Diet Tips

Five Natural Tricks for Controlling Your Appetite

The recipe for weight loss is a simple one; reduce food intake and increase activity. So why do so many of us struggle to lose weight? For starters, the moment we decide to reduce calories, our appetites kick in with defiant growls and grumbles that demand more sustenance.  This seemingly cruel attempt of your stomach to sabotage your weight loss aspirations is actually a biological response.

Calorie restriction causes the stomach to produce a hunger inducing hormone called ghrelin. The good news is that there are effective and natural ways to suppress hunger and defeat your stomach’s attempts to sabotage your weight loss goals.

 

  1. Use Vinegar and Cinnamon to Control Blood Sugar: Add flavor to your food without adding calories. Rather than adding sugar and high calorie sauces to your otherwise healthy food, use vinegar to add flavorful seasoning to salads and vegetables. Not only does it add a nice flavor, but vinegar lowers the glycemic index causing you to metabolize your food more slowly.canstockphoto45942965

 

Cinnamon can be a sweet, non caloric substitute for sugar. Sprinkling a little on top of your favorite recipe will not only add a sweet flavor, but also slow the transition of food from your stomach to your intestines, which keeps you feeling full longer.

 

  1. Fill Up on Water: Drinking water before a meal can affect how hungry you are and therefore how much food you consume.  Studies have shown that drinking just two glasses of water prior to a meal, will result in a 22% reduction in calories consumed during that meal. This simple strategy can save you hundreds of calories a day!

 

  1. Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry Before Eating: Waiting until you’re starving to eat, causes you to be more likely to eat quickly and consume more calories. Inhaling your food doesn’t give your brain the chance to process feelings of fullness and so you eat far more than necessary to satiate your appetite. Being in starvation mode also leads to grabbling the most quickly accessible foods, which aren’t typically the healthiest food choices.

Sleep

  1. Get at Least Seven Hours of Sleep Per Night: Studies show that getting less than seven hours of sleep per night can increase hunger by as much as 24%.  At the same time, hormones that signal fullness may be decreased by as much as 26% in the sleep deprived. Striving to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night will not only decrease your appetite, but also give you the clarity of mind to make healthy eating choices.

 

  1. Eat Mindfully: Many times we eat in front of the TV or computer, not really paying attention to what we’re putting in our mouths.  This deprives our brain of fully experiencing the flavors and the sensations of enjoying each and every bite.  It’s no wonder why we don’t feel satisfied after eating this way. When eating, the focus should be on eating!  Mindful eating reduces unnecessary calorie consumption and increases feelings of satiety and satisfaction.

 

If controlling your appetite has been a stumbling block for you in trying to lose weight, the compassionate experts at Medifast Weight Control Centers can help! In addition to the few tips listed above, we can share many strategies as we support you on the way to achieving your ideal weight.

Please call Medifast Weight Control Centers at (602) 996-9669 today for your complimentary consultation and let us help you achieve the weight you desire!

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.

How Water Can Spring Your Weight Loss into Action this Spring

It’s that time of year again!  The sun is out, the temperatures are rising and the layers of clothing are being shed.  So many of us are scrambling to figure out how to shed that winter weight fast! While there are no quick fixes, water can be a significant ingredient toward helping you drop some pounds. Here are some ways that water can contribute to the quest for a leaner version of yourself for the warmer months ahead.

Reduces Appetite: Before you decide to raid the kitchen pantry, grab a glass or two of water.  Many canstockphoto45942965times the sensation we perceive to be hunger is actually thirst and water may be all that’s needed to satiate you.  If it is actually hunger you’re feeling, you should still make it habit to have one or two glasses of water before meals and snacks.  This will produce greater feelings of fullness and therefore decrease your desire to consume excessive calories.

Eliminates Unnecessary Calorie Intake:  One of the most common contributors to weight gain comes not from the calories we eat, but rather those that we drink.  A twelve ounce can of soda has approximately 160 calories and although juice may have more nutritional value,  it is loaded with sugar and has just as many calories as soda! If you’re thinking about having a frozen alcoholic beverage, you may want to think twice.  A pina colada will cost you around 500 calories!  By making water your beverage of choice, you will be making one small change that can add up to a big savings in calories.

canstockphoto45550913Boosts Metabolism:  Every time you eat or drink anything, your body has to work to process what you’ve ingested.  This is called “diet-induced thermogenesis” and it has been documented in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism to increase metabolism by up to as much at 30% for up to 40 minutes after drinking 17 ounces of water.  Plain and simple, drink more water and you will burn more calories.

Yes, it’s true that water may be a helpful contributor  to achieving your weight loss goals, but the primary key to long term weight loss success is learning to modify your food intake.  This often requires additional support and education, which the nutritional experts at Medifast Weight Control Centers are well equipped to provide. Please call today to schedule a complimentary consultation where we can discuss your specific dietary needs and design a program that will help you lose your weight safely and learn to keep it off.

Medifast Weight Control Centers offers four Valleywide weight loss clinics to help you in your quest to transform your physique and health. Call today for a free consult! (602) 996-9669

Motivation: Is it Enough to Achieve Lasting Weight Loss?

Standing at the base of the mountain, you look toward the top and picture yourself standing proud and accomplished at the peak, but a few minutes into the climb you find yourself breathless and running out of steam. This is where you take one of two paths; you either turn back or find some compelling motivation to push forward.

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Motivation is like the ignition switch in your car, it will create the spark to get you moving, but without keeping your foot on the gas you won’t reach your destination. The same is true of finding motivation to lose weight.  The right type of motivation is key, but it is only one of several ingredients that will get you to your weight loss destination.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation:  Studies have shown that the type of motivation is more important than the motivation itself in influencing a successful outcome.  External motivation to lose weight, such as social pressure, will usually fizzle out quickly.  Since you are not internally motivated, the pressure you feel may lead to resentment and weight gain in an effort to show your well meaning friends who’s boss!

Conversely, intrinsic motivation comes from a deeply meaningful place inside of you. For example, if you have a child, you may want to ensure that you are modeling healthy choices so that your beloved child can live a long and healthy life. Psychology Today reported that numerous studies have proven the positive outcome of intrinsic motivation on long term weight loss.  Motivation that creates internal excitement and feelings of empowerment will greatly increase your chances of long term success!

The Right Kind of Support:  Some types of support can be detrimental, even if well intended.  It comes back to being supported for reasons that are personally meaningful to you.  If your significant other “supports” you in a way that makes you believe the relationship is contingent upon you losing weight, this is counterproductive and potentially disastrous.

However, having the support of people who are attuned to your intrinsic motivations proves very beneficial.  Being reminded of your personal reasons for wanting to lose weight and having someone to share that vision with can be key to your success.

Showing up:  No amount of motivation is going to magically get you to your goal.  The bottom line is that in order to achieve a goal such as weight loss, you will have to remain committed, consistent and willing to make change

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Motivation may help to jumpstart your weight loss but, when things get challenging, having the proper support and guidance can help get you across the finish line. The professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers at our four Arizona locations (Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler and Glendale AZ) can help you to remain focused on your intrinsic motivation as they guide you through a weight loss program personally tailored to fit your needs.

Take the first step and call today (602) 996-9669 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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.

Your Thoughts Influence Your Weight Loss Success

Chances are that if you’re reading this, your life may seem like an ongoing quest to achieve your ideal weight.  We all know that diet and exercise are essential ingredients to conquering the battle of the bulge, but there is another key determinant of weight loss success.  This often-overlooked key to overcoming failed weight loss attempts is largely dependent upon how you think. Introducing positive thinking to your weight loss regime can influence the success of your next attempt.

  1. Set realistic goals. One of the quickest ways to send yourself spiraling down a rabbit hole of self-deprecating thinking is to set unattainable goals.  On the other hand, setting a goal that you can achieve compounds positive thoughts and emotions.  Successes, no matter how small, provide positive energy that further fuels your desire to tackle the next goal. Although it may feel like it, you didn’t gain your weight overnight and it won’t be lost overnight either.  Be kind to yourself, have patience, and recognize that each pound lost is bringing you one step closer to your ultimate destination.

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  1. What you think will become your reality. The Law of Attraction is based on the premise that what we focus on is what we will bring about. So, if you’re focused on another failed attempt at losing weight, you will most surely create that reality.  Instead focus on how you’ll feel when you succeed and how much more energy you have when nourishing your body with healthy foods.  Visualize shopping for a new wardrobe or fitting into your favorite pair of skinny jeans.  Focus on how empowering it is to be back in control of your health and well-being.

 

  1. Don’t dwell on slip ups. Being human also means that we are imperfect and despite our best efforts, we will likely canstockphoto39740216encounter a few detours on the road to success.  Don’t let one poor choice to skip a workout or indulge in dessert spark a downward trend.  Instead, acknowledge the err of your ways and how it made you feel and then quickly put it behind you. Focus on your overall success, adjust your goal if necessary and get right back on track!

 

Yes, staying positive is a key to successfully attaining your weight loss goal, but it’s easier said than done. Having a team of caring professionals to support you and help keep your mind and body on track can make all the difference.

Medifast Weight Control Centers can help keep you feeling positive and supported as you strive toward your ideal weight. Take the first step and call (602) 996-9669 today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Try Making this Zesty Pork Stir Fry for Your Guests

Are you hosting a Saturday night dinner party? Try making this zesty pork stir fry for your guests! It will put you in control of your food options for the evening. Plus, your guests will love it, and you will too!

Recipe_-_Zesty_Pork_Stir-Fry_-_Medifast_CentersIngredients

  • 15 oz raw pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat (should yield two 5-oz cooked servings)
  • 4 cups (1 medium head) bok choy stalks, leaves removed, chopped
  • 2 cups (18 medium) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Direction

Chop bok choy and slice mushrooms; set aside. Trim fat off tenderloin if necessary. Slice tenderloin into ½” thick pieces. Grate ginger root. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray for 5-10 seconds. Add ginger root to skillet and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add bok choy and mushrooms to skillet. Add additional non-stick cooking spray (about 5 seconds) if needed. Sauté mixture 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are al dente (tender-crisp). Remove vegetables from skillet and place in bowl; cover with plate to keep warm. Add 2 tsp olive oil to skillet . Add pork slices to pan. Stir-fry slices 3-4 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Serve pork slices on top of vegetables.

 

Now is the Best Time to Lose Weight!

How many times have you said, “I’ll start my diet next week”? Famous last words, right? Well, at the risk of sounding cliché, I will tell you there’s no time like the present and here’s why.

  1. Instant gratification: Although it may feel like it, weight gain doesn’t happen overnight and unfortunately weight doesn’t fall off overnight either. That said, before you lose even an ounce, just knowing that Weight Loss Clinic Phoenixyou’ve made the commitment to lose weight can produce a flurry of endorphins. Feeling good about the direction you’re headed is many times the best motivation to keep you moving toward your goal.

 

  1. Overcome the self-imposed guilt: Not doing what you know is in your own best interest can be a big downer. When we delay our goals, words of self-ridicule tend to play over and over in our minds like a broken record. Conversely, when we attack our goals with ferocity, we feel intrinsically better about ourselves.

 

  1. Delay equals greater difficulty: The longer you wait to begin losing weight, the harder it can be. With weight loss, the more we think about it, the greater our urge is to eat. So spending weeks and months contemplating the start of a weight loss program can equate to weeks and months of additional weight gain. By taking action now, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose except for the weight of course.

 

  1. Reduce health risks: The sooner you begin to lose weight, the less likely you are to jeopardize your health. Every day that you carry around excess weight is a day that you risk acquiring life altering ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer to name a few. When you begin to lose weight, you increase your odds of avoiding these maladies.Scale-image-with-yes-300x270

 

  1. Getting started is the hardest part so as Nike says, “just do it”! Have you ever dreaded the thought of doing something, only to realize that once you started it wasn’t all that bad? When we stand at the base of a mountain gazing upward, we create a mental story that tells us all the reasons it will be hard to climb. Once we take that first step though, the hardest part is over and the motion that we create propels us forward.

 

If you’ve been in weight loss contemplation mode, try contemplating all of the reasons why it makes sense to not put it off for another day!

Call Medifast Weight Loss Centers today at (602) 996-9669 and you’ll get the support and expertise of our professionally trained and caring team to help jump start your weight loss goals.

Eating Healthy at Chase Field

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At Medifast Centers AZ, we know that going out to a ballgame is a summer must. We also know that along with the ballgame comes concession stand food, and sometimes stressful eating choices. In order to help you stay on track, we created this convenient map that guides you to the healthy food options within the ballpark so you can focus on the game!

These different locations include a bunch of healthy eating options including fresh salads, lettuce burgers, mixed vegetables, grilled chicken tacos, and bowls and wraps. These locations are sure to keep you on track for your goal, while also being able to enjoy your time cheering on your favorite team.

Follow the map keys below to find your favorite healthy food options at the next Diamondbacks game. Just move your cursor over the map to start exploring!

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!

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