4 Easy Steps to Help you Get Back to your Workout Routine

Some things are easier said than done, especially if your fitness routine has fallen by the wayside. If it’s been some time since your last workout, here are some tips to get back on track:

  1.  Visualize:  The first step is usually the hardest. Visualization can be the key in taking that first step to establishing a consistent workout routine.  Visualizing yourself doing what you like to do can assist in taking action. Practicing meditation helps your mind to become focused on successfully completing upcoming tasks.
  2. Breathe:  The simple act of breathing slowly will calm the mind, turning the focus inward and away from the external stimulus that’s always getting in our way. The less distractions we have the more likely we will be able to put our focus to our workout.
  3. Walk:  Small yet consistent steps are important.  If you feel unfit, start by going for short walks.  Aim to walk a little further each day and build up your strength.
  4. Work:  Exercise a little more each day to build up a workout routine and to build stamina. Be aware of not overdoing it by listening to your body and any aches and pains.  Consistency is key!

Connection Between Skin Care And Healthy Eating

Moisturizing lotions and potions are popular during the cold Massachusetts winters, where the harsh outdoor weather turns into a warm, but dry condition when you enter a building. While moisturizers and lotions are good skin care ideas, most skin care problems require more than just surface treatment. They start on your insides and require healthy eating habits. Not every person is alike, so changes to your diet actually depend on the skin care problem you face.

What’s your skin type?

Some people have normal skin, which requires the traditional skin care techniques, like cleansing or moisturizing. Others have oily skin, dry skin or a combination with oily skin on the T-zone area that includes the nose and forehead. To find out what type you have, just wash your face and don’t follow up with a moisturizer after you dry it. If your skin feels tight or has flaky red patches, it’s probably dry. Take a tissue and blot the skin. If it’s oily in the T-zone but not in other areas, it’s a combination. However, if you blot your face with a tissue and there are signs of oil or it’s shiny or you have large visible pores, you have oily skin.

The older you are, the more chance your skin is dry.

As you age, your skin tends to hold less water, so that firmer look you get after a shower quickly fades to flaky dry skin. You can help prevent that by drinking more water. Other changes to your diet can include eating fruit like watermelon that contains a lot of water. Boosting vitamin A in your diet and vitamin C can also be beneficial, so add an extra helping of broccoli and munch on some red bell peppers for a snack. Avoid drinks with caffeine as they can act as a diuretic, reducing the fluid in your system. Foods with healthy fat and the protein necessary to make collagen, like avocado, also can improve skin.

Oily skin or acne prone skin needs to make other choices.

Although it may sound counterproductive, eating foods that are high in healthy fat can actually help oily or acne ridden skin. For instance, avocado, salmon and flaxseed provide anti-inflammatory properties that can help. Coconut can also add healthy fat and help prevent acne outbreaks. The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea can also provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help prevent blemishes.

  • Keep wrinkles at bay by including food like eggs in your diet. Eggs are both high in protein to help elasticity and cell regeneration and also high in fat to decrease the potential of wrinkles.
  • One of the worst types of food for the skin is anything with added sugar, as well as processed carbohydrates. Both can cause inflammation and are especially bad for combination skin.
  • Reducing the amount of sugar helps prevent acne, but some people find that eliminating unhealthy fat and dairy also helps. However, some studies show that consuming Greek yogurt may be good for the skin, even if you have acne.
  • To give your skin a glow, consider eating tomatoes. The lycopene in tomatoes is an antioxidant to help protect the skin. Consuming bone broth can help aging skin, since it’s rich in collagen.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Moderation Is The Key To Success

If you’re the “desperate times call for desperate measures” type of person and it works for you, then this isn’t the blog you need to read. However, if you’re not seeing any success in that technique when it comes to eating healthy and getting fit, then for this situation, moderation may actually be your key to success. Severely restricting your caloric intake and exercising endlessly often ends in failure, since it can’t be continued for long.

It all starts by making smarter decisions.

Just cutting out food with added sugar can make a huge change. It’s easy to remember with no calorie or carb counting. Instead of snacking on a bowl of ice cream, consider freezing grapes as a snack or freeze a banana in coin size pieces then mash it to ice cream consistency. It’s sweet and provides health benefits and fewer calories.

If you fall off the wagon, start again immediately.

Even if you’ve given up food with added sugar, if you eat a small slice of wedding cake at a friend’s wedding, it’s not the end of the world. Just start fresh. Accept that you’re not perfect, just don’t make it an everyday occurrence. It takes time to change your habits and your palate. The longer you stay away from foods with added sugar, the sweeter fruit will taste. In fact, people who seldom eat sugary treats often find some too sweet for their taste. That’s because a constant flow of sugar dulls the taste buds. Once you feel you’ve conquered sugar, move on to other processed food.

Exercising can be grueling at first.

If you haven’t exercised in a long time, take it easy at first. It may be a real shock to your body that it has to move more and the body may rebel by making every muscle and joint hurt. You may make it through the first tough workout, but you’ll pay for it the next day. If you’ve led a sedentary lifestyle, start by walking more and do a few minutes of regular exercises, like lunges and squats. Slowly increase the number of reps and the types of exercises until you can get 150 minutes a week, then work on intensity, once your body is ready. Consistency is key and so is slowly adjusting your body to more activity.

  • Make small changes, like drinking more water. Carry a bottle of water with you and sip on it frequently. You’ll have more energy because you’ll be hydrated and feel full longer. Before a meal, drink a glass of water, you’ll eat less.
  • Aim for permanent change. That only comes from changing long term habits, not a sudden rush where you starve yourself and workout until you can’t move any longer. Starving yourself leads to yo-yo weight loss.
  • Not everyone is the same, so doing what works best for you is important. If you’re an “all-or-nothing type” make sure it’s actually working for you and you aren’t regaining the weight immediately.
  • Don’t give food the power, take charge. If you love crunchy snacks, instead of potato chips make air popped popcorn. Don’t eat a candy bar but opt for frozen banana ice cream made from mashed bananas or choose another sweet fruit.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

How Exercise Helps Mental Health

Mental health issues may be as mild as just lacking energy or interest to extremely difficult and require professional help. While exercise helps with both types of issues, more severe problems require more help and becomes an adjunct therapy. Whether you’re just feeling antsy or don’t have the energy you should have, if you’re healthy otherwise, maybe it’s time to start getting your body moving. There’s a lot of reasons exercise can lift your spirits and get you back on the right track.

Stress may be the cause of your problem.

Stress can do a lot of things to your body and mind if endured for a long time. Exercise helps burn off the hormones produced by stress and get you back to feeling more normal. The stress hormones prepare you for running or fighting and an active workout can mimic one or both of those things. It also can stimulate the creation of happy hormones, often called the runner’s high, which make you feel good.

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain.

Is a fuzzy brain the problem? Exercise can help. It stimulates circulation and sends oxygen and nutrient laden blood to the brain. Is depression or anxiety a problem? Studies show that exercise is just as effective as medication as an adjunct therapy. When combined with traditional psychological help, it brought similar or better results than medication and therapy. Best of all, the only side effects of exercise are looking and feeling better. Even moderate exercise a few times a week can improve overall mental health and happiness.

Why does exercise help?

In addition to improving circulation, exercise can help improve the quality of your gut microbiome. The microbes in the gut play an important role in the chemistry of the brain. Exercise also helps you sleep better at night, while improving the quality of your sleep. That helps both mental functioning and mood. Exercise also improves cognitive abilities and boost neurogenesis, which is the creation of new brain cells. It improves memory by strengthening the hippocampus, which improves memory.

  • Exercising can improve your posture. When you walk tall, you look more confident. Try slumping, then sitting up straight. When you sit up straight, you actually feel more confident, too.
  • When you boost your heart rate with exercise, it improves circulation, while also increasing the production of neurohormones that control your mood. They make you feel better and boost cognitive functioning.
  • Exercise boosts the production of neural pathways in the brain. That makes it easier to learn new things and makes the brain work faster.
  • Moving around when you’re under pressure is a natural response. It’s why people pace in tense situations. The body automatically knows what to do to handle stress, you just have to learn to listen.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

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