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Eat Well ·

Alcohol: How It Hinders Weight Loss

While what you eat directly impacts your weight loss progress–what’s in your glass matters too. Is alcohol hindering your weight loss goals?   Happy hours with co-workers, wine with dinner, and a beer (or two) with friends on the weekend can be a common occurrence - but how are those drinks affecting your weight loss goals? The glass is half-empty on this one: alcohol consumption can considerably slow down weight loss. From derailing your healthy eating habits to potentially harming your vital organs, here are five reasons why you should put the glass down: Poor Food Choices Alcohol not only loosens inhibitions, but it can also impact your judgment when it comes to your food choices. If you’ve had a few drinks, you may be more easily tempted to eat salty and sugary foods, and you might even feel hungrier than if you hadn’t sipped a cocktail.1 Empty Calories Just like soda and juice, a glass of alcohol is chalk full of empty calories, which aren’t helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. From sugar-laden margaritas to high-carb beers, these beverages contain little to no beneficial nutrients. Additionally, alcohol has almost twice as many calories per gram as healthy proteins and carbs, without the satiety.2 On average, a 5oz glass of wine or a bottle of beer contains around 150 calories,3 which means two glasses of wine every day is almost enough to gain one pound a week. By replacing your nightly drink with a no-calorie, flavored sparkling water, it may help your weight loss efforts. Wasted Energy When your body is burning alcohol, it’s not burning fat.4 As you imbibe, your body sees alcohol as energy before anything else that is nutritious, therefore postponing its metabolic process to burn fat. Skipping happy hour will help realign your metabolic processes and allow your body to go back to expending energy from your food intake. Impairing Your Body Not only can booze hinder your weight loss journey, but it can also hurt your heart, kidneys, immune system, skin, and brain. Alcohol can even irritate the lining of your stomach, interfering with the way food is digested, impacting healthy metabolic processes. But drinking is most destructive to your liver and can cause permanent damage to it over time, especially when binge drinking. The liver filters out toxins and processes the majority of the alcohol as energy, while the rest is expelled through urine, sweat, and breathing.5 Consuming more alcohol than your liver can process can lead to serious consequences, including alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis.6 Disturbed Sleep It may be tempting to unwind after a long day with a glass of wine on the couch. However, one drink can easily turn into more which can lead to an unrestful night. Consuming alcohol has been shown to disrupt as well as impact your quality of sleep.7 Instead of grabbing that glass of wine at the end of the day, try meditating, reading a book, or taking a walk to relax - you may find yourself getting a better night’s rest. Simple Swaps Try one of these simple swaps to save yourself some calories. You may even find yourself feeling more refreshed and energized!   Flavored Water – add cucumber, lemon or lime to water or seltzer water for a tasty twist. Iced Tea – add lemon to unsweetened, iced tea for a refreshing beverage at any time of the day. Try herbal variations such as passion tea for a different flavor. Kombucha – this bubbly, sparkling drink is made with fermented tea and may aid in digestion among other possible health benefits.   Skipping the cocktails and opting for an alternative healthy beverage can help you stay on track with your weight loss goals, and your liver will thank you!   Are you ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle by losing weight? Contact Jenny Craig for your free appointment!        Sources: [1] https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/alcohol-hunger-and-appetite/ [2] https://www.cnn.com/2013/04/03/health/wine-waistline/index.html  [3] https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/tools/Calculators/calorie-calculator.aspx  [4] http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20670897,00.html  [5] https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/5-ways-alcohol-hinders-fat-loss.html  [6] https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arcr352/155-173.htm  [7] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286827.php  [8] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319630.php   
Eat Well ·

6 Benefits of Personal Weight Loss Coaching

For nearly 35 years, Jenny Craig has been helping people lose weight, gain confidence and reclaim the healthy, active lifestyles they want to live. Our personal consultants play a huge part in our members’ journeys—their compassion, expertise and support are key factors in Jenny Craig’s unique approach to weight loss success. Having a weight loss coach means that someone will always be there for you on the good days to celebrate your successes and on the hard days, with support and motivation to help keep you on track. Not only will your personal weight loss coach help you with your food and physical activity planning during weight loss, but they can also help with your weight maintenance goals after you’ve lost the weight through our maintenance program.     Here are a few ways your personal consultant can make a difference on your weight loss journey: #1. Always There for You Whether you’re meeting in-person with one of our private weight loss coaches at one of our 500 neighborhood Jenny Craig weight loss centers, over the phone or video chat through Jenny Craig Anywhere, your consultant is always there for you.   Did you have a stressful week at work and find it hard to stay committed to your plan? Your consultant will be there to talk through your challenges, so you can recognize and avoid pitfalls to your success on your weight-loss journey. Want to celebrate an amazing week of willpower and weight loss? Your coach will be right by your side, cheering you on. Did you reach your weight-loss goal and wondering about next steps? They’ll help guide your daily menu plans with healthy principles, so you’re ready for your next chapter. Our ultimate goal is to give you the tools to help you lose weight and learn how to keep it off.   #2. Your Personal Expert Weight loss is personal. Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your consultant can help you tailor the program to fit your needs.   A consultant is so much more than a great cheerleader. They take the time to get to know you—your food preferences, your physical activity needs, your lifestyle, and your personality. When you find yourself up against a weight loss challenge, whether you’ve hit a plateau or want to mix up your regimen, your consultant can be an amazing resource and weight loss life coach. They can help you explore new foods, identify ways to get physically active that fit within your lifestyle and make sure you’re feeling satisfied in order stay on track. Having someone that isn’t only an expert weight loss coach, but someone who considers your personal needs can set the foundation for success.   #3. Better Together - It’s Science A study published in the Journal of American Medicine1 showed that Jenny Craig members are much more successful when they work one-on-one with a personal consultant. It’s part of the “secret ingredient” that has Jenny Craig revered as a top weight loss program over the years—including being ranked a best diet for EASY to follow & FAST weight loss for 8 years by U.S. News & World Report.   Once you establish that one-of-a-kind relationship with your weight loss life coach, your consultation can become a place where you’re excited to share your weekly milestones. #4. Accountability Weight loss coaching programs go beyond body weight, diet, and physical activity. Having a consultant is almost like a personal life coach. You gain an accountability partner, someone who is there to celebrate the smallest victories and help you stick to your plan when life gets a little hectic.  If you’re feeling stuck, you can always lean on your consultant to add in new free foods, healthy recipes and other ideas to ensure you accomplish your goals in a way that works best for you. Furthermore, your weight loss coach will help you track your progress and learn the skills you need to reach your goals and help maintain them in the future. #5. Experience & Knowledge Many of our consultants are former Jenny Craig members, so they’ve probably been where you are at any given point in your journey—and all of them have gone through training to provide the best service as possible.   We want you to be knowledgeable as you embark on your weight loss journey. We know the process can be an intimidating, exciting, and challenging at times. Whether you’re looking for help on how to get started or what to do next, your weight loss coach can supply the information you need. Anytime you have a question, your consultant will be there to provide you with answers.   #6. More than a Weight Loss Program – It’s a Lifestyle Change We all know yo-yo dieting is not a long-term solution, it’s about making a lifestyle change. Your consultant will focus on your health and well-being to help you create new habits and lifestyle changes that you can follow for years to come in order to maintain your results. During your one-on-one coaching sessions, our consultants walk you through every process, so you understand why and how it’s important to lose body fat, change your diet, and create a healthier way of living. Members find this support extremely beneficial during their weight loss journey. As studies have shown, having a dedicated personal consultant and a support system can make the difference in long-term weight loss success.     With Jenny Craig, you never have to be alone. There is a reason our weight-loss program works and why we’ve been ranked a best diet for EASY to follow & FAST weight loss for 8 years by U.S. News & World Report.  Not only do we give members the skills necessary to reach their goals, but we’re also there every step of the way; the first step is up to you.   Find out how one of the Jenny Craig personal consultants can help you reach your weight loss goals by booking your free appointment.     Sources: [1] http://www.jennycraig.com/site/corporate/news/detail/2601134  
Inspiration ·

Dominique Dickson Lost 35 lbs.* and Feels Like the Best Version of Herself

*Members on our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Weight loss current as of November 2017       My mother put me in my first beauty pageant at the age of two.  As competing became my passion, I found the shows helped me grow and develop as a person. Self- confidence, an affinity for volunteerism, friendships, and character building experiences were some of the many benefits of my passion.  There was, however, one challenge that I never overcame, and that was the swimsuit competition. I had a naturally thick build, and an appetite to go with it courtesy of my Italian grandmother’s cooking.    I’d crash diet to prepare for a pageant but never made any long-term changes.  As I got older, I stopped participating in strenuous sports to counter my high-calorie intake, and there were fewer pageants to serve as my weight loss motivation, leading me to gain weight.  When my boyfriend proposed, I continued my event-based motivation for weight loss.  I was excited to plan my wedding and had a definite picture in my mind of how I wanted to look on my special day.  I joined Jenny Craig and went to my first consultation holding a magazine photo of a form-fitting wedding gown from my “fairy tale” file. <br>     I couldn’t believe how much success I had on the Jenny Craig program. The food was delicious, and I looked forward to my favorites each week. When I look at my wedding album, I feel so proud of the progress I made for that memorable day.  I was so grateful I found a program that worked!   After our wonderful wedding, it was on to another milestone: bringing a baby boy into the world.  My son was born a year after we’d been married and I weighed the most I had ever been.  Instead of recommitting to losing weight, I did the opposite and gained more.  I felt uncomfortable in anything but sweatpants and continued to wear maternity clothes. I avoided going out with my friends and eliminated full body social media photos out of my crippling insecurity.   When I pictured myself as a mother, I saw myself chasing my children around the house, playing with them and caring for their every need.  If the energetic woman in my daydreams would become my future reality, I knew I needed to make major dietary changes.     For extra motivation, I entered a “Mrs.” Pageant and then I immediately called Jenny Craig – knowing they could help me reach my new goal. My consultant, Dottie, had a positive and honest energy I found refreshing.  She was an excellent source of support and inspiration.  After our weekly consultations, she would tell me, “I will see less of you next week” which was always motivating to hear.     I successfully lost 35 lbs.* preparing for the competition and I feel outstanding!  I am proud to say I was named Mrs. Long Island America!  My next goal is competing for the title of Mrs. New York.  I now purchase clothing styles I had previously trained my eyes to scroll past, and I can’t see a friend or co-worker without hearing them say, “have you lost weight?” I feel lighter in life, have more energy to work out, and I am instinctively making healthier food choices.    The evidence of holding myself accountable for my weight loss and exercise plan is my reflection in my new full-length mirror, and the two-piece swimsuit I wore proudly on my family vacation.  Furthermore, having succeeded in this makes me so proud that my children have a healthier mom who feels good about herself, and I want my newfound confidence to rub off on them.    *Members on our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Weight loss current as of November 2017.
Live Life ·

What is BMI and How is it Used to Measure Your Health?

Most of us have heard the term body mass index, or BMI, but do you know what it is? If you don’t, you aren’t alone. “What is BMI?” is a common question for people who are looking to lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle.   Although BMI might seem mysterious, it can be a helpful tool when considering your health. Read on as we explain how BMI is used as a measurement and offer a few tips for reaching and maintaining a healthy BMI.   The Basics of Body Mass Index According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.”1 While this may sound complex, in simplest terms, it means that BMI considers your weight in relation to your height.   Although there is a formula for calculating BMI, you don’t have to be a math expert to do the calculations. In fact, there are many reliable BMI calculators. Jenny Craig offers a BMI calculator that is easy to use. What Does BMI Measure? It’s important to note that BMI does not directly measure body fat or your health. But research has shown that it moderately correlates with more direct measures of body fat that can be more invasive or expensive.2   BMI is a common measure of health and fitness because it is an inexpensive and simple way to help assess whether a person is underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. The following guide shows which BMI ranges correspond to which BMI categories3:   ●       Underweight: BMI of less than 18.5 ●       Healthy weight: BMI of 18.5-24.9 ●       Overweight: BMI of 25-29.9 ●       Very Overweight: BMI of 30.0 or greater BMI & Your Health Although BMI does not directly measure your body fat, the correlation between BMI and body fat is relatively strong. A high BMI is also associated with a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, high LDL cholesterol and some cancers.4 However, even if two people have the same BMI, their levels of body fat may vary. Research cited by the CDC reports that gender, ethnicity, age, and muscle composition can affect whether two people with the same BMI have different levels of body fat:5   ●       Women tend to have more body fat than men of the same BMI6 ●       Older individuals generally have more body fat than younger adults of the same BMI.7 ●       Because athletes tend to have more muscle than non-athletes, they tend to have less body fat than non-athletes of the same BMI.8 Keeping Your BMI in Range Your weight is influenced by many factors, including environment, genetics, metabolism, and lifestyle choices.9 Although you can’t control certain factors like your genes, you can make healthy changes in your lifestyle that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy BMI range.   Since diet is a key component of weight loss, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat from the foods you’re eating. Incorporating more non-starchy vegetables into your meals is a great way to get added vitamins and nutrients. If you’re unsure about how to integrate healthier eating practices, a program such as Jenny Craig takes the guesswork out of meal planning while teaching you valuable tools to lead a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, taking into account not just what you eat, but also when you eat can impact your weight. Eating earlier in the day can help you get in sync with your body’s natural clock, also known as your circadian rhythm, which can lead to greater and more effective weight loss.10   Another factor to consider is exercise. Regular physical activity can help you reach and maintain a healthy BMI. Expert guidelines suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week as well as two days a week of muscle-strengthening activities.11   By understanding more about your BMI, you may be better able to achieve and sustain a healthy range and furthermore, a healthier lifestyle.   Are you ready to commit to a weight loss program that can help you reach your weight loss goals and a healthy BMI? Book your free Jenny Craig appointment today.     Sources: [1] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html [2] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html [3] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html [4] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4968570/ [6] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html [7] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html [8] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html [9] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/index.htm [10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23357955 [11] https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/index.htm
Move More ·

6 Ways to Increase Your Activity Without Breaking a Sweat

How many minutes of physical activity do you get each day? If it’s less than 30 minutes, you’re not alone. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), only 1 in 5 adults meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which includes 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.1    We know physical activity is beneficial for our health, so why aren’t we getting more of it? In today’s fast-paced world, most people don’t have the time to fit as much regular physical activity into their busy schedules as they’d like. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find simple ways to incorporate more movement into your routine. Did you know that non-exercise activity (no sweating required!) can burn up to an additional 350 extra calories per day?2     We’ve compiled a list of 6 simple and creative ways to sneak more activity into your everyday routine: Park farther away Every step counts, so why not park a little farther away from your destination? This will allow you to get some quality steps in, and as a bonus, you’ll be able to enjoy a little more time outside. Plus, it can alleviate any stress you may have about finding the closest available parking spot. Take a lap on the way to the loo Though it might be tempting to use the closest bathroom at the office, making the time to walk to the other end of the building can accumulate more steps than you’d imagine. Take it a step further, use a bathroom that is up or down a flight of stairs. Replace your water bottle with a smaller cup Drinking water throughout the day is essential, as is regular movement. Instead of filling up a large water bottle and slowly sipping it throughout the day, try using a regular-sized glass, and fill it up regularly. Even small, frequent trips to the kitchen can boost your overall daily activity. Stand up and stretch every hour The adverse effects of prolonged sitting include an increased risk of high blood pressure or coronary heart disease and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.3 Try setting an alarm or reminder on your phone every 30-60 minutes to take a minute or two to stand up and stretch your legs before getting back to work. Replace emails with face-to-face conversations If you’re writing a lengthy email – you may want to hit pause. Could your question be resolved with a discussion? Try taking a break from your screen and walk over to your co-worker to chat. Not only will this get you moving, but it could also increase your productivity, as replacing emails with in-person conversation has been shown to reduce distractions and stress levels.4 Take a walk on your lunch break You may feel like a mid-day break will halt your work progress, but taking the time to get some fresh air and go for a walk at lunch can reduce your stress levels.5 Feeling like you’re in a creative slump? A recent study6 found walking could enhance your productivity and creativity. Try partnering with a friend for added accountability and to make your time outside a bit more fun.   Ready to incorporate more movement and nutritionally balanced meals into your routine? Book your free appointment with Jenny Craig and start achieving the results you want!   Sources: [1] https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/data/facts.htm [2] https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/3757/the-n-e-a-t-way-to-exercise [3] https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/prosource/january-2016/5756/a-workout-to-counteract-the-effects-of-prolonged-sitting [4] https://hbr.org/2016/06/some-companies-are-banning-email-and-getting-more-done [5] https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/21/stressed-at-work-try-a-lunchtime-walk/ [6] https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/xlm-a0036577.pdf
Live Life ·

Reasons Why You Feel Tired Even If You Slept Through the Night

You may be sleeping for 7-9 hours a night, but why are you waking up tired and groggy? Here are some reasons why you may feel tired even if you slept through the night and changes you can make to feel well-rested.   Why do you still wake up feeling tired and groggy, even if you got the National Sleep Foundation’s recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night? You may think it’s because your morning cup of coffee isn’t strong enough, but it’s actually the quality of sleep that determines how well your body functions during the day.   When you sleep, your body goes into a restorative mode that helps it recover from your daily activities and also regulates hormones that stimulate (ghrelin) and suppress (leptin) hunger.1 However, when you’re tired and don’t get enough quality sleep, these hormones can become unbalanced, which may lead you to eat more and impact your weight loss progress.   Below are a few of the reasons why you may be feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep – and ways you can improve your quality of sleep:   Screen time overload! Everyone is continuously connected to their devices; on their computers all day, then catching up on social media and texting on their phones before heading off to bed at night. The bright lights from your electronics make your brain think it’s still daylight,2 and may also lead to stress or excitement to prevent you from going to bed as soon as you’d like—or worse, wake you up in the middle of the night with notifications.   Try avoiding screens at least an hour before bed to ease into sleep sooner. By picking up a book or practicing simple meditation, you may be less tempted to reach for your electronic device and in turn, drift off a little earlier.   Nightmares may be more real than we think. Dreams—including your most vivid nightmares—are helping your brain work through stress and emotions, like anger, sadness and fear.3 While you may not be jolted wide-awake, you can still feel like you haven’t rested since your mind has undergone a stressful situation. <br> <br> If you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed, try finding activities that can help you monitor your worries. Chatting with friends and loved ones can help you shift your mindset and open up about a stressful situation. Finding activities that bring you joy can also help you gain perspective and allow you to feel more relaxed.   Nighttime bathroom breaks. While the old rule of thumb used to be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, the guidelines have been changing. Many experts now recommend half your body weight in ounces, which can seem like a lot depending on your activity level, work hours and how much water you’re used to sipping. <br> By increasing your water intake, you may notice your bathroom trips becoming more frequent, especially around bedtime. Try reducing your liquid intake 1-2 hours before you turn out the lights to avoid midnight trips to the restroom.    Midnight munching and late-night meals.  It’s not only about what you’re eating, but when you’re eating. Because your body follows an internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm, it’s primed to digest food more efficiently during the day as your metabolism naturally slows down at night. As a result, your body may have difficulty processing late-night snacks or meals, which may not only lead to inadequate sleep,4 but also to weight gain.5 By avoiding food consumption later in the evening, you may be able to rest more soundly throughout the night.   If you’re tired of tossing and turning or feeling groggy, give these tips a try and you may feel more rested in the morning.   Did you know that by following our newest program, Rapid Results, your sleep quality could improve? Contact us for your free appointment. Members following our Rapid Results program lost up to 16 pounds in the first 4 weeks! † † First 4 weeks only. Avg. weight loss in study was 11.6 lbs for those who completed the program.     Sources: [1] Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004, December). Retrieved April 02, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701/  [2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/blue-light-from-electronics-disturbs-sleep-especially-for-teenagers/2014/08/29/3edd2726-27a7-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html?utm_term=.b07dfca28086 [3] https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep [4] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/eating-at-night-disrupts-sleep_b_7867760.html [5] https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/03/late-night-eating-linked-to-weight-gain/    
Live Life ·

5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Achoo!  Just like winter follows fall, unfortunately, so does the flu. Usually, cases peak during the colder months and into the new year.1 No one wants to put their life on hold to deal with the coughing, fever and body aches that come with catching this illness, so it’s important to take steps to boost your immune system which will, in turn, help you avoid getting sick.   In addition to getting an annual flu shot and washing your hands often, you can also take other precautionary actions to stay healthy during flu season and the rest of the year. We’ve compiled a list of the five best ways to boost your immune system. #1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep Have you noticed that you’re more likely to get sick when you don’t get enough sleep? It’s not your imagination. Studies have shown that not getting enough z’s can result in higher levels of stress and more inflammation in your body.2 These issues spell trouble for someone who is trying to fight the flu. Studies have also found that well-rested people who receive a vaccine have stronger protection against the illness than their sleep-deprived counterparts.3   Wondering how much sleep you need to stay healthy? Adults need approximately seven to eight hours of sleep to boost the immune system.4 In today’s busy world, it can feel almost impossible to get this much rest. But just remember, it’s easier to schedule more time to catch some shut-eye than it is to be out of commission for a week or longer after catching the flu. #2. Adopt Healthy Eating Habits & Follow Your Rhythm Eating right is important for more than just weight loss. Certain foods can actually help boost your immune system. Your body needs certain nutrients to function properly and fight off the germs you encounter in daily life.    Your diet should include a balance of high-fiber carbohydrates, fat and protein. It should also be rich in fruits and vegetables, which contain critical vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E, zinc and beta-carotene. When selecting fruits and veggies, go for brightly colored options, such as berries, apples, carrots and spinach.   It's also important to not only consider what you eat, but when. Our bodies follow a 24-hour daily cycle, also known as our circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm acts like an internal clock, which reacts to your environment's light and dark phases.5 When regular disruptions occur, such as shift work or lack of sleep, health consequences ranging from metabolic syndrome to mood disorders and beyond may occur.6  What's more—chronic disruptions in your rhythm can impact your immune system7, which may leave you more susceptible to catching an illness.   So how can you follow your natural rhythm? Besides getting enough sleep, try integrating a daylight nutrition strategy into your routine by eating when it's light out and avoiding late-night meals and snacks. By giving your body a break from digesting food, it can focus on 'cleaning house' and rejuvenating your cells. To learn more about how you can integrate this type of eating strategy,   read more here. #3. Try to Stress Less Life can be stressful at times. But long-term stress can make you more vulnerable to everything from the common cold to serious illnesses.8 The reason why is simple. Chronic stress causes your body to be exposed to a constant stream of stress hormones that can suppress your immune system.9   You aren’t alone if you think it’s unlikely to get rid of stress entirely. Everyone experiences stress in life, but you can take steps to manage it. Some excellent options for stress management include meditation, connecting with friends and loved ones and working out. Find a combination of stress relievers that works best for you! #4. Get Your Heart Pumping Exercise can not only help alleviate stress and aid in weight loss, but it also has immunity-boosting benefits. When you break a sweat regularly, you are less likely to get colds than someone who does not exercise as frequently or who does not work out at all.10   For the biggest health benefit, aim for a total of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking and a couple days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that work all of your major muscle groups.11 Even including a few smaller intervals of activity throughout your day (10-20 minutes) can be beneficial. Not only can this help you fight the flu and other illnesses by boosting your immune system naturally, but it may also help you make progress in reaching your weight loss goals.   When you do hit the gym, make sure to take some extra precautions to protect yourself from germs, especially during flu season.  Some helpful tips include wiping down machinery with a towel or a wipe before and after use, washing your hands consistently, and bringing your own water. Alternatively, you can opt for a workout at home or go for a run or walk to stick with your fitness routine. #5.Toss the Cigarettes and Alcohol It comes as no surprise drinking and smoking can make you more prone to illness. Research shows that cigarette smoke and viruses like the flu interact to increase lung inflammation and damage, which can make flu symptoms worse for smokers.12 As for alcohol, drinking too much of it can weaken your immune system’s response against the flu.13   By using these tips, you can help boost your immune system to fight the flu and other illnesses while simultaneously improving your health and wellness.   Are you looking to start a healthier lifestyle? Incorporate healthier foods and get started with your weight loss journey, by booking your free appointment with Jenny Craig.     Sources: [1] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548567/ [3] https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2012/08/12458/sleep-affects-potency-vaccines [4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757 [5] https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23899601 [7] http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/11/why-late-nights-are-bad-your-immune-system [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/ [9] http://www.apa.org/research/action/immune.aspx [10] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061026095359.htm [11] https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/index.htm [12] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724175857.htm [13] http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-alcohol-abuse-associated-bad-flu-bouts-study-explains-how-booze-impairs-your-immune-299916
Eat Well ·

How to Naturally Increase Your Metabolism

When you’re trying to shed those extra pounds, you might find yourself wishing that you had a faster metabolism to help reach your weight loss goals. The web is filled with tips and tricks that promise to help jumpstart your metabolism, but it can be hard to separate weight loss fact from fiction.   To make things easier and help you learn how to boost your metabolism safely, we’ve compiled a list of natural metabolism boosters that have been proven to enhance your fat burning abilities. #1. Get your protein in every meal It might seem counterintuitive, but certain foods can increase your metabolism for a few hours after you eat them.1 Your body needs extra calories to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in the foods you eat. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).2   When you eat a protein-rich meal, your metabolic rate increases by 15-30%.3 Other foods also cause your metabolism to rise, but not by as much. Carbohydrates can result in a metabolic increase of 5-10%, while fats only increase it by 0-3%.4   Protein packs another hidden benefit. It helps you feel full and satisfied which may prevent overeating.5 By including protein at each meal, you may be less likely to reach for a tempting treat later. Jenny Craig follows expert guidelines by balancing protein in each meal plan to 20-25% of the overall calories.   Eating more protein can also help prevent muscle loss, which is a common side effect of weight loss.6 Most people want to lose fat, not muscle, when following a weight loss program, so incorporating an adequate amount of protein into your routine is the perfect solution. #2. Don’t Skimp on Sleep You might think that rest isn’t an important part of your weight loss journey, but not getting enough sleep each night is a risk factor for obesity.7   Not only does sleep deprivation have a negative impact on your metabolism, but it’s also associated with high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.8   When you don’t get enough z’s, it can decrease the hormone that controls fullness (leptin) and increase the hormone associated with hunger (ghrelin).9 This can make it difficult for someone who is sleep deprived to reach their weight loss goals. So, next time you think about staying up for an extra hour, remember that a good night’s sleep can help your weight loss, not to mention help you function better the next day. #3. Use Your Circadian Rhythm & Try a Daylight Nutrition Strategy Time-restricted feeding, a type of intermittent fasting, is an innovative approach to weight loss. Instead of focusing on what to eat, time-restricted feeding shifts the focus on when to eat, mainly during daytime hours. When used in conjunction with your body’s natural clock, also known as your circadian rhythm, it can lead to expedited weight loss results.10   With time-restricted feeding or a daylight nutrition strategy, you limit when you eat to a certain number of hours each day, most likely when the sun is out. For example, you might only eat for a 12-hour period, between 7:00 a.m. and 7 p.m. The subsequent 12-hour time includes sleep and abstinence from food consumption.   Time-restricted feeding has a number of benefits. Some studies have found that this type of routine helps individuals reduce the number of calories they eat in a day.11 However, this doesn’t mean you can eat anything, the kinds of food that you eat during the day dictate whether you should reduce your calorie consumption.   A Daylight Nutrition Strategy and leveraging your body’s natural circadian rhythm is the science behind our new Rapid Results program. The program uses your circadian rhythm to help optimize metabolism and accelerate weight loss by burning calories when it’s most effective. #4. Elevate Your Heart Rate In conjunction with a nutritionally sound weight loss plan, incorporating exercise into your routine can aid in further weight loss. Health experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five times per week in addition to muscle strengthening activity two times per week.  You don’t have to run a marathon or blast your way through a spin class to reach your activity goals. At Jenny Craig, you’ll learn strategies for building an active lifestyle. Your consultant will help you explore ways to add more movement into your daily regimen. Metabolism & Weight Loss While the above tips can help you boost your metabolism, it’s also important to keep in mind that your metabolism can change with weight loss as your body composition changes. Our Registered Dietitian, Janet Nash, shares the science behind weight loss and the effect on your metabolism.   Regardless of where you are in your weight loss journey, you can use these proven and natural tips to help supercharge your metabolism. These simple lifestyle changes are beneficial for your metabolism as well as your overall wellness.   Learn how to improve your health with a weight loss program that includes a science-based approach to achieving results. Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to get started.     Sources: [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524030/ [2] https://www.britannica.com/science/human-nutrition#ref868908 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944/ [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16950139 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097268 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619301 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929498 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701 [10] Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Cell metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/. [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24739093
Eat Well ·

Portion Distortion: Are You Eating Too Much?

Did you know that 20 years ago, a typical bagel used to contain around 140 calories and today it has approximately 350?1 Portion sizes have doubled and tripled over the last couple of decades2 so it can be hard to determine if you’re consuming the right amount of food. Read on to learn how you can keep your portion sizes in check.     You may already know that consuming healthy portion sizes is a key component of any successful weight loss program. However, even though it’s easy to believe you intuitively understand the amount of food that constitutes a healthy serving, we are getting some very confusing visual cues on a consistent basis. For example, the size of a standard American dinner plate has grown 3 inches since the 1950s, expanding from 9 inches to 12 inches. And we’ve been filling up that extra space with extra food. According to research3 conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Association, a gradual “portion distortion” epidemic has caused the standard size of U.S. food portions to increase dramatically over the past 20 years. A Growing Problem Take the average cheeseburger – twenty years ago, it contained about 333 calories and now it can clock in at as much as a whopping 590 calories.4 Average servings of both bagels and coffee have doubled in size5, and our society’s growing love for sugary, flavored lattes has raised the average coffee calorie count to nearly 350 calories.   Large grocery outlets and B.O.G.O. deals encourage buying everything in bulk, which can make it easy to consume more food than necessary. Even nutritionally “healthy” foods like fruit can hinder weight loss when eaten in large quantities, so it’s important to redefine what “healthy” portions look and feel like—on product labels, on your plate and in your body. Here are six helpful tips to help you keep your portions on track: 1. Use Smaller Plates According to a study6 conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reducing the size of your plate can have a dramatic impact on how much food you consume. Researchers found that environmental influences (such as the size of your popcorn bucket at the movies, or your dinner plate at home) are often beyond our conscious awareness. This can lead us to eat mindlessly, even after we’re full. Simply reducing your plate from 12 inches to 9 inches can shave up to 250 calories from every meal7—which adds up to 5,250 fewer calories per week. 2. Fill (and Empty) Your Plate Wisely How you use the space on your plate matters, too! A great rule of thumb is to reserve half of your plate for non-starchy vegetables, which tend to be more filling, while also lower in fat and calories. The remaining half can be split evenly between lean protein and complex carbohydrates, like fiber-rich whole grains, beans or starchy vegetables.  On the Jenny Craig maintenance program, consultants recommend to make “half your grains whole”. By trying new varieties, you’ll discover new textures, flavors and extra nutritional benefits. Plus, the additional fiber will help make your meal or snack more satisfying. 3. Become a Nutrition Facts Ninja It’s easy to assume that the recommended “serving size” listed on the nutrition panel of your favorite foods is also the right portion for you to eat. But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case—and the numbers don’t always add up in our favor.   Take, for example, typical store-bought granola. The serving size listed is a ½ cup, but most of us would probably eat twice that in one sitting, which means we’re logging more than 6008 calories and up to 30 grams of fat, including the milk. Be sure to calculate your calorie intake based on the actual recommended portions. We love this FDA Guide to the Nutrition Facts panel, which is designed to help you guide your choices based on all the ingredients in the foods you consume. If you’re a Jenny Craig member, you don’t need to worry about measuring or counting since the food is portioned out to exactly the right amount. 4. Pre-Pack Your Snacks Healthy snacking is actually an important part of your weight loss journey as it helps fuel your metabolism and can reduce your chances of overdoing it when mealtime rolls around. But unless you’re proactive about portioning, it can be easy for snacking sessions to spiral out of control. Try pre-packing snacks in small baggies or containers with the recommended serving size—and avoid eating directly from the box or bag, which can make it easy to lose track of how much you’ve consumed. 5. Eat Slowly and Mindfully Doctors have long touted the benefits of mindful eating9. Simply taking the time to chew each bite thoroughly, free from the distractions of the television or your laptop, can not only lead to greater enjoyment of your meal—but can also lead to eating less.   Why? It takes your body about 15–20 minutes to communicate the sensation of fullness to your brain. When we eat quickly or distractedly, our minds are effectively overriding our bodies’ natural “stop buttons.” Give these natural processes time to work, and you may recognize that you don’t actually want that extra slice of pizza after all. 6. Use Visual Cues to Estimate Portions Not sure how to visually estimate the right portion of your favorite food? Our Jenny Craig nutritionists created some easy-to-use visual cues to help guide your portion control. A cup of cooked veggies, for example, is about the size of a light bulb; three ounces of meat or cheese is about the size of a standard deck of cards. Once you’ve successfully internalized these common visual cues, you’ll have a foolproof portion-control calculator you can use to stay on track anytime, anywhere. If you’re following the Jenny Craig program, we teach you what your plate should look like, so you can still eat your favorite foods while achieving your weight loss goals.    For more information on how Jenny Craig can help you with portion sizes and weight loss, contact your local neighborhood Jenny Craig center for your free appointment.     Sources: [1] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/portion/documents/PD1.pdf [2] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/news-events/matte1.htm [3] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/eat-right/distortion.htm [4] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/portion/documents/PD1.pdf [5] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/news-events/matte1.htm [6] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/1/236S/4863399 [7] http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/larger-plate-sizes-affect-portion-control  [8] Calorie Count: http://www.calorieking.com/  [9] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating  
Eat Well ·

What is Time-Restricted Feeding and Can It Help You Lose Weight Naturally?

We know that what you eat matters. But can when you eat really make a difference? According to the latest research1, by eating with your body’s natural circadian rhythm, you can optimize your metabolism to lose weight more effectively and reap a whole host of health benefits in the process. What is Time-Restricted Feeding? Time-restricted feeding (TRF) is a strategy where you limit eating to certain hours of the day. Specifically, TRF limits food consumption to 12 hours or less, followed by a period of not eating for 12 hours or more. By giving your body a 12-hour break from the process of digestion, the body burns glucose that is naturally stored in the liver and then turns to burning fat. This process helps preserve lean body mass while reducing unwanted fat.   Here’s what a day on TRF looks like: you wake up and have breakfast around 8 a.m., eat as planned throughout the day, then finish up your last meal by 8 pm. After that, you only consume water or non-caloric drinks such as herbal tea. The idea focuses on an eating time frame versus restricting calories or certain foods.     The results speak for themselves. Research has shown that individuals tend to eat fewer calories per day when following this method, leading to quicker weight loss results.2 TRF has also been shown to improve sleep, increase energy, and reduce the risk of certain cancers.3 When coupled with a strategic eating plan, it can lead to expedited results. What’s the science behind it? “When you don’t eat for an extended period of time, say eight to twelve hours, you enter a fasted state, your insulin levels are low, and your body starts to use fat as its source of energy,” states Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM, National nutrition and metabolism expert.     Equally as important, is syncing eating habits with your body’s internal clock known as your circadian rhythm, which can help optimize your metabolism and accelerate weight loss, while helping to prevent disease and enhance overall wellness. What is Circadian Rhythm? Have you ever wondered why you seem to feel tired or more lively at certain times each day? The cells in your body have their own “body clock,” which follows a circadian rhythm that parallels the light-dark periods during the 24-hour day. Your cells are working hard during the day, metabolizing or managing complex chemical processes throughout your body. Your metabolism peaks toward mid-day and tapers toward the end of the day. Because of this hard work, your cells need time to rejuvenate and recover from their daily activities and “clean house,” which is why the rejuvenation period (the non-eating part of TRF) is essential. This period contributes to the many health benefits of eating naturally with your circadian rhythm.     Jenny Craig has incorporated the latest Nobel Prize-winning research on circadian rhythm and the science behind time-restricted feeding into its new program, Rapid Results. Members on the new program can lose up to 16 pounds in the first four weeks. Average weight loss on the study was 11.6 pounds for those who completed the program.    Are you ready to try the new Rapid Results program and see if TRF can work for you?  Contact us for a free appointment.     Sources: [1] Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Cell metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/. [2] Rothschild, J, et al. “Time-Restricted feeding and risk of metabolic disease: a review of human and animal studies.” Nutrition reviews., U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24739093.   [3] Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Cell metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/.  

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