4th of July weekend is coming up—and that means barbecues and parties packed with lots of temptation. If you’ve been dieting and working with a weight loss doctor, you may be worried about how to have fun without sacrificing the results you’ve achieved so far. The good news is, you can enjoy your holiday without ruining all your hard work.
Read on for tips to help you survive the 4th of July weekend without getting too far off track.
1. Move it in the morning. Since you probably may consume more calories than normal, schedule a workout in the morning so that you can start your day off with a bit of a calorie deficit, if possible. Go for a run or hit the gym as soon as you get up—you won’t be sorry.
2. Have a healthy breakfast. Whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast and hit your barbecue or special event on an empty stomach. If you do this, you’ll most likely overeat at your event and eat hundreds more calories than if you start the day right, with a healthy, protein-rich breakfast.
3. Use small plates. Talk about portion control—studies show that people eat almost 50 percent less calories when they use smaller plates. Opt for the appetizer plate or even the kids-sized ones at your event.
4. Start with your health choices. Fill at least half your plate with healthy options, such as salad and veggies, and eat those first. This will help fill you up so that you don’t eat too much of the less healthy stuff once you get to it.
4. Skip the refined carbs and empty calories. Eat real food; don’t waste your calories on empty calories and refined carbs such as chips, crackers and bread. They won’t fill you up, and worse yet, can cause spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious overeating.
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Sometimes we can follow of the best diets or weight management programs, work out regularly and still not see the scale budge. This can be due to obstacles we are unaware of that are keeping us from hitting are weight loss goals. The good news is, they can be identified and addressed so that you can achieve the success you’re working so hard to achieve.
Here are a three common obstacles and ways to break through them.
1. Too much stress. We all have different levels of stress associated with our work, family and social lives, in addition to our health. That stress can accumulate or turn into anxiety, which can increase your levels of the hormone cortisol. This leads to belly fat, sugar binges and fat cravings, which all contribute to weight gain. Keep your stress in check by adopting some new techniques for reducing its impact on your life. Learn now to meditate, go for a walk outside, call a friend or employ some deep breathing techniques.
2. Lack of sleep. Research shows that most Americans do not get enough sleep each night. This can be due to stress, health issues and an uncomfortable sleeping environment. When you don’t get adequate sleep, this throws off the hormones that impact your appetite, making you overeat and slowing down your metabolism. Aim to get seven to nine hours per night. Go to sleep early and transform your bedroom into a sleep haven with the most comfortable bed and bedding possible, blackout curtains and no devices in the vicinity.
3. Not enough lean muscle. This obstacle affects women more, since in general, their bodies have greater fat and less muscle then men. Less muscle results in lower resting metabolic rates, which means less calories burnt overall. Increase your lean muscle mass by eating source of lean protein and implementing a regular strength training routine. In addition, stay away from any diets that put you into starvation mode, as they make it harder for your metabolism to function properly.
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Whether you’re following one of the diets or weight management programs that are popular in the weight loss world or are trying to maintain the results you’ve already attained, eating the right foods can make the difference in your efforts. Luckily, much research shows that certain foods can actually burn fat and increase your caloric burn.
Some of these foods can boost your metabolism and even burn calories as they are digested. Here are a few that our medical weight loss doctor give a big thumbs-up.
1. Lemons. Citrus such as lemons that are rich in vitamin C will help your body metabolize fat faster and burn more calories overall. Lemons also alkalize your body and boost immunity, while working to slow down the digestion of starches and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Squeeze some into your water and tea, put slices to your salad and add to your favorite recipes.
2. Grapefruit. One eight ounce serving of grapefruit offers more than 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Research conducted by both Scripps Clinic and Vanderbilt University showed that there is a unique chemical reaction tied to grapefruit consumption that helps to reduce insulin levels and boost weight loss efforts. In addition, grapefruit is an excellent source of folate and thiamine, which plays a major role in the metabolism of glucose.
3. Berries. Packed with fiber and beneficial antioxidants, berries are ideal for weight management programs as they satisfy a sweet tooth and fill you up. The darker the berry, the more loaded with antioxidants—but they’re all good for you. Choose from blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries for the highest fiber content.
4. Fish. Rich on omega-3 fatty acids, fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines will fill you up and yield a bevy of health benefits. Their healthy fat content has been shown to affect levels of the hormone leptin, which has a direct impact on metabolism, and boost the amount of fat burning enzymes in the body.
5. Lean Protein. This category is essential for weight loss, as it helps us maintain and increase lean muscle mass as we diet, which helps keep our metabolism revved. Some excellent choices include lean poultry, grass-fed beef, eggs and tofu.
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When you’re striving to lose weight and attain better health through nutrition, breakfast is essential. You need to rev your metabolism with a healthy meal that fuels your day with beneficial nutrients. Yet when your first mea of the day is loaded with carbs, your energy may wan within a few hours and you may get hungry earlier than you should be. Since this is not a good plan for diets and weight loss management, a protein-rich breakfast is your answer for starting the day satisfied and energized.
This delicious recipe is ideal for those trying to lose weight and achieve better health through nutrition. It’s got zesty Mediterranean flair and is loaded with vegetables that give this dish texture while providing you with an array of antioxidants. The eggs and bevy of vegetables will fill you up with protein and dietary fiber so you won’t get hungry before your next meal. It’s perfect for any time of day and is something everyone will enjoy.
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1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 plum tomato, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 small zucchini, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Warm the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Saute the peppers, zucchini and onion between five and seven minutes. Add the eggs and tomatoes and cook for three to four more minutes. Season with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the crumbled feta.
Put skillet in the oven and bake, uncovered, for eight to 10 minutes. Let cool for two minutes and then use a spatula to loosen the edges before placing servings onto plates.
Makes 2-3 servings.
When you’re striving to reach your weight loss goal, it’s important to reduce your body fat percentage—which means you need to lose some fat. Once you reduce your body fat, you’ll enjoy better strength, energy and stamina, and you’ll see it in the mirror and the way you fit in your clothes.
1. Lose the sugar. One of the most important components of weight loss management is low sugar consumption. If you can eliminate it from your diet altogether, you will see big changes quickly. If you do need a treat every once in a while, try to have whole foods as opposed to processed treats loaded with refined sugar. Skip the soda and sugar-laden juices that add up fast.
2. Increase lean protein consumption. Lean protein helps you increase your lean muscle mass—and the greater your lean tissue mass, the more calories you burn on a daily basis. Choose from sources such as eggs, skinless poultry, fish, shrimp and tofu. If you’re a fan of red meat, opt for grass fed. The general rule of thumb is that you should consume one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Speak to your weight loss physician to determine an amount specific to your needs.
3. Exercise. One of the best ways to accelerate your weight loss and improve your overall health is to boost your physical activity levels. Strive for a balance between cardio, strength training and flexibility training for best results. Your goal is to increase your heart rate, boost your temperature and rev your metabolism on a regular basis on a consistent schedule. Over time and as you get more fit, increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
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Just because you’re following a diet or one of our awesome weight management programs, it doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. This recipe for a Low Carb taco salad is an excellent example of how you can attain better health through nutrition and reach your weight loss goals with healthy but delicious meals. It’s extremely easy to prepare and can be served as lunch or dinner.
By leaving out the fattening tortilla chips or taco shell, this salad becomes a low carb dish rich with beneficial nutrients. The Romaine lettuce packs a fiber punch and the avocado is loaded with healthy fats, such as omega 3 fatty acids, that boost your health and keep you full for longer. The tomatoes are loaded with important nutrients and antioxidants including lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, choline, alpha-lipoic acid, and vitamins A and C. Cucumbers are packed with potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin K and several B vitamins. Scallions are one of the richest sources of vitamin K and boast vitamin A, lutein and zea-xanthin, while the chili powder helps rev your metabolism for a fat burning effect.
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1 pound ground beef
1 large tomato, diced
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 Haas avocado, chopped
1 cup scallions, diced
½ cup black olives, sliced
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 1/2 cups grated, low fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
1 tbsp chili powder
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Saute the beef in a skillet. Season with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and chili powder.
Toss the lettuce, tomato, cucumber, scallions, avocado and olives together in a bowl. Add the beef, sprinkle with cheese and top with sour cream and salsa. Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy!
Summer is literally around the corner, and if you’re like the rest of us, you probably want to drop a few pounds or more so that you can enjoy all the activities and events that accompany the season. Whether you’re working with a weight loss clinic or on your own, it helps to have an arsenal of tips for making the entire process easier and more effective.
Read on for five stellar tips to help you overcome any weight loss hurdles standing in your way.
1. Start with a high protein breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as you’re ending that overnight fast and jumpstarting your body. Rev that metabolic engine with a high protein meal, such as a veggie omelet or a healthy shake to repair your muscles and give you energy.
2. Cut out problematic foods. If you’re not certain of which foods may be slowing down your weight loss results, try cutting back on or eliminating those that are suspect. Many see a difference when cutting down on dairy, gluten and processed foods. Assess your diet and try to identify what may be hindering your weight loss process. Then cut that food group out for two to three weeks and see what kind of impact the elimination has.
3. Slash your sugar consumption. One of the quickest and healthiest ways to see results is to cut down your sugar intake. Simply cutting out all refined sugars can have a huge effect on your weight. Make sure to cut out the sodas and sugary drinks too.
4. Get spicy. Much research shows that spices can boost your metabolism and overall health. Add spices ranging from cinnamon and ginger to cayenne pepper, garlic and parsley to your meals for an extra fat-burning boost and an antioxidant kick.
5. Get moving. Incorporate cardio and strength resistance training into your week, preferably with some high-intensity intervals for best results. Squeeze in some extra physical activity wherever you can—walk to lunch or cycle to your errands so you can enjoy the great outdoors while burning a few additional calories.
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When you’re trying to lose weight, its essential to consume protein—yet it’s just as important to get the macronutrients your body needs to build lean muscle and be as healthy as you can be. These are the vitamins and minerals that your body can’t produce on its own but requires to function properly, which means they must come from your diet or supplements. The good news is, you can get them from an array of fruits and vegetables.
Our medical weight loss doctor recommends incorporating some of the following veggies into your diet to get closer to your weight loss goal while boosting your overall health.
1. Kale. There’s a reason this green leafy veggie is trending so hard—it’s loaded in vitamins A, C and K, a fat-soluble nutrient that helps proteins bond to calcium ions. It’s also rich in dietary fiber, so it helps satiate your hunger, and is an excellent source of other vitamins and minerals, including potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B6.
2. Spinach. This veggie’s rich color means it’s loaded in phytochemicals and nutrients that help reduce inflammation and build lean muscle. It’s rich in dietary fiber, so it fills us up, and packed with important nutrients including iron, calcium and vitamins A, E and K.
3. Brussels Sprouts. This cruciferous vegetable packs a serious nutrient punch, with fiber to promote healthy digestion and nutrients that contain sulfur to boost the body’s detoxification processes. These flavorful little veggies are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals including folate, copper and manganese, and vitamins including B6, C and K.
4. Artichokes. These babies are surprisingly loaded with dietary fiber and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium and copper. They are one of the best veggie sources of vitamin K and also contain strong levels of immunity-boosting vitamin C.
5. Broccoli. This leafy green is one of the most nutritious of them all—one cup contains more than the RDA of both vitamin C and K, in addition to high contents of nutrients including calcium, potassium and selenium.
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Many patients of our weight loss center are looking for ways to satiate those cravings for Italian food that can be so hard to resist. This healthy low carb recipe for Chicken Parmesan will help you stay in line with any diets and weight loss management programs while feeling indulgent. Best of all, this dish is packed with important nutrients to keep your body healthy and functioning properly.
Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, which we especially need when we are dieting, as it helps to increase our lean muscle mass. One of the other important components of this recipe is the fresh tomato paste, which is packed with benefits. Just one tablespoon of tomato paste boasts 4.6 milligrams of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is thought to have serious power when it comes to fighting cancer and reducing the risk of strokes. In addition, tomato paste is loaded with vitamin C, which boosts immunity and supports ligaments and skin health.
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4 chicken breasts, skinless
1⁄2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tsp parmesan cheese, grated
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
Italian seasoning, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the tomato paste, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
Spray a shallow casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Season the chicken breasts and then place in the casserole dish. Spoon the tomato sauce over each chicken breast and then season with the Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper—and more Italian seasoning, if you like.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove the casserole dish and add the parmesan and mozzarella cheese to each breast. Put back in the oven and cook for approximately five more minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted.
Makes four servings.
This week’s recipe is a zesty take on the traditional pork chop recipe—and it’s approved by our medical weight loss physician as a low carb recipe that it’s in line with our diets and weight management programs. Pork chops provide a leaner option for enjoying pork—and they’re an excellent source of complete protein, which means they contain all of the nine essential amino acids our bodies need to function optimally. Protein keeps us full longer, boosts immunity and helps with tissue repair, among many other benefits.
In addition to being a great protein choice, pork chops provide essential minerals such as phosphorus and selenium. They also are a great source of niacin, aka vitamin B3, which helps our bodies break nutrients down into energy and assists with cellular communication.
This recipe offers a tasty and filling way to get important nutrients while staying on track with diets and weight management programs. Serve with green beans, spinach, sauerkraut or other favorite veggies.
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4 pork chops
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ cup scallions, minced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 small onion, sliced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 cup water
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the pork chops in one tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. When they’re brown, line a baking dish with foil and place the pork chops on it.
To make the sauce, saute the scallions and celery with one tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil. When it’s tender, add the water, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice and combine well. Season with the Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper as you bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s reached a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for between 16 and 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. When the sauce is ready, pour the mixture over the pork chops. Add
Pour sauce over chops. Garnish with sliced onions and cover. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Makes four servings.