Tag Archive: scottsdale

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!

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!

Four Ways Consuming Alcohol Sabotages Weight Loss

Alcohol consumption is a societally ingrained part of most social gatherings. People have also come to rely upon it in solitude, as a tool for unwinding at the end of a stressful day.  Although commonly used as a social lubricant and stress reliever, alcohol can lead to a host of health concerns. Today, we will focus on how alcohol can be a primary saboteur of achieving or maintaining your ideal weight.canstockphoto45753091

 

  1. Increases Caloric Consumption: Alcohol contains almost twice the number of calories per gram than proteins or carbohydrates. This highly concentrated source of calories often results in greater caloric consumption than opting for a nutritious meal. In addition, the nutritionally devoid calories of alcohol are being layered on top of the nutritionally necessary calories needed to fuel the body. Eliminate the alcohol and focus on giving your body the nutrient rich calories it needs to run at full potential.

 

  1. Stimulates Appetite: The empty calories provided by alcohol leave the body yearning for more carbohydrate and sodium rich foods. This happens because the body depletes its stores of carbohydrates to metabolize the alcohol, triggering cravings for more carbohydrates. Alcohol also has a diuretic effect, which results in electrolyte loss. This stimulates the body’s natural inclination to replenish what has been lost by eating high sodium foods such as chips and dip. If you eliminate alcohol from your diet, you will be less tempted to consume more food than what your body actually needs.

 

  1. Lowers Inhibitions: We may enter into a social engagement with the intent of making healthy food choices, but adding alcohol to the mix may cause those good intentions to go canstockphoto46175417up in smoke right along with your aspirations of losing weight. Alcohol lowers inhibitions leading not only to poor food choices, but also to overindulgence in all the wrong foods. Eliminating alcohol will help keep you in the driver’s seat when it comes to making health conscious choices.

 

  1. Slows Metabolism: Since the body can’t store alcohol, it must metabolize it right away.  This may sound ideal at first, until you understand how it works. Since body’s energy is being used to metabolize alcohol, this inhibits its ability to metabolize fats and sugars.  This ultimately slows the metabolism and leads to weight gain.  Pushing the alcohol away and nourishing your body with nutritious food choices will help to keep your metabolism running optimally.

 

If achieving your ideal weight is a priority, it’s best to decline the alcoholic beverages and instead opt for a sparkling water or diet soda.  The nutritional experts at Arizona Medifast Weight Control Centers can help educate and support you as you make this and other lifestyle changes on your weight loss journey. Please call today at (602) 996-9669 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our compassionate and knowledgeable team.

Harness Social Media’s Power to Influence Your Weight

Social media has become a daily ritual in the lives of most people.  We use it to keep in touch, be inspiredimages, stay informed and more as we bounce around from Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram and a medley of other popular apps. Our perpetual exposure to the messages delivered through social media can powerfully influence many areas of our lives, including our weight. Social media can either sabotage or support your weight loss goals. Here’s how:

Social Media Saboteurs

  1. Less time spent being active

Research has shown a correlation between increased social media time and decreased physical activity.  This makes sense since as most of us have a limited amount of free time, and if we chose to spend it sitting in front of Facebook we are choosing not to use it for something more active.

 

Try setting a daily limit for your social media time and perhaps even reward yourself with this time only after you’ve worked out.

 

  1. Normalizing weight gain

                  The  Framingham Heart Study found that when a person’s fbfriend became obese, there was a 57% chance that they too would become obese. Similarly, a study done at Harvard showed that obesity is “socially contagious” so if our friends and family are obese, we are more likely to become obese.  Scientists think that a person’s social network affects what they perceive as normal and acceptable.

 

If you see your social media contacts packing on the pounds, don’t be tempted to give up your hopes of losing weight and join the masses.

 

Social Media Supporters

 

  1. A source of inspiration

We can be sabotaged by the influence of our friends’ weight gain, but we can be equally inspired by their bikini clad, fit bodies.

 

Look for social media sites that provide inspirational and informative sources.  Search for support groups or motivational social media sites that you can follow or join. You can start by going to Medifast AZ on Facebook and liking the page so that you regularly receive helpful tips, inspiring words, recipes and more.             

 

  1. A place for accountability and sharing

Making a declaration of your decision to lose weight publicly on social fb thumbsmedia can help to create your own personal cheering squad. Posting regularly about both your progress and challenges will keep your motivation up, while holding you accountable to your social media audience.

 

Social media can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your weight loss goals, if used properly.  Harnessing that power along with a personalized weight loss program from Medifast Weight Control Centers will give you something to tweet about as you share your success on social media. Take the first step and call today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Weight Loss Made Easy or Assisted Bulimia? Overview of AspireAssist

Innately, people are programmed to want quick results with minimal effort. We want to win the lottery, experience love at first sight, and have the body of our dreams overnight! It is exactly this psychological phenomenon that causes people to fall victim to weight loss fads that promise instant results with little to no effort.

Preying upon those desperately hoping to acquire their ideal physique in no time flat, a new device called AspireAssist has been Device-and-buttoncreated and recently FDA approved. The device consists of a tube which is surgically implanted into the patient’s stomach through an incision in the abdomen. The tube connects to a port valve, which lies outside the belly. Three times a day, about 30 minutes after eating, the person attaches external tubing to the valve and spends about 10 minutes emptying the contents of his stomach into the toilet.

Being analogous to the serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder, bulimia, there are a multitude of other potential side effects. Industry and medical experts have weighed in on their concerns.

  • According to Dr. Sajani Shah, a minimally invasive and bariatric surgeon at Tufts Medical Center, “It’s like giving someone bulimia. Basically, you can just vomit out this tube.”
  • “I’m sure it won’t be long until tales of infections, leakage, lack of nutrient absorption, depression and suicide, severe hypoglycemia, extreme thiamine deficiency, anemia, osteoporosis, and all sorts of other complications” surface, as they have with bariatric surgery, says Laura Beck at Jezebelcanstockphoto17291594
  • According to the FDA, side effects may include occasional indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea. The surgical procedure used to place the gastric tube also has risks, including sore throat, pain, abdominal bloating, bleeding, infection, nausea, vomiting and death.
  • Michael Jensen, professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic, was an investigator for the clinical trial of the device. He reported that most people wouldn’t even entertain doing it for any amount of money because they found it so repulsive. Those that did try it found it a difficult burden to use the device three times a day and many dropped out of the study or hardly used the device.

The bottom line is that to achieve long-term, healthy weight control, there is no quick fix. Lifestyle changes including dietary choices, portion control, exercise, and our overall relationship with food must be made. You don’t have to do this alone though.

The experienced and caring professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers can help support and guide you toward your weight loss goal! Call today and let us help you.

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!

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