Medical Scare Motivation

Thomas thought the discomfort he was feeling was just cramps, but a doctor delivered shocking news: He was having a heart attack. Thomas was overweight with 40% body fat. He had high blood pressure and hypertension. Realizing he needed to take his health seriously, Thomas started working out at the Cira Fitness Center six days a week – under the guidance of HealthEase fitness specialists Alex and Rory. “Now, through exercise and eating right, I’ve gotten into the perfect shape of my life,” said Thomas. “Thanks to the Cira Fitness Center and the staff, I no longer have high blood pressure or hypertension. I did it and so can you!”

 

 before  after

Weight Loss Success Story

Andrea, a member of a HealthEase-managed corporate fitness center, started her fitness journey in July 2017. She made health a priority by staying consistent in the gym and changing her eating habits. HealthEase fitness professional and site manager Bridget taught Andrea the importance of following a well-rounded exercise routine to meet her fitness goals. Andrea took Bridget’s advice and began weight training as well as taking Bridget’s group exercise classes, including Boot Camp and Tank Top Arms. Andrea has stayed committed to exercising and eating right despite a demanding full-time job in Philadelphia and a four-year-old daughter at home. The result? As of April 2018, Andrea lost 20 pounds – she looks and feels terrific! Her biggest problem now? Needing to buy new clothes for her slim figure! Congrats, Andrea!

 

Andrea’s BEFORE and AFTER:

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about Nutrition

What are some of the most commonly asked questions about nutrition that registered dietitians hear from their clients? Below are some of those questions, along with answers, provided by our Your Fuel Nutrition Counseling team.

 

Is going gluten free healthier for you?

 

Well, it depends. It can be difficult to navigate through the internet when it comes to health and eating. The question to go gluten free is no exception. If you have known celiac disease (those who can’t digest the proteins in wheat products), then yes, it is the best choice.  For those who have unexplained stomach issues, you could have a gluten sensitivity. This means that you can tolerate small amounts of gluten; but, going overboard can put you into GI distress.

 

For those who are interested in going gluten free to be healthier, then no, there is no evidence to support this claim. Gluten-free products can be higher in calories from added fat and sugar. Additionally, they can be lower in fiber and other essential nutrients compared to whole wheat products. This means that avoiding gluten could put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies like fiber, iron, and folate. Unless you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, the best advice is to choose 100% whole grains and starches while not overdoing it on the portion size. Be adventurous and try grains like farro, barley, or bulgur with your next meal!

 

Provided by:

Robyn Beechuk, MPH, RD, LDN

484-569-2491

www.robynswellness.com

 

I should avoid fruit because it has sugar, right?

 

Fruits are powerhouse foods and should be a staple in your diet. Fruits contain an array of vitamins and other compounds that can protect you from diseases and help your body function better. They are also a great source of fiber, which can help you feel full longer, especially when trying to lose weight. Yes, fruits contain more natural sugar, called fructose, than other food groups.  However, in combination with fiber, these sugars take longer to be absorbed than refined sugars, which means a better fuel source for you!

 

The health concern about sugar comes more from adding sugar to products, with ingredients like corn syrup, cane sugar, agave syrup, and honey. You still need to be aware of added sugar to certain fruits, too. For example, canned fruit can have added syrups and some dried fruit, like blueberries, have added sugar for extra sweetness. Take a second and check your ingredient label before buying. I recommend picking fresh or frozen fruits if you can. Of course, overeating fruit is possible and can add calories. Try to consume at least 2 servings of fruit per day. A serving of fresh fruit is the size of a baseball, 1-2 cups cubed, ½ cup canned, or ¼ cup dried. So, keep enjoying fruits and make sure to choose a variety of colors when picking your fruits for the week.

 

Provided by:

Robyn Beechuk, MPH, RD, LDN

484-569-2491

www.robynswellness.com

 

There’s a lot of information on food labels – what should I pay most attention to?

 

There is a wide range of food items in grocery and convenience stores – cereals, yogurt, crackers, sauces, frozen foods, granola bars, and many other products.  Any product in a box, bag, or package will have a nutrition label.  Before purchasing a food product, try checking out the ingredient list and comparing it to other options.  The shorter the ingredient list, the less processed the item often is.  Limiting processed food intake, in general, is a fantastic way to improve eating habits and overall health, which is why purchasing products with shorter ingredients lists, can help.  For example, instead of buying the peanut butter with extra sugar, hydrogenated oils, peanuts, and high fructose corn syrup, try buying the one with just peanuts or peanuts and salt. 

 

Making sure to view the “serving size,” which is at the top of the nutrition label, is also key.  No matter what the food product is, aiming to stick to the serving size is a smart way to avoid excess calories, sodium, and sugar.   Even if it’s a bag of chips or ice cream – it’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat it.  One healthy way to eat any food product is to practice portion control by sticking to a “serving,” as indicated on the nutrition label.

 

Depending on your health concerns/goals, you may also want to evaluate the sugar and sodium content on the nutrition label.  A “low sodium” product will have less than 150 mg of sodium per serving and a high sodium product will have 450 mg of sodium per serving or higher. 

 

Provided by:

Rachel Ann Hudes, MS, RD, LDN

(215) 264-2574

www.prolifestylenutrition.com

 

Should I go on a juice cleanse?

 

First, it is important to acknowledge that drinking juice is not the same as eating fresh fruits or vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which has mostly been removed during the juicing process. Half a cup of juice can count towards 1 serving of fruits or vegetables, but we recommend that most daily servings come from whole fruits and vegetables to obtain adequate fiber.

 

Juice cleanses (meaning consuming nothing but juice for several days) can result in weight loss but not in the healthiest way. An ‘all juice’ diet will usually be very low in calories, protein, fiber, and fat.  We do not recommend that women consume less than 1,200 calories daily, and we don’t recommend for men to consume less than 1,600 calories daily.  Protein is also very important during weight loss to preserve lean muscle mass; so, juice is not the best choice.

 

It’s fine to consume small amounts of juice, but I would not recommend a juice cleanse. Instead, focus on appropriate calories for your personal goals, drink lots of water, and eat plenty of fiber from whole fruits and vegetables!

 

Provided by:

Nicole Bergoine, RD, LDN, CPT

TEL: 484-985-2401

www.nicolemarierd.com

 

 

The Power of Personal Training

We never grow tired of spreading GOOD NEWS! Read on to hear how one man’s membership in his company’s on-site fitness center led to a trimmer, healthier, more youthful self! 

 

Liz, a HealthEase site manager, recalls how Ken looked 10 years older than his actual age and was taking several medications for various medical conditions when he signed up for personal training sessions with her. “The first two times we trained, Ken had to sit down and catch his breath numerous times, and I saw him turn very pale.  We took things slow and steady and eventually started to see great progress.  I remember when he was able to go off many of his medications due to his exercise program! That was so exciting.  He is now very active, looks great for his age, and I have thoroughly enjoyed helping him reach his health goals.”

 

Here is what Ken has to say about the experience: “I started working out twice a week with Liz {at our company gym} with the simple goal of getting in shape. She has exceeded my expectations, and the results have been fantastic as I am now down over 40 pounds. I have also managed to cut some of my hypertension medicines as a result and feel great. My doctor is amazed. Liz has kept the gym workouts fresh and has mixed in a lot of dietary advice as well, which has been a huge factor in my success. She also goes beyond the day-to-day {responsibilities}; she ran with {our team} n the Broad Street Run and will also be biking with me and other employees in the MS Bike to the Shore ride in September.”

 

Before and After photos of Ken:

 

New Mom, New Body!

We love to hear from clients who have overcome a challenge with our help! Read on for another HealthEase success story…

 

Rachel, an employee at a suburban Philadelphia pharmaceutical company where HealthEase manages the on-site fitness center, enlisted the help of our dynamite site manager Liz. After giving birth to twins, Rachel had trouble losing weight and resorted to wearing one pair of pants and buying loose dresses that fit her larger size. Once she made the decision to get healthy, Liz gave her an exercise and nutrition plan to follow. Rachel dropped 35 pounds and says: “I am the healthiest and strongest I have ever been. Liz kept me going when I got frustrated and pushed me past limits I set for myself in my head. Her knowledge, support, and dedication are amazing!”

 

Here’s what Liz has to say about the experience: “Rachel came to me with quite the attitude, “I want you to kick my ass into shape” she said, with this look of determination in her eyes.  I replied, ‘I can do that’ I encouraged Rachel to log her food on myfitnesspal.com, and she did very well with that.  She is now a workout queen! It is amazing to see a transformation in someone, but even better when you see them enjoying exercise. She is now one fit mom!!”

 

Rachel Before:          Rachel After: