Category Archives for Weight Loss

Wooden table covered with food; woman sitting at table taking notes in notebook

Diet Trends: What You Should Know

Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose.

K. Lagerfeld

Chances are, you’ve come across some information about popular diet trends recently. Perhaps you have a friend who achieved dramatic weight loss through keto or a colleague who swears by intermittent fasting. In fact, today it seems nearly impossible to avoid talk about diet trends. After all, many of us share the common goal of trying to eat better, be healthier, and lose or control our weight. The trouble is that diet fads aren’t the solution.

For most of us, trending diets are unsustainable. They impose restrictions which are difficult to manage over the long-term, and when we fall off the wagon, it feels easier to simply resume our normal patterns. To produce lasting results, we therefore need to make lasting changes – in particular, ones that are sustainable for the long haul.

Cenegenics believes in a different approach to eating. Nutrition, when implemented properly, has the power to truly nourish your body, optimize its functioning, and even decrease your risk for serious disease. There’s no “quick fix” when it comes to eating well; instead, it requires a lifelong approach to making wise dietary choices.

Analyzing 5 Popular Diet Trends


Of course, it can still be overwhelming to know where to start. And, since many fad diets come with rigorous instructions to follow (not to mention the promise of remarkable results), it may be tempting to give them a try. After all, set-in-stone restrictions and allowances may be tempting to someone who has had little nutritional guidance in the past. Yet, before you jump in and try one of the following diet trends, here’s what you should know first.

1. Paleo

The paleo diet gets its name from the premise that followers should restrict their intake to foods that would have been consumed during the Paleolithic era – some 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The goal is to cut out the weight loss mindset and think more along the lines of aid in appetite management.

Yet, this specific approach automatically takes foods that would be healthy when consumed as part of a balanced diet, including dairy and legumes, out of the equation. The paleo diet, which also goes by the names hunter-gatherer, caveman, or Stone Age diet, prioritizes fish, lean meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. [1]

Yet, the goal of eating as our ancestors did raises a number of concerns. For one, genetic research tells us that humans have evolved and are now better able to break down the very foods the diet forbids, including dietary starches. Moreover, some archaeological research suggests that humans did in fact consume wild grains up to 30,000 years ago, even before farming existed.

According to the Paleo way of thinking, whole grains in particular can be excellent sources of fiber. Dairy, which is also excluded, acts as a good source of protein and calcium. Most importantly, there is no long-term clinical evidence which examines the benefits or possible risks of the Paleo diet, and experts believe a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can yield the same results it promises – without having to eliminate key sources of nutrients. [2]

2. Atkins

Established in the 1960s by cardiologist Robert C. Atkins, the Atkins Diet encourages the consumption of protein and fats while restricting carbohydrates. It doesn’t mandate portion control, with the exception of carbs. In doing so, it promises burning of the body’s fat stores. Carb restriction takes place across multiple phases. In the first phase, the Atkins Diet claims up to 15 pounds of weight loss can be achieved. However, research suggests that the diet is no more effective than other approaches, and more importantly, most individuals regain any weight they lose. [3]

3. Keto

The 2000s’ answer to the Atkins diet, the keto diet also restricts carbs. Yet, the difference is that keto focuses more heavily on fat than protein. It restricts carbohydrate consumption to 20 to 50 grams per day (one banana alone has 27 grams, to put it into perspective), and encourages consumption of nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil. In doing so, it prompts the body to use ketone bodies, fuel produced by the liver from stored fat, as a source of energy, instead of glucose.

Yet, the keto diet encourages high amounts saturated fats, which are linked to heart disease when consumed in excess. By restricting carb-rich fruits and vegetables, it also poses the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Keto followers are at risk for deficiencies in magnesium, vitamins B and C, phosphorus and selenium, in particular. Finally, the diet could lead to liver problems, kidney issues, constipation, and even cognitive issueslike confusion and mood swings. While it has been used in the past for controlling epilepsy, its application as a weight-loss tool hasn’t been studied over a long-term basis. [4]

4. Low-FODMAP & Others

Similarly, you may have also seen the low-FODMAP diet trending recently. “FODMAP” stands for fermentable oligo, di, monosaccharides and polyols, or carbs which could irritate the intestines and cause bloating in certain populations. FODMAPs are found in certain dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. Yet, unless you have a known sensitivity to them or a condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it’s unlikely you’ll experience any benefits from cutting them out of your diet. [5] The same goes for any complete exclusions of potentially healthy food sources; without a known allergy or intolerance, most natural, unprocessed foods need not be excluded from a well-rounded diet.

How the Cenegenics Approach Surpasses Any Diet Trends


Couple standing at counter smiling into camera

Cenegenics prioritizes diet as a means of helping you achieve long-term weight regulation . Yet, it does so in a way that can be sustained and adjusted according to your needs. Discover how our approach is different below.

Putting Patients’ Needs, Health Priorities & Lifestyles First

Each patient has unique nutritional needs. Our Elite Health Evaluation aims to discover any deficiencies, intolerances, or other issues which could call for specific dietary adjustments. We factor these results into our dietary recommendations to ensure our patients receive the nutrition that their body can benefit most from. At the same time, we also bear in mind health priorities, which could be weight loss or minimizing the risk of a certain disease. Finally, we prescribe realistic nutritional advice which accommodates demanding lifestyles. Contrast this with fad diets, which require the individual to change their lifestyle to fit their dietary restrictions. 

Emphasizing the Importance of Hydration

Hydration is an often-overlooked source of nutrition and is certainly disregarded by most diet trends. Yet, we prioritize the consumption of water with our patients, giving recommendations based factors on such as age and body composition. Ample water helps to regulate body temperature, lubricate the joints, ensure cells receive the nutrients they need, and maintains optimal organ functioning. Hydration can also improve:

Providing Natural Vitamins

Even the healthiest diets can leave certain nutritional gaps. This is especially true as nutritional needs change with age. When clinically indicated, our team can recommend high-quality nutraceuticals, prescribed specifically for your unique needs and made without any harmful additives.

Encouraging Frequent Protein Intake

Protein builds and repairs tissue, and it also aids in protein regulation, digestion, and oxygenation throughout the body. Moreover, it satisfies the appetite and allows us to feel full for longer, especially when combined with fiber. This can help you maintain nutrition by minimizing the urge to overeat or snack on foods with little nutritional value. For this reason, we help our patients incorporate a variety of high-quality protein sources into their diets. [7]

As mentioned in several of the highlighted diets above, it is debated among experts as to whether or not dairy, in general, is a recommended way to obtain necessary protein. For those with allergies or intolerances, it should be avoided or limited.  However, by including low to zero lactose options, like strained (“Greek”) yogurt or high quality whey protein supplements, dairy may be a suitable high protein for some individuals.

Insulin Sensitivity & Energy Demands

Insulin sensitivity measures how sensitive the body’s cells are to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas which enables the body to control levels of sugar in the body (glucose). Insulin resistance occurs when the cells fail to absorb glucose effectively, causing high blood sugar levels which could lead to diabetes if left unmanaged. Diet is an important component in improving insulin sensitivity/resistance, so Cenegenics clinicians take this factor into close consideration when encouraging dietary choices. Dietary trends, on the other hand, fail to account for a patient’s insulin sensitivity. Recommendations such as fewer carbohydrates and increased unsaturated fats may be provided to patients with low insulin sensitivity. [8]

It is of note that while a Low-FODMAP diet offers benefits to some, it is not recommended by Cenegenics as a rule.  It is shown through extensive research that grains can possess an inflammatory component, especially in individuals with poor insulin sensitivity.  It is not necessary to have Celiac disease or even possess certain intolerances to benefit from limiting the consumption of grain-derived products.

Our nutritional team will also consider your energy demands. Not all individuals share the same caloric needs; for example, a competitive athlete would need to replenish energy with a higher-calorie diet than someone with a more sedentary lifestyle. Fortunately, our team can help you find the balance that will work best for your body.

The Truth About Diets In General - In Conclusion


Nutritional needs are complex and vary from one person to the next. Thus, a “one-size-fits-all” diet trend simply won’t do to satisfy most people’s unique dietary needs. That’s why Cenegenics tailors our nutritional approach to each patient, not the other way around. Our Elite Health Evaluation, included in the Cenegenics cost, will help us shape a roadmap towards a healthier you, with nutritional guidelines as an important component. See how we’ve already helped many patients feel healthier through our program by checking out some of Cenegenics’ reviews online.

Next Steps – Learn More About Your Personalized Eating Plan  

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

About the Contributor

Rudy Inaba 
Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] Paleo diet: What is it and why is it so popular? May Clinic Staff. Derived from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182

[2] See above. Derived from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182

[3] Atkins Diet: What behind the claims?  Mayo Clinic Staff. Derived from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/atkins-diet/art-20048485

[4] Should you try the keto diet?  Harvard Health. Derived from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-try-the-keto-diet

[5] Gluten-free diet. Mayo Clinic Staff. Derived from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530

[6] Health & Wellness: The Skinny on 7 Diet Trends. Ravindra, Lisa.  Derived from: https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/skinny-7-diet-trends

[7] The importance of hydration. Harvard School of Public Health.  Derived from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-importance-of-hydration/

[8] Why is protein important in your diet? Peidmont Healthcare. Derived from: https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/why-is-protein-important-in-your-diet

[9] Natural ways to improve insulin sensitivity.  Medical News Today. Derived from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323027.php

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handsome middle aged businessman with beard looking at tablet

Visceral Fat: The Dangers Run Deeper Than You Think

Health is like money.  We never have a true idea of its value until we lose it. 

Josh Billings

Oftentimes, the desire to reduce body fat has to do with goals such as feeling and looking better. Yet, we also know that controlling body fat plays an important role in promoting long-term health. In particular, visceral fat is especially dangerous and is associated with serious risk factors if left unaddressed.

Unlike the fat you can pinch, which is found just below the skin, called subcutaneous fat, visceral fat runs deeper. In some cases, it’s therefore less noticeable from the outside – but actually more important to manage for long term health.  Discover what you need to know about this type of fat below.

What Is Visceral Fat? 


Overweight woman being measured by health professional

As mentioned above, visceral fat is located deeper in the body than subcutaneous fat. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which can be found all across the body, visceral fat is concentrated to the abdominal cavity. It’s therefore located close to the body’s vital organs, including the stomach, liver, and intestines. It’s so close to the liver, in fact, that the organ can turn it into cholesterol. Once that happens, the fat enters the bloodstream and accumulates along the artery walls, leading to their hardening and narrowing, known as atherosclerosis. [1]

As you might imagine, this makes visceral fat especially dangerous. Discover just how deep the danger runs below.

Why Is Visceral Fat Dangerous?


syringe w/ vial and capsules of medication sitting on paper that says chronic diseases

Whereas subcutaneous fat is often addressed due to cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is the type most linked to health concerns, including an increased risk for:

Moreover, regardless of body weight, this fat is also associated with an increased risk of premature death. In fact, research has shown that women who were considered to have a normal body mass index yet had a larger waistline had an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Visceral fat is therefore often a sneaky, overlooked health issue, as it could go unnoticed when physicians follow conventional body weight standards. [2]

Known as a biologically active fat, visceral fat disrupts the normal balance of hormones. It also has an inflammatory effect, as it releases the immune system chemicals known as cytokines, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cytokines are also believed to have negative effects on blood clotting, cells’ sensitivity to insulin, and blood pressure levels. [3] With these harmful effects, it comes as no surprise that carrying excess visceral fat is linked to the diseases listed above, in addition to stroke, heart attack, breast and colorectal cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. [4]

Some experts suspect another reason visceral fat is so dangerous is because it’s closely located to the portal vein, the key pathway through which blood travels from the intestinal area to the liver. Free fatty acids and other substances released by visceral fat can therefore make their way into this vein and to the liver, where they can impact blood lipids, and subsequently, total cholesterol and insulin resistance. [5]

How Visceral Fat Develops


middle aged man lying on a couch eating chips/junk food

Unfortunately, the root causes behind visceral fat development are numerous. There are a few potential issues at play, outlined below.

  • One thing visceral fat does have in common with excess subcutaneous fat is that it can result from the same root causes, including the ratio of calories you take in versus burn through activity and exercise. Consuming too many calories coupled with too little activity is likely to cause weight gain, including in the abdominal area.
  • Visceral fat is also influenced by age; as muscle mass decreases and fat increases, it can be more challenging to keep this type of fat off. While visceral fat increases in both men and women with age, it picks up at a more alarming rate in women, nearly quadrupling between the ages of 25 and 65. [6]
  • Changing hormone levels can also be responsible for an accumulation of belly fat. In women, for instance, fat accumulation in the abdominal region can take place even if weight gain is avoided elsewhere, which is likely due to the decline in estrogen that influences fat distribution.
  • Finally, genetics may play a role in a person’s likelihood for developing visceral fat. Experts believe there may be a hereditary component to an individual’s odds of having an “apple” versus “pear” body shape, for instance. [7]

Regardless of its cause, however, addressing visceral fat is a critical aspect of improving your current health and promoting future wellness. Yet, in order to address it, you need to be able to tell whether you have it in the first place.

Do You Have Visceral Fat? How Can You Tell?


CT and MRI scans are some of the only ways to provide a definitive diagnosis of visceral fat. Fortunately, however, the following methods are some other ways you may be able to tell whether you could have an excess concentration of visceral fat:

  • Body shape: Individuals referred to as “apple” shaped – with slimmer legs and a larger trunk – often have more visceral fat. This body type is more commonly seen in men, as women are often pear-shaped, with larger hips and thighs.
  • Waist measurement: In general, women who have waistlines of 35 inches or more and men whose waists measure 40 inches or more are believed to have higher concentrations of visceral fat.
  • BMI: This measurement calculates your weight relative to your height and is often the benchmark physicians use to identify patients who are overweight or obese. While online calculators are available to help you determine BMI, keep in mind that these numbers don’t account for factors such as muscle mass. [8] BMI also doesn’t account for visceral fat and is more of a way to see if a person is likely too fat (generally) and increases the likelihood for more visceral fat.
  • DEXA Scan: The dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan uses two beams which run through the body to measure composition, including bone density. It is also FDA approved for quantifying levels of visceral fat. [9]

In general, talking to your doctor about your concerns for visceral fat is a good place to start. Here at Cenegenics®, our team can help you learn more about your visceral fat risk from the moment you join our program, as we provide patients access to DEXA scans, among other innovative technologies leveraged in our Elite Health Evaluations.

You Can Get Rid of Visceral Fat


middle aged man with beard running outside

Unfortunately, restricting your calories and increasing exercise alone are often insufficient for getting rid of visceral fat. Instead, this stubborn fat requires a more tailored approach, and often, the guidance and expertise of clinical experts.

Because it’s not just excess weight but actually an active fat, visceral fat warrants specific interventions. Experts acknowledge that dietary changes alone aren’t enough for addressing deep belly fat. In fact, research has shown that restricting calories didn’t work to remove belly fat in study participants, but combining diet with consistent exercise showed results. [10] Thus, it’s not simply how much we eat, but also what we eat, that plays a role in visceral fat development or loss.

In particular, monitoring saturated fats and removing harmful trans fats is recommended for tackling visceral fat. Sources of these fats include packaged snacks and desserts, fried food, and other heavily processed foods. [11]

Similarly, certain types of exercise may also be more effective for combatting this type of fat. Moderate exercise is recommended. For some, this could be brisk walks, taken at least six days a week, while others can incorporate high intensity interval training programs for as little as 15-20 minutes, three day a week.  Yet, aerobic exercise also needs to be coupled with resistance training for belly fat to budge. While strengthening exercise may not always lead to significant changes on the scale, it can lead to big changes in visceral fat concentration. Combining aerobic exercise with strength has also been shown to reverse some characteristics of metabolic syndrome, including:

It also offers a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. [12]

Of course, as with any approach to weight loss, certain individuals may respond to different tactics better than others. For this reason, it’s best to work with an experienced team with knowledge in not only visceral fat, but also exercise and nutrition, for a comprehensive yet individualized approach to addressing belly fat.

Take Control of Your Visceral Fat with Cenegenics - In Conclusion


black clock with words “Time to Take Control” on it

Losing overall fat may help to address concerns like body image issues, but addressing visceral fat is the key tactic that can help you optimize your health not only now, but also into the future. Of course, pursuing any weight loss goals can seem a bit daunting at first. Fortunately, these goals become much more achievable when you have the expertise and support of the Cenegenics® team behind you.

Oftentimes, you’ll find Cenegenics® reviews that highlight the ways in which our team has helped adults lose – and maintain – weight as they age. Because visceral fat is an issue which becomes an increasing concern with age, it should be tackled by a clinical team that understands the changing needs of adults through the decades. And, there’s no group better suited for that than Cenegenics®.

Whether you’re curious about Cenegenics’® cost, how we can help you lose weight and keep it off, or the many perks of our program, don’t hesitate to contact the center nearest you for more information.  

Next Steps – Don’t Let Visceral Fat Diminish Your Health & Wellness

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

About the Contributor

Rudy Inaba 
Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] The Skinny on Visceral Fat. Johns Hopkins. Derived from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gim/core_resources/Patient%20Handouts/Handouts_May_2012/The%20Skinny%20on%20Visceral%20Fat.pdf

[2] Belly fat in women: Taking – and keeping – it off.  Mayo Clinic Staff. Derived from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045809

[3] Abdominal fat and what to do about it. Derived from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it

[4] Risks and dangers of carrying visceral fat. Derived from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320929.php#risks-and-dangers-of-carrying-visceral-fat

[5] See above. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it

[6] Age Related Shift in Visceral Fat. Hunger, Gary; Gower, Barbara A.; Kane, Brandon L. Derived from. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4018766/

[7] See above. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045809

[8] What is Visceral Fat? Derived from: https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-is-visceral-fat#1-2

[9] What is a Dexa (DXA) Scan? Derived from: https://www.dexafit.com/dexau/dxa-dexa-scan

[10] See above.  https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gim/core_resources/Patient%20Handouts/Handouts_May_2012/The%20Skinny%20on%20Visceral%20Fat.pdf 

[11] See above. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gim/core_resources/Patient%20Handouts/Handouts_May_2012/The%20Skinny%20on%20Visceral%20Fat.pdf

[12] See above. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gim/core_resources/Patient%20Handouts/Handouts_May_2012/The%20Skinny%20on%20Visceral%20Fat.pdf

Businessman looking at watch - face not shown

Intermittent Fasting: Diet Trend or Scientific Breakthrough?

The best of all medicines is resting and fasting.”

Benjamin Franklin

Here at Cenegenics®, we believe in finding healthy, sustainable approaches to eating. Oftentimes, our approach conflicts with the latest dieting fads which promise unrealistic weight loss results. Yet, every now and then, eating styles emerge which actually align with our principles for dietary wellness. For instance, the Mediterranean diet is a nutrition plan which works well (with several components that work well) for many of our patients. It turns out that the same may also apply for intermittent fasting.

Chances are you may have heard some buzz circulating about this principled approach to eating. Recently, it’s made headlines not only for its ability to promote, but also for the additional health benefits it can provide. So, does intermittent fasting really live up to the hype? Here’s our take on it.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?


image of an abundance of food including meat, garlic, bread, raw veggies, fruit, olives, a pineapple, etc

First and foremost, it’s important to note what intermittent fasting isn’t. Although it’s backed by celebrities and bloggers and may be currently trending, it’s not a fad diet. It doesn’t promote any unrealistic or nutrient-depriving eating patterns; instead, it enforces some sustainable guidelines – namely, the time frames during which you eat versus fast.

In itself, the term “fasting” may conjure up feelings of dread among many people. After all, it seems synonymous with deprivation. Yet, fasting is not starvation, which is extreme food deprivation. Moreover, research suggests that over time, people who practice intermittent fasting actually experience reduced appetites. [1] That’s because intermittent fasting is both attainable and quite possible to sustain over a long-term basis.

In fact, it’s actually quite simple. Followers of this eating style practice daily time-restricted feedings, in which they limit their window during which they consume food. Oftentimes, the eating time is narrowed to six to eight hours per day, while the remaining hours are left for fasting. [2]

With that being said, it’s also possible to start with a wider “eating” window as you get accustomed to the approach. For instance, you might start with an eating window that spans from 8 am to 6 pm. For those just starting out, we recommend starting with a 12-14 hour window and narrowing it down slowly from there. Ideally, there should be ample time between the end of your eating window and your bedtime.

Another approach to intermittent fasting is the 5:2 fasting rule. With this method, you’d eat a single, moderate-sized meal on two days of the week, and resume your normal meal habits on the remaining days. [3] This approach, while effective, may be best reserved for those who have experience with fasting, as it may be difficult to maintain at first.

Of course, limiting the hours of the day during which you eat doesn’t mean you can make poor dietary choices. To truly realize both the weight loss and overall health benefits, you’ll also need to choose quality foods, such as lean protein, healthy fats, plenty of vegetables, and some fruit. These basic principles are all there is to intermittent fasting, however. And, despite its simplicity, the approach can produce impressive results.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Lead to Weight Loss?


A man with a blue apron on in a kitchen cutting up vegetables

One of the reasons intermittent fasting is more than just a fad is because it’s been thoroughly researched and backed by science. Fasting has been practiced by populations across the world for millennia, and it’s even being used (under physicians’ supervision) to prevent and treat diseases in many clinics. [4] And, for good reason. From a scientific standpoint, intermittent fasting leverages our body’s natural mechanisms, allowing us to use our own physiology to drive healthy changes. 

Here’s how it works. When we eat, gut enzymes break down the food we consume, and the nutrients ultimately become molecules in the bloodstream. Carbohydrate-rich foods (in specific, sugars and refined grains) break down into sugar quickly, which the cells can use for energy. If we don’t use all that energy, however, it gets stored as fat. Moreover, sugar can only enter the cells with the help of insulin, a hormone which is produced by the pancreas. [5]

 

During the time between meals, insulin levels drop and fat cells then release excess sugar for energy. This rapidly accessible sugar fuels the body. As a result, we lose weight and burn off excess fat. The process only works, however, if we truly break between meals – without any snacking. [6] Because most Americans have three meals per day along with snacks and at various times, they don’t experience these periods of food scarcity, known as metabolic switching. [7]

Indeed, weight loss is the most popular reason people change up their standard approach of eating at their “normal” times of day and seek out intermittent fasting. [8] And they’re right to do so. Not only does the fasting window typically impose fewer meals or snacking, leading to an automatic reduction in calories, but it has also been shown to increase metabolic rate, spur weight loss in just a few weeks, and reduce waist circumference, including the harmful abdominal fat associated with increased disease risk. [9] If those benefits alone aren’t compelling enough, however, you might also consider the additional health benefits that intermittent fasting can deliver, below.

What Are the Additional Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?


a heart-shaped bowl with shrimp salad in it and a hand with a watch on the wrist

Aside from driving weight loss, intermittent fasting has also been linked to the following noteworthy benefits.

  • Reduced insulin resistance: In a study of obese men with prediabetes, restricting eating to an eight-hour window led to dramatically lower insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity.  [10]
  • Improved cardiovascular health: In the same study, the subjects also experienced significantly lower blood pressure. [11] The eating approach has also been linked to decreased risk factors for heart attack and heart disease, including “bad” LDL cholesterol inflammatory markers, and blood triglycerides. [12]
  • Reduced inflammation: Certain research points to reduced markers of inflammation when intermittent fasting is practiced, which is a known factor in the risk for many chronic conditions. It’s also been linked to reduced cancer risk, as well as minimized tissue damage and improved surgical outcomes. [13, 14]
  • Better cognitive performance: Adults who have participated in intermittent fasting studies witnessed improved verbal memories. In animal studies, researchers have observed better associative, spatial, and working memory. [15] The cognitive improvements could result from the release of the brain hormone BDNF, which is triggered by intermittent fasting and promotes nerve cell growth. As a result, it may even help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. [16]
  • Minimized aging: Intermittent fasting can reduce cellular aging, as well as the risk for some age-related diseases. It has also increased overall lifespan in some animal studies. [17]
  • Improved physical performance: Although fasting spurs weight loss, it specifically targets fat. In studies, men who fasted for 16 hours were able to maintain their muscle mass despite reducing their body weight. [18]

Clearly, there are many compelling reasons to consider intermittent fasting. And, it doesn’t have to be complex, but rather, can be approached with a few simple principles.

How Can You Get Started with Intermittent Fasting?


A man down in a “starting” position as if getting ready to start a race

While there are numerous approaches to intermittent fasting, the best one for you is the one you’ll be able to sustain. Of course, you can always start with a smaller fasting window and larger eating window, and gradually increase the fasting period over time.

As you choose the fasting duration that’s best for you, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind:

  • Stick to the schedule that fits your day. Try to select the time frame that will work best for your day. If you’re an early riser, for example, you may not want to choose a 10 am to 6 pm eating window; a 7 am to 3 pm window could fit better with your lifestyle.
  • Avoid nighttime snacking. No matter which schedule you select, avoid nighttime snacking. As the body prepares for sleep, it’s especially important to break from eating.
  • Steer clear of added sugar and refined grains. Regardless of whether or not intermittent fasting is ultimately for you, these foods are among the least healthy options you can choose. Selecting lean protein, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits, and occasional whole grains will not only improve your intermittent fasting results, but also your overall health.
  • Stay active. Turbocharge your intermittent fasting efforts by staying active throughout the day, which can further help to burn fat between meals.

According to experts, it’s natural to feel hungry and irritable when you first start out. Yet, the body and brain typically catch up to intermittent fasting over time – typically within two weeks to a month. [19] And, once you start seeing the many benefits of this approach, from weight loss to greater mental clarity, you may be even more inclined to stick with it.

The Simplicity of Intermittent Fasting - In Conclusion


a middle-aged man and woman smiling and jogging

For the right populations, intermittent fasting could be a sustainable, effective approach to losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight over a long-term basis, and promoting overall optimal health. It’s a simple yet principled method which can improve insulin sensitivity and unlock a number of key mental and physical benefits, including anti-aging results and better cognitive performance. Unlike fad diets, it doesn’t promote unsustainable habits, severe restriction, or deprivation.

Yet, at Cenegenics® we know that everyone has unique needs. Although we recognize the benefits of intermittent fasting, if it isn’t right for you, we’ll help you find the dietary approach that is. Included in the Cenegenics® cost of membership is a comprehensive, elite health evaluation, which allows our clinicians to uncover any biomarkers that could help shape personalized dietary recommendations for your specific needs. Based on these factors and your unique lifestyle, we’ll come up with an eating plan that works for you and promotes the best version of yourself. See the weight loss and management results our satisfied patients have achieved through our program by taking a look at the Cenegenics® reviews page online.

Click here for more information on this topic from Fox News.  

Read further for opinions by trusted physician, Dr. Oz. 

Next Steps – Unlock the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

About the Contributor

Rudy Inaba 
Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’® Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] Cell Metabolism. Derived from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413118302535

[2] Intermittent fasting: Live” fast”, live longer? Derived from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191226084351.htm

[3] See above. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191226084351.htm

[4] Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications. Longo, Valter D. and Mattson, Mark P.   Derived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3946160/

[5] Intermittent fasting: Surprising update.  Tello, Monique M.D. Derived from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/intermittent-fasting-surprising-update-2018062914156

[6] See above. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/intermittent-fasting-surprising-update-2018062914156

[7] See above. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191226084351.htm

[8] Fasting for weight loss: an effective strategy or latest dieting trend? Johnstone, A.  Derived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25540982

[9] A Very Powerful Weight Loss Tool. Derived from:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide#weight-loss

[10] See above. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413118302535

[11] See above. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413118302535

[12] Health Benefits. Derived from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide#benefits

[13] See above. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide#benefits

[14] Intermittent Fasting: Live “Fast”, Live longer?  Derived from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/intermittent-fasting-live-fast-live-longer

[15] See above.  https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/intermittent-fasting-live-fast-live-longer

[16] See above.  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide#benefits

[17] See above.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3946160/

[18] See above.  https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/intermittent-fasting-live-fast-live-longer

[19] See above. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191226084351.htm

Middle-aged man, outside, with shirt off looking into the camera doing pushups against a wall)

Testosterone Therapy: Cenegenics vs. Low-T Clinics

The greatest wealth is health.

Virgil

Low testosterone is a widespread concern among many middle-aged men, though issues with hormone imbalances can develop earlier in life, too. As a man ages, his testosterone levels begin to decline. While this important hormone peaks in early adulthood, it starts to drop by roughly 1% per year by the age of 30 or 40. In some cases, men can also have severely low testosterone levels, caused by hypogonadism. [1]

While a gradual decline in testosterone is natural over time, the conditions associated with low testosterone should not simply be written off as natural aspects of aging. Testosterone plays essential roles in a number of key bodily functions. For instance, it helps to maintain fat distribution, bone density, muscle mass and strength, facial and bodily hair, and red blood cell production. It also supports healthy sexual function, and contributes to sex drive and sperm production. [2] Thus, testosterone is far more than just a sex hormone, and it’s critical for supporting overall health in men.

Low testosterone can therefore result in a host of physical and mental symptoms. If you’ve noticed changes in sexual function or other symptoms which you believe could be related to declining testosterone, you may be exploring your treatment options. While testosterone therapy is a safe and effective treatment for many men, it demands the professional care and continual oversight from medical experts. As such, not just any approach to testosterone therapy will do. To help you reach an informed decision as you research your options, find out what sets Cenegenics apart from low-T clinics below. 

What Is Testosterone Therapy?


picture of molecular compound for testosterone on a blue background

Testosterone therapy is a widely used treatment to address low testosterone levels in men. Clinically deficient levels of testosterone appear in:

  • 20% of men over 60
  • 30% of men over 70
  • 50% of men over 80 [3]

Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency

As men age, the testicles produce less testosterone, and the increase of the sex hormone binding globulin takes place. Together, these factors decrease bioavailable testosterone, which can have a negative effect on a man’s overall wellbeing. For instance, the symptoms of low testosterone can be seen across a number of key areas, such as:

  • Physical: The physical symptoms of low testosterone include declining muscle and bone mass, fatigue, and increased body fat. Decrease in beard and body hair growth, development of breast tissue, and infertility may also occur.
  • Mental: Men with low testosterone may experience cognitive decline including concentration challenges, reduced self-confidence, and depression.
  • Sexual: A decrease in testosterone can lead to reduced libido, fewer spontaneous erections, and difficulty maintaining an erection. [4]

In some cases, men exhibiting these symptoms may be good candidates for testosterone therapy. This treatment is available in a number of forms, including gels, patches, and injections.

While there have been some rumors about potential risks associated with testosterone therapy, the treatment is safe and effective when used in appropriate candidates and as part of a comprehensive health optimization program. For instance, although rumors initially said otherwise, research in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings indicates that evidence does not support an increased risk of cardiovascular events or prostate cancer with testosterone therapy. [5]

Benefits of Testosterone Therapy

When a need for testosterone replacement has been clinically indicated, the benefits of this treatment can span far and wide. For example, testosterone therapy can go beyond addressing the symptoms of low testosterone by increasing:

Testosterone therapy can actually deliver benefits such as cardioprotective effects. [6] Moreover, hormone therapy has actually been shown to decrease mortality in men with low levels of testosterone. [7] And, even men with lower levels of testosterone who still fall into medically-defined “normal” ranges may still benefit from hormone therapy if they display symptoms of low testosterone. [8]

Yet, as with any type of medical treatment, it’s critical to seek out medical expertise to ensure you’re receiving the highest quality of care.

What Are Low-T Clinics?


Vial of a yellowish substance with a syringe sticking into the top of the vial

The development of low-testosterone clinics, or low-T clinics, has become rampant in recent years. You’re likely to find hundreds of options to choose from if you’re simply seeking testosterone replacement, which is the principal solution offered by these centers. Many men are drawn to the promises set forth by these clinics, such as quick results.

The trouble is that effectively treating the symptoms associated with low testosterone (and doing so safely) demands a complete approach to overall health and wellness. Nonetheless, the primary focus of these clinics is testosterone replacement. For patients, however, overlooking the other aspects of health that could be contributing to symptoms can cause them to lose out on key areas of opportunity to truly feel their best.  

Cenegenics Is Vastly Different than Low-T Clinics


Picture of DEXA scan and bone density test results

Cenegenics is a leader in wellness optimization and preventive care and goes far beyond testosterone therapy alone. We help people feel their best with proven solutions and a patient-centric approach in which individualized care is given and modified as outcomes are reached and goals evolve. Find out how we’re different from low-T clinics here.

An All-Encompassing Approach to Testosterone Therapy


A man with a shirt off and a VO2 Max mask on while he exercises

Unlike low-T clinics which focus exclusively on testosterone therapy, Cenegenics treats the entire patient. Our programs start with an Elite Health Evaluation, which allows our physicians to look for any indicators of underlying health conditions that could be contributing to symptoms like:

Because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., our Elite Health Evaluation is especially focused on identifying patients’ cardiovascular risk. In addition to physical exams and health history screening, our patients undergo carotid artery ultrasounds, ECGs, and advanced blood testing, if needed. [9]

While optimizing hormone levels is critical to helping men with low levels feel their best, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. For example, exercise is essential reducing the risk of serious disease, including type 2 diabetes, many types of cancer, and stroke, among others. [10] Cenegenics focuses on addressing not only the symptoms of low testosterone, but also improving health across the realms of sleep, cognition, weight management, libido, and energy levels.

Beyond simply bringing our patients within “normal” ranges, we give them the tools needed to support a lifetime of feeling their best, through tactics such as disease prevention and targeting optimal health levels. Thus, in concert with hormone therapy administered when clinically indicated.

Cenegenics offers nutrition, exercise, and sleep prescriptions that can produce the highest quality of results for patients. As a result, patients may experience not only improved sex drive, muscle mass, and other byproducts of hormone optimization, but also results such as long-term weight management, improved sleep, and better cognition. After all, without strong overall wellness, testosterone therapy is of little value.

Superior Expertise in Testosterone Therapy and More


A group of executives standing looking toward the camera smiling. There are 3 men and 2 women, all dressed professionally

In many low-T clinics, physician assistants or nurse practitioners act as patients’ primary caregivers. While these professionals certainly have their place in medical practice, testosterone therapy demands expertise from physicians who are trained in health optimization and hormone therapy.

A one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t work for treating hormone imbalances. Instead, physicians must analyze the in-depth lab reports and make treatment decisions based on factors such as the patient’s sex hormone panel. In many low-T clinics, this takes place once – at the start of the patient’s treatment.

At Cenegenics, our physicians continuously review panels to look at how the hormones are affecting inflammatory markers, kidney and liver function, and lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. This is essential, since hormone therapy can have widespread effects across the body’s systems. By monitoring results closely, our physicians ensure any necessary adjustments to treatments are made long before they pose any risk to patient health.

Patient Convenience and Optimal Care


A middle-aged man outside jogging with arms raised and smiling as if celebrating

In addition to our comprehensive approach and our clinical team’s unwavering attention to detail, patients can also enjoy a number of convenient features when choosing Cenegenics. For example, we never outsource services such as lab work, diagnostic testing, clinical support, pharmacy items, or nutraceuticals. This means your entire wellness program is managed internally through Cenegenics.

As a result, you won’t have to wait at lab offices or visit multiple facilities for diagnostics. You’ll also receive ongoing support from our onsite staff, call center, and remote health coaches. Our team comprises phlebotomists, exercise physiologists, and nutrition experts, as well as physicians who have completed specialized age management training. Cenegenics patients have access to care from all of these experts to ensure a well-rounded approach to their health.

To support a better patient experience, you’ll also receive customized, efficaciously-dosed pharmacy items directly to your door, when needed. We never use poor potency, low-quality retail materials, as we believe the quality of treatment corresponds directly with the quality of results.

All Testosterone Therapy is Not Equal - In Conclusion 


Two middle-aged men, one in a pink shirt and one in a light blue shirt, on bicycles smiling, looking into the camera

Testosterone therapy is a viable solution for many men who have low levels, but it’s only one component in optimizing your quality of life and achieving disease prevention. When it comes to something as important as your health, “quick and easy” is never the way to go. Instead, to feel better both now and years into the future, you must seek out expertise and a comprehensive approach that allows you to improve across every possible facet of health. And, you won’t find those benefits at any typical low-T clinic.

If you’re interested in finding out how Cenegenics can help you achieve hormone optimization along with countless other wellness outcomes, contact your nearest location to schedule a consultation. 

Next Steps: Learn How Testosterone Therapy May Be Right For You

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

About the Author

Raymond Ishman, M.D.
President of Cenegenics Philadelphia 

Dr. Ishman focused on a career in emergency medicine, eventually becoming board certified. After nearly 20 years in the emergency room, Dr. Ishman shifted his focus back to primary care and preventive medicine. His goals are to keep patients well and prevent disease, rather than trying to deal with full-blown medical problems that could be prevented. In other words, keeping patients out of the emergency room.

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] Testoesterone therapy: Potential benefits and risks as you age, Mayo Clinic Staff. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/testosterone-therapy/art-20045728

[2] mayoclinic.com; see above.

[3] Risks of Testosterone replacement therapy in men; Osterber, E. Charles, Bernie, Aaron M., and Ramasamy, Ranjith.  Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897047/

[4] Testosterone therapy: Potential benefits and risks as you age. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/testosterone-therapy/art-20045728.

[5] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; see above.

[6] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; see above.

[7] Long-Term Testosterone Therapy Improves Cardiometabolic Function and Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Men with Hypogonadism: A Real-Life Observational Registry Study Setting Comparing Treated & Untreated (Control) Groups;  US National Library of Medicine.  Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28421834

[8] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; see above.

[9] Cardiovascular Diseases, Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/diseases-cardiovascular#1

[10] Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389

cholesterol build up in arteries blocking significant blood flow

The Main Causes of High Cholesterol | Road Map to a Heart Attack

Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.

Winston S. Churchill

High cholesterol is very common in the U.S., but being commonplace doesn’t make it any less serious. While 95 million U.S. adults over the age of 20 are believed to have high cholesterol, it’s possible there are many more undiagnosed cases. [1] Oftentimes, people who have high cholesterol don’t know they have it. This is concerning considering the fact that high cholesterol is associated with serious health issues such as heart attack and stroke.

Despite its widespread nature, there are many things most of us don’t know about cholesterol. From understanding the differences between “good” and “bad” cholesterol to determining what you can do to improve your levels, there’s a lot to learn about this health phenomenon. Luckily, even if you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol or have a family history of the condition, there are many risk factors within your power to change. Explore what you need to know about high cholesterol below.

What is High Cholesterol?


Cholesterol is a waxy substance naturally produced by the liver. It’s a type of lipid which is crucial to the development of cell membranes, vitamin D, and key hormones. Yet, while it plays a critical role in these functions, having high cholesterol can be dangerous—particularly when there’s too much “bad” cholesterol. Thus, to understand the ways in which cholesterol can impact our health, it’s important to first explore the different types.

Types of Cholesterol

Because cholesterol can’t dissolve or move through blood on its own, it must be attached to proteins to be transported throughout the body successfully. The combination of cholesterol and proteins is referred to as a lipoprotein. There are two main forms of lipoproteins:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): Also known as the “bad” type of cholesterol, LDL carries particles of cholesterol through the blood. It can also accumulate within the artery walls, causing them to harden and narrow.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL): Commonly referred to as the “good” cholesterol, HDL carries excess cholesterol back to the liver. 

If your body has too much LDL, you could face an increased risk for serious health issues. Alarmingly, however, high cholesterol exhibits no symptoms, and the only way to test for high cholesterol is to have a blood draw.

Causes of High Cholesterol


Mature man eating donut while holding a second donut in his hand

The causes of high cholesterol span far and wide. Some contributing factors are within an individual’s control to change, while others are not. For example, while diet, weight, and exercise levels can influence HDL, factors such as age, gender, and genes can also contribute to LDL or HDL levels. Thus, the best way to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and thus support better cardiovascular health, is to focus on the factors within your control to change. Let’s take a closer look at the causes behind high cholesterol.

  • Diet: Cholesterol comes from two sources. While the liver produces all the cholesterol the body needs, we also take in cholesterol from foods derived from animals. This isn’t to say that eating meat or dairy products is bad for you. Foods with trans fats, however, cause the liver to produce even more cholesterol, which can lead to high cholesterol levels in some individuals. In addition to heavily processed animal products with trans fats, many baked goods can also trigger the liver to produce excess cholesterol. [5] 
  • Exercise Habits: Having a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to high LDL cholesterol. Regular aerobic activity, in particular, can help control LDL and in some cases promote healthy HDL levels. [6]
  • Weight: A large waist circumference and obesity are also associated with high cholesterol. [7]
  • Smoking: Smoking can lower your good HDL cholesterol, but it can compromise cardiovascular health in many other ways. In itself, smoking can increase the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, damage the cells that line the blood vessels, and cause the vessels to thicken and narrow. [8]
  • Age & Gender: Cholesterol levels tend to rise naturally as we age. Prior to menopause, women’s total cholesterol levels tend to be lower than their male peers. After reaching menopause, however, their LDL cholesterol levels tend to rise, and HDL may also decrease. [9]
  • Hereditary Factors: Genetics play a role in the amount of cholesterol the body produces. High cholesterol can run in families, so individuals with relatives who have high cholesterol should be especially proactive in getting their levels checked.

Dangers of High Cholesterol


mature man gripping chest while sitting on couch in pain, mature man having heart attack on couch at home alone

Having high LDL cholesterol increases the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. [2] Heart disease refers to a range of conditions which can affect the heart, many of which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Also known as hypercholesterolemia, high LDL increases fatty deposits within the arteries, thereby also increasing the risk of blockages. When cholesterol builds up on the artery walls, it forms what’s known as a cholesterol plaque. This plaque can restrict blood flow, also increasing risk for blood clot. Should a blood clot block the artery in the heart or brain, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

The good news is that high cholesterol can be treated with medication and managed through lifestyle modifications. First, however, you must know where you stand. Here is a general scale of LDL cholesterol numbers and what they mean.

  • Less than 100: optimal
  • 100-129: near optimal
  • 130-159: borderline
  • 160-189: high
  • 190 or higher: very high [3]

Keep in mind that in addition to having high LDL, having low HDL (again, the “good” cholesterol) can also put you at risk for heart disease. Thus, this too should be measured, with an ideal score of 60 or more. If HDL is less than 40, it could be considered a risk factor. [4]

The American Heart Association advises every adult over the age of 20 to have their cholesterol tested every four to six years, but these figures will vary based on the factors outlined above and on previous clinical indications.

Should high cholesterol be discovered in your blood test results, there are many ways to begin controlling it.

How to Lower Cholesterol Levels


Mature couple jogging and running outdoors in the city, Mature couple carrying reusable water bottles while jogging through the city

Lifestyle and diet changes are among the most effective ways to prevent and lower LDL. Additionally, if you’re a smoker and haven’t already done so, make a plan to quit. Here, we’ll explore some detailed changes that work well for lowering LDL cholesterol.

Dietary Changes

While there are many wise eating habits you can incorporate into your dietary plan to improve cholesterol levels, the lowest cholesterol levels are found in diets with the highest soluble fibers. [10] Diets high in soluble fiber often align with the typical anti-inflammatory diet, which emphasize foods like kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, and apples. Soluble fiber has the ability to reduce cholesterol absorption in the blood, making it a powerful nutrient for individuals with high LDL cholesterol. [11]

Additionally, eliminating trans fats found in margarine and store-bought, processed snack foods can help to reduce cholesterol. Individuals may also wish to incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, and mackerel. While these foods won’t affect LDL cholesterol themselves, they do have other cardiovascular benefits, such as the ability to help reduce blood pressure.

Exercise

Regular physical activity can support better cholesterol by increasing HDL. [12] Generally, most individuals can benefit from 30 minutes of exercise five times per week, or 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise three times a week. With that being said, it’s important for each person to work with an experienced physician who can make exercise recommendations based on the individual’s starting physical health.

Losing weight is another helpful way to control cholesterol, which can often be achieved with a strategic approach to dieting and exercising. Reducing alcohol consumption may also help to control cholesterol levels.

In some cases, medications may be needed in conjunction with the lifestyle and dietary changes described above to control especially high cholesterol levels. Even if medications are needed, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help keep medication doses as low as possible. 

Understanding Your Risk for High Cholesterol – In Conclusion


Because it exhibits no outward symptoms, high cholesterol is a dangerous threat to health, which can have serious implications if left unaddressed. Its impact on heart health cannot be overstated, and while there are some factors which are beyond an individual’s control to change, many behaviors that influence cholesterol can be modified.

At Cenegenics, your individualized treatment plan begins with a comprehensive lab panel to test for underlying health issues, such as high LDL or low LDL cholesterol. Based on the findings, our clinical team devises tailored roadmaps to help you become healthier and enjoy a better overall quality of life. For instance, while our approach to healthy eating and exercise will certainly help to lower high cholesterol with ongoing compliance, it can also support weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced risk for disease. With the knowledge that the many measures of health are complex and often interconnected, we treat the entire patient, not just a single symptom or isolated condition.

If you’re interested in controlling your cholesterol and optimizing your wellness overall, contact your nearest Cenegenics location for more information.

Next Steps to Controlling Your Cholesterol

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

About the Contributor

Rudy Inaba 
Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

Textbook of Age Management Medicine Vol.1

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook of Age Management Medicine Vol.2

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] CDC, “High Cholesterol Facts.” 6 Feb. 2019. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm 

[2] CDC; see above.

[3] Cleveland Clinic, “Cholesterol Numbers: What Do They Mean.” 26 July 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11920-cholesterol-numbers-what-do-they-mean

[4] Cleveland Clinic, see above.

[5] American Heart Association, “Control Your Cholesterol.” 30 Apr. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol

[6] Bhatt, Ami, MD, FACC. “Cholesterol: Understanding HDL vs. LDL.” Harvard Health. 12 Apr. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/understanding-cholesterol-hdl-vs-ldl-2018041213608

[7] Bhatt, Ami; see above.

[8] CDC, “Smoking and Heart Disease and Stroke.” 28 Jan. 2019. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/heart-disease-stroke.html

[9] Cleveland Clinic; see above.

[10] Leake, Jeffrey Park, M.D., CPT and Greenberg, Todd David, M.D., CSCS. The Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 1. 2015, Leake-Greenberg Ventures. (125)

[11] Mayo Clinic. “Top 5 lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol.” 11 Aug. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/reduce-cholesterol/art-20045935

[12] Mayo Clinic; see above.

mature couple smiling at phone while standing outside of tropical hotel

4 Dos and Don’ts for Eating Healthy While Traveling

The habits that took years to build,  

do not take a day to change.

Susan Powter

As a resident of New York, it is no surprise that I need to get away from the stone torture tube that is the subway and the hustle and bustle of New York. I have always been a huge fan of traveling and have done so with my family since I was 2 years old. Over the last 5 or 6 years, I have found a balance when on vacation between fun and health and I actually enjoy vacation more because of it.

I just came back from Costa Rica and feel no different than when I left, in terms of motivation. I was able to have my fun, while also keeping in mind that going all out all the time can have some pretty immediate effects. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts when on vacation to help you enjoy but also stay on track:

Dos and Don'ts of a Healthy Vacation

While trying not to fall too heavily off the tracks during a vacation, incorporate the following tips:

  • DO something active
  • DO drink plenty of water
  • DO make healthy choices as often as possible
  • DO get good quality sleep
  • DON'T overindulge on unhealthy food
  • DON'T consume alcohol with every meal
  • DON'T oversleep
  • DON'T be physically inactive

Vacation Don’ts


This has a bit of a negative connotation. Drinking, eating, and excessive relaxation are all part of a great trip away from the norm. However, in excess, they can cause problems and even bring great frustration.

DON’T make every meal your last meal on Earth

Believe me, I have been on vacation and have gone to restaurants where my mentality is, “They may have to carry me after this one.” This type of meal will happen, and that is okay.

However, treating every meal like this, especially over the course of many days, can pile on the calories, reduce your energy levels, and even disrupt your metabolism. Try to limit this type of meal as often as you can.

 Don’t be afraid to eat the things you enjoy, but maybe limit to once a day and not in massive quantities.

DON’T drink alcohol at every meal

mature group of friends drinking alcohol in a bar

Breakfast is awesome, and I love bacon and eggs. However, adding a cocktail to this meal, at 8:30 in the morning, is unnecessary.

 Try to consume more water and low-calorie beverages at meals like breakfast and lunch, and save the alcohol for meals that are low in carbohydrates as well.

DON’T sleep too much

Once again, I have slept in so much on vacation that someone had to remind me what day it is. Not only can you actually oversleep, but your entire rhythm will be completely thrown off.

Oversleeping can cause you to feel groggier throughout the day and less motivated to make the right decisions. Try to get a deep 8 hours or so, and wake up feeling refreshed, not like a zombie! 

DON’T do absolutely nothing physically

Some people will find a beach chair, pull it up, and sit for hours on end (I personally lose my mind sitting there for 30 minutes). Try to plan events that encourage you to be active, such as:

  • Hiking
  • Walking around historic destinations
  • Biking

These types of activities will allow you to see the most of your vacation destination, and keep you moving as well!

Vacation Do’s


There are a few of these that may seem contrary to what you want to do on vacation. These are mere guidelines that will take up a fraction of your time while helping you stay on point.

DO exercise

Mature couple hiking while on vacation

I am a crazy person who will literally “workout” for hours on vacation. I love playing sports, lifting weights, and doing outdoor activities. However, for you non-crazy people out there, this does not have to be the case.

Working out in the morning when you first wake up is a great idea. A morning workout can help you:

  • Feel more refreshed to start the day
  • Make better food and beverage choices
  • Lessen the overall impact of poor calorie choices
You do not have to work out every day or for very long, but try to get at least 30-45 minutes a day of resistance training with cardio every other day

DO drink lots of water

man pouring water into glass cup while sitting in clean kitchen

Forgetting to hydrate is one of the biggest mistakes people make when on vacation. It is safe to say you may partake in some dehydration type activities, so maintaining consistent fluid intake will help.

Here are some basic hydration tips:

  • Try drinking water with every alcoholic beverage
  • Avoid sugary drinks and mixers as often as possible
  • Fruit juices, sodas, cream based coffee drinks, and overly sweet frozen drinks should also be avoided

DO choose healthy options as often as possible

mature gentlemen eating salads after playing golf during vacation

Believe it or not, there are almost always tons of healthy options when on vacation. Whenever I have gone on a cruise, or to an all-inclusive, there have been loads of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Granted, they are surrounded by fried, doughy madness, but your ability to sift through these unhealthy options is part of the learning process of balance. Try when possible to stick to the lower glycemic side of the scale, while occasionally tossing in a treat snack or meal.

DO get good sleep

mature couple sleeping in robes in hotel room

Sleeping too little is just as big a problem as sleeping too much on vacation. Go out and have your fun, but also know that too many days of back to back poor sleep can set you up for quite the difficult return trip.

Try your best to get 8 solid hours of sleep while on vacation (but remember, not too much either).

ENJOY! You’re on Vacation


Mature couple smiling while sailing on boat

When we travel, it is usually to a place nothing like where we are from. Take in all the culture has to offer, and enjoy immersing yourself in an unfamiliar place. Overeating and moving very little may seem appealing but can actually hinder your ability to explore and enjoy.

Find the balance, and you will make the most of your trip!

Vacation Control: How to Enjoy While Staying on Track – In Conclusion


The key to eating healthy and not falling off track while traveling is balance. Understanding that it is important to step away from our busy lives and live in the moment, while also not over indulging, is a hard lesson to master.

Tips such as getting in a morning workout so you feel more motivated to make additional healthy choices, and getting enough sleep in order to not have unhealthy cravings are great steps to take in order to not feel too guilty while on vacation.

At Cenegenics, your clinical team is only an email or phone call away. If you are unsure of what steps to take while on vacation, your clinical team is your greatest tool!

Next Steps to Learning Vacation Control

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

About the Author

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN
Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

My name is Joshua D'Alessandro and I am an Exercise and Nutrition Counselor for Cenegenics in NY. My passion for fitness began at a very young age and has manifested into a career filled with possibilities. The countries largest epidemic, and quite possibly the root cause of most issues, is diminishing health. In my career, I hope to do everything and anything I can to improve the well being and lives of the people around me! 

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

Textbook of Age Management Medicine Vol. 1

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook of Age Management Vol.2

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Man in windbreaker standing on top of mountain staring out at mountainous green landscape as sun is rising

Getting Back on Track with Diet & Exercise: Staying Motivated

When I lost all my excuses, I found all my results.

Unknown

After a long, strenuous week, it’s Friday! The work week is over, and it is time to relax and leave some of the stress behind. During the week, you remained focused and diligent, not just on work, but on yourself. Your nutrition was spot on, and you hit the gym 3 out of 5 days. You are feeling great and motivated, and there is nothing that can slow you down!

Saturday comes along, and your friends invite you to a party. No big deal; socializing is part of a healthy lifestyle. When you get there, you are feeling confident that you have found balance and can enjoy yourself while maintaining the moderation that has gotten you here.

Immediately, the smell hits you. All of your favorite snacks are there along with pizza, subs, and all types of alcohol, like the world ends tomorrow. You try your best, but you give in, and 3 glasses of wine, 2 slices of pizza, and 2 cookies later, you’re on the couch in an immovable heap of a food coma. Now, there are a few scenarios that follow this.

  • You wake up the next morning, feeling guilty about your decisions the previous day, and decide to continue down that path. You figure, “I will just start again Monday,” and add pancakes to the mix the next morning.
  • You overreact and eat little to nothing the next day. You think this will help but, on Monday, you feel even worse than before, and your workout goes terribly.
  • You acknowledge that it was one meal and that it has little to no effect on all of the hard work you put in. You wake up the next morning, hydrate (you all know why), and you kick it back into gear.

Getting Back on Track with Diet & Exercise


Blonde woman handing pizza to a smiling mature man at dinner table

When we hear the phrase “falling off track,” many of us see this as an insurmountable mistake. Not only have we fallen off track, but the train is cascading down a hill that creates a new uphill battle.

The reality of the situation is that one meal did not knock you off a cliff. One meal merely tilted you off one wheel for a small fraction of time. The only way for the train to fall completely off the tracks is for you, as the conductor, to allow this to happen.

Acknowledging that it was one meal, or a single night out, and not allowing yourself to use this as an excuse to continue down your current path makes a large difference. Tilt the balance back by waking up and eating a high quality, nutritious breakfast, and hit the gym for a satisfying workout!

Staying Motivated on a Diet & Exercise Program


Staying motivated and keeping on track can be difficult, but it is not remotely impossible. Much like anything in life, there will be bumps along the way that provide immense challenges. Having a plan going into these situations will turn this so-called disaster into an enjoyable and necessary social experience. Here are some tips to not only stay on track but to also keep moving forward!

Staying Motivated

Here are some tips to help you stay motivated & stay on track:

  • Workout Before Going Out
  • Eat & Hydrate Before Going Out
  • Workout Afterwards or the Following Day
  • Have a Motivation or Workout Buddy
  • Have Healthy Meals Planned for After a Social Event
  • Enjoy & Live in the Moment 

Workout Before Going Out and Socializing

  • Most of the time when we go out, it is not until at the very least the early afternoon
  • Take the time to wake up in the morning, eat well, hydrate a lot, and toss in a great workout
  • Working out before these events will increase your metabolism, increasing muscular demand for those potentially bad calories, and even reduce your cravings for them
  • Make good use of the calories to come, and start the day with activity and good decisions!

Eat and Hydrate Before You Go

Woman drinking water while exercising with mature male partner
  • Most of the time when we go to social events, we typically plan to eat until it hurts
  • This is a huge mistake, because going into a social event hungry will increase cravings and the possibility of binging
  • On top of your morning workout, try to have as much high quality nutrition as you can before you go, including:
    • Lean protein such as chicken, fish, eggs and egg whites
    • Lots of vegetables
    • Healthy fats like avocado and nuts
    • Some fruit or low glycemic carbs such as quinoa or sweet potato
    • Lots of water
  • The more satisfied you feel going into the social event, the less likely you are to go all out

Workout Afterwards, or the Next Day

  • Working out as soon as you can, after a cheat meal or event, can help you immediately make use of the calories and steer you in the right direction
  • Instead of slamming down more bad food the next morning, get up and go to the gym
  • Even a light workout will help you release endorphins that help you think positively of the food you had, and allow you to carry on with your nutrition and exercise regimen right away

Have a Motivation Buddy

silhouetted man helping partner climb large boulders
  • Having someone with the same mentality as you can be very helpful
  • If you are going to a party or event with a spouse, friend, or family member, have each other’s back
  • Try to support one another by making realistic goals going in and sticking to them as best you can
  • Make plans together to go to the gym in the morning before or the morning after the event
  • Keep each other accountable, and you will succeed!

Have Healthy Meals Planned out for After the Social Event

ENJOY!

  • Life is about taking in these fun, slightly glutinous moments and appreciating them
  • Living in the moment is key here
  • By living in the moment, you can get what you need out of these less healthy decisions, and make them fit well into your lifestyle

All in all, enjoy life and maintain a balanced approach. No one can push you off the tracks. Staying on path is up to you, and these tools will make it much easier.

Finding Motivation – In Conclusion


We all live busy lives and aren’t always able to say no to socializing with friends and family, but “don’t’ get so busy making a life that you forget to live it”. Enjoy life, but remember to maintain a healthy balance.

If you are going out, be sure to plan ahead:

  • Enjoy a morning workout and a healthy breakfast
  • Keep hydrated
  • Have healthy meals ready for after
  • Always have a motivation partner
  • Don’t guilt yourself the next day

Having a healthy mindset and being able to recognize that one night does not ruin all of your progress is the best way to keep yourself on track and motivated. Your Cenegenics Nutrition & Exercise Counselor is also a great source of motivation when you are feeling overwhelmed by your choices from a night out.

Our customized nutrition and exercise programs are designed to help optimize your health & wellness, taking into account your current lifestyle. Your Cenegenics team is here to help you every step of the way. To learn more, contact your nearest Cenegenics location.

Next Steps to Staying Motivated with Cenegenics

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

About the Author

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN
Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

My name is Joshua D'Alessandro and I am an Exercise and Nutrition Counselor for Cenegenics in NY. My passion for fitness began at a very young age and has manifested into a career filled with possibilities. The countries largest epidemic, and quite possibly the root cause of most issues, is diminishing health. In my career, I hope to do everything and anything I can to improve the well being and lives of the people around me! 

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

Textbook of Age Management Medicine Vol.1

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook of Age Management Medicine Vol. 2

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

granola parfaits with blueberry and raspberries in mason jars

Healthy Snacks to Get You Through the Day

Calories from protein affect your brain, your appetite control

center, so you are more satiated and satisfied.

Mark Hyman, M.D.

In today’s society, being on-the-go is in everyone’s daily routine. Whether it is flying out the door to get to work on time or running late to pick up the kids from school, we are frequently moving from one event to the next. This leaves little time to stop for a full, nutritious meal, meaning we easily turn to fast food. If we don’t have time for even fast food, we will turn to snacks.

When we enter a convenience store, we are bombarded with options. It can get quite overwhelming, and this typically leads to us choosing the wrong item. These items include cakes, cookies, chips, processed bars, and candy. All of these foods are packed with sugar, additives, and preservatives that can wreak havoc on the insulin, blood sugar, gut microbiome, as well as energy levels.

Top 4 Sources of Healthy Snacks


There are many ways to make the right snack choice on-the-go; it just takes a little more effort. Here is a list of snacks to choose for most on-the-go scenarios, as well as foods to stay away from.

Sources of Healthy Snacks to Satisfy the Munchies (Guilt-Free)

Here are the top 4 groups of healthy snacks to grab on-the-go: 

  • High Protein Snacks
  • Low Glycemic Carbohydrate Protein Snacks
  • Healthy Fat Snacks
  • Combination Snacks

High Protein Snacks

Protein helps us maintain metabolism and muscle mass throughout the day. Getting 15-30 grams of quality protein multiple times throughout the day is a great way to curb cravings, maintain energy, and maintain muscle.

Beef jerky on black stone board with peppercorns in background
  • Animal protein options:
    • Pre-sliced natural turkey, roast beef, and chicken (high in protein, no nitrates or nitrites)
    • Low sugar beef jerky
    • Tuna packets and salmon packets (wild caught if possible)
    • Low sodium cheese sticks (if not lactose intolerant)
    • Hard-boiled egg 2 pack
    • Greek yogurt—No high fructose corn syrup
    • Whey protein shake – Cenegenics® offers a whey protein sources from grass-fed, hormone-free dairy and is free of artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners
Seasoned hummus with oil in white bowl on white background
    • Vegetarian/vegan protein options:
      • Roasted chick peas
      • 3 bean salad (pre-made with vinegar and olive oil)
      • Hummus (with vegetables)
      • Vegan protein shake – Cenegenics® Pea & Rice Protein is a great option, additional suggestions can easily be made upon request

Low Glycemic Carbohydrates Protein Snacks

Carbohydrates provide necessary, long term energy to perform our most basic and most difficult daily life functions. Incorporating whole food carbohydrates throughout the day is a great way to minimize energy crashes.

Fruits and vegetables in a basket in garden
  • Sources include:
    • Whole fruit: Apples, peaches, berries, pears, oranges (fruits with skin have a higher fiber content)
    • Fibrous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery (great with hummus)
    • Roasted chick peas

Healthy Fat Snack Choices

Healthy fats are necessary to maintaining cell health, immune function, temperature regulation, and satiety. Adding healthy fats to snacks can make snacking easy and healthy.

Always check serving size. Fats have the highest caloric content per gram, so be aware of what a serving is

Guacamole in a bowl surrounded by avocados
  • Sources include:
    • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios
    • Guacamole
    • Nut butters (natural nut butter, no sugar or syrups added)
    • Dark chocolate (serving size!)

Combination Snacks

  • When possible, combine your macronutrients when snacking
  • Some examples include:
    • 3 ounces natural turkey, 1 apple, 15 almonds
    • Carrot sticks with 3 Tbsp. hummus
    • Vegan protein shake with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter blended in
    • Turkey rollup
      • 2 slices turkey, 1 slice avocado, spinach, and some mustard
    • Tuna salad made with guacamole
    • 2 hard-boiled eggs and an orange
  • GET CREATIVE: Keep combining foods from each category to keep it interesting!

Foods to Avoid for Weight Loss & Optimal Health


Top 4 Foods to Avoid For Weight Loss

These are groups that you should skip while shopping or looking for healthy snacks: 

  • "Low Fat Options"
  • Foods with Any Kind of Syrup
  • Processed Junk Foods
  • Sugary Beverages

When searching for snacks, there are some things you should avoid at all times:

Chocolate, chips, candy, cookies, and junk food in bowls on solid background