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Reasons Why You Feel Tired Even If You Slept Through the Night

You may be sleeping for 7-9 hours a night, but why are you waking up tired and groggy? Here are some reasons why you may feel tired even if you slept through the night and changes you can make to feel well-rested.   Why do you still wake up feeling tired and groggy, even if you got the National Sleep Foundation’s recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night? You may think it’s because your morning cup of coffee isn’t strong enough, but it’s actually the quality of sleep that determines how well your body functions during the day.   When you sleep, your body goes into a restorative mode that helps it recover from your daily activities and also regulates hormones that stimulate (ghrelin) and suppress (leptin) hunger.1 However, when you’re tired and don’t get enough quality sleep, these hormones can become unbalanced, which may lead you to eat more and impact your weight loss progress.   Below are a few of the reasons why you may be feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep – and ways you can improve your quality of sleep:   Screen time overload! Everyone is continuously connected to their devices; on their computers all day, then catching up on social media and texting on their phones before heading off to bed at night. The bright lights from your electronics make your brain think it’s still daylight,2 and may also lead to stress or excitement to prevent you from going to bed as soon as you’d like—or worse, wake you up in the middle of the night with notifications.   Try avoiding screens at least an hour before bed to ease into sleep sooner. By picking up a book or practicing simple meditation, you may be less tempted to reach for your electronic device and in turn, drift off a little earlier.   Nightmares may be more real than we think. Dreams—including your most vivid nightmares—are helping your brain work through stress and emotions, like anger, sadness and fear.3 While you may not be jolted wide-awake, you can still feel like you haven’t rested since your mind has undergone a stressful situation. <br> <br> If you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed, try finding activities that can help you monitor your worries. Chatting with friends and loved ones can help you shift your mindset and open up about a stressful situation. Finding activities that bring you joy can also help you gain perspective and allow you to feel more relaxed.   Nighttime bathroom breaks. While the old rule of thumb used to be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, the guidelines have been changing. Many experts now recommend half your body weight in ounces, which can seem like a lot depending on your activity level, work hours and how much water you’re used to sipping. <br> By increasing your water intake, you may notice your bathroom trips becoming more frequent, especially around bedtime. Try reducing your liquid intake 1-2 hours before you turn out the lights to avoid midnight trips to the restroom.    Midnight munching and late-night meals.  It’s not only about what you’re eating, but when you’re eating. Because your body follows an internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm, it’s primed to digest food more efficiently during the day as your metabolism naturally slows down at night. As a result, your body may have difficulty processing late-night snacks or meals, which may not only lead to inadequate sleep,4 but also to weight gain.5 By avoiding food consumption later in the evening, you may be able to rest more soundly throughout the night.   If you’re tired of tossing and turning or feeling groggy, give these tips a try and you may feel more rested in the morning.   Did you know that by following our newest program, Rapid Results, your sleep quality could improve? Contact us for your free appointment. Members following our Rapid Results program lost up to 16 pounds in the first 4 weeks! † † First 4 weeks only. Avg. weight loss in study was 11.6 lbs for those who completed the program.     Sources: [1] Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004, December). Retrieved April 02, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701/  [2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/blue-light-from-electronics-disturbs-sleep-especially-for-teenagers/2014/08/29/3edd2726-27a7-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html?utm_term=.b07dfca28086 [3] https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep [4] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/eating-at-night-disrupts-sleep_b_7867760.html [5] https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/03/late-night-eating-linked-to-weight-gain/    
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5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Achoo!  Just like winter follows fall, unfortunately, so does the flu. Usually, cases peak during the colder months and into the new year.1 No one wants to put their life on hold to deal with the coughing, fever and body aches that come with catching this illness, so it’s important to take steps to boost your immune system which will, in turn, help you avoid getting sick.   In addition to getting an annual flu shot and washing your hands often, you can also take other precautionary actions to stay healthy during flu season and the rest of the year. We’ve compiled a list of the five best ways to boost your immune system. #1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep Have you noticed that you’re more likely to get sick when you don’t get enough sleep? It’s not your imagination. Studies have shown that not getting enough z’s can result in higher levels of stress and more inflammation in your body.2 These issues spell trouble for someone who is trying to fight the flu. Studies have also found that well-rested people who receive a vaccine have stronger protection against the illness than their sleep-deprived counterparts.3   Wondering how much sleep you need to stay healthy? Adults need approximately seven to eight hours of sleep to boost the immune system.4 In today’s busy world, it can feel almost impossible to get this much rest. But just remember, it’s easier to schedule more time to catch some shut-eye than it is to be out of commission for a week or longer after catching the flu. #2. Adopt Healthy Eating Habits & Follow Your Rhythm Eating right is important for more than just weight loss. Certain foods can actually help boost your immune system. Your body needs certain nutrients to function properly and fight off the germs you encounter in daily life.    Your diet should include a balance of high-fiber carbohydrates, fat and protein. It should also be rich in fruits and vegetables, which contain critical vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E, zinc and beta-carotene. When selecting fruits and veggies, go for brightly colored options, such as berries, apples, carrots and spinach.   It's also important to not only consider what you eat, but when. Our bodies follow a 24-hour daily cycle, also known as our circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm acts like an internal clock, which reacts to your environment's light and dark phases.5 When regular disruptions occur, such as shift work or lack of sleep, health consequences ranging from metabolic syndrome to mood disorders and beyond may occur.6  What's more—chronic disruptions in your rhythm can impact your immune system7, which may leave you more susceptible to catching an illness.   So how can you follow your natural rhythm? Besides getting enough sleep, try integrating a daylight nutrition strategy into your routine by eating when it's light out and avoiding late-night meals and snacks. By giving your body a break from digesting food, it can focus on 'cleaning house' and rejuvenating your cells. To learn more about how you can integrate this type of eating strategy,   read more here. #3. Try to Stress Less Life can be stressful at times. But long-term stress can make you more vulnerable to everything from the common cold to serious illnesses.8 The reason why is simple. Chronic stress causes your body to be exposed to a constant stream of stress hormones that can suppress your immune system.9   You aren’t alone if you think it’s unlikely to get rid of stress entirely. Everyone experiences stress in life, but you can take steps to manage it. Some excellent options for stress management include meditation, connecting with friends and loved ones and working out. Find a combination of stress relievers that works best for you! #4. Get Your Heart Pumping Exercise can not only help alleviate stress and aid in weight loss, but it also has immunity-boosting benefits. When you break a sweat regularly, you are less likely to get colds than someone who does not exercise as frequently or who does not work out at all.10   For the biggest health benefit, aim for a total of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking and a couple days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that work all of your major muscle groups.11 Even including a few smaller intervals of activity throughout your day (10-20 minutes) can be beneficial. Not only can this help you fight the flu and other illnesses by boosting your immune system naturally, but it may also help you make progress in reaching your weight loss goals.   When you do hit the gym, make sure to take some extra precautions to protect yourself from germs, especially during flu season.  Some helpful tips include wiping down machinery with a towel or a wipe before and after use, washing your hands consistently, and bringing your own water. Alternatively, you can opt for a workout at home or go for a run or walk to stick with your fitness routine. #5.Toss the Cigarettes and Alcohol It comes as no surprise drinking and smoking can make you more prone to illness. Research shows that cigarette smoke and viruses like the flu interact to increase lung inflammation and damage, which can make flu symptoms worse for smokers.12 As for alcohol, drinking too much of it can weaken your immune system’s response against the flu.13   By using these tips, you can help boost your immune system to fight the flu and other illnesses while simultaneously improving your health and wellness.   Are you looking to start a healthier lifestyle? Incorporate healthier foods and get started with your weight loss journey, by booking your free appointment with Jenny Craig.     Sources: [1] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548567/ [3] https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2012/08/12458/sleep-affects-potency-vaccines [4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757 [5] https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23899601 [7] http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/11/why-late-nights-are-bad-your-immune-system [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/ [9] http://www.apa.org/research/action/immune.aspx [10] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061026095359.htm [11] https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/index.htm [12] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724175857.htm [13] http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-alcohol-abuse-associated-bad-flu-bouts-study-explains-how-booze-impairs-your-immune-299916
Eat Well

How to Naturally Increase Your Metabolism

When you’re trying to shed those extra pounds, you might find yourself wishing that you had a faster metabolism to help reach your weight loss goals. The web is filled with tips and tricks that promise to help jumpstart your metabolism, but it can be hard to separate weight loss fact from fiction.   To make things easier and help you learn how to boost your metabolism safely, we’ve compiled a list of natural metabolism boosters that have been proven to enhance your fat burning abilities. #1. Get your protein in every meal It might seem counterintuitive, but certain foods can increase your metabolism for a few hours after you eat them.1 Your body needs extra calories to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in the foods you eat. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).2   When you eat a protein-rich meal, your metabolic rate increases by 15-30%.3 Other foods also cause your metabolism to rise, but not by as much. Carbohydrates can result in a metabolic increase of 5-10%, while fats only increase it by 0-3%.4   Protein packs another hidden benefit. It helps you feel full and satisfied which may prevent overeating.5 By including protein at each meal, you may be less likely to reach for a tempting treat later. Jenny Craig follows expert guidelines by balancing protein in each meal plan to 20-25% of the overall calories.   Eating more protein can also help prevent muscle loss, which is a common side effect of weight loss.6 Most people want to lose fat, not muscle, when following a weight loss program, so incorporating an adequate amount of protein into your routine is the perfect solution. #2. Don’t Skimp on Sleep You might think that rest isn’t an important part of your weight loss journey, but not getting enough sleep each night is a risk factor for obesity.7   Not only does sleep deprivation have a negative impact on your metabolism, but it’s also associated with high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.8   When you don’t get enough z’s, it can decrease the hormone that controls fullness (leptin) and increase the hormone associated with hunger (ghrelin).9 This can make it difficult for someone who is sleep deprived to reach their weight loss goals. So, next time you think about staying up for an extra hour, remember that a good night’s sleep can help your weight loss, not to mention help you function better the next day. #3. Use Your Circadian Rhythm & Try a Daylight Nutrition Strategy Time-restricted feeding, a type of intermittent fasting, is an innovative approach to weight loss. Instead of focusing on what to eat, time-restricted feeding shifts the focus on when to eat, mainly during daytime hours. When used in conjunction with your body’s natural clock, also known as your circadian rhythm, it can lead to expedited weight loss results.10   With time-restricted feeding or a daylight nutrition strategy, you limit when you eat to a certain number of hours each day, most likely when the sun is out. For example, you might only eat for a 12-hour period, between 7:00 a.m. and 7 p.m. The subsequent 12-hour time includes sleep and abstinence from food consumption.   Time-restricted feeding has a number of benefits. Some studies have found that this type of routine helps individuals reduce the number of calories they eat in a day.11 However, this doesn’t mean you can eat anything, the kinds of food that you eat during the day dictate whether you should reduce your calorie consumption.   A Daylight Nutrition Strategy and leveraging your body’s natural circadian rhythm is the science behind our new Rapid Results program. The program uses your circadian rhythm to help optimize metabolism and accelerate weight loss by burning calories when it’s most effective. #4. Elevate Your Heart Rate In conjunction with a nutritionally sound weight loss plan, incorporating exercise into your routine can aid in further weight loss. Health experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five times per week in addition to muscle strengthening activity two times per week.  You don’t have to run a marathon or blast your way through a spin class to reach your activity goals. At Jenny Craig, you’ll learn strategies for building an active lifestyle. Your consultant will help you explore ways to add more movement into your daily regimen. Metabolism & Weight Loss While the above tips can help you boost your metabolism, it’s also important to keep in mind that your metabolism can change with weight loss as your body composition changes. Our Registered Dietitian, Janet Nash, shares the science behind weight loss and the effect on your metabolism.   Regardless of where you are in your weight loss journey, you can use these proven and natural tips to help supercharge your metabolism. These simple lifestyle changes are beneficial for your metabolism as well as your overall wellness.   Learn how to improve your health with a weight loss program that includes a science-based approach to achieving results. Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to get started.     Sources: [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524030/ [2] https://www.britannica.com/science/human-nutrition#ref868908 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944/ [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16950139 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097268 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619301 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929498 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701 [10] Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Cell metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/. [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24739093
Eat Well

Portion Distortion: Are You Eating Too Much?

Did you know that 20 years ago, a typical bagel used to contain around 140 calories and today it has approximately 350?1 Portion sizes have doubled and tripled over the last couple of decades2 so it can be hard to determine if you’re consuming the right amount of food. Read on to learn how you can keep your portion sizes in check.   You may already know that consuming healthy portion sizes is a key component of any successful weight loss program. However, even though it’s easy to believe you intuitively understand the amount of food that constitutes a healthy serving, we are getting some very confusing visual cues on a consistent basis. For example, the size of a standard American dinner plate has grown 3 inches since the 1950s, expanding from 9 inches to 12 inches. And we’ve been filling up that extra space with extra food. According to research3 conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Association, a gradual “portion distortion” epidemic has caused the standard size of U.S. food portions to increase dramatically over the past 20 years. A Growing Problem Take the average cheeseburger – twenty years ago, it contained about 333 calories and now it can clock in at as much as a whopping 590 calories.4 Average servings of both bagels and coffee have doubled in size5, and our society’s growing love for sugary, flavored lattes has raised the average coffee calorie count to nearly 350 calories.   Large grocery outlets and B.O.G.O. deals encourage buying everything in bulk, which can make it easy to consume more food than necessary. Even nutritionally “healthy” foods like fruit can hinder weight loss when eaten in large quantities, so it’s important to redefine what “healthy” portions look and feel like—on product labels, on your plate and in your body. Here are six helpful tips to help you keep your portions on track: 1. Use Smaller Plates According to a study6 conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reducing the size of your plate can have a dramatic impact on how much food you consume. Researchers found that environmental influences (such as the size of your popcorn bucket at the movies, or your dinner plate at home) are often beyond our conscious awareness. This can lead us to eat mindlessly, even after we’re full. Simply reducing your plate from 12 inches to 9 inches can shave up to 250 calories from every meal7—which adds up to 5,250 fewer calories per week. 2. Fill (and Empty) Your Plate Wisely How you use the space on your plate matters, too! A great rule of thumb is to reserve half of your plate for non-starchy vegetables, which tend to be more filling, while also lower in fat and calories. The remaining half can be split evenly between lean protein and complex carbohydrates, like fiber-rich whole grains, beans or starchy vegetables.  On the Jenny Craig maintenance program, consultants recommend to make “half your grains whole”. By trying new varieties, you’ll discover new textures, flavors and extra nutritional benefits. Plus, the additional fiber will help make your meal or snack more satisfying. 3. Become a Nutrition Facts Ninja It’s easy to assume that the recommended “serving size” listed on the nutrition panel of your favorite foods is also the right portion for you to eat. But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case—and the numbers don’t always add up in our favor.   Take, for example, typical store-bought granola. The serving size listed is a ½ cup, but most of us would probably eat twice that in one sitting, which means we’re logging more than 6008 calories and up to 30 grams of fat, including the milk. Be sure to calculate your calorie intake based on the actual recommended portions. We love this FDA Guide to the Nutrition Facts panel, which is designed to help you guide your choices based on all the ingredients in the foods you consume. If you’re a Jenny Craig member, you don’t need to worry about measuring or counting since the food is portioned out to exactly the right amount. 4. Pre-Pack Your Snacks Healthy snacking is actually an important part of your weight loss journey as it helps fuel your metabolism and can reduce your chances of overdoing it when mealtime rolls around. But unless you’re proactive about portioning, it can be easy for snacking sessions to spiral out of control. Try pre-packing snacks in small baggies or containers with the recommended serving size—and avoid eating directly from the box or bag, which can make it easy to lose track of how much you’ve consumed. 5. Eat Slowly and Mindfully Doctors have long touted the benefits of mindful eating9. Simply taking the time to chew each bite thoroughly, free from the distractions of the television or your laptop, can not only lead to greater enjoyment of your meal—but can also lead to eating less.   Why? It takes your body about 15–20 minutes to communicate the sensation of fullness to your brain. When we eat quickly or distractedly, our minds are effectively overriding our bodies’ natural “stop buttons.” Give these natural processes time to work, and you may recognize that you don’t actually want that extra slice of pizza after all. 6. Use Visual Cues to Estimate Portions Not sure how to visually estimate the right portion of your favorite food? Our Jenny Craig nutritionists created some easy-to-use visual cues to help guide your portion control. A cup of cooked veggies, for example, is about the size of a light bulb; three ounces of meat or cheese is about the size of a standard deck of cards. Once you’ve successfully internalized these common visual cues, you’ll have a foolproof portion-control calculator you can use to stay on track anytime, anywhere. If you’re following the Jenny Craig program, we teach you what your plate should look like, so you can still eat your favorite foods while achieving your weight loss goals.    For more information on how Jenny Craig can help you with portion sizes and weight loss, contact your local neighborhood Jenny Craig center for your free appointment.     Sources: [1] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/portion/documents/PD1.pdf [2] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/news-events/matte1.htm [3] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/eat-right/distortion.htm [4] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/portion/documents/PD1.pdf [5] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/news-events/matte1.htm [6] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/1/236S/4863399 [7] http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/larger-plate-sizes-affect-portion-control  [8] Calorie Count: http://www.calorieking.com/  [9] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating  
Eat Well

What is Time-Restricted Feeding and Can It Help You Lose Weight Naturally?

We know that what you eat matters. But can when you eat really make a difference? According to the latest research1, by eating with your body’s natural circadian rhythm, you can optimize your metabolism to lose weight more effectively and reap a whole host of health benefits in the process. What is Time-Restricted Feeding? Time-restricted feeding (TRF) is a strategy where you limit eating to certain hours of the day. Specifically, TRF limits food consumption to 12 hours or less, followed by a period of not eating for 12 hours or more. By giving your body a 12-hour break from the process of digestion, the body burns glucose that is naturally stored in the liver and then turns to burning fat. This process helps preserve lean body mass while reducing unwanted fat.   Here’s what a day on TRF looks like: you wake up and have breakfast around 8 a.m., eat as planned throughout the day, then finish up your last meal by 8 pm. After that, you only consume water or non-caloric drinks such as herbal tea. The idea focuses on an eating time frame versus restricting calories or certain foods.     The results speak for themselves. Research has shown that individuals tend to eat fewer calories per day when following this method, leading to quicker weight loss results.2 TRF has also been shown to improve sleep, increase energy, and reduce the risk of certain cancers.3 When coupled with a strategic eating plan, it can lead to expedited results. What’s the science behind it? “When you don’t eat for an extended period of time, say eight to twelve hours, you enter a fasted state, your insulin levels are low, and your body starts to use fat as its source of energy,” states Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM, National nutrition and metabolism expert.     Equally as important, is syncing eating habits with your body’s internal clock known as your circadian rhythm, which can help optimize your metabolism and accelerate weight loss, while helping to prevent disease and enhance overall wellness. What is Circadian Rhythm? Have you ever wondered why you seem to feel tired or more lively at certain times each day? The cells in your body have their own “body clock,” which follows a circadian rhythm that parallels the light-dark periods during the 24-hour day. Your cells are working hard during the day, metabolizing or managing complex chemical processes throughout your body. Your metabolism peaks toward mid-day and tapers toward the end of the day. Because of this hard work, your cells need time to rejuvenate and recover from their daily activities and “clean house,” which is why the rejuvenation period (the non-eating part of TRF) is essential. This period contributes to the many health benefits of eating naturally with your circadian rhythm.     Jenny Craig has incorporated the latest Nobel Prize-winning research on circadian rhythm and the science behind time-restricted feeding into its new program, Rapid Results. Members on the new program can lose up to 16 pounds in the first four weeks. Average weight loss on the study was 11.6 pounds for those who completed the program.    Are you ready to try the new Rapid Results program and see if TRF can work for you?  Contact us for a free appointment.     Sources: [1] Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Cell metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/. [2] Rothschild, J, et al. “Time-Restricted feeding and risk of metabolic disease: a review of human and animal studies.” Nutrition reviews., U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24739093.   [3] Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Cell metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/.  
Eat Well

Belly Fat: Is It Harmful to Your Health?

It’s the subject of many magazine articles on how to blast it away, but what is “belly fat” and why is having too much of it bad for you? Find out why holding extra weight in your mid-section can be detrimental to your health, and some simple ways you can reduce it. What is “Belly Fat” and How Does It Impact Your Health? While the term “fat” can seem to have a negative connotation, fat cells are an essential part of life. Your body needs fat to sustain its normal activities and stores two different kinds of fat. Subcutaneous fat is stored right beneath the skin and isn’t considered dangerous to one’s health. However, the other type of fat, called visceral fat, and sometimes referred to as “belly fat,” is stored in your abdominal area and surrounds your organs, like the pancreas, kidneys and liver. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which you can pinch, visceral fat lies deep within the body. You need some of it to protect your organs, but too much of it can be dangerous by putting pressure on your organs.1   Visceral fat also secretes chemicals called cortisol and cytokines. Cytokines can lead to inflammation, which can lead to heart disease, fatty liver, arthritis, hypertension and cognitive decline.2 Cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone,” increases visceral fat and insulin resistance, which makes it more difficult to lose weight and may lead to diabetes over time.3   Because we can’t choose where our body stores extra pounds (wouldn’t that be nice!), it’s important to notice where you may be prone to holding extra weight and if it does happen to be in your mid-section, finding safe and healthy ways to reduce it.    Luckily, there are simple steps you can incorporate into your daily routine to help reduce visceral fat. Here are six ideas that you can easily try:   1. Consume more calories when your metabolism is working its hardest. The body is primed to digest and process food more efficiently during the day, but not as well at night. As a result, our bodies metabolize at a higher rate in the morning and afternoon, and slower at nighttime. Try to balance your days so that you are consuming a higher amount of calories in the morning and afternoon and fewer calories in the evening.   Another tip: try keeping your meals within a 12-hour time frame so your body can use the fuel you’ve provided it as efficiently as possible during the day and have a 12-hour rest period at night. A remarkable impact of the 12-hour rest period is that body fat, especially belly fat, decreases. Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, includes a menu plan so can take maximum advantage of your body’s natural fat-burning ability, so you can lose weight faster.   2. Allow your body to rest. Studies have shown that the body burns fat, especially visceral or “belly” fat, when you abstain from eating for at least 12 hours.4 By finishing up your last meal of the day at a decent hour and getting a full night’s rest, you let your body’s cells take a break from digestion and repair from all of their hard work during the day. By following your body’s natural circadian rhythm and eating when your metabolism is revved, followed by taking that 12-hour “rest” from eating, you can reap health benefits beyond just weight loss, such as better mood, improved immune function, preservation of muscle mass, as well as decreased risk for dementia.5 Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, was based on this innovative science and includes a 12-hour “rejuvenation” period to allow your metabolism to burn the most calories. <br>   3. Get enough sleep. Consistently getting enough sleep produces many health benefits, including improved weight loss, less fat storage and better hunger and craving control.6 Try aiming for 7-9 hours per night.   4. Cut back on added sugar. When you consume sugar, your body transforms it into glucose, which helps fuel your activities. When there is an excess amount of sugar consumed, the body turns the glucose into fat that can potentially be stored in your mid-section.7 While everything in moderation is always a great guideline, make sure to keep your portions in check and avoid adding additional sugars to your food or beverages.    <br>   5. Pay attention to portion sizes. Consider your portion sizes at each meal and snack. Reducing the number of calories you’re digesting at every meal, even if it’s just by a small amount, can add up quickly and aid in weight loss and an overall reduction in fat.8   6. Get moving. Movement is important for so many things—it helps with building stronger joints, supporting blood flow and encouraging weight loss. Aerobic exercises, like walking, have been especially linked to losing visceral fat.9   Are you ready to take the next step? Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results™, can help you reach your health and wellness goals. With the support of a Jenny Craig personal consultant and a menu plan that takes into account not only what you eat, but when, we’ll set you on the right path so your body is working optimally with your natural circadian rhythm to lose weight10 more efficiently. Contact us to make your free appointment today.     Sources: [1] https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/the-risks-of-belly-fat#1 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4013623/ [3] https://www.nature.com/articles/srep18495 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3511220/ [5] 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., <br> doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.06.001. [6] http://time.com/4757521/sleep-yourself-slim/ [7] https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/04/20/so-this-is-exactly-how-sugar-makes-us-fat_a_22046969/ [8] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045809?pg=2 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0024250/ [10] 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.