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Walk Your Way Healthy

Posted on October 16, 2017 by

So often people want to exercise, but they don’t know where to start. Walking is a great place to start. Walking is typically easy on the joints, can be done anywhere, and all you need is a comfy pair of shoes.

HOW TO GET 10,000 STEPS A DAYfeet on sidewalk
Everyone knows movement is good for the body. The hardest part is often finding the time, especially if you have an office job. However, 9-5 is a long time to be sitting at a desk. But don’t worry, anything is possible with a little bit of change.

Walking is the best way to start adding movement into your day. Walking is typically easy on the joints, can be added in small time frames, and needs no fancy equipment.

If you have the option, I highly recommend an activity tracker. While pedometers and activity trackers are in no way a necessity, seeing your steps add up can motivate and inspire you to keep moving. Seeing your steps also adds accountability. You may think you are getting an adequate amount of movement, but having a concrete number to track will help you ensure you are hitting your goals.

If you are new to walking try to hit 10,000 steps a day at first. That may seem daunting, but think of reaching 10,000 steps in smaller goals. Set a small goal to hit 250 steps/hour or 100 steps/30 minutes throughout the day. Newer activity trackers can often be set to alert you at different times of the day or a well-placed post-it note can sometimes be all it takes to keep your mind focused on your goal. Also start to recognize what activities equal 100 steps. You’ll be more motivated to continue changing your habits if you can see a concrete benefit that results.

If you are at a desk for the majority of the day there are great ways to sneak in steps throughout your day:

1. First, stepping side-to-side does count! Stand and pace as you read your emails in the morning. Are you brainstorming with colleagues? Don’t be afraid to stand and move as you think. The fun thing about counting steps is every step counts! Even if you’re not walking anywhere.

2. Park in the back of the parking lot. This advice is nothing new. But it still stands as good advice. I bet walking into work in the morning from the last spot in the lot can easily get you 100 steps.

3. Do you take an elevator? Change to taking the stairs. If you are new to stairs don’t feel like you have to conquer them all at once. Simply walk one flight up and then take the elevator the rest of the way. Add in the extra flights as you get stronger. Fitness success is about making a lot of little changes over a long period of time. It’s not about making a lot of changes all at once.

4. Rather than emailing or calling a coworker, walk over to their cubicle.

5. Walk the longest path to the bathroom, printer, scanner, fax, kitchen, water cooler, etc.

6. Take a short walk during your lunch break. Instead of spending your time driving to and from a restaurant, pack your lunch and then squeeze in a short walk with the time you saved.

7. Dress for success! Keep a change of shoes, socks, undershirt, etc. in your car during warmer weather for your longer lunchtime walks. In the winter, keep mittens, hat, and a scarf handy.

8. If it’s still too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer you can head to your nearest mall. Walking end to end one time is sure to add up!

9. Be the one who walks the dog, gets the mail, takes out the trash, and picks up the house before bed

10. Make time with your family count. Take a walk after dinner. Start playing Pokemon Go with your kids. Dance in the kitchen as you cook. Start a new hobby like bird watching, golfing, or hiking. Free time is when you’ll really rack up the steps.

Once you start tracking your steps you’ll be motivated to squeeze in more steps and set new goals. More importantly, you;ll be finding more ways to live a happy and long life. Steps don’t just result in better physical health. Walking will give you more opportunities to de-stress and clear your mind. Innovative ways of hitting your step goals will create new hobbies and create family memories. The more you get moving the more life you’ll have in each step.


Join the CFWLS Steps for Success and add your daily steps to our group walks!  It’s easy – just log into World Walking and join the group.  It’s fun and a great way to stay inspired.

If you would like more advice on reaching 10,000 steps a day contact a CFWLS personal trainer or lifestyle coach today.

Spring Teller croppedContributed by Spring Teller, CPT, Group Instructor

Take a Walk…

Posted on October 12, 2016 by

fall pathFall is a beautiful time of year.  The temperature is more conducive to outside recreation and there are  many festive activities to partake in. Every week-end in Hampton Roads there are festivals, races, sporting events, and more happenings for the whole family to enjoy. Take advantage of the weather and weekly activities to fit in exercise (remember the goal is 10,000 steps a day!).
The Sportsplex in Yorktown is the perfect place to run/walk during baseball and soccer season.  It’s safe, scenic, and convenient.  Even if your child isn’t involved in a sport, you can still utilize the Sportsplex.  At a track, football, or other sporting event, walk as much as possible and make sure to bring healthy snack along!

Fall festivals abound in October and throughout the fall. These are perfect places to obtain 10,000 steps. Bring the kids to the Hunt Club Farm Harvest Fair in Virginia Beach for a pumpkin patch, carnival rides, hayrides, and vendors.  Check out the Harvest Faire at Endive plantation in Newport News. Also, the Poquoson Seafood Festival in October is a fun event to walk around and fill up on protein (nothing battered or fried!).

A walk in the park can mean weight loss at the scale!

A walk in the park can mean weight loss at the scale!

If you’re a fan of Halloween, attend the Haunted Mansion in Norfolk.  Newport News has The Night of the Living Museum, appropriate for the entire family.  Take the family to ZooBoo at the Virginia Zoo.  Or, roam through the Halloween Pirate Fest in Virginia Beach.  Make sure to wear your FitBit and keep track of all the steps you’re accumulating.

There are races galore to attend.  Being able to run is NOT a pre-requisite.  These events are fun for the whole family.  Virginia Beach has a Halloween Monster Dash at the end of October. The Tuff Enuf Challenge is a 5K obstacle course in Newport News on October 29th.  The obstacle course includes tires, ropes, tunnels, and water.  Oh, and zombies will chase you during the course!

Last but not least, Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens has started and lasts through October.  If you go before 5:00pm there’s no need to worry about scary creatures jumping out at you.  The park will provide picturesque fall decorations and great exercise, including steep hills.  If you go after 6pm be prepared to run from the chain saw wielding zombies!

Just remember that every step counts!  You must move your body to be healthy.  Strive for 10,000 steps a day.  If you need some motivation and extra help, sign up with one of our highly trained personal trainers.  Or, check out our fun fitness classes.  Remember you only have one life to live.  Make it a healthy one.

Your Challenge: 10,000 Steps

Posted on August 01, 2016 by

feet on sidewalkHippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, said “walking is man’s best medicine.”  Walking as a fitness activity is becoming increasingly more popular. According to the CDC (The Center for Disease Control) and the NIH (The National Institute of Health) Adults need 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.  We recommend 10,000 steps a day! This helps you stay healthy and lose weight.  Those 10,000 steps will burn between 2000-3500 calories a day. That could result in a 1-pound a week weight loss.  Make walking part of your daily routine.  It’s fun, inexpensive, and easy on the joints.

It’s even more enjoyable to walk in groups, which is why we started the ‘CFWLS – Steps to Success’ walking group.  We are racing, as a group, across America. The race started in California and we’ve already made it to sunny Arizona.  We enjoying setting goals, encouraging each other, and challenging ourselves physically.  Join the fun!  Just download the World Walking app on your smart phone and join our group at:

steps group banner

You need comfortable clothes, supportive shoes, and a fitness tracker.  There are many places you can enjoy walking including: your neighborhood, track, water, park, treadmill, or the mall.


Stand tall, keep your eyes on the horizon, practice heel-to-toe walking, neutral pelvis, relaxed shoulders, contracted abdominals, and unlocked arms.


Weight loss, encourages bonding with other walking buddies, increases energy and stamina, lowers Blood Pressure, and decreases stress.


Add inclines (hills), wear a weighted vest, add skips or jumps, take bigger steps, or incorporate speed intervals.  Walking longer and faster will help you burn more calories and lose weight faster.


*Former President Jefferson walked 4 miles a day and lived to be 83 years old.

*Walking is the most popular form of exercise in the United States.

*The average person will walk about 65,000 miles in their lifetime.

*Walking an 18-hole golf course is equivalent to about 12,000 steps.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to establish healthy habits.  Move your body as much as possible.  You can dramatically improve your health one step at a time.

I’ve included a short video to get you started!

Ditch the Sweet Stuff

Posted on July 18, 2016 by

Ditch the Sweet StuffWhat’s Hiding in Your Pantry? Go ahead – open the door.  It’s in there and you won’t have to look too far. Take the first package you see and turn it around. Find the nutrition label and look about two-thirds of the way down the list.  What do you see?  Total Carbohydrates – eeeek!  Sugar is hiding in places that you would least expect and may be the prime culprit in your battle of the bulge.

Carbohydrates tend to be mostly empty calories and leave us wanting for more almost as soon as we’ve finished whatever was in the package.  These sugars cause an excess blood sugar surge and trigger an insulin release in your body. Insulin, also being a fat-storage hormone, promptly sends these calories packing – right where you don’t want them – around the mid-section (aka Belly Fat!)

Cutting back on carbohydrates may help you do more than just lose weight.  Studies show that there are dozens of additional health benefits when eliminating extra sugar from your diet.  Here are 10 of our favorites!

1. It lowers your chance of diabetes

Just 2 sodas a day increase your chance of becoming one of the millions with Type 2 diabetes by 26%.  Steady sugar intake can result in insulin resistance. Easy decision – drink water!

2. It reduces your risk of certain cancers

Research suggests that risk of certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, can be attributed to excess sugar intake. Why take chances?

3. It may lower your blood pressure

Excess weight has long been considered the major factor in hypertension. New studies indicate that sugary foods can also increase blood pressure. When the heart and arteries are taxed over long periods of time, damage can occur in the whole circulatory system.  This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, kidney damage, artery disease and other coronary conditions.

4. It promotes healthy skin

Added sugar can leave the skin looking dull and wrinkled. Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, a process called glycation, that results in damage to your collagen and elastin. It may also leave your skin more prone to sun damage.

5. It improves brain function

Sugar can eat away at your brain cells much like it does your tooth enamel! Research shows a correlation between impaired cognitive function and excessive sugar intake. It has also shown to reduce the proteins that are necessary for memory and responsiveness.

6. It decreases your bad cholesterol

Consuming too many carbohydrates may lead to lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as higher triglycerides (blood fats).  Clogged arteries can lead to heart disease!

7. It may help you avoid fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease is very common in this country and is directly related to the excess sugar in the American diet.  High blood sugar results in excess insulin in the system that drives fat into the liver cells. This disease can increase your risk of diabetes, heart attacks and even cancer.

8. It makes for easy breathing

Those that partake in a high carbohydrate diet may be more likely to suffer from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  COPD is the third leading cause of death in the country!

9. You’ll have more energy

Carbohydrates give you energy – right?  Wrong!  Excess sugar actually decreases the activity in our orexin cells. These cells help keep us awake and lift our metabolism – that could explain the need for a nap after a carb-filled lunch.

10. You’ll have more $$ to spend on the fun things in life!

We recently talked with a surgical patient who had added up the cost of all the sodas and junk food he had been buying compared to what he was now spending on good food.  Even we were amazed!  You can save hundreds of dollars each month – and spend it on something to celebrate your healthy life!

If you bite it, you must write it…

Posted on July 11, 2016 by

Weight Loss Mobile appYour food diary is a vital tool on your journey to lose weight.  Technological advances have made journaling so much easier and convenient.  Have you downloaded our free mobile app?  It tracks your food & fitness as well as water & weight loss progress!  Don’t have a smart phone? Good old fashioned pen and paper work just fine too. Some people claim that journaling is time-consuming and cumbersome.  The facts are that people who keep daily food diaries are much more successful with weight loss than those who don’t document.

Keeping a generic diary to record feelings and events can help with expressing emotions, aid in self-growth, and appreciating success and mistakes. Use a food/drink journal to increase awareness of your emotions in addition to what you’re putting in your mouth.  Here’s our top 5 reasons to keep a food diary:

  1. Helps to identify areas where changes need to be made
  2. Makes you cognizant of stressful, mindless eating
  3. Helps to pinpoint patterns of over-eating
  4. Provides an understanding of the source of calories
  5. Reveals where the surplus or deficit (protein or carbs) is

Dr. Clark and the counselors at the Center for Weight Loss Success especially want our patients to document protein, carbohydrates, and calories. We’re better able to provide support and assistance if we know exactly what you’re ingesting.

Don’t let the amount of calories you consume and where they’re coming from be a big mystery. Knowledge is power, and hiding from the truth isn’t going to bring you any closer to your ideal weight.  A recent study revealed people who kept a food journal six days a week lost almost twice as much as those who only recorded one day or less. This information is very impactful and advantageous. If you’re walking through the kitchen and feel like reaching for a cookie, you might think again if you have to record it!

Be accurate and honest when recording in your food diary.  If it goes in your mouth, it must be recorded.  All the “extras” add up.  For example, we recently had a medical client who was faithfully recording everything he ate daily, or so we thought.  It turned out, he had neglected to write down the dried cranberries he was sprinkling on his salad every day.  Those additional 25 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar made a big difference with his weight loss. Once discovered, the scale started moving again!

Tracking your intake may seem a bit time-consuming but pays big dividends and becomes easier with each passing day.  Take charge of your health!

Download the CFWLS free mobile app for iPhone at the App Store or for Androids at the Marketplace.

When Your Doctor Doesn’t Agree With Weight Loss Surgery

Posted on April 25, 2016 by

Does your doctor mention weight loss as a solution for your ailments, aches and complaints? If obesity related diseases are problematic or your body mass index exceeds a healthy range, your doctor may refer you to a weight loss specialist or nutritionist.  You, like the majority of people with weight issues have tried numerous diet plans, most resulting in failure at long-term results. You’ve possibly even considered weight loss surgery. Do you know if your doctor is on board with surgical weight loss options?  We receive patient referrals from many practices but some doctors are not in favor of the surgical option. Their bias may be based on lack of research or experience with patients who have had successful weight loss procedures. Seeking a second opinion is common-place in the medical field. Don’t be afraid to keep looking.

At CFWLS, we encourage people considering weight loss surgery to be their own best advocate for personal health. Gather the information necessary to have an educated discussion with your doctor. Watch our Weight Loss Surgery WebClass or attend one of our free Weight Loss Surgery Seminars  to get started.

The medications that are prescribed to combat high cholesterol, diabetes, hyper-tension and other conditions often simply mask the symptoms while failing to get to the heart of the problem. Losing weight and keeping it off may result in eliminating these medications from your daily routine! The benefits don’t stop there, you may notice less joint pain, more energy, better sleep and a host of other positive outcomes!

CFWLS StaffFinding an experienced, board-certified Bariatric Surgeon who can answer your questions and explain your options to you is imperative. A comprehensive post-surgical follow-up plan will provide your best possible long-term outcome. Your search may be over. Dr. Thomas W. Clark is double board certified as a surgeon and Bariatrician. He has performed nearly 5,000 weight loss procedures and has dedicated almost 25 years to helping people lose weight and learn how to keep it off for life. His experienced staff will guide you and help you enjoy the process along the way!

Having a supportive doctor is important, but ultimately, it’s your body and Weight Loss Surgery is a personal choice. Do your research and obtain all pertinent information. Weigh the risks versus the benefits. Make an informed decision. Schedule a call with our office manager, Cat Williamson, to discuss your next step.

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Helping Your Overweight Child

Posted on March 14, 2016 by

active father son The rates of childhood obesity have tripled in the past 3 decades. Today, 1 in 3 American kids are overweight or obese. Our changes in lifestyle have led to this sad epidemic. We’re eating food on the run in lieu of sitting as a family for a home-cooked meal. Video games have replaced exercise, PE has been reduced at schools to 2 or 3 times a week, and portion sizes have tripled.

Children are now facing serious health issues that, in the past, were primarily associated with adults. These health risks include: asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep problems, heart disease, and more! That’s a big burden for a child to deal with. Parents of overweight children are often frustrated and searching for answers.

The first step to helping your overweight child is to make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician for a check-up. It’s important to find out if they are clinically obese and if there are any underlying health issues. Then, follow these guidelines:

*MAKE THEM FEEL LOVED: Above all, make them feel loved no matter what size they are. Their self- esteem is often lacking and they feel stressed and anxious.

*EDUCATE: Teach your child about proper nutrition, how to read labels, and even how to cook. Explain the importance of exercising every day.

*INVOLVE THE WHOLE FAMILY: When a family member has a chronic illness, it affects the entire family. Likewise, if one of the kids is obese the family is impacted. Everyone needs to be encouraging, supportive, and eat home-cooked meals together. Challenge the whole family to eat healthy in order to set a good example.

*NUTRITION: Ensure they eat breakfast every day, drink lots of water, refrain from sugary drinks, limit sweets, and consume sufficient protein.

*EXERCISE: Encourage your child to fit in60 minutes of moderate intensity activities every day. Participate as a family:

*Sign up for a Family-friendly 5K race/walk
*Take the family on vacations where they can hike, ski, climb, or swim
*Sign your child up for a sport
*Take fitness/dance classes together

*LIMIT ELECTRONICS: Use electronics as positive reinforcement after they’ve completed their homework and gotten some exercise. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no more than 2 hours a day for electronics (TV, IPAD, computer, etc…). Studies have shown that children with TV’s in their bedrooms are more likely to be obese.

As a parent you have the responsibility of setting a good example for your kids by eating healthy and exercising regularly.  Help them lead a healthy, active lifestyle and provide them with love and support.

For more support and advice on helping your overweight child, listen to Dr. Clark’s podcast interview with Childhood Obesity specialist, Dr. Wendy Sinclair at:

Don’t Fear the Fat!

Posted on February 08, 2016 by

fats banner

Fat is one of 6 nutrients essential to good health. (Water, Protein, Vitamins, Minerals and Carbohydrates are the others). We can’t live without them. Unfortunately, fats have been demonized in the past few decades. The public was encouraged to cut out or drastically cut back on fat. Our fat intake dropped from 40% of our diet to 34%. Yet, the fat reduction didn’t help with our weight problems and the obesity epidemic spiraled higher.

Fats are more calorie dense than carbohydrates and protein, but it’s not just the weight of the food that matters. What matters most is what the food does inside; how they break down and are used by our bodies. When the food industry removed fats from our food, the fat was replaced with sugar or other staches.  ALL carbohydrates break down into sugar. They are the reason why Americans continue to struggle with their weight. Fat is not the culprit, it’s the carbohydrates.

*Our bodies use 3 types of fats for fuel:
Monounsaturated: These are the healthier fats found in olive oil, nuts and avocados.
Polyunsaturated: Mostly healthy fats found in sunflower oil, flax seed oil, salmon, and grape seed oil.
Saturated: Found in butter and lard, less desirable for the diet.

*Other types of fats:
Cholesterol: It’s been given a bad rap but is essential for life and normal cellular function. The body manufactures 85% and the rest is found in foods we eat. The building blocks of cholesterol are CARBS! So, to reduce cholesterol you must reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume.
Triglycerides: Essential for life, provides calories, and can be burned for energy. To reduce triglycerides, you must reduce carbohydrates.
Trans Fats: These are man-made fats designed to preserve the shelf life of food. There is a direct association between intake of trans fats and increased risk of heart attacks. They can be found in fried foods, baked goods, crackers, and vegetable shortening. Consuming even trivial amounts can cause damage.

*The GOOD fats:
EFA’s are polyunsaturated fats that are essential for life, but the body can’t produce them. These fats are not used much as fuel, but they are the lubricant that keeps the engine going. The American Heart Association recommends 1 gram a day, but we should ingest even more.
Omega 6: Easily available in food.
Omega 3: Found in tuna, sardines, almonds, and walnuts.

Insulin is a master hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar from carbohydrates for energy or for storage. It helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Lipoprotein lipase is an enzyme needed to store fat in the cells. Insulin levels rise when we eat carbohydrates. It then turns on the lipoprotein lipase, which causes fat storage. Therefore, it’s not FAT that leads to fat storage, but CARBS! You can’t store fat unless your carbohydrate intake is high enough to release insulin.

Remember that fats are vital to good health! If you’re eating a fairly low-carb diet, you shouldn’t fear fat. Eating fat won’t make you fat. Everyone should consume more Omega-3 fatty acids and reduce carbohydrates. We sell EFA’s in our nutrition store here at The Center for Weight Loss Success. It’s your life. Make it a healthy one!

3 Significant Reasons to Add Spice to Your Diet!

Posted on January 18, 2016 by

garlicThe use of spices and herbs dates back as far as early Egypt (2100 BC). Onions and garlic were used as medicine to maintain health. Then, they became essential in the embalming process to preserve against decay. In India, the spices enjoyed today have been used for thousands of years. Spices and herbs also played an important role in ancient Greek medicine. Hippocrates said great care should be given to the preparation of herbs for medicinal use. The numerous benefits of herbs and spices continue to be recognized and appreciated today.

basilThere are three significant reasons why herbs and spices have been savored by many societies for so long:
1. Weight Loss/Management: herbs and spices can decrease the amount of calories, salt, fat, and sugar without sacrificing flavor.
2. Health Maintenance: they help to protect against many chronic health conditions.
3. Flavor: they add flavor, texture, taste, aroma, and color to food.

Here’s a list of some of the more commonly used spices/herbs and their benefits:

Basil: often considered the ‘king of herbs’, has been used to treat stress, asthma and diabetes in India for centuries
Cilantro: rich in iron and fiber, disease-fighting phytonutrient
Rosemary: improves memory
Turmeric: anti-inflammatory that could stop cancer from growing
Cinnamon: antioxidant, lowers blood sugar
Nutmeg: contains antibacterial compounds
Cumin: anti-inflammatory that could help stop tumor growth
Cayenne Pepper: helps burn fat—boost metabolism
Ginger: diuretic, hinders cholesterol absorption, anti-nausea
Black Pepper: boosts metabolism and helps digestion
Oregano: natural source of omega-3 fatty acids

cinnamonThere are many ways to use herbs and spices in your favorite dishes. Cinnamon is a delicious addition to protein shakes. Chicken and curry pair well together. A delicious recipe for salad dressing: allspice (1 part), cinnamon (1 part), and black pepper (1/2 parts) mixed with olive oil and heated up. Turmeric adds color and flavor to veggies. Cilantro enhances the taste of salsa and guacamole.

Herbs and spices make food healthier and tastier. They add no calories and contain no sugar. So what are you waiting for? Enjoy your food like never before!

Get It Right This Year!

Posted on January 11, 2016 by

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right.” It’s no surprise that the number one New Year’s Resolution every year in the U.S. is losing weight. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. Obesity leads to the following health problems/diseases: stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, and more. Don’t wait until the conditions in your life are perfect to start making positive changes. Starting NOW makes the conditions perfect. Each day, make a daily resolution to shed the bad habits, and establish and maintain healthier ones.

GOALS: The first step is to get a journal and write short-term and long-term goals following the SMART principle. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Realistic goals will keep you focused and motivated. Example: “I want to lose 25 pounds by April 1st by increasing my protein 25 grams a day, cutting back carbohydrates, and exercising 5 days a week.”

OBSTACLES: Write down what your obstacles (“excuses”) are to achieving your goals. For most people, motivation is a huge factor. Being positive and optimistic are keys to motivation. Also, using rewards for achieving short-term goals are motivational, as long as the reward isn’t food related. Example: “I don’t have time for exercise and can’t give up the chocolate that I crave! But I’ll make the effort to get up 20 minutes earlier every day to walk because it will make me look and feel better. I’ll cut bread out of my diet and reduce the amount of chocolate to a few days a week. After I’ve lost 10 pounds I’m going to buy myself a new workout outfit.”

FOOD CHOICES: Keep blood sugar levels even by eating every 2 or 3 hours. Skipping meals will slow down metabolism. Consume protein at every meal/snack. Beef, pork, chicken, and seafood, are excellent choices. Strive for at least 100 grams a day. Berries are the best choice for fruit. Eat veggies that are low in carbs such as celery, radishes, spinach, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and sweet peppers. Minimize your intake of potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread. Reduce calories and increase protein with meal replacements. Our protein shakes are filled with vitamins and minerals and taste delicious! Avoid drinking soda and juice. Fill up on water!

EXERCISE: Choose an exercise that you enjoy and will stick to. If aerobics classes are not your cup of tea, use the cross-trainer or treadmill. Walk as often as possible. Keep track of your mileage and aim for 10,000 steps a day (equivalent of 5 miles). Working out with a friend is always more fun because it’s more motivational. To reap the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, workout at least three times a week for 20 minutes minimum. Resistance exercise is crucial to weight loss because it raises Lean Body Mass. LBM is directly related to your metabolism and will help with weight loss. Examples of resistance exercises are dumbbells, weight machines, resistance bands, TRX (body weight exercises), and water exercise.

MANAGE STRESS: Our body can’t distinguish between good (job promotion) and bad (divorce) stress. It needs to be managed or it will wreak havoc on our body and sabotage weight loss efforts. Reduce stress by sleeping at least 7 hours a night, moderate exercise, relaxation (yoga), massage, or psychotherapy.

Be prepared to change your lifestyle and not look back. Every little change makes a difference. Take charge of your health before it takes charge of you. Understand setbacks occur, but remain focused on your goals and stay positive about your abilities. “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”