Day #50 (halfway point). What we’ve learned so far. The first 100 days: A journey to health and wellness.


Friday 3/7/14 marked our Day #50. We are at the halfway point of our First 100 days: A journey to health and wellness project, but we are just beginning our life long commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.

On January 20th 2014 we started Dr. Sferra’s weight management plan offered at Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation because we wanted to learn:

  • The truth about nutrition. Making healthy food choices has helped us to lose weight, but more importantly we are learning how the quality and quantity of the nutrition in our food plays a role in our mood, energy level, pain level, and sleep cycle.
  • How to exercise more efficiently. Committing to an exercise routine is necessary to achieve optimum performance, reduce risk for injury and improve quality of life. In the past, exercise was not a high priority on our daily “To-do” list. While on this plan we are learning the best way to approach aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
  • How to change our thoughts about weight loss and weight management. Negative thoughts and beliefs will result in failure. Initially change of any kind is difficult but with practice, it becomes easier and more manageable. Success depends on learning how to enjoy the journey instead of fight against it.

Below are some highlights from the first 50 days.

Creating new healthy lifestyle habits: Making changes, changing our thoughts about food and nutrition.

+ Change our routines. During this project we had to take a good look at all of our routines (at home, at work, with our friends, on vacation, on holidays, etc.) We had to pick apart our routines and keep the routines that helped us reach our goals and make changes to the routines and habits that were not helping us reach our goals. Most of our routines not only involved food, but it included large amounts of high calorie/high fat foods. There always seemed to be a reason we should be eating unhealthy food. We had to learn that those foods are “treats” and in order to achieve weight loss and health goals those “treats” should be eaten infrequently. We allow ourselves “treats” one day a week, usually on a Sunday.


+ The eat “clean” method. We have borrowed some ideas from the Eat “Clean” method into our weight management plan. The method focusses on eating foods without preservatives, and eat lean proteins with complex carbohydrates.

+ Read labels. We now read all nutrition labels and we often use the Fooducate app to rate our food. We do not purchase pre-packaged foods that include more than 5 ingredients. We also do not eat foods that contain ingredients that we cannot pronounce because those ingredients are usually a preservative or an artificial sweetener of some sort.

+ Portion Control. We use the 50-25-25 plate rule. If you are looking at our plate: 50%- Non-starch veggies, 25% – starchy veggies and 25% lean animal protein. We apply this to most of our meals. Breakfast tends to contain more protein than veggies and snacks consist of nuts, fruits and protein shakes.

+ Choosing alternatives and tricking taste buds. We have discovered some delicious healthy alternatives to the high fat and high calorie foods we love.


+ Aerobic vs anaerobic. Exercise falls into two general categories: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic exercise is muscle movement that uses oxygen to burn both carbohydrates and fats to produce energy, while anaerobic exercise is muscle movement that does not require oxygen and only burns carbohydrates to produce energy.

In practice, aerobic exercise means activities such as walking, bicycling or swimming that temporarily increase your heart rate and respiration. Aerobic exercise (also known as cardiovascular exercise) builds your endurance.

Anaerobic exercise typically means activities such as weightlifting and push-ups and sit-ups, which builds muscle and physical strength through short bursts of strenuous activity.

An ideal exercise program should include both aerobic (improves heart health) and anaerobic exercise (improves skeletal muscle health and increase basal metabolic rate).

Going forward:

+ Trying new foods, new recipes. We will continue to try new healthy recipes to avoid risk of boring our taste buds and giving up on the nutrition portion of this plan.

+ Free days/meals. We do love our “cheat” days, but if we over indulge we definitely feel “hungover” the next day. That feeling is a good motivator to not over indulge, nobody likes to feel hungover.

+ Make exercise a routine. We both like to exercise and love the way we feel after we exercise, but before starting this plan we were not very good at exercising consistently. Exercise was never a priority, it was a luxury. Going forward we will make it a priority to exercise at least 5 times per week.

+ Try new types of exercise. We love to run, but we are learning the benefits of weight training in our overall performance and also in our weight loss. We are open to trying new types of exercise and adding a variety of exercises to our routines to prevent boredom, prevent injuries and promote new muscle growth. **Research shows that diversifying your workout routine offers greater payoffs than sticking to the same moves for years on end.**

Thank you for support!

If you have any questions for Sean and you can message them on the NMR’s Facebook page

If you would like to begin your journey to health and wellness, call 908-252-0242.

About The Author

Dr. Vincent Sferra

Dr. Vincent Sferra

Dr. Vincent Sferra is the founder and Clinic Director of Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation. He is Board Certified in Chiropractic Medicine and Chiropractic Neurology, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has been in practice and providing educational health and wellness programs in the community since 1986.

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Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation

Long Branch, NJ

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