Blog Section

Stay Safe When You’re Walking To Lose Weight

Walking with OPTIFAST in New Jersey More and more people are finding that walking to lose weight is both convenient and effective. You don’t need a membership and you can do it any time of the day or night. However, you’ll want to follow a few safety tips if you plan to walk at night.

Safety Tips For Walking At Night

  • Stay on the walking path. Choose walking routes that offer lighted paths away from the traffic, ideally with sidewalks present.
  • Walk towards traffic. If you must walk along the side of the road, walk so that you are facing oncoming traffic. Never walk with your back to traffic.
  • Look both ways when you cross the street. Remember that most drivers aren’t expecting someone to walk across the street at night, so pay extra attention when you’re crossing even if you’re at a light and have the right-of-way.
  • Walk along popular walking paths. If you choose a route that is frequented by runners and walkers, drivers are more likely to expect pedestrians.
  • Wear bright clothing. Do not go walking at night dressed in all black or other dark colors. Reflective strips on your clothing will ensure that motorists will see you.

In addition to these tips, it’s always a good idea to let someone know where you plan to walk and how long you expect to be gone.


Diet Foods For Less Than $1

Low Glycemic FoodsTrying to switch to a healthy food diet, but not sure how you’ll fit it into your budget? You don’t have to break the bank to eat healthy. Check out these healthy foods that cost less than $1.

Diet Foods For Less Than $1

Apples – 1 large apple can serve as a complete snack or be added to salads and only contains 117 calories and 0 grams of fat.

Bananas – make a smoothie and boost your potassium, vitamin C and fiber intake for less than .50 per serving.

Baby Carrots – you can usually get 6-8 servings for a dollar and these orange veggies are great for snacks, stews and salads.

Canned Beans – kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans are a great source of protein at a fraction of the cost of most meats, and they contain more fiber and less fat.

Lentils (dry) – commonly used as the base for soups, stews, salads and casseroles, lentils contain 14 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and just 195 calories per 2 ounce serving.

Yogurt (plain, lowfat, or fat-free) – this low-fat dairy product is a great protein source and encourages proper digestion, and usually costs about .60 per serving.


Sitting May Shorten Your Lifespan

Walking with OPTIFAST in New Jersey Research shows that even a little bit of exercise every day can help you live longer, regardless of weight loss.

A study recently published in the online edition of American Journal of Epidemiology evaluated data collected from 123,216 men and women over the course of 14 years.

Researchers from the American Cancer Society found that heart disease was more likely to be a cause of premature death than cancer. Inactivity and obesity have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease.

The study adjusted for other risk factors of premature death, including smoking and BMI, and analyzed the effect of sitting for long periods of time. Women who sat for at least six hours per day were shown to be 37% more likely to die than women who sat for less than three hours per day. Men who sat for long periods of time were 17% more likely to die than the men who did less sitting.

Researchers noted that getting regular exercise did decrease the risk of death, but that even people who found time to exercise were more likely to suffer from premature death if they sat for extended periods of time during the day.

Dr. Alpa Patel, the study’s lead author, concluded that, “the more time you spend sitting, the less total energy expended and you can have consequences such as weight gain and increased obesity.” In other words, getting up regularly may contribute to a longer life as well as weight loss.


Benefits Of Exercise

Having a hard time convincing yourself to get up 30 minutes early to exercise? Looking for one more reason to hit the gym after work instead of the couch? Use these benefits of exercise as extra motivation when you feel like skipping a workout.

3 Benefits Of Exercise

  1. Exercise makes you happy! OK, so sweating on a treadmill isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. But scientists say that physical activity triggers brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. So sweating on the treadmill might not sound like fun, but chances are that you’ll be in a better mood when you’re done.
  2. A workout a day keeps the doctor away. The list of chronic illnesses that can be prevented by regular physical activity is long. Committing to a daily workout can help you avoid: high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, strokes, and even certain types of cancer.
  3. The more you move, the better you sleep. Getting enough exercise during the day can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep better at night. Of course, you probably want to avoid a strenuous workout immediately before bed, as you might be extra alert for a while. But going for a long walk in the morning could help you sleep better that night.

And of course, there’s the benefit many of us were hoping for when we started exercising in the first place: weight loss. Yes, regular physical activity is essential for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. But when you’re tempted to jump off the weight loss track, keep these other benefits of exercise in mind, and keep moving!


Mark: 170 Pounds Lost

Mark Weight Loss Success

When I first came to the Institute for Weight Management (IWM) I was 389 lbs., Dr. Chhabra, it’s founder and presiding Doctor, once told me that people generally loose weight when they know they are ready to do so.

In my case that absolutely applies.

Before joining this program in October of 2007, I had tried various other diets, including this very same Opti fast program with another provider. My ex wife registered me with the other program in 2000, the year we got married. At first I did have some success, loosing some 40 + lbs. But then, as seems to be the usual story, I gained it all back. I was there for 4 years before the program dis banded, but did not have any success at all. In fact I am glad it stopped, I was just not going any where with it. But a few years later, a former member from that group recommended the IWM to me and said it was much better organized and run than the previous program. Where as weight loss was an after thought for the previous program, done after hours,

it’s main focus being the Dr’s medical practice, it is the main and sole focus of IWM. 

When I first came here I could barely walk 10 feet without feeling heart palpitations. The very simple daily tasks of life were an ordeal and chore for me. As an example, I dreaded flying on an airplane, for fear of infringing on someone’s space. So much so that I became an expert in trying to get a seat with an empty one next to me. I dreaded the word “full” flight. To say I was ready was an understatement. But to be ready is not enough. You need to have a plan, support and motivation. I got all this from IWM. It was a place to come once a week and be accountable for your actions. Prior to coming here I was some what knowledgeable about what constituted a good formula for weight loss, diet coupled with exercise and healthy living. But I had no proper plan of execution and I let my everyday hectic life get in the way of doing the right thing. I was slowly killing myself. Finally I had enough. I joined this program, albeit not following it as prescribed. Yes I modified my diet and eventually settled in on my own system, some times much to the chagrin of the doc. But I believe each person knows their body best and will eventually develop their own plan. I like to call mine modified optifast.

I have now, some 2.5 years later, lost 170 lbs and continuing like a run away Train to my final goal weight. And I will achieve it this year. But without the support, encouragement and genuine caring from Dr. Chhabra and her staff I would not have come this far. I am a completely different person. Weight loss is not a sprint.

It is a marathon. It is not a fad diet and huge loss of pounds in a short while. It is about loosing the weight in a healthy manner and changing one’s life style. If you are looking to loose it all in a day or 2 or a month forget it, you have already lost before you have started. You need to stay focused at all times and take baby steps. Set small goals and then once achieved keep going. For me it is 10 lbs. Loose 10 lbs and move to the next. And believe me before you know it adds up. You will feel better about yourself as the weight starts coming off. I have my own old saying, ” if you are in a hurry to get somewhere you will not get there fast enough. If you are not in a hurry you will get there quick enough:” This may sound like a cliche, but listen, if I can do this anyone can. Today I could not care less if a flight is full and would not even mind taking the middle seat, if that was the only choice. Best of all, I do not have to ask for a seat belt extension. I exercise intensively and extensively and enjoy it. It is part of my life now. I do 40 minutes of stair climbing almost daily. No not on one of those sissy machines, but on actual steps. The best cardio work out anywhere. It kind of reminds me of Rocky 3, where he moves from a fancy Gym in Philly to a real boxer’s gym in South LA.

There is no easy road here. If somebody is telling that to you they are lying. There will also be bumps in the road. I have experienced many of them. But as you get into the process and start losing you will find it easier and easier to deal with those situations as they arise. Basically, you just get right back onto the horse and get going again. I use to have a bad day and then let it affect my whole week. I would simply say ok we ruined the day so let it go and we will get on it next week. Bad move. How many days would you then sacrifice if you thought this way. Now, if I have a bad day, and now they are few and far between, I simply get right back at it the next day. This is the attitude that needs to be developed. This is all part of a change in behavior. Who does not like to indulge from time to time. We all do. We are bombarded with food everywhere. I am not saying give up all the things you like. I am simply saying enjoy them, but in moderation. Have self control. I love chocolate, It is a huge weakness. of mine. But I can now satisfy my need by simply having a small piece every other day. Many convenience stores now sell small tiny bars, which one can enjoy without feeling guilty. All you have to do is ask yourself are you better of the way you are or do you really want to feel and look better. Once you start and you see the results the momentum will carry you. To achieve success you need to have definitive goals and a burning desire to achieve them.

I can only tell you that it can be done. I am doing it. Stay focused and you will get to your goal. Treat each day unto itself. Never look beyond today. Win each day and the days will pile up. And when getting up to exercise just do it, don’t dwell on it. And the sooner you get started the sooner you will get to where you  want to be. And remember, once you are ready and once you start you cannot and must not quit.

I encourage who ever reads this to join IWM and change your life.


John: 90 Pounds Lost

John 90 lb Weight Loss Success

I began coming two years ago and was skeptical at first that I could live eating so few calories.  Now, after two years of following the programs and advice of Dr. Chhabra, I have lost 90 pounds and totally changed my life around. 

I exercise 45-75 mins per day and eat a healthy balanced diet.  Many of my prior health problems have diminished and I feel incredibly better.  I thank everyone for their support.


Luisanna: 50 lbs Lost

Luisanna Weight Loss Success

My name is Luisanna . I started the program of table food with 283 pounds.  This program with the guidance of Dr. Anjana Chhabra has taught me how to control the amount of calories I consume, namely balancing the proportion of carbohydrates and proteins I eat each day and different foods to help accelerate my weight loss.

Now my weight is 233 pounds which I am happy with this program and  with the help of the doctor, this program has helped me clarify my skin, I feel more active, more happy with myself and more importantly, I have learned to eat healthy, to enjoy food without fear of getting fat again.


Max: 78 Pounds Lost

Max Weight Loss Success

Max was referred by his Pulmonologist because he had sleep apnea-he would stop breathing in his sleep. He would feel sleepy during the day. He weighed 290 pounds. Within 2 weeks he had lost more than 10 lbs and was feeling much better and his sleep apnea has resolved. After 7 months, he weighs 212 lbs and feels great.


Painless Ways to Lose Weight

 belly-2473_640Is losing weight hard? It can be. But working these five simple tips into your life can make weight loss programs easier.

Five Tips for Easy Weight Loss

  1. Share. Specifically, share your meals, especially when dining out. Practicing portion control is one of the easiest ways to cut back on your calories, but restaurants are notorious for their oversized servings. When you’re dining out, split a meal with someone else. Don’t order dessert or an appetizer unless you can share. If no one at the table wants half of what you’re having, ask for a to-go container at the start of your meal and put half of it away for later.
  2. Add foods to your diet. Instead of thinking about all of the foods you should be giving up, focus on adding new, healthy foods that you enjoy to your diet. Experiment with fruits and vegetables, and when you find something you love, find creative ways to add it to meals.
  3. Walk, walk, and walk. Walking is an easy and effective form of exercise, and it doesn’t require any money or special equipment. Ideally, you should try to walk at least 30 minutes a day. If you can’t find 30 minutes all at once, walk for 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes after dinner. You can also add walking into your daily life-park farther away from the door, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or consider getting off the bus a few stops early.
  4. Make TV time tone-up time. As part of its Go Red for Women campaign, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends toning up while you tune into your favorite TV shows. You might dance or walk in place while you’re watching TV, or do curls with small free weights. Don’t have free weights? Try lifting canned foods or bottles of soda.
  5. Use smaller dishes. Experts agree that a big part of portion control is psychological. Eating a little bit of food off of a large plate can leave you feeling like you need more, but eating the same amount of food on a small dinner plate gives you the visual cue that you’ve already had plenty. Don’t stop with plates. Using smaller bowls and cups can have the same effect, and using smaller spoons can make you eat more slowly, which is also conducive to weight loss.

Mike: 70 Pounds Lost

Mike Weight Loss Success

I first came to the Institute for Weight Management under duress.  I practically had to be dragged in by several members of my family.  In fact, it took quite a few cancelled initial appointments before I finally got up the courage to face the truth about my weight.   I must admit though even after the first appointment I was not convinced, this is what I needed to do.  It was not that I wasn’t sure the diet would work it was that I wasn’t confident enough in my ability to maintain the program.  After all, like many others, I love food and the thought of a meal replacement formula was almost repulsive.  Nonetheless, I reluctantly succumbed to my family’s wishes and agreed to try the program for one week.  However, I was by no means happy with my decision and would even make excuses that I was only doing this because I had a wedding coming up and I was in the wedding party.

I must admit the first weekend was not easy, but by midweek I began to realize it was really not that bad.  Distracted by work and life’s daily activities, I actually stopped feeling hungry by Monday.  By the end of the week I was actually excited for my appointment to find out how much weight I lost (believe it or not my wife and I do not actually own a scale).  Even I was amazed when the scale showed that I had lost 11.5 pounds in one week.  This was all the motivation I needed to continue the program for another week.  The second week was much easier and smoother then the first and the second weigh though not as good as the first was continued motivation to keep returning.

I have now completed 3 ½ months on the program and to date I have lost 70 pounds.  I even managed to lose a few pounds over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  I know it is cliché but really do feel like a new person.  I clearly am more active and have a lot more energy during the day.  I even find myself glancing in the mirror just to look at my new body.   Now there are no more excuses.  I am not doing this because I have a wedding coming up, I am doing this because I want to be healthier for me and my family and I am doing this to feel better about myself.  In fact, I have to admit I could not have lost so much weight if my wife, my parents, and others in my family were not so supportive.  They truly have inspired me to continue to not only attempt to reach my goal weight loss of 100lbs. but to continue on beyond that number.  I truly believe a good supportive base of family and friends has helped me overcome my addiction to food.  My only regret is that they didn’t drag me to see Dr. Chhabra sooner. 

Dr. Chhabra and her staff have been not only professional and courteous but have been like an extended family who have provided much needed support over the last few months.  I can now say I truly am a believer not only in Dr. Chhabra but in myself.