Hypothyroidism 12 Common Symptoms. Is It Time To Call Your Doctor?

 

Hypothyroidism also known as an under active thyroid, presents with a variety of symptoms. These           symptoms arise because your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone. When this  occurs it causes a slowing down of all your bodies processes. Here are common symptoms that indicate you  may have hypothyroidism.

  • Fatigue: Hypothyroidism, one of the main symptoms, and often the first sign of hypothyroidism is fatigue. Without enough hormone your body slows down. You may have trouble getting up in the morning despite getting 8 or more hours of sleep each night..
  • Weight Gain: Hypothyroidism slows your metabolism down, which can make you gain weight, even though  you eat healthy and exercise.
  • Feeling Cold: Without adequate thyroid hormone to keep your metabolism active, you may feel like you are always cold no matter what the temperature is.
  • Depression: Hypothyroidism can also cause mood disorders like depression and or anxiety. It can also worsen symptoms in people who already have depression. If your mood is low, get your thyroid checked.
  • Memory Problems: Low thyroid hormones cause a slowing of all processes in your body including your brain. You may have difficulty focusing, problem concentrating, suffer from mental fatigue, and problem with short term memory. Although there are many causes, your thyroid could be the problem.
  • Muscle and Joint Pains: Hypothyroidism can cause your muscles and joints to hurt. The pain can be severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. Left untreated some people can develop muscle profound weakness. Again there are many causes of joint, and muscle pain but if you have persistent aches and pains its time to call your doctor.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, you should make sure to have your thyroid levels checked.Hypothyroidism is a common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms can include numbness, tingling and or pain in your hands.
  • Constipation: Hypothyroidism is associated with slowing down of your digestion system, resulting in constipation. The thyroid can make your whole digestive system “lazy”. The proper blood test may reveal its due to low thyroid hormone.
  • Change in Menstrual Cycle. You may develop lighter periods or even skip your menstrual cycle if you thyroid hormones are low. A change is your cycle may indicate thyroid disease.
  • Infertility: If your thyroid is underactive it can interfere with your fertility. Talk with your doctor about checking your thyroid if you are having fertility problems.
  • Elevated Cholesterol: If you have elevated cholesterol, your thyroid may be to blame.
  • Dry Hair and Skin: You can develop dry hair and skin. Some people also notice hair loss. A classic sign of hypothyroidism is the absence of hair on lateral one third of your eyebrows.

In addition if you have a family history of hypothyroidism you are at an increased risk of developing an underactive thyroid. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to discuss these with your doctor. Make sure to discuss any family history of thyroid or autoimmune diseases. When asking to have your thyroid checked, make sure they do a complete profile and not just check your TSH. You should have FreeT4, FreeT4, RFreeT3, Thyroid antibodies and also have your adrenal function tested. If your adrenal glands are not functioning properly, they can cause your thyroid to not produce enough thyroid hormone. Additional testing may be indicated depending on your symptoms.

If you think you may have an underactive thyroid, we can help!

To schedule a consult with Dr. Betty Keller call 201 485 7930

Optimal Wellness Center 172 Franklin Ave Suite 4A Ridgewood NJ 07450

https://optimalwellnessctr.com

The Power Of Your Mind Is The Key To Successful Weight Loss!

The Power Of Your mind Is The Key To Successful Weight Loss

In order to consistently change the way you eat, you need to change the way you think about eating. Many of us have lost and regained the same 5, 10, 20 or more pounds only to see it creep back on and unfortunately along with a few extra pounds. It can be discouraging once we lose the weight somehow our old habits that caused us to gain weight in the first place return. The only way to consistently lose weight and keep it off is to change the way we think. We need to develop a plan to control negative thoughts that sabotage and undermine our sense of control. We need to choose an eating plan that we can live with for life. Diets do not work in the long run. Changing your lifestyle, including, how you think about food, what and how much you eat, and engaging in regular activity. In addition, we need to develop ways to counter act the effects of excessive stress in our lives and make sure we get enough good quality sleep. These changes not only will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight you will also feel better, have more energy, a more positive outlook and reduce your risk of developing chronic disease.

How can we change our thoughts? One way is through Cognitive Behavior Therapy. CBT has been very successful in helping people control their eating. CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps you identify these negative or unhelpful thoughts that can sabotage your healthy lifestyle. This form of therapy helps you develop effective solutions. The basis of CBT is awareness and change. You learn to identify negative thinking patterns, and develop tools to challenge these unhelpful thoughts and make choices that are positive. There are many books available as well as certified CBT therapists that can help you get started. A great way to learn more about CBT and how it can help you lose weight and keep it off is to read:

The Diet Trap Solution by Dr. Judith S. Beck

 

At The Optimal Wellness Center we take a holistic approach to weight loss. Including using CBT techniques to help our patients successfully lose and keep the weight off.

Optimal Wellness Center is located at 172 Franklin Ave Suite 4A Ridgewood NJ 07450

10 Tips To Help You Lose Weight and Get Healthier.

Here are 10 basic tips to start you on your way to permanent weight loss, one step at a time:

#1 Start with a personal commitment to yourself.  Before you can make changes that last, promise yourself that you are doing this for real.  No medical consultation in the world is going to make a difference if you are not committed to making changes happen.  Your progress in choosing foods, activities and ways to reduce stress only work if you are ready and willing to make the new choices you’re giving yourself.

#2 Find what motivates you and work with that.  Only you know the real reasons you want to make a change.  No one can tell you the right reason. This has to be what you want for yourself.  Think about what means most to you, like “I want more energy and fun playing with my kids,” or “I want to feel more comfortable in my body.”   Write your reason down.  Keep it in mind.  These thoughts will help you make positive, healthier choices.

#3 Say to yourself:  I can do this! Your mind is powerful – the most powerful tool you have.  When you tell yourself “I can,” you’re helping set the course of your actions.  Your actions follow your thoughts.  “I can do this” leads you on to your own personal success.

#4  Look at how you think about food, and change the way you think about it. Food is meant as fuel for your body.  It gives you nourishment and the ability for your body to perform.  People may talk about “comfort” food.  But any “comfort” in eating doesn’t last very long.  Our thoughts and relationships about food are complicated.  Be willing to reflect on your thoughts and feelings about food, and decide which thoughts to keep.#5  Take time to relax and enjoy yourself when you eat.  Enjoy your food.  Be mindful and allow yourself to sit down for your meal, and enjoy every bite. Don’t watch TV while eating, or check your email, or read.  Make meal time a pleasure and a break you take for yourself.

#6 For the first 3 weeks, write down what you eat in a food diary.  This isn’t forever, — it’s good to do at least for the first 21 days.  Keeping a food diary will help you become aware of the new habits and choices you are forming.  It will help keep you on track..

#7 Keep unhealthy foods out of your home.  Remove any foods you’ve decided to keep out of your life for now.  You save yourself a lot of stress and temptation if it’s not in your house.  Make sure you remove trigger foods from your home: those which you can’t stop eating once you get started.  Know that you’re not alone in having foods that are just not safe for you to have nearby:  There’s a reason why certain potato chips makers advertise that “You can’t eat just one.”

#8 Drink water.  Plan times to help yourself to a glass of water.  Drink a glass before you have a meal, and before you have a snack.  When you make sure to give your body enough water, you are less likely to make the common mistake of eating, thinking you’re hungry, when you are actually thirsty instead.  Drinking plenty of water also helps prevent food cravings, and keeps you from feeling fatigue due to dehydration.

#9 Get active.  Find an activity that you enjoy.  Make time to enjoy your activity for at least half an hour, 5 days a week.  Exercise speeds up your metabolism.  If you stay active for 60 minutes a day, you reach your weight loss goals even faster.  In addition to an activity that gives your heart rate and metabolism a healthy boost, find an exercise that helps you improve muscle strength.  Just two days per week of strengthening exercises is enough to improve wellness.  Your doctor can help you find a range of activities that are safe and beneficial to you.   Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

#10 Eat breakfast – don’t skip it.  A healthy breakfast is a signal to get your metabolism going after having no food overnight.  When you skip breakfast, your body response as if you are under stress.  It automatically responds with hormones that tell your body to conserve fat tissue.

10 More Tips For Weight Loss

Some simple weight loss tips make eating less stressful every day. Our first list of 10 weight loss tips offered several ideas that you can make work for you. Here are 10 more to help you reach your weight control goals:

  1. Plan meals and snack for the week. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
  2. Never go to the grocery store hungry. Shop only after you have had a healthy meal or snack.
  3. Keep healthy snacks with you for emergencies. (Bottle of water, piece of fruit, small 100 calorie pack of almonds) This way you are less tempted to stop and grab a less healthy alternative.
  4. Practice daily relaxation to help reduce stress hormones like cortisol, which tells your body to hold onto fat.
  5. Increase your daily activity. Take the stairs. When shopping, don’t choose the closet parking spot; take a walk at lunch or after dinner.
  6. Try switching to a smaller dinner plate. Using a smaller plate will help keep your portions size down.
  7. Eat less but more often. Try 3 small meals a day and 2-3 small snacks a day. This keeps your blood sugar stable and avoids it from dropping too low and causing a rebound increased appetite.
  8. Eat more fiber. Aim for 25-35 grams. Fiber helps you feel full, with fewer calories. Foods rich in fiber include oat, bran, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
  9. After your evening snack, close the kitchen and brush your teeth. Don’t go back into the kitchen. If you feel like another snack after you closed the kitchen try sipping on decaffeinated tea or chewing sugarless gum.
  10. Don’t drink your calories. Soft drinks, fruits juices, specialty coffees, and smoothies are full of sugar. This sugar content makes your insulin rise quickly and your appetite increase shortly after drinking it.

Want other ideas to help you lose weight? Dr. Betty Keller specializes in guiding patients through lifestyle changes to improve diet and nutrition to lose weight – with lower stress. Therapies may include traditional Western medicine, dietary supplements, appropriate physical activities and an individual treatment plan created uniquely for you. She treats patients in her Franklin Lakes, New Jersey office – serving Bergen County NJ and surrounding areas. To learn about treatment options with Dr. Keller contact 201-485-7930.

5 Super-Quick Tips for Weight Management

Too busy to think about healthy eating? Here are 5 quick tips that take no time to learn, that will have you feeling more satisfied and more likely to eat better automatically.

  1. Eat slowly, it takes about 20 minutes for your digestive system to tell your brain its full.
  2. Take small bites and chew your food well.
  3. Put your fork down between bites.
  4. Take break and have a conversation.
  5. Make sure to enjoy your meal.

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5 Behavior Modifications that help you feel great and lose weight

Weight management involves adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a positive attitude, good nutrition and exercise.

Here are 5 tips to control your mealtime environment and make losing weight a natural result of your lifestyle:

  1. Serve your plate from the stove or kitchen counter. Do not place serving bowls on the table. Studies show that when meals are served family style with serving dishes on the table people eat more calories.
  2. Fill your plate half with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, a quarter with a whole grain starch.
  3. Use smaller plates, bowls and serving spoons. Visually your portion will look larger on a smaller plate, using a smaller serving spoon will help keep your portion size down.
  4. When serving yourself, limit portions of food to one serving or less.
  5. Eat slowly, enjoy your food and do not go for second helpings.

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Why Diets Don’t Work: How To Find True Motivation to Reach Your Weight Goals

Confused about what to eat? With so much information about which diet to follow, it can be very confusing. Low fat? Low carb? Low calorie? Paleo diet? South Beach? Atkins? Metabolic diet? Blood type diet? Alkaline Diet? Juice Cleanse? With so much conflicting information, it’s hard to know what to do to live a healthier life.

Are you ready to improve your health and feel and look your best? We all know diets don’t work long term unless you stay on them, and you may lose weight. But does following a certain diet mean you are really healthy?

If you want to lose weight, improve your health, and feel better, you need to make lifestyle changes. These changes include good nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, reduction in stress, and a positive mental attitude.

Your motivation to become healthier is the key to your success. The first step is coming up with your own personal reasons for making changes that will improve your health.

Here are 3 tips to help you find the right motivation to help your reach your healthy goals

  • Make a list of what motivates you, make sure you look at that list every morning to set you on the right track for the day.
  • Set goals that you can keep, and think long-term success.
  • Start making small changes and see how much better you feel.

About those small changes to help you feel better – here are three to get you started:

  1. Keep tempting food out of your house-don’t buy it.
  2. Eat only while sitting down at kitchen or dining room table.
    (Don’t eat while watching TV, on the computer, or reading)
  3. Make sure you have healthy snacks available, at home, at work or on the go. Apples or a small 100 calorie pack of almonds are great on the go snacks.

Diets only work as long as you stay on them, that’s why, to lose weight and become healthy, you need to make lifestyle changes. If you lose weight and return to old habits the pounds will return!

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Research Shows Maintaining a Healthy Weight Helps Prevent Mental Decline

Healthy lifestyle and healty weight aids mental function

Healthy lifestyle and healty weight aids mental functionStaying healthy and maintaining a healthy weight not only reduces your risk of developing chronic disease.

It also helps maintain cognitive function.

New Findings in Healthy Lifestyle Mental Benefits

Research shows that that there is an association between being overweight or obese and impaired cognitive function.

In addition, people with metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes or high cholesterol are at increased risk of mental decline as well.

Studies show that these metabolic abnormalities like diabetes and elevated lipids are predictive of lower cognitive function regardless of BMI (Body Mass index, a measure of body fat). However the higher the BMI in this group the greater the mental decline.

Healthy eating and lifestyle can not only combat chronic disease but also can help maintain mental function as we age.

Food is medicine, so choosing whole foods, lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, lean protein and healthy fats combined with regular exercise, stress reducing activities can all help keep your body and mind healthy.

How to Control Late Night Eating

Tips for weight loss and late night eatingTired of giving in to late night eating?  You don’t want to ruin all your hard work to become lighter and healthier.  But, if you know you’re going to be up late and know you’ll want a snack, you can plan ahead to avoid needless weight gain.

Here are some quick tips to help you plan a late night snack without big regrets.  

First, make sure you have eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  When you skip meals you tend to snack more. You may have the idea that you hardly ate all day so you have a lot of calories to spare. Not so fast! When you skip meals, your metabolism slows down. Then, if you take in those calories later and don’t use them up, you store them as fat.

Second, eliminate unhealthy snack food from your home / dorm room

Third, try these tips to plan healthier late-night habits.

1)   If you feel like a snack, have a large glass of water with lemon.

2)   Try sipping on decaffeinated herbal tea.

3)   Brush your teeth and remove yourself from the kitchen.

4)   Try chewing sugarless gum.

5)   Have sugarless Jell-O on hand its only 10 calories per serving.

6)   If you really enjoy having an evening snack every night then have a planned snack, try and keep the calories 150 to 200. Choose a protein snack it will keep you feeling satisfied.  Or choose a complex carbohydrate like fruits or vegetables.  They are high in fiber and will also keep you full. Or choose a combination of the two.

7)   Here are some ideas for snacks that are around 150-200 calories

Sweet snacks

  • Plain fat free Greek yogurt (8oz 90 cal) with fresh blueberries (82 cal/cup)
  •  An apple with nut butter (1Tbsp)
  • Frozen grapes, (62 calories/cup)
  • sugarfree sorbet.

Salty snack ideas 

  •      Left over cooked vegetables with 1oz of cheese
  • .    Celery and nut butter(2 Tbsp)
  • ,    Hummus (3 Tblsp) and raw vegetables
  •      Olives and cheese
  •      Pickles
  •      Skinny pop popcorn 4 cups

After you have had your planned snack, stop. Remind yourself that is it! Find something to do next:  read a book, play a game, go for walk, listen to music, or take a relaxing bath.

Find out more about how you can lose weight by understanding how your body responds to certain foods.  Get our free weight loss insights, with our 10 best tips to discovering a lighter and healthier you.  Instant access right here.

Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain

weight loss doctor Bergen County NJ Dr. Betty Keller
Sleep-deprived eating

Want to lose weight?

Weight loss doctor in Bergen County NJ Dr. Betty Keller Explains How Sleep Impacts Weight Loss

Could your lack of sleep be causing you to gain those extra-unwanted pounds?

Make sure you are getting enough sleep.

There have been many studies confirming the association of sleep deprivation and obesity in both children and adults. When people don’t get enough sleep they tend to eat more and gain weight.

When You’re Tired, You Eat Differently

A recent study by The University of California Berkeley suggests one reason may be the effect lack of sleep has on your brain. The study found that after just one night of sleep deprivation the brain had a heightened response to junk food, which means you actually experience greater pleasure than you normally, would.

In addition the part of your brain — the frontal cortex — that is responsible for higher thinking and impulse control showed a decreased in activity. So not only do you get greater pleasure from eating junk food when you’re tired, you also have less ability to stop yourself from over-indulging.

Other studies have shown that a lack of sleep increases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol increases your appetite, and also tells your body to hold onto fat.

There are many physiologic and psychological reasons that we gain weight when we are sleep deprived. The bottom line, sleep is essential. When you are well rested you make better choices have energy to exercise, feel more positive and think more clearly.

The good news is getting more sleep is a simple cost effective, side effect free way to look and feel better and maybe even drop those few unwanted pounds. Try and get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Find out about our Weight Loss treatments to help you feel great and lose weight.

To A Healthier You!
Dr. Betty Keller

Why Blueberries Are the Perfect Snack

why blueberries are among the best super foods
Blueberries are the “Super Stars among ‘Super Foods.'”

Here’s Why:

Blueberries Health Benefits

Blueberries contain powerful phytochemicals which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Blueberries are one of the highest food sources of antioxidants.

There is increasing evidence that Blueberries have many health benefits. Here are just a few!

1) Boost your Immune System: The phytochemicals in blueberries particularly Flavanoids like Anthocyanin are powerful antioxidants.  Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and have been shown to strengthen the immune system.

2) Promote Eye Health: Blueberries contain not only antioxidants but also vitamins and minerals, all which promote eye health.

3) Reduce Cardiovascular Disease:  In addition to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, blueberries also reduce total Cholesterol, raise HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease triglycerides.

4) Beneficial effect on Blood Sugar, Weight and Metabolism: There is increasing evidence that blueberries have a beneficial effect on blood sugar and help reduce the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome. Thus helping not only with blood sugar regulation but weight loss and a more efficient metabolism. Recent studies have also provided evidence that another phytochemical polyphenols found in blueberries may help break down belly fat.

5) Promote Brain Health: Blueberries have been found to improve cognitive function, including memory. Blueberries health benefits may help prevent age-related cognitive decline.

At 80 calories a cup and with 4 grams of fiber and all the health benefits. A cup of blueberries is the perfect snack. It may be the fruit of the day to “keep the doctor away.”

PS: Want to know why we love antioxidants? Here’s a clear simple answer.

Why Weight Training Helps You Lose Weight and Keep It Off

If you want to slim down, why would you do weight training?  Weight training may seem like something to avoid if you don’t want to get too bulky.  But it’s a great way to build lean muscle and is an important part of a lighter, healthy lifestyle for both men and women.

Why Does Weight Training Help You Lose Weight?

The more muscle you have, the better your body burns calories. That’s because muscle tissue burns calories at a faster rate than the same amount of fat tissue.  Plus, the energy muscles use during and after strength exercise increases your metabolism.   For every pound of muscle you add, your metabolism increases to burn about 50 calories more per day.

Weight training, also known as strength training, tones and firms your muscles, and increases the amount of muscle tissue in your body. Weight training also preserves your muscle mass, which means that you’ll have an easier time keeping extra pounds off.

Is Strength Training the Only Kind of Exercise for Weight Loss?

Strength training for weight loss complements your cardiovascular exercise plan.  Cardio exercise burns calories, and improves circulation and overall health. Weight training builds muscles. Strength training is excellent for overall health, too. It increases bone density, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and boosts your energy.

Equipment Is Optional

Weight training doesn’t require purchasing equipment. Body weight training uses your own weight as the resistance. These exercises include pushups, pull-ups, and crunches.  Yoga and dance exercises also do an excellent job to increase your strength with moves that gently lift or pose the body.

Equipment used for weight training can be simple. Basic equipment includes using small free weights, or elastic bands that provide resistance.

Why check with a doctor before starting an exercise program?

It is important to consult a doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor will be more familiar with your current condition and can address concerns that are unique to you.  When you exercise with weight loss as your goal, your doctor can help you put together a program that’s right for you – one that you may even enjoy.

Get Specialized Help With Weight Loss at the Optimal Wellness Center

Dr. Keller makes a commitment with you to help you succeed in becoming lighter and healthier.  Find out more about the support available to you in Dr. Keller’s weight Loss Program.

Dr. Betty Keller is a board certified doctor specializing in weight losschronic pain treatmentmedical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas. She practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

The Relationship Between Stress and Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, should you care about stress? You may think that dealing with weight loss is stressful enough.  But it turns out that there is a strong connection between stress and weight loss. Taking care of stress can provide a big boost to your efforts to lose weight.

There are two main ways that stress adds to the difficulty losing weight.  These are : 1) food cravings, and 2) changes in the body’s metabolism.

Stress and Food Cravings

Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone. Our ancestors needed it in “fight or flight” situations since it provides a quick burst of energy, a higher tolerance to pain, and other things to help get us out of danger.

Stress is also linked to food cravings.     With higher levels of cortisol, often people will feel cravings for salty, sweet, or high-carbohydrate foods. This may have served our ancestors who needed to eat more to prepare for danger ahead.  But today, these same cravings cause weight gain, especially with more sedentary lifestyles.

Stress and Metabolism

Cortisol helps the body deal with physical stress by tapping into energy stored as fat.  In response to stress, it moves fat from around the body to the abdominal area.  Study after study confirms that long periods of stress are linked to increased abdominal fat, even in those who are otherwise thin.

Deal With Stress, Not Stress Hormones, for Weight Loss

Cortisol by itself isn’t bad. It’s an important part of a normal metabolism. It’s long-term stress and long-term elevated levels of stress hormones that make weight loss more difficult than it has to be.

Consider how much stress you have been facing over time.  If ‘being under pressure’ drives you to get less sleep or follow eating habits you know aren’t good for you, then stress may be the problem to focus on first.  You may find that by learning enjoyable ways to exercise, get enough sleep, and manage stress, extra pounds may come off more easily than you thought.

Personalized Weight Loss Treatments at the Optimal Wellness Center

Dr. Keller makes a commitment with you to help you succeed in becoming lighter and healthier.

Her weight loss program includes personal consultation to plan meals with foods you like, and feel and look better with appropriate activity and rest.

Find out more about the support available to you in Dr. Keller’s weight Loss Program.

Call us at 201-485-7930 to get started.

About Dr. Betty Keller

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor  specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

Sleep and Weight Loss: Why Does Sleep Help in Losing Weight?

Lack of sleep may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a real problem if you’re trying to lose weight.  You may be surprised the relationship between sleep and weight loss. Not only does it make you crabby and sap your energy, it can also take your mind and body off track from your weight loss goals.

Lack of Sleep Disrupts Healthy Eating Patterns

Studies show that people who get less sleep start to eat smaller breakfasts and more late night meals. Because their sleep cycle is messed up, their bodies think it’s time to sleep when they should be eating and vice versa.

When you stay up later, you’re more likely to snack more and choose unhealthy foods. When you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t have all the energy you need and that makes sugary and fatty foods look much more appealing. You’re responding to what your body needs, more energy, but this can set you back if you’re trying to lose weight.

Lack of Sleep Disturbs a Healthy Weight Loss Metabolism

And there’s more going on below the surface. There are two hormones that are affected when you don’t get enough sleep:  ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells you when it’s time to eat and leptin tells you when it’s time to stop. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, your body makes more ghrelin and less leptin and slows down your metabolism. In short, your body is telling you to eat more and is taking longer to tell you to stop.

How to Help Yourself Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Here are 3 easy tips to help you get better sleep.

1.     Give yourself a bedtime. If you go to sleep and wake up about the same time every day, your body will get used to it and maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

2.     Watch what you eat at dinner. Don’t go to bed stuffed, the discomfort can keep you awake. Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can also interrupt your sleep, so avoid anything that contains those things just before bedtime.

3.     Get relaxed. Take a warm bath, read a book or magazine, or listen to soft music. Do something that will help you wind down. Avoid watching TV, going on the computer, or any other electronics. Studies have suggested that these kinds of things interfere with rest.

Lack of sleep is a common problem.  But it doesn’t have to derail your hard work to lose weight if you know why sleep is important, and you start each day well rested and refreshed.

Get Personalized Weight Loss Treatment at the Optimal Wellness Center

Dr. Keller’s weight loss program includes personal consultation to plan meals with foods you like, and feel and look better with appropriate activity and rest. Find out more about the support available to you in Dr. Keller’s weight Loss Program.

You can call us at 201-485-7930 to get started.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

Can 10 Minutes of Exercise Make a Difference in Weight Loss?

Trying to find another way to burn a few extra calories? You don’t have to come up with a whole new exercise for weight loss; just extend the length of the one you’re already doing.

Adding an extra 10 minutes 5 days a week can make a big impact. It may not seem like much, but you can burn a good number of calories and gain strength during this time.

What does can an extra 10 minutes do for you?

  • 10 more minutes of walking burns 50 calories
  • 10 minutes of swimming burns 69 calories
  • 10 minutes of jogging burns 80 additional calories

By itself, this may not sound like much.  But adding extra time, each time you exercise, and the benefits really build up. For example, say you add 10 more minutes of walking exercise five times a week. The additional time can burn up to 250 more calories a week.  In addition, research shows that the benefits of exercise include adding time to your lifespan.

Why Ask Your Doctor Before Starting an Exercise Program?

It is important to consult a doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor will help you understand your current condition and can talk through your questions with you.  When you exercise with weight loss as your goal, your doctor’s guidance helps you create a program that’s right for you.

Get Personalized Help With Weight Loss at the Optimal Wellness Center

Dr. Keller’s weight loss program includes personal consultation to help you find the right type of exercise for you. Find out more about the support available to you in Dr. Keller’s weight Loss Program.

You can call us at 201-485-7930 to get started.

Dr. Betty Keller is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas. She practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

Cardiovascular Exercise: Varied Intensity is Key to Faster Weight Loss

Cardiovascular (or cardio) workouts are exercises that boost your heart rate.  Examples are jogging, cycling, walking, swimming and bicycling.

Why Cardio for Weight Loss?

Cardio is great for burning calories. One pound of fat is 3,500 calories, so once you burn more calories than you eat, you begin to lose weight.

Along with burning calories, cardio exercise strengthens your heart, lungs, and muscle groups. It also increases metabolism. All this helps you burn more calories in a day and keeps your energy up.

Recent studies show that the best way to burn more calories is through interval training. This can be accomplished by short bursts of high intensity cardio alternating with a lower intensity cardio.

Multiple short bursts of high intensity through out your work out will burn more calories than a longer workout at a lower steady intensity.

Why Ask Your Doctor Before Starting an Exercise Program?

It is important to consult a doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor will be more familiar with your current condition and can talk through your concerns and questions with you.  When you exercise with weight loss as your goal, your doctor can help you create a program that’s right for you.

Get Personalized Help With Weight Loss at the Optimal Wellness Center

Dr. Keller’s weight loss program includes personal consultation to help you find the right type of exercise for you. Find out more about the support available to you in Dr. Keller’s weight Loss Program.

Dr. Betty Keller is a board certified doctor specializing in weight losschronic pain treatmentmedical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas. She practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

How Can I Stop Craving Sugar?

Sugar cravings come from over-consumption of…sugar! The more sugar you eat or drink, the more you crave. However, eating a moderate amount of naturally present sugars, such as those found in fruits, 100% whole grains and dairy, doesn’t really pose any health threat. But added sugars and high fructose corn syrup, which creep into everything from sodas to cereals and yogurt to bread, can fuel sugar cravings, cause weight gain, add to body-wide inflammation and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

The best way to reduce sugar cravings is to READ FOOD LABELS. Then you’ll see just where added sugar is hiding and you can avoid it. Words like malt, dextrose, fructose, sucrose and anything that says syrup indicate the product contains sugar in disguise.

You can also control sugar cravings by keeping your blood sugar levels steady. Never skip breakfast and make sure every meal provides a balance of protein and carbohydrates. This decreases the glycemic load and prevents blood sugar and insulin spikes. Also, eat a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours. And exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

Is it Bad to Eat Before Bed?

If you think eating before bed is a diet downfall, well, you might be right.

Some studies indicate we may not burn calories as quickly at night. But one thing is certain, if you eat late at night, chances are you’re adding excess calories to your daily diet. And that can add up to extra pounds. Plus, if you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, late night eating can cause blood sugar spikes.

You need to tailor your medication routine to your food intake and then stick with that plan.

What are the Problems With Obesity?

Excess fat cells trigger body-wide inflammation that’s associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, problems with fatty liver, kidney disease, sleep apnea and infertility. Excess weight also damages joints and makes osteoarthritis extra painful. And obesity has been linked to dementia.

There are also emotional repercussions. Obesity can lead to low self-esteem, depression, social withdrawal and may make a person a target of bullying.

How to Stop Overeating?

weight loss doctor Bergen County NJ Dr. Betty Keller

How to Stop Overeating? Tips from Weight Loss Doctor Bergen County NJ, Dr. Betty Keller

Appetite is controlled by two hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells your body when it’s hungry and leptin signals all full. But when you constantly overeat, your natural appetite control system stops working and YOU DON’T KNOW when you’re full.

Overeating is also triggered by stress. When you’re under stress, your body secretes high levels of the hormone cortisol. This can make you increase your intake of food, because eating causes your brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.

To curb overeating, you have to give your appetite-control hormones a chance to reset, so they can do their jobs. It helps if you chew each bite longer and eat more slowly. Put your fork down between bites. Savor the flavors.

Another way to reset your appetite control system is to get regular exercise. It makes your body more sensitive to leptin’s signal that you’re full. Aerobic exercise also decreases cortisol levels and elevates dopamine levels to give you the same mood boost you can get from eating.

3 Easy Portion Size Tips for Reaching a Healthy Weight

Proper portion size for weight loss isn’t about starving yourself.  It’s about enjoying what you eat, in healthy amounts.  Often, weight creeps up simply because we aren’t aware of how much we actually eat.

Learning proper portion sizes sounds a lot harder than it really is. Here are 3 easy tips and tricks to ensure that you eat what you need shed and keep off excess weight.

Tip 1)  Don’t Eat Out of the Container

One easy way to avoid snacking too much is to not eat directly out of the container. Take a serving from the container instead. The packages that foods come in are large. Helping ourselves from the package encourages us to keep eating whatever’s in front of us. If you’re eating while watching TV or reading a book, being distracted often leads to eating more than you meant to out of the box or bag. Instead, pour the amount you plan to eat in a bowl and keep the rest out of eyesight.

Tip 2) Use Familiar Things to Measure by Eye

One good way to eyeball healthy portions is by comparing them in your mind with familiar things. For instance, one serving of fruit, like a small apple or orange, would be about the size of a tennis ball. One carbohydrate serving of cooked rice (1/3rd cup), is the size of a hockey puck. Make it personal! Find objects that can help you remember the amount intend to eat as a serving size.

Tip 3) Fill Your Plate in Sections

A good way to fill a plate with well-sized portions is to use sections of your plate as your guide.

Half the plate should be lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. The more color, the better! It means that you are getting lots of different vitamins and minerals.

A quarter of the plate should be protein. Choose proteins that are rich in nutrients, such as beans, nuts, fish, or chicken. (Avoid red and processed meats such as beef or bacon. Even small amounts can lead to future health issues. )

The last quarter is for grains. Whole grains are the healthiest choice. Avoid processed options like white rice or white bread — go for more fiber, vitamins, minerals and rich natural flavor of whole grains. Wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat and barley are a few of many to choose from.

Finding your proper portion size is about learning how much and what you plan to eat for a healthy weight.

Taking time to take proper portions can make a big difference in losing weight and keeping it off for good.

Eat and Lose Weight with Dr. Keller’s Menu Planner

Dr. Keller’s weight loss program includes a free menu planner. You can see what meals others created to help them lose weight, and plan your own meals with foods you enjoy.  Find out about Dr. Keller’s weight loss treatment program and call us at 201-485-7930 to get started.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

How Can I Stop Emotional Eating?

Learning to control emotional eating is much more about what goes on in your mind than what goes on in your stomach.

The first thing is to acknowledge your emotional attachment to food. Then you want to recognize the symptoms of your emotional eating.

Generally, emotional hunger is sudden and urgent, and you reach for junk food without really being aware of what you’re doing.

You also want to identify feelings that fuel your impulse to eat when you’re not really hungry. Is it anger? Sadness? Loneliness? Tension? Anxiety?

You may need to talk with a therapist to unravel this connection completely, but you can improve your impulse control yourself.

Why Skipping Alcohol is Important for Weight Loss

Why Skipping Alcohol Is Important for Weight Loss

You may already suspect alcohol can sabotage your weight loss goals.  Drinking weakens your willpower – and more. Here are 5 important facts you need to know about alcohol to help you lose weight.

1) Alcohol is high in calories. Alcoholic drinks are full of calories. In fact, on average alcoholic drinks contain 7 calories per gram. To get a better idea of how much this is, protein and carbs contain 4 calories per gram.  You may be getting more calories than you realize from alcohol: as much as drinking a can of soda.

2) Alcohol may increase appetite, even for moderate drinkers.  Have you ever noticed that you eat more while you’re drinking? Several studies show that we are more likely to indulge when we are served food with beer or wine than with soda. Alcoholic drinks can irritate and wear away your stomach lining, which makes it vulnerable to the digestive acids. If you drink moderately to excessively, this can make you feel hungrier than you really are and encourage you to take larger portions of food.

3) Alcohol hinders fat-burning processes.   The body metabolizes alcohol first, which unbalances your body’s normal fat burning processes.

The liver is the body’s biggest fat burning organ.  Normally, the liver cells turn fatty acids into a form that the rest of the body uses. But, the liver is also the ONLY organ that can break down alcohol.  When alcohol arrives in the bloodstream, the liver must process it first.  The unprocessed fatty acids build up and clog the liver — a process observed even with just one bout of heavy drinking.

4) Alcohol encourages fat storage.  Your body doesn’t store everything the same way. Most of the time, fat is burned into fuel. Alcohol is converted into two substances: acetate, and acetyl CoA. Both make getting weight loss harder in different ways.

Acetate slows down the burning of fat. When your body produces too much acetate, it spends more time getting rid of it than the fat. This can lead to more fat being stored for longer. Acetyl CoA encourages the production of fat cells.

5) Alcohol weakens liver health.  Alcohol causes cell damage in the liver in complex ways.  Fat buildup in the liver is one harmful result.  Another cause comes from free radicals, or unstable molecules, which are created when the liver breaks down alcohol.  Acetaldehyde is the main product when alcohol breaks down.  It appears to be a major source of cell-damaging free radicals in the liver.

Weight control depends on having a healthy liver.  The liver makes or triggers all the body’s fat burning hormones. The healthier the liver, the better the fat burning power your body has.

Alcohol is bad news if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight!

Not only does it add extra calories. It hinders your body’s power to burn them off.  Skipping the cocktail helps you take one giant step closer to your weight loss goals.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

 

How Can I Lose Belly Fat?

Belly fat – also called visceral fat – is particularly dangerous for your health. It surrounds your organs and fuels body-wide inflammation that increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and dementia.

To lose it you need to adopt a healthier diet that focuses on high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and 100% whole grains. In addition, you need lean proteins such as fish and skinless poultry, and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Your goal is to eliminate processed foods – remember many baked goods contain harmful trans fats – that’s partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. You also want to cut out simple carbs that the body sees as sugar – and excess sugar is stored as fat.

To lose belly fat it is also important to reduce stress. The stress hormone cortisol causes you to store fat around your middle. So make sure to get regular exercise. Buy a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day.

What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

The best diet for weight loss is one in which you take in fewer calories than you expend every day.  And one that you can stick to. We do know extreme diets that eliminate whole categories of foods, leave you hungry and unsatisfied and can slow your metabolism, making it harder to lose that excess weight. Fad diets do not work in the long run.

In order to sustain permanent weight loss you need to make healthy lifestyle choices, including a diet based on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and some whole grains and healthy fats. Make sure you watch your portion sizes! Healthy choices have calories too.

Regular exercise is also important to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. You should aim for 1 to 2 pounds weight loss a week. And studies prove building in diet days off help you stick to your plan and actually lead to more weight loss.

What Are Whole Foods and How Do They Help You Lose Weight?

Many people aren’t sure exactly what whole foods are.  Because so much of our food is processed and promoted as ‘organic’ or ‘natural’, we often don’t recognize whole foods or see their role in a healthy diet.

Whole foods are those we eat their natural state. Manufactured, refined or processed foods aren’t whole foods, no matter what other labels they have. Even staples like bread, peanut butter and jelly don’t qualify.  That’s because all (or almost all) of their ingredients are machined to a far cry from their natural state. They’re fast and convenient, but do you wonder what’s in them and what this means for your health?

Why Processed Foods Are So Unhealthy

According to researchers, most Americans are essentially malnourished. By some estimates, 90% of the food we buy is processed. Because nutrients get removed with processing, we receive too little vitamin C, fiber, and other essential nutrients every day. When you look at the quality of food we eat, it isn’t surprising.

Processed food contains more fat, sodium, oils, and empty calories than their natural counterparts. Their ingredients also include artificial dyes and flavors, chemical sweeteners, and preservatives to extend shelf life.  Products made from corn are often added, usually under many different names like citric acid. This causes problems for weight loss, because it concentrates more calories into what we consume than we need to eat.

Processing and refining ingredients removes the fiber, vitamins and minerals our bodies need to keep our muscles and organs working well, to fight disease, and use for energy.  Worse – it throws out of balance the proportions of nutrients and calories we absorb during digestion, and the body stores more fat as a result.

When your body goes without the nutrition of natural foods, weight control and health suffers.  Everything from metabolism to waste elimination to food cravings becomes maladjusted to too much fat, sugar, and too little vitamins, minerals and fiber.

But, how do you avoid this?

By eating more foods as they come from nature.

Why Whole Foods Help with Weight Loss

Whole foods are in their original state – or very close to it – when you eat them.  Because they’re intact, you get more fiber and complete nutrients, and sugars and carbohydrates in natural proportions.

By eating whole foods, you feel satisfied without eating unnatural levels of calories per serving.  Your body is better able to maintain a regular metabolism, decrease cravings, and avoid turning extra calories into fat.  With the right fuel, you can lose weight more easily and feel healthier.

Examples of Whole Foods and Their Benefits

There are all kinds of great whole foods to choose from. Here are some examples:

  • Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, chia, and flax, contain omega 3 – an essential fatty acid that helps prevent heart disease.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, especially when they’re raw. They can help reduce the risk for many illnesses and lower blood pressure.
  • Whole grains reduce the risk of chronic illness and obesity. You may have heard people say that whole grain is better than white bread, and it’s true! White flour is highly processed and lacks the nutrition in the entire wheat grain.
  • Legumes such as black beans, lentils, and red kidney beans are a great source for fiber and protein. They help in reducing cholesterol and maintaining sugar levels.

Some nutritionists say that your body can better use vitamins from the food you eat than from pills and supplements—it’s certainly a lot more fun!

Eating whole foods is one of the best ways to take care of yourself.

It’s a simple change that can help boost your health.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

 

Green Tea, Antioxidants and Weight Loss – Connected?

Green Tea and Weight Loss connection


Green Tea and Weight Loss
We hear more and more about foods that are high in antioxidants, and their help in fighting disease and losing weight. But what exactly are antioxidants and what do they do?

Antioxidants protect healthy cells from damaged molecules. The damaged molecules, called free radicals, come from the things we encounter everyday – such as air pollution, pesticides and chemicals in the environment.

The Problem With Free Radicals

A free radical is a molecule with a missing part. One or more electrons are gone, causing a tiny negative charge.  The unstable molecule takes electrons from whatever is nearby – such as your healthy cells. This creates a second free radical in your body.  The electron stealing continues in a chain reaction that damages cells.

Our bodies produce free radicals naturally. They occur when our body breaks down food or fights infection.  Mental, emotional and intense physical stress can also produce free radicals.
Free radicals affect the immune system, harden arteries, and play a role in many chronic diseases.

Antioxidants Make Stable Molecules

Fortunately, our bodies also make antioxidants.  These are molecules that can lose an electron or two without becoming unstable.  They can stop the chain reaction started by free radicals.

A regular, balanced exercise routine, healthy food choices, and stress management help the body make antioxidants to reduce cell damage from unstable molecules.  However, the body makes antioxidants only in limited amounts.  The good news is, we can add more by what we eat.

The Benefits of Antioxidants for Weight Loss

More research needs to be done to explore the role of antioxidants in losing weight.  But they have many known benefits that can help. Antioxidants promote a healthy immune system. They help your organs work efficiently and properly, which keeps your metabolism running well. They clean damaging molecules out of your body.

The amount of fiber in antioxidant rich food helps you feel full longer.  Some spices like turmeric and ginger help the body fight inflammation too, helping prevent cancers and cardiovascular disease.
The health-boosting role of antioxidants enables you to lose weight by staying well and active, exercising and burning calories more easily and naturally.

Foods High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants come in a wide variety of foods. Brightly colored berries, fruit, and vegetables are among the best sources. Colorful plates are healthier plates!

Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only foods that have antioxidants. Meats such as poultry, seafood and nuts contain zinc and selenium, which help immunity.

Even some beverages are a healthier for you than you might think! Coffee, natural grape juice, and pomegranate juice have antioxidants in them. But the best choice by far is green tea.  One cup gives you more antioxidants than a cup of coffee, and less caffeine.

Eating to increase antioxidants in your body leads to better food choices.  You choose more leafy greens, vegetables, fruits and whole foods when you choose foods to help prevent cell damage and disease.  You may find yourself spicing up your plate with ginger, black pepper, red pepper and oregano – all good sources of antioxidants.

Most experts agree that the best way to benefit from antioxidants is by adding them to your diet. Supplements can help, but they don’t benefit the body as well as antioxidants from food sources.

Antioxidant Foods Promote Health and Good Eating for Weight Loss

Antioxidants have many benefits and are worth checking out. Not only do they help you fight disease and inflammation.  Choosing high antioxidant foods means getting more nutrition in the right proportions.  This helps extra weight come off more easily, while satisfying your taste buds and your appetite.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

What is a Calorie?

A calorie is a unit of energy derived from food. Our body uses this fuel so it can do everything from breathing to secreting hormones to running a mile.

On average, your body needs 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day to keep your organs functioning, respiration going smoothly, and your brain focused.

If you take in more calories than you expend, the excess is stored as fat. If you eat fewer calories than that, you’ll lose weight.

How Low is Low Carb?

Low carbohydrate diets ask you to reduce your carbohydrate intake from a recommended 225 to 325 grams a day to between 50 and 150 grams. The idea is that eating fewer carbs lowers the amount of glucose in your blood and that makes your body burn fat instead of sugar for fuel. The result? Weight loss. But over time that can deprive you of essential nutrients found in carbohydrate-rich foods like grains, vegetables and fruits.

A low-carbohydrate diet also increases the amount of protein and fat you consume. There’s no health advantage to eating excessive amounts of red meat and saturated fats.  In fact, they’re associated with elevated cholesterol levels and heart disease and a greater risk of colon cancer.

So if you’re interested in losing weight and keeping it off, eliminate processed foods and simple carbs. A healthy diet should include complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Does Hypnosis Work for Weight Loss?

Few studies have shown a direct link between hypnosis and physical weight loss. Hypnosis can help with your mind-set towards weight loss, though. Because hypnosis focuses more on the mental part of weight loss than the physical, it may help motivate you to get started or keep going. This will fuel the hard work you’re already putting in to lose those extra pounds. The physical part of weight loss is all you – meaning you have to put in the work at home or at the gym.

Hypnosis only encourages a different way of thinking about your body in relationship to food and fitness – so in this way, it can be beneficial.

Can I Lose Weight Without Exercise?

Technically, you can lose weight without also doing daily exercise. Weight loss is all about creating a calorie deficit – meaning that you burn more than you consume. That’s why exercise, plus diet changes, are an important part of a weight-loss and weight-control plan.

First, exercise helps create a significant calorie deficit – after all, you can burn 600 calories with an hour in a spin class.  Second, exercise builds muscles, which burn more calories than fat even when you’re at rest. So exercise helps amp up your metabolism.

While you can lose weight without exercise, it’s healthier to adopt a whole food diet plus a routine of regular physical activity that gets your heart pumping and muscles working.

Losing Weight: 5 Tips on Portion Size

This is the first in a series about lifestyle changes that lead to a lighter and healthier you.

The weight loss secret that’s often overlooked: It’s about the portion size!

1) Watch Your Portion Size

Losing weight is a matter of eating less and moving more. Calories in minus calories burned determine your weight.

That’s it in a nutshell.  Wait, not so fast!

Weight loss also has to do with the types of foods you eat and when. More importantly if you want to keep the weight off, you need to make permanent lifestyle changes or it will just creep back on. Here are some small changes you can make which can  add up to big results, a lighter and healthier you.

2) Give up the Supersize, and it’s ALL Supersized!

Watch your portions.  It bears repeating: Portions do matter. Even healthy foods contain calories. Our brains have been hijacked by photos, commercials of skinny women holding super-sized cereal bowls, and monster size portions at restaurants.  This means many of us need to retrain the brain to recognize the correct portion size.

3)  Re-Learn to Measure by Eye

Try this trick at breakfast:  Pour yourself what you think is a serving size of cereal.  Let’s say the nutrition label says a serving size is 2/3rd cup.    Then, in another bowl, measure the actual 2/3rd cup serving. Chances are you poured two to three times the serving size in the first bowl.  This means that without realizing it, you may have been eating two to three times more cereal than you should. No wonder the pounds are not coming off even though you increased your activity level!

Try this at lunch and dinner: Replace your large dinner plates with smaller salad size plates.   Your brain will register that you have a full plate, even when smaller servings fill it up. If you fill up a big plate, your brain will signal you to finish what’s on your plate before you stop eating.  When you have a smaller plate, your brain will register that you’re satisfied when you finish, even with the smaller portion.  This is because the brain sees the full serving on the smaller plate the same as a full serving on the large plate.  Again, measure until you know exactly what a serving size looks like.

4) Quick Ways to Measure Portion Sizes

Here are some quick measurement guidelines.

  • Your fist equals about 1 cup
  • The palm of your hand is about the size of a 3 to 4 oz serving of chicken, fish or meat
  • Your thumb equals about 1 oz (cheese)
  • A tennis ball is about a half cup of fruit or vegetables
  • Your thumb tip is about 1tsp
  • A small handful of nuts is about 1 oz (20 almonds)

An easy way to keep portions from creeping up: Serve yourself from the stove.  Avoid bringing serving bowls to the table.  It is too easy to keep having additional servings. If you have to get up from the table to get a serving, you will be less likely to overeat.

5) Tips When Dining Out

We all know when we go out to eat, the portions sizes are at least twice what we need to be eating. Try ordering a salad (dressing on the side) and appetizer instead of an entree.  Or, ask to have half your entree wrapped up to take home before they serve it. Consider splitting an entree with someone.

Enjoy What You Eat

Remember eating is supposed to be enjoyable.  Eat slowly.  It takes time for the brain to signal the stomach that it’s full. Enjoy your food.

Can Acupuncture Help You Lose Weight?

Acupuncture and Weight Loss Works by Reducing Stress and Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

Summary:  While acupuncture isn’t a cure-all, it can help make your weight loss plan work for you.  Acupuncture — an ancient medical treatment using small needles at precise points — stimulates the nervous system.  One result is pain reduction, by triggering the body’s own hormones that stimulate a sense of well-being.  You feel more energetic and mobile, which makes it easier for you to exercise and enjoy being more physically active.  Following a healthy eating plan is an important part of successful weight loss.  Acupuncture has been shown to reduce cravings and stress levels that can make it harder for you to follow healthy lifestyle changes.  Many people looking to lose weight and keep it off find that acupuncture is just what they need to over come  cravings, boost  energy, decrease  appetite, and reduce  stress.  It may be the little extra help you need to succeed.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical treatment to encourage the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting small needles into precise acupuncture points.

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in patterns through the body.  These channels are called meridians. Acupuncture helps restore the natural flow when there is an obstruction in these energy channels.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in muscles, the spinal cord, and the brain.  These chemicals can decrease or eliminate pain; they can also trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones, which influence the body’s own internal healing system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body to heal itself and promote physical and emotional wellbeing.

How can acupuncture help me lose weight?

We all know weight loss is a complex subject, and a program must be multifaceted to be effective. A good program would include, a healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction and behavioral modifications. As an adjunct therapy acupuncture can help. It is not magic, and is not a substitute for adopting a healthy lifestyle.  However it can be effective in making it easier to lose weight and keep it off in those individuals who are willing to make appropriate healthy lifestyle changes.  Studies have shown that people following a healthy diet and exercise plan can lose more weight when acupuncture is included in their weight loss program. If you need ideas to get started on your weight loss program, call or contact us to learn more about acupuncture as part of a whole-person treatment plan.

Healthy lifestyle and weight loss treatments, Franklin Lakes NJDr. Keller’s treatment plan includes  personal follow up consultations to support you. Find out more about how Dr. Keller helps you choose and reach your weight loss goals.

How does acupuncture help with weight loss?

When acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points in the ear or the body the body releases endorphins.  Endorphins are proteins similar to opioids.   When these proteins are released into the body they cause a sense of well being.  They also act as an analgesic, which means they can reduce pain.  These endorphins have a calming and relaxing effect on the body. When a person is calm and relaxed it makes it easier not to overeat and gain weight.

Acupuncture can relieve stress, a major contributor to weight gain.

When needles are placed in specific point in the ear they stimulate the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. This nerve functions to increase the smooth muscle tone of the stomach, which decreases your appetite by causing a sense of fullness. Stimulation of this nerve also causes an increase in serotonin.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced in your brain. When released it gives you a  ‘feeling of happiness’ and helps to keep you calm.  In addition, serotonin also helps to suppress your appetite.  This may be particularly important in a subset of overweight people who have low levels of serotonin.

What happens at a treatment session?

Needles are placed in specific points in the ear and body based on your particular eating type. There are specific points in the ear that correspond to different eating habits. Depending on your particular needs different points will be used. After the area is clean with an alcohol wipe a small disposable needle is inserted into a precise acupuncture point.  After the needles are inserted they will be left in place for about twenty minutes while you relax.  Before leaving press tags are placed in the area that is best suited for your treatment. These small beads are attached to a small piece of tape and placed in the area most appropriate for you. They can be stimulated for 10 seconds gently when needed to suppress appetitive or cravings or induce a feeling of calm.

How many treatments are needed?

The number of treatments depends on your personnel wellness goals.  Dr.Keller will assess you at each visit and determine the appropriate number of treatments for you.

What happens when the treatments are completed?  Will I gain all the weight back?

Congratulations, if your treatments are completed you have reached your wellness goal.  You now have made permanent healthy lifestyle changes and these changes will help you maintain you’re your new healthy weight.  The positive effects of acupuncture will persist.  This may be because not only does acupuncture release endorphins and serotonin and other beneficial chemicals it may also cause the body to continue to release a higher level of these chemicals even after the treatments have stopped.  Once you have reached your goals you and Dr.Keller may decide to have a treatment every four to six months to stay on track with your wellness goal.

Those who follow a healthy diet and exercise plan in combination with acupuncture should see a boost in their weight loss and energy levels.

What are some of the advantages of adding acupuncture to your weight loss program?

  • Both men and women of all fitness levels can benefit from acupuncture.
  • Patients can help reduce their stress while losing weight.
  • Acupuncture helps suppress your appetite.
  • Acupuncture may help reduce fat, increase lean muscle mass, and improve joint mobility.
  • Acupuncture can also be used to relieve pain, a benefit, which will make exercising easier.
  • You may find that in addition to healthy life style changes that acupuncture is just what you need to over come your cravings, boost your energy, decrease your appetite, and reduce your stress.  It may be the little extra help you need to succeed.

As with any weight loss program, acupuncture treatments for weight loss will not work for everyone. You will need to evaluate your health and fitness goals. Contact us to to learn more about weight control therapies and to decide if trying acupuncture for weight loss is right for you.

Healthy lifestyle and weight loss treatments, Franklin Lakes NJDr. Keller’s treatment plan and personal follow up consultations guide you in making a transition to a  healthier lifestyle, where a lighter weight is one natural outcome. Come see more about how Dr. Keller helps you choose and reach your weight loss goals.

10 Tips to Boost Your Metabolism and Get Over a Weight Loss Plateau

Here are 10 simple changes you can make to boost your metabolism and break through a diet plateau

  1. Drink Green Tea, antioxidants in green tea helps stimulate the body to burn more calories and it may help you to curb your appetite. Drink at least 3 cups a day.
  2. Strength training- strength training increases your muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat. The more muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate will be. The more calories you will burn through out the day. Try at least 30 minutes 2-3 times a week.
  3. Add high intense intervals to your cardio work out. Studies show adding short bursts of intense activity with periods of less intense activity burns more calories. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio 5 times a week.
  4. Mix it up. Make sure to vary your exercise. If you do the same work out everyday your body gets use to it and does not lower as many calories.
  5.  Try adding an extra 10 minutes to your workout.
  6. Eat whole food. Eliminate processed foods; eliminate cheese, processed food and sugar. Fill up on vegetables, fruit, lean protein, legumes, and whole grains.
  7. Skip the alcohol. Not only does it add calories but also it can decrease your activity and ability to resist unhealthy food calories.
  8. Watch your portions
  9. Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep can make it hard to loose weight.
  10. Do relaxation techniques. Stress produces cortisol (hormone that slows your metabolism)

10 More Tips for Weight Loss

Some simple weight loss tips make eating less stressful every day. Our first list of 10 weight loss tips offered several ideas that you can make work for you.  Here are 10 more to help you reach your weight control goals:

  1. Plan meals and snack for the week. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
  2. Never go to the grocery store hungry. Shop only after you have had a healthy meal or snack.
  3. Keep healthy snacks with you for emergencies. (Bottle of water, piece of fruit, small 100 calorie pack of almonds) This way you are less tempted to stop and grab a less healthy alternative.
  4. Practice daily relaxation to help reduce stress hormones like cortisol, which tells your body to hold onto fat.
  5. Increase your daily activity. Take the stairs. When shopping, don’t choose the closet parking spot; take a walk at lunch or after dinner.
  6. Try switching to a smaller dinner plate. Using a smaller plate will help keep your portions size down.
  7. Eat less but more often. Try 3 small meals a day and 2-3 small snacks a day. This keeps your blood sugar stable and avoids it from dropping too low and causing a rebound increased appetite.
  8. Eat more fiber. Aim for 25-35 grams. Fiber helps you feel full, with fewer calories. Foods rich in fiber include oat, bran, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
  9. After your evening snack, close the kitchen and brush your teeth. Don’t go back into the kitchen. If you feel like another snack after you closed the kitchen try sipping on decaffeinated tea or chewing sugarless gum.
  10. Don’t drink your calories. Soft drinks, fruits juices, specialty coffees, and smoothies are full of sugar. This sugar content makes your insulin rise quickly and your appetite increase shortly after drinking it.

Want other ideas to help you lose weight?  Dr. Betty Keller specializes in guiding patients through lifestyle changes to improve diet and nutrition to lose weight – with lower stress.  Therapies may include traditional Western medicine, dietary supplements, appropriate physical activities and an individual treatment plan created uniquely for you.  She treats patients in her Franklin Lakes, New Jersey office – serving Bergen County NJ and surrounding areas.  To learn about treatment options with Dr. Keller contact 201-485-7930.

Weight Loss: 10 Tips to Make a Plan That Works for You

Almost every person who comes into to my office wants to lose weight.  But each person is different.  Everyone’s metabolism is different.  Everyone has their own thoughts and feelings about weight loss and food.  Each person has a unique lifestyle.  So, can a standard approach to weight control work for every patient?  Of course not.

Our approach at the Franklin Lakes Optimal Wellness Center is to find what works for you.   Long term weight loss and, ultimately, your lower risk of chronic disease come from making livable changes that become a regular part of your life each day.

Here are 10 basic tips to start you on your way to permanent weight loss, one step at a time:

#1 Start with a personal commitment to yourself.  Before you can make changes that last, promise yourself that you are doing this for real.  No medical consultation in the world is going to make a difference if you are not committed to making changes happen.  Your progress in choosing foods, activities and ways to reduce stress only work if you are ready and willing to make the new choices you’re giving yourself.

#2 Find what motivates you and work with that.  Only you know the real reasons you want to make a change.  No one can tell you the right reason. This has to be what you want for yourself.  Think about what means most to you, like “I want more energy and fun playing with my kids,” or “I want to feel more comfortable in my body.”   Write your reason down.  Keep it in mind.  These thoughts will help you make positive, healthier choices.

#3 Say to yourself:  I can do this! Your mind is powerful – the most powerful tool you have.  When you tell yourself “I can,” you’re helping set the course of your actions.  Your actions follow your thoughts.  “I can do this” leads you on to your own personal success.

#4  Look at how you think about food, and change the way you think about it. Food is meant as fuel for your body.  It gives you nourishment and the ability for your body to perform.  People may talk about “comfort” food.  But any “comfort” in eating doesn’t last very long.  Our thoughts and relationships about food are complicated.  Be willing to reflect on your thoughts and feelings about food, and decide which thoughts to keep.

#5  Take time to relax and enjoy yourself when you eat.  Enjoy your food.  Be minfdful and allow yourself to sit down for your meal, and enjoy every bite. Don’t watch TV while eating, or check your email, or read.  Make meal time a pleasure and a break you take for yourself.

#6 For the first 3 weeks, write down what you eat in a food diary.  This isn’t forever, — it’s good to do at least for the first 21 days.  Keeping a food diary will help you become aware of the new habits and choices you are forming.  It will help keep you on track..

#7 Keep unhealthy foods out of your home.  Remove any foods you’ve decided to keep out of your life for now.  You save yourself a lot of stress and temptation if it’s not in your house.  Make sure you remove trigger foods from your home: those which you can’t stop eating once you get started.  Know that you’re not alone in having foods that are just not safe for you to have nearby:  There’s a reason why certain potato chips makers advertise that “You can’t eat just one.”

#8 Drink water.  Plan times to help yourself to a glass of water.  Drink a glass before you have a meal, and before you have a snack.  When you make sure to give your body enough water, you are less likely to make the common mistake of eating, thinking you’re hungry, when you are actually thirsty instead.  Drinking plenty of water also helps prevent food cravings, and keeps you from feeling fatigue due to dehydration.

#9 Get active.  Find an activity that you enjoy.  Make time to enjoy your activity for at least half an hour, 5 days a week.  Exercise speeds up your metabolism.  If you stay active for 60 minutes a day, you reach your weight loss goals even faster.  In addition to an activity that gives your heart rate and metabolism a healthy boost, find an exercise that helps you improve muscle strength.  Just two days per week of strengthening exercises is enough to improve wellness.  Your doctor can help you find a range of activities that are safe and beneficial to you.   Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

#10 Eat breakfast – don’t skip it.  A healthy breakfast is a signal to get your metabolism going after having no food overnight.  When you skip breakfast, your body respons as if you are under stress.  It automatically responds with hormones that tell your body to conserve fat tissue.

Even if you have struggled with your weight for years, you can find a solution that works for you.

Struggling with your weight for years can leave you feeling discouraged.  But in over 25 years of practice, I have seen hundreds of patients benefit greatly from our whole-person approach.  Patients regain lower weights they enjoyed in their younger years, and find more energy and enjoyment in life.

The good news is that you can maintain a healthy weight, even if other attempts have failed.  If you are located near Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, call the Optimal Wellness Center to schedule an appointment, and find a weight control lifestyle that works for you.

We are located in Fraklin Lakes, New Jersey.  We are close to Saddle River, Paramus, and Ridgewood.  We serve patients from throughout Bergen County.