Undercover Calories

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Undercover Calories
Between health blogs and daily talk shows, the air is completely saturated with rumor of “miracle foods” and lists of the “best” things you can do for your body. Companies are capitalizing on the market’s health obsession – whether that be a protein-rich diet, plant-based, low-carb, or anywhere in between, and their sketchy half-true claims and advertisements aren’t doing customers any good. With so much conversation swarming, it’s difficult to differentiate the fact from fiction, and figure outexactly what it is that you need to be doing to put your best foot forward. Enough is enough with yo-yo dieting and unauthentic product endorsements, it’s due time your eyes are opened to the truth behind the pretty packaging of those grocery store items commonly regarded as “healthy” and “safe”. Explore the following and take note, as you could be falling victim to false claims regarding the health effects of certain products. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled, always ensure that you are fully aware of what you are nourishing your body with.

Muffins
Just because they’re not glazed with icing and topped with rainbow sprinkles doesn’t mean that they’re much better. In fact, bakery muffins have on average 340-630 calories each, while an average medium doughnut has less than 200, and a plain commercial bagel is in the upper-200 range (260-280). Because they often have fruit additives (ex. Blueberry Muffin), consumers are frequently tricked into thinking that they are being healthy, but that is not so much the case. Beware of added sugars, artificial flavors, and sodium, especially in commercially-prepared muffins, because the ingredients add up.

Peanut Butter
Health gurus rave about nut butters, but the truth is that they’re only healthy when they’re prepared with minimal ingredients. The nut butters most of us stock our pantries with are mass-produced and have countless additives included in their recipes to ensure the ingredients do not separate within the jars and the butter its self is at the proper consistency.

Fruit Chips
“They’re made of fruit, so they must be healthy” is the justification we give ourselves while filling our grocery carts with bags of the stuff, but it is imperative that the packaging be checked prior to purchase to ensure that fruit is the only ingredient. Commonly, such snacks will have added sugars and preservatives that completely ruin the purpose of the fruit snacks and turn them into a candy rather than a health food. Furthermore, while keeping fruit chips on hand is convenient, it’s less nutritional than consuming the fruit in its natural form. If you can, stick to foods in their most natural states.

Salad Dressings
Salad is the health food most of us picture when we think about the word “diet,” making it one of the most commonly prepared dishes for individuals looking to lose weight. What many people don’t know, though, is that eating a salad tossed in loads of dressing is just as bad for you as anything else. Salad dressings, especially commercially prepared ones, tend to be filled with sugars, oils, fats, and artificial chemicals, and coating your veggies with it is essentially cancelling out all of the ‘good’ you may perceive that you are doing for your body.

Smoothies
Unless prepared at home, you’re putting yourself at risk for drinking something packed with artificial flavors, sugars, preservatives, and sweetened yogurts. Because traditional smoothies are made with all-natural ingredients, companies cannot package and sell them in a timely fashion without including extra additives in their formulas to increase their longevity and give them more shelf appeal, so they pack them with sugars and turn the healthy option into a candy-bar equivalent.

Frozen Yogurt
“Frozen Yogurt” has a far better connotation than “Ice Cream,” but did you know that they are essentially the same product? When you compare the nutrition facts side-by-side, you’ll find that they actually have similar nutritional value, especially in terms of sugar and calories. Traditional yogurt has live cultures in it, which is what makes it ‘healthy,’ but many frozen yogurts use heat as a part of the preparation process, which kills these cultures and places it on the same level as your average serving of ice cream or pudding.

Fruit Juices
Like fruit chips, just because it has the word “fruit” in the title doesn’t mean that it should be automatically regarded as a health food. Many brands, even if they advertise that their product is “100% pure” or “not from concentrate,” use fruit by-products to give their beverage an additional kick of flavor. In essence, many of the most popular fruit juice brands are selling fruit-flavored sugar water, which are comparable to canned sodas. Additionally, when consuming fruit in in juice form, our bodies do not get the same benefits that they would by eating the fruit in whole. When we eat fruit, our bodies must break down the food, and, in turn, absorb their nutrients and eventually become full. When we drink fruit juice, we consume the equivalent amount of sugars as multiple pieces of fruit, but without the satiating effects – allowing us to consume more without yielding equal benefit.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Summer Weight Loss Rollercoaster

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Some prefer the smoother, less-intense rides, and others live for the thrill of it. Sometimes, people just come because they are asked to be there, but end up having the absolute time of their lives. Some swear they’re just not cut out for it, but there’s always something for everyone to invest in and enjoy.

While they’re generally open year-round, theme parks have their busiest season during the summer. For whatever reason, people feel as if the warmer days and clearer skies are the best conditions for big smiles and speed-induced squeals — much like many feel that summer is the time to really start caring about their health and wellness.

We love summer for it’s easy-breezy impulse-driven feel, but there’s something about tank tops and jean-shorts that leave us cringing at their very mention. Summer has the power to induce a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from happiness at the warm weather to pure dread at the idea of poolside BBQs.

The summer weight loss rollercoaster is an adventure many embark on, though few know how to manage. The impulsivity of summer matched with the necessity of structure in a weight loss or maintenance plan is a recipe for the “maybe next year” end-of-season mindset. While the drive to be swimsuit-ready may be high, the temptation of tortilla chips and salsa has a tendency to suppress an unfocused dieter’s drive. As the days pass and the summer sun shines bright, we must remind ourselves constantly of the benefits and drawbacks of our actions to not fall victim to the summer weight loss rollercoaster.

Tales of success are not written in days of hard work and punctuated by ‘cheat meals’ and poor decisions, but are rather stories of perseverance and consistency. There may be no ‘one-size-fits-all’ path to success, but there are surely certain activities (or lack thereof) that should be avoided as a general rule for most. Though the road to health is not the same for everyone, there are several similarities in said roads that deserve to be noted.

Hydration
Especially during the summer, proper hydration is absolutely necessary! Insufficient water intake has the power to cause dizziness, lack of concentration, and excessive fatigue, as well as premature aging and increased risk of cancer. If that’s not enough to get you to grab a water bottle the next time you’re leaving the house, just know that water intake has been linked to an increase in metabolism – meaning your weight loss struggle could be made easier with each sip you take.

Portion Control
There’s no time of year with more backyard pool parties than sweet summertime – meaning you’re more surrounded with endless calorie-filled appetizers than ever! If you have issues resisting the food table, do yourself a favor and track what you’re eating. This way, you have a solid representation of what you’ve been consuming, and can more readily judge when you should be cutting yourself off from the oh-so-delicious pigs in a blanket and artichoke dip. Remind yourself, and as Dr. Bentz always says, “the first bite or two is the best, nothing tastes quite as good after that.”

Consistent Activity
No, being “super good” on Monday does not give you a free pass to overeat on Saturday, nor does burning “extra calories” than your goal mean that eating a pint of ice cream for breakfast has been “earned”. There is no making-up or balancing game associated with a healthy lifestyle. Of course, you will inevitably have more active days than others, however this does not mean that good behavior should be rewarded with poor choices. Consistency is key when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.

Managed Stress
Stress is often un-anticipated, yet almost always plays a role. Being linked to weight gain, it is important that individuals explore what works best for them in terms of managing stress and making sure its effects do not cause a deterrence from their weight loss goals and plans for healthy living. Especially for stress-eaters, taking up things like journaling, yoga, or afternoon walks are great ways to alleviate the stress of daily life and keep from stress-induced weight gain.

Self-Awareness
Impulsivity can be fun in some areas of life, but is not effective in terms of achieving set goals. To be successful in conquering the summer weight loss rollercoaster, having a set game-plan is crucial to making sure you are on-track. Mix things up in terms of daily activities and meals, but be sure that you are staying on-track by engaging in consistent weigh-ins, self-reflecting, and hitting your caloric intake and activity targets on a daily basis.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Staying Healthy When You Work an Office Job

Staying Healthy When You Work an Office Job

For much of the workforce, the entirety of our weekdays are spent sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen. With only short intermittent intervals of walking from our desks to the break room and back, it’s no wonder workplace obesity rates are skyrocketing. Due to an increased reliance on the internet in recent years, more and more people are working in desk jobs as opposed to the rate of physical laborers a mere 50 years ago, impacting workplace health substantially.

Because we’re no longer putting in hard-labor hours, there’s been a drastic decline in calorie expenditure from the average worker. As opposed to a factory laborer or farmer, those of us working at a desktop are losing a significant amount of potential caloric output, and it’s having a hefty impact on our health. While our active laborer counterparts are burning hundreds of additional calories per day, those of us whose hardest strain is reaching for the computer mouse are left in their dust. You don’t need to change career paths to simultaneously lead a healthy lifestyle and manage a full-time desk job, though; all you need is a great strategy. Small changes add up, and with enough of them implemented, you’re golden.

1. Ask for a Standing Desk
If you don’t know what a standing desk is, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a desk that forces you to stand up instead of sit down! One of the most proactive ways to get yourself up and moving, the standing desk allows its users to burn around 30 extra calories per hour (comparing sitting while fidgeting and standing while fidgeting). It may sound miniscule, but the numbers add up. Just standing for half of the standard workday burns an extra 120 calories per day, 600 per week, and 31,200 per year — an extra 8.6 lbs of weight loss every year.

2. Sit on a Medicine Ball
If standing while at your desk isn’t quite your style, ditching that generic office chair for a yoga ball may be your solution. Sitting on a medicine ball is thought to improve stability (hence the name) and balance, constantly engaging your abdominal wall as you seat yourself on the ball’s surface.

3. Organize an Exercise Group
Whether “exercise group” means gathering a group of colleagues to walk around the building during your lunch break or physically organizing after-work active team building activities*, getting moving is the most important part. When you have others counting on you to be in a certain place at a certain time, you are far more likely to follow through with your promises to be active than if you were to try and do it on your own.

*Try forming a group to take a monthly Zumba class, go rock climbing, hiking, or whatever is attractive to you!

4. Turn your Meetings into Active Ones
Though it may not be as effective for larger group meetings, try moving your one-on-ones and collaborative project discussions outdoors. Invite others to meet at your desk and take a walk from there to not only get moving, but get your creative juices flowing too.

5. Start a Fitbit Challenge with your Coworkers
Many claim that they refrain from walking out of the office because they feel “out of place” or awkward”. If this is you, try connecting with others to form a FitBit challenge and get everyone in on the fun! When those around you are out and about, you’ll undoubtedly feel better about getting out of your own seat, as well.

6. Take the Long Way
Park in the back of the lot, take the stairs, and explore pathways other than your “usual” one! It’s small changes like these that end up making the biggest difference. Get out of your comfort zone, because that’s where change is made.

7. Bike or Walk to Work, if possible
If you live close enough to the office, strap on your helmet and get to work the green, healthy way! It’s feasible you may arrive earlier to work, too, not having to endure long lines of traffic.

8. Answer E-Mails through your Phone, and Walk while you do it
One of the beauties of smartphones is that they allow us the capability to answer messages anywhere and at any time. Take advantage of this and resolve to answer masses of e-mails or take calls while taking a walk, as to ensure maximum levels of activity.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Asking for Help

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It’s a problem many face, yet fail to sometimes even see as a problem. For some, it’s about being independent and self-sufficient, and for others, it’s the notion that asking for help means failure. Whatever the reason for refraining from it is, it’s important to note that asking for help isn’t a bad thing.

In terms of weight loss, many patients express anguish in seeking the advice of a medical professional for help in achieving their weight loss goals. “I feel like I should be able to do this myself,” and “It seems like no matter what I do I stay the same” are just a couple of common sentiments expressed by individuals that may mark negative feelings of self-worth and low perceived competence. This manner of negative thinking can actually inhibits patients’ abilities to find success and grow their positive self-image throughout the duration of their journey, as they are left with a sense of sorrow and despair, two feelings that are damaging to a successful lifestyle shift. It is imperative to find peace with one’s self, and that begins with addressing and accepting the things that you may need a helping hand in accomplishing.

Ever had someone come clean your house for you? Ever googled a question or had your hair cut in a salon? While these may seem unrelated, engaging in any of these activities is actually similar to asking for the helping hand of a medical professional in terms of weight loss. Have you ever felt guilty after a haircut because you have a pair of scissors at home and could’ve cut it yourself? Probably not. Hairdressers are experts in hair cutting, as are Bariatric Physicians in the fields of weight loss and weight management. Each of these people have taken the time to undergo extensive training to master their craft; not taking advantage of their expertise would be a waste of resources! There’s no shame in seeking a professional opinion – they didn’t study the field to keep their knowledge to themselves!

Growing comfortable with the idea of asking for assistance is a major step forwards in terms of heightening your self-image and propelling yourself forward. As much as we may like to believe so, we can’t accomplish everything alone, and once this is accepted wholeheartedly, peace begins to settle in and we can begin to truly focus on ourselves. Don’t allow pride to get in the way of achieving your goals, because if you do, you risk not achieving your goals at all. Remove the stigma behind asking for help and look at it as enrolling in a class. At the end of your “course,” you will be measurably more knowledgeable about health practices, and even have application experience. Receiving advice from a physician doesn’t devalue your weight loss experience, it enhances it. Upon crossing the theoretical finish line, you will have made mental and physical changes so significant that it will not matter how difficult the journey may have been; what will matter is your newfound perspective and improved health state.

Take the plunge and don’t look back, you’ll be glad that you did. Sometimes, all we need is a little nudge from the right person to get ourselves on the right track. If anything, asking for help is a sign of strength – it shows that you’re determined to change.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.