Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

CARB BLOCKING SUPPLEMENT Now Available at Step Ahead Wellness Center!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 @ 01:23 PM

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If you've been battling carb cravings, Step Ahead Wellness Center can help!  We are thrilled to announce a new carb blocking supplement called CARB CHECK designed to stop cravings for empty carbs that sidetrack your healthy eating goals.

Empty carbs can sabbatoge your healthy weight loss plans and keep you off track.  This new supplement can help you block your cravings for empty carbs thus allowing to stick with your healthy eating plan optimizing nutrition, keeping your sugar levels steady and allowing you to feel energized all day long.  Additionally

Carb Check contains a northern white bean that inhibits the breakdown of starch in the intestinal track, thus alleviating cravings for empty carbs. By blocking these empty carbs, you're energy/sugar levels remain steady throughout the day thus making it much easier to stick with your healthy eating plan, and your execise regime!

In addition to Carb Check, Step Ahead Wellness Center offers many other healthy doctor supervised weight loss plans including OptiFast, on site one on one personal training and small group exercise sessions also on site.

 Let us help you stay on your healthy weight loss track this holiday season and beyond!  Call today to learn more about Carb Check, and all of our weight loss programs:  Call 908-470-2235 or email drneiman@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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WINTER SPORTS = CALORIES BURNED PER HOUR

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 @ 06:39 AM
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Take advantage of the winter weather! Get outside and enjoy some snow activities to burn calories and strengthen your muscles.  See chart below for winter sports calorie burn for one hour of the following activities!  And then get outside and enjoy the activities.
 
For more fit tips contact our fitness director, certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  For our latest weight loss offers, go to www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
 
 

Winter Sport

120-lb woman

150-lb woman

Skiing

273

340

Snowboarding

273

340

Snowshoeing

382

476

Cross-Country Skiing

436

476

Ice Skating

327

408

Ice Hockey

436

544

Winter Hiking

327

408

Shoveling Snow

273

340

Sledding

327

408

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Check Out This Killer Indoor Leg Work Out!

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 @ 06:50 AM

While the weather outside is frightful, indoor workouts are delightful!  Check out this killer leg workout you can do wherever, whenever!  No equipment is needed.

 

badweatherworkout

 

Let Step Ahead Wellness Center meet all your fitness, healthy weight loss goals... See our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for our latest special weight loss offer.

 

Email our fitness director, certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for more fit tips.

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The five R's of Motivation

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Nov 06, 2013 @ 09:44 AM

Getting Motivated to Change

If you are struggling to follow your weight management program, it may be because you are having difficulty maintaining motivation and commitment to weight control. Understanding the process required to increase your motivation may help you put your knowledge into action.

Motivation is more complex than simply wanting to do something. Your motivation to pursue a particular behavior is a reflection of your biological programming and psychological factors, such as your value system and the price you attach to success.

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The Five Rs of Motivation help you determine how motivated you are to lose weight. Ask yourself:

  1. Relevant – How is weight management relevant in my life?
  2. Risks – What are the risks in my life if I do not manage my weight?
  3. Rewards – What are the rewards if my life if I manage my weight?
  4. Roadblocks – What are the roadblocks to weight management in my life?
  5. Remove – How can I remove the roadblocks in order to manage my weight?

It’s important to acknowledge the cost of making a change so that it does not subconsciously undermine your motivation to change. It’s even more important, however, to focus on the value of the change in terms of your overall lifestyle. Motivation needs to be combined with readiness to change in order to stimulate action. Change rarely occurs in a straight line, and you may move back and forth through stages of readiness to change before you commit to making a lifestyle change. There are five stages of readiness for weight control – precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. These stages of readiness can be helpful to long-term weight management and lapses.

Lapses are a normal and common part of changing behavior. The important thing is not to give up simply because you’ve had a setback. Every step, even a step backward, is informative if you analyze and learn from it, using it to help you move toward the point where you can maintain your commitment to weight control.

*from the OPTIFAST Lifestyle Education Series™ 'Motivation to Change'

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STICK WITH YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE... Here's How!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 @ 12:17 PM

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Almost everyone has days where they don’t feel like exercising, but when
those days become too frequent and you completely lose your motivation to work
out that it becomes a problem. Research shows that half the people who start an
exercise program quit within six months. Those aren’t very encouraging
statistics, are they?

Most people begin a new exercise program with enthusiasm, but that
enthusiasm dwindles over time. Sound familiar? If you’re having trouble getting
motivated or are having problems sticking with your workouts, one of these
exercise motivation zappers could be the problem.

You’re Creating Too Many Barriers to Working Out

KISS (keep it simple stupid) applies to exercise too. One of the reasons
people lose their motivation to exercise is they make it too hard to get
started. If you have to get dressed, get in your car and drive to a gym, it’s
easy to find a reason not to do it. That’s when home workouts have the
advantage. Keep a DVD handy, push a few buttons and you have an instructor to
show you what to do and keep you motivated. You’ll be more enthusiastic if you
don’t have to jump through hoops to get your workout done.

You’re Bored

If you’re doing the same workout over and over, doing a different workout
can rekindle your enthusiasm. Try a new workout DVD instead of the same, old,
same old.

Exercise CAN make you look better in a pair of shorts or a swimsuit but
that shouldn’t be your primary motivation for doing it. Research shows that
people who exercise for health reasons – to feel better or relieve stress – are
more likely to stick with it. Exercise to feel stronger, have more energy and
to feel more empowered – don’t do it only to lose weight or inches off your
waistline.

You’re Overtraining

If you’re working out an hour or more every day without taking breaks,
you’re probably losing your motivation due to burnout. Take at least one full
day off a week and don’t be afraid to do a light workout when you don’t feel up
to a high-intensity one. Try a yoga workout for a change or work on flexibility
and balance. Make sure you’re sleeping enough and getting adequate nutrition.
It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re cutting back on calories too much or
skimping on sleep.

You’re Expecting Too Much Too Soon

Another reason people lose their motivation to exercise is because they
have unrealistic expectations. They expect to see results quickly and lose
their enthusiasm when they don’t. Again, it’s important to work out for the
right reasons – better health and more energy – not to change the number on a
scale. Nevertheless, keep in mind that it takes time to lose inches and see
more muscle definition. Don’t have unrealistic expectations.

A fitness journal helps you set goals, chart your progress and, yes, it can
keep you motivated too. When you write everything down, you can look back and
see how far you’ve come and it helps to keep you accountable. Don’t just write
down the exercises you do and your weight and measurements, document your goals
so you can look back and see why you started exercising in the first place.
Sometimes you need a reminder to help you stay on course.

 The Bottom Line?

Don’t let these exercise motivation zappers keep you from reaching your
goals. Make sure you HAVE goals, are exercising for the right reasons and
aren’t overdoing it or allowing yourself to become bored. Working out is one of
the best things you can do to stay healthy and to have more energy to enjoy
life to its fullest

For more fit tips contact our fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com, www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

 

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5 WORST HALLOWEEN CANDIES - HOW TO INDULGE WITHOUT RUINING YOUR DIET!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 @ 01:08 PM

 

halloween candy surrey bc

A cocker spaniel weighs about 24 pounds. You know what else weighs 24 pounds? The
heft of candy the average American gobbles down each year, a big chunk of that
falling to our waistlines in the days before and after Halloween. Fun size? I
don't think so—unless it's fun being size 16. These stats could very well turn
you as white as a ghost:


  • Three miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups—the kind you find in office candy bowls and trick-or-treat-bags—fill your belly with more sugar than a glazed doughnut.

  • Half a pack of Skittles has more sugar than a scoop of Haagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. 

  • Nine Twizzlers carry as many calories as a Wendy’s Double Stack Burger.

These are some spooky treats. And Halloween is only the beginning of the eating season: Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. If you want to see your feet come January, start by conquering the sugar fest that’s nearly upon us. Here's your plan for surviving the scariest night of the year for your waistline. 

WORST “FUN SIZE” CANDY BAR

Butterfinger Bar (fun size bar)

100 calories

4 g fat (2 g saturated)

10 g sugars

Again, fun for whom? Your cardiologist? By calling it “fun,” food marketers are cleverly pulling your attention away from the fact that candy bars are flab-inducing logs of concentrated fats and sugars. And Butterfinger is the worst offender—there's no quicker way to swallow 100 calories.

Eat This, Instead!

3 Musketeers (fun size bar)

63 calories

2 g fat (1.5 g saturated)

10 g sugars



SURVIVAL TIP #1: Toss the candy bowl

Alabama researchers found that people who have snacks within reach when they're watching TV consume more calories per day overall. But instead of simply relocating the bowl to another table, limit the potential for mindless munching by keeping the candy bagged and in the cupboard.



SURVIVAL TIP #2: Consume drinks before treats

Drinking 16 ounces of water before a meal fills the stomach, quells hunger, and helps you lose weight, according to a study presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Use this strategy to help tamp your candy cravings. Just don't substitute a sugary beverage for the water or this strategy will backfire: A can of soda has more sugar than two Hershey’s Take 5
bars.

WORST FRUITY CANDY

Brach’s Airheads (3 pieces)

140 calories

1.5 g fat (1 g saturated)

19 g sugars

Here’s the basic formula for an Airhead: Sugar and filler carbohydrates, artificial colors and flavors, and partially hydrogenated oils—a source of trans fat. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like our Eat This Instead, Dum Dums, are nutritional paragons, but they do have two noteworthy advantages over Airheads: They have no heart-wrecking oils, and they're hard candy. That means
they dissolve slowly on your tongue, letting you enjoy the sweetness over time.

Eat This, Instead!

Spangler Dum Dum Pops (3 pops)

77 calories

0 g fat

105 g sugars



SURVIVAL TIP #3: Work out on Halloween morning

Lifting weights reduces levels of blood sugar by 15 percent for more than 12 hours after you’ve left the gym, according to research from Syracuse University. Why does that matter? Some of the sugar you consume will stay in your blood stream, providing energy to your cells, instead of pitching a tent in your belly. 

SURVIVAL TIP #4: Switch to dark chocolate

It won’t necessarily save you calories, but dark chocolate boasts a bevy of health benefits that milk chocolate can’t claim. Flavonoids in the cocoa help keep your arteries soft, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. And according to new research, a compound called epicatechin might help prevent brain damage from stroke. Keep a bar on hand to nibble on any time you have a craving. Seek out those bars with at least 60% cocoa.


WORST MINIATURE CANDY BARS

Twix Miniatures (3 pieces)

150 calories

8 g fat (6 g saturated)

15 g sugars

Twix has the worst saturated fat profile of any candy in your kid’s trick-or-treat bag. Think about it like this: Each one of these bite-sized candies carries 10 percent of the saturated fat you should consume in an entire day. Switch to Tootsie Rolls and you’ll cut your calories by more than half and trim your total fat intake by a whopping 81 percent.

Eat This Instead!

Tootsie Roll (3 pieces)

70 calories

1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)

9.5 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #5: Chew gum

Sort through any trick-or-treat bag and you’ll undoubtedly discover a handful of Super or Dubble Bubble—those small pink cubes wrapped in old-fashioned, end-twisted candy papers. Instead of plowing through the chocolates and taffies, throw a big gob of the gum in your mouth. The chewing suppresses cravings, and each piece has only about 15 calories.


SURVIVAL TIP #6: Don’t hand out your favorite candy

If your favorite candy is Milk Duds, and you’re handing out Milk Duds all night, doesn’t it seem likely that you’re going to wind up with a pound of chocolate and caramel in your stomach by night’s end? Of course! And that’s not even factoring in how many Duds you’ll plow through as they sit on the counter in the days leading up to Halloween. Choose something less tempting.


WORST CHEWY CANDY

Brach’s Milk Maid Caramels (4 pieces)

160 calories

4.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated)

16 g sugars

"Milk Maid” sounds a lot like "Milk Made,” doesn't it? Very clever, Brach's! This candy contains a couple milk derivatives (whey and “lipolyzed butter fat”), but it hardly constitutes a dairy product. Plus, 90 percent of the fat is saturated. That’s bad news for your heart. If you enjoy the challenge
of fighting chewy candy out of your teeth, switch over to Now and Later and save more than 100 calories per serving.

Eat This, Instead!

Now and Later (4 pieces)

53 calories

0.5 g fat (0 g saturated)

10 g sugars



SURVIVAL TIP #7: Keep the candy-calorie load to 400

The fewer calories you take in during candy season, the better off you’ll be
heading into turkey season. So if you worry that you risk overindulgence, set a
caloric limit and hold yourself to it. Four hundred is a good number—indulgent
yet not overly destructive. That means you could eat every “Eat This Instead”
on our list, and have 65 calories left for one of your personal favorites.



SURVIVAL TIP #8: Don’t skip dinner

A healthy dinner will take the edge off your candy craving, not to mention
temper the blood-sugar rush that converts your body into a flab factory and
puts you at risk for diabetes. What you want is a meal rich with fiber and lean
protein—think chicken breast with vegetables. 


WORST NOVELTY CANDY

Reese’s Pumpkin

170 calories

10 g fat (3 g saturated)

16 g sugars

This one should send your gimmick radar into the red zone. It’s simply an oversized peanut butter cup shaped like a pumpkin. What price novelty? Nearly two-thirds more calories than a regular Reese’s peanut butter cup! Grab two bite-size Reese's instead—you'll save more than half the calories, fat, and sugar. 

Eat This, Instead!

Reese's Bite Size Peanut Butter Cups (2 pieces)

72 calories

4 g fat (3 g saturated)

6 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #9: Take it outside

The worst thing you can do on Halloween night, after most of the trick-or-treaters have cleared off the street, is set your candy bowl by the door where you can grab a handful every day on your way out. Noshing 300 extra candy calories a day will add a pound of flab to your frame in less than two weeks. Instead, set the bowl on the porch before you go to bed. The leftover candy will be gone by morning, guaranteed.

SURVIVAL TIP #10: Remember: Halloween is a one-day event

A study in the journal of Nature Neuroscience found that eating junk food doesn’t just satisfy cravings—it creates them. That’s right; junk food is addictive. Limit your sugar splurging to October 31. If you start a week early, you’re going to have a serious candy habit to break after Halloween. You might find it to be frightfully difficult.

FOR MORE FIT TIPS CONTACT OUR CERTIFIED TRAINER NOELLE LUSARDI AT stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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WALK YOUR WAY TO GOOD HEALTH!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 @ 12:25 PM

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Walking... It's the simplest positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health.  Research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels

  • Improve blood lipid profile

  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis

  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer

  • Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

Plus you'll burn on average 250-300 calories!  For more fit tips visit our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com or contact our fitness director Noelle Lusardi at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

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STRENGTH TRAIN TO LOSE WEIGHT

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 09, 2013 @ 12:58 PM

 

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Strength training is important if you’re trying to lose weight. Many people
focus too much on cardio when trying to lose body fat but that approach is
short-sighted. You want to lose body fat, not metabolically-active muscle
tissue. Why is strength training so important? Having a greater proportion of
muscle to fat subtly boosts your metabolic rate. Muscle is definitely your
friend when you’re trying to shed body fat. Ultimately you need a fitness
program that balances cardio with strength training. Here are some tips for
strength training when you’re trying to lose body fat.

Focus on Compound Strength Exercises

Compound strength exercises are ones that target more than one muscle group
at a time. They include such exercises as squats, pull-ups, bent-over rows,
bench press and deadlifts. The more muscle groups you use during a strength
training exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. Plus, using more muscle
groups has a greater metabolic effect. That means there’s greater activation of
fat-burning hormones like growth hormone, testosterone and catecholamines.

Isolation exercises that work only one muscle group are still important for
shaping muscles and building symmetry but they burn fewer calories and have
less of a metabolic effect relative to compound exercise. If your goal is
weight loss, focus on strength exercises that use more than one muscle group at
a time. Make your strength moves compound and dynamic. When doing lunges,
combine them with bicep curls. With squats, do an overhead press. Use as many muscle
groups as possible. This will burn more fat.

Work Large Muscle Groups

You burn more calories when you target the larger muscle groups in your
lower body rather than your arms and shoulders. A compound movement like the
squat targets large lower body muscle groups and burns significantly more
calories than upper body isolation exercises like biceps curls or triceps
kickbacks. Don’t neglect your upper body but focus more on compound, lower body
exercises to increase the calorie burn and activate fat-burning hormones.

 Lift Heavy

Some people who are intent on losing weight are afraid to lift heavy
because they think it will make them bigger. It’s hard for females to build
enough muscle mass to look bulky. Lifting heavy, especially using your lower
body, turns on fat-burning hormones and revs up your metabolism. On the other
hand, lifting light weights will have little impact on your metabolism or the
shape of your muscles. The most it will do is build muscle endurance. You can
suck up a lot of time lifting light weights and get very little return. Go for
the challenging weights and stop worrying about getting bulky.

Make a Portion of Your Cardio High Intensity

Just as lifting heavy weight and targeting multiple muscle groups helps you
burn more fat so will high-intensity cardio. Short periods of high-intensity
cardio forces your body to work harder during and after a workout. After your
workout is over, there’s an after-burn effect that makes your body burn more
energy for hours afterwards. You don’t get that when you do cardio at a
comfortable pace. Losing fat is all about breaking out of your comfort zone.
Think high-intensity interval training when you’re trying to lose body fat.
You’ll accomplish more in less time.

Circuit Training

One or two days a week, do circuit strength training. With circuit training
you do strength training sets with little or no rest between exercises. Moving
quickly from exercise to exercise without rest burns more calories and
maximizes the amount of volume you can do during a single training session.
That means it’s a timesaver too. It’s the ultimate in cross-training since
you’re building strength while keeping your heart rate up since you’re not
stopping to rest. Research shows circuit training causes greater release of
growth hormone. That helps mobilize fat. Plus, circuit training has
cardiovascular conditioning benefits as well.

 The Bottom Line?

Strength training should be a part of your fitness program even if your
primary goal is to lose body fat. Make sure you’re not putting strength
training on the back burner to focus on cardio.

For more fit tips, contact our fitness director/certified trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

References:

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. (2011) Sept. 25(4).
2519-2527.

IDEA Fitness. “New Insights into Circuit Training”

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FALL INTO FITNESS WITH STEP AHEAD!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 02, 2013 @ 06:02 AM

 

FallIntoFitness (2)

Let Us Help You Reach Your Health & Fitness Goals With Our "Triple Threat" Team... Physician, Dietician, Trainer!

Don't Delay... Call Today!

908-470-2235

www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

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GET FIT OUTSIDE THIS FALL!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Sep 13, 2013 @ 02:14 PM

 

FallWalk

Turn off the TV, move away from the computer and put down the electronic gadgets!  Fall
is here and it's the perfect season to exercise outdoors. With the cool crisp air, the trees beautifully adorned in their metallic colors and the wonderful autumn smells, outdoors is the place to be. Walking, hiking, biking and rollerblading are some easy-to-do activities that provide you the
opportunity to have fun outdoors while keeping fit.

Walking is one of the easiest and best ways to exercise. It's easy on the joints and you
don't need any fancy equipment, just a good pair of walking shoes. Get into a good fitness routine by taking a walk after dinner. Discover park trails and take in some new scenery. Activities that involve walking, such as apple and pumpkin picking, are fall activities that you, your family and your friends might enjoy.

Take a bike ride around the block or in a local park, or try rollerblading. Fun for people
of all ages, rollerblading improves fitness and stamina levels. You only need minimal equipment to get started - just skates and protective gear, and you're good to go.

Outdoor chores can also provide exercise and there's the obvious advantage of adding curb
appeal to your house. Raking, weeding and lifting burn calories and provide a good cardio workout. Consider planting a fall garden so you can be active outdoors and later enjoy its beauty.

Heading out into nature is a great way to soak up this colorful season and enjoy the
outdoors before the cold weather sets in. Try exercising with a friend or family member with a similar fitness level so that you can encourage and support each other in your quest for fitness.

Exercising outdoors can provide healthy advantages for your mind as well as your body.

Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise regimen.

For more fit tips contact our certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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