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5 Reasons Why The Gym is Fantastic

A healthy lifestyle consists of making careful food and exercise choices. Jenny Craig can help you with your food options, as we have over 100 menu items to serve your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and even dessert needs! For the latter, while walking outside on your lunch break or going on a weekend hike are great ways to get moving, there are many opportunities at your local gym that you may be missing out on! Here are 5 reasons you’ll love going to the gym: 1.      Classes. Many workout facilities, like Curves, offer a variety of classes for all fitness levels. You can train with a fitness instructor in a group environment that will encourage you to work harder together! 2.      Variety of machines. Based on your fitness goals, you can focus on cardio and/or strength training with all of the different machines and weights a gym provides. Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, so spice up your routine with different machines or variations on cardio (bike, treadmill or elliptical) every week! 3.      Stress relief. Exercise pumps up your endorphins (your feel-good neurotransmitters). Focusing on yourself at the gym allows you to think less about external factors that may be causing you stress. Your exercise will be crafting a healthier you, which can lead to a happier you. 4.      More energy during the day, better sleep at night. The gym helps you have more energy during the day to run errands, work or spend time with friends and family. If you’re going to the gym in the evening, a study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity journal notes that exercise is linked to more quality sleep. 5.      Community. It’s great to be exercising with others as they work toward their health goals as well. Invite a friend who doesn’t have a membership to go with you as well. Plus, if you become a regular in a class, you can make new friends, too. Gym time can truly be you-time when you focus on creating a fun plan for yourself!     [SOURCES] http://www.jennycraig.com/site/learn/article/10-reasons-to-invest-in-yourself http://elitedaily.com/life/6-reasons-go-gym-today-even-really-really-dont-feel-like/641931/ https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/study-physical-activity-impacts-overall-quality-sleep  
Eat Well ·

Simple Inspirations Recipe: Chocolate Breakfast Parfait

Start your day with a parfait that's certain to sweeten up your morning! Sandwich your Chocolate Muffin between spoonfuls of nonfat vanilla yogurt. Garnish with fresh berries for seasonal goodness.    Ingredients:  Jenny Craig Chocolate Muffin 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt (vanilla or your favorite flavor)  1 cup mixed berries    Directions:  1. Cut Chocolate Muffin into 3 layers.  2. Place bottom later into a 4 oz canning jar.  3. Add 3 tsp of yogurt on top.  4. Place second layer of Chocolate Muffin and add remaining yogurt. Add top of Chocolate Muffin and garnish with mixed berries.    Submitted by Robin W. from Indianapolis, Indiana   
Eat Well ·

Best Yogurt Toppings - How to Add Flavor

Plain yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium, but you may get tired of eating yogurt regularly without any flavor. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, here are four ways to spice up your serving of plain yogurt. Jenny Craig members: remember, one serving of plain yogurt is 6 oz or ⅔ of a cup and counts as 1 Milk Choice. When selecting your yogurt, look for fat-free, low-fat or light and grab one that contains approximately 100 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 8 or more grams of protein and less than 3 grams of fat per serving.   1. Fruit <br> Whether you like them fresh or frozen, a mix of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries can sweeten up a cup of plain yogurt. Berries are a good source of antioxidants and fiber so you will be getting a boost of other nutrients with this snack. Or, mash up your favorite fruit to mix with plain yogurt instead. Use a mortar and pestle to mash up bananas, peaches, kiwi, or pineapple for a refreshing twist. Play with different fruit combinations to really make it your own! Enjoy this blend first thing in the morning or after a workout to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep hunger at bay.   2. Special Spices <br> Spices add an interesting pop of flavor to your yogurt. Try cinnamon, ginger and clove for a spicy treat. Or, mix cinnamon and apple slices into your yogurt for a creamy, apple-pie inspired dessert. A dash of pumpkin pie spice will transport you to your favorite fall holiday in a snap!   3. Cucumbers & Dill <br> Craving something savory? Mix diced cucumbers and dill into yogurt and enjoy it like a dip with carrot sticks, celery, and other raw vegetables. Dill has a very strong flavor and adding cucumber to the mix can add texture to your healthy dip.  
Jenny Craig News ·

Jenny Craig Facts: Debunking 5 Common Myths

The list of reasons for not losing weight can be a long one, such as being too busy to plan healthy meals, thinking the results won’t last or feeling too tired to work out. But just by reading this blog, you're already taking a step toward reaching your weight loss goals! We know how important it is to find support during this transformative time, and our team of consultants is here to help. Over the past 30-plus years, Jenny Craig members have received one-on-one support from dedicated consultations who teach portion control and healthy eating habits. So what's stopping you from taking the next step in your journey to reach your goal weight? Let's bust some common myths you might have heard about Jenny Craig. Myth #1: "The food is unhealthy." Jenny Craig Fact: At Jenny Craig, we primarily rely on freezing and shelf-stable technologies to maintain both the freshness and convenience of our portion-controlled foods. Nutrition is our priority, so our team of nutritionists and food technologists work together to make sure that our food is developed with strict specifications for regarding the amount of fat, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar as well as to emphasize the inclusion of vegetables, whole grain/fiber, protein, and heart healthy fats. We also encourage members to pair our meals with Fresh & Free Additions, such as non-starchy vegetables and fruits that are rich in fiber and water, so they help you stay satisfied while you’re on your plan. Myth #2: “The food is too sugary.” Jenny Craig Fact: Each day of our menu contains less than 10% of calories from added sugar. When following the meal plan, we can include a delicious dessert (i.e. Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon French Toast, Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Lava Cake) into the day as they are calculated into this daily average. We also seek to emphasize healthy ingredients, such as whole grains and healthy fats wherever possible in our meals and snacks. And we encourage drinking water and other non-caloric beverages, like tea or coffee without sugar, to help you stay hydrated without additional sugar. Myth #3: “The food is high in sodium.” Jenny Craig Fact: The prepackaged food menus have approximately 2300 mg of sodium per day, which reflects the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. You can also work with your consultant to reduce your sodium through lower sodium choices in the grocery foods you add to your Jenny Craig Menu every day. Myth #4: “The plan and food is too expensive.” Jenny Craig Fact: Going out to dinner or buying lunch every day adds up quickly! One meal alone can be about $15-$20, and just think about any additional snacks or your morning coffee run thrown into your budget. At Jenny Craig, we offer a variety of affordable weight loss plans to cater to your personal preferences. In fact, menu items start at $3.79 – a tremendous value when it comes to taste, balanced nutrition and support with weight loss. Myth #5: “Jenny Craig is not sustainable or long-lasting.” Jenny Craig Fact: Jenny Craig works! In fact, a 2014 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine ranked Jenny Craig as one of the top programs for physician referral, based on its high rate of weight loss at one year compared to control groups. Members on the Jenny Craig weight-loss program receive delicious food and a dedicated personal consultant to help them lose the weight. In addition, members are taught healthy eating tactics and strategies for maintaining weight loss. We also share helpful nutrition and eating tips to help members continue making smart eating choices now that they have the tools to recognize portion sizes. Jenny Craig helps members of all ages create a long-term weight loss plan. Unlike the fad diets, our program actually works. We are here as your partner through every step of your weight loss journey. Discuss your weight loss options with a Jenny Craig consultant by finding a location near you or calling 866-706-4042 today.       [SOURCES] http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm315393.htm      
Inspiration ·

Simple Inspirations Recipe: Sunshine Omelet

Submitted by Lydia D. from Las Vegas, Nevada  Create your own breakfast skillet with your Sunshine Sandwich and a sensational mix of sautéed spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini. Ingredients Jenny Craig Sunshine Sandwich ¼ cup spinach ¼ cup tomatoes ¼ cup mushrooms ¼ cup zucchini Dash of garlic powder Directions Separate Sunshine Sandwich and defrost egg and ham. In a nonstick pan, sauté tomato, spinach, mushroom and zucchini Cut egg and ham into cubes and mix with sautéed veggies Add garlic powder to taste, and serve scramble with English muffin on the side. Per serving Sunshine Sandwich (2 Starch, 1 Protein, ½ Fat) + 1-2 Vegetables 1 Free Food  
Eat Well ·

Butter vs Oil, Margarine, Spay - What's the Difference?

With so many different versions of butter and margarine on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide on the right product for you. Options run the gamut of stick, tub, liquid and spray formats. Ingredients can be animal or plant-based or a mix of the two. Plus, manufacturers may add a range of functional ingredients for health benefits. On top of that, butter vs. oil is a common question as more people are wanting to make the best choice. We are breaking down the most common choices, their health impacts and best uses. What's the Difference & When to Use Sticks, Spreads, and Sprays Product What’s In It? When to Use Butter Primarily solid (saturated) fat, can raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Reserve for baking and making rich sauces where flavor and texture count.  Stick Margarine Primarily vegetable (unsaturated) oils which are heart protective, but also contains more trans-fat than butter. Elevates LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and decreases HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Reserve for baking and making rich sauces where flavor and texture count Soft/tub and liquid margarine Primarily vegetable (unsaturated) oils and minimal to zero grams of trans-fat.       Use in place of butter/stick margarine for baking, grilling, frying, roasting, sautéing and baking with less saturated and trans-fat. Light butter Whipped butter Light margarine       Half the calories, fat, saturated and/or trans-fat as some of the fat has been replaced with water.        ·         Choose light butter to get the flavor of butter while reducing calories and saturated fat. ·         Try light margarine to reduce calories, saturated/trans-fat. ·         Use both to stretch your portion size or make room for other healthy fats like avocado, nuts, olives, etc. ·         Use whipped butter for a fluffier texture, larger portion, and less saturated fat. ·         Note: When baking, you can often substitute light margarine/butter for a full fat product without impacting quality. Hybrid butter and margarine Less saturated fat as some of the solid fat has been replaced with a liquid fat like canola, olive or flaxseed oil.  Also provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Pick this product if you want to increase your monounsaturated fats.       Stanols and phytosterols Ingredients that, when eaten in adequate amounts, may help reduce cholesterol levels.  These naturally-occurring ingredients in certain fruits/vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds can be added to margarine to help reduce cholesterol in individuals who have elevated levels.    Use in cooking or as soft spreads if cholesterol is your aim.        Liquid cooking spray A mix of soybean/olive oil and water. Provide zero calories and grams of fat/saturated fat with about 15 mg sodium per 5 sprays.  Use to top vegetables, side dishes, and popcorn and to oil a cooking/grilling/baking pan.   Cooking Spray vs. Oil Is cooking spray better than oil? Well, cooking spray is primarily made of oil (unless stated otherwise), but it can have other artificial ingredients that would not be found in pure oils. We always recommend checking the label to see if the cooking spray you are using contains artificial ingredients. The convenience of a cooking spray is that is can be sprayed, saving you calories by preventing you from using too much1. A thinner coat of cooking spray will usually get the job done for a quesadilla, for example, but it may not provide enough slip for different foods. Butter vs. Oil Many people wonder, which is healthier butter or oil? Although butter adds excellent flavor, switching to olive or canola oil may be a healthier choice2. Because of the high levels of saturated fat in butter, it may increase your risk of heart disease3. In addition, margarine contains trans-fatty acids that can be bad for your health. For an overall healthier choice, use olive or canola oil to prepare your food and use butter sparingly when the flavor is important. Plant-based Options & Substitutions Whether you are in a pinch or may want to incorporate more plant derived oil or butter into your diet, there are several different options you can choose from. Common plant-based oils that are widely used include olive oil, avocado oil, cocoa oil, shea oil, and safflower oil. The most common is olive oil. These oils contain omega fatty acids, oleic acid, and other important vitamins. Again, the taste of these oils might be different than what you are used to using when cooking, but the health benefits are something to consider.   Coconut oil is another popular alternative. Many people praise coconut oil for its many health benefits and a multitude of different uses. The fats in coconuts are medium-chain triglycerides that may be more easily digested by the body as opposed to animal-based trans-fat4. However, it is still very calorically dense as it is mostly saturated fat.   Coconut milk can be another tasty option in place of butter in baking and in sauces. However, it does give a rich coconut taste, so make sure you take that into account beforehand.   If you have a sensitivity to dairy or casein, ghee, or clarified butter, can be another good option to cook with. It is almost identical to butter, but it does not have lactose or the milk protein casein5. It also performs better than butter in high heat, but people tend to prefer the taste of real butter over ghee. Simple Tips to Streamline Your Healthy Fat Choices Read labels and avoid products that list “partially hydrogenated” oils as an ingredient, as these fats contain trans-fat. Make plant-based, vegetable oils, and soft or tub margarines your primary sources of added fat. Regularly select products that have less than 2 grams of saturated fat and 0 grams of trans-fat per serving. Remember the 80/20 Rule: Think moderation. It’s not necessary to make the healthiest choice 100% of the time, what matters is that you are making healthier choices most of the time.   Sources: 1.http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2013/05/is-it-healthy-cooking-spray 2. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000095.htm 3.https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000095.htm 4.https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/coconut-oil-and-health#1 5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215354/  
Live Life ·

Healthy Foods to Buy When Stocking Your Pantry

If you’re committed to living a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to stock your kitchen with items that are healthy for you. It’s even better if these foods have multiple purposes or cross cuisine taste profiles! But are you unsure what healthy foods to buy at the grocery store? We’ve put together a healthy food list and shopping guide for your next grocery run.     Let’s look at a few of the best healthy foods that every kitchen should have stocked—and how you can use them in various ways, too! Tomato sauce (with no salt added) Tomato sauce is versatile and very healthy containing Vitamin A, C, and lycopene. Take some inspiration and toss vegetables in a tomato sauce, then spoon it over chicken for a zesty meal. Make your tomato sauce cross different cuisines by cooking it with the following spices or herbs:  Italian - simmer tomato sauce with garlic, oregano and basil  Thai - cook the tomato sauce with lemongrass, ginger, Thai basil and lime Mexican -  cook with garlic, chipotle, cumin and cilantro Indian - simmer with curry, garam masala and turmeric  Leafy greens Nutritious veggies such as kale, spinach and collard greens are immensely healthy and packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and can help to reduce your chances of heart disease and diabetes. Create beautiful salads with other fresh, roasted vegetables or pile them on the plate. Top off your leafy greens with roasted chicken or broiled shrimp and a light dressing. If the flavors of the leafy greens are too strong, you can even cook them down in a pan with olive-oil and garlic. Enjoy by mixing into your Jenny Craig meal or eating as a side dish. If you end up buying large leaves, like collards, you can even use them as a wrap. We love them with our Asian Style Chicken. Red, Yellow, & Green Bell Peppers This is another vegetable that is filled with vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. What we love about bell peppers is that they can be eaten fresh or cooked. You can cut the peppers into strips to pair with hummus and crackers or salsa (a Fresh & Free Addition) or cook in a vegetable stir-fry with sauce. You can also stuff peppers with ground turkey or chicken. One of our favorites is Stuffed Peppers featuring our Jenny Craig Pasta Ole.  Fat-free Greek yogurt Greek yogurt is full of probiotics, high in protein and can help lower blood pressure. Another versatile ingredient, you can pair it with fresh fruits, such as blueberries with a sprinkle of cinnamon to make it a part of your breakfast or a snack. For a savory flare, you can use it for sauce bases, as an alternative for sour cream or even mix it with avocado, tomatoes, diced red onion and lime for a healthier guacamole!  Herbs & Spices Step away from simply using salt and pepper, and discover what other seasonings can do to transform produce and meat! Create beautifully golden cauliflower with curry powder, sprinkle cinnamon on some butternut squash for a touch of sweetness, add dill to asparagus, or even sprinkle tarragon to some green beans. Other herbs to consider having on hand at all times are dried parsley, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder to enhance tomato sauces, or for a quick sprinkle on meats and vegetables before roasting or sautéing.  Other Healthy Pantry Staples Extra virgin olive oil, canned olives, honey, beans, old-fashioned oats and quinoa. All of these ingredients are great to always have in your pantry and they won’t expire as quickly as refrigerated food items. These pantry staples are excellent for quick meals and will add a little nutritious zest to your dish.     If you’re looking to lose weight with a healthy diet or discover your love for cooking nutritious food, these kitchen staples for healthy eating will help begin your journey. Jenny Craig can help with the rest. The tomato sauce, leafy greens, bell peppers and herbs and spices are listed as Fresh & Free Additions that you can have an unlimited amount of, and that you can pair with your Jenny Craig meals throughout the week. For more information about our program call 866-706-4042 or find a location near you. We can’t wait to discuss healthy, fun options for your kitchen and lifestyle!   <br> [SOURCES] http://www.cookthink.com/reference/57/Tomato_paste_vs_tomato_purée_vs_tomato_sauce http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/leafy-greens-rated http://www.webmd.com/diet/peppers-health-benefits#1 http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/05/05/the-health-benefits-of-greek-yogurt <br>  
Eat Well ·

Best Healthy Sugar Substitutes

When one is striving for weight loss, one's meal pattern may be focusing on eating more lean proteins, vegetables and fruits. However, there's the lingering question of how to manage low calorie or diet items, like stevia-sweetened cookies or sugar-free candies made with sugar alternatives (loosely, any substitute for sugar is any sweetener that can replace sugar aka sucrose). There are two major categories, nutritive/non-nutritive, plus subcategories beneath.   Nutritive sweeteners   Nutritive sweeteners, also called caloric sweeteners can be found naturally in foods or can be added in food processing. Sugars that are naturally occurring appear in foods like fresh fruits, dairy or honey. In contrast, added sugars are in many of the foods we consume and contain sugars that are added to food during the preparation or processing. Many manufacturers use these sugars to increase the shelf life and enhance the flavor of the food.1   Some examples of nutritive sweeteners include:   Honey, agave nectar, agave syrup, pure maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, coconut sugar etc. which contain fructose. These contain the same 4 calories per gram carbohydrate. Sugar alcohols: sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, lactilol or isomalt (2-3 calories per gram)     Non-nutritive sweeteners   Nonnutritive sweeteners are low to zero calorie sugar substitutes. Usually added to a beverage or used for baking, these sweeteners tastes sweeter than traditional sugar. Because non-nutritive sweeteners are not completely absorbed by the body's digestive system, they provide less calories per gram.2 Non-nutritive sweeteners include both natural and artificial sweeteners.3   Examples of non-nutritive sweeteners include:   ACE-K, aspartame/Equal, sucralose/Splenda, stevia and monk fruit. The latter two are regarded to be "natural sweeteners" as they are food-based.   Many of these substitutes for sugar add sweetness, of course, and some do not have any calories. While some artificial sugars are derived from sugar (such as sucralose), they can be used to substitute sugar at a fraction of the amount of table sugar the recipe calls for due to being sweeter.   So, are sugar substitutes safe? The answer is yes-but in moderation. Sweeteners like stevia, sucralose, ACE-K and aspartame are mentioned in the US Dietary Guidelines as GRAS, or "generally recognized as safe," in moderate amounts. Consuming sugars in moderation is important as a higher intake of added sugars has shown to be associated with a lower quality diet and higher energy intake. This can lead to an increase in the risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 4   Jenny Craig's approach is to take advantage of both healthy ingredients and portion control to minimize the need for added sugars and nonnutritive sweeteners. The menus meet expert guidelines to limit added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories and currently a few Jenny Craig products include sucralose and ACE-K to provide sweetness without extra calories.   If you would like to be proactive about your sugar consumption, look at how much sugar you consume during the week, and find ways to modify it. For example, if you used to take sugar in your cup of coffee, try a sweet-flavored roast like French vanilla, raspberry, coconut or cinnamon. You can discuss other ways to moderate your sugar intake by meeting with one of our consultants at a local neighborhood Jenny Craig center near you.   [Sources] <br>1https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/nutritive-and-nonnutritive-sweetener-resources <br>2https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/nutritive-and-nonnutritive-sweetener-resources <br>3http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/use-of-nutritive-and-nonnutritive-sweeteners <br>4http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/use-of-nutritive-and-nonnutritive-sweeteners
Live Life ·

Newly Diagnosed Diabetes - 4 Next Steps

If you are a new diabetic, it’s important to understand what is happening in your body and the steps to take. As a general background, our bodies naturally convert the food we eat into glucose: a form of sugar. In order to use glucose as energy within our cells, we need a naturally occurring substance called insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin, or doesn’t use insulin efficiently.1 This results in a glucose imbalance within your bloodstream, which can lead to a variety of serious health issues.   It’s never easy to learn that you have any kind of health issues, but learning you have Type 2 diabetes and wondering “I have Type 2 diabetes, now what?” can be especially overwhelming. If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes Type 2, the first and best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Wondering where to go from here? Start by considering your diagnosis and then use these four steps as your guide. 1. Build a Team > Although your doctor won’t be the only person on your diabetes care team, he or she should be the team leader who helps you connect the puzzle pieces that create the complete picture of your health. You might also have a diabetes educator—these trained health care professionals are employed by hospitals and healthcare groups specifically to teach people with diabetes how to manage their health.   Your pharmacist can also be very helpful in helping you learn about your new medications. And of course, you’ll have your friends and family to aid in your physical and emotional care and support your healthy choices along the way. If you are a new diabetic, it’s important know you are not going to have to deal with it on your own.   2. Learn More About Treatment & Ongoing Maintenance If you don’t know what to do if you have diabetes, start off by educating yourself. What adjustments should you make to your daily life to help manage diabetes and what are some risk factors to be aware of? You’ll also learn to use a blood glucose meter to check your glucose levels; although it may seem intimidating at first, the frequency of monitoring varies and it doesn’t have to be intimidating. This skill will be critical to helping you manage your condition now and in the years ahead.   Depending on your overall health, you may be prescribed one or more medications to help manage your blood glucose levels and any other symptoms you might be experiencing. Always read the instructions very carefully, and never be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you might have about your prescriptions and how to use them.    3. Refresh Your Diet Type 2 diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be controlled. If you are a newly diagnosed diabetes patient, it might be time to adjust your daily diet. Going forward, your diet will be one of the most important ways to help you control your blood glucose. The American Diabetes Association "Create Your Plate" program is a great place to start; this will teach you one of the ways to plan meals for optimal blood sugar balance.2   Jenny Craig also created a specific diabetic nutrition and weight loss plan especially for those with type 2 diabetes. The program provides convenient, pre-planned menus, educational materials, behavioral strategies and the support of a one-on-one consultant to help you achieve your weight loss and diabetes management goals.   4. Get Moving Regular physical activity can help you manage your blood glucose levels—not to mention relieve stress, boost energy, keep your joints flexible and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Learn more about how exercise and diet can help you manage your Type 2 diabetes. If you’re a Jenny Craig member, you may already have an exercise program in place. If you’re just starting an exercise program, ask your doctor which kinds of exercise are appropriate for you.   Your Type 2 diagnosis is a reason to look forward, not back. So let’s get moving toward a healthier future! Contact us today to book a free appointment.     Sources: [1] http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/recently-diagnosed/where-do-i-begin/getting-active.html [2] http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/   
Eat Well ·

How to Stop Stress Eating

We've all been there—a bad day at work can lead to reaching for junk food when you finally get home to unwind. With all the stressful things that life throws your way on a daily basis, it's easy to find solace in the comforts of unhealthy foods.   Alleviating your stress with junk food may be tempting, but it's a slippery slope that can deter you from reaching your weight loss goals. Stress is normal from time to time. And learning how to handle stress in a constructive way can put you on the path towards a healthier lifestyle.   It can be difficult to manage weight gain when you are under stress, but the good news is that there are healthy ways to deal with it! If you are like others who struggle with emotional eating, you know that overeating while stressed can happen whether you are hungry or not and may result in an unwanted number when you step on the scale.   Here are some helpful ways to reduce overeating when life becomes a little on the frantic side: Take five! Relax and try to reset when you feel muscle tension, anxiety and a bad mood coming on. Recognizing these irritants first can keep you from mindlessly overeating later. Be mindful of what you eat! Before you start snacking, remind yourself why you are eating - if you aren't hungry, put the food down - chances are, you are stress eating. Change your pace. If you feel tempted to emotionally eat, distract yourself with a calm session of yoga or relaxing bath to take your mind off of food. Get your zzz's! Make sure to get enough sleep. Feeling tired will not do you any favors in the focus department, and focus can help avoid mindless eating. Don't skip breakfast! Feeling full is the best way to keep you from unhealthy snacking triggered by stress throughout the day, so make sure you are starting the day out right. Remove trigger foods from your life. Identify those go-to foods that tempt you to indulge in stress eating and keep them away from home or work. If they are not around when stress hits, you won't be tempted to sneak a snack. Exercise reduces stress and increases endorphins - so next time you feel overwhelmed, try working out and see how much your mood improves!   A healthy mind and body are important for any lifestyle change, including losing weight. The next time you feel overwhelmed (we've all been there!), take a deep breath and use the tips above to deal with and manage your stress in a healthy way.  

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