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Early Symptoms of Diabetes & The Risk Factors

It can catch you by surprise. Type 2 diabetes may develop gradually, and early symptoms, which can be subtle or seemingly insignificant, may easily go unnoticed or overlooked. Since early symptoms of diabetes may be difficult to spot, it is crucial that you go to your doctor for regular check ups, especially if you are overweight. As with any health issue, the earlier you catch and treat diabetes, the better. Learn about the signs and symptoms to help answer the question, “Are you at risk?”. Listen to Your Body How we’re feeling can be a good indicator for everything from stress to the early warning signs of diabetes. Several of the signs of diabetes are common experiences like thirst, hunger, dry skin, or fatigue. What’s different is the intensity or frequency of these diabetes symptoms.1 You need to consider whether what you’re feeling is normal for you and remember we’re all different. Ask yourself the following questions to help pinpoint if these everyday experiences are in fact early warning signs:     Have you noticed an increased thirst and find yourself drinking several more glasses of water than you usually do on a daily basis? Has your hunger increased even though eating and exercise have stayed the same? Are you tired all the time? Do you make frequent bathroom trips to urinate, especially at night? Is your skin unusually dry and itchy? When you get a sore, does it take a long time to heal? Have you noticed that feeling of pins and needles or numbness in your feet and not because they’ve “fallen asleep”? Do you have blurred vision?     Spotting the early signs of diabetes can sometimes be difficult. Not everyone experiences the same warning signs of diabetes. You may have one of these symptoms, a few, or several. If you have any of them, make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss getting your blood sugar tested.     Evaluate Your Risk Factors for Diabetes Some people don’t experience any signs of diabetes until complications like high blood pressure or heart disease arise. Ask yourself if you have any of the following risk factors, which according to the American Diabetes Association, increase your odds of a diagnosis for Type 2 diabetes:     A family history of diabetes A history of gestational diabetes, if you are a woman Are overweight or obese High blood pressure A low HDL (good) cholesterol and a high triglyceride level Physical Inactivity Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, Asian American, or a Pacific Islander.     The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone age 45 or older consider getting tested for diabetes, especially if they are overweight.2 If you are younger than 45, are overweight, and have one or more additional risk factors from the list above, it’s recommended that you see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested.   The more proactive you are with your health, the more likely you are to slow or reverse the impacts. By educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of diabetes, you may be able to spot any changes in your body as soon as they arise.     If you are diagnosed with diabetes, a healthy lifestyle (including balanced eating, physical activity and a 5-10% weight loss) can help you better manage your diabetes, prevent its complications, and live a long, healthy life. Learn how Jenny Craig’s diabetic weight loss plan is tailored specifically to people with Type 2 Diabetes. Contact us to book an appointment and learn how you can help manage your diabetes with Jenny Craig!         Sources: [1] http://www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/type1and2/index.aspx [2] http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prevention.html   
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Thyroid & Weight Gain: What You Need to Know

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: Feeling cold Tire more easily Dry skin 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 Rapid heartbeat Increased appetite Anxiety   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.
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6 Mindful Eating Tips & Practices for Weight Loss

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.  <br> 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.  <br> 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. <br> 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>  
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To Splurge or Not?

Whether a splurge is planned in advance or comes up unexpectedly, you can eliminate guilt or prevent a potential lapse by taking control of your choices. Enter the splurge of choice in your planner or tracker. Aim for 250 calories or less. Then, if you choose, you can offset the extra calories from a splurge by increasing your physical activity.   Use the chart below to see how much exercise it takes to make up for your splurge. This could even motivate you to change your decision on whether to splurge or not to splurge.   Foods That Contain <br> ~250 calories Activities Time it Takes to <br> Burn ~250 <br> Calories <br> (150 lb person) Time it Takes to <br> Burn ~250 <br> Calories <br> (200 lb person) Snacks/Desserts       Brownie (2 1/2” square <br> unfrosted) Aerobic dance <br> (moderate) 30 minutes 25 minutes Chicken Nuggets (6) Bicycling (5.5 mph) 50 minutes 40 minutes Cookies (4 small) Dancing (casual) 1 hour, 10 minutes 50 minutes Corn Chips (2 oz or 12) <br> & Salsa (1/4 cup) Gardening 40 minutes 30 minutes Crab Cakes (2) Housework 1 hour, 10 minutes 50 minutes Frozen Yogurt (1 cup) Kayaking 40 minutes 30 minutes Glazed Donut (1) Mowing the <br> lawn/Yardwork 40 minutes 30 minutes Light Ice Cream (1 cup) Playing basketball 40 minutes 30 minutes Single Scoop Ice Cream <br> Cone Playing softball 40 minutes 30 minutes Slice of Apple Pie (1/6 <br> pie) Playing golf, no cart 50 minutes 40 minutes Small French Fries Playing tennis (singles) 30 minutes 20 minutes Soft Taco (1 small, meat <br> & cheese) Rowing machine <br> (moderate) 30 minutes 20 minutes Beverages       Champagne 2 (4 oz) <br> Glasses Running (5 mph) 30 minutes 20 minutes Frozen Margarita (6 oz) Skating/Rollerblading 20 minutes 15 minutes Light Beer 2 (12 oz) <br> Glasses Stair stepping 30 minutes 20 minutes Martini (4 oz) Stretching/Yoga 1 hour, 20 minutes 1 hour Soda, medium (21 oz) Swimming (casual) 30 minutes 25 minutes Tall Nonfat Mocha w/ <br> Whipped Cream Walking (3 <br> mph/moderate pace) 1 hour, 10 minutes 50 minutes Wine 2 (5 oz) Glasses Weight Training <br> (normal) 1 hour, 10 minutes 50 minutes Source: The American Council on Exercise. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/tools-and-calculators/ Accessed May 21, 2013.   Gain control of your splurges and stay focused on long-term success.  
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