Healthy Habits

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Simply Inspired Mashed Cauliflower

Try this Mashed Cauliflower recipe for a healthy alternative to a dinner classic!  Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower 3 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper Chives, chopped Instructions: Cut cauliflower into florets. Place in 1 inch of water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook covered 10-12 minutes until soft. Drain. Combine cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in food processor and puree until almost smooth. Garnish with chives. Enjoy!   If you are on the Jenny Craig program, use the guide below when considering your other meals for the day. Check with your consultant before making any swaps or changes to your plan to ensure you stay on track!   Cauliflower (Fresh & Free Addition) Garlic (Fresh & Free Addition) Olive oil (limited food) Salt (Fresh & Free Addition) Ground pepper (Fresh & Free Addition) Chives (Fresh & Free Addition)  
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7 Stress-Free Ways to Get Organized at Work and Enjoy Your Holiday Vacation

There’s always something to look forward to during the holidays, whether it’s a well-deserved vacation or extra time to spend with family. Getting away from “work mode” for a few days or even a week is a great way to start the New Year feeling refreshed and reinvigorated. But before you head out for the break, are you wondering how to get organized at work? Take some time now to prepare for your return so that it’s easy to jump right back in. Follow these tips to organize everything from your desktop to your calendar, so you can unwind and fully enjoy the holidays — it’s all about having balance! #1. Plan ahead. Planning early allows you to break tasks into small, manageable sizes instead of handling everything at once prior to leaving the office. Look at your to-do list for the upcoming month. Can you get a head start on any projects? If so, how much extra time do you need daily to get them all done? Getting started early helps avoid last-minute rushes and logging long hours before your holiday vacation. #2. Touch base with your coworkers. If your office doesn’t officially close during the holidays, it’s important to designate a point person who can answer questions about your projects. Create a coverage plan for the people who will help out while you’re away. Try to anticipate what questions or issues might come up. Depending on how long you’re gone, you may need to schedule a quick meeting and send a follow-up email – it’ll help avoid miscommunication and serve as a reminder for anything that could be easily forgotten. Proactive planning helps ensure that your colleagues are prepared to handle any issues that arise during your absence, allowing you to enjoy your holiday uninterrupted. #3. Communicate with external clients or vendors. Reach out to your clients/vendors a couple of weeks before leaving the office to tell them who their point of contact will be while you’re away. A calendar reminder can go a long way – consider sending one a few days before leaving to answer any last-minute questions. Set up an out-of-office message to automatically direct others to your administrative assistant, supervisor or coworker and include their contact information. Keep it short and sweet to avoid confusion. #4. Clean up your calendar. Ensure your calendar is updated before you leave the office so you won’t be scheduled for meetings while you’re gone. If possible, schedule some time as “unavailable” the first day you get back. Reserve this time to get up to speed on projects after your vacation. This is also the perfect chance to clean up your calendar by declining any standing meetings you missed and to evaluate anything new that’s been added to your calendar. #5. Organize your desk (and desktop!). Spend an hour decluttering. Recycle old papers or notes and place information your coworkers or supervisor will need in a spot that’s easy to access. Now’s the perfect time to break out that stylish desk organizer and put it to use! Dust off your monitors, keyboard, mouse and phone to keep everything fresh and clean when you get back into the office. Delete outdated files and move all backup files to your company’s server, or give your colleagues permission to access them. There’s nothing worse than getting locked out of a project when deadlines are looming! #6. Check in during your time off. Although this might sound counterintuitive, it may help reduce your stress and workload upon returning to the office. However, if a brief check-in turns into working during the holidays, it can prevent you from fully enjoying your time off. If looking at your emails reduces your stress levels, set a specific time limit and check them. But if you find that it gives you anxiety, give yourself permission to turn off your notifications for a few days to truly unwind.   If you plan to read emails, set some guidelines so you can still enjoy your break. Try checking messages for less than an hour in the morning to allow time to handle questions, then move on with your day. Try to avoid logging on right before enjoying a holiday event to prevent potential work issues from distracting you during the festivities. #7. Create a plan for your return. Reduce your stress on your first day back in the office by planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to catch up. Check your calendar and avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings or conference calls. Check in with anyone who covered for you to receive any important updates that may have happened while you were away. You’ll get right back into the swing of things in no time, but enjoy your time off to the fullest!   Getting some time away from the office is a great way to celebrate the holidays and reward yourself for your hard work. Take a few extra steps to get prepared and organized before you leave – it’ll make it much easier for your coworkers to adjust and help you to avoid any surprises once you’re back. After all, the new year is the perfect time to start healthy resolutions at home and work!   Need a little help with your resolutions? Learn more about the healthy strategies you can use during the holidays by setting up your free appointment with Jenny Craig today.    
Eat Well

10 Science-Backed Reasons Why Breakfast is Best

If you had to choose your favorite meal of the day, which one would it be? If you answered ‘breakfast,’ you may be onto something good. Not only is your morning meal a great way to start the day, but it can also help support your health and weight loss goals. Mounting research also indicates that skipping breakfast may contribute to weight gain as well as other health complications, such as heart disease, high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure levels and diabetes.1 So grab a cup of coffee and whip up some scrambled eggs — here are ten science-backed reasons why breakfast is best. . 1. Your Waistline Will Benefit One of the simplest ways your weight loss efforts can benefit is by eating breakfast! Studies have found that by eating a substantial meal in the morning and reducing your caloric intake at night (also known as front-loading), you may be able to lose more weight than by doing the reverse.2 This is because your body follows a daily cycle, typically divided into two 12-hour periods, that are dictated by daytime and nighttime. Known as your circadian rhythm, or “internal clock,” your body naturally uses fuel more efficiently in the morning than it does in the evening. So, by eating breakfast, you’ll be working with your body’s natural rhythm — which in turn may support your weight loss goals.   2. Feel More Satiated Throughout the Day We’ve all been there: you’re in a rush to get out the door in the morning and before you know it, it’s almost noon — and you haven’t had anything to eat. Ravenous, you scarf down anything you can get your hands on (like the donuts in the breakroom). Between work, family and other obligations, breakfast can often take a backseat, especially if it adds another item to your to-do list. But there’s a reason you should have something convenient and healthy to eat in the a.m.: studies show that people who tend to eat a hearty breakfast are more likely to feel satiated throughout the day (so you won’t even look twice at that pastry).3 Start your day off right and enjoy a morning meal — if you’re in a pinch for time, try prepping something the night before, or have a ready-made, pre-prepared meal on hand to take with you on-the-go. 3. Avoid Overeating Later in the Day While you may think passing up breakfast will reduce your caloric intake, research says otherwise.  Why? Because when you skip your morning meal, you’re more prone to overeat later in the day — which can lead to weight gain.4 Experts agree that eating breakfast is a valuable strategy to help avoid overcompensating with high-calorie, less-than-stellar options late at night.5 4. Have More Energy After sleeping for 7-9 hours at night, your body needs fuel to power its daily functions. Skip breakfast, and your body may start to use other energy sources (like your muscles).6 For sustained energy, aim for a mix of protein and healthy carbohydrates that your body will digest slower than refined carbohydrates (like pastries or sugary cereal). A few excellent choices include a veggie and egg scramble, a nonfat plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with fresh berries and a few almonds, or a piece of toast with a teaspoon of nut butter and a small piece of fruit.   5. Kickstart Your Metabolism Research supports the theory that eating breakfast may help your metabolism.7 A recent study found that even if breakfast increased a person’s overall daily caloric intake, the additional calories were offset by other energy-burning benefits.8 Since your metabolism is most efficient in the morning, you’ll be fueling your body at a time when it’s primed to digest food.   6. Potentially Lower Your Levels of “LDL” or “Bad” Cholesterol Yet another reason to eat breakfast — your cholesterol levels may improve. Research indicates that individuals who regularly skip their morning meal tend to have higher levels of “LDL” or “bad” cholesterol — which can eventually lead to heart disease.9-10 7. You May Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes Starting your day with a healthy meal can also help to control your blood sugar — as people who eat breakfast tend to have steadier levels throughout the day.11 If you have Type 2 diabetes, experts recommend eating breakfast as well — as skipping it has been shown to spike blood sugar levels for the remainder of the day.12 8. You’ll Get More Nutrients You’re likely to consume more vitamins and minerals if your day includes breakfast.13 So go ahead and grab a piece of vitamin-rich fruit, protein-packed eggs or a fiber-filled bowl of oatmeal — you’ll be providing your body with essential nutrients!   9. Improve Your Focus at Work Feel like you’re easily distracted on the job? Breakfast can help with that, too. Without sufficient fuel in the morning, your body can go into ‘conservation mode’ — and your brain may start to slow all your bodily processes to conserve energy, which may interfere with your performance.14 Research has also found a strong correlation between children who eat breakfast and higher academic results — so breakfast is a good idea for the entire family.15 10. Keep Your BMI in a Healthy Range Before you forgo a bowl of oatmeal, consider this: breakfast skippers tend to have higher BMI’s than breakfast eaters.16 It makes sense, considering you’re more likely to avoid late-night snacks and feel more satiated throughout the day when you have a morning meal.    Ready to start your day right with a well-balanced breakfast? Jenny Craig has a wide variety of chef-crafted, nutritious options that can help you reach your weight loss goals. Contact us today to book your free appointment!     Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
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What is Winter Solstice and Can it Affect How You Feel?

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. So, if you’ve been struggling to adjust without Daylight Saving Time, just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel (literally). After the solstice, days will slowly become longer as it gets closer to spring.  <br> In 2018, the winter solstice falls on Friday, December 21 in the mid-afternoon/early evening for everyone in the Northern Hemisphere.1 But what does more darkness and less light mean for your body? Here’s how this yearly change might affect your health and how you feel.  You may feel extra tired. The winter solstice’s shorter day and longer night might interfere with your natural circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that helps regulate your body’s physical, mental and behavioral changes.2 This cycle runs parallel to the 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness in a typical day and night. But with less light and more darkness, your body may feel more sluggish than usual.  <br> Low levels of vitamin D could also be to blame. According to Harvard Health, people who have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30, may have low levels of vitamin D.3 This is because vitamin D is stored in fat and when it’s not circulating through the bloodstream, it can’t be used as effectively by the body.3 Click here to find out if your BMI falls within a healthy range. <br>Here’s what could help: Sunlight might not provide the amount of vitamin D you need, since the sun’s rays during the winter aren’t as strong.4 Ask your doctor about taking a supplement or adding vitamin D-rich foods to your meals, like salmon, eggs and mushrooms.5   You might feel moody. Like its name suggests, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), can make people feel lethargic, tired and gloomy and its effects usually correspond with the change in seasons. Overeating, weight gain and craving carbohydrates are also symptoms of the winter pattern of SAD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.6   <br> SAD is a form of depression that often affects people before and after the winter solstice, from December through February.7 Normally, your circadian rhythm syncs with the day-to-night changes that occur throughout the seasons. But people with SAD experience the change in daylight hours differently, which makes it difficult for their bodies to adjust.7    Make sure to speak with your doctor if you experience any symptoms of SAD or notice anything out of the ordinary during the winter season. <br>Here’s what could help: If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of SAD, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend medication, light therapy, and/or vitamin D supplements to help you feel better.6 If you’re craving carbohydrates, try swapping the refined variety for these healthier alternatives instead. You might lose motivation. Longer evenings and chilly nights make it much easier to think about snuggling up under a blanket than working out. In a 2013 survey of 502 adults in the U.S., nearly 44 percent of participants said they would put off exercising in the winter.8 And when the temperature dropped below 60 degrees, participants were also less likely to exercise.8  <br>Here’s what could help: Schedule a workout class or plan to meet a friend at the gym in advance, so you’ll be more likely to show up. Or, try different exercises indoors to heat things up when it’s too cold outside. If you’re starting to add new activities into your day, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Exercise for helpful tips! You may be more productive. The darker, colder days leading up to the winter solstice do have their benefits. A 2014 study showed that people, when assigned indoor work, were more likely to be distracted by thoughts of their favorite outdoor activities if the weather was fair. Less pleasant weather resulted in better performance.9   <br>Here’s what could help: Make the most of your productivity boost by doing the hardest work later in the morning, the time when researchers say your alertness and concentration are at their best.10 In the evenings, give your creative thoughts another shot. Open-ended problems may be easier to solve when you’re tired. Fatigue may allow your mind to wander and explore new possibilities, one study suggests.10 <br>   Although the cold weather and dark nights around winter solstice may make it feel challenging to focus on your health goals, (especially when the couch is calling your name), know that you can still stay on track by getting your daily dose of vitamin D, getting your activity in and eating healthy foods.  <br> Need a little extra motivation to get back into a healthy routine? We’d love to help! With personalized, dedicated support and delicious chef-crafted meals, Jenny Craig’s Rapid Results is a science-based program designed to promote weight loss and work with your natural circadian rhythm. Contact a consultant to book your free appointment today.  <br>   Sources: [1] <br> [2] <br> [3] <br> [4] <br> [5] [6] <br> [7] [8] <br> [9] <br> [10]
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5 Post-Holiday Tips to Re-energize Your Goals

We get it: sometimes it’s easy for your healthy habits to get lost in the holiday shuffle. Between traveling and spending time with loved ones, you’ve likely had a few other things on your mind — and on your to-do list. As the new year approaches, you may find yourself wanting to refocus on your health and wellness goals. If so, you’re not alone — in 2018, 45 percent of Americans made weight loss their New Year’s resolution.1 To help you get back on track, we’ve compiled our top five post-holiday motivational tips, so you can ring in the new year feeling like your best self. Here’s to health, happiness and a wonderful 2019!  #1 Make sleep a priority   Feeling tired after staying up too late at a holiday party? Post-holiday season is the perfect time to reevaluate your schedule and consider focusing on your bedtime routine. Better sleep won’t just help you feel more rested — studies indicate that it can also support your weight loss goals.2 Research shows that too little sleep can cause you to feel hungry and may increase the likelihood that you’ll reach for unhealthy foods, especially late at night.3 It’s believed that the increase in appetite is due to a surge in the hunger hormone — ghrelin — that is impacted when you don’t get enough Z’s.4 What’s more, poor sleep is linked to a higher body mass index and weight gain.5    Practicing good sleep hygiene habits, like avoiding caffeine before bed and eating with your circadian rhythm, could help you feel better.6 The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night.7       #2 Outline your goals If your healthy eating habits and exercise routine fell short during the holidays, revisit your goals and set new ones for the week, month, or year. Setting goals and completing them each week — getting enough sleep, adding exercise back into your routine, or making self-care a priority —  is a great way to stay ahead of the game. Use these weight loss motivation tips for extra support along the way.   Remember to celebrate your victories, no matter how small! They’ll help fuel your post-holiday motivation as you work towards your new weekly and long-term targets.    #3 Stay on track with physical activity Exercise can not only help you burn calories and keep your heart healthy, but it may also improve how you feel. According to the American Psychological Association, there is a strong link between exercise and mood.9 Just five minutes of moderate exercise, such as taking a walk or riding a bike, can be enough to lift your spirits.9   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of aerobic activity weekly plus muscle training on two or more days per week.10 Get started with these easy ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday life.    #4 Get organized at work You might feel pressure to overschedule or overcommit yourself when you get back to work after the holidays. Instead of adding stress, start the year by creating and setting realistic, achievable goals. A great way to manage your stress at work is to set 3-5 daily goals to help you prioritize the critical items you need to complete each day. Create new, stress-free habits by scheduling a daily lunchtime walk or other exercise at work.    #5 Stay hydrated If you feel drained and worn down after the holidays, it may be time to check how much water you’re drinking each day. Water is critical to our health and can help with weight loss.12 A small study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found drinking almost 17 ounces of water temporarily spiked participants’ metabolic rate by 30 percent.13    Experts recommend women drink at least 11.5 cups of fluids, while men should drink about 15.5 cups daily.14 Drink more if you exercise or are sick – water, tea and sparkling water are all great options.      The holidays are a fun time of the year, filled with friends, family and celebrations. While your weight loss goals may have been pushed to the backburner during the holiday season, the New Year is the perfect time to get back into a healthy routine that aligns with your goals.    Ready to make your health and wellness a priority in 2019? Book your free appointment with a Jenny Craig consultant to learn more about setting weight loss goals today! <br>     Sources: [1] <br> [2] <br> [3] <br> [4] <br> [5] <br> [6] <br> [7] [8] <br> [9] <br> [10] [11] <br> [12] <br> [13] <br> [14]
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How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When You're Trying to Lose Weight?

It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And when you’re trying to lose weight, the toughest step of all can be the one you take onto the bathroom scale. Will those numbers in front of your toes serve as proof of your progress? What if you haven’t lost as much as you expected — or if you’ve actually gained a pound or two? It’s common for many people to avoid weighing themselves for these very reasons.   Yet if you’re trying to lose weight, it can be helpful to weigh yourself — and to do so regularly. Frequent weigh-ins not only help you keep track of your progress and feel motivated, but research shows they can also help you lose weight.1 At the same time, not doing regular weigh-ins can lead to weight gain.2 In fact, self-weighing can be so effective that many experts now recommend weighing yourself daily if you’re trying to lose weight — or to maintain the loss you’ve already achieved.    Here’s a look at the science behind daily weigh-ins, as well as tips to make the most out of your trips to the scale. What does the research say?  Research shows weighing yourself every day can be one of the most important tools in your weight-loss journey.  Based off these findings, Jenny Craig recommends daily weigh-ins on your own, in addition to weekly weigh-ins with your personal weight loss consultant. (But if you find weigh-ins causing more anxiety than motivation, do what is best for you and your journey.)    For instance, recent research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine3 analyzed the self-weighing patterns of more than 1,000 adults — and whether there were differences in weight according to these patterns. They found that people who weighed themselves six or seven times per week lost 1.7 percent of their body weight over the course of a year. People who never weighed themselves, or who did so once per week, didn’t lose any weight during the same timeframe. (The study participants were not given any weight-loss advice, incentives or other guidance; they were studied only in relation to how frequently they stepped on the scale.)    Another study of 91 overweight adults4 conducted by researchers from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that people who weighed themselves daily achieved “clinically meaningful” weight loss when compared to those who weighed themselves six days a week or less. The participants who weighed themselves daily lost an average of more than 20 pounds over six months, while those who weighed in less than daily lost less than 7 pounds, on average, during the same time period. (Study participants were provided feedback on the frequency of their weigh-ins and corresponding weight loss, in addition to weight-loss strategies such as reducing their calorie intake and incorporating daily physical activity into their schedules.)    Keeping tabs on your progress is important to help achieve your weight loss goals,” says Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM, chair of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board. “Weighing yourself daily can be a great barometer for whether the numbers are headed in the right direction, and if they’re not, you can have that immediate information to course correct and make positive changes to get back on track.” Why is it helpful to weigh yourself daily? There are several factors associated with daily weigh-ins that can help with weight loss. For instance, according to the University of Pittsburgh/UCSF researchers, self-monitoring of your body weight — such as by weighing yourself frequently — can lead to changes in your behavior, which in turn can increase your success at managing your weight.3   Additionally, research suggests that frequent self-monitoring may improve your self-awareness while also providing an early warning of subtle increases in your weight.2 What’s more, the National Institutes of Health5 (NIH) says that regular monitoring of your weight is essential for weight maintenance.   In fact, Duke/Chapel Hill researchers say that study participants who weighed themselves daily engaged more often in behaviors associated with weight loss, including the following:4  Reducing their calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day  Reducing the amount of fast food they ate Reducing the amount of sweets or junk food they ate Reducing late-night snacking Making small changes to their daily activity level  Reducing the amount of time they watched TV  Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day Daily weigh-ins may not be for everyone Despite the potential benefits of daily weighing, experts warn that certain people are better off not doing weigh-ins. Research indicates that the self-esteem of young adolescents may be impacted by daily weigh-ins.6 And if you’ve ever struggled with disordered eating, studies indicate frequent weigh-ins should be avoided as well.7    So be sure to check in with yourself. Does the above apply to you? Or does weighing in give you more of an emotional blow over than an emotional boost? If so, daily weigh-ins are not for you.   Tips for daily weigh-ins You can get the most out of your weigh-ins by following these tips: <br>1. Weigh yourself around the same time every day. Try to get in the habit of weighing yourself around the same time daily to help get a more accurate picture of your weight loss. Many experts recommend first thing in the morning. <br> <br>2. Wear the same type of clothing — if any. Jeans weigh more than leggings; a sweater is heavier than a t-shirt. Level the playing field by donning the same clothes daily — or weigh in without any clothing at all. <br>3. Try a graph rather than a list. Since it can help you see trends, keeping a graph of your weight may be more informative than a list, according to the NIH.5  <br>4. Keep your cycle in mind. If you feel heavier around the time of your period, it’s not all in your head: Many women do gain weight according to their menstrual cycle. If you see a jump in the numbers on the scale, don’t panic — as long as you’re eating sensibly and exercising, they’ll come back down as your hormones normalize.8 <br>5. Repeat after us: Muscle weighs more than fat. If you’ve been working out as part of your weight-loss plan, it may seem as if you’re losing weight more slowly than you’d like. But keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat, so even if the numbers on the scale seem slow to budge, you’re actually putting on healthy amounts of metabolism-boosting muscle while losing fat.9,10 Taking your measurements (waist, hips, etc.) is another good indicator of your progress. <br>6. Keep it in perspective — and be patient. According to the NIH,5 one day’s exercise and diet patterns won’t have a measurable effect on your weight the next day. It’s the cumulative effects of your behaviors that make a difference. <br>7. The numbers aren’t everything. Are the pounds dropping more slowly than you’d like? Try to assess your progress in other ways: Is your waist getting smaller? Feeling less pressure on your knees? Is your BMI improving? Can you walk farther without getting out of breath? These are all signs of improving health. <br>8. If you opt to weigh in once a week, choose the same day. According to research, people tend to weigh the most on Monday and the least on Friday,11 while the most accurate day to do a weigh-in is Wednesday.12   <br>9. Remember: Variation is normal. According to the Cleveland Clinic,13 average-weight adults can see the scale vary by up to 5 or 6 pounds per day depending on water retention and other factors. Weighing yourself daily can help you recognize fluctuating numbers as nothing more than a normal variation — so if you see your numbers jump from one day to the next, that doesn’t mean you’re actually gaining weight. And it’s certainly no reason to throw in the towel and give up on your goals.    Research continues to discover fascinating, effective ways to help you reach your weight-loss goals, and daily weigh ins are one of the simplest — yet most valuable. As you continue on your path to a healthy weight, we hope you consider adding this tool to your weight-loss journey if it’s right for you.   Would you like to learn more healthy ways to lose weight? From eating in tune with your circadian rhythm to instituting a daylight nutrition strategy, Jenny Craig considers the latest proven research for their effective weight-loss program. Schedule your free appointment and get started today.  <br>     Sources: [1]; [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] <br> [7] <br> [8] <br> [9] <br> [10] <br> [11] <br> [12] [13]