The Perfect Portion

Perect Portion Blog


Recent Posts

Live Life ·

5 Tips for Glowing Summer Skin

Once you start to feel the warm rays of the sun and it’s hot enough to break out the sandals and shorts, you know it’s officially summer season—which means more time outdoors and in direct sunlight. And while it may be easier to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, having radiant, glowing skin can still prove challenging if you’re not giving your skin what it needs. But before you drop your next paycheck on fancy face creams and pricey moisturizers, consider this: your daily habits and what you put into your body can impact your skin as much as anything you might slather on it. Here are five ways to help ensure glowing skin is your signature look this season. 1. Drink Enough Water  Benefiting your entire body including your skin1, keeping hydrated is a must—especially during warmer months. Your skin contains approximately 30% water and is actually your largest organ.2 It’s also your body’s outermost barrier against the elements—which means dry weather and extended contact with hot water or chlorine can leave it feeling irritated and dry.   However, don’t expect that drinking the recommended amount of water per day will perfect your complexion instantly. Water hasn’t been scientifically proven to give you radiant skin, but it has been shown to increase thickness and density.3 On the flipside, severe dehydration can reduce its elasticity.3 Moral of the story: make sure you stay hydrated by sipping H2O throughout the day.   2. Protect Your Skin While getting some summer color might temporarily give you a glow, unfortunately, there’s actually no such thing as a “healthy” tan. Exposing your skin to ultra-violet radiation puts you at risk for both skin cancer and advanced skin aging4—including fine lines, deep wrinkles, age spots, loss of elasticity and more.   The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every day.5 If you know you will be outside, make sure to apply 30+ SPF sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to exposure—and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.5 SPF clothing, a cute hat and the shade of a beach umbrella are also key sun necessities. 3. Find Your Rhythm Studies have shown that simply following your body’s natural circadian rhythm—also known as your body’s internal clock—by staying active and eating during daylight hours, sleeping at least 7–9 hours per night and giving your body at least a 12 hour digestion break at night, can have a positive impact on your health.6 In addition to helping prevent obesity, diabetes and a variety of other health challenges6, leveraging your natural circadian cycle can also improve the health of your skin, speeding the healing of several chronic skin ailments.7 Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, was based on this circadian rhythm science. Tuck in early and avoid those late-night snacking temptations. 4. Balance Your Diet What you put in your mouth may be just as important as the SPF you put on your skin. As the food you eat gets digested, it’s broken down into vital vitamins and minerals that your body can use to foster healthy skin.8 <br> <br> While American culture seems to have different opinions on what constitutes a “healthy diet,” most nutritionists agree that moderation is still the way to go.9 Jenny Craig Nutritionist, Monica Ropar, agrees—there’s no need to eliminate any one food group. Ropar recommends that the majority of your carbohydrates come from vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes and dairy products. She also suggests limiting trans and saturated fats, while healthy fats, (like those found in olive oil and nuts) can be enjoyed in small amounts. Refined sugar should also be limited (but there’s no harm in enjoying a piece of Chocolate Lava Cake once in a while), and sodium intake should stay under 2300 mg per day, per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.10   At Jenny Craig, every meal plan follows these expert guidelines while also taking a balanced approach to healthy eating. 5. Practice Self-Care Most of us have had the experience of being told we “look tired” at one point or another (thanks Mom!). But your skin can say a lot about how you’re feeling—like dark circles under your eyes after a restless night. And taking the time to give your skin a little TLC may actually provide a soothing routine and contribute to feelings of calmness and a reduction in stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed.11   Try this: find some time each night to wash and moisturize your skin, perhaps even apply a quick face mask. Since you’ll likely be alone when you’re doing this routine, it may help you relax, and you may begin to look forward to the solo time if you make it a nightly ritual.   Another way you can practice self-care? Get your heart pumping. Studies show that exercises such as yoga can help reduce stress and bodily inflammation, which is known to speed up the skin’s natural aging processes.12-13   This summer, enjoy the warmer months while protecting your skin—because taking care of yourself includes every part of your body! For more information on how Jenny Craig can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle and help you feel radiant this summer, contact your local neighborhood Jenny Craig center. Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] 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. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
Live Life ·

11 Ways to Keep Your Cool with Kids out of School

I don’t know about you, but I fall for it every year: The weather gets warmer, the days get longer, and I start thinking about the absolute best summer I’ll have with my kids. (While, admittedly, thinking about the perks of them being out of school: No more lunches to pack! No alarm clock! No homework!) Then reality sets in roughly a week after their last day and I remember that having children in the house all day, every day, can make all of us a little nutty.   If you, too, are looking at two-plus months of no school, don’t fret: There are simple, inexpensive ways to keep your kids busy—and your sanity intact—throughout the summer months. 1. Stick to a routine and follow your body clock. While the longer days of summer may make it tempting to throw regular bedtimes to the wind, your kids (and you) may actually fare better if you follow a similar schedule as during the school year. Sure, you can have those times when watching movies make for a late night, but keeping some sort of a familiar routine most of the time may prove wise not only for your sanity but also for your health. Studies have shown that a disruption in our body’s natural circadian rhythm, also known as our internal clock, could contribute to obesity and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.1-2 Keep aligned with your body’s natural rhythm by getting enough sleep, skipping late night meals and enjoying a substantial breakfast in the morning. 2. Create a family bucket list. Let each child contribute ideas about what they’d like to do during the summer. You may not get through the entire list (and some of the items may be wildly out of reach), but it’s fun to try. 3. Have your kids pitch in. Having kids in and around the house every day means more mess, more dishes and more noise! To help keep the debris to a minimum, delegate age-appropriate duties to every child in the house. Even the little things add up—simply having them make their own beds and tidy the living room daily can go a long way toward keeping the madness to a minimum. 4. Venture outside the house. Whether it’s a book or chess club at the library, activities through your parks and rec department, or free workshops for kids at the local home-improvement store, having regular activities for your children can do wonders for all involved.  5. Create a kid-watching co-op. Line up several families and do a rotating swap: One family watches all the kids for one evening so the other parents can get some downtime, maybe even a much needed date night. 6. Plant a garden. There’s nothing better than getting fresh produce from your own garden. Get your children in on the act by having them choose which plants to buy, and then helping to plant and tend to them. (Don’t forget sunscreen and hats!) 7. Teach them how to cook. Take those fruits and veggies from your new garden and teach your kids how to prepare them. Little ones can get in on the act, too—have them pick and wash the veggies, peel the carrots and snap the stems off the peas. Who knows, by summer’s end, they may be helping you make dinner! 8. Volunteer. See if there are activities that you can do as a family, or that your older kids can do solo. As a volunteer horse handler, I bring my kids along once a week during the summer to help with ranch tasks and to groom the horses. 9. Keep them active. While it may be tempting (and easy) to keep your kids occupied in front of the television, try to keep screen time to a minimum. Sign them up for swim lessons, tennis, golf—or whatever piques their interest (and fits your budget). 10.  Play with your kids. It can be hard to find time to do regular workouts with children underfoot all day long. Here’s your excuse to ride bikes, play tag, jump rope, get on the swings, play hopscotch—you’ll all get some exercise and your kids will love it as well as you!   11.  Read a book. A few years ago, I started instituting reading time every afternoon in the summer. The kids can choose what they read, and it’s only for 30 minutes to an hour, but it gives them a chance to cool their jets—and it gives me some elusive quiet time.   While these tips may not guarantee that you have the absolute best summer with your kids, we do hope that they bring some tranquil times to your household, and that they help you keep in mind what really matters: time with family.   If you’re looking for ways to get the most out of your time this summer, Jenny Craig can help. Let us do the cooking and planning so you can spend more time with the ones you love without worrying about the weight loss. Contact us for your free appointment today. Sources: [1] [2] 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.
Eat Well ·

The 7 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Here are seven anti-inflammatory foods that have been identified as top-notch to work into your routine—and an added bonus: they are excellent for weight loss!
Move More ·

4 Low-impact Exercises You Can Do (Almost) Anywhere

Although it’s no mystery that physical activity is beneficial for our health and weight loss goals, finding exercises we enjoy and that can fit into our busy lives can sometimes feel overwhelming. Between work, family and trying to balance a social life, it can be challenging to squeeze in the time to make it to the gym or wake up early for a morning workout.    The good news is that getting some movement in each day can have a significant impact on our physical health, reducing the risk of developing certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more.1 What’s more, low-impact exercises may help keep your bones strong which may prevent your chances of developing osteoporosis and are a safe alternative to higher intensity workouts.2   We’ve compiled four bodyweight exercises that are gentle on the body, but challenging enough to make a beneficial impact on your health—and the best part—they can be performed just about anywhere. 1. Walking   Though you may think that walking is not as effective as a more strenuous modality like a spin class or running, you might be surprised. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking of 30-minutes a day can help with healthy weight management and may prevent or manage a wide range of conditions that include high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.3 Walking may also help strengthen bones and muscles, improve balance and coordination, and even boost your mood.3   If you can’t make time for a 30-minute walk, or if the length of time seems overwhelming, start with smaller increments. Even five minutes of walking each day is beneficial.4 Once that becomes a habit, increase your time by few minutes each week, until you get to 30. Consider tracking your steps so you can hold yourself accountable. 2. Take the Stairs Believe it or not, opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator is an incredibly effective way to burn calories and build strength at the same time. In fact, one study showed that men who averaged climbing eight flights a day had an incredible 33 percent lower mortality rate than men who were sedentary.5 Another study showed climbing stairs was even more demanding than lifting weights6 —so put down the dumbbells and lace up those shoes!   However, since this low-impact exercise can be taxing, especially if you’ve been sedentary—start slow, perhaps with just a single flight of stairs, and hold on to the railing to aid your balance. Remember—every step counts! 3. Yoga Practicing yoga has benefits beyond the physical of improving your flexibility and strengthening your bones7— it can also relieve stress and enhance one’s sense of well-being.8 And the best part is that all you need is a yoga mat, a reasonably firm floor, and your body. If you’re a beginner, there’s a wide variety of free or low-cost classes available online that can provide valuable guidance. Whether you’re new or an experienced yogi, making this practice a part of your wellness routine is an excellent choice. 4. Bodyweight exercise Building strength and toning your muscles doesn’t have to require heavy equipment or a lot of time. Bodyweight exercises can be done just about anywhere and if done with enough exertion can provide the benefits of a much longer workout in just minutes.9-10   There’s a wide variety of simple bodyweight exercises to choose from, including squats, lunges, push-ups on your knees, jumping jacks, and more. Perfect for home, when traveling, or even at work, finding a way to fit in bodyweight exercises could not only help improve your bone strength but also give you a great, low-impact workout.   Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
Live Life ·

3 Ways To Turn Around Negative Self-Talk During Weight Loss

Does your scale say you’ve lost weight but you don’t see it?  Are you doing everything right but the weight is not coming off as easily as it once did? Impatience and plateaus make it easy to fall into criticizing yourself even though you know you’re making progress.  But watch out—negative self-talk can potentially hurt your physical, mental and emotional health.  It’s positivity that will help you finish the journey ahead (because you know you can do this!). Here are three ways to help overcome negative self-talk. 1. Respect your body for the hard work it’s doing Did you know that losing one pound reduces four pounds of pressure on your knees?1  Imagine what losing just 10 or 20 pounds can do for your knees! As you begin to incorporate healthier foods into your routine and start increasing your physical activity, your body is working hard to change behind-the-scenes—building muscle mass and shedding excess weight.2  Keep notes of what your body does for you and how, as you change your lifestyle, it’s improving your life. For example, while you may not see your body changing immediately in the mirror, you may notice you can walk further without getting out of breath or you’re able to sleep a little sounder at night. Take these successes and celebrate them—your body is showing you it’s appreciative for your hard work. 2. Stay in the present You may feel overwhelmed as you embark on a weight loss journey, and unfortunately, life doesn’t stop because you’ve decided to take on this change.  However, by staying in the present and focusing on smaller steps—it may help you achieve your goals.3 A Harvard study found that people who are keenly focused are happier and more aware of the present, especially during conversation and exercise.4  There are methods to regain the sense of being present in other ways, such as mini-meditation breaks to help you become less reactive and feel more balanced.5   One of the best ways to stay in the present is gratitude.  By practicing gratitude, you can consider your present circumstances – your relationships, your improving health, even the bed you wake up in every morning—which in turn can become conscious satisfaction.  Research has found being grateful may increase your feelings of well-being, optimism and even your health.6   Another way to help you stay in the present and battle negative self-talk: practicing self-affirmations. Keep them short and to the point: “You took care of yourself today,” “You ate a healthy breakfast.”  Speaking to yourself in the second person makes it more objective, and by impartially stating your success and determination, you may internalize your thoughts as facts.  The science on affirmations is clear: it can reduce stress and anxiety7, which can affect your weight loss and your overall health.8   One way to keep your affirmations top-of-mind: consider starting a Pinterest board to keep them all in one place for easy access.  Start another board to remind yourself of your original motivations for improving your health, as well as new ones you find along the way.  3. Talk to people who understand what you’re going through  You don’t need to tackle the challenge of losing weight all on your own, and the more you talk about your experiences, the lighter the burden you’ll carry.9  Not only could talking to someone help your emotional well-being, but it could also help the person with whom you’re confiding.  Having a weight loss buddy to talk to may help you feel more understood, and what’s more, they can help you stay on track when you’re feeling negative thoughts arise.   As you begin or continue your weight loss journey, finding ways to combat negative thoughts may help you reach your ultimate goal. While self-doubt may be natural, know that you have the strength and will-power to achieve better health. If you’re looking for a weight loss program with dedicated support and delicious, real food, contact Jenny Craig to schedule your free appointment.     Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
Live Life ·

How Setting the Right Goals Can Help You Lose Weight

If you’ve embarked on a weight-loss journey, chances are you’re following an eating plan, added healthy fruits and vegetables to your fridge, perhaps started journaling and adding more physical activity to your day. But have you outlined actual goals that can help you succeed at losing and maintaining a healthier weight?   Determining the right goals—ones that are realistic and well-planned—can help you in your weight-loss efforts, while those that are unrealistic and too aggressive may actually sabotage those efforts.1 Read on for six ways to keep your weight-loss goals on track and stay motivated. 1. Be specific—but realistic.  Many people dive into weight loss with ambitions of losing a specific amount of weight, such as making it back to their college weight. And while having such a specific goal is great, being too lofty in your expectations can lead to disappointment—and potentially failure.2   Instead, many experts recommend starting out with a more modest goal, at least initially, of losing 5 percent to 10 percent of your body weight, as such a loss can have dramatic positive effects on your health and well-being.3 Once you reach the 5- to 10-percent mark, re-assess where you are, and if you still want to lose more, set a new goal. Continue to re-assess and re-calibrate throughout your weight-loss journey, setting new goals, if necessary, as you go along. 2. Consider what works for you. We’re all individuals, and what motivates one person may not work for you. For instance, do you like to focus on one over-arching end goal, or do you like to celebrate smaller wins along the way? One study4 showed that people who had the highest weight-loss targets experienced the greatest weight loss at 12 months, although the researchers noted that others may have better results by setting a greater number of smaller weight-loss goals. 3. Focus on the process as well as the outcome. While it’s great to have a final outcome goal, you may also want to set process goals: how you are going to achieve your desired result.5 For instance, you might set a goal of eating a certain number of fruits and vegetables a day, or going for a walk every day during your lunch break, or getting enough sleep.6 (That’s right—adequate sleep can be integral to your weight-loss success.) In other words, outline a specific, detailed plan of how you will lose the weight you want to lose. 4. Set a timeline. In addition to setting a goal related to your desired weight loss, come up with a realistic timeframe for yourself to reach that goal. For instance, if you’d like to lose 20 pounds, set a date by which you aim to lose the weight, keeping in mind that a loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is realistic—and recommended.7   Setting a timeline will allow you to have an end point in mind so that you don’t feel like the process will go on forever. And if you haven’t met your goal by that date, chances are you’ll be motivated enough to keep going—with a revised date in mind. 5. Set both short and long-term goals. Short-term goals, such as being able to fit in your favorite pair of jeans or losing another 5 pounds, help keep you on track and motivated. Long-term goals, such as lowering your blood pressure or easing your knee pain, can also be motivating but also signify the lifestyle change that is necessary for long-term weight management. 6. Find an accountability buddy. Even with the best-laid plans and the most realistic goals, we all can stumble and misstep along the way. So find someone to help you keep an eye on the prize—someone you can call in a pinch, or who can be extra motivating if you find your resolve wavering. If you’re following the Jenny Craig program, your personal weight loss consultant is the perfect person to hold you accountable and help keep you on track!   Above all, keep in mind that losing weight is a process, and there will likely be challenges along the way. Having solid, well-thought-out and reasonable goals can help you keep going—and on the path to being your best you.   Are you ready to set goals, lose weight and start living a healthier lifestyle? Contact us for your free appointment to get started.     Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
Inspiration ·

5 Motivation Tips When the Couch is Calling Your Name

It’s Friday afternoon—you just got home from work after a long and stressful week. You had plans to hit the park for a walk and make a healthy dinner at home but, instead, you find yourself on the couch in your pajamas, watching your favorite television series—take-out box in-hand. And just like that, your weight loss motivation seems to have vanished. Sound familiar?   Weight loss is a journey: we all have days when our motivation to eat right and exercise is sky high—and other days when we can’t seem to get off the couch. Instead of criticizing yourself when days like these happen, try to realize that weight loss is a process. By shifting your focus to finding ways to restore your motivation, you may help your weight loss success overall.   Here are five motivation tips that can help you get back on track. With these simple suggestions, hopefully you can restore your excitement about reaching your weight loss goals. 1. Think about Why You Want to Lose Weight One of the best motivation tips for losing weight is to write down all the reasons why you want to drop the extra pounds. Maybe you want to have more energy to do what you love during the day—or perhaps you want to lose weight to improve your health. We all have our reasons, and knowing yours can serve as an excellent catalyst for change. Once you’ve written your reasons down, try to read them once a week, or enough to keep them top of mind. By reminding yourself of the reasons why you decided to adopt a new, healthier lifestyle, it may make it less likely that you will stray from your healthy eating and exercise plans. Research shows that people are more likely to be successful with their weight loss efforts when the desire to change their lifestyle comes from within.1 2. Focus on S.M.A.R.T. Weight Loss Goals If your main focus is to reach your end goal of losing a certain amount of weight, you aren’t alone. Many people only think about reaching their outcome goal, which often involves getting to their target weight. An outcome goal can feel distant and overwhelming —and researchers have discovered that this type of focus can derail your weight loss efforts.2   Instead, think about your process goals, or actions you need to take to reach your overarching goal. Doing so makes it much less likely that you will deviate from your weight loss program.3   To set strong goals, make them S.M.A.R.T.4 which means making them specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. Some great examples include striving to eat three servings of vegetables a day or planning to walk for 30-minutes, five days a week.   This type of goal setting ensures that you are staying realistic while setting yourself up for success—which may keep you from feeling discouraged and giving up if your aspirations are too lofty. Studies have shown that when people set unrealistic expectations, such as trying to lose a significant amount of weight very quickly, they may be more likely to abandon their efforts to change their diet and exercise habits.5 3. Seek Out Support Research has found that a weight loss program with support is more likely to help you achieve your goals than trying to go at it alone.6 By having a support system in place, you can lean on someone to listen and give you some extra motivation and advice, especially on those harder days.    Another idea: find a fitness buddy that enjoys getting active regularly. Not only can they help encourage you to go for a walk or a bike ride when you may not be in the mood, but they are also a great accountability partner. You’ll find that it’s much harder to bail on a workout when you know someone is counting on you to be there. 4. Find an Activity That You Love Exercise has benefits beyond burning calories and building muscle—it can also improve your mood and feelings of well-being.7 But finding an activity that you love may be the key to sustainability and avoiding burnout.8   While not all of us are fitness aficionados, there’s likely an activity that you find enjoyable. Still not sure what that is? Take some time to try different options and choose what interests you. A few things to consider: think about whether you like to exercise inside or outside, in a gym or at home, and in a group or solo. Narrowing down your interests may help you hone in on the best kind of exercise for you.   Another motivation tactic: music. Research shows that it could not only boost your desire to workout, but it could also help you work up a sweat for a little longer.9 Keep in mind exercise doesn’t have to be intimidating. It could be as simple as a 30-minute daily walk around the neighborhood (or you can use these easy ways to sneak in exercise at work or home!) 5. Celebrate Your Wins As you embark on a weight loss journey, it’s important to celebrate the successes along the way, no matter how big or small they may be. Being proud of yourself can serve as an inspiration to keep making progress. Give yourself a non-food reward for hitting your goals so you’ll continue striving to reach them. For example, treat yourself to a spa day or get that new outfit you’ve been eyeing.   Are you ready to change your life and improve your health with a science-based weight loss program? Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to get started. Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]  [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]  
Eat Well ·

How to Prevent Summer Weight Gain When Vacation Begins

After a seemingly endless winter, warmer months are finally upon us—summer is here! The beautiful weather, outdoor activities, Fourth of July fireworks and delicious BBQs make this season a favorite for many people. But with the end of typical routines, summer can be a challenging time to stay on track with a weight loss journey. We’ve compiled our best tips for helping to avoid weight gain during the warmer months while still enjoying everything the season has to offer. Reasons for Summer Weight Gain It’s a common misconception that seasonal weight gain only occurs in the winter. After all, we tend to be surrounded by hearty, holiday foods and stay mostly inside during the colder months.1   A combination of factors may make the numbers on the scale creep up during the summer. Just as you may not want to work out when it’s freezing outside, you’re probably not as thrilled about exercising in the scorching heat. Extreme weather conditions, whether they be cold or hot, may put a damper on workout routines. In addition to the heat, all of the summer parties and BBQs can be hard to avoid and are usually stocked with foods and drinks that can thwart your weight loss progress.     What’s more, our schedules tend to be different during the summer months. The days are longer, which can lead to later bedtimes—and potentially more late-night snacking. Many of us also have children who are home from school, which can make it difficult to stick to self-care routines.   So how can you enjoy the summer months without gaining weight?  We’ve compiled a list of our top tips to avoid summer weight gain 1. Stick to a Schedule It can be tempting to deviate from your usual routine in the summertime, but one of the best ways to maintain your weight during these months is to set and stick to a schedule. Research shows that a change in your routine—any time of the year—may disrupt your exercise and eating habits.2 Stay Consistent with Sleep Many of us have some time off work or school during the warmer months. Whether you have the entire summer free or just a week, try your best to stick to your usual sleep habits. Of course, things will inevitably come up that will alter your schedule, but trying to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day can make a huge difference.   Not only will you likely feel better when you get enough sleep, but your metabolism may also benefit.5 Part of this is due to your natural circadian rhythm which controls your sleep cycle and natural 24-hour body clock, and also helps regulate your metabolic processes.3 Consistently getting a good night's sleep and leveraging your circadian rhythm could help you lose weight and prevent unwanted weight gain.4 Research has shown that not getting enough sleep and disrupting your natural rhythm could lead to unwanted weight gain by interfering with your metabolism.5 Eat Regular Meals Summertime can also lead to changes in what and when you eat due to all of the picnics, vacations and fairs that come hand-in-hand with the season.    By eating with your natural circadian rhythm, when your metabolism is working most efficiently, you’re leveraging your body’s natural fat-burning abilities.6 An example of how to incorporate this into your routine would be to eat between the hours of 7am to 7pm and then refrain from food or beverages for the next twelve hours (which includes sleep ), when your metabolism isn’t working as optimally. This digestion break can let your body rejuvenate. Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, is based on the latest Nobel-prize winning research around circadian rhythm.   Studies have also found a link between obesity and eating more calories late in the evening.7 Another tip: try to avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast, as you could be missing out all the health benefits of eating earlier in the day.   2. Make Healthy Food Choices Ice cream by the pool, hot dogs on the grill, s’mores by the campfire—summer is full of nostalgic treats. Of course, enjoy dessert in moderation, but making healthy food choices the majority of the time can help prevent unwanted weight gain. Incorporate Fruits and Vegetables Summer is the perfect time to load up on fruits and veggies because it’s when fresh produce is most plentiful. Try visiting your local farmers’ market to see what different seasonal fruits and vegetables are available. For Jenny Craig members, this is a great way to stock up on your Fresh & Free Additions. Sip the Right Things When it’s warm outside, sometimes there’s nothing better than an ice-cold beverage. But it’s just as important to consider what’s in your cup as well as what’s on your plate. While it may be tempting to reach for an ice-cold soda or alcoholic beverage at an event, these types of drinks are loaded with empty calories.   Water is always the best choice for a beverage, as your body needs it to function properly and stay hydrated.7 You can dress it up by adding fruit for a little color and subtle taste.   Another type of beverage that can lead to summer weight gain is alcohol.8 From happy hours to summer BBQs, alcohol can derail your weight loss progress. Instead, opt for sparkling water; the fizz adds a little fun and you’ll still be able to keep on-track with your weight loss goals.   3. Find Time to Get Moving Carving out space in your busy schedule to get active can be difficult in the summertime, especially if your children are home from school. You aren’t alone if you feel like you should be spending time with them instead of hitting the gym. But taking a little time for self-care is one of the best ways to take care of your family. Be Active with the Little Ones If you feel like you can’t leave your kids to squeeze in a workout, don’t worry. You can still get your heart pumping with them by your side. In fact, spending time with them can be multitasking at its finest – allowing you to exercise and bond with your children.   Try getting outdoors with your kids. It doesn’t matter if it’s the park, the neighborhood pool or even your own backyard. You can play sports, make up games, go swimming, take a walk or ride bikes. You’ll get your heart rate up and your kids will likely be tuckered out: it’s a win-win.  Try a New Activity Warm weather and longer days are perfect for trying new types of physical activity. If you’ve been working out inside during the winter and spring, try getting outside to walk, run or ride your bike. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise—and trying any of these activities can meet that requirement.9   You can also use the summer to try new activities or revisit old favorites. Hiking and swimming are always popular, or try something like paddle boarding or an outdoor yoga class. Consider Joining a Team or a Group Many communities offer instructional or intramural sports leagues for adults from soccer, softball, baseball or kickball. Not only are sports a great form of exercise, but they can also help you establish a routine and meet new people.   If you’re more into individual sports, try finding a bike group or jogging club. You can also look for group fitness classes such as cycling, yoga or barre.   If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, why not start your own group? Reach out to friends, family and neighbors who might be interested in getting moving and enjoying the summer weather together. You might be surprised by how many people want to join.   We hope these tips help you achieve your summer wellness goals—and make it your best (and healthiest) one yet!   Are you ready to make a change in your life and improve your health this summer? Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to get started.     Sources:   [1] [2] [3] [4] 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. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
Live Life ·

Stressed Out? Here's How It Could Affect Your Health and Happiness

How Stress Impacts Your Health and Happiness Although everyone has a different threshold for stress, we all experience it to some extent, whether it’s the chronic stress of commuting to work every day, or the stress that comes from our personal relationships or our careers. There’s also the acute stress that comes from a job change, the illness of a friend or family member, or a cross-country move.   Some people may recover from stress quickly, while others may find themselves buried by the weight of it. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, stress can take a toll on your body and mind.1   Because stress can have far-reaching impacts on your health and well-being, it’s important to understand what those impacts are—and how you can help minimize them. When Stress Is Helpful—and When It Isn’t You might not realize it, but not all stress is bad. It can motivate you to prepare for an interview or perform well during a big presentation. It can even be a lifesaver, prompting the ancient, time-worn fight-or-flight response if you are confronted with danger.2 This response triggers a release of cortisol and epinephrine3, causing your heart rate and breathing to increase as your muscles tense and more oxygen flows to your brain—the same response cavepeople experienced eons ago when needing to flee from, or fight off, a predator.   The problem is, if you are constantly bombarded with stress, this same lifesaving response may begin to cause physical symptoms, such as headaches, muscle aches and digestive issues; or psychological ones, including anger and sadness. Even worse, chronic stress could eventually harm your health, causing problems with your heart, immunity, sleep and so much more.4   Let’s take a look at the impacts of stress on the body and mind. Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Problems While researchers have long suspected a link between long-term stress causing inflammation and consequent heart problems, that link has yet to be conclusively proven.5 However, one study did find that high perceived stress was associated with an increased risk of so-called incident coronary heart disease, such as an episode of chest pain or a hospital admission.6   Experiencing stressful situations may also lead to a short-term spike in blood pressure.7 When you are stressed, your blood vessels constrict and your heart rate increases, which can cause your blood pressure to rise, temporarily. While these changes disappear when the stressor has passed, if you experience these temporary spikes in blood pressure often enough, your heart, blood vessels and kidneys can suffer damage similar to that caused by long-term high blood pressure.8 People who suffer from chronic stress also appear to have a higher risk of stroke than their calmer peers.9 Immune System Problems The impacts of chronic stress extend to the immune system, making you prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the common cold and flu.10 Because of the steady stream of stress hormones being secreted by your body, your immune system can become suppressed11—which may have you taking sick days more frequently. Psychological Issues Chronic stress may also cause hyperarousal, leading to insomnia.12 Lack of sleep in turn can affect your mental functioning in the areas of attention and working memory.13 Weight Problems It turns out that stress may also make it more difficult for you to lose weight.14 While a stressful event may reduce your appetite in the short term due to the release of an appetite-suppressing hormone, if stress persists, cortisol kicks in, increasing appetite and perhaps even the motivation to eat.15 Cortisol, the hormone that your body produces when experiencing stress, may also be behind the all-too-familiar cravings for sugar and fat.   As if cravings weren’t bad enough, stress may also encourage your body to store more fat. Research has shown that even among slender women, high levels of stress and cortisol are linked to abdominal fat, which may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.16 Other Health Issues Stress may impact many other areas of health and wellness as well. Digestive problems can be a common occurrence in response to acute and chronic stress.17 Researchers have also found that stress may increase the risk of irritable bowel syndrome, which can cause chronic abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea.18   And have you noticed that you tend to get more breakouts when you’re stressed out? It’s not your imagination—research has found that psychological stress can exacerbate acne.19 Stress has also been found to trigger or aggravate psoriasis.20 Ways to Manage Stress You may be surprised—even startled—to learn of the many health impacts of stress. But there are ways to manage it. 1. Recognize the Signs Start by recognizing the signs that you are under stress. Everyone responds to stress in different ways—you may find that you get more headaches, while your friend may suffer from insomnia and stomach pain. Learn how you manifest stress and pay attention to the warning signs that your stress level is creeping up. 2. Get Your Heart Pumping Regularly When you notice that your stress is increasing—or you find that you’re already under stress—start incorporating regular exercise into your day, if you haven’t already. Not only is exercise a great way to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals, but regular physical activity may also help improve your sleep, boost your mood and reduce your stress levels.21   Perhaps running or walking will help you manage your stress, or some stretching exercises. You also might try yoga or tai chi; many people find their slow, precise movements help them feel calmer and less tense. Or try some mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing and meditation.   If one activity doesn’t help reduce your stress, try another until you find what works best for you. 3. Laugh Not only does it feel good to enjoy a good laugh, laughter really does help lift your mood and moderate stress. 22 So watch a funny movie, read a great book, be goofy with your kids—it’ll help both in the short and long term. 4. Get Outside, and With Other People There’s some truth to nature soothing the soul: Researchers at the University of Michigan23 found that group nature walks are linked with significantly lower depression, less perceived stress, and enhanced mental health and well-being among people experiencing stressful life events. 5. Reach Out to Family and Friends Although it can be tempting to withdraw from others during periods of stress, it likely won’t help you cope. Instead, rely on family and friends for emotional support and encouragement when you’re facing stressful times. You’ll find that phone calls and in-person activities with people you care about can be very therapeutic. 6. Learn to Say No Sometimes stress may come from taking on too much responsibility. No one wants to disappoint others, but saying yes to everything can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Think about what you can say no to in your life. It might be unsettling when you first think about it, but it’s empowering to set boundaries for yourself.   If you find that you still have too many priorities competing for your attention, getting organized may help to reduce your stress levels. Try making a to-do list you’d like to accomplish during the day to help yourself stay on track. And don’t worry if you don’t complete everything—just focus on what you did and tackle the rest the next day. 7. Consider Seeing a Professional Still feeling stressed after implementing these tips? Don’t hesitate to reach out to someone who specializes in stress management; he or she can offer individualized guidance and support and perhaps allow you to even thrive, during times of stress.   While stress can have far-reaching, dramatic effects on your health and well-being, we hope that these tips can bring some calmness and serenity to your life.   If you are trying to lose weight, don’t let meal planning and calorie counting stress you out.  Contact us today for a free appointment to get started and get one-on-one support toward reaching your health goals.     Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]
Eat Well ·

The Power Of Daylight Nutrition Series

What is Your Circadian Rhythm and Can It Improve Your Overall Health?   Can Losing Weight Decrease Your Risk of Cancer? What is Cardiovascular Disease and Can It Be Prevented?   Can You Lose Weight By Sleeping?   6 Instant, Easy Mood Boosters

Most Popular



  • Ready to start? Schedule your free appointment and start your weight loss journey today! Book a free appointment



    The Power of Daylight Nutrition