New Year and a New You: 11 Keys to the Mental Side of Weight Management

As the holiday season comes to a close, many of us begin to think about the New Year and making New Year’s resolutions. One of the most common resolutions made is to lose weight.
There are many steps in any given weight management plan: food journaling, meal planning, kitchen makeover, food shopping and preparation, supplements and special food products, exercise regimes, tracking your weight and/or specific body measurements like your waistline. If this sound intimidating, then it’s no wonder that weight management is one of the most challenging New Year’s resolutions to keep.

But you often miss the most important first aspect to weight management.
Mental preparation for weight management involves a deep and honest examination and evaluation of yourself. This can be a very daunting task, but it is a necessary component to your weight management.

As you go through these mental preparations, it is important to write down your answers to these questions. Having these answers to refer back to will help you achieve your goals.

1. Why do you want to lose weight?
Your motivation for losing weight should begin as an act of self-love. Your body is your own, and you get to decide what to do with it. This also involves a close examination as to what you do not like about yourself, physically and emotionally, and what you want to change. Whether you want to be able to play with your children or grandchildren, have a medical risks, or just improve your physical appearance, you motivation must be meaningful to you.

2. Examine the negative things that you associate with weight management.
You’ve been conditioned to think that weight management is scary, difficult, and painful. But weight management, though challenging, is an opportunity for positive growth to your physical and emotional well-being. Convert the idea of the pain of losing weight into the idea of the pleasures associated with no longer having that weight. Additionally, if have you ever attempted a weight management program, was it the right one for you? Why did it not work for you? Do those negative associations to weight management still resonate with you?

3. Are there emotional restrictions or stressors affect your weight management?
Is it work or school? Relationships with others? Relationships with food? Do you have positive ways to address these issues? Being able too free yourself from unnecessary strife will allow you to direct that energy to more positive aspects of your life.

4. Identify behaviors that contribute to weight gain.
Whether it’s being a couch potato munching on unhealthy snacks, the daily trip to the coffee shop for the latest seasonal beverage with whipped cream and syrup, or walking past the ice cream aisle in the grocery store, examining your routine will help you identify behaviors that you may amend to meet your weight management goals.

5. Assess if it is the right time. 
This may seem arbitrary. There is never a bad time to start taking control of your health. But if you think your resolve will crumble because you decide to begin just before a vacation or the holidays, then it may not be the right time. Acknowledging your potential weakness is a sign that you’re mentally preparing yourself for the challenges ahead.

6.  Clearly define your weight management goal.
Goals, like life, can change. What you start with may change midstream. And that is okay. Whatever your goal is, be clear about what you want. Once you’ve created your end game, create smaller goals to help you get there: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. Accomplishing these mini-milestones do wonders for your morale on your weight management journey. At each milestone, reassess your end goals and amend your strategy to achieve them.

7. Visualize your future self and act as if you have already reached this achievement.
Realistically envision what your ideal weight will look like as well as the positive associations in your outlook and attitudes of your future self. Do you have an ideal target weight or body transformation? Keeping the idea of who and how you want to be in your mind’s eye is incredibly emotionally motivating. When you act as if you have already made these achievements, it is also incredibly motivating to continue with the activities that will help you achieve your goals.

8. Take responsibility.
Obesity may run in your family, but you can choose to focus on your weight management. You can make healthy choices in the grocery stores and restaurants. You can avoid fast food restaurants. You can ask for help. You can forgive yourself for slipping up. Being prepared to take responsibility for your choices make will help you acknowledge the changes that you want to make.

9. Be ready to commit.
Commitment takes an inner resolve to meet the challenges ahead. Focus on every step in your weight management journey, from food journaling to meal planning to exercise. Maintain the energy you will need to make these steps happen, including managing stress and sleep. Shift your mindset to a can-do attitude. With this drive, you’ll continually recommit yourself to your goals.

10. Revisit your responses throughout your weight management journey. 
Like any journal, revisiting how you perceived your former self can be very enlightening. You can see where you were, and how far you have come. When you are doubting yourself, you can remind yourself of your aspirations.

11. Never give up.
Weight management can be a tough endeavor. Forgive yourself if you slip-up. Use the opportunity to recommit yourself to your goals. If you’ve tried many different weight management programs, then you have the most basic mental requirement for weight management: the recognition that you want to change.
Your body, your health, your happiness and freedom from illness and ailments are the paramount for your ultimate well-being.

Take the waning days of the year to mentally prepare yourself for the New Year, an optimal time to begin your weight management journey.

Once you’ve analyzed all of your potential mental hindrances, contact the experts at the Metabolic Medical Centers to develop a weight management plan tailored specifically for you.

The Biggest Secret Saboteur to Holiday Weight Loss and How to Manage It

The holiday season is a time of feasting and fellowship. The calendar is filled with shopping and social events. Some of you thrive on the hustle and bustle. Some of you love participating in a variety of events throughout the community. 

Not even colder weather can keep you away. Whether it’s just a shopping trip, a local festival, or a social gathering of family and friends, local businesses and holiday hosts have found a way to keep you warm and in good cheer.

But those of you with dedicated weight maintenance and weight loss plans are navigating a holiday minefield of tempting and tasty seasonal morsels and flavor combinations.

The holidays have a secret weapon sabotaging your weight loss, and you rarely see it coming.

What is this weight loss saboteur, you ask? That holiday drink in your hand.
That’s right. You’ve all seen the advertisements at the coffee shops and festival booths. Pumpkin spice, creme brûlée, peppermint, gingerbread, eggnog flavors in a latte, mocha or hot cocoa and cider. And you’ve been going more social engagements that have many alcoholic versions of the aforementioned drinks as well as other cocktails, beer, and wine.

These holiday saboteurs can completely derail your weight loss goals with their added calories, added sugars, added cravings for other foods.

With a little preplanning and a little forethought, you can still enjoy these tasty beverages and stay on target with your weight loss:

  • Know that some drinks make you hungrier than others.
  • Make and bring your own drinks. Some weight loss programs have specifically formulated beverage options as part of the weight plan.
  • Scout out the menus ahead of time, if possible. Knowing what’s being offered will help you make smart choices.
  • Pick lower-calorie drink options: like a wine spritzer instead of eggnog, a warm cider instead of mint mocha. 
  • Ask for low-calorie versions: almond or skim milk, sugar-free flavored syrups,  or diet soda in your cocktails.
  • Say no to the extra toppings added to your beverage, like whipped cream, chocolate shavings, sprinkles.
  • Ask for alcohol-free versions of a drink.
  • Ask for taller,skinnier glasses or order the smaller size.
  • Drink more water.
  • Limit the amount of drinks your having, especially alcoholic drinks which may lower your inhibitions about eating more food.

Even the most conscientious of you make room for holiday indulgences. Many of these festive drinks, often desserts in disguise, won’t satisfy your hunger. Being aware of the pitfalls of holiday drinks and strategies to avoid the extra calories will help you manage your weight loss throughout the festive holiday season.

Contact the experts at the Metabolic Medical Centers to create your weight loss plan for the holiday season.

4 Types of Kitchen Gadgets for Fun Meals

We all know that making meals at home is of paramount importance when it comes to sticking to your weight loss goals. The kitchen becomes the most important room in the house. We can guarantee that our meals aren't packed with mystery ingredients, excess salt or sugar.

Sometimes we need a little help. Some of us aren't comfortable in the kitchen. Some of us are pressed for time. Some of us know the challenge of creating visually appealing meals that the entire family will devour as well as creating great tasting healthy meals.

Luckily, there are tools for meal preparation in the beginning stages of cooking as well as the final touches before serving, tools and appliances for cooking, tools for portion control, storage and access to help us out. It's a gadget-lover's paradise.

Tools for Prepping before Cooking or Serving
                                        • superb quality sharp knives
                                        • peeler
                                        • spiral slicer
                                        • apple divider
                                        • garlic press
                                        • mini chopper for vegetables
                                        • citrus zester or grater
                                        • herb-grinding mill
                                        • immersion blender
                                        • salad spinner
                                        • pasta measure
                                        • oil mister
Tools for Cooking
                                        • measuring spoons and cups
                                        • slotted spoons
                                        • cast iron skillet
                                        • roasting pans with grates
                                        • non-stick cookware
                                        • steamer
                                        • pressure cooker
                                        • muffin tin
                                        • fat-separating pitcher
(Some tools have appliance versions, and some appliances have multiple options)
                                        • steamer
                                        • rice cooker
                                        • slow cooker
                                         • dehydrator
                                        • pressure cooker
                                        • toaster oven
                                        • blender
                                        • food processor
                                        • juicer
                                        • popcorn popper
                                        • microwave
                                        • soda maker
Other Items
                                        • food scale
                                        • instant read thermometer
                                        • smaller plates
                                        • smaller glasses
                                        • dishes already at certain measuring cut sizes for eating
                                        • herb keeper
                                        • clear storage containers for food prep or leftovers
When you have gadgets like these handy, meal prep becomes much more interesting. It can become a family activity for healthier eating. Contact your weight loss guides at the Metabolic Medical Centers to discuss incorporating a interesting recipes with the helpful kitchen tools into your new healthy eating lifestyle.

3 Aspects of Weight Loss During Holiday Travel

There's the holidays. And then there is traveling. And then.... there is traveling during the holidays.

These can be wonderful times. And stressful times.
And when you are on a weight loss program, either can be challenging, but when you add holidays and travel, it can be downright intimidating, especially when holidays largely center around food-related events.

So let's separate out the three areas of concern: travel itself, accommodations, and holiday festivities.

Whether you fly, drive, or take a train or bus, holiday travel can often be fraught with stress like storms causing delays, intense traffic, and connections that fall within a tight time window. 

Even on the best of traveling experiences, holiday delays make sticking to your regular eating schedule important. If you are going to miss meals, having appropriate snacks to get you through the day are important. It starts with what you pack. Depending on your mode of travel, you may be able to carry more snacks.

Luckily, the food industry has caught on to the trend of providing healthy options: food manufacturers produce snack sized portions that are available in convenience stores in gas stations and airports. These stores also offer healthier fresh items in their grocery sections, including fresh fruit, boiled eggs, yogurt, or prepared salads.

Or if you elect to stop somewhere for some fresh food, choose places that let you build your own meal and heap on the fresh vegetables: sandwich shops, deli counters, Mexican fresh-fast food locales, frozen yogurt shops with fresh fruit toppings (for your sweet tooth).

So where are you going to visit? And who are you staying with? Are friends and family putting you up? Or is a hotel in your future?

Family accommodations can come with some cramped quarters when it comes to sleeping arrangements. But something to consider with your weight management plan is to ask for some room in the refrigerator and the pantry for your food items. This is becoming more common, particularly for those with a food intolerance or allergy as well as food lifestyle choices.

But if you're staying in a hotel, then you may be able to make some use of those hotel refrigerators. A trip to the local grocery store will help you stock up on healthy snacks that you would usually have at home such as yogurt and hummus. Another boon to charging a room is choosing a hotel that has accommodations for your exercise needs like a fitness or pool center.

Holiday Festivities
And then comes all the holiday festivities: the traditional sit-down dinner; escaping to the local watering hole for some drinks; the array of sweets left out to be grazed upon throughout the day; checking out a new restaurant that's opened with old friends, among others.

Your regular holiday feasting guidelines apply. Pick the healthier options, select small portions, ask if someone has experimented with making a healthier version, indulge with a smaller portion of your favorite, stay hydrated with low-calorie holiday drinks.
Restaurant eating follows your same non-holiday mantra: ASK ASK ASK. What are the preparation methods, ingredients? Can you have substitutions, extra vegetables? Are you new to the area? Try some locally sourced fresh foods you may not have at home.  

Family Affairs
If your family does a buffet, then you're in luck. You can scope the offerings to put on your smaller plate. The sit-down dinner table meal may be more challenging as some family will simply add things to your plate. Everyone has that one family member trying to fatten everyone up, and to get everyone to take something home. If you're not comfortable sharing your weight loss goals with your family, prepare yourself to graciously decline the offerings.

Lively activities
Don't forget to incorporate some fitness into your holiday. Seek out activities that make you move. Help your host with a little house cleaning. Take the stairs. Walk as much as you can: take to the local walking trails, scope out changes in the neighborhood, even get in some holiday shopping. Join or start a family activity like flag football, ultimate frisbee, ice skating, or building a snowman. If you're in a hotel, take advantage of their fitness center or pool facility. Keep a mini-workout plan that doesn't require any equipment; and if you have a quiet moment, fit the workout in.
Holiday travel and holiday feasting provide ample opportunities for community and fellowship, as well as potential pitfalls for your weight loss goals. Contact your weight loss experts at the Metabolic Medical Centers set up your weight loss plan for your holiday travels and feasts.