Winterize Your Workouts

Snow is beautiful, especially the first snow or the snow on Christmas Eve. After that, it starts getting really old, really fast, until you’ve had enough and welcome spring with open arms. Everything is a bit more difficult in the winter, even workouts. That’s why it’s important to make sure you winterize them, as you would the drains and pipes of RVs, campers, boats and pools. No, it doesn’t mean you add antifreeze or wrap yourself in heat tape but make a few strategic changes.

If you’re a runner, remember to layer.

“Baby it’s cold outside” and that can make you bundle up in heavy coats. It’s good if you’re going to the store or doing something less active, but not good for running a mile or two. You need to adjust your clothing based on the temperature, but always wear gloves and at least a lightweight baseball cap or headband. If the weather is 25 to 40 degrees, wear thermal/windproof pants, a long sleeve shirt and windbreaker and thermal vest. Thermal socks can keep your toes warmer. Start with extra layers you can remove and tie around your waist as you warm up.

Don’t fight the snow, make it your gym.

Most people find trudging in the snow a real chore. Not only are you dressed in more layers, but it’s also simply harder to walk in the snow. A study shows that you burn 34% more calories if you walk in the snow or walk into the wind. That extra effort can provide a benefit for weight loss and help you get fit faster. If you can’t tolerate the cold for very long, just walk for five to ten minutes at a time. Keep your mouth covered with a scarf or winter face mask if you have respiratory issues. It helps warm and humidify the air and makes breathing easier.

If you’re not a cold weather person, take your workout indoors.

You may already be exercising indoors, in which case, don’t forget to hydrate. In cold weather, it’s easy to skip sipping on water, but still quite necessary. If you’ve walked or done other exercise outside, join a gym, take up an indoor sport like racquetball or skip going anywhere and try a video or online workout program. You can have a less formal workout program by turning up the music and dancing for a half hour.

  • Even if you aren’t an outdoors person, if the sun is shining and the wind isn’t blowing hard, walking on a crisp, cold day can be invigorating. You’ll burn more calories and feel better than when you started to walk.
  • For those snowy evenings when the roads are closed, have fun with active games with the kids. You can even do exercises, like jumping jacks, together, dance or for the young, play active games.
  • If you want an inexpensive way to set up an at home gym, get jump rope, resistance bands and a yoga mat. You can do bodyweight exercises or add dumbbells, kettlebells or use makeshift weights like cans.
  • Learn to love the cold weather. While trudging through cold temperatures may not be ideal, it can improve circulation and help relieve aches and pains.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Ready To Transform Yourself?

You don’t have to be tired all the time, overweight or out of shape, you can transform yourself. Transforming yourself doesn’t mean you have to hate how you look or feel now, but just want something better and healthier. It all starts by deciding what you want from life and setting a goal, then creating a plan to reach it.

You have to be specific.

You can’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Your goal has to be specific, whether it’s running a mile, shedding ten pounds or controlling your blood sugar levels. How many pounds do you want to lose or how quickly do you want to run the mile? How are you going to accomplish that goal or what’s your plan of action? How long is it going to take? It’s particularly important to set a time frame to accomplish your goal or you’ll always begin your plan tomorrow.

What do you need to do to accomplish your health goal?

In most cases, it’s eating healthier, exercising, getting more sleep and/or hydrating more. Eating healthier can solve many health issues, whether it’s being overweight or some other condition. You can increase your activity or add a formal program of exercise, focus on getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep and drinking about a glass of water every two waking hours. We can help you with a healthy eating program designed especially to meet your goals. It takes the work and guesswork out of correcting your diet.

Find a way to measure your progress that fits your goal.

If your goal was to lower your blood pressure, taking your measurements or timing a run isn’t going to work. Taking blood pressure readings will. Weighing yourself measures weight loss and taking body measurements can tell if you’re on the road to changing a clothing size. Record your progress and make changes in your plan if you’re not seeing progress. We help you along the way when you use one of our nutrition plans with phone coaching, online help and a mobile app.

  • You won’t see or feel changes overnight. Physical changes take longer. After all, it took a while to develop the problem. Give your plan time to work but also make sure your goals are attainable.
  • While the food you eat is important, so is what you drink. Don’t forget that sugary drinks not only are high in calories, they’re very unhealthy. Opt for water, unsweetened teas and coffee instead.
  • Make sure you have support that holds you accountable. Accountability is important. It’s easy to skip a healthy meal and down a few orders of fries, but not necessarily healthy eating. We hold you accountable with phone coaching.
  • No matter what type of transformation you want to make, it starts by taking the first step. Once you have a plan, set that plan into action. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see the changes you want.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Beginners Guide To Carb Counting

There are a lot of different types of diets from which to choose for people in Massachusetts. Some diets are for people with special dietary needs and others are for those trying to lose weight. It can be pretty confusing for beginners and those who have never seriously tried to eat healthier. One of the more popular weight loss diets that people are turning to is a low carb diet, such as the Keto diet. That type of diet requires carb counting. This guide can help determine if it’s right for you.

It’s all about balancing macronutrients.

Instead of thinking calories, think protein, fat and carbohydrates. Those are the three macronutrient groups. Traditional diets get approximately 45 to 65% of the calories from carbohydrates, where the keto and low carb diets can be as low as only 10% from carbohydrates—carbs. It uses carbohydrate restriction to train the body to burn fat. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbs include things like sugar, which digests quickly and enters the bloodstream rapidly. Complex carbs take longer to digest. Most don’t contain added sugar and are higher in fiber, which also slows how quickly the sugar enters the bloodstream, so it doesn’t spike, leaving you feeling fuller.

You need some carbs in your diet.

It still requires cutting calories if you want to lose weight, but it’s all about how you cut those calories. To lose weight, a person who normally eats 2,000 calories a day would cut that calorie count to 1500. To make up that 1500 calories, a low carb diet would get 25% from carbs or 375 calories based on a 1500 calorie diet, with 40% from fat and 35% from protein. The conversion is approximately 50 carbs to every 200 calories of carbohydrate food, so if you consume approximately 88 grams of carbs a day, you’ll be cutting down to 375 calories in carbs.

It’s all about avoiding simple sugars.

Fruits and vegetables are carbs, but low calorie carbohydrates. It takes almost 12 cups of broccoli, 26 cups of celery or almost 54 cups of fresh spinach to make up the 88 gram count. Now consider sugary treats like Starbucks specialty drinks, which are high in carbs. There are 63 grams of carbs in a peppermint mocha, almost 40 grams of carbs in a can of Coca-Cola and an ounce of jellybeans, which is basically flavored sugar, contains about 28 grams of carbs. Even some vegetables can be higher in carbs, like peas, which contain 21 grams of carbs per cup.

  • After looking at the carb content of most foods, you can tell that eating healthy foods can keep that count lower, although quinoa, beets, sweet potatoes, bananas and butternut squash are examples of high carb healthy foods.
  • Read labels carefully if you’re consuming packaged foods. They tell how many grams of carbs per serving. Pay close attention to the number of servings in each package. It’s often smaller than you think.
  • If you’re trying to create a low carb diet, realize that each person will have a different daily intake amount based on their activity level, gender, age, weight and goals.
  • At Pro Weight Loss, we can provide a custom, science-based diet to take the guesswork out of weight loss. We can help you start on the road to a new, healthier you. It starts by making a phone call.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Can Certain Spices Lower Blood Sugar?

High blood glucose levels are responsible for many things, one of those is diabetes. The body can’t keep up with the demand for insulin, or the cells aren’t properly responding to the insulin it provides. Insulin is the regulating hormone for blood sugar. There are many ways to help the body, weight loss, exercise and diet are three. The type of spices you use for seasoning can also lower blood sugar. Keeping level blood sugar not only is important when you have diabetes, it’s also important for preventing the problem in the first place.

Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and reduces fasting blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon has antioxidant properties that boost insulin sensitivity. People give 500 mg of cinnamon in a capsule three times a day for 12 weeks showed it slowed the progress of type 2 diabetes and lowered high fasting glucose levels. It helped both people whose pancreas didn’t create enough insulin and those whose cells did not respond to it. Be aware there are two types of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is used in all experiments, as Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, which may cause liver damage taken in large amounts.

Garlic is good for lowering blood pressure and can also help lower blood sugar levels.

Some studies have found garlic beneficial for not only reducing blood sugar levels, but also the risk of atherosclerosis, by lowering the risk of inflammation. Several scientific reviews agreed with that study. Garlic has a track record of improving blood lipid profiles, combating tumors, preventing cancer, decreasing blood pressure, plus is antibacterial and anti-fungal. It has B-6 and vitamin C. Vitamin C may be one reason it helps lower blood sugar levels.

Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant benefits.

That golden glow that turmeric gives its food almost broadcasts that it’s healthy. It’s the curcumin in turmeric that is the agent that helps bring all the benefits, such as protecting the heart, weight loss, prevention of Alzheimer’s and cancer and even diabetes prevention. It’s been used in Ayurveda medicine for thousands of years and many of the foods for that same length of time. Some research shows that it not only could treat diabetes but could be used to prevent it.

  • If you’re adding garlic to your diet to help boost good health, crush it or chop it then let it sit between five and ten minutes to ensure the highest concentration of allicin. This can enhance the benefits of garlic.
  • Research indicates that consuming cloves for more than 30 days can lower serum glucose levels down to 150 mg/dl from 225 mg/dl. An easy way to reap the benefits is to boil 8 to 10 cloves in water and make tea. It may take three months to see the benefits.
  • A few studies have shown that eating fenugreek seeds in bread or drinking fenugreek tea can help control type 2 diabetes. Fenugreek can mimic estrogen, so it shouldn’t be used by women with hormone related cancers.
  • If you have prediabetes or diabetes, always check with your health care professional first before embarking on using herbs and spices. In most cases it’s perfectly safe, but it’s better to be certain than sorry.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Can Certain Citrus Fruits Aid Weight Loss?

Most fruits and vegetables are known to help weight loss, but some are more beneficial, like citrus fruits. While citrus has always been available, in many households in Massachusetts during the early 1900s, it was often considered a special treat to receive an orange as a Christmas gift or have citrus fruit available to eat. Today, citrus fruit is quite common, but still valued by many for its health benefits, including that of aiding weight loss. Is there one better than another for losing weight?

There are a variety of citrus fruits available today.

You’ll find all types of citruses at your local grocery, but oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruit are often the most popular. These popular options, like all types of citruses, are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, but it also may aid weight loss. Some studies indicate that people who are deficient in vitamin C may have a harder time losing weight. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll automatically shed those extra pounds by eating more, but citrus fruit is relatively low in calories, so it could help you avoid eating higher calorie options and it all boils down to calories consumed.

You probably already heard that drinking lemon or lime water can help boost your metabolism.

Lemon and limes are associated with weight loss, mostly by adding the juice to water. It’s supposed to boost your metabolism, but it won’t help at all if you’re eating tons of calories. What it can do is fill you up, keep you hydrated and when consumed before a meal, help you to eat less. It’s a way of cutting calories in your diet, while adding extra nutrients. However, the limonoids, specifically nomoline, in lemons and limes have been shown to help slow weight gain in rats fed a high fat diet.

Blood oranges have a distinctive red blood color from anthocyanins.

Another lab animal study in 2013 found that consuming these red oranges helped slow weight gain, while boosting insulin sensitivity when the animals were fed a high fat diet. Eating regular oranges also helped with weight loss, but only if you ate the fruit, not just consumed the juice. The reason is the high sugar content, which is slowed in entering your blood stream by the fiber in the orange. A 2013 study showed that those who drank orange juice increased their risk for type 2 diabetes, while people who consumed the actual fruit reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Grapefruit has a low glycemic index, so they won’t elevate blood sugar levels as much. Research shows that consuming grapefruit may help with weight loss, but you have to be careful, especially if you’re taking medications or have a health issue.
  • Have a tangerine to help prevent fat from accumulating. Tangerines contain nobiletin that is also found in oranges, lemons and grapefruit. The most nobiletin is present in bitter orange, also known as bigarade orange, bergamot orange, marmalade orange and Seville orange.
  • Kumquats aren’t often part of the average person’s diet, but they should be. It can aid in weight loss. This orange cherry tomato sized fruit is eaten whole, since the peel is sweet, but the juice is sour. Animal studies show eating the fruit may slow weight gain in animals fed high fat diets.
  • Citrus fruits have many other benefits besides weight loss and should be part of your daily diet. They improve your immune system, heart health, reduce the risk of cancer and even help protect brain cells.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

The Truth About Celery Juice

There’s been a lot of hype about celery juice and the miracles of drinking celery juice. Is it true? Is this the next miracle on the market? Celery is high in fiber, which takes a lot of calories to process. When you’re drinking its juice, in many cases, much of the fiber is removed and the benefits that go with it, like slowing the absorption of sugar that enters the blood stream. You can change that by making your own celery juice at home. Just throw it in a blender and don’t use a juicer.

The actual benefits of celery juice are some of the same as eating celery.

While eating celery is the best for your body, since you get all the fiber that fills you up, if you opt for celery juice, you can still get many of the benefits. It contains vitamins A, C, K and a variety of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, folate and biotin. Celery juice also has antioxidants, some fiber. An 8 ounce glass of celery juice has approximately 4 grams of fiber—the equivalent of eating 4 stalks of celery, plus 2 grams of protein, 215 mm of sodium and 9 carbs.

You can reduce inflammation with celery juice.

Celery is part of the anti-inflammatory diet that helps fight diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. It’s the phytochemicals in celery that help provide this benefit. They interfere with inflammation, the body’s immune response. Celery also has other antioxidants that help prevent free radicals that can cause serious diseases like cancer and even accelerate aging. The antioxidants include caffeic acid, ferric acid, saponin and tannin.

Many of the studies of the benefits of celery focus on the seeds or extracts.

There are animal studies that indicate that celery may help with glucose and insulin levels, weight loss and boosting antioxidant enzyme activity, but these studies involved using celery seed extract. Other studies showed it helped lower blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels. Those studies followed the use of celery leaf extract. There aren’t a lot of studies about the use of celery juice, but in most cases, drinking it won’t hurt you, and may help, especially if you’re drinking it instead of sugar drinks or soft drinks.

  • There is a potential risk to drinking large amounts of celery juice. Celery juice has a phytochemical called psoralens. If you consume it in larger quantities, your skin is more sensitive to sunlight, increasing the risk of skin cancer.
  • Always check with your health care professional first before using celery juice. Drinking too much celery juice could also trigger a celery allergy, which is also quite common.
  • Whether you choose celery or celery juice, there are powerful benefits. It’s a diuretic, improves digestion, can aid in reducing urinary tract infections and has tumor fighting aids.
  • There’s no one type of food that’s a magic bullet for disease, weight loss or other health issues. Adding celery juice to your diet won’t hurt you, but always use it as part of a balanced diet.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Have you put a few pounds during the pandemic?

You are not alone. Excess weight is always a concern for doctors.  Obesity can put people at heightened risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension and a number of other health issues, according tothe CDC.  But during the pandemic, obesity is an even greater concern, as it’s among the underlying conditions that can put you at a higher risk of developing a more severe case of COVID-19.
Don’t dwell on the last months or get angry about weight gain or blame yourself but instead think about what caused you to lose your ability to exercise or eat healthy.

Will Intermittent Fasting Help Me Lose Weight?

There are a lot of diets and gimmicks on the market that help you lose weight. One pill advertised on television for weight loss also adds in its commercial that you have to follow the diet that comes with it to be successful, so it is more likely the diet, rather than the pill that works. All healthy ways to lose weight include eating whole foods that are well-balanced and contain fewer calories than you burn. How does intermittent fasting—IF— fit into the world of diets? It’s not a diet, but a way to time when you eat.

Intermittent fasting—IF— is not fasting like Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi was known for fasting days on end, IF isn’t like that. Instead of fasting for weeks at a time, most people use the form where they simply eat in a shorter window of time. For instance, they may fast for 16 hours and eat during the eight-hour window, such as from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some forms of intermittent fasting do include fasting a day or two a week, or simply eating light two days a week and normally the other days.

Fasting has a varied history.

Fasting has been used for religious reasons, weight loss, good health and even to prevent aging through the centuries. Hippocrates, who lived from 460 B.C. to 375 B.C., suggested people fast to improve their health when they were sick and believed fasting was the key to aiding the body heal itself. Fasting has been used to treat a variety of ailments, which includes epilepsy. In the 1940s, animal studies showed that fasting may even slow aging and the occasional fast might actually help the body function better.

Intermittent fasting may improve the autophagy of the body.

What is autophagy? It’s the body’s self-cleaning, getting rid of damaged cells and preparing those old cells for recycling. Autophagy slows as people age, which can lead to conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s. The best condition for autophagy is when insulin levels are low, like during IF. The process slows aging and returns the body to its previous youthful cell regeneration. It also boosts metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn. IF also increases the hormone BDNF that aids in reducing inflammation.

  • Intermittent fasting tends to work due to the shorter period of food consumption. The eating schedule also reduces late night snacking, where higher calorie foods are often consumed.
  • Some people should not use intermittent fasting, such as people on medication taken with food, those who are pregnant or lactating, impaired immune systems, digestive issues or diabetes, unless under doctor supervision. Always check with your health care professional first.
  • You need to consume a healthy diet to get the most from IF. That boosts nutrient intake, while also reducing calories. One study showed IF produced Beta-hydroxybutyrate molecules causing vascular aging to be reversed.
  • IF has been shown to boost fat loss by approximately 7% and weight loss by 8%. It’s also been shown to reduce insulin resistance, which helps weight loss.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Do Foods Like Celery Have Negative Calories?

There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet, especially about dieting and the best type of food to eat. You might have heard about food that contains negative calories, so the more you eat, the more weight you lose. Is that a fantasy or a reality? Let’s start with the facts. Food has to be digested and to do that, it requires energy. In fact, digestion requires about 10% of the calories you consume. Foods high in fiber, such as celery, use approximately 20% of the calories they contain for digestion. Proteins use the most at 30% and fats just require 3%.

It’s called the thermic effect and celery certainly qualifies.

Celery is not only high in fiber, but also in water, as well. Digestion may actually cause the body to burn far more calories than celery contains. A rib of celery has between 6 and 7 calories. While it might not be a negative calorie count, it’s close, and celery has one more feature that can cause quick weight loss. It’s a natural diuretic, so you’ll lose water weight when you eat a lot. The fiber fills you up and keeps you feeling fuller longer.

Celery may actually be a negative calorie food.

Food that is low in calories and high in water and fiber may actually burn more calories than they contain. Celery fits that description. With so few calories and so much fiber, it’s something to consider, but there’s no scientific proof that celery has negative calories. One thing is certain, it helps you lose weight, plus celery juice is a natural diuretic if you have water weight.

Celery may be king of negative and super low calorie foods, but it’s a close race.

Fibrous fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, plus those numbers are lowered by the calories it takes for digestion. Another tough competitor in the race to negative calories is watermelon. Watermelon is not only loaded with fiber, it’s primarily liquid. In fact, it’s 92% water. Thermogenesis—the calories used to digest the food—-takes a big bite out of the minimal calories it already contains. It’s also a diuretic. Leafy greens are another almost negative-calorie food.

Add more flavor to your meals can also reduce your calorie count.

Adding herbs and spices adds nutrition to food, but also has nutrients and several other health benefits. For instance, cinnamon is a true negative calorie food. It boosts metabolism and uses more calories to process than it contains. However, a half teaspoon is just three calories and quite a lot to season any single serving. The fiber makes it more thermogenic. It also reduces blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity.

  • Celery is excellent for reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, boosting metabolism and helping the body in other ways.
  • There are many types of cinnamon, some healthier than others. The cheapest type, Cassia cinnamon, is high in coumarin, a compound that is toxic in high doses. Ceylon cinnamon— “true cinnamon”—has almost no toxins and is healthiest.
  • Raise the temperature of the body and eat hot spicy foods that make you sweat. Cayenne peppers or other hot peppers increase the heat in your body, burning more calories to cool it down.
  • Asparagus is not only low in calories, it’s high in the thermogenic effect. Add it to a meal that contains a beet, kale or spinach salad and you’ll burn calories and fat, plus boost your health.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Are Eggs Good For Constipation?

There’s a lot of discussion about whether eggs cause constipation, are good for it or constipation neutral. Are you good to go when you eat eggs or are you left sitting and waiting for the mood to strike and something to happen in the bathroom? If you have egg intolerance, it could give you diarrhea or give you respiratory problems and anaphylaxis, but we’re talking about people who don’t have that response to eggs.

Eggs are low in fiber, which helps you go.

Fiber helps you avoid constipation. Soluble fiber creates a gel that keeps your stool soft and insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool. If you ate a significant amount of eggs without eating fiber rich foods, you might not find it easy to have success in the bathroom. Limit the number of eggs you eat if you’re just eating eggs. Otherwise, combine them with foods higher in fiber to offset the low, 0.75% fiber in eggs, which is equal to zero grams of fiber.

Whether your diet contains eggs or not, a low fiber diet can cause constipation.

Eggs are just one type of low fiber food, there are many others. You need a minimum amount of 25 grams per day if you’re a woman and 38 grams if you’re a male. Other foods that are low in fiber include white bread, white rice, well cooked vegetables with seeds and skins removed, fish, dairy, poultry, bananas, fish and meat. If you’re on a low residue diet that’s prescribed for issues in the bowels and small intestines, then eggs and other low fiber foods can help.

If you have constipation, should you avoid eggs completely?

At one time, doctors regularly prescribed a high fiber diet for constipation and it worked in many cases. However, it didn’t work for everyone. A newer study showed that some people on a high fiber diet were helped with their constipation when they switched to a very low fiber diet. The 63 participants in the study were middle-aged and severely constipated, but the cause was unknown. They had normal colons and did not have colon surgery. The 63 participants abstained from eating fiber for two weeks and then chose a diet, high fiber, non-fiber or reduced fiber. At the end of six months, the 41 patients who ate no fiber and the 16 patients on a reduced fiber diet showed significant improvements with the problem.

  • The definition of chronic constipation is difficulty to pass stools that persists for weeks or longer or having fewer than three bowel movements in a week.
  • If constipation is a frequent problem and you’re not getting enough fiber, you can still include eggs in your diet by adding high fiber foods to the mix. Whole grains, most fruit, greens, beans, vegetables like broccoli and nuts and seeds are good choices.
  • One food that will probably get you going is a prune. Prunes not only provide fiber, but they also contain chlorogenic acid, that causes the muscles lining the large and small intestines to contract. If you eat more than two or three at a time, they’ll probably cause gas.
  • If you’re having problems with chronic constipation, always check with your health care professional first to make sure it’s not something more serious than a problem with your diet.

For more information, contact us today at Pro Weight Loss