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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!

Vacation Doesn’t Have to Sabotage Your Fitness Goals

Medifast Glendale AZAccording to Gallop and other online surveys, summer is the vacation season of choice for over 50% of Americans. However, if you’re committed to pursuing a specific weight loss or fitness goal, the idea of vacation can trigger an emotional conflict.

You may be thinking, “As much as I want to spend this time away, I dread the thought of returning heavier than when I left and I’m not talking about my luggage!” Ok, take a deep breath and relax. Vacation does not have to lead to falling off your proverbial weight loss wagon. There is a way to enjoy your well-deserved time off without sacrificing your fitness goals.

Take advantage of airport travel time. Rather than taking the moving sidewalk or escalator, opt for good, old fashioned walking or stair climbing. If you have a wait time before your flight, get up and walk canstockphoto8958370around. Airports usually have long stretches of space perfect for walking so take a walk and get your body in calorie burning mode before your flight.

Plan active outings. Activity increases endorphins so if you remain active on your vacation, not only will you burn calories, but you will likely have more fun! Here are some ideas:

  • Sign up for a guided hike or be adventurous and chart your own course to explore the unique scenery of your vacation destination.
  • If you are in a place near the water, take part in activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling or scuba diving.
  • After meals, take a walk and explore the resort or town, rather than sipping a margarita by the pool.

Take control of your menu. Book a venue with an in room mini kitchen. This way you can buy and prepare food that you know is healthy and not loaded with hidden fat and calories. Alternately, research restaurants with healthy options and/or the flexibility to prepare simple, whole foods upon your request.

Have an accountability plan. Setting a goal to maintain or lose weight during vacation is a nice place to start, but in isolation won’t usually produce the desired result. It is when we share our goals and hold ourselves accountable to others that success rates soar! Before you go on your vacation, devise a plan to connect with a specific person to whom you will be accountable daily.

With a little pre-planning, summer vacation doesn’t have to disrupt your weight loss goals. You may find that you enjoy it even more because you won’t have the guilt of coming back with any extra baggage around your waistline!

The caring and knowledgeable professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers can devise a sensible weight loss plan for your summer vacation. There are weight loss clinics in Scottsdale, Glendale, Gilbert and Chandler AZ. Pick up the phone today so we can help you start working toward your weight loss goals!

Make Your 2016 Memorial Day a Healthier One!

So often, when we think about Memorial Day, our first thought is of the traditional backyard BBQ chock full of high calorie food and drinks. Americans simply have a cultural association between festivity and food. The good news is that you can still enjoy the upcoming holiday, without having to compromise your quest for a bathing suit ready body this summer. Here’s how:Weight Loss Gilbert AZ

Rather than kicking your heels up by the pool, find ways to keep your body active and burn calories. Why not organize a friendly competition around an outdoor group sport, such as volleyball? This is a fun way to sneak in a workout while still being social.

If you’re attending a party, offer to help the host or hostess with preparation and then assist with the cleanup afterwards. Your graciousness is sure to be appreciated and you will be occupied so that you can sidestep the pitfall of mindlessly overeating.

Avoid the high fat, high calorie food and drinks that are often associated with Memorial Day celebrations. Consuming alcoholic beverages not only adds empty calories to your diet, but it also lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to unhealthy food choices. Before you think about partaking, think about the fact that just one margarita contains approximately 800 calories!!

The traditional American BBQ usually includes some sort of salad on the side, but just because it’s called a salad, don’t assume it’s good for you. Potato and pasta salads are almost always loaded canstockphoto5771099with creamy, high fat mayo or dressing. Finally, try to dodge the desserts, which usually include sugary, high fat cookies and cakes.

Choose healthy foods that nourish your body. If you’re concerned about not having any nutritious options available, than contribute some of your own healthy alternatives to the party. For the main course, chicken or fish are great high protein, low fat options. However, be cautioned that BBQ sauce can have a high sugar content, so instead opt for lemon juice and herb marinades. Rather than the heavy potato or pasta salad, your body will thank you for consuming a fresh vegetable salad with a light dressing. For dessert, create a colorful assortment of delicious, seasonal fruit.

By making a few adjustments, it’s very possible to enjoy your Memorial Day and still feel good about not having sabotaged your summer body goals. The professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers can provide additional support to help you navigate Memorial Day and other challenges to your weight loss success. Call today for your complimentary consultation to learn more!  

Reasons why Spring is an Ideal Time to Lose Weight

Who doesn’t love spring? The weather is perfect, flowers are blooming, birds are singing and people are just more energized! Well now there’s one more big reason to be excited about the arrival of this beloved season. Spring can be the easiest time of year to stop daydreaming about your weight loss goals and start taking action! Here’s why:Weight Loss Scottsdale

 

  1. Warmer weather means more revealing clothing and what better motivation to get you going than knowing you won’t be able to hide any excess winter weight under jackets and sweaters.

 

  1. Fat burning vegetables are in season! The more green the leaf of a vegetable, the more power it has to reduce your insulin levels, which helps your body to burn fat. Spring is prime season for fat-burning vegetables such as artichokes, spinach, watercress and arugula.

 

  1. Hot weather may reduce your appetite. During the cold, winter months it is an innate biological response to eat more so that our bodies can produce more heat when they metabolize food. The warmer weather eliminates this need and therefore has been known to decrease the urge to overindulge.

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  1. More hours of sunshine help replenish your body’s vitamin D. According to a study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, increasing your vitamin D in conjunction with diet and exercise can promote more weight loss than diet and exercise in isolation.

 

  1. Bad weather mood swings won’t influence emotionally fueled eating. Let’s face it, being stuck inside can make us feel blue and that can lead to depression, boredom and overeating. Inversely, the beautiful spring weather fuels our energy and motivates us to get out of the house and the kitchen!

 

  1. The holidays are behind us. The long stretch of holidays between fall and winter can sabotage our efforts to lose weight. Spring is the perfect time to remain focused on your weight loss goals without those waistline-ruining holiday foods.

So there you have it! Spring has arrived and there is no better time to start shedding those unwanted pounds. With so many seasonal advantages in your favor, why not take advantage and make losing weight easier on yourself?

 

Pick up the phone and call one of the caring and knowledgeable professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers today. We can support your weight loss goals, helping to make spring the season for a healthier, happier and more energized you!

The Other High Cost of Being Overweight

It is fairly common knowledge that being overweight can take a significant and costly toll on one’s health, but there is another cost that is less often talked about. It is the substantial financial cost of carrying around excess weight.

Despite the push for equality in our supposed politically correct society, discrimination remains undeniably Weight Loss Scottsdaleprevalent. It would be nice to believe that employers aren’t so shallow as to use a job candidate’s weight as a deciding factor in the hiring process, but countless studies have proven the contrary.  

The most significant discrimination tends to take place at the hiring level, where a potential employer places a disproportionately high level of judgement on physical appearance. Because they haven’t yet experienced a person’s work ethic or skill, an employer is likely to fall back on weight-based stereotypes. They may presume a prospective employee to be lazy or undisciplined and therefore question their ability to accomplish the goals of the organization.

Weight-based discrimination affects employment decisions far beyond the initial hiring process. Assuming an overweight person gets hired, studies have shown that they will still have many other hurdles to overcome throughout every aspect of their employment. Excess weight has been shown to influence employers’ decisions around firing, promotions, pay, career counseling, and discipline throughout a person’s career. One study done by a Cornell University Associate Professor found that a 64 pound canstockphoto17291594weight gain correlated with a wage decrease of 9% for the average white woman.

Obese employees are also known to be more costly to companies than their more physically fit colleagues. A report by The Conference Board found that obese employees cost U.S. private companies approximately $45 billion annually in medical expenses and lost work time. Reports have also shown the average medical-claims costs per 100 employees to be $51,019 for the obese vs. $7,503 for those who were not obese.

Although discriminatory behavior isn’t a fair or intelligible basis for making good business decisions, this human tendency to judge a book by its cover prevails. Making a commitment to lose weight can not only change the viewpoint of a prospective employer, but it can also be the confidence booster a person needs to apply for their dream job or to actively pursue a promotion. Additionally, once that new job is secured, the increased energy and productivity from being physically fit may be the differentiator that leads to upward career mobility!

Take that first step and call the knowledgeable and caring team of professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers for a free, no obligation consultation. The investment in your health, your career and your future could be a life changing one!

Considering Having Children? Know the Risks of Obesity to You and Your Unborn Child

A major life event or highly personal goal is usually the catalyst needed for most people to make a serious commitment to weight loss. For women, the desire to have a low risk, healthy pregnancy may be the personal motivation needed to take action.

In addition to the potential complications that obesity can bring during and after pregnancy, it’s important to first note the adverse effect it can have on a woman’s ability to conceive. According to the Mayo Clinic, obesity tends to inhibit normal ovulation, therefore making it more difficult to conceive. The in vitro fertilization (IVF) process can also be impaired, as a higher BMI decreases the chance of successful IVF.

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists reports that obesity poses considerable health risks to mother and child both during and after pregnancy.Weight Loss Clinic Phoenix

 

Increased Risks to Baby During Pregnancy:

  • Birth defects: These include heart defects and neural tube defects.
  • Impaired testing: Too much body fat can make it difficult to read ultrasound results, making it harder to detect issues with the baby’s anatomy.
  • Macrosomia: This condition causes the baby to be larger than normal and can increase the risk of injury during birth as well as the odds of a cesarean delivery.
  • Preterm delivery: Complications with mother’s obesity may necessitate early delivery. This increases risks of immediate health problems for the baby as well as developmental problems later in life.
  • Still birth: The higher the mother’s BMI, the higher the incidence of still birth.

 

Increased Risks to Mother During Pregnancy:

  • Gestational Hypertension: High blood pressure during the second half of the pregnancy can lead to serious complications.Weight Loss Scottsdale
  • Preeclampsia: This serious illness for both mother and baby may cause kidney and liver failure, stroke, and in severe cases death.
  • Gestational diabetes: High blood glucose levels during pregnancy increase the odds of having a large baby and therefore a cesarean delivery. The risk of the woman and child having diabetes in the future is also increased.

 

If you are planning to conceive children, the desire for a healthy, lower risk pregnancy can be a strong motivator for losing weight. Achieving a healthy weight can play a significant role in the physical and mental well-being of both you and your unborn child.

Please call to learn how the professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers can support you in reaching your ideal weight so that you can avoid the associated risks of obesity during pregnancy. There are four Medifast centers in the Valley, and all are offering a complimentary consult and Body Composition Analysis. Call (602) 996-9669 today!

What’s Behind Rising Obesity Rates in the U.S?

The increasing rate of obesity in the U.S is gravely concerning. Rates have more than doubled over the past 35 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The CDC released new national data on obesity in November of 2015, reporting that approximately 36% of adults and 17% of children and adolescents are obese The statistics are staggering, but in order to reverse the trend of this growing issue we must first look at the causes.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Modern convenience has had a profound impact on our activity levels. Technological advances now allow adults to meet for business and social gatherings without having to leave their chairs. Children, who once regularly engaged in physical play, are now immersed in a world of virtual play where they spend hours sitting in front of a screen.

Several studies have found that too much TV time is linked to both childhood and adult obesity. One such study, the Nurses’ Health Study, found that for every two hours spent watching television each day, the risk of becoming obese increased by 23 percent.

Weight loss Scottsdale AZ

Food Marketing

There is evidence that food and beverage marketing may be even more responsible for the TV related link to obesity than the correlated reduction in physical activity. Health Psychology found that children increased food consumption by 45 percent when exposed to food advertising and adults increased their consumption of both healthy and unhealthy snack foods after being exposed to snack food advertising.

Decreased Sleep

Getting less than seven hours of sleep a night has been linked to increased rates of obesity. Less sleep can stimulate hunger, provide more waking hours during which food can be consumed, and reduce energy needed to engage in physical activities.

Over the course of a 16 year study, the Nurses’ Health Study found that women who slept five hours or less per night were 15 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven hours a night.

Dietary Changes

American culture applauds getting more done in less time. Therefore, taking the time to eat healthy foods is not the perpetuated cultural norm. Fast food restaurants are on every street corner offering processed, high fat and generally unhealthy meals. People are generally not offered healthy, whole food options at work and logoschool so as a matter of convenience, they resort to the refined, high sugar foods available to them.

Overcoming the Obesity Challenge

Today, more than ever, there are a variety of cultural and lifestyle factors influencing unhealthy weight gain in Americans. However, this is not to suggest that we simply give in to the societal influences and allow them to influence our health and well-being. Rather, it is an indicator that we may benefit from more guidance, structure and support as we strive to meet our weight loss goals. The professional and knowledgeable team at Medifast Weight Control Centers can help you navigate and conquer the challenges of losing weight in today’s world.

Medifast in Arizona offers four convenient weight loss clinic locations including Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert and Glendale. For weight loss Arizona trusts, call us today at (602) 996-9669. Free consultation and Body Composition Analysis!

Research Links Obesity to Decreased Lifespan

There is almost always some driving force that triggers a person to take the plunge and commit to losing weight. They reach a point where the joy of overindulging in their favorite foods no longer trumps the painful losses that being overweight may bring about. Such painful feelings of Weight Loss Scottsdale AZloss can come from simple things, like not fitting into a favorite pair of jeans or an insensitive comment made by a well-meaning friend.

While these hurtful sources of motivation should not be discounted, perhaps the more ominous knowledge that excess weight could rob a person of precious years of their life will more likely motivate certain people to take action.

Research recently conducted at McGill University in Montreal, Canada concluded that obesity can reduce a person’s life expectancy by up to eight years. This study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology found that not only can being overweight decrease the overall lifespan, but it can also reduce the number of healthy years a person lives by as many as nineteen years. Proportionately, it was found that overweight and obese people lost two to four more years of healthy living compared to those who had a healthy weight, which is defined as 18.5-25 body mass index (BMI).

This same study identified a correlation between the age at which a person became overweight and the impact on overall health and lifespan. “The pattern is clear,” said Dr. Steven Grover, lead author and Professor of Medicine at McGill University, in the published study. “The more an Scale-image-with-yes-300x270individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health, as they have many years ahead of them during which the increased health risks associated with obesity can negatively impact their lives.” Dr. Grover also stated that “In terms of life-expectancy, we feel being overweight is as bad as cigarette smoking.”

As you consider your motivations for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, consider the potential impact that not losing weight may have upon both the length and quality of your life. According to research, by taking control of your weight you can live both a longer and healthier life.

Medifast Centers can help you successfully navigate the challenges of losing and maintaining weight. Because Medifast was developed by doctors, their programs are safe and effective for people with a variety of health conditions. Let your caring and supportive Medifast counselors help you take charge of your weight and your life!

5 Reasons You Probably Have Diabetes and Don’t Know It

Diabetes is a very common disease and a great number of people suffer from it. However, experts believe that the number is a lot higher than reported. There are three types of diabetes namely (1) Type-I Diabetes, (2) Type-II Diabetes, and (3) Gestational Diabetes.

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a life-threatening disease killing thousands of people every year in the US alone. Like any other disease, this one too should be taken seriously; however, many people fail to realize this mainly because they don’t even know they suffer from this disease.

You also might be one of the sufferers of diabetes, yet totally unaware. To enlighten you and highlight the reasons, given below are five main reasons why you probably have diabetes yet you don’t know about it.

1.    Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of diabetes are no different from other diseases, which is why many people often fail to pay attention to them. Some of the most common symptoms include weight loss, weight gain, increased thirst, frequent urination and increased hunger. Most people that see such symptoms often consider them signs of something else and not diabetes mainly because the symptoms do not look very ‘dire’ to many and are also linked with other less-threatening diseases. This is one of the main reasons why diabetes is often left undiagnosed in thousands of people.

2.    It’s Something Else

It is very common for diabetic patients to think that it is not diabetes but something else. This again mainly occurs because the symptoms are usually linked with other diseases as well. Those facing sudden weight loss or increased hunger often blame it on their eating habits instead of going for a medical checkup.

3.    It’s Only Genetic

There’s a myth that diabetes is only genetic which is why many people tend to believe that they cannot have it simply because nobody in their family has/had it. Science has proven that diabetes is not merely genetic and may occur at any age to anyone. Different types of diabetes have different causes with genes being one of them, yet that’s not the only cause.

4.    No Tests

Since diabetes requires proper diagnoses and many people are too lazy to do it, they may live their entire life without knowing that they have diabetes. This is a major cause why diabetes goes unnoticed, especially in third world countries, and in people that have a fear of doctors and medicines. The only reliable way to diagnose diabetes is through a blood test, without which the presence of disease cannot be tested.

5.    No Symptoms

Doctors insist on going for a medical checkup at least twice a year mainly because there are several diseases that show no symptoms. Diabetes (Type-II specifically) is also such a disease that may not show any signs and symptoms initially. This is why many people that have diabetes may never know about it.

These are some of the main reasons why you may probably have diabetes yet you don’t know about it. It is recommended that you take it seriously and go for a medical checkup so that you are well aware of your health. All diabetic patients are required to follow a certain lifestyle and their medical reports should also mention that they suffer from diabetes so that in case of an emergency proper care may be provided.

If you or a loved one is dealing with being overweight, Type 2 diabetes often follows. Medifast offers a clinically proven program specifically designed for diabetics, that has shown great results in not only helping clients lose weight but also controlling their blood sugar. Certified weight loss specialists motivate clients on a weekly basis and set goals, tips and to motivate, making sure they are successful.

Call (602) 996-9669 to set up a free consultation at one of their 4 Valley locations.

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