Author: Ty Bushart

How to Lose the Last 10 Pounds

This week let’s review what the last 10 pounds means for you, and what you can do to get “through” this often-tedious phase of weight loss. To be honest, everything you thought about losing weight from the past does NOT apply to lose the last 10 pounds – which is why it’s the hardest for most people—but it does not have to be!

Almost all weight loss plans focus on an outdated and inaccurate formula to eat fewer calories than you consume, but as you’ve learned from our blogs and from your Diet Center Counselors, this isn’t the case. Many things impact our body weight, and calories is about the least useful and least impactful of any. Nourishing our body with proper food groups and lifestyle modification is key. In fact, there are even new terms to describe weight gain. For example, stress-induced obesity is its own medical term — regardless of calorie intakes, the weight comes from the physiological response to stress.

Yes, you read that correctly – for some people, the stress response is such that their weight-related hormones determine their body weight, NOT their caloric intake.

In order to lose the last 10 pounds, it’s important to focus on the things that stall weight regain: proper meal timing, balanced meals, increased activity, managing stress levels, targeted supplementation and appropriate sleep. These things have the biggest impact on the things that cause plateaus and regains: hormone balance, body toxicity, cellular inflammation, gut health and immune function. Here is a “to-do checklist” below to lose the last 10 pounds.

We encourage you to take a step back and look at a few things honestly and objectively, using a food journal to be certain:

  • Do you have breakfast every day (with protein, fruit or veggies) within 45 minutes of getting out of bed? This is important as it helps to kick-start the metabolism for the day, and resets your internal clock for a new day.
  • Do you ensure that you never skip a meal? For weight loss, it’s crucial that you eat your lunch within 3-5 hours after breakfast, and your dinner within 3-5 hours of lunch. This helps to keep your metabolism working, and helps to ensure that your body is receiving all of the nutrition it needs to function at full capacity! Eating every 2-3 hours is key in both weight loss and weight maintenance, so eat often!
  • By following the above, you ensure that you are adhering to the golden rule: eating 2/3 of all your food within the first nine hours of your waking day. This balances your weight-related hormones, reduces cellular inflammation, improves detox, and will help you with that uber-stubborn last 10 pounds.
  • How many DIFFERENT fruits and veggies do actually eat in a week? Shoot for at least five different fruits and five different veggies each week when in the last 10 pounds. Make it a rainbow of different colors to nourish your body and receive tons of benefits.
  • Are you at all physically active? We don’t necessarily mean exercise—we mean simple movement. TRY and move for 30 minutes without stopping! Walking is a great form of movement, and if you need something more intense try walking faster, especially outside! Rock out to your favorite jams to energize your day and tone the new body you have worked hard for.
  • Analyze your stress level. Everyone says “I have stress,” but almost NOBODY does anything about it. You can reduce the cortical response of stress, which is what holds onto and creates belly fat, by breathing deeply and intentionally in a quiet space for 10 minutes a day, by walking, by reducing your recreational TV or computer screen time to less than seven hours a week, and by eating your work meal AWAY from your desk. Ask your Diet Center Counselor about both the Herbal II Formula and the PM Patch. Both have special ingredients to assist with stress management as it boosts your fat burning power!
  • What time do you fall asleep? Notice we didn’t ask how much you sleep. This is one of the killers for losing the last 10 pounds, along with more than seven hours a week of recreational screen time. WHEN you go to sleep is what determines how your hormone cycles will flow (or not flow). If you are serious about optimizing the weight-related and stress-related hormones, then you should ideally be asleep by 10 p.m. Falling asleep later than that produces increasing deterioration in these cycles for every half hour you delay falling asleep. Again, the Diet Center PM Patch can assist with a restful night.
  • Use supplements to your advantage. There are basically two styles of supplements that Diet Center provides): The first includes the Diet Center Nutritional Supplement (Gold Protein, Dairy Bars, and Snacks) family, which promotes compliance to the plan and quickens behavior modification. The second includes the nutraceuticals, like Vitamins, Minerals, Fat Burners, and Enhancers that are “repair supplements” which promote and support the body during weight loss. These repair supplements most often work synergistically with all the above points to move people through the last 10 pounds more easily.

In closing, we can reveal that coming very soon, we will be introducing some enhancements specifically designed and formulated for assisting you all through the last 10 pounds and more consistent losses. Until then, you can feel confident that the tips and strategies above will make this phase dramatically easier and faster the more of them that you incorporate into your Diet Center daily routine.

More Than Digestion – The Importance of Gut Health

According to compounding research, good health begins in the “gut”, but what exactly does that mean? The term gut health is quickly expanding from a scientific topic to a common buzzword in the health and wellness industries. Most people know that gut health involves digestion and absorption, however, the truth is, gut health means much more.

Often referred to as your body’s “Second Brain,” your gastrointestinal system affects much more than digestion. Healing your gut can have positive affects for weight loss and everything from mood to memory. Read on to learn how a healthy gut will benefit your overall health and wellness.

Defining Gut Health

While scientifically there is no one definition for gut health, scientists agree that the intestinal microbiota—or flora—and the gut barrier determine gut health. A healthy, intact gut barrier maintains a healthy gut, while any issues in microflora can compromise your body’s defense systems. While the lack of a definition for gut health creates an issue for researchers, it also generates the need for people to recognize signs in their own body.

Signs of good gastrointestinal health, according to a 2016 issue of BioMed Central Magazine, include:

  • Effective absorption of food, water and minerals
  • Regular bowel movements and no abdominal pain
  • Normal stool consistency and rare bloating, constipation or diarrhea
  • No bacterial overgrowth
  • Balanced serotonin production
  • No inflammatory bowl disease or other inflammatory disease
  • No acid reflux or other gastric inflammatory disease

Function of Healthy Bacteria

The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body, including 400 known bacterial species. These strands of bacteria in your gut promote gastrointestinal function, protect the body from infection, regulate metabolism and comprise more than 75% of our total immune system—and that’s only the extent of what we know about the gut’s role in our health.

Importance of Gut Health

It’s all related. Your body’s systems aren’t mutually exclusive—in fact, they perform together, interrelated in a manner that can either benefit or hurt your health, depending on how they are nourished. Scientists also refer to the “brain in your gut” as the enteric nervous system (ENS). The hundred trillion bacteria found in your gut are involved in your brain at many levels, controlling mood, memory and beyond.

Combat Leaky Gut

Scientists have shown that “leaky gut”—a condition that causes the lining of the gut to become compromised and increases inflammation—can increase your susceptibility for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and autism.

Behaviors Detrimental to a Healthy Gut

Many behaviors, lifestyle habits and tangible items contribute to unhealthy gut flora. These include:

  • Antibiotics and other medications and NSAIDs
  • Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
  • Chronic stress
  • Diets low in fiber
  • Dietary toxins
  • Environmental toxins
  • Pesticides from commercially grown foods

How to Restore a Healthy Gut

The key to restoring or maintaining a healthy gut involves being cognizant of diet and lifestyle behaviors that can improve and possibly heal poor gut health. Here are some helpful tips for experiencing optimal gut health.

  • Remove toxins from your diet
  • Eat plenty of fiber
  • Take a high-guality digestive enzyme such prior to every meal
  • Take a high-quality probiotic.
  • Ensure you are getting enough fiber with a high-quality fiber supplement such as Diet Center Fiber Capsules or Fiber Drinks.
  • Take steps to manage stress such as meditation, yoga, exercising and other relaxation methods
  • Opt for raw, whole, organic, non-GMO foods, when possible
  • Add fermented and cultured foods to your diet, including kombucha, kimchi and other prebiotic foods like garlic and jicama

Gut Health isn’t just a fancy health buzzword, it’s a term you should take seriously and monitor closely. Eat whole foods, avoid processed items and take a quality probiotic supplement to guarantee you are taking every precaution to ensure a healthy gut.

When Less is More: 10 Tips for Portion Control

When it comes to losing weight and living a healthier life, most of us know that what we eat is important. However, sometimes we forget that how much food we eat is just as critical. Identifying a healthy portion can be tricky and takes practice. Portion control doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be eating tiny serving sizes of everything. Consult your Diet Center plan guidelines for proper portion sizes and follow your meal ratio guidelines to create balanced meal plates.

Here are some helpful tips for practicing healthy portion control in your everyday life.

Measure and Weigh

Since eyeballing portion sizes such as a cup of cereal or 4 to 5 ounces of cooked meat can be tricky, it is important to begin portioning out your meals by weighing and measuring. Use a measuring cup for loose items and liquids and purchase a scale to weigh meats and poultry. You can even portion out items like cereal, rice, snacks, etc. in Ziploc bags to have healthy serving sizes ready to grab and go.

Learn Comparisons

Did you know that the equivalent of 4 ounces of meat is the size of your palm? After you’ve become an expert at measuring your portions, you will learn to associate easy visual techniques to control your servings without using a scale or measuring cup! Double check yourself to make sure you are getting enough to keep you in fat burning mode.

Downsize the Dishware

Many of the plates we use for meals are large and do not promote proper meal ratios. Restock your cabinets with smaller dishware or eat on plates normally reserved for “appetizers. Place your fork down between bites and enjoy chewing your food. Serve salads before dinner in larger bowls and encourage friends and family to get their fill!

Fraction Your Plate

A simple rule for portioning your meal plate is this: divide it in half and fill one-half with vegetables and the other with equal parts lean protein and an unrefined starch.

Drink Water

Drinking eight ounces of water before each meal will help you to not overindulge. Plus, many symptoms of dehydration pose as hunger and drinking more water before and with meals may work to eliminate those false hunger pangs as well. An added benefit, water helps to flush the fat and toxins you are breaking down rapidly on your Diet Center program.

Remove Serving Bowls from the Table

Removing serving plates and bowls from the table will help regulate portion sizes. However portion control isn’t all about eating less—it goes hand in hand with eating healthfully—so don’t move that salad bowl just yet! Allow family or friends to continue filling up on fresh vegetables instead of starches or protein.

Keep a Food Diary

A food diary will keep you accountable to your Diet Center rapid results plan. With everything in writing, you know exactly how much you’ve consumed or how much you plan to consume throughout the day.

Snack Throughout the Day

When you arrive at the dinner table famished, you are much more likely to overeat. Enjoy healthy snacks throughout the day with an emphasis on protein, vegetables and unrefined starches. Diet Center encourages clients to keep a few protein-packed snacks on hand at all times to keep full and satisfied all day long. The Cheddar Bites with Salsa is amazing!

Turn Off Distractions

Turn off the television, computer, tablet and phone during meal time. Sit down and enjoy your meal without distractions. This will promote mindful eating, which allows you to feel more satisfied with every bite.

Simple changes can ensure you and your loved ones are eating healthy portions, even on the go! By practicing healthy meal portions and ratios, you will become aware of how much you are eating each day and promote healthy weight loss and long-term wellness.

 

It’s all about rapid weight loss with lasting results at Diet Center. Commit to these tips to create change you will feel great about.

STAYING ACTIVE: TRY SOMETHING NEW THIS SUMMER

Summer is almost halfway over, but it’s not too late to take advantage of the summer weather. During the summer months life tends to get busy and staying active can be a challenge. You must genuinely enjoy the physical activity that you work into your Diet Center Program in order for it to stick long-term. After all, it’s difficult to stay motivated if you’re doing something that you don’t like to do.

Often times, people associate physical activity with working out at the gym, running on a treadmill, spending time on an elliptical machine or lifting weights. If you’re not into these kinds of activities, staying active may seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to! The key to staying physically active consistently is to find something that you like to do and make it a priority when planning your life. In the realm of physical activity there are so many different and fun things that you can try. If you’re having a hard time staying active this summer, here’s a few suggestions to get you moving before the summer is through:

Hiking

You don’t have to live deep in the mountains to hit up the hiking trails. Even if you live in a city, there is likely city parks, state parks and nature preserves with hiking trails nearby. Keep in mind, there’s no hard and fast rule that hiking must be done in nature, either. Is it still hiking if you take a walk through your town, city or urban area? Yes! Urban hiking is a thing (seriously, Google it) and if you enjoy being outdoors and getting more acquainted with the community that you live in, perhaps it’s time to lace up your shoes and hit the streets!

Group Classes

There is perhaps nothing hotter right now in the fitness world than group classes. If you work out by yourself all the time, it can be difficult to stay motivated and push yourself. Although group classes are far from a new concept, they have risen in popularity in recent years as several group fitness gym concepts have sprung up and had success. Do a Google search for gyms in your area – you’ll likely be surprised by what you find. Group yoga, cycling, pilates, barre, water aerobics, boot camp training, boxing and strength training classes are only a few of the options available if you’re looking to get a workout in a group setting.

Rec Sports Leagues

Playing sports is a great way to work out without realizing you’re working out. Once the spirit of competition sweeps you away, it’s easy to participate in a half hour or hour of physical activity almost unwittingly. If high intensity sports like soccer, flag football, racquetball or basketball aren’t your jam, don’t sweat it! There’s plenty of mid-to-low intensity sports to get involved in like sand volleyball, golf, softball and kickball (yes, adult kickball leagues…once again, Google it).

Bike Riding

Remember when you were a kid and anytime you needed to get around the neighborhood you rode your bike? Take a ride back to the good old days and make it a goal to ride your bike to work a couple times a week. Have a long commute? Consider taking your bike to run errands after work or just ride it for the sake of riding it. After all, it’s summer – get out and get some fresh air!

Kayaking

There’s nothing better in the summer than being on the water. If you enjoy nature but aren’t really into hiking, maybe kayaking will float your boat. Kayaks are relatively inexpensive and allow you to take a one person expedition of your local lakes, rivers and streams. However, if you decide to buy or rent a kayak, don’t think that you have to go it alone! Gather some friends and hit the water together. Plan a weekly kayak date and make it a social group activity.

Dancing

Dance classes are a great way to have fun and get your steps in! Although the term ‘dance class’ may conjure up images of Zumba or dance aerobics classes, you can also join classes that teach you how to dance (which are great dual purpose classes – learn and burn). Whether you’re interested in ballroom dancing, swing dancing, break dancing or dance aerobics, dance classes are great activities (especially for couples) that will get you moving, grooving and burning calories.

Martial Arts

Did you ever want to be a ninja when you were a kid? Now’s your chance! Join a martial arts class and learn discipline, self defense and get in shape while you’re at it. Martial arts classes are a great way to build strength, both mentally and physically, and they can prepare you to defend yourself if the need arises. Ready to kick-start your martial arts training? Search for Karate, Taekwondo, Jujitsu, Kung Fu or Kickboxing classes in your area.

Your Diet Center Counselor will be glad to help with activity ideas and to hold you accountable. Just let us know how we can help.

7 Reasons to Drink More Water

It’s no secret that water is essential to life and maintaining good health, however, you may not realize that the benefits of water go far beyond just keeping you hydrated. As an important component of your Diet Center Program, we recommend drinking 64+ ounces of water each day for optimal weight loss results. You are breaking down body fat so rapidly on the Program that water helps to release what you are releasing—so you see inch loss and feel smaller faster. Here are some of the additional benefits of staying hydrated and that consuming adequate water provide.

Promotes Kidney Function 

Your kidneys are constantly filtering waste from the body (especially in weight loss mode). When the kidneys are able to do their job properly, these waste products are eliminated in your urine, which keeps the blood relatively free of these harmful wastes. Sufficient water intake aids in this process!

Crushes Fatigue

Studies have shown that water can also help fight fatigue. One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness. Track your water intake to ensure you are drinking 64+ ounces throughout the day and fight fatigue before it starts.

Assists Digestion 

Drinking enough water increases the amount of fluid in your colon, improving the digestive process. If you experience digestion issues, drinking an adequate amount of water may improve your condition.

Prevents Sickness

Water flushes bacteria and toxins from the body and staying hydrated helps to prevent the onset of colds and other illnesses.

Boosts Brain Power

Studies have discovered a link between water and memory, suggesting that drinking enough water may significantly improve cognitive function.

Keeps Skin Bright

Sufficient water intake is important for hydrating your skin resulting in a healthier complexion and skin tone. When you are chronically dehydrated, your skin may feel dry and look dull. Water helps brighten the look of your skin and also may reduce acne flare-ups by flushing out bacteria.

Controls Appetite

Studies prove that dehydration often masks itself as hunger.  Sufficient water consumption helps to curb overeating by suppressing false hunger pangs. Consuming water throughout the day allows your body to signal true hunger. Keep your water bottle handy, feed your thirst and stay hydrated!

Tips to Help

If you need assistance with getting more water in, try adding fruit infusions to add flavor to your water. Lemon, lime, orange, cucumber and strawberries can be a great addition. Diet Center’s Water Enhancer helps to burn fat and suppress appetite. You can also use herbal tea and sparkling water (unsweetened) to count towards hydration.

Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette

When it comes to simple, homemade cooking, one of the easiest ways to add flavor in a healthy way is with a delicious homemade salad dressing. Dressings are so simple to make, and making them yourself helps you to eliminate all of the excess sugar and sodium that can come in many store-bought versions.

This lemon-oregano vinaigrette works perfectly as a dressing for any summer salad, and would also be delicious as a marinade for salmon or chicken on the grill.

Homemade Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette Recipe

  • 3-4 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Morton® Lite Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

Remove the zest from two of the lemons with a microplane. Cut all lemons in half and juice, straining seeds and pulp from the juice. You should have 1/2-3/4 cup lemon juice.

Place the zest, juice and all other ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.

Store in the fridge in a small mason jar for up to one week. Makes about 1 cup of dressing, with a serving size being roughly 2 tablespoons, depending on the total yield of juice from your lemons.

1 Tablespoon = 1 Fat, 1 Additional

Makes 8 servings

Sizzling Steak Fajitas

 

3/4 pound lean flank steak

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas (Recommended Brand: Mission Light)

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 cups sliced onion

1/3 cup green bell pepper strips

1/3 cup red bell pepper strips

1/3 cup yellow bell pepper strips

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 cup nonfat sour cream

 

Trim fat from steak. Slice steak diagonally across grain into thin strips. Combine steak and next six ingredients (steak through ground red pepper) in a zip-top heavy-duty plastic bag; seal bag, and shake well to coat.

 

Heat the tortillas according to package directions.

 

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak, onion and bell peppers; saute 6 minutes or until steak is done. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Divide mixture evenly among warm tortillas, and roll up. Serve with nonfat sour cream.

Makes 4 small servings (serving size = 1 fajita and 1 tablespoon nonfat sour cream).

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Program Exchanges (per serving): 3 protein, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Fall Apple Crisp

This recipe can be made year round, but is perfect for fall.  We change the fruit out to peaches, blueberries, and pear for a twist. Get creative and make it your own!
Ingredients
3 large (7-8 oz each) Fuji apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ½-inch-thick slices
¼ cup brown sugar Splenda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup rolled oats (not instant oats)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375°F. Layer the apple slices in a square 9-inch baking dish, in one or two layers.
In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix together the brown sugar Splenda, cinnamon, oats, butter and vanilla. Using a spatula, pour the mixture over the apples, spreading evenly.
Bake 30 minutes, until topping is golden and crunchy and apples are fork-tender. Gently stir to evenly coat the apples in the melted sugar that has accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Serve immediately.
Serves 4
Each equals; 1 fruit, 1/2 starch, 1 fat

Thermogenic Fat Burning Chili

Perfect Fat Burning Chili Recipe!

We love this stuffed in a baked potato or over a bed of lettuce with Cheddar Double Bites like a Taco Salad.

Even plain, it’s amazing!

3 oz. of extra lean ground beef or Turkey

½ cup diced green peppers

½ cup diced tomatoes

½ cup pureed tomatoes

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. oregano

Dash of cinnamon

Mix the Gold Premium Chicken Soup Protein Supplement with 8 oz. of water before adding it to the chili mixture.

Brown lean beef and drain grease. While the grease in draining, use Pam cooking spray and sauté green peppers, diced tomatoes, and all seasoning together. Stir in the lean beef with the sautéed mixture. Finally, add the pre-mixed Gold Premium Chicken Soup protein supplement and the pureed tomatoes to the mixture. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

*Exclusively You and Instant Shape Up Clients – 3 Protein, 1½ vegetable

*Thermogenic Clients – Takes up 1 dinner meal and you may add a starch from your list.

Grilled Orange-Mustard Chicken

4 skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup of orange juice
1 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium orange peeled & cut into 8 wedges
Directions:
Place chicken in a shallow glass dish or plastic bag.
For marinade, combine remaining ingredients except orange wedges. Pour over chicken breasts, cover & refrigerate for at least one hour. Grill or broil for 5 min. on each side. Toss remaining marinade. Last one minute of broiling or grilling, place 2 orange wedges on top and continue cooking for one minute.
4 servings – each equals 4 protein, 1/2 fruit

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