5 Snacking Mistakes You Definitely Want to Avoid

Contrary to popular belief, snacks can be a part of a healthy weight loss plan! But it’s the way you snack, not whether or not you do, that makes the difference. Regular, reasonable snacks can support your nutrition and health goals. But sometimes we become prone to making these five common mistakes.

Snacking when you’re not really hungry. Reaching for fatty or sugary snacks is a common response to emotions such as stress, sadness, or boredom. That’s because certain foods trigger a dopamine release, which results in temporary feelings of soothing or happiness. But if you’re not really hungry, snacking will undermine your weight loss plan. That’s especially true because we often seek high-calorie snacks when we’re eating for comfort. So when a craving hits, take a moment to assess your emotions, and make sure you’re not eating for the wrong reasons. Then, if you’re truly hungry, choose a healthy snack instead.

Snacking while distracted. Yes, eating while working, playing a game on your smartphone, or watching your favorite Netflix series can be fun and relaxing. But if you’re not paying attention, you will find that you eat much larger servings and continue to eat even after you’re full. Practice mindful eating by turning off the distractions and focusing on enjoying each bite.

Snacking on the wrong portions. Portion sizes can be deceptive, especially if you don’t pay close attention to packaging. When reading food labels, look closely at portion size when evaluating calories. That small box of crackers might contain multiple servings, and they might be more calorie-dense than you realize! Don’t rely on the package when evaluating portions; rely upon precise measurements instead.

Snacking without a plan. When you’re following a weight loss plan, planning is everything. Don’t wait until you’re out and about and hunger strikes. Plan your snacks ahead of time, and pack an appropriate pairing of protein and complex carbs, with a little healthy fat. A little planning will help you avoid the temptation of vending machines and fast food drive-throughs.

Simply not snacking. Not only are snacks acceptable; they’re actually a good thing for weight loss! If you go many hours between meals and become overly hungry, you’re actually more likely to indulge in larger portions and too many calories. Small, evenly-spaced snacks throughout the day work much better for many people. Your body needs calories at regular intervals to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, mood swings, cravings, and overindulgence. So plan for healthy snacks every day, and support your metabolism as you get healthier over time.

For more information on planning appropriate snacks for your weight loss plan, give us a call. We can help you understand what your body needs and how to change your life gradually and healthfully.

 

How to Feel Full for Longer

Changing the way you eat can feel like a major challenge. Food and mealtimes are central to our daily schedules and long-ingrained habits, and switching the way you eat can disrupt all of that. On top of that, most people who follow a weight loss plan report that they often experience hunger or cravings. Since those urges can make it difficult to stick to an eating plan, it’s important to learn how to feel full for longer. Read more

3 Surprising Health Benefits of a Healthy Diet and Exercise

We often tend to adopt a healthy diet and exercise plan because we want to lose weight, to feel more confident or fit into a smaller clothing size. And sometimes your doctor might recommend weight loss to address a specific health issue, like preventing type 2 diabetes. But there are many other benefits to weight loss that you will notice as the pounds drop off… Read more

Stock Up On These Ten Healthy Foods This Summer

It’s getting hot out there, and you’re probably feeling more thirsty than ever. Staying hydrated becomes extremely important during the summer, not only to support your weight loss plan but to prevent dangerous health conditions that can develop when the weather turns hot. Yes, carrying a refillable water bottle should be your number one solution to this problem, but you might be feeling bored of drinking so much water. Read more

How Workouts Change After You’ve Reached Your Goals

Exercise is a key part of any weight loss plan. But once you’ve reached your goals and shed those unwanted pounds, does that mean you can stop working out? Well, no. That’s a great way to invite the weight to come right back. Exercise is also good for you regardless of your weight, because it keeps your heart healthy and wards off other serious health conditions. However, your workouts probably can, and should, change a bit after you’ve reached your goals. Read more

3 Ways to Address Loose Skin

After a successful medical weight loss plan, you’re probably feeling better than ever. And hopefully you’re very satisfied with your appearance, too. But after a drastic weight loss, some people do report that they’re dissatisfied with the amount of loose skin they have. Read more

What’s Slowing Down Your Metabolism?

We all know that person who seems to eat whatever they want, and yet never gains a pound. “It’s just my metabolism,” they explain. “I have a fast metabolism and I simply never have to worry about it.”

Must be nice! But for the rest of us mere mortals, weight gain seems to happen much more easily. And because we have relatively normal metabolisms, a weight loss plan can sometimes feel frustratingly slow. Read more

Don’t Fall for the Deprivation Myth!

When it comes to weight loss, there is no shortage of advice out there. And to be honest, a lot of it isn’t very good. One popular myth is that if you give up something (carbs, for example, or even entire meals) for just thirty days, you will lose a certain amount of weight. While that could technically be true in some circumstances, trying to follow this “deprivation myth” to the letter can actually backfire in a number of ways. At the very least, the plan just won’t be effective, because…

Feeling deprived triggers cravings. The minute you tell yourself that something is off limits, you start to crave it even more. It’s a funny trick of our psychology, in which focusing on a point of deprivation simply forces us to think about the deprived object even more! At the least, you’ll feel miserable. But in the worst case scenario, this strategy will actually backfire. Will power only lasts for so long, and once it breaks, you might binge on the object of your desire and undo all of your weight loss progress.

After the thirty days, you go back to your old way of eating. At the beginning of this “challenge” you promised yourself to give up something for thirty days. Your brain really hangs onto that little detail, and after thirty days, you feel “done”. Even if you’ve lost weight, simply returning to your old way of eating will usually mean that the weight returns, too.

Instead, focus on gradual and reasonable changes to your diet and lifestyle. Eat more healthy foods, exercise more often, and limit (but don’t completely eliminate) less healthy choices. Make a list of healthy foods activities you enjoy, and focus most of your habits around those. By directing your attention to a positive goal, you avoid the temptation and preoccupation with cravings that occur when focusing on a negative goal.

And of course, if you need help with your weight loss plan, please call our office to schedule an appointment. We can give you the tools you need to succeed, and keep the weight off in the long run.

4 Healthy Ways to Indulge in Cravings

A medical weight loss plan can be very effective, but no one says it’s easy all of the time. Yes, you might experience cravings as your eating style changes. And no, you don’t have to give up your favorite treats forever. But in order for your plan to be effective, you must learn to conquer cravings most of the time.

One way to do that is by recognizing the flavor your body is craving, and then offer it something that is satisfying but more acceptable for your eating plan. Sometimes a craving even means that your body needs a particular nutrient, so it’s good to recognize when that is happening. Either way, these four tips can help you indulge your cravings just a bit, while sticking to your medical weight loss plan.

Salty foods. Believe it or not, a craving for salt often means you’re dehydrated. So when this craving strikes, drink a glass or two of water first. If the urge for salty snacks persists, avoid packaged junk foods and opt for kale or seaweed chips instead (they’re actually very tasty). Of course, another choice is to simply add a bit more salt to your next meal.

Do keep in mind that some people must restrict salt intake due to a health condition such as high blood pressure. If you’re in that category, continue to follow your doctor’s advice.

Sweet treats. Sweets are probably the most common and frustrating cravings. Remember that many options such as yogurt, fruit, and whole grains can often alleviate this feeling. Even pumpkin or beets contain a bit of sugar and can make a meal more satisfying.

Sour snacks. If you tend to crave sour candies, reach for fruit or fermented foods instead.

Spicy meals. People who crave spicy foods are in luck. It’s relatively easy to simply add some chili peppers and spices to a healthy meal, such as stir-fried veggies, without adding any unnecessary calories. Have fun with this one!

If cravings tend to strike at a certain time of day, go ahead and plan your snacks around them using the above tips. That way, you can ward off those urges before they even start. If you have any other questions about your medical weight loss plan, call our office to schedule an appointment.

5 Things to Do On Your Rest Days

Regular workouts are key to your weight loss plan, but so are rest days. On rest days, you offer your body a chance to recuperate from a week of hard work. In order to make progress toward building lean muscle tissue, or just to prevent soreness and overall fatigue, your body needs a day off. Plus, it can be good to give yourself a mental break from busy schedules and the constant focus on burning calories.

Of course, you want to make the most of these rest days, too. Here are five ways you can support your health when you take a day off from exercise, that also support your overall weight loss plan.

Eat protein. Continue to meet your protein goals for the day. Even though you’re not working out, protein carries many other benefits. And your muscles need it as they repair and build strength.

Hydrate. Without your regular sweat session, you might not feel as thirsty. But your body still needs plenty of water for digestion and other processes, so remember to keep that bottle filled and nearby for sipping.

Take a nap. You should continue your regular sleeping and waking times on rest days, so that you don’t throw off your overall sleep schedule. But if you feel the need for an afternoon nap, take it! This is your body’s way of healing and getting stronger.

Take care of your mental and emotional health. When you’re pursuing a weight loss plan, so much focus is diverted to your physical body. While mental and emotional health care should be integrated into your daily habits, rest days provide a great opportunity to do a little something extra for yourself. Schedule a spa day, meditate, or engage in some other form of self care that is soothing for you.

Get moving, but gently. Rest days don’t have to be entirely sedentary. You can give your muscles a break while enjoying more gentle forms of activity. Go on a leisurely stroll or play with the kids in the yard. The outdoor time will be good for your body and mind.

As always, contact us if you need support for your weight loss plan. We can help you set a workout schedule and eating plan that work for your body type and goals.

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