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182
show yourself some love

Remember to Show Yourself Some Love On Your Weight Loss Journey

How to show yourself some love and appreciation while you get through the toughest times of losing weight. And make it easier to lose the weight you want.

Valentines Day is just around the corner. And while we spend a lot of time thinking about how to show our love to those we care about, it’s also important to take time to show yourself some love.

You’re probably so used to hearing how important it is to be kind to yourself. But how often do you actually treat yourself with the same love and kindness you do others?

We notice that when people are going through a major life change, like working on a weight loss goal, you are even more likely to be extra hard on yourself. Even when you need the positivity and care most.

You may even think that any celebration and feel good about yourself can’t come until after you’ve hit all your weight loss goals. Until then you’re unworthy. 

This is such a common mindset but it’s not one that helps you lose weight. And it doesn’t help you feel good about all the other things going on in your life too. 

So here are some of the best ways to remember to treat yourself with love and respect. To remember that you are worthy of feeling good about who you are.

Even when it’s not almost Valentine’s Day, follow these tips to feel happier with where you’re at and make your weight loss journey feel better.

Stop shaming yourself

Shame into change doesn’t work in the long run.

The reality is, we want to feel good! And if we have a running narrative that we should feel ashamed of ourselves, we’ll find a way around having to feel that way one way or another.

Remember that you aren’t defined by where you’re at on your weight loss journey. 

And that the reason you started losing weight in the first place was to feel good inside and out. To be healthier and improve your longevity. And to finally be able to do all the activities you’ve ever wanted to do. 

So instead of shaming yourself here’s what you can do instead…

Remind yourself of your successes every. single. day.

When someone you care about gets down on themselves, what do you do? 

Do you join in their self-loathing session and agree that they are failures and the absolute worst?

No! Even the thought of doing such a thing is absurd.

So don’t accept that kind of treatment from yourself either.

It’s easy to remember all the times you failed when one thing goes wrong. Even when it’s just a small thing. Because you know you have a long term uphill climb to get to your goal.

But getting stuck in all those negative thoughts won’t help.

So the next time something goes wrong and you catch yourself in the downward spiral of negative thinking, try this instead:

Remind yourself of your three biggest successes. Don’t add caveats or conditions. Don’t overthink and try to diminish your value.

Just list three successes you’ve had on your mission to lose weight that were meaningful to you.

Hold those successes in your mind and remind yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to.

Be proud of yourself!

Keeping a list of your successes and reminding yourself when you feel stuck is just the first step.

You want to really feel proud of everything you’ve accomplished so far.

If you feel proud of yourself, you reinforce in your mind that you can repeat your successes over and over again.

And when feel like you’re already becoming the person you want to be, it becomes so much easier to stick to your plan and make it to your goal.

It’s even been measured that people who feel proud of themselves and believe they can lose weight, actually end up losing more weight.

Take your mind off the scale

Stepping on the scale and not seeing enough progress from week to week starts to feel like a punishment.

But those numbers can be misleading.

A lot of people experience a plateau in their weight loss plans when they combine exercise with their diet. Especially when that exercise is strength training.

The reason you seem to stop losing weight, or even appear to gain weight for a short time, is because when you add strength training, you build muscle.

What you need to know though is that this isn’t harmful weight you’re adding. It’s your body composition changing and you will continue losing fat weight over time.

So always remember that if you’re sticking with your exercise and diet plan, your body is changing. No matter what the scale says.

And I know taking your mind off the scale can be hard. So instead, focus on other changes you’re experiencing like…

  • Increased energy
  • Clothes fitting differently (and maybe even needing some new ones!)
  • Getting through workouts more easily
  • Feeling better on the inside because of the healthier food you’re eating
  • Getting off certain medications 

All of these improvements matter more than the number on the scale.

Surround yourself with positive people

You’ll find it so much easier to stay positive about yourself if you surround yourself with others who have a positive mindset.

The thing about a positive mindset is that it’s something you can gain with practice.

A lot of us are told we’re either positive or negative in our outlook. That it’s a state of being we have and can’t change.

But you can be more positive. And one of the best ways to do that is to surround yourself with positive and supportive people.

The mindset and energy others carry around can be contagious. We all know how just one word, good or bad, can change the course of your day.

So to give yourself the care and love you deserve, make sure you’re spending your time around people who cheer you on and believe in you.

Spending time with others who care about you helps you feel happier and motivated.

Investing in your health is the ultimate way to show yourself some love

When you make time for your health, you show up for yourself in one of the biggest ways that matter.

That means following a nourishing diet and making time for exercise. Because both of these improve your quality of life in measurable ways.

And if you need extra support, then that means working with a weight loss specialist who can coach you through your challenges.

People who have a support network are more likely to lose more weight, so finding extra help is one of the best investments you can make for yourself.

If you’re ready to show yourself some love and get a plan to achieve your weight loss goals, contact us at your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location. We’re here for you.


  1. ES;, Pearson. “Goal Setting as a Health Behavior Change Strategy in Overweight and Obese Adults: a Systematic Literature Review Examining Intervention Components.” Patient Education and Counseling, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21852063/
make weight loss easier

What Supplement Should You Take to Make Weight Loss Easier?

Diet and exercise always make the foundation, but sometimes you need an extra boost in the right direction. Here are some safe and effective supplements that make weight loss easier.

When it comes to losing weight, it’s natural to want to find options that make weight loss easier. 

Not only because you want to feel better faster, but because the most commonly cited ways to lose weight (diet and exercise) are exhausting and hard to follow through on.

So, of course, you want to find ways that safely and effectively help you reach your weight loss goals faster.

And lucky for you, there are more options than ever before thanks to the work of scientists and researchers. 

There are supplements that work against any roadblock. That help you get over your biggest barriers against weight loss. And some that help you shed stubborn fat.

So depending on what your biggest weight loss struggle is, there’s a supplement to help you overcome it.

Here are some of the most popular supplements we offer that make weight loss easier for our clients.

Too much snacking

There’s a right and a wrong way to handle snacks for weight loss.

A high-fiber, low-calorie food like fruit or veggies generally aren’t considered problematic snacking options.

It’s when snacks regularly consist of high-fat, high-calorie foods that they become unhealthy and lead to weight gain.

In some cases snacking can be used to curb appetite and lead to smaller meals throughout the day. But snacking has been associated in some studies with an overall increase in calories consumed throughout the day. People who snack generally end up eating more calories by the end of the day, even if they didn’t intend to.

When your goal is to eat fewer calories each day to lose weight, this doesn’t help you towards your goal.

So what can you do if you need help resisting all the tempting snacks throughout the day?

CarbCrave is a supplement that helps you limit your carb intake and snacking.

It’s essentially an appetite suppressant that also helps you…

  • Reduce carb cravings
  • Reduce stress-related snacking
  • Improve your mood

This supplement is one to look into if you want to break your snacking habit. Especially if you often crave carbs (like most of us do!).

Super busy and tempted by unhealthy meals

Let’s remember those afternoons you worked nonstop without a break. And come 5 pm you’re starving. 

So what do you do? 

You don’t have time to cook before your next obligation. And even if you did, you certainly don’t have the energy!

The natural answer to this problem is to stop for fast food. Or to order take-out. Something filling and delicious because you need to refuel after your long day. The downside is that it’s loaded with calories you’re trying to avoid. But when you’re super hungry it’s hard to care. Plus, you’re busy, so what other option do you have?

This thought process you go through makes sense!

When you’re busy, you often want the quickest and easiest meal available. You don’t want to cook when you get home. 

We know that you live in the real world where sometimes you just don’t have the time to cook.

So you need an option that keeps you away from the tempting fast-food. Something filling and quick so you don’t feel hungry all afternoon and then cave in and order take-out on your way home from work.

That’s what meal replacement shakes are for.

Meal replacement shakes are high-protein and make you feel satisfied after eating them so you don’t feel compelled to order that giant burger on the way home from work.

Skip A Meal is an example of one of these meal replacement shakes. It’s made of whey protein and fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. 

It’s an option that helps you restrict calorie intake while still feeling full and nourished.

Meal replacements like these are something that’s worth having on hand for those days you’re busy and know you won’t have time to cook. That way you don’t give in to the natural temptation to eat foods that aren’t part of your diet plan.

Want to trim your waistline and improve liver and GI function

As you go through your weight loss journey, you’ll discover that the fat in some places is harder to lose than in others.

The extra fat around your waistline is often the hardest to lose. It’s stubborn. So it requires targeted efforts to get rid of it. 

It’s why there’s that well-known phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen.”

It’s because even the fittest person with the strongest core won’t have a lean middle section without the right diet. 

But there are some supplements that help you lose waistline fat too. And even help clear out the fat around your liver.

Here are two options that help you lose fat and improve your liver and GI function:

Lipotropic Complex

The Lipotropic Complex is a supplement that supports a healthy and highly-functioning liver. It also includes essential vitamins and minerals. 

It helps you lose weight by targeting fat in the liver and also helps you detox.

These are just some of the benefits of Lipotropic Complex:

  • Reduce inflammation and pain
  • Weight loss
  • Regulate liver function
  • Improve metabolism
  • Prevent excess fat build-up in the heart, brain, and liver 

Liver-GI Detox

Everything this supplement does is in the name. Liver-GI Detox helps you improve the function of your liver and gastrointestinal tract by helping you detox.

The supplement is made with a combination of nutrients and botanicals that eliminate toxins and improve digestion.

Here are some of the possible benefits of the Liver-GI Detox Supplement:

  • Improved liver and gastrointestinal function
  • Neutralize toxins
  • Ensure proper nutrient absorption into your cells

Which supplement is right for you?

No matter what you’re considering, you should always consult with your doctor before taking anything and follow their recommendations exactly as given. Especially if you’re on any other medication.

If you want help with your weight loss goals, you can work with one of our doctors who learn all about your health history and current conditions. From there, they create a personalized plan to help you lose weight. 

We’re even offering a special on our Premier Plans this February.

Contact one of our locations to get your personalized weight loss plan today and don’t miss out on our February Premier Plan special.


  1. D;, Chapelot. “The Role of Snacking in Energy Balance: a Biobehavioral Approach.” The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21123465/.
  2. Koopman KE;Caan MW;Nederveen AJ;Pels A;Ackermans MT;Fliers E;la Fleur SE;Serlie MJ; “Hypercaloric Diets with Increased Meal Frequency, but Not Meal Size, Increase Intrahepatic Triglycerides: a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24668862/
stay motivated with slow weight loss

How to stay motivated with slow weight loss

8 ways to stay true to your weight loss plan even when it gets tough. Using even a few of these tips will help you stay motivated with slow weight loss progress.

Here’s the truth: whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 40 pounds, weight loss never happens overnight.

And it’s frustrating. So frustrating you kinda just want to throw the scale out the window most days.

When your progress doesn’t happen as fast as you hoped, you’re more likely to lose motivation to keep going. Because sometimes it truly feels like nothing you do works.

But we’re here to encourage you not to lose hope. And to tell you that while it’s totally normal to feel changes in your level of motivation to stick to a weight loss plan—there are strategies that make it easier to stay motivated.

So the good news is that a lot of the frustration you feel about your slow weight loss progress can be overcome with some tricks and new mindsets. 

Here are the top tips to stay motivated with slow weight loss. If you can make a few of these tips work, you will reach your goal weight! 

1. Don’t compare your progress with anyone else’s

Remember every weight loss journey is unique

It’s easy to feel like you aren’t making progress fast enough. And to believe that other people have an easier time losing weight than you do.

But you don’t know anyone else’s journey through weight loss—just like no one else knows yours either. 

If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself with other weight loss journeys here are a couple ideas to try that’ll snap you out of the negative comparisons:

  • When you catch yourself feeling jealousy over someone else’s weight loss achievements, remind yourself that you’re happy for that person and you’re on the way to finding your own success too
  • If your newsfeed anywhere on social media makes you feel more pressure to be a certain way, hide them for a while. Keep anything that’s not helpful to you hidden until you’re more confident about what you’ve achieved so far.
  • Remind yourself of three things every day that you’re grateful that your body does for you. Or point out three things you like about your body

So just remember, perfection is never the goal. Your goal is to create your version of a healthier lifestyle.

2. Create small goals

Big goals take a long time to achieve. They take so long that they start to feel impossible if that’s the only goal post you have in mind to define your success.

To make weight loss easier and feel more attainable throughout your weight loss process, you need to have smaller goals.

A smaller goal takes less time to achieve. It allows for more celebration of wins and progress. And they help you reach important milestones that are essential to hit the big goal.

Create goals that aren’t related to the number on the scale.

Make goals to exercise a certain amount of time each week. Or goals to stick to certain portion sizes in your meals. 

You want your short term goals to be easily measurable and attainable, but still impactful for your long term weight loss goals.

3. Celebrate every win (even for the small goals)

When you hit a milestone don’t just say, “Okay that’s done, now onto the next thing.”

Take a moment to feel proud of your accomplishment (no matter how small).

Your first week sticking to your workout plan is a big deal! So is getting through a full week sticking to your meal plan. These successes give you the confidence to keep going. So don’t just brush them off.

You deserve to feel proud of yourself for these accomplishments. They’re hard work!

So here are some ideas to celebrate your small and big goals when you hit them:

  • Buy yourself something special
  • Go get a mani/pedi
  • Plan a great afternoon outing for yourself
  • Share your success with friends and family. When others cheer you on, the success feels even more special!

4. Keep a weight loss journal

Weight loss requires personal accountability.

You have to show up for yourself and your best interests every day. And there are a lot of actions and choices that go creating a day where you can say you successfully showed up and stuck to your plan.

A weight loss journal helps you keep track of and reflect on all those moving pieces.

In your journal, you can use the space to do a range of things. All of which help you create better plans and enjoy your weight loss journey as much as possible:

  • Track your meals
  • Track your calories
  • Reflect on how certain foods make you feel
  • Track your time spend exercising
  • Track which exercises you did
  • Reflect on which exercise you enjoy most and how it makes you feel
  • Reflect on what went well at the end of each week and how you’ll make next week ever better

5. Find an exercise you enjoy

It’s so much easier to stick to an exercise plan when you enjoy what you do.

That’s why your first step to introduce fitness shouldn’t be to do whatever any fitness guru says is the one-and-only way to lose weight. 

You want to first find ways to increase your movement every day that you actually look forward to. Because when you look forward to exercising, you’re more likely to do it.

It’s also important to ease into exercise. Especially if you’re new to it or haven’t done any exercise in a long time. 

And then, if you want to start something more intensive or targeted down the line, great! 

Here are some of the types of activities you can ease into and that many people enjoy:

  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Weight Lifting
  • Yoga

And if you’re looking for ways to get high-quality exercise at home, you can check out our previous article about workouts at home for ideas.

6. Remind yourself daily of all the positive life changes that’ll come from losing weight

Remember those reasons that prompted you to start your weight loss journey to begin with. All those ideas you had about how different (and better) your life will be after you lose the weight.

Whether you have these listed in your weight loss journal, posted on sticky-notes around the house, or you go all out to make a vision board—you need some way to keep your reasons for losing weight at top of mind.

7. On the flip side, remind yourself what’s at stake

Sometimes it helps to remember what’s at stake if you give up on your plan. 

Will your long term health suffer? How will you feel six months from now if you stop? And then what do you imagine things will be like in another year?

There are consequences to every action. So on those days you struggle to stay motivated with slow weight loss, remember what you’re giving up in your future if you don’t follow through with your plan.

8. Find social support

Weight loss is so much easier when you have support.

The first is to get friends and family on board to support you. When they are aware of your weight loss goals, they can be there to talk to you through the hardest times. And they can support you by celebrating your progress and wins.

But sometimes it’s hard to get the people closest to you to see why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s easy to feel misunderstood and even judged.

That’s where health coaches and weight loss specialists come in. Studies show that individuals who work with health coaches and other specialists lose more weight than if they do it alone or with only the support of peers.

People who work with weight loss specialists are also more likely to stay motivated with slow weight loss and get through the toughest times of the journey.

These are professionals who are always there to support you. Plus, they get to know your health and fitness levels to create a plan that’s just right for you. 

Want to lose weight and hit your goals faster?

While no one can give you overnight weight loss, we can help you lose weight faster than doing it alone.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss our doctors are specialized in helping people with a range of challenges. We help our patients overcome their biggest weight-loss barriers and finally lose the weight they want.

We learn about you, your health history, and your weight loss goals to help you achieve them faster. 

If you want to finally make your weight loss goals a reality, contact us at the location nearest you.


  1. “Study Shows Health Coaches Effective in Helping People Lose Weight, Live Healthier Lives.” ACE Fitness, www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/2892/study-shows-health-coaches-effective-in-helping-people-lose-weight-live-healthier-lives/. 
stay active at home

Best Tips to Stay Active at Home

Not going to the gym doesn’t have to stop you from exercising. You can have fantastic workouts and stay active at home with the right plan in place.

Everyone has their opinion of what makes the best exercise. But the truth is—a lot of the claims that there’s a “best” type of exercise is nothing more than personal opinion.

We often complicate exercise to the point it becomes dreadful. And we create unrealistic expectations and routines that are impossible to stick to.

The most important thing about making time for exercise is to find something you like and keep doing it.

But that may be harder for many of you right now. Your gym may be closed right now. Or if your gym is open, it’s harder to get in with limited capacity rules in place. 

And then there are reasons totally unrelated to being in the middle of a pandemic that influence whether or not you want to exercise in a gym.

Some gyms are intimidating, especially if you’re new to exercise. You may not live close to a gym. Or you may not have extra time to add it to your routine.

But the good news is that you don’t need a gym for effective workouts.

Whatever your reason for wanting to exercise at home—it can be done, and you can do it well.

So let’s break down everything you need to know about getting a great workout done at home.

How much exercise do you need?

Your ideal exercise routine depends on how much exercise your goals require.

Whether it’s weight loss, strength gain, or increased mobility, your exercise plan will be unique and depend on where you start and where you want to end.

But there is a minimum amount of exercise that’s recommended for every adult.

These are the CDC recommendations:

  • 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week + 2 days of strength training


  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week + 2 days of strength training

The reason the CDC includes both aerobic exercise and strength training is that they have different benefits for your health.

Aerobic exercise—a.k.a. “cardio”—is any exercise that conditions your cardiovascular system. 

Your cardiovascular system is also called your circulatory system. It’s your heart and blood vessels that transport blood and oxygen around your body.

Cardio workouts keep your heart and lungs strong and healthy by targeting these systems in your body. When you do cardio your breathing intensifies and your heart pumps faster.

Some examples of aerobic exercises are running, swimming, biking, hiking, or power-walking.

On the other hand, strength training is any exercise that’s intended to build muscle.

These kinds of exercises are done in short bursts or for limited amounts of time (while cardio is sustained for longer stretches of time).

Strength training is an important component of your workout routine because it improves your balance, mobility, and bone density.

How to stay active at home

You don’t have to worry about missing out by not going to the gym.

Home workouts can be fun and effective. Even without a full home gym.

Here are the best ways to stay active at home. 

Take stretch and movement breaks throughout the day

Many of us don’t spend all day on our feet. If your work requires you to spend most of the day sitting, then you’ll benefit from short movement breaks in your day.

All these breaks do is get you up and out of your chair to get your blood flowing.

You can make them 5 or 10-minute breaks. Do some stretches, air squats, or just go for a little walk around your home or office. 

The key is to break up your day with bouts of movement until you reach 30 minutes of movement over the course of your day. 

You’ll not only get your body moving, but you’ll notice other benefits too.

Taking a short break away from your work can improve your concentration when you return. Plus, movement improves your mood—so you can return to your work feeling reinspired and content.

These breaks are good for days you don’t work too. Take some time to move between your Netflix episodes!

Follow workout videos online

Staying active at home is easier than ever thanks to the internet.

There’s a never-ending stream of workout videos online. Many of them posted by expert trainers who are so passionate about seeing you improve that they post short workouts for free. There are classes you can pay for online as well, but it’s worth checking out those free videos (often available on YouTube) to see what you like first.

Here are some of the best types of workouts to look for:

  • Yoga classes 

There are so many types of yoga classes out there. Your favorite types will depend on your ability level and 

You’ll find yoga classes that are slow-paced with deep stretches, moderate classes that challenge you just a little bit, and classes designed to get your sweat on and your heart pumping.

It’s worth finding a few different types of classes you can enjoy if yoga becomes your go-to for online workout videos. That way you get the benefits of a varied workout routine and yoga practice.

  • HIIT workouts

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This is a type of exercise where you go through phases of high-intensity exercise and rest.

These workouts are perfect to do at home. They don’t require equipment. They’re great for cardio (especially if you hate running).

  • Body-weight workouts

You’ll find a ton of strength training workouts that require nothing more than your body. Many of these videos range from 20 to 30 minutes that help you get stronger at tough exercises that require no weights at all. Movements push-ups, planks, or pull-ups.

So they’re great for building strength and require a minimal time commitment each day.

Sign-up to work with an online personal trainer or yoga instructor

Working with a personal trainer is one of the best ways to ensure you get results. They hold you accountable and they’re experts in designing training routines for a wide range of needs.

Now, with the rise in online training, there are so many ways you can get a trainer without ever stepping foot in a gym.

Some online trainers still offer very personalized plans online. While others offer a subscription to general classes for anyone to take.

Many online trainers offer more cost-effective online training programs on a month-to-month basis. And you can choose a level of personalization that’s right for you.

The reality is, it’s easier than ever to find a personal trainer. This means you have even more support options as you go through your weight loss journey.

Need help staying active at home?

If your goal is to lose weight, exercise will help you get there. And it’ll make you healthier in other ways, like elevated mood and improved heart health.

But it’s hard to figure it all out on your own.

Our weight loss specialists help you create and stick to an exercise plan that’s right for you. One that goes along with the diet and weight loss plan we create just for you.

So if you need support and guidance in your weight loss goals, reach out to your closest Valley Medical location today.


  1. “How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Oct. 2020, www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
mediterranean diet

Real Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Learn why the Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets for weight loss and health improvement.

In countries like Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, Greece, and many others that line the Mediterranean sea, the Mediterranean diet has been the way of life for thousands of years.

But it’s only in the past 50 years that it became one of the most popular diet recommendations for Americans and northern Europeans who wanted to be healthier.

Back in the 1960’s researchers noticed that while rates of heart disease and cardiac arrest were on the rise in America and northern Europe, the same wasn’t happening in the Mediterranean countries. So naturally, they wanted to figure out why.

And that’s when the huge health benefits of the Mediterranean diet started coming to light.

What are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet has been held up to intense scrutiny for over 50 years now. So what have researchers found that makes this diet worth trying?

Heart-healthy diet

Some of the most extensive studies done on the Mediterranean diet have found how good it is for your cardiovascular health. Which isn’t a surprise. It’s one of the reasons it started to gain popularity outside of the region.

So how does the diet improve your heart health?

There are also studies that looked into which specific foods in the Mediterranean diet provide targeted heart health benefits.

Nuts—which are a staple in the Mediterranean diet—can reduce improve cardiovascular health and improve overall mortality.

And since the diet includes fish a couple times a week, you also get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. One study found that omega-3 with a Mediterranean diet are less likely to experience a heart attack or die from heart disease-related factors.


The Mediterranean diet is also believed to prevent and help manage diabetes.

When the Mediterranean diet was compared with a low-fat diet, it was found to be more effective for managing diabetes. Both blood glucose and insulin levels improved while one the diet.

And another study found that it can prevent or reduce the need for drug therapy in people who already have type 2 diabetes.

But the diet does more than help people manage diabetes. It has the power to prevent diabetes from developing in the first place. In a study with 400+ individuals, the Mediterranean diet reduced the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes over a 4 year period by 52%

Weight Loss

The diet also has weight loss benefits. 

Because the diet involves cutting out processed foods high in added sugar, it’s easier to lose weight. It also helps that many of the foods included in the diet are nutrient-dense and filling.

A group of studies found that it’s as effective as other popular diets, like low-carb diets for weight loss.

It’s also proven to be an effective diet to manage weight long-term. Sticking to the Mediterranean diet for a year or more prevents weight gain

So how do you do a Mediterranean diet?

When you think of the Mediterranean diet, what food comes to mind? Is it pizza? A hearty pasta in a meat sauce with red wine? 

While these dishes are part of the regions’ cuisine, they aren’t the staples that make it heart-healthy or great for weight loss. Following the Mediterranean diet doesn’t mean eating pizza every day. Or even once a week. 

So what would you eat on a regular basis on the Mediterranean diet?

Here’s a breakdown of what your diet would include:

  • 7-10 servings of fruits and veggies every day. 
  • Plenty of carbs—whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereal
  • Healthy fats like olive oil instead of butter or margarine
  • Seafood twice a week. Tuna, salmon, trout, and shrimp are all on the menu. Ideally grilled rather than deep-fried.
  • Limited red meat. Poultry, eggs, and beans are eaten far more than red meat on the Mediterranean diet. That’s not to say it’s never allowed. A few times a month is the norm.
  • Enjoy some dairy. Eat low-fat Greek or plain yogurt and small amounts of a variety of cheeses.
  • Red wine in moderation. Want to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner? A single glass a few nights a week is typical with the diet.

There’s also a Mediterranean diet food pyramid that was put together by the Harvard School of Public Health to give you a visual breakdown of the food groups.

Another key is to avoid highly processed foods full of artificial sugars. So just because the frozen food aisle has some mac and cheese mixed with broccoli doesn’t mean it’s Mediterranean diet-friendly. Buy food fresh and cook it yourself as much as you possibly can.

And if you’re looking for some meal inspo to try it out yourself, here’s a list of 27 Mediterranean diet meals.

Meal ideas to try

There isn’t any pizza, but there are so many delicious dishes in the Mediterranean diet. This means it’s a diet you can reap health benefits from and enjoy!

So here are three meal and snack ideas for you to try. Plus a link to more!

Lemon + Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Pasta is very much allowed on this diet. The key is to use whole-grain pasta. So next time you buy pasta at the store, opt for a whole-grain option over the standard.

All this dish requires is a serving of shrimp (for you and anyone else you’re cooking for), pasta, 1 lemon, and fresh minced garlic to taste. Cook the garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil, add the shrimp and the lemon juice, plus some salt and pepper to taste and you’re done! When it’s mixed with pasta it’s a perfect meal. And you can complete it by adding a mixed veggie side salad.

Hummus with veggies 

Hummus is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. And while it’s easy to find it at the store, it’s so easy to make yourself and worth doing so you control everything that goes into it. You can have it with veggies and some pita for an afternoon snack. Or you can put it on toast with your breakfast in the morning. Its use is so flexible.

All you need to make the hummus is to put two cans of chickpeas into a blender. Add lemon juice, garlic, tahini, salt, and anything else you want to add to taste. It’s as easy as that! Plus, when you make two cans you’ll have enough for a few days.

Greek Salad

The Greek salad is a classic. And like the other meals listed here, it’s easy to make. You just need a cucumber, Roma or grape tomatoes, feta cheese, bell pepper, black olives, and avocado (as a nice little add-on). And to make the dressing you mix red wine vinegar, olive oil, fresh lemon, garlic, and a bit of honey. Then chop up the ingredients, mix them together with the dressing and you’re done!

To make this a whole meal, you can add some chicken to the salad. Or you can just leave it as is for a side.

These are just some of the many ways to cook tasty and healthy dishes that fit this diet. You can find 50 more recipes here

Looking for a diet and weight loss plan that’s right for you?

The Mediterranean diet is just one of many beneficial diet guides. Whether or not it’s right for you depends on your personal situation and dietary restrictions. 

It’s always best to talk to a doctor when you decide to make major dietary changes and create a weight loss plan. Not only can they help you achieve it faster, but they also help you do so safely.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss our doctors help you create a diet and weight loss plan that’s right for you.

Check out our client success stories and contact your closest location to set up your own appointment. Our experts are here to help you.


  1. Montserrat Fitó, MD. “Effect of a Traditional Mediterranean Diet on Lipoprotein Oxidation.” Archives of Internal Medicine, JAMA Network, 11 June 2007, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/486851.
  2. Estruch R;Martínez-González MA;Corella D;Salas-Salvadó J;Ruiz-Gutiérrez V;Covas MI;Fiol M;Gómez-Gracia E;López-Sabater MC;Vinyoles E;Arós F;Conde M;Lahoz C;Lapetra J;Sáez G;Ros E; ; “Effects of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: a Randomized Trial.” Annals of Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16818923/.
  3. Guasch-Ferré M;Bulló M;Martínez-González MÁ;Ros E;Corella D;Estruch R;Fitó M;Arós F;Wärnberg J;Fiol M;Lapetra J;Vinyoles E;Lamuela-Raventós RM;Serra-Majem L;Pintó X;Ruiz-Gutiérrez V;Basora J;Salas-Salvadó J; ; “Frequency of Nut Consumption and Mortality Risk in the PREDIMED Nutrition Intervention Trial.” BMC Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23866098/.
  4. de Lorgeril M;Salen P;Martin JL;Monjaud I;Delaye J;Mamelle N; “Mediterranean Diet, Traditional Risk Factors, and the Rate of Cardiovascular Complications after Myocardial Infarction: Final Report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9989963/.
  5. Shai, Iris, et al. “Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet: NEJM.” New England Journal of Medicine, 13 Nov. 2008, www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0708681.
  6. Esposito K;Maiorino MI;Ciotola M;Di Palo C;Scognamiglio P;Gicchino M;Petrizzo M;Saccomanno F;Beneduce F;Ceriello A;Giugliano D; “Effects of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on the Need for Antihyperglycemic Drug Therapy in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes: a Randomized Trial.” Annals of Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19721018/.
  7. Salas-Salvadó J;Bulló M;Babio N;Martínez-González MÁ;Ibarrola-Jurado N;Basora J;Estruch R;Covas MI;Corella D;Arós F;Ruiz-Gutiérrez V;Ros E; ; “Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with the Mediterranean Diet: Results of the PREDIMED-Reus Nutrition Intervention Randomized Trial.” Diabetes Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20929998/.
  8. MJ;, Mancini JG;Filion KB;Atallah R;Eisenberg. “Systematic Review of the Mediterranean Diet for Long-Term Weight Loss.” The American Journal of Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26721635/.
  9. Agnoli, Claudia, et al. “Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Long-Term Changes in Weight and Waist Circumference in the EPIC-Italy Cohort.” Nutrition & Diabetes, Nature Publishing Group UK, 25 Apr. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916888/
weight loss treadmill

Make Your Weight Loss Resolution a Success this Year

If it’s your goal to lose weight this year, here are some of the best tips to help you stick to your New Year’s weight loss resolution.

We go into every year feeling hopeful about what we can accomplish. We always want the next year to be different than the one before in some way. Especially this year. We’re all ready to leave 2020 behind for better times. And millions of Americans are preparing by making resolutions for next year.

If your resolution for 2021 is to finally stick to that new diet plan and hit your weight loss goals, then it’s time to get a strategy in place.

Because without a plan, you’re bound to end up with the results that many of us who have made a weight loss resolution are familiar with—after only a month, or sometimes just a few weeks into the new year, you fall back into your regular habits. You get distracted. Real life gets in the way. And those diet and weight loss plans for 2021 are just a dream from another time.

And as the year unfolds, you don’t make nearly as much progress as you’d hoped. 

So how do you get over this cycle of starting and stopping? How can you stick to your weight loss goals this time around?

Let’s get into how to make resolutions you can actually stick to. Plus, some mindset tips to help you get through the inevitable tough times you’ll face achieving your goals.

What makes a good weight loss resolution?

While the heart and desire you put into your resolution at the start are admirable, not all New Year’s resolutions are created equal. 

Some resolutions are so grand and unwieldy that there’s no way it can be accomplished in a year.

Others just aren’t specific enough. And it makes it hard for you to focus on taking all the steps to get where you want. 

So what do you need to make your New Year’s weight loss resolution a tangible goal that you can actually achieve in time?

A big goal with small steps

Losing weight is a big goal. It’s challenging, requires determination, consistency, and often saying “no” to things you enjoy.

This is why a plan to take you from where you are now to where you want to be is essential. It’s the piece that can’t be overlooked as you think about losing weight in the new year.

When you decide you want to lose weight, you need to break that goal down into steps or chunks of time. 

The reason is that just saying you want to lose weight is too big and unwieldy of a goal. The bigger a goal is, the more difficult it is to accomplish it. It also means it’ll take more time to get where you want to be. And it’s easy to get frustrated when you don’t lose weight as fast as you expect.

To avoid that frustration, you want to break down the steps that will take you from where you start to where you want to end

Start by creating a plan you can follow for 2–3 weeks at a time, with a goal to lose a certain amount of weight. Within each week’s plans, you’ll break down your diet and exercise plan. There should be at least one goal you know for certain you can accomplish in that amount of time. So that way you always have something to celebrate and keep your motivation up.

Once you’ve reached the end of the 2–3 weeks, then you observe where you are, celebrate the progress you made, and tweak your plan for the next 2–3 weeks to reach your next target.

The point of all these smaller chunks of time is to hit important progress points on your way to reaching your ultimate goal. That means celebrating the 2.5 pounds you lose every two weeks in addition to the 10 pounds you lose after two months. Even if you can’t see the progress, it’s still worth celebrating.

Strategies to help you stick to your resolutions

So now that you have a plan in place you’re ready to go. But that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing from here.

You will to face challenges achieving your weight loss goals. You always have in the past, and you very likely will in the future.

So how can you make facing challenges easier this time?

Set yourself up for success by building in reminders and rewards to keep you on track.

Embrace slow and steady progress

Lifestyle changes take time to stick. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel off-center when you change aspects of your life as ingrained as your diet. And when the results don’t show up overnight, you’re more likely to revert to the old habits that feel more convenient and comfortable to you.

Remember that the weight you want to lose didn’t just show up overnight. It took time. That means it will take time for you to lose that weight too.

So when you haven’t lost all the weight you imagined after one month of diet and exercise, but you have seen some progress remember to trust the process! You will hit your goal, it just takes time.


Everyone loves a reward. 

And if you’re tackling the challenge of weight loss, then you deserve rewards. So build in a time each week you know you’ll reward yourself for sticking to your plan.

This might be a cheat meal on Saturday night. A time where you get one hour to have your favorite meal. Or maybe you enjoy a glass or two of your favorite wine. And once that hour is done, no more eating or drinking outside of your meal plan for the next week. 

Another ideal time to reward yourself is when you hit an important milestone. Like when you lose the 10, 15, and 20 pounds that you worked so hard to lose.

But the truth is, the reward is just something extra to boost your motivation at the beginning

As you keep going in your weight loss plan, you see how amazing you feel with a good diet and regular exercise. And that alone will be enough motivation to keep going!


Remember that bullying yourself into losing weight isn’t how you change your life.

Feeling shame about your body won’t help you lose weight.

Embracing a healthy and fit lifestyle is far easier when you enjoy the process. 

So remember to be grateful for everything your body does for you already. And feel the gratitude as you get through each day of eating healthy and exercise. Be grateful that you are capable of change, and trust that if you keep making progress that 

Feeling grateful and hopeful about your ability to lose weight will help you see your goals through to the end.

Daily reminder

Write down exactly what you want to achieve. And look at it every single day. Some days you won’t need it. But on the days your motivation is weak, you’ll be grateful that reminder is there.

And when you feel the temptation for unhealthy snacks, remind yourself how wretched you felt when you lived on unhealthy foods. It won’t take long into a healthy diet for you to notice how much better healthy food makes you feel.

Get assistance from professionals who are ready to help you make your weight loss resolution a reality

It’s far easier to lose weight when you aren’t trying to do it alone.

At Valley Medical Weight loss we have professionals to help you create a weight loss plan that actually works. And we offer ongoing check-ins with experts when you need someone to hold you accountable to stick with your plan.

Start 2021 off right by investing in your health, yourself, and your future. We’ll help you create a weight loss plan that works and lets you enjoy the process of losing weight.

Reach out to one of our locations to set up a time to meet with one of our experts. 

weight loss

Don’t Believe These Common Weight Loss Myths

Image credit: Total Shape

Breaking down 5 of the most common and unhelpful weight loss myths. Plus what you should do instead.

There’s a lot of misinformation about there about health. We see it all the time, but especially when it comes to losing weight. There are weight loss myths of all kinds that get spread like wildfire. 

The reason is that people know how hard it is to lose weight. They know it’s one of the toughest things to do and there are millions of Americans who are somewhere along their weight loss journey, just looking to make it easier.

So naturally, myths about how to do it best are everywhere. And it’s easy to get caught up in some of these myths, especially if you feel like you’ve been trying and failing over and over again.

So let’s get into some of those most common weight loss myths and what actually works instead based on the best research around right now.

Myth 1: You must have an intense exercise plan to lose weight

You’ll find any number of trainers and health gurus suggesting the most extreme measures when it comes to exercise.

But the truth is, you can lose weight through diet alone, but not through exercise alone. If you exercise and just keep up with the same eating habits, or even add food because now you’re hungrier after adding intense exercise, you’re actually undermining your weight loss efforts.

For most people, losing weight depends on eating fewer calories than you burn each day. But how you go about doing that will depend on your unique circumstances. And it isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are tough physical and psychological challenges that come along with changing lifestyle habits to lose weight. Weight loss is hard. No matter how anyone tries to boil it down to a simple equation of calories in vs calories out.

With all that being said, it’s still important to do exercise. There are countless other benefits from exercising regularly, from preventing cancers, improving heart health and blood pressure, to reducing stress, and improving sleep, energy, and mood. And the kind of exercise you do has an impact on your physique as you lose weight through dieting efforts. Your physique outcomes will be different if you spend most of your time exercising by lifting weights instead of running.

But the important thing to know about exercise and weight loss is that you don’t have to do a crazy intense workout program. The minimum recommended amount of exercise for optimal health benefits is 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. 

How to exercise for weight loss:

The important thing to know about exercise and weight loss is that you don’t have to do a crazy intense workout program. The minimum recommended amount of exercise for optimal health benefits is 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. 

What’s most important is to find the kind of exercise you like most and pair it with a healthy diet and ideal calorie intake for your weight loss goals. You also want to make sure your program is something sustainable—something you can actually stick with for long enough to see results. 

You also want to train in progressions. Start with 30-minute sessions and build to 60-minute sessions if you have the time for that. It’s ideal to get a mix of training styles. Two days of cardio and three days with strength training, all for 30 minutes, is a great place to start. 

Myth 2: Healthier foods are more expensive

We hear this one all the time, don’t we? We hear about how all the healthy food is just so out of reach for many Americans.

But the opposite is actually true.

Let’s think first about what we mean by “healthy”.

Healthy doesn’t mean organic. By healthy foods, we mean whole foods—fruits, vegetables, legumes, complex grains, and depending on your dietary restrictions, certain dairy (like yogurt and low-fat cheese) and lean meat as well.

So how expensive is it to eat healthy whole foods compared to lower quality foods and fast-food? Well it depends on how you calculate the price of food. According to USDA, we often hear that unhealthy foods are cheaper than healthy foods because the conversation centers on one way of calculating cost: price per calorie. It’s true that unhealthy foods are cheaper than healthy foods when talking about calorie density. But it’s a misleading way of talking about food cost alone.

Calories aren’t the only way to think about food. You can also think about the overall nutritional value. And how filling the food is. The same report from the USDA found that when calculating the cost of food by edible weight or by average amount eaten, the healthy foods are cheaper than unhealthy foods. 

The one caveat is that you do end up spending more time preparing meals when you opt to buy the fresh whole and healthy foods over other options. And that time can seem like a huge downside. 

But in the long run, for your health, that time spent is worth it. And cooking, once you get used to doing it and learn some tricks, can be not only fun, but relaxing. 

Myth 3: Losing weight is impossible if you have snacks

Okay, there’s a lot of hate for snacking out there. But there’s nothing inherently evil about snacks. It’s all about moderation and smart choices in your diet plan.

How to snack smart

First off, make sure any snacks you add don’t put your over your daily calorie amount. Then you want to make sure your snacks are still nutritionally balanced. If all of your snacks are a serving of chips, sweets, and other high calorie foods, then your snacks aren’t serving you well.

The point of a snack is to have something to tide you over until you get to your next meal if you need it. Or for an energy boost in the afternoon when you start feeling sluggish.

So to make it impactful, you want to have a snack that is filling and full of essential vitamins and nutrients.

Good options would be a high-protein, low-fat yogurt. Greek yogurt or skyr are great choices. An apple with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter, depending on your calorie allotments. Both of these are tasty snacks that are filling enough to get you through to your next meal. Plus you get important nutritional requirements from them.

Myth 4: Losing weight is all about willpower

This is very likely the most harmful weight loss myth on this list. And one of the most damaging of all the myths around weight loss.

Now I won’t deny that losing weight takes a certain amount of discipline. But it’s about so much more than that.

There are ingrained patterns to overcome. There are eating habits that you’ve been living by for years and it will take time to undo and recover from that damage. A lot of times, these are habits or thoughts about food you don’t even realize you have. This is true of everyone. 

How to think about your weight loss journey instead?

Will power isn’t something you can rely on forever. The key is to find a weight loss plan that works for you and that you’re happy to do.

And equally as important is to be patient with your progress and trust it will come. And in the meantime practice gratitude.

Be grateful for what your body does for you and be patient while waiting for the outcomes that you want. 

Take it all one day at a time. Don’t judge yourself for what you did last year, last week, or even yesterday. Know what you need to do each day and give it your best effort to reach it. And if you fail one day, it doesn’t mean you’ll fail the next. With continued effort, changes will come about over time.

Work with us

As experts, we know that losing weight is a complex process. And while there are general rules everyone can follow to lose weight, what works best for you depends on your unique circumstances.

It’s our goal to help you create a plan with the best information and resources available to help you get to your ideal weight as soon as possible in a healthy and safe way.

Contact one of our offices today to get more information about what we offer and how you can work with one of our experts.


  1. Carlson, Posted by Andrea, et al. “Healthy Foods Not Necessarily More Expensive Than Less Healthy Ones.” USDA, 21 Feb. 2017, www.usda.gov/media/blog/2012/05/16/healthy-foods-not-necessarily-more-expensive-less-healthy-ones
yogurt, healthy gut

Healthy Gut Bacteria Can Help You Lose Weight

Healthy gut bacteria is an often overlooked key to improving health and losing weight

Did you know that when you eat a piece of pizza, you aren’t the only one consuming all of those calories? There are trillions of bacteria in your gut you share that pizza, and all the rest of your food with.

This sounds pretty great because you aren’t actually absorbing all the calories of the food you eat. There are more bacteria living in and on your body than you have cells, and those bacteria need plenty to eat.

But it also means there’s a lot more going on inside our bodies when it comes to our health and weight. We have to be aware of the role our gut bacteria plays in our health.

The importance of healthy gut bacteria has become more clear in recent years with more studies finding that your microbiome impacts your health in unexpected ways. The bacteria in your body help your immune system work better and supply essential nutrients vitamins to the rest of your body.

Researchers are also finding that gut bacteria play a role in weight gain and weight loss

The connection between healthy gut bacteria and weight

Some of the earliest research into the gut microbiome and weight loss showed the connection between certain types of bacteria and weight. 

There are a lot of different bacteria in your body. You have Prevotella that helps you digest carbohydrates and fiber. Then there’s Bacteroidetes for processing meat and fats. You also have Bifidobacteria and Akkermansia which are important for your gut barrier. They line your intestines and prevent inflammation by limiting inflammatory chemicals from entering your bloodstream. And this isn’t even scratching the surface of all the bacteria in your body.

What’s fascinating is that the types of bacteria you have drastically influence your weight. So much so that scientists discovered that when they put the gut flora from overweight humans into lean mice, the mice gained weight weight.

Other studies showed that scientists could predict whether a person would be overweight or lean based on their gut microbes. Even in twin studies, researchers could predict which twin was lean or overweight based on the flora in their gut. They found that the lean twin and the overweight twin have different types of gut flora, and bacteria in different quantities. Individuals who are lean have bacteria in greater quantities and with more diversity compared with those who are overweight.

So what can you do to improve your gut health?

Eat more fermented foods

One of the best things you can do for your gut health is to eat fermented foods. What are those exactly?

Fermented foods have gone through the process of fermentation—which is when yeast and bacteria break down food components into something new. So when the yeast and bacteria break down sugars into other molecules that change the taste, texture, and flavor of the food or drink.

Some common examples of healthy fermented foods are sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, skyr, tempeh, miso, and kombucha.

Eating more of all of these foods have been associated with improved gut health and weight loss. Especially yogurt. One weight loss study looked into the impact of dietary factors on weight and found that people who introduced yogurt into their diet and ate it regularly lost weight over the course of the year.

Eat more fiber

We often talk about how eating fiber is great for curbing your appetite. High fiber foods are known to be low-calorie, high-satiety. They keep you feeling full longer than other foods like simple carbohydrates and processed foods. 

But fiber is also helpful for losing weight by promoting a healthy gut microbiome. Fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain breakfast cereals provide the type of fiber and nutrients that your gut bacteria likes to feed on.

Aim to get the recommended amount of fiber every day. You should have 25–30 grams of fiber from food, not from supplements. Most American adults don’t get enough fiber and it wreaks havoc on the gut flora.

Eat less processed sugar

All the highly processed foods packed with sugar and unhealthy fats aren’t just bad for your own cells. They’re bad for your gut bacteria too. 

Part of the reason that so many people lack a healthy quantity of the gut bacteria that help them break down food properly is that many of the bacteria that rely on fiber and complex carbohydrates from legumes and whole grains have been starved. 

Your bacteria can’t live on sugars alone. So when they’re only fed unhealthy foods, they become so hungry that they die or adapt and eat what’s available: the mucus inside your intestines. Sounds gross, I know. But experts believe that this could contribute to inflammation, which is linked to obesity.

So just like your cells require the variety of nutrients found in whole foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and complex carbohydrates, the bacteria in your body need a healthy diet too. And the healthier they are, the healthier you can be too.

Talk with experts

Making sure your gut bacteria is healthy and thriving requires a lot of the same dietary and lifestyle changes to keep the rest of your body healthy. And there’s no doubt that making such lifestyle changes are hard to do. Especially when trying to do it alone.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss, we help you with your weight loss plans and talk about creating a diet that works for you and keeps your gut flora healthy.

Contact our experts and get the support you deserve to lose weight and live your healthiest, happiest life.


  1. E;, Thaiss CA;Zmora N;Levy M;Elinav. “The Microbiome and Innate Immunity.” Nature, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27383981/.
  2. LeBlanc JG;Milani C;de Giori GS;Sesma F;van Sinderen D;Ventura M; “Bacteria as Vitamin Suppliers to Their Host: a Gut Microbiota Perspective.” Current Opinion in Biotechnology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22940212/.
  3. Ridaura VK;Faith JJ;Rey FE;Cheng J;Duncan AE;Kau AL;Griffin NW;Lombard V;Henrissat B;Bain JR;Muehlbauer MJ;Ilkayeva O;Semenkovich CF;Funai K;Hayashi DK;Lyle BJ;Martini MC;Ursell LK;Clemente JC;Van Treuren W;Walters WA;Knight R;Newgard CB;Heath AC;Gordon J. “Gut Microbiota from Twins Discordant for Obesity Modulate Metabolism in Mice.” Science (New York, N.Y.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24009397/.
  4. Turnbaugh, Peter J, et al. “A Core Gut Microbiome in Obese and Lean Twins.” Nature, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 22 Jan. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19043404.
  5. Mozaffarian, Dariush, et al. “Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men: NEJM.” New England Journal of Medicine, 15 Sept. 2011, www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/Nejmoa1014296
easily get 30 minutes of activity

How to Easily Get 30 Minutes of Activity Every Day

5 tips to easily get 30 minutes of activity every day so you lose weight faster and feel better

When you hear someone tell you to exercise more, it’s easy to feel a bit frustrated. 

You know you’re supposed to exercise. But the people who say that seem to just have more time on their hands and an easier time of it.

It seems impossible to gather up the willpower, summon enough energy, or even find something you enjoy enough to make a regular part of your routine.

And then there’s the time factor. Who has time to set aside an hour or more every day for exercise? 

But the good thing is that you don’t need that much time for a good workout. It only takes 30 minutes of activity each day to get you on the right path to a more active lifestyle, a healthier weight, and a happier life.

The recommended amount of exercise is 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Or 75 minutes of intense activity each week.

And when you break those numbers down it’s really not that much activity being recommended at all. 150 minutes, when broken down into more a more manageable chunk, can come to five 30-minute workout sessions per week.

It might sound too good to be true, that 30 minutes of activity is enough to get meaningful results from exercise. So let’s first dig into why it is.

Can 30 minutes of activity really be enough?

It might sound too good to be true, that 30 minutes is enough to get meaningful results from exercise. But you can do more in 30 minutes than you think. And get plenty out of it. Here are just some of the benefits of getting 30 minutes of activity every day:

  • Mood boost

The post-exercise endorphin rush is a real thing. And it’s why you can feel so fabulous after a run or a great lift.

  • Reduce stress

Norepinephrine is a chemical that moderates and improves our response to stressful situations. Exercise increases the amount of norepinephrine produced in our bodies–giving you the ability to better manage stress.

  • Improve energy levels

You might assume that exercise just makes you tired. But making exercise a habit actually improves your energy levels every day. Exercise delivers more oxygen to your brain, circulates nutrients to your muscle tissue, and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. This especially helps your body maintain high energy levels with less effort.

  • Improve self-confidence

Fitting a bit of movement into your day is one of the best ways to feel stronger and more capable on those days you feel a bit off. It’s easy to want to just zone out in front of the TV when you hit a snag you want to ignore. But going for a walk, a jog, or breaking out the yoga mat can get you back on track and feeling great about yourself.

5 tips to easily get 30 minutes of activity each day

So how can you make sure to get 30 minutes each day? If you’re busy or any exercise at all seems daunting to you–that’s okay. The key is to start slow and celebrate every win you have along the way.

You’ll have to try a few things before you discover what works best for you. So here are 5 common solutions that help others find time for exercise and be excited about it.

1. Break it up

Don’t have 30 minutes straight on some days? That’s okay.

While 30 minutes is a pretty short workout, with busy schedules even that amount of time can feel impossible. 

So instead, make time for 15 minutes of movement in the morning and another 15 in the evening. Even shorter time chunks like that are even easier to squeeze in.

Making time to move your muscles and get your heart pumping at all is better than not doing it.

You can also take a few minutes at your work desk. Do stretches in 5-minute chunks. That does wonders for your back and neck muscles that grow tense as we hunch over computer screens all day. It also helps you get the blood flowing to your legs and activates your muscles.

So on those super busy days, you can still find a few minutes here and there to get activity in. And over the course of the day, it’ll all add up.

2. Mix it up and tailor your workouts to your busy schedule

There are plenty of reasons to mix up your training routine. Some of those reasons have to do with building your well-rounded and overall health and fitness. But it’s also helpful so you can adapt to the busiest days of your week.

Some days are busier and you’ll feel more motivated to do yoga than you would be for a run. There might be days of the week that a workout class is open, while it isn’t on other days.

When you adjust your workouts to your routine and build in variety, you’re more likely to commit to the exercise you have planned.

3. Make it part of your commute

If you can ride your bike to work, that covers your exercise requirement and takes care of the practical necessity of getting to work.

4. Set up active outings with friends and family and partners

Making exercise a group activity is one of the best ways to make exercise enjoyable and to hold yourself accountable. 

It’s easy to do a lot of activities with others–any team sport, tennis, swimming, hiking, or dancing. Doing exercise with people you enjoy makes it more fun and gives you the added joy of making time to spend with the people who are important to you.

5. Do activities you like

Doing exercise that you truly enjoy is the most important piece of advice on this list.

Forget anyone telling you that you must do a specific exercise if you want to lose weight. Or that there are good and bad workouts depending on how hard you exercise, how fast you can move, or how heavy you can lift.

The important thing is doing something you love. Whatever brings you the most joy and gets you moving–do that the most.

Are there benefits to doing a mix of cardio and strength training? Yes. That’s why any personal trainer will recommend you do a mix of both.

But any movement is more important than doing the most specialized exercise out there.

If you aren’t sure what you enjoy yet, take some time to find what you enjoy. It could be swimming, hiking, walking, jogging, yoga, or playing basketball, tennis, or soccer. You might find that you love weight lifting. 

Just get out there and try a few things and when you find something you love, keep doing it.

Not Sure Where to Begin?

Any amount of exercise is easier when you have a support system.

And if you need that support network and expert guidance about how to pair exercise with a diet to get the best weight loss results, we’re here to help.

Reach out to our experts to learn more about your weight loss options and how we can help you achieve your goals.


  1. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf

How to Help Your Child Lose Weight

Follow these expert-recommended strategies to help your child lose weight. And know when it’s time to talk with a professional

In recent decades, childhood obesity has become one of the most serious youth health epidemics in America.

18.5% of children and adolescents in the US are obese. But this wasn’t always an issue. It’s one that’s been rising in recent decades because of certain lifestyle factors.

Children today are more likely to eat out regularly, exercise less, have more access to high fat and high sugar processed foods, and spend more time doing sedentary hobbies—watching TV and playing video games.

All of these have contributed to a growing problem for children and teens that goes beyond being overweight. Childhood obesity comes along with other health concerns like depression, diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure.

So it’s important to tackle this issue early to prevent other serious health problems from arising.

But losing weight isn’t easy. It’s complex and there isn’t a one size fits all solution.

So here are some of the top suggestions to help your child lose weight so their health can improve, and they can live happier and longer lives.

1. More movement

Getting more movement each day is one of the most important things a child can do to start losing weight.

You can help by signing them up for a sport or activity that requires them to move for at least an hour each day. It may take a few tries to find an activity they really enjoy. But it’s worth the time investment to discover an activity that will keep them moving.

It’s also a good idea to restrict screen time and encourage time outdoors. This is especially important on the weekends when there’s more time in their day for activity.

There’s little you can do about the hours they spend sitting in school (or in front of the screen for online school now). But on the weekends is the time to ensure they’re not spending all day in front of a screen.

Many electronic devices and apps can have restrictions and timers set up to limit how long they can be used or who can login and use them. This is an easy way to enforce a limit on their screen time.

2. Restrict Access to Processed Foods

Processed foods are everywhere. And we can’t deny that many of them are delicious. But to make these foods a big part of the diet is one of the leading causes of youth weight gain.

What do we mean by processed foods? Foods that you find on the grocery store shelves that are premade and full of extra salt, sugar, oils, and preservatives to make their shelf-life longer. Foods like frozen pizza (or any frozen meal), cookies, canned foods, and chips, are some of the most highly processed foods. And they have a higher calorie count than making those foods yourself from scratch.

It’s essential to restrict access to these and replace them with whole foods to help your child lose weight.

This doesn’t mean you have to do anything crazy.

One of the easiest ways to change their diet is to replace their high calorie, low satiety snacks with low calorie, high satiety snacks. The same thing we suggest for adults looking to lose weight.

Instead of buying Cheeots, have popcorn in the house. Instead of frozen french fries, make homemade baked, mashed, or lightly fried potatoes with far less oil than used in the premade options.

Stock the house with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low-sugar yogurts.

When they are hungry but there’s nothing else around to eat but these healthier options, they’ll have no choice but to eat them. And over time their palette will adjust to these foods. And they’ll crave the highly-processed foods less and less over time.

This also doesn’t mean that you have to go all or nothing when it comes to treats. When an occasion comes up and your family wants pie, or cake, or cookies. Great. That’s the time to indulge.

But it’s not necessary to have all of those foods in the house at all times.

3. Eat out less

This one’s tough for working families and anyone who is short on time. (Aren’t we all?)

Cooking is time-consuming. But it is one of the most important things to do for the family when it comes to nutritional health and managing obesity.

When you cook from home you know everything going into those dishes.

A lot of those meals you get when you eat out taste so delicious because they sneak in all kinds of extra oils, fats, and sugars. This means the same dish at a restaurant is going to have more calories than it does when you make it at home.

There are a lot of ways to make cooking easier and take up less of your time.

It’s possible to cook only a couple nights in a week instead of every night if you buy enough ingredients to always have leftovers. This gives you and the family extra servings for meals later in the week. And saves you from having to cook another night or two.

You can also meal prep on one day of the week and make enough for the family to have a variety of dinners throughout the rest of the week.

And if possible, pack a lunch for the kids to eat at school every day. This is something that older kids can do for themselves when given the right variety of options to choose from. Plus they gain that sense of self-sufficiency by taking care of their own meals.

4. Encourage kids to try new things

This counts for both activity and food.

It can be tough for a teen to want to try new things. There are all kinds of social and other concerns that they’re consumed by that we oftentimes forget.

But it’s important to encourage them to try new activities that can get them out in the world and spending less time in front of the TV and on their phones. This helps them increase their activity and expend more calories throughout the day.

And it’s important to encourage your kids to try new foods. It’s easy for kids, and for anyone really, to get into a habit of eating the same few foods they’re comfortable with. It’s crucial in this time of development to encourage them to try as wide a variety of foods as possible. Show them the range of delicious fresh foods and healthy meals that exist from all over the world. 

This adventurous way of eating makes it more likely they’ll find whole foods they enjoy and want to make a regular part of their diet. 

5. Make it a family plan

The truth is, while it may not seem like it sometimes, all kids and adolescents look to the adults in their life for guidance and as a model for how to live.

So when you model healthy habits, they’re more likely to pick those up.

One of the best ways to make healthy habits that benefit your kids (and you) is to make any lifestyle changes in diet and exercise a family change—not just one for the child.

This prevents the lifestyle changes in activity and nutrition from feeling like a punishment for your child

So make it a positive and exciting change not just for your child, but for the whole family. There are so many ways to make these changes that the whole family can enjoy. Make family bike rides a regular activity. Go swimming, go for walks, go hiking together—it could be anything.

Buy healthy food options. Cook with your kids. Teach them how they can be aware of, and control, what they eat. And talk to them about the outcome of healthful eating versus convenience eating of highly processed foods. 

When to get expert advice?

If you’re worried about your child’s weight, it’s always smart to get insight from an expert.

While these tips are a helpful starting point, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and like it’s not enough, then it’s time to talk to a physician about how to help your child lose weight.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss we have doctors who help you find the best solution for your child. We know that making weight loss happen isn’t always easy for complex reasons that are often environmental, psychological, and physical in nature. So we help you and your child work through those barriers to weight loss with compassion and understanding.

We offer weight loss plans that ensure your child can lose weight safely and still get the total nutrition they need. We provide a meal plan, probiotics, multivitamins, weekly weigh-ins, and physician consults. And if it’s the right option, you can also get an FDA approved appetite suppressant for youths over 12 years old. 

The reality is that getting a handle on childhood obesity early has so many health impacts on their life as healthy adults.

Read more about our youth weight loss program and contact us to set up your appointment today.


  1. “Childhood Obesity Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 June 2019, www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html.
  2. “Childhood Obesity Causes & Consequences.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 Sept. 2020, www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/causes.html

The Best Exercise for Weight Loss

Get the most weight loss benefits out of your time spent exercising

If you’re going to start exercising with the goal of losing weight, then you want to choose the most effective exercise for weight loss.

That’s not to say you should do a type of exercise you hate. It’s important to find something you love so you feel happy to have exercise as part of your routine.

But if you’re newer to exercise, or just haven’t in a while, then you may be wondering what’s the best exercise for weight loss.

Well, you’re in luck, because there’s not just one best exercise to lose weight. There are plenty of options to choose from.

So if you’re looking for something to try for your new weight loss plan, give these calorie-burning exercises a try first to figure out what exercise you enjoy most.

Exercises to burn the most calories:

When your goal is to lose weight, you want to find exercises that burn the most calories.

Or in other words, make you to use the most energy to get through the exercise and recover from it.

The key is to get your heart rate up and keep it elevated for as long as is safely possible.

For that reason, cardio workouts are the best for losing more calories in one training session.

So it should come as no surprise then that many of the exercises we list here for weight loss are cardio-based.

Below are some of the best workouts to burn the most calories:


It’s likely that the first type of exercise that comes to mind when you think of cardio and losing weight is running.

Even looking at pictures of runners, you can assume that running must be great for keeping weight off–most of them are so thin!

So it’s true that running is great for your heart health and for burning calories.

Depending on your pace you can expect to burn between 648–960 calories in one hour of running.

That’s a ton of calories.


Swimming is fabulous because it’s great exercise but doesn’t always feel like it. The water lets you feel weightless and able to move freely. Plus, if you love the water there’s something soothing about it too.

So it’s exciting that something so fun can also be such a great exercise for weight loss.

You can burn anywhere from 369–588 calories in one hour of swimming.


Whether you sign up for a spin class or take out your bike for street riding, this is a great exercise for weight loss.

There are plenty of people who swear by their cycling classes, not just for the calories burned, but also for the energy and enthusiasm infused in every session.

Depending on your rate it’s possible to burn 420-622 calories in a one-hour session.


HIIT workouts are one of the best options if burning the most calories is your goal.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. And the way it works is you do shorter workouts ranging from 20-40 minutes. During these workouts, you alternate between high bursts of energy and longer rest periods.

So for example, you do might 30 sections of high-intensity exercise followed by 45 seconds of rest before you start the next 30-second round. This is the usual pattern of a HIIT workout.

How many calories can this type of exercise burn for you? Around 450 calories in 30 minutes.

That’s right—almost as much as running burns in an hour. 

It’s honestly staggering how great HIIT is for burning calories. And it’s a big part of the reason why it’s become so popular all over the country.

And another great thing about HIIT is that it’s possible to combine cardio and some strength training in one workout. So you get the best of both worlds.

Because there are major benefits of strength training and building muscle to help you lose weight. 

Want to burn more calories at rest?

Exercising at all will help boost your metabolism. So your body will start burning more energy even when you aren’t active.

But there’s one type of exercise that improves your metabolism above all others: strength training. 

When you lift weights (or use bodyweight) to build muscle you make it possible for your body to burn more calories at rest.


Because muscle uses more energy than fat.

The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories your body uses—even at rest.

So if you want an exercise that does more for you throughout the day and not just when you’re exercising, then make sure you include strength training in your routine.

But you don’t need to lift weights every single day to see these effects.

Even two or three times per week is enough to see improvement over time. 

Need your exercise to be low impact?

But you may be thinking that some of the activities are too intense for where you’re starting out. And that’s okay—we all come from different starting points and have different needs.

That doesn’t mean exercise is impossible for you.

You can start by simply walking.

Walking is the best place to start if exercise feels unattainable for you.

Will you burn quite as many calories in an hour as other forms of exercise? Of course not. But you can burn around 186-276 calories when walking at a moderate pace for one hour. It’s definitely possible to burn even more than that depending on your pace and how far you choose to walk every day. 

And you will be amazed by what’s possible when you start walking and stick with it over time.

It works when you’re consistent and patient with yourself and your body. But the results do come. 

Making Exercise Consistent Is Key

While you now have an idea of the best exercise for weight loss, that doesn’t mean you should force yourself to do activities you don’t enjoy.

If you hate running, or any other type of exercise listed here, it’s not going to be the best way to lose weight for you.

The most important thing when it comes to exercise is to find a type of exercise that you enjoy most.

It could be dancing, tennis, golf, basketball, hiking, or any number of other activities. The key is to find the right exercise for you. And the weight loss will follow in time.

When you work with us at Valley Medical Weight Loss we help you get a plan for exercise that works for you and your goals. We pair your exercise plan with a diet plan and check-in to make sure you get the best results possible. 

Learn more about working with a weight loss doctor who can help you make your weight loss goals a reality.


  1. “12 Exercises That Burn the Most Calories.” Healthline, 2019, www.healthline.com/health/what-exercise-burns-the-most-calories#at-home.
  2. Glantz, Jen. “5 Women Explain How Walking Helped Them Finally Lose the Weight.” Women’s Health, Women’s Health, 22 Oct. 2019, www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/g19917712/lose-weight-by-walking/. 

Overcome Common Weight Loss Obstacles

If you hit a wall in your weight loss journey, don’t stress, and don’t give up! We have some tips to help you.

When you start your weight loss journey it’s easy to feel motivated and excited for the changes you imagine in your life. The last thing on your mind is all the weight loss obstacles that could get in your way.

But the changes you want take time. And over time the excitement starts to fade. You realize just how difficult it is to lose weight. And it’s not uncommon for all your goals to suddenly feel impossible.

But you can do it. Just like the thousands of others who have found success before you.

But we know it’s not easy. It’s never as simple as just do more exercise. Or just stick to your diet.

If it were as simple as just following those suggestions, then no one would be overweight.

The truth is…no matter how much weight you want to lose, there will be ups and downs. You will encounter roadblocks.

The key to success isn’t pretending that won’t happen. 

It’s in being prepared.

So here are some insights about how to overcome six of the most common weight loss obstacles. 

That way you can make a gameplan from the start. And when something inevitably tries to get in your way, you will overcome it and succeed in your weight loss journey.

1.Diet Struggles

Constantly feeling hungry

Hunger is one of the most difficult feelings to ignore. And if you’re constantly feeling hungry, then you most likely won’t be able to maintain your weight loss plan for very long.

But there are ways of getting around that. Like by choosing foods that are high satiety, but low calorie. High satiety means foods that make you feel full after eating them.

Foods like oatmeal, fish, greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr, popcorn, soup, fruits, vegetables, and potatoes (not in french fry form—sorry, I know they’re delicious).

These foods are filling and low calorie. Many of them highly nutritious too. 

And they’re a good place to start for another problem people face around food and weight loss:

Not knowing what to eat

There’s a lot of conflicting information about what the best diet is. 

But it really doesn’t have to be so complicated. Your goal is to eat for health and weight loss.

Based on your personal conditions, you may eat a different variety of foods from another person, but there are a few general rules to stick to:

You want to eat more foods that have high nutritional value. Foods that get you a mix of the right essential nutrients your body needs to be healthy. And you want to keep your caloric intake low enough to lose weight.

But when you don’t have time to put in the research to learn about all there is to know about diet, it’s easy to feel stuck.

This is why having a meal plan created for you can be so helpful. It takes all the thinking out of the equation on your end. You get an expertly created meal plan and the results will follow when you stick to it.

You don’t have time to cook

When you decide to cook your own meals because it’s healthier than going out to eat or relying on microwavable meals, you realize how time-consuming cooking can be!

Plus you’re tired after work every day. The last thing you want to do is cook every night.

The best way to get around this weight loss obstacle is to meal prep.

Every Sunday making all of your meals and putting them into portions that you can easily grab and heat up throughout the rest of the week.

It removes the temptation to go out to avoid cooking. It saves you the time of cooking a new meal every single day.

And it’s the best way to set yourself up for success.

2. Exercise Obstacles

Find exercise boring

If you can’t find the motivation to exercise it’s possible that you find exercise boring.

The thought of going for a run sounds like mind-numbing torture. And walking on the treadmill for an hour? Total snoozer.

Not everyone would choose to spend hours of their week doing rigorous activity. You might have other passions and interests you want to invest your time in.

But there’s no denying the importance of exercise for your health. You avoid doing it at your own peril.

The reality is that there are so many types of exercise out there. And while you see fitness influences all over social media, or professional athletes on TV, don’t assume that you must go all or nothing into exercise as they have.

Find an activity you enjoy—yoga, swimming, walking, jogging, team sports, lifting, or dancing.

It can be anything. But you have to do it regularly.

At least three days a week of moderate to intense activity is recommended. But what’s even better is getting into the habit of doing 30 minutes of fun physical activity every day.

Just remember that if you start to get bored you can always switch things up.

Don’t have time

I get it—we live in a culture where being busy is the default.

So this makes creating time for longer workouts difficult for many people. It’s hard to show up for classes that run for an hour or longer when you barely have time for everything else.

But there are ways of saving time in your workouts.

One simple way is by choosing to workout at home instead of the gym. This cuts down on commute time you inevitably have to factor into your day.

And don’t feel like you have to follow any program that will take you longer than 30 minutes to complete in a day.

30 minutes is enough time to get in a solid workout. And it’s a reasonable chunk of time to set aside each day.

It’s going to be difficult to do at first. Especially if you haven’t established a routine. Or if your daily schedule really does feel like mayhem.

But the 30 minutes you invest now will improve the quality of your life now and for your future.


Pain is one of the hardest weight loss obstacles to overcome.

But it can be done.

Work with a trainer. Speak with a physical therapist. These are people who are specially trained to work with you through your pain.

And with so many different types of exercise to choose from, you can find something that won’t cause you pain. 

3. Embarrassment 

It’s easy to feel embarrassed when there’s a lot of social stigma around weight.

Maybe you’re embarrassed that all your past attempts at losing weight failed. And you believe no one will take you seriously when you say you want to try again.

Maybe you don’t want to step foot in the gym where you see plenty of fit and thin people.

That kind of embarrassment and fear is paralyzing.

So how do you overcome it?

One way is to remember that you aren’t alone and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy. And everything you’re doing deserves compassion and celebration.

Know that you belong anywhere. If fear of the gym is stopping you from getting the exercise you need to burn calories and lose fat, let’s consider a few things:

  • No one in the gym actually cares about what you’re doing or even notices. And if they do, they’re the problem, not you.
  • The gym exists for everyone who wants to get healthier–that includes you!
  • Give yourself time to learn. You won’t feel like a pro in the gym at first. Embrace those feelings of uncertainty and channel them into learning so you can feel more at home there.

And finally, find people who support you. Anyone who cares about seeing you feel healthy and happy won’t shame you for trying. Even if you tried and failed before. 

Having the support of others normalizes what you want to do. Support helps you overcome any weight loss obstacles and helps you feel less embarrassed.

4. Motivation Fluctuates 

Our motivation to do everything comes and goes in waves. Truly, for everything.

Professional athletes, musicians, writers, and people from all walks of life will have plenty of days where they just don’t want to do it.

It might be one day. It might stretch to two weeks.

Because what happens with everything is we often reach a plateau. Or we find ourselves stuck in a rut. 

But progress is still happening. Even if we can’t see it or hear it, it’s happening. And you’re not far away from another burst of motivation and improvement if you just. keep. going.

So you will face low points in your weight loss journey. You’ll feel like it’s no use or that you aren’t making the progress you want.

This is truly one of the most insidious weight loss obstacles because it’s so easy to convince yourself nothing you do matters during times of low motivation.

It’s overcoming those low points that are the ultimate challenge. But there are some ways to regain that spark and stay on track.

Read motivational books, listen to motivational podcasts, watch inspirational documentaries. Find people who are willing to listen to you and motivate you.

Surround yourself with all the positive reminders of why you want to lose weight. 

And most importantly: don’t beat yourself up if you slip.

Did you have an extra cheat meal this week? Did you eat more in the last two days because of some social events that came up?

Do not worry.

A lot of times, when we break a pattern or a streak we feel like we’ve completely ruined everything.

And when we feel this way, it’s easy to just say you’re a failure, and give up altogether.

Instead, try to recognize the truth of the situation: you enjoyed the first treat in a month because you were happy and wanted to enjoy yourself.

Accept it, embrace that moment, let it happen, and then move on.

To shame yourself will only ever keep your motivation in a downward spiral. It will turn harmless incidents into catastrophic events even when it wasn’t close to being one to begin with.

5. Stress 

Stress is one of the most overlooked but hugely important barriers to weight loss.

Our metabolism actually slows down under stress.

And when we are stressed it’s easier to feel demotivated and run into more weight loss obstacles than when we feel at ease.

So if weight loss is your goal, it’s important to consider how stressed you are. And what you can do to reduce your stress.

Some common ways are to meditate, spend time outside, read a good novel, watch a fun series, take a bubble bath, or exercise. All of these activities can help you take your mind off what’s causing you to worry. And instead, let you focus on the present.

And if stress is really interfering in your life in many ways, it’s worth talking to a professional about your stress. 

The outcome would be a better state of mind and improved physical health.

6. Schedule Changes 

Have you ever gone on vacation and realized that it’s nearly impossible to stick to your usual weight loss plan?

Here’s the reality about vacations: they’re fun but they wreak havoc on your weight-loss plan. 

It’s harder to exercise. You don’t know what kind of gym your lodgings will have—if any. And you don’t know how much of your usual training routine you’ll be able to stick to.

There’s also the matter of food.

Chances are you’ll eat out regularly. This means you won’t be sticking to the meal plan that’s best for your weight loss and overall health.

Whether it’s a vacation, a new work schedule, or a life change that’s going to upend your normal routines for the foreseeable future, you can overcome these.

First off, it’s important not to stress out about these changes. Whether they’re temporary or long-term, the key to overcoming this obstacle is to create a new plan to keep losing weight.

People have achieved their weight loss goals under so many different circumstances. Some are undoubtedly easier than others. But your goals are always possible.

What’s the easiest way to overcome all of these weight loss obstacles?

With support.

It’s proven that those who have support in their weight loss goals are more successful and happier while doing it.


Because the changes you’re making are huge! They’re life-altering. And there’s no doubt that making lifestyle changes and creating new habits is one of the hardest things for us to do.

But when we feel supported and like our goals have a purpose outside of ourselves, they become more attainable. They become more enjoyable. 

Find out how to get life-changing weight-loss support at Valley Medical Weight Loss to make your weight loss goals a reality.


1.“7 Filling Foods to Prevent Hunger Backed by Science.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324078.

2. Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K, et al. “Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: a Novel Path to Obesity.” Biological Psychiatry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Apr. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289126/.

Lose Weight Faster with Phentermine

Phentermine is one of the most effective weight loss drugs ever created—find out if it’s right for you.

Phentermine is one of the most effective weight loss drugs ever created—find out if it’s right for you.

To say losing weight is hard is an understatement. 

It takes years to see the results you want. You can’t eat the way you always enjoyed and have to change your lifestyle to be more active.

There’s nothing easy about that.

And so we’re always looking for ways to help you lose weight faster than diet and exercise alone. 

Phentermine is one of those options.

Phentermine is a weight loss drug that’s been around since 1959. It’s effective and there are decades of research to back it up.

Because of how powerful it is, this isn’t a drug you can get over the counter. Your doctor must prescribe it for you. And prescriptions generally don’t happen unless your BMI is 30 or higher—the threshold for obesity. 

The reason is, it’s created for people who need to lose a lot of weight. It’s not just for losing 5 pounds before your next vacation. 

But what makes phentermine unique is that the results are also quite rapid compared to others on the market. The drug is only meant to take for a short period of time and up to 12-13 weeks.

Since phentermine’s creation, it’s helped thousands of people lose weight, either alone or in combination with other weight loss medications.

So what exactly does phentermine help you lose weight faster?

Suppresses Appetite

One of the major barriers to weight loss is just feeling hungry all the time. And phentermine works wonders to suppress your appetite—making it easier to avoid junk foods and stick to your diet.

Believe it or not, exactly how phentermine suppresses appetite isn’t clear. Even after decades on the market.

What we do know is that it increases the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in your brain. 

When your levels of these neurotransmitters increase, your appetite decreases.

Ultimately, the reason it’s so effective is that it’s able to help you overcome one of the biggest barriers to sticking to a new diet. 

Helps Patients with Eating Disorders

Since phentermine suppresses appetite, it helps individuals deal with a challenging eating disorder: binge eating.

Binge eating is when you eat huge quantities of food in short periods of time. It’s also combined with a compulsion to keep eating—essentially feeling like you just can’t stop eating even if you know your body is full. This can often be associated with a strong feeling of losing control while eating and feeling extreme guilt or shame after. 

It’s worth noting that this is different from overconsumption or overeating. Which is exactly what it sounds like—eating too much at a meal. But in this case, it’s an isolated incident or not associated with the other symptoms of a binge eating disorder.

Bulimia is another eating disorder that is similar to binging. And it’s connected with many of the same feelings: lack of control, shame, and guilt. A pattern of binging and purging can arise as a result of those feelings. With purging—or self-induced vomiting—happening in an attempt to regain a sense of control. This binging and purging pattern is what we know as bulimia nervosa.

Phentermine helps people overcome eating disorders by suppressing appetite as a start.

But it helps in other ways too.

It improves the sense of control over eating habits. And improves mood after eating.

In one study, patients with these eating disorders were able to reduce their binge days from 16 to 4 over a 28 day period—a drastic improvement! 

For those who need to lose weight and struggle with eating disorders, phentermine can be an effective option.

Weight Loss

Taking phentermine is a gives you a good start for losing weight. 

It lowers your appetite, prevents binge eating, and even promotes fat loss.

One study found that patients taking phentermine lost anywhere from 5-10% of their starting body weight at the end of a 12 week period. 

And another study had trial participants take phentermine for 13 weeks. The average loss was 13.9 pounds by the end of the study.

But doctors won’t advise you to take phentermine in place of diet and exercise.

And this is important to understand: no medication should be taken in place of diet and exercise. In fact, phentermine is most effective when combined with dietary and lifestyle adjustments to promote weight loss.

When you’re prescribed phentermine, your doctor will also give you a diet plan and realistic exercise expectations. 

And since taking phentermine is a short term option, it’s important to have those healthy lifestyle habits in place when the medication is finished.

How to find out if phentermine is right for you

There’s no doubt that phentermine helps you lose weight faster. But it isn’t an option for everybody.

The only way to get phentermine is with a prescription. So at Valley Medical Weight Loss, we can help you determine whether phentermine is right for you. 

It’s always important to discuss phentermine in detail with your doctor because there are some side-effects that can be exacerbated if you have certain health complications. 

Some of these side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Flushing
  • Hyperactivity
  • Upset stomach

And phentermine should be avoided altogether if you have heart disease, glaucoma, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Ultimately, phentermine is effective and helpful when taken correctly under the guidance of a doctor. And when it’s combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes.

Our doctors work with you to figure out the right plan for you—whether it includes phentermine or not.

Contact us to make an appointment and learn more about a personalized weight loss plan to feel healthier and happier again.


  1. Scott, Jennifer R. “The Differences Between Binge Eating and Overeating.” Verywell Mind, 19 July 2020, www.verywellmind.com/when-does-overeating-become-binge-eating-3495807.
  2. DH;, Bray GA;Ryan. “Medical Therapy for the Patient with Obesity.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22474312/.
  3. Haddock CK;Poston WS;Dill PL;Foreyt JP;Ericsson M; “Pharmacotherapy for Obesity: a Quantitative Analysis of Four Decades of Published Randomized Clinical Trials.” International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11850760/.
sleep helps you lose weight

How Sleep Helps You Lose Weight

Seriously, how much sleep you get each night impacts your body weight

If you’re looking for ways to lose weight without having to step on a treadmill, you aren’t alone. 

And while I can’t advise avoiding exercise, there is one activity that requires zero movement and has a shocking impact on your weight:

Sleep. Glorious sleep.

The recommended amount of sleep each night is 7-9 hours for adults and 8-10 for adolescents.

But the unfortunate truth is that ⅓ of Americans don’t get enough sleep every night. And 70% of Americans report that they don’t get enough sleep at least one night a month.

Sleep issues affect around 50-70 million Americans every year and this impacts health in a variety of ways: increased risk of injury, depression, and high blood pressure (just to list a few).

Those might be expected results of not sleeping enough. But lack of sleep affects your weight too.

1. Poor sleep increases your calorie intake 

There are so many factors that can lead to increasing your calorie intake each day.

First, sleep helps you lose weight by regulating hunger hormones: ghrelin and leptin.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t produce enough leptin which suppresses hunger.

And it produces too much ghrelin which tells your brain that you’re full.

As a result of that, you may perceive an increased appetite. But it doesn’t stop there.

When you don’t sleep enough, you don’t just want more food — you want more high-calorie foods. Specifically high-carb and high-fat foods.

These foods are difficult enough to resist on their own under ideal conditions.

But choosing healthful foods over junk food becomes a titanic struggle when you take into account how sleep affects decision-making. 

When you are low on sleep you have a harder time making good decisions.

Lack of sleep is associated with lower performance in the frontal lobe of your brain. This is where decisions are made and you decide how to exhibit self-control.

So when you don’t get enough sleep, your self-control and smart decision-making suffer. And you’re more likely to eat foods that you’d rather avoid as you try to lose weight.

2. Sleep improves your physical activity 

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to help you lose weight.

But when you’re tired every day you won’t want to exercise. It’s as simple as that.

If exercise isn’t part of your regular routine yet, it’s hard to get motivated. And you make it even harder to get motivated when you aren’t well-rested.

Poor sleep has also been shown to decrease performance outcomes. While getting enough sleep every night has proven to improve athletic performance.

And then there’s the matter of recovery. Sleep is essential for your body to properly recover after exercise. If you want to get better at exercise and see all the weight loss outcomes possible from your workouts, you need to get enough sleep each night.

3. Sleep improves your resting metabolism

Resting metabolism is how many calories your body burns while at rest.

There are some ways of increasing (or decreasing) your resting metabolic rate. And it should come as no surprise now that sleep is one of them.

Sleep helps you lose weight by increasing your resting metabolism.

One reason this may be the case is that inadequate sleep can cause muscle loss. And muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.

Tips for getting enough sleep

It’s one thing to know how important sleep is for losing weight. But if you struggle to get to sleep at a good hour, you might need some help making the adjustment. 

So if you’re like many who have trouble getting to sleep early, here are some pointers to get to more sleep.

  • Turn all screens off an hour before bed

Put your phone on the charger, close your laptop, and shut the TV off. 

The blue light from screens reduces your melatonin production at night. Melatonin is the hormone that controls your sleep cycle. If you aren’t producing enough melatonin, you won’t fall asleep easily.

So turn the screens off and find something to do without a screen for the hour before you sleep.

  • Read in bed instead

Reading helps you fall asleep as long as you read from a classic bound book, not an e-reader.

It works because reading relaxes you. It takes your mind off your worries of the day. So if you have a hard time falling asleep because of racing thoughts, this is a useful tool to get out of your own head before bed.

  • Sleep meditation

Another tool to overcome any anxiety that keeps you up at night is meditation. 

There are meditations made specifically to help you fall asleep. So you can lie in bed, get all cozy, turn on your sleep meditation, and easily relax into sleep. Programs like the Calm app provide plenty of anxiety-reducing and sleep meditations to help you get a full night’s rest.

  • Create total darkness in your bedroom at night

Depending on where you live, you might have a lot of city light coming in through your window at night. 

If the brightness at night is keeping you up, getting better blinds, heavy curtains, or an eye sleep mask to keep out the light will help you sleep better at night.

  • Create a consistent sleeping rhythm

If you like going out for late nights on the weekend, this can be a frustrating suggestion.

But if you want to lose weight, then having a consistent sleep pattern is just as important as following a steady diet and meal plan.

Having a regular sleep schedule makes it more likely you’ll get tired at an early enough time to get your full 7-9 hours of sleep. 

Don’t let your sleep be an afterthought.

While sleep is just one component of your overall health, it’s an important one. When you get enough, sleep helps you lose weight and improves your quality of life. 

If you want more guidance about getting enough sleep and how that can help you based on your specific weight loss goals, we’re always here to answer your questions.


  1. “National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times.” Sleep Foundation, 28 July 2020, www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times.
  2. “1 In 3 Adults Don’t Get Enough Sleep.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Feb. 2016, www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html.
  3. “The State of SleepHealth in America.” SleepHealth, www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state-of-sleephealth-in-america/.
  4. Taheri, Shahrad, et al. “Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index.” PLoS Medicine, Public Library of Science, Dec. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701/.
  5. Spiegel K;Tasali E;Penev P;Van Cauter E; “Brief Communication: Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men Is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite.” Annals of Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15583226/.
  6. Wu JC;Gillin JC;Buchsbaum MS;Chen P;Keator DB;Khosla Wu N;Darnall LA;Fallon JH;Bunney WE; “Frontal Lobe Metabolic Decreases with Sleep Deprivation Not Totally Reversed by Recovery Sleep.” Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16880772/.
  7. Pullen, Caroline. “7 Ways Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 June 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/sleep-and-weight-loss. 
lose stubborn fat

Lose Stubborn Fat with Lipotropic Injections

This weight loss supplement gives you the health benefits of vitamin B and helps you lose weight

Lipotropics might sound like some strange kind of injection. If you read that word and wonder what the heck is that?—you aren’t alone! 

It’s easy to question the legitimacy of lipotropics when the name of it doesn’t sound like anything you’re familiar with. But when you break it down, the purpose is right there in the name: lipo means fat and tropics means related to, influencing, or changing a certain hormone or part of the body.

Lipotropics simply means a substance that changes fat content in the body. So these are nothing more than injections that help people lose the stubborn fat that’s been most difficult to lose.

But how do these injections help people lose weight? 

What Are Lipotropics Made Of?

Lipotropics are most often a mix of B vitamins, methionine, inositol, and choline. And these injections are proving to drastically improve weight management and overall quality of life. 

For starters, Vitamin B is an essential nutrient with a ton of health benefits. Vitamin B:

  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Reduces risk of eye disease like macular degeneration
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces depression symptoms
  • Improves brain health
  • Boosts energy
  • Promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails

And there’s more than just one type of vitamin B. What’s often called vitamin B complex is the whole group of B vitamins that we need to be in good health.

Vitamin B-12 specifically is one of the most important for healthy metabolism and weight loss. But the absorption of vitamin B-12 isn’t always complete through normal consumption. Which is why injections are often provided now for those who will benefit from it.

As for the other compounds in lipotropic injections—methionine, inositol, and choline—these are incredibly beneficial molecules that get to work improving your metabolism and preventing fat accumulation in your cells.

Methionine is an amino acid that must come from our diet. Although our bodies can’t produce it on their own, it’s important for proper cell function, relieving pain, liver function, and detoxing the body.

Inositol has varied health benefits, but significantly elevates mood and prevents fat build-up in your cells

And choline is another essential nutrient your body can’t produce on its own. But your body needs it for transporting nutrients and good metabolism.

But how do all these compounds mixed together lead to weight loss? 

Lipotropic injections reduce fat in your liver and improve metabolism

Your liver function is important for good, healthy metabolism. But that gets compromised by having too much fat in the body. Because as fat levels elevate in the body, fat also builds up in the liver. 

The way you can end up with too much fat in your liver is simply by eating too many calories. And when this fat build-up happens, your liver loses the ability to function at full capacity. This means it won’t be able to filter out toxins as efficiently and liver inflammation develops. And if your liver gets inflamed, you can end up with more serious and life-threatening complications beyond weight gain alone.

Lipotropics are actually able to prevent and reduce fat build-up in the liver. 

The compounds in the injection get delivered to the areas of your body that hold onto fat cells—including the liver. As the liver loses fat, it works more efficiently. Your metabolism improves and your body has an easier time breaking down carbohydrates and stored fats.

So how can you ensure you get all these essential nutrients to protect your liver and lose stubborn fat?

At Valley Medical Weight Loss we offer four affordably-priced high-end options that get you the results you’re looking for safely.

  • B12 Injection

You’ll typically find two types of B12 injections. Some use cyanocobalamin and others use methylcobalamin.

Our top-of-the-line B12 injections are made using methylcobalamin. This is the most natural option for B12 injections. While cyanocobalamin is purely synthetic (man-made), methylcobalamin is a compound that naturally occurs in foods like eggs, fish, meat, and dairy.

Our B12 supplements are designed to give you the many benefits of vitamin B12 including:

  • More energy
  • Fat metabolism
  • Better sleep
  • Healthy immune function
  • Improved vision
  • Lipo B Injection

With the Lipo B injections, you get a blend of B12 and B6 plus methionine, choline, and inositol.

All of these together prevent fat build-up and increases fat removal from your liver. 

This is one of our most popular entry-level injections that will help you feel energized, lose stubborn fat, and detox your liver. It’ll help you achieve the weight loss you’ve been working hard for.

  • Lipo Excel Injection

Our Lipo Excel injection is our most popular option for a reason: you get everything in Lipo B plus a B5 vitamin and L-carnitine. 

Why are B5 and L-carnitine so important?

B5 gives an extra boost to your energy levels and helps your body more efficiently break down fats.

L-carnitine does the important work of increasing your strength and lowering fatigue while suppressing your appetite. 

It’s common knowledge that you’ll lose weight by cutting calories. L-carnitine makes that easier to do. You can cut calories without feeling all the fatigue and frustration that often comes with eating less!

  • Lipo Blast Injection

When you get the Lipo Blast injections you get the very best of what lipotropics has to offer. 

This injection is a complete B-complex vitamin blend with the best lipotropic compounds that burn fat fast.

The Lipo Blast injection can help lower your cholesterol, boost metabolism, and improve your overall energy and mood. Plus you still get the L-carnitine for the added benefits of suppressed appetite and improved energy.

Ready to lose stubborn fat? Get the right lipotropic for your fat loss goals

Whatever your goals and current health concerns are, we have a safe and healthful lipotropic option for you. 

Learn more about our lipotropic injections for weight loss or reach out to one of our locations nearest you to talk to one of our specialists about your options.


  1. Berkheiser, Kaitlyn. “9 Health Benefits of Vitamin B12, Based on Science.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b12-benefits.
  2. Tinsley, Grant. “Methionine: Functions, Food Sources and Side Effects.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 13 Apr. 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/methionine.
  3. Meixner, Makayla. “Inositol: Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/inositol.
  4. Link, Rachael. “Methylcobalamin vs. Cyanocobalamin.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 12 May 2020, www.healthline.com/nutrition/methylcobalamin-vs-cyanocobalamin. 
struggling to lose weight

Struggling to Lose Weight?

If you’re struggling to lose weight, work with a physician to get a weight loss plan that supports you and gets results

You’ve decided you’re ready to lose weight and improve your health. 

So you researched weight loss diets and combed the internet for all the tips and tricks to lose that weight. 

Maybe you’ve even decided to exercise three days a week to burn some extra calories.

And you start out strong, feeling super motivated for those first few days. Even for the first week. And you’re thinking—I got this. 

But all the aspects of your life that prevented you from losing weight in the first place start to get in the way again.

You’re busy and getting to the gym seems nearly impossible even three days a week.

And that busy schedule makes cooking a total drag. Seriously, who has time for this? It’s easier to eat out or buy prepackaged meals—even when you know they aren’t the best for you.

And while you’re thinking about food, what about all those favorite snacks you said you’d cut out of your diet? The temptation to indulge is always there now. Truly you want to eat all your favorite unhealthy foods more now than you did before.

Why? Because you’re hungry. Not just kind of hungry—you feel like you’re starving and it’s making you tired and irritable. 

And now that certain foods are off the table you feel like it’s harder to unwind with friends and family at the weekend when everyone loves dining out as a way to connect. So you can add isolation to the list of growing frustration.

And the next thing you know, 2.5 weeks into your attempt at losing weight, you’ve given up on the whole plan because why bother? You feel more miserable now than before.

Any of this sound familiar?

If you’ve experienced even one of these frustrations on your weight loss journey, then you know how hard it is to lose weight on your own. You know how long it can take and how many ups and downs there can be along the way.

Because barriers to losing weight are tough

Barriers like demotivation, embarrassment, or pain are deeply emotional and challenging for anyone to overcome

It’s so easy to get frustrated and feel like it’s impossible. Especially when progress comes slower than you hoped.

And it’s easy to feel alone. To feel like no one can understand how it feels to go through this journey. 

But the support you need is out there.

And it turns out that when you feel supported, you’re more likely to lose the weight you want.

This is why working with a physician for weight loss is the best investment you make to get results.

Because with a physician you find more than injections, weight loss supplements, and meal plans. 

What you get is a team dedicated to your success. Dedicated to helping you become the healthiest and happiest version of yourself. With the support you need every step of the way.

So how does physician-led weight loss support you?

1. Weekly Check-ins

If you’ve tried losing weight on your own, you know how easy it is to get off track.

Whatever you’re facing, a physician gives you strategies to help and even creates a plan that gets around those difficulties.

So when you go to a weight loss center for a weight loss plan, you set yourself up for success by getting a support network.

You get weekly check-ins so you don’t feel isolated as you go through your weight loss journey.

These weekly check-ins help you stay accountable and give you the chance to check in with a physician for support and advice. And this support is hugely influential for successfully losing the weight you want.

Plus a physician will remind you to celebrate even the smallest loss. And cheer you on as you stay consistent with your plan.

2. Personalized Meal Plans

There are three major struggles with dieting:

  1. You give up moments of joy from eating your favorite foods.
  2. Finding time to make the healthy foods you need
  3. Getting the right food for complete nutrition

While working with a physician means you’ll likely still forgo some of your favorite junk foods on a regular basis, they can help you with the second and third roadblock.

When you work with a doctor, you get the best advice about eating for your needs and lifestyle. They give you realistic ways of finding time to prepare food in your busy schedule.

They’re also experts at setting you up on a diet to lose weight and still get all your nutritional needs.

As humans, we all have certain essential nutrients we must get from our food.

But depending on personal nuances in your biology, you might need to cut certain foods out of your diet and emphasize others.

If you’ve already tried before, you know revamping your diet is no easy task. Largely because there’s so much information about diet out there that it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong.

It’s easy to be unsure what the diet is for you.

When you work with a physician to lose weight, you get a personalized meal plan that’s backed by evidence and produces results. 

3. Personalized Exercise Routines

Believe it or not, there’s no one “right” way to exercise.

While you’ll hear people who do every type of exercise say their way is the best way, the truth is this: the recommendation for exercise according to the Department of Health and Human Services is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

It doesn’t specify what this exercise must be.

The most important thing is finding something you love doing and doing it any 3 days a week that work best for you.

You can swim, walk, jog, lift weights, play basketball, hike, or do yoga. 

But if you’re struggling to find an exercise activity that you enjoy and want professional guidance, your team at a weight loss center can set you up with a workout plan

That way you don’t have to wonder how you should exercise. And you don’t have to spend time planning your workout routines either.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss Center We Help You Stick To Your Weight Loss Program 

You care about your health and you want to live the best life you possibly can.

We are here to support you and make losing weight easier than if you go it alone.

Our weight loss plans that give you dedicated support are something we’re proud to provide at Valley Medical Weight Loss Center.

We know you’re capable of losing weight. You just need the right tools and the right plan for you. 

So we give you everything you need to get you the results you want.

We offer a Weekly Weight Loss Plan with weekly check-ins, a meal plan, and supplements that get you the results you want.

And we provide a Premier Weight Loss Plan with all the check-ins and benefits of the Weekly Plan plus an exercise routine and our app with more meal ideas and other weight loss tools.

Both of our weight loss plans give you time with a physician every week to hold you accountable and support you on this journey.

Schedule an appointment to start your weight loss journey with us.


  1. Brody, Barbara. “12 Common Obstacles to Losing Weight.” Openfit, 29 Aug. 2020, www.openfit.com/how-to-overcome-the-12-most-common-weight-loss-obstacles.
  2. Lemstra, Mark, et al. “Weight Loss Intervention Adherence and Factors Promoting Adherence: a Meta-Analysis.” Patient Preference and Adherence, Dove Medical Press, 12 Aug. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4990387/.
  3. Secretary, HHS Office of the, and Fitness & Nutrition President’s Council on Sports. “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.” HHS.gov, US Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Feb. 2019, www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/index.html

Fasting to Lose Weight: Why It Works

Feeling stuck in your weight loss journey? A fasting weight loss diet might be the key to losing that unwanted weight

There’s no doubt fasting is more popular than ever right now.

And if you’ve never tried it yourself, you might be wondering:

  • Is fasting healthy?
  • Does fasting to lose weight really work?

Despite its more recent surge in popularity, fasting isn’t just a recent health food trend. People have been fasting since ancient times. And the latest studies prove it’s actually an effective and healthful way to approach eating

So what is fasting?

Fasting is commonly just thought of as going for many hours without eating anything. 

But there’s more to it than just not eating all day. Fasting is about timing your meals and even abstaining from certain foods. And there are many different ways of fasting that can work for anyone.

One of the most common ways of fasting for health benefits and weight loss is intermittent fasting. Which is when you alternate fasting days or times with your typical eating habits.

It might look like this: on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you only eat 600 calories in a day while on all the other days of the week, you eat as you normally would.

Or it might be that you choose to skip breakfast every day of the week and only eat between noon and 8PM. This has you in a fasting state for about 16 hours every day.

You could even do two full 24-hour fasts during your week and eat normally on the other five days. This becomes alternate-day fasting when you consistently alternate full days of eating and fasting.

There are also clinically tested and effective fasting weight loss diets like the Prolon Diet. It’s a diet designed to help you get the most out of your fasting meals and reap the most health benefits from fasting.

However you choose fasting to lose weight works, and there are many other related health benefits.

Fasting Limits Calorie Intake

As you cut meals out of your week, you’re ultimately more likely to shrink the number of calories you consume.

When you do a full 24 hour fast, you cut out all those calories from your total consumption each week. This means you consume fewer overall calories than you otherwise would. And your body will start tapping into stored energy sources in fat cells

Another way fasting limits calorie intake is that it often means cutting certain foods out of your diet. So you indulge less in all the processed foods like cake, chips, and ice cream (you know, the tasty but unhealthy foods we all get cravings for). The reason these foods can be a problem for weight loss is that they are super high calorie but low satiety. In other words, you can eat a lot of these foods before you start to feel full. And consume a deceptively large number of calories in the process.

Oftentimes when people fast, they remove those processed foods from their fasting diet and replace them with lower calorie satiating foods. When you do that, it’s a huge number of calories you give up each week!

The fact that fasting makes it much easier to reduce calorie intake is why it’s possible to get results like losing 9% of body weight after 24 hours of fasting each week for 12 weeks.

And fasting is actually more effective than just reducing calories alone, especially if you want to lose fat weight but maintain lean muscle mass. 

Fasting Produces More Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Why is fasting more effective than just reducing calories for weight loss? It has to do with the way fasting influences two important hormones — human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

Despite the word growth in the name, this hormone is important for weight loss. Your body creates more of this hormone when you fast — and ultimately improves your metabolism and helps you lose weight.

Fasting also helps your body manage insulin levels.

Insulin typically surges after we eat to transport energy (in the form of sugar) into our cells for storage and use at a later time.

When you fast and resist the urge to snack, your body will produce insulin less often. The result is that your body will start using the stored energy and glucose in fat cells. 

This has major health outcomes — especially for those who have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. In one study individuals with diabetes were able to decrease their insulin level through fasting

The influence fasting has over HGH and insulin helps you boost your metabolism, improve your insulin sensitivity, and ultimately lose weight.

Fasting Keeps You On a Proper Eating Rhythm

Our metabolism is adapted to a rhythm of being awake in the day and sleeping at night. 

While some people might be night-owls, one thing is true about human beings: we are not nocturnal creatures. 

That means our body expects and is prepared for eating during the day.

It’s no surprise then that nighttime eating is associated with obesity and diabetes.

Fasting is a perfect way to ensure you eat based on the circadian rhythm of your body. Many time-restricted fasting plans are set up for you to eat all of your calories within 8 hours every day.

And it turns out that having your meals within 8 hours each day instead of 12+ leads to health improvements.

One study found that by spreading your meals out over 8 hours each day instead of 12 hours, you can improve your insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure. And believe it or not, those who fit their meals into 8 hours were less likely to feel extreme hunger pangs. Even during the fasting period!

Tips to Make Fasting Work for You

Those are just some of the many benefits of fasting. So it’s no surprise that many people who try fasting end up sticking with it.

But there are also a couple things you should keep in mind if you want to try fasting to lose weight.

First, it’s important that you don’t use fasting to replace a nutritious diet.

If you start a fasting weight loss diet and then use your only calorie intake for the day to eat 600 calories worth of cake, you won’t have the best outcomes. Sure, you might be in a calorie deficit, but you’ll also fall short of getting the nutrients you body needs.

Ultimately, you want to make sure you primarily eat healthful and nutritious foods that not only fill you up, but also give your body the nutrition it needs to be healthy and strong.

Fasting also won’t be a miracle cure for poor lifestyle habits. Make sure you still get plenty of water and sleep. And aim to get at least 30 minutes of just low to moderate exercise every day.

Get the fasting weight loss results you want

At Valley Medical Weight Loss, we help you create a fasting plan that fits for your lifestyle and goals. We’ll keep you accountable and give you the right meal plan that doesn’t leave you feeling constantly hungry as you lose weight.

And we offer the Prolon Dieta tested fasting weight loss diet that gives you the benefits of fasting and improves your overall health. It’s one of our most popular diets because it’s an easy to follow 5-day program that gets results.

Connect with our experts to talk about how we can support you on your weight loss journey.


  1. PM;, Tinsley GM;La Bounty. “Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Body Composition and Clinical Health Markers in Humans.” Nutrition Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26374764/.
  2. KA;, Varady. “Intermittent versus Daily Calorie Restriction: Which Diet Regimen Is More Effective for Weight Loss?” Obesity Reviews : an Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21410865/.
  3. Møller N;Jørgensen JO;Abildgård N;Orskov L;Schmitz O;Christiansen JS; “Effects of Growth Hormone on Glucose Metabolism.” Hormone Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1806481/.
  4. MH;, Rasmussen. “Obesity, Growth Hormone and Weight Loss.” Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19723558/.
  5. Arnason, Terra G, et al. “Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health Markers in Those with Type 2 Diabetes: A Pilot Study.” World Journal of Diabetes, Baishideng Publishing Group Inc, 15 Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394735/.
  6. Sutton, Elizabeth F., et al. “Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes.” Cell Metabolism, Cell Press, 10 May 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413118302535.
  7. Link, Rachael. “8 Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/fasting-benefits.
hCG diet rules

What Can I Eat on the hCG Diet?

Now that you have a background on what the hCG diet is and how it works, your next question is probably, “what can I eat on the hCG diet?”

Even though your daily calories and pretty low in the early stages, there are still a lot of foods you can choose from.


Breakfast on the hCG Diet

Skipping breakfast is a big part of the hCG diet. This not only helps you save calories, but it offers all the benefits of intermittent fasting (although the hCG diet was popular way before fasting was a trending topic).

When you wake up, you can have as much black coffee or tea as you’d like. You’ll have to skip the sugar, but you can use stevia in its place. As for milk, you’re allowed one tablespoon in a 24 hour period, so you’ll have to divide that up between the coffee and tea you drink.

hCG-Approved Lunch and Dinner

Your lunch and dinner meals provide around 250 calories each and are built off the same template. You’ll start with 150 grams (or about 5.3 ounces) of lean meat. You can choose from:

  • Organic grass-fed beef or veal
  • Organic skinless chicken breast
  • Wild sea bass
  • Flounder
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Lobster
  • Crab
  • Shrimp

After you’ve chosen your meat, you choose a handful of one of the following vegetables:

  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Beet greens
  • Lettuce (any kind)
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Onions
  • Red radishes
  • Cucumbers
  • Asparagus

To finish your meal, you can add one grissino-style breadstick or one piece of melba toast and a medium apple, a small handful of strawberries, or a grapefruit.

Other hCG Diet Rules

Now that we’ve answered the question, “what can I eat on the hCG diet?”, there are some other basic rules and guidelines that you should follow for best results.

  • Don’t make the same lunch and dinner in the same day. Varying your food choices helps optimize your nutrient intake since different types of foods have different vitamins and minerals. If you have chicken and spinach for lunch, opt for beef and cabbage for dinner.
  • Only use dry cooking methods like grilling or baking for meat. Don’t add any fats or oils.
  • You can eat vegetables raw or steam, grill, or lightly boil them. As with the meats, don’t add any fats or oils.
  • You can use unlimited amounts of fresh herbs, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and/or liquid aminos to flavor your food.
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of filtered water daily.
  • Include green tea and oolong tea whenever possible (this doesn’t count toward your water intake).
  • You can drink the juice from one lemon daily.
  • If you include fruit with your meals, make sure it’s organic.
  • Use a scale to weigh your food and use gram measurements, which are more accurate.
  • Weigh your food raw.

If you feel confident about the hCG diet and you’re ready for some recipes, send us an email at info@vmweightloss.com with ‘hCG” in the subject line. We’d be happy to send you a list of hCG-friendly recipes that we’ve compiled for our clients!

Lipotropic Injections: Your Secret Weapon

There’s no doubt that eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly are the foundations of any sustainable weight loss plan. But what if we told you that we could give you a boost that could help you start shedding those extra pounds more quickly than with diet and exercise alone? We know it seems like it’s too good to be true, but we promise, it’s not. Lipotropic injections are the secret ingredient to helping you burn fat more quickly.

More specifically, it’s what’s in the lipotropic injections that matters. We offer several different options, but one of our most popular, Lipo Excel, contains a naturally-occurring compound called adenosine monophosphate, that increases your metabolic rate and helps you lose weight faster. When combined with other natural compounds and vitamins, adenosine monophosphate is a fat-burning force to be reckoned with.

How Lipotropic Injections Boost Weight Loss

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is another major ingredient in our lipotropic injections. When adenosine interacts with vitamin B12, it leads to increased energy and faster weight loss. That’s because the compounds work together to increase your body’s metabolism.


Lipotropic injections also include choline, a compound that your cells, nerves, and brain need to function optimally. Choline also helps transport nutrients through the body. Studies show that people who are deficient in choline tend to gain weight and have a harder time losing weight. When you give your body a boost of choline through lipotropic injections, it ensures that you have a healthy level of choline in your blood, allowing you to lose weight more effectively.


Inositol is a type of B vitamin that doesn’t get much attention, but it should. The vitamin helps transform your body’s fat and prevents it from accumulating in your brain, arteries, and heart. Instead of building up in these vital areas, when they come into contact with inositol, the fatty deposits break down. This leads to a reduced appetite and a lower cholesterol level.


Some of our lipotropic injections also contain methionine, an amino acid that helps neutralize toxins, reduce inflammation, and boost metabolism.

If you want to learn more about our lipotropic injections and what kind of packages we offer, check us out. If you’re ready to boost your weight loss, come in and see us at any of our locations. No appointment necessary!


Is a Calorie a Calorie? Not According to Research.

For years, nutrition experts have been saying that “a calorie is a calorie” – that as long as you were staying within your allotted calorie goals and exercising enough, you’d lose weight. But new research is showing that this actually might not be as true as once thought. The timing of a meal may be just as important as the amount of calories you’re eating in a day.

The Science

Recent animal studies have shown that the body may process food differently at different times of the day. Food eaten late at night can prompt weight gain more than food eaten earlier in the day due to hormone levels, physical activity, changes in body temperature, and the way food is digested and absorbed.

In a 2013 study, researchers found that overweight people who ate their largest meal after 3 PM lost less weight during a 20-week weight loss program than overweight people who ate their largest meal before 3 PM. The amount of calories they consumed, the amount of time they slept, and the amount of exercise they got was the same.

Another smaller 2015 study measured the amount of calories burned following a meal. Women who ate lunch after 4:30 PM burned fewer calories from “resting and digesting” than women who ate lunch at 1:00 PM. The amount of calories eaten and the amount of physical activity was the same. The women who ate later also had more difficulty burning off carbohydrates and had decreased tolerance to glucose – a risk factor for developing diabetes.

Late Night Snacking

It’s just not the timing of the food that makes a difference, though. People who eat late at night tend to indulge in extra-salty and extra-sweet snacks, like popcorn, chips, and ice cream, which tend to be more caloric.

So what can you do to ensure that you’re staying on track at night?

One seemingly obvious answer is to keep unhealthy, tempting foods out of the house. When you’re sitting on the couch craving potato chips at 9 PM, it’s a lot easier to hold off if they’re still on the grocery store shelf, rather than in your pantry.

Another thing you can do is make sure you’re not overly restricting yourself during the day. If you don’t allow yourself enough food to keep you satisfied during the day, you’re more likely to give in and binge at night. Make sure you’re eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a few satiating snacks in between.

People often think of dinner as the biggest meal of the day, but don’t fall into that mentality. Instead, make breakfast or lunch your biggest meal and go lighter for dinner. There’s a phrase that says “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. What this means is eat your biggest meal early in the morning, then gradually reduce the amount you’re eating as the day goes on.

Now we want to hear from you! Do you eat late at night? Or do you eat your biggest meal early in the morning? What tips and tricks do you have for staying on track late at night?

Is Yogurt Healthy? Making Sense of the “Diet” Food

Since 2010, more than 670 new yogurt products have made their way into your local supermarket. Manufacturers market these yogurts as a healthy, waist-reducing option, but that’s not always the whole story. It’s true that yogurt can make for a great breakfast or on-the-go snack, but you have to choose wisely. Some contain almost as much added sugar as a can of soda! Others may not have added sugar, but are loaded with artificial ingredients. Yogurt can quickly turn from “healthy” to “junk food” if you’re not careful. With so many choices out there, how can you narrow it down? Should you make yogurt a part of your diet or should you skip it altogether?

Because yogurt is a rich source of calcium and protein – and many have the added benefits of live cultures that can improve your digestion – we think that it’s earned its place in your diet. We’re going to make it simple for you to choose a healthy yogurt by letting you know what to look for and what to avoid.

Sugar in Yogurt Isn’t So Sweet

The first thing you should do when choosing a yogurt is check the sugar content. Flavored yogurts and those with fruit on the bottom contain approximately 26 grams of sugar – that’s a LOT of sugar. Some of this sugar is naturally occurring, but about 14 grams are added – and those are the grams you want to avoid. Steer clear of any flavored yogurts or yogurts with added fruit or granola and opt for plain, non-fat varieties, which contain only 6 grams of naturally-occurring sugar, instead. You can spice up your yogurt by adding some fresh berries, a handful of crushed nuts, or some chia or flax.

Investigate the Ingredients

The only two ingredients needed to make yogurt are milk and live bacterial cultures — specifically Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus — yet many commercial brands add unnecessary ingredients like sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and gums. Read the ingredient list and choose one that contains only milk and live, active cultures.

Figure Out the Fat

Yogurt comes in three main varieties – nonfat, low-fat, and full-fat. Full-fat yogurts typically contain 16 grams of saturated fat, which is about 80 percent of the amount you’re supposed to eat in an entire day! Instead of getting a full-fat yogurt, opt for low-fat or nonfat instead. You can add in your own healthy fats – in the form of a handful of nuts or a drizzle of almond butter, if you’d like.

Protein Power

Protein promotes fullness, so choosing a yogurt that is higher in protein makes it more likely that you’ll get through the afternoon without overeating or reaching for unhealthy snacks. A 6-ounce serving of regular yogurt contains 9 grams of protein, while the same 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt contains about 15 to 20 grams. Opt for yogurts that have a higher protein content.

We want to hear from you! What’s your favorite? What are your go-to yogurt toppings?

self love

Self Love for Weight Loss: The Importance of Being Nice to Yourself

Would you look at your best friend and tell her that she’s not good enough? Not pretty enough? Not thin enough? Would you tell your mom or sister or cousin that she’s terrible for veering off of her “diet” and that she should beat herself up over it and get lost in the guilt? No? Then why do you do it to yourself?

We tend to be harder on ourselves than other people. We give others compassion and understanding, but yet we berate ourselves and talk down to ourselves for every “mistake” that we make. This behavior is self-destructive in all aspects of your life – and weight loss is no different.

Self Love for Weight Loss

Beating yourself up after overeating not only derails your progress, it can be downright harmful to your self-esteem and self-worth. On the other hand, being kinder to yourself can actually lead to longer lasting habit changes for several reasons.

When you speak kindly to yourself, it helps create feelings of worthiness, which then translates to enthusiasm and motivation. Also, change tends to come more easily when you’re in a place of self-acceptance. You may not be exactly where you want to be weight-wise right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accept yourself for where you are – and work to get to where you want to be.

Tips to Bolster Self Love

Self love and self-compassion is not something that happens overnight. Like any other habit, it gets time to get used to. You have to practice to solidify the habit and make it something that comes naturally. When you find that you’re starting to talk negatively to or about yourself, take a deep breath and remember these tips.

  1. Change negative to positive. If you eat a cookie or veer off your diet plan, don’t say things like “I cheated” or “I can’t believe I ate that”. Instead, replace that negativity with positive words that act as support and encouragement. You can say something like “I made a choice to eat that cookie, but that’s okay. It didn’t ruin my whole day and I’m going to get right back on track.”
  2. Focus on progress, not perfection. You’ve probably heard this one before, but do you do it? You’re not going to change your entire lifestyle overnight, but no one expects you to. Every little change is a step in the right direction. Eventually, these little changes add up and you find that you’ve changed your lifestyle in major ways. Celebrate every little victory. Did you skip dessert? Celebrate! Did you incorporate a workout in your day? Celebrate! Did you drink enough water? Celebrate! Every health choice you make deserves positive reinforcement.
  3. Recognize – and accept – your vulnerabilities. Everyone is vulnerable at some point. It doesn’t make you weak. In fact, recognizing, and accepting, your vulnerabilities makes you strong. Take note of when you’re more inclined to make unhealthy choices. Is it when you’re stressed out or feeling sad? Is it in social settings? Recognize these scenarios and tell yourself that it’s okay, but work to figure out what can prevent the self-sabotage. When you’re stressed, try calling a friend and talking for 10 to 20 minutes instead of reaching for that bag of chips. Or come see us! Our team is made up lots of wonderful people that are here to support you.
b12 injections

B12 Injections: Benefits Beyond Weight Loss

The body relies on a constant internal balance of vitamins and minerals to function at its best. Unfortunately, today’s standard American diet is high in everything we don’t need and low in the essential nutrients that we do.

When trying to lose weight, it’s not just about extra calories and fat, the right balance of vitamins and minerals is essential too. One of the most essential is vitamin B12, which plays a role in digestion and helps you metabolize your food. But many people are deficient in vitamin B12.

According to the National Institutes of Health, as much as 15 percent of the population, to be exact. That’s why we offer vitamin B12 injections as part of our overall weight loss plan. But it’s not just about weight loss, the benefits extend way beyond that.

Nerve Function

A shot of vitamin B12 provides enough of the vitamin to protect the nerves and ensure proper nerve function. Vitamin B12 is used to build myelin sheaths around the nerves, which are the only way the nerves can properly signal, and also protects them from glutamate, which can damage the brain and lead to things like dementia.

Energy Production

B12 is also crucial for proper metabolism. It helps convert the carbohydrates you eat into energy you can use, and while this does help you lose weight, it also boosts your energy levels.


Vitamin B12 shots also help prevent and treat anemia, especially a condition called pernicious anemia, where the body isn’t able to make enough red blood cells. Your body uses vitamin B12 to make blood cells, and when there’s not enough, your health suffers.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Vitamin B12 helps regulate the levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, a disease that affects the area of the eye responsible for central vision. B12 injections can lower homocysteine levels, reducing the risk of developing the disease.

B12 Injections can also help:

  • boost energy levels
  • detoxify the body
  • ease stress
  • aid in digestion
  • promote healthy immune function
  • reduce depression
  • promote better sleep
  • keep skin and nails healthy
  • metabolize fat

To find out if Vitamin B12 shots are right for your weight loss plan, contact us and talk to one of our on-staff physicians to find out more!

halloween candy

Ditch the Candy: Tips for Getting Through Halloween

Halloween is quickly approaching and we’re not sure what’s scarier: the ghosts and goblins running through the streets or the sheer amount of Halloween candy overcrowding the shelves. Everywhere you look there are bags and bags of chocolates, chewy candies, and sour candies and it seems like they’re practically calling out to you. But these seemingly harmless little packages contain loads of sugar (not to mention other not-so-healthy ingredients) and it’s no secret that sugar is bad for your waistline – and the rest of your body too. So how can you safely get through the biggest candy time of the year without packing on the pounds? The answers may seem simple, but sometimes, simple is just what it takes to be effective.

Don’t Buy Candy Until Halloween

If you’re a planner, you probably want to cross “pick up Halloween candy” off your checklist ASAP. The problem with this is that the earlier you buy the candy, the more it sits around, and the more tempted you’re going to be to have a piece here and take a bite there. Next thing you know, the entire bag is gone and you’re off to the store to buy some more. Even if procrastinating is out of your nature, wait until the last minute to buy candy – and we mean the literal last minute. Stop at the grocery store on the way home from work on Halloween. The bonus? Many stores will already have candy on sale at this time in an effort to clear their shelves to make room for next season’s treats so you’ll be able to save a few bucks too.

Buy Candy You Don’t Like

When buying candy for trick-or-treaters, it’s pretty common to reach for candy that’s your favorite. You know you like it, so it will obviously be the best choice for the kiddos coming to your door, right? Don’t do this. Instead of buying the candy you love, which will only be there to tempt you (especially if there’s leftovers), buy candy that you don’t really care for. If chocolate is your thing, go for sour candies. Prefer taffy? Pick up some chocolate bars. If you consider yourself a lover of all things candy, do your best to choose something that you’re least likely to binge on – even if it means picking up those black licorice sticks.

Call In the Reinforcements

If you have no choice but to buy candy a week or two early, enlist the help of your spouse, children, or a friend and ask this person to hide the candy in a REALLY good spot somewhere in your house. Have you ever heard the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”? It’s a lot easier to pass on candy when you have no idea where it is than if you have it sitting in a huge bowl on your dining room table just waiting for the trick-or-treaters (who aren’t coming for two weeks).

Don’t Go Shopping Hungry

This is an everyday rule, but it’s even more important during the Halloween season when candy is everywhere you look: don’t go shopping hungry. When you go shopping on an empty stomach, that voice on your shoulder that says “It’s okay, a little candy isn’t going to matter much” tends to be a lot louder than if you went shopping feeling satisfied after a healthy, balanced meal.

Don’t Buy Candy

Okay, this may make you the least popular house on the block, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. If your sweet tooth just cannot be tamed, don’t even tempt yourself. Your health is more important than candy and let’s face it – the kids will be getting plenty of candy from the other houses. If you still want to participate in the Halloween fun, buy non-edible treats like sticker packets or bottles of bubbles and hand those out instead.


5 Reasons Your Diet Keeps Failing

According to statistics, 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. In addition to the countless hours spent calorie counting and tracking macros, Americans also spend an average of $33 BILLION on weight loss products annually. Yet, despite the large investment of money and time, a whopping 95 percent of people on diets fail. So why is that?

Well, there’s no one specific reason, but researchers have come up with some of the most common reasons people tend to fall off the diet wagon.

You Call it a “Diet”

Words are important, and one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for failure is by calling your new eating plan a “diet”. Sure, it might not seem like significant, but the brain responds to words in different ways and the word “diet” comes with negative connotations. Going on a diet generally implies a short-term commitment and lots of restrictions. Instead of telling yourself and other people that you’re on a diet, say you’re committed to a healthy lifestyle.

You Make It Too Restrictive

Some fad diets restrict entire food groups – carbohydrates are the big thing right now – and tell you that you can’t eat certain foods. When you tell yourself that something is off limits no matter what, it automatically makes you want it more. Funny how the brain works huh? This effect makes it harder to resist the food you’re trying to avoid and, in most cases, you’ll give in to temptation. Not only that, but you’ll end up eating more of the food than you would have if you just allowed yourself to have it occasionally. Instead of making certain foods off limits, focus on eating healthy, whole foods most of the time and allow yourself to indulge every once in a while without guilt.

You Go Too Long Without Eating

Eating healthy is not synonymous with feeling hungry all the time. If you skip meals or you don’t eat enough, it makes it more likely that you’ll overeat at the end of the day. Willpower is only so strong. Instead of skipping meals or going too long without eating, eat healthy, balanced meals throughout the day and have one or two healthy snacks along the way.

Your Goals Are Unrealistic

Setting unrealistic goals is one of the most common reasons for diet failure. You may want to lose 100 pounds, but you have to understand that it’s not going to happen overnight. While that’s a great long-term goal, you should set smaller, realistic and attainable goals along the way. Instead of setting a goal to lose 20 pounds a month, set a realistic goal of 1 to 2 pounds a week. That way, anything over that will be a bonus.

You Give In To Peer Pressure

Another really common reason people fall off the diet wagon is the people they surround themselves with. When you start eating healthy, there’s a good chance that the people around you aren’t on the same page. These people may try to tempt you with unhealthy foods or try to convince you that you can have more treats than you bargained for. While it’s important to stay social, make sure you’re not letting other sabotage your efforts. Ask your family and friends to support your new lifestyle instead.

green tea

Top 4 Drinks for Weight Loss

Many people don’t realize just how bad choosing the wrong drink can be for their waistline. Sugary drinks, like soda and lemonade, contain loads of calories and no nutritional benefit. Even drinks that are advertised as “healthy,” such as enhanced waters and sports drinks, tip the scale when it comes to sugar. Stay away from these diet saboteurs and stick to drinks that are lower in sugar and offer plenty of vitamins and minerals. These weight loss drinks can help you shed the pounds while still quenching your thirst.


I’m sure this comes as no surprise to you, but water tops the list of drinks you need to stay healthy and trim. Yes, water quenches your thirst, but it also helps carry nutrients to your cells and flushes out toxins from your organs. Water also lubricates your ear, nose and throat tissues and helps you maintain your body temperature. Drinking water before meals can also help you eat fewer calories in the long run.


We know seeing coffee on this list probably makes us your new best friend, and it’s true, coffee can be good for you! Coffee is naturally calorie-free, so if you enjoy it black — or with a no-calorie sweetener — you’re not adding to your caloric intake for the day. It’s also a great source of antioxidants, including those that keep your heart healthy. The caffeine in coffee has also been shown to boost metabolism speed. Of course, moderation is key. Too much coffee can cause jitteriness and anxiety. Limit yourself to three cups a day.

Green Tea

Green tea is high in a specific category of antioxidants called flavonoids, specifically catechins. Research has shown that catechins may be more powerful in fighting cell damage than other antioxidants, like vitamins C and E. Because of this, drinking green tea may help reduce your risk of developing certain cancers, such as bladder, breast, lung, colon and skin. But it’s not just that. The caffeine and catechizes together can speed uo metabolism and help break down excess fat. The combo also helps increase the amount of energy the body uses (or the amount of calories you burn.

In addition to green tea’s antioxidant properties, it can also help lower LDL cholesterol, which may help reduce your risk of developing heart disease. These benefits were generally seen with about 3 cups of green tea per day.

Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies

Smoothies can be a healthy drink option, when done right. Some smoothies, like the prepackaged versions at your grocery store, can contain lots of sugar and calories. When you make your own smoothies, however, you can whip u[ a drink that is rich in protein, fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Smoothies are also a good way to meet your fruit recommendations for the day. Combine non-dairy milk with half a banana, a half-cup of strawberries, a handful of almonds and a handful of spinach. Blend and you’ve got a nutrient-packed breakfast that will help keep you full until lunch. If you order a smoothie while you’re out, ask them to hold any added sugar, like juice or ice cream. Fruit is naturally sweet enough.

Keto Diet

The Ketogenic Diet: Is it Right for You?

The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now. If you search #keto on Instagram, you’ll be rewarded with more than 8 million posts, showcasing everything from weight loss transformations to high-fat meals to supplements, like 7-Keto Lean.

But while this diet is gaining lots of popularity and momentum, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right diet for you. Now we’re not here to tell you what’s right or wrong. We’re actually big fans of figuring out the diet that works best for you with a little trial and error. We just want to arm you with all of the information you need to make an educated decision about the ketogenic diet.

Ketogenic Diet Basics

Put simply, the ketogenic diet is a very high fat, very low carbohydrate diet that also allows a moderate intake of protein.

Dr. Russell Wilder, a medical doctor at the Mayo Clinic, developed the ketogenic diet in 1924. He developed it as a treatment for seizures in epileptic patients who weren’t responding well to medications. Despite the diet’s success, it took a backseat to anti-seizure medications during the 1940s.

The Science Behind the Ketogenic Diet

Normally, when your body needs energy, it turns to glucose, a simple sugar that you get from the carbohydrates you eat. Although carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source, you can only store limited amounts of the simple sugar. In fact, the Epilepsy Foundation says that the stores of glucose in your liver run out in about 24 hours. If you don’t give your body more carbohydrates within this 24-hour time frame, your body turns to fat for energy.

The idea behind the ketogenic diet is to force your body into using this fat-burning process by drastically reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat and getting the majority of your calories from fat.

The Details

The ketogenic diet consists primarily of foods that are high in fat, but also allows a moderate amount of protein. Although the best macronutrient ratio depends on you as an individual (and you’ll have to play around with it a little bit to figure out your sweet spot) fat generally supplies 70 to 90 percent of calories. High-fat foods allowed on the diet include butter, mayonnaise, avocado, heavy cream and oils, such as coconut and olive oil. Most of the remaining calories, or around 10 to 30 percent, come from protein.  The major protein sources include eggs, cheese, meat, fish, and poultry. Low-carbohydrate vegetables, like spinach, kale, and zucchini are also encouraged.

Optimizing Nutrition

Because the ketogenic diet restricts so many foods, the best way to ensure that you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need is to eat a wide variety of low-carbohydrate foods. Instead of eating the same meal of chicken and spinach every day, try to eat as many different foods as you can. Experiment with new types of vegetables and recipes.

Are you considering the ketogenic diet? Have you already tried it? What has your experience been? We want to know!

mason jar salad

Healthy Recipe: Strawberry Fields Mason Jar Salad

When the temperatures start hitting those triple digits, the last thing you want to do is cook. But even though the thought of turning your oven or stove on makes you cringe, you still gotta eat right? Enter Mason Jar Salads.

Mason Jar Salads are a summer staple for several reasons. First and foremost, they don’t require any cooking. Another priceless benefit is that you can prepare them in advance, so you have a week’s worth of healthy meals at your fingertips without much effort.

This Strawberry Fields Mason Jar Salads uses fresh strawberries (cause we’re all about that seasonal fruit), but you can make it your own by adding whatever fruit and toppings that you want. Just make sure to follow one rule: Always put the dressing on the bottom and your lettuce or greens at the top. That way, the salad won’t get soggy and all you have to do is shake it up when you’re ready to eat it.

Strawberry Fields Mason Jar Salad

Serves 6

What You Need:

  • 12 tablespoons Cilantro Lime Dressing (see recipe below)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 6 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 6 tablespoons chopped avocado
  • 6 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 12 large strawberries, chopped
  • 6 cups chopped spinach

What To Do:

  1. Scoop 2 tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of six Mason jars.
  2. Layer each jar with 1 tablespoon walnuts, 1 tablespoon red onion, 1/4 cup cucumber, 1 tablespoon avocado, 1 tablespoon feta cheese, and 2 chopped strawberries.
  3. Top each jar with 1 cup chopped spinach.
  4. Cover each jar and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. When ready to eat, shake jar vigorously with lid in place until ingredients are combined and coated with dressing.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • 3/4 cup avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.


sagging skin

How Can I Prevent Sagging Skin while Losing Weight?

There are countless reasons why getting to a healthy weight should be one of your top priorities. Losing weight can lower the risk of heart disease, decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, increase mobility and energy, and boost self-esteem and confidence – just to name a few. That being said, if you are significantly overweight, there’s a chance that your weight loss may leave you with some sagging skin, although it doesn’t happen in all cases.

The possibility of sagging skin should never stop you from working toward a healthy weight, but as you’re losing weight, there are some things you can do to lessen the likelihood that you’ll end up with sagging skin.

Why Does Skin Sag?

Skin contains collagen and elastin – two proteins that are responsible for its elasticity and its ability to “bounce back” after being stretched. As you age, you naturally lose some of this collagen and elastin, which is part of the reason wrinkles start to develop and skin begins to sag.

Collagen and elastin can also become damaged over time and lose their ability to bounce back. Think of it like a rubber-band. If you stretch out a rubber-band, and leave it like that for an extended period of time, eventually, it won’t be able to retain its original shape. This is what happens with skin. If skin becomes stretched out due to weight gain, sometimes it can’t return to its original shape, especially if you’ve been overweight for a while. Another thing that affects skin’s elasticity is yo-yo dieting – or repeatedly losing weight, gaining it back, and then losing it again. When the skin is constantly under those varying degrees of pressure, eventually the collagen and elastin fibers begin to break down and skin may start to sag.

What You Can Do About It

Here’s the good news: although you may not be able to avoid sagging skin completely, there are some things you can do to decreases your chances of experiencing it.

  1. Lose weight responsibly. Crash diets aren’t just bad for your health; they’re bad for your skin too. The elasticity of your skin cannot keep up with rapid changes in your body size. It’s best to lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week to allow your skin time to shrink back down with changes in your body size.
  2. Stay hydrated. Your body is composed of about 60 percent water – and the elasticity of your skin is strongly dependent on how hydrated you are. People who stay hydrated during weight loss maximize their skin’s elasticity and decrease the chances that they’ll experience skin sagging as they begin to lose weight. On the other hand, dehydrated skin has less recoil – meaning it doesn’t bounce back as easily during the weight loss process.
  3. Incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine. Resistance training – also called strength training – doesn’t target the skin specifically, but it can help “fill out” loose skin and reduce the appearance of sagging. The American Council on Exercise recommends adding two or three days of resistance training to improve the appearance of skin and build muscle mass.
  4. Take supplements. Your skin’s needs access to many different nutrients in order to stay elastic and supple. B-vitamins maintain the integrity of the skin, while collagen supplements can help improve elasticity. In most cases, taking a good multivitamin along with a high-quality collagen supplement provides the right balance of nutrients that you need to keep your skin healthy.

Losing weight is an amazing accomplishment. It takes grit and dedication – and it’s not always an easy road. If you lost weight and you have sagging skin, don’t let it take away from the sense of accomplishment you feel. You’re beautiful and no matter what, love the skin you’re in!


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

Summer may be coming to a close, but there’s plenty of time left to rock that swimsuit and we want you to feel great while doing it. That’s why our Skip-a-Meal Replacement Beverage is part of our monthly special for this month too.

Monthly Special Details

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!

All about 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.

The shake contains 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 only 192 calories and 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.

black tea

Black Tea: The New Weight Loss Tea in Town

When it comes to weight loss teas, green tea often gets all the glory, but new research has put black tea in the spotlight, where it belongs. A recent study shows that, although they work in different ways, black tea may be just as effective for weight loss as green tea. This is excellent news, considering that black tea accounts for about 80 percent of all tea consumed in the country.

How Black Tea Promotes Weight Loss

Both green tea and black tea contain polyphenols, a specific type of antioxidant that protects your cells from damage. This damage can lead to heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. The polyphenols in green tea are smaller, so they make their way into your blood. Black tea contains larger polyphenols that stay in your gut instead of traveling to your bloodstream. While in your gut, these polyphenols act as prebiotics and feed the good bacteria in your gut. These bacteria then form byproducts called metabolites that act on the liver and can help with weight loss.

Other Benefits of Black Tea

The benefits of black tea don’t stop at weight loss though. Other research shows that drinking just one cup of tea per day can keep your arteries healthy, reduce blood pressure, and protect you from stroke, heart attack, and other heart problems.

If you’re not a tea drinker, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. There are so many different teas available that you’ll probably have to do some experimenting to find one you like. Last week, we posted a recipe for homemade chai tea, which will not only give you the benefits of black tea; it also provides additional health benefits thanks to the added spices.

Try it and let us know what you think!

tart cherries

Five Fruits that Help You Lose Weight

When low-carb diets become popular, fruit was shunned along with other high-carbohydrate foods like oats and sweet potatoes. But while it’s true that fruit is high in carbohydrates, it’s also true that certain fruits can help you lose weight, rather than preventing weight loss. As long as you’re not overdoing it, fruit can be an essential part of your weight loss plan.


We’ll start with the apple because it’s in season. Plus, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ve heard the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. In addition to their vast health benefits, apples contain a lot of fiber. This fills you up faster, keeps you full longer, and boosts your metabolism. Most of the fiber is in the apple’s skin, so try not to peel before eating.


Several studies show that eating half of a fresh grapefruit before meals helps boost weight loss and reduces visceral fat, the type of belly fat that’s the most problematic. Grapefruit can also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance, a metabolic condition that can progress into Type 2 Diabetes. Specifically, ruby red grapefruit contains lycopene, a phytochemical that can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Tart Cherries

A study done by the University of Michigan reported that rats that ate tart cherries over a period of 12 weeks showed a 9 percent greater reduction in belly fat than rats who didn’t consume the cherries. Tart cherries can also change the way your fat genes express themselves.


Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries contain lots of polyphenols. These are antioxidant substances that help you lose weight and also stop fat from forming. In a study done by Texas Woman’s University, mice that ate 3 servings of berries per day experienced a 73 percent decrease in the formation of fat compared to mice who didn’t eat any berries.

Stone Fruits

“Stone fruit” is the name for any fruit that contains a large pit in the center. Examples of stone fruits include plums, peaches, and nectarines. Stone fruits can help prevent metabolic syndrome, the name for a group of symptoms (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess visceral fat, and high cholesterol levels), which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The polyphenols in stone fruits affect the way fat genes express themselves, which reduces belly fat.


5 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

When you’re eating healthy and following a regular exercise routine, there is nothing that’s more frustrating than a scale that refuses to budge. Sure, you may be experiencing other benefits, like increased energy, less bloating, and a happier mood, but let’s be honest here, one of the things that keeps you motivated is seeing your weight drop. If you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s going to be harder and harder to stick to your plan.

We’re going to assume that you’re doing everything “right”, yet still having trouble dropping those pounds. By “doing everything right”, we mean that you’re staying within your calorie needs, avoiding excess sugar, and exercising regularly. If you’re doing all three of those things and still not seeing results, read on. If you’re NOT doing those three things, revamp your plan and revisit this article if needed down the road.

1. You Don’t Drink Enough Water

We had to put water first on the list because it does so much for you that you could probably see better results just by upping your intake, even if you changed nothing else. Not only does water keep you hydrated, which helps reduce bloat, it also has been shown to slightly speed up your metabolism. Some studies found that drinking water before meals may even help you eat fewer calories during those meals. Aim to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces. So if you’re 200 pounds, you want to drink 100 ounces of water per day.

2. You Overeat

Just because a food is “good for you” doesn’t mean you can eat an unlimited amount. Calories still add up, whether they come from grilled chicken or a piece of cake. If you’re regularly over-eating healthy foods, it’s going to hinder your progress and may even contribute to weight gain. Another thing you have to be mindful of is that some healthy foods, like nuts, olives, and avocados, are high in both fat and calories. Because of this, the recommended serving size is fairly small. Make sure you’re paying attention to portions and not overdoing it.

3. You’re Not Incorporating Strength Training

Many people avoid strength training and do only cardiovascular exercise for fear of “bulking up” rather than slimming down. If you’re one of these people, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Strength-training increases muscle mass, which helps you burn more calories and fat, even long after you’re done exercising for the day. Strength-training also strengthens the bones and joints, making you more limber and helping to prevent injury.

4. You’re Not Utilizing a Support System

It doesn’t matter how strong or determined you are, weight loss is typically harder when you lack a support system of some kind. If you don’t have a partner or a group of friends that support what you’re doing – and may even have the same goals – it can be detrimental to your weight loss success. Find a buddy to take the health journey with you. If you don’t have someone at home you can lean on, we at Valley Medical would be happy to provide you with the support you need.

5. You Don’t Sleep Enough

Sleep is incredibly important for weight loss. Sleep not only helps balance the hormones that are responsible for making you feel hungry or full, it also helps energize you so that you’re able to get through your workouts more efficiently. You’re also more likely to make healthier choices when you’re well-rested.

Doing all of these things and still feel like you’re hitting a wall? Check back next week for 5 more reasons you can’t lose weight.


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.

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.

empty plate

Should I Skip Meals to Lose Weight?

It seems like a no-brainer — skipping meals and ignoring your stomach’s moaning and groaning means you’ll take in fewer calories, which will eventually lead to weight loss, right? Not so fast. When you skip meals, you’re actually setting your body up to fail, in both ability to lose weight and overall daily performance. Food supplies you with both calories and glucose – and while it’s true that overeating can lead to weight gain – you still need enough of that energy to function throughout the day. Skipping meals doesn’t just backfire when it comes to weight loss; it’s also not a good idea for several other reasons.

Starvation Mode

When you skip meals, your body gets scared. Nowadays, with so much food available at a moment’s notice, this reaction isn’t really necessary, but your body doesn’t know that. You may be thinking that the more meals you skip, the fewer calories you’ll eat, and the more you’ll lose; but when you skip meals, your body responds by slowing your metabolism down in an effort to conserve calories. When this happens, your body doesn’t burn calories as effectively as it can, which actually makes it harder for you to lose weight. Skipping a meal once in a while probably won’t have a lasting effect, but if you do it regularly, your metabolism can remained slowed and this can actually lead to weight gain.


Regardless of how many meals you skip, at some point, you’re going to have to eat. That’s just the way the body works. When you eventually do eat after skipping meals, it’s likely that you’ll be hungrier than if you had eaten regularly during the day and you’ll eat more than you normally would have. People who skip meals also tend to crave unhealthy foods, like simple carbohydrates. Your body also has trouble interpreting the hormonal signals (ghrelin and leptin) that tell you when you’re full.

Other Effects

It’s not just your weight that you’ll have to be concerned with though. When you skip meals, you deprive your brain of glucose – the sugar that it uses as its main source of energy. When your brain doesn’t have access to glucose, it can lead to weakness, shakiness, nervousness, anxiety, sleepiness irritability, confusion, dizziness, and even fainting. You may also notice an increase in perspiration. If you skip meals regularly, you may also have trouble meeting your nutrient needs, which can set you up for nutritional deficiencies and the conditions associated with deficiencies, such as fatigue, impaired brain developed, and decreased immune function.

Skipping meals regularly also messes with insulin and glucose levels, causing rapid drops and significant spikes throughout the day. While your body can handle these spikes occasionally, it can cause significant disruptions over time. If you’re not careful, it can eventually progress to insulin resistance – and then type II diabetes.

Eating Regularly

Instead of ignoring your rumbling tummy in an attempt to lose weight, The University of Rochester recommends eating at least every four hours to keep your energy levels high and your weight stable. Eating regular, satisfying meals throughout the day will help prevent you from feeling ravenous throughout the day, which will also prevent overeating at meal times.

You should also make it a point to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. This will not only help reduce hunger during the day, but eating breakfast – and making healthy choices at breakfast time – will actually set you up to make healthier choices for the rest of the day. Make sure to include a lean protein, complex carbohydrate, and a healthy fat source. Good choices include oatmeal topped with berries and almonds or scrambled eggs with avocado and a piece of whole-wheat toast.

calorie deficit

Creating a Calorie Deficit – The Foundation of Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, there are many different diets, cleanses, exercise programs, etc. that you could try (and probably yield a positive from), but in the end, it all comes down to one thing: calories. It doesn’t matter what type of diet you’re following – even if it’s the healthiest diet in the world – if you’re eating too many calories for your body, you won’t lose weight. To lose weight successfully, you’ll need to create a calorie deficit, which happens when you burn more calories than you take in.

What is a Calorie?

Since we’re on the subject, it would make sense to define what a calorie actually is. You’ve heard the name thousands (if not millions) of times, but what is it? A calorie is the amount of energy (heat) required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. This might not mean much to you, but it’s how your body runs, and luckily, your body helps you out by using (or burning) calories whenever it needs to change the temperature of the water in your body to help perform a specific task. But enough about that, let’s get back to what this has to do with weight loss.

Energy Balance

Energy balance is a state when the amount of calories (or energy) you’re taking in is in perfect harmony with the amount of calories (or energy) you’re expending, or burning off. In a state of neutral energy balance, your weight remains the same. A positive energy balance occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. If your body is in a positive energy balance for too long, you’ll gain weight. A negative energy balance occurs when you regularly burn off more calories than you take in. A negative energy balance is the goal when you’re trying to lose weight.

A Calorie Deficit

A negative energy balance is also referred to as a calorie deficit. To lose weight, you’ll need to sustain a calorie deficit for weeks, months, or years – depending on how much weight you want to lose. Of course, there’s a science to this too. One pound is equal to 3,500 calories. This means to lose one pound per week, you’ll need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 each week. To lose two pounds per week, you’ll have to bump up this deficit to 7,000 calories weekly.

How Do You Create a Calorie Deficit?

Well, we’re glad you asked. You can create a calorie deficit – or put yourself in a negative calorie balance – by cutting out calories from your diet, increasing your exercise, or a combination of both (which is ideal due to the added benefits of exercise, like lowered cholesterol, decreased heart disease risk, and increased oxygenation to the body).

Figuring Out Your Calories

The amount of calories you need each day just to sustain your normal body functioning varies based on your age, sex, height, and activity level. There are a couple different equations nutrition experts use to figure out how many calories someone should take in to sustain, lose, or gain weight, but we’re going to skip over the math and make it easier for you by directing you to this calorie calculator. Just plug in your stats and get your numbers. It will tell you how many calories you need to maintain and lose weight.

Once you know exactly how many calories you need to lose weight, you’re ready to put a plan into action — and that’s where we come in! We can help you develop a program to change your “before” into an “after”, just like these clients.

Just a Reminder

Successful and sustainable weight loss takes time and patience. It’s not an overnight quick fix. In fact, most nutrition experts define “healthy weight loss” as one to two pounds per week. Of course, you may lose more depending on your body mass and how much weight you have to lose, but it’s never a good idea to severely restrict your calories or exercise excessively. Make sure that your calorie intake doesn’t fall under 1,200 calories per day and that you’re working out responsibly – 30 minutes five times per week is a great place to start.


The Best Diet? One You Can Stick To.

Walk into any bookstore and you’ll see an entire section dedicated to diets and weight loss. Ask 10 different people who were successful with their weight loss goals and you’ll probably get 10 different answers about what worked for each one. There’s the vegan camp and the paleo camp; the low-carbers and the low-fatters; the raw foodies and the juice cleanses – so how can you narrow it down and figure out which diet works for you? Well, the answer may be simpler than you think. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to.

Research shows that there’s really no “magic trick” to losing weight. Many popular diet plans result in weight loss, reduced cholesterol, and healthier insulin levels when adhered to for a few months; however, when diet participants are followed for a year, there seems to be a pattern where compliance goes out the window and much of the lost weight comes back. So how can you prevent this dreaded yo-yo dieting?

Find a diet plan that works for you. For most, it’s all about moderation. If you choose a diet that eliminates all sources of carbohydrates, think to yourself “will I be able to follow this for a year or more?”. Sure, the dramatic weight loss claims can pull you in – and many of these diets are successful on delivering on these claims – but what’s the point in losing 10 pounds in two weeks if you can’t keep it off for more than a month?

Here are some tips for choosing the right diet plan for you:

  • Pull from several different types of diets to create something that fits into your cultural and personal preferences.
  • Find support. Whether it’s from family, friends, or a supportive weight loss clinic like Valley Medical, support is key. Although it’s helpful to find someone who has the same goals as you, you don’t have to be following the same diet plan to provide a source of support for each other.
  • Eat a variety of food choices – lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats. The key to avoiding boredom is to keep things fresh. Healthy food doesn’t mean bland food.
  • Adapt to the seasons. Part of the fun of the changing seasons is the seasonal foods that become available. Allow your diet to adapt as the seasons change. This is another way to keep it fresh and interesting.

Have you found a diet plan that works for you? If so, what are your best tips for sticking to it for the long-term?

Product of the Month! Metasol ™ Low-Molecular-Weight Lychee Polyphenol (Oligonol®)

June is here; and although it’s not officially summer, that summer feeling is in full force.  It’s time to start shedding some layers and showing off that body you’ve been working hard for. If you’re not where you want to be yet, our product of the month will help with that final push.

When you purchase our monthly special, which includes:

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

in June, you’ll also receive our product of the month – Metasol™ Low-Molecular-Weight Lychee Polyphenol (Oligonol®) – for FREE!

With this special you receive 4 WEEKS of everything listed above for only $295 (that’s a savings of over $200) – and we’ll throw in the Metasol™ at absolutely no additional cost.

What is Metasol?

Metasol™ is a low molecular weight polyphenol that helps boost your metabolism. The low molecular weight makes the polyphenols in Metasol™ easier to absorb. In fact, Metasol™ has been shown to be five times more bio-available than other polyphenol supplements.

A published, randomized, double-blind human clinical trial lasting 10 weeks found that compared to placebo, taking 200mg of Oligonol daily:

  • Reduced visceral fat volume by 15%*
  • Shrank waist circumference by 3 centimeters*
  • Caused a significant reduction in body weight*
  • Increased sensitivity to insulin*

The main ingredient in Metasol™ is an Oligonol Proprietary Blend which comes from lychee fruit extract and green tea extract.

Learn more about Metasol™ here.

Contact Us

If you want to advantage of this special offer and sign up for our monthly special, drop in or call us at either one of our locations to find out more!

North Phoenix: 602-374-3374
Phoenix: 602-441-3305
Tempe: 480-968-5673

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products do not diagnose‚ treat or cure any disease or medical condition.


The Secret to Weight Loss May Be in the Gut

For years, health professionals claimed that the only thing you have to focus on when it comes to weight loss is calories. If the calories you eat total less than the calories you burn through regular daily living and exercise, then you would lose the weight. Simple, right? Not so fast. More recent research shows that it’s not that simple. Many people on restricted calorie diets and exercising regularly did not see results, which led to frustration and abandonment of a weight loss regimen altogether. So what gives?

While calories do play a role in weight loss — if you overeat, you won’t lose weight — they’re not the end all, be all. Other things, like genetics, metabolism, and types of food you eat, matter too. But researchers were not satisfied with this either, so they dug a little deeper, which led them into the gut.

By now, you’ve probably heard about how the gut plays a role in your health. In fact, Hippocrates, often referred to as the Father of Medicine, went so far as to say that all disease begins in the gut. But your gut doesn’t just play a role in disease, or the absence of it, it also plays a role in how easily it is for you to lose weight.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, your ability to lose weight depends heavily on the amount of two types of bacteria — bacteroides and prevotella — in your gut. These two types of bacteria help digest the fiber in your diet and, based on research, people with higher concentrations of them in their gut tend to lose weight faster and more easily.

How Do you Measure Bacteria?

The bad news here is that the only way to know if you’re one of the people who has high concentrations of bacteroides and prevotella in your gut is to collect a sample of your stool and ship it off to the lab. But here’s the good news: you don’t really need to know because either way, you can do the things necessary to boost the number of these bacteria and improve your gut health and meet your weight loss goals.

Boosting Bacteroides and Prevotella

You can’t find bacteroides and prevotella in a probiotic supplement because they only have the ability to live outside of the human body for a short period of time. But what you can do is give these bacteria the nourishment they need to grow and multiply so that they take up residence in your gut in higher numbers. The way to do this is by consuming pre-biotics, which are plant-based fibers that feed them. Foods like chicory root, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, flaxseeds, wheat bran, and jicama contain prebiotic fibers.

Of course, even though you can’t directly increase bacteroides and prevotella through supplementation with probiotics, it’s not a bad idea to take them since they help balance the rest of the gut microbiome.


Appetite-Suppressing Foods That Can Help Boost Weight Loss

We all know that when it comes to weight loss, there are no magic tricks or quick fixes. It takes dedication and consistency, along with a proper diet and exercise routine and the support that you need to keep going. That being said, these appetite-suppressing foods, when eaten in conjunction with an overall healthy diet plan, may help contribute to greater weight loss.


We started the list with avocado because we think that it’s one of the best foods on the entire planet. You probably already know that avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats, but it’s a certain type of fat, called oleic acid, that packs the true appetite-suppressing punch. Oleic acid is classified as an omega-9 fatty acid. When you eat oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil, your body converts it to a compound called oleoylethanolamide, or OEA. Studies show that OEA travels to the gut lining, where it sends signals of satiety to the brain. When OEA levels are increased, it generally leads to decreased hunger and reduced calorie intake at the next meal.

A word of warning though: while avocados can help suppress appetite, they also contain a lot of calories due to their high fat content. When including avocados in your meal, pay attention to the proper serving size, which is one-third of a medium-sized avocado.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is made by straining out the liquid whey from regular yogurt. This process not only makes the yogurt thicker, it also makes it higher in protein per ounce. According to research, protein keeps you feeling fuller than fat or carbohydrates; so any food that is high in protein has appetite-suppressing effects. Research shows that when people increase protein intake to 30 percent of calories from just 15 percent of calories, they report feeling less hungry and typically eat fewer calories throughout the day.

A single 5.3-ounce container of Greek yogurt contains around 15 grams of protein, compared to just 7 grams for regular varieties; but be choosy when choosing yogurt. Flavored Greek yogurts still have the protein, but they can also contain as much sugar as a can of soda. Plain, nonfat or low-fat yogurt is best.


Flaxseed packs a one-two punch when it comes to appetite suppression. It’s rich in both omega-3 fats and fiber, two nutrients that keep you feeling full. Fiber is especially beneficial because it has a “bulking” effect. It expands and pulls water into the digestive tract, which leads to feelings of satiety, and it doesn’t contribute any calories. The fat in flaxseed can also slow increases in blood sugar levels, which not only reduces hunger, but irritability as well.

One tablespoon of whole flaxseed contains 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of fat; but make sure to grind your flaxseed before consuming it because your body can’t properly digest whole flaxseed.


Spinach contains compounds called thylakoids, which can contribute to appetite suppression and a reduced food intake. According to research, when thylakoids are eaten with a high-fat meal, levels of Cholecystokinin, or CCK, and leptin, two hormones that signal to your brain that you’re full and to stop eating, are increased. On the flipside, thylakoids can also reduce ghrelin, the hormone that tells your body that you’re hungry. When combined with healthy carbohydrates, thylakoids can also help reduce cravings for sugar and sweets.

To reap the benefits of thylakoids, try this magnesium-rich smoothie. It combines spinach with avocado and fruit to give you the fat and carbohydrates you need.


hCG Program: What It’s All About

Our hCG program is one of the most popular programs we offer at Valley Medical Weight Loss. The comprehensive protocol consists of an 800 calorie per day toxin-free diet, as well as daily injections of hCG and bi-weekly lipotropic injections.

Because of its rising popularity, the hCG diet has become a buzzword of sorts, but many people still aren’t clear on what hCG is and what the program entails.

What is hCG?

hCG, which stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is a hormone naturally-produced by the placenta in pregnant women. hCG almost entirely controls metabolic function of an area of the brain called the hypothalamus throughout the entire pregnancy. Although it is not approved for weight loss by the FDA, the average dieter on the hCG program experiences a weight loss of 0.5 to 3 pounds per day, the elimination of unhealthy toxins and unwanted fat, and a positive change in his/her relationship to food and eating. Many veterans of the hCG program report that they were able to maintain their weight loss and easily follow healthy lifestyle changes once their program was over.

What the Program Entails

While on the hCG diet, you’ll follow a strict 800-calorie diet that’s free of any toxins, like preservatives, sugar, and pesticides. We take the guesswork out of the diet by providing you with a diet plan that you can follow during the entire length of your program. In addition to the clean, calorie-restricted diet, you’ll receive daily hCG injections and Lipo B injections twice per week. You can visit our office for these injections or we can provide you with these injections to take home and administer yourself.

In addition to following the diet plan and getting the injections, it’s important to detoxify the body while following the hCG program. We advise doing a colon cleanse before starting the program and taking a liver cleanse supplement, like Liver-G.I. Detox by Pure Encapsulations, daily during all three phases of the program.

A Look at a Sample hCG Diet Plan

Breakfast  Tea or coffee in any quantity without sugar.  You may have as much as you desire.  Only one tablespoon of milk is allowed in 24 hours.  Stevia may be used in place of sugar.*
Lunch 150 grams of the following meat grilled (no oil or fat) weighed raw:

  • Organic grass fed beef or veal
  • Organic chicken breast (Skinless)
  • Wild Chilean sea bass
  • Flounder
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Lobster
  • Crab
  • Shrimp

1 large handful of vegetables (only to be chosen from the following) can be eaten raw, steamed, or grilled (without oil) or gently boiled:

  • Spinach or Chard or Beet Greens
  • Lettuces of any kind (including cabbage)
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Onions
  • Red radishes
  • Cucumbers
  • Asparagus

1 bread stick (Grissino) or 1 Melba toast
1 medium apple, small handful of strawberries, or 1 grapefruit**

Dinner  The same four choices as lunch (Above)DO NOT make lunch and dinner exactly the same in the same day.
   *Fresh herbs, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids may be used to taste.  Patients must drink 64 ounces of water (not tap) daily.  Drinking green or oolong tea is also recommended.**Organic only.  The juice of one lemon is allowed each day.

Pricing Breakdown

  • $100/week
  • $300/month
  • $400/6 weeks

Possible Side Effects

Like any medications and injections, hCG does carry some risk for side effects. Possible side effects include nausea, fatigue, hair loss, dry hair, acne and sudden mood swings. Some people may also notice a rash show up shortly after starting their HCG treatment.

Some females have experienced changes in their menstrual cycle while taking HCG. These irregularities are resolved with the completion of the program. The most common side effect for males could be enlarged prostate and enlarged outlining of the breasts which likely occurs due to the estrogen levels which occur from HCG being in the body. You should not do the hCG program if you’re pregnant or nursing.

Disclaimer: HCG is a drug which has not been approved by the food and drug administration as safe and effective in the treatment of obesity or weight control. There is no substantial evidence that HCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or “normal” distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restrictive diets.

weight loss

New Weight Loss Hopeful: Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment (ABT)

The weight loss industry is a big one. Scientists are always diligently working to find the best diets and the most effective workouts that together, will set you up for weight loss success. While diet and exercise are extremely important when it comes to weight loss, a new study out of the journal “Obesity” suggests that maybe focus is in the wrong place.

This study takes a look at a therapy called Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment, which involves teaching people how to accept discomfort and displeasure. The theory behind ABT is that teaching people how to accept the uncomfortable feelings associated with a new diet and exercise routine would actually be more effective than just teaching them the basics of diet and exercise alone. Let’s delve in further.

The Study

For the study, researchers assigned nearly 200 overweight or obese participants to two groups. One group was given the standard obesity treatment – education on diet and exercise, like how to monitor calories and remove temptation from the home and work environment. The second group was taught the same things as the first group, but in addition to that, they were also taught how to learn to accept any feelings of discomfort, like a desire to eat, fatigue that comes in the initial stages of weight loss, and the frustration of beginning a new workout routine. Group number two was also trained in mindfulness.

The Results

Researchers followed the two groups for a period of one year and found that the study participants in the group who learned ABT lost an average of 13.3 percent of their body weight, while participants in the group without ABT lost 9.8 percent of their body weight. After another year (a total of two), researchers found that the participants in the ABT group were also more successful at sustaining their weight loss – 64 percent kept the weight off compared to 49 percent.

How Does It Work

ABT is based on a type of talk therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). When learning ACT, participants learn how to accept uncomfortable physical sensations. They are aware that these feelings will arrive and are just part of the weight loss process. Participants also learn to recognize thoughts that may be getting in the way of their progress; and learn not to accept these thoughts as reality, but overcome them instead.

Of course, because this study is preliminary, more research is necessary before ABT can be considered an effective weight loss strategy, but it gives lots of hope to the phrase “mind over matter”.


Coffee and Weight Loss: Do They Mix?

When it comes to coffee and weight loss, there are two sides of the coin. Some say caffeine can boost your metabolism and others say that coffee is off-limits during a weight loss regimen. So what gives? Are you impeding your progress by drinking that cup of Joe or are contributing to your goals? We took a look at the research to give you answers.

The Research

You may notice that caffeine is a staple in both energy drinks and weight loss pills and that’s because it does, in fact, contribute to weight loss in three major ways. Drinking caffeine speeds up lipolysis – or the process during which your body pulls fat out of fat stores and breaks them down for you to use as energy. To put it in more simple terms: caffeine does slightly boost metabolism and increasing fat burning.

Caffeine is also a stimulant, so it can give you a quick energy burst and increase alertness. When consumed before a workout, caffeine can give you the energy you need to bust through your workout with your best effort.

Coffee can also be classified as an anoretic, which means it suppresses your appetite. As a result, when you drink coffee, you simply eat less because you don’t feel as hungry as you would otherwise.

The Murky Area

The tricky part about caffeine consumption is not if you SHOULD drink it, but rather how much should you be drinking. When caffeine is consumed in excess, it can cause negative effects, like anxiety, high blood pressure, and diarrhea. You want to be sure you’re not overdoing it. Coffee is the most popular caffeinated beverage, but it’s not the only place you’re exposed to caffeine during the day. You’ll want to consider energy drinks, teas, and any supplements as well.

There is no one size fits all recommendation for how much caffeine you should be consuming in a day, since everybody’s body reacts differently to the stimulant, but a good general rule is to stay between 100 and 200 milligrams per day. To put that into perspective, a standard 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 95 milligrams of caffeine. Keep in mind that we said 8 ounces. The cups you get at your favorite coffeehouse are usually at least two times that size.

Sugar and Spice

This is a particularly important point to bring up, especially during pumpkin spice latte season: a big reason that coffee gets a bad rap for contributing to weight gain is because mainly people drink their coffees in the form of sugary, calorie-rich lattes and blended drinks. Even just adding cream and a few sugars to your coffee can turn change it from a metabolism-boosting drink to a weight loss nightmare. If you decide to stick with coffee, it’s best to drink it black. If that’s not an option, try a small amount of skim milk and a natural sweetener, like Stevia.

unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar: 2017’s Hottest New Superfood?

Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly a “superfood”, but the year just started and there’s already been a lot of talk about apple cider vinegar, or ACV, as the regulars are calling it. For years, celebrities like Megan Fox and Miranda Kerr have sworn by ACV as a weight loss aid. Both beauties claim that drinking the vinegar daily is at least in part responsible for their svelte figures. That all sounds promising – and easy enough – but could it be too good to be true? To find out, we did some research on what the experts had to say.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help you Lose Weight?

The research on whether apple cider vinegar can actually contribute to weight loss is lacking; but one study out of Japan in 2009 found that drinking two tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar twice a day with meals helped participants lose four pounds in a period of 12 weeks. Researchers think that this benefit could be attributed to acetic acid, one of the main components in apple cider vinegar. Acetic acid can help speed up metabolism, contributing to weight loss. Another study found that drinking apple cider vinegar may help reduce appetite; however, researchers speculated this may be due to the fact that some participants felt nauseated after taking it. Although the research is promising, it would take more studies to really make a claim about whether apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss.

Other Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

While it may not be a magic potion for weight loss, apple cider vinegar does have plenty of health benefits, so it’s worth including in your daily diet. It’s rich in beta-carotene, calcium, and potassium, as well as probiotics, and enzymes, which contribute to a healthy gut and digestive system. Apple Cider Vinegar is also rich in antioxidants, which help fight off the substances (called free radicals) that contribute to cancer.

Choosing an Apple Cider Vinegar

As with most foods, the apple cider vinegar available for purchase differs. Some is highly processed, which leaves it lacking in the nutrition department. When choosing an apple cider vinegar, it’s best to choose a raw version that has the “mother” intact. The “mother” is a cloudy substance that consists of cellulose and acetic acid. It’s the mother that contains most of the vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and enzymes of the vinegar. You’ll be able to spot it right away because the ACV will look cloudy and a bit murky. This is a good thing!

How to Drink It

When drinking apple cider vinegar, it’s best to dilute it in 8 to 10 ounces of water. This makes it easier on the stomach and your tooth enamel, which can respond negatively to the acidity of the vinegar. After drinking the diluted apple cider vinegar, swish warm water in your mouth; and then wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.


Emotions and Weight Loss: How Meditation Can Help You Shed Pounds

When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise get most of the credit. However, according to research, the key player in the game is actually psychological well-being. When you embark on a weight loss journey, learning to manage emotions and develop a healthy relationship with food isn’t always at the forefront, but maybe it should be. Now, we know what you’re thinking: well, all of that is great, but how do I achieve this psychological well-being? How do I stay present in the moment so that I can enjoy my food and listen to my body’s internal cues? The answer is actually quite simple: meditation.

The Research

Although there is still a lot of research to be done, a survey published by the healthcare network Orlando Health reported that successful weight loss is dependent on management of emotions and psychological well-being more than other any factors. However, 90 percent of the survey participants weren’t even aware of the importance of a positive mental state. Most gave all of the credit to diet and exercise.

Another study done by researchers at Cornell University looked at why some people seem to maintain a healthy weight all their lives, while others struggle. The study, which was published in 2016, reported that the leading three reasons were taking pleasure in food, listening to the body’s internal cues, and lack of guilt after eating. Yet another study out of the Brown University Public School of Health found people who pay more attention to the present and their current thoughts and feelings had lower levels of abdominal fat and were less likely to become obese.

How to Meditate

Although the word can be intimidating for some, meditation is simply the practice of focusing your attention on the moment. This results in more calm and clarity.  In addition to increasing psychological well-being, which can in turn lead to weight loss, meditation has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep patterns, and reduce chronic pain.

It does take practice, but the good news is that there’s no real right or wrong way to do it. If you’re new to meditation, try this:

  1. Find a quiet spot where you’ll be free from any distraction for 5 to 15 minutes.
  2. Get into a comfortable position – you can sit, stand, lie down, or even walk. It’s completely up to you.
  3. Find a point of focus. Many people choose to focus only on their breathing. Feel the breath as it comes in and then goes out. Take note of any tension in your body and relax any areas that feel tight.
  4. Be still.

You can also try guided meditations if you find it difficult to remain still or focus on your own breathing. There are many available for free on YouTube that range from 3 minutes to 3 hours.

If you’re new to meditation, the practice may seem a little silly and pointless at first, but trust us. The benefits of meditation extend to all areas of your life. If you combine meditation with the practice of mindful eating, you’ll be on your way to a slimmer waistline in no time.

lipotropic injections

Should I Get Lipotropic Injections?

Weight loss is multi-faceted. Successful weight loss relies on different bodily processes working together in harmony. While regular exercise and a healthy diet helps activate and get these processes going in the right direction, sometimes it’s just not enough to see results you’re looking for. When you want to boost or kickstart your weight loss, lipotropic injections may be what you need.

Lipotropic Injections Increase Calorie Burn

To achieve weight loss, you have to create a calorie deficit, by either reducing calorie intake or increasing calorie burn. Lipotropic injections help you burn more calories by boosting your body’s production of a compound called adenosine monophosphate, which increases your metabolic rate and makes it easier for you to lose weight.

Fat Control

Lipotropic injections help control both the storage and placement of fat. A substance called Inositol plays a particularly important role in fat control. Inositol, which is part of the B-complex family, assists in weight loss by breaking down fatty deposits in the body and helping the body’s overall metabolism of fats.

Cell and Nerve Function

Healthy cell and nerve function both play essential roles in weight loss. Lipotropic injections help boost the health of your cells and nerves, improving their function, through various substances, like choline.

Choline helps your body make acetylcholine, an energy-producing neurotransmitter. One of the primary building blocks of acetylcholine is fat. That’s why those who are deficient in choline crave more of the calorie dense fatty foods associated with weight gain.

Charge Your Metabolism

Your body constantly adjusts your metabolism to maintain balance. When your metabolism is running smoothly and efficiently, you burn calories more effectively and you lose weight faster.

Lipotropic injections include B vitamins, like B6, B12, and B5 to assist in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats so you can use them. These vitamins also help boost energy and promote an overall healthy and efficient metabolism.

If you feel like you’ve tried every diet and exercise plan and you’re still not seeing the results you want, lipotropic injections may be just the answer you need. You can learn more about our injections or contact us if you’re ready to dive in.

Childhood Obesity Month

Childhood Obesity Month: Talking to Your Child About Weight Loss

Since September is National Childhood Obesity month, we thought it might be a good time to discuss a difficult, and sometimes uncomfortable, topic: finding ways to talk with your children about losing weight.

Obesity is a serious issue involving people of all ages, but the statistics regarding childhood obesity are particularly alarming. In fact, childhood obesity statistics have doubled in the last 30 years. And adolescent obesity has quadrupled, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While staying at a healthy weight is important, it’s also important to broach the subject carefully and sensitively, as you don’t want to cause any unnecessary insecurities or obsessions down the road.

Be Honest

If your child asks about their weight, talk honestly with them about your concerns without being alarming. Lying to them and telling them they’re at a healthy weight may help their self-esteem short-term, but avoids an issue that can cause serious health problems later in life.

Instead, be open with your child when they ask about their weight or losing weight, and offer positive ways to get healthier. Refrain from using negative adjectives like fat, and instead tell them you want to help, offering options like a kids weight loss program or other healthy activities that you can do together.

Focus on health, rather than aesthetics. Most children don’t understand the impact excess weight can have on their health. Be informative, while also being sensitive to the fact that health issues can be frightening to children.

Stay Positive

You should never direct negative comments towards, or make fun of your child for being overweight. It’s more effective to provide opportunities for them to get active and eat healthy than it is to tear them down and point out weight problems without offering solutions.

This also goes for negative comments about what they’re eating. Instead, offer healthy alternatives and explain the benefits of choosing them over junk food. A good way to get children to eat healthier is to involve them in the cooking process. Ask them to help with dinner and let them choose what to make from a handful of healthy options.

Lead by example by making some swaps in your diet too. Avoid complaining and try not to make it feel like deprivation. Instead, make it feel like a healthy journey that you’re going on together.

Lead by Example

Your children look up to you, and the best way to talk to them about weight loss is to lead by an example. Keep only healthy foods in the home, strive to stay active yourself and make sure to compliment or encourage your child when they mimic the positive behaviors you’re showing them and making progress.

Know that there will be setbacks. Instead of punishing your child or making them feel like they’ve failed, remind them that it happens and the best thing to do is get right back on track, even after a bad day.

When approaching children’s weight loss, it’s important to realize you’re not alone. A structured children’s weight loss program can help provide the support and guidance that you both need.

Whether or not you can advantage during Childhood Obesity Month, you can always find more information about our youth program.


Pure Green Coffee Beans and Weight Loss

Green is probably not the color you normally associate with coffee, but raw, unroasted coffee seeds are actually a golden-green shade. Typically, these beans, technically the seeds of Coffee fruits, are dried, roasted and brewed into your cup of morning joe, but the extract of the seeds offer plenty of powerful benefits for your health, especially when it comes to weight loss.

Studies Show Green Coffee Products Contribute to Healthy Weight Loss

In 2012, a team of researchers observed 16 overweight adults who took different doses of green coffee bean extract for three months. The average weight loss in that time period by participants was a remarkable 18 pounds, and participants lost an average of 4.5% of their body fat.

Another study conducted that same year found additional results that were just as remarkable. One hundred overweight women ranging in age from 35 to 49 took either a placebo or green coffee bean extract three times daily before every meal. Participants did not know if they were taking green coffee bean extract or the placebo, and they were told to continue eating their regular diet. The women who were given the green coffee bean extract lost twice as much weight per week as the women who took the placebo, confirming the extract’s weight loss benefits.

The Science Behind Green Coffee Bean Extract

The compound that makes green coffee bean extract an effective supplement for weight loss is called chlorogenic acid, and it alters the way the body absorbs glucose. It also regulates the amount of glucose, a compound that gives the body energy, which enters the bloodstream. When the amount of glucose in the blood is reduced, the body turns instead to burning fat cells for energy. This results in weight loss.

Green coffee bean extract is also high in antioxidants that help fight off free radicals and toxins, and the chlorogenic acid in the extract may even lower high blood pressure.

Here at Valley Medical Weight Loss, we offer a great way to get pure green coffee beans – Go Bean. To learn more about the benefits of green coffee bean extract for both weight loss and overall health, check out our Go Bean today. 

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weight loss

Can Acupuncture Help You Lose Weight?

Acupuncture is an ancient practice with origins in China, but it has recently become a popular treatment for Westerners seeking to lose weight and treat a number of ailments. It has now been increasingly embraced by practitioners in the West interested in its ability to alter the body’s energy and restore balance to its flow by inserting very fine needles into the skin.

People gain weight for a multitude of reasons, including slowed metabolism, inadequate nutrition, hormone imbalances and overeating, and acupuncture can be used to address many of these issues.

Weight gain may also be caused by an interruption in the energy flow of the body, specifically to and from the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for regulating many hormones and processes. Ideally, this part of the brain runs like a well-oiled machine, but when it is off balance, it can make your hunger levels go haywire.

Acupuncture and Hormone Regulation

Studies show that acupuncture affects one of the hormones related to the hypothalamus and regulation, called ghrelin. This hormone is related closely to leptin, the compound in our bodies that regulates metabolism and fat storage.

The Many Benefits of Acupuncture for Weight Loss

Acupuncture can produce many positive effects for people who are trying to lose weight, including fewer cravings, a decreased appetite, an increase in metabolism and better digestion. The practice can also improve the health and functioning of the liver, which makes many of the compounds that are critical to healthy digestion and nutrient use.

For best results, you should only see a qualified acupuncture practitioner, like those at Valley Medical Weight Loss, and make acupuncture part of a comprehensive weight loss plan.

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weight loss

Choosing the Best Weight Loss Program for You

Millions of people eagerly sign up for weight-loss programs every year, and unfortunately, a large percentage of them fail to lose weight and keep it off. The reason often has little to do with willpower or motivation. Instead, many people fail to shed pounds because they attempt to follow a program that does not support their goals, needs or lifestyle. This kind of mismatch often leads to frustration and discouragement instead of smaller waistlines.

Losing weight can be tough, but it can be even harder when the program you choose isn’t right for you. That’s why it is so important to make the right choice right off the bat. If you are ready to lose weight, follow this guide to find a program that will work for you.

Support Levels

The road to weight loss is far easier to travel when you have the right support. Being able to turn to a professional or a support group is a great tool when you have questions, your motivation wanes or when you just need someone to talk to.

Clinical Support

Losing weight is a medical issue, and having a team of health care professionals on your side can be invaluable. These weight loss programs may provide a variety of services, including nutrition education, supplements, testing, detailed analysis and more, and many clients see results very quickly with these clinical tools and support.

Your Personal Needs

Before you make your choice, think about your personal needs, like your food preferences or related conditions, your budget and desired level of flexibility. Do you need a plan that works with a vegetarian diet? How much of an investment can you make in your weight loss? Do you want a plan that gives you the freedom to choose your own foods, or do you feel more comfortable following a stricter plan? Thinking about these questions will help you better define what you are looking for in a weight loss program.

Weight loss programs are clearly not one-size-fits-all. That’s why we offer custom-formulated plans that will help you reduce cravings, increase your metabolism and help you lose weight and keep it off. Check out our healthy weight loss programs today to find the best match for your needs and goals.

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Weight Loss and Water: How Much Water Do I Need Each Day?

Summer in Arizona is HOT. Okay, maybe that’s not breaking news, but we have a point. You’ve probably heard a lot about how important it is to drink water to stay hydrated during the summer months, but did you know that water is a crucial part of your weight loss plan, too?

A lot of people focus on what they’re eating (which is also important), but water often takes a backseat, especially when it comes to shedding pounds. But we want to make sure you know that not getting enough water can directly work against your weight loss efforts.

How much water should you be drinking every day? The question sounds simple enough, but it’s actually kind of complex. Over the years, various studies have revealed different recommendations, and it turns out that no single amount is right for everyone. How much water you should be drinking each day depends on a variety of factors, including your activity level, your climate and your size.

Why is Drinking Enough Water Important?

Before we talk about how much you should be drinking, it helps to know exactly why getting enough water is important. About 60 percent of the weight of your body is water, and every one of your body systems depends on it to thrive. It helps deliver nutrients to your cells, eliminate toxins from your blood and keep your nose, ears and throat healthy and moist. 

But water also helps boosts your metabolism and acts as an appetite suppressant. In fact, some studies show that drinking a glass of water about 30 minutes before a meal can help fill your stomach up a little bit so that you don’t eat as much. Other studies show that people often mistaken thirst for hunger. So if you’re dehydrated and thirsty, you’re more likely to overeat thinking that you’re hungry, when you really just need a glass of water.

When you don’t get enough water, your body has a hard time performing its normal functions, and your metabolism suffers. Dehydration can also cause fatigue and lack of energy, which makes it difficult to get through your workouts. And even if you’re going through the motions of exercise, you’re probably not going to be able to put in your best effort.

How Much Do You Really Need?

We wish we could give you a clear cut answer on this, but the truth is: it depends. Your individual water needs vary on your location, activity level and your overall health. In the Arizona summer months, your needs are likely even higher, since it’s hot and you’re probably sweating more.

Your body is constantly using water and losing it through sweat, bowel movements, urine and your breath; and the goal is to replace all the water that’s lost so your body has what it needs at all times.

If you live in a hot, humid area or have a high activity level, you should consume more water each day. The same is true if you’re trying to lose weight.

A general rule of thumb is to aim to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces. That means if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces of water daily. If you weigh 250 pounds, that number goes up to 125 ounces per day. Of course, you may need to adjust this amount even on a day-to-day basis.

Some days you might. be doing more intense workouts and need more water. Other days, you might be inside in the air conditioner and need less. Try to listen to your body. Notice if you’re thirsty or feeling fatigued. If you are, you probably need more water.

Getting the right amount of water every day can help you look and feel your best, and staying hydrated is an important part of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. To learn more about weight loss, contact us at any one of our locations!

VM cake

The Three Bite Rule: Indulging While Losing Weight

Take a minute to sit and think about this for a second. When you eat something – whether it’s a piece of cake, a slice of pizza, or some cheese and crackers – which bite or bites taste the best? Is it the 24th bite? The 100th bite? The 4th slice of pizza? No. Usually, it’s the first bite. Maybe even the first, second, and third. Yet, when we decide to treat ourselves, we tend to completely overdo it.

Instead of lightly giving in to temptations and cravings, we dive in headfirst until we’re surrounded by an empty bag of chips or a whole sleeve of cookies gone, even though we’re probably not enjoying every bite like we should be. At Valley Medical, we’re all about moderation and allowing a treat here or there and we’re going to share a method that works well for us and many of our clients. It’s called “the three bite rule”.

The rule is simple. If you decide to eat something that’s off your diet plan, eat only three bites. Savor each bite. Chew slowly. Turn off all distractions around you and pay attention to how delicious each bite is. You’ll notice that when you take the time to slow down and eat mindfully, your cravings are satisfied more easily than if you were eat distractedly. The first bite is usually the most delicious. The second bite is also good, but it doesn’t have that “mmmm” factor that the first bite has. By the third bite, you’ve already experienced the flavor and the excitement starts to decline.

Now let’s clarify something here, we’re not saying to do this all day. Calories still add up and if you’re having three bites of this here and three bites of that there, it could stall your weight loss goals. What we’re saying is, when it’s time for a treat – say you’re out to dinner and your favorite dessert is on the menu or you had a healthy dinner and that ice cream in the freezer is calling your name – only have three bites of whatever it is that you want and then put down the fork (or spoon).

You’ll be able to treat yourself without completely sabotaging your goals. What do you think? Have you tried the three bite rule? Are you planning to now? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment on our Facebook page.

maintaining weight loss

Tips for Maintaining Weight Loss

Losing weight isn’t easy, there’s no doubt about that. But sometimes, maintaining weight loss can be even harder. Once you start getting close to your goals, you may find that you ease up a little on your regimen. You may start to eat a little more or exercise a little less. You may find that you’re just not as diligent about counting calories.

While this is normal, it’s not a trap you want to fall into. After you do all that hard work to lose the weight, the last thing you need is to gain it back because you slowly veer off track. Believe it or not, there are actually a few habits that those who are successful at keeping off weight have in common – and we’re going to share that with you.

Do Some Physical Activity Every Day

According to research, one of the biggest predictors of how successful you’ll be with long-term weight loss is exercise. Research actually goes a step further to say that while proper nutrition is number one when trying to lose weight, regular exercise is number one when trying to maintain that weight loss.

The more you move every day, the better – so try to turn a sedentary lifestyle into an active one.

Pay Attention to Portions

Even if the food on your plate is healthy, it’s still possible to eat too much of it. Calories count – whether they’re coming from baked chicken or macaroni and cheese. Sure, you can eat more of the chicken, but if you eat too much of it, it adds up – and can sabotage your weight loss. Fill your plate with mostly veggies and keep your portions in check.

Monitor Your Progress

The scale isn’t always the best indicator of your weight, but it can definitely serve to monitor your progress and keep you on track. If you weigh yourself daily, for example, you’re able to identify when you’re starting to get off track more easily. If you see the scale move up a couple pounds, you know it’s time to get back on track. If you only weigh yourself once a year or every few months, you may gain a significant amount of weight back before you even realize it. Don’t get too caught up in what the actual number is, but just use the scale as a tool to keep you where you want to be.

Make Healthy Food a Part of Your Life

Maintaining weight loss is all about making healthy choices your lifestyle. There’s no way you can stick to a diet forever, so don’t think of it like that. You’re allowed to indulge every once in a while, but just make sure to get right back on track after. Don’t let one indulgent meal turn into a weekend binge. Focus on eating lots of fiber-rich fruits and veggies, lean meats, and healthy fats most of the time.

Find Ways to Deal with Stress

A lot of people tend to turn to food as a source of comfort during stressful or emotionally difficult times, but this can quickly lead to gaining back the weight you lost. Instead of turning to food, find something else that can help you relieve your stress. Try a yoga class or learn about deep breathing. Keep a journal.  These are all healthy ways to reduce stress without taking in extra calories.

Research also shows that keeping the weight off gets easier over time. According to research done by Brown Medical School, those who keep the weight off for two to five years are more likely to keep it off for good, so hang in there! Follow these tips to make the new you the lasting you.

weight loss during the holidays

The Dieter’s Guide to Weight Loss During the Holidays

It’s the holiday season. The time of year when families and friends get together to share thanks, love, laughter – and maybe even some presents and a little bit of aggravation. It’s also the time of the year when there’s food everywhere you turn. You may encounter a hidden vegetable or fruit tray here and there, but for the most part, you’re likely to find food that’s high in calories, short in beneficial nutrients, and bad for your waistline. Weight loss during the holidays? It’s seems like an oxymoron.

Many people resign themselves to the “fact” that the holidays mean weight gain. They give in to temptation and then vow to lose any gained weight after the holidays are over; but that doesn’t have to be you. While it’s okay – and perfectly normal – to indulge here and there, you don’t have to let yourself get completely off track. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right path – and your pants comfortably buttoned – this holiday season.

Eat Before You Go

Most holiday parties fall around dinnertime. If a sit-down dinner isn’t served, there are often plenty of appetizers around the room to keep you snacking all night long. If you go to a party hungry, your ability to resist temptation decreases dramatically. Prepare yourself by eating a healthy meal before you head out to a holiday event. Give yourself enough time to enjoy a proper meal at home. That way, you’ll feel more satisfied and you’ll be ready to mingle.

Bring Your Own

If eating before the party isn’t an option, bring your own dish. Tell the host or hostess that you’d love to pitch in and make a dish that you can enjoy without veering too far off of your diet plan.

Host the Party

If it’s a feasible option for you, offer to host a party. When you host, you have more control over the menu, so you can make healthy dishes that your guests will enjoy, but you’ll feel good about eating.

Ditch the Drinks

Holiday parties are known for the cocktails. Pumpkin martinis, peppermint shooters, and eggnog are everywhere you turn, but these drinks are often more damaging to your waistline than the dessert tray. Limit yourself to one alcoholic drink per party and try to choose something that’s not loaded with calories. A wine spritzer or a glass of champagne is a better choice than eggnog.

Pick Your Treats

Getting through the holidays without indulging a little is nearly impossible, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat everything that’s in front of you. Choose a few treats that are worth the splurge – your mom’s chocolate cake or your aunt’s snickerdoodle cookies – and skip the rest. If it’s something you can have all year, don’t use this time to splurge; but if it’s something that only comes around during the holidays, allow yourself the treat.

Chew Gum

When you’re mingling at a party, sometimes it’s tempting to pick at the cheese or crackers or have another scoop of dip just because it’s there. Instead, chew on a piece of gum. When you’re chewing gum, you’re less likely to just mindlessly pop food into your mouth.

Ramp Up Your Workout

Although you can’t outrun your fork, ramping up your workouts will give you a little more wiggle room in your diet. Add a few workouts to your week to help burn off some of the extra calories you’re taking in. If family or friends are visiting from out of town, include them in the workout – go for a walk or a hike – instead of using them as an excuse to skip the workout altogether.

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

As you may know by now, we run a special every month. 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
MetaBlast Supplements
Craveaway Supplements
Weekly Upgraded Injection of B-12
Bi-Weekly Injection of Lipo X
Full Body Analysis on our BODYCOMP Scale
Product of the Month

You might have noticed that there’s a “product of the month” listed, but you’re probably thinking “what is it??”. Well we’re glad you asked. We like to keep things fresh and interesting over here at Valley Medical by changing the product of the month every month. This month we’re offering the Skip-a-Meal Replacement Shake by Progressive Laboratories.

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.

Have questions about our monthly special or our product of the month? Call us at either location!

Phoenix: 602-374-3374
Tempe: 480-968-5673