Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Hot Weather Exercise Tips!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 03, 2015 @ 02:50 PM

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Summer is here, and many exercisers like to leave the gym behind and spend their exercise time outdoors. For others, when the temperature's high, motivation can be low. Plus, you have the excuse that exerting yourself might be dangerous! Sorry but these are not valid excuses.  You can still walk, jog, or bike without suffering sunstroke. Just take these precautions:

Drink up before you're thirsty. Once you start craving water, you're already 3 percent dehydrated. To avoid that, drink two to three cups a few hours before you work out. Ten minutes before, have another cup — and one cup every 15 to 20 minutes while you're exercising. If you're a swimmer, follow the same plan — just because you're surrounded by water doesn't mean it's keeping you hydrated.

Eat often. Dieters often count on summer heat to kill their appetite — but exercising without enough fuel is dangerous. No one's suggesting a huge plate of pasta. But if you're going to work out, snack throughout the day on lettuce, carrots, grapefruit, and apples — all great hot-weather picks because they're naturally filled with water.

Avoid high-heat hours. Hit the streets before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Another stay-cool tip: Run or walk on dirt paths instead of sun-absorbing pavement.  Or try a water activity such as, paddleboarding, surfing, swimming and snorkeling.

Sport the right gear. To deflect, not absorb, the sun's rays, wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Try cotton or "wicking" fabrics, which move sweat away from your body, or these GHRI-tested sun-safe clothes. And don't forget your head: A hat or visor with a four-inch brim will best protect your face.

Slather on sunscreen every two hours. SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Burns aren't just bad for your complexion; they also raise your body temperature.

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!


Get Started Today!

 Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, group excercise classes, weight loss insurnace coverage, Physician Weight Loss, health fitness advice, Weight Loss Center, Step Ahead Wellness Center, weight loss success

Low-Sugar or Low-Carb?

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, May 29, 2015 @ 05:42 PM

Low-Sugar or Low Carb? On the face of it, low-sugar and low-carb diets seem similar: Sugars are carbs, after all, and most carbs get broken down into sugar (glucose) during digestion. Both diets also call for cutting back on processed foods. But ask a doctor or nutritionist which plan to follow, and it's a safe bet you'll be told that low sugar is best -- specifically, low added sugar. Here’s what you need to know:

low sugar or low carb?

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalized program and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!

Our body needs carbohydrates in order to function -- the glucose they provide is the main fuel source for the brain. When you go low-carb you may find yourself cranky, tired, and struggling to focus. “Mind your P’s and Q’s” advises nutritionist Sari Greaves, RDN. Practice portion control (use measuring cups!) and  choose high Quality carbs loaded with nutrients such as low-fat yogurt, skim milk, fresh fruit, whole grains, beans, and sweet potatoes.

Watch out for sneaky sources of added sugat. Did you know that you'll find it in the soy, almond and cashew milk you use instead of regular cow's milk, usually in the form of evaporated cane juice or cane sugar? (Avoid it by buying unsweetened versions.) What about condiments (ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressings) and processed foods like crackers and chips, as well as in tomato sauce and white bread?

Your daily green juice may be another secret sugar bomb. Purely-green juices are generally low in sugar, but at some juice chains, even if they look green, they can have up to 39 grams of sugar per cup or bottle (sizes vary). For comparison, a 12-ounce can of soda generally has around 40 grams of sugar. Even though these juices have vitamins and the sugar is natural, they're highly concentrated doses of sugar paired with little to no fiber, priming you for a crash later.

Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk and fruits. The major food and beverage sources of added sugars for Americans are:regular soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, pies and cobblers, sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts, fruit drinks, such as fruitades and fruit punch, dairy desserts, such as ice cream. Sari’s advice: Nix the juice in favor of a nutritious whole fruit (serving size: a tennis ball) for a true energy boost and filling fiber that will take the edge off hunger.

Reading the ingredient label on processed foods can help to identify added sugars. Names for added sugars on food labels include: anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, confectioner's powdered sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, nectars (e.g., peach nectar, pear nectar), pancake syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, sugar, white granulated sugar

You may also see other names used for added sugars, but these are not recognized by the FDA as an ingredient name. These include cane juice, evaporated corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, crystal dextrose, glucose, liquid fructose, sugar cane juice, and fruit nectar.

Bottom line: Added sugar has zero nutritional value but may be responsible for associated health problems. Too much sugar has also been linked to cardiovascular issues and other chronic conditions associated with obesity. So it's not surprising that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has singled out added sugar as a major health concern, recommending that Americans get no more than 10 percent of their daily calories from the sweet stuff.

Referenced articles: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/27/low-sugar-vs-low-carb_n_7347216.html

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Weight Loss, low sugar, low carb

How to Survive Barbecue Season

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

Tis’ the season of hot dogs and burgers. The joys of summer are surrounded by food laced with calories and weight gain risks. But, with a healthy eating plan, you can satisfy your taste buds without expanding your waistline. Here are the five most common mistakes people make when eating at a barbecue and solutions on how to avoid popular diet pitfalls.

Diet Pitfall #1. Arriving to a barbecue starving. Are you just going to wing it?

Think again. Attending a barbecue extremely hungry without a game plan is a combination that can lead to overindulgence and diet regrets.

Solutions:

Practice damage control when it comes to your favorite summer foods. Remember that everybody can eat something of everything; it’s just a matter of how much. A small sliver of mom’s apple pie with a side of fresh fruit will do less damage to your waistline than chocolate cream pie a la mode.

Take control of your environment whenever possible. Never engage in conversation while sitting next to a bowl of potato chips. Summer events are a great time for mingling and conversation is calorie-free. Two additional tips that help prevent overeating include wearing snug-fit clothing and chewing on sugarless gum, which can prevent you from returning to the buffet line for second helpings.

If you are starving, you are more likely to eat fast and impulsively, instead of selecting foods based on nutritional value. This can lead to calorie overload—just 1 ounce of potato chips and 2 tablespoons of ranch dip adds up to 200 calories and 16 grams of fat, and that’s before the main course. Take the edge off your hunger before a party. Eat a small low-fat snack such as fruit or low-fat yogurt before you head to a summer barbecue. This will help you avoid rushing to the buffet table when you arrive. It’s also a good idea to eat slowly and savor every bite. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register fullness. Speed eating (usually as a consequence of extreme hunger) can easily lead to excessive calorie intake. Using chopsticks for salads and noodle dishes can slow down your eating pace.

Diet Pitfall #2. Putting the wrong foods on the grill.

While it is true that outdoor grilling allows excess fat in meat and poultry to drip away, it is worth keeping certain foods off the grill due to their high calories, saturated (artery-clogging) fat and sodium content. The culprits: regular ground meats, dark-meat poultry with skin, beef short ribs (just 3 ounces has 330 calories and 31g fat, pork spareribs and sausages (1 link of bratwurst has 281 calories, 25g fat).

Solutions:

Chicken breast meat is leaner than skin-covered dark meat.

Grill lean cuts of meat. Lean protein adds a “satiety factor” to your barbecue meal, keeping you full on fewer calories. Purchase ground meat and poultry advertised as “lean” or “extra lean” on the package*.

Choose white-meat chicken over dark. Chicken breast is lower in calories and fat than is the dark meat found in thighs and legs. A 3-ounce serving of grilled skinless chicken breast tenders has about 110 calories, 3g fat—that’s 100 fewer calories and 12 fewer fat grams than the same serving of chicken thigh with skin.

Add seafood to your grill. Firm, fatty fish like salmon (which contains heart-healthy omega-3 fat) is the easiest to barbecue. Shrimp also serves as a low-fat source of protein. A 3 ounce serving of cooked shrimp (about 12 large shrimp) provides 90 calories and a modest 1.5g fat. Flavoring with lemon juice and herbs instead of an oil-based marinade can save calories.

When buying beef, look for the words round or loin (eye-round, bottom round roast and steak, or sirloin/flank steak). When buying pork, look for leg or loin cuts (pork tenderloin, top loin. A 3 ounce cooked serving of pork tenderloin has only 116 calories and 4.5g fat. Don’t stop at meats. Lean protein can also be vegetarian. Prepare veggie kebabs using cubes of firm tofu on a skewer with your favorite fruits and vegetables (mushrooms, grape tomatoes, pepper, onions, pineapples, apple slices) For a meaty burger without the beef, swap a hamburger for  a Portobello mushroom burger topped with 2 slices of low-fat cheddar cheese (48 calories, 2 g fat, 7g protein per slice of cheese). For added flavor, remove stems and gills of Portobello mushroom and brush with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Non-fat cooking spray (olive oil or canola oil base) can be used in substitution for oil to save calories.

Meaty Tips:

* 4-ounces of raw meat weighs in at 3-ounces after cooking

* Lean beef has less than 10g of total fat, 4.5g or less of saturated fat (the bad-for-your heart-fat that raises blood cholesterol) and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per cooked 3 –ounce serving (about he size of a deck of cards). Extra lean meat has less than 5g of fat and less than 2g of saturated at per cooked 3-ounce serving. 

Diet Pitfall #3. Forgetting to factor in beverage calories.

Beverage calories do not register the same sense of fullness as food calories. As a result, if you drink a high-calorie beverage, you won’t compensate by eating less food.  It’s not just soda that can add extra calories to your barbecue meal- it’s also fruit drinks, alcohol and other sugar-laden beverages (sweetened teas and vitamin-enhanced water included)

Solutions:

Avoid soda and alcoholic beverages in favor of water and milk.1. Eat your fruit, rather than drink it. Whole fruits not only contain the vitamins and minerals found in fruits, but they offer the added bonus of dietary fiber. Fiber adds bulk to your diet, helping you feel full on fewer calories. If you love juice, downsize your portion to four to six ounces daily.

2. Focus on beverages for hydration. For the most part, that means water, unsweetened coffee (limit to two or three eight-ounce cups daily), tea, and diet soda. Coffee and herbal teas also can provide beneficial antioxidants for your health, and can be very refreshing when iced.

3. Try diet sodas and other diet drinks, such as Crystal Light, which have five or fewer calories per serving and are ideal for increasing your beverage options while minimizing intake of added sugar.

4. Don’t be afraid of artificial sweeteners. The majority of research on aspartame (NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), and saccharin (Sweet 'N Low) shows them to be safe for human consumption. While you only save about nine calories using an artificial sweetener instead of regular sugar, they can definitely add up over time.

5. Skip vitamin water, which contains added sugar. You are better off drinking water and taking a multivitamin.

6. Drink non-fat or one-percent milk. Milk contains nine essential nutrients vital to your health. Drinking milk as a protein source can help prevent loss of muscle mass and promote fullness for individuals trying to lose weight. Soy milk is also a healthy option.

7. Avoid or limit alcohol consumption, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Avoid mixing alcohol with any type of fruit juice or non-diet soda, which add unnecessary calories. Combined with alcohol, these can lead to fat storage. Lower-calorie drinks include light beer and red or dry white wine. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. Instead try a sparkling water with a twist of lime. If you drink alcohol, practice moderation. (one drink for women, up to two drinks for men per day) 1 drink = 5 ounces wine (about 120 calories), 12 ounce beer (about 145 calories), 1.5 ounces 80-proof liquor (about 100 calories)

Diet pitfall #4: Grazing.

Grab a plate to avoid simply grazing from what's available... but make it a small one to help your portion control.

Grazing can easily lead to overeating.

Solutions:

1. Put together a meal on an actual plate.

2. Use small plates as a built-in way to control your portions.

3. Bring a healthy dish to a summer party. Mixed fruit salad or a spinach salad drizzled with olive oil & vinegar are simple to prepare and easy to carry. Other nutritious pot-luck contributions include shrimp cocktail or vegetables crudités with low-fat bean dip or hummus.

4. Portion your plate wisely. Fill ½ of your plate with steamed or fresh vegetables, ¼ of your plate with lean protein (fish, skinless poultry and lean meats such as sirloin or flank steak). Leave the remaining ¼ of your plate for a “small taste” of high-fat dishes (that includes vegetables prepared with fatty sauces, fried items or mayo-based salads)

5. For dessert, choose the Angel cake instead of the Devil’s chocolate cake. Ice cream and frozen yogurt can pack a nutritional punch, delivering calcium, protein, and phosphorous. Stick to simple flavors like vanilla (1/2 cup provides 140 calories, 7 g fat) or choose low-fat ice cream and frozen yogurt. (1/2 cup Edy’s Slow-Churned Light ice cream flavors provide 100 calories, 3.5 g fat).  Once you start adding cookie dough, brownie chunks or candy bits to ice cream, the calories soar. A ½ cup serving of a premium brand with peanut butter cups packs 380 calories and 26 gm fat. It’s also a good idea to factor in fresh fruit. Top your ice cram with a cup of chopped fruit to boost your fiber intake by 3 grams. Savory additions include diced bananas, mangoes or strawberries. While juice bars and other icy treats may provide some vitamins and minerals, they tend to contain more sugar than nutritional benefits. However, these treats can still satisfy a sweet tooth at a lower calorie level (1 Edy's frozen whole fruit bar provides 80 calories). For a cool chocolate fix, try fat-free frozen chocolate pops or sliced strawberries drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Diet pitfall #5 Assuming all salads are healthy.

A seemingly healthy salad can become calorie laden with ingredients such as fried chicken, fatty dressing, cheese cubes, croutons, bacon bits, or fried wontons. A Caesar Salad Kit sold at your grocery store contains 170 calories and 15g fat per serving (there are 3.5 servings per bag). One bag contains as much total fat as a fast-food cheeseburger! Salads drowned in mayonnaise (potato, tuna, macaroni salads) can add up to nearly a quarter of a day’s worth of fat. (1/2 cup potato salad contains about 180 calories, 10g fat)

Solutions:

1. Salads can easily serve as a nutritious and refreshing summertime side dish or even a main course. Fruits and vegetables are among the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fresh fruits and vegetables have fewer calories than anything already mixed in dressing.

2. Do think beyond iceberg lettuce. Take advantage of dark leafy greens which are loaded with nutrients such as vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, calcium, fiber, and potassium, all for only 25 calories per cup.

3. Do make salad a satisfying dish  by adding lean protein and unsaturated fats (heart-healthy fats).Grilled skinless chicken breast, salmon, cubed tofu, or flank steak hot & fresh off the barbecue serve as low-fat protein sources. One of my favorite diet tricks: When you make vegetables the centerpiece of a meal, it’s easy to keep calories low without counting. Low fat shredded cheese and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) also add a protein punch.

4. You don’t have to give up all fat and flavor. Choose one of the following nutrient-rich fats for added flavor: a few avocado slices, a sprinkle of nuts or seeds, or a tablespoon of hummus.

Don’t dress to kill. If there’s a dressing that you love, try a “light” variety, use 1 tablespoon instead of 2 and dilute it with vinegar. Even better, avoid pre-made salad dressings and go natural with olive oil and lemon juice. (Oily dressings coat vegetables pretty well, so 1 tablespoon (120 calories) will do the trick). 

Download the Optifast Tip Sheet

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: how to survive memorial day barbecue, eat healty

Want to Stay Injury Free? Stretch After Each Workout

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 01:27 PM

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How many times do you run out of the gym without stretch, or skip the cool down portion of your favorite group exercise class? Stretching is so often something people skip at the end of a workout because they are either in a rush or too tired to do anything else. Or when they do, they just rush through the stretches and don't get the full benefit. What many don't realize is that stretching is just as important as your actual workout, for many reasons.

We stretch to improve our flexibility.  Flexibility is the range of motion available to our joints and is so important because it improves muscle balance around a joint, thus improving posture, reduces the chance of injury from playing sports or in every day activities, and it increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage, thereby reducing muscle soreness after training.  As we age, stretching becomes even more important as our bodies do not recover from workouts and/or injuries as quickly and as easily as it did in our youth.

Never stretch cold muscles... make sure you are warmed up and then focus on stretching each major muscle group in the body.  Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds until the point of tension but not to the point of pain. The perfect time to stretch is immediately following your workout.

Do not stretch however if you have a muscle or ligmanet sprain, after recent fractures, if muscles are injured or torn or when sharp pains are felt in the joints or muscles.  It is vital however that you incorporate stretching into each and every single one of your workouts.  You will stay healthier, feel better and ready for your next workout.  For more intense stretching, try a restorative yoga class.  A restorative yoga class incorporates deep stretching where the poses are held for 1-3 minutes.  This may feel difficult at first, but when you go home you'll feel so relaxed and limber.  For more information about stretching, email our certified -Personal Trainer at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!


Get Started Today!

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, medically supervised weight loss center, physician weight loss program, losing weight fast, fat burning classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Step Ahead exercise classes, Step Ahead Wellness Center, biological factors in loosing weight

Eat in Season: Peaches

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, May 15, 2015 @ 06:54 PM

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalized program and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance! Get a sneak peak now-- Learn how to eat less calories per bite with registered dietitian, Sari Greaves healthy tips on Fox news: More food, less calories.


Get Started Today!

recipe

Peach and Brie Quesadillas with Lime-Honey Dipping Sauce

This intriguing Mexican  dish is savory-sweet. Ripe—but firm—peaches work best; if they're too soft, they'll make the tortillas soggy. Kick-up quesadilla night with fresh peaches and a quick 3-ingredient sauce. 

Ingredients

  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • Quesadillas:
  • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled firm ripe peaches (about 2 large)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
  • 4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

To prepare sauce, combine first 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk; set aside.

To prepare quesadillas, combine peaches, 1 tablespoon chives, and sugar, tossing gently to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange one-fourth of cheese and one-fourth of peach mixture over half of each tortilla; fold tortillas in half. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until tortillas are lightly browned and crisp. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 3 wedges; serve with sauce. Garnish with chive strips, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Makes 6 servings (serving size: 2 quesadilla wedges and about 1 teaspoon sauce)
  • Calories 157
  • Protein 5.3 g

Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: eat in season

How to Choose the Right Group Exercise Class...

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 13, 2015 @ 02:25 PM
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Inevitably there comes a time in everyone's -Fitness Training when they get bored and hit a rut.  Most people are gung-ho in January as part of their New Year's Resolution to lose weight and get healthy.  But now it's May... four months later... and getting to the gym becomes difficult, and the treadmill and free weights seem downright daunting.  This is the perfect time to mix things up by trying some group exercise classes! 
But when it comes to group exercise, how do you choose what is right for you? There are so many options, from spinning to kickboxing to yoga to cross fit, and not everything works for everyone. This is the beauty of group exercise classes however, there is something for everyone.
Here are some tips and tricks that may help you decide what works best for you when it come to choosing a group exercise class.

* Pick a class that interests you.  If you like a good -Aerobic Exercise workout, consider a spin or kickboxing class.  If hard core intervals are your thing, try bootcamp or cross fit.  If your muscles are tight, try hot yoga for an increase in flexibilty as well as core strengthing.  BUT don't ever avoid a class because you don't  think you can physically handle it. 
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* Test your limits. NEVER avoid going to a class because you feel like you won’t be able to do it and you don’t want to embarrass yourself. Everyone starts somewhere and no one was an expert at their first rodeo.  Additionally, it's the physical challenge and pushing your physicality that makes you stronger and fitter so embrace it!

* Sign up ahead of time and get there early. If you sign up and even have to pay ahead of time, you are more likely to attend the class. That gives you extra incentive to be there. And, getting there early gives you a chance to talk to other participants and get an idea of what they think of that class, instructor, etc. They can also give you some tips on what to look for at certain times during the class and most will even share some funny experiences of what their first time was like.

* Contact the instructor ahead of time. Sometimes, you can contact the instructor of the class ahead of time by e-mail or on their Facebook page. Try reaching out to them and letting them know you are interested in their class but want to know what to expect. Many instructors have a “first-class free” policy where you can try it to see if you like it and then go from there.

* Don’t expect to get it all the first time.  It’s OK to maybe fall behind a step or two or to just watch for a few seconds to figure out the move before continuing on with the rest of the class.  It's also OK to take a breather or water break if needed.

* Have fun! Remember to smile and have a good time. Exercise isn’t supposed to make you miserable and the instructor truly wants to see you smile. Yes, you are sweating and might even be out of breath but a quick smile or a random “Whoop!” during class is a totally welcome expression.  The bottomline is keep moving and don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.  You may find a new sport that you absolutely love.
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Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!
Get Started Today!
Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Noelle Lusardi, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, Weight Loss Center

Pasta Just Got a Skinny Makeover

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, May 08, 2015 @ 04:36 PM
Step Ahead wishes all moms a very happy, healthy and love-filled Mother's Day!
 
We now accept health insurance!

Diet Tip of the Week

Out with the old: Pasta of the Past (200 calories per cup)

Diet Makeover: Make your own pasta.. out of vegetables (20 calories per cup uncooked, 30 calories per cup if you boil 1-2 minutes)

Zoodles of Fun Zoodles Shrimp Pasta 2 web

It doesn't matter if it's spaghetti with marinara, meatballs, pesto, clam, or another sauce. No matter how you serve it, Americans love their pasta. The problem: spaghetti and its relatives have around 200 calories per cup. At a typical restauant, you can multiply those 200 calories by 3 or 4. This Mother's Day, take a stroll to Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Walmart, or log onto Amazon for a $15.00 skinny kitchen gadget- the Vegetti Spiral Vegetable Cutter. Vegetti has 12 stainless steel blades that effortlessly slice through vegetables for endless pasta strips (try cucumbers, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini). Similar cutters can be found by GEFU, Ouddy and Brieftons. Make a simple zucchini spaghetti dish with perfect pasta texture. Spoon on your favorite fresh tomato or marinara sauce, or toss sauteed garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil per 2 cups (Adds 60 calories per cup). Another option is toss your Zoodles with a quick homemade avocado yogurt lemon dill dressing. With heart-healthy fats and nutrient rich vegetables, give your mom the gift of health this Mother's Day.

Zoodles in Avocado Yogurt dressing.

1/2 ripe avocado

1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 Tbs. mayonnaise

2 Tbs. fresh dill sprigs

2 Tbs. onion

2 Tbs. lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate leftover dressing for up to a week.

Makes 1 cup Per 2 Tbs: 45 calories, 150 mg sodium

Adapted from Nutrition Action Healthletter, May 2015

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Neiman MD,

Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202 Far Hills, NJ 07931

908-470-2235

Tags: pasta makeover, heart healthy

Are You Exercising Hard Enough?

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 06, 2015 @ 12:22 PM

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It's true that any exercise is better none.  However, some workout plans are better than others in terms of overall effectiveness. While you may think you’re getting a good workout by spending an hour reading a magazine on the stationary bike, the truth is, if you’re leaving the gym with your make-up still perfectly intact, you’re probably not working hard enough.  In fact, if you're able to read a magazine or book while exercising, you probably need to amp it up.  So leave the reading material at home, and focus on increasing the intensity of your workout to see the results you are striving for.

There are several ways to monitor your workout level. So put your routine to the test by utilizing the following...

CHECK YOUR HEART RATE

Whether you’re on a cardio machine or doing some high intensity interval training (HIIT), your heart rate should fluctuate between 75% of your maximum when you’re just starting out, eventually building to 100%. (To roughly determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220). An easy way to track this is by using a heart-rate monitor that will let you know, in real time, where your heart is at. Some people mistake sweating to be the only indicator of working out hard enough, when in reality some people may just be more prone to sweating than others. A heart-rate monitor is simply the most effective way to gauge your intensity level. These days they’re easy to come by and definitely worth the investment. But if you don’t have one, go old school and stop to check your pulse halfway through your workout.

THE TALK TEST

A leisurely stroll with a friend is a nice way to pass the time, but not if you expect that activity to help you lose weight. To put it simply, if you can hold a conversation during your workout, you’re just not working hard enough. Short phrases, perhaps, but if you’re able to belt out Taylor Swift while jogging, you need to reassess your workout plan (and maybe your level of shamelessness). 

THE SORE MUSCLE TEST

No pain, no gain. A good way to tell how hard you worked out is to wait 24 hours and see how you feel. When you exercise, you cause microscopic damage to your muscles. The muscles then adapt, repair themselves, and grow stronger. Basically, you should feel moderate soreness or muscle tightness after a workout; if not, you probably didn’t stimulate your muscle enough to get results. (But not so sore that you can’t go about your regular routine.) Give yourself a day in between to rest and rebuild those sore muscle groups while you work another, alternating days so you don’t overwork one particular group.

UP INTENSITY

Once you’ve been on a workout plan for a while and aren’t becoming as sore or tired, it might be time to up the intensity. If you want to gain lean muscle mass and definition, start adding more weight; if you’re using lighter weights to tone up, add some extra repetitions (Instead of 10-15 reps, try 25). If you’re doing cardio, try going a little faster or start incorporating more interval training into the mix. Because your body is constantly adapting, if you do the same thing over and over again, your body won’t be challenged enough to make a change. Be mindful that the more you work out, the more effort you’ll have to expend to keep making progress.

CROSS TRAIN, CROSS TRAIN, CROSS TRAIN

Not only do you need to change the intensity of your workout, but also the variety of what you’re doing. Get creative. Fit people don’t stick to one regimen, they cross train. If you’re doing the same set of squats and bicep curls day in and day out, you’re probably creating imbalances in your body (not to mention it’s just plain boring). Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Force yourself to be uncomfortable. If you’re a runner, try adding some yoga and weight lifting. If you only lift weights, try adding -Aerobic Exercise or Pilates into your routine to balance out your body’s ratio of strength and flexibility. You don’t have to do everything all at once, but start by challenging your body to do something it’s not used to doing.

YOU'RE NOT SEEING PHYSICAL CHANGES

That’s not to say if you don’t see results after a week you should give up. After all, how long did it take for your body to get to where it is now? But if you’ve been consistently working out and eating healthfully for more than a few months and you haven’t noticed even a slight physical change—be it a number on the scale or inches lost depending on your fitness goals—then you might need to reassess your routine. It should be a slow progression if you’re doing it the right way, but a progression nonetheless.

If you're feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start, consider hiring a certified -Personal Trainerto get your started on the right track.  A small investment will give you the gains you're looking for. 

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!

Get Started Today!


Sincerely,

 Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235

www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: medically supervised weight loss center, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Noelle Lusardi, doctor supervised weight loss center, Weight Loss Center, personalized weight loss, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Hunger and Fullness Scale- The Key to Weight Loss Success

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 @ 10:32 PM

The Hunger ScaleThe Hunger and Fullness scale is a useful tool for assessing your hunger and fullness levels before, during, and after you eat. It will help you identify your hunger cues, observe how different types and amounts of food affect you, and recognize when the urge to eat has been triggered by something other than hunger. This scale is not intended to set strict guidelines about when you should eat; rather, it helps you develop a greater awareness of your body’s subtle signals.

Do you eat when you are hungry? If you are unsure, you are not alone. Determining hunger and fullness is a key to weight loss success, but can also pose as a challenge. While it is extremely important to listen to internal cues for hunger and satiety, social factors, previous experiences with foods, and environmental cues often override the internal ability to eat when hungry and stop when full.

The good news is that you can learn to monitor feelings of satiety by using a hunger scale. In addition to keeping a food journal to track what you are eating, this tool helps you identify when you are eating out of hunger (which is good!) versus when you are eating out of habit (not so good).

How to use the scale: Before taking your next bite, rate your hunger throughout the day. On a scale from 0 to 10: 0=an empty gas tank and 10=filled to the brim

Green light: Go ahead and eat! If you score 0-3, chances are your body needs fuel. Plan your meals and snacks ahead so that you stick to your calorie goal.

Yellow light:  Seek a strategy to stave off hunger. If you score 4-6, it may be time for a snack. First drink a warm cup of tea, hot water, or black coffee. Warm liquids can help tame hunger. If that doesn’t do the trick, try a portion controlled high protein snack, such as a boiled egg, 100-calorie greek yogurt, or low-fat cheese stick to take the edge off hunger until your next meal. Registered Dietitian Sari Greaves, RDN recommends a warm cup of antioxidant-rich green tea with lemon an hour before dining out at a restaurant to avoid extreme hunger and “bread basket” temptation. She also suggests eating slowly- it takes 20 minutes to register fullness. Take small bites, pause between bites, and chew your food thoroughly. Eat will utensils that will help slow down your eating pattern, such as using chopsticks for rice and bite size protein and vegetables.

Red Light: Push the plate away! If you score 7-10, chances are you stomach is full. Your best bet is to remove yourself from visual eating cues. Walk away from the table, remove any clear candy bowls or cookie jars from your counterops, and engage in non-food activities such as trying out a new workout DVD, taking a relaxing bath, or reading a book. Sari suggests brushing your teeth to signal the official “end to eating” (having fresh mint breath can help avoid late night snacking) or stick a “kitchen closed”  post-it on the refrigerator. A warm cup of tea or diet hot chocolate can also help extinguish a craving. 

Now you are prepared with an action plan, so it's time to use the scale below.

0:  You are wobbly and dizzy. Thoughts are unclear. Most people have to go all day without food to get close to becoming a 1. At 0, you are weak and tired.

1:  You are still very hungry. You are irritable, cranky, and lethargic.

2:  You are very hungry, on the verge of having a “starving” feeling.

3:  You could definitely eat, but you are not on the verge of collapse. The urge to eat is strong.

4:  You are truly hungry. You are looking forward to eating more.

5:  You are only a little hungry. Your body is sending messages that you might want to eat. 

6:  You are a notch past being neutral. You could definitely eat more.

7:  You are feeling more satisfied, getting full. If you stopped here, you would need to eat again in 4-4½ hours.

8:  You are quite satisfied, full in fact. If you stopped eating here, this would sustain you for 5-6 hours.

9:  You are becoming uncomfortable. You could force down another three bites, although your body no longer wants anything.

10: Your body is screaming “get me out of here!” You have no pleasure in eating anymore. If you ate any more, you feel you would explode.

While it sometimes is challenging in the beginning to figure out where you fall on this scale, it will get easier over time. Feelings of hunger and fullness will become clearer

 

CLICK HERE TO START YOUR WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS!

We now accept health insurance!


Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Neiman MD,

Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202 Far Hills, NJ 07931 908-470-2235

References: nutrition411.com; http://www.healthycellsmagazine.com/articles/how-to-use-the-hunger-and-fullness-scale

Tags: quick weight loss, hunger and fullness, weight loss success

Weight Training Tips for Women -- Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 @ 02:58 PM

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If you’re a female who’s getting started on a Fitness Training routine using weights, there are a few vital tips that you must make sure that you keep in mind as you progress along your program so that you can see the optimal results that you’re looking for.  Incidentally it's imperative for all women to incorporate weight training into their fitness routines! Cardio is not enough for overall fitness.

Far too many women shy away from weight training altogether for a few reasons.  Many have no idea what to do with weights or how to use them, but most women think weight training will build them big bulky muscles that will have them looking more masculine. Sadly, this is a big mistake.

Women do not possess the testosterone levels in their body to develop these big bulky muscles, nor will they be consuming sufficient calories for growth of this nature.  Remember, developing big muscles even as a male takes a great deal of time and effort, so lifting moderately heavy weights in the gym a few times a week is just not going to produce these types of results.

On the contrary, weight training will help to define your body, adding curves in the right places while it enhances your overall muscle tone.  Plus, with stronger muscles you’ll be more capable of performing everyday tasks and you’ll also find that you’re less likely to become injured when participating in other sporting or athletic events.  Plus (and this is a big plus), the more lean muscle mass you have on your frame, the more calories you will burn just at rest, therefore the faster your metabolic rate will go.

So let’s take a look at a few of the weight training tips that you should keep in mind as you formulate your workout plan that will help transform your body.

1) Lift Heavier

The very first thing that you must make sure you’re doing is challenging yourself.  Far too many women go into the gym and think they’re doing good by lifting weights, but they’re only lifting 10 pounds or so for each exercise.

Try to lift heavier.  You might just be surprised at how much you really can lift if you put your mind to it. If you aren’t challenging yourself, you won’t be providing a reason for your body to change and grow stronger than it was before.

2) Focus On Compound Lifts

Moving along, the second thing that you must make sure you’re doing with your weight training routine is focusing on compound lifts.  Compound exercises are going to give you the most ‘bang for your buck’ due to the fact that they’ll work many muscle fibers at once.

The more muscle fibers that you have contracting all at once the greater your calorie burn will be not only during that workout session, but in the time period after it as well.

If you perform a series of three to five compound movements, you can rest assured that you’ll experience a higher metabolism for hours after that workout is completed.

Far too many women focus only on isolation exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, or lateral raises.

While these are great to have in there to help finish off the smaller muscle groups, you cannot overlook the major movements such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, chest press, shoulder press, and bent over rows.

3) Use Superset Training

Another key technique that you might want to consider when doing your workout session is superset training.  This is especially ideal for women who are looking for fat loss as it will really enhance the metabolism and improve the rate of toning that you experience from that session.

With superset training, you’re going to take two different exercises and pair them right back to back from each other.  For example, you might perform a push-up and then follow that immediately by a lunge.  Or, you could perform a bent over row and then move directly into a shoulder press activity.  Those are just a couple of examples.

The idea here is to have your body performing more work in less time, so as to induce a higher stress response. The more stress you place on the body, the higher the post-workout calorie burn is going to be and the faster fat loss will occur.

Superset training is also good for those who are aiming to shorten their workout sessions because you’ll be performing two exercises back to back so quickly, thus reducing the total time you spend at rest during the workout session.

4) Use Good Form At All Times

The next quick tip to remember as you move through your weight lifting workouts is to make sure that you are using good form at all times.  If you ever let your form slip, either because you are too fatigued or you simply are lifting too much weight, then you’re going to put yourself at a high risk of injury.

What’s more is that if you’re using improper form, the chances that you are actually targeting the muscles in the best manner possible will also be much lower, therefore really hindering the progress that you make.

Form is an absolute must so get into the habit of checking your own form on all your exercises at least once per month.

This will go a long way towards ensuring that you see the results that you’re after.

5) Remember To Eat Properly

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Finally, last but not least, make sure that you’re eating well both before and after each weight lifting workout session that you perform.

Far too many women still believe that not eating before or after the session will help them burn fat faster, and this will really hinder their progress.  Your body needs the nourishment at this time in order to fuel the workout and put forth the most energy possible as well as to recover faster after the workout is completed.  If you're not sure about your nutrition, scheduling a session with a -Registered Dietitian is a good option.

So there you have a few quick weight lifting tips that you need to know about in you are a woman. Start spending less time on the cardio machines and more time in the free weight section and you will definitely notice a positive impact on how your body looks as a result of it.

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!

Get Started Today!


Sincerely,

 Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235

www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Weight Loss Center, Step Ahead Wellness Center