Where To Start When You Have Never Exercised


“Where do I start? I’ve never exercised before.” This is a common question you hear, especially from people who are much older and just starting to get active for the first time. If you have never had an active lifestyle or exercised before, it may be a challenge to know what you need to do and how to do it. You will notice in the beginning it’ll be a struggle and that is why it is so important to start small and ease into it.

To put it to you straight, you do not have a choice. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, body composition, mobility, and good general health, you must move your body.

First, decide to do it no matter what. Why do you want to start exercising? What are your goals?

  • You want to lose weight
  • You want to promote healthy joints and mobility as you age
  • You want better cardiovascular health
  • You want to be a good example to your kids
  • You want to become stronger and more flexible
  • And the list goes on and on….

Once you have your why, it can still seem overwhelming of how to start. You do not even know what you may or may not like. This can mean exploring and taking your time to decide what you like and what you enjoy doing. When you see people running in your neighborhood or when you go to the gym, just keep in mind that everyone started somewhere. Rest assured that when you see these people, they did not look that way when they started, they worked hard to get to where they are now, just like you will.

Your exercise routine is about YOU. It is about your individual goals, your preferences, and your interests. What matters is finding a fitness program that works for you. The good news is that there are a lot to choose from.

Break it down so you can begin an enjoyable program that you will stick to in the long haul.

  1. Identify Your “Why”

This is a huge part of staying motivated, consistent, and positive when you first begin. This may take some serious brainstorming on your part, but it is vital to find a reason that is meaningful enough to you for it to propel you forward. This is about your goals and what feels right for you. Try not to get caught up into what everyone else is doing.

  1. Invest in Proper Gear

Exactly what kind of gear you need will depend on what kind of exercise you want to try. But there are a few universal “staple” items that you can get. This will help motivate you. Invest in a pair of comfortable, supportive athletic shoes. The best way to make this decision is to try on a bunch and see what feels most comfortable to you. Some stores offer special fittings. Females will want to find a snug, supportive sports bra, and a couple of sweat-wicking tops along with pants or shorts. Do not go overboard in spending money until you know more of what you like.

  1. Start Off Small and Ease into It

When you begin, think about long-term consistency. Think about how many training days you can realistically fit into your life. Hopefully, you will work your way up to 3-4 days a week. But it does not mean that you must start there. Try not to get into thinking that you need 1-2 hours to get your work out in. It can be less than an hour and have great short term and long-term benefits. Another trick is to schedule it on your calendar, this way you can be sure to have set time aside for your workout.

What time should you work out? The best time is always the one that fits your lifestyle, your preferences, and your energy level.

The way to find out is to experiment with various times to see when you feel your best and when you are most like to follow through and do it.  You may like morning workouts since once you do it in the morning, it is out of the way and nothing else can come along to sideline it. For some people early mornings turn them off and they like to carve out 30 minutes to an hour after the workday.

  1. Learn The Basics

Once you find a type of workout that you like and works for you, do not go “all-in” right away. Take the time to learn the basics so you can safely progress. The beginner guides and classes will give you a foundation to make sure you are doing it correctly.

It should be challenging but not so difficult that you feel defeated.

 If you are in a class, most instructors will give you modifications during the class. Do not be afraid to modify the exercise to your level. It is easy to want to keep up with everyone else but meet yourself where you are. Never feel ashamed of listening to your body and taking breathers when you need to.

Remember 5 minutes is better than 0.

  1. Try Hiring a Trainer

One on one options are good for beginners, and it keeps you accountable. They will guide you into a program and provide individualized help. Consider booking sessions with a trainer to show you proper exercises to get started. They will show you ones that are right for you with your current skills and abilities. New Vitality Centers can recommend a trainer for you. Most gyms collaborate with personal trainers and can also connect you with one.

6. Add Stretching Daily

A good exercise program includes a flexibility program. It will also increase your performance in any sport or exercise. It will naturally increase the strength of your core to help in aging. Focus on stretching the muscles that are worked during your workout. If you worked your lower body, focus on stretching your legs and glute areas. If you worked your upper body, focus stretching on your upper body. When you stretch, try to hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds. It may be a little uncomfortable, but it should not hurt. Once you begin stretching regularly you will find that you will become more flexible and be able to hold the stretch longer and even stretch further. You will also notice that if you do not stretch after you have been doing so, it will feel like something is missing.

  1. Have a Game Plan

Like anything else, it is important to have a plan. Even if you are super motivated to your new fitness goals, some days, it is hard. Sometimes it is good to have a friend as a “check in” partner to hold you accountable. Another strategy is to get your work out clothes and essentials together the day before so it takes less time preparing. Just make sure you continue to listen to your body. If you have been going strong and need a break, it is fine. Your new workout routine should not add stress, it should be a helpful self-care activity that gives you more energy and makes you feel positive and strong.



Making your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Making your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

It is a new year and you have made some New Year’s Resolutions or made the decision to make some substantial changes in your life. First, let us start off by saying you can do it! Keep in mind, you cannot just say things like “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to start eating healthy.” There needs to be a plan in place so that it is effective, and you can meet your goals – a plan of attack.

Everyone can lose weight, but it is the lifestyle change that helps improve your overall health, well-being, and longevity. A new lifestyle change is not something that happens overnight. It is a day by day, commitment, one step at a time. New Vitality Centers focuses on our client’s overall health as they lose weight.

How to make sure that you meet your New Year’s Resolution(s) goals?

  1. Keep it Simple. If it is too complicated, you will not stick to it. Overall statements like “I’m going to lose weight” is too big, broad, and most often does not work. Consider pairing it down to something simple and actionable to make it easier to connect with your goal every day. Making it too complicated can be a recipe for self-sabotage which can lead to depression.
  2. Do not make quick decisions that you cannot stick to. Also, as a reminder, try not to get caught up in the “lose weight fast” campaigns. Take a moment to think about your lifestyle and your long-term health goals. Taking a moment to think about your daily life both at work and at home will help you make decisions that you can stick to.
  3. Always have “go to” positive affirmations. It is important to have self-compassion so that you can enact big sustainable changes. Remember you cannot take care of your family the way you want if you are not healthy yourself. Try things like this: “I will stick to my plan so that I will have the energy to be a better mother or wife”, “I will make good eating choices so that I can lower my blood pressure or get off my diabetes medication”, or “I will not be persuaded by my friends and family to eat things that are not on my plan and that will give me more confidence”. You can be loving with yourself while still holding yourself accountable. This will inspire confidence and bring out the best in yourself.
  4. Pick friends and partners that have similar goals and lifestyles. This will not only keep you safe emotionally but will also give you security. Having healthy relationships with discipline allows you to meet your own needs. It may sound strange, but it is good to partner with “yourself” so that you can self-motivate and allow yourself to have affection for yourself. Keeping discipline within a healthy state of balance can be life changing and it turns self-discipline into a powerful ally.
  5. Do not beat yourself up for having a difficult day. First, it is normal to find yourself going one step forward and two steps back at times when you are creating tremendous change. Try not to get caught up into the frame of mind that “I messed up at lunch so now I’m not going to stick to the plan the rest of the day and night.” That usually only makes you feel worse emotionally and makes it harder to get back on track. Old habits can be hard to break but remember, you can reach your goal.

There are a multitude of reasons people want to lose weight. For most people, it is simply because they want to look better physically. Who doesn’t want to look better?  We all do. When you begin losing weight – not only will you look better but your overall health, well-being, and longevity improves. Many chronic disease issues can be eliminated due to this lifestyle change, not to mention you’ll have improved energy, focus, sleep and more!

New Vitality Centers believes losing weight is anti-aging. Losing weight can get your chronological age more parallel with your biological age. New Vitality Centers uses a combination of ketogenic diet along with intermittent fasting. Keto diet and intermittent fasting are considered the gold standard of sustainable weight loss and lifestyle choices because it allows you to live life without so many restrictions. People who are “on diets” typically end up socializing less or going out to dinner less often because it does not fit into their plan. This combination of ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting allows you to have a cocktail if you want and allows you to go to dinner or a party but just pick different foods to go on your plate.

Remember, you can stick to your New Year’s resolutions this year if you follow these tips and tricks! Stay committed, stay consistent and reach out to New Vitality Centers to start our Clean Start Weight Loss Program.

Having A Ketogenic Diet Can Improve Your Health and Body Composition

Having A Ketogenic Diet Can Improve Your Health and Body Composition

Many individuals think a ketogenic diet consists of only meat, eggs, and cheese. A primarily protein-based diet. While protein is an important source in a well-balanced diet, there are other things to consider when wanting to reach your health and fitness goals. When dieting Keto style, you do eat carbohydrates, but it’s a low carb diet. Instead of getting carbs from rice, breads, and pasta, you’re getting them from healthy sources such as certain vegetables.

When you begin this lifestyle change, you need to “kick carbohydrates to the curb”. The Keto diet originated after other diets like the South Beach Diet, Atkins Diet, modified Paleo, and other low-carb diets.


A Keto diet can work for almost anyone considering that it works for those who are also vegan or vegetarian. Generally, the key is to focus on foods that are naturally high in fat and avoid highly processed foods. You will notice that these highly processed foods are labeled with trans-fats, and we want to stay away from that. The fruits you choose to eat should be low on the glycemic index but still rich in fiber as well. We advise adding avocados to your nutrition as it is Keto friendly and is loaded with 15 grams of healthy monosaturated fats. Adding avocados to your diet can help speed up the fat-adaption process during the initial stage of your ketogenic diet.


A Typical Keto Diet

The key is not to complicate it and stay away from “bad carbs” and sugar. The Keto diet allows you to live your life, go out to dinner, go to a party, and enjoy yourself!  Just be weary when it’s time to eat and pick only the right kinds of snacks and foods; avoid processed and sugary foods.

A Typical Keto diet can include the following:

  • Meat (grass fed and free-range is better) – pork, chicken, beef, eggs. Vegans will need vegetable protein sources
  • Fish and seafood
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • High-fat dairies such as cream, whole butter, and hard cheeses
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, pure butter

What to avoid:

  • Any food that is made of starch, even whole grain, and organic bread
  • Most fruits in the beginning
  • Any food that is labeled low-fat
  • Vegetables oils

Alcohol is not a “no-no” however be smart about it and consume it in moderation. Experiment to figure out what works for you.


Say Goodbye to Carbs!

People have relied on high carbohydrate foods as the foundation of their diet. They are everywhere you go and offered as quick hunger fixes. Carbs used to be an excellent source of calories and your body’s preferred energy source.

Today, agriculture is highly industrial and very high in calories. Most people have sedentary lifestyles and rely on carbs too much. The glucose from excess carbs is metabolized by the body but gets stored as fat when unused. The result is a staggering increase in obesity and Type II Diabetes.

A ketogenic diet trains your body to rely on dietary fat for energy by converting fat to ketones and free fatty acids, this is a natural metabolic state we call ketosis. To reach ketosis, you must limit your carb intake to encourage your body to produce ketones for energy. By reducing your carb intake to around 30 – 50 grams of net carbs (15-25 in the beginning during rapid weight loss), it leaves your body with no choice but to rely on dietary fat as an energy source.

Normally carbs are broken down into glucose and are used as your primary source of energy. Since most people eat too may carbs, the glucose that is not utilized is converted into glycogen and stored in the muscles and liver.

A ketogenic diet interrupts and changes this process. It puts your body into ketosis, a glycogen-deprived state from eating less carbs. Fat is then oxidized to produce energy which results in ketones. Remember that glucose provides quick bursts of energy and the energy from fat burns slower. As a result, Keto diet helps with avoiding sugar crashes right after consuming carbs in your meals.

Many of us overeat for multitude of reasons. We are programed by media, friends, family, and our history even. You know the saying, “It’s 12:00 I need to eat lunch”, so you rush to grab something to eat because that’s what’s considered the normal thing to do. People will do this even if they aren’t even hungry at the moment, it’s just the thing to do. A ketogenic diet helps curb overeating since unsaturated fats are more satisfying.


Adjusting to Keto

As with any lifestyle change, there is an adjustment phase. The goal is overall better health, less medication, weight loss, and to have a better-looking physical appearance.

Many people find it difficult to make changes such as the ones listed above. When it comes to a lifestyle change, most of us tend to resist because the beginning is most difficult and challenging to stay committed to. Some individuals may experience a side effect called “Keto Flu” during the first couple of weeks. Although Keto provides you with energy and better focus, if you experience “Keto Flu”, you may experience fatigue and mild dizziness. This is your body adjusting to the lack of carbs as it transitions into using fat for energy.

When you’re on a ketogenic diet, fatty acids are released from your body fat and insulin levels decrease.  When insulin levels decrease, your kidneys excrete more water, sodium, and potassium. Some people notice increased urination. As a result, your blood pressure may decrease. It is important to stay hydrated.

To combat these symptoms, increase your electrolyte and fluid intake especially during the first few weeks. Bone broth is also helpful.


What’s in it for you? For better health?

Ketogenic diets are very effective for reducing body fat, but it will not happen overnight. Like all lifestyle and diet changes, weight loss can come quickly in the first few weeks and then you’ll see it slow down a bit.

In a study that compared ketogenic diet to a low-fat diet, it revealed that the ketogenic diet is more effective for weight loss. Researchers concluded that low carb ketogenic diets can help curb the obesity epidemic. Another study compared the effectiveness of a low-carb Keto diet (less than 10% calories from carbohydrates) to a low-fat diet in men and women. The researchers concluded that the low-carb Keto diet was effective for short-term weight loss and fat loss, meaning faster results.

Several studies have shown that ketogenic diets have been shown to reduce the risk of the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer and tumor progression
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Acne

Keto and Your Body Composition

Low calorie diets can lead to muscle loss, but Keto does not.

Researchers have found that people who do resistance training 3 to 4 times a week increase their lean muscle mass significantly. Significant fat loss was also observed.

A Keto diet also has benefits for cancer patients. A study of people who underwent radiotherapy revealed a Keto diet helped preserve muscle mass even though they lost weight.

How long should I be on Keto?

During weight loss, your body will be in ketosis. Let’s say you have accomplished your weight loss and body composition goals, what should you do next you might ask?

It’s entirely up to you. What type of lifestyle do you want to have? If you go back to how you were eating, in time you may gain back the weight and lose the effects of the lean muscle mass that you have gained. It is important to be mindful of what you eat and remember that everything counts! Most people who truly have the desire for better health and long-term sustainability, modify their diets somewhat and increase their carbs. However, they make sure that they are eating healthy carbs and not processed foods or sugars.


Can anyone do ketogenic diet?

Although there are many benefits to ketogenic diet, there are some that it may not be recommended for:

  • Type 1 diabetics
  • Women who are pregnant
  • High-level or professional in-season athletics
  • Children because they need more carbs (good carbs) for growth and development

Are You An Emotional or Stress Eater?

Are You An Emotional or Stress Eater?

There comes a time where many of us are emotional eaters, and we use food to “feel better”. For a lot of us, this results in us feeling down because we know – it wasn’t our original intention. More importantly, it’s not going to solve our problems and we’re stuck feeling guilty about what we’ve done.

Emotional eating is a pattern of eating where people use food to help them deal with stressful situations. Let’s face it, stressful situations occur every day, and if we’re going to succeed with our health goals, we must put an end to it. It’ll be a challenge, and it will take consistency, but YOU CAN DO IT!

Losing weight is essential to being healthy. Weight loss contains many benefits for your overall health and if you can make change, many powerful things will happen. Most of all, you will have better energy levels and will feel better about your overall physical appearance.

Many people experience emotional eating during a particular phase of their life. Some may even have multiple phases. An example of emotional eating could be when someone eats unhealthy snacks because they’re bored. Or feeling like they deserve eating a dessert or chocolate bar after a long day at work. When emotional and stress eating happens too frequently, it becomes a habit, and it must come to an end. At this point, it becomes the primary way a person deals with their emotions, life, health, happiness, and weight. Which in return, their health is negatively affected.

Key Points to Emotional and Stress Eating:

  • Sometimes, emotional and stress eating is triggered by stress or strong emotions.
  • There are physical and psychological causes for emotional and stress eating.
  • Coping strategies can help a person trying to alleviate the most severe symptoms.

Know Your Triggers and How to Avoid Them:

  • Boredom, having nothing to do, or having to get up in the morning is a common emotional trigger. Many people live a very stimulating and active life and when they have nothing to do, they will turn to food to fill the gap.
  • Habits are driven by nostalgia or things that happened in a person’s childhood. Something as simple as having ice cream after a good report card or baking cookies is an example.
  • When you are tired, it is very easy to overeat or eat mindlessly when you’re fatigued.
  • Social influences can either encourage or hinder you. Everyone has that friend or family member who encourages them to get a slice of pizza or go out for drinks and splurge after a hard day. Many people tend to overeat with friends & family.

New Vitality Centers can help you start a custom weight loss plan that is sustainable as a lifestyle. Let’s be real, you can’t just lose weight and go back to the lifestyle you were living. Otherwise, you’ll fall back into old habits, and you won’t have any progress. We aren’t saying you can’t enjoy a snack here and there or a drink once in a blue moon but staying committed to a plan that’ll benefit your health is key! Everything comes in moderation.

The first step to eliminating emotional or stress eating is to recognize the triggers and situations that apply to your life. Keeping a food diary or journal can help to identify situations when someone is more likely to eat because of emotions instead of physical hunger.

Things to Keep Track Of:

  • Patterns of hunger levels and what time of day it is.
  • What you are doing and if it is tedious or unpleasant.
  • What are you feeling, whether you are bored, angry, or happy? (Most common)

It is very common for people to struggle with difficult or uncomfortable feelings and emotions.  There is an instinct or need to quickly fix or destroy those bad feelings. Emotional eating isn’t just linked to negative emotions. Eating a lot of candy on Halloween or too much food on Thanksgiving are examples of “eating because of a holiday itself”. Emotional eating can be associated with a celebration.

High cortisol levels from stress can increase food cravings for sugary or fatty foods. Stress is also associated with increased hunger hormones, which may also contribute to cravings for unhealthy foods.

Research shows that women are more likely to use food to deal with stress than men are while men are more likely than women to smoke or use alcohol.

Emotional Hunger Vs. Physical Hunger

It is very easy to mistake emotional hunger for physical hunger. There are characteristics that distinguish between the two. Recognizing the difference is a huge first step towards helping to stop emotional eating patterns.

  • Emotional hunger tends to hit quickly and feels urgent.
  • Emotional hunger is usually associated with cravings for junk food or something unhealthy.
  • Emotional hunger does not originate from the stomach such as when your stomach growls.
  • Emotional hunger starts with a person thinking about a craving or wanting something specific.
  • Emotional hunger leaves you feeling guilty.
  • Physical hunger is not as urgent or sudden.
  • Physical hunger you will eat anything.
  • Physical hunger satisfies the body with nutrients.

Mindless Eating

Yes, there is such a thing as mindless eating. This is when someone eats without paying attention to how much they consume. This can happen when you are watching TV or standing over the buffet at a cocktail party, or even when you’re working on a project at your desk. Some people always have a snack while they are driving, there are endless examples of mindless eating.

Bottom Line

Emotional eating is a common experience and is not usually associated with physical hunger. Some people give into it, while others can find that it impacts their lives and becomes a bad habit. It may even threaten their health and mental well-being. Many individuals will eat in the middle of the night.

Do you really think that they are hungry at 2am?

After eating and filling up the stomach in the wee hours of the night, one may notice that it’s more difficult to have a good night’s sleep. Not to mention, it won’t allow the body to experience the healing effects of resting. Anyone who experiences negative emotions (guilt) around their eating habits should arrange a visit to a healthcare provider to discuss their issues and attack them head on. They must have the mindset to be ready to make change as they are the only one that can do it for themselves. Remember, everything that goes into your mouth counts! This is one reason why it’s good to start a program such as New Vitality Center’s Weight Loss Program. We provide our clients with accountability and coaching throughout the process.


10 Tips to Help You Stay in Ketosis

Keto During the Holidays: 10 Tips to Help You Stay in Ketosis

It’s a commonly asked question during this time of the year: How can I stay keto during the holidays when I’m surrounded by sweets and treats and carb-loving friends and family?

Even though it may sound daunting – and maybe even impossible – we are here to assure you that with some creativity and discipline, you can definitely do it!

Here are tips on how to stick to keto during these food-filled weeks and keep your carbs in check! The tips below are centered around holiday parties, dinners, and potlucks where lots of food and people are involved because that’s when temptation is at its highest and pressure is strongest.

  1. Eat beforehand so you’re not tempted to indulge at the gathering. Have one of your favorite meals right before going to help keep you satiated while suppressing your appetite and curbing cravings.
  2. Plan ahead by bringing keto snacks along. Have low-carb/high-fat snacks on hand in case your only snack options are high carb items like chips and crackers.
  3. Let the hosts know. They may be open to offering some low-carb foods or at least will understand if you want to bring some food of your own
  4. Recognize safe foods. Deli trays of meat and cheese. Veggies and ranch dip. Pickles. Olives. Be wary of hidden carbs in meatballs, sauces, and dressings.
  5. Contribute a keto-friendly dish. These keto appetizers and desserts are delicious and will be enjoyed by everyone.
  6. Buddy up! If possible, find a keto friend to attend the party with you and help keep each other accountable and on track.
  7. Carry a glass of water or sparkling water to keep your hands occupied and your belly full. Staying hydrated prevents you from overeating.
  8. Pick your battles on your own terms. If aunt Edna is adamant, you must try her apple pie, then be polite and take a bite. If your boss brings in her amazing homemade gingerbread cookies, eating one won’t kill you. Having said that, if your goal is to be strict keto, then have a polite but firm response prepared. Don’t let anyone pressure you into eating something you don’t want to.
  9. Speaking of responses, be prepared to answer questions and hear some anti-keto opinions. Be informative and patient when responding. Use the opportunity to educate others about the benefits of the keto die “No, I don’t only eat butter and bacon.” “No, eating fat won’t make you fatter.”

Enjoy yourself and forgive yourself if you indulge. We all know not to judge others for cheating on their diet but we often forget to stop judging and criticizing ourselves.

You Cheated On Your Diet (Healthy Lifestyle) How to Recover

You Cheated On Your Diet (Healthy Lifestyle) How to Recover

It happens.  Don’t beat yourself up about it, BUT don’t let yourself be set back from reaching your goals.  One of the worst things you can do is to think “I already blew it, so I’m just going to eat what I want the rest of the night”.  That’s like saying “I’m going to start my diet tomorrow, so I am binging tonight”.  We believe that people should not “diet” and should not think of losing weight as a dieting.  Instead, if dieting, choose a healthy lifestyle.  So many chronic health issues are caused or prevented by maintaining a healthy weight with the proper diet and exercise.  Doctors say that by losing weight, just this one change can prevent and help so many chronic health issues such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Out of control cholesterol levels
  • Stroke
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Sleep issues and sleep apnea
  • Gallstones
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fertility issues
  • And more

Did you hear that?  One positive change can improve so many health aspects!

Some people think that they can just “blow the entire day” after the so-called cheat. NO, please don’t.  If you have stayed under or around 50 carbs because you are maintaining, you are probably alright.  If you have gone higher, you will need to reset, if you don’t, it will set you back both emotionally and physically.  A single meal can put you over the top with all the poor-quality food that is available.  Remember at 50 carbs you are maintaining, to lose weight you must get below 25 again.

Recovering from Cheating

It’s not the end of the world but you’re going to have to go low carb and get back on your meal plan for long-term results.  We are talking about long-term results for complete lifestyle.  Here are some tips to help you get back control:

  1. Track your carbs. This is very important because EVERYTHING COUNTS.  Doing this will help you not cheat.  Again, the goal is not to go over 25 carbs.
  2. Try intermittent fasting. By combining intermittent fasting and keto you will have better luck getting back into ketosis a lot faster.  This will shift your body from using carbs to fats a lot quicker.
  3. Exercise more. Physical activity helps with so many things.  Physical activity will deplete the sugar and glycogen stores in your body.  Do any activity that gets you moving such as running, walking, dancing, biking, kayaking, etc.

Try MCT supplements.  MCT is a fatty acid that is rapidly absorbed by your body and is converted to ketones.

Now, let’s move on and learn how to avoid cheat days.  Here are a few things you can do to help get you out of the mind frame of not cheating:


  1. Practice mindfulness.  This term is used so often but keep it simple.  It means paying attention to your own body because it can resist cravings and emotional eating that so many people are guilty of.
  2. Make your eating and diet something that you like and enjoy. Make sure you are incorporating high protein foods because this will help you not feel hungry.  By consciously thinking about your meals will also help you not get bored with the same old foods.
  3. Plan your snacks and meals. People often complain about this, but it is not that difficult.  This will make it easier to stick to and actually ave you time.  Eating spontaneously is much harder and adds stress to something that should be making you feel healthier.
  4. Avoid buying anything that is tempting for you. This can be difficult especially if you are living with people that do eat the way you do.  It is also hard if you shop when you are hungry.  At least keep them out of sight.
  5. Have an accountability person. At least in the beginning to get you started this is important.  New Vitality Centers likes to see you once a week or every other week.  This not only allows for the weigh in’s but also helps you stay on target with coaching and added information.  Accountability to someone makes it more difficult to cheat.

New Vitality Centers offers FREE InBody testing to help you know what your body is made up of.


New Vitality Centers

665 S. Kings Ave.

Brandon, FL  33511

(813) 436-0708


Are You Sleeping Too Much?

We always talk about the importance of sleep, not just the number of hours of sleep but also the quality of sleep.  But have you ever considered that you are sleeping too much?  Can that really happen?  Yes, it can!

If you have been feeling tired and cannot drag yourself out of bed, maybe too much sleep could be the problem.  Everyone experiences insomnia and sleep deprivation at some points in time.  There are harmful effects of oversleeping.  Sleeping too much can bring about underlying health conditions like depression and certain chronic diseases.

It sounds good but we should not be sleeping 12 hours a day.  We do need a certain amount each night to help restore our energy and support body functions, but too much sleep can be problematic.

How much sleep should I be getting?  The National Sleep Foundation believes that getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is normal and healthy for most adults.  This is what is needed to feel energized and operate at your best.  Getting around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night has several benefits:

  • A better mood
  • Improved concentration
  • Lower risk for obesity and many diseases
  • Longevity

They also found that getting over 9 hours of sleep seems to be too much.  Consistently oversleeping is called hypersomnia and is more than 9 hours and it can indicate that something is wrong whether mentally or physically.  This is true when you wake up and still don’t feel rested or healthy.

There are many causes of oversleeping.  Sometimes it can be a symptom of certain medical conditions such as:

  • What you eat is very important
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Unbalanced hormones
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases
  • Issues with breathing due to smoking, asthma, and obesity
  • Side effects from medications
  • Chronic stress
  • Sleep disorders including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and bruxism

Diet is a huge factor in a person’s health and it impacts sleep quality.  Poor nutrition increases the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.   A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine confirmed these findings.  The study further confirms that just one day of eating foods high in sugar can result in reduced duration of slow-wave sleep which is referred to as “deep sleep”.  This is the part of sleep that restores physical and mental energy and more.

Spicy and acidic foods can kill efforts to good sleep quality because it can cause heartburn.  Heartburn is very problematic for people with acid reflux.  Eating these foods close to bedtime because lying down makes heartburn worse.  It is uncomfortable and hinders sleep.

An old wise tale is to drink warm milk before bed.  Milk contains tryptophan.  The body uses tryptophan to make serotonin which is a neurotransmitter in the brain.  Serotonin helps control sleep patterns, appetite, pain, and other functions but does not contain enough tryptophan to change your sleep patterns.

If you are overweight, losing those pounds can help tremendously.  Losing the excess weight will help with other conditions that contribute to poor sleep such as high blood pressure, circulation issues, energy, and the ability to rest peacefully.

Have you ever been in bed at night and think “tick tock, tick tock, etc.”?  It’s 3 am and your up and frustrated.  We know that sleep is one of the most important needs in life.  We need it to function.  Without it, we break down physically and mentally.  Diet and lifestyle habits are hard to break but they could be sabotaging your efforts to get quality sleep.  A study from the National Center on Sleep Disorders at the National Institute of Health concludes that foods we consume can interfere with sleep.  The most common is caffeine and sugar; not to mention nicotine.

We like to keep you off medication at New Vitality Centers but if worse comes to worse, a sleeping pill could help if used in moderation.  Use caution with sleeping pills because it is merely a band-aid for the symptoms.  A doctor may prescribe sleeping pills on a short-term basis for patients who are having a stressful period in their life.

Lifestyle habits can play a leading role in quality of sleep or lack of sleep.  The Cleveland Clinic recommends these tips for good sleep:

  • Not going to bed until you are tired
  • Setting a regular schedule to get up, even on weekends
  • Not napping during the day
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine at night
  • Not watching TV, eating, or reading in bed
  • Following the same bedtime routines
  • Avoid rigorous exercise 3 hours before bed
  • Invest in a high-quality mattress
  • Exercise during the day
  • Talk to your doctor about medications that could be interfering with sleep

Warning Signs of Too Much Sleep

If you’re wondering if you are sleeping too much, take a look at these warning signs:

  • Your’re always tired.
  • You are moody and irritable
  • Pain is getting worse from laying down too much
  • Your’re getting headaches and brain fog
  • You have slower reaction times and mental performance
  • Inflammation is worsening
  • Weight gain

Sleeping too much is linked to higher rates of inflammation, weight gain, mortality, and chronic disease.  Too much sleep is also has a negative effect on hormones and circadian cycles.  This can cause changes in reproductive hormones and fertility issues.

There are many side effects that can result from too much sleep:

  • Cognitive impairment such as memory issues, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Increased risk for depression or worsened depression
  • Increased inflammation, swelling, and pain because of less blood flow
  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Higher risk for heart disease (One study found that people who slept consistently more than 8 hours a night has double the risk of angina chest pains which is caused by reduced flood flow)
  • Impaired glucose tolerance which can lead to Type 2 diabetes
  • Impaired fertility
  • Higher risk of strokeRemember, most adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.  This supports a healthy weight, brain, mood, heart, metabolism and more.


    New Vitality Centers

    665 S. Kings Ave.

    Brandon, FL  33511

    (813) 436-0708


Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting May Relieve Anxiety and Depression

Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting May Relieve Anxiety and Depression

Is it possible?

We all know that low-carb, high-fat diet can help lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and help you lose weight. Depression is a mental disorder that affects more than 350 million people of all ages. Depression is not the same as mood swings and it is not the same as crying for a day over an unfortunate life event. Depression is a poison for someone who is suffering and contributes to many other diseases.  

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, nervousness, and uneasiness about something and it is often recurrent in those who have chronic anxiety disorders. Feeling a little anxious on certain occasions like the first day of school, a job interview, or public speaking, is considered normal and most people experience that.

There are studies that show that ketogenic diet can help fight depression and anxiety too.  Many stories are coming out about people sharing how they do not feel depressed or anxious anymore on the ketogenic diet.

Your diet can absolutely have an effect on your mood and many studies have shown a link between diet and a person’s state of mind. When you’re on ketogenic diet, your body produces more GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is a valuable anti-anxiety neurotransmitter that helps the brain function properly. If your GABA levels are low, there is higher risk for anxiety and depression.

Weight loss may also help relieve symptoms of depression, especially if one of the reasons a person is depressed is linked to being overweight.  If you are at a healthy weight consistently it is linked to better sleep and happier moods.

Science backs up the mental health claims of the keto diet with improvement in stress, depression, and anxiety.

Ketogenic and Mood.  Keto acts as a mood stabilizer because of its anticonvulsant properties, positive energy changes in brain profiles.  A study tested the mood stabilizing properties of the keto diet on rats.  The results revealed that rats in the keto group spent less time immobile and they stated that this result is like how rats treated with antidepressants would react.

Ketogenic and Energy Levels.  The ketone bodies on a ketogenic diet have been found to produce more ATP for energy than glucose, and they are metabolized faster.  Glucose must go through glycolysis first.  High carb diets are associated with fatigue and sluggishness.  On keto it is reduced significantly which leads to overall improved energy.  Lack of energy to participate in activities is one of the symptoms of depression, and the keto diet can help reduce those symptoms by increasing energy levels.

Ketogenic and Inflammation.  It is well-known that high carb diets increase the risk of inflammation, especially in overweight and obese people.  Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are two huge factors of many diseases including depression and anxiety.  Keto diet helps to eliminate inflammation in the body and there’s good reason.  Aside from being great for weight loss, the keto diet is naturally anti-inflammatory.  When on keto diet, you are reducing food that feed inflammation.  One of the first things that happen when you go on keto is your drop some initial weight quickly.  You get reduced bloat which accompanies inflammation

The neurological benefits of the keto diet are continuously being studied and we are already seeing plenty of evidence that supports keto benefits such as improved cognitive function, improved memory, and brain function.

The current evidence shows the positive effects of the ketogenic diet on depression and anxiety.  For example, people who have lost weight on the keto diet never fail to say how great and confident they feel again.

Junk Food Has Harmful Effects On YOU!

Junk Food Has Harmful Effects On YOU!

Why do you think they call it “junk food”?  There is a dark side, and we are going to tell you about it.  Study after study have shown that fast foods and processed foods have increased obesity in in children and adults, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.  The part to worry about is that it is not just years of poor eating that can cause serious damage to your brain, but regular consumption can lead to mental meltdowns.

The Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food defines junk food as those commercial products including candy, bakery goods, ice cream, salty snacks, and soft drinks.

All fast foods are not junk food but certainly most are.  Be careful!  The more junk food you eat, the less likely you are to get the essential nutrients your body needs and relies on for proper function.  Junk food can and will hurt you.

  1. It can cause memory and learning problems. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that healthy people who eat junk food for only 5 days performed poorly on cognitive tests that measured attention, speed, and mood.  A poor diet is toxic.  It causes chemical reactions that lead to inflammation in the hippocampus area of the brain which is associated with memory and special recognition.  Diets that are high in sugars and bad fats can suppress the brain peptide called BDNF – brain-derived neurotrophic factor.  That peptide in your brain helps with learning and memory formation.  Moreover, the brain contains synapses which is responsible for learning and memory.  Even overeating and eating too many calories interferes with the healthy production and functioning of these synapses.
  2. Increases the risk of dementia.   Many people are dealing with aging parents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  It is emotionally exhausting.  In a survey of our own patients at New Vitality Centers, it was listed as the biggest fear of most of the patients.  The link between junk food and dementia has been one of the scariest discoveries associated with the consumption of junk food.  Insulin is produced in the pancreas and helps in the transportation of glucose to fuel the body.  Insulin is also produced in the brain where it helps in carrying signals between nerve cells and forming memories.  A study was done at Brown University, and it shows that too much fatty food and sugars can substantially increase the insulin levels in your body.  The higher the levels of insulin, the brain stops responding to this hormone and becomes resistant to it.  It restricts our ability to think, recall, or create memories. The result is the increased risk of dementia.  After this was discovered, most scientist refer to Alzheimer’s as a form of “diabetes of the brain”.
  3. Junk food lessens your ability to control appetite. Excess consumption of trans fats that is found in fried and processed foods can send mixed signals to the brain which makes it difficult to process what you have eaten and how hungry you are.  Therefore, you end up overeating.  Healthy brain functions require a daily dose of essential fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3.  If these two elements are deficient there is a very high risk of attention deficit disorder, dementia, and bipolar disorder and other brain-related problems.  Too much junk food replaces these with trans fats which are harder to digest.  Studies show that trans fats cause inflammation in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that contains neurons to control body weight.  Junk food kills your appetite for healthy food!  In some circumstances, the habit of overeating is like drug addiction by relying on junk foods to activate the pleasure centers of the brain.
  4. Junk food causes chemical changes that can lead to depression.  There are many studies that show that eating foods high in sugar and bad fat changes the chemical activity of the brain making it more dependent on those foods.  One study at the University of Montreal on mice showed that they suffered with withdrawal symptoms after their regular junk food diet was discontinued.  In people, these withdrawal symptoms can lead to the inability to deal with stress, make you feel depressed and then you turn back to those foods to comfort yourself and handle these feelings.  It is a vicious cycle, and it is difficult to stop the cycle.  Too much junk food means that you do not get enough essential nutrients like the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the risk of depression.  We are overloaded with new stories of the increases of people and even young people on anxiety and medication for depression.
  5. Junk food makes you impatient and can cause uncontrollable cravings.  Eating too much sugar, even a cupcake or doughnut, can temporarily spike your blood sugar levels making you feel happy and satisfied but as soon as they return to normal you are left feeling even more irritable.  Fast food is loaded, loaded, with refined carbohydrates which cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate rapidly.  If your sugar levels drop to a very low level, in comes the anxiety, confusion, and fatigue.  Fast foods are loaded with artificial flavorings and preservatives like sodium benzoate that increases hyperactivity.

These sugary and bad fat foods are specially designed to be addictive in nature with high levels of salts, sugars, and fats that make you crave them!  The addictive nature of fast food can make your brain crave them even when you are not hungry.

For more information contact: New Vitality Centers

665 S. Kings Ave, Brandon, FL  33511





Why Do We Crave Sweet and Salty Foods?

There are 3 reasons why you crave sweet or salty foods.

  • Partly Physiological Does chocolate start calling your name around 2p.m.?
  • Partly Psychological
  • Partly the Environment    Do you want a bag of chips an hour after dinner?


Your body functions like a car.  You put gas in the tank and then you drive.  If your body does not get the fuel it needs, the strong physical cravings come.  What does your body need?  A balanced intake throughout the day of:  fiber, lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and heart healthy fats.

3 Factors that Contribute to Cravings

  1. You are starving yourself.  This comes from a couple of different ways.  Simply going without food and skipping meals sets yourself up for failure.  Following a healthy supervised intermittent fasting protocol is helpful but you need to be prepared in advance.  If you are not giving your body nutritious food that sustains your body systems, cravings will come!  When you are not prepared, you are setting yourself up for failure because your body will crave the fastest fuel it can think of which usually turns out to be refined grains and simple sugars.  This habit can lead to binging.


  1. You do not realize how addictive sugar and salt can be.  Why do we crave sugar and salt?  Well for one thing – they taste good.  This is not a mistake.  Food companies perform research to determine which food components will tempt consumers’ taste buds the most.  Our brains are wired to enjoy things which make us happy.  Sugar makes us feel good and leaves us to want to experience that over and over.  Sweet and salty foods and beverages are incredibly addictive.  That is why processed food is loaded with them.  They trigger the release of dopamine, the brain chemical that motivates us to engage in rewarding behaviors.  It is like any addiction; over time our tolerance builds up and we need more to reward ourselves.  This creates a vicious and unhealthy cycle.


  1. You are not listening to your body. If you begin to crave something sweet or salty, before you indulge, check your fatigue level.  Research shows that when you are tired you are more likely to turn to whatever you crave to give you more energy.  If you are craving a salty snack, the next time it happens, pay attention to your stress level.  Stress may impair your adrenal glands’ ability to regulate sodium, which may lead to cravings.  Are you thirsty?  Some research suggests that mistaking dehydration for hunger may trigger cravings as well.  If you have diabetes, you probably get hungrier than other people.  But excessive hunger can mean your blood sugar is too high or too low.

Understand that starving yourself is not a good solution.  Understand that sugar and salt can be addictive. Understand that your body may be trying to tell you something can help you reduce cravings and embrace a more balanced diet.


New Vitality Centers

665 S. Kings Ave.

Brandon, FL  33511

(813) 436-0708