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I Came Back to Jenny Craig and Here's What Happened - Meet Stephanie H.!

If you’ve been a Jenny Craig member before, you already know about the great tasting food, the unparalleled support, and how the program helps you work towards the results you want — but if you are considering joining again, you may be wondering, what’s new? Explore a day in the life of a returning Jenny Craig member and read her inspiring story as she describes her experience coming back to the program. In her own words, she’ll share her new favorite foods, activities and creative tips that helped her reach her weight loss goals and stay on track!    Meet Stephanie, a single mom of two boys and small business owner. As a busy working mom, Stephanie first joined Jenny Craig in 2010. After reaching her goals, she continued following her newfound healthy habits. But after the birth of her second son, Stephanie found it difficult to lose the baby weight. In 2018, she rejoined the program and lost 17 lbs.!†   †Weight lost on Classic program. Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Stephanie received promotional consideration. Weight loss current as of November 2018.  <br>Stephanie now maintains her weight by enjoying Jenny Craig foods and exercising regularly. Through her weight loss journey, she’s learned to make self-care a priority, finds creative ways to stay active, and sticks to healthy food choices. Below, she shares her journey: A little background: when did you first join Jenny Craig and why did you return?  I first joined Jenny Craig nine years ago. I was still carrying some baby weight — at the time, my youngest was three years old. At the beginning of my journey, I had zero energy and was frustrated that I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes. Jenny Craig was the perfect solution because it was simple to follow and fit into my packed schedule.    I came back to Jenny Craig because it works so well for me as a busy working mom! It just fits into my life. There’s no planning, extensive shopping or food prep; the food tastes great, and I don’t feel hungry after my meals! Plus, the personal consultants are extremely supportive and encouraging. Sometimes that quick call or text during the week makes all the difference.   The hardest part about returning to the program was taking the first step and walking through the door. Once I did, I was so happy to be back on track! The Jenny Craig team was committed to helping me reach my health goals.  6:00 - 8:30 a.m. Time to start the day! But first, coffee …    Like so many moms, my day is jam-packed with everything from packing lunches and chauffeuring kids to processing payroll and conducting business meetings — I try to juggle it all!   I start the morning with a cup of coffee and get breakfast ready for my teenage son and 12-year-old. Once they’re off to school, it’s time to savor a second cup of coffee and my breakfast. I love the Jenny Craig Cheddar Cheese Omelet.   12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Lunchtime + sneaking in some activity    Depending on my schedule, I prefer to have lunch at home. I am a pescatarian, so I choose fish as my protein over other meats. At first, I was worried about having enough choices on Jenny Craig’s menu. But when I took a closer look, there was a decent selection to choose from. I love the Fish & Chips and Three Cheese Macaroni with Broccoli & Carrots!   I always pair my lunch with water — I’ve noticed that staying hydrated helps me feel healthy and supports my weight loss efforts. Unfortunately, I’m not the best at monitoring my H2O intake. What works best for me is to fill up a large water bottle and sip it continuously throughout the day.   <br> When I do work in the office, I love using my standing desk. It’s actually a tall table located in a common workspace, so it tends to be where we all congregate and hold meetings. If I’m working from home, I sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair to help my posture and core strength. Both are great ways to sneak in some activity into my busy day!   4:30 - 5:00 p.m. After work, it’s time to work out. When you’re a busy mom, you have to get creative with your workouts — which means I typically exercise in the living room. The dog planks with me while one of my sons grabs a snack and the other does his homework.     Confession: I have never been athletic and, truthfully, have never enjoyed working out. It wasn’t until I sustained a shoulder injury in my 40’s that I realized I needed to make a change. I found a personal trainer and started to enjoy our short sessions together. Now, I usually work out four times a week for about an hour — I’m probably in the best shape of my life!     Remember to always consult your doctor or health care professional before starting an exercise program.  5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Dinnertime. I make dinner for the family and we generally sit down together to eat. I try to coordinate what I am feeding my kids with what I’m eating. For instance, if it’s pizza night, then I make a Jenny Craig Margherita Pizza. I also make vegetable sides that we can all eat.  <br>   7:00 - 8:30 p.m. A relaxing after-dinner walk. Right now, it’s football season, so I take my younger son to practice. While he’s practicing, I walk. There’s a track that goes around the practice field, so it’s perfect for a little extra exercise!  8:30 p.m. A healthy dessert and bedtime. After practice, it’s time to wind down. I take a hot shower and then read or sometimes watch TV.    <br> If this journey has taught me anything, it’s that I need to take care of myself. I need to somehow be on the priority list. I’m a mom and a business owner, so there is no way to stop the “circus” that is my schedule. Now, I make it a point to take care of the ringmaster!     Feeling inspired by Stephanie’s story? Book your free appointment with a Jenny Craig consultant to start your own weight loss journey today! You can do the program on your time, by going into a Jenny Craig center and having your weekly consultations in-person or by having the food delivered straight to your door with Jenny Craig Anywhere and having your weekly consultations over the phone or video chat.   
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5 Ways to Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure

It’s an alarming statistic, but did you know that almost half of all people in the U.S. over the age of 20 have some form of high blood pressure?1 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),2 high blood pressure — also known as hypertension — can affect anyone, at any age. What’s more, 2017 guidelines from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have lowered the threshold for what constitutes high blood pressure, so now even more Americans are considered to have the condition.3   If you have high blood pressure or are looking for ways to lower yours, we’ve got some suggestions. We’re taking a look at a few common questions about high blood pressure, including how to know if you have the condition and what puts you at risk for developing it. Plus, tips on how you can help lower your blood pressure naturally — and keep yourself healthier in the process.  <br>Q: What is high blood pressure? <br>A: Your blood pressure is composed of two numbers. The first (systolic) number indicates how much pressure your blood exerts against the walls of your arteries when your heart beats; the second (diastolic) number tells you how much pressure your blood exerts while your heart is resting between beats.4 According to the ACC/AHA guidelines, your blood pressure is in the normal range if your average systolic reading is less than 120 and your average diastolic is less than 80 (110/70, for example).3 If either number is consistently higher, you are considered to have elevated or high blood pressure.    The following are the new thresholds for adults, as outlined in the guidelines:3  Elevated: You have elevated blood pressure if your average systolic reading is between 120 and 129 and your average diastolic is less than 80 Stage 1 high blood pressure: You have stage 1 high blood pressure if your average systolic is between 130 and 139 or your average diastolic is between 80 and 89  Stage 2 high blood pressure: You have stage 2 high blood pressure if your average systolic is 140 or higher or your average diastolic is 90 or higher    Q: What problems are associated with high blood pressure?  <br> A: According to the AHA,5 high blood pressure can lead to several serious conditions if it isn’t detected or controlled. These include heart attack; heart failure; kidney disease; narrowing of the arteries; stroke; and vision loss.    Q: What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?  <br> A: Unfortunately, high blood pressure typically doesn’t have any obvious symptoms, which is why it’s important to get it checked yearly. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, some people may experience headaches, nosebleeds or shortness of breath — but usually only once their blood pressure becomes extremely high.6    To make sure you’re not developing high blood pressure (which typically develops over many years6), the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)7 recommends that all people aged three or older have their blood pressure checked by a healthcare provider at least once a year. The only way to tell if you have high blood pressure is to have it tested.4    Q: What causes high blood pressure?  <br> A: Most people with high blood pressure don’t have an identifiable cause of their condition, the Mayo Clinic reports.6 However, certain factors may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, including the following:  Your age: The risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you grow older. Men are more likely to develop the condition until about the age of 64; after age 65, women are more likely.6  Your family history: High blood pressure tends to run in families.6  Being overweight or obese: Research suggests that if you are overweight or obese, your risk of developing high blood pressure may increase by approximately 24 percent.8 Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, may also increase your risk compared to people without this type of fat — by about 22 percent.  Being inactive: Less active, less fit people have a 30 percent to 50 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure, statistics indicate.9  Too much salt in your diet: When there’s extra sodium in your bloodstream, it causes more water to be pulled into your blood vessels, which increases the amount of blood in them — and, hence, your blood pressure.10  Drinking too much alcohol: Regular, heavy use of alcohol can increase your blood pressure dramatically, the AHA reports.11  Stress: Although stress in and of itself has not been proven to cause long-term high blood pressure, stressful situations may lead to a temporary spike in your blood pressure by causing your blood vessels to constrict and your heart rate to increase. If you experience these spikes in blood pressure often enough, your blood vessels and heart can experience damage similar to that caused by long-term high blood pressure.12  Having certain chronic conditions: Some medical conditions — kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea, for instance — may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.6 How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Even if you have high blood pressure, you may be able to lower it by changing certain aspects of your lifestyle. In fact, lifestyle changes alone are recommended for most adults who are newly diagnosed with elevated or stage 1 high blood pressure, according to the ACC/AHA guidelines.2    1. Get Regular Exercise  <br>The AHA recommends that most people get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, per week.13 The organization also recommends integrating flexibility and stretching exercises into your weekly routine, and to participate in muscle-strengthening activities a couple times per week.    2. Lose Weight if You’re Overweight <br> Did you know that losing just 3 percent to 5 percent of your body weight can help lower your blood pressure if you’re overweight?14 In addition to the tried-and-true advice to reduce calorie intake and move more, the experts at Harvard Health recommend adopting these habits to help with weight loss:15  Make time to prepare healthy meals at home or have nutritious ready-made meals on hand. Not only is eating out bad for your bank account, but it can be bad for your waistline. In fact, restaurant fare has been implicated for years as a likely factor in our nation’s obesity epidemic.16  Eat slowly. Eating too quickly can lead you to overeat, as it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive signals from your stomach that it’s full. Spread your calories out evenly throughout the day. Skipping breakfast can lead to extreme hunger later in the day — which may cause you to overeat. Try to eat balanced meals throughout the day (don’t forget healthy snacks!) and avoid eating late at night.  Get your Z’s. Numerous studies have linked less sleep with a greater risk of being overweight or obese. So commit to getting enough sleep — and consider practicing “sleep hygiene” at the same time. Weigh yourself daily. Research suggests that people who weigh themselves every day are more likely to lose weight — and keep it off.17    3. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet <br>The NHLBI recommends the following elements of a healthy eating plan:18  Include vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet, as well as fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts and healthy oils Choose foods that are rich in calcium, fiber, magnesium, potassium and protein Limit foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, including fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils (coconut, palm kernel and palm oils, for example) Limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets   4. Reduce Your Sodium Intake <br> The AHA recommends you limit sodium intake to under 2,300 milligrams per day, especially if you have high blood pressure.19 Reducing your intake by even 1,000 milligrams a day can improve your blood pressure, the AHA reports.   Jenny Craig menus follow expert guidelines and keep sodium levels below the recommended daily amount of 2,300 milligrams — plus, feature no artificial ingredients.   <br>5. Avoid Alcohol  <br> Cutting back or eliminating alcohol from your diet may not only improve your blood pressure, but it could also support your weight loss goals. Keep moderation in mind if you do imbibe: the AHA recommends limiting your consumption to one standard drink a day for women and two for men.20    No matter your age, we hope this information has inspired you to monitor your blood pressure regularly, and to take steps to keep it in a healthy range. Your heart — and your entire body — will thank you for it!   Do you need help crafting a heart-healthy eating plan? Jenny Craig can help! Contact us to get started on the path to better health today!     Sources: [1] https://www.heart.org/-/media/data-import/downloadables/pe-abh-what-is-high-blood-pressure-ucm_300310.pdf [2] https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/faqs.htm [3] http://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2670318 [4] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings [5] http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/health-threats-from-high-blood-pressure [6] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410 [7] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure#treatment [8] https://www.cardiosmart.org/News-and-Events/2014/09/Belly-Fat-Increases-Risk-for-High-Blood-Pressure [9] https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/chronic/cvd.htm [10] https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sodium-and-salt [11] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure/common-high-blood-pressure-myths [12] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/stress-and-high-blood-pressure/art-20044190 [13] http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/getting-active-to-control-high-blood-pressure [14] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure#treatment [15] https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/5-habits-that-foster-weight-loss [16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10574515 [17] https://newsroom.heart.org/news/daily-weighing-may-be-key-to-losing-weight?preview=39b3 [18] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan [19] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/shaking-the-salt-habit-to-lower-high-blood-pressure [20] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/limiting-alcohol-to-manage-high-blood-pressure
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Single? Taken? Self-Care Tips Just in Time for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is known for the usual gifts of chocolates, heart-shaped cards and red roses, but it’s not just about romance — Valentine’s Day is also the perfect time to treat yourself – and others – to something special.  <br> The idea of self-care can be traced back to the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates. Prominent French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault interpreted Socrates’ concept of self-care as caring for oneself and others and engaging in self-reflection and meditation.1  <br> In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, channel self-care and self-love by challenging yourself to be kinder, both to yourself and others. Whether you’re single or taken, these self-care ideas can be enjoyed solo, with a significant other, or even a group of friends. Enjoy!   via GIPHY 1. Soak up the great outdoors. Spending time surrounded by nature can be incredibly relaxing — so much so that “forest bathing” is a common practice in Japan, which encourages people to soak in the sights, scents and sounds of the forest around them (and no, you don’t have to take a literal bath in the forest!).2  The practice is a mindful activity that taps into all of your senses. And in an age when Americans spend an average of 87 percent of their time indoors , now is as good a time as any to go out and explore (weather permitting).3 If there’s no forest nearby, a quiet park or open field will do — take a few moments to unplug, leave your devices behind, and experience the great outdoors.    via GIPHY 2. Or, get cozy. Too cold to get outside? Take a tip from the Danes and embrace “hygge,” a word describing a specific type of coziness that creates a feeling of well-being and contentment.4 Pronounced “hoo-guh,” hygge welcomes the chill of winter and invites you to wrap yourself in a plush blanket, warm your hands around a hot cup of tea (or coffee!) and open your door to good company.    via GIPHY 3. Spa day, anyone?   Whether your treatment of choice is a massage, manicure, pedicure or a trip to the sauna, book an appointment and your Valentine’s Day will definitely feel more relaxing. Your favorite spa treatment may have some health benefits, too. Some studies suggest massage therapy may help with lower back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee5, while the Mayo Clinic reports that saunas may help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function.6 Or, create your own private spa at home by diffusing your favorite essential oils.   via GIPHY 4. Take a day trip. Take a break from the daily grind and do a little exploring! Check out a different part of town, grab a friend and hit the trails for a short hike, or hop in the car to watch the sunset. You just might find a new favorite spot!   via GIPHY 5. Find a great podcast. Want to learn more about a particular hobby or get lost in an unsolved mystery? There’s probably a podcast for that. From cooking to true crime, it seems like there’s a podcast for everyone — and there’s a good reason: Podcasts are growing in popularity – in 2018, men spent just under eight hours listening to them each week, while women tuned in for about 5.5 hours, on average.7 Plus, they’re easy to find: searching “podcast” online will give you hundreds of options to download or stream. Just slip in some earbuds, kick back and relax.    via GIPHY 6. Explore the arts. Ditch the routine Valentine’s Day rom-com and spend the day wandering through a trendy interactive art exhibit, watch a new play, or listen to your favorite band live. Bonus: some research indicates different types of creative art may benefit your physical health.8    via GIPHY 7. Change things up with a drive-in movie. It may seem old school, but if you’re tired of the typical movie night, try changing things up at the drive-in! Grab a group of friends, go with a date, or take in the experience for yourself, it’s the perfect way to relax and watch a movie in the comfort of your own vehicle. Some theaters even let you bring snacks, so come prepared! If you’re a Jenny Craig member, grab a bag of sweet and salty Kettle Corn, savory White Cheddar Popcorn or crunchy Cheese Curls for the show!      via GIPHY 8. Kiss your clutter goodbye. Get ready for Valentine’s Day by tidying up your space to make it easier to relax and focus on what’s most important – spending time with your significant other, friends, or just yourself!9 Try these helpful tips to fight feeling frazzled and stay organized and fresh.   via GIPHY 9. Spend a quiet night in. Sometimes flying solo is the best thing you can do on Valentine’s Day. If your schedule’s been feeling way too packed, you might be the one who needs a little extra TLC. Give yourself the day to rest and recharge. Spending some quality time on your own may make you more creative, give you the chance to focus on your goals and evaluate your progress.10    via GIPHY 10. Catch those Z’s. Getting plenty of quality sleep can make all the difference when it comes to setting yourself up for a productive day. Try these 10 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep, and make the most of your beauty rest! <br> Still need to buy a Valentine’s Day gift? Check out these self-care gift ideas and treat yourself to a little something, too!  <br>What are you doing for yourself this month? Share with us your go-to self-care tips in the comments below! 
Inspiration

Natalie and Garth W. Lost 40 lbs. Together* and Feel Closer Than Ever

At Jenny Craig, we know that personal support is the key to weight loss. That’s why doing the program with someone you love makes it even easier to stay motivated. Garth and Natalie reached their goals as a couple and created new healthy habits together. Here’s how their journey unfolded.     Natalie Brooks Wilson, age 51, Social Worker, Island Park, New York -Lost 25 lbs.* Garth Wilson, age 48, Financial Advisor, Island Park, New York -Lost 15 lbs.* *Weight lost on Classic Program.  Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Received promotional consideration.     Garth and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage on April 21, 2019! During our relationship, we struggled with our weight, but the biggest challenge arrived after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. We lost part of our home and had no heat, gas or electricity for nearly two months. We moved to a tiny hotel room and ate all our meals at restaurants. It took about a year before our home was fully rebuilt. That crisis took a big emotional toll on us. 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#wistia_grid_31_front{display:none;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;top:0;width:100%;} #wistia_grid_31_top_inside{position:absolute;left:0;top:0;width:100%;} #wistia_grid_31_top{width:100%;position:absolute;bottom:0;left:0;} #wistia_grid_31_bottom_inside{position:absolute;left:0;bottom:0;width:100%;} #wistia_grid_31_bottom{width:100%;position:absolute;top:0;left:0;} #wistia_grid_31_left_inside{height:100%;position:absolute;left:0;top:0;} #wistia_grid_31_left{height:100%;position:absolute;right:0;top:0;} #wistia_grid_31_right_inside{height:100%;right:0;position:absolute;top:0;} #wistia_grid_31_right{height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;top:0;} #wistia_grid_31_below{position:relative;}   Soon after my 50th birthday, my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic and that my cholesterol was at a dangerous level. I recognized that I needed to do something to change the course of my future. I worried that I would not be successful on my own, because in the past, I lacked willpower due to slow or no progress. I decided to join Jenny Craig and asked my husband to go with me. He agreed and together we met with Roseanna, our wonderful Jenny Craig consultant, to set our individual goals. My goal was to lose 25 lbs., hoping to lower my blood sugar and cholesterol, and Garth wanted to shed 15 lbs. to potentially gain energy and to reduce stress.       Garth and I made our visits to the center a priority and committed to the program. During our consultations, we had time to focus on our individual goals and made our game plans for events (like weddings and family holiday meals) as a couple. We both loved the delicious food and found the prepared meals to be super convenient! Garth and I work full time and are also in school, so we have limited time for food preparation. Having the bulk of the work done for us was amazing and taught us to recognize correct portion sizes and to how to find nutritional balance in our meals. We greatly benefited from the support of our personal consultant – she held us accountable and kept us on track separately and together!   <br> We had so much fun losing weight together and achieving our weight loss goals! We are each other’s biggest fans and cheerleaders! It’s motivating to watch each other make good choices and promotes a friendly competition. Garth and I have more energy for each other, feel less stressed, and enjoy more fun times! Our healthy lifestyles include regular trips to the gym and we’ve incorporated yoga classes, meditation and mindfulness into our routines. We also enjoy more walks together and the occasional bike ride. Our days feel easier and our nights are more fun!   Losing weight as a couple brought us closer together and made us more successful in achieving our goals. Improving our health and energy has us living the life we have always wanted. Our advice to other couples wanting to lose weight is to do it together. Support and believing in success for yourself and each other. You can do it and you are worth it! Our gratitude goes to our consultant for her endless support and guidance and to the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Program. We recommend it because it truly works!    *Valid for one year of Jenny All Access membership. Cost of food and shipping, if applicable, not included. Valid at participating centers, Jenny Craig Anywhere and jennycraig.com New members only. No cash value. Offers ends 2/18/19.  Not valid with any other membership offers or discounts. One offer per person.
Live Life

Benefits of Losing Weight with a Partner

You may have heard that people tend to gain weight once they’re married or in a relationship. But did you know your spouse or partner can actually help you succeed in your weight-loss efforts, especially when you do it together?   In a recent poll of 2,000 Americans who were married or in a relationship, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Jenny Craig, researchers found that 79 percent of respondents had indeed gained weight since being part of a couple. The average person had gained 36 pounds since being with their current partner, gaining an average of 17 pounds in the first year alone.    But simply being in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re destined to gain weight or hold on to the extra weight you may have gained. In fact, committing to losing weight with your partner can help you succeed in your efforts.    Read on to discover the many benefits that can come from you and your partner joining forces to become a successful weight loss duo!  1. Making a Change Together Can Increase Your Success A large study of more than 3,700 couples who were either married or living together found that both partners were more likely to undertake healthy new behaviors, such as committing to losing weight, becoming physically active or quitting smoking, if they made the changes together.1 This was especially true when both partners were overweight: If one partner was successful at weight loss, the other’s odds of success increased threefold.    Another study found that when people participate in a weight loss program with a partner who is successful at losing weight, they are more likely to be successful themselves.2 Researchers reported that when one partner lost 10 percent or more of their body weight after six months, the second partner lost significantly more weight at six, 12 and 18 months.    How you support each other is important, though. Research has shown that even if partners are “synchronized” in their weight-loss efforts, using ineffective or unsuitable strategies with each other, such as coercion rather than encouragement, can cause tension in the relationship.3 2. You’ll Get Healthier Together By committing to losing weight together, you can both help improve your health in several important ways:  A reduced risk of diabetes. If both of you lose just 5 percent to 10 percent of your body weight, you’ll lower your risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent each.4 Lowered risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that people who lose 5 percent to 10 percent of their body weight significantly reduce their levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol, all of which are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.5   You could reduce your risk of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 8 percent of all cancers in the U.S. are thought to be caused by excess weight.6 By losing weight together, growing research indicates you and your mate may reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, including postmenopausal breast cancer and more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.6  Lower blood pressure. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), being overweight increases the chances that you will develop high blood pressure, a condition that increases the risk of several serious diseases, including heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.7 But you can help lower your blood pressure by losing just 10 pounds, the NHLBI reports.  3. You Could Get Better Sleep  The National Sleep Foundation reports that being overweight is one of the most common reasons for snoring, which can interfere with sleep for both of you.8 But don’t think that snoring is something that only affects males: While about 40 percent of adult men are habitual snorers, approximately 24 percent of adult women are as well.9 By losing a few pounds, you both may find that your sleep becomes more restful — which, in turn, may help you lose more weight.   4. Your Companion Can Pass Good Habits on to You  A study on “social contagion” among married or romantic partners found that while having an obese spouse or live-in partner increases your risk of obesity by almost 40 percent, couples can also have a positive influence on each other, especially related to diet and exercise (eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising more frequently and eating fast food less often, for instance).11 The Jenny Craig poll bears this out: People who reported that they eat healthfully and exercise with their partner were more than twice as likely to have lost weight in the past year than those who do neither. 5. You’ll Have More Fun  Research suggests that people enjoy exercise more when they're with their spouse, friends or co-workers than when they work out alone.12 6. Your Relationship May Improve  According to the Jenny Craig poll, couples who exercise and eat healthfully together are nearly twice as likely to say they’re consistently happy in their relationship than those who don’t.   For an extra boost, try a new physical activity with your significant other: Studies have shown that couples tend to feel more in love with their partner, and more satisfied with their relationship, after taking part in a physical challenge or activity as a couple.13 So grab your partner and hit a hiking trail, try a samba class or try any  activity that piques your interest!    Along those same lines, working out together so you and your partner coordinate your actions — such as tossing a medicine ball back and forth, lifting weights in unison or matching your pace to each other’s while walking — may boost your bonding. Such activities require nonverbal matching, also known as nonverbal mimicry, which experts say may help couples feel more emotionally in tune with each other.13  7. You’ve Got a Built-in Support System Sure, it’s a great feeling to watch the numbers on the scale drop, but it can be even better if you’ve got someone to celebrate your wins with … and if you’re both losing weight together, there’s even more reason to celebrate! On the flip side, if you’re feeling discouraged or if your commitment starts to lag, your partner can help boost you up.    And if you don’t have a partner, don’t worry — your Jenny Craig weight loss consultant can offer one-on-one personal support and work side-by-side with you to help you reach your weight loss goals. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, discovered that people following a structured weight loss program with support were more likely to lose weight and keep it off than those who did not.  <br> You and your partner are committed to each other in so many ways, so why not join forces to lose weight together? You may find the road to weight loss that much more enjoyable with your best friend by your side.   Do you and your partner need a little help getting started on your weight loss journeys? Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to get started today!      *Valid for one year of Jenny All Access membership. Cost of food and shipping, if applicable, not included. Valid at participating centers, Jenny Craig Anywhere and jennycraig.com New members only. No cash value. Program Code: FS49. Offers ends 2/16/19.  Not valid with any other membership offers or discounts. One offer per person.   Sources: [1] https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/partners-can-help-each-other-make-positive-health-behavior-changes/ [2] https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&amp;httpsredir=1&amp;article=1020&amp;context=kine_fac [3] https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/tfg-wtk043018.php [4] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/digestive_weight_loss_center/conditions/diabetes.html [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4987606/ [6] https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/body-weight-and-cancer-risk/effects.html [7] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/hbp_low.pdf [8] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/other-sleep-disorders/snoring [9] http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/snoring/overview-and-facts [10] https://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss#1&nbsp; [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5199005/ [12] https://www.livescience.com/40977-exercise-enjoyment-friends.html [13] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201401/5-reasons-why-couples-who-sweat-together-stay-together
Eat Well

Ask an R.D.: Are Eggs Healthy and Do They Cause High Cholesterol?

Several years ago, when I decided to raise a flock of chickens so my family could enjoy fresh eggs nearly any day of the year, people looked at me as if I’d gone a bit loopy. “Eggs are terrible for you!” some exclaimed.   “You’ll give yourself a heart attack!” others admonished.    I’d heard the warnings that eggs could cause high cholesterol and increase the risk of so-called cardiovascular events, but I wasn’t convinced that such claims were true. Undaunted, I continued on my chicken-tending, delicious egg-eating quest. And guess what? No signs of heart issues or high cholesterol for me or anyone in my family.    Now that all of the chatter about the so-called health risks of eggs has subsided, I feel more than a little vindicated. But how did something so delicious — and healthy — become so maligned? And what does the science say now?    I spoke with Briana Rodriquez, R.D., Jenny Craig’s registered dietitian, to find out the truth about eggs. She shared information about how enjoying them in moderation, and as part of a healthy diet, can not only help you in your weight loss efforts, but may also contribute to your overall health goals. Here’s how. How Eggs Got a Bad Rap The story dates back several decades, when high levels of cholesterol in the blood — particularly LDL, or “bad” cholesterol — were found to be strongly correlated with heart disease. With that discovery, experts warned people to avoid cholesterol-containing foods, including eggs, thinking they could contribute to this disease by increasing harmful cholesterol in the bloodstream.1,2     Since that time, research has shown a weak correlation, at best, between the cholesterol in foods — called dietary cholesterol — and the cholesterol in your blood. In fact, scientists have discovered that dietary cholesterol does not raise blood-cholesterol levels for most people.3,4 However, it’s still important to be mindful of your overall cholesterol intake.    Even though eggs do contain cholesterol — and a fair amount of it, at about 200 milligrams per egg — scientists now know that the cholesterol in food is not the same as the cholesterol in your blood, as most of the cholesterol in your blood is actually produced by your body.3,4 In fact, dietary cholesterol is no longer considered a “nutrient of concern,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in 2015.5 As such, the guidelines removed the previous recommendation to limit the consumption of dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day.4  The Main Causes of High Cholesterol According to experts, it’s the amount and type of fats and carbohydrates in your diet, along with your genetics, that have the greatest impact on the cholesterol in your bloodstream — not just the cholesterol in the foods you eat.1,3   “Of all the fats found in foods, trans fats affect blood-cholesterol levels the most by causing your body to produce more LDL cholesterol. It’s also important to limit your saturated fat intake to no more than 10% of your daily calories,” Rodriquez explains. “The types of fats in eggs are mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which are actually good for you in small amounts, especially if you use them in place of trans fats. Eggs also contain a small amount of saturated fat which can increase both HDL (the “good” kind of cholesterol) and LDL cholesterol levels, so it’s beneficial to be mindful of your consumption, but not necessary to eliminate it from your diet.”6     Rodriquez adds that saturated fats are the visible type found in poultry and meats, as well as in full-fat dairy products; trans fats are the type found in many cakes and pastries.  What Research on Eggs Has Found  According to Harvard Health, numerous studies — looking at literally hundreds of thousands of people over decades — have shown that moderate egg consumption of up to one egg per day does not increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular diseases for the majority of people.2 However, if you have diabetes or heart disease, or if you are at risk of developing heart disease, it may be advisable for you to limit your egg consumption to three eggs per week; be sure to check with your doctor.2  Are Eggs Healthy, Then?     “Despite years of thinking eggs are bad for us, we now know that just the opposite is true,” Rodriquez says. “Eggs have high-quality protein and many important nutrients, some of which can actually lower the risk of certain diseases. They are a healthy addition to a healthy diet if eaten in moderation.”   Here are just some of the other benefits that eggs bring: They may help protect against heart disease and stroke. One observational study found that people who ate up to one egg per day reduced their risk of stroke by 26 percent and their risk of heart disease by 12 percent when compared with people who rarely or never ate eggs.7 “This may be due to the fact that eggs increase HDL cholesterol, which helps reduce the build-up of fat in your blood vessels,” Rodriquez explains.  They’re rich in protein and satisfying. Logging in at just 78 calories, one large egg contains more than 6 grams of protein, which helps you feel full longer. And eggs are naturally low in sugar, at just .5 gram each.8  They may help you lose weight. One study that compared two different breakfasts, both with the same number of calories, found that people on a reduced-calorie diet who had an egg-based breakfast lost more weight than those who ate a bagel-based breakfast.9 After eight weeks, the egg-eating group experienced a 61 percent greater reduction in BMI, a 65 percent greater weight loss and a 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference compared to the bagel-eating group.  They’re a natural source of vitamin D. Eggs are one of the very few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health.10 Should You Skip the Yolks? Since the yolk contains 100 percent of the cholesterol in eggs, it may be advisable to limit your egg consumption to a few times a week or opt for egg whites if you have diabetes, high LDL cholesterol or already have heart disease, but otherwise you could be missing out by skipping the yolks.1,4 “Not only are the yolks delicious, but they contain many vital nutrients,” Rodriquez says.   Ditch the yolks, for instance, and you’ll lose nearly half of the protein; you’ll also lose out on fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Compared to the whites, the yolks also contain more of these nutrients:12  Calcium  Folate Iron Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Zinc   “Plus, they contain all of the egg’s DHA and carotenoids, as well as all of the vitamin A, E, D and K,” Rodriquez adds.   What’s more important than limiting your yolks, many experts say, is to pay attention to how you prepare your eggs — and what you eat with them. For instance, a poached egg is preferable over one fried in butter. “Opt for items such as salsa and fresh vegetables like zucchini, broccoli or asparagus as accompaniments rather than sausage and home fries,” Rodriquez adds. “Jenny Craig’s new breakfast foods are the perfect choice if you’re looking for a protein-packed, convenient, nutrient-rich start to the day.”   So what’s the final verdict on the health status of eggs? Rodriquez states, “When eaten in moderation, eggs are an excellent food to include in a balanced diet.”    Looking for a healthy egg dish to enjoy? Check out Jenny Craig’s new breakfast foods which include our Ranchero Skillet, Cheesy Egg & Sausage Scramble and Egg & Vegetable Sunrise Scramble. Contact us today to schedule a free appointment and find out how these delicious meals can be part of a healthy eating plan and help you work toward your weight loss goals.      Sources: [1] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/cholesterol/&nbsp; [2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/are-eggs-risky-for-heart-health [3] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-you-should-no-longer-worry-about-cholesterol-in-food/ [4] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/eggs/ [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6129189/ [6] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/saturated-fat-good-or-bad#section4&nbsp; [7] https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/daily-egg-consumption-may-reduce-cardiovascular-disease/ [8] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/01129 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755181/ [10] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/ [11] https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/08/15/are-eggs-good-for-you-or-not [12] https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2011/10/11/the-nurtional-value-of-egg-whites-versus-egg-yolks-what-do-you-use/