Average portion sizes have grown so much over the past 20 years that Americans are subconsciously eating more—and suffering the consequences. Jenny Craig makes it easy to get the right portions at every meal with pre-planned menu items that take the guesswork out of portions. See how portions sizes have changed over the years and how Jenny Craig gives you balanced versions of your favorites.
We sat down with Jessica Matthews, award-winning wellness educator and published author, to talk about her tips for mindfulness that can be integrated into your daily routine—whether it be for weight loss or everyday life.
When most people think about the key ingredients for successful and sustainable weight loss, nutrition and exercise often come to mind. While these are certainly important elements in the equation, a commonly overlooked, yet critical component in one’s weight loss journey is the power of the mind itself, particularly our own thoughts and beliefs.
How we think about our lives and our health situations often determines how we will act and also how we feel. When it comes to weight loss or any type of health behavior change, mindfulness serves as an essential foundation from which true transformation is ultimately built. While there has been a growing interest in mindfulness practices and programs in recent years, mindfulness itself is not a new concept, as it has been practiced in various forms all around the world for thousands of years.1
While there are many different definitions and interpretations, at the heart of mindfulness is enhanced moment-to-moment awareness. This ability to be fully present with what is and what is not transpiring around you is a critical component in igniting and supporting meaningful, lasting behavior change.
To foster mindfulness in your everyday life, here are four principles that can have a profoundly positive impact on your personal weight loss journey.
In a fast-moving world where multi-tasking is glorified, it can be easy to find your attention constantly divided in an effort to accomplish more in less time. However, when you slow down and give yourself permission to be fully present in the moment, you create the conditions to develop a heightened sense of awareness, which is a powerful catalyst for meaningful change. By bringing more focused attention to the activities you are engaged in, such as mindfully eating, you enable yourself to reconnect with your own innate wisdom, which can help to guide your own self-care.
As you become more present in your life, you can begin to acutely tune in to your automatic thoughts. In order to transform your health and well-being, it’s important to become aware of your own self-talk, which is the ongoing inner commentary of the mind. Without needing to change the “script,” simply begin to serve as an impartial witness to your own experiences, recognizing thoughts as they arise, irrespective of what those thoughts might be, and without feeling the need to judge or label them in any way.
Reframe your perspective
With increased self-awareness, you can now begin to check, and as appropriate, change your automatic thought patterns. Through this process, unrealistic and irrational thoughts can be identified and replaced with more accurate thoughts. By letting go of the “stories” you may be inclined to cling to, such as who you think you are (which is often based on how you believe others perceive you) and what you think you are capable of (which is often limited by your own beliefs), you can begin to see your life in an entirely new way.
By restructuring your thought patterns, you can begin to see and think about situations and yourself in more positive and productive ways. For example, as opposed to perpetuating all or nothing thoughts such as, “I finished off a pint of ice cream last night, so I may as well skip my healthy eating plan this week,” you can begin to shift your mindset in a more positive way. So instead, you may find yourself thinking, “I ate the ice cream and enjoyed it, now it’s time for me to move on and start a new day.”
At Jenny Craig, our personal consultants can help you work on positively changing your inner dialogue in order to make healthier choices.
Embrace yourself as you are
Thanks in part to the constant messages received through popular media, many of us develop a deficit mindset, in which we see ourselves as in need of “fixing.” However, on the journey to positive, health-promoting change, such as weight loss, embracing a mindset that focuses on your strengths can prove powerful. Instead of dwelling on issues that have transpired in your past or honing in on perceived weaknesses, new possibilities for the future can be envisioned by seeing your own unique strengths, skills and abilities in the present moment. In recognizing, leveraging, and celebrating your positive attributes, you can begin to see yourself as whole, resourceful, and capable of the change you want. And in seeing yourself in this positive new light, perhaps a newfound sense of love and appreciation can be cultivated for the amazing person you see staring back at you in the mirror.
If you find that you sometimes eat more than you should or that you eat even if you aren’t hungry, you’re not alone. In any given month, there are thousands of web searches for the phrase “how to stop overeating.” What’s more, research1 shows that overeating salty, sweet and high-fat foods is one of the leading causes of excess weight gain.
Barring any medical issues or concerns, which should be discussed with your medical professional, what are some ways to help identify overeating triggers and reset before it starts? Read on for a list of the seven best strategies.
1. Slow Down and Enjoy Your Meal
Have you ever noticed that you don’t feel satisfied immediately after swallowing your food but start to feel full after 20 minutes or so? The science of digestion explains this phenomenon.
When you eat, your brain receives a number of signals from the digestive hormones in your gastrointestinal tract. These signals help to communicate to your brain that you are full, and scientists suspect that they also give you a sense of pleasure after eating.2 This signaling process can take several minutes, so if you eat too quickly, you can overfill your stomach before you get the message that your body is satisfied. And overeating can lead to unwanted weight gain.
The best way to counteract this delay is to simply slow down when you’re eating and practice a more mindful approach to each meal, taking a break between mouthfuls. Take your time and savor your meal, or try putting your fork down between bites. When you slow the pace of your eating, you give your brain time to catch up to your stomach. You may feel more satisfied after finishing.
2. Bump Up the Flavor
Sometimes you may eat more because your taste buds don’t find your meal satisfying. You also might add more sugar, salt and fat than needed to improve the taste of your food. But there are plenty of healthy spices and flavors you can add to give your food a little more kick.
Looking to add more zip to your salads and roasted veggies? Try adding vinegar. Not only does it add lovely flavor without extra calories, but research3 has shown that it may lower the glycemic index of foods it is added to, leading to reduced glucose and insulin levels and potentially increase feelings of fullness.
Some like it hot! If you’re seeking a little more zest than vinegar can provide, check out cayenne pepper. These chilies contain capsaicin, which gives them their heat; capsaicin also can have metabolism-boosting properties.4
On top of its versatility in adding flavor to various types of cooking, cinnamon may offer other health benefits. For instance, one study5 suggests that cinnamon may cause reductions in fasting blood glucose levels among people with Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Another study6 looked at the effects of ground cinnamon on the blood glucose levels of both normal-weight and obese subjects and found similar results. Since spikes in blood glucose levels can trigger hunger, many experts suggest that cinnamon may help keep you feeling fuller longer.7
3. Stay Hydrated
It’s a simple, age-old fact: Your body needs water to function optimally. But did you know that your mind also needs it? Research8 has shown that when you’re mildly dehydrated, you can feel tired and mentally foggy; you may also notice problems with your mood. Since some people find themselves more prone to overeating when they are tired or stressed, it makes sense that filling up on fluids can help ward off overindulgence.
To prevent dehydration, get in the habit of drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Also, aiming to drink a full glass of water about 20 minutes before a meal may help you feel less hungry.9
4. Avoid Drinking Your Calories
Not only are sodas and juices laden with sugar and calories, but your body also digests them quickly, which may lead to an insulin spike.10 So while you may think you’re doing your body good by loading up on these liquids, water is what you truly need. Not only is it free of calories, but as an added bonus, water can help flush your body of toxins.11
But water doesn’t have to be boring! You can jazz it up by flavoring it with cucumber, lemon or other fruits. You may also opt to drink sparkling water for some added bubbles.
5. Plan Ahead for Healthy Snacks
We’ve all been there: You’re hungry and limited on time and willpower, and you grab the nearest thing available—that isn’t always the healthiest option. Or you’re at a party and fill up on high-calorie snacks and appetizers. However, there are ways to avoid these problems.
One of the first things you should do is to stock your pantry with healthy snacks. If you keep healthy foods and snacks in your home, you’ll only have access to these items—and you’re much less likely to eat junk food if you need to leave your house to get it. Also, if you are on the Jenny Craig program, keep a stash of healthy items such as apples, your Jenny Craig Anytime Bars or pre-bagged veggies in your drawer at work, or anywhere that’s easily accessible—wherever you are likely to need them.
It can be a bit more challenging if you’re trying to avoid overeating at parties and restaurants. It’s true that you can’t control what your friends serve at parties or what a restaurant puts on its menu, but you can decide what you choose to eat and how hungry you are when you arrive. By eating a nutritious snack before you leave home, you’re filling up with healthy food and leaving less room for tempting, unhealthy options.
If you’re dining out while trying to lose weight, review the menu in advance so you can plan healthy substitutions ahead of time. Heading to a friend’s house for a BBQ or dinner party? Offer to bring a healthy appetizer or side dish.
6. Listen to Your Body
Your emotions—particularly stress—can impact your eating habits. And while it can be tempting to just go with how you’re feeling in the moment, listening to and understanding your body’s needs can help thwart overeating.
To get a baseline, pay attention to how you feel when you’re hungry. Are you happy, sad, stressed? Then think about your body. Are you truly hungry, or could your feelings be leading you to want to eat? If you’re unsure if you’re truly hungry, drink a glass of water and see how your stomach feels after a few minutes. If you’re still hungry, eat a meal.12 Focus on how you, and specifically your stomach, feel throughout the meal.
After finishing, reflect on how you feel. If you notice that your sense of fullness is uncomfortable, perhaps next time try and slow down to let your mind register your feelings of fullness. It’s a process, learning your body’s cues is a journey that takes time, so be patient with yourself!
7. Eat With Your Circadian Rhythm
When it comes to overcoming overeating and achieving weight loss goals, learning when to eat is just as important as learning what to eat. By eating with your body’s clock, or circadian rhythm, you can give yourself the tools to learn how to stop overeating at night and during the day.
Circadian rhythm refers to a person’s behavioral, mental and physical changes over a 24-hour period.13 These changes are divided into two 12-hour periods, which are dictated by day and night.
When you’re busy during the day, your body and its cells are hard at work. They are metabolizing and processing the food you eat. Your metabolism follows a predictable curve each day that matches the 12-hour light and dark periods during the day.
Studies show that your metabolism is highest in the middle of the day and decreases as the day goes on.14 As a result, your metabolism is less efficient in the late afternoon, evening and night. Which is why eating unhealthy snacks and large meals at night may sabotage your weight loss efforts.
The Jenny Craig Rapid Results program uses the science of your circadian rhythm to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. The program incorporates more calories in the morning and afternoon, when your metabolism is more effective, and fewer calories later in the day.15
With Rapid Results, your day is divided into a 12-hour nourishment period and a 12-hour rejuvenation period. During the nourishment period, you eat six times over the course of a day, which helps keep your body feeling nourished. Since all the food is prepared for you, you don’t have to worry about meal prepping or portioning out your meals. You can eat the right amount of food at the right time to help prevent overeating.
When the rejuvenation period begins in the evening, your consumption of food stops until the next day. This is the time when you wind down for the day and sleep, which allows your cells to repair and regenerate.
By following these simple tips and making some lifestyle changes, you can help identify some causes of overeating make progress toward your weight loss and health goals.
Are you ready to achieve your weight loss goals? Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to get started!
 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.
"Inflammation"— may seem like a buzzword—but what is it and how does it affect your body? More importantly, how can you reduce your symptoms if you’re experiencing it? We’re taking a look at different ways you can fight inflammation and help get your body back to feeling great.
What is Inflammation?
So, what exactly is inflammation? Simply put, it’s your body's natural defense mechanism. When your immune system senses threatening irritants, it jumps into action. Swollen injury? Your system is trying to heal it. Have the sniffles or a tickle in your throat? Your body may be trying to fight off something iffy. The inflammatory sensations we feel are a sign that our trusty immune system is working hard to shield the body from further harm.1
The more damage that is done to our bodies, the more inflamed it can become, turning into a chronic, uncomfortable situation. Additionally, chronic inflammation can also lead to a host of other health issues.2 So how can you soothe your system? Here are five ways to keep those inflammatory levels to a minimum.
Eat with your circadian rhythm and try a daylight nutrition strategy
Research suggests when you eat can be as important as what you eat. According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, circadian rhythm is the physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is a light-related example.3By eating according to your biological clock, your body knows when to expect food and when it's not time to indulge yet.4
Additionally, following a daylight nutrition strategy that aligns with your circadian rhythm may also reduce inflammation.3 When you allow your body to take a break from digesting food (eating over a 12-hour period and allowing your body to rejuvenate for the other 12-hours by not consuming food), it produces ghrelin, a hunger hormone that is linked to suppression of inflammation.5 Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, leverages the Nobel Prize-winning research on circadian rhythm for expedited results.
Get yourself moving
It's no surprise: Exercise does a body good. Working up a sweat can also help decrease inflammation. The best news? You only need 20 minutes a day to reap the benefits, and it doesn't need to be an intense workout at the gym.6 Going for a brisk walk can be enough to see the anti-inflammatory benefits in the body.5
Take a Breather
Occasional stress is a part of life; the bad news is chronic stress can lead to many health issues, including chronic inflammation.7 Cortisol, a hormone responsible for regulating inflammation in the body, can't work properly when you're a stressed out. Learning how to calm yourself down in sticky situations can help stifle the flame. Meditation or "me time" are two great ways to reclaim your Zen.
One study found that the body responds to chronic sleep deprivation the same way as it does to chronic illness—the immune system steps in to protect you, which can cause inflammation.8 By giving your body the rest it needs, you may be able to combat your body’s tendencies. Another bonus? Getting enough sleep can also help minimize mindless snacking, which may include foods that don’t help your body feel its best.9
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet is helpful to your overall health, including the fight against inflammation. Certain foods have been linked to a reduction of inflammation such as tomatoes, green leafy veggies and fruits such as strawberries and blueberries.10 Foods to avoid? Be wary of sugar-laden sodas and fried foods. Try to be cognizant of which types of foods you're eating, and opt for well-balanced meals where you can.
For more information on how Jenny Craig can help you manage inflammation for better health, contact your local neighborhood Jenny Craig center for a free appointment.
 Medical News Today, Inflammation: Causes, symptoms, and treatment, 24 November 2017, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php
 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Circadian Rhythms, https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx
 Medical News Today, Just 20 minutes of exercise enough to reduce inflammation, study finds, 16 January 2017, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315255.php
 ScienceDaily , How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit, 2 April 2012, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm
 Norah Simpson, MA, David F. Dinges, PhD, Sleep and Inflammation, December 2007, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2007.tb00371.x
One of the best ways to stay on track with your health and weight loss goals is to find activities you genuinely enjoy. Whether you love going for a bike ride or live for trying out the latest fitness classes, it’s important to find a form of exercise that you’ll want to stick with because you find it fun! But even people who love breaking a sweat sometimes find it difficult to feel motivated to workout. That’s when a fitness buddy can come in handy.
We’re breaking down the benefits of having an exercise buddy and how they can help motivate you to stay on track with your fitness and weight loss goals. Read on–you may just want to call up a pal and get moving!
Motivation to Get Moving
When you aren’t in the mood to work out, it can be too easy to come up with excuses to stay on the couch. Maybe the weather is cold, you had a long day at work, or you simply don’t feel like it. Unlike legitimate reasons to skip exercising, such as an injury or an illness, these are excuses that a buddy can help you combat.
Have you ever noticed that it’s harder to get out of something when you have someone depending on you? The same is true for exercise. If you schedule your workout in advance with a friend and you know that they are counting on you to go, you’ll be much less likely to skip it. This is when peer pressure can actually be beneficial!
Make Workouts More Fun
Many people start a workout routine only to get bored with it soon after. Boredom is a common reason why people fall off the exercise bandwagon. One way to combat boredom and fatigue is to mix up your routine with different types of workouts. A simple change of scenery could reignite your motivation.
Recruiting a training buddy can also make you look forward to exercising. When you work out with a friend, getting your heart rate up can become a fun, social activity, rather than a chore. It’s amazing how much of a difference good company and conversation can make!
Enhanced Stress Relief
Exercise can also help boost your mood and combat stress. While yoga and Tai Chi may reduce anxiety, Pilates may help improve your sleep and swimming has been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression. The emotional benefits of exercise can be enhanced with when you work out with a friend.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Stress Management, working out with a pal increased participants’ feelings of calm after a sweat session. So instead of going for a walk solo, call up a friend–you may benefit from feeling less stressed post-workout than if you’d gone alone.
Greater Confidence to Try New Exercises
Trying new exercises is a great way to keep your workout routine fun, but it can be intimidating to walk into a class alone. With a friend in tow, you may have the confidence to try that dance or circuit training class you’ve been eyeing! Knowing that you aren’t the only person in the class who has never tried spinning or yoga can make a new activity less intimidating.
Share Your Accomplishments
It is important to set fitness goals to help you maintain your progress and motivation. Although it feels incredible when you accomplish something you’ve been working towards, it can be even better to share with a friend. A workout buddy who knows your goals can help encourage and congratulate you when you reach special milestones. High-fives all around!
Having an exercise buddy offers a wealth of benefits, so ask one of your friends to join you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Another resource for motivation and weight loss support is your own personal Jenny Craig consultant. They’ll help you navigate through your weight loss journey and help you find inspiration to become a healthier you. Contact us to set up your free appointment today.
Did you know: the human body can survive for up to 30 days without food, but less than a week without water?1 Beverages are our primary way of keeping our bodies hydrated and healthy. But they’re also the perfect gateway for extra fat and sugar calories to sneak in—they go down effortlessly with no chewing required—and thus an easy way to impede the progress of your weight loss journey. Here are the best and worst beverages for weight loss, along with some helpful tips for staying on track. Cheers!
Water is Life. Literally.
Your body is 60% water, and this essential substance is critical for just about every bodily function.2 Water helps to regulate your body temperature, keep your tissues hydrated, cushion your joints, protect your spinal cord, transport nutrients and keep your digestion moving right along.2 Water is also essential to maintaining a healthy weight; studies show3 that inadequate hydration is a key contributor to obesity.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommend drinking 8–12 cups of water per day, or somewhere around 2–3 liters.4 While other beverages technically “count” toward your daily fluid intake, nutritionists recommend that at least half of these requirements are water—and suggest that you choose wisely with the bevvies that are left. We sat down with Janet Nash, RD with Jenny Craig, to get her recommendations on the best and worst drinks for weight loss.
Bottles & Cans
We get it! Sometimes you want something with a little kick—whether that’s the fizz of carbonation, the tanginess of lime or even something a little sweet. Just make sure to read your labels, and ensure it’s a low-or-no calorie soda. Sugary drinks like lemonade, sweet tea and regular pop can add up to over 800 calories to your day—and 1-2lbs. to your weekly check-in with the scale.5 <br>
Coffee & Tea
For some of us, coffee is less about what we’re drinking and more about the ultra-comforting act of holding a warm mug with the aroma of fresh-ground beans. Coffee and tea are also deeply ingrained in our social and work lives. That’s why it’s important to be aware that your favorite flavored chain-store coffee drink, which could pack as many calories as three doughnuts.6 <br>
Dairy & Alternative Milks
While dairy has gone in and out of fashion over the years, it’s actually solid nutrition. One cup of 1% low-fat milk has just 90–100 calories, and is loaded with protein, calcium and (if fortified) vitamins A and D.7 Be aware that alternative kinds of milk are not automatically “healthier,” and can be loaded with sugars/carbs.
Relationship status: it’s complicated. While smoothies are a great way to boost your daily intake of healthy fruits, veggies and greens, they can also be loaded up with ingredients that are less supportive of your weight loss journey—like peanut butter, honey, fruit juice, sweetened yogurt and even sherbet.
For more information on how Jenny Craig can help you with your weight loss journey, contact your local neighborhood Jenny Craig center.
Throughout your weight loss journey, you’re likely to experience a full range of emotions, from excitement as you start to see your body change, to discouragement if you hit a plateau, to plain old impatience as you experience those temporary lapses in commitment. This is common—nearly everyone has been there when trying to lose weight.
Yet it is important to learn how to stay positive during weight loss, not only for your state of mind, but for the ability to successfully reach your goals. Research1 has shown that having confidence in your ability to lose weight makes it more likely that you will improve your eating habits—and drop weight.
In other words, when you believe in yourself, you’ll find encouragement to take the action necessary to achieve your goals.
Reframing your thoughts to maintain an optimistic outlook during your weight loss journey is an important element of success, but it’s not the only one. Learn how to stay positive and happy and on the road to weight loss success, with these tips and tools.
1. Embrace the Power of Positive Thinking
Positivity should become part of your self-talk. After all, when you think the same thoughts repeatedly, your mind may start to believe they are true—and these beliefs could influence how you act. For example, if you constantly tell yourself that you can’t lose weight, you may internalize those thoughts and inadvertently not take action to change your eating habits or exercise routine. On the flip side, if you continually think about how determined you are to reach your weight loss goal—you may find yourself embracing behaviors that drive you closer to accomplishing it.
The first step to changing your thinking is to identify whether your self-talk is positive or negative. Take time to listen to that voice in your head—is it encouraging you to move forward to reach your goals? Or is it pessimistic and discouraging you?
If you find that your inner voice is negative, you can take steps to change it. The key is to reframe your thoughts and retrain your mind to think in a more positive light while you’re losing weight.
For instance, maybe you find yourself thinking you won’t reach your weight loss goals because you haven’t lost any weight this week. Instead, focus on measurements other than the scale. Maybe your clothes fit a little differently—that’s a success! Also, try shifting your negative thinking with positive weight loss quotes to help you regain your motivation. This type of reframing can apply to any negative thoughts you may have about weight loss—or any other situation in your life.
In addition, try keeping a journal to track your successes and goals. Not only is this a great tool for keeping you on track, but it can also help you remember all the successes you’ve experienced so far. When you need an extra boost of motivation, use your journal to remind yourself how you felt when you accomplished a small goal. Your Jenny Craig weight loss consultant is also your go-to motivator and can help you see from a different perspective.
Need even more motivation? Keep your eye on the ultimate prize: better health. Losing weight can bring huge benefits, from reducing your risk for Type 2 diabetes, to lowering your blood pressure, to decreasing your risk for heart disease, stroke and cancer, among others.2
Finally, remember that although you may not have lost weight this week, you will again—you just need to keep making small changes to your diet and exercise routine.
2. Pay Attention to How You Feel
Maybe the numbers on the scale aren’t dropping as quickly as you would like, but you’re seeing and feeling the benefits of weight loss in other ways. Take time to celebrate these positive changes in your life!
As you lose weight, you’ll probably notice specific ways your physical performance has improved. Do you need to take fewer breaks when you exercise? Are you able to walk farther? Can you keep up with your children or grandchildren more easily? These are all important milestones and measurements beyond the scale that are worth celebrating. Take credit for them, and allow them to serve as inspiration to continue with your new healthy lifestyle.
3. Take a Look at Your Clothes
Sometimes your weight loss progress can be measured in inches rather than pounds. The best part? You don’t even have to get out the measuring tape to see the results!
One of the easiest ways to see the changes in your body is to look at your clothes. Are your tops feeling looser? Have you gone down a belt notch? If so, it might be time to update your wardrobe. Even if it’s not a necessity yet, shopping for a new top or pants is a great way to reward yourself for your weight loss progress.
Although these can be subtle changes, they can make a big difference in how you look and feel about yourself. Celebrate them!
4. Notice Other Physical Changes
Losing weight can not only help you feel better in your clothes, but it may also improve your appearance in other ways. For instance, you may notice that eating a healthier diet has improved the appearance of your hair, skin and nails.3
Many people forget to look for these changes, especially if they feel discouraged because they’ve hit a plateau. One of the best ways to keep track of all the changes in your body is to take photos during your weight loss journey. This is a great motivator, as it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come, especially during a plateau.
If you didn’t take a photo before you started your weight loss journey, try to find a picture from around the time you changed your diet and exercise habits. Then continue to take pictures occasionally as you continue your weight loss journey and compare them to your older ones. The photos will highlight changes in your body and skin that you may have missed by focusing exclusively on the scale.
5. Be Proud of Your Diet and Exercise Changes
Take some time to praise yourself for making changes to your diet. Maybe you’ve given up a daily sugary soda for water, or you’ve swapped out chips for some crunchy veggies. All dietary changes, both big and small, mark a victory for you and can help you stay positive.
As for exercise, it’s not always easy to incorporate more physical activity when you first start on your weight loss journey. And there will be some days when it’s difficult to motivate yourself to go to the gym or take a walk. A weight loss buddy can be a great motivator on these days and help you maintain your positive outlook. He or she can celebrate your wins with you and help you overcome challenges.
6. Think About Your Behavior
Losing weight can change your body and your behavior.2 When you take action to make your body healthier, it can improve how you feel and behave. What changes have you noticed in yourself since you’ve started eating more healthfully and exercising? You may find that you’re more outgoing or that you have more confidence, or that you simply feel better.
One of the best ways to stay positive is to reflect on these changes and your newfound self-confidence. Use your journal to capture how you feel and serve as a reminder for the future. Applaud yourself for the positive changes that have already occurred. Then use your confidence and ambition to motivate you to stick to your diet and exercise plan.
As you continue on your weight loss journey, use these tools to counteract the negative thoughts that can crop up and lead to self-defeating behaviors—most likely, your positive thinking will increase your energy levels and motivation, propelling you on a path to success.
Above all, remember that when you embarked on your weight loss journey, you made a lifestyle change to improve your life for the better. At every stage of weight loss, remember why you chose to make this change.
Have you not started your weight loss journey but are ready now? Learn how Jenny Craig can help you reach your goals and how your own weight loss consultant can help you stay on track. Contact Jenny Craig today for a free appointment to get started!
You likely know that eating right and staying active are important parts of your weight loss journey, but did you know that sleep is also a vital component? Studies have found that people who do not get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight.1 Why? Lack of sleep can affect parts of the brain that regulate appetite and energy levels – which may lead to poor food choices or overeating.
If you’re struggling to get enough rest at night, we have 10 sleep hygiene tips to help you feel more energized and may help you sleep your way to a healthier lifestyle.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
First, are you wondering what sleep hygiene even means? It refers to the habits you need to have a good night’s sleep.2 Tips for sleep hygiene may help you get the downtime your body and mind have been craving.3 Here are 10 ideas to help you get a better night’s rest:
1. Cut Out Caffeine Before Bed
You might love getting your caffeine fix in the morning or during the afternoon slump, but avoiding it later in the day may help you rest more soundly. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it may prevent you from falling asleep at night. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School recommends avoiding coffee, tea and soda for four to six hours before your bedtime.4
2. Create a Sleep Sanctuary
If you’re looking to get more z’s, make sure that your bedroom is quiet, dark and cool for an ideal sleep environment. To create this setting, consider investing in light-blocking curtains or an eye mask for darkness and earplugs or a sound machine to help noises fade. Additionally, the National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your bedroom at 60 to 67 degrees for optimal rest. Try playing around with your thermostat – and find the temperature that works best for you.
3. Rely on a Routine
Developing a relaxing ritual before bed could help you transition to sleep a little easier. For an hour or so before hitting the hay, try to do something relaxing, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing meditation. If you tend to worry when your head hits the pillow, try writing down your thoughts before slipping under the covers to help alleviate your wandering mind.
4. Set a Sleep Schedule
When you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, your body’s internal clock becomes accustomed to your routine – which may help you fall asleep a little easier.5 Your body can get confused when you sleep in on weekends and wake up early on weekdays. Try to set a sleep schedule that’s the around the same time each day – and stick to it as closely as possible.
5. Don’t Get Frustrated
We’ve all been there: you’re in bed, but can’t seem to fall asleep. If you’ve been counting sheep without success for at least 20 minutes, it may be time to get up. The National Sleep Foundation recommends going to a different room to do something relaxing, like read or listen to music, until you start to feel sleepy.6
6. Avoid Watching the Clock
Tick–tock–what time is it? When you’re struggling to fall asleep, or you wake up in the middle of the night, it can be tempting to look at the clock to see how much longer you have to sleep. This may create stress, so resist the temptation by turning the clock away from you or by taking off your watch before climbing into bed.
7. Eat with Your Circadian Rhythm
Not only can late-night snacking and heavy dinners lead to weight gain,7 but they also may make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. By eating in line with your body’s natural internal clock, known as your circadian rhythm, and consuming more of your calories during daylight hours, you may be able to rest more soundly.8 Jenny Craig’s newest, most effective program, Rapid Results, leverages the revolutionary Nobel-prize winning science of circadian rhythm.
8. Avoid Nighttime Workouts
You might think that working out at night could help tire you out before bedtime, but it may make it more difficult to fall asleep.9 While exercise may improve your overall slumber10, avoiding vigorous activity in the evening may help you get to bed sooner.9 Since everyone is different, the American Sleep Association recommends experimenting with workouts at different times in the day to see what works best for you.11
9. Balance Hydration
You don’t want to wake up thirsty in the middle of the night, but you probably don’t want to wake up for a bathroom trip either. While staying hydrated is important, if you find yourself waking up most nights to use the bathroom, try reducing your liquid intake 1-2 hours before turning out the lights.
10. Nap Early and Keep It Short
Although sometimes there’s nothing better than an afternoon nap, it may interfere with nighttime sleep. Taking a nap late in the day may decrease your sleep drive, so, the National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your naps short (20-30 minutes) and earlier on in the day.12
Feeling sleepy yet? Try following these sleep hygiene tips to help you get a good night's sleep – they may even help you with your weight loss goals!
Jenny Craig is here to help you along your weight loss journey. Contact us for a free appointment and start a healthier lifestyle today!
If you’re facing the end of your maternity leave, chances are you’ve found childcare and discussed your imminent return with your co-workers. But have you really considered the ins and outs of what it means to be a working mom, and how you’ll handle the various—and often conflicting—demands of being a career woman and a mother?
From getting out the door in the morning with your sanity intact, to how to handle the inevitable days when your child is sick, read on for important tips on how to juggle work and family.
Lay out your next-day outfit before going to bed.
Until you’ve had to shower, do your hair, and feed, clothe, and change a fussy baby—all while keeping an eye on the ticking clock—you’ll never really appreciate how simply having to choose what to wear can put you over the edge. So, eliminate one of those stressors by getting your clothes ready the night before. And while you’re at it, leave your shoes, keys and purse at the front door—along with your well-stocked and pre-packed diaper bag, if your child is in daycare outside your home—so you don’t have to hunt for them during the morning rush.
Don’t prep your snacks in the morning.
Does the thought of juggling a crying baby while trying to slice vegetables sound like fun? Even though it’s probably the last thing you want to do after a long day, try to take a few minutes after your child is in bed to prepare your snacks and lunch for the next day. Extra points if you can prep an entire week’s worth of vegetables over the weekend—store each day’s fixings in their own airtight container in the fridge so they’re ready to go.
Make a list of people to call when—not if—your child gets sick.
Sure, the best option is for you or your partner to be able to stay home with a child who’s ill, but if neither of you can work from home or take the day off, you need someone to call in a pinch. If grandparents or other extended family aren’t an option, perhaps you can call on a trusted neighbor or friend, or a tried-and-true sitter.
Grab some exercise at work.
Finding it hard to fit workouts into your hectic day? Leave a pair of running shoes at the office and head out for a walk at lunchtime. Yes, it can be tough to do in today’s hectic work culture, but if you establish your daily routine from the get-go, you’ll be more likely to stick to it—and your co-workers will come to expect it. Need more reason to lace up your shoes? Research has shown that participating in just 15 minutes of “relaxation exercise” during the workday, such as taking a walk in a park, brings a greater sense of well-being (read: less stress) at the end of the day.1
Give up control over your kids’ outfits.
Store this one for future use: Toddlers and preschoolers are notorious for wanting to put together their (often cringe-worthy) outfits. Rather than having to run to help your tot pull hangers off the out-of-reach closet rod, consider installing a second rod at kid-friendly height. Store the clothes you’d rather keep control over on the top rod and fill the bottom one with items that your little creative dresser can have free access to.
Leaving your baby to return to work can be an emotionally draining experience, and one that requires forethought and patience—and, often, creative solutions. Rest assured that it will get better with time … and until then, we hope these tips will make your days run just a little bit more smoothly.