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The “Skinny” on Carbs

Have you heard the buzz about eating “low-carb” for weight loss but never really understood all of the facts? Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness wants you to know the “skinny” on carbohydrates so you can use them effectively in your diet to achieve maximum weight loss.

 

Carbohydrate is a term for all sugars. They are the body’s fuel for many functions. They supply the energy needed for the muscles, brain and central nervous system. During digestion, all carbohydrates are broken down into glucose before they can enter the bloodstream where insulin helps the close enter the body’s cells. Some of the glucose is stored in the liver and a muscle for future use, to fuel a workout for example; however, if there is extra glucose (if too many carbs are consumed), the body stores it as fat. This is where carbs contribute to weight gain or inhibit weight loss.

 

At Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness, our nutritionists teach our clients about “good” carbs and “bad” carbs? Carbohydrates are found in sweet and starchy plant-derived foods, including fruits and vegetables, grains, and processed products. Every single source of carbohydrates falls somewhere on the Glycemic Index (GI), which is the scale of how fast the carbs from the food enter the bloodstream. High GI foods enter the bloodstream quickly, whereas lower GI foods enter the blood at a slower and steadier pace.

 

When high GI foods are consumed in high amounts, they cause sudden surges in blood sugar levels. This results in increases in insulin release, elevating appetite and increasing excess fat storage. Lower GI foods, such as many complex carbohydrates (or starches) are structurally more complex and take longer to break down and digest. Because they enter the bloodstream gradually, they trigger only a moderate rise in insulin levels, not contributing as much to increased appetite and fat storage, this not contributing as much to weight gain.

 

Our nutrition experts at Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness encourage clients to choose their carbohydrates well! Unrefined or “whole grain” carbohydrates found in products like brown rice and whole wheat pasta, contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber which promote overall health. Refined grains, such as white bread, pretzels, cookies and pasties, are stripped of these vitamins and minerals during the refining process. In other words, they offer little to no nutritional value.

 

When carbohydrates are consumed is as important as what type of carbohydrates are consumed. At Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness we teach our clients to be “Carb Free After 3”. In other words, we encourage clients to consume their carbohydrates earlier in the day rather than later. Carbohydrates are burned more efficiently in the early hours of the day than they are at night. Efficiently burned carbs result in more successful weight loss.

 

Carbohydrates are not your ultimate enemy! You can educate yourself and learn how to choose carbohydrates well! Making the lifestyle change to give your body the right fuel at the right time of day will help you achieve maximum weight loss. Our team at Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss can equip you with the information and tools that you need to develop a healthy lifestyle that lasts.

 

For more information on how carbohydrates affect weight loss, or to develop a specific weight loss plan, call Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness to set up an appointment. We can help you get on the road to better food choices, an effective exercise routine, and a healthy lifestyle with weight loss results that will last!

Cut Salt, Save 500,000 U.S. Lives Over a Decade, Study Finds

Reducing salt in Americans’ diets would save hundreds of thousands of lives over 10 years, according to a new study.

 

Excess salt, the primary source of sodium, contributes to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, the leading killer in the United States.

 

Immediately reducing people’s salt consumption from current levels to the upper limit of the U.S. government guideline — 2,300 milligrams a day — would save 500,000 to 850,000 lives over the next decade, largely by reducing heart attacks and strokes, the study found.

 

Gradually reducing sodium levels in processed or restaurant foods by 4 percent a year for 10 years would still save 280,000 to 500,000 lives over a decade, the researchers concluded.

 

The average American consumes about 3,500 mg per day, and men tend to ingest much more than that, according to the study, which was published Feb. 11 in the journal Hypertension.

 

“No matter how we look at it, the story is the same — there will be huge benefits in reducing sodium,” study lead author Pam Coxson, a mathematician at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a university news release.

 

For the study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought together three groups of scientists who used different computer models to estimate how lowering salt intake would save lives.

 

All the models showed consistent, substantial benefits if current sodium intake were reduced to a level close to the upper limit of the federal guidelines.

 

Many people believe that taking the salt shaker off the dinner table will reduce their sodium consumption to a healthy level, but 80 percent of the sodium consumed by Americans comes from processed foods, Coxson noted.

 

Bread and other cereals account for about one-third of daily sodium intake. Other types of processed foods that have high sodium levels include canned soup and processed meats. Even fresh chicken is sometimes injected with salt solutions before packaging. Restaurant meals are also high in sodium.

 

In commercial settings, salt is primarily added for flavor and sometimes to preserve foods.

 

More information

 

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute outlines how you can reduce salt in your diet.

 

– Robert Preidt

 

SOURCE: University of California, San Francisco, news release, Feb. 11, 2013

 

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Insider Secrets: Do You Think Like an Athlete?

What does it mean to “think like an athlete”?

For me, thinking like an athlete is about being focused on your goals.  As well as being a former professional sprinter, I’m from a family of athletes, and I married an athlete, so I know a little something about what makes athletes tick.

Athletes think differently. By focusing on the end result, I think athletes are better able to prioritize and we really can apply that focus in every part of our lives. Whether we’re preparing for a training session, thinking about food and how to refuel our bodies, or planning a fun and relaxing outing, we’re thinking about what we want to achieve.

I think this approach can be helpful for everyone, in all walks of life.  Try thinking about what you want to achieve and you may be able to think past all the other chatter that your brain is always throwing at you.

For instance, when you’re heading to the gym are you already thinking about what you’ll be doing later?  Is the gym something you want to get over and done with?  Perhaps you’re even one of the many who dread going to the gym and try any number of avoidance tactics?

I understand.   Believe me, there are days when I’ve wanted to skip the gym, curl up on the sofa and eat cookies.  Nowadays, when that happens I make a promise to myself ­ if I still want to do that after I’ve worked out then I’ll let myself.  The thing is, in the back of my brain, I know that I won’t want to.

By deciding to think like an athlete, I can make a work out more fun and less of a drain.  Rather than counting the minutes until I can stop, I think about how my body is improving with each thing I do.  I think about the positives: how I look, how I feel and how much happier I am when I’m active.

It’s the same with meal times.  As an athlete I think about my long-term goals rather than focusing on short-term treats.  While I believe in rewards and know we can’t all be virtuous all the time, I also know that if I want to feel good then I need to eat healthy, balanced meals.

For an athlete the end goal is always the primary focus.

This way of thinking has worked for me at every stage of my life and I’ve never looked back.  I continue to think like an athlete even though my competitive days are behind me. I feel that having a plan and a definite direction keeps me positively moving toward self-improvement.

Try thinking like an athlete in every part of your life for just one week and see what a difference it can make.

Written by Samantha Clayton.  Samantha is a paid consultant to Herbalife.

Be Happier: 4 Life-Changing Reasons to Get Active

There are literally hundreds of reasons why being active is beneficial.  Exercise is good for your body, your mind and for your social life.

Here are four reasons that I believe will inspire you to get up and get healthy. Once you’ve read through, I know you’ll join me and become a happier, healthier you.

1.  Reduced stress

Most of our lives are filled with stress of some sort, whether it’s lack of time, financial struggles, difficult work deadlines or simply trying to herd your children to school.

Stress can lead to weight gain and make losing weight more difficult, so finding time for activity has never been so important.

Stress also often causes over-eating and this can lead to weight gain, in turn this can increase your stress and then the cycle repeats.

Even I have succumbed to stress and hidden out in my pantry (where I keep the cookies!) during times of high pressure.  Knowing that this wasn’t the best reaction, I took time out and realized that I needed to do something that would help me cope with the stresses of my life.  I found that adding an activity to my day allowed me to re-group and focus on myself and this helped me to reduce anxiety and stress.

2. Feel more productive in work and life

I always used to think that in school we had recess to give the teacher five minutes of peace but the real reason is much more interesting. Studies have found that after activity our brains are more active and this makes it easier for us to learn and retain information. (I’ve tested this philosophy on my own children and it definitely works for them.)

You may not be in school any more, but taking a brief recess for activity, especially when you feel drained, may improve your focus and make you more productive. Feeling that you’re more productive is a great way to beat stress!

3. Positive lifestyle attracts positive people

When you make a conscious effort to improve yourself through becoming more active, your confidence gets a boost.  Even better, your new positive approach can convince those around you to also make a positive change.  This is especially true if you decide to take a class or join a fit club.

Who knew that by improving yourself you¹d have the potential to improve others too?

4. Increase your happiness

Who doesn’t want to be happier? Being active promotes the release of endorphins in your body similar to those that are released when we eat foods such as chocolate.  I’d much rather get my happy endorphins from activity because it¹s long lasting.  When you eat unbalanced sugary delights, your happy vibe is short lived and is quickly followed by a not-so-happy energy drop.

What goes up must come down and if you constantly spike your blood sugar in this way, you¹ll find it hard to balance your mood. Instead, try involving yourself in a healthy activity as this may make you happier because you¹ll have more energy and your mood will be stable.

***

Activity really is good for everyone.  Think of these four life-changing benefits of exercise as routes to happiness. Less stress makes you happier, being alert and more productive makes you happier and happy people attract positive happy people.

Happily, I think that promoting an active lifestyle will eventually make the world happier, healthier place.

Written by Samantha Clayton.  Samantha is a paid consultant to Herbalife.

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