Beach Medical Weight Loss

10 Tips to Survive Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday that celebrates the 3 Fs: family, friends, and food! All are an interictal part to making lasting memories. With that being said, it’s important to not overeat just because you can. Here are some tips to get through the holiday without ruining your weight loss progress!

  1. Get Active: Start your day off with some sort of movement. This way you are already at a calorie deficit going into this more calorically dense day. Gather the whole family together and make it a group activity. Some examples would be playing football or going on a run/walk together. Now you have time to make more family memories and burn some calories!
  2. Don’t Skip Meals: Just because you are having this larger than normal dinner does not mean you should skip breakfast and lunch. You will end up being ravished and overeat at dinner. I suggest eating smaller healthy meals beforehand to avoid binging at the Thanksgiving feast.
  3. Skimp on the extra butter and sugar: Thanksgiving dishes are full of fat, sugar, and sodium. If you cut those ingredients back a little, no one will even notice. This will cut the calories back in each dish. Every little bit helps!
  4. Do not have an all or nothing attitude: Continue your routine all the days up to and after Thanksgiving. There is no rule that you must let lose the whole week. Do not routine all your hard work for one day. Set yourself up for success so when you do have your feast you can enjoy it more.
  5. Eat the rainbow: Try to choose a variety of colors for your sides. Those foods tend to have more nutrients in them and could possibly be less in calories.
  6. Drink Plenty of Water: The best thing you can do for yourself is to drink plenty of water. The foods we eat on Thanksgiving are higher in fat, sugar, and sodium than we normally eat. Water will help flush out your body and alleviate bloating. A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. Trust me, you will thank me later!
  7. Skip Seconds: Getting seconds always sounds like a good idea but it never works out as planned. Wait 20 minutes after you finish your first plate before you grab seconds. If you are still truly hungry then go get another plate.
  8. Ask yourself if it is worth it: Thanksgiving is all about indulging in your favorite dishes. But some are not worth it. Do you really need to eat those cheese and crackers as appetizers? Probably not. Prioritize which dishes are the most important and really enjoy those.
  9. Take Smaller portions: If you want to try everything, then by all means do! Take smaller portions of each side in that case. Eat slowly and genuinely enjoy each bite!
  10. Be Realistic: The holidays are about gathering and making memories. Focus more on weight maintenance instead of weight loss. Then at the first of the year, you will already be ahead of most people.

How to Dine Out the Healthy Way

Being healthy doesn’t mean you’re banned from restaurants. Here are some tips and tricks to use when it comes to eating out. 

  • Cut the portions in half. Typically, a restaurant is serving you twice the amount of food that you actually need. So save half the plate for tomorrow’s lunch! If you ask, the kitchen may even box half your meal before serving it to you. 
  • Plan ahead. If you know you’re going to splurge a little on a special meal out, make sure that you set yourself up for success by planning healthy meals for yourself for the rest of the day! 
  • Do your research. The day before, look at the menu for the restaurant you’re going to and choose a meal that is both healthy and appeals to you. You’re more likely to make a better decision when you’re not ravenous. Now you are ready to order when you get to the restaurant! 
  • Choose water as your beverage. It’s the best for you and it’s free.
  • Order your dressing on the side. Restaurants too often drown salad in dressing and at that point, it’s just unnecessary calories. Trust me, a little dressing can go a long way!
  • Speaking of dressing, ask for low calorie and low fat.
  • HOLD THE BREAD! Ask the waiter to NOT bring out bread as an appetizer. If you must have an app, choose something light, like a salad.
  • Eat ahead of time. If you are someone who has a hard time cutting yourself off at your favorite restaurant, have at least a snack beforehand. 
  • Grilled chicken and fish, not fried!
  • Lay off the salt, because many meals made in restaurants are high in sodium. You could also ask that no salt be added to your meal.
  • If you’re going to do desert, choose something light like sherbert instead of a rich chocolate cake. You could even just have a bite or two of someone else’s. You might find that’s all you need!
  • If ordering an alcoholic beverage, try your liquor of choice with soda water (which has 0 calories) and fresh lemon or lime juice. The more simple the drink, the less calories you’ll consume.

Remember that being healthy is really about everything in moderation. If you are intentionally mindful about your food choices all of the time, it will eventually become second nature!

Smoothie Bowls to Spice Up Your Morning

Ever thought about spicing up your morning smoothie?

Here’s a great option: Smoothie Bowls!

When making your smoothies, add less water/milk for a thicker consistency. Scoop it out of the blender, spread into a bowl, and add some nutritious toppings! This way you can add more protein and fiber to your breakfast all in your smoothie. This option is also wonderful as an ice-cream alternate!

For toppings, anything goes that will pair with your smoothie. Add granola for an added crunch and a sweetener of your choice. For smoothies with strawberries or bananas, try dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, or almond butter on top. For smoothies with mango, a little chili spice / tajin will completely change the flavor. 

Here are some of my favorites:

    ⁃    Granola

    ⁃    Toasted Oats

    ⁃    Flax/Chia/Hemp seeds

    ⁃    Shredded Unsweetened coconut

    ⁃    Dark chocolate chips

    ⁃    Fresh chopped fruit

    ⁃    Honey/Agave drizzle (for added sweetness)

Easy Meal Prep Smoothie Recipe:

    ⁃    1c frozen fruit (lowest sugar option: berry mixes)

    ⁃    1-2c chopped spinach or kale

Place fruit and veggies into serving size freezer ziploc bags for single-use smoothie portions. 

Options to add while blending:

    ⁃    Protein powder (of your choice)

    ⁃    Milk or Plant Milk

    ⁃    Flax/Chia/Hemp seeds for added fiber 

Additional Breakfast Items to Pair with a Smoothie:

Remember to opt for a higher intake of starches and sugars in the morning relative to night. Give yourself the extra hours of metabolism time and fuel your body for the day!

  • Hard-boiled egg (with seasoning)
  • Ezekiel Toast
  • Avocado
  • Overnight Oats
  • Protein Oatmeal

Hormone Imbalances & Weight Loss

Have you noticed that your weight loss journey has drastically slowed down – even though you are still doing all the right things? Are you also experiencing constant fatigue, trouble sleeping, and a lack of focus? If so, you might be suffering from a hormone imbalance. But don’t worry! This is definitely something that we can adjust! Hormonal imbalances can actually make weight loss and sleep extremely difficult while also increasing your stress and lowering your sex drive. Here at Beach Medical, we want to make sure that we properly address all facets of your life in order to aid in your weight loss journey. And that means testing your hormone levels.

At all of our Beach Medical locations, we offer two different methods of hormone testing – HRT blood draws and ZRT Salvia testing kits. Both forms of testing look at your estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone. In women, a hormonal imbalance can lead to mid-abdominal weight gain, night sweats, mood swings, lethargy, and lower sex drive. A hormonal imbalance in men is associated with a lower sex drive, depressed mood, fatigue, and a decrease in muscle development. As we age, our hormone levels increase and decrease across the board, causing an array of issues.

            Once we receive your lab results, our providers will analyze and discuss them with you in order to create a plan of action that best fits your needs. Because everyone’s hormone levels differ, no two plans with be exactly the same. At Beach Medical Weight Loss, our goal is to help you on your weight loss journey and sometimes that means maintaining proper hormone levels as well as nutrition and exercise goals! Call us today to see how Hormone Replacement Therapy can work for you!

7 Tips for Shedding the Quarantine 15

Are your clothes fitting tighter after months of staying home during the coronavirus pandemic? It hasn’t been easy to maintain healthy routines with so many life disruptions, and many of us have found ourselves stress eating more and exercising less than usual. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to get back to your healthy habits! These strategies will help you slim down, shape up, and start feeling like yourself again.

Follow the 80/20 rule

Forget fad diets and eating nothing but salad. The best diet is the one you can maintain. That’s why Beach Medical Weight Loss loves the 80/20 rule of clean eating. This ultra-simple rule says that 80% of your nutrition each day should come from clean, healthy foods and the other 20% is for whatever you want! That way, you can indulge in cravings while still staying on track toward your weight loss goals.

Compile healthy go-to recipes

Eating clean is easier when you have a repertoire of recipes to turn to. The best go-to recipes are ones that use ingredients that are always in your pantry, like beans, grains, and frozen vegetables. For example, you can whip up a delicious and low-calorie stew using pantry ingredients or make creative quesadillas with beans and whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Lay off of the cocktail hours

People are drinking more alcohol during the pandemic. Not only is this bad for your waistline, but it’s also harmful to your overall health too. If you find yourself drinking due to boredom, pick up a new at-home hobby or video chat with a friend instead. If your increased alcohol consumption is due to stress or anxiety, try yoga, meditation, and deep breathing techniques — and talk to a professional if you’re struggling to cut back.

Go to bed on time

Drinking less also helps you get a good night’s sleep, something you may desperately need if you’re experiencing late nights and fragmented sleep like so many people during the pandemic. Since quality sleep is key for metabolism, not to mention immune health, getting back to your regular bedtime is a crucial step toward feeling better after COVID-19.

Get your heart rate up with HIIT

Home exercise equipment may be sold out everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout at home. High-intensity interval training, more commonly known as HIIT, requires little to no equipment and can be done anywhere, even in your tiny apartment living room (just opt for low-impact HIIT for the downstairs neighbor’s sake!). And since HIIT workouts are short, often under 30 minutes, you can squeeze one in even when your motivation is low.

Commit to a (virtual) workout class

Do you get bored of working out solo? To mix things up and build accountability into your workout regimen, sign up for a virtual fitness class. You can find online workout classes from local fitness studios or popular studios like Orangetheory, CorePower Yoga, and Planet Fitness.

Let the pros lend a hand

If you’re struggling to regain your healthy habits while stuck at home, don’t sweat it! There are lots of professionals who can help you achieve your health and weight loss goals even during the pandemic. You can use online job boards to connect virtually with a freelance dietitian to create a healthy meal plan or a private yoga instructor or personal trainer to lead one-on-one virtual classes. While you might be stuck at home, you’re far from alone!

Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in a rut. If you’re gaining weight and feeling uncomfortable in your skin, take control of your health! With little changes like these, you’ll be shedding pounds and feeling confident again in no time.

Controlling Cortisol

Do you find yourself stressed out because of the chaos around you? Same. I don’t know about you, but when I am stressed, I like to eat and watch Netflix. Unfortunately, no matter how comfortable I get and how distant I become to my stressor, my body is going to continue to produce cortisol until I can control my stress levels. Cortisol is our stress hormone produced by the adrenal gland. This hormone is responsible for your heart rate to elevate, body temperature to rise, and nervous ticks to get in when you realize your deadline is coming up or you filed your taxes wrong. Cortisol can be useful when our bodies are in motion and ready for action. However, if our bodies are sedentary and unable to move, the cortisol will not be used optimally and will lead to several things:

  1. Suppressed immune system- body will have a harder time fighting off sickness
  2. Decrease production of serotonin- this hormone helps us relax and feel good
  3. Increase blood pressure- this can lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke
  4. Increased blood sugar- this can lead to diabetes

Here are three steps to take in order to help control our cortisol levels that you can try today!

  1. Focus on the breath. I know it can be hard to find time in your day to allow time for yourself. All you need is one minute each day where you spend time only thinking about the breath. Start by taking a 4 second inhale and a 4 second exhale. Repeat this for the whole minute and then go back to your day. It will help instill mindfulness throughout your day.
  2. Exercising can help lower cortisol levels over time. While it increases it during the bout of exercise, during sleep the levels will decrease.
  3. Drink plenty of water! being dehydrated increases cortisol levels, so stay hydrated and remember to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water everyday.

Just remember that taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be the complex formula you follow. All you need is a few minutes to focus on what your body needs so that you can become the best version of yourself.

3 Surprising Hacks for Staying Healthy Without Staying Stressed

With the start of a new year, it’s only natural to want to take steps to improve your health and enhance your well-being. Figuring out ways to do so without disrupting your normal routine can feel like more of an effort, not to mention that sticking to new habits can be quite stressful! Luckily, there are a few surprising tricks you can use to give yourself an edge when it comes to getting and staying healthy.

Decluttering, Organizing, and Cleaning Your Home

Take a look around your home. Are you seeing a lot of clutter and mess? If so, don’t feel embarrassed! Honestly, life can get busy and hectic, so it can be all too easy for clutter to start piling up around your home. If you want to take charge of your emotional and physical health, however, you may need to spend some time clearing out that clutter and cleaning up your home. Studies have shown that having more clutter in your home can increase daily feelings of stress, and all of that chronic stress can take a toll on your overall well-being. Wondering how to tackle your clutter and keep your home clean without adding more stress to your already busy routine? Budget for a maid service. It sounds like a luxury, but if hiring a maid to complete a deep cleaning will boost your health and happiness, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Finding Opportunities to Get Outdoors More Often

All too many of us spend our days inside crouched over desks or caring for children, and that can be bad news for our physical and mental health. Not only does being outdoors encourage us to stay active, but exposure to sunlight, in moderation, can aid your body in the production of vitamin D, which is essential for a healthy immune system, a balanced mood, and a productive metabolism. Of course, you should balance your need for sun with your need to avoid skin cancers, so make sure to wear sunscreen when you’re outside.

Of course there will be days when the weather won’t accommodate outdoor activity, but don’t let this hold you back. You can still get a walk in at a museum or the mall, and there are plenty of ways to exercise at home as well, and you can use exercise videos or fitness apps to get the most from your workouts. If you’re a senior, make sure you focus on balance and strength exercises to improve muscle strength and reduce the risk of falling.

Spending More Time Working Your Green Thumb

Modeling your health goals after plants can provide a basic blueprint for your health and wellness plans, especially if you focus on getting healthy doses of sunlight and hydration. Plants can be helpful for your health and well-being in other ways as well, so you may want to consider taking up a bit of gardening to complement your efforts to boost your health. Plants help rid the air of toxins and replenish oxygen, so you should be able to breathe better with indoor plants, but your new green friends can also enhance your focus, block out sound, and even make chronic pain more manageable. If you have room for an edible garden, growing a few veggies and herbs can also help you stick to a plant-based diet, which has been shown to have major health benefits.

Keep in mind that before starting any diet, it’s wise to talk to nutrition professionals. The team of nutritionists at Beach Medical can offer you nutrition counseling and an action plan to ensure you hold yourself accountable.

Taking better care of your health can take some effort. But with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can make this your best year yet, and you can do so with a lot less stress!

The Importance of Exercise During a Pandemic

This year has been filled with uncertainties to say the least. One thing that we need to control is our health, now more than ever. Mental, emotional and physical health all contribute to our well being. Exercise plays an important role in all three of these aspects. This is why even during this pandemic we should still be exercising.

Mental and emotional health go hand-in-hand with exercise. It reduces the body’s stress hormones by stimulating production of chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural pain killers and mood elevators. In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands, they just don’t.” Obviously this is an extreme situation but it gets the point across.If you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or helpless during the pandemic you are not alone and I would strongly encourage you to start exercising. 

The physical health benefits of exercise are endless. Some of these benefits include lower risk of early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, adverse blood lipid profile, type 2 diabetes, multiple cancers, can help increase bone density, improve sleep and boost the immune system. All of these are important but having a strong immune system is paramount during this pandemic. That benefit alone should encourage you to start exercising today!

How to Start Exercising

Right now you might not feel comfortable hopping in the car to go to the gym. Maybe you are not able to afford a monthly gym membership because you got laid off. Luckily for you, working out from home is an option! It is time to stop making excuses and make your health just as important as watching Netflix and scrolling through Instagram! Here are some tips to help you still be active while being in quarantine.

First step is to make a “SMART” goal.  This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Utilizing this concept will help you attain your goals in a more manageable fashion and keep you on track. Having an accountability partner such as your partner, friend or family member can also help with staying on track. Exercising with someone else is also a great and safe activity (as long as you keep a safe distance) during quarantine. 

The recommendation for an adult is at least 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity. If you are new to exercising or it has been awhile since your last workout, starting with 3, 10 minute bouts of physical activity is recommended. Focus on your weaknesses first then move on to your strengths. 

Working out from home is definitely not ideal but is absolutely doable! I do not want to hear any excuses! Start off using your body weight and then add additional weight. If you did not get a chance to buy free weights before everyone else in the world did, household items are a great substitute! Try using canned goods, water bottles, milk jugs filled with water, a bag of dog food, or cat litter. Pretty much anything you can find will work! People who are working from home, balance your sitting time with standing and stretching to keep your muscles from getting tight. When you are watching television, exercise during the commercial breaks. On the weekends, play outside with your kids, walk the dog, garden, or mow the lawn. Put exercise on your daily schedule, have a reminder on your phone, or a sticky note by your bed. Anything that will help keep you accountable!

Starting a new habit is scary and hard so reward yourself when you’ve earned it. This does not mean go get ice cream and fries at the local diner! Treat yourself to a spa day, go get a massage, buy yourself a new outfit or maybe plan a weekend getaway! Be proud of your success and allow yourself to celebrate!

Keeping the Motivation

Summertime can be a very easy season to lose track of our diets and stumble into bad habits. Whether you’re just starting your weight loss journey, or need to kick yourself back into gear, here are ways to keep yourself on track and stay motivated! 

  • Get the junk food out of your house! And from now on, don’t buy it in the first place! If it’s not in your home, it won’t be calling your name as loud. This can be tough for people with a family, but if you let your supporters know that you are changing your lifestyle, then they can support you and become healthier with you. Challenge your family to hop on board and take on this new lifestyle with you.  
  • Write yourself positive sticky notes and put them in the kitchen and on your mirror, or anywhere you look often. These can be reminders of your goals, or words of encouragement. For example, throw a sticky note on your vegetable drawer that says “Eat me!”.  
  • Try looking at yourself in the mirror when you find yourself eating poorly. You may be surprised by how quickly you want to put the chips down.  
  • If you don’t have a set of small tupper-ware already, go out and buy some. I got my set for super cheap at Walmart. Prep your foods and separate portions accurately, and then store the single portions in the Tupperware. Eatingwell.com has some awesome meal-prepping ideas if you want to go all out on a Sunday before the week starts.  
  • PROGRESS PICTURES!! These can be such a powerful source of motivation and upping your mood. Take a picture at the beginning of your journey, and whenever else you want to going forward (especially if you feel great, like after a workout or a day of great eating). As you go through your journey, the pictures will be a nice way to see your progress.  
  • Make a vision board! Put up pictures of what you want to look like, pull out an old dress you want to fit into, put up a picture of a vacation you plan on taking.  
  • Like we all say here at Beach, log your food, or even journal about it. Writing about your food every day becomes a habit and keeps you on the right track, because you are keeping yourself aware of your choices.  

I hope everyone finds that they can incorporate at least one of these tips into their journey and remain on their path to success!!  

Nuts for Coconuts?

The summer heat is now in full swing and the tropics are most definitely calling.  Tourists and residents are flocking to the coastline to take full advantage of the sun and fun family vacations.  Throughout the country, newly harvested fresh fruits and vegetables can be found in both stores and roadside stands.  Peaches, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, green beans, zucchini, and squash are overflowing from their fields and baskets.  And while most people know that foods like kale, avocados, almonds, and sweet potatoes are superfoods, there is another more underrated fruit that is often overlooked.  Interestingly enough, coconuts are one of the most nutrient-packed superfoods out there!

            Now this is not the kind of coconut that is holding a sugary drink with a tiny pink umbrella while relaxing on the beach.  Coconuts in their raw form are sufficient enough!  Additionally, coconuts are one of the most versatile fruits on the planet.  Every single piece of the coconut and its tree can be used in some way.  In the Philippines, the coconut tree has long been referred to as the Tree of Life.  Throughout history and the modern era, the tree itself could be used for furniture, housing materials, boats, canoes, drums, and toys for children.  The leaves are used during cooking and storage in many countries today.  As for the fruit itself, just as many uses can be found.

            Coconuts can be easily distinguished by their hard, fibrous brown shell that protects a fragile white interior.  The inside, or the flesh, can be scraped out and used while baking and cooking.  Coconut flesh are gut-friendly with an abundance of fatty acids acting to fight bacteria and increase antioxidant effects.1  Because the fruit is easy to digest, no unnecessary fat buildup occurs.  Instead, the body breaks down the fruit and immediately uses the byproducts as fuel and energy sources.  Another energy source can be found in coconut water.  Considered one of the best forms of hydration found in nature, coconut water is packed with more electrolytes than most sports drinks.  Coconut water is fat free, has few sugars, and contains an abundance of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.2  Though coconut water can be consumed on its own, it can also be added to smoothies for a little extra punch.

            While the coconut itself is a super food in its own right, coconut oil is possibly one of the most well-known products on the market.  When used in beauty routines, coconut oil has been proven to aid in healthy hair growth by reducing protein loss and preventing hair damage.Dandruff can also be avoided with regular use of coconut oil on the scalp.3  Nutritionally, coconut oil can be used to increase heart health, promote weight loss, regulate cholesterol levels, relieve stress, and encourage digestive health.  By promoting insulin production and helping to control blood sugar levels, coconut oil aids in the management and prevention of diabetes.3  

            So next time you see a coconut in the grocery store, we encourage you to check them out for yourself!  Maybe try a new recipe or add a little coconut oil to your everyday routine!  You might just surprise yourself with how versatile the fruit truly is!

  1. Link, R. (2019). 20 top superfoods to get into your diet. Dr. Axe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/nutrition/what-are-superfoods/
  2. American Society For Nutrition Staff. (2010). Coconut water. ASN. Retrieved from https://nutrition.org/coconut-water/
  3. Nagdeve, M. (2020). Coconut oil health benefits and uses. Organic Facts. Retrieved from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html