Thanksgiving: a holiday that is usually centered around the dinner table with family, friends and copious amounts of delectable food (we see you, pumpkin pie). From succulent roasted turkey to savory side dishes, we’re sure you have a few favorites you look forward to every year. But all of that delicious food can sometimes leave you feeling stuffed and uncomfortable.
And if you’re on a journey to better health and weight loss, learning how to navigate this time of year can be especially difficult. Here’s the good news: you can enjoy yourself, feel great on Thanksgiving and still stick to your weight loss goals with a few simple tricks.
Learn how to avoid the “holiday slide” by staying on track with your healthy habits — and make this Thanksgiving your healthiest yet with these six helpful tips.
1. Say yes to breakfast and lunch.
Most of the festivities kick off in the afternoon, with many Americans dishing up their Thanksgiving meal between 1-3:00 p.m.1 While it might be tempting to put off breakfast and lunch to get the most out of your dinner, skipping meals will likely leave you feeling tired, cranky and hungry.2 Waiting all day to eat may also make you more likely to overeat when the food is served. Avoid feeling “hangry” by having a healthy breakfast and lunch earlier in the day. If you have a snack between meals, try a nonfat plain Greek yogurt, a hard-boiled egg or a handful of carrot sticks to help you feel more satisfied.
2. Embrace healthier food choices.
Ready to build your Thanksgiving plate? Rather than thinking of the holiday as an all-you-can-eat feast, create your plate the way you would any other time of the year. Focusing on plenty of veggies, a portion of lean protein, and a moderate amount of healthy fats and starches are great ways to make a nutritious and satisfying meal. <br>
But before you reach for an extra dinner roll, try this strategy. Ask yourself:
<br>“Is this something I can have year-round?”
If you answered “yes,” feel free to move on to the next item. Carb-heavy, sugary and deep fried foods are a dime a dozen, especially during the holidays. Pursuing your goal weight doesn’t need to be restrictive — by making mindful choices, you’ll eat the foods you actually want and are special to that specific holiday, and probably enjoy them even more.
3. Portion size is key.
How many calories are in a typical Thanksgiving dinner? The results may surprise you: Americans may eat upwards of 4,500 calories during their Thanksgiving dinner alone, according to the Calorie Control Council.3 But that doesn’t mean you have to skip your favorite foods. Pay attention to your portions and refer to our helpful Portion Size Guide as a reference. To keep your portions under control, try filling the majority of your plate with a variety of non-starchy vegetables and fresh salad from the Fresh & Free Additions list. Also, before considering seconds, allow yourself 20-30 minutes to start digesting before putting any other food on your plate — it can take at least 20 minutes for you to begin feeling full.4
4. Make smart swaps.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites in new, delicious ways by making simple substitutions. Try these:
<br>Spiced sweet potatoes: Skip the marshmallows and turn up the volume on these naturally sweet veggies with aromatic spices. Heat the oven to 375 F. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and nutmeg, a dash of vanilla extract and a spritz of olive oil over sweet potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss gently to coat. Spread evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and tender. Mash roasted sweet potatoes and serve. If you're on the Jenny Craig program, one serving is about 1 cup of spiced sweet potatoes and equals 2 starches.
<br>Healthy green bean casserole: Make two servings with Jenny Craig’s Green Beans with Garlic & Olive Oil and top it with crispy onions. To make the onions, peel and slice a small onion into 1/8-inch rings. Dip rings into an egg white and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese along with salt and pepper to taste. (1 tablespoon of Parmesan counts as 1 limited food, if you're on Jenny Craig.) Place onions into an air fryer and give them a quick burst of cooking spray. Flip rings over and spray again. Fry at 400 F for five minutes, or until crispy.5 Heat green beans according to instructions, top with onions and enjoy immediately.
<br>For the Main Event: And if you are on the Jenny Craig program, you can skip laboring for hours in the kitchen and have Thanksgiving dinner ready in less than 10 minutes with Jenny Craig’s Turkey and Wild Rice! Tender turkey, savory wild and brown rice, sweet potatoes and rich gravy make a quick and easy meal.
<br>Sweet treat alternatives: Want to end your meal with dessert? Check out these 10 treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth without sidetracking your weight loss.
5. Slow down and savor your meal.
If you’ve ever sat down to watch TV with dinner in-hand, gotten distracted by your favorite show and suddenly noticed your plate was empty, you’ve experienced distracted eating. Distracted eating is one of the easiest ways to accidentally overindulge. However, being present and paying attention to your food may make you less likely to overeat during and after your meal.6
Trying mindful eating techniques can help: Use your senses as you eat. Savor the taste, aroma, texture and appearance of the food in front of you.7 Take note of the sensations you experience when you begin to feel full and when you feel completely full.
Eating mindfully doesn’t need to be impractical. Between catching up with friends and family and watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, you’ll encounter some distractions during the holiday. And if you’re gearing up for the big game on Thanksgiving Day, try creating a portion-conscious plate so that when you’ve finished eating everything on it, you’ll feel less inclined to go back for seconds.
6. Fight the “food coma.”
Ever eaten a big meal and wanted to take a nap immediately after? You’re not alone. Feeling drowsy after eating is common, especially after a large meal. Don’t just blame the turkey — your body’s natural circadian rhythm, or your body’s internal clock, might also be making you feel sleepy. At around 1:00 or 1:30 p.m., your body may automatically start to feel tired, whether you’ve eaten or not.8 Add this to a hefty meal, and you’re almost guaranteed to want to take a nap. To avoid feeling extra drowsy, enjoy a light meal with plenty of non-starchy vegetables, skip the alcohol, and consider sipping a cup of coffee if you’re ready to snooze before the festivities are over.6 Shake off any food fatigue by taking a brisk post-meal walk — you’ll get to appreciate the beautiful fall weather while staying active.
While food is a big part of Thanksgiving Day, there are plenty of wonderful ways to enjoy yourself that don’t revolve around the dinner table. You have enough on your mind during the holidays: what you eat shouldn’t stress you out! Try these six tips to get the most out of your holiday meal, while still maintaining your weight loss goals. And remember — one meal won’t make or break your weight loss. If you feel yourself moving toward the holiday slide, be kind to yourself and take the time to get yourself back on track the following day.
Ready to learn more about healthy eating strategies for the holidays? Contact a Jenny Craig consultant today to book your free appointment! <br>
 https://www.statista.com/statistics/639837/popular-thanksgiving-meal-times-among-us-consumers/ <br>
 https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a19981778/effects-of-skipping-meals/ <br>
 https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/slow-down-you-eat-too-fast#1 <br>
 https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/air-fried-onion-rings-530305 <br>
 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/distracted-eating-may-add-to-weight-gain-201303296037 <br>
Celebrate the fall season with our #HolidayHacks! Try our hearty & healthy Salisbury Shepherd’s Pie recipe. Let us know what you think!
1 package Jenny Craig Cheddar Cheese Crisps (crumbled)
Jenny Craig Salisbury Steak
1 cup cauliflower
2 tablespoons low sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons of diced onions
5 mushrooms (diced)
½ cup mixed frozen vegetables (thawed)
¼ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ketchup
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup low sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon parsley
Nonstick cooking spray
Microwave Jenny Craig Salisbury Steak for 3 minutes.
In a bowl, mix 1 cup of cauliflower with potatoes from entrée. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes or until tender.
Mash cauliflower and potatoes with 2 tablespoons of chicken broth and 1/8 teaspoon each of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Crumble Salisbury Steak with a fork. Place in a pan sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Add diced onions, mushrooms, thawed vegetables, dried sage, rosemary, and thyme, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, ¼ cup chicken broth, and vegetables from entrée.
Sauté for 5 minutes. Place filling into a 6” ramekin.
Top with cauliflower mash. Sprinkle with crumbled Jenny Craig Cheddar Cheese Crisps and ½ teaspoon of parsley.
Broil on low for approximately 2 minutes or until top is golden.
If you are on the Jenny Craig program, use the guide below when considering your other meals for the day. Check with your consultant before making any swaps or changes to your plan to ensure you stay on track!
<br>Salisbury Steak (1 starch, ½ vegetable, 2 protein, 1½ fat)
<br>Cheddar Cheeses Crisps (1 starch, 1 fat)
<br>Frozen Vegetables and Vegetables from Entrée (2 vegetables)
<br>Cauliflower, Onions, Mushrooms Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Worcestershire Sauce, Parsley (7 Fresh & Free Additions)
<br>Ketchup (1 limited food)
Have you noticed that it seems harder to lose weight — and a bit too easy to gain it — after the age of 50? If so, you’re not alone: Many men find that even if they eat and exercise just as they always have, the pounds still seem to creep on … and are harder to take off. But rest assured that weight loss for men over 50 is possible. By understanding how your body is changing and creating new habits to avoid unwanted weight gain, you can set yourself up for success.
Physical Changes in Men Over 50
As you probably can attest to, as you age, you can no longer eat the same way as you did in your 20’s. That’s because the average, moderately active male aged 51 to 55 needs 400 fewer calories per day than he did between the ages of 21 and 25.1 This may not seem like a big difference, but when you consider that 3,500 extra calories can cause a 1-pound weight gain, it’s easy to see how extra calories can quickly add up to excess pounds.2
After age 30, men also experience a muscle-mass decrease between three and five percent per decade, with most men losing approximately 30 percent of their muscle mass throughout their lifetime.3 And since more muscle means more calories burned, that muscle loss equates to fewer calories burned — and, potentially, more weight gained.4 Additionally, lower testosterone levels can cause an increase in visceral abdominal fat.5
Even though these changes are part of the natural aging process, it doesn’t mean they are an automatic recipe for weight gain. By following these six weight-loss tips, managing and maintaining a healthy weight as a male over the age of 50 is just a few simple lifestyle changes away.
Tip 1: You Don’t Need to Be Overly Restrictive
When you notice the numbers on the scale creeping up, your first instinct may be to dramatically cut back on the number of calories you eat or try a fad diet to lose weight quickly. However, you’re likely to see the pounds return because these type of extreme changes are usually not sustainable.
To keep your metabolism firing, it’s important to consume enough nutrient-rich calories each day. A healthy diet for men consists of smaller, more frequent meals to keep your metabolism burning fat day in and out.6 Fill your plate with lean protein such as chicken alongside fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. With portion control and frequent meals in mind, you can keep your metabolism moving.
Tip 2: Eat with the Sun
You can leverage your body’s natural processes — like your circadian rhythm — to maximize your metabolism.7 Circadian rhythm refers to your behavioral and physical patterns over a 24-hour cycle.8 Just as you keep busy during the day with errands, meetings and your to-do list, your metabolism is at its peak in the morning and early afternoon. Conversely, your metabolism is less active at night.
By eating in sync with your circadian rhythm and by allowing your body a critical digestion break (12 hours of not consuming calories in the later evening/night hours), you may be able to enhance your weight loss efforts while potentially preserving muscle mass.9,10 Becoming more aware of your body’s internal clock and enjoying nutrient-rich foods during the day and foregoing late-night meals or snacks can help your body work naturally with the peaks and valleys of your metabolism, helping to optimize weight loss.
Jenny Craig’s Rapid Results program is based on this innovative science. Rapid Results works with your natural circadian rhythm to nourish and rejuvenate your body — allowing your cells and body’s processes to reset during sleep and nourishing it when your metabolism is working most optimally during the day.
Tip 3: Rest and Recharge
Between the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to get enough sleep. And, as you age, you may find it harder to sleep through the night, which usually means spending fewer hours in a state of deep sleep. Skimping on z’s won’t only leave you feeling groggy the next morning: Increasing research indicates sleep and weight are linked — and not getting enough shut-eye has been shown to have a number of negative effects, including a slower metabolism.11
So, tuck in early or set your alarm clock a little later: The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults between the ages of 26 and 64 aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night.12
Tip 4: Reach for Foods That Will Keep You Full
Stomach rumbling? Fiber and protein can help you stay full for longer.13 What’s more, a study conducted by the U.S National Institutes of Health and published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that a protein-rich diet may help preserve muscle mass and strength in older adults.14
However, not all proteins are created equal. The American Heart Association recommends opting for lean proteins such as chicken, fish or plant-based (like beans) over red meats which are higher in saturated fat and can raise your LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol.15
Tip 5: Pass Up Sugar-laden Drinks
High-calorie drinks such as sugary sodas and alcohol can also add to unwanted weight gain. Instead, try opting for healthier options such as green tea and water.
Not only has research shown that green tea can benefit your health, but it also suggests it may also give your metabolism a slight boost (as can white and Oolong teas).16,17 Try adding lemon slices or a little bit of natural sweetener if you want to add some extra flavor.
If green tea isn’t your kind of flavor, opt for water diffused with some fresh fruit. Water helps maintain your body’s fluids and research indicates drinking water before a meal may reduce your caloric intake.18 By reaching for water instead of a sugary drink, you’ll stay hydrated and on track with your weight loss journey.
Tip 6: Implement a Workout Routine
Resistance training is good for building muscles, but it’s also an excellent way for you to preserve them, which can counteract natural muscle loss and help keep your metabolism from slowing down.19 If it’s been a while since you’ve picked up a pair of weights, start by using your body weight to build muscle with squats, lunges, push-ups and sit-ups, depending on your fitness ability. As you gain muscle mass and confidence, add weights to the mix — but start slowly to avoid injury. Remember to always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Despite the natural body changes that come with age, living a healthy, active life is still an attainable goal. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can restore your strength and energy while getting healthy and losing weight. Weight loss for men over 50 is absolutely within your reach!
Are you ready to make a change and improve your health with a weight loss program that is backed by scientific research? Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to get started today.
 Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. “Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Time-Restricted Feeding in Healthy Lifespan.” Cell Metabolism, vol. 23, no. 6, 14 June 2016, pp. 1048–1059., doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.06.001.
 Moro, Tatiana, et al. “Effects of eight weeks of time-Restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-Trained males.” Journal of Translational Medicine, vol. 14, no. 1, 2016, doi:10.1186/s12967-016-1044-0.
If you’re like many Americans, you’ve likely heard about Type 2 diabetes, an increasingly common medical condition that causes higher-than-normal blood glucose levels.1 But have you heard about prediabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this condition is often a precursor to diabetes and is even more common: While an estimated 30.2 million American adults had Type 2 diabetes in 2015, 84 million — one in three — had prediabetes. Yet 90 percent of people with prediabetes didn’t even know they had it.2,3 And the condition is on the rise.4
Prediabetes is a serious condition, according to the CDC, as it increases your risk of developing not only Type 2 diabetes, but heart disease and stroke as well.5 And if you do go on to develop Type 2 diabetes, the disease can damage many vital body systems over time, including your blood vessels, eyes, heart, kidneys and nerves.6
But the good news is that even if you have prediabetes, there are steps you can take now to help reverse it — and prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing at the same time.3 Here’s how.
What is prediabetes?
According to the CDC, prediabetes is diagnosed when your blood glucose levels — also known as your blood sugar levels — are higher than normal but are not high enough for you to be classified as having diabetes.5 With prediabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well (sometimes referred to as insulin resistance), which causes glucose to accumulate in your bloodstream rather than moving into the cells of your body, as it is supposed to do.7
If you have prediabetes, you are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes8 unless you take steps to reverse the condition; it’s estimated that between 15 percent and 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years if they do not make the recommended lifestyle changes.9 In fact, people who develop Type 2 diabetes almost always have prediabetes first, according to the American Diabetes Association.10
How to know if you have prediabetes
While there are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, some people with the condition do have symptoms similar to those with diabetes, including the following:11
Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
Feeling very hungry
Feeling very thirsty
Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet
According to the American Academy of Dermatology,12 having dark patches of velvety skin — called acanthosis nigricans — on your armpits, the back of your neck, or elsewhere can also be a sign of prediabetes.
If you do have any of these symptoms, be sure to check with your doctor, as the only way to know for certain whether you have prediabetes is through blood tests. If you do have prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends getting a blood test for Type 2 diabetes every one to two years.10
What causes prediabetes?
Experts aren’t sure what causes prediabetes, but your genetics and family history seem to be important factors. Other factors that increase your risk include:13
A history of gestational diabetes. You — and your child — are at higher risk of developing prediabetes if you developed gestational diabetes while pregnant
Waist size. Men with waists larger than 40 inches and women whose are larger than 35 inches are at increased risk
Being inactive. In fact, the less active you are, the greater your risk of prediabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic
Being overweight. The more fatty tissue you have — especially in your abdominal area — the more resistant your cells become to insulin
Disordered sleep. Having a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea increases your risk. Working night shifts may increase your risk as well
High blood pressure.
High levels of triglycerides.
Low levels of HDL cholesterol. Known as the “good” kind of cholesterol found in foods like nuts, avocado and olive oil
Your age. The risk of prediabetes increases after the age of 45
Your dietary habits. Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with an increased risk, as is eating excessive amounts of processed and red meat
How to help prevent Type 2 diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, that doesn’t mean you are destined to develop Type 2 diabetes. In fact, according to Harvard Health,14 the vast majority of diabetes — and even prediabetes — can be prevented through lifestyle and diet changes.
According to the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,15 losing weight and getting regular exercise are the two most important steps you can take to help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Specifically, the study found you can lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent by doing two important things:
Losing 7 percent of your body weight
Getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week — such as walking briskly for 30 minutes, five days a week
What should you eat if you’re prediabetic?
In addition to getting more exercise, Harvard Health recommends the following dietary modifications if you are at risk of Type 2 diabetes:14
Reduce your intake of processed foods and added sugars. This includes refined grains such as white flour and white rice, as well as sugary drinks, including sodas and juices
Choose whole grains. Foods made from 100 percent whole grain (such as whole wheat) are a good choice, but intact whole grains — brown rice, corn, oatmeal and quinoa, for instance — are better
Increase your fiber. Most vegetables and fruits are high in fiber, as are legumes such as beans, chickpeas, edamame and peas
Eat more fruits and vegetables. At least half of what you eat every day should be non-starchy fruits and vegetables — the more colorful, the better
Avoid processed red meat. Eating one serving of processed meat a day (such as deli meat and hot dogs) is associated with more than a 50 percent increased risk of developing prediabetes
Eat healthier fats. Saturated fats, especially from meats, are associated with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Plant oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil, carry less risk, while omega-3 fats, such as those found in walnuts, flax seeds and some fish, are actually healthy for you
You also might want to consider trying intermittent fasting, which has been shown to be beneficial for people with prediabetes. In one study of prediabetic men,14 study participants followed an intermittent fasting schedule of eating between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. for five weeks. After the study period, the participants showed improved insulin sensitivity and other measures of metabolic health, as well as lowered blood pressure and less oxidative stress. Interestingly, they also experienced less hunger in the evening.
Jenny Craig’s Rapid Results program integrates time-restricted feeding, a type of intermittent fasting, where you eat over a 12-hour time frame and refrain from food for the following 12-hours (which includes sleep) to let your body’s cells rejuvenate. By eating in accordance with your circadian rhythm, you’ll be working with your body by consuming the majority of your calories when your metabolism is working most optimally.
We hope you’ve been inspired to take steps to help prevent yourself from developing prediabetes. And if you have already been diagnosed with the condition, remember that you have the power to help reverse it — and avoid diabetes at the same time.
If you’re ready to focus on improving your diet and lifestyle, Jenny Craig can help! Click here to set up a free appointment with a personal weight loss consultant to discuss your goals and start working towards a healthier you!
 http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/?loc=util-header_type2 <br>
 https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf <br>
 https://news.psu.edu/story/370127/2015/09/16/medical-minute-incidence-diabetes-and-pre-diabetes-rise <br>
 https://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesprevention/ <br>
 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193 <br>
 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance <br>
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3891203/ <br>
 http://endocrinefacts.org/health-conditions/diabetes-2/2-prediabetes/ <br>
 http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/prediabetes/ <br>
 http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/ <br>
 https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/other-conditions/diabetes-warning-signs <br>
 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prediabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355278 <br>
 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/healthy-lifestyle-can-prevent-diabetes-and-even-reverse-it-2018090514698 <br>
 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/research-areas/diabetes/diabetes-prevention-program-dpp <br>
You’ve probably heard the saying that successful weight loss boils down to calories in, calories out. Many weight loss programs are built around this basic premise — you count and track what you eat, logging every food and drink you consume — then tally up your total daily, making sure you stay within a certain range.
But reaching a healthy weight involves other lifestyle aspects — and calorie counting for weight loss may not be the only thing impacting the scale. We asked our Jenny Craig Registered Dietitian, Briana Rodriquez, to help us debunk six common calorie counting myths and explain why meticulously tracking calories shouldn’t be your only focus when it comes to better health.
A kilocalorie, commonly referred to as a calorie, is a measure of energy. In the context of weight loss and weight gain, it measures the energy from the foods and beverages that you consume.1 This energy is what allows your body to function properly. Try not to think of them as being “good” or “bad,” Rodriquez says. They’re the fuel that allows you to do everything from eating and digesting to breathing and walking.1
Myth #1: All calories are created equal.
The truth: Calorie counting diets support this myth by relying on the amount of food you eat to predict your weight loss. Numbers are assigned to different foods based on the macronutrients they provide, and once you’ve eaten the maximum number of calories in your meal, you’re expected to stop. But using food to support your weight loss efforts isn’t just about quantity, it’s also about quality.
In terms of energy measurements, Rodriquez explains, 100 calories of chips versus 100 calories of carrots are the same. However, the sources of those calories have very different effects on your hunger cues, hormones, and energy levels.2 While it’s still important to track how much you eat for weight loss, it’s equally important to track what kinds of food you eat.
Try using this helpful infographic to use portion sizes as a guide, rather than only using the number of calories on a nutritional label.
Myth #2: It doesn’t matter when you eat as long as you’re staying within your calorie limit.
The truth: It’s just as crucial to pay attention to when you eat. Your body functions on a 24-hour cycle, known as your circadian rhythm. When you eat in tandem with your circadian rhythm, you’ll use 12 hours to fuel your body with nutritious foods when your metabolism is most optimal and the remaining 12 hours to allow it to rest and rejuvenate. Using healthy, delicious meals and snacks in mindful portions, Jenny Craig’s Rapid Results program follows this 24-hour cycle to work with your circadian rhythm and enables this natural process to benefit your weight loss.3
Myth #3: Once you hit your “calorie limit,” you won’t feel hungry.
The truth: Calorie counting may cause you to ignore your body’s natural hunger cues. If you’re following the number of calories on your food tracking app, you may feel the need to ignore your grumbling stomach until you can eat again. Waiting too long to eat can become unhealthy when you experience lightheadedness, dizziness or nausea. Experts recommend eating every three to five hours, since it takes time to digest the food you’ve eaten.4
Skip strict calorie counting apps, advises Rodriquez, and enjoy balanced meals and snacks that include vegetables, fruits, lean protein sources and whole grains to help you reduce hunger and feel fuller longer.5,6
Myth #4: If you follow your calorie count, you’ll get the nutrients you need.
The truth: Let’s go back to the potato chips and carrots example. While 100 calories’ worth of chips and carrots share the same caloric number, they don’t share the same nutrients. A 100-calorie serving of raw carrots offers high amounts of calcium and vitamin A, nutrients that may help promote bone and eye health.7,8 In comparison, the same size serving of salted potato chips only offers 4 mg calcium and no vitamin A — missing healthful vitamins and minerals that could help you feel your best.9 What’s more, the potato chips won’t leave you feeling as satiated, since 100 calories of chips is a much smaller quantity of food compared to 100 calories worth of carrots.
Myth #5: Fruit is healthy, so I can eat an unlimited amount.
The truth: All foods can contribute to weight gain (even “free” foods), especially in large amounts. Take fresh fruit, for example. Some calorie-focused weight loss programs propose that you can eat as much fruit as you want and still lose weight. And while fruit is a great source of dietary fiber and nutrients, the amount of sugar it contains is best consumed in moderation if you are aiming for weight loss. Rodriquez suggests aiming for two servings a day.
The sugar in fruit comes from fructose (which is different from glucose, or blood sugar), and is processed by the liver. When your liver has enough energy, it’s more likely to turn this excess fructose into fat to save it for later.10 To reduce the amount of fructose you eat, try including more non-starchy vegetables, which are lower in calories and sugar.
Myth #6: A calorie counting app is all you need to stay on track.
The truth: Basing how many calories you consume in a day off how many you “burn” according to your fitness app may not yield accurate results, Rodriquez notes. The apps and equations that show your recommended level of calories are helpful but can be unreliable. A recent study of popular fitness trackers explored calorie feedback — the most inaccurate one was off by 93 percent!11
A fitness tracker is a useful tool to have during your weight loss journey, but it shouldn’t be the only one you use. Other tools, like choosing healthy portion sizes, reaching for fresh fruits and vegetables, incorporating exercise and eating with your circadian rhythm will all help you to find balance along the way.
Calorie counting can often feel like an overly complicated and stressful ordeal. Having a general idea of the calories you consume per day can be helpful, but it shouldn’t control your life. Eating is meant to be an enjoyable experience, not a math problem.
Ready to work toward healthy weight loss — without the calorie craze? Jenny Craig’s nutritionist-approved, chef-crafted meals take the guesswork out of great meals. Each meal, snack and dessert are well balanced with the nutrition you need and foods you’ll love, without the added stress of counting calories. You’ll also receive one-on-one weight loss consultations to support you during your journey. Get started today by scheduling your free appointment with a consultant!
 Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. “Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Time-Restricted Feeding in Healthy Lifespan.” Cell Metabolism, vol. 23, no. 6, 14 June 2016, pp. 1048–1059., doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.06.001.
Chances are, if you’re contemplating a New Year’s resolution, shedding those extra pounds is at the top of your list, according to a Marist Poll.1
But the best time to make a weight loss commitment is sooner rather than later, according to Dr. Pamela Peeke, chair of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board, who is sharing four good reasons to make a pre-New Year’s resolution.
Here are her insights to consider, and, if you add the help of Jenny Craig’s Rapid Results, you can lose up to 16 pounds in the first four weeks (average weight loss was 11.6 pounds for those who completed the studies), making it a great way to start an early weight loss resolution.
Reason #1: You’ll Love Your Holiday Photos
Whether it’s pictures snapped at work parties, family photos sent out with Christmas or Hanukkah cards, or the chronicling of special moments spent with family and friends, the holidays are loaded with photo ops. But how often have you avoided pictures because you didn’t feel good about being in front of the camera?
“A common refrain we hear from members is that they avoided having pictures taken of themselves because they weren’t happy with their weight,” says Carrie Elkins, division manager for Jenny Craig Anywhere.
By making a commitment now, you can feel healthier and more confident during the holidays -- and have the photos to remember those moments.
Reason #2: You’ll Be More Proactive and Procrastinate Less
Let’s face it: If you know you want to lose weight but are waiting until January to start, you may just be delaying the inevitable. Waiting can set you up for procrastination, and procrastination can actually be harmful, according to the Association for Psychological Science, causing people higher levels of stress and lower well-being.2 Resolve to start losing weight now before the holiday madness begins and while you have the drive.
“Motivation is key when it comes to preparing the psyche for any important behavior change,” said Peeke. “Planning is always beneficial when it comes to weight loss. Creating a practical strategy to take the small steps necessary to improve lifestyle habits will take you from a dream to an achievable goal.”
Reason #3: Starting Now Means a Different Resolution in January
Beginning your weight loss journey now can give you the confidence to tackle a different resolution in January. So, make a new New Year’s resolution! Use the motivation gained by following through on your weight loss goal to fuel your next challenge.
Reason #4: The Time is Right
For many Americans, the holiday season starts with Halloween. That’s three months of potential overindulgence. In fact, the average American starts to gain weight around Thanksgiving, with weight gain peaking around the December holidays or the New Year and it can take up to five months to lose it, according to Cornell University’s Food & Brand Lab.3
If you can adopt healthy habits before the holidays, you may just counteract these effects to gain less or even maintain your weight during the holidays.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I cannot emphasize that enough!” said Peeke. “The goal is to stave off weight gain leading into the holidays, and regroup to get on track with healthier lifestyle habits in the New Year.”
So instead of waiting until 2019 to start making changes, get a head start on your resolution and your journey to better health.
Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Even if you make a firm resolution to lose weight now, the holidays can still be a challenge. Here are tips to help keep you on track.
1. Think of the various holiday events as just that: a holiday.
As tempting as it is to keep candy in the house well past October 31, Halloween is not a whole week, just like Thanksgiving and the December holidays are not month-long celebrations. You can still have a great holiday season and lose weight—just regroup and get right back on track the day after a celebration.
2. Plan ahead.
Make a game plan before you head out the door for a holiday celebration. Consider working with a personal weight loss consultant, like one at Jenny Craig, if you need additional guidance. In addition, review the following strategies which may help keep you on track with your weight loss plan:
Fill up on healthy food before your holiday meal. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can compensate for calories eaten later by skipping meals earlier in the day—doing so can make you ravenous later on and cause you to make poorer food choices.4
Survey the food before selecting what you want to eat. Instead of taking some of everything that’s on the holiday table, be selective. Take a close look at all the foods being offered, then come up with a plan for which ones you really want to eat—you don’t have to take something simply because it’s on the table. And, of course, be mindful of your portion sizes.
3. Get some exercise before the holiday meal — and throughout the holiday season.
Getting activity in before you head off to your holiday celebration will not only burn some extra calories, but it may put you in the right frame of mind to keep you from overindulging. Also, try to schedule a workout or a walk with friends or family for the day after the holiday so you get right back into the swing of things. In fact, try to stay as active every day — there’s no need to postpone activity just because it’s holiday time!
4. Take something off your to-do list.
The holidays are a notoriously busy time, but that doesn’t mean your healthy eating plan needs to suffer. By having delicious, healthy, ready-made meals on hand, you can take one thing off your plate while staying on track with your weight loss goals. Plus, who wants to venture out to do grocery shopping when it’s cold and rainy outside?
5. It’s OK to say no.
As part of your holiday eating plan, you’ll be choosing the foods and portion sizes that work for you, so don’t cave in to pressure from others to eat beyond that. If you can master the PRP technique (polite, reason, polite), you'll have an easier time saying no.
6. Make new traditions.
Instead of baking snowman cookies with your family, try crafting or creating a new, non-food activity for the entire family to enjoy. Or cook up these delicious, healthy holiday side dishes that everyone is sure to love.
As you contemplate your weight loss plan, we hope you will consider that now may be the best time to start your journey. We also hope that your holidays, while still a way off, are filled with family and friends, special moments and memories, and lots of photos … with you in them!
Are you ready to start working toward better health before January 1? Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to meet with a personal weight loss consultant to discuss your health goals this fall!
It’s almost 9 p.m. and you sink into the couch; finally, you have a few minutes to yourself. Between chauffeuring the kids to and from school, preparing meals, running errands and meeting deadlines at work, you’ve hardly had a second to yourself. Does this scenario sound familiar?
As a mom, it can be easy to put your family and career at the top of your list, and your own well-being on the back burner. You have probably heard this before, but practicing self-care is an important part of keeping healthy. It can also help you recharge and put things in perspective, so even though your already full plate probably can’t handle any more, by taking just a few minutes every day to practice self-care, you may actually free up other areas of your life and headspace, and be less stressed throughout the day. One healthy way to do this is through meditation. Meditation is a great way to help slow things down, focus your mind when it’s time to shift your attention from one task to the next, or just take a minute for yourself. Read on to learn more about the benefits of meditation for moms and easy ways to integrate this simple practice into your day — no matter how busy you may be.
What is meditation?
At its core, meditation is a technique for setting the mind at rest and attaining a state of consciousness and mindfulness.1 Meditation is centered around helping you reach a state in which your mind is relaxed, clear, and focused inward rather than on the external events taking place around you or in the world.1 The goal of meditation is to silence the mind, get in touch with yourself, and work to achieve a centered consciousness within.1
4 benefits of meditation for mothers
<br>#1. You’ll start tuning into the present moment.
<br>Ever feel like your child’s schedule is busier than yours? From sleepovers to after-school sports, it’s common to feel overwhelmed with so many activities. If you feel like you’re rushing from event to event, always wondering “what’s next?” it may be time to take a pause. One of the benefits of meditation is learning to become more present, or “in the moment.”
Mediation allows you to shift your focus from constantly anticipating your next task to connecting with the present, helping you to appreciate everything as it happens.2 While you’re waiting for that softball or soccer game to end, take a little time to focus on your senses — take in the sights, smells and sounds around you — and focus only on each sense, droning out the past stresses of the day, or the other things you have to get done before bedtime. When you start to enjoy each moment, in the moment, you might find yourself feeling more relaxed.3
<br>#2. It’s a great way to manage stress.
With work, an always growing to-do list, and a demanding schedule to handle, some days are more stressful than others. Although we all feel the effects of stress, experiencing too much may impact your health and happiness. Meditation is a great way to learn how to better manage your feelings, even when you only have a few minutes to spare.
As you learn to become more self-aware, your practice can also help you to understand your reactions to stress and how to work through difficult situations. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes — whether it’s first thing in the morning or in your car before heading off to the next activity.
To give it a try, find a quiet place to focus on a repetitive activity, whether it’s slow, steady breathing, repeating a calming sound, like “om,” or a positive mantra. Once you choose your relaxing action, remain focused on it for a few minutes. If you’re distracted by other thoughts, do your best to push them from your mind. After just a few minutes, you may feel more calm, clear and focused. Meditating may not only reduce feelings of tension or anxiety, but it may also help you handle stressful issues in a more relaxed state.4
<br>#3. You may feel more alert.
<br>If you’ve ever experienced a restless night caring for your little one, you can relate to how groggy and out of sorts you tend to feel the next day. The good news: there may be a natural remedy. Research has shown meditation may improve alertness, even after a sleepless night.
A review of several meditation-based studies explored meditation’s effects on “tonic alertness,” a term that describes your level of vigilance and wakefulness, as well as your ability to notice or react to unexpected issues.5 In one study, those who meditated for 40 minutes performed better in an exercise that tested their reaction times and ability to focus over an extended period, compared to taking a nap or another activity. When the same exercise was performed after a night of too little sleep, meditation helped improve the participants’ alertness and reactivity.
#4. It can support your weight loss journey.
<br>If you’ve ever slowed down to enjoy a meal and savored each bite’s taste and texture, you’ve practiced mindful eating. And while removing distractions such as electronics during every meal may seem challenging — it could help your weight loss efforts.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Obesity explored the effects of using Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) on almost 50 overweight women in the San Francisco Bay area.6 MBSR helped the women remain focused on the present, allowing them to disrupt their previous thought patterns, emotions and behaviors. This enabled them to develop new, healthy patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training taught them to be more aware of the hunger, satisfaction, and emotional triggers that could potentially lead to overeating.
The study was successful in several areas, notably in “increasing mindfulness and responsiveness to bodily sensations, reducing anxiety and eating in response to external food cues, and tended to reduce eating in response to emotions.” In addition, participants who “reported the greatest improvements in mindfulness, responsiveness to bodily sensations, and chronic stress had the largest reductions in abdominal fat.” However, more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of mindfulness on weight loss.6
How to start meditating
Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming — just give yourself 10 minutes! To get started, try meditating in the morning or at night, then see how you feel after a full week. If you feel distracted after a few minutes, make your sessions shorter, gradually building up each session as you continue to practice. Beginners may choose to try a guided meditation to start, as it’s a helpful way to keep your mind from wandering. Find the style that works best for you by checking out different videos, apps or meditation CDs.
Mind over matter
As a parent, it’s important to take time for self-care, whether it’s through meditation, exercise, or your favorite pastime. Try taking a few minutes of your day to focus on the present, breathe deeply and relax. Remember, you deserve to have time for yourself!
To learn more about how to balance self-care and your weight loss goals, contact a consultant at Jenny Craig to book your free appointment!
 https://www.brown.edu/research/labs/britton/sites/britton-lab/files/docs/Brittonetal2013_Awakening is not a metaphor ANYAS.pdf
We get it: Between your career and your kids, you’ve got a lot on your plate: competing schedules and priorities, a jam-packed calendar and a to-do list that never seems to end. And if you’re trying to add weight loss to the mix, it can feel pretty overwhelming … with your own needs potentially taking a back seat to everyone — and everything — else.
Maybe you’ve tried a fad diet or perhaps cut out certain food groups to try and lose weight while juggling all of life’s demands — only to become frustrated when the pounds crept back on because it wasn’t sustainable. Rest assured: there are healthy techniques you can master to help you find more balance while achieving the weight loss you want. Here are a few:
First, Give Yourself Permission
The first and most important step in your weight loss effort is to truly give yourself permission to make your health and wellness a priority. If you are a parent, you most likely put your family first a majority of the time. If you are an adult with a profession outside of the home, you also probably put everything you’ve got into your career. But it’s important to remember your self-care is a priority, too. After all, when your body is nourished with good food and feels energized, and when you take some well-deserved time for yourself, you’ll feel more equipped to care for others.
Pack Your Snacks and Lunch the Night Before
As tired as you undoubtedly are after working all day, chauffeuring kids to and from their activities, making dinner and supervising homework, it pays to take a few minutes before bed to prep and pack your meals for the next day. This is one of the best ways to make sure the morning runs as smoothly as possible. Plus, as we have all experienced, the morning can influence our mood for the rest of the day.
What’s more, packing your food the night before ensures you will have healthy options at your fingertips, so you’ll be less likely to grab a sugar-laden treat at the mid-morning meeting.
Lay Out Your Next-Day Outfit, Too
Some of the most successful people in the world are known for wearing the same clothing every day.1 Why? Because doing so frees up the mind to focus on other, more important decisions. So try taking a page from their book: With your outfit laid out and ready, you can toss it on quickly and continue with your to-do list without missing a beat.
Map Your Day
Before winding down for the night, do a quick look at your planner, phone and agenda the night before. When you know exactly what to expect the next day, you’re less likely to be startled by surprise meetings or events that may get in the way of hitting the gym or going for a quick walk on your lunch break. And book out time on your calendar so that you can take that walk at lunch so that you stick to your plan and break away from your desk.
Stay Healthy at Work
If you’re at work the majority of the day, it’s important to make that time count. Here are ways to make your hours at the office healthier — and, hopefully, more productive:
Include more movement: If you work at a desk job, try to incorporate more walking breaks throughout the day. Or, if your company will spring for it, try a stand-up desk. Not only does standing require more energy, but it’s also a great way to avoid sitting for hours on end — which studies have linked to health concerns such as high blood sugar, increased blood pressure and obesity, to name a few.2
Avoid the snack area: Sure, lunch-room offerings such as donuts and cookies are tasty, but they sneak in a lot of empty calories. Sugary treats also lead to a massive drop in blood sugar shortly after they’re consumed, which can lead to a drop in energy and bring on feelings of sluggishness.2 Instead, reach for a snack that will keep you satisfied and your energy levels stable.
Eat at the Right Times
In addition to focusing on what you eat, when you eat is equally as important for working optimally with your metabolism. Research shows that eating according to your circadian rhythm3 — the mental, behavioral and physical changes that happen naturally over a 24-hour cycle — can help boost your metabolism, in addition to aiding with weight loss and digestion, helping with depression and perhaps even improving your memory.4,5,6
To adhere to your circadian rhythm, try implementing a daylight nutrition strategy. This involves what’s known as time-restricted feeding, or arranging your meals to a 12-hour eating window. The reason for this is simple: Your body burns the most calories during daylight hours.
The strategy is fairly straightforward: Eat during daylight hours over a span of 12 hours. So, if you eat your first meal of the day at 7:30 a.m., finish your last meal and snacks by 7:30 p.m.
Also try to consume the majority of your calories prior to dinner, when your body is burning calories at the highest rate.
Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, includes a daylight nutrition strategy, along with a plan so you don’t have to count, track or worry about what or when to eat.
Find a Healthy Balance
We hope these tips bring more balance to your busy life, and that they help you on your weight loss journey. Just remember: Your self-care matters — for yourself and your family.
Want to save even more time in your busy day? Join working parents just like you who use the convenience and effectiveness of the Jenny Craig program to learn how to lose weight and keep it off. Contact Jenny Craig to book your free appointment and get started today.
Looking for the perfect (healthy) holiday gift? Or maybe something to treat yourself for staying on track with your weight loss goals? Check out our top 10 fitness products that are excellent for supporting your goals.