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The Perfect Portion

Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Move More,

Because weight loss is a journey, there may be some bumps in the road. One of those bumps can come in the form of lapsing on your food plan—a glass of wine, a bag of chips with queso dip or a few slices of pizza. “The biggest challenge is that lapses turn into relapses. The sort of ‘oh, what the heck’ effect where someone has a slip and throws away the day or even the week,” said Lisa Talamini, Jenny Craig Sr. Director of Science & Behavioral Interventions. “A lapse is just an event where you get out of touch with your goals and the why behind your goal.  If you don’t get caught up in the shame and guilt game, it can be a positive learning experience.” Here’s what to do when you have a lapse:
Forgive yourself.
There were a lot of steps and choices that got you to the point where you were, and there are a lot of steps and choices that have brought you to where you are now. One slip will not affect your weight loss journey, so make sure to forgive yourself so you can clear your mind of any guilt and get back on track. Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection. It’s what you learn from the experience that matters.
Analyze the situation/your typical response.
After the lapse, think about where you were, who you were with, what the situation was, what your action was and how it made you feel. Were you at a party with friends and everyone was enjoying the appetizers? Did you get caught up in the moment and think, “Well, I’ve been good all week, so I deserve a treat?”

Asking yourself these questions and recognizing how you were feeling before your actions will help you recognize what this situation was, and help you plan for next time. That being said…
Plan your strategy for next time.
There’s another party next week. What will you do to plan for success? If it’s a potluck, bring a veggie plate with you and a bottle of sparkling water so you can enjoy those instead.  Or, enjoy your Jenny Craig entrée before you go so you feel full and satisfied and won’t be tempted to snack on items not on your free foods list. Allow yourself to feel proud of where you are in the moment, as you’ve already taken so many steps to get to where you are today. And remember, you make your own choices, so going in with a plan can help you stay on track toward success!
Summarize and rehearse your plan.
Having your plan and repeating it with someone can help you feel more prepared. It can be a friend who is going to the event with you who can keep you accountable, but you can also rehearse your plan with a Jenny Craig consultant, too. Many consultants have been former members, so they understand the journey and can discuss strategies that they used in similar situations.
You can discuss your plans with a consultant by scheduling a consultation at any of our 500+ locations, or meet via phone or video chat!
Kari - Jenny Craig

We all have our favorite foods. However, if you were a food what would you be and why? We asked a few Jenny Craig nutrition experts to share the one versatile and delicious food they would be and what they love about it.
“This gorgeous green leaf is nutritious, but also delicious.  It is low in calories and high in nutrients. Spinach tastes great crunchy— think baked veggie chips, or soft such as a warm spinach and mushroom salad.  Spinach works with any meal occasion; check out our Jenny Craig Florentine Breakfast Pizzas. Spinach is fantastic!”
-Darcie Anderson
“The word nutrition comes from the Latin word “nutrir” which means to “nourish”. As a nutritionist, I empower people to nourish their health and well-being. I think of one the most body and soul-nourishing foods is soup. A bowl of soup is built on a warm base of mineral-rich broth, brimming with a seasonal array of vitamin-packed vegetables and liberally seasoned with a mix of fresh herbs and flavorful spices that are long-known for their health-promoting properties.”
-Lisa Talamini
“Living up to the ‘keep the doctor away’ reputation, I would be an apple. Apples come in beautiful shades of red, pink, green and even golden yellow.  They are a good source of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber.
One medium apple contains about 4 grams of filling fiber, which is a great thing! High-fiber foods are, by nature, just plain satisfying. They’re hearty and filling and since they’re metabolized more slowly than low-fiber foods, they tend to help us feel full longer.”
Apples are the ideal on-the-go low-calorie snack.  If you have more time, try this healthy pie-like treat:
1.       Chop up a medium apple
2.       Sprinkle with allspice and cinnamon
3.       Pop it in the microwave for 1 and a 1/2 minutes
4.       If you like it even sweeter, top it with a drizzle of Jenny Craig’s Breakfast Syrup.
-Monica Ropar
Kari - Jenny Craig

It’s that little voice inside of your head and it’s causing you to be a downer. Your inner negativity says you can’t, even though you know you can. It can get the best of you, weaken your resolve to eat right, and derail your weight loss journey. But rather than get discouraged, ignore it, or block it, you can easily change it. So what’s the one thing you can do to shut down your inner negativity? It’s simple–greet it and move on.
“Greet it, like an old friend,” says Lisa Talamini, Jenny Craig’s Senior Director, Science and Behavioral Interventions.
“Welcome, Habit.”
Talamini explains that inner negativity is nothing more than habit, a well-worn pattern of thinking in your brain that you can retrain by adding new, positive thoughts. “When you hear yourself say, ‘I’ll never get my eating under control,’ say, ‘Welcome, Habit. Lapses happen. I can learn from this one and move on,’” she said.
If you can start observing your habit of negative thinking, that’s the first step to begin training your brain to think in more positive ways. You acknowledge a thought with self-compassion and then begin to transform it. Build new positive pathways by recognizing your successes, and turn sabotaging thoughts into helpful, motivating thoughts. Every day, say it out loud, write it down in a journal, or even tell a close friend. “Each healthy bite, every step I take, brings me closer to my goal,” Talamini said.  
Soak it in
Part of rewiring your brain to loosening your grip on negativity so you can mentally soak in the good, positive thoughts in addition to saying it aloud. Talamini recommends visualizing your wins at the end of the week after following your plan. This can be done while you’re brushing your teeth in the morning, before you go to bed at night, or while you’re sipping a cup of tea and getting some much needed “me-time.”
“Close your eyes, visualize all your positive choices,” she said. “Literally breathe it in for 10 seconds–long enough for the brain to ‘rewire’ and retain it.”
Set attainable goals
Of course, your inner negativity will get the best of you if you’re setting unrealistic goals for yourself, like an unsustainable low-calorie diet or an unattainable weekly weight loss number. Instead, set manageable goals that you can celebrate at the end of the week and that can overshadow any lapses or possible setbacks. Chat with your Jenny Craig consultant on creating attainable goals that empower you to make positive choices, so you can feel triumphant at the end of each week and bolster your positive thinking. 
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

-          ½ cup blueberries
-          15-20 mint leaves
-          2 tsp fresh lime juice
-          1 slice of lime
-          2/3 cup sparkling water
-          ½ cup ice
½ fruit exchange
1.       Gather all needed materials: 1 cup, and 1 shaker
2.       Muddle the blueberries in a cup, then pour into shaker.
3.       Muddle the mint leaves in a cup, then pour into shaker with the blueberries.
4.       Add lime juice, sparkling water, and ice into the shaker.
5.       Shake it up!
6.       Pour through sifter at top of shaker into your cup.
7.       Garnish with lime slice, blueberries, and mint leaves, as you please.
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Alexandra Y. 
I have always struggled with weight loss for as long as I could remember. Growing up, I was the funny fat friend who often made fun of herself just to cope with what was really going on inside my head. I lived 22 years of my life feeling extremely uncomfortable in my own skin every day. 
No matter where I was, I felt as if I was being judged and this created severe anxiety for me. The heavier I was, the more anxiety I felt. I would often feel sick. This anxiety would continue to burden me for years. I didn't put myself out there or do fun things with friends. I limited my life because of this sickness I was feeling.
About a year ago, I decided I needed help to lose the weight that was making me miserable. It was out of my control at this point. I had tried every diet, every trick, every little thing and it wasn't working. I looked into Jenny Craig that morning and was at the center that same day. 
The structure Jenny Craig gave me was amazing. I felt in control, a feeling I had NEVER felt with my relationship to food. I even started to move more – such as taking a quick walk. 
Yes, the weight started to come off, but I didn't realize how happy I was until I stopped having panic attacks, stopped feeling sick all the time. I actually felt okay. I felt ‘normal.’ I stopped taking my anxiety medication and started running instead. I found a love for exercise and activity. I went outdoors and did fun things with friends. I pushed myself to try new things that I wouldn't even dream of in the past. I felt happy. The physical results from losing weight are awesome and that is what everyone wants in the end, I get that. I love how I look now, but the real "success" in this story for me is the mental success. I have a healthier body, but more importantly a healthier mind. I feel like myself, I feel like this is the person I was meant to be. 
Being 23 years old, people ask me if I am embarrassed to say I do a weight loss program. I tell them this is what worked for me. In my mind, this is the ONLY weight loss program for me. Having help does not make you a failure, it makes you stronger for reaching out to achieve your goals. I could have never started this on my own, but Jenny Craig has given me the tools to continue this journey for a lifetime.
*Results not typical. Members following our program, on average lose 1-2 lbs. per week.

Kari - Jenny Craig

When eating by yourself, you most likely feel more empowered to make—and stick—to your healthy choices. But in some situations, such as dinners at a restaurant to a cocktail mixer for work, you may have people who may peer pressure you into eating foods you know are not part of your planned menu.
Your friends, coworkers, family and new acquaintances may look at it like a one-time thing and not understand that you have a larger goal you are working toward. You may hear phrases like: “We’re celebrating! Enjoy these treats!”, “You’ve got to try these—they are the best thing I’ve ever had!” and “I made them from scratch – don’t miss out!” While one bite will not hurt the work you’ve done for your weight loss, it’s all about how you want to feel when making your food and drink choices.
Many of our consultants like to recommend a response system called the PRP technique, which stands for Polite, Reason, Polite. It allows you to have a cordial way to say no when people peer pressure into eating food and allows you to be in control of your situation.
Let’s say that you’re at a party, and someone offers you a piece of cake that’s not on your plan.
First, start by being polite. You can say a compliment and acknowledge the offer by saying, “Thanks, that cake does looks delicious!”
Next, you’ll want to state your reason for refusing the cake. You can say, “Dinner was perfect, and I couldn’t imagine eating another bite.” That way, you’re setting a boundary, but couching it with a compliment of the meal. This makes it difficult for the person offering you food to push further.
Finally, follow up with another polite nod to their offer. “I’ll have to try it next time” is a fantastic way that shows that you’re interested in it, and that you may some time—but that choice will be up to you!
If you would like to discuss other strategies for situations that may come up in social gatherings, schedule a consultation with a Jenny Craig consultant. Find a local center near you if you would like to talk face-to-face, or if you’re unable to make it in, you can meet with a consultant via phone or video chat! We’re here to help you on your weight loss journey, whether that’s from providing over 100 delicious meal options to keep you satiated or how to plan for your weight loss goals, we’re happy to be by your side.
Kari - Jenny Craig

If you’re looking to watch what you eat or haven’t joined the Jenny Craig program, these sneaky foods can be derailing your diet. A snack here and there, a quick, on-the-go breakfast and a can of soda seem harmless, but these items are potential calorie bombs and can really add up fast. Check out these five sneaky items loaded with calories that could be hurting your weight loss and some suggestions for healthier alternatives.
An obvious, but notorious cause of weight gain. That’s why it should be the first to go when eating healthy. Each time your crack open a can of soda, you’re drinking empty calories that could be sneakily thwarting the number on the scale. A can of soda typically contains 150 calories, but if you drop your daily soft drink, you could save yourself over 1,000 calories per week. If you’re craving flavor or the lively bubbles of a soda, try a flavored, carbonated water or infuse a bottle of water with your favorite fruits, such as strawberry, watermelon, or lemon. 
Pastries may seem like an easy, grab-and-go breakfast but they are loaded with calories from both fat and sugar. A store-bought muffin is around 500 calories, while the Jenny Craig Chocolate Muffin only has 190 calories. It’s best to either prep some healthier breakfasts, eat some Greek yogurt with fresh berries or reach for a delicious Jenny Craig breakfast entrée.
Movie Popcorn
Our Kettle Corn is a low-calorie way to beat the munchies, but avoid snacking on prepackaged, microwave, or movie popcorn that is often high in calories and saturated fat, the unhealthy heart kind. A seemingly harmless small bag of popcorn from the theatre contains around 600 calories and 50 grams of fat. 
Sauces and Dressings 
It’s tough to imagine enjoying our favorite foods without condiments, however it’s easy to go overboard on classic staples such as ranch dressing or barbeque sauce. We recommend enjoying one tablespoon of fat-free condiments such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, teriyaki sauce and barbeque sauce.    
Raisins and dried fruit
Eating one of your toddler’s raisins boxes is a sly way to hurt your weight loss. One tiny snack box has nearly 130 calories when you could satisfy your sweet tooth with two full cups of grapes for the same amount of calories. Just two tablespoons count as a fruit serving, so consider either limiting portion size or using a lesser amount of dried fruit as a flavor enhancer on top of breakfast cereals, yogurt, salads or oatmeal. Dried fruit is often found in trail mix, and while they are compact vitamin powerhouses, bits of dried fruit add up in calories (and sugar) quickly. Dried cranberries, berries, apples and peaches can be a tasty snack when you keep portions under control. 
Kari - Jenny Craig

Just in time for spring! This Coconut Cucumber Cooler is alcohol-free and a refreshing beverage that will make you feel like you’re relaxing on a tropical beach. 

½ cup coconut water
2 tsp. lime juice
5-6 mint leaves
4-5 thinly sliced cucumbers
1 splash of sparkling water
1 tsp. coconut extract
 ½ cup of ice
1.    Muddle mint leaves and cucumbers in coconut water
2.    Let beverage chill for 1 hour
3.    Add lime juice, sparkling water, coconut extract and ice
4.     Enjoy!
*1 limited free
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

“Hanger” is a phrase used when one can trace their anger back to their state of hunger. But why does hanger happen in the first place? Jenny Craig’s Senior Director of Science and Behavioral Interventions, Lisa Talamini, explains that scientists trace the “hanger response” to two things: low blood sugar (glucose) and increased levels of “fight or flight” hormones. 
But how does one get to a point of “hanger?” Lisa notes that skipping meals or delaying eating for too long can lead to a reduced delivery of glucose to the brain, a perceived “danger” that stimulates the release of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline, which cause the “fight or flight” response), as well as the brain neuropeptide Y. This cascade of events is experienced as anger/anxiety, and the natural response might be to eat! That’s why starvation diets are so counter-productive.  
At Jenny Craig, we encourage frequent meals and snacks—6 of them in a day to maintain even blood sugars and to keep pre-meal hunger at a “mild” vs. “maniac” level. In fact, we encourage clients to practice the HALT strategy to consciously tune in for signs of getting too hungry, angry/anxious, lonely or tired, all of which can lead to a binge.

How can you check for signs of HALT? Here is a quick checklist you can use:
Hunger: “Hanger” begins with hunger, so evaluate when the last time you ate was and what you ate. Was your meal satisfying, or were you still feeling ravenous? If you were still feeling hungry, make sure to add more Fresh & Free Additions to your meals! Make sure that you also have snacks available, like our Classic Hummus & Wheat Crackers that you can add additional vegetables like carrots or bell peppers to, or have a crunchy snack, like celery or an apple, before sinking your teeth into our satisfying S’mores Bar.  Anger/anxious: Evaluate your state of mind and body to figure out what may be making you anxious or angry. What has happened so far in your day, or are you anxious about an upcoming situation or deadline? If so, make a plan for how you can approach the situation to make it less stressful. It’s important to find time to step away from a situation, too, so if you need to go out and get some fresh air, go for it!  Lonely: Loneliness can creep up on you, especially if you’ve had a busy week where you haven’t been able to check-in as often as you like with friends or family. Send a quick text to a few friends or call them to let them know you want to catch up. Making plans to get you out of your work/home routine will break up the loneliness and give you something to look forward to. Tired: Depriving your body of the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep can take its toll.. When you get enough sleep, your body is better able to regulate the hormones that make you feel hungry and full.   
Remember to take the time to HALT so you can take care of your health. If you would like help with other weight loss strategies, find a local neighborhood Jenny Craig center near you or call 866-706-4042.