Get in The Zone – With the Zone Diet

Get in The Zone – With the Zone Diet

Diets get a bad reputation, particularly those that include calorie counting. But the Zone Diet is teaching people that calorie counting is merely a way to better control portions. A standard for healthy eating habits, portions are often overlooked ‒ yet remain one of the most effective methods for weight loss. Learn how this popular diet works, as well as the benefits and potential results, with our Zone Diet 101.

What is the Zone Diet?

First published in 1995, the Zone Diet was created 30 years ago by biochemist Dr. Barry Sears. Originally developed to prevent early death from heart attacks, it is said to balance hormones and reduce inflammation – which Sears proposes are a factor in weight gain, illness and aging. By keeping your hormones balanced, or “in the zone,” your metabolism will work more efficiently. Dieters are said to lose between 1 to 1.5 pounds of fat a week. To achieve these results, followers eat a ratio of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat.

Zone Diet Blocks

The Zone Diet can be followed using one of two methods, both of which are equally effective. Beginner – or first-time dieters – may prefer to start with the hand-eye method before progressing to the Zone food blocks. Each is based around a “zone-friendly” plate, with portions from the three major nutrient groups: fat, protein and carbs. First, divide your plate into thirds and fill it as follows:

  • One-third of your plate should consist of lean protein, close to the size and thickness of your palm.
  • Two-thirds of your plate will be carbs, preferably with a low glycemic index ‒ to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • A small portion of monounsaturated fats.

The hand-eye method is a simplified version that does not require calorie-counting. By using your palm size and eyes, you can estimate a correct portion size. Your five fingers are a reminder to eat five times a day, and to never go without eating for more than five hours. For example, each meal may consist of the recommended carbs and protein, with a snack of healthy fats in between.

Once you have mastered the hand-eye method, or if you prefer calorie counting, the Zone block method will help you precisely balance every meal. Adult males are recommended around 1,500 calories daily, and adult women 1,200. A Zone block is made up of one of each nutrient block:

  • Protein block: 7 grams
  • Carb block: 9 grams
  • Fat block: 1.5 grams (or 3 grams for a fat-free protein)

The number of zone blocks you consume in a day varies by your weight, height, waist and hip measurements. On average, an adult male will consume 14 Zone blocks a day, while a woman will consume 11. As an example, a typical meal will likely consist of three to five Zone blocks, but a snack will only be one.

Approved Zone Diet Food List:

Lean Protein – Skinless chicken or turkey, fish or shellfish, beef, pork, lamb, egg whites, tofu or soy, cheese, milk or yogurt.
Carbohydrates – Mainly vegetables, some grains and a little fruit – such as peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, oatmeal, quinoa, couscous, cranberries, guavas, citrus and more.
Fat – Nuts, chia seeds, or natural peanut butter, avocados, oils and tahini.

Foods You Should Avoid:

Unlike most other diets, there are no foods that are banned in the Zone diet. However, the following should be avoided, as they increase inflammation:

High-sugar fruits and vegetables – This group can include bananas, pineapple, raisins, cranberries, peas, potatoes and corn.
Processed foods – From soda, to cereal and bread – this group includes items that are processed, refined or contain added sugars. Other items include pasta, bagels, muffins, cookies, cakes and candy.
Coffee and tea – Acceptable from time-to-time; however, a minimum of eight eight-ounce glasses of water should be consumed daily.

Pros and Cons of The Zone Diet

The Zone Diet is lax, with its own share of pros and cons. It is a long-term diet meant to improve your overall health, rather than stop once a goal is met. For this reason, it is important that you choose a method you are able to maintain. While calories do count, you are not required to count them, unless you choose to do so. When dining out, Zone-friendly plates are easily found. However, you will likely have to plan to take some home. If you prefer eating in, an abundance of recipes and meal plans are available online. And most importantly, you will never go hungry or find yourself bored. Despite being portioned, these meals will keep you full and allow for delicious dining.

At Solutions Weight Loss, we encourage all of our patients to seek a lifestyle change, rather than a temporary diet. Not only will you see long-lasting results, but you will feel them! Dr. Newsome, and our team, can help you achieve your weight loss goals and maintain a healthier life. Everyone is different and deserves personalized recommendations and individualized attention. Contact us today!

The Whole30® Program – What You Need To Know

The Whole30® Program – What You Need To Know

Every diet plan – including the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet  and the ketogenic diet – work on the principle of modifying the portion of certain foods or food groups consumed on a daily basis, as well as eliminating certain types of food entirely. Now, the Whole30 diet program is sweeping the nation as not just a weight loss program (it pointedly does not use the word “diet”), but a supportive community of devotees dedicated to achieving and maintaining a truly transformative quality of life experience.

natural diet, losing belly fatDeveloped by co-founders Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig in 2009, Whole30 is designed to change the way you eat and feel in 30 days. The website describes the program as “… a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”

While that sounds like a pretty tall order, Whole30 achieves all of this and more by explicitly targeting the individual’s emotional and habitual relationship with food. The program revolves around breaking unhealthy behavioral patterns, putting a full-stop to stress-related comfort eating, and reducing carbohydrate and sugar cravings. Many people on the Whole30 program report having achieved food freedom within the 30-day period.

The purpose is to understand how your body responds to some foods. You eliminate these foods completely and then gradually reinstate them after 30 days. If you think these foods still work well for you, fine, and in case you find something that helps your body feel good, that’s even better!


The foods on the Whole30 program

Whole30 doesn’t ask you to leave your favorite foods forever. You are only asked to abstain from eating some foods and beverages for 30 days, and then slowly reinstate them. As mentioned earlier, the aim is to understand how your body responds to some foods.

Here is a partial list of permitted foods:

fruits, vegetables, healthy food, healthy life style


  • Vegetables – Eat as many as you want.
  • Fruits –Allowed in moderation, due to limits on sugar intake.
  • Seafood – Allowed, including shellfish.
  • Unprocessed meats – Make sure they don’t contain added sugar or preservatives.
  • Eggs – No limit.
  • Nuts and seeds – Allowed, except for peanuts (which is a legume, rather than a tree nut).
  • Coffee – Allowed, but only without milk products or sugar.
  • Oils and ghee – Olive and coconut oil are allowed, as well as ghee (clarified butter).



Following is a partial list of foods to avoid during the 30-day program:

dairy products, healthy lifestyle, diet,

  • Dairy products – Includes cheese, butter (except for ghee), yogurt, cow’s milk, kefir and cream (sour or otherwise).
  • Legumes – No members of this family, including soy (soy sauce, tofu, edamame or miso), peas, chickpeas, peanuts and lentils.
  • Grains – Includes wheat, corn, quinoa, sprouted grains, millet, rye, bulgur, buckwheat, amaranth and sorghum.
  • Alcohol – Abstain completely during the 30-day period, including using alcohol for cooking. Vanilla extract is also on the forbidden list.
  • Added sugar in all forms – including artificial sweetener – This includes sugar in natural forms, such as maple or agave syrup. Check the label when shopping, as many items include some type or amount of sugar.
  • Junk food – Almost needless to say. No baked goods, snack foods, ice cream, etc.
  • MSG, sulfites and carrageenan – Common additives in processed foods. Carrageenan is a common additive in natural foods, and has been implicated in digestive system conditions.


The Whole30 community and forum

As mentioned earlier, Whole30 provides plenty of support and encouragement for those following the program. The Whole30 Forum is designed to help navigate the Whole30 program, ask questions and seek advice from the program’s experts. Those who have been through the program can share their success stories and provide motivation for others.  

From features, updates and news from the Whole30 team to rules, regulations, recipes and books, you have everything on the Whole30 Forum that you wish to know and ask. There is something for everyone on the Forum – how to follow Whole30 with a medical condition, Whole30 for athletes and Whole30 while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interacting with others sharing the Whole30 experience creates a community feeling, which greatly helps boost motivation. The Whole30 Community is like a close-knit family where you can get answers to questions, as well as track your meals, progress and results – and even share your recipes and success stories.

If the Whole30 program has had a positive effect on your life, you can become a certified Whole30 coach and help others by offering your resources and services to your local community.

We at Solutions Weight Loss encourage everyone to follow a healthy lifestyle by whatever means achieves the best result for each individual. If you’ve tried other programs and diets but feel that a medically supervised weight loss program may be what you need to achieve long-term results, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. William E. Newsome and learn about your options.

What is The Mediterranean Diet and Would It Work For You?

What is The Mediterranean Diet and Would It Work For You?

Diet trends come and go faster than we can start them, but that does not hinder our curiosity. Consistently, they are chalked up to eliminating food groups or a restrictive food intake, setting us up for a mid-diet burnout or dangerous eating habits. Although some plans may achieve the desired results, they are often short-lived and lack practical healthy lifestyle choices. If you are ready to give yet another diet a go, we are happy to present our Mediterranean diet 101.

Consisting of well-balanced and relatively non-restrictive foods, the tried-and-true Mediterranean diet sets you up for a healthier, extended future. It focuses on the type of fats you eat, rather than how much. Online nutrition program, Real Living Nutrition Services, breaks down the difference between the three main fats found in our food. Along the way, you will learn about what food contains and how it has an impact on your overall health. As one of the few diets that will leave you both happy and healthy, it may be the right plan for you.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet encapsulates the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea in the 1960s. But why should you try the Mediterranean diet over other plans? To start, it was not developed in a lab, but evolved over 5,000 years based on a natural way of living. While the diet consists of a few basic rules, the meals created can be adapted to any local and seasonal food availability. 


Elena Paravantes a Greek-American Registered Dietitian, founder of OliveTomato, and Culinary Nutritionist specializing in the Mediterranean Diet, explains that, “the diet is characterized by a high intake of vegetables and olive oil, moderate amounts of carbohydrates, and small amounts of meat.”


Equally important, it is not just a weight loss plan, but promotes healthy living. The Mayo Clinic calls the diet “heart-healthy”, as it is associated with lower levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, thereby reducing your chance of heart disease. It is also said to reduce the chance of diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. For these reasons, most major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adapt a similar diet. Notably, the base of the Mediterranean diet food pyramid consists of physical activity and interactive mealtimes. The Mediterranean lifestyle considers this aspect important, as it encourages healthy socialization.

Mediterranean Diet Meals

So what areas of your diet will change? Like the DASH Diet and Ketogenic Diet, it begins with a set calorie goal. A typical Mediterranean diet will range between 1,200 to 1,500 calories daily. This list will inform you about what you should and should not consume, as well as the recommended daily servings.

Meat and seafood The ‘bad’ cholesterol previously mentioned is due to saturated fats ‒ which are the highest in red meat. The Mediterranean diet replaces meat with plant-based foods, although red meat can be enjoyed a few times a month. Eggs and poultry are better than red meat, but only in moderation. Instead, fresh fish or seafood is recommended up to twice a week, cooked in olive or canola oil.

Fruits and vegetables – As the base of every meal, an average of nine servings of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables should be consumed every day. At least one meal a day should include a salad or other leafy greens, so get your kale on! Other fruits and vegetable servings can include olives, figs, cherries, dates, tomatoes, grapes and melons, among others.

Grains – Unlike most diets, and a relief to many, bread is a staple in every Mediterranean meal. The only stipulation is that they are whole-grain. These contain tons of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Other grains and pasta are also regularly featured, from five to six servings a day. Whether it is dipped, smeared, or twirled on a fork, enjoy your carbs!

Nuts and seeds A popular snack, raw nuts or seeds contain high doses of healthy fats, fiber and protein. You can have three to five one-ounce servings of raw nuts a week. The most popular are almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts and sesame seeds. A fresh pesto or tahini is perfect for dipping whole-grain bread!

Dairy products – Approved dairy products are few and should be consumed in moderation. Try to stick to unprocessed and low-fat cheese and yogurt. For example, Greek yogurt, feta and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Other dairy products are eliminated, or can be replaced with olive oil, which is much more flavorful and rich in monounsaturated fats, omegas and antioxidants. Seven to 14 tablespoons is recommended weekly. 

Seasonings – One large hurdle for many to overcome is the use of salt. Often consumed with pastas and grains, large amounts of salt can increase your blood pressure, putting you at risk for heart attack, stroke, dementia and kidney disease. Instead, the Mediterranean diet utilizes fresh herbs and spices, which have a variety of health benefits.

Beverages If you have a hard time coping with a lack of your favorite dairy, take solace in the occasional glass of wine ‒ with your doctor’s approval. The Mediterranean diet allows up to five ounces of wine daily. Like any good diet, at least six glasses of water a day is recommended. If you want a little pick-me-up, a small unsweetened coffee or tea is fine.

Sweets Unfortunately, sweets have no place in a Mediterranean diet, including sweeteners. If you are craving something sweet, a fresh and juicy piece of fruit will keep you full. A large grapefruit, nectarine or apple can go a long way.

What is a mediterranean diet? would it work for you?

Conveniently, most Mediterranean meals require little preparation. For example, our easy Mediterranean omelet. Like all dishes, it contains the freshest ingredients and consists of a range of flavors. Many assume that Mediterranean meals are strictly Greek, but they include foods from many countries, such as Morocco, Spain and Turkey. Don’t be afraid to look further! If you have a hard time discovering dishes, Healthline offers a helpful example of a week’s worth of Mediterranean meals.

If you are still feeling uninspired, Dr. Newsome would love to assist you in your diet plan decision. Start your weight loss journey with the care and knowledge of a physician who understands the frustrations and challenges of weight loss. Contact us at Solutions Weight Loss, the preferred Orlando weight loss clinic.

5 Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 40

5 Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 40

When you reach the age of 65, and reflect back on the years gone by, the most precious decade of your life will likely be your 40s. You will not be alone in feeling this way. According to conclusive studies, if given the ability to return to any period in their life, most people would choose their 40s.

Weight loss tips, Orlando weight loss tips, how to lose weight, weight loss advice, dieting tipsThe reasons for this wish are aplenty. You are past your doubtful years of youth when you reach 40, you are doing well in your career, you become more mature in your relationships, and above all, you have the requisite wisdom to differentiate the right from the wrong.

The problem….

But, one thing that really comes as a challenge once you hit 40, is your body shape, especially if you are a woman (not to say that men are immune from this either). Losing weight at 40 plus can be challenging especially if you didn’t take very good care of yourself during your 20s and 30s. Once you cross 40, just maintaining your current weight becomes an uphill task, let alone shedding those extra pounds Even if you eat the same and work out like when you were younger. If a 20 year old woman needs less than four weeks of workout to lose weight, a 40 year old would probably require five weeks to lose the same amount.

However, it is not as if you can’t lose weight after you cross 40. All you have to do is lead a more disciplined life, and make some lifestyle changes to keep your body in shape. If you are in your 40s, and are looking forward to shedding those extra pounds, read on.

The causes….

One of the primary reasons why it becomes difficult for you to maintain and lose weight after 40 is that hormone levels, namely estrogen in women, and testosterone in men, start a downward spiral. In women this is the perimenopause stage, and by menopause, estrogen levels are at rock bottom levels, which is the main reason why 30% of women in the age bracket of 50 – 59 are obese.

There seems to be a link between regulating body weight and estrogen. In a study conducted on the animals in the lab, it was found that when their estrogen levels were low, the test subjects had a tendency to eat more, and they were less physically active.

Moreover, very high, or too low estrogen levels can lead to storage of fat. When the estrogen levels are low, the metabolic rate can also slowdown, which means your body is not able to quickly convert the energy stored in your body to working energy.

Another reason why it is difficult to lose weight after 40s is the fact that we become less active as we age; we slow down and our level of exercise also takes a hit.

As we grow older, our muscle mass starts decreasing, though at a very slow pace. This process starts much earlier than 40, it in fact begins at 30. When you have less muscles in your body, your metabolic rate falls, and then it is not all that difficult to gain weight.

Furthermore, as we age our aerobic capacity also takes a hit, which makes it difficult for us to properly utilize the energy during exercises, and hence we are not able to burn enough calories during exercises.

This is also the time when many women are not able to get a good night’s sleep. And, when you don’t get proper sleep, you tend to eat more, which is directly related to weight gain.

Last but not the least, as you cross 40 and reach the perimenopause (which sets in the early 40s) and menopause, the dipping estrogen levels can lead to insulin sensitivity. It can therefore become difficult for your body to maintain correct levels of sugar in your blood. And, this sudden rise and fall in blood sugar levels increases your craving to eat higher carb junk foods.

The solutions….

As mentioned earlier, it is difficult, but not impossible to lose weight when you cross the age of 40. You need to change your lifestyle a bit, avoid certain foods, eat as per your age requirements (which of course means you need to eat less), and exercise regularly to get into what you were in your 20s and 30s.


5 Things Women Should do to Lose Weight After 40


1- Keep a check on the intake of your calories

Again, as mentioned earlier, since it is difficult to burn calories, it is better to keep a check on what, and how much you eat. This does not in any way mean that you starve yourself, skip your meals, or stop enjoying yourself altogether.

Stop taking sugar in your drinks completely, be it in tea or coffee, morning or in the evening. If you can’t have tea or coffee without sugar, then shift to sweeteners, and start reducing it as soon as you can, because it is always better to kick the habit of taking sugar in all forms.

Also, get rid of dairy milk and shift to almond and soy milk. Even milk that is skimmed has 120 calories in one cup, while almond and soy milk contain only 60 or 80 calories in each cup. And, if you shift to almond milk which is unsweetened, all you would consume is 30 calories in each cup.Diet Tips for Women, Dieting over 40, weight loss tips. Orlando weight loss clinic, Orlando diet doctor, Orlando diet dr

Though fruits are good for your health, try avoiding those that have high caloric values. After all, your target is to cut down as much calories as possible.

You can also make salad your regular diet to avoid a lot of calories.

Shift to whole grain foods, instead of refined grains such as white bread, white rice, bagels, etc.

Moreover, stay away from processed and packaged food, as they contain lots of sugar. What you should do once you cross 40 is start shopping smart, read what is written on the label, how it will affect your weight loss regimen, and finally on your health.

2- Exercise is now not optional, you need to do it on a regular basis

Diet alone is not sufficient to lose weight after you hit 40. When you are young your metabolism rate is fast, but once you cross the age of 40, it starts slowing down, and you now have no other option, but to exercise on a regular basis.

It is recommended that after the age of 40, you should at least exercise five times a week without skipping a single day in between. Go to the gym, or buy the equipment, and do your workout at home, but ensure that you exercise five times a week. By now you know that as you grow older, you lose your muscle mass, and the best method to get it back is to do as much exercise as possible.

Moreover, put a lot of emphasis on aerobic exercises because this strengthens your heart and lungs. The stronger they are, the more is the amount of energy you have, and the more you would be able to exercise. And, the more you exercise, the greater would be the weight loss you can expect when you enter your 40s.

3- Say no to junk foods and stop treating yourself too often

You cannot think of having pizza, chocolate shakes and burgers every day, or most days of the week, and then worry about not losing weight. This does not mean that you can’t treat yourself once in a while, you don’t have to stop eating what you love the most. What you have to be careful about is eating less junk food. You cannot make munching chips a habit whenever you are in front of the television. Or, every time you are feeling a bit low, you should not grab a bar of chocolate.

Your body talks to you, so it is not all that difficult to conclude how much calories you can consume each day. All you need to be careful about is that it should not affect your weight loss goal. Every person is different, and so are your caloric requirements. Follow what your body demands.

Also, do keep in mind that alcohol consumption beyond a point can hit you hard in your weight loss strategy. If you are serious about losing weight at 40, then you should have only 2 – 4 glasses of wine in a week. And, if you want to increase your alcohol intake to slightly higher limits, then cut down on other treats.

At the end of it all, it is about how many calories you have in a day, and are you able to burn that properly.

4- Increase your protein intake once you cross 40

As mentioned earlier, when you reach 40 your body loses muscle mass. Hence, you need protein in adequate amount to keep your muscles healthy. But, lean protein is what you need to have, and you can add supplements and shakes to your diet if is not providing you sufficient amount of protein.

You can have fish, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, etc. to get adequate quantity of lean protein. And, if you are a vegetarian, then add beans, mushroom, peanuts, and almond milk and soy products to get sufficient amounts of lean protein to your diet.

5- Make sure that you get adequate sleep, and try to maintain your stress levels

You need sufficient sleep not just to lose weight, but you also require it to remain healthy. There are several ways that you can try out to get adequate sleep, from a hot tub bath, massage, and meditation to yoga. Each, or a combination of a few of them can help you get sufficient sleep.

Also, you need to control your stress levels in order to get adequate sleep.. Stress doesn’t only affect your weight loss regimen, it can also have adverse effects on your health. In fact, it can wreak havoc on your body, and may affect your health permanently.

If you are a woman who is about to reach 40, or if you are already in your 40s, you should follow these tips to tone up your body. But, as we said earlier, every woman has a specific need, and you have to first understand yourself if you want to keep your body in shape.

Solutions Weight Loss is a weight loss and wellness facility located in Orlando, Florida. Find out what and how much you need to eat, the exercises which would be effective for you, and the supplements your body requires to aid your weight loss program.

Improve Your Mood: Healthy Meal Ideas to Give You the Good Feels

Improve Your Mood: Healthy Meal Ideas to Give You the Good Feels

Say goodbye to stress, fatigue, and getting “hangry”

They say you are what you eat. While none of us are over here literally turning into avocados or smoothies, the sentiment is not too far off the mark. Ever noticed yourself feeling sluggish or bloated after a fast food meal? Crashing hard after a sugar-laden snack? What about an unshakable down-in-the-dumps mood? As it turns out, the connection between what you eat and how you feel emotionally is stronger than you probably think. If you’ve felt a little off lately, may be it has something to do what you are eating on a regular basis. If this sounds familiar, perhaps some healthy meal ideas will help put some pep back in your step.

Low mood is associated with decreased motivation, unhealthy eating habits, and low activity levels. It is a vicious cycle that leads to weight gain and makes it harder to burn off fat. It is important to note, however, that it is not scientifically proven that you can eat your way out of a mental illness or disorder. This stands only for brief periods of less than ideal mood. If your lack of motivation, or feelings of sadness increase, consult your physician as these are signs of depression, rather than just an occasional bad mood.

Eating well does more than boost your mood. It boosts your general brain function, increases energy, and loads other parts of your body with necessary nutrients to thrive throughout the day. Not sure where to get started? Ready to give your weekly meal prep routine a facelift?  Try these delicious dishes, packed full of the good stuff needed to keep you smiling like its Friday, all week long!

15498943326_c1cf25b2a5_b1.  For Complex Carbs- Try Quinoa Tabbouleh

Despite the media demonization of carbs, complex carbs are super beneficial for your mood. Consuming too little carbs, like the ones found in grains, leafy produce, and legumes can lead to fatigue. By choosing complex carbs, over the over-synthesized ones found in white bread or bleached flour, you help tryptophan travel through the body. Tryptophan, when absorbed from food, becomes 5- hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) which is then converted into serotonin. Serotonin, you may know, is the brain chemical tasked with regulating anxiety, happiness, and general mood. A lack of tryptophan may be responsible for your less than happy days.

This Quinoa recipe takes a favorite of Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cultures and gives it a complex -carb packed twist. Replacing bulgur wheat with quinoa, this vegetarian salad is hearty, yet refreshing.

2.  For More Omega-3s try a Salmon Poke Bowl

Poke, once a regional favorite, and now a global phenomenon. Poke is a raw fish salad, originating in Hawaii. Think of a deconstructed sushi roll, in a heaping bowl. Poke consists of raw fish, marinated soy sauce, sesame oil and onions. From there, you can find everything from rice, seaweed, cucumber, avocado, to sesame seeds and sriracha topping these colorful concoctions.

But, we’re here for the Omega-3s. Many studies have linked Omega-3s to brain health, including the neurotransmitters that help move tryptophan along.

This version of poke combines wild frozen salmon, avocado, yellow onion, scallions, cilantro, brown rice and arugula for a zesty, flavorful meal packed with omega-3 rich foods.

improve your mood3.  For a Balanced Breakfast: Peanut Butter Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

Cookies?! For breakfast?! Well, this post is about lifting your mood via food, but what about the healthy part? While cookie-like in shape and texture, the contents of these nutrient-packed disks of joy are much closer to a homemade snack bar. Here you have the potassium of bananas; vanilla protein powder and peanut butter for an energy boost, applesauce, nuts and oats for a balanced breakfast.

So many of us skip out on breakfast, due to busy lifestyles, lack of healthy options and in some cases, a misguided attempt to lose weight. A lack of breakfast can lead to a lower mood, overeating during future meals, and low concentration. A nutritious breakfast, as opposed to one packed with processed sugar and carbs, is a mood-booster, an energy boost, and a pretty easy way to lose weight.

For those on the go, make these cookies in batches and keep them in an airtight container for up to one week. Grab 2 on your way out the door, or while you chug your morning cup of coffee. A balanced breakfast does not need to be an hour-long affair.

4.  For more Vitamin D & Folate Try a Greek Omelet

Mediterranean diets are often hailed as one of the healthiest and most conducive to weight loss. A Greek omelet is a great way to get your essential Vitamin D, which many people are deficient in. Feta cheese, while on the fattier side of dairy, is great in moderation. Feta is a fantastic choice for increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake.

There’s a reason therapists often recommend more time in the sun for greater moods. Vitamin D helps in elevating mood and moderating emotions.

Mix eggs, spinach, feta, scallions, dill and pepper and cook in a 10-inch skillet for a nutritious entrée suitable for any meal.

improve your mood5.  For B12, Iron, Vitamin K and Antioxidants, Try Nacho Cheese Kale Chips

You may want to sit down for this one. What if I told you that there was a way to curb that craving for half a bag of nacho cheese chips that you crave oh-so-badly on a bad day? Loaded with preservatives processed carbs, saturated fats, and a lot of unnecessary chemical nonsense, you’re better off skipping bagged chips. But with a little prep work, you can make a nutritionally satisfying alternative, that will also help your brain health.

A common issue for people who take up plant-based diets is the development of a B12 deficiency.  B12 is mostly found in meat and dairy. B12 is essential for healthy blood cells and a functioning nervous system. Yet, 4 out of 100 women over age 40 show signs of a deficiency. A deficiency is usually characterized by fatigue, breathlessness, numbness, poor balance and memory trouble. Not to mention the poor mood you will probably be in. A great, not-so-well known way to get your B12 levels up? Nutritional Yeast!

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that comes in a dry, flaky powdered form. It’s nutty, cheesy flavor makes it a great substitute for powdered or grated cheeses, especially if you are avoiding dairy.

Kale, a well-known nutritional powerhouse, adds a punch of iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants to your snack time treat.

Other Food-Related Problems that May be Disrupting Your Mood

  • You’re Still Eating Cold Cuts

While cold-cuts, especially those that come in the plastic container, seem like a great way to get a solid serving of protein- stop! These preservative, sodium-laden mystery meats are a HCG Diet Plan disaster. Not to mention, a lot of the junk in the meat slices could be contributing to your lack of energy.

Look to have fresh, preservative free meats whenever possible. Or, look to get your protein from alternative, plant-based sources.

  • You’re Not Eating Often Enough

Too many people assume that their weight gain is entirely attributed to eating too much. Even more often do we critique this line of thinking, stating only that it forces the body to retain fat and over eat later on. This method can also be causing your poor mood.

Some of us call this “hangry”, the short-fused, irritable behavior only quelled after a meal. This is NOT just a personality trait, it is a biological response to inadequate food intake. While sugar is generally frowned upon in a healthy diet, allowing your blood sugar to drop (also known as hypoglycemia) affects your brain function. Self-control, and actions like regulating emotions, dealing with stress, and avoiding impulses diminish.

Eat when you are hungry, and make sure it is nutritious. This can help you avoid a major, unnecessary breakdown.

  • You Have a Negative Association With Food

Perhaps you have struggled with your weight for most of your life? Maybe a health-scare made you conscientious about what you eat to the point of near paranoia? No matter the source, for some, eating alone is a point of stress and anxiety.

A negative association with food can lead to feelings of guilt or sadness after meals. In some cases, binging follows a “slip”, when you eat something that is out-of-line with your ideal diet. This is unhealthy and can lead to dietary and mental health issues. If your meals are come prepared with a side of shame, talk to your physician about ways, such as Adipex P, that can be utilized to reduce this negative association.

  • Your Caffeine Intake is Too High

Caffeine, in moderation in the form of coffee or tea, can be great for you. But if you are overdoing it, you can quickly find yourself feeling nervous, short-tempered and unwell. A high caffeine intake can lead to caffeine addiction. If you find yourself suffering from headaches, irritability, depression, or sleepiness without your sixth cup of coffee, it is probably time to wean yourself off.

If you’re ready to make the commitment to a healthier mind and body, Solutions Weight Loss can help. Our medically supervised weight-loss systems assist you in making the right dietary choices for your specific needs and goals.

Gut Health: 7 Foods for a Healthy Digestive System

Gut Health: 7 Foods for a Healthy Digestive System

When it comes to your digestive health, you are what you eat!

Junk foods, unhealthy eating habits and a lack of nutritional education result in a lot of pressure on the digestive system. Bloating, acidity and constipation plague an ever-increasing number of people. While these might not be life-threatening conditions, poor gut health can cause a lot of discomfort. Moreover, they can also be the starting point for many complicated, and even life-threatening ailments.

Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power. People who really care about their health recognize the importance of keeping the gut happy and healthy. Others among us may need a little guidance, and that’s okay!

The significance of healthy digestion

Ever wonder why we say “trust your gut”? In many medical circles, the gut might as well be considered a second brain. The significance of healthy digestive organs can never be overstated.

Do not underestimate the vitality of a healthy gut not only for digestion, but for the overall well-being of your body. After all, your GI tract makes up the majority of your digestive system.

Good gastrointestinal health also has a positive effect on your mood and memory.

Recent research suggests that the health of your gut has a strong connection with your mental health, as leaky gut syndrome or intestinal appear to be on the rise.

Irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, and celiac disease alongside increasing rates of depression, anxiety and autoimmune disorders draw an intriguing parallel between an unhealthy gut and mood.

Symptoms of an unhealthy gut can include bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence, or reflux, but there could be less evident signs such as fatigue, headache, weakness of the immune system, and joint pain.

How to Start Working on a Healthy Gut

Where do you start if you want to make a change in your digestive health? How can you avoid uncomfortable conditions like constipation, bloating, acid reflux and other complicated bowel disorders?

The answer: start eating healthier foods. Easily digestible, non-irritating foods generally work well for positive gut flora.

This in no way means that you must ban yourself the foods you love, completely. Aim to strike a balance. If 75% of the time your diet consists of food high in minerals, vitamins and fibers, then go ahead and occasionally treat yourself. A diet closer to 25% gut-healthy foods will likely pronounce your symptoms. Remember, an unhealthy gastrointestinal system does not just affect your digestion, it affects your overall health.

7 Foods for a Healthier Gut

There are 100 trillion bacteria that reside in your gut at any given point in time. Microbial cells make up 90% of the cells in your body. As your diet impacts the growth, survival and types of microbes, you very much “are what you eat”.

Luckily, changing your gut flora does not need to be a huge undertaking to be successful!

Add these 7 foods to your diet plan to improve your gut flora:

Eat Fermented Foods

gut healthFermented foods are probiotic in nature, which helps improve your digestion by promoting good bacteria. Add Tempeh, kefir and miso to your diet to improve the presence of good bacteria in the gut.

The probiotic properties of fermented foods enhance the well-being of intestinal cells   while strengthening your immunity. Probiotics also help in treating diarrhea, reducing the chances of colon cancer and decreasing allergic reactions.

Decrease Inflammation with Chia Seeds

Though tiny in size, chia seeds have immense nutritional benefits, including the ability to keep your gut in excellent condition. Chia seeds provide fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and minerals. All of which regulate your bowel movements, increase your good cholesterol levels and decrease inflammation.

 As an excellent source of magnesium, chia seeds help increase muscle movement. Magnesium helps the intestinal wall relax during  . (That’s the constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine that pushes contents forward.)

Two teaspoons of these tiny seeds provide ten grams of fiber, or one third of your daily recommended value. Soak the chia seeds in water to remove the outer shell before eating.

Use Turmeric for Indigestion

Traditional medicine in India and China uses turmeric to treat numerous digestive problems, such as indigestion. Turmeric stimulates your gallbladder to release bile.

Turmeric can also help rid you of gases by calming your stomach. Plus, it helps improve the intestinal flora and increases intestinal absorption.

Turmeric also contains curcumin, a potent natural anti-inflammatory. Research suggests that turmeric could help treat inflammatory bowel disease, which affects approximately 1.4 million Americans.

Bananas Fight Constipation

gut healthThe FDA officially recognizes banana as a fruit capable of lowering your blood pressure, working to prevent potential strokes and heart attacks. The benefits of bananas cannot be overstated. Bananas have high concentrations of pectin, which help digestion and help to remove heavy metals and toxins from your body.

Bananas fall under the category of prebiotics. They help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut and facilitate the process of digestion. Bananas also yield digestive enzymes, which help nutrient absorption.

If you suffer from constipation, you need high amounts of fiber to maintain regular bowel movements. Bananas have a significant amount of healthy fiber that will assist in the fight against constipation.

Bananas replenish your lost electrolytes and soothe your digestive tract, making them an excellent choice after suffering from diarrhea.

As a natural antacid, bananas provide relief from uncomfortable conditions like heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD.

Banana also helps people suffering from stomach ulcers, as it provides a protective covering to your stomach lining, against corrosive acids.

Improve Digestion with Beets

This rich source of fiber can help ease digestive problems. It normalizes bowel movements and cleans your gastrointestinal system, which enhances colon and digestive health.

Red beets also contain folate, also known as vitamin B-9, which lowers the chance of colon cancer.

Since beet stops fatty acid build up, it detoxifies your body while simultaneously boosting your energy levels.

Try bone broth to improve digestion

gut healthSince bone broth breaks down completely as a food, it works wonders on digestion. Bone broth contains gelatin and collagen, which help repair the potentially damaged state of the intestinal lining.

 Adding bone broth to your diet may also assist in fighting wheat and dairy sensitivities. It produces good bacteria in the gut and improves immunity of the intestinal tract.

Include Greek Yogurt to promote probiotics

Creamier, thicker, richer and healthier than traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt makes for a great addition to your gut-friendly diet. Greek yogurt contains 40% less sugar, 38% less salt and two times more protein than the customary yogurt. Greek yogurt promotes beneficial bacteria, which helps you keep a healthy gut.

Presence of good bacteria or probiotics prevents you from having diarrhea. Furthermore, it can help sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis.

The high levels of protein in Greek yogurt help to keep you full for longer, often leading to successful weight loss.

Taking charge of your gut health can lead to a healthier and leaner life. Incorporating these foods in your diet will help to promote a healthy digestive system. For more information on healthy living, visit our weight loss and wellness facility– Solutions Weight Loss in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Solutions Weight Loss for a diet plan that helps your gut stay healthy. A healthy gut not only keeps you in shape, but the effects on energy and mood will change your life.

Have a happy gut!