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Types of Walking for Exercise

We all know how to walk—one foot in front of the other, etc. It’s a simple, relaxing and effective way to exercise. During medical weight loss programs, walking is a great way to stay in shape and continue to work towards your weight loss goals. But following the same walking routine day after day can be boring. Sure, you can try different routes, but then what? Try mixing it up! There are different types of walking and various activities you can include to help keep your exercise routine fresh and fun.

Different Types of Walking for Exercise

  • Lifestyle walking. This is what you’ve probably been doing. This is your basic leisurely walking where you can take your time and move at your own pace.
  • Fitness walking. This is meant to get your heart pumping. You’re not quite jogging, but you’re briskly walking with a more accelerated pace.
  • Power walking. This is a step up from fitness walking. You’re picking up the pace and taking shorter steps. Try adding small hand weights.
  • Ski walking. This is also called Nordic walking and requires that you walk with ski poles and take long strides.
  • Geocaching. Geocaching is when you use a GPS to find an item or a “geocache” that someone has hidden. By adding this into your walking routine you will deviate from your usual path and have fun searching.
  • Walking groups. Some people prefer to have company during their walking routine. Joining a local walking group gives you an opportunity to meet new people while keeping up with your daily exercise.
  • Online walking programs. Different websites and apps offer different programs centered on walking and fitness. The Webwalking USA walking program lets you track your distance as if you were walking across America. Another program tracks your distance as if you had to walk across the UK to defuse a bomb.

Find a walking routine that works for you and stick to it. Don’t be embarrassed to try something different. During your medical weight loss program, you want to make sure that you are keeping up with enough physical activity to continue to work towards your weight loss goals. And you can do that just by walking. You can get creative and inventive without doing anything too strenuous. Work at your own pace and find a routine that best works for you and your weight loss and lifestyle goals.


Mindful Eating for Weight Loss

Have you ever been sitting in front of the television with a snack, and before you know it, the entire snack is gone and you don’t even remember eating it? You might still feel that tinge of hunger, so you get up, grab another snack and sit back down in front of the television to repeat the same thing. This isn’t uncommon. Most people experience this form of “mindless” eating, where you become unaware of what and how much you’re eating. This type of eating can be quite detrimental to your weight loss efforts, but the good news is that you can learn to manage this type of behavior by practicing mindful eating.

Strategies for Eating Mindfully

Mindful eating is the art of being completely aware of not only what you’re eating, but why and how you’re eating it.

  • What you eat: Particularly if you’re on a meal replacement plan, such as Optifast weight loss, you learn to be cognizant of what you’re eating at every meal, and the reason for eating it. You’re eating food for nutrition, so you’re choosing foods according.
  • Why you eat: Are you physically hungry, or do you only think you’re hungry because you’re bored or stressed? Mindful eating suggests that you only eat when you’re hungry, and learn to know when you would normally succumb to emotional eating.
  • How you eat: Many people eat quickly, especially if they’re eating mindlessly. Slow down. Try to take at least twenty minutes to finish a meal. As well, rid yourself of distractions during meal time. This includes television, computers and books. They’ll still be there when you’ve finished your meal.

Benefits of Mindful Eating

Mindful eating can positively affect your weight loss in many ways, including:

  • Allowing you to realize when you’re full sooner.
  • Improved digestion from slowed down eating.
  • Makes meals more pleasurable since you get a chance to enjoy each and every bite.
  • Allows you to be satisfied with less food. Since you’ll likely feel full earlier in the meal, you’re less likely to overeat.

Lose Weight without the Soda!!

During your OPTIFAST weight loss program in New Jersey, say “good-bye!” to the soda.

Soda has gotten a pretty bad reputation over the past couple of years. What started as a sweet treat for children and adults to enjoy occasionally is now a staple of the American diet. The carbonated, sugar-packed beverage is easily found anywhere in the country. Food stores, restaurants, cafés, toy stores and gas stations sell soda by the liter to anyone willing to drink it.

Drinking soda can severely interfere with your ability to lose weight, even during an optifast weight loss program. The beverage is high in calories, loaded with sugar and doesn’t do a darn thing to fill you up. The result is an overabundance of empty calories that are going to give you a brief boost of energy before causing you to crash, ultimately driving you to consume more soda.

Soda and your Weight

Losing weight will require you to consume fewer calories than you are able to burn through physical activity. Soda is a high calorie beverage that lacks all nutritional benefit. The calories and sugar consumed while you down a bottle of soda doesn’t help your body in any way and won’t help you resist hunger. They serve you no nutritional purpose, but could be drastically impacting your ability to lose weight.

Aside from impacting your weight loss efforts, soda is bad for your dental health, can decrease the strength of your bones and is even linked to chronic kidney disease. Drinking soda is associated with an increased risk for many obesity-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

Unfortunately diet soda isn’t much better than the regular stuff. While the diet drinks are low in calories, they are heavy in artificial sweeteners that have been linked by several studies to increased appetites and impeded weight loss efforts.

Ultimately, soda is a poor choice for your health—especially as you are hoping to lose weight. To easily cut several hundred (or even a thousand!) calories out of your daily diet try switching to water instead of soda. No-calorie beverages like water, black coffee and unsweetened tea are great beverage choices for your weight loss program. For more advice on what you should be consuming as you lose weight consult with your weight loss doctor.


What Triggers Overeating?

Food is the sustenance of life. Your body requires nutrients to thrive, and we get those nutrients through our diets. However, your body only requires so much food before it is satisfied. When you eat too much, most excess nutrients are discarded as waste while some are put into storage, waiting for the chance to be used as energy at a future date.

Overeating is the practice of eating too much, often despite lack of hunger. A collection of habits may contribute to overeating, such as large portions or a late-night desire to snack. Overeating may happen in a moment, such as during a large meal that you choose to finish even though you already feel full. Or, you may overeat gradually by constantly snacking or grazing on foods that you come across throughout the day (think: office donuts, leftovers or your hidden candy drawer).

Following your Optifast weight loss program, taking steps to prevent overeating can help you manage your weight loss long-term.

The Causes of Overeating

Overeating is a common issue throughout the United States, where food is readily available in abundance. However, convenience isn’t the necessarily the culprit. This is a complex issue that has deep roots in emotional behavior and the psyche. To understand your habit of overeating is to learn something more about yourself.

Many people are prompted to overeating by triggers. These are environmental, social and emotional cues that initiate a desire to eat.

Common triggers include:

  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Buffet lines, pot lucks and large restaurant meals
  • Snacks available at home, at a party or in the office lounge
  • Boredom
  • Fatigue

Defending Against Overeating

To stop overeating, you have to first become more aware of your personal eating habits. Start keeping a log of the foods you eat, including every snack, meal and small bite that you have throughout the day. In doing this, it is not uncommon to realize that you often eat throughout the day without really thinking about it.

This is called mindless eating, and it is one of the leading causes of overeating—especially when combined with common trigger situations like those outlined above.

During your Optifast program, you’ll be given strict dietary guidelines that will prevent you from overeating. Keep those guidelines in mind as you transition back to a conventional diet. Schedule your meals at intervals that coincide with your hunger, and always have your next snack or meal planned out so that in a moment of hunger you aren’t faced with the chance to overeat.


Steve: 60+ Pounds Lost

I came to Institute for Weight Management in June 2006, feeling like my weight had gone out of control. I could not lose the 50+ lbs I needed to lose with a regular diet, though I tried for months. Unfortunately, I would lose 5-10 lbs, only to gain it back. Before I began the program I met with Dr. Chhabra , and felt that I finally came to the right place. Dr. Chhabra, Susan and the staff at the Institute for Weight Management have offered a tremendous amount of personalized help and support through the entire process. Support is critical to anyone struggling with weight issues.

It’s clear that this is an office which understands the individualized needs of those coming through the program. Also they make every effort to discuss and monitor your progress along the way to accommodate any special needs or problems that may arise. They also encourage you to think and plan past the initial weight-loss phase.

Till now, I have been able to lose close to 60 lbs, and even continue to lose. I am going back to food from a full-optifast program. I have been able to cut my cholesterol medication to a very small amount. Recently, I had my yearly physical which showed tremendous improvement in my overall numbers since last year. I had sleep apnea and used to have to use a CPAP machine which, I haven’t used that for months. I have renewed energy to do so much more than I was able to do 6 months ago.

Dr. Chhabra made it clear to me at the start that Optifast would be an effective tool to help me get the weight off – which it has – but that I would have to make changes in the long run to keep the weight off. It does not end here with losing the weight – the staff here is dedicated to helping patients not only lose the weight, but to develop a plan for keeping it off. They offer a weekly support group, which has really helped me to keep focused and on track, even at times that I feel challenged – all of this makes a tremendous difference. I know I can keep coming even after I reach my ideal weight, and that’s a big help.


Tips For Permanent Weight Loss

Although some people want to lose weight for a special event, most people who start a weight loss plan are looking for long-term results. We want to lose weight once and keep it off for life. Permanent weight loss success is the result of lifestyle changes and creating new habits, not short-term diets. Use these tips to achieve weight loss that lasts.

Tips For Permanent Weight Loss

Make physical activity a habit – you don’t have to join a gym to become more physically fit. But you do need to commit to being more active. Make small changes that you can turn into habits. Like always taking the stairs instead of an elevator. Also you can make daily walk a part of your routine.

Enjoy fitness – the next step to getting more exercise is to find excuses to be physically active for extended periods of time. One way to do this is to be active with your free time. Join a team, sign up for a fitness class or buy a bike.

Learn to cook – it’s difficult to maintain a healthy diet if you’re going out to eat all the time or only know how to cook in a deep fat fryer. Learn to cook low fat, low-calorie meals that you enjoy. Experiment with recipes that use plenty of vegetables and lean protein sources, including fish.

Practice relaxing – living in a state of constant stress is not only going to put you in a bad mood, but it can make it difficult to lose weight. Stress hormones affect your appetite and your body’s ability to store or release fat.


Preparing for Your Weight Loss Transformation

Weight loss program is a time of change—a time for learning and growing as you adopt a new healthy diet, lifestyle and way of thinking. Making these changes will be both challenging and rewarding. But before you tackle the physical changes of weight loss, it is time to address the mental aspects of losing weight.

Mentally Preparing for Medical Weight Loss Program

Sometimes, despite proper preparation and undergoing, change can still be hard to accept. Whether you’ve been planning for months to start your medical weight loss program or recently decided to change your health, the change can be overwhelming. As you encounter the mental challenges of changing the way you think and feel about your healthy habits, it helps to tackle the change one step at a time.

Changing One Stage at a Time

Change doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of attempting to jump right into a new lifestyle, consider changes regarding your body. You should also consider diet and exercise habits at a gradual pace with the help of Medical weight loss program such as Optifast diet. This will be easier once you have a keen understanding of change and how it works in the following stages:

  • Resisting and Reacting to Change: This is the first stage of change you’ll encounter during medical weight loss. At first you may have the urge to resist change. But in time you will learn to react to change by adhering to the rules of medical weight loss.
  •  Adjusting and Exploring Change: You will enter this stage once you become more accustomed to your new healthy way of life. The adjusting stage is pivotal during weight loss—especially when dealing with slipups. You may accidentally break your medical weight loss diet rules at a friend’s birthday. It might be a case thatyou skip the gym because you can’t miss you child’s soccer game, and that’s okay. During this stage you will work with abrupt changes as they occur. Do your best to develop the healthy habits that will help you continue to lose weight.
  • Living Well in the New Normal: Your transition has come to a close and you now live in a state of normalcy. What once was a learning process for new healthy habits has now become a normal way of life for you. Engaging in daily exercise and eating healthy are no longer seen as requirements. But these are considered more so a part of your customary lifestyle. You no longer think about making healthy choices 24-7 as those decisions have become second-nature. Your medical weight loss program has prepared you for ongoing weight management. So you can continue to live well for the long term.

As you work towards losing weight, the change might be tough at first, but in the end it’s worth it. With the help of medical weight loss, you will change your life for the healthier, one day at a time.


Less is more when it comes to salt

You’ve probably heard that you should eat less sugar, avoid artificial sweeteners, and watch how much fat you eat. And while limiting your fat and sugar intake can help you with weight loss program and avoid certain diseases, it’s also important to take a closer look at the salt (sodium) in your diet..


What Excess of sodium can do

Even if you are healthy and have normal blood pressure, some great weight loss advice to keep in mind is to be aware of your sodium intake. With too much sodium, people who are insulin resistant need to be extremely cautious. Insulin resistance is not the same as diabetes. Consuming too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. An excess of sodium can also cause deficiencies of vital nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium as your body adjusts to deal with the overload of sodium in your body.

It’s estimated that Americans consume 10 to 20 times more salt than our bodies need to maintain water balance loss and electrolyte function, and almost double the 2,300 milligrams allotted by most dietary guidelines. Unfortunately, cutting your salt intake may be more complicated than simply skipping the salt shaker at the table, since much of the sodium we eat is hidden in processed foods.

Weight Loss Tips

Opt for whole, fresh foods when possible and look for low-sodium varieties of canned and boxed foods. Of course, it certainly won’t hurt to give up the table salt as well. Practice using citrus juices, herbs and spices to season your foods instead of salt. Try to limit your daily salt intake to about 1 teaspoon per day.

Some weight loss advice to avoid higher sodium intake is for you to stay away from convenience foods. Makers of convenience foods use lots of sodium “salts” from sodium phosphate to sodium citrate. Since sodium is soluble, it can dissolve and mix in with other ingredients in our food. This is why weight loss advice when it comes to sodium intake is so important. More caution should be used when reaching for the salt shaker. More attention needs to be paid to sodium labels on some of our favorite foods.


Exercises for a Pot Belly

Have your six-pack abs been replaced by a pot belly over the years? Doing these three exercises regularly can help you tone up your tummy muscles.

3 Exercises for a Pot Belly

  1. Belly Lifts: Removing a saggy belly takes a combination of eating a healthy diet and exercise. Exercise will melt excess fat in your belly. Certain exercises combine both aerobic activity with strength and muscle training to remove a saggy belly. Get down on all fours and relax your stomach muscles as you inhale deeply. As you exhale, contract your stomach muscles and focus on drawing your belly button upward. Hold this contraction for 10 seconds, then inhale again and relax for 10 seconds before repeating. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
  2. Pelvic Tilts: This exercise targets your lower abdominal muscles. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Contract your stomach muscles and press the small of your back into the floor. This should create a slight tilt of your hips and pelvis. Hold this tilt for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise five times initially, working up to 10 or 20 reps.
  3. Pelvic Lifts: Pelvic lift is an exercise to strengthen the lower back, glute muscles, lower abdominal muscles, and maintain hip muscle balance. It does not require weights, although they can be placed on the stomach. Lay on your back with your knees up toward your chest and your feet off the floor. Contract your stomach muscles, pulling your knees closer to your chest and lifting your buttocks off the floor. Hold this contraction for 10 seconds before repeating. Do this exercise 10 to 20 times.

These exercises will help you build stronger abdominal muscles. However, in order to see your results, you’ll also need to get rid of the excess fat with a weight loss program that includes diet and regular exercise.


Art and Susan: 100 Pounds Lost

Art and Susan have struggled with their weight their whole adult life. Art was prediabetic and had high blood pressure and was referred to us by his primary physician to lose weight.  Susan had already lost more than 50 lbs with another physician before she started seeing Dr. Chhabra in Feb 2010. Collectively they have lost more than 100 lbs. They are now much more physically active and can keep up with their children’s soccer games. Art now has a normal blood pressure and a normal blood sugar.