Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight During the Holidays

Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight During the Holidays

Whether you’re trying to lose some weight or to maintain your current weight, holidays are quite a challenge. In North America, Thanksgiving officially opens Holiday season, and along with it, more than a month of delicious food, toasts, as well as a few pounds over. Fortunately, there are some ways in which you can avoid gaining weight during the holidays, and not to lose control, your mind, and your waistline, in the process.

If you’re to gain something, let it not be pounds

According to an investigation held by the Calorie Control Council, Americans consume more than 4,500 calories of fat, from snacking and traditional holiday dishes, gaining around one pound during the holiday season. That really doesn’t sound like too much, unless you gain – and don’t lose – that extra pound each year.

In addition, during holidays, many of us stop eating usual food; after all, we can only get to eat mamma’s special once a year. In fact, studies have shown that during the holidays we don’t even realize the amount of food we eat, as if holiday food couldn’t put on us a few extra pounds. That makes us lose control on our food and beverage intake.

Some tips to avoid gaining weight during the holidays

As we sure that you’re not going to stay at home during the holidays, here are some tips that’ll help you avoid gaining weight during this season and enjoy without harming your health.

  • Stay in shape emotionally: If you eat to nurture your body instead of eating to deal with your emotions, then it’ll be easier for you stop eating when satisfied or to even say “no” to unhealthy food.
  • Stay active: Even if winter days call us to hibernate, get out of your house or office! You can take a walk during lunch break, walk to the grocery store, go ice skating, and dance whenever you’ve got the chance… Being active will help you stay in shape as well as to curb your cravings.
  • Cut back on the booze: most alcoholic beverages contain a bunch of empty calories, and they make us lose track of what we eat; hence, we overeat without even noticing. Instead of booze, drink plain water or low-sugar beverages.
  • Don’t arrive with an empty stomach: Have a healthy snack before you leave home; you won’t be that hungry and you’d have eaten something good for your body. Besides, skipping meals may lead us to overeat and thus, gain weight.
  • Serve yourself smaller portions: When the portions served on your plate are smaller in size, you also consume less food. If you’re being served, ask for smaller portions of high-fat and high-sugar food. On the contrary, ask for larger portions of nutritious food.
  • Avoid having “holiday” snacks at hand: Avoid having a bowl with chocolates or candy at your desk or over your kitchen counter. If you must bring it, put it out of your reach, that’ll make it more difficult for you to take one after the other.
  • Be careful with leftovers: If you host a party, you may have lots of leftovers to binge on. If you give them away to someone less fortunate, you’ll avoid the temptation and will help someone as well.
  • If you need help, ask for it: For some of us it’s nearly impossible to control our binge eating during this holiday season, so we end up with a couple of extra pounds and a feeling of guilt. Having professional help, will make it easier and, by the way, we may learn how to have a healthier lifestyle.

As you can see, to keep a healthy and steady weight through the holidays may not be as difficult as it seems. It’s just a question of decision and will power, so #DecideItNow.

The end result isn’t just a thinner you; it’s a happier you. A holiday season that really is filled with peace and joy!


The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

“Thanks” is one of the first words we learn as kids; however, gratitude is a value underestimated in a world where we don’t seem to have any spare time. Thus, gratitude has become just a way of politeness; we are too used to saying thanks automatically, not very enthusiastically, and without really meaning it.

But what if saying thanks could bring us several other benefits more than just being polite? Here we’re going to explain you how saying thanks can make your life better.

Express your gratitude every day

Introducing gratitude in our everyday lives looks easier than it actually is. The best advice is to “cultivate” gratitude. That is, to pay attention to what’s happening in our day-to-day that is good for us: someone who gave up his/her seat to us in the bus, the one who smiles at us on the street, or holds the door open for us at the supermarket… all those tiny gestures we usually don’t notice, or we forget almost immediately.

When we show gratitude, we feel much better since we are aware of what makes us happy. In such way we enter into a virtuous circle: being happier makes us have the necessary energy to carry out all our tasks, whether it is to look after our beloved ones, or change the world.

It’s all about focusing on the positive and not in the negative.

Gratitude can change our life and improve our health

Through the 1990s, Masaru Emoto, author of the bestseller Messages from Water, carried out a series of experiments to observe the physical effect of words, prayers, music, and environment on the crystalline structure of water. What he discovered is that water could memorize the information it gets from its environment.

The researcher covered bottles of frozen water with paper and wrote different words over them, both positive and negative. 24 hours later, he discovered that the shape of the frozen water crystals was closely related to the words written on them, as well as to the intention set on that water: while the crystals tagged with positive words were beautiful and perfect, the ones tagged with negative words produced disfigured crystals.

From these experiments, Emoto found out that the most perfect and beautiful water crystals were the ones tagged with the words: “Love and Gratitude”

According to the Japanese researcher: “love and gratitude represent the fundamental principles of the law of nature and life phenomena” and therefore, they form those perfectly symmetrical and beautiful crystals.

Now, if we take into account that the average human body is 60% water, just imagine how profound are the implications that words and thoughts have on our health and well-being!

Let’s fill the earth with love and gratitude

Science has proved that gratitude helps us appreciate our environment, and it benefits our physical and mental health as well. Looking on the bright side of life is the best way to look on the bright things of life, and thus, to relieve the stress and anxiety caused by certain situations.

When Masaru Emoto was asked about how the responsive nature of water to human emotions can be utilized to heal mankind and earth, his advice was: “Let your actions be based on the thoughts of love and gratitude. Love is a giving energy and gratitude is a receiving energy. If you always have these two words in your mind and your actions are based on these concepts, you can naturally give people positive energy.”

The best part is that we don’t have to wait to any special date to give thanks, though there are certainly a few days when it’s worth doing so. Therefore, all of us who are part of Forma Vital want to thank you for your trust and for giving us the opportunity of being part of your process to achieve a better quality of life. Thank you!

The Importance of Cardio and Its Benefits

The Importance of Cardio and Its Benefits

We’ve all been told about how good is to do cardio regularly. But, what does that mean? Here we’re going to tell you what cardio is and why it’s necessary for our health.

What’s cardio?

Cardiovascular exercises, simply known as cardio, are those exercises which improve our endurance and increase both our heart rate and breathing rate. The idea is to exert ourselves to the point to where we almost get out of breath. In fact, a cardio workout is successful if you cannot say more than 5 or 6 words. If we can talk normally, we’re not working out enough.

Performing cardio raises our cardiorespiratory endurance, so we’re able to burn more calories as we boost our metabolism and strengthen our heart and lungs. If this wasn’t enough, it also reduces stress-hormones levels and, since we release endorphins, it makes us feel happier.

There are several cardio workouts: walking, jogging, aerobics, cycling, running, swimming, rowing, etc. Which is the best? The one you enjoy the most! If you choose an activity that you really enjoy, you’ll feel more motivated and will be more committed.

Benefits of cardio exercises

Doing regular cardio will bring you many health benefits:

  1. Boost your energy and your endurance.
  2. Helps you lose weight. A cardio routine makes us burn several calories and it speeds up our metabolism.
  3. Sheds body fat. Cardio exercises improve our Body Mass Index (BMI) as it reduces the amount of our body fat.
  4. Helps control blood pressure, since it improves the circulation of blood throughout our body.
  5. Strengthens our immune system. When our heart rate increases, blood vessels widen and allow a better flow of white blood cells, the agents in charge of fighting against viruses and infections.
  6. Helps control cholesterol levels. Cardio exercises help lowering “bad” cholesterol and increasing “good” cholesterol”.
  7. Maintain normal sugar levels, helping thus to prevent type 2 diabetes.
  8. May prevent some diseases. Cardio may help to prevent cardiovascular diseases, maintain normal cholesterol levels, control high blood pressure and diabetes; it also strengthens our heart and lungs.

Cardio exercise and weight loss

As we have already mentioned, doing cardio helps us burn calories fast, as it boosts our metabolism. Besides, if we accompany our cardio routine with a healthy diet, we’ll have a sustained weight loss and will hardly recover the pounds we’ve already lost.

To lose weight, what is best is to perform a cardio routine 5 times a week, along with a balanced diet. Remember that, the more often you work out, the better results you’ll get in less time; just be careful and don’t overexert your body. Consistency is more important than quantity, so you’ll see more benefits if you exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes instead of 150 minutes just once a week.

As you improve your physical endurance, you should also increase the cardio intensity. It’s important that you set the challenges for your training, so you can improve and keep motivated. It’s also important that you vary your cardio routines, so you don’t get bored and your body doesn’t get accustomed to the same repeated efforts.

Being fit is just a matter of determination and consistency, so don’t waste more time, and #DecideItNow.

Why Detox?

Why Detox?

Whether in the environment or on our plates, nobody escapes the substances that can intoxicate our body. Our organism is exposed to many pollutants: alcohol, nicotine, saturated fats, artificial food coloring, preservatives, microparticles (hydrocarbons, pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals) … An overload of these wastes called “toxins” put our cells at risk as they accelerate their ageing, and weaken our natural defenses.

This internal pollution may cause certain symptoms such as chronic fatigue, headaches, insomnia, digestive and dermatologic problems (pimples, rashes, dull skin, allergies, etc.). Hence the importance of a healthy diet that can “clean” us internally and purify our excretory organs (intestines, liver, kidneys, lungs), which are the filters in charge of eliminating accumulated wastes and toxins.

Here is where a detox comes into place. A detox is a program designed by a nutrition professional, though there are different kinds, they have the same objective: recover our nutritional balance and physical well-being. Its purpose is to clean our body and improve its functioning. Our body is usually capable of eliminating toxins itself however, during long periods of stress, fatigue or excesses, it might need some extra help, and a detox can be an excellent push to make it happen.

Why Should We Detox Our Body

At first, a detox is health practice, but it’s also a good method to lose some weight as it can help us eliminate, along with wastes and toxins, our excessive body fat. So, you may lose not only a few pounds, but a few inches too!

It’s important to mention that the main purpose of detoxing is not to lose weight; as a matter of fact, losing weight is a secondary effect. The real goal of detoxing is to help our organism eliminate every undesirable element – such as “bad” body fat – from our body but, mostly, toxins. Among its many advantages are the following:

  • Cleanse the digestive system.
  • Reduce anxiety.
  • Boost energy.
  • Strengthen immune system.
  • Increase mental clarity.
  • Detoxify your body.

When To Detox

The frequency for detoxing depends on the type of detox. In every case, it’s better to do it when you don’t have to perform any physical activity. Otherwise, we can feel the urge of eating, feel irritable, experience a drop on our blood-sugar levels. You can choose a weekend, when you don’t need to go out, so your body can have time to rest and your detox will bring you better results!

Yet Keep In Mind…

There’s a large number of highly risky practices that you can find on magazines or the Internet that call themselves “detox”. Unfortunately, most of them lack of medical and nutritional support, and will bring you more problems than solutions. Our advice is to look for a professional who can give you a safe and healthy detox plan.

Among other things, always take the following into account:

  • Drink about plenty of water but not too much. Though drinking liquids (mainly natural water) is always recommended, drinking too much water is not good for us since our bodies eliminate vitamins, our kidneys won’t work properly, your sodium levels will lower, etc.
  • Don’t use diuretics. In general, detox plans that use drugs, are risky. Diuretics will not only make you eliminate water through urine, but also important minerals and vitamins which your body needs, and this can lower your blood pressure.
  • Don’t use laxatives. Laxatives accelerate your bowel transit time, but they aren’t purifying dietary supplements. They irritate your bowel, cause you diarrhea, and gastrointestinal malabsorption.
  • Don’t fast. Fasting provokes metabolic imbalances, raises blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. A total fast (without water intake) can cause severe health problems such as dehydration or kidney issues.
  • Get more physical activity. A detox plan is a wonderful opportunity to align our body. Practicing a discipline such as yoga, pilates, or meditation can be very helpful for your detox.

Now that you know all the benefits of a detox plan, it’s time to try it yourself! Here at Forma Vital, our therapists will give you a detox plan that suits your needs and objectives. Don’t wait any longer, #DoItNow

Nutritional Coaching: How Does It Work

Nutritional Coaching: How Does It Work

Believe it or not, the biggest obstacle we face when we’re trying to lose weight is ourselves. Topics such as weight and food are usually very personal and thus, related to other issues like self-image, depression, eating disorders, and addictions.

When we have a terrible relationship with food and are unable to take control of our emotions, it’s very difficult to stick to a nutritional or physical-activity program, which could help us achieve our ideal figure and maintain a healthy weight. Fortunately, there are professionals who can give us emotional support and accompany us through our weight-loss process.

Nutritional Coaching

Nutritional coaching is the process which helps us achieve a healthy and sustainable change from within, and with the aid of a professional: a nutritional coach. The role of a nutritional coach is to help us discover our capabilities, and to improve or achieve specific objectives of our lives.

A nutritional coach enables us to identify the situations or obstacles which prevent us from stick to a weight-loss program. Once we identify the problem, the coach will help us balance those aspects, take control over what we eat and our physical activity, while taking care of our emotional state through the different stages of our weight-loss process.

When to look for a nutritional coach

  • You know the theory by heart, but cannot put it into practice. You know well which food you can eat and which you shouldn’t; that you should exercise and change your habits. However, you cannot do it and always go back to your old, bad habits.
  • You always put the blame on your “lack of willingness”. To lose weight, other than willingness, what you need is to find your authentic motivation. A coach will help you define your objectives: why do you want to lose weight? What do you want to look like? What do you want for yourself?
  • You eat without being hungry. You confuse physical hunger with emotional hunger. You cannot even remember what you ate during the day!
  • You’re always procrastinating. You always say: “I’ll start on Monday…”, “I cannot do it right now…”, and the right moment never arrives.
  • You eat emotionally: You’re not looking for options to nurture your body, but turn to food to calm your emotions.

If you marked at least three of the above, you might be needing a nutritional coach urgently to help you with your weight loss. Here at Forma Vital we offer you a comprehensive program that combines food guides specially tailored for you, along with the coaching of our therapists, which will accompany you until you reach your weight-loss objectives. Don’t hesitate any longer! #DecideItNow.

How to Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle

How to Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle

According to the American Heart Association, less than 20% of those who lose weight are able to maintain their new body weight, while the rest (an impressive 80%) regain the pounds they lost in less than 2 years! In addition, recent studies have shown a relationship between “yo-yo” dieting and health conditions such as high-blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

What Is Yo-Yo Dieting

“Yo-yo dieting” or “weight loss rebound” is a cycle of successively losing weight only to gain it all back, commonly as a result of “fad diets” which might entail more trouble than benefit.

When we go on a very restrictive diet, we lose muscle mass and body fat really fast. The problem is that, as soon as we stop dieting, we feel hungry and eat in excess, which lead us to regain weight, mostly body fat. This changes the balance between fat and muscle mass, necessary for appropriate functioning of most of our body systems, such as the production of hormones.

When we lose fat mass, we reduce the production of leptin (hormone in charge of signaling satiety), and increase the one of ghrelin (which tells us when we’re hungry). When we’re dieting, being hungry seems normal, so the changes in our hormonal levels do not affect us. The problem comes when we stop dieting. According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011, these levels remain altered for at least a year after! These drastic changes on hormonal levels make us hungrier, which makes it easier to regain weight.

How To Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting

Keeping the weight and image, you have achieved may seem hard at the beginning. But following these pieces of advice, might make it more likely.

  • Eliminate liquid calories: Even without noticing it, we consume a large number of calories through sweetened beverages. Try to drink plain water, and don’t add sugar to your coffee or tea.
  • Pay attention to what you eat: Don’t eat under stress or in front of the TV. When we eat being anxious or distracted, we eat excessively; besides, most of the food we have is highly caloric and non-nutritious. [insert link to mindful eating blog]
  • Plan your meals ahead: If you keep only healthy food in your kitchen cabinet it’ll be easier for you to not fall into temptation of available unhealthy options. Before going out to a restaurant or social event, think about a strategy for consuming just the appropriate amount and quality of food (like eating something healthy and lower in calories at home before the event).
  • Sweat at least 1 hour per day: Exercising will help you burn fat as well as to increase your muscle mass and metabolism.
  • Manage your anxiety: If your work is really stressful, or you go around all day long, it’s very likely you’re producing more cortisol than you should, which is not good news if you want to maintain your weight. Try to find yourself an activity where you can relieve your daily stress. And remember you can always come back to us for Auriculotherapy for stress and/or anxiety.
  • Munch on more nuts: According to a study from Harvard University, people who eat at least one ounce of peanuts or a mix of nuts per day are more likely to keep a healthy weight.
  • Be nice with yourself: It’s normal to be discouraged when we regain some pounds. If it’s hard for you to maintain your weight loss on your own, talk to your therapist. Here, at Forma Vital, we have an excellent maintenance and FREE program which will help you keep the weight you so hardly achieved.

Being eternally on a diet it’s not a permanent solution. To lose weight safely and, especially, to maintain that weight loss, we shall make substantial changes in our lifestyles. Don’t hesitate anymore, #DecideItNow