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How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When You're Trying to Lose Weight?

It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And when you’re trying to lose weight, the toughest step of all can be the one you take onto the bathroom scale. Will those numbers in front of your toes serve as proof of your progress? What if you haven’t lost as much as you expected — or if you’ve actually gained a pound or two? It’s common for many people to avoid weighing themselves for these very reasons.   Yet if you’re trying to lose weight, it can be helpful to weigh yourself — and to do so regularly. Frequent weigh-ins not only help you keep track of your progress and feel motivated, but research shows they can also help you lose weight.1 At the same time, not doing regular weigh-ins can lead to weight gain.2 In fact, self-weighing can be so effective that many experts now recommend weighing yourself daily if you’re trying to lose weight — or to maintain the loss you’ve already achieved.    Here’s a look at the science behind daily weigh-ins, as well as tips to make the most out of your trips to the scale. What does the research say?  Research shows weighing yourself every day can be one of the most important tools in your weight-loss journey.  Based off these findings, Jenny Craig recommends daily weigh-ins on your own, in addition to weekly weigh-ins with your personal weight loss consultant. (But if you find weigh-ins causing more anxiety than motivation, do what is best for you and your journey.)    For instance, recent research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine3 analyzed the self-weighing patterns of more than 1,000 adults — and whether there were differences in weight according to these patterns. They found that people who weighed themselves six or seven times per week lost 1.7 percent of their body weight over the course of a year. People who never weighed themselves, or who did so once per week, didn’t lose any weight during the same timeframe. (The study participants were not given any weight-loss advice, incentives or other guidance; they were studied only in relation to how frequently they stepped on the scale.)    Another study of 91 overweight adults4 conducted by researchers from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that people who weighed themselves daily achieved “clinically meaningful” weight loss when compared to those who weighed themselves six days a week or less. The participants who weighed themselves daily lost an average of more than 20 pounds over six months, while those who weighed in less than daily lost less than 7 pounds, on average, during the same time period. (Study participants were provided feedback on the frequency of their weigh-ins and corresponding weight loss, in addition to weight-loss strategies such as reducing their calorie intake and incorporating daily physical activity into their schedules.)    Keeping tabs on your progress is important to help achieve your weight loss goals,” says Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM, chair of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board. “Weighing yourself daily can be a great barometer for whether the numbers are headed in the right direction, and if they’re not, you can have that immediate information to course correct and make positive changes to get back on track.” Why is it helpful to weigh yourself daily? There are several factors associated with daily weigh-ins that can help with weight loss. For instance, according to the University of Pittsburgh/UCSF researchers, self-monitoring of your body weight — such as by weighing yourself frequently — can lead to changes in your behavior, which in turn can increase your success at managing your weight.3   Additionally, research suggests that frequent self-monitoring may improve your self-awareness while also providing an early warning of subtle increases in your weight.2 What’s more, the National Institutes of Health5 (NIH) says that regular monitoring of your weight is essential for weight maintenance.   In fact, Duke/Chapel Hill researchers say that study participants who weighed themselves daily engaged more often in behaviors associated with weight loss, including the following:4  Reducing their calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day  Reducing the amount of fast food they ate Reducing the amount of sweets or junk food they ate Reducing late-night snacking Making small changes to their daily activity level  Reducing the amount of time they watched TV  Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day Daily weigh-ins may not be for everyone Despite the potential benefits of daily weighing, experts warn that certain people are better off not doing weigh-ins. Research indicates that the self-esteem of young adolescents may be impacted by daily weigh-ins.6 And if you’ve ever struggled with disordered eating, studies indicate frequent weigh-ins should be avoided as well.7    So be sure to check in with yourself. Does the above apply to you? Or does weighing in give you more of an emotional blow over than an emotional boost? If so, daily weigh-ins are not for you.   Tips for daily weigh-ins You can get the most out of your weigh-ins by following these tips: <br>1. Weigh yourself around the same time every day. Try to get in the habit of weighing yourself around the same time daily to help get a more accurate picture of your weight loss. Many experts recommend first thing in the morning. <br> <br>2. Wear the same type of clothing — if any. Jeans weigh more than leggings; a sweater is heavier than a t-shirt. Level the playing field by donning the same clothes daily — or weigh in without any clothing at all. <br>3. Try a graph rather than a list. Since it can help you see trends, keeping a graph of your weight may be more informative than a list, according to the NIH.5  <br>4. Keep your cycle in mind. If you feel heavier around the time of your period, it’s not all in your head: Many women do gain weight according to their menstrual cycle. If you see a jump in the numbers on the scale, don’t panic — as long as you’re eating sensibly and exercising, they’ll come back down as your hormones normalize.8 <br>5. Repeat after us: Muscle weighs more than fat. If you’ve been working out as part of your weight-loss plan, it may seem as if you’re losing weight more slowly than you’d like. But keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat, so even if the numbers on the scale seem slow to budge, you’re actually putting on healthy amounts of metabolism-boosting muscle while losing fat.9,10 Taking your measurements (waist, hips, etc.) is another good indicator of your progress. <br>6. Keep it in perspective — and be patient. According to the NIH,5 one day’s exercise and diet patterns won’t have a measurable effect on your weight the next day. It’s the cumulative effects of your behaviors that make a difference. <br>7. The numbers aren’t everything. Are the pounds dropping more slowly than you’d like? Try to assess your progress in other ways: Is your waist getting smaller? Feeling less pressure on your knees? Is your BMI improving? Can you walk farther without getting out of breath? These are all signs of improving health. <br>8. If you opt to weigh in once a week, choose the same day. According to research, people tend to weigh the most on Monday and the least on Friday,11 while the most accurate day to do a weigh-in is Wednesday.12   <br>9. Remember: Variation is normal. According to the Cleveland Clinic,13 average-weight adults can see the scale vary by up to 5 or 6 pounds per day depending on water retention and other factors. Weighing yourself daily can help you recognize fluctuating numbers as nothing more than a normal variation — so if you see your numbers jump from one day to the next, that doesn’t mean you’re actually gaining weight. And it’s certainly no reason to throw in the towel and give up on your goals.    Research continues to discover fascinating, effective ways to help you reach your weight-loss goals, and daily weigh ins are one of the simplest — yet most valuable. As you continue on your path to a healthy weight, we hope you consider adding this tool to your weight-loss journey if it’s right for you.   Would you like to learn more healthy ways to lose weight? From eating in tune with your circadian rhythm to instituting a daylight nutrition strategy, Jenny Craig considers the latest proven research for their effective weight-loss program. Schedule your free appointment and get started today.  <br>     Sources: [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4380831/&nbsp; [2] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0113164 [3] https://newsroom.heart.org/news/daily-weighing-may-be-key-to-losing-weight?preview=39b3 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4380831/ [5] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/behavior.htm [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4644499/ <br> [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27188448 <br> [8] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141216123821.htm <br> [9] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/weighing-in-on-the-value-of-the-body-mass-index <br> [10] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-metabolism <br> [11] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-metabolism <br> [12] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-day-of-the-week-to-weigh-yourself/ [13] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-often-should-you-step-on-the-scale/
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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/
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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!
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Can Self-Compassion Boost Your Physical Health?

Making a change to develop healthier habits is never a perfect process. Instead, there are highs, lows, twists, setbacks, small and big wins. We know this, yet so often we expect ourselves to be perfect — and then beat ourselves up when we deviate from our plan. But rather than criticizing yourself, try some self-compassion. Doing so may help improve your physical health — find out how. What is self-compassion? Self-compassion is being a supportive, good friend to yourself when you struggle or notice something you don't like about yourself.1 There are three components of self-compassion:2   Common humanity: Recognizing that all humans suffer and feel inadequate, so you are not alone. Mindfulness: Observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Self-kindness: Being gentle with yourself when you experience difficulties, because you know it's inevitable.   Every one of us is deserving of compassion. And even if you struggle to practice self-compassion, you can learn to do so. What’s more, being kinder to yourself transcends beyond having a more positive attitude, it may also help you reach your health goals. The benefits of self-compassion  You may tell yourself that you need to “try harder” when you enjoy food that's not on your meal plan or if your schedule gets thrown off and you don’t have time to exercise. But research indicates that practicing self-compassion may be more effective at helping you reach your goals — and be better for your health than being hard on yourself.   One study found that people who are self-compassionate reported lower levels of stress, better overall physical health, and practiced healthy behaviors such as exercising regularly, practicing stress management and making healthy food choices. 3   Being more accepting of your struggles may also fuel your motivation to improve.4 In fact, one study found when adults experienced an exercise setback, those who were more self-compassionate were less likely to ruminate over their situation and more likely to try again or focus on a new goal.5   Accepting a set-back and pausing to reflect on it is key, as it allows you to not only assess if your current goal and plan are right for you, but it also means you may master a new skill in order to achieve your aspirations, which can give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence.6 Self-compassionate people also tend to have a better handle on stressful situations, which means they may feel less depleted and can put more energy toward managing their health and any medical problems that may arise.7 3 ways to be compassionate toward yourself The next time you find yourself being critical or thinking negatively, pause and consider one of these self-compassion practices.   1. Think about a friend If you were talking to a friend who was in your situation, how would you speak to him/her? How does that differ from what you are saying to yourself? Turning around negative self-talk takes time, but continue practicing, and you will find your inner voice becoming more like a friend and less like a judge.   2. Take a break In our fast-paced world, it can be all too easy to keep moving and ignore our feelings. Instead, pause and acknowledge how you are feeling emotionally and physically. Some steps you can take can start with accepting that you’re experiencing something difficult or challenging right now. Then try to ask yourself, “How can I express kindness to myself?” You can make a declaration that you may feel stressed, that you are not alone in feeling this way and try to repeat a positive phrase such as, “May I give myself the compassion that I need.” Repeat as often as you need.8   3. Put yourself first Sometimes the demands of taking care of a family, a job and managing the stress of everyday life can make self-care take a backseat. But self-care not only helps you manage stress, it can also help you be a better caregiver, employee, boss, parent, and friend. So take that bubble bath, enjoy a short walk in nature, get that massage — do whatever would be an expression of love toward yourself.   Sometimes we need a friend to help us be a better friend to ourselves. Jenny Craig consultants are there for you every step of the way. Contact us to book a free appointment and speak with a personal consultant today.     Sources: [1] https://centerformsc.org/learn-msc/ [2] https://self-compassion.org/the-three-elements-of-self-compassion-2/ [3] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2055102917729542 [4] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167212445599?cookieSet=1 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29580155 [6] https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/sites.northwestern.edu/dist/0/63/files/2013/03/03-PSPB-Self-regulation-of-unattainable-goals.pdf [7] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298868.2011.558404?src=recsys&journalCode=psai20& [8] https://self-compassion.org/exercise-2-self-compassion-break/
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10 Ways to De-Stress This Holiday Season: Infographic

Looking for a few ways to relax this holiday season? Check out these 10 simple tips to de-stress!  
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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/
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