The Benefits of Weight Management
Healthy eating habits begin as far back as childhood. Food preferences, tastes and meal frequency habits start developing in our early years when the family gathers around the table for meals. What foods were served? Was the diet balanced containing vegetables, lean meats and fruits or was it fried foods, bread and butter, meats high in saturated fat and sweets?
Healthy eating is an educational process. This education may be used to meet personal weight control goals but also can be passed down to children and loved ones so healthy habits begin sooner rather than later in life.
The American Epidemic
In the United States, obesity has risen at an epidemic rate during the past 20 years. Over 60% of the U. S. population is overweight. In the same population, obesity (estimated to be above 30% body fat) has nearly doubled from approximately 15 percent in 1980 to an estimated 27 percent in 1999, leading to numerous health issues that can shorten life.
One of the US government's national health objectives for the year 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of obesity among adults to less than 15%. Research indicates that the situation is worsening rather than improving. Overweight and obesity result from an energy imbalance. This involves eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity. Body weight is the result of genetics, metabolism, behavior, environment, culture, and socioeconomic status.
Many diseases have been linked to poor diet and lack of exercise. Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. Foods that you choose strongly influence the health of your heart, so better dietary habits can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease. Scientific evidence suggests that about one third of cancer deaths that occur in the U.S. each year are due to nutrition and physical activity including obesity. For the majority of Americans who do not use tobacco, dietary choices and physical activity are the most important modifiable determinants of cancer risk.
Weight Control/Reduce Obesity
Research is still proving that there is no magic wand to wave to eliminate obesity. The best and safest way to lose and keep unwanted fat off the body is by eating a proper diet and consistent exercise.
Bone Loss Prevention
Calcium has always been the chosen key for building and maintaining strong bones, but the mineral cannot be absorbed without sufficient vitamin D levels. A healthy menu plan designed to prevent bone loss is so important especially for women experiencing or reaching menopause.
Eating a heart healthy/low cholesterol diet can reduce your LDL blood cholesterol levels and ultimately reduce your risk for heart disease.
Teaches Healthier Eating Habits
A weight management program teaches you how to eat healthier and helps you develop life long habits of self control and mental stability. Eating smaller meals throughout the day to speed up your metabolism is just one example.
Increased Self Esteem
Last but not least, it increases the way you feel about yourself and the world around you. Unfortunately, our self-esteem decreases with weight gain. Serious cases of weight gain can even lead to depression and medications. Imagine your food intake being the answer to your lifelong struggle of feeling really good about your life.
Understanding Your Metabolism
How many times have you heard comments about increasing metabolism, or that your metabolism may be too slow? So what is metabolism and how does it effect your weight control?
Metabolism is your body's energy burn rate, or how many calories you burn. In the example below, we will refer to calories burned as Energy Out. The amount of calories consumed through food consumption will be referred to as Energy In.
To increase metabolism, include resistance exercises in your regular exercise program to maintain and increase lean muscle tissue. One pound of muscle is capable of burning as much as 35 calories per day while one pound of fat burns none.
Available Services for You
Our weight management service begins with an initial consultation to collect personal profile data about your current body composition, goals, professional activity, exercise activity and eating habits. From this information, we will be able to provide the following information:
• Estimated number of calories you typically consume
• Identify deficiencies in vitamins & minerals
• Estimated calories needed to meet your personal weight control goals
• Provide meal plans and grocery lists designed to meet your health & fitness goals
• Establish a realistic date to reach your targeted body weight goal
• Educational and motivational handouts
Our program will help you understand what foods are best to include in your eating program. It will help establish new eating and food choice habits. We refer to this as your Circle of Foods.
Our menu plans may introduce you to new foods to replace foods that may be unhealthy choices. Your weight management specialist will provide professional guidance to identify which program is right for you.
Stable Blood Sugar
Blood sugar or glucose is the body's main source of energy and is formed when any type of carbohydrate is digested. Keeping blood sugar levels stable or level throughout the day is vital to people with diabetes to help protect them from developing diabetic complications down the road. It is also imperative for people with hypoglycemia to help keep them feeling their best all day long. Tight control of blood sugar levels can also help you avoid hunger throughout the day. It is dips in your blood sugar levels that bring on those feelings of intense hunger. The Stable Blood Sugar meal plans are meant to help people keep their blood sugar levels as stable as possible throughout the entire day.
The meal plans incorporate six meals everyday to help minimize dips in blood sugar levels. They are packed with good nutrition including fiber, healthy fats, flaxseed and chromium that all play an important role in stabilizing blood sugar levels. If you have type I or type 2 diabetes, check with your physician before following any type of meal plan. Meal planning for diabetics should be individualized and based on individual nutritional goals as well as medications.
Foods that you choose strongly influence the health of your heart; so better dietary habits can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease. These menus are for people who want to be health conscious and heart healthy. These menus follow the guidelines set by the American Heart Association to help reduce your risk of heart disease. They are jam-packed with fruits, vegetables, a variety of whole-grain products, and "good" fats. The menus are rich in foods that contain soluble fibers as well as omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish, nuts' and, flaxseed, which all help to lower cholesterol and protect our heart health. This heart healthy diet is high in B vitamins including B6 and folate, which may help to lower levels of a substance called homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are a clear risk factor for heart disease.
Other heart healthy substances included in these menus are phytochemicals such as isoflavones found in legumes such as soybeans; lycopene found in produce such as tomatoes; indoles found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, polyphenols present in green or black tea; and betacarotene found in orange and yellow produce. Drink up your tea with these menus's. Current research finds that drinking tea regularly may protect arteries from plaque buildup. The foods contained in these menus increase your intake of not only phytochemicals but also antioxidants, which also can help to protect you from certain health problems such as heart disease.
These menus are for women who are seriouse about taking preventative steps to lower their risk for breast cancer. These menus are predominantly plant-based; are low in saturated fats yet moderate in unsaturated fats (the healthy fats); rich in calcium and moderate in sugar and sodium. These menus are high in fiber and whole-grains, which may help to fight breast cancer by lowering levels of estrogen in the body. These menus include good sources of unsaturated fats, specifically monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish, flaxseed, and nuts, which also may help fight breast cancer.
The Breast Cancer meal plans are jam-packed with foods that contain phytochemicals, which may have a preventative effect against certain diseases including breast cancer. Phytochemicals include indoles in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, polyphenols present in green or black tea, lycopene in red colored produce, beta-carotene in orange and yellow produce and isoflavones in legumes such as soybeans. The foods contained in these menus increase your intake of not only phytochemicals but also antioxidants, which also can help to protect you from certain health problems such as breast cancer. These menus provide antioxiclants through a large variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
Maximum bone loss occurs as early as the mid thirties. After that we begin to slowly lose bone density and/or bone strength. The "Bone Health" meal plans are on the cutting-edge of current research being done in the areas of bone strength and the prevention of osteoporosis. The nutritional goals in maximizing bone mass and minimizing bone loss include adequate intakes of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, copper, iron, zinc and unsaturated fatty acids. These menus include foods such as dairy products, fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, nuts and meats that are rich in all of these essential nutrients. Other important nutritional bone health goals that these menus include are limited amounts of sodium, limited amounts of caffeine and an adequate intake of protein.
Ongoing studies are linking vitamin K and vitamin B 12 to the prevention of hip fractures and to the strengthening of bones. These menus include foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, dairy foods, fish, beef, and eggs that are rich in both these important vitamins. In addition, these menus include isoflavones from soy foods, which are believed to help prevent osteoporosis and benefit bone health. Soyfoods and flaxseed are also excellent sources of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are known as plant chemicals and have been shown to either directly or indirectly impact bone turnover.
The Cancer Smart meal plans are for people who are serious about taking preventative steps in the area of nutrition to help lower their risk for cancer. These menus contain loads of plant-based foods; are low in saturated fats yet moderate in unsaturated fats (the healthy fats); rich in calcium and moderate in sugar and sodium.
These meal plans are full of fruit and vegetables, which according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) are rich in substances that help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases like diabetes. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is important because certain types of phytochernicals are found only in specific kinds of fruits and vegetables. Phytochemicals are "plant-chemicals" that have disease fighting properties and may help rid the body of carcinogens. For example, carotenoids, a group of antioxidants found in tomatoes, watermelon and sweet potatoes are believed to enhance immunity and heart health as well as play an anticancer role. Another type, lycopene, is linked to reduced risk of prostate and breast cancer. These meal plans are also high in fiber and whole-grains and contain soyfoods, which may help to fight some forms of cancer.
They also include good sources of unsaturated fats, specifically monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish, flaxseed, and nuts, which also may help fight certain types of cancer. Consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables ensures a diet that is full of important antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and A (in the form of beta-carotene). Antioxidants are also important in helping your body to prevent the DNA damage that can cause cancer.
Series IV - Glycemic Management
Hi to Low Glycemic Meal Plans
The glycemic index is a helpful tool that measures how fast a food that contains carbohydrates will raise your blood sugar. The values on the glycemic index chart are based on pure glucose. Glucose is a carbohydrate that absorbs very quickly into the body, which makes it a good base to compare other foods to. Glucose is given the value of 100 and all other foods are compared to that number. The closer a food is to the value of 100 the faster it will be absorbed into your bloodstream and the faster the body will use it up. The lower the number, the slower it is absorbed into your bloodstream.
The glycernic index only applies to foods that contain carbohydrates. That includes every food group except the meat and fat group. The Hi to Low Glycernic templates incorporates hi glycernic foods in the morning and afternoon for high energy and winds you down with low glycernic foods in the late afternoon and through the evening hours when you are less active.
The Low Glycemic meal plans do all the figuring for you. Following these menus helps you follow a diet that contains low glycemic foods. Most of the foods contained in these menus have a glycemic index of around 50 or less. Following a diet full of lower glycemic foods can help keep your blood sugar level from falling too rapidly. Low glycemic foods do not cause your body to release as much insulin into your bloodstream and, as a result, are broken down over a longer period of time. The result is a longer, steadier release of energy, helping you to feel more alert and energetic through your day. By following these menus, you will also be less likely to binge eat because your blood sugar levels are in balance.