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Holiday Hacks: Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season

While the weather might be cooling down, your social calendar is probably just starting to heat up. There’s no shortage of parties, family get-togethers and other festive events during the holidays. With a busy schedule and an abundance of incredible meals, it might feel challenging to maintain your healthy habits.    Make staying on track during the holidays easier by focusing on small, simple ways you can prioritize your health. By incorporating the right habits, you can enjoy each occasion without losing sight of your weight loss goals. Here are our tops tips to stay healthy while celebrating the holidays.  How to successfully navigate holiday meals    BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish) Not sure how to stay healthy during the holidays? While sweet and savory treats seem to be everywhere during this time of year — at work, parties and family functions — there are plenty of solutions that will keep you on track while allowing you to enjoy these events. Here’s how to set yourself up for mealtime success: Offer to bring a dish so you’ll have something delicious to eat that won’t derail your weight loss plans. Check out these 5-minute recipes for quick and delicious side dish ideas. If you are on the Jenny Craig plan, eat your Jenny Craig meal in advance and once you are at the event, enjoy items that are already on your menu like salad or fruit options.   Pay attention to portions and eating speed <br>During mealtimes, select healthier options (like non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins) and use a smaller plate to keep your portions in check. Try to also pay attention to how quickly you eat. Research has shown that people who eat quickly are more likely to gain weight, have higher blood glucose and a larger waistline.1 Eating slowly and more mindfully gives you the time to savor your food and allows your digestive system’s hormones time to signal to your brain feelings of fullness.2 This communication between your gut and your brain typically takes about 20 minutes to take effect.3 So take your time at the dinner table — enjoy each bite’s taste, texture and smell!    Reach for water <br> What you drink is just as important as what you eat. During the holidays, focus on staying hydrated and avoid high-calorie beverages, like sodas, alcohol and sugary coffee drinks. Wondering what to sip on when you’re at a holiday party? Studies show that drinking more water may help with weight loss.4 Staying properly hydrated can increase feelings of fullness during your meal — which means you may not be as inclined to reach for seconds.5 Change things up with sparkling water or a seasonal fruit-infused flavor, like grapefruit, pomegranate or pear. To infuse water, slice your fruit and add it to a 2-quart pitcher of water. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before enjoying. If you’re at an event, order a soda water and garnish it with a lemon or lime.  How to support your weight loss goals during the holidays   De-stress and improve your fitness with exercise <br> Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming to be effective. It can be as simple as taking a brisk 10-minute walk during your lunch break, playing tag with your kids, or squeezing in a few exercises at home and between chores.    Even a short burst of activity can positively impact your body by boosting your metabolism, mood and heart function.6 Exercise is also a great way to manage stress, especially during the hectic holiday season. Physical activity helps reduce the body’s stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Additionally, it stimulates the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.7 The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by your holiday to-do list, try taking 15-30 minutes to get your heart pumping.    With a little preparation, you can get on track with your weight loss goals and your holiday plans this season by being mindful of your eating habits and activity level. This year, try to create new holiday traditions that align with your health goals and get the whole family involved!    Ready to take the next step with your weight loss and healthy habits? Jenny Craig’s science-based programs offer delicious chef-crafted meals and personalized support. Book your free appointment with a consultant today and make 2019 your best year yet.       Sources: [1] https://newsroom.heart.org/news/gobbling-your-food-may-harm-your-waistline-and-heart [2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-eating-slowly-may-help-you-feel-full-faster-20101019605 <br> [3] https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/11/09/we-found-out-if-it-really-takes-20-minutes-to-feel-full_a_21602736/ <br> [4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/drinking-water-helps-with-weight-loss <br> [5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/drinking-water-helps-with-weight-loss#section2 <br> [6] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax
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5 Essential Self-Care Tips for Holiday Travel

It’s not always just about the destination — traveling during the holidays can be an exciting (and hectic) time. Between crowded airports and mile-long traffic jams, it probably feels like a million people are on the go, just like you. Turns out, that’s not an exaggeration. In 2017, roughly 107 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles away from their home between December 23 to January 1.1   Whether you’re visiting friends and family, jet-setting to a new country, or taking a quick trip to get out of the cold (hello, Florida!), your holiday travels can sometimes start to feel a little chaotic — from the planning to unexpected surprises that may arise along the way. But with a little preparation and thoughtful self-care, you can stave off stress and enjoy your trip — and all the events in between.   Practicing self-care, especially while traveling during the holidays, can sometimes mean the difference between a fun or frustrating trip. Here are our top 5 self-care tips for holiday travelers. 1. Get plenty of rest. With all the hustle and bustle around the holidays, it might be tough to squeeze in some shut-eye. To feel your best, you’ll want to rest before, during and after your travels. If you have trouble falling asleep in a hotel or a friend’s home, you’re not alone — you might be experiencing the “first night effect.”2 Having a bad night’s sleep the first time you stay in a new place is normal. Here’s why: one side of your brain rests while the other remains alert to sense potential threats, according to research.2 By the second night, the brain is more likely to relax, allowing you to sleep more deeply.2 To keep a sleepless night from affecting your holiday plans, try arriving earlier than the day before an event to give yourself (and your brain) time to settle in.2 And if you’re traveling across one or more time zones, your circadian rhythm, or your body’s natural internal “clock” might be thrown off, making it difficult to stay awake or fall asleep. To get back on track, try getting some sun during the daylight hours in your new time zone.3 Sunlight may help to balance your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep4 and may help you get back to your regularly scheduled Z’s. 2. Make time for movement. No matter how you choose to travel, try not to get stuck in your seat for hours on end. Sitting in one position for too long, especially if you’re in cramped conditions, may leave you feeling sore and achy when you reach your destination. Try to stand up and stretch every hour. On a plane or train? Take a stroll down the aisle to stretch your legs. Once you’re back at your seat, do some calf and shoulder raises, or a few neck rolls to stay loose. Riding in a car? Take a quick break from driving to stop at a scenic overlook and enjoy the view while going for a short, brisk walk. No matter how you choose to get your blood pumping, it’ll help banish travel jitters, boredom and might even burn a few calories. 3. Stay hydrated. You’re probably used to drinking more water in warmer weather, especially when you sweat or feel hot, but sweating isn’t the only way your body loses H2O. When you cover your mouth and nose with a scarf and head out into the cold, the condensation that collects underneath is a product of respiration. Breathing that cold, dry air in the winter can actually cause you to lose more water through respiration than you would in a warmer season.5 Plus, chilly temperatures may make you feel 40 percent less thirsty than usual.6   Prevent the side effects of mild dehydration during your travels — headaches, muscle cramps and dry mouth7 – by drinking plenty of water. Make sure to also avoid consuming alcoholic beverages and limiting your caffeine intake while up in the air.8 Being dehydrated can make jet lag feel even worse, so don’t be shy about asking your flight attendant for an extra cup of water.8 4. Pack for your comfort. Layer lightweight, breathable clothes that you can easily take on or off during your travels – hooded sweatshirts, long-sleeved shirts and leggings are all great options. Bring an eye mask, a pair of earplugs and an inflatable pillow for a restful sleep. Stash a pair of over-ear headphones and a phone charger in your carry-on to keep the tunes playing. Anything that helps you feel relaxed will help make your trip more enjoyable! 5. Snack smart. Steer clear of the unhealthy foods served on planes and at gas station rest stops, which can be loaded with salt, unhealthy fats and unwanted sugar. In fact, airline meals typically contain 30 percent more sugar or salt to improve the taste of the food.9 Eating snacks that are high in sodium and fat may make you feel bloated and uncomfortable — probably the last thing you want while you’re traveling.10 Instead, pack fresh snacks like a handful of cherry tomatoes, a hardboiled egg or a small apple. The protein and fiber in these foods will help keep you feeling full and satisfied, since they’re digested more slowly than the refined carbohydrates you’ll find in white bread or sugary drinks.   If you’re on the Jenny Craig program, the Cheese Curls, Caramel Peanut Delight Essential Nutrition Bar and Kettle Corn are some favorite travel-friendly snacks.   Make your holiday travel plans as smooth as possible by practicing a little self-care. It’s the best way to start your holiday on a positive note. Take some time to get comfortable, pack a healthy snack and a water bottle, stretch and get a good night’s rest to help make your trip smooth and enjoyable. Once the holidays are over, keep up with your self-care; it’s a relaxing way to treat yourself any time of the year — and you deserve it!   Looking for some more healthy holiday weight loss and self-care tips to start the New Year? Contact a Jenny Craig consultant to book your free appointment today.     Sources: [1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-christmas-travel/record-number-of-americans-to-travel-during-christmas-holiday-aaa-idUSKBN1E823F [2] https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/you-cant-sleep-while-traveling-because-your-brain-acts-dolphins-180958860/ [3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/symptoms-causes/syc-20374027 [4] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/sleep-science/melatonin-for-sleep-does-it-work [5] https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/4-tips-dodge-dehydration-winter [6] http://www.unh.edu/delete/news/news_releases/2005/january/sk_050128cold.html [7] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000982.htm [8] https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/travel-tips-ways-to-minimize-jet-lag [9] http://time.com/4862996/airplane-food-taste-bad/ [10] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/feel-bloated-5-odd-reasons-stomach-pain/
Eat Well

Ask an R.D.: What’s the 80/20 Rule for Weight Loss, and Does Diet Matter More than Exercise?

You may have heard of the 80/20 rule as it relates to many different things, from business (the idea that 20 percent of workers contribute 80 percent of results) to efficiency (the concept that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of the effort). But have you heard of the 80/20 rule as it relates to diet and exercise?   The premise is relatively simple: To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body uses as energy. And while common wisdom used to say that exercise is the best way to create such a calorie deficit, research indicates that while physical activity is a necessary component of weight loss, cutting calories through your diet is much more achievable — and necessary.1   In a nutshell, the 80/20 rule for weight loss says you should aim to cut 80 percent of your calories through diet and burn 20 percent through exercise.   We spoke with Jenny Craig’s Registered Dietitian, Briana Rodriquez, R.D., to find out more about the 80/20 rule. She shares why eating a healthy, reduced-calorie diet is the mainstay of weight loss — and how getting regular exercise can help support your weight loss … and help maintain it. Why diet should be your focus when it comes to weight loss According to Rodriquez, eating a healthy, well-rounded diet is important not just for your overall health, but for weight loss as well. And while exercise is also important for your health in a number of ways — from reducing your risk of various diseases such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome; to strengthening your bones and muscles; to improving your mental health and mood2 — it can be difficult to get enough exercise to create the calorie deficit necessary for weight loss without changing your diet.   For instance, a man who weighs 154 pounds and is 5’10” will burn approximately 280 calories by walking at a moderate pace for one hour, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.3 If he did vigorous exercise, such as running, for one hour, he would burn 590 calories. Since it’s estimated that a pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories, the average person needs to reduce their caloric intake by approximately 500-1000 calories a day in order to achieve a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week.4    "Reaching that deficit through exercise alone would be difficult for many — if not most — people,” Rodriquez says. If, on the other hand, you were to skip out on eating 1 cup of ice cream, you would save approximately 273 calories. Swap a chicken drumstick for chicken breast and you can cut about 80 calories.5 If you do the math, you’ll see that you can reach that all-important calorie deficit more easily by focusing on your diet — while using exercise to support your efforts. The quality of your diet matters As important as it is for your overall health, regular exercise cannot make up for a poor-quality diet. In fact, Americans are exercising more than ever, yet the rates of obesity are rising sharply.   In 1997, for example, approximately 44 percent of U.S. adults met the 2008 federal guidelines for aerobic activity (at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise); as of 2017, 53.8 percent did. Yet during the same timeframe, the rates of obesity among U.S. adults rose by 12 percent: from 19.4 percent in 1997 to 31.4 percent in 2017.6   At the same time, the standard American diet has suffered in quality and has become a major factor in our obesity crisis, studies have shown.7 Consider the following statistics:   About 37 percent of Americans ate fast food on any given day between 2013-2016.8 In the United States, on any given day, half of all people consume sugary drinks. Of those, 25 percent get at least 200 calories from such drinks, while 5 percent get at least 567 calories from them.9 Only one out of every 10 U.S. adults eats enough fruits or vegetables.10 In 2010, the average American took in about 23 percent more calories per day — 2,481 — than in 1970.11   And the most alarming statistic: Today, more than 70 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.12   Yet Americans aren’t the only ones whose diets have suffered over the years. Researchers have found that in many countries, the rates of obesity have tripled or quadrupled over the past 30 years — at the same time that these nations’ diets have transitioned to high-calorie, highly processed fare.7 How exercise can help your efforts Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise program.   Remember: The 80/20 rule doesn’t rule out exercise; it says that it should support your weight-loss efforts. Here’s how it can help:   1. Exercise can help you over a plateau. As you lose weight and fat, your metabolism will naturally slow, leading to a plateau. Bumping up your exercise intensity and duration can help get you back into weight loss mode. Adding strength training can also help, as it will add more muscle, which in turn will burn more calories.13 Research shows that strength training also increases fat loss, especially when combined with diet modifications and aerobic exercise.1 And it can help keep you from gaining dangerous belly fat.14   2. Exercise helps with weight maintenance. In fact, observational studies suggest it is crucial.1 Researchers from the Mayo Clinic suggest that an exercise program that is reasonable and achievable (30 to 60 minutes of exercise five to seven days per week, for instance) is critical for long-term weight maintenance. Tips for healthy weight loss In addition to watching portion sizes and calorie counts, Rodriquez recommends the following strategies to help support your weight loss goals:   1. Aim to get exercise on most days. Federal guidelines15 recommend that all people get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week (30 minutes, five days per week, for instance). For weight loss purposes, more exercise — up to 60 minutes per day — may be necessary. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention16 recommends that adults do muscle-strengthening exercises involving all major muscle groups at least two days per week.   2. Limit certain foods. The Harvard School of Public Health17 recommends limiting or avoiding the following foods, which have been linked to obesity: Fruit juices (even if they are 100 percent fruit juice, they can have as much sugar and as many calories as sugary sodas). Processed meats (like hot dogs or deli meat). Refined carbohydrates. Sugary drinks (like soda and energy drinks). Sweets (like candy).   3. Focus on a well-rounded diet. To promote health and weight loss, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention18 suggests the following: Eat plenty of fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Include lean meats in your diet, including beans, eggs, fish, nuts and poultry. Keep your diet low in added sugars, cholesterol, saturated fats, sodium and trans fats.   Remember, a combination approach — focusing on your diet and incorporating exercise — has been found to be the most effective way to lose weight. We hope you’ll use this information to structure a healthy, achievable path to weight loss.   Jenny Craig follows expert guidelines to create delicious, nutritionally balanced meals that support your weight loss goals. And if you need help with motivation, tools or other information, Jenny Craig is here to help with a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle. Get started on your path to better health and wellness with a free appointment today!     Sources: [1] https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)60971-3/fulltext [2] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/physactivity.htm [3] https://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity-calories-burn [4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/calories/art-20048065 [5] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/ [6] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/EarlyRelease201803.pdf [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4859313/ [8] https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/03/health/fast-food-consumption-cdc-study/index.html [9] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-drinks-fact-sheet/ [10] https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html [11] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/12/13/whats-on-your-table-how-americas-diet-has-changed-over-the-decades/ [12] https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/choosing-a-safe-successful-weight-loss-program [13] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss-plateau/art-20044615 [14] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/weight-training-appears-key-to-controlling-belly-fat/ [15] https://health.gov/news/blog-bayw/2012/10/how-much-daily-exercise-is-best-for-weight-loss/ [16] https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/policies_practices/physical_activity/guidelines.htm [17] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/diet-and-weight/ [18] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/index.html
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Take the Quiz: Which New Year's Resolution is Right for You?

Take our quiz to find out which New Year's resolution is right for you in 2019!
Recipes

Healthy For The Holidays – Black Forest Brownie

Introducing another one of our #HolidayHacks: a Black Forest Brownie recipe! Now you can satisfy your sweet tooth while focusing your health goals. Ingredients:    Jenny Craig Chocolate Walnut Brownie 1 tbsp. raspberry preserves*  3 fresh cherries, pitted and sliced  2 tbsp. whipped topping*  1 ½ tsp. sugar-free chocolate syrup*  Optional: mint for garnish Instructions:    Slice Jenny Craig Chocolate Walnut Brownie in half lengthwise evenly into layers.  Spread 1 tbsp. of raspberry preserves on the bottom half of brownie.  Lay fresh cherries on raspberry preserves.  Replace top of brownie.  Spread 2 tbsp. of whipped topping on brownie.  Drizzle with 1 ½ tsp. of sugar-free chocolate syrup.  Optional: Garnish with mint and cherry slice.  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!   Chocolate Walnut Brownie (2 starches, 1 fat) Raspberry preserves (1 limited food) Cherries (1/4 fruit) Whipped topping (1 limited food) Sugar-free chocolate syrup (1 limited food) Mint (Fresh & Free Addition)   *Limited Items available on Classic Program.
Inspiration

What Does a Typical Day on Jenny Craig Look Like? Meet Chloe B!

Ever wonder what it’s like to join Jenny Craig? Explore a day in the life of actual Jenny Craig members and read their inspiring stories as we highlight different journeys throughout the year. In their own words, they’ll share their favorite foods, activities and creative tips that help them develop healthier habits and reach their weight loss goals.   Meet Chloe, an aspiring Master’s student, pet parent and all-around amazing member! Chloe lost over 30 lbs.† on Jenny Craig and maintains her weight loss by enjoying Jenny Craig meals, hitting her daily 10K step count and swimming twice a week. See how Chloe spends a typical Tuesday: †Weight lost on Classic program. Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Chloe received promotional consideration. 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  Start the day off right.  <br>BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! It’s 8:30 a.m. and my alarm is going off. I am definitely not one of those people who wakes up, jumps out of bed and dances their way to the bathroom. After waking up, I continue to lay in bed, check my phone and procrastinate leaving my warm, comfortable sheets. Once I decide it’s time to get up, I slowly make my way out of bed and head to the washroom to start my morning routine.   For breakfast I make my favorite Jenny Craig Maple French Toast with Breakfast Syrup and pair it with a warm drink. I love the flexibility the Jenny Craig Program has afforded me – I still get to indulge in one of my favorite drinks every morning!     After breakfast, I head back to my room for about an hour of study time. 10:30 - 12:00 p.m.  Making time for exercise.  Although the Jenny Craig Program doesn’t require exercise to be successful, it does emphasize a healthy lifestyle. During my weight loss journey, I often left weekly consultations with the goal of completing 10,000 steps a day, as I don’t enjoy the gym or most other forms of exercise. After hitting my goal weight, I became more comfortable in my skin and began swimming weekly.     I swim for about an hour or 1.5 to 2 kilometers twice a week and feel great afterwards! Growing up, I was a synchronized swimmer and loved being in the water! After gaining weight and being uncomfortable in a bathing suit, I lost touch with swimming and hadn’t swum in over 5 years. Since hitting my goal weight, I began swimming again and notice significant improvements in my energy and motivation!   After exercising, I refuel with a Jenny Craig Essential Nutrition bar and lots of water. These Jenny Craig bars are something I will eat for the rest of my life – I love the taste and they are way better than any other protein bar I’ve tried before! 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Lunchtime Lunch today is the Jenny Craig Beef Merlot . I always love to have a fresh salad with lunch. I usually start with some lettuce and throw in any other veggies I have in the fridge. Sticking to the Jenny Craig Program, I top it with a Jenny Craig dressing and sometimes some freshly ground pepper! Yum!   2:30 p.m. Time to get ready for work.   Juggling two part-time jobs and a full-time Master’s degree, along with other commitments can be a struggle. Jenny Craig has made meal preparation and weight loss easy to fit into any busy schedule!    <br>     Since starting Jenny Craig in early 2018 I have lost over 30 pounds.†  I was inspired to join Jenny Craig and lose weight when my clothes got to the point where they didn’t fit me anymore. It was frustrating, depressing and something I faced every day. Since hitting my goal weight, it’s been so liberating to throw on anything from my closet and head out the door without feeling self-conscious about my body. Being able to fit into my clothes makes getting ready so much easier and faster! 3:00 - 8:30 p.m. Work and Dinner Working part-time at a bakery can make sticking to a meal plan more difficult. The best thing about the Jenny Craig plan is the fact that you get a dessert every single night! Prepared meals and dessert? Sign me up! Knowing I have a delicious treat to eat when I get home helps me stay on track and stick to the Jenny Craig program. Tonight, because of my closing shift I ate my Jenny Craig Margherita Pizza while on break at work. 8:45 - 11:00 p.m. Time to wind down. After work, I make my way home and look forward to eating my dessert. Tonight’s dessert will be the Jenny Craig Pumpkin Spice Cakes. This sweet snack reminds me that just because I’m trying to lose weight, doesn’t mean I can’t treat myself and enjoy the foods I love most!     With a couple more hours before bed, I catch up with my family and talk to them about their days. Depending on how much time I have left before bed, I’ll crack open my books one last time to try to get ahead in my coursework. 11:00 p.m. Bedtime At last, it’s time for bed! I complete my nightly routine, get my pajamas on and grab my eye mask!     Thanks for joining me on my day today – goodnight all! 😊   Feeling inspired by Chloe’s story? Book your free appointment with a Jenny Craig consultant to start your own weight loss journey today!     *Weight lost on Classic program. Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Chloe received promotional consideration.