We’re all familiar with stopping to smell the roses, but when was the last time you put it into practice? Mindfulness is the act of slowing down, being attentive and aware to the here and now. Applying the habit of mindfulness when eating is a positive skill that we at Jenny Craig encourage all the time because it enables you to savor your meal and eat the right amount of food.
We understand that a full schedule can derail healthy eating habits, especially when the norm is to eat quickly and move onto the next thing in your day. However, giving yourself the gift of mindful eating will renew your pleasure in eating and reframe your relationship with food as you learn how to tune into your body’s nutritional needs.
Mindful eating doesn’ t have to be an all or nothing act. Just making small steps will help encourage positive habits. Here are six tips to help with mindful eating:
<br>1. Start with a peaceful environment
Eliminating distraction is key to mindful eating. If you are at home, turn off the TV and instead listen to music. If you are at work, leave your desk and find a quieter place to eat. Dine away from your computer to focus on your food.
<br>2. Take the time to plate your Jenny Craig meal <br>
Thoughtfully arrange it next to a serving of vibrantly colored vegetables and enjoy how appealing it all looks together.
<br>3. Breathe <br>
Close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath before you take your first bite noticing the aroma of your food.
<br>4. Acknowledge the flavors <br>
Take a bite and chew slowly to savor the flavors and textures.
<br>5. Slow your rate…know your state <br>
Pause in between bites, to check in with your physical hunger cues. Experiment with putting your fork down between bites, or taking a sip of water. This allows you the time to recognize the subtle transition from “ready to eat” to “ate just enough.”
<br>6. Stop when you’re feeling satisfied <br>
When you have reached a satiated point, put your fork down, fold your napkin on your plate - acknowledging you are nourished and fully satisfied - and mindfully move on with your day.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can not only help you reach your weight loss goals, but also appreciate the little things in life! Go ahead, and slow it down and add some mindfulness into your life. <br>
Your thyroid could be thwarting your plans to lose weight. "My thy-what?" you say. Yes, your thyroid. The butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck could be holding you back, and it could be impacting more than just your weight loss journey. Here's why you should pay attention to your thyroid gland, and what you can do to keep it healthy.
The boss of your metabolism
The thyroid gland is so important that the month of January is dedicated to Thyroid Awareness. This gland is a powerhouse and mastermind of hormone regulation for your body. It regulates your metabolism, heart rate and body temperature, which, of course, can affect your weight and your plans to get healthy.
You already know your hormones are responsible for much of how your body is feeling, both mentally and physically, so if you’re feeling, well, a bit off, your thyroid gland might be to blame. Symptoms of thyroid disease vary, depending on whether you have an underactive (hypothyroid) or overactive (hyperthyroid) thyroid.
Your thyroid might be kicked into overdrive if you feel nervous or irritable, have a racing heart, and can't sleep. But if you're having trouble shedding pounds even though you are eating healthy and working out, are always severely tired, and feel depressed, it's possible that your thyroid is not helping you out enough. And either way, it might be time to get it checked by a doctor.
Hypothyroidism and Weight Changes
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder that causes people to have an underactive thyroid gland. With hypothyroidism the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones to keep the body running as it should. When someone doesn't have the correct levels of thyroid hormone in their blood, their body will start to slow down.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
Tire more easily
Forgetful and depressed
In addition to the symptoms above, hypothyroidism can also cause weight gain.
Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by these symptoms or by taking a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test. This test measures how much thyroid hormones the thyroid gland is being called to make. If the thyroid gland seems like it’s being asked to make more than usual, it is a clear sign of hypothyroidism. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have a history of hypothyroidism in your family, be sure to get checked by your doctor to receive proper treatment.
Hyperthyroidism and Weight
Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid gland produces too many hormones which rapidly speeds up your metabolism causing weight loss, irregular heartbeat, and nervousness.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:
Sudden weight loss
Hyperthyroidism runs in families and is typically seen in women more than men. It’s important to see a doctor if you experience unexplained weight loss or any other of the above symptoms because they may be related to other conditions as well.
Get your thyroid on track
It’s estimated that 27 million Americans have a thyroid condition, and 13 million of them are still undiagnosed. Additionally, women are seven times more likely than men to develop problems with the thyroid gland, and your risk increases with age. A doctor usually performs a simple blood test to determine if your thyroid gland is either underperforming or going above and beyond its call of duty. Treatment for an overactive or underactive thyroid gland varies per person.
Always consult your doctor if you have concerns about your thyroid causing weight gain, loss, or even overall health. As you know, being well-informed is the first step to a healthier you.
When one thinks of what healthy people practice, the first things that come to mind are sticking to their diet and exercise. But there is so much more to health than that! Physical health is only one pillar of self-care— relaxing activities, connecting with others, adequate rest and hydration are the others. Let’s look at some habits that healthy people love practicing, and how to incorporate them into your lifestyle today.
Strive to Embrace a “work hard, play hard” mentality.
Just like your body needs moments of recovery after a workout, you should practice balancing your work life with activities you enjoy. We recommend moderation in everything and balancing your professional role with personal goals. Make time for your favorite TV show, plan a game night with your family or treat yourself to a massage.
Be active outside.
Part of your play can be finding activities outside of your typical exercise routine. David’s success story mentions how much he’s enjoyed going on hikes with his wife as one of his most joyful activities, so invite your friends and family to explore a trail with a beautiful view at the end!
Sleep 7-9 hours per night.
Sleep prepares your body for the day’s activities, and is one of the ways the body does its most reparative work. If you’re looking for ways to catch more zzz’s, try to step away from electronics sooner, since the light interferes with your brain’s signals that it’s bedtime. Put your phone away, get under the covers with a good book and find a new ritual to set yourself up for the next day.
Prioritize your health.
Creating a list of your priorities and activities for the week comes in handy. That way, you can plan ahead for your busy days! Portion carrots to go along with your Classic Hummus & Wheat Crackers, or bring an extra Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal to keep in your drawer when you have to be at the office early or need a snack on hand.
Find laughter and support in daily conversation.
Dr. Lee Berk has spent thirty years studying laughter, and told Time magazine that laughter ignites feel-good hormones that can calm you down. While TV sitcoms and comedies can be full of laughs, it’s important to also find company to laugh with.
Sloane says that part of her Jenny Craig success story attributes to being able to spend 20 minutes per week with her personal consultant, Nancy, to discuss her current week and plan ahead for the next. Just like you want to find balance in your work/home life, you want to find people who can laugh with you and offer support when you need it the most.
You can discuss these healthy habits and discover more with your Jenny Craig consultant today. Find a location near you or call 866-706-4042 to begin forming healthy habits that can stay with you for a lifetime!
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
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!
Can a good night's sleep help you lose weight? Most likely, YES! When you get enough sleep, your body is better able to regulate the hormones that make you feel hungry and full. People who get irregular sleep, like shift workers, tend to have their metabolism thrown off due to the irregular hours, which can lead to an increased risk for diabetes and weight gain.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also noted that one reason sleep could be linked to weight is that fatigue leads to lower physical activity and excess eating. While staying up working means you may get more accomplished throughout the day, depriving your body of sleep doesn’t allow for you to recover from the day’s activities, which includes exercise and digestion. When you sleep, your body is doing nothing except focusing on recovering and preparing you for the next day.
For adults, the National Sleep Foundation recommends about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Here are some tips on how you can get some shuteye earlier:
Limit computer, TV and cellphone time before bed.
The light from these electronic devices, as well as whatever is on, may cause anxiety, stress or excitement that may prevent going to bed sooner. Try to get away from these devices at least an hour before you want to go to bed.
Make your bed a place of rest.
Invest in sheets and pillows that will make your bed a welcome space to be in. This also means don’t bring your work into bed with you so you can truly let your brain unwind from the day’s events.
Evaluate your bedroom.
Depending on where you live, you may hear traffic outside, see the bright lights of a cityscape or have a room that may be too hot or cold depending on the season. Look into curtains, white noise machines, fans, etc. to create a space that allows you to be comfortable before bedtime.
Making your health a priority means making smart decisions, like getting enough sleep, for well-rounded success. Nutrition is part of this equation, and Jenny Craig would love to help! Continue to check back for more helpful articles. If you would like to learn about how Jenny Craig can help you achieve your weight-loss goals, find a center near you or call 866-706-4042 today.