4 Steps to Take Before Starting a Weight Loss Program

If you’re like most people, you’re probably not really sure when you began gaining weight. One day you were a normal weight with a healthy body. The next day, you were overweight, tired, and oftentimes, sick.

If this description fits you, take heart. A diet change can help you lose the extra pounds and return you to a vibrant state of health. If you’re ready to start living in a new healthy body, here are the four steps you should take before starting a weight loss program.

1. Keep a Journal

An NBC News report suggests that people start their weight loss journey with journaling. More specifically, they should figure out what their daily baseline of calories, food intake, and exercise is. That information will go in their journals. The most successful diets aren’t diets at all. They are a lifestyle change. However, if you are not really conscious of your lifestyle, how can you change it? Start a journal specifically for your weight loss journey. You’ll use it throughout this process.

2. Consult With Your Doctor

Once you know your baseline, your next step is to consult with your doctor. Let your doctor know of your challenges. Bring your journal so that you can talk about what you’re facing. Also let your doctor give you suggestions for plans and a recommendation to a nutritionist if necessary.

3. Read Reviews and Do Research.

Next comes the research. Many people who are overweight have never been taught how to eat right. That’s really the primary purpose of your research: to understand nutrition. Once you understand the basics of nutrition, it will help you decide which diets will suit your body’s needs.

When you think you have found a number of suitable diet and supplement options, you should read reviews on them. Rather than trusting everything a fad diet or supplement says, read customer reviews; Xyngular says that the most powerful and inspiring stories come from customers, and that influential reviews will help others change their health. Many fad diets and supplements make promises they do not fulfill, so reading reviews from customers can be a good way to judge which are the safest and most effective.

Evaluate which diets and supplements will complement your dietary and medical needs according to your doctor’s recommendations. Write in your journal about your findings.

4. Decide on a Plan

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to decide on a proper diet. If you’re still unsure what that is, consider this: according to WebMD, a healthy eating plan should include fresh vegetables and fruits, unprocessed foods, whole grains, lean meats, and nuts. These types of diets keep you full longer, which helps you lose weight and keep you healthy.

Final Thoughts

The best weight loss plans aren’t crash diets; in the long run, the healthiest diets include plenty of fresh produce, plus legumes, lean meats, and nuts. Changing your diet can be a big lifestyle change. If you want to implement this lifestyle change effectively, your best bet is to study nutrition, talk to your doctor, adjust your diet, and record your progress in a journal. This will help you approach your new diet from a healthy mindset.

Tips to Feel More Prepared Before Surgery

Countless types of medical and cosmetic surgical procedures exist today. Surgeries for everything from liposuctions, tooth extractions, nose jobs, and open-heart surgeries are a part of doctor’s daily schedules. Despite the differences, the one similarity in all surgeries is that patients must do their part to prepare. Here are the most effective ways to prepare yourself for a major procedure.

Educate Yourself

Your doctor should teach you how to be prepare and give you information about the procedure. During the consultation, you should receive some type of pamphlet that tells you everything you need to know. In addition, you can access online patient education resources and materials to learn more.

In fact, online sources, which include videos, blogs, and images, often provide more information to help patients than doctors do. The online method of learning is better if you don’t want to ask your doctor certain questions. Learn as much as you want and on your own schedule.


Refrain from a Normal Diet

Most surgeons advise their patients to avoid eating at least seven hours before any surgery. You are allowed to eat dinner but are typically advised not to eat anything in the morning on the day of. This is also why many surgeries are scheduled early in the morning.

Fasting is necessary because food may interfere with the anesthesia and cause aspiration. A surgery that takes place in the stomach, which contains food and bacteria, could lead to an infection. Before any surgery, it’s ideal that you avoid consuming your normal diet.


Avoid Strenuous Activities

Exercising is less of an issue before an operation. However, it’s possible for your body to become too sore and rigid for surgery. You could also have an injury that causes bleeding or swelling in the area that needs the operation. Ideally, avoid engaging in strenuous physical activities before that day.


Know What to Expect Afterwards

Once you know what to do before the operation, know what is required afterwards. This way, you have no surprises during healing and increase your chance of having a successful recovery. Take time to learn about the medications you might take afterwards and the types of activities you cannot do. When you are prepared, have total peace of mind knowing that you are certain to recover fully.


No matter how big or small the surgery is, it’s still a major task for your body. Today there are many more minimally invasive surgeries that don’t involve a lot of surgery or recovery time. See what your hospital, clinic, or doctor can recommend for your situation. That still does not mean you should not be physically prepared. Anything could go wrong during a medical procedure, so reduce the risks and increase the successful outcome by learning all you can.

A Guide for Supporting Your Body with the Right Supplements

Most people lead busy lives, and this is just one of the reasons health issues are on the rise today. A lack of sleep and little time to exercise or prepare nutritious meals means that adding supplements to your diet could help get you the nutrients you need. Genetics, health history, and other lifestyle factors can also play a part in the type of supplements we need to feel our best. The science behind supplementing and healthy dieting lies not only in external factors but also our cells. Here are some healthy supplements to include in your diet to make taking on every day less of a challenge.

Vitamin D

This vitamin has the ability to change the way that your genes function and helps to boost your immune system so foreign chemicals and harmful substances can’t damage your organs. We get vitamin D naturally from the sun. However, if you live in an area that doesn’t get lots of sunlight or you spend most of your time indoors, taking vitamin D in supplement form can prove helpful. Between 45-70 ng/mL is recommended to keep your bones strong and protect your immune system.



Zinc is a natural mineral that works to fight off the flu and the common cold and is also used to stabilize brain function for a balanced mood. Your body also needs zinc for proper digestion, since this mineral works to release gastric acid. Zinc supplements can also help with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. You can take zinc as part of a multi-vitamin or take the mineral alone after a meal.



If you suffer from food allergies, this could be due to a lack of glutamine. Glutamine helps to repair the linings of the stomach and intestines and is used by the cells in your intestines to ensure that you process your food thoroughly. The supplement also helps to you maintain lean muscle mass, which is necessary to help your body efficiently use energy and manage your weight.



Magnesium deficiency has been linked to conditions like ADD and ADHD, chronic fatigue, and muscle pain. Your body may also not have enough magnesium if you have digestive issues and your intestines have not been able to properly absorb all the nutrients in your food. This is especially true if you suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Taking about 400 mg of magnesium in supplement form each day can help to stabilize your mood, improve digestion, and boost your energy.


Your body only works with what you fuel it with. If you feel a lack of energy or have other issues you think could be solved with supplementing, talk to your doctor and get advice based on your medical history and genetics.

Making Wellness Resolutions that Stick

This is the time of year where we get a chance to make a fresh start, with a new year. A clean slate to write on what we want and dream ourselves to be. Psychology Today reports that the top two New Year’s Resolutions are quitting smoking and decreasing alcohol consumption, other sources site losing weight, getting organized, and getting fit through regular exercise. The sad, and not so shocking truth, is that most people fail at keeping these commitments long term. Within one week 22% fail to keep their resolutions, 40% after 1 month, and half after 3 months. In fact only 1 out of 5 people who make New Year’s Resolutions keep them for long term, and truly make it a life style change.
What is the reason for this dismal performance as a society? We have all the resources, and information, literally at our finger tips, yet still we often fail. We can access online support groups, look up healthy recipes on Pinterest, do free workout classes on YouTube, but still Americans are among the most unhealthy and overweight in the world. If it is not lack of information, or access to resources, then what is the problem we face? Psychology Today states the top 3 reasons are
  • Vague and Unclear Goals
  • Failure to Gauge Progress
  • and Weak self-control or self-regulation.
We at Christian Healthcare Centers are committed to Whole-Person Focused care and Community-Building. Our philosophy is promoting lifestyle change, not dieting, or short-lived programs. We believe that we have been given all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and that we must spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). To that end, in 2018 CHC is holding monthly CHC Wellness Club meetings as a community of health minded people that want to make lasting change in the course of their lives and health. We hope that these sessions will be the extra encouragement and accountability, that we all need to overcome our weak self-control, and make progress toward the abundant life that Jesus talked about in John 10:10.
Meetings will be held the first Wednesday evening of each month, with the first being held this Wednesday, January 3rd here at the Christian Healthcare Centers building on East Beltline Court in Northeast Grand Rapids. The sessions start at 5pm, but there is an optional weigh-in portion that people can come for at 4:30pm for those who want to track their progress. This is offered as a FREE service to our members, but those who aren’t signed up for CHC membership are welcome to join as well for a $10 per session fee. Sessions include a brief educational portion at the beginning, and then will mainly focus on a round table discussion of the challenges, victories, and failures that we all face in trying to live a healthy lifestyle. For more information you can email Alex Corcoran at


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