So you’ve put on some pounds? Don’t panic. And it’s okay. So often we’re bombarded with things we must start to do to lose weight stat. But what about all the things you’re already doing that may be adding to the problem? Here’s a list of things it’s a good idea NOT to do when you’ve gained weight Keri Glassman Women’s Health‘s resident weight-loss expert and R.D shares her top tips for what to avoid when you’ve gained weight.


Don’t Start Skipping Meals
Skipping meals won’t help you lose weight in the long run. Studies show that eating every few hours helps stabilize your blood sugar and keeps you from making bad choices at the next meal (since you’d be famished otherwise). Plan ahead, and make sure to eat every few hours. Pre-planned portioned snacks and meals will do the body good and stop you from gorging later on.

Don’t Mentally Punish Yourself

Punishing yourself by staring in the mirror with fury or calling yourself “fatty” or showing your friend your muffin top isn’t going to magically melt the fat around your waist—and it’s going to work against you. Research shows that people who practice self-compassion are more effective at changing their behaviors. Being unkind to yourself will make you more upset and likely lead to emotional eating. Accept your weight gain (for the moment), and focus on all of the amazing positive choices you are making.


Don’t Spend a Ton on New Clothes
Weight loss takes time, so it may be a while until you fit into your skinny jeans. In the meantime, get busy doing some bargain shopping. No need to splurge since your weight gain is only temporary, but stocking up on a few pieces will help you feel better about your appearance is a good idea. (There’s nothing more emotionally draining than not being able to breathe in your jeans.) Remember, feeling better will help you make better food choices.


Don’t Obsessively Weigh Yourself
The key to healthy weight loss is to stay consistent and be patient with your diet and exercise, getting adequate sleep and controlling your stress levels. Typically, a person should not lose more than one to two pounds per week, but it could be more or less depending on you and your body. And, remember your weight will fluctuate depending on how much water you are retaining, what time of day it is, and what your hormone levels are. Try weighing yourself once a week in the morning. This way you can focus on the process and not the number.


Don’t Over-Exercise
Start slow and steady, and be consistent. If you are overly ambitious, the whole plan may go by the wayside. Instead, be realistic. Also, over-exercising can lead to overeating—which can actually cause you to gain more weight.

…But Don’t Stop Exercising, Either
Think your weight gain may be due to too much muscle bulk? Before you throw your free weights out, you may want to reconsider. Some women are afraid that lifting weights may make them bulk up, but this is very unlikely to happen. Muscle is more metabolically active than other tissue and will ultimately help you lose weight. You’ll also look leaner and improve bone health.


Don’t Try a Fad Diet
The problem with “diets” is that they’re not meant to be followed for a long period of time. You’re not just looking for the easiest and fastest way out of your new jean size. You want to lose weight and sustain that for a healthier you for the long-haul. Diets usually promote some type of miracle recipe for weight loss, such as cutting out a particular food group. Problem is, once you deviate from the diet, you gain the weight back…and many times this comes on faster and more furiously. The key to sustained weight loss is to eat real (not processed) foods that incorporate a balance of healthy fats, nutrient-dense carbs, and lean protein.


Don’t Ignore Your Hunger Cues
By learning to pay attention to your hunger cues and listening to your body, you will stop yourself from overeating and teach yourself to properly satisfy your hunger without stuffing yourself silly. This doesn’t happen overnight, but you can learn to do it. You should eat when you are slightly hungry and stop eating when you are slightly satisfied. If you listen to your body, you will never over-consume too dramatically, even if the food you are eating in is decadent.


Don’t Focus On What You Can’t Eat
Why waste your energy on what you can’t eat when you can focus your attention on all of the amazing and super-powerful foods you can eat? You’ll be so much happier if you make an effort to shift your thinking in this way.


Don’t Call It Quits and Accept Your Weight Gain
Stay empowered by setting small, attainable goals. Once you see you are able to achieve these goals, you’ll feel even more motivated to practice healthy habits. Stay focused. Stay positive.


Original Article Source: Women’s Health Magazine

“It doesn’t matter where you work out, it’s what you’re doing, how often you’re exercising and ensuring that it’s effective that makes it most beneficial,” says exercise physiologist Andrea Doepker-Gavidia of Train For Life Fitness & Lifestyle Consultingin Saskatoon.

Doepker-Gavidia argues that you can easily get fit in the comfort of your own home — as long as you’re up to the challenge.

If you can avoid the phone calls, the television and chatty kids or family members in the background, Doepker-Gavidia says you can set a schedule to reach your health and weight goals without spending any money on memberships or stability balls.

“Choose exercises that are full body movements that mimic everyday patterns. These will use more energy and incorporate more muscle groups and will teach your body how to move as a whole more efficiently,” she tells The Huffington Post Canada.

Working out with weights has proven to both intensify and speed up your metabolism, according to Women’s Health magazine, but sometimes using just your bodyweight or sticking to cardio can combat stress better than strength training.


Here are 10 exercises we’ve learned from acefitness that you can do in the comfort of your own home…. Optimal Weight Control program recommend starting out with 15 to 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week and increase to 30-1 hour 5 to 6 days a week whenever you’re ready!



1. Supermans

Who doesn’t want to think they have super powers?  Great stretch as well when you picture trying to touch the opposing walls with your fingers and toes.

2. Push-up

The Push-up is an oldie but goodie.  You can modify intensity by changing hand placement.


3. Contralateral Limb Raises

Don’t let the name scare you – this is great for toning those troubling upper body areas.


4. Bent Knee Push-up

A great starting option if you struggle with the correct form using a full Push-Up.


5. Downward-facing Dog

Slow and controlled movement very important – wonderful calf stretch.


6. Bent-Knee Sit-up / Crunches

Most people don’t know how to perform a proper sit-up/crunch – that is until now.  Core Power!


7. Push-up with Single-leg Raise

A great progression from a regular Push-Up but remember to keep proper form.


8. Front Plank

This is harder than it looks!  Your back and abs will love you.


9. Side Plank with Bent Knee

Great way to add in hips work without the need for any equipment other than your own body weight.


10. Squat Jumps

A bit of heart rate work while working on total body movement.



Source: Acefitness

Lower back pain -for those of you who suffer from it, there is hope.  While there are many factors causing back pain, from genetic malformations to injury, a number of recent studies show that a lack of core strength contributes to pain and stiffness in the lower back.
The best way to deal with lower back pain that your health care provider has attributed to a lack of core strength? Exercise.  This might cause a little more pain in the beginning, but under the care of your health provider, it can reduce your pain in the long run.  And for many people, the long-term solution for back pain lies in abdominal, hip and lower back strengthening and stretching exercises.

Some pain or aches in your lower back might be the result of weak abdominal muscles. When you have a weak abs, you are more likely to have poor posture and your lower back muscles are forced to take over, which can strain them in a way that becomes uncomfortable or painful over time. You can minimize back pain by doing exercises that make the muscles in your abs stronger, while also training to increase the strength and flexibility level in your lower back, hips and thighs.

Everyone’s back pain is different, so it’s a good idea to check with your health care provider about what’s best for you. If core strength is your problem, the following exercises can help.

Leg Raises to strengthen stomach and hip muscles
How to: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift one leg off the floor to about a 45° angle. Hold your leg up for a count of 10 and return it to the floor. Do the same with the other leg. Repeat 5 times with each leg. If that is too difficult, keep one knee bent and the foot flat on the ground while raising the opposite leg.


Wall Slides to strengthen your back, hip and leg muscles
How to: Stand with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart. Slide down into a crouch until the knees bend to about 90°. Count to 5 and slide back up the wall. Repeat 5 times.

Partial Sit-Up to strengthen stomach muscles
How to: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor and reach with both hands toward your knees. Count to 10. Repeat 5 times.

Back Leg Swing to strengthen hip and back muscles
How to: Stand behind a chair with your hands on the back of the chair. Lift one leg back and up while keeping the knee straight. Return slowly. Raise the other leg and return. Repeat 5 times with each leg.

Exercises to increase flexibility and stretch out the back
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on your bed or floor. Raise your knees toward your chest. Place both hands under your knees and gently pull your knees as close to your chest as possible. Do not raise your head. Do not straighten your legs as you lower them. Start with 5 repetitions, several times a day.


Remember to listen to your body! never exercise to the point of sharp pain or discomfort, and gradually progress to more repetitions or sets of an exercise. Although it can be uncomfortable or slightly painful to strengthen the areas of your body that are causing your back pain, the benefit will be there in the long run.


Article Source: Spark People

  1. Don’t be afraid!

    Maintaining your weight loss can be a terrifying prospect. Maybe you’ve been at goal before and you’re worried you won’t stay there. Maybe you’ve never been slim so you’re in unfamiliar territory. Maybe you’ve heard depressing statistics that 95% of people don’t manage to keep the weight off. Or maybe a fellow maintainer has scared you silly with the grim words, ‘Weight Loss Maintenance is twice as hard as weight loss.’

    Weight Loss Maintenance is a tricky beast but, the first step is to remain calm! As with weight loss, the best thing to do is keep your head and take it one day at a time. Don’t think about maintaining for the rest of your life; just think about the next twenty-four hours. That sounds more do-able.

  2. Keep doing what you’re doing

    Keep tracking your food, planning your meals, drinking your water and scheduling your exercise. Change your mindset so that these are not things you do to lose weight – they are your normal everyday habits. If you lost weight with Weight Loss Resources, you’ve got a great tool to help your transition into Weight Loss Maintenance. Change your user settings so maintenance is your goal, then carry on!

  3. Accept that you’re in this for life

    Many people make the mistake of thinking, ‘Now I’m at a goal I can go back to eating normally’. But if you want to stay in your new slinky jeans there is no going back. You need to have a new definition of normal. Which leads us to…

  4. Make sure your methods are sustainable.

    That cheesy phrase ‘lifestyle change’ rings true. You have to be willing to stick to your plan for the rest of your life, so make sure it is both realistic and enjoyable. Can you keep up the 5AM cardio forever? How long is that ‘no cake’ rule going to last? I try to ensure my food and exercise feels sustainable and satisfying, rather than dull and deprived.

  5. Weigh yourself regularly and have an action ‘window’

    When I reached my happy weight I naively declared that I was finished with the scales – after six years in weight loss mode I was sick of weekly weigh-ins. I did fine for the first six months but then I noticed my clothes were getting snug. I hopped on the scales and I’d gained half a stone!

    When I weigh myself these days I see the number as feedback, not a judgement. Weekly weigh-ins help you understand your fluctuations until they no longer scare you – they’re just an indicator of a trend. Set yourself a ‘window’ of a few pounds – for example, if your weight goes five pounds over goal you know it’s time to make a few adjustments to your eating and exercise. Don’t let a small lapse become a relapse.

  6. Accept that there will be tough times & learn from your mistakes.

    Initially I thought successful Weight Loss Maintenance meant seeing the same number on the scale every week. But as with weight loss, there will be tough times. Sometimes life gets crazy and maintenance slips down the priority list. Sometimes you get fed up and eat a big bag of crisps. The key is to not let a blip derail you, rather view it as a learning opportunity. Ask yourself, what lead up to this moment? What was I doing, or not doing? How did I feel? Was I tired, cranky, upset or feeling deprived? How can I prevent this happening again?

    Be patient and forget perfection. At first I was frustrated by the frequency of my setbacks but, I didn’t learn how to lose weight without making a few mistakes. Why would maintaining my weight loss be different?

  7. Tackle your demons

    Your body may have changed but you didn’t get a personality transplant. If you’ve got a long history of emotional eating for example, the issue won’t disappear just because you’ve lost weight. It’s important to understand any underlying issues, otherwise they’ll resurface when life gets challenging. Be sure to reach out if you need help.

  8. Find positive support Surround yourself with inspiring influences to reinforce your new lifestyle.

    Join a running club, chat regularly to a fitness-minded friend or join an online message board. The Weight Loss Resources Maintainers Forum is a great place to start. Read blogs written by maintainers like Roni’s Weigh and Jack Spratt. They’re a daily reminder that Weight Loss Maintenance is possible!

  9. Think before you eat

    I was a bit cocky at first. ‘I know what I’m doing now,’ I’d say. ‘I can eat what I want!’. But I learned the hard way that it never ends – you need to think about every meal and have a plan of attack. If I’m going out for lunch I’ll eat a healthy breakfast and a pared-down dinner. I’ll pick what I want from the lunch menu but keep it balanced – I might have the burger and chips but drink plain water. I might go for the gooey dessert but have a salad for main course.

    Talking to yourself helps too! When faced with the workplace chocolates or a second helping of dinner I try to pause. How will I feel five minutes after that’s gone? Am I really hungry? Do I really want it? The self-talk helps prevent mindless eating, although I admit that some days I cave in if it’s a really special piece of cake!

  10. Remind yourself of the rewards of being slim

    There’s so much to celebrate when you’re losing weight – smaller scale numbers, smaller clothing sizes and fitting into smaller spaces. When you’re maintaining your weight loss the rewards aren’t so obvious. There’s no thrill of ‘have you lost weight?’ comments. Nobody seems to congratulate you for staying the same size!

    With Weight Loss Maintenance the validation has to come from within. Remind yourself of why you do the hard work. I made a list of the benefits of staying smaller: Being able to wear knee-high boots. Not having to worry about fitting into a plane seat. Not being scared of a flight of stairs. Buying clothes from ‘normal’ shops. When I’m struggling with my eating I carry my list on an index card in my wallet. I read it daily, or before every meal if I need to. It refocuses my mind like a splash of cold water on my face: ‘Oh yes! So that’s why I don’t eat a chocolate bar every day!’

  11. Plan some non-fat adventures

    Weight loss can be an all-consuming process. It might have been your pet project for months or even years. If you’re lost without that goal to strive for, it’s time to find some new ones that go beyond the size of your butt. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to try – both big dreams and everyday ideas. My own list includes salsa dancing, baking bread, visiting Japan and training for my blue belt in kickboxing. Channel the energy and determination you showed with your weight loss into learning something new. It will help with your Weight Loss Maintenance too – you’ll be so busy you won’t have time to obsess about your waistline.

  12. Celebrate your maintenance anniversaries

    Maintaing your goal weight is something to be proud of. Lynn Haraldson-Bering, co-author of weblog Refuse to Regain, celebrates the anniversary of her 12 stone loss every March 12. ‘Like staying sober, married, or cigarette free, maintaining a weight loss takes diligence and hard work,’ Lynn says. ‘It deserves to be acknowledged for the accomplishment it was and continues to be.’



If you’re new to Weight Loss Maintenance, celebrate every month you stay at goal. Admire your sexy bum in the mirror. Cheer yourself after a sweaty gym session. Savour your smaller jeans. Once you’ve clocked up a year of maintenance, why not have a big party?



Source: Weight-loss Resources

1. Ice cold water

You can burn up to an extra 100 calories per day drinking ice cold water because…

Your body has to burn calories (or fat) in order to heat the ice cold water back up to your body temperature so You’ll lose an extra 10 lbs. a year JUST by drinking ice cold water.

  • Water before meals makes you eat less & lose weight faster
  • Water curbs your appetite because being thirsty tricks you into thinking you’re hungry.
  • Water allows your liver to burn more fat.
  • Water gives you a flat belly by flushing out excess water weight.

2. Fat Free Milk

Milk is high in calcium and study after study shows how adding more of it to your diet can help you lose weight faster mainly because of 2 reasons…

  1. Calcium suppresses calcitriol which is a hormone that basically makes you fatter and with calcitriol out of the way your body can breakdown fat much faster.
  2. Calcium suppresses your appetite preventing you from gaining weight and only allowing you to lose more weight as you eat less.

3. Green Tea

  • You’ll burn 35-to-43% more fat daily drinking 3-to-5 cups of green tea or using a supplement
  • Green tea contains caffeine which increases your fat burning metabolism
  • Green tea is a diuretic which flushes out excess water weight.
  • See more weight loss benefits of green tea

4. Vegetable Juice or V8

Drinking a glass of vegetable juice before your meals may cause you to eat 135 less calories according to a study done at Penn. state university and even if you can’t make vegetable juice…

Drinking a couple glasses of water before meals will also make you eat much less so you lose more weight.

5. Coffee

It’s the caffeine in coffee that suppresses your appetite & increases your metabolism plus… The caffeine gives you more energy during your fat burning workouts making you last longer and work harder helping you lose weight faster but…

You shouldn’t drink more than 1-to-2 cups per day and get more info here on exactly how to use coffee to lose weight.

6. Yogurt Based Smoothies

Not only will the thickness of the smoothie kill your appetite but since Yogurt is loaded with calcium just like milk…

  • This Study shows you can lose 61% more fat and 81% more belly fat when adding yogurt to your diet because…
  • The calcium in yogurt helps you burn fat while limiting the amount of fat your body can make.
  • Try to use the healthier Greek Yogurt in your smoothies along with adding some whey protein and fruit (like apples) to give your yogurt smoothies more weight loss power!


7. Whey protein

  • Whey protein helps you lose more fat and maintain more lean muscle while on a weight loss diet
  • Whey protein helps you release a lot of cholecystokinin (CCK) which is an appetite suppressing hormone & in this study…
  • People ate a lot less when drinking whey protein 90 minutes before they went to a buffet.
  • Whey protein may also help regulate blood sugar and insulin for less fat storage & more fat burning.
  • Whey protein along with other high protein foods are highly thermogenic meaning your body has to work extra hard to digest it.




LIPO-MIC-B12 COMBO injections are used to help release fat throughout the body by specifically targeting its primary fatty deposits, namely the abdomen (stomach), inner thighs, neck, buttocks, hips, and underarms. They contain Methionine, Inositol and Choline (fat burning substances) in addition to Carnitine, Adenosine and Vitamin B12.

How LIPO/MIC-B12 COMBO Injections Works

When LIPO-MIC-B12 COMBO injections are administered (bi-weekly) in combination with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise, they help the body to eliminate fat, while simultaneously increasing your energy levels both via the fat released energy and the energy properties of vitamin B-12. The formula in the LIPO-MIC-B12 COMBO Injection:

Methionine. An essential amino acid, which means that, is not synthesized in humans. This amino acid acts as a fat burner agent assisting in the breakdown of fats within the liver; helps to lower cholesterol thereby preventing excess fat buildup in the liver and throughout your body’s circulatory system; is helpful in preventing and relieving fatigue.

Other reported benefits include: improvement of liver disease; skin tone and elasticity; nails; hair; and cardiovascular and muscular functions. It has also been used to treat premature ejaculation, chronic depression, pancreatitis and Parkinson’s disease. Foods containing Methionine: cheese, eggs, fish, meats, spinach, potatoes, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, and select other plant seeds

Inositol. Is a group B vitamin that promotes the health of cell structures and nerve conduction; aids in the metabolism of fats; helps reduce blood cholesterol; and participates in the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to control mood and appetite.

Has been shown to be of help for the treatment of depression, panic disorder, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and fatty liver. It also important for optimal brain function. Inositol deficiency may manifest as symptoms of constipation, high cholesterol, vision problems, and hair loss. Foods containing Inositol : nuts, beans (especially red beans and kidney beans), grains, cantaloupe melons, and oranges.

Choline. Is an essential nutrient that helps to support the liver in its processing and excretion of chemical waste products. Moreover, it is required for the transport and metabolism of fats and cholesterol, which is important for the healthy support of the endocrine, cardiovascular, and hepatic systems. Choline can promote liver health by maintaining cholesterol homeostasis.”

Also, has been shown to specifically aid with memory, and to support the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. Foods containing Choline: peanuts, soybeans, wheat, chicken, fish, beef, cauliflower, eggs, and lettuce.

Carnitine. Plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy. It also transports the toxic compounds generated out of this cellular organelle to prevent their accumulation. Given these key functions, carnitine is concentrated in tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscle that utilize fatty acids as a dietary fuel. Foods containing Carnitine: meat, fish, poultry, and milk.

Adenosine. Adenosine monophosphate (AMP) is a substance the body creates on the way to making adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a source of energy used throughout the body. ATP is everywhere in the body it is called the body’s “energy currency”.

Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B-12). A water soluble vitamin. It plays an important role in DNA replication, the normal functioning of the nervous system, and the formation of all cells of the body. Vit. B-12 injection has been shown to boosts energy and overall metabolic rate; assists in the burning of stored body fat; detoxifies the body; increases red blood cell production; maintains a healthy liver; helps regulate sleep, mood, appetite and energy; works synergistically with other nutrients to improve health; and slows aging.Foods containing Vit B-12: fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, and dairy products.

As we can see, all the components of the LIPO-MIC-B12 COMBO injection are present in food that we eat and in nature therefore, it is safe. By injecting it into our muscles we can rapidly achieve high concentrations which many researchers and physicians believe results in more effective mobilization and elimination of abnormal fatty deposits.


Where can I buy LIPO-MIC-B12 COMBO Injections?

LIPO-MIC-B12 COMBO injection is a UNIQUE formula combination made especially for the Optimal Weight Control & Wellness Center and it is not sold to the public at any Pharmacy. It will be administered only at the OWC since it requires a prescription from a licensed physician. If you are looking for a fast and effective weight loss plan LIPO-MIC-B12 COMBO injections and a tailored low-calorie and exercise program may be just what you need. Please call/ visit us to schedule your initial consultation.

Please Note: This weekly or bi-weekly injection is intended to help anyone who desires to lose weight, but has been reported to be most effective in individuals desiring to lose 20-50 pounds or for anyone who has reached a “weight plateau”  in their weight loss efforts! Because these are natural ingredients, this injection may be taken weekly for the duration of your weight loss efforts.
Persons taking this weekly or bi-weekly injection should drink plenty of water to prevent constipation and help flush the toxins from their body.



3 oz cod
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
1/4 cup dry polenta
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 cup cooked green beans

Season cod with parsley, salt, and pepper, then steam for eight minutes. Cook polenta with milk, per package instructions, then top with pine nuts and rosemary. Serve with green beans.

Total: 352 calories

Fight flab with flavor: Rosemary’s carnosic acid appears to help reduce weight gain.



1 cup sliced bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti
2/3 cup cooked edamame

Sauté peppers and onions in oil until onions are translucent. Toss with pasta and edamame.

Total: 420 calories



1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (3 oz)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup dry farro
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Pan-sear chicken in 1 Tbsp oil, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, then dice. Sauté onion and squash with remaining oil. Stir in farro until coated in oil. Add 2/3 cup water, bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat, and cover. Cook 20 minutes or until soft. Stir in chicken, parsley, and cheese, and serve.

TOTAL: 490 calories

Haven’t tried farro? It’s an Italian grain with a nutty flavor that is packed full of essential nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, niacin, zinc, protein, and fiber.



2 Tbsp dry red quinoa

2 cups mesclun greens
3 oz cooked lean beef, cubed
1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Cook quinoa as directed. Toss with greens, beef, broccoli, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk oil and vinegar for dressing.

Total: 320 calories

Who needs Mexican fast food with this healthy alterative?


2 oz dry whole-grain farfalle pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup peas
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Cook pasta as directed and toss with oil, vegetables, and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

TOTAL: 370 calories

Full of fiber, those artichoke hearts will help you fill up faster—and stay full. Bye, midnight snacking!



4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup Amy’s Organic Chunky Vegetable soup
2 Tbsp dry quinoa
1 cup chopped kale
10 small asparagus spears
2 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp grated fresh ginger

Bake chicken at 350°F for 25 minutes, then shred with a fork. Meanwhile, combine soup, quinoa, and kale in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer until quinoa is done, about 15 minutes. Add chicken. Steam asparagus, then toss with soy sauce and ginger. Serve asparagus on the side.

TOTAL: 330 calories

A proven anti-inflammatory, fresh ginger is full of antioxidants that boost your immunity, so this soup is perfect for a warm meal when you’re feeling under the weather.



1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/3 cup chopped jicama
1/3 cup chopped mango
1 Tbsp chopped onion
1/4 cup sliced avocado
1 tomato, sliced
1 cup cooked shrimp
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp red pepper

Toss together, and dress with lemon juice.

Total: 430 calories

Avocado’s monounsaturated fats may play a role in warding off belly fat.


4 oz ground lean turkey

1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup shelled and cooked edamame
2 Boston lettuce leaves
2 Tbsp sliced scallion

1/2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Asian Slaw
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage and green cabbage
1/4 cup sliced jicama
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté first three ingredients for five minutes. Add edamame, scoop mix onto lettuce, top with scallion, and wrap up. Drizzle with sauce, and serve slaw on the side.

Total: 329 calories

Substituting mushrooms for some of the meat in the dish saves fat and calories. Plus, you won’t compensate by eating more later, a 2008 study reported.

Source: Womens Health Mag

At Optimal Weight Control program your first goal is to lose 10% of your current body weight at an average of two to two and half pounds per week along with our one-on-one therapeutic consultation. Achievement and maintenance of a 5 to 10% weight loss improves risk factors and co-morbidities says The Champlain Primary Care Cardiovascular Disease Prevention & Management Guidelines.

When thinking about weight-loss, one often has an “ideal” body weight in mind or an ultimate weight-loss goal. It’s very common for people to think that unless they lose dozens of pounds, they will not be any healthier.
This is a misconception. Studies have shown that health benefits resulting from weight-loss are evident with a weight reduction as low as 5-10 percent. This means that an individual that weighs 200 pounds will benefit greatly from losing 10 to 20 pounds.

There’s scientific evidence that many obesity-related conditions improve with a 5-10 percent weight-loss. Let’s look at these related conditions and see how modest weight-loss may greatly improve them and your overall quality of health:

Although we have good medications that decrease our “bad” cholesterol also called LDL cholesterol, doctors and patients alike know how hard it is to increase the “good” cholesterol otherwise known as “HDL cholesterol” even by a few points.

A 5-10 percent weight-loss can result in a five point increase in HDL cholesterol. This deserves applause as raising HDL by these few points can lower the risk of an individual developing heart disease. HDL cholesterol of more than 40 mg/dl for men and more than 50 mg/dl for women is protective against heart disease.

There are other fat-like particles in the blood that are harmful in elevated amounts. They are called triglycerides. People with high triglycerides are at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes among other problems. A normal level should be below 150 mg/dl, while anything above 200 mg/dl is considered high.

Losing 5-10 percent of body weight was shown to decrease triglycerides by an average of 40 mg/dl, which is a significant drop. This level can further improve with exercise, a diet low in concentrated sugars, carbohydrates and fats as well as with reduction of excessive alcohol intake.

Excess body weight accounts for about 25-30 percent of cases of hypertension. As body weight increases, it causes hemodynamic abnormalities and other changes that result in elevated blood pressure. By losing 5-10 percent of one’s weight, blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, decrease by 5 mmHg on average. In conjunction with a salt restricted diet, rich in vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy, this weight-loss could be potentially even higher.

One of the laboratory markers used to screen for diabetes and to monitor its treatment is called Hemoglobin A1C. The normal level should be below 6.5. Research has shown that a 5-10 percent weight-loss can decrease this marker by half a point on average. This comes close to the effect that some anti-diabetic pills have on blood sugars.

Insulin Resistance
Another condition that is seen with weight gain is a phenomenon called insulin resistance. In this disorder, the pancreas produces larger than normal amounts of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is responsible for keeping blood sugar levels normal. In this condition, high levels of insulin are needed because tissues are resistant to its effects.

When someone has insulin resistance, the resulting high levels of insulin in the blood cause an increase in fat tissue especially in the waist area, abnormal cholesterol, and sometimes a change in certain hormone levels in women that causes male pattern hair growth and infertility. Modest weight-loss was found to significantly decrease insulin levels and thus to help with reversing these conditions.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder commonly diagnosed in patients affected by excess weight that snore or gasp for air during sleep. It’s caused by pauses and gaps in breathing during sleep and results in insufficient oxygenation. This causes fatigue and sleepiness during the day. It also is responsible for making certain diseases less responsive to treatment, like hypertension for example.

When sleep apnea is significant, oxygen levels in the blood are too low during sleep and the use of a breathing machine called CPAP is necessary. It has been shown that a 5-10 percent weight-loss may improve sleep apnea and sometimes if the apnea was not very severe, one can be weaned from the CPAP breathing machine. This is a big achievement for some, as having to use a CPAP is life-saving but often perceived as cumbersome by those who need to use it.

In studies looking at the effect of excess weight on cells of the human body, it was found that fat cells and especially abdominal fat cells produce a large number of substances that result in inflammation in blood vessels. This inflammation then can result in plaques and clots and turn into strokes and heart attacks. When weight-loss achieves a level of 10 percent, the levels of inflammatory substances circulating in the blood drop significantly and therefore the risk of vascular damage is reduced as well.


All these improvements caused by weight-loss as low as 5-10 percent ultimately lead to very significant benefits including a lesser chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Now, the next question that comes to mind is since we know that a 5-10 percent weight-loss is very beneficial, how can it
be achieved?

First and foremost, weight-loss starts with lifestyle changes: diet and exercise. The first step is to talk to your healthcare provider. They will help choose the diet that is most appropriate. The diet choices are usually determined by the existing medical problems among other factors and should be discussed with your healthcare provider. On this note, it is worth mentioning that scientists have recently shown that a “Mediterranean diet,” which is rich in fish, vegetables, olive oil or nuts will protect you from heart disease even more when compared to other commonly used diets.

To attain and maintain any amount of weight-loss, exercise is mandatory. Generally, an average of at least one hour, five days a week is needed. But this again should be monitored by your healthcare provider to assure safe exercise practices.

Scientists have shown over and over again that lifestyle changes that include an appropriate healthy diet and the right exercise regimen will help attain a 5-10 percent weight-loss. In addition, any legitimate weight-loss program should promote these lifestyle changes as the first step in attaining weight-loss. They are absolutely indispensable. They work on their own when the planned weight-loss is 5-10 percent of body weight and are always used in conjunction with other measures (weight-loss medications or bariatric surgery) if a more significant weight-loss is needed or when lifestyle changes by themselves did not achieve the medically required weight-loss goal.

Thus, when contemplating weight-loss, the initial goal may be set as low as 5-10 percent of body weight. As discussed in this article, this seemingly modest weight change already results in tremendous health benefits.


Article by: Nadia B. Pietrzykowska, MD, FACP

About the Author:
Nadia B. Pietrzykowska, MD, FACP, is a Board Certified Physician Nutrition Specialist with Residency training in Internal medicine and subspecialty training in Bariatric Medicine and Nutrition.

We all know there is no substitute for good whole food nutrition. But regardless of how consistent and how prepared we are, there will always be those times when life just happens! Whether its because we are traveling, get caught up with work or just run out of time to prepare every meal in advance, sometimes we just need a quick, satisfying and convenient option. This is when a protein bar can help you out. Although at first introduction, protein bars were not the most healthy option when it came to your nutritional needs, innovation and new food technology has improved flavor, texture and ingredients in these fast food options! In a pinch and need something quick? Use these five steps to make your next protein bar selection!

STEP 1: Examine The Calorie Count

When it comes to calories, choose protein bars that do not exceed 250 to 300 calories to replace meals or 150 to 200 calories for a snack. A good rule of thumb…don’t choose a bar that contains more than a ¼ of your daily calories or ones that contain more calories than you would normally consume in a meal! High calories may indicate high calorie ingredients such as saturated fats. These types of protein bars are usually targeted for muscle building or aimed at the hard gainer who can easily eat more calories in one serving than someone who is following a diet aimed at weight loss or weight maintenance.

STEP 2: Assess The Protein Content

Select a protein bar with a high protein content. Remember, if you were going to eat a meal, you would probably get in at least 20 g of protein. Make sure that the protein bar you choose offers at least 20 g from a high quality protein source such as whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate or caseinate. Stay clear from protein bars that are very low in protein or very high in protein from low quality sources. Low protein bars are usually not much better than a fortified granola bar, usually offering around 10 g of protein per serving and a whole lot of carbs!

STEP 3: Identify The Carb Sources

You wouldn’t eat anything that is high in sugar normally, so don’t make your protein bar the exception! Choose a protein bar that is low in sugar, provides whole grains and contains a high amount of fiber from soluble and/or insoluble sources. Some protein bars come packed with good ingredients such as oatmeal or plant sources such as inulin from chicory root. Some even use natural sweeteners to replace the sugar such as Lo Han Guo from the gourd plant family, Agave Nectar, Honey or Stevia. Avoid choices that are high in sugar from ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, fructose, brown rice syrup or contain a lot of hard-to-digest carbohydrates from sugar alcohols such as maltitol, glycerol or sorbitol. Sugar alcohols can ferment in the intestines and cause unpleasant digestive effects including cramps, gas and bloating.

STEP 4: Get Some Healthy Fats

Seek protein bars that deliver heart healthy fats including monounsaturated or polyunsaturated sources from ingredients such as natural peanut butter, almond butter, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed or flax seed. Aim for a bar that provides less than 10 g of fat per serving. Avoid any protein bar that is high in saturated fat sources such as hydrogenated oils, including fractionated palm kernel oil or palm oils. Although some saturated fat is good for balancing hormones, natural sources of saturated fat should be the only way you get these in your diet.

STEP 5: Investigate The Other Ingredients

If you can’t easily identify the ingredients in a protein bar as being from natural sources, then they probably are not! Ingredients are listed by volume, so protein should be the number one ingredient in the bar, followed by carbs and then fats. Additionally, you may find ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and a few age-fighting antioxidants for good measure. Look for food grade sources that provide a boost to your daily requirements. Protein bars that offer a high % of your daily value of vitamins and minerals can impact taste and overload your daily needs!



Not all diet snacks are boring. You can start burning fat today just by swapping out your regular snacks for these approved OWC snacks.

Americans love to snack almost as much as we want to lose weight. But according to recent research by the USDA, our snacking habits are adding too many calories and too few nutrients to our diets. It doesn’t have to be this way, says Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. “When done right, (snacking) keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs.”

by Amanda MacMillan

What snacks burn fat?

Eating snacks with the right ratio of nutrients, with the right calories, will help keep you body energized and help you lose weight. Protein (plus exercise) fuels the growth of lean muscle mass, which boosts metabolic rate and increases calorie burn. Fiber, meanwhile, helps improve digestion and keeps you from binging on fats and sugars. So while there’s no food that will literally “burn fat” while you eat it, smart choices with these ingredients will help your body operate at maximum efficiency. Bowerman suggests snacks under 200 calories, with 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber. Here are 20 of our favorite fat-burning snacks.

An apple and skim milk

 “Almost any fruit is going to make a great snack, but you usually want to pair it with a bit of protein to make it more satisfying,” says Bowerman; “unlike carbohydrates, which get used up relatively quickly, protein will help sustain your energy and hunger levels for a couple of hours.”

Our pick for a protein-fruit pairing: one large apple and one cup of skim milk. This duo will give you 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber for just over 200 calories.

Cottage cheese-filled avocado

Cottage cheese-filled avocado

Here’s another fruit and diary combo, this one for when you’re craving something rich, creamy, and a bit savory. Remove the pit from one half of an avocado and fill the space with 2 ounces of 1% cottage cheese. For 200 calories, you’ll get 9 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber—and no dirty dishes!

Canned tuna on whole-wheat crackers

Canned tuna on whole-wheat crackers

If you don’t want to incorporate dairy into every snack, a can of tuna (packaged in water) is another great source of lean protein plus healthy Omega-3s. For about 200 calories, you can enjoy 3 ounces of light tuna and 6 whole-wheat crackers—complete with 3 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein.

Sunflower lentil spread with pita bread

Lentils are a good source of iron, a metabolism-boosting nutrient that 20% of us don’t get enough of. This savory recipe makes four 180-calorie servings, with 10 grams each of protein and fiber.

Shrimp stack

You may not think of shellfish as a grab-and-go snack food, but you can put this tasty treat together in a flash if you keep pre-cooked shrimp on hand. With Greek yogurt and avocado, it’s a protein powerhouse with 9 grams per serving (and 4 g fiber), for only 129 calories.

Power berry smoothie

This recipe, which calls for soy protein powder and low-fat plain yogurt, contains 9 grams of protein; swap in Greek yogurt to add even more. Frozen berries add fiber (4 grams total), and honey provides sweetness. All this for only 139 calories!

Warm pear with cinnamon ricotta

Warm pear with cinnamon ricotta

Ricotta cheese is rich in protein, and pears are a good source of fiber. Together with a teaspoon of cinnamon, they make a delicious snack for any time of day. Each serving contains 8 g protein, 5 g fiber, and 170 calories.


Miso-glazed tofu

This recipe is touted as a main course, but it’s so light on calories (only 164) that it can stand in as a mid-day snack, as well. It also packs plenty of protein (12 g) thanks to the tofu, as well as 3 grams of fiber.


One cup of edamame, or boiled soybeans, contains 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 189 calories. A perfect snack all by itself! Serve hot or cold, season with garlic/salt, and enjoy.

Chicken pita sandwich (half)

There’s no reason you can’t have smaller portions of “real” food as snacks, says Bowerman. “Oftentimes, the healthiest and most balanced snacks are the ones that start as full meals—like a half a sandwich, or a plate of leftovers put together from dinner the night before,” she adds.

Whip up this chicken and veggie pita in the morning, and split it in half for two snacks throughout the day. Each half contains 200 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and more than 20 grams of protein.

Cauliflower with white bean dip


Make a batch of white bean and roasted garlic dip at the beginning of the week to spread on crackers and eat with veggies when hunger strikes. Pair a quarter-cup serving with 2 cups of raw, chopped cauliflower, for example, for a total of 11 grams protein, 8 grams fiber, and 199 calories.

Toast with walnut & pear breakfast spread

Split this breakfast recipe in half to make a healthy mid-day snack with 200 calories, 11 grams protein, and 3.5 grams fiber. Not only will it help prep your body for fat burn, but it may also boost your energy levels (so you’re more likely to get to the gym, perhaps?): Walnuts are rich in serotonin, a hormone that produces feel-good chemicals in the brain.

Lentil salad with tomatoes and watercress

Salads aren’t just for mealtime—when they’re about 200 calories, they make a great afternoon snack, as well. This one has 11 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, thanks to superfood lentils and plenty of veggies. (The recipe makes six servings, so hold off on adding the vinaigrette if you’re not eating the whole thing at once.)

Luna protein bar

When choosing an energy bar as a snack, the rules are the same: Look for bars with 200 calories or less, 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber. The Luna Protein bar certainly comes close (190 calories, 12 g protein, 3 g fiber), and tastes “almost like candy,” Health.comtesters said.

Veggie tostata

In the mood for Mexican? You can’t go wrong with black beans and veggies: These tostatas cook up quickly and easily for a fast and healthy mini-meal between lunch and dinner. At just over 200 calories, you get 13 grams of protein and 10.5 grams of fiber. Top with tomato salsa for added flavor without fat.

Roast garlic and edamame dip


Edamame is a great snack by itself, but it also makes a great ingredient in this creamy dip for raw veggies or whole-wheat pita bread. You can enjoy up to three servings in one snack session, for a total of 162 calories, 9 grams protein and 6 grams fiber.

Asparagus and hard-boiled egg

It’s no wonder this classic combo goes so well together: Fiber-rich asparagus balances out eggs’ natural protein. (Plus, asparagus is known as an aphrodisiac, thanks to its folate and vitamins B6 and E levels. Talk about fun ways to burn fat!)

Pair 15 asparagus spears (cooked or raw) with one hard-boiled egg for a 126-calorie snack, complete with 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

Minty iced green tea

A calorie-free beverage doesn’t qualify as a real snack, but if you find yourself scouting the kitchen just because you’re bored, rather than hungry, this tasty drink may just hit the spot. Plus, green tea has been shown to help dieters lose more weight, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, thanks to its metabolism-boosting antioxidant compound called EGCG.

Bowerman says that most research on green tea for weight loss has been inconclusive, but that either way it’s a healthy, tasty way to stay hydrated throughout the day. “Drinking water and tea is a good way to keep all of your body’s processes, including your metabolism, running smoothly and efficiently,” she adds.

Spiced green tea smoothie

Here’s another way to sip healthy green tea: as a smoothie! Pair this sweet and spicy drink with a few ounces of lean protein—some sliced turkey, for example—for a complete afternoon snack.

One serving will get you 3 grams of fiber (thanks to its secret ingredient, pear!). Plus, it contains cayenne pepper, which may help curb appetite and give your metabolism a boost.

Calories: 82 calories per half-cup serving

Prep time: 5 minutes