Healthy Habits

Recent Posts

Live Life

Has Snoring Got You Rattled? Top Tips to Help You Get the Rest You Need

As anyone who has shared a bed with a snoring partner knows, the condition can be more than a simple annoyance: It can become downright maddening—for both of you. He snores, you wake and ask him to roll over; he snores again, you elbow him (perhaps not so gently) and ask him to roll over once more. The process continues until, desperate for rest, you move to the couch for the remainder of the night. You both emerge in the morning, groggy and sleep-deprived.   Needless to say, this pattern isn’t healthy—not for him, not for you and perhaps not for your relationship.   The good news is that there are solutions to your partner’s snoring. (Or your own—while about 40 percent of adult men are habitual snorers, approximately 24 percent of adult women are as well, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.1) Here’s a look at some of the most common questions about the condition, along with real-world tips to help your partner—and you—get the rest you both need.      A: According to the National Sleep Foundation2, snoring occurs when the muscles of your throat relax during sleep. This causes your tongue to fall backward and your throat to become narrow and "floppy." Then, as you breathe, the walls of your throat begin to vibrate, causing the distinctive snoring sound. The narrower your airway becomes, the greater the vibration—and the louder the snoring. It’s a common problem: Approximately 90 million American adults are snorers; of those, 37 million snore regularly.2   Interestingly, men’s air passages are naturally more narrow than women’s, which is why men tend to snore more — and more loudly — than women.3     A: The National Sleep Foundation2 reports that in addition to being male, being overweight or obese is one of the most common reasons for snoring, especially if you have excess fatty tissue around the neck. In addition, snoring becomes more common with age due to natural relaxation of the throat muscles.   Other factors that make you more likely to snore include2: Inflammation of the nose or throat, such as if you have allergies or a cold. Sleeping on your back. Use of muscle relaxants or alcohol (the latter acts as a muscle relaxant and will cause snoring if used before bed, the Foundation reports).   In addition, the Mayo Clinic4 states that sleep deprivation can contribute to snoring because it causes increased relaxation of the throat. And the American Academy of Sleep Medicine5 says that smoking can increase your chances of snoring by relaxing both your tongue and throat muscles.     A: Snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea6, a condition that involves the walls of the throat completely collapsing so you cannot breathe. This cessation of breathing is called apnea. Approximately one-half of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea.2   With obstructive sleep apnea, even though your brain senses that you are not breathing and wakes you to breathe (so briefly that you may not even remember it), this pattern of not breathing, followed by arousal, can happen up to 30 times — or more — per hour.7 Needless to say, this pattern can lead to extreme sleep deprivation.   Yet loss of sleep isn’t the only concern with sleep apnea. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association8, if left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can cause serious health problems, including chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. It is also associated with Type 2 diabetes and depression.   Also worrisome is that the incidence of obstructive sleep apnea seems to be increasing at an alarming rate, most likely due to the obesity epidemic, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine9 reports. It’s estimated that 26 percent of adults between the ages of 30 and 70 now have obstructive sleep apnea.   If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, consult your doctor right away. In addition to snoring, symptoms include6: A change in your level of attention, concentration or memory. Excessive daytime sleepiness. Morning headaches. Recent weight gain. Waking at night feeling confused. Witnessed pauses in breathing during sleep, such as if your partner sees or hears you stop breathing. Tips to Help You Get the Sleep You Need If you or your partner snore, the Mayo Clinic10 recommends the following to help you prevent, or reduce the frequency of it: Focus on healthy weight loss. People who are overweight or obese may have extra fatty tissues in the throat, which can cause snoring. Losing weight can help “shrink” those tissues and improve snoring. Sleep on your side. Lying on your back narrows your airway by allowing your tongue to fall backward into your throat. To help keep yourself from rolling onto your back while you sleep, try a pillow or “side sleeper” placed behind your back to help keep you on your side. Raise the head of your bed. Just 4 inches may help. Treat nasal congestion or obstruction. Having allergies or a deviated septum can limit airflow through your nose, forcing you to breathe through your mouth and increasing the chance of snoring. A deviated septum or other abnormality may require surgery; talk to your doctor. Avoid alcohol and sedatives. Avoid drinking alcohol or taking sedatives, especially before bedtime, as both can contribute to snoring by relaxing the muscles in your throat. The National Sleep Foundation2 advises avoiding muscle relaxants before bed as well. Quit smoking. Kicking this unhealthy habit may help improve your snoring. Get enough sleep. Aim for at least seven hours per night. Here are 10 tips to get a better night’s sleep.   Whether you or your partner is a snorer, keep in mind that the condition may not simply be interfering with your sleep—it may be a sign of something more serious that could be affecting your health. We hope you’ll use this information to improve your snoring … and, if necessary, to get the help you need to improve your overall health and well-being.   Do you need help with weight loss? Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment today!     Sources: [1] http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/snoring/overview-and-facts [2] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/other-sleep-disorders/snoring [3] https://www.sleep.org/articles/men-snore-women/ [4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/snoring/symptoms-causes/syc-20377694 [5] http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/snoring/causes-and-symptoms [6] https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/snoring-sleeping-disorders-and-sleep-apnea/ [7] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631 [8] https://www.sleepapnea.org/learn/sleep-apnea-information-clinicians/ [9] https://aasm.org/rising-prevalence-of-sleep-apnea-in-u-s-threatens-public-health/ [10] https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/home-remedies-stop-the-snoring/
Live Life

Here’s What Losing 5-10 Percent of Your Body Weight Can Do for Your Health

While no one’s weight loss journey is the same, there are certain things most people experience while working toward better health. If you’re following a sustainable weight loss program like Jenny Craig, you’ll learn how to develop healthy habits, make improved lifestyle changes, and discover what works best to help maintain the new you. Each positive change you make, no matter how big or small, is something worth celebrating!  <br> If you’re struggling to reach a healthy weight, remember that it’s not always about seeing a dramatic change on your scale right away — gradually losing just 5-10 percent of your weight may have a significant impact on your overall health if you are overweight or obese.1 By losing weight, your blood sugar levels, blood cholesterol and blood pressure, are just a few of the areas that could improve, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).2 <br> Although this might seem like a small amount of weight to lose, the results can be significant. Here are ten ways your health may benefit from losing 5-10 percent of your body weight.  <br>   *Remember to always consult your doctor before starting a weight loss program.  1. Naturally reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes & improve your blood sugar levels  The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) sponsored a diabetes prevention program that encouraged a randomized selection of over 3,000 participants to lose 7 percent of their weight by “eating less fat and fewer calories and exercising 150 minutes per week.”3 After a three-year period, they lowered their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, compared to those who were only given general diet and exercise advice.5 <br> What’s more, research has indicated losing as little as 2-5 percent of your body weight could help you control your blood sugar levels.4 A study of overweight and obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes showed significant improvements to their blood sugar levels when they lost between 2 and 5 percent of their body weight.6 And if you are pre-diabetic, losing 5-10 percent of your weight may lower your risk of <br> developing diabetes.5   2. Improve heart health In the same study of overweight and obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes, this 5-10 percent weight loss also improved participants’ cardiovascular disease risk factors, including lowered blood pressure and, although not as strongly correlated, a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad” cholesterol that can build up in your arteries and cause blockages).6   3. Increase your “good” cholesterol  If you are overweight, losing 5-10 percent of your current weight may raise HDL, the “good” cholesterol. HDL helps to remove artery-clogging cholesterol from its unhealthy counterpart, LDL.6 Higher levels of this beneficial cholesterol are also associated with a lower risk of heart disease.7  <br>Exercising, eating a diet rich in vegetables and choosing healthier fats may also help you boost your HDL levels.8 Reach for olive oil, fish and nuts over more processed selections such as butter or canola oil, and of course, make sure to keep your portion sizes in check — as even healthy fats are high in calories.11  4. Lower your risk of sleep apnea <br> Obstructive sleep apnea causes breathing to start and stop during sleep. If you have sleep apnea, while you’re asleep, your throat muscles relax and block your airway, which disrupts your ability to breathe normally.9 Men are twice as likely as women to develop sleep apnea.10 Measuring your neck circumference is a potential indicator: According to the National Sleep Foundation, 17 inches or more may signal sleep apnea for men; for women, it’s 16 or more inches.10 Losing 10 percent of your body weight may help improve these symptoms and losing more may even eliminate the condition completely.11   5. Get better sleep  Losing at least 5 percent of your body weight may help you sleep better at night. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania reported obese individuals who’d lost a minimum of 5 percent of their body weight over a six-month period gained 21.6 minutes of sleep each night, on average, and enjoyed better sleep.12   6. Boost your mood In the same University of Pennsylvania study, participants who lost 5 percent or more of their body weight also experienced improvements in mood, compared to others who had lost less weight.15 After 24 months, the study’s participants lifted spirits remained statistically significant.    7. Ease joint pain Did you know that losing just 1 pound removes 4 pounds of pressure from your knees?13 By losing excess weight, you can alleviate additional stress on your bones and joints.14   <br>If you happen to have osteoarthritis, a joint disorder, it’s common to experience pain while sitting, standing and moving. A combination of joint stress and inflammation can increase your risk of osteoarthritis, but weight loss has been found to lessen these symptoms.15    Studies indicate that obese adults who lose 5 percent of their body weight may experience a slight reduction in joint pain, but those who lose 10 percent may experience substantially more relief.16 Check out these 4 tips for managing arthritis.  8. Improve liver health  As the number of people affected by obesity and diabetes has skyrocketed, the number of individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has also increased.17 About 30 percent of the U.S. population, or 100 million people, are affected by this disease.18 NAFLD occurs when fat cells accumulate in the liver which then leads to inflammation and tissue damage.19 Often, individuals with fatty liver disease have few symptoms. The disease can sometimes lead to cirrhosis, an irreversible condition involving scar tissue that affects normal liver functions.16 According to the Mayo Clinic, weight loss of 3-5 percent may help decrease fat from the liver, and a further loss of 10 percent may improve scarring and inflammation.20 Losing weight by making healthy food choices and including physical activity in your routine are the primary ways medical professionals recommend treating this condition.21  9. Potentially reduce your risk of certain types of cancer While the relationship between weight and cancer risk is complicated and still being studied, some research has indicated that weight loss may reduce the risk of breast cancer.22 A recent study found that postmenopausal women who lost 5 percent of their body weight, over the course of three years, decreased their risk of developing breast cancer by 12 percent.23  In addition to losing weight, the American Cancer Society suggests women should stay active (at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week), try to sit less and limit their alcohol consumption.24   10. Reduce inflammation in your body  Inflammation is your body’s natural response to help fight off harmful stimuli, including bacteria, chemicals and foreign objects (like a splinter).25 There’s acute inflammation (like when you stub your toe), and then there’s the chronic type, which lasts for months or years.26 Too much body fat, especially around your abdomen, releases inflammation-causing molecules into the body, but may be reduced with a 5-10 percent loss of body weight. 27-28  Eating a balanced diet and sleeping more are two additional ways you may be able to lessen inflammation. Begin your weight loss journey <br> Losing weight can be an incredible move toward improving your health and well-being. Whether you’re just starting to learn about the benefits of weight loss or you’ve been working toward a healthy weight for some time, paying attention to what and when you eat, enjoying mindful portions and participating in one-on-one weight loss consultations are just a few of the tools that can help support your goals. Celebrate the steps you’ve taken and remember, even seemingly small victories can have great benefits. <br> Learn more about healthy weight loss by contacting Jenny Craig. Book a free appointment with one of our personal weight loss consultants today! <br>   Sources: [1] https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/in-obese-patients-5-percent-weight-loss-has-significant-health-benefits/ <br> [2] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html <br> [3] https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/research-areas/diabetes/diabetes-prevention-program-dpp <br> [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3120182/ <br> [5] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/digestive_weight_loss_center/conditions/diabetes.html <br> [6] https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/hdl-the-good-but-complex-cholesterol <br> [7] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/hdl-cholesterol/art-20046388 <br> [8] https://www.webmd.com/heart/how-to-boost-your-good-cholesterol <br> [9] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obstructive-sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20352090 <br> [10] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/losing-weight-sleep-apnea <br> [11] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/weight-loss-breathing-devices-still-best-for-treating-obstructive-sleep-apnea-201310026713 <br> [12] https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/press-release-archives/2014/sleep-mood-improves-after-substantial-weight-loss [13] https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/losing-weight/weight-joint-pain.php <br> [14] https://www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/what-your-weight-means-for-your-bones/ <br> [15] https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/articles/oa-prevention.php <br> [16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3623013/ <br> [17] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354567 <br> [18] https://liverfoundation.org/liver-disease-statistics/#non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease-non-alcoholic-steato-hepatitis <br> [19] https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/when-the-liver-gets-fatty <br> [20] https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-weight-loss-is-key-to-combatting-nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/ <br> [21] https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/treatment <br> [22] http://www.ascopost.com/issues/april-25-2018/modest-weight-loss-reduces-breast-cancer-risk/ <br> [23] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/breast-cancer-risk-and-weight-loss-study/ <br> [24] https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/five-ways-to-reduce-your-breast-cancer-risk.html [25]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/ <br> [26] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php <br> [27] https://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/weight-loss-benefits <br> [28] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/taking-aim-at-belly-fat
Eat Well

Holiday Hacks to Build a Healthier Thanksgiving Plate: Infographic

Want to make your Thanksgiving meal a little healthier? Use these hacks to build a plate that is delicious and supports your weight loss goals!  
Move More

The Complete Guide to Your First Turkey Trot

Lace up your running (or walking) shoes and start the Thanksgiving festivities early with a new tradition — a turkey trot! It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family before a busy day of activities and a turkey dinner. And as an added bonus: Most turkey trots benefit charities, so you’ll get your heart pumping while supporting a good cause.   Typically, Thanksgiving Day races are the length of a 5K (3.1 miles) and are held in communities across the country. If running three miles seems daunting, some events offer one-mile “fun runs” instead. Not ready to run? No problem — these family-friendly events are perfect for any fitness level and welcome runners, joggers and walkers alike.   If you’ve committed to your first turkey trot and are unsure of what to expect or how to prepare, we’ve got you covered. Check out our complete guide to your first turkey trot — and remember, having fun is the most important part! What to eat before a turkey trot Whether you’re walking or running, listen to your body and make healthy choices before heading to the start line. For shorter distances, such as a 5K, a light snack or meal should do the trick if your stomach is growling pre-race. And if you want to save a full meal until after the race, no problem, just be sure to snack before so you don’t get too hungry, be mindful of your portions and make healthy choices after your trot.   If you’re up early and want to enjoy breakfast before the event, Jenny Craig RD, Briana Rodriquez, recommends eating at least two hours prior and choosing something light and nutritious that you regularly eat to avoid any stomach issues on course. If you’re a Jenny Craig member, your consultant can help you pick the best breakfast.   Also, hydrating is just as important as what you eat! Rodriquez recommends skipping any sugar-laden sports drinks and opting for refreshing water. Make sure to sip water before, during and after exercising.   What to wear for a turkey run Dress for the weather: and know your body will heat up once you start moving. According to Runner’s World, a good rule of thumb is to dress like it’s 15 to 20 degrees warmer than the temperature outside.1 Wear easy-to-shed layers that you can tie around your waist or tuck into your pockets. Try layering a lightweight jacket over a tee or tank to stay cool and dry. If it’s chilly outside, bring a hat or headband and gloves.   If you pick up a few new items of clothing before the race, look for sweat-wicking, technical material and try to avoid wearing all-cotton products, as they tend to soak up moisture and may cause blisters and chafing.2 Some turkey trots encourage costumes, so get creative with fun props or matching t-shirts!   Finally, pick a pair of comfortable running shoes you’ve worn before — you won’t want to break in new ones on the day of the race! Race Day Check the event’s website to ensure you have everything you need, then follow these quick tips before the race starts to have the smoothest possible turkey trot experience. Arrive early to check in and collect any race materials, like your bib, safety pins and a t-shirt. Note where bathroom and water stops are along the route. Choose a spot to meet your team/family members before and after the turkey trot. It’s the best way to get a great group photo and makes it easier to find your fitness buddies. Fill up your water bottle to stay hydrated during and after the race.   Additionally, you may want to consider packing a small “race day bag” of items that you can carry with you, leave in your car, or with someone cheering you on. Anti-chafe stick or petroleum jelly Bandages ID, keys, phone and a small amount of cash Change of clothing Post-race snack (half of a banana, a small amount of almonds or cashews, etc.)   Remember to pace yourself during the turkey trot. If you feel tired, slow down or take a short break. Enjoy yourself and the time you’ll spend with your loved ones. No matter how far or fast you go, crossing the finish line is a huge accomplishment! Post-race Tips Congrats, you’ve made it to the finish *virtual high five!* After the race, you’ll want to make sure to cool down properly. Try walking for an additional five to ten minutes and take some time to stretch gently.3 These movements will keep your muscles from feeling too tight and promote healthy blood flow.4 Change into clean, dry clothing and slip on comfortable shoes with support.   Most importantly, make sure to rehydrate with water. Sipping H2O throughout the day will help you to feel your best. It’s also a good idea to eat a small snack with protein and carbohydrates within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise to replace any lost nutrients during physical activity. If you’re wondering what you should eat, Rodriquez recommends reaching for a banana with a teaspoon of nut butter or a Jenny Craig Essential Nutrition Bar.    Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal later in the day by creating a balanced plate, which should contain lean protein, a moderate amount of carbohydrates, and a small amount of healthy fats, such as avocado or olive oil.3 Make It a Tradition What better way to create a new, healthy family tradition than by participating in a turkey trot? You’ll get to spend quality time with your loved ones and fit in a little exercise, all before sitting down to a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Pick an event and a goal that feels achievable this year, and then challenge yourself a little more next year. It’s also a great way to foster a little friendly competition!   To learn more about balancing exercise with healthy food choices, contact Jenny Craig to book your free appointment with a consultant today!     Sources: [1] https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20803133/what-to-wear/ [2] https://www.fleetfeet.com/blog/runners-pains-6-common-skin-irritations-and-how-to-avoid-them [3] https://www.active.com/running/articles/how-to-recover-after-a-5k [4] http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/21/increase.flexibility.realsimple/index.html
Jenny Craig News

Don't Diet Solo: Study Reveals Ongoing Support Key to Weight Loss

For many, weight loss is a constant struggle, full of frustration, fad diets and forgotten workout DVDs. But it doesn’t have to be that way. New research reveals a critical element that can make all the difference between an ongoing health struggle and successfully shedding excess weight — and keeping it off long-term. The secret? Don’t fly solo when it comes to trying to lose weight.   The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, discovered that individuals following structured weight loss programs with support were more likely to lose weight and more likely to keep off the weight, than those who did not. The findings were drawn from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which used the results of the study to update their 2018 statement to officially recommend programs with ongoing support for adults with a body mass index of 30 or higher.   For the average American struggling with lasting weight loss, the study’s findings are clear. Based on a review of 100 weight loss and weight maintenance programs, the best results came from structured programs that included regular in-person meetings, meetings that provide education and personal connection; and a holistic approach. Weight loss experts also point to the benefits of comprehensive programs – such as Jenny Craig – in helping those seeking to lose weight learn how to keep it off for good.     “This peer-reviewed study, published in one of the most reputable medical journals, provides valuable direction for healthcare providers and consumers who are looking for scientifically-sound guidance as they strive for optimal health and weight management,” says Dr. Pamela Peeke, chair of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board. “This new recommendation highlights the importance of ongoing support in weight management.”   Today, more than 35 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the U.S. are obese. Obesity is associated with a wide range of health problems, including increased risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, various types of cancer, gallstones, physical disability and an increased risk for death, particularly among adults younger than 65. With more than 100 million U.S. adults living with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), finding effective and sustainable weight loss methods is critical for a large portion of Americans.   “Jenny Craig has understood the importance of offering support for more than 35 years; it is the cornerstone of our program,” says Jenny Craig CEO and president, Monty Sharma. “Personalized human guidance not only keeps people motivated, but also allows for a customized approach for each individual and their life situation.”   Members of the program meet weekly with their personal consultant one-on-one to discuss their progress, create customized meal plans, address challenges and plan the week ahead. Of note, the study found strongest success among those who met at least every two weeks, with those meeting more often seeing even better results.   If you are embarking on a weight loss effort, consider how ongoing support and science-driven structure can help you achieve lasting results.  
Eat Well

6 Ways to Feel Awesome on Thanksgiving and Avoid the “Holiday Slide”

Thanksgiving: a holiday that is usually centered around the dinner table with family, friends and copious amounts of delectable food (we see you, pumpkin pie). From succulent roasted turkey to savory side dishes, we’re sure you have a few favorites you look forward to every year. But all of that delicious food can sometimes leave you feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. <br> And if you’re on a journey to better health and weight loss, learning how to navigate this time of year can be especially difficult. Here’s the good news: you can enjoy yourself, feel great on Thanksgiving and still stick to your weight loss goals with a few simple tricks.  <br> Learn how to avoid the “holiday slide” by staying on track with your healthy habits — and make this Thanksgiving your healthiest yet with these six helpful tips.  1. Say yes to breakfast and lunch. Most of the festivities kick off in the afternoon, with many Americans dishing up their Thanksgiving meal between 1-3:00 p.m.1 While it might be tempting to put off breakfast and lunch to get the most out of your dinner, skipping meals will likely leave you feeling tired, cranky and hungry.2 Waiting all day to eat may also make you more likely to overeat when the food is served. Avoid feeling “hangry” by having a healthy breakfast and lunch earlier in the day. If you have a snack between meals, try a nonfat plain Greek yogurt, a hard-boiled egg or a handful of carrot sticks to help you feel more satisfied. 2. Embrace healthier food choices. Ready to build your Thanksgiving plate? Rather than thinking of the holiday as an all-you-can-eat feast, create your plate the way you would any other time of the year. Focusing on plenty of veggies, a portion of lean protein, and a moderate amount of healthy fats and starches are great ways to make a nutritious and satisfying meal.  <br> But before you reach for an extra dinner roll, try this strategy. Ask yourself: <br>“Is this something I can have year-round?” <br> If you answered “yes,” feel free to move on to the next item. Carb-heavy, sugary and deep fried foods are a dime a dozen, especially during the holidays. Pursuing your goal weight doesn’t need to be restrictive — by making mindful choices, you’ll eat the foods you actually want and are special to that specific holiday, and probably enjoy them even more. 3. Portion size is key. How many calories are in a typical Thanksgiving dinner? The results may surprise you: Americans may eat upwards of 4,500 calories during their Thanksgiving dinner alone, according to the Calorie Control Council.3 But that doesn’t mean you have to skip your favorite foods. Pay attention to your portions and refer to our helpful Portion Size Guide as a reference. To keep your portions under control, try filling the majority of your plate with a variety of non-starchy vegetables and fresh salad from the Fresh & Free Additions list. Also, before considering seconds, allow yourself 20-30 minutes to start digesting before putting any other food on your plate — it can take at least 20 minutes for you to begin feeling full.4 4. Make smart swaps. Enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites in new, delicious ways by making simple substitutions. Try these: <br>Spiced sweet potatoes: Skip the marshmallows and turn up the volume on these naturally sweet veggies with aromatic spices. Heat the oven to 375 F. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and nutmeg, a dash of vanilla extract and a spritz of olive oil over sweet potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss gently to coat. Spread evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and tender. Mash roasted sweet potatoes and serve. If you're on the Jenny Craig program, one serving is about 1 cup of spiced sweet potatoes and equals 2 starches. <br>Healthy green bean casserole: Make two servings with Jenny Craig’s Green Beans with Garlic & Olive Oil and top it with crispy onions. To make the onions, peel and slice a small onion into 1/8-inch rings. Dip rings into an egg white and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese along with salt and pepper to taste. (1 tablespoon of Parmesan counts as 1 limited food, if you're on Jenny Craig.) Place onions into an air fryer and give them a quick burst of cooking spray. Flip rings over and spray again. Fry at 400 F for five minutes, or until crispy.5 Heat green beans according to instructions, top with onions and enjoy immediately.  <br>For the Main Event: And if you are on the Jenny Craig program, you can skip laboring for hours in the kitchen and have Thanksgiving dinner ready in less than 10 minutes with Jenny Craig’s Turkey and Wild Rice! Tender turkey, savory wild and brown rice, sweet potatoes and rich gravy make a quick and easy meal. <br>Sweet treat alternatives: Want to end your meal with dessert? Check out these 10 treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth without sidetracking your weight loss. 5. Slow down and savor your meal. If you’ve ever sat down to watch TV with dinner in-hand, gotten distracted by your favorite show and suddenly noticed your plate was empty, you’ve experienced distracted eating. Distracted eating is one of the easiest ways to accidentally overindulge. However, being present and paying attention to your food may make you less likely to overeat during and after your meal.6 <br> Trying mindful eating techniques can help: Use your senses as you eat. Savor the taste, aroma, texture and appearance of the food in front of you.7 Take note of the sensations you experience when you begin to feel full and when you feel completely full.  <br> Eating mindfully doesn’t need to be impractical. Between catching up with friends and family and watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, you’ll encounter some distractions during the holiday. And if you’re gearing up for the big game on Thanksgiving Day, try creating a portion-conscious plate so that when you’ve finished eating everything on it, you’ll feel less inclined to go back for seconds. 6. Fight the “food coma.” Ever eaten a big meal and wanted to take a nap immediately after? You’re not alone. Feeling drowsy after eating is common, especially after a large meal. Don’t just blame the turkey — your body’s natural circadian rhythm, or your body’s internal clock, might also be making you feel sleepy. At around 1:00 or 1:30 p.m., your body may automatically start to feel tired, whether you’ve eaten or not.8  Add this to a hefty meal, and you’re almost guaranteed to want to take a nap. To avoid feeling extra drowsy, enjoy a light meal with plenty of non-starchy vegetables, skip the alcohol, and consider sipping a cup of coffee if you’re ready to snooze before the festivities are over.6 Shake off any food fatigue by taking a brisk post-meal walk — you’ll get to appreciate the beautiful fall weather while staying active. <br> While food is a big part of Thanksgiving Day, there are plenty of wonderful ways to enjoy yourself that don’t revolve around the dinner table. You have enough on your mind during the holidays: what you eat shouldn’t stress you out! Try these six tips to get the most out of your holiday meal, while still maintaining your weight loss goals. And remember — one meal won’t make or break your weight loss. If you feel yourself moving toward the holiday slide, be kind to yourself and take the time to get yourself back on track the following day.  <br> Ready to learn more about healthy eating strategies for the holidays? Contact a Jenny Craig consultant today to book your free appointment! <br>     Sources: [1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/639837/popular-thanksgiving-meal-times-among-us-consumers/ <br> [2] https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a19981778/effects-of-skipping-meals/ <br> [3] https://www.consumerreports.org/diet-nutrition/calories-in-your-thanksgiving-dinner/ [4] https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/slow-down-you-eat-too-fast#1 <br> [5] https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/air-fried-onion-rings-530305 <br> [6] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/distracted-eating-may-add-to-weight-gain-201303296037 <br> [7] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindful-eating/200902/mindful-eating [8] https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/03/health/food-comas-drayer/index.html