We’ve all had thoughts like “If I work out really hard now, I can eat that pizza later. Right?” Well, no. Working out does not give you a free pass to eat whatever you want if you’re looking to shed those extra pounds. Consuming fresh foods in balance is the key to weight-loss success, exercise plays a much smaller role than you may think.
Now we aren’t saying that exercise isn’t important; it’s just not as important as what you are eating when it comes to losing weight. Exercise is great for over-all good health. It helps reduce the risk of stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and heart attack. It also helps to torch more calories to enhance your weight loss efforts and tones your body as you are losing inches. However, when it comes to weight loss; it can’t erase the harmful effects of unhealthy foods. Here are some reasons why exercise isn’t the ‘magic pill’ that many people believe it is.
A number of calories burnt through exercise are relatively small in the grand scheme of things. We use up most of our calories just by being alive (the resting metabolic rate). To put it in a real-life scenario, let’s say there is a 200-pound man who is at 30% body fat. He will expend 1,743 calories per day just by staying alive.
On top of that, he’ll expend more calories on top of that through what’s known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): the number of calories that he spends digesting and absorbing his nutrients from food. This accounts for about 10% of total calorie use. It’s even higher on the Diet Center Thermogenic Plan, where foods are specially selected because of their higher fat burning power.
Add another 10% on top of that through a metabolic process known as NEAT (Non-Exercise Adaptive Thermogenesis). This is the amount of calories used by doing things like fidgeting. Unfortunately, this can vary greatly from individual to individual.
This means our subject could expend 2,100 calories without even getting out of bed. Now, add another 10% for getting out of bed and going about his daily routine and he’s already burned 2,300 calories.
Adding exercise into the equation barely makes a dent in his overall caloric expenditure. Now we are not suggesting that you shouldn’t exercise, but rather, it’s important to realize where a majority of your caloric expenditure is coming from.
Not all calories are created equal. A pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you eat 500 calories less than you burn every day, then after a week (7×500 = 3500) you will have lost a pound of fat.
From this simple equation comes the idea that all calories are created equal, no matter what foods they come from. The fact is that different foods can have vastly different effects on our bodies and go through different metabolic pathways before they’re turned into energy. Just focusing on the calorie content of foods and disregarding the metabolic effects they have is a highly flawed way of thinking. Two hundred calories of broccoli is NOT the same as two hundred calories of potato chips.
Most people are horrible estimators of calories in vs. calories out. Yes, it’s important that you are burning more calories than you are consuming in order to lose weight. There is one problem with this method: user error. People either think they are burning more calories or consuming fewer calories than they really are. The grab-a-handfuls and the Hershey Kiss at the office all add up. A structured food plan with accountability closes this gap and provides results.
Movement is important and that should be the primary focus when looking to drop pounds and inches fast. Save the weights for when you are closer to goal and focus on movement that helps to reset your day. Park further in the parking lot, do a light 30 minute walk or swim. This will help boost metabolism and blast the inches away fast in conjunction with your program.
At Diet Center, our focus is on eating quality, whole fresh foods. It is important that you learn about how to address the causes of weight gain and how to ensure your body is receiving the proper nutrients. Once you have an understanding of that and start to see the weight start to drop, you will feel so good and have so much energy that you will enjoy being more active.
Fall is official on September 22nd. We love this season! Eating with the season is a helpful way to get the freshest fruits and vegetables all year round. Fall is celebrated for its healthy harvest of crisp fruits and delicious root vegetables. These foods are perfect for creating warm comfort meals as the weather changes from hot and sticky to cool and breezy.
This fall, visit your local Farmer’s Market to grab the freshest organic fruits and vegetables of the season. Seasonal produce options sometimes tend to be cheaper during their specific time of year, so stock up and get your fill of our favorite slimming fall foods below!
While berries are typically a summer fruit, many varieties are still available through fall. Stock up early in fall and freeze your blueberries so you have delicious locally grown berries all winter long. Use them in oatmeal, smoothies, sauces and more!
No food quite brings together the fall season like a crisp apple. With so many varieties to choose from, you won’t tire of these tasty superfoods, which are full of antioxidants and healthy flavonoids! Take a seasonal outing to a local orchard where you can pick your own apples right from the trees!
Pears are another delicious and versatile fall fruit. They are a wonderful source of fiber and are low in calories. You can add pear slices to salads or use in baking for a sweet and juicy treat!
These antioxidant-packed fruits are more than just a staple on the Thanksgiving table. Cranberries can be used in salads, sauces, grain dishes like quinoa or on top of your favorite poultry!
Selections of winter squash make delicious fall meals. Acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash are enjoyable in soups, sauces and desserts, and can be used in a hearty side dish or as a stand-alone entrée. Use spaghetti squash as a stand-in for pasta or mash butternut squash in place of potatoes!
This notable Halloween decoration is good for more than carving. Small pumpkins are delicious in baking dishes, casseroles, soups and more. You can take the legwork out of scooping a pumpkin and purchase unsweetened pumpkin puree from the grocery store.
Brussels sprouts are freshest during the fall season. You can sauté them with olive oil and salt and pepper or roast them in the oven with sliced onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Add pistachios or almonds for extra flavor, protein and good fat in your side dish. Brussels sprouts are also a great source of vitamin K, iron and folate!
Similar in texture to a carrot, this tasty root vegetable is rich in fiber and potassium and becomes sweeter as it is exposed to cold weather. Autumn is a great time to try your hand at cooking with parsnips. Add a crunch to your salad or roast with olive oil. Combine with soups and stews for enhanced flavor!
This winter vegetable has abundant health benefits including compounds that may help to prevent cancer, phytonutrients to help lower cholesterol and vitamin C. Cauliflower is delicious when steamed, but can also be used as a substitute your favorite carb-heavy foods, including mashed potatoes, rice and even pizza crust!
These fall-favorite root vegetables are tender and mild. Use them in salads or roast with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to bring out the flavor! You can even cook the leaves, which taste similar to mustard leaves and are packed with nutrients! These root vegetables are a great source of vitamin C and vitamins A, K and folate!
Be adventurous this fall by welcoming these delicious autumnal fruits and vegetables into your weekly meal planning during this festive season. For more fall recipes and ideas, follow the Diet Center Midsouth Pinterest and Instagram pages!
Meal planning doesn’t have to be a daunting task, the reality is that planning ahead can be fun and is super important to achieving success on your Diet Center Program. The key to success is identifying and implementing a meal-planning strategy that works best for you. A goal with a plan always equals results.
Some people plan a month in advance, prepare meals in bulk and freeze labeled containers of pre-made lunch and dinner entrees. We like to call this the Sam’s Club or Costco method. Others choose to shop for fresh ingredients and prepare meals daily. What works for one person may not work for another; the goal is to find a personal meal-planning strategy that is the easiest for you. You will save time, money and stress by planning your meals in advance. Going into your week prepared helps you to perform the best on your Diet Center program. This also includes researching restaurants prior to visiting them to have your success plan laid out. You can enjoy foods you love and still lose weight each week!
Variety is the spice of life and key to your success. We want you to enjoy an assortment of varied, delicious food from all your favorite food groups so that you do not become bored or discouraged by eating the same food day in and day out. The Diet Center Program focuses on real food, allowing clients to integrate tons of different fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, starches and fats into their meal plans. Browse our Facebook Page (Diet Center Midsouth) and Recipe Books at the center to find recipes that you will love like Spinach Lasagne, Flatbread Pizza, Nachos, Stuffed Peppers, Creamy Chicken Alfredo, Key Lime Pie and many more!
Many people stick to a grocery budget and are constantly on the lookout for discounts and coupons for food purchases. Check your local grocer’s website as well as coupon apps like Ibotta, where you can receive money back on the purchase of healthy items like milk, eggs, produce and more! Living and eating healthy can be very economical if you plan ahead and strategize a coupon-clipping tactic. Have fun!
Make a Menu and Grocery List
When you plan your menu for the week, you will be setting yourself up for weight loss success. Complete your food journal for the week and shop for the necessary ingredients to prepare all of your meals. This ensures you are staying accountable to your food plan and not placing extraneous items into your grocery cart. Your Diet Center Counselor will be glad to assist with meal planning and prep ideas.
Double your recipes at dinner and you will have enough to take for lunch the next day or have leftovers for dinner on a busy night. If you have a tried-and-true recipe, you can even triple or quadruple it and freeze enough for a week’s worth of healthy meals for the whole family!
Organize Your Refrigerator (And Freezer!)
Organize the items in your refrigerator so you know exactly where everything is when preparing meals. Having your refrigerator organized and having healthy snacks at your fingertips makes it easy to avoid unhealthy snacks and allows you to concentrate on mindful eating.
Cook Perishable Items First
If you have purchased perishable items prepare them early in the week to avoid wasting food. Incorporate additional raw vegetables as snacks or make a medley of fruit for breakfast to keep these items from spoiling.
On-the-Go Meals and Snacks
If your weeks are busy with meetings, travel, kids’ sports or social activities, consider meals you and your family can grab on the go. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and skipping it will stall your weight-loss. Make healthy grab-and-go items ahead of the time, like egg muffins or mason jar salads. Have Diet Center snacks on hand for convenient high-protein smoothies, delicious bars or savory snacks. If you are planning a vacation or traveling for work, stock up on meal replacements to have easy to prepare high-protein meals with you wherever you go!
Set it and Forget It
Consider purchasing or (wiping the dust off) a slow cooker or crockpot. Toss your favorite healthy ingredients inside in the morning, leave it all day and come home to the enticing aroma of a delicious home-cooked meal.
Remember Your Seven Little P’s
Prior Proper Planning, Preparing and Packing Promotes Progress!
Creating and sticking to a meal-planning strategy will not only help alleviate stress, it will save you time and money, set you up for optimal weight loss results as well as teach you healthier habits for long term success. On your next Success visit into the center, chat with your Diet Center Counselor for even more ideas.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most of us would love a secret to losing weight even faster. And while there’s no magic for healthy weight loss, a journal is a valuable tool. According to a study from Purdue University, keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss results.
Incredible! By writing down your food intake each day and monitoring your eating habits and activity, it’s possible that you could double your weight loss results. Despite the benefits, journaling may seem daunting to some. Writing down your daily food intake is a commitment and you may think you don’t have the time or even know where to start.
Surf’s up! Diet Center’s Beach Party Weight Loss Open House is Monday, June 11th. This is our last savings event of the year offering 50% OFF all programs and 60% OFF if joining with a friend, family member or co-worker. You can lose up to 15 pounds by July 4th when you get started now. We also have all our products on sale including the new AM/PM Weight Control Patch that makes losing weight even faster and easier than ever before. Summer is a terrific time to work on your goals because of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Summer is also perfect for grilling foods to make prep super easy and really turbocharge your results. We appreciate the support you have shown us for the last 45 years in business. Our teams look forward to helping you reach your health and wellness goals and a sizzling look for summer. Due to high demand we see during this event, we encourage you to make an online appointment to reserve a time just for you. See you at the Beach Party!
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