Tag: Diet Center Jackson TN

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Almost all weight loss plans focus on an outdated and inaccurate formula to eat fewer calories than you consume, but as you’ve learned from our blogs and from your Diet Center Counselors, this isn’t the case.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.

5 Tips to Make Food Journaling Work for YOU

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.

Don’t worry! Below are some tips to help keep you committed to your journal and accountable to your Diet Center Program.

Choose Your Method

Not all journaling is created equal. Some people like to map out their meals ahead of time and just cross them off their journal as the week progresses. Others like to write each meal as it is consumed, either before or after they’ve eaten. If you are a fan of apps—keep in mind research has shown time and time again that a paper version with handwriting trumps electronic methods. The reasoning is recall is stronger when writing—meaning if you are confronted with a temptation a second time, it’s hard to write it again. Each of these techniques are effective and will produce the same result of faster weight loss. Use the method that works best for you and make sure to keep your journal with you at all times!

Don’t Give Up

Perhaps you are not losing as quickly as you would like, you are experiencing a plateau or deviated from your food plan. Don’t allow these occurrences to derail you from reaching your health goals. Stick with it! Seek the advice of your Diet Center Counselor and continue to successfully lose weight. Our team of experts will provide the suggestions you need to get back on track, break a plateau or handle a challenging situation.

Be Accurate

The more accurate you are, the more you will be able to recognize exactly where you can make adjustments, avoid challenging situations and add variety to your daily food plan. Record portion sizes and meal times. Be sure to include everything you eat, whether it is on plan or not and use your journal as a guide to modify your behaviors, add variety to your food plan and to assist with avoiding stressful situations that may lead to unhealthy food choices.

Set Reminders

Set reminders on your phone, on your calendar or in your email to remind you to log each meal. The alerts may seem irritating at first, however, they will eventually get you in the habit of logging every meal. Once you establish the habit, you won’t even need them!

Additional Tips

Make journaling fun! If you tried a new recipe, record whether or not you liked it. Take note of how you feel after a healthy meal. If you skipped a meal, record what in your day kept you from eating. Also record how you felt before eating certain foods, so that you can identify triggers and times of the day when you crave certain foods. Make sure to also record activity, water intake and the nutritional supplements you are taking.

Remember

Journaling will help you reach your goal faster and stay accountable to your program and health goals. Your journal can be your best friend during weight loss. When you keep track of everything you eat, you will be able to identify your progress and work to eliminate unhealthy behaviors. And, experience twice the weight loss! Journals are most beneficial when you can review them—make sure to have yours available the next time you speak with your Diet Center Counselor. If you bite, write it. Happy Journaling!

Surf’s Up! Our Beach Party is Monday 6/11.

 

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!

 

Our Favorite Tips to Keep Motivation High

When starting a weight-loss journey, you may have the best intentions to stay committed to your health. But sometimes, everyday life gets in the way leaving you feeling tired and unmotivated. While these feelings are natural, they can post a detriment to your weight loss if you let them win.

But have no fear! Your Diet Center Counselors have compiled some of our favorite tips and tricks to keep you moving, motivated and on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Chart Your Progress

Take a picture and measure your waist, hips, bust, etc. before beginning your regimen. Hop on the scale weekly to see how much you’ve lost and record your new weight. By keeping tabs on your progress, you are more likely to have the motivation to stick with it when you see how far you’ve come. Be sure to take another picture at the end of your journey and set the photos side by side.

Reward Yourself (Without Food)

While it may be customary for you reward milestones at work and your personal life with a dinner out or a large slice of celebratory cake, these things can get in the way of your weight loss. Rewarding yourself with food can stall your results. Instead, find other ways to pat yourself on the back. Try a new body scrub in a warm bubble bath, get a deep-tissue massage or treat yourself to a pedicure!

Start a “Why” Jar

If you’re ever feeling especially discouraged with your weight-loss results, it can be tempting to just give up and return to old habits. But don’t let one day get you down. Instead, prepare for these moments of weakness with affirmations of your own self worth and reasons for beginning your weight-loss journey. Write down things you want to change, things you love about yourself and your motivations, then fold them and place in a jar. On tough days, pick one out and read it to yourself for an extra boost of confidence and motivation!

Exercise

While it may seem daunting to start an exercise routine, being active goes hand in hand with a healthy diet. Take small steps to move around more during your day, whether it’s taking the stairs at work or taking 20-minute breaks to walk around the neighborhood before or after meals.

Get Connected

Studies show that having a weight-loss pal or a group of friends to keep you accountable may increase your results. The competition factor involved in group weight-loss endeavors may help you put some fun into the journey and boost the effort you put into achieving your goals. Have a text buddy or Diet Buddy at Diet Center to help rock your results.

Plan a Post Weight-Loss Outfit

Maybe you have a favorite pair of “skinny jeans” you’ve kept for years or have been eyeing a cocktail dress on a mannequin in a boutique window. Planning an outfit to debut once you’ve hit your healthy goal weight will give you just one extra thing to look forward to!

Enlist Your Canine Friend

To kick start your exercise routine, try enlisting the help of your dog. Dogs make great walking and running partners and, in the process, you will also be giving your pet some much-needed exercise and attention!

Make a Monetary Commitment

Studies show that investing your hard-earned dollars in weight loss can actually help you stay motivated. If you enroll in an exercise package or a weight-loss program that may have an expiration date, chances are you will be more committed to utilizing the healthy investment you’ve already made.

Be Your Own Model

While it may be tempting to cut out magazine images very thin models, fight the urge to pin up any unrealistic body images. Instead, find a photo of yourself at your healthiest weight and use that as your inspiration for something to work toward.

Surround Yourself with Good Temptations

Instead of a candy jar, put out a fruit bowl. Stock your refrigerator with colorful, healthy food options and store them in clear containers within reach for everyone in the family. Learn to appreciate and crave the color and delicious flavor of healthier options.

By practicing self-control, positive affirmation and keeping yourself accountable, you will find you have more motivation to continue on your weight-loss journey.

Helpful Tips for Ordering Out

Helpful Tips for Dining Out

Can you lose weight while having foods you love? When it comes to dining out at restaurants, you may think there’s no possible way you can go out to eat and continue to lose or maintain your weight loss. At Diet Center, we introduce you to all the tools and knowledge needed to make eating out a breeze.

Before you dine out, it’s important to be prepared! Walk into the restaurant knowing that you are going to say “no” to the bread basket, you are committed to avoiding empty calories such as alcohol and you’re going to enjoy the company rather than focusing solely on food. There are plenty of healthy options when dining out that allow you to enjoy what you are eating while maintaining your commitment to your weight-loss and health goals. Here are some additional tips for ordering out.

Tip 1: Prepare Ahead of Time

Most restaurants have their menus online. Take a few minutes to view the menu ahead of time and choose the healthiest option from there. This way, you are already prepared to order and won’t be tempted by other menu options! Before the meal, be sure to take your Diet Center Carb Blockers, which will assist with reducing cravings, decreasing hunger and increased fat burning. A Gold Protein Drink or Fiber Supplement will also aid in creating a feeling of satiety helping to avoid overeating.

Tip 2: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

You can ask the chef to prepare your food any way you’d like. Don’t be afraid of seeming “picky”—restaurants receive special orders all the time. Don’t feel obligated to explain that you are trying to lose weight, simply tell the waiter that because of dietary concerns, you need your meal prepared a certain way. Ask to have your protein grilled without butter, fat or salt and substitute an extra vegetable or side salad for your starch option!

Tip 3: Order Healthy Options from the Diet Center Food List

You may order any meats, fruits and vegetables from your servings, however, we recommend you save your starch servings for when you eat at home. Starch servings at a restaurant can be double or triple the recommended portion and contain far more calories.

Tip 4: Avoid Temptation

Don’t tempt yourself. Wait until your fellow diners have taken a roll or piece of bread from the basket and politely ask the waiter if he can remove the basket from the table. Order soda water or iced tea with lemon or lime instead of a cocktail. This way, you avoid temptation and stay on track! If wine or cocktail is a must, ask your Diet Center Counselor for suggestions and order your drink after you place your order for your entrée. This keeps you on track!

Tip 5: Be Aware or Large Portion Sizes

Restaurants are notorious for serving larger-than-recommended portion sizes. To avoid overeating, ask your waiter to box half your meal up right away. That way, you won’t feel lethargic after your meal and you’ll also have leftovers for the next day. Another option is to cut all portions in half immediately upon being served by creating a line in your food. This will tell you your “stop” point. Without this line, it is easy to lose focus on how big the beginning portion was.

Tip 6: Eat Slowly and Mindfully

Eat slowly during your meal and be sure to take short breaks where you can put your fork down and pause or take a few sips of water. Give yourself 15 minutes after your meal to feel full. It takes the feeling of satiety time to register within your brain. If you still don’t feel satisfied, enjoy a decaffeinated non-fat latte or fresh fruit.

Ordering out at restaurants is easy when you prepare ahead of time and arm yourself with the knowledge to choose healthy options and the willpower to avoid temptation.

How Your Food Choices Affect Your Happiness

We’re all familiar with that common movie scene depicting a character in crisis, having experienced a breakup, embarrassing moment or career setback, wearing sweatpants, watching a movie and soothing their sorrows with a bowl of ice cream. While not always the case, the idea is that ice cream (or whatever your snack of choice) will provide comfort and pleasure in a time of need. The cliché is correct in recognizing the link between our emotions and the food we choose to eat. But as with most clichés, the relationship might be a little more complicated than that.

It’s Complicated

There is plenty of evidence that shows long-term, poor eating habits can lead to obesity and sometimes even depression. But what about those short-term fixes and cravings? Can your mood and overall happiness affect your daily food choices? Or do your daily food choices affect your mood? The short answer is “yes.”

Creating Patterns

In the short term, there is such thing as mood-boosting foods, meaning our ice cream cliché is technically accurate. Ice cream contains sugar, which may momentarily give you an energy boost and raise levels of the pleasing neurotransmitter, dopamine. But relying on foods like ice cream or high-fat, high-sugar choices to achieve short-term sources of pleasure can cause further cravings and create a pattern of overeating down the road.

Mood Foods

The good news is there are many foods that offer the mood-boosting benefits of sweet treats without the chemical rollercoaster ride that can produce long-term bad habits. Start with unrefined starches and good sources of protein including shellfish, eggs, oats or sweet potatoes. Each contains tryptophan, another feel-good neurotransmitter that is capable of making a direct connection with your brain. Add some fruits and vegetables, and your brain will be operating at full capacity.

Here are some of our favorite healthy mood-boosting foods:

  • citrus fruits
  • nuts and seeds
  • celery
  • salmon
  • eggs
  • kale
  • herbal tea

Diet Center’s Herbal II Formula is designed to help relieve stress and help you detoxify while feeling great. See your Diet Center Counselor for more information.

Finding Balance

The guiding principle in creating and sustaining happiness through your choices in food is balance. Eating meals full of fiber, protein and healthy fats will prevent chemical crashes and promote a lifestyle of consistency and confidence. While sweets and unhealthy carbs can momentarily cure your emotional ills, the physical toll they take on your body can soon influence your psychological well-being.

It’s a classic “chicken or the egg” question and a relationship dependent on several factors. Each person has a different experience based on family history and the unique circumstances in which they live, so it’s important to assess your relationship with food and understand your motivations and habits. Once you’ve identified those habits, you can adjust and start eating foods that truly make you—and your body—happy.

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