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Tag Archives: goals

Weight Maintenance Strategies

Posted on August 29, 2016 by

“It’s ironic that we foinspiredcus on weight loss, when the longest phase of your journey is maintenance!”  

Your road to weight loss was challenging and required tremendous discipline.  Now, you’ve reached the Maintenance Phase.  This phase is a bit different than weight loss and requires some different skills. Here are a few weight maintenance strategies to help keep that weight off for good!

The 6 Keys to Long-Term Weight Control:

EATING:

*Think PROTEIN first because it’s satisfying and harder to digest. Protein also increases the release of hormones that promote weight loss:  growth hormone (helps to preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up) and glucagon (tells the body to mobilize fat).

*Follow a structured pattern of eating:  Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper with small snacks in between.

*Don’t swear off dessert entirely.  Use the 3-bite rule.

*Avoid banking calories:  It’s ineffective to starve all day so you indulge at your favorite restaurant for supper.  This is a recipe for disaster because going hungry for several hours sets you up for a pig-out.

*The Scale:  Weight yourself twice a week.

*Go back to basics:  If you’ve put on weight, try doing a mini jump start (Weight & Inches shakes).

*Remember the CONCEPT of eating:  “How little can I eat and still be satisfied?”

DRINKING:

*We can’t survive without water and should be drinking throughout the day.  Surgical patients, however, shouldn’t drink and eat simultaneously. Staying hydrated with water can prevent mindless snacking/overeating. Carbohydrates and calories in alcoholic drinks add up quickly. Drink in moderation.

VITAMINS:

*Everyone should take pharmaceutical grade vitamins, especially if you’re restricting your calories.

*1st Tier Vitamins:  Multivitamin and Essential Fatty Acid (EFA’s.)

2nd Tier Vitamins:  B-Complex, magnesium, and Vit. D (about half the population is deficient).

SLEEPING:

*The most successful patients who have lost weight and maintained get 7 or more hours a sleep every night.

*Sleep is needed to recover from the day.

*Cortisol levels will remain elevated from sleep deprivation and make weight loss even more difficult.

EXERCISE:

*Exercise becomes even more essential during the maintenance phase of weight loss.

*It helps you preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up (especially resistance training).

* Concentrate your workouts:  quality is more important than quantity.  Even 15 minutes of out-of-your-comfort-zone exercising can help maintain your fitness level.

*Pick activities you enjoy:  If dancing to Latin music in a zumba class sounds nightmarish, choose another format like Boot Camp or a High Intensity Interval class (HITT).  If you’re an avid outdoors person, find good running/walking trails, go hiking, or biking.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY:

*Make a conscious decision every morning to stay on track and focus on staying healthy.

*Surround yourself with supportive people.

*Reward Yourself:  It’s fun to set personal goals and reward yourself along the way. But, it’s too risky to reward yourself with food.  For every 3 months of weight maintenance, you could go to the movies, buy a new outfit, or take a little vacation.

Weight maintenance is often more challenging than weight loss.  Ultimately, no one can do this but you.  We will help you and support you, but we can’t do the work for you.  If you’re continuing to struggle, call and set an appointment with one of the CFWLS counselors to get back on track.

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:   https://worldwalking.org/groups/cik7y.

steps group banner
GETTING STARTED:

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.

PROPER FORM:

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

BENEFITS OF WALKING:

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

ADDING INTENSITY:

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.

FUN FACTS ABOUT WALKING:

*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!  https://youtu.be/LOYcFLk3YWw

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.

Boot Camp – A Workout for All Ages and Stages

Posted on February 01, 2016 by

BOOT CAMP BASICSI’ve been a fitness instructor for 27 years. I teach 12 classes a week, 8 different formats, to clients of all ages and fitness levels. Class participants often ask about my favorite class format. I always hesitate because I enjoy all my classes, but my secret favorite is BOOT CAMP! Just the name sounds intimidating to most people. This class is a combo of cardio and strength training and torches fat and calories. But is it really for EVERYONE?

Many people tell me they will come to boot camp once they got in better shape! That seems oxymoronic since fitness classes are meant to get people in shape. The mind set is that the class is so challenging that it can’t be attempted until a certain fitness level is achieved first. Well, I’m going to debunk that myth. First of all, we all have to start somewhere with our fitness level. You challenge yourself and do what you’re able. I don’t expect perfection in my classes. What I expect is effort.

Everyone needs to step out of their comfort zone and attempt the challenges. If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. Safety is number one and it’s perfectly acceptable to modify any of the moves. I have a variety of participants from beginners to triathletes in my class.

Boot camp is a great workout because:
1. Burns a lot of calories and promotes weight loss.
2. It’s diverse, yet intense.
3. Most of the workout is timed so you can go at your own pace.
4. All the moves can easily be modified.
5. There’s no choreography. It’s straight-forward, challenging but easy- to-follow moves.
6. Variety—it’s hard to get bored in this class! Different types of equipment are used: balls, Bosu’s, steps, gliders, and more.
7. Built in rest periods.
8. East to check your progress from week-to-week.
9. Comprehensive—you get everything you need in one workout and it’s highly effective in burning calories and fat. It incorporates strength training, cardio, speed, agility, power, flexibility, and more!
10. It doesn’t require much coordination.

The following people may NOT be good candidates for this class:
1. People with hypostatic hypertension or veritigo.
2. People with serious orthopedic problems—knee or back issues.
3. Pregnant women.

Examples of Modifications:
1. Wall push-ups in place of regular pushups (or on the knees).
2. Wall squats in place of standard squats (lower down as far as you can).
3. Stepping up and down on the step in place of jumping.
4. Floor touches instead of Burpees (or extending one leg at a time).

Boot camp classes should be designed to accommodate and challenge all fitness levels. It’s important to trust and enjoy your instructor. Shelly Thomas teaches Boot Camp every Saturday at 8:30 here at CFWLS. The members are thoroughly enjoying the class along with Shelly’s fun personality and expertise. Come join the fun every Saturday. It will be the perfect start to you day!

Arlyne Spalla-Benson, LWMC, CPT

***Watch for word on our Self-Defense Boot Camp course coming up soon!  This will be a 4-week course taught by Shelly Ann Thomas – beginning March 16th!  Sign up in the Nutrition Store or call us at 757-873-1880.  Price for WLF & WMU Members is $20 – Non-Members are welcome too for just $40!***

Chicken Ole’

Posted on January 15, 2016 by

Chicken_OleQuick & easy Mexican chicken dish – serve with a side of black beans!

Ingredients
4 chicken breast halves
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of fresh ground pepper
Pinch of cumin
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat skillet to medium heat. Rub chicken breasts with seasoning mixture and place in hot skillet. Cook until browned on both sides and no longer pink, 10-15 minutes.
3. Transfer chicken to a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with salsa and shredded cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 264
Total Fat 11g
Total Carbohydrates 4.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.1g
Protein 35.4g

Print recipe Chicken Ole

Adapted from allrecipes.com

 

Motivation Matters In Achieving Your Goals

Posted on December 28, 2015 by

inspiredAnd maintaining that motivation is key to success. As the New Year approaches, most of us find ourselves looking ahead and contemplating some type of change.  Generally, one of our goals involves weight loss or some other health-related change. Sometimes the changes we propose can seem overwhelming. The following tips can help you stick to your fitness/wellness program:

1. When it comes to fitness – start slowly. We are all anxious to get moving and see results, but your body needs to adjust to your new routine. Make sure you begin every workout with a warm-up to get the muscles moving. Then start off with 30 minutes of cardio or light weights – walking, biking, a machine circuit or low-impact exercise class. Gradually increase your workouts as your endurance increases.

2. Take a mental picture! Every day take time for yourself to visualize your new healthier, happier self. Close your eyes, relax and see yourself at your desired weight, and feel how happy you will be when you finally achieve that goal. Many athletes practice this to achieve their goals and you can too..

3. Seek Inspiration. There is nothing wrong with maintaining your motivation with inspirational quotes posted where you can see them throughout your day.  Sometimes it’s just what you need to see to get you back on your feet and focused.

4. Stay Balanced. Success isn’t all or nothing – you will be more successful with your diet and exercise program if you start to make small changes in your lifestyle.  Small changes add up to big results! If you miss a day of exercising or eat something off your program occasionally, don’t overreact. Just get back on track the next day and continue with your fitness routine. Keep your eye on the goal and you will be successful!

5. Make it fun! The time goes by faster when walking with a friend for conversation and mutual support. If you like to exercise alone, consider this time for yourself. Crank up your favorite tunes and feel the energy! When you enjoy your fitness program, you are more likely to keep it up.

6. Weigh in Weekly. The daily fluctuation in your weight is normal and it’s easy to get too wrapped up in the numbers.  Increasing your lean body mass takes time and it won’t show up in those daily trips to the scale. Try to focus on improving your overall fitness and feeling healthy & happier in the New Year. Don’t get discouraged if the numbers move slowly! Keep focused on your exercise and workouts and it won’t be long before you see results.

7. Listen to your Body. No one time is perfect to exercise. If you are a “morning person” get up 1/2 hour earlier and do your workouts in the morning when you energy is at peak level. If you stay up (or get up) late, you would probably do better to exercise in the evenings. Work with your own personal body rhythm to keep your enthusiasm up.8. Consider a Personal Trainer or Health Coach. A personal trainer/health coach can really help keep you on track. We have some of the best trainers in Hampton Roads right here at CFWLS.  They can work with you to create an exercise plan that is right for you.  Our nutritional coaches can teach you what you need to know to feel your best and get that scale moving in the right direction.

 

 

Healthy Holiday Tips

Posted on December 07, 2015 by

healthy-holidaysMost of you know me as a pretty quiet guy.  Although this is true, I still like to attend parties with friends/family.  I am a firm believer in working hard…and playing hard.  When you attend parties, you should focus on the “fun” aspect and not the “fear” aspect of how you may end up derailing your best weight loss efforts and have regrets the next day.  Here’s my “do’s and don’ts” for attending holiday parties with confidence and no diet regrets:

1. Don’t go to parties because you have to…Do go because you want to.  There’s a big  difference and you have a choice.  Surround yourself with the people you love.  If excess baggage comes along with the ones you love…minimize your exposure…I know – easier said than done sometimes!

2. Don’t go to parties hungry…Do have a bottle of water before you attend and a healthy snack such as cheese wrapped in turkey, handful of almonds or a protein bar before you get there so you are not ravenous.

3. Don’t eat the first items you see…Do take the time to peruse what’s on the buffet table and determine which have the highest quality protein (beef, chicken, shrimp, cheese, fish) and select these first.  Combining these choices with your pre-party snack can fill you up so that other temptations don’t bother you so much.

4. Don’t exclude items you desire this time of the year…Do take a very small portion of them so that you can avoid feeling deprived and move on.

5. Don’t be a wallflower…Do mingle and talk with others.  If your mouth is busy talking, it is harder to keep if full chewing and swallowing.

6. Don’t drink excessively…Do have a drink if you desire.  Too much alcohol isn’t good…period.  It also lowers your resistance to “go wild” and sabotage yourself which is sure to cause regret.

7. Don’t select your spot for fun right near the food…Do mingle around and settle in a location where you can talk with everyone but not have food ‘staring you down’.

8. Most importantly, relax and have fun.  Try to take a deep breath as the stress begins and focus on enjoying this time as much as possible and those you may not get to see on a regular basis.

Enjoy this holiday season!  From our family to yours…Merry Christmas and Cheers to a Healthy New Year!

How Healthy Are Your Holiday Traditions?

Posted on November 30, 2015 by

Holiday traditions are often based on recipes that have been handed down through generations and those memories that cling to the scents and sights of particular foods. Why should this year be any different? You’ve sifted through your favorite family recipes and all you see is sugar, butter & flour, right?  Don’t get discouraged – by making some substitutions, you may be able to enjoy them after all!

Using artificial sweeteners is tholiday_traditionshe most obvious switch. It seems like there are new options on the shelf every week but, not all sweeteners are the same!  If the dish you are making will not be cooked or baked, you are safe to use your favorite no-cal sweetener.  Baking or cooking is another matter – Splenda is one of the few that holds up under heat. Use the type that is specifically made for baking and cooking as it measures differently than what’s in the little yellow packets.

You might be able to cut back on the butter or shortening in some of the recipes.  Butter used for cooking shares its flavor well and you may not miss the extra fat.  Applesauce or other pureed fruits are a common substitute for butter and oil in recipes but watch out for the extra carbohydrates, it may not be worth the switch. Using a low-fat dairy product in place of the heavier one is generally okay but you may notice a bit of difference in the texture of your dish.

Flour may be one of the trickiest to switch out and you may have to do a bit of experimenting before you are truly happy with the results, but there are many options on the market today.  Flour made from nuts has a forth of the carbohydrates that wheat flour has and has the benefit of added protein as well. Soy flour is a great option too, it contains just one third of the carbs in all-purpose flour. You can substitute (both nut & soy flour) 1/4 – 1/2 of the amount of flour in most muffins, cakes and cookies.  Whole wheat flour has more fiber than white flour so it lowers your effective carbohydrate count but cannot always be substituted one for one in recipes. Crushed nuts or some of our protein Biscotti work great as crusts for pies or cheesecakes!

There are several low-carb baking mixes available either online or in health food stores. The reviews are pretty good but I have not tried any of them.

Check out the recipes that we have already tested!  Many of them may be similar to what you are trying to recreate.  You will find a great selection on our blog at www.cfwls.com/blog/, website (search recipes) or on our Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/cfwlsva/.

 

Summer is (un)Officially Over – It’s Time to get Back on Track!

Posted on September 14, 2015 by

The kids are settled back in school, summer cruises with all-you-can-eat buffets are a not-so-distant memory, garden cucumbers and peppers have ceased production, and cooler weather is on the way. Personally, I couldn’t be happier that summer has passed ( along with the mosquitos) and Autumn is around the corner. Fall is a breathtaking time a year, full of brilliant colors. It’s a perfect time to take long, purposeful walks.

“One’s greatest challenge is to control oneself.” (Kazi Shams).

How far off track did YOU get over the summer? It’s time to get back on that wellness track: healthy eating, consistent exercise, and regular sleep patterns. Getting back to a healthy routine will be especially beneficial when faced with the temptations of the upcoming holidays.

CFWLS mobile appThe first step is to get on the scale and assess the damages. Weigh at least once a week to avoid surprises. Body fat and lean body mass are critical percentages to track. The higher lean body mass is, the faster your metabolism is, which leads to weight loss. Be sure to enter your weights into your CFWLS Mobile app each time!

Back to Journaling! Be aware of how many calories you’re consuming. Along with calories, carefully track Carbohydrates and Protein. Surgical patients should keep carbs at 50 grams and medical patients should consume about 50-60. Your CFWLS Mobile app can take care of that too!

CFWLS Weight and Inches Chocolate Protein ShakeOur Weight & Inches shakes are a tasty and effective means of losing the unwanted inches from summer. Filled with vitamins and minerals, 29 grams Protein, and only 200 calories, they make a perfect meal replacement.

Plan ahead by preparing meals the day before. Prepare enough supper to provide leftovers for lunch the next day. Bringing a packed lunch to work will avoid temptations such as fast food or co-workers’ birthday cupcakes. Fill up on protein which will keep you satisfied longer than carbohydrates (which break down more rapidly in your system).

Don’t forget to take your Vitamins for a strong immune system, increased energy, synthesis of hormones and more! Our Lipo-B injections can help give you energy and burn fat. We’re offering a great deal this month. Only $70 for 4 injections (Call 757.873.1880 to purchase)!

walking_feetExercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood.  Walking up and down hills at Busch Gardens on the 4th of July, and floating around the Hubba Hubba Highway at Water Country on Labor Day burned some calories, but it’s essential to incorporate movement into EVERY day. 10,000 steps, or 5 miles, a day is an attainable goal. Exercise will increase lean body mass, making weight loss easier. Even 15 minutes a day will make a positive difference.

Sleep deficiency is linked to numerous, chronic health maladies. It can lead to obesity due to increases of blood sugar. Proper sleep fosters creativity, memory, and proper growth and development. Cooler temperatures are more conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Watermelon is a refreshing and popular summer fruit. 92% of watermelon is water, which makes it a good choice to aid in hydration. However WATER is the best option to stay hydrated. Other drinks or fruits can add unwanted calories, carbs, and sugar. The average person should consume 64 ounces of water a day.

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” (Winston Churchill).

Success should be a habit, not a goal. Make it a habit to eat right, exercise, and sleep well. It’s time to get back on track and put the summer behind you.