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Drinking more water, so that you are certain that you are getting enough daily to keep you hydrated and your body functioning properly, is especially important when you are trying to achieve weight loss and keep the weight off. Lizette Borelli, a senior editor at Medical Daily, has this to say about water and weight loss:


Emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

Sometimes the strongest cravings for food happen when you're at your weakest point emotionally. You may turn to food for comfort — consciously or unconsciously — when you're facing a difficult problem, stress or just looking to keep yourself occupied.

But emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Emotional eating often leads to eating too much, especially too much of high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods. But the good news is that if you're prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals.

The connection between mood, food and weight loss:

Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Both major life events and the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts. These triggers may include:

  • Unemployment
  • Financial pressure
  • Health problems
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Work stress
  • Bad weather
  • Fatigue

Although some people actually eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you're in emotional distress you may turn to impulsive or binge eating — you may rapidly eat whatever's convenient, without even enjoying it. In fact, your emotions may become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a sweet treat whenever you're angry or stressed without stopping to think about what you're doing.

Food also serves as a distraction. If you're worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict, for instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation.

Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same. The emotions return, and you may also now bear the additional burden of guilt about setting back your weight-loss goal. This can also lead to an unhealthy cycle — your emotions trigger you to overeat, you beat yourself up for getting off your weight-loss track, you feel badly, and you overeat again.

Tips to get your weight-loss efforts back on track:

Although negative emotions can trigger emotional eating, you can take steps to control cravings and renew your effort at weight loss. To help stop emotional eating, try these tips:

  • Tame your stress. If stress contributes to your emotional eating, try a stress management technique, such as yoga, meditation or relaxation.
  • Have a hunger reality check. Is your hunger physical or emotional? If you ate just a few hours ago and don't have a rumbling stomach, you're probably not really hungry. Give the craving a little time to pass.
  • Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you're feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal the connection between mood and food.
  • Get support. You're more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Lean on family and friends or consider joining a support group.
  • Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you're not truly hungry, distract yourself. Take a walk, watch a movie, play with your cat, listen to music, read, surf the Internet or call a friend.
  • Take away temptation. Don't keep supplies of comfort foods in your home if they're hard for you to resist. And if you feel angry or blue, postpone your trip to the grocery store until you're sure that you have your emotions in check.
  • Don't deprive yourself. When you're trying to achieve a weight-loss goal, you may limit your calories too much, eat the same foods frequently and banish the treats you enjoy. This may just serve to increase your food cravings, especially in response to emotions. Let yourself enjoy an occasional treat and get plenty of variety to help curb cravings.
  • Snack healthy. If you feel the urge to eat between meals, choose a low-fat, low-calorie snack, such as fresh fruit, vegetables with fat-free dip, or unbuttered popcorn. Or try low-fat, lower calorie versions of your favorite foods to see if they satisfy your craving.
  • Get enough sleep. If you're constantly tired, you might snack to try to give yourself an energy boost. Take a nap or go to bed earlier instead.
  • Seek therapy. If you've tried self-help options but you still can't get control of your emotional eating, consider therapy with a professional mental health provider. Therapy can help you understand the motivations behind your emotional eating and help you learn new coping skills. Therapy can also help you discover whether you may have an eating disorder, which is sometimes connected to emotional eating.

If you have an episode of emotional eating, forgive yourself and start fresh the next day. Try to learn from the experience and make a plan for how you can prevent it in the future. Focus on the positive changes you're making in your eating habits and give yourself credit for making changes that'll lead to better health.

VIP Weight Loss & Anti-Aging Center has many ways to help you achieve control curb your emotional eating, get your weight loss on track, and start feeling better today. Contact us for more information on the ways we can help you achieve weight loss and sustain it!


Does achieving lasting weight loss have a "best before" date?  Researchers say a definite "yes."

The longer a person is overweight, the higher the risk of the obesity becoming "irreversible", according to researchers from the University of Michigan and the National Council of Science and Technology (COINCET) in Argentina.

The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and conducted on mice, revealed that the longer the animals were overweight, the less likely they were to shed the excess weight.

According to the report, the obesity in mice eventually replaces the "normal" body weight, making the mice's "normal" weight higher than before, regardless of whether they were put on diets which previously worked to lose the pounds.

Malcolm J. Low, M.D., Ph.D., professor of molecular and integrative physiology and internal medicine, said:

"Our model demonstrates that obesity is in part a self-perpetuating disorder and the results further emphasize the importance of early intervention in childhood to try to prevent the condition whose effects can last a lifetime.

Our new animal model will be used in pinpointing the reasons why most adults find it exceedingly difficult to maintain meaningful weight loss from dieting and exercise alone."

Globally, over 500 million adults and 43 million kids below the age of 5 are obese, and obesity-related sicknesses are the top preventable causes of death. Obese individuals have a much higher chance of developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

One of the most helpful tools involved in the study was the new model of "obesity-programmed" mice, because it was easy to monitor the animals at different stages of the study, and at different ages simply by turning a switch which controlled their appetite.

Flipping the switch when the mice had just finished weaning stopped the mice from eating too much and kept them from becoming obese. Also, mice that managed to stay at a normal weight until they were young adults only by means of dieting were able to keep their normal weight even when dieting had stopped. On the other hand, when mice were fed too much, and had early onsets of obesity, they were never able to get back to their original weight, even when they did not eat as much or exercised more.

The results of the study pave the way for questions to be asked regarding whether long-term success rates of not eating many calories and taking part in rigorous exercise is really effective.

Low concluded:

"Somewhere along the way, if obesity is allowed to continue, the body appears to flip a switch that re-programs to a heavier set weight. The exact mechanisms that cause this shift are still unknown and require much further study that will help us better understand why the regaining of weight seems almost unavoidable."
Lesson here?  The sooner you get your weight under control, the better!! VIP Weight Loss and Anti-aging Centers can help you to achieve weight loss at your pace on your terms and keep it off before you reach the point of no return. Contact us today to learn more about our services that can help you achieve your personal weight loss goals.


The role of Vitamin D in overall good health is a hot topic right now, and many in the medical community are including supplements as treatment for physical and mental health complaints.  How important is Vitamin D to overall health generally and to achieve weight loss in particular?


Dietitian and writer Ana Johnson says this about Vitamin D in her article from healthyeating.sfgate.com:


"Although there is no magic pill for weight loss, vitamin D does play a role in maintaining a healthy weight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is stored in your body’s fat cells. The link between vitamin D and weight has not been completely explored by researchers and is not fully understood, but several studies have shown a connection between vitamin D status and weight.


Obesity and Vitamin D

Many overweight people are deficient in vitamin D, but it is unclear if the weight caused the deficiency or if the deficiency led to the weight gain. A 2000 study published in the "Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that obese participants had significantly lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. Researchers theorize that vitamin D may get trapped in the fat cells or that obese people may be lacking sufficient vitamin D in the diet.

Vitamin D and Weight Loss

A rstudy presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting followed 38 overweight men and women on an 11-week diet plan. Subjects with higher levels of vitamin D at the beginning of the diet were more successful at losing weight overall. Vitamin D levels also predicted a greater loss of abdominal fat, but the exact mechanism for how vitamin D influences weight loss is still unclear.

Weight Loss

People trying to lose weight or who are overweight should get their vitamin D levels checked. Difficulty losing weight can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. If you are deficient, a doctor may give you up to 10,000 international units to help normalize your levels. The recommended amount per day is 600 IUs for most people, an amount that can be found in most multivitamins. The best way to naturally increase your vitamin D level is to get outside. Just 10 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight can give you all the vitamin D you need.

High Levels of Vitamin D and Weight Loss

Although vitamin D may help with weight loss, it is not recommended to take excessive vitamin D in an attempt to lose those extra pounds. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in the fat cells, high doses may lead to toxicity. The upper limit of vitamin D is 4,000 IUs. Signs of vitamin D toxicity include nausea, vomiting, and weakness. As with most vitamins, more is not always better."  As always, before deciding to take Vit D in any quantity, consult your doctor.


VIP Weight Loss and Anti-aging works with you to provide a personalized weight loss plan that fits your needs and lifestyle so you can achieve weight loss and maintain it for ongoing improved health.  Contact us today and let us get you started toward improved health and fitness! 


Getting enough sleep is crucial to losing weight and maintaining good health, but many people are confused about how much sleep is really enough.

New York Times bestselling author and award-winning osteopath Dr. Joseph M. Mercola has this to say about getting enough ZZZZ's:

"If you’re like most people, you’re probably not sleeping enough, and the consequences go far beyond just feeling tired and sluggish the next day.

According to a 2013 Gallup poll,1 40 percent of American adults get six hours or less per night. Even children are becoming sleep deprived. According to the 2014 Sleep in America Poll,2 58 percent of teens average only seven hours of sleep or less.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that lack of sleep is a public health epidemic, noting that insufficient sleep has been linked to a wide variety of health problems.

For example, getting less than five hours of sleep per night may double your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and/or stroke. Research has also found a persistent link between lack of sleep and weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes.3,4

But while the risks of insufficient sleep are well-documented, there have been lingering questions about how much sleep is “enough,” and recommendations have shifted upward and downward over the years. On February 2, the National Sleep Foundation released updated guidelines5,6,7 to help clarify this question.

Updated Sleep Guidelines

Led by Harvard professor Charles Czeisler, the panel of experts reviewed more than 300 studies published between 2004 and 2014 to ascertain how many hours of sleep most people need in order to maintain their health. The recommendations they came up with are as follows:

Age Group

Recommended # of hours of sleep needed

Newborns (0-3 months)

14-17 hours

Infants (4-11 months)

12-15 hours

Toddlers (1-2 years)

11-14 hours

Preschoolers (3-5)

10-13 hours

School-age children (6-13)

9-11 hours

Teenagers (14-17)          

8-10 hours

Young adults (18-25)

7-9 hours

Adults (26-64)

7-9 hours

Seniors (65 and older)

7-8 hours

As you can see, the general consensus is that from the time you enter your teenage years, you probably need right around eight hours of sleep on the average. According to the panel:

“Sleep durations outside the recommended range may be appropriate, but deviating far from the normal range is rare. Individuals who habitually sleep outside the normal range may be exhibiting signs or symptoms of serious health problems or, if done volitionally, may be compromising their health and well-being.”

Modern Technology Can Affect Your Sleep in Several Ways

Modern technology is in large part to blame for many peoples’ sleep problems, for several reasons, including the following:

1.For starters, the exposure to excessive amounts of light from light bulbs and electronic gadgets at night hinders your brain from winding down for sleep by preventing the release of melatonin. (Melatonin levels naturally rise in response to darkness, which makes you feel sleepy.)

2.Electromagnetic radiation can also have an adverse effect on your sleep even if it doesn’t involve visible light.

According to the 2014 Sleep in America Poll,8 53 percent of respondents who keep personal electronics turned off while sleeping rate their sleep as excellent, compared to just 27 percent of those who leave their devices on.

3.Maintaining a natural rhythm of exposure to daylight during the day, and darkness at night, is an essential component of sleeping well. But not only are most people exposed to too much light after dark, they’re also getting insufficient amounts of natural daylight during the day.

Daytime exposure to bright sunlight is important because it serves as the major synchronizer of something called your master clock, which in turn influences other biological clocks throughout your body.

Even Daytime Use of Technology Can Significantly Prevent Sleep, Especially Among Teens

People now get one to two hours less sleep each night, on average, compared to 60 years ago.9 A primary reason for this is the proliferation of electronics, which also allows us to work (and play) later than ever before. 

According to recent research, teens in particular may have difficulty falling asleep if they spend too much time using electronic devices—even if their use of technology is restricted to daytime hours! As reported by the Huffington Post:10

“The cumulative amount of screen time a teen gets throughout the day -- not just before bedtime -- affects how long they sleep, according to the study11...

‘One of the surprising aspects was the very clear dose-response associations,’ said the study's lead researcher Mari Hysing... ‘The longer their screen time, the shorter their sleep duration.’"

Boys spent more time using game consoles, while girls favored smartphones and MP3 music players, but regardless of the type of device, the effect on sleep was the same. The researchers found that:

  • Using an electronic device within one hour of bedtime resulted in spending more than an hour tossing and turning before falling asleep
  • Using electronics for four hours during the day resulted in a 49 percent increased risk of needing more than one hour to fall asleep, compared to those who used electronics for less than four hours total
  • Those who used any device for more than two hours per day were 20 percent more likely to need more than an hour to fall asleep, compared to those whose usage was less than two hours
  • Those who spent  more than two hours online were more than three times as likely to sleep less than five hours compared to their peers who spent less time online

Good Sleep in Middle Age May Benefit You in Your Senior Years

Another study--which looked at sleep habits and mental functioning in later years—reviewed 50 years’ worth of sleep research, concluding that sleeping well in your middle-age years is an “investment” that pays dividends later. According to Michael Scullin, director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory at Baylor University in Texas: "We came across studies that showed that sleeping well in middle age predicted better mental functioning 28 years later.”

This seems like a reasonable conclusion when you consider the more immediate benefits of getting enough sleep. Accumulated over time, both hazards and benefits are likely to pay dividends or exact a toll... For example, recent research14,15,16 shows that lack of sleep can shrink your brain, which, of course, can have adverse long-term ramifications. Other research published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging17 suggests that people with chronic sleep problems may develop Alzheimer’s disease sooner than those who sleep well.

Researchers have also found18 that adding just one hour of sleep a night can boost your health rather drastically. Here, they set out to determine the health effects of sleeping 6.5 hours versus 7.5 hours a night. During the study, groups of volunteers slept either 6.5 hours or 7.5 hours a night for one week. They then swapped sleeping durations for another week, yielding quite significant results. For starters, the mental agility tasks became much more difficult for the participants when they got less sleep. Other studies have also linked sleep deprivation to decreased memory recall, difficulty processing information, and dampened decision-making skills.

Even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only four to six hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day. It's also known to decrease your problem solving ability. The researchers also noted that about 500 genes were impacted. When the participants cut their sleep from 7.5 to 6.5 hours, there were increases in activity in genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk and stress. From the results of this study, it appears as though sleeping for an extra hour, if you’re regularly getting less than seven hours of sleep a night, may be a simple way to boost your health. It may even help protect and preserve brain function in the decades to come.

A Fitness Tracker Can Be a Helpful Tool to Get More Sleep

To optimize sleep, you need to make sure you’re going to bed early enough, because if you have to get up at 6:30am, you’re just not going to get enough sleep if you go to bed after midnight. Many fitness trackers can now track both daytime body movement and sleep, allowing you to get a better picture of how much sleep you’re actually getting. Chances are, you’re getting at least 30 minutes less shut-eye than you think, as most people do not fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow.

I recently detailed some of the benefits of fitness trackers in my article “The Year in Sleep.” When I first started using a fitness tracker, I was striving to get eight hours of sleep, but my Jawbone UP typically recorded me at 7.5 to 7.75. I have since increased my sleep time, not just time in bed, but total sleep time to over eight hours per night. The fitness tracker helped me realize that unless I am asleep, not just in bed, but asleep by 10 pm, I simply won’t get my eight hours. Gradually I have been able to get myself to sleep by 9:30 pm.

How to Support Your Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Better for Optimal Health

Making small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health. I suggest you read through my full set of 33 healthy sleep guidelines for all of the details, but to start, consider implementing the following key changes:

  • Make sure you regularly get BRIGHT sun exposure during the day.

Also aim for 30-60 minutes of outdoor light exposure in the middle of the day, in order to “anchor” your master clock rhythm. The ideal time to go outdoors is right around solar noon but any time during daylight hours is useful. A gadget that can be helpful in instances when you, for some reason, cannot get outside during the day is a blue-light emitter. Philips makes one called goLITE BLU.19 It’s a small light therapy device you can keep on your desk. Use it twice a day for about 15 minutes to help you anchor your circadian rhythm if you cannot get outdoors.

  • Avoid watching TV or using your computer in the evening,

Even the American Medical Association now states:20 “…nighttime electric light can disrupt circadian rhythms in humans and documents the rapidly advancing understanding from basic science of how disruption of circadian rhythmicity affects aspects of physiology with direct links to human health, such as cell cycle regulation, DNA damage response, and metabolism.”

  • Be mindful of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in your bedroom. EMFs can disrupt your pineal gland and its melatonin production, and may have other negative biological effects as well. A gauss meter is required if you want to measure EMF levels in various areas of your home. At minimum, move all electrical devices at least three feet away from your bed. Ideally, turn all devices off while you’re sleeping. You may also want to consider turning off your wireless router at night. You don’t need the Internet on when you are asleep.
  • Sleep in darkness. Even a small amount of light in your bedroom can disrupt your body’s internal clock and your pineal gland's melatonin production. Even the glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep, so cover your radio up at night or get rid of it altogether. You may want to cover your windows with drapes or blackout shades. A less expensive alternative is to use a sleep mask.
  • Install a low-wattage yellow, orange, or red light bulb if you need a source of light for navigation at night. Light in these bandwidths does not shut down melatonin production in the way that white and blue bandwidth light does. Salt lamps are handy for this purpose. You can also download a free application called f.lux21
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom below 70° Fahrenheit. Many people keep their homes too warm (particularly their upstairs bedrooms). Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68° F."

At VIP Medical Weight Loss Centers, we are dedicated to helping you to become the healthiest, happiest you that you can be.  Your health and well-being is our #1 concern, which is why we offer so many options for helping you to achieve your weight loss and health maintenance goals.  Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you!