Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Lose Weight with Yoga!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Mar 04, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

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Yoga and Weight Loss: What Does Research Show?

Just crunching the numbers it wouldn’t seem like yoga would help with
weight loss. More traditional forms of yoga only burn about 200 calories per
hour session. While every bit of activity counts, that’s not a lot of energy
expended for the time you spend doing it. On the other hand, power yoga burns
between 300 and 400 calories per session.

Despite the fact that you don’t expend as many calories during a yoga
session as you do with high-intensity boot camp workouts or other
metabolism-boosting workouts, yoga may still give you a “leg up” when it comes
to shedding body fat. In a study funded by the National Cancer Institute,
researchers looked at the impact of yoga on body weight. They surveyed a group
of over 15,000 men and women regarding their exercise habits and their weight
between the ages of 45 and 55. In this group of healthy people, yoga seemed to
offer weight control benefits. Participants that were carrying a few too many
pounds that did yoga lost about 5 pounds while those that didn’t gained an average
of 14 pounds over a ten-year period.

How Does Yoga Help with Weight Loss?

Yoga seems to have benefits for weight control, but it may not be related
to calories expended. Experts believe the answer may lie in yoga’s ability to
increase body awareness. People who practice yoga become more in touch with
their bodies and learn to deal with internal sensations like hunger in a
healthier way. As a result, they eat more mindfully.

For example, when eating a meal, people who eat mindfully develop a greater
awareness of when they’re full and stop eating more quickly as a result. In
fact, a study looked at how yoga affected eating habits by asking people
questions that measured how “mindfully” they ate. The average BMI (body mass
index) was lower in those that practiced yoga. In addition, a lower BMI was
associated with higher scores on for mindful eating.

When people eat mindfully, they’re more likely to make healthy dietary
choices. You learn to appreciate the taste of whole foods and to be satisfied
with smaller amounts of food. That can certainly help with weight control.

The Stress Relief Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a form of relaxational exercise. It activates the parasympathetic
nervous system, the system that opposes the sympathetic or “flight or flight”
nervous system that causes you to feel anxious and “stressed out.” It also
increases your heart rate, blood pressure and raises your blood sugar level.
The parasympathetic nervous system is often referred to as the “rest and
digest” portion of the nervous system because it promotes calmness and
relaxation. If you feel anxious or “stressed out”, you’re probably getting too
much stimulation from your sympathetic nervous system. Yoga helps to
re-establish balance between the two systems, thereby easing stress and
anxiety. Yoga also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone that increases
abdominal fat when it’s chronically elevated.

The Stress Relief Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a form of relaxational exercise. It activates the parasympathetic
nervous system, the system that opposes the sympathetic or “flight or flight”
nervous system that causes you to feel anxious and “stressed out.” It also
increases your heart rate, blood pressure and raises your blood sugar level.
The parasympathetic nervous system is often referred to as the “rest and
digest” portion of the nervous system because it promotes calmness and
relaxation. If you feel anxious or “stressed out”, you’re probably getting too
much stimulation from your sympathetic nervous system. Yoga helps to
re-establish balance between the two systems, thereby easing stress and
anxiety. Yoga also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone that increases
abdominal fat when it’s chronically elevated.

What does this have to do with weight loss and mindful eating? A number of
people are stress-eaters that mindlessly munch on comfort snacks to help them
feel better. Comfort snacks are usually high in sugar and calories. By
relieving stress, yoga may help with weight loss and weight control. Having a
high cortisol level not only impacts your waistline – it can damage your
health. Yoga is a natural way to lower your cortisol level.

Yoga can also be a complement to a more demanding, calorie-burning fitness
routine. It’s a good recovery workout for the day after a high-intensity
training session. Plus, yoga helps to stretch the muscles you work during
strength-training session. This reduces muscle tightness and the risk of
injury. Just as you need a balance between your sympathetic and parasympathetic
nervous system, you need balance in your workouts too.

 Increase the Calorie Burn

If you want more calorie burn, power yoga is a more invigorating workout
that burns more calories and works up a sweat. On the other hand, don’t think
every workout has to be a fat-scorching, calorie-burning session. Your body
will benefit from some sessions that are more relaxing. Again, it’s all about
balance.

Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Yoga can be a part of a successful weight loss program, especially when you
alternate it with higher intensity exercise sessions. It’s like yin and yang –
they balance each other and help keep you balanced. Yoga can help change your
mindset, how you think about food, and help you eat more mindfully. It also
relieves stress and even changes the relationship you have with your body. There
are lots of reasons to add yoga to your fitness schedule whether you’re trying
to lose weight or simply maintain.

For more fitness tips/advice, contact our Fitness Director and Personal
Trainer Noelle Lusardi at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

 

References:

Science Daily. “Regular Yoga Practice Is Associated With Mindful Eating”

WebMD. “Yoga for Weight Loss”

Yoga Journal. “Tame Your Stress”

Endocrine Society. “ENDO – Feeling Stressed? Try Yoga”

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, jumpstart diet, losing weight tips, losing weight fast, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Noelle Lusardi, online nutrition, OptiFast, personal training, weight loss goals, diet to lose weight, lose weight in 2014, Weight Loss Center, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Dr. Neiman Featured in Diabetes Forecast Magazine

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 @ 12:28 PM

Step Ahead Wellness Center's founder/medical director, Dr. Deborah Neiman is featured in the February issue of DIABETES FORECAST.  See below for our very own diet doctors advice on sticking with your exercise routine during the winter months.

 

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Exercise: We all know we should be active.  But it's wintertime, and we're really busy, and the couch is so inviting after a long day.  Pretty soon the excuses win, and we're out of our fitness routine.  Not anymore! We've got simple tips to make your environment-- and therefore you-- more exercise -friendly.

 

* Change how you think about exercise.

The idea of "exercise" can sound like hard work, and that poses a mental roadblock, says Deborah Neiman, MD, an internist adn medical director at Step Ahead Wellness Center, a weight-loss center in Far Hills, NJ.  She suggests looking at adding more activity, rather than exercise, to your routine.  "You have to change your way of looking at it," she says.  "Most people, when they think of exercise, get very turned off because there's a big effort there."  So rather than believe you have to become a gym rat, start thinking about ways you can add movement to your day.  Getting up and moving during commercials, going for a walk after meals-- all those little steps add up.

 

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Tags: Personal Weight Loss, losing weight tips, diabetes health, losing weight fast, lose weight with diabetes, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Noelle Lusardi, Physician Weight Loss, Physician Weight Center, weight loss goals, lose weight in 2014, lose weight fast

Today's Fitness Tip!

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 01:07 PM

Today’s fit tip from our fitness director/personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi….

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To stay motivated during these dark, cold winter days pick a physical activity that you enjoy… exercise that is not enjoyable will not get you up and moving.   The gym isn’t for everyone, so if you like walking, cycling, yoga or swimming (you get the idea), make it part of your morning plan and look forward to it. 

Also remind yourself how amazing you feel post workout!  You’ll feel totally invigorated!  The hardest part of exercise is just doing it but afterwards you’re always glad you did and can’t wait for you next workout!  So get out there and get moving!

For more fit tips, advice or questions contact Noelle directly at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  To find out more about Step Ahead’s weight
loss programs, and meal replacement programs visit our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  Take advantage of our online special savings too!

 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, quick weight loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Physician Weight Loss, Physician Weight Center, weight loss goals, diet to lose weight, Weight Loss Center

Best Foods to Stockpile for an Emergency

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Jan 02, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

Check out this great article from realsimple.com.

Natural disasters—a flood, hurricane, blizzard—often come with little or no warning. Stocking up now on the right nonperishable food items will help you weather the storm with less stress.

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Fueling your body during an emergency is very different from your everyday diet. Because you’ll probably expend more energy than you normally would, you should eat high-energy, high-protein foods. And because you’ll have a limited supply, the higher-quality foods you eat—and the less of them—the better. “In a disaster or an emergency you want those calories,” says Barry Swanson, a food scientist at Washington State University. “You want some nutrients and some fiber—something to keep your diet normal.”

 

“In an emergency, generally you tend to think of meeting more basic needs than preferences and flavors,” says Elizabeth Andress, professor and food safety specialist at the University of Georgia. “But if you plan right, you can have a great variety of foods and nutrients.” Here, Andress and Swanson weigh in on what items you should include.

 

 

What to Always Keep in Your Pantry

These items have lengthy expiration dates, so you can stash them away for long periods of time. Make a list of everything in your stockpile and check expiration dates every 6 to 12 months to keep things fresh. And don’t forget to have a can opener on hand at all times—all that food won’t be of any use if you can’t open it.

Peanut butter
A great source of energy, peanut butter is chock-full of healthful fats and protein. Unless the jar indicates otherwise, you don’t have to refrigerate after opening.

Whole-wheat crackers
Crackers are a good replacement for bread and make a fine substitute when making sandwiches. Due to their higher fat content, whole-wheat or whole-grain crackers have a shorter shelf life than their plain counterparts (check the box for expiration dates), but the extra fiber pays off when you’re particularly hungry. Consider vacuum-packing your crackers to prolong their freshness.

Nuts and trail mixes
Stock up on these high-energy foods—they’re healthful and convenient for snacking. Look for vacuum-packed containers, which prevent the nuts from oxidizing and losing their freshness.

Cereal
Choose multigrain cereals that are individually packaged so they don’t become stale after opening.

Granola bars and power bars
Healthy and filling, these portable snacks usually stay fresh for at least six months. Plus, they’re an excellent source of carbohydrates. “You can get more energy from carbohydrates without [eating] tons of food,” says Andress.

Dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins
In the absence of fresh fruit, these healthy snacks offer potassium and dietary fiber. “Dried fruits provide you with a significant amount of nutrients and calories,” says Swanson.

Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey
Generally lasting at least two years in the pantry, canned meats provide essential protein. Vacuum-packed pouches have a shorter shelf life but will last at least six months, says Diane Van, manager of the USDA meat and poultry hotline.

Canned vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, and peas
When the real deal isn’t an option, canned varieties can provide you with essential nutrients.

Canned soups and chili
Soups and chili can be eaten straight out of the can and provide a variety of nutrients. Look for low-sodium options.

Bottled water
Try to stock at least a three-day supply--you need at least one gallon per person per day. “A normally active person should drink at least a half gallon of water each day,” says Andress. “The other half gallon is for adding to food and washing.”

Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade
The electrolytes and carbohydrates in these drinks will help you rehydrate and replenish fluid when water is scarce.

Powdered milk
Almost all dairy products require refrigeration, so stock this substitute for an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D when fresh milk isn’t an option.

Sugar, salt, and pepper
If you have access to a propane or charcoal stove, you may be doing some cooking. A basic supply of seasonings and sweeteners will improve the flavor of your food, both fresh and packaged.

Multivitamins
Supplements will help replace the nutrients you would have consumed on a normal diet.

Check out more great winter storm articles on, http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/emergency-foods-00000000038238/

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Five tips for keeping your weight loss resolutions

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Dec 30, 2013 @ 09:53 AM

 Check out this great article from nydailynews.com-

If you've jotted down "lose weight" as your New Year's resolution, you're in good company. While it's said to be the most popular resolution, it's also one of the least successful. But there are a few ways to stay on track in the new year.

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Losing weight is hard to do, but a few adjustments can help keep you committed for the long haul.

First step, recognize that losing weight is a lifestyle, not a diet, says 20-year-veteran clinical nutrition expert Shaynee Roper, LD, RD, of Harris Health System in Houston, Texas. "A lot of people set goals and are really gung-ho in January and February, but then their energy fades because they're not making a lifestyle change."

If you have more than just a few kilos to lose, there isn't a quick fix, and you'll need to stay on task for six to 12 months, or even more, she says.

Roper's top five tips:

1. Set small goals. Opt to lose a half a kilo a week or about two kilos a month. Start cutting out junk food, empty calories, fried foods, and sweets.
2. Jot down everything you eat and drink for two weeks. A food journal can offer clues to your daily habits and pitfalls and help you make decisions about what to eliminate, reduce, and add.

3. Identity your trigger foods. If you know you are likely to gorge on salty snacks or chocolate, keep tempting treats out of reach.

4. Find an eating replacement. Exercise, read a book, or ride a bike rather than snacking. Learn to listen to your body's clues about hunger versus boredom, for example. Exercising 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week, is recommended.

5. Reward yourself. When you achieve a goal you've set for yourself, splurge on a pair of shoes or some other non-food treat.

"When eliminating or reducing certain foods from your diet, pick one or two to start," Roper advises. "Work on these for two weeks before adding more." While it may feel like a slow process, it's a lifestyle change. "Doing it slowly will help you stick with it and make you feel like you're not giving up everything all at once." 



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/weight-loss-resolutions-article-1.1228823#ixzz2oyDS4bXE

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