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Don’t Fall for These Five Food Marketing Tricks

Low calorie, fat free, low sugar, gluten free, all natural and the list goes on.  Peruse the aisles of any grocery store and you will find yourself inundated by a bevy of food marketing buzzwords.  At first glance, these eye catching labels may convince you that consuming these foods will lead to weight loss or improved health. However, without reading the fine print, you may be falling prey to marketing trickery.  Here are some labels to look out for and tips on how to read between the lines. 

 

  • All Natural:  Seeing the words “all natural” stamped on the front of a box may entice some people to choose that product over another.  However, buyer beware.  All natural does not necessarily mean healthier.  Sugar laden foods can sport this label, but it’s only because the sugar is made from natural sources such as sugarcane and corn. Medifast Weight Control

 

  • Organic:  While there are certain USDA regulations around labeling food “organic”, such regulations refer solely to the standards by which the food was grown or processed. The absence of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are among several standards upheld by the USDA.  A label that reads “made with organic” means that only 70% of the ingredients are held to organic standards. Regardless of whether a label reads “certified organic”, “100% organic”, or “made with organic”, the translation is not always a healthy one. Organic foods can still be packed with fat, calories, and sugar.

 

  • Calories Per Serving: A frequent technique used to promote foods to those who may be trying to shed a few pounds is the “only 100 calories per serving” or other low-cal label. This can seem attractive to calorie counting folks, however it is important to note that the lower calorie count can be a simple function of tiny and unrealistic serving sizes.  Any food that is consumed in minute amounts will be lower in calories so be aware of the quantity attached to calorie count.

 

  • Sugar Free:  The label says “sugar free” so it must be good for you right?  Think again!  Sugar free often indicates the presence of artificial sweeteners and other unhealthy substitutes to compensate for the more bland flavor that comes from being free of sugar. 

 

  • canstockphoto28190771Fat Free or Low Fat: The absence of fat often equates to the absence of flavor.  Therefore, foods labeled “fat free” or “low fat” often contain lots of added sugar to make up for the lost flavor. 

 

When it comes to making healthy food shopping decisions, always be weary of marketing labels and delve deeper by reading FDA regulated nutritional labels and ingredient lists. Pay attention to serving size to be sure that low calorie doesn’t mean two bites and you’re done. 

Also, be aware that ingredients are listed in order of quantity so the first few ingredients make up the majority of the food’s contents.  Looking beyond marketing techniques and really understanding how to eat right can be daunting, but the experts at Medifast Weight Control Centers can help. 

 

Please call today (602) 996-9669 for your complimentary consultation so that we can support you in learning how to eat for good health and ideal weight!

Newly Discovered Risks of Being Overweight

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For many years, excess weight has been a well known precursor to health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.  However, studies conducted in recent years have unveiled new findings on the risks of being overweight. Fortunately, findings also show that losing weight may reverse or reduce some of these risks.

 

  • Skin cancer:  Earlier studies showed that obesity increased both the risk and growth rate of melanoma. However, a recent study found that weight loss was correlated with a 61% reduced risk for acquiring malignant melanoma and a 42% reduced risk for acquiring other types of skin cancer. Therefore drawing the conclusion that losing weight can significantly decrease the risk of acquiring this deadly and increasingly prevalent form of cancer.

 

  • Metabolic syndrome:  A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology following 6809 people showed that even currently healthy, obese people were at high risk of developing serious health problems over time. Nearly 50% of the participants developed metabolic syndrome over the course of the twelve year study. This is important to be aware of because metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

 

  • Cancer:  The American Institute for Cancer Research found that 48% of Americans are unaware of the link between being overweight and the increased risk of developing cancer. Two recently published studies quantified the correlation between excess weight and cancer. The first concluded that 40% of cancer in the U.S. was related to being overweight or obese.  The second found a link between at least thirteen different types of cancer and excess body fat

 

  • Decreased life span: Previous studies only linked obesity to premature death, however a new study found that being even modestly overweight can be linked to mortality. New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found overweight people to be six percent more likely to die prematurely. While this percentage is modest, it represents a troubling number of people when taking into account the large percentage of overweight Americans.

 

  • Cognitive impairment:  Obesity has been associated with decreased cognitive ability in adults for years, including reduced recall, learning, and impulse management. New information now shows a similar finding in children. A new study canstockphoto495033conducted at Brown University found that children who were overweight or obese during their first two years of life had lower IQ and perceptual reasoning scores at school age.

 

  • Heart Rhythm Issues: Atrial Fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disorder that may result in stroke or heart failure. Recently, the retention of excess weight was found to cause progression of the disease. Conversely, obese people who lost 10% of their weight, while managing other lifestyle risks experienced a notable reduction in or complete cessation of symptoms.

 

The risks posed by being overweight are many, however it may be possible to reverse or alleviate these risks all together by taking control of one’s weight. Medifast Weight Control Centers’ compassionate and expert team can help provide the tools and support needed to reach your weight loss goals.  

Call (602) 996-9669 today for your complimentary consultation and let us help you avoid unnecessary risks and reap the benefits of achieving your ideal weight.

Reasons Why Maintaining Weight is Harder than Losing It

Human nature is to seek the greatest and most immediate reward, while putting forth the least amount of effort.  Therefore, when setting out to lose weight, people focus on the instant gratification of seeing their weight drop and feeling their clothes loosen.

canstockphoto1869885Rarely however do they focus on the long term maintenance of their new, svelte physiques. Unfortunately, this leads to the frustrating and seemingly endless cycle of yo-yo dieting.  There are indeed valid biological reasons behind the struggle to maintain one’s ideal weight, so let’s explore these and how they can be overcome.

  • Shedding weight too quickly:  While losing weight rapidly can be motivating, it isn’t a long term solution.  Rapid weight loss doesn’t give the body time to adjust hormonally and metabolically, making weight maintenance challenging, if not impossible.  It’s important to recognize that weight gain didn’t occur overnight, nor should weight loss. A healthy goal to strive for is a one to two pound per week loss.

 

  • Metabolic changes:  The human body is programmed to adapt to scarcity, so decreased food consumption signals the metabolism to slow down to run more efficiently on less fuel.  This metabolic slowdown can cause weight to return very quickly if one resumes their former dietary habits. In order to combat the body’s natural tendency for metabolic slowing it is essential to make lasting lifestyle changes, including both diet and exercise.

 

  • Extreme caloric restriction:  The desire for instant results can influence people to partake in overly restrictive diets.  This is a recipe for self sabotage, as the body becomes accustomed to inadequate calorie intake and resuming a Buddy_System_Flyer__Compatibility_Mode_normal diet results in the return of unwanted pounds. This is why it’s so important to consume a daily amount of calories that can be realistically sustained over time.

 

  • Over exercising:  Exercise, although healthy in moderation, can be detrimental if taken to extremes.  When trying to lose weight, people may attempt to compensate for their dietary slip ups with excessive exercise.  This attempt to counterbalance caloric intake with extreme cardio is a form of bulimia and is neither sustainable nor healthy. Once the body tires of keeping up with these unrealistic levels of exercise, weight is sure to return. While moderate exercise is key to maintaining weight, extreme exercise shouldn’t be seen as a free pass to overindulge.

 

When deciding to lose weight, the focus should be on long term changes to lifestyle, behavior, and diet rather than instant results.  Medifast Weight Control Centers offer a highly supportive and structured maintenance program to educate clients about maintaining their weight by practicing good eating habits and making necessary lifestyle changes.

Please call today (602) 996-9669 for your complimentary consultation to see how Medifast can help you achieve and maintain long term weight loss success!

Five Messages Trainers Want to Share about Weight Loss

 

Losing weight is one of the most common goals that personal trainers hear from their clients.  Many people, however, approach weight loss with a misperception of what goes into sustaining it for the long term. Here are things that trainers wish their clients knewcanstockphoto1869885 about achieving their weight loss goals.

 

  • Starvation is not the answer:  By the time a person decides to commit to weight loss, they are typically fed up and wanting to
    shed the excess weight as quickly as possible. This can lead to the perception that food is the enemy, which is absolutely not the case!  Not eating enough food can actually slow the metabolism, making it harder to lose and maintain a healthy weight for the long term.  Eating nutritious, moderately portioned meals and snacks throughout the day is the best way to keep the metabolism burning fat and calories.

 

  • Working out is not the most important part of the equation:  Without making the proper changes to diet, working out will not result in sustainable weight loss.  Losing weight is dependent approximately 75% upon food intake and 25% upon exercise. Hundreds of weight loss studies have concluded that people achieve the best results through altering their diets.  This is not to suggest that exercise isn’t an important component, however it is much easier to reduce calories than to have to spend hours in the gym burning them. 

 

  • Trainers aren’t necessarily experts in nutrition:  There are some trainers who go the extra mile to become educated in nutrition, but a registered dietitian studies an average of four years to get a degree. Don’t count canstockphoto4327742on your trainer to be the expert in nutrition and weight loss.  Seek out properly qualified professionals to help you establish and monitor healthy eating habits.

 

  • Lifting weights will do more for you than cardio:  Many people equate cardio with weight loss, however the experts will tell you that building muscle is a more effective way to burn fat and calories.  As muscle mass increases, so too will the rate at which the body metabolizes calories even when at rest.  This is not to say that cardio shouldn’t be a part of working out and losing weight, but is shouldn’t be the main ingredient if weight loss is the primary goal.

 

  • Slow and steady equals lasting success:  Wanting to see instant results is human nature, however weight loss of one to two pounds a week is the recipe for maintaining weight over time. While losing weight overnight may at first seem appealing, it ultimately ends in frustration as it slows the metabolism, making it nearly impossible to maintain a healthy weight.

 

Weight loss and long term maintenance are dependent upon the right combination of activity and dietary changes.  It takes commitment to both to see lasting results,  but exercise alone will likely not be enough. The compassionate and knowledgeable professionals of Medifast Weight Control Centers are well versed in what it takes to achieve long term weight loss success. 

 

Please call today for your complimentary consultation to see how Medifast can support, guide and help you in your weight loss journey.

Six Reasons Why Spring is an Easier Time to Lose Weight

The weather is heating up and the days of being able to cover up excess weight with layers of clothing are behind us.  Having a great weight loss motivator like that is half the battle, but the determination to take action and the dedication to stick with a plan are still both needed. The great news is that spring has some natural advantages that make losing weight easier than other times of the year.  Here’s why:

  • Abundant Daylight:  After getting off of work during the winter, the sun is setting and the cold, dark weather makes it tempting to head straight home to curl up on the couch.  In contrast, the plentiful sunshine of spring provides an energetic boost that compels you to keep moving after the workday is done. 

 

  • Increased Vitamin D Levels:   Having more opportunity to be in the sun increases Vitamin D levels in our bodies.  According to a study done by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, increased Vitamin D levels has been shown to promote weight loss more than just diet and exercise alone.

 

  • Outdoor Exercise Burns More Calories:   People have been found to exercise more rigorously and for longer periods of time when exercising outdoors.  Spring is a great time to move your workout routine outside where you will easily shed more pounds.

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  • Beautiful Weather Decreases Emotional Eating:   Dark winter days can cause emotions to dip along with the temperatures, which leads many of us straight to the fridge for those comforting, but calorie laden foods. The warm, sunny days of spring produce a natural high making us much less likely to rely upon food as a mood booster.

 

  • Hot Weather Decreases Appetite:  When we metabolize food, our body temperature increases.  Therefore, in the colder months, we are biologically programmed to eat more so that we stay warm.  On the other hand, during the warmer weather the body works harder to keep cool so the appetite is naturally suppressed.

 

  • Healthy Foods are in Season:  Vegetables like arugula, artichokes, spinach, watercress are in season.  Sweet delicious strawberries are also at their best.  What these foods have in common is their dark green leaves, which are most effective at lowering insulin, which burns fat! 

 

There is no better time than now to take advantage of the natural ways that spring promotes weight loss.  Start moving toward your weight loss goals right away by calling the compassionate and knowledgeable professionals of Medifast Weight Control Centers.  During your complimentary consultation you will learn how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals more easily than ever.

Call us at (602) 996-9669 today!

The Medifast Buddy System

Would you like to be part of the Medifast Buddy System?

 

Statistics show that having a buddy when trying to accomplish something makes it more likely you’ll stay committed and will attain your goal.  If you did not join with a friend or family member and do not have that built in support, we are here to assist you in finding a buddy.

Just tell us what you would be looking for in a buddy, and we’ll do the rest!

  • A walking or hiking partner
  • Someone with whom to go to a gym
  • Someone with whom to share weight loss results
  • Someone with whom to share recipes
  • Someone with whom to share how to handle challenges
  • Someone to talk to who is going through the program

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**Please ask your counselor for more details**

Six Reasons Not to Let Weight Fluctuations Get You Down

It’s human nature to want to see instant results. You demonstrate perfect discipline by following a healthy diet and exercise plan for several days and then comes the moment of truth.  You step on the scale fully expecting the numbers to reflect your unwavering dedication.  Your heart sinks as you see that your weight has inexplicably gone up. 

 

How can this be?  Feeling defeated and upset, you vow to further restrict your calories and increase your exercise. Don’t be so quick to react!  Weight  fluctuations are common and can occur for a variety of legitimate reasons. Find out why fluctuations occur and why you shouldn’t allow shutterstock_513483379these temporary setbacks  to discourage you from your long term weight loss goals.

 

  1. You’ve eaten too much sodium:   Consuming heavily salted foods can cause fluid retention. This is especially true if you are slightly dehydrated, as the body holds on to extra fluid to allow for healthy rehydration. Eating whole, natural foods and less salt can reduce water retention.  Also, although it sounds counterintuitive, drinking more water can help flush excess fluid and sodium from your system, providing a more accurate reflection of your weight loss progress.

 

2. You haven’t rid your body of waste in a while:   A change in diet may cause constipation and the resulting inability to have regular bowel movements can reflect on the scale.  Be sure to eat a lot of fiber rich food, drink plenty of water, and exercise. This will help your bowels function more efficiently so that you’re eliminating regularly and not feeling bloated and discouraged.

 

3. You have PMS:  Hormonal changes can cause women to retain between two and eight pounds of water weight during the week before their monthly cycle.  Continue to stick with your weight loss and exercise plan during this time and you should see this excess water weight drop off a few days after menstruation begins. 

 

4. The time of day your weigh yourself is inconsistent:  A person can weigh five to seven pounds more at night than in the morning.  This is due to the consumption of food and liquid throughout the day that has not yet been fully digested or excreted.  The most accurate measurement of your weight is first thing in the morning after having used the restroom. Weighing yourself consistently at this time will help to avoid frustrating weight fluctuations.

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5. You celebrated yesterday’s weight loss:  People like to be rewarded for their successes, so if you see a significant drop in weight one day, it may feel like an invitation to eat more and exercise less the next.  Of course this will only sabotage your long term efforts. Therefore stick to your plan and establish other rewards that won’t hinder your weight loss  progress.

 

6. Eating more carbs than usual: Carbohydrates, while a great source of energy in moderation, can cause additional water retention. Carbs are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen and the body stores between three and four grams of water for every gram of glycogen.  This is why cutting carbs can result in a rapid display of weight loss and reintroducing them can quickly increase water retention, presenting as weight gain. 

 

Understanding the reasons behind weight fluctuations can make the ups and downs of weight loss less discouraging. Avoid the emotional rollercoaster of inevitable fluctuations by weighing yourself only one time per week at the same time of day. 

 

 

Medifast Weight Control Centers have a team of expert and caring professionals who can provide the necessary support and education to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Please call (602) 996-9669 today for your complimentary consultation.

Six Mistakes that Sabotage Your Weight Loss Goals

There is nothing more frustrating than believing you’re moving closer to your weight loss goal, only to step on the scale and see that you haven’t lost an ounce or worse yet that you’ve gained more weight!  You’re not alone. The great majority of people in the United States aren’t well informed of the pitfalls that prevent successful and sustainable weight loss.  Avoiding the following common weight loss blunders can put you on track toward achieving your ideal weight. 

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  1. Eating the incorrect number of calories: Losing weight requires burning more calories than you consume, however eating too few calories can result in loss of muscle and a significant slowdown in metabolism.  A study done in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people were taking in substantially more calories than they reported, which resulted directly in weight gain.  When trying to lose weight, it’s important to accurately measure portions and include every food and beverage that passes your lips.

 

  1. Believing in a magic weight loss pill:   Let’s face the facts, if there were a magic pill, we wouldn’t have adult obesity rates of between 25% and 35% in 46 U.S. states. The only effective way to sustain long term weight loss is to make a lifestyle change, which includes decreasing caloric intake and increasing physical activity. 

 

  1. Not drinking enough water:  Getting in the habit of drinking water is one of the easiest ways to lose weight.  Not only does water help to burn more calories, but it also decreases appetite.  Try drinking a full glass of water before each meal or snack. 

 

  1. Getting less than seven hours of sleep per night: Getting too little sleep has been shown to slow down metabolism and affect the production of hunger controlling hormones. Therefore, less sleep increases  hunger resulting in consuming more calories that are burned at a slower rate.  

 

  1. Completely cutting out carbs:  Cutting out carbs may initially reduce calorie intake, but it can also leave you feeling deprived of energy, leading to missed workouts and grabbing sugary snacks for a quick energy boost. In moderation, carbs help to keep your energy level stable and your appetite satiated so that you stay away from the wrong foods.

  1. Letting marketing labels lead your grocery shopping decisions:  You may presume that items labeled low-fat, sugar free, or non-fat are automatically going to boost your weight loss. Don’t be fooled by these marketing driven labels. Many of them are unregulated and can be misleading.  Read nutritional labels to be sure you know what you’re eating.

Avoiding these simple mistakes can seriously boost your weight loss efforts, but there are many more tricks of the trade that the experts at Medifast Weight Control Centers can share with you.

Call today for your complimentary consultation to find out how Medifast’s compassionate professionals can help you achieve your weight loss goal.

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New Study Quantifies the Monetary Costs of Being Overweight

If improved health, increased energy, and fitting into your ideal clothing size weren’t enough motivation to lose weight, how about increasing the size of your bank account? Over 70 percent of adults in the United States meet the criteria for being either overweight or obese, which results in medical costs of up to $210 billion per year.  This proves that being overweight is not only a detriment to one’s physical and mental well being, but also to their wallet.

A study just released on September 26th, 2017 in the journal Obesity, shows that losing weight at any age can result in significant cost savings.  The study, conducted by five researchers from the Global Obesity Prevention Center at John Hopkins University, developed a computational model that simulates the economic effects on a person at various ages and weights.

The higher a person’s BMI, the more likely they are to have medical complications and therefore higher associated costs.  Therefore, it would stand to reason that the study showed greater money savings when a person’s weight dropped from the obese to normal weight category than from the obese to overweight category. 

The two major contributing factors to financial loss are medical costs and productivity loss.  Medical costs include hospitalizations, medications, surgical procedures, etc.  Productivity costs are comprised of salary loss from medical disability, missed days of work for doctor appointments or hospital stays, and loss of income due to an untimely death. 

The study identified a lifetime savings of over $36,000 for 50 year olds who went from obese to normal weight. By comparison, there was a savings of $20,000 for 20 year olds and $16,880 for 80 year olds who had proportionately similar changes to their weight. The study found that even if a person didn’t reach a normal weight for their height and age, simply losing enough to move from the obese category to the overweight category would save them as much as $18,600.

In almost every calculation of the study, productivity loss accounted for at least 50% of the cost of being overweight.  In some cases, productivity loss accounted for as much as two-thirds of the overall cost. Keep in mind that the study used median salary ranges from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, therefore a person with higher than average earnings would have proportionately higher savings over the dollar figures reported in the study.

There has been a long standing focus on the less quantitative, intangible costs of being overweight, such as lower self confidence, depletion of energy, and being unable to wear certain clothing.  Now, however we have quantifiable evidence of the monetary costs of being overweight.

Whether you’re motivated by the less tangible benefits of losing weight or the tangible benefit of saving money by avoiding the associated medical and productivity costs, the caring experts at Medifast Weight Control Centers want to help you succeed. 

Get started today by calling for your complimentary consultation today!

Six Healthy Habits to Break the Cycle of Emotional Eating

Think of the last time you came home from a stressful day at work, went through a rough breakup, or just felt bored. Did you grab a fist full of carrots and head to the gym or didcanstockphoto22584013 you park yourself on the couch, turn on Netflix and devour a pint or two to ice cream? 

If you answered the latter, don’t feel alone.  It’s not uncommon for people to turn to food in times of emotional distress, but the outcome of using food to numb emotions usually only compounds those negative emotions.  The good news is that you can break the emotional eating habit by taking action and adopting the following healthy habits.

 

  1. Don’t go into deprivation mode:   Many times, after we’ve overindulged, we feel the need to punish ourselves by skipping meals or going on overly restrictive diets.  Not only is this an unkind way to treat ourselves, but it ultimately ends of being a self defeating cycle of starvation and overeating. Forgive yourself for your overindulgence and show yourself and your body love by eating three healthy, reasonably portioned meals and snacks each day.

2. Keep a diary:   Writing down everything we eat before eating it, it keeps us honest and accountable.  It also gives us a moment to pause and think about what we are doing and the motive behind it.  That moment of pause may be just enough to create the realization that we are not actually hungry but rather bored, angry, lonely, sad or some other emotion that is mimicking hunger. 

3. Practice mindful eating:  Many times when we eat, we rush through it barely even taking a moment to chew before we swallow.  We are so distracted with our surrounding stimuli, that we hardly notice what or how much we’ve eaten.  Instead, try turning off the technology, sitting down in a peaceful space and making the meal the main focus of your attention.  Focus on the flavors and textures of your food and pause in between bites. This will allow your brain the 20 minutes it needs to register that you are full and also help create awareness of the nourishment you’re giving your body.

4. Have a support system:  Feeling supported will lessen your desire to fill an emotionally empty space with food.  Have a few go to resources such as friends, a professional weight loss coach, or a support group that you can rely upon to help you to get through emotionally turbulent times in a healthy way. Pick up the phone or write about how you’re feeling and chances are that getting your feelings out will diminish your desire to eat mindlessly.

5. Remove temptations:  If you know you have a tendency to turn to certain foods for emotional comfort, don’t buy them!  Instead have bowls of freshly cut fruit and vegetables readily accessible so that when you genuinely feel hungry you’ll have plenty of nutritious food at your fingertips.

6. Have a backup plan:   Before binging, pause to identify whether the feeling you have is actually hunger or an emotionally charged feeling triggered by feelings of pain or emptiness that mimicks hunger.  Have an alternate plan.  Call an understanding friend, go for a workout, write down your feelings, or partake in a hobby that you enjoy so that you feel more emotionally satiated and therefore less likely to eat for the wrong reasons.logo

 

You don’t have to let your emotions dictate your clothing size.  Recognizing your emotional eating patterns and substituting healthy new habits can not only help your waistline, but also increase your mental well being.

The caring experts at Medifast Weight Control Centers can support and guide you as you learn to curb your emotional eating and create a healthier you.  Call today at (602) 996-9669 for your complimentary consultation and learn how we can help.

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