The Wilmington Wellness Entrepreneur Network

Top Four Things to look for in a nutritional program

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The new year is around the corner, and with the new year comes the tradition of  resolutions for the new year and beyond.  It is estimated that forty five percent of Americans make resolutions, a majority of which are health related.  With the plethora of weight loss and diet programs on the market, it is important to partner with and choose a program that will help you meet your short and long term goals.

Below are four of the most important things to look for when choosing a program to help reach your goals.

1.  Support system- With the amount of weight loss and diet programs being sold on TV, in stores, and online, choosing the right one can be over whelming.  It can be easy to pick or choose the first, “”slimming kit” on a store shelf or online, but that might not be what is best for one’s  long term success.  With sixty four percent of people keeping their resolution past one month, and forty six percent keeping it past two months,  a trusted support system and accountability partner can be an integral part in staying on track towards our goals.  A good support system can help guide you along your wellness journey, and help out with things like emotional stress, cravings, knowing what and when to eat, in addition to moderate exercise.  When choosing an accountability partner and support system, it is important to choose one which you can trust, and has the resources necessary to reach your goals.

2.  Quality products including meal replacement shakes and vitamins- In 2003, a forty week study conducted by Dr Steven Heymsfield and colleagues found that overweight and obese individuals who used daily meal replacements lost more weight than those who followed a low calorie diet (1).

With the vast amount of shakes, wraps, protein bars, and meal replacements available it is important  to choose a quality product that is based in science and manufactured by a reputable company with strict manufacturing processes.  In 2013, thirty one percent of protein shakes tested failed tests done by consumer (1).   Some of the brands tested missed 16 grams of protein per scoop, had more cholesterol than was listed on the label, and others contained lead, which can be toxic to the body. (2)

A quality meal replacement should contain a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber and keep you full and satiated, while balancing blood sugar levels and helping the body release weight naturally.  In  addition, make sure it is free of genetically modified organisms and artificial sweeteners which our bodies do not recognize and is unable to break down safely and effectively.

In addition to a quality meal replacement shake, vitamins and minerals are important to protect the body from toxins that are released as fat begins burning.  A good multi vitamin prevents nutrient deficiency hunger cravings, and makes cells more responsive to insulin the fat storing hormone.  A recent study showed that multi vitamin and mineral supplementation in obese adults had positive effects, including lower body weight, bmi, total and ldl cholesterol, in addition to significantly higher resting expenditure and hdl than the placebo group.

Similar to meal replacement and protein shakes, it is important to use a quality multi vitamin/mineral to help support and promote cellular health.  In fact, recently the New York State attorney general’s office conducted an investigation of supplements at four major retailers- including GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.  The investigation found that the off the shelf products tested did not contain the herbs listed on the label, and some even contained potential allergens which were not listed on the label (3).

Quality multi vitamins and minerals are designed to give the body the optimal amount needed to support and promote cellular health.  In order to ensure the product is of the highest quality, it is important that it is manufactured using pharmaceutical grade GMP standards to be pure, potent, bio available and safe for the body.  A good book that ranks multi vitamins is the comparative guide to nutritional supplements by Lyle MacWilliam.  The comparative guide to nutritional supplements compares 1300 United States and Canadian products and supported by eighteen health criteria to support research findings.  Nutrisearch

3.  Food guidance and planning.- While meal replacements can be a great way to kick start a wellness journey, learning to create healthy meals, and make healthy food choices is an importanvt part of a healthy lifestyle.

Our bodies are designed to function best when blood sugar levels rise slowly  while staying constant and steady over an extended period of time.  When high glycemic and fast burning carbohydrate meals are eaten blood sugar rises rapidly causing insulin to be reduced by the  pancreas to lower blood sugar, mainly by converting excess blood sugar to fat, predominantly in the mid section. .Transitioning to low glycemic type diet can have many benefits including reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease, curb inflammation and reduce weight.

4.  Testimonials- While the three pieces above are important in reaching health and wellness goals, it can be very helpful knowing that many people have had great lonig term success with the program you are following.





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