Do you constantly feel hungry? Even after you have eaten a meal? This is one of the largest indicators of being both thirsty and dehydrated! People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger and end up eating more calories than they really needed to! Don’t you wish our bodies had a meter that told us how many calories we were consuming on a daily basis? That would make life so much easier in the weight loss department! Reach for a large glass of water instead of reaching for a snack next time you think you might be hungry. For some zest, add in some citrusy flavor to change things up a bit! That glass of water will hydrate and freshen you up. It will also determine if you truly are hungry or not, so wait for that stomach growl! Wait at least 15 minutes, and you will know right away if that was really hunger you were feeling.
If you do not get enough to drink on a daily basis you will feel sluggish and tired. It is a common symptom of dehydration. Your body gets confused, knowing that it needs nutrients but unsure of the type. Food is usually the first assumption, and it still won’t help with dehydration. This will in turn cause a ring around the rosie effect with your brain and stomach! You will naturally eat less when you have adequate hydration, so don’t assume it is hunger right away.
Because thirst and hunger send the same signals to your brain, it can be difficult to reduce the urge to snack. The best way to realize when you are truly hungry is to sip on water all day long! Keep a log if you have to, and you will instantly realize if you have gotten enough or are falling short. There are water bottles out there with markers already on them to tell you how much to drink throughout your day, so invest in one of those if you can! There is absolutely no harm in reaching for a glass of water, so even if you think it really might be hunger sip on water anyway! You will find out sooner or later.
So don’t wait any longer! Go grab an 8-ounce glass of water, and sip your way back to hydration! There is absolutely no harm in it, and your body will be able to run smooth and efficient. We are made up of over 75% water, so no wonder we need to sip all day long!
We have all heard the recommended amount of healthy fruits and veggies we are supposed to consume each day, but do we actually amount to those numbers? The recommended amount each day is 5-9 servings. Fruit and Veggies displace fat in the diet, and they will keep you from overeating each day which is a complete bonus! They are delicious and can be eaten in a variety of ways too! More than 200 studies have shown that the phytochemicals found in produce have combated diseases in the body, so be sure and get your servings in daily! They are not hard to find, and they are conveniently packed in a variety of ways to fit your lifestyle. Whether you like them canned, fresh, or frozen there is always an option for you!
Benefits Of Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Both fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber, which will keep your digestive system happy, and it will keep you full for longer periods of time! It is amazing how much better I feel after eating a bowl of steamed zucchini, versus consuming a bag of chips. They both fill you up, but in much different ways!
Low In Calories
Both Fruits and Veggies are low in calories, which means they are filling and you won’t ruin your diet consuming them!
Reduces Your Risk For Disease
It has been said that consuming fruits and veggies will dramatically decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and high blood pressure over time. Consuming these foods on a daily basis won’t automatically rule you out for a disease, but it can most definitely cut down your chances of falling ill.
Loaded With Vitamins and Minerals
Not only do they taste good, but they are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential to better health and more energy in the long run! You will hit your daily allotment for vitamins by simply grabbing an apple and a bowl of veggies!
When it comes down to it, there are absolutely no negatives to eating more fruits and veggies. While it is important not to overdo it on fruit due to its natural sugar, you can’t really overdo it with veggies. They both give you wonderful benefits with all of their natural vitamins and minerals vital to healthy living.
If you have children it can be tricky to get them to eat their vegetables, without putting up a fight. It is easy to sneak them into casseroles, lasagnas, and meatloaf dishes without them even suspecting! Try it out, and they too will reap the benefits without even knowing it!
There is nothing worse. I repeat, nothing worse than being hungry right after you supposedly had your lunch. Does your new diet have you down and feeling hungry right away? Maybe it is time to beef up your lunch salad just a touch and you might reap the benefits hours from then. Some people think they need to eat a salad with just greens, and a few veggies to stay under their caloric number for the day, but what about when hunger pangs strike and you find yourself reaching for unhealthy quick snack which will ruin your attempts at your diet? This is where your lunch portions are key to diet survival, so why not add in a little protein like chicken to the top of your salad with a little bit of dressing? Those options are far better than the candy bowl at the front office, which is a hard one to turn down when you are starving. Even better, add a few slices of avocado to your salad and stay satisfied for longer!
Too Much Work?
Eating a salad at least one a day is a recipe for healthy habits, so why not make the salad fabulous and fresh? You are probably thinking you are going to have to chop and cut every single night to maintain the fresh taste by your lunch break but it really isn’t that complicated. One day a week get all of your containers ready to go, and wash and dry the leafy greens, fruit, and veggies completely before adding them to the container. When you do this, their chance of staying crisp longer goes up. Keep your dressing completely separate until you are ready to eat the salad, so it does not get soggy!
Veggies, leafy greens, and fruits are pretty resilient for about a week so do not let them sit much longer than that for the most optimally fresh taste. You can also add in a cold protein like turkey or chicken that will also keep for 5 days so take advantage of the extra fuel. Check out the recipe below for a satisfying and tasty dressing recipe to add onto your salad once you are ready to eat!
Yields: 1 Cup Of Dressing
- 1 ripe avocado
- ¼ cup of White Wine Vinegar
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ¾ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- In a food processor: combine the avocado, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar. Process until very smooth and creamy.
- Slowly add in your olive oil to the consistency you prefer.
- Enjoy on your salad!
We have all stood there with an empty shopping cart staring down an endless line of fresh produce. One thought pops into our head: “If I buy this fresh, I know I will have to prepare it or cut it up this week so it doesn’t go bad.” There is always that extra pressure when you are grocery shopping and need to think about your week ahead of time, and shop accordingly. Do you have a busy week with very little free time? You might be better off buying frozen veggies instead of fresh, they will stay edible longer and the pressure is off of you. Or is your week the opposite, where you will be home cooking each night? Fresh produce may not be a bad route to go if that is the case. To avoid wasting food and money, preparation is key. I will give you a few tips and tricks below!
While you are at the grocery store, think about your week or days ahead and then shop accordingly. Buying foods for unrealistic circumstances only leads to waste, which does no one any good. Once you have your plan in mind, start thinking about your meals for the week and make a list. If you will be out of town half the week, plan for that too in your budget and shopping sizes.
Make A List
Shopping lists help you stay the course and they are most definitely the best way to stay organized amongst a sea of choices. They also help you stick to a budget if you actively have one each week. So what does this have to do with frozen vegetables? The more veggies you buy frozen, the less you will have to budget for later on. They stay fresh much longer.
Life can get so busy, and this tip may come easier for some than others but hear me out on this one. Take a few hours on your weekend (Sunday perhaps) and cook, chop, and prep the annoyances to get them ready for the week. What are the annoyances? They are the onions, cooking chicken, chopping vegetables if you buy them fresh, and cutting up fruit like strawberries. Those simple tasks can feel absolutely daunting when you just want to eat, and don’t have time to chop, slice, and cut food. It also helps you in the Crock Pot department. It is so satisfying to throw in already chopped up onions into a crock-pot ready to cook.
If you want to save time all together, simply buy frozen and throw the veggies in a pan to cook when you are ready. There is no pressure to eat them if you have a busy week ahead, and you will always have a nutritious option waiting for you in the freezer. There is nothing worse than making a “hungry” decision by reaching for the simplest calorie available to you (chips) and feeling bad afterward. Get prepared with the little things, and they will turn into big wins later on! Ready, set, grocery shop!
Are you a fan of chilly households, and bedrooms? If so, you are in luck because studies have shown that if you keep your home around 61 degrees Fahrenheit your body will boost its fat burning power 15 fold! Did you know that our body’s store brown fat and white fat? The brown fat is meant to burn calories while generating heat, and it has been said that most lean people store more brown fat that white fat. Brown fat helps us burn, and not store calories, which is why it has become the most popular fat out there today. (1). Brown fat derives from muscle tissue, and it is most dominantly found in both animals and newborns which makes a lot of sense! But how do we as adults get more brown fat in our bodies? Exercise can help the white shift to brown, getting enough sleep, and finally lowering the temperature in your home all can help with that shift from pesky white to glorious brown.
Cool Down Your Home
By cooling down your home by a few degrees, your body will naturally have to adjust to generating heat by burning more brown fat. When more brown fat is burned, white fat gets recruited and turned into brown fat for more storage. This is good, and not bad in the long run when looking to lose weight! I am not saying to turn off your heat in the middle of winter, so be careful how low you go for the scare of frozen pipes, and other headaches like that. But do be aware of how high your thermostat is set in your home, as the body is smart and needs to generate heat naturally somehow!
The Telegraph wrote a brilliant article about burning body fat with cooler temperatures and said, “Experts claim that because we spend so much of our time indoors, often in overheated homes and offices, are bodies do not naturally burn calories to keep warm.” (2).
You don’t have to keep your home at 61 degrees Fahrenheit all the time, but a few hours a day is recommended to rev up your metabolic rate every single day without having to even think about it! If you are worried about your heating bill going up and down thus costing you more money each month, lower your Thermostat to something manageable yet still chilled and keep it there until you feel like elevating it once again. There is nothing wrong with a little experiment in your home to make you feel more rejuvenated refreshed each day!
The larger the plate, the more food you will be able to fit onto it. This should not come as any surprise to you or I, as more and more health experts are suggesting we take our dinnerware down a size or two. The more full your plate appears to be, the more satisfied your brain will feel after eating the entire portion size. If you are anything like me, you are probably thinking to yourself “I am not going to throw away all of my dishes for new ones.” You do not have to, because you can switch up the large plates for salad plates, and the salad plates for dinner plates! It is a win-win, and money is not spent in the process. The more greens you get into your diet, the less you will be wanting to fill your stomach with sugar and empty calories anyway!
According to a study done at Cornell University, “Brian Wansink from Cornell University and Koert van Ittersum from the Georgia Institute of Technology, it was discovered that a shift from 12–inch plates to 10–inch plates resulted in a 22% decrease in calories.” (1) If you add those numbers up per week, you will be significantly decreasing your caloric intake, which will naturally result in weight loss overtime!
Tricking Your Brain
I have a tendency to overthink things when it comes to trying not to let my brain get tricked, but sometimes illusions are too powerful to think through. One in particular called the Delboeuf Illusion, which essentially tricks the brain into thinking it is consuming more on a dinner plate that is smaller, versus the same portion size on a larger plate. This illusion proves that downsizing your dinnerware does indeed cause you to eat less without really thinking about it. Thank you, Brain!
Tips For Eating Out
Ever noticed how big the plates are at restaurants? They are so massive, and I usually ask for a side plate to actually eat my meal from. Most of the time in many of these situations, you can split meals with the person you are eating with (granted you like the same things) or just take half of your meal to go. Using that small side plate will not only make you feel like you are eating more, but it won’t have you diving onto your neighbor's plate or into your to-go box.
No matter what setting you are in, be aware of the plate sizes and do not let the Delboeuf Illusion get the best of your brain and your stomach!
That little candy bowl in the kitchen, or those left over sweets from the holidays linger in the pantry and take over every last bit of our self-control. Having sweets in the house (or any treats for that matter) can be dangerous to your diet routine. The harder it is to get your hands on those yummy morsels, the better off your body will feel in the long run. When you have to leave your home to go indulge in those treats, it will really feel like a special occasion. Your consumption of those treats will naturally diminish as it can be a real hassle to grab treats out of the way, all of the time.
When it comes down to it, we really just need to get into the routine of making healthier food choices more often than we make bad food choices. With this simple ratio, it will set you up for success and less treats!
What Are Treats?
I have gotten in the worst nightly routines at times when I always have to have something sweet after dinner. This turns an “occasional treat” into something that is expected. When something is expected each night, it then turns into a demand at the grocery store. See how this can become a slippery slope? Treats are meant to be enjoyed every once and a while, which is why they should not be renting space in your home.
Unhealthy Vs. Healthy
Remind yourself that there are only two types of food really, unhealthy and healthy. You can either choose to consume your diet with wholesome foods or you can eat cheaply made and ultra processed foods (aka- unhealthy foods). There is no gray area here, and that is where the occasional treats fall into play.
Non-Food Related Rewards
Finally, I feel this topic is extremely important and it has to do with rewarding yourself with food. We all have done it, and are guilty of it in some fashion but it is not helping us in the long run! Treats are simple little indulgences that make life so sweet and enjoyable, but they should not govern your behavior. Nor should they govern kids behavior (as this is a trait that follows them to adulthood). Reward yourself with different enticers that make you happy, like a trip to the mall or a new class you have always wanted to try. This puts you in the driver seat to taking back your health and wellness, and still getting a reward too without any guilt!
Skinny Jeans have been increasing in popularity over the years in the fashion world, and there is no sign of it stopping anytime soon. We have all marveled over that pair of pants we soon hope to fit into someday, but don’t put them on due to fear of them not fitting. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be let down, but it might be a good idea to get those jeans and start working toward your goal one pant leg at a time! Why not try them on for size on a Friday? The weekends tend to lead to more slip-ups than during your normal week. The moment you fit into those jeans, you will be so happy and proud of yourself. There are a few rules to take into consideration, and I will talk about them below.
When you are looking to buy clothing for motivation, or you have saved an item from your closet that is so teeny tiny there is no way you will be getting into them, why go through the pain? Be realistic about your current body, and the goals you want to achieve, and go from there. Putting a pair of jeans on that is 8 sizes too small will not be a good motivator. Make sure the jeans can button up, and then set your goals from that point on. When the jeans went from fitting “snug” to a little lose you will know that progress is being made.
Be Ok With Set Backs
Water weight fluctuates all of the time, so do not use a pair of jeans as the end all be all to your weight loss journey. There are some days I feel perfectly normal, and then other days where I feel extremely bloated and “full of water.” This is easily fixable, and it shouldn’t be the sole factor on how your weight loss goals are being hit. Be confident about trying on that tighter pair of skinny jeans, and use it as a motivator to move forward and become a better version of yourself!
Life is too short not to celebrate the little wins. There will be times you will not be proud of yourself (that is life), but there will also be times where you hit your goals and achieve what you set out for. Always celebrate your little wins throughout the journey, and it will make you appreciate and love yourself more. By purchasing that pair of skinny jeans, you will not only be proud of yourself when they fit just right but it will also give you the confidence to set and achieve other goals in your life!
No matter what clothing item you are striving to fit into, make it a personal goal to always give yourself grace, but be firm when setting your goals. Friday’s are great days to try on those garments, as it will keep you accountable over the weekend! Enjoy the journey, and don’t forget to love yourself in the process!
Hunger is your body’s way of telling your brain that you need fuel to continue to function at your highest level. It is usually a gradual process that gets more intense over time; so do not be fooled by cravings that come on suddenly as they may not even be hunger related. When you succumb to cravings, you will not really ever be quite satisfied once you devour the craving. Your stomach is around the size of your fist, and it does not take a lot to become full and completely satisfied from the hunger pangs. Analyze your hunger and decide if it is really something that is fuel driven or mind driven to save you from overeating later on.
When you are done eating after truly being hungry you will feel more energized and awake. You should never feel bloated, tired, or uncomfortable after eating and if this happens it may be due to cravings versus hunger.
Questions To Ask:
If you are not sure if the feeling of wanting food is hunger or craving related ask yourself these simple questions.
Is your stomach growling?
What do you want to eat?
Was it a gradual hunger or an instant hunger? Cravings are usually instant.
Am I really hungry? Do I feel queasy and light headed due to lack of calories?
Head hunger is much different than stomach hunger, so by asking those simple questions you will be able to dwindle your cravings down to reality. Who would have thought that deciding if you are hungry or not could be such an adventure?
Know Your Triggers
We have all been conditioned to think about eating while going to a movie theatre for example. The smell of the buttery popcorn is sometimes just irresistible, even if you are not hungry at all! It is comforting knowing you can go to a movie and enjoy a nice buttery snack. Seeing other people eating is also a trigger, even if you yourself are not hungry at all! Understanding the triggers will also help you to accurately gauge whether or not your idea of food is coming from a craving or a real hunger pang waiting to be satisfied with your next meal.
Wait It Out
At the end of the day if you are having a hard time deciphering your cravings from real hunger, wait about ten minutes and re-analyze. If it is a true craving, you won’t be thinking about food once you are distracted. If you are really getting hungry it will only intensify to the point where you cannot think without refueling your body. This is probably one of the most effective things you can do when you think a craving is on its way!
At the end of the day you want to feel healthy, strong, and in control of your diet that is why it is important to sit back and analyze the situation before diving into your next meal. They always say that true hunger makes food taste even better, so enjoy!
We have all been there, an entire day goes by and we have been good about eating healthy foods until night hits. Dinner is over, the kitchen is cleaned up and there is a small voice inside of your head telling you to go to the freezer and grab that pint of Ben & Jerry’s, or that candy in the pantry is calling your name louder than ever before. We usually succumb to the pressure of these cravings, due to the fact that we were “good all day” but this does not make us feel any better after the fact. If anything, it makes us feel like we have blown the whole day after dinner. Nighttime snacking is a pain for everyone, but be prepared for those cravings to pop up. If you have a snack that is ready to go after dinner before those cravings hit you will naturally grab that snack when you need a little pick me up before bedtime. No one likes to go to bed hungry.
Identify The Cause
I used to eat dinner too early, which caused major hunger later in the evening. If you are eating at 5:00pm, try eating at 6:30 or 7:00pm. This will give your body enough time to digest before going to bed, and it will keep away some of the nasty cravings late into the evening. Be sure to eat protein at every meal if you can, because this fills you up and sustains you much longer than any other food group out there.
The sooner you get to bed, the less time you will be awake thinking about your late night snack. The less sleep you get, the more it will mess with your hormones and brain communication with your stomach. There is a hormone called leptin that can be affected, which in turn doesn’t signal to your brain that you are hungry which then causes you to overeat. People who are sleep deprived will naturally be hungrier, so watch out for this!
Finally, make sure to turn off the TV if you are going to pick up a snack. Eating mindlessly in front of the television has been linked to overeating. If you are feeling hungry, try and grab a low calorie snack and call it good without watching an entire movie in the process.
Many times people eat out of boredom, which means they were not truly hungry in the first place. Analyze your situation and get a light snack if you feel your stomach rumbling. Once you get that snack, shut down the kitchen for the night and wind down for bed. The more sleep you get the better your hormones will function when it comes to weight loss. It also will have you going to bed satisfied and full from the snack you just ate. By snacking smart you will eliminate the bad foods from your diet, and you will feel better the next day because of those choices.
Enjoying your favorite foods every now and again will not derail you from your diet program. When you ban your favorite foods all together it may lead to an unhealthy rebound later on down the road, which will consequently do more harm than good. Know which foods will take you down that slippery slope of eating unhealthy, and stray away from them. Instead of buying an entire box of donuts, why not just buy one? The less you have around, the more it will feel like a treat. You will also not feel deprived in the process, so it is a positive all around.
The healthier snack choices you experiment with, the more your body will grow accustom to them. After eating good snacks throughout the week, and you decide to buy those cookies you love, you may come to find out they don’t make you feel great after consuming them. Or, you may really find joy that comes from them and don’t feel guilty for only having one. Keeping your favorite foods on limits with boundaries is the best way to go!
By eating a well-balanced diet, you will be more aware of how many unhealthy foods you are consuming. Good food makes us feel better in the long run, and bad food makes us feel like we are bloated and sick. You can still indulge in those tasty treats with a little balance, and be perfectly fine down the road. The occasional treat is much better than the everyday treat!
Eating protein (any form) is a great way to keep balance in a healthy and nutritious lifestyle, and you will be less likely to indulge in those sweet or salty treats more than needed. Try incorporating some form of protein in each small meal, or at least 3 out of 5 meals per day, and you will notice those cravings for your favorite foods will significantly decrease.
Being a slim shopper with your favorite foods will have you on your way to taking back control over your cravings and indulgences. Be careful about telling yourself no to fast, as it may lead to a rebound later on that is stronger. Have fun with food, and allow yourself to indulge every now and then to your favorite treat!
Weight loss can be a confusing and frustrating journey for some people, and then for others it can come easy. No matter what your situation is, many studies have shown that if you eat fewer calories than you burn then you will naturally lose weight, but be careful not to starve yourself in the process. When you are constantly hungry, it causes your metabolism to slow down as well as tempt your body to binge eat. Overly hungry people tend to make the wrong nutrition decisions, as well as overeat unintentionally. If you are able to eat smaller meals throughout the day, you will then be able to stabilize your insulin levels as well as your blood sugar throughout the daytime.
Being able to control your appetite and weight enables you to feel confident and in control of your weight loss journey, so take some time to research what is right for your body. Eating smaller meals throughout the day isn’t proven to help you lose all of the weight in the world, but it definitely helps you to control your cravings, which in turn could lead to bad nutritional habits. Hunger can take you to a moment of weakness no matter where you are in your diet journey, so keeping a conscious hold on things will aid in weight loss.
Tips To Eating More Meals Throughout The Day
If you skip meals now, you will overeat later on. It is just a common occurrence with our bodies, and there are many studies out there about how important breakfast is for your body, to lessen the desire to overeat later on. Start your day off with a meal, so you have fuel to get you through the morning. This usually calls for some extra time and planning, so think about your morning meal in advance.
Always have a healthy snack on hand and within arm’s reach if you work at an office. Being able to grab a bite to eat while you are working with keep your brain functioning properly, as well as stabilize your blood sugar throughout the day. Those candies in the office bowl won’t look so appetizing after all.
Eating smaller meals and grazing on healthy little meals all day long will make you feel so much better about your food choices. They are not intended to be many small unhealthy meals throughout the day, just to be clear. Be ready to eat healthy small meals that will fill you up every couple of hours or so.
Overall, keeping your blood sugar levels stable, and your stomach filled up with nutritious food throughout the day will only do you good. No more diving into the nearest fast food joint because you can’t stand the hunger pangs. No more lunging at the goodies on the counter at work just to alleviate the growl in your stomach. Get prepped and feel better now!
It has been said that food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying, which is why spices or chilies can work in your favor. Most spices are allowed on many healthy eating plans, and they will not put you overboard on your calorie consumption. However, do be mindful that you will want to go easy on the salted spices, as too much sodium is not good for the body. There is information circulating about the different spices that can aid in weight loss, and they are more common than you may think! They can battle illnesses both severe and mild, as well as lessen your chances of heart disease. In countries like India where spices are prevalent in most dishes, there are less cases of heart disease and diet related illnesses, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. See the list below of the healthiest spices that aid in wellness and weight loss, and add them to your grocery list today!
Many health practitioners recommend that patients with sore throats are told to sip on sage tea for an overall soothing sensation. It is best coupled with thyme, squash, parsley, and rosemary. Sage has also been said to help improve your memory, so if you have an exam to take try some sage beforehand!
We have all been introduced to Turmeric at some point in our lives, but did you know that Turmeric is best known for its ability to take away inflammation, relieve respiratory problems, as well as arthritis pain? This powerful spice is loaded with some impressive antioxidants that also can fight infections and tumors in the body. It also tastes great when coupled with garlic, citrus, and curry dishes!
Ginger is best known to help the body fight off the common cold, as well as help when you have stomach troubles. It is also known to help with inflammation that can occur in the body, which is another positive. Ginger is a well-known spice that can go nicely with citrus, Asian cuisine, garlic, and chili peppers.
Rosemary has been said to help with mental clarity, and focus as well as fighting foodborne bacterial infections. It is often used in meat marinades and flatbread spreads. It has been said to help meat from spoiling, as well as keep bacteria out of the meat that can cause major foodborne illness. If you rub a little rosemary oil on your temples, it may even help you retain more information if you are taking a test!
Yum. Who doesn’t love cinnamon? It has some of the most vibrant flavor that can be coupled with sweet or savory for a delicious dish. It is best known to help stabilize blood sugar, by significantly lowering your post meal spikes. It is best when eaten with fruits, chocolate, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
Finally, our last spice that can do wonders for your waistline! The famous Chile pepper is best known to boost your metabolism and in turn boost fat burning. A compound known as capsaicin found in most Chile peppers has been said to boost metabolism. They taste great in salsas, on tacos, with a clean dip, and with any beef recipe!
Many different studies have shown if you want to be stronger, slimmer, and healthier you must eat protein at each meal. I am not talking about a large steak at each sitting, but try and incorporate some form of protein at each meal. Protein works to build and repair muscle as well as rev up your fat burning metabolism setting. For each person, the total amount of protein is going to vary, but it is usually in the 40-gram mark. To calculate your protein allotment solely based on your bodies stats, click on this protein calculator. For most people, we start our days off with carbohydrates, coffees, and sugars without thinking twice. Many times this will backfire on us, causing early hunger throughout the day as well as overeating to occur. Don’t confuse eat more protein, with eat more meat. On the contrary there are many different forms of protein that will do a body good without the need to grill or pan sear.
We are all aware than beans, meats, and seafood items carry a lot of protein, but what about the other avenues that are more “on the go” friendly?
Easy Protein Options For A Life On The Go
Greek Yogurt: You can go non-fat here and feel a little better about the caloric intake, but whatever you choose this wholesome source of dairy is also packed with protein for a longer lasting snack. This awesome snack also has gut friendly probiotics to keep you healthy.
Eggs: This is an easy breakfast item for someone who wants a quick serving of protein. You can cook eggs in a variety of ways, so it does not get boring overtime. These mighty protein sources are loaded with healthy fats and proteins for a boost to your morning meal.
Milk: 2% milk to be exact has around 8 grams of protein per cup, so drink up! No need to waste your money on skim milk that is practically water with hardly any health benefits. Enjoy the full taste of a glass of milk loaded with fats and proteins for a more efficiently running day.
Mixed Nuts: Really many nuts of all kinds carry protein. Cashews, Almonds, Peanuts, walnuts, and Pecans all carry a large serving of protein with healthy fats too. If you are cautious about your sodium levels be sure to get the unsalted nuts when you are shopping next time.
Peanut Butter/Almond Butter: These spreads are easy to take on the go with you to work, or to any activity that has you out of the house. They carry healthy fats and proteins for a more satisfying snack, but just be sure to buy quality. Many times especially with peanut butter, there are a lot of hidden sugars if you go the cheap route.
Edamame: These delicious little protein packed beans are not for everyone as they do contain soy. If you are at all sensitive or cautious about your consumption it is best for you to avoid this protein filled snack. They are tasty with a bit of Himalayan sea salt. They are easy to take on the go, so weigh out your options for snacks next time you pass these in your local grocery store.
This is just a small list to get you going, amongst many other protein filled snack ideas. The idea that you have to eat protein with every meal should not feel daunting or impossible instead it should feel refreshing. There are many different options to choose from, so get out there and get your protein on!
As soon as the weather changes, the types of fruits and veggies that are in season change too. There is nothing better than biting into a juicy nectarine when it is in season, then on the same spectrum there is nothing worse than biting into a peach that has absolutely no flavor due to it being out of season. Indulging in produce that is fresh and in season will make your meals taste so much better overall, so check out the list of fruits and veggies that are in season today! To see a complete list of what is in season by time of year, click here.
In season produce just tastes better overall, and they are also much more nutritious for you. The risk of contracting overseas contamination also significantly decreases when you are eating in season too! There are so many pure benefits that will do a body and mind good in the long run, as well as meals tasting better than ever on the plate!
Benefits To Fresh Produce
When a piece of fruit is nourished on the vine, you better believe the amount of flavor that is awaiting you is off the charts. Remember, chilling any fruit that is in season will dramatically reduce the flavor! The antioxidants, vitamin C, carotene, and fiber will be so much more rich when you take a bite of a fresh piece of fruit/veggie versus one that has been sitting in a warehouse or greenhouse for too long.
Another perk to eating fruits and veggies in season, is the cost! When a farmer has harvested a large amount of produce to sell, naturally the cost will lower. When it has been harvested near your home, additional costs for transportation, production, and storage costs just won’t be present. Eating local not only supports your farmers, but it is also so much cheaper in the long run. To see a list of places to buy local, and support your cities own farmers go here.
Finally, when you eat veggies and fruits in season you are cutting down on the eco footprint by excluding the demand for transportation and storage. While these costs will still be happening, the less you purchase out of season, the less you will be contributing to the cause. In turn you will be supporting local farmers, less hot houses, less refrigeration costs, and fresher food on the table for you and your family!
I’m sorry if this comes across as rather silly, but ordering off of the kids menu every once and awhile, or simply eating children’s portions may be good for you. The dreaded “For 12-years and under” label above any kids menu is something that should be changed immediately. Many times, the adult portion sizes are just way too big at restaurants, and they are more expensive too. Kids plates have much simpler ingredients as well as healthier add ons. Many times people wonder if it is even ethical to eat off of the kid’s menu, and I am here to say that it is okay for the customer to choose what their portion size, and meal cost should be! It is your money, time, and body so don’t let the evil eye of the waitress with only her tip in mind deter you from ordering what is best for you.
With that being said, there are rules regarding being kind about it and simply asking before you order. Many waiters/waitresses will be willing to let you order off of the kid’s menu if you explain you are trying to eat smaller portions. The takeaway box is always an option too, but many dieters see eating out as a “treat” and they don’t want to take their diner food home with them for an additional treat. Sometimes, just eating a smaller portion and leaving with no take out boxes can be good for your health too.
Keep an Open Mind
On a similar front, many times people who are ordering off of the kids menu may come across as “cheap” so I wouldn’t get into a habit of ordering from that menu all of the time. Always approach the situation with an open mind, and realize there are people who will find offense to this, and there are others who will not. It all boils down to doing what is right for you and your body, which may be to order smaller portion sizes every once and a while. Be mindful that the waiter/waitress might tack on a few dollars to make it seem more reasonable that a grown adult is ordering off of the kids menu, and so be it.
All About Portion Control
Kids portions are small and they should be less expensive when it comes down to it. Whether you are dining in or dining out keep in mind that you can still enjoy some of your favorite foods, but you do not need to eat adult portions in the process. There is a time and a place to order a full priced, full sized meal and it may not be every single time you dine out. Do what is best for your body and your budget, and be generous with your tips because being a waiter is no easy task! Finally, try eating on smaller plates as it can trick your mind into thinking you are eating more when you are really eating less! There are so many tips and tricks to utilize when looking into portion control, so get creative in the process.
Swap Pasta For Veggies
Everywhere we look, it seems that carbohydrates are the enemy especially the processed ones. I am talking about the famous breads and pastas that taste oh so good to us no matter what the occasion. By simply switching processed carbohydrates for pasta, you are going to be saving at least 200 calories per meal and you will be getting more nutrients too! By saving 200 calories potentially at every meal (if you eat a processed carb at every meal) you will be saving an upwards of 600 calories per day! You will most definitely see gains in your weight loss if you make this simple change. This may come as no surprise to many of you, but veggies offer so much more nutrients for your body than pastas and breads (they are filling too!).
There are many ideas such as spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, and zucchini noodles that take the place of carb heavy food favorites! See below for some delicious recipes for all three!
This food is taking over when it comes to fun and creativity. All you need is a spiralizer, or a simple spiral peeler and you are set to go. You can find these kitchen items at most large kitchen stores, or you can find them at specialty stores like Sur La Table, Williams and Sonoma, or Bed Bath and Beyond. The recipe below is from a website called skinnytaste.com and it is amazing!
Raw Zoodles With Pesto and Tomatoes
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 1/4 cups • Points +: 4 pts •Smart Points: 4
Calories: 148 • Fat: 12 g • Carb: 9 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 4 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 102 mg (without salt) • Cholesterol: 4 mg
For the Pesto:
- 1 cup packed fresh basil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- kosher salt & pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
For the zoodles:
- 21 oz. (3 medium or 4 small) zucchinis
- 1 cup heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing. Set aside.
This is a simple and easy way to create a “rice like” dish, without the extra starch and calories.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice
Simply cut your cauliflower into small florets, and then add to a food processor and pulse. You will pulse until the veggie resembles rice, it is then ready to be tossed in a pan and cooked with other veggies and sauces of your choice. Stir-fry is the best meal, especially with this exciting new way to make rice!
This simple swap can make a world of difference when it comes to your dinner idea of spaghetti and meatballs! Not only is it much healthier for you, it might even be easier preparation too!
How To Make Spaghetti Squash
Slice the squash in half, and brush both sides equally with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the squash and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the squash side down on a baking sheet and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until the strands can easily be pulled apart with a fork. Once you take the squash from the oven, let it cool down before taking out the strands. You can then pair it with your favorite meat sauce and more veggies for a killer meal!
These simple substitutions may feel weird at first to try out, but once you get the hang of it, you will be so excited that your meals are healthier and full of more nutrients. There are an abundance of ways you can make these substitutions online, so get out there and research some fun and healthy recipes to make for family and friends!
How many times have you found yourself at the last bite of a package of double stuffed Oreos, due to stress that had you feeling less than your best? You may have enjoyed each sweet and crunchy bite, but by the time you are on your last cookie a feeling of guilt and remorse may wash over you. Did consuming thousands of extra empty calories really make you day that much better? There are many different times of the year that bring on emotional eating, and the holidays are one of those times. These binges are not only during the holidays either, as many women and men binge on random days based on their life circumstances and stress levels. While it may seem to level your stress in the moment, it leads to harm and more stress later on down the road.
Emotional eating comes as a normal thing for many people, and it is a reaction that we sometimes don’t even think about. Just look on TV, emotional eating is prevalent in any show you watch if there is stress, a woman, and drama surrounding a situation. The sitcoms never fail to show you the sobbing woman and a pint of ice cream after a breakup. Our hormones can get in the way of making logical decisions about food when under pressure and stress, so next time you are faced with a stressful situation try and think about alternatives before you default to eating unnecessarily.
When you feel the temps rising, and the stress making its way to you, do not go straight to the snack drawer. Instead, give yourself a small massage by rubbing the back of your neck or temples. Continue for a couple of minutes, and you should immediately notice a change in your stress levels. Even better, take a tennis ball and stand on it to work your tired feet out or simply stand up against a wall with it and work the knots in your shoulders out.
By taking a short walk, you will release more stress than you ever thought possible. When stressed out, it may feel like the last thing you actually want to do but it will serve a purpose later on. Are you stressed with the amount of work you have to do on a daily basis and feel like there is no time to walk? By carving out 10 short minutes of your day, you will notice how focused and effective your brain works after that short walk.
There is nothing more soothing for me than to write it out. When I am feeling stressed or upset, I write down why I am feeling that way. It really does help with stress levels, and you can easily discard the paper when you are done venting (or you can save it). Journaling also can happen when you have been on a good track, and you can reiterate your feelings of pride to have it to look at later on when you are not feeling your best.
Find Your Zen
Whatever the coping mechanism you feel is best for you, identify it and apply it when your next stressful situation crops up. Deep breathing and meditation is also a good on the go resource you can use to help lower your stress levels. With the various alternatives available, emotional eating should not feel like your only option, so be creative and feel the results! There are a variety of ways to feel better without blowing your entire caloric intake for the day, so research and apply!
Exercise can be difficult for people all around the world, and it has a lot to do with the way it is approached daily. Exercise is something that you can control in your mind each and everyday. When you tell yourself to exercise because you love your body not because you hate your body, the mindset will shift significantly. When there is constantly a negative stigma around exercising, mentally it will be hard to want to go out and get your workout in. There are so many great benefits of sweating once a day, and they are only positive for your body and mind. Getting your health and wellness back on track starts with making the commitment to sweat and get moving. That initial decision will be the hardest part of the workout, and your body will feel better when it is completed!
Many times exercise is used to punish yourself for eating something you shouldn’t have, or the right to eat more. This thought process will set up a negative relationship with exercise that will only do more harm than good. Instead, exercise because you want to feel good and stay healthy!
Benefits Of Exercise
It is true, exercise controls weight because you are burning calories that could have just stayed in your system. While, we know that this is true it shouldn’t be used as a bribe for food or lack thereof. If you do not have time to get a workout in each day, focus on small chunks of time to stay moving and use bodyweight exercises to get the blood pumping. Take the stairs at work, or even do some laps around the office when you feel too sedentary. These small actions will build up overtime, and get your body feeling more energized.
It has been said that exercise combats disease and health issues down the road. Whether it be heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome there are many life threatening illnesses and diseases than can be prevented with exercise. On top of enhancing your long-term health, you are also doing yourself a favor in the mood department. I don’t know about you, but there have been times where I just want to get out and blow off some steam with a workout. Guess what? It works! When you exercise you are stimulating many different brain chemicals that leave you feeling more relaxed and happy.
Finally you may feel like you don’t even have enough energy to get out and exercise, but the toughest part is just dragging yourself to the gym. Once you get moving, and get a sweat going that energy will naturally come, and it will leave you feeling more rejuvenated even after you leave. Your muscular endurance and your lung capacity will get stronger as the days go on, and you will no longer be feeling winded at the grocery store. Daily movement will help you build a healthy base to move forward with for days, months, and years to come.
To Wrap Up
While it may feel like you have a mountain to climb when it comes to exercising, you do not have to conquer everything in one day. Take it one day at a time, and make the commitment to just show up to your workout daily. If you get yourself into a rhythm and routine you will be feeling more energized and healthy in no time. Your body will instantly feel better, and you will no longer look at exercising as a punishment for overeating or a right of passage to eat more calories. Start one step at a time, and get a friend to join you for extra support!
Tis the season for warm and hearty soups that are just as filling as they are comforting. I love this time of year just due to the yummy food options and holiday cheer that is spread around with music and smells of Christmas trees and holly. Many people think soups are fattening and heavy (when made with cream based products) but they do not have to be! There is nothing more savory than a tasty broth with veggies and some beans, or a simple minestrone soup to warm your belly. While there are some soups that are heavy on the calories, there are also a lot of options to make sure you keep your soup slimming even in the coldest of months!
Why not lose weight this holiday season with soups that will absolutely kill hunger, but keep you satisfied at the same time? A simple chicken and wild rice, or even hummus soup could do the trick! One tip, when you are going to eat soup always refrigerate it first, as some of the fat will rise to the top. You can then skim the fat off of the top and make your soup even skinnier than it already is! Try it out! Need something crunchy to top your soup off? Popcorn is low in calories and it is super tasty with any soup, so give this crunchy snack a go when you eat soup next.
Healthy Soup Options
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into (1-inch) cubes
- 3/4 cup long grain wild rice or wild rice blend
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Add broth, chicken, rice, garlic and bay leaf, cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until rice and chicken are cooked through and tender, about 45 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf then stir in parsley, salt and pepper and serve.
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
- 2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles
- 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.
It’s no secret that eating out, and sticking to your diet has become more of a challenge to people worldwide. Restaurants pack so many extra calories from sodium, fat, and carbs into one dish, it’s amazing they can even get away with it. On top of the dishes being particularly not good for you (depending on where you go and what you eat) they make matters worse by giving you enormous servings. Many of these dishes you are ordering for lunch or dinner can be the equivalent to an entire days worth of calories! Yikes! Our world has gotten ahold of the mantra “bigger is better” and run away with it. Cars are now being made with larger cup holders to accommodate larger cup sizes; cookware has upped its sizes for muffins, plates, and bowls. Sadly, it does not stop there.
Next time you are out to dinner at a restaurant that is notorious for giving you large portion sizes, just ask your server to box up half of your meal before it even comes to your table. You just cut away half of the calories in that meal by simply requesting this modest task. Famous chain restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory, Bucca Di Peppo, Golden Corral, Chili’s, TGIFridays, and Claim Jumper have gotten bad raps for the sizes of their portions. While some people love it, we all know it is not doing our country any good in the waistline.
How To Practice Portion Control
- When dining out, ask for a box and either have your waiter box up half of your meal before you see it or do it yourself when the meal arrives.
- Eat on smaller plates that way you are not tempted to overstuff you large plate full of food.
- Take your time when you eat food, and enjoy the flavors of the meal. Too many times we are so rushed to get seconds we hardly even tasted the food the first time. This not only is bad for your digestive system, but it causes you to overeat.
- Trying to save money by purchasing extra large food items, or bulk? Instead of keeping that supersize bags of chips in its original package, why not divide it up into small Baggies to ensure you don’t over indulge?
- Drink a glass of water before eating your meal. You will be a little more full than just diving right into your meal.
- Monitor the distractions. It is easy to get into a TV show, conversation, or simply try to multitask and forget that you have just eaten half of the carton of ice cream. If you ever find yourself distracted, walk away from the snack or meal and resume when you can give it your full attention.
No matter what your dining situation may be, always be mindful of your portions for each meal. Overdoing it can cause more harm than good long term, so be aware! Take advantage of the tips and tricks above to help you master the art of portion control. Your body and your mind will thank you!
Fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains are the backbone to good nutrition, but diving into consuming too many of those foods quickly may be hard on your digestive system. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to eat more healthy (we promote it all of the time) but there are keys to eating healthy without sending your system into confusion. The key to incorporating healthier foods choices into your everyday diet is to simply add small amounts of fruits/veggies to the food groups you already enjoy. Love your morning yogurt? Instead of sprinkles (yeah, I’m talking to you!) try fresh strawberries instead. Or how about adding a few green beans to your dinner to make it a more “green” experience? These are just simple ideas to get you to slowly incorporate these nutritious staples into your everyday life.
It is best not to adopt a new diet of entirely fruits, veggies, and grains right away however. Sadly, the most nutrient dense foods are also product the most gas and bloating due to their compound makeup. Certain foods that contain complex carbohydrates like certain cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts) are high in fiber, which in turn causes gas and bloating. While this can be embarrassing and annoying to some it also is doing good things for your body long term so do not fret! If you are trying to eat a high fiber diet, or are switching to a vegetarian style way of life you will most definitely feel it in your stomach.
You don’t have to suffer however, if you are trying to eat a healthier diet and don’t want to deal with the repercussions. Here are a few tips you can adopt that will keep your digestive system happy and your health on its way to greatness.
- Do not eat sugar free products as you try and get into healthier eating habits. Most of these products (if not all) contain sugar alcohols, which are poorly absorbed and digested in the body creating gas and bloating.
- Gradually ease yourself into a high fiber diet over the course of a few months (yes that long!)
- Drink as much water as you can throughout the day, and you will feel refreshed and able to digest foods better. Don’t overdo it though, as this can also pose some problems.
- The foods that give you gas and bloating, try snacking on them in smaller amounts versus eating too much of them in one sitting. These small snack amounts will get your body ready for larger amounts at a later time.
- Explore new foods with moderation!
You are on the right track, so explore these new foods with ease and appreciation! There is not a better feeling in the world than treating your body with respect by the way you eat. Enjoy those veggies, fruits, and grains but be mindful of what they can do to your digestive system if you eat too much in excess!
If you are worried about gaining weight, there are many different habits you can get yourself into when it comes to watching what you eat. Often times we become distracted with the screen in front of us, or the conversation we are indulging in that we forget how much we are actually eating. Multi tasking while eating can come with some serious repercussions to your waistline such as overeating the wrong foods. There is nothing wrong with eating your sweet treat every now and then, but overdoing it while distracted can cause a set back. There is a lot to be said for enjoying your food, and being conscious about every bite you take with thanks. Eating while distracted whether it be watching television or eating at your desk while at work does nothing but harm in the long run.
Crumbs are more than likely lodged in between your keys at your computer due to the amount of days spent eating there. (We are all guilty of this). You may feel like you are getting work done, and eating your lunch at the same time but is not the healthiest way to go about your lunch hour. There is a difference between being efficient with your time and multi tasking when it comes to eating, so don't feel pressured to save time in this regard.
Try To Enjoy
Savor each bite, and really taste the flavors of your food. That is a new concept for many people due to the fast paced lifestyle that we are all living in today. The more conscious you are about your food intake, the less likely you are to overeat. You will also enjoy the flavors so much more than you did before, and that is half of the joy when it comes to food. It is true that hunger is not the only initiating factor when it comes to when and how much we eat, so creating a good environment for that consumption is key.
- Set a timer in your kitchen and sit down to eat a full meal with no distractions (such as screen time, or phone calls etc.). By sitting down and really focusing on the task at hand (eating) you will not mindlessly indulge.
- Before eating at all, ask yourself if you are really hungry and if you should eat at that present moment. If the answer is “yes, I am hungry” then sit down and mindfully eat the food in front of you. If the answer is “not really” then don’t eat until you really are going to enjoy that snack or meal.
- Try eating with your opposite hand! This may sound crazy, but it will slow you down and make you more aware of the food you are putting in your mouth!
- Have a food journal. This is a simple task that requires a little organization, and it will come in handy when you look back at the food you have had in the last week. It will force you to recall the meals or snacks you ate.
- Chew your food well, and take small bites. You are not in a race; so do not feel the pressure to shovel food into your mouth as fast as you can! Enjoy, and you digestive track will thank you!
Eating should require time, space, and preparation so give that to yourself next time you eat! Prepare, and enjoy the flavors of your food!
Many of us have relatives who were apart of the Great Depression era, and the thought of food waste to them is obscene. They will eat every last lick on their plate, almost every time they eat due to their habits from growing up in a time when food was not always available. Now days, you are seeing more and more food waste because (as we all know) food is readily available to us whenever we want it. The notion of wasting less and wanting less is long gone, and we are now in a world where many people waste food because they have simply taken too much, or they are overly full.
While leaving food on your plate may seem “wasteful” it truly does not have to be, due to the fact that you can ask for a to-go box and have another meal waiting for you later on. The idea behind this piece of advice is to simply box up half (or more) of your meal especially if it is higher in calories, and see if you are satisfied with the amount you ate. The goal here is to not overstuff yourself and feel ill when you are leaving, but rather get a few bites of something delicious and call it good.
In many homes, the thought of leftovers is seen as “boring” or undesirable. Many people want to eat a fresh meal every time they sit down to eat, but in this day and age with the faster style of life that is not always possible. Leftovers save money, and they force you to not eat out and spend money. The main idea to take with you is to eat until you feel somewhat full. Never overdo it! Your stomach knows when it is time to stop (for the most part) so pay close attention as you are dining.
If you are worried about table manners while you are dining out, know that there are graceful ways to leave food on your plate without making yourself seem childish or rude. In some cultures it is seen as rude to clean your plate, as it makes the host seem like you were not given enough food. In American society, cleaning your plate is seen as a great thing because you are communicating that you enjoyed the meal. However, in both cases it is not seen as rude to eat a portion of the meal and then ask for a to go box. You are implying that you liked the meal and that you will enjoy it more at a later time.
This small practice will be a good test for you when trying to eat reduced portions and healthier foods daily. Not only will you be eating fewer calories, but you will also have a meal for the next time you want to sit down and eat. In no way is this seen as rude, so go ahead and be discreet about it and give it a shot!
Skim milk for whole, white bread for wheat, and Zumba for Happy Hour- just one small swap a day can pave the way to a healthier and happier life. There is no lack of food choices in the world today, and the funky combinations are just about enough to make you go bonkers with “Idea Overflow.” With all of the unhealthy food options, there are just as many healthy alternatives to choose from. The healthy alternatives also taste just as good if not better; so do not shy away from making those swaps at least once a day! I wanted to give you a few simple food swap ideas that you can easily apply to your everyday life.
First and foremost this is simply a guide to help you choose what food swaps may apply to your life, it is not a concrete list to follow daily! See what works best for your lifestyle, and have fun with it!
Swap Soda Pop For Sparkling Water
The fizz is still there, but you lose all of the empty calories and an indescribable amount of processed sugar.
Use Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Instead of those fatty, sugar filled salad dressings you find at the store; why not top your salad with a just as tasty option minus all of the fat and sugar?
Swap Whole Milk for Skim
This small change will give you a fraction of the calories, but will give you the calcium and milk consumption you will need for the day.
Think Wheat Not White
Bread is bread, many will say. But why not swap out the highly processed white bread for hearty grained wheat bread? This also applies toward pasta choices.
Use Greek Yogurt Instead Of Sour Cream
We all love our sour cream (who doesn’t!?) but this simple swap will taste just as good, and have a fraction of the fat and calories.
Eat Real Fruit Instead Of Drinking Juice
Eating fruit still contains sugar, but it is not overly processed sugar. By swapping out juice you are also adding in natural fiber from the fruit's skin and pulp!
Swap Chips For Air Popped Popcorn
Are you craving something salty and savory? Why not air pop some kernels, and throw a hint of salt/cinnamon for some flavor. This swap is saving you a lot of calories, and sodium.
Use Avocados For Butter
You can spread a little avocado on your toast instead of butter, and get a lot of healthy fats instantly. This will keep you feeling more full for longer, which may result in turning down the unhealthy snack later on.
Try Spaghetti Squash Instead Of Spaghetti
The consistency is a little different, but you are getting the same “spaghetti look” with a lot less calories!
Choose Cinnamon Instead of Sugar
Sprinkle a little cinnamon instead of sugar on oatmeal, coffee, or toast for additional flavor!
Cook At Home Instead Of Eating Out
I will leave you with this tip, as many times restaurants overdo it with sauces, creams, and extra calories. Why not just cook up some healthy clean meals at home and feel better overall?
There are an abundance of ideas and swaps that can easily cut down calories out of your daily count, leaving room for other foods you might enjoy. Whatever food swap item that excited you the most, go out and apply it at least once a day and feel the results. Your body will thank you for those small tokens of health and they will eventually build on each other. Once they are built up, they turn into habits which in turn creates an overall consistent healthy lifestyle.
Running on a treadmill can seem like a daunting task for some, then again for others it might be their outlet of stress relief. Whatever avenue you are approaching the treadmill from, it is always important to have good understanding of the workout you will be completing, as well as proper technique when running on the machine. There are a variety of reasons why you could find yourself on a treadmill, whether it be travel, weather interruptions or a change of pace, gear your mind up for a great workout! For the most part, treadmills are very safe, because there is no uneven terrain or barking dogs about to break through a fence. See the list of running techniques on a treadmill that will have you on your way to an enjoyable and safe treadmill workout!
Running inside is very different than running outdoors in the elements, meaning you do not want to overdress. If you are too hot during your treadmill workout, it will not be very enjoyable for you. I would not advise to wear any long sleeve shirts, or pants that are too insulated. You will more than likely be sweating, so wear sweat wicking fabrics and breathable material.
Bring a small water bottle that will be easily accessible from the treadmill, so you can stay hydrated throughout your entire workout. It is not good to get on and off a treadmill to grab water, because it can cause dizziness and increase your risk of falling. Always try and be as safe as possible when using a machine indoors like a treadmill especially if you are near mirrors.
Know Your Speed
It is not safe to get on a treadmill and crank it up to the fastest speed right away, for many reasons! Get yourself warmed up at a walking pace, and gradually increase as your body allows. The general rule of thumb is to walk for a few minutes, and then increase slowly to a job for a few more minutes. Once you are around 6-7 minutes you should be feeling warmed up and ready to start your workout at a quicker pace.
Climb A Hill
On many treadmills today, there is a setting that can raise the machine up to make you feel like you are climbing a hill. Don’t shy away from this setting, because it can do a lot of good in a short amount of time for fat loss and increased heart rate! Once you are all warmed up, check your pace and your time every half-mile. When you feel it is time, move the treadmill from flat to elevated and reap the benefits!
At the end of the day, everyone knows their personal capabilities and should not undershoot potential, or potentially overdo it causing physical harm. Listen to your body and practice good form. If you find yourself having to grab the rails on the side of the treadmill, you may be going a little too fast. Slow it down a touch, and get back to your workout at a consistent and safe pace!
Most of us out there are all too familiar with the daily grind of not being organized enough to bring lunch for yourself to work each day. From the busy day you had, to the night you want to spend relaxing, packing a lunch might not be on the top of your to-do list. Where the preparation really starts, is when you get your groceries for the week not the night before your workday. By bringing lunch to work, you are practicing portion control and healthy eating habits instead of just defaulting to eating a high calorie over priced meal that will only leave you feeling sluggish. When you pack your own lunch, you are giving yourself more time in your day (on your lunch break) to really take a break and rest your mind from the day’s business.
Start by laying out your lunch the night before, so that you can just grab it and go on your way out the door in the morning. Keep it simple, and doable. There is no need to go overboard when trying to pack lunches for the week, just make sure you get enough fuel so you are not grabbing for junk food later on in the middle of your afternoon. Pack food you are actually going to want to eat, versus foods that won’t excite you when you are hungry and ready to fuel up.
We are all aware of the cost that comes with eating out every day so set a realistic budget for yourself each week, if you must eat out. You don’t have to become a prisoner to eating lunch in all of the time, but it is a good habit to get into a couple days a week. The other days, you can eat out but be mindful of your calorie consumption and portion sizes! There are some easy lunches out there to easily pack that will have you feeling excited about bringing lunch to work and saving money each week.
Not so boring salads at that. You do not have to eat salad and feel bland about it, instead get creative with your salad choices by getting a chopped salad kit at the store and adding in various toppings like avocados, seeds, and dried berries. You will get the perfect amount of healthy fats, fibers, and proteins to keep you going strong throughout the whole afternoon.
Sandwiches do not have to be subject to turkey and cheese, why nor bring a turkey, pickle, and potato sandwich? Well, I might be getting a little crazy here, but the idea is to pack something exciting that you will look forward to eating. If you want to make it easier on yourself, simply cook a little more for dinner each night and bring that extra serving as a left over for your lunch option.
Reap The Benefits
The amount of money you will be saving each month could be in the hundreds, as restaurant prices are inflated for obvious reasons. The hundreds you pocket each month will not only save you money but it will save you hundreds of calories as well. Your waistline, and the overall feeling of your body will thank you! While it is still good to be social with your co-workers, keep in mind eating out every day can be very costly to both your waistline and wallet.
Malls were created for shopping and spending money, but there is no reason why you can’t use it to better your health and fitness too! Do you have to go shopping in the near future? While some of us dread the shopping experience, others of us enjoy the process and wish they could have more time and money to shop freely. Next time you are at the mall, try taking a few extra laps around the premises, enjoying window shopping and walking at the same time. Make time for yourself to do this so that you won’t feel rushed actually going into the store you came there for in the first place. The more steps you get shopping, the better you will feel when you leave, and hopefully that feeling is tired!
When the weather is cold and blustery, the last thing you want to do is get out and go walking through the tough weather elements. Many times, if you do choose this route you will cut your walk short, due to being cold and uncomfortable which will only hurt you in the long run. By choosing the shopping mall, you no longer have to feel like your daily walk is a chore, and you will get some window shopping in at the same time. The mall is also a safe place to get your daily workout in without having to worry about viscous dogs, unfriendly strangers, and the sunlight running out on you.
Many malls offer walking programs for people, so take a look next time you are at your local mall to shop, ask about this. The programs usually occur early in the mornings before the mall traffic gets heavy, so keep that in mind when you are trying to create some sort of a schedule for yourself every day. Daily activity is recommended at least 30 minutes per day if you want to see some weight come off, so this could be an avenue of success for you to try.
Many people are confined to their workspaces, and before they know it hours have past and they haven’t moved a muscle. They are so used to sitting for extended periods of time, it becomes their new normal. E-mails are sent to a colleague that could have been communicated by simply walking over to their office and telling them in person. Lunches are usually eaten at the desk you work at because you do not have time to get up and take a break, and then when you get home you are “too mentally tired” from the days thousands of thoughts to get yourself out to work up a sweat. Check out these tips and tricks for a more active day at work.
Take A Lap
When you find yourself in a mental, emotional, or physical funk at work just take a quick step back from your desk and take a quick walk. You can do a lap around the office, or even go outside and walk around the building once or twice. The simple action of getting your arms, legs, and lungs moving will do you wonders for your creativity and productivity at work. Your boss will be happy you took a quick break to get some steps in, and clear your mind. Depending on how big your office is, you could quickly rack up a couple hundred steps on your mini break.
Take The Stairs
If you are in a situation where the fresh air is not easily accessible, the weather is bad, or you don’t have much time, why not take a few laps on the stairs to get your blood pumping, and your legs moving? This simple action will elevate your heart rate quickly, as well as uptick your steps for the day. It is really a win-win once you can get past the thought of it being “hard.” The new oxygen will be useful toward better thoughts and a more productive workday.
Snap Out Of Your Trance
We have all experienced the trance of getting engulfed in our work to the point of losing track of many hours. By the time you know it, hours have gone by and you have not gotten out of your seat once. While the focus is great, it would be better for your creativity to set an alarm on your phone that prompts you to get up and move around each hour even if it is just around your small office space for a few moments. This does take a little more thinking, and planning but will benefit you down the road when you hit your daily steps with ease.
Park Farther Away
In the colder weather months (depending on where you live) this one may seem hard, but it will be great for your health long term. By parking your vehicle a little farther away, as it creates the accountability to give yourself more time in the morning to get to work and walk in with ease. Have you ever felt like you were rushing to get into the parking spot, and into the office with hardly anytime to enjoy those last few moments of walking outside? I know I have been there, and parking farther away would eliminate that immediately.
Use Your Lunch Break When Possible
Many times, people skip their lunch breaks due to the fact that their schedule is overly packed. Why not schedule a lunch walk with a colleague, time allowing? You will get some fresh air, and have a chance to catch up with someone in your office that maybe you have just been e-mailing with the last few weeks. You can always eat at the park too, if you want to walk to the nearest park and eat lunch there it is a nice break from the office. Or simply wait until you get back to the office to enjoy your food, as long as you are getting out and moving. Getting those extra steps in at lunch will make you feel refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon with a fresh mind!
Any of these options will suffice as you go throughout you work week, just make a conscious effort to incorporate movement into your daily work routine for a more fresh and creative mind. Mix it up daily, so that you do not get stuck in a rut with your activities so you look forward to them each day. Lastly, grab a friend or colleague to join your new movement regime, and you all will be reaping the benefits together.
Eating out is a completely do-able option while you are dieting, but you will need to plan ahead for success. Restaurant food usually has a lot of flavor, and many times it is because of the excess oils, fats, and dressings they place on the food. There are a few simple ways to dine out, enjoy your meal, and still stick to your diet that will make your life a little bit easier! For example on average around 4 tablespoons of salad dressing are added to restaurant salads, when only one or two tablespoons will do the job. Getting your dressing on the side will save up room for other more meaningful calories, or just save you calories off of your daily amount in general.
Tips For Worry Free Dining Out
Do Your Research
If you know ahead of time where you will be dining out, do your research on the menu and compare items before getting to the restaurant. It is more common now than ever before that restaurants have online menus to take a look at, and they can be accessed right on your smart phone. Once you have found the healthiest item that looks good to you, make the decision to order that before you even get to the restaurant. By making up your mind early, your decision when it comes time to order won’t be easily swayed to an unhealthy choice. Try and order first, so that you do not feel peer pressured into ordering something unhealthy just to fit in with the group.
Say No To Grazing
Many times when we go to restaurants we are temped with unlimited amounts of breadbaskets or never-ending rounds of chips and salsa that only amount to unwanted fat and calories. Just try and say no all together to these items, because they can set you up for major calorie intake without even realizing it. If it seems too hard to avoid if it is sitting on the table, just ask your server to remove it from the table so that you are not temped while waiting for your meal to arrive. You will have more room in your stomach for your meal, and you won’t be overdoing it on your calories for the night, so it is a win win.
Instead of adding a few sides to your healthy meal, just add more veggies instead. When you leave off the fries, coleslaw, potatoes, and whatever else may be offered you will have an easier time sticking to your diet. Double or even triple the amount of veggies will have you feeling great by the end of the evening, and you will be full and satisfied too!
We all know that appetizers are great pre-meal options, but what about using the appetizer as your only meal and call it good? They are smaller in size, have less calories than a traditional meal off of the menu (usually), and they have fun and delicious options to choose from at many restaurants. Be mindful that fried appetizers are not the best option when looking to supplement your meal down in size!
Go With Fruit
Many times the dessert tray looks more delicious than ever before, but opt in for fruit instead. You will still be satisfying your sweet tooth, and you won’t feel like rolling out of the restaurant after eating it either. Many times, a side of fruit is also a lot less expensive than your traditional desert which can range from $6.00-$12.00. If fruit doesn’t do the trick for you, whoever is ordering dessert just have a bite or two of theirs and call it good. Overdoing it on dessert when you have put so much thought into your dinner portion will only leave you feeling over stuffed when leaving the restaurant.
Whoever said eating out is not an option when dieting clearly didn’t know the tips and tricks ahead of time! If you do not have time to research the menu before you go, make a point to be decisive and confident in sticking to your diet plan when other people around you may not be making the most healthy choices. You have complete control when eating out to choose healthy options that best fit into your eating plan, so order with confidence!
I think we have all been there, having just brushed our teeth only to be tempted by a sweet or salty morsel after the fact. Many times we just walk away from that treat, because our teeth have already been brushed and we do not want to brush them again. This should be a good trick to use every day when we finish eating our meals during the day. Why not go straight to the bathroom and brush your teeth after arriving home, or after a meal so that you are not tempted to snack later on? If you work at an office, there is most likely a bathroom, so do no be shy to use it for brushing between meals. If you do not want to carry around a toothbrush, simply use mouthwash for that minty fresh feeling!
Mint usually has a way of making any food taste bad, isn’t that an ironic coincidence? The main reason we brush our teeth isn’t to avert a food crisis craving, but it is to clean our mouths from plaque and bacteria that can harbor infection and cavities. A side perk to brushing your teeth isn’t only the fact that you are reducing your chance of cavities significantly, but you will snack on unhealthy foods less often. The more you snack on unhealthy foods throughout the day, the more calories you are adding to your daily amount which in turn can form into unwanted fat if you are not burning those calories.
While it is important to snack throughout the day, make sure you are being conscious of what you are actually putting into your mouth. It is never good to let your body go hungry during a mid-day crash, as healthy calories may be essential to proper brain function. However, that snickers bar in the candy drawer at work is not going to do your body any good in the long haul, and it will make your teeth feel like they are wearing a velvet sweater by the end of the day. Yuck. It is most important to brush your teeth after dinnertime, because the nighttime boredom sets in causing us to want to overeat.
If you feel like brushing, or mouth rinsing is simply not an option for you then carry a pack of minty gum. This gum will not be as great as actually bushing your teeth, but it will make your mouth feel much cleaner, potentially causing you to turn down an unhealthy treat mid-day. Finally, don’t be afraid to wash your mouth out by simply drinking water, as it will make you feel more full and it will hydrate your entire body for the good! Good luck, and get brushing, flossing, rinsing, and swishing!
Too many times we get wrapped up with looking at a number on a scale to determine how much progress we are actually making on our diet program. Because of the many factors of our daily food and water intake, that number may seem to yoyo up and down, causing serious frustration. While our scales are definitely not going anywhere, and they serve a great purpose daily it is important to also take your measurements pre-diet to really look at the gains you are making long term. Some people find themselves on the scale multiple times a day, so they are getting familiar with their body’s ebbs and flows. Taking your measurements weekly should be a new habit to help motivate, and encourage positive body changes!
It is important to realize that weighing yourself in a consistent fashion daily is important to more accurate readings. While some people think that there is a right and wrong time to weight yourself, just pick a time that works for your schedule and stick to it. While a number on a scale may feel defeating, what you may not realize is that your body is indeed making changes regardless of what your scale says. Regarding actually taking time to record your measurements may not seem like a pleasant task at first, but it will become more appealing as you see those numbers improve week over week.
Where To Start
There are common body measurements that are important to capture before you start up on your diet program. The bust, chest, waist, hips and torso are the most common so rad below on how to accurately take the measurements you will need to see your weight loss advances.
Bust: This is around your chest area, so get a measuring tape and start at your nipples and take the tape around the largest part of your chest. Make sure the measuring tape is on a tabletop plain parallel to the floor so that you are gaging correct measurements.
Chest: Similar to the bust measurement you will take the measuring tape and place it directly under your breasts/pecks. Once secured, measure completely around the torso and remember to keep your measuring tape on a flat plain parallel to the ground.
Hips: To get an accurate read of the hips, place the measuring tape around the widest parts of your hips and buttocks and take the measuring tape all of the way around.
Waist: Place the measuring tape around your mid section starting at your naval and measure your entire waist. Do not suck in or push out during this time, simply stand and get a reading with a normal amount of air in your lungs.
Biceps: Take the measuring tape from the top of your shoulder and stop about middle of the way on your bicep and measure a full circumference around.
When To Measure
Do not worry, you do not have to take your body measurements every single day, but it is recommended to take them every few weeks or every other week. As mentioned earlier about routines on the scale, the same is true for taking your measurements. Try and set a day, and time each couple of weeks to months to take your measurements to keep it consistent.
Do not be discouraged by the number on the scale if you are dieting, rather take your measurements as a means for a “second opinion” when going through the ups and downs of trying to lose weight. Consistency is key for both weighing, and measuring so add it to your calendar! Measurements will start to become more fun when you see those positive changes occurring, so do not shy away from the realities of the numbers initially. Have fun with it, and surround yourself with people who are going to keep you accountable to achieving a healthier you!
Cleaning out your closet can be both a freeing, yet terrifying experience all at the same time, especially when you are losing weight. You will be fumbling through old baggy clothes that do not fit you anymore, yet you will come face to face with those jeans you long to fit into again. You have to first make the time commitment to stay and get the job all of the way done, otherwise the process will do more harm than good. Take a visual inventory count of your closet, and decide which clothing items make you feel happy, anxious, excited, or even upset. Every item that you allow in your home should bring you happiness, content, and fullness. If the items bring you stress, you need to quickly get rid of them and simplify your life. You can be “more” with “less” so do not be afraid to de-clutter for good! First you will need to create both an uplifting and somewhat calming playlist when you start out, and make sure you have water and snacks to see you through to the end! Once you have your snacks in tow, and your water bottle filled it is time to take on emptying your entire closet, yes you read that right!
The Clean Sweep
Starting with a clean slate is the most important tool to success when thinking of de-cluttering your life. Your smaller clothes may have been hiding in the back of the closet, and you will want to put them up front for extra motivation! Get rid of any clothes that are too big for you, because they will only bring you down in the long run. Once you lose the weight you want to lose, those clothes won’t be any good to you anyways. Once you clear the closet out, you can finally determine which clothing items have a rightful place in your new and improved closet space.
So you have cleaned out your closet, now what? The clothing should be organized on your bed, and in containers for giveaway and trash. The minute you place those clothes on your bed, there will be more of a motivation to get the project done before you head off to bed. Make sure you have giveaway bags to donate old clothing you won’t be using anymore to those who may need it. It feels good to know that your once beloved clothing items may go to help someone who really needs them. Trash the clothing that will not be of use to anyone due to its condition.
Once you have organized your piles of clothing to the ones you want to keep, donate, and trash, do so immediately. Get rid of the trash, and put the clothes for donation in your car so they are out of your sight. You now have a fresh closet to work with, and space for the clothes you really want in your life. This is the part where you will try on any items you are unsure about, to double-check that you are loving every item in your closet. If you do not love the “maybe” items just start another donation pile, and call it good. Place all of your motivating clothing up front and in eye’s view so that you have new motivation daily to work your way back into those clothing items!
There is nothing more refreshing, and rejuvenating than getting your closet space cleaned up and organized. You will feel better about yourself, and your wardrobe will be motivating to look at versus a burden to endure daily. Getting dressed in a clean, motivating, and organized space will also save you time in the morning as well as boost your self esteem first thing in your day. You owe it yourself to get dressed in a place that makes you feel like a rock star, so get to it and feel instantly better!
Picking out a fitness tracker has become somewhat of an ordeal lately with all of the choices on the market today. There are so many functions that one tracker may provide over the other, so how do you know which is the best one for your health and fitness situation? First, let me start off by saying that no matter how much of a struggle it is picking one of these trackers out, it is most definitely worth it in the long run! Many health professionals recommend getting at least 10,000 steps throughout the day, so that your body has a goal to try and hit. When you know the number of steps you should be taking, it becomes more fun to try and complete your goal.
With the different variety of fitness trackers out on the market, which ones are rated the best? In this article, we will give you three of the best options on the market today based off of durability, comfort, specs, and customer reviews. Be mindful that you may spend anywhere from $50.00- $400.00 on a fitness tracker depending on how many bells and whistles you need for your specific health and weight loss needs.
Fitbit Charge 2
Why do consumers rate this fitness tracker around the top amongst all of the options on the market today? It is not your most expensive fitness tracker, and it still comes with everything you may want and need from heart rate monitor to a sleep-tracking device, and finally it comes with a good battery life of 5 days. For around $150.00 you will get the whole package with the Fitbit Charge 2.
This is another great product made by Fitbit, and the consumers love its sleek look. It has a GPS function available on it, as well as a heart rate monitor, smart watch, sleep tracker, and over 5 days of GPS functioning battery life. Because of the extra bells and whistles, this smart watch gone fitness tracker will cost around $250.00. The face of the watch has a square look to it, and a bigger watch face, which makes reading your activity much easier.
Apple Watch Series 2
The first Apple watch was all of the rage, and I believe it was because no one had ever really seen anything like it before from Apple. The first generation watch had a few draw backs for the fitness enthusiast though, when the watch was merely “splash resistant” and did not come with a built in GPS. For how expensive Apple watches are you would think all of the features would be included. Now with the new series 2, the watch is water proof up to 50 meters, has 18+ hours of battery life, comes with a built in GPS making this much more appealing to the consumer. We can’t forget its heart rate sensor and sleep tracking capabilities too, alongside of practically being a smart phone attached to your wrist. This watch is a great option for fitness tracking to look into, but it will cost at least $369.00 up front, which is not cheap.
There are many other fitness trackers out on the market today such as Garmin, Misfit, TomTom, Polar, and Samsung that are great options as well. Most fitness trackers these days are going to come with built in pedometers, so you won’t have to worry about not getting one of those. Be mindful however, if you spend under $50.00 you will not get the quality or precision you may need daily to be successful tracking your steps and fitness goals. The most important features on a fitness tracker are the pedometer, heart rate monitor, and sleep tracker so get out there and pick your favorite!
We have all heard the 8 hour rule for the amount of sleep you should be getting a night, and due to many life disturbances we are not getting anywhere near that. From kiddos that are awake during the middle of the night to the spouse that snores, there are so many factors that can disrupt our precious zzz's each night. It is absolutely crucial that we try and get at least 7 to 8 hours due to some important hormones in our body. There have been many studies done on sleep depravation, and when the body doesn't get enough rest a hormone that increases hunger is amplified, and a hormone that tells your body it is full is decreased significantly.
Many people feel they can function on only a few hours of sleep a night, but research says differently. There are many negative side effects to not getting enough sleep, and those side effects are both minor and life threatening. You are more prone to getting into a car accident when you are sleep deprived, because your body cannot react as fast as it needs to when your brain is only functioning at 50%. Because the brain is slow in its response rate, your basic thoughts and creativity at work may also be slowed down significantly too, which does not help you get that promotion you deserve!
In regards to weight loss, when you are not sleeping your hormones get all outta whack, which does not do your waistline a favor. When the hormone Ghrelin is overproducing, it is telling your body you are really hungry (even when you are not). Likewise, the hormone Leptin which signals to the brain you are full and should no longer eat is hardly produced causing you to overeat even more. This can put you on the fast track to gaining weight, and taking on even more sleeping nights.
Lose The Lights
Our cell phones seem to be strapped to our hands almost 12 hours a day, and when they are not strapped to our hands we are most likely looking at a computer screen or television screen. Those bright, flickering lights are stimulating and will make it harder for your body to wind down for bed. Most health professionals suggest staying away from any luminous lights for at least 2 hours before bed, but if this is not realistic for you try and start with 30 minutes. Your brain will thank you!
Take A Bath
Baths are almost as relaxing as massages (for those of you who like massages, you know what I am talking about). Because getting a massage every single night is not realistic, why not take a detox bath filled with Epsom salts, and essential oils like lavender. The salts pull the toxins from your body and the aroma of the oils will have you feeling relaxed in no time. This bath does not need to take up your entire night, but it is amazing what even 10 minutes will do for relaxing the body! Give it a try.
It is important (not just for sleep) to get your body moving and exercising at least once a day. You will sleep better and you will feel better as a person overall, even if it is just for 30 minutes a day. Physical activity has a way of leveling out our hormones, and getting our bodies creating more new oxygen in our system for overall better wellness and wellbeing!
Limit Daytime Naps, and Get on a Schedule
There is nothing worse than being so tired in the middle of the day that you have to pause and take a short nap. When they are short they are fine but it gets dangerous when they become too long, threatening your future night sleep. The worst feeling in the world is taking too long of a nap, and throwing your sleeping routine off completely. Limit those naps, and get on a daily schedule so that your body knows what time is sleeping time and won’t confuse it throughout the day and night.
Whatever your routine may be, try and incorporate some of these helpful tips in for a better nights sleep. When you sleep more, your body will be rejuvenated and ready to take on the day with full force. It will not be sluggish, and your hormones will be in line with how you really should be feeling (full or not full). You will feel like a new person with a few more hours of sleep and a little less stress in your daily life! Go get some quality shut eye tonight, and track what routines work in your life!
Self control is one of the greatest components of emotional intelligence that we have power over in today’s society. Our thoughts, feelings, cravings, and actions stem from our emotions and our ability to think through processes of getting what we want (or do not). Regarding weight loss, and the ability to have self-control, and to exhibit portion control in our everyday diets, there can be many ups and downs associated. Many people feel as if their self control is one of the skills that is lacking amongst all of their other successes and strong points in their lives. There are so many distractions, temptations, and cravings that hit us multiple times a day, that we are constantly in a battle with our self-control. There are a few key principles to think about when trying to practice the rule of one, and take over your self-control that will be outlined below.
You Must Eat
Believe it or not, you must eat real foods and make sure your blood sugar is stable enough for you to function throughout the day without fog. Many times, bad decisions are made when you have gotten so hungry that any food item will do the trick. This can be dangerous, because most of the time those foods items are associated with sugars and starches, which means you must have a large serving of those sugars/starches in order to actually fill you up even the slightest. The more you eat sugar, the more you will crave it. The same goes with grease and fatty foods like potato chips and French fries. Wholesome foods will make the not so wholesome foods feel empty upon consumption after a while.
Everyone is probably rolling their eyes at this point saying “I know, I know!” But this truly is one of the most important ways you can keep your metabolism leveled out, as well as create a little buffer room for that “one tasty treat” each day. The more you let exercise creep its way into your daily habits; the better off you will feel each day. It also is a morale booster, when you know you have the self-control and discipline to get one workout a day in (you can overcome anything!).
Stick To The Plan
If your goal is to allow yourself one tasty treat a day, stick to that plan and do not succumb to two or three or four more. Have one treat, and then get the others out of sight. Wait for a few minutes to see if those cravings have subsided (they most likely will). If they have not, realize that a craving really only lasts for five minutes so try and distract yourself with something else in that moment in time. If the pressure is too much for your initially, do not go for any treats at all and slowly introduce them back in later on. You will realize how strong and sweet (or salty) they really are when your palate has not had them in awhile.
There is nothing worse than setting a goal, only to forget about it seconds later. Try and set goals that really matter to you, and stick to them for at least 2 weeks. If you try and say no to the bag of chips sitting in front of you on Monday and Tuesday, but eat the whole entire bag on Wednesday you are only setting yourself backwards in the journey to complete your goals. Be kind to yourself, but also realistic when you are trying to set goals and adopt the rule of one into your diet!
In today’s day and age, people are rarely seen without their cell phones in hand, and most of the time it is looked down upon. We have all judged the couple at dinner both looking at their phones completely disengaged with each other and the vibrant world around them. Or how about the parent who is looking at their phone while their kids are sitting in the backseat of the moving car observing. There is actually a good time to pull your phone that does not include dinner or kids, that will actually do your waistline more good than bad. When cravings for sugaring, salty, or fattening foods hits us straight up all of our thoughts go toward getting that food item in our mouths. What if I told you a cell phone could help break that craving down to nothing?
If you reach for your cell, and call a friend you are immediately diverting your attention from the craving to how your friend is doing when he or she answers the phone. Talking on the phone in 2016 is a rare occasion anyways with more people texting than ever before. When you physically pick up the phone to dial a friend, if they pick up you will soon be talking up a storm and forget about that once nasty craving you previously were having. Companionship today is very important for our mental health, as well as our physical health long term, so don’t be shy about grabbing your phone and talking to a friend.
Sometimes people have said that cravings hit them in the middle of the day when they are not able to “phone a friend.” If this is you, and you are finding yourself at the office with a craving coming on in the afternoon stop and ask yourself these important questions.
- How long can I wait? It has been said that cravings only intensely last for about 5 minuets, and then they are gone. Can you wait for ten minutes, to see if your craving has died down?
- Why is this craving coming on? Ask yourself if you are bored, lonely, anxious, tired, stressed, or hungry. Once you determine the root of the craving, then ask yourself why you are feeling that certain way. Junk food may not always be the best option for battling that emotion.
Create Good Vibes
Happiness is key when you looking to squash a craving down to nothing. Throwing on your favorite upbeat tunes, while getting tasks done may put your mind in a better place and off of the craving path. Always make sure you are getting adequate sleep, and are eating wholesome foods that will keep you more full for long periods of time so you are not always grabbing empty nutrient filled snacks. Talking to a friend via your cell phone can create happiness too, so don’t be shy to create some sunshine in your life when those waves of cravings come crashing down over you!
Can you really think yourself thin? There are more studies out on the market today that say this is quite possible. Visualization is a powerful tool than can be used to your benefit when trying to lose weight. There are times when our will power slips up and we feel like breaking down to old habits that made us unhealthy in the first place. Visualizing yourself thin, not only motivates you to stay on track but it reminds you that the goal is completely do able because you have been there before. There are some folks who are quite skeptical of visualization, and quite frankly don’t have the mental focus to really go through with it until success. See some great benefits below on why this is a great tool to have on hand!
Meditation Is Key
Just sitting for a few minutes in utter silence while you envision yourself thin and healthy will do a world of good for your waistline. The more your mind believes you are thinner, you will start to pick up small habits that will reflect those thoughts. The key to meditation is to remember your thoughts and emotions of how you feel when you see yourself thin, and feeling good.
Envision The Fall
While it is always good to visualize the goals and good outcomes from situations, it is also important to see the times when you give into temptations and let loose. Visualizing yourself binging on unhealthy foods and the way they make you feel afterwards may be enough to deter you away from them before they even touch your lips. Visualization works for both the positive and the negative if you allow it to. Do’t stay in this visualization for too long though, its best to keep positive thoughts running around in your mind for optimal results.
Trick The Brain
Your brain knows when you are chewing, swallowing, and filling your stomach with good foods as well as bad foods. The process of lifting food into your mouth, physically chewing, and feeling the hunger go away can be as much psychological than it is physical. Your brain can be tricked in this regard rather easily, as there is a fine line between reality and imagination. Imagining a large meal before you actually go into eating a meal may reduce the amount you actually eat in that moment. Try it out, and see if your appetite is reduced at all.
Our brains have a great way of protecting our bodies, as well as helping it to become the most protected and healthy version of itself it can be. When we let our willpower down, there are times when we push our brain signals to the side and continue to eat, even when we may already be full. Try and visualize good moments, healthy times, and a skinnier you for more success in re-gaining your weight loss goals. It comes with a strong mind, and the power to visualize yourself thin!
All of us have our go to items that we love to carry around with us each day. They become habitual to have everyday, or else we feel like we are missing something. Some of those items include but are not subject to, our car keys, wallet, Chap Stick, hand sanitizer, lipstick, pocketknife, or even Kleenex. But what about carrying around an actual small notebook each day to write down everything you eat or drink? This is an easy idea to implement for a week or so to be more mindful of how much you are eating as well as the types of foods you are consuming on a daily basis. Studies have shown on numerous occasions that people who are consciously dieting and tracking their food intake with a journal, will eat about 15% less food than those who don’t keep track of their food intake.
Why Does It Matter?
Counting calories can be downright exhausting at times, and leave you feeling discouraged at best. While it is still a good idea to count calories and be mindful of the foods caloric content, it is more helpful to just write down the foods themselves, as this will create a natural mindfulness to your eating habits overtime. Even if you carry a food journal for one weeks time, it will get your mind ticking in the right direction when it comes to the types of foods you are consuming. By simply recording your actions, you are more apt to choosing healthier choices!
Many times dieters who are solely counting their calories are subjecting themselves to staying within a certain number each day. What happens when you go past that number? Do you completely give up on the day, because you have overshot your caloric content? Many people throw in the towel, and say, “Oh well, I can continue eating unhealthy today because I’ve already blown it. There is no use to keep on being good, when I can just start again tomorrow.” When you track what you are eating each day, it causes you to strive to feel better as an individual as well as continue to fill your journal up with healthy foods.
Many times caloric numbers are not consistent either, so you may find yourself going crazy trying to calculate everything out each day. What one app says a food items caloric content might be, may be different from another websites description and breakdown of it. This can cause confusion and frustrations that may lead to a plateau.
When you invest in a small food journal, you are investing in your habits and your future. By taking a look back at the foods you have eaten, you are taking a look to see where patterns lie. This doesn’t just include food, as drinks are very much included in this topic. In just one week’s time you can turn around bad habits, into more mindful ones with a simple journal in hand.
How To Start
Writing has been said to pose many mental and health benefits to people worldwide. Whether you are just writing down your food, or you are adding a small note reflecting your feeling with the food to go along, there are many positives to this new habit you will benefit from. When you journal, you get more creative which can make the dieting game more fun and a little more sustainable long term! You can start one of two ways: 1. Go to your local grocery store next time you are grabbing items for the week, and purchase a small ringed notebook that will easily fit in your purse or bag. 2. You can use the notepad feature on your smartphone as well.
Some people like to physically feel, write, and read off of paper itself so the method is up to you to decide. The important factor is to get started today, and try to journal for at least one week. See how you like it, and how it improves your diet awareness as well as overall wellness. Start by numbering your days out in the journal to get organized, so you know there is a spot daily for the food and drinks you consume. Remember to add the items into your food journal immediately after you eat them so you do not get behind!
Go out and get started with your journal, and have fun with it! Always be extremely specific with your food items as well as the time, date, and location where that food was consumed! Don’t think of food journaling as a task, but rather a new habit to becoming a healthier you!
The power of the Internet is real, and it affects people’s lives for both the positive and the negative. In a study done by the University of Vermont, there were individuals who were followed for 18 months, and the people who had online buddies lost more weight and kept it off for longer periods of time in correlation to those who met face to face in a support group. This speaks volumes to anyone out there looking to have accountability while going through the rocky road of dieting. It is not always an easy journey, so having someone there to share your weight loss goals, and workout goals if you have them is a good thing. Many experts say that getting a buddy whether it be in person or online may be the difference maker in your success or failure.
We have all been there, when a rut or a struggle is more than we can handle alone. Whether the phone is picked up, or not there is a friend out there who is willing to help you get through it. If you feel like everyone in your life is too busy for you face to face, you need not worry. The internet is full of individuals who are seeking the same thing as far as accountability goes. Whether it be a friend who lives in another state, a relative, or just a mutual friend that shares similar interests as you the possibilities are endless! You don't have to meet up daily to keep each other accountable. Sending an e-mail, text, picture, or post on their social media site is enough! Now go out there, and find “your person!”
Who To Choose
Not everyone is going to be your ideal fit diet buddy, as many people may leave you frustrated and falling off track. Your best friend may have all of the best intentions in the world, but they may not really have the same goals in mind that you do. Your partner is also a good example of someone that may not be the best choice, because dieting can be a really personal matter. Having someone keep you accountable that is not one of your closest friends or family members can spare relationships down the road (in some cases.) This person is going to be keeping you accountable even when you don’t want them too, and vise versa. Choosing a diet buddy is just like choosing the actual diet itself!
Everyone works differently, so if you feel like you are most comfortable with a family, friend, or mutual friend go into the partnership with the right expectations about how to accomplish both of your goals. You both will be working toward a goal together, and cannot afford get offended when the other person may be pushing you to be a better version of you! Communicate if you are going to have a close family member or friend as your accountability partner.
Make It Official
Everything is more official when it is signed, and dated right? So why not do the same thing with your diet buddy. Once you find the right person to keep accountable, and reverse make a contract that keeps you bot on track. Check in with each other daily, or weekly to ensure that you are both working toward your goals together. Set firm yet realistic goals and work toward them together. Don’t be afraid to leave your diet buddy if they are holding you back, and not doing their job!
An Internet buddy is one of the best solutions out there because you don’t have to see them face to face every waking moment of the day. They are your “go to” person when other people are letting you down in the diet side of things. Remember that encouragement comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether you talk to them on the phone, text, e-mail, or skype there are positive words of affirmation as well as motivational messages you can send them to keep each other on track.
The color blue is a popular favorite color among most people in the world, but have you ever stopped to think about the finite details of why? Colors are very pshycological and can provide people a sense of healing and comfort, or playfulness. They can also symbolize darkness, hunger, and sadness which makes them all around versatile. The color blue and symbolize trust, honesty, and loyalty which makes it a very popular color amongst many.
Blue is a natural color that represents the sky and the water of our earth. It is not a color that is meant to stress you out, or make you feel rushed or in a hurry. This color serves many positive purposes, as well as weight loss purposes for people. You will not see many fast food restaurants with a blue atmosphere as their main colors are red and yellow. Red's and yellows bring people in, and cause them to eat and order more. Think McDonalds, Wendy's, Chick Fil-A, etc. There is a reason blue is not present. The color of plates you use as well will have an effect on how much you will eat for your meal. It will take the urge to eat a lot more away, by the simple presence of a blue plate or table cloth where you dine.
Colors in general are great to have in our lives, but be mindful of how they effect our brains in relation to food and eating. There are many colors out there that will cause you to feel a little more on edge or stressed, but the calm and cooling tone of blue is not one of them. Next time you go out to eat notice this, as well as when you eat in your home don't be afraid to add hints of blue around the dining area.
Hanging a mirror in front of your dining table can do wonders for your waistline, and for your mental state of mind. There have been multiple studies done on the effect eating in front of a mirror has on a person’s idea of themselves, and what they are putting into their body. Many times we may not realize it, but we are judging people when they eat whether it be about their physical appearance or what their choice of food may be. We all do it whether we realize it or not, that is why eating in front of a mirror is important for our own personal benefits. When we see ourselves eating in the mirror, we automatically are being mindful of how we look when we eat, as well as what we are putting in our bodies.
When eating junk food, we may not realize it but it may taste better when we are not watching ourselves eat it. When we have to sit and stare at ourselves eating a greasy piece of pizza, it automatically sends a personal message to our brains telling us that it is not a good food choice. The food has also been said to taste a little better with no feelings of guilt when a friend has given you a sweet or greasy treat to indulge in. The feeling of remorse almost immediately goes away when it is given to you versus you picking it out yourself.
Next time you are up to decorate your dining space, don’t be afraid to add a little mirror flare to your dining wall, and enjoy the effects it will have on your waistline for the better!
We all have learned to love the white foods that get thrown our way daily, whether it be the pastas, breads, or potatoes. Coming from a very Italian family it is hard not to want to just go crazy with cannoli’s, and handmade tortellini’s but it is a must if you are looking to lose weight. White foods are severely processed and stripped of anything nutrient dense, which causes them to wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. The main problem with white foods is they cause a sudden spike in your food cravings when they hit your blood stream. More insulin is then released into your body, and you are setting yourself up for a “crash” later on because the body does not need all of that extra insulin. This is quite the merry go round, and it will only continue to get worse the more white foods you eat. The body starts to crave and rely only on these foods, which happen to also cause weight gain.
By simply avoiding white foods for the most part, you are sparing your body a lot of ups and downs as well as cravings later on. It will take around two weeks to completely get yourself on a good track, as many of those strong cravings and symptoms will start to get intense in the first two week of the detox. Whole grain options are always good options to ease the shock of taking the white foods out. Don’t be fooled by the words “whole grain” or “wheat” though, as many of those foods are processed and will react the same in your body as white foods. Eating more lean meats, veggies, and fish are good options as well to help reduce down those cravings that may seem to take over your life! The more full you feel the less cravings you will have for the sweet and non nutritious foods white based foods offer.
Don’t simply eliminate without adding in another nutritious food in place. You always want to aim to get a well balanced diet in each and every day, for a better you. There are a lot of resources on the web regarding clean and healthy recipes to take advantage of daily, and don’t forget to plan ahead as this will be key to staying on track. The easiest foods to grab when you are hungry, are the ones that are processed and have a long shelf life. Don’t go this route! Your body will thank you later when you switch out white food choices for colorful food choices.
Switch to ordinary coffee and reap the benefits not only with your wallet, but also in your waistline. Many “fancy” coffees are loaded with creams, syrups, sugar, and whole milk which does nothing but add on to the calorie count of your morning pick me up. It is amazing to see people who are trying to lose weight, yet still want all the bells and whistles added to their drinks. Those are hidden culprits for weight gain and they are consumed the moment you wake up, which isn’t a good start to your day. Instead of going to buy your coffee jazzed up each morning, simply go with regular coffee and some nonfat powdered milk to start your day feeling refreshed.
Another idea for getting your morning brew fix without it ruining your diet is to simply brew at home. This puts all of the power and control into your own hands regarding your caloric level, as well as the temptation to “add to” your drink each day. The less options for whip cream, sprinkles, caramel, and sugar the better off you will feel throughout your day. The less sugar you eat in the morning, means the less sugar you will crave throughout the day. It’s amazing what a couple hundred calories each morning added to your diet will do for weight loss, and it is not positive.
Go enjoy your morning, afternoon, or evening brew without all of the hullabaloo!
There is nothing better than a home cooked meal, am I right? Not only do home cooked meals taste great (at least mine!) but they are also lower in fats and sugars compared to the same dish prepared at a restaurant. There is no telling how much butter, salt, cooking oil, and cream sauce could have been left out of your meal if you were to just cook it yourself. When you dine out at a restaurant, its normal to be tempted by the side of fries or dessert at the end of the meal. If you were at home, those items may not be consumed for lack of presence or just no time to prepare them. Sadly, eating out has become a normal way of life in our society, so making a point to eat at home more may call for some discipline.
Many restaurants in the United States are serving larger portions on larger plates, charging more, and increasing the size of their tables in order to fit the large plates of food. This is doing more harm than good in the long haul for people who struggle with portion control. It is best to ask the server to box half of your meal up before they bring it out, that way you are not tempted to eat the whole meal in one sitting if you do eat out. On the flip side it is better to just prepare a nice meal at home, where you can eat until you feel you have had enough.
The more you prepare food at home, the more you will learn about food in general. There are so many fascinating and fun food groups out there to learn about. Not only can you learn about them, but you can also discover new foods you may have not otherwise known you would like. Cooking takes time, but it also promotes relationship building. The more on the go you are, the less likely you are to sit down with someone and have a meal. The more you cook at home, you will start to realize how unhealthy certain restaurant food really is for your body overall.
Lastly, eating out is just plain expensive. You are paying a little more for your food, unless you are eating fast food, which I do not recommend. Finally, you have to add on the tip, and possibly picking up the tab for others dining with you out of courtesy so it gets pricey quickly. It is not as healthy for you, and it is expensive which makes eating at home seem so much better for your wallet and your health!
Have you ever felt like your coffee tasted watered down by the skim milk you are putting in it? This is a common problem amongst many, as they do not want to break their diets down by adding rich in calorie creamer, or fatty milk. There is a little trick, and it calls for using low fat powdered milk in your coffee instead of watered down skim milk. Not only will the nonfat powdered milk give you the benefits that skim milk will give you, but it will not water down your coffee in the process! Next time you are making your morning cup of joe try this trick, and reap the benefits in taste! For every ounce of nonfat powdered milk, there is going to be 103 calories. This is much better than those overly loaded and unhealthy coffee creamers!
One of the problems in our daily lives is the need to jam more into our schedules, as if we are not already busy enough. There ends up being so much to do, and literally no time to do it all. Eating especially gets last priority, as many of us find ourselves sitting in the fast food line starving for literally any type of food. We let our schedules overpower our days to the point where it affects our diets, our health, and our stress levels. By simply eating more slowly, and calmly you are allowing yourself to take a much deserved break and just enjoy the food you are consuming. You may even consume less because you are savoring your food versus just shoving it in. How hard is it really to slow down, and chew your food? It may add only a few measly minutes to your meal but it is most definitely worth it.
Did you know that your brain lags your stomach by about 20 minutes in regards to fullness signals? This is a staggering amount of time, which is why eating more slowly and controlled is the better way to go for your waistline. If you break up your meal, you will notice your body telling you it may be full well before that bowl of pasta is consumed. Listen to your body, as it knows how much food it needs to function properly.
Eating slowly and with a calm spirit also will help your stomach with the digestion of food. The more you savor and chew your food, the less work your body will have to do to digest it. The faster you eat, the more you eat which will not make you feel healthier in the long term if you are looking to lose weight.
Finally, the stressful fast paced life we all live has to slow down at some point. The slower the food, the better it will be for you. The faster the food, the less nutritious it will be for you. Quality takes time, and love, which means you should enjoy every bite of it. Say no to the fast paced lifestyle that is only leaving you stressed, and overweight. If you carve some time out of your day to eat slowly, and healthy your body will feel the benefits long term. Now go and enjoy a nutritious meal, and savor each bite!
There are many times in our lives when we eat and quite frankly we are not even hungry. We blindly reach for that chip, or extra serving of bread without even thinking twice about it. More likely than not it is because you are stuck at the table longer than you wanted, or you are bored and don’t know what else to do. There are so many better options for you out there than to keep on eating. When you keep on eating you are sabotaging your quest for better health, and your journey for weight loss. Try and eat healthy snack options such as fruit, when ice cream is present, and it will knock the edge off of those intense cravings.
Is It Healthy To Eat Only When Your Stomach Growls?
Many times there are instances when your stomach is just processing the food you just ate, therefore it will growl even if you are not hungry. If you eat more veggies and beans your intestines may make a little more noise than usual. But when you are actually getting hungry, and your stomach is growling it means you are indeed in need of some substantial calories. If you wait for too long, you may even start to get light headed and dizzy without realizing it.
It is important to know the difference in the sounds your stomach is making, and know when you are really in need of calories versus going off of the sounds your stomach may or may not be making. The most important tip is to not eat when you are not hungry. This does not do any good for your weight loss journey, or your caloric count for the day. It is also important not to confuse thirst with hunger, as many times your body just needs a good drink to quench its thirst rather than additional calories.
Do Not Starve Yourself
Finally, it is important to realize that it is not okay to starve yourself. If you are feeling hunger pangs, it means your body needs fuel. This does not mean it needs unhealthy fuel, but it is in need of something to run on. Pick healthy snack and meal choices when you are feeling the rumble, and you will reap the benefits long term. Starving yourself will only slow down your metabolism, and make the weight loss journey even more difficult in the long run. Do your body good and grab a healthy meal or snack when you start to feel real food hunger!
When there is a will, there is a way. Eating healthy is a lifestyle, not an occasion. This is especially hard to do when you are trying to be social with the people you love the most. Eating has a way to our hearts, and souls, but it doesn’t always have to be unhealthy eating. When your family is getting together (or friends) bring something unique that everyone will appreciate. A small photo album that everyone can take home with them, instead of that rich dessert will serve all parties better in the long run. Or simply a healthy appetizer option like veggies and hummus.
There is an even better way to avoid social eating at every gathering. Suggest to your friends and family that you do an activity instead of going out to eat. Have everyone eat before the activity, or afterward. Staying active and getting out to burn calories yet be social goes a log way for your waistline. The more time you spend being busy with other things besides eating, the less likely you will be tempted with foods you shouldn’t be eating. When something is out of sight, it will be out of mind and less tempting overall.
Ideas For Activities
There are an abundance of activities you can indulge in both by yourself or with a group. Some of those things include but are not limited to: Frisbee golf, walking, golfing, volleyball, ping pong tournament, bowling, softball league, go to a play, or even volunteer your time with those in need. You can also hike in the hills near your home of they are available, or go fishing in a lake or river near you. Don’t have access to those things? No problem, you can invite a friend to help you with a task that has been begging to get done around your house, which also can be social. Become an expert in something, such as learning anew language or reading a new book series. These things are more solo, but they are enough to keep you busy on things other than unhealthy eating.
By simply avoiding temptation, and being firm with your answers you will be on your way to developing relationships in others ways than around the table. You may even get invited out for that basketball or softball league you have wanted to join, or even get nominated to volunteer your time for another organization in need of help. These are all wonderful ways to develop relationships and show love without it hurting your health long term.
There is nothing better than killing two birds with one stone, or simply multitasking and being successful. Many times we think that burning calories means we are strictly in our workout clothes in a gym. This is not the case however, as you can burn calories simply by cleaning your home! Doing simple tasks daily can help to burn calories without even knowing it.
Tasks such as window washing, sweeping, washing dishes, vacuuming, mopping, carrying groceries in, and moving furniture around are all calorie torching activities. Don't forget cleaning the car, scrubbing the bathroom, changing lightbulbs, doing laundry, reorganizing books, and shredding junk mail all fall into this category too! Some may say, these are everyday chores but they are so much more than that! By simply getting active around your home you can burn calories and lose weight. Whether you know it or not, blowing drying your hair for 35 minutes can torch up to 100 calories, since keeping your arms up is quite the chore! Last but not least scrubbing (anything!) will help you torch calories, and sculpt your arms in the process.
Not only will you feel rejuvenated, and maybe a little tired but you will have burned calories as well as tidied up your living space or car. These small tasks de-stress your life because you are more organized and put together which clears your mind up to focus on more important things in life. Now get out there and start cleaning, your body and your mind will thank you for it!
It is no surprise that people living in this day and age are much sicker, and fatter than ever before. The more low fat and high sugar products are on the market, the more we will continue to see this epidemic grow out of control. A great health tip is to grab a handful of almonds instead of a sugary snack when you are feeling a little urge for something to eat. There will be nothing more satisfying and filling than the taste of clean fuel in your body versus the empty white sugars that many snacks these days have to offer. Be mindful of the fat content however, as you don’t want to over indulge in these tasty morsels or they could potentially cause weight gain. Moderation, in a handful or so is key.
Almonds have healthy fats in them called monounsaturated fats, which are also found in healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil. This ingredient has been said to help reduce the risk of heart disease, which is one of the top killers in our country to date. It helps by lowering high cholesterol in folks, and reduces your risk for heart attack, blood clots, and strokes. Almonds are also very high in Vitamin-E, which is a great source of antioxidants for your body. These little super nuts are packed with magnesium; calcium, iron, as well as potassium too so enjoy them!
This delicious treat is not only great for your body but it is also great for maintaining a healthy weight once you have lost (or are trying) to lose weight. Because you will be feeling more full for longer, you will bypass those unhealthy snacks that are full of little to no nutrition. They have been said to give you more energy, as well as completely curb your appetite if hungry. They truly are the complete package when you think about grabbing a quick and nutritious snack! Go ahead, and give them a try next time you are craving something sweet and unhealthy!
Eating in large groups is always fun, and there is definitely nothing wrong with it every once and a while. It can however inhibit your weight loss journey if you choose to eat in large groups frequently. When you eat in large groups a few things can happen that do not go directly into your favor. One of those things is getting persuaded to lose the salad for a side of fries and people will help you share them. Certain situations like this get overlooked all too often, but they do make a difference in your weight loss journey taking a step forward to taking three steps backward.
When eating out in large groups, it is more of a social setting versus a “fuel your body” setting. A lot of times, choices you wouldn’t normally make get compromised for the risk of trying to just fit in with the group you are in. As stated above, there is nothing wrong with being social and having friends together at meals, but don’t throw your diet completely out the window when dining in situations like these. The more people are in the group, the longer your orders will take to come to your table. With more time can potentially come more appetizers, and the famous “More bread please.” This alone can eat up half of your calories for the day without even getting your meal! The longer you are at the table, the more calories you are going to consume.
When going out with friends be subtle about your eating choices if you are self conscious about being on a diet. Or if you have a close friend in the group, have them keep you accountable in your food and beverage choices. The more time you spend talking the less time you will spend grabbing more bread!
When looking at your day of activities, try and get the most calories in before noon. It is better to eat earlier rather than later, as you will have many more opportunities to burn those eaten calories off before bedtime. Everyone has heard the statement, eat breakfast and understands the importance of getting your metabolism kick started earlier rather than later and your appetite curbed right off the bat. Many times however, it is most beneficial to not just eat breakfast but a large breakfast!
Typically when people say, “I’m just not a breakfast person,” I think to myself, why? Your body has been starving itself for the last 10-12 hours as you slept and needs to be refueled immediately. They can go from not eating since dinner all the way to lunch the next day, but immediately get their bodies into a viscous cycle of eating too much, too late. This is where many people struggle with weight gain issues, and many times is starts by skipping caloric intake in the morning hours.
When you front-load your calories in the morning, you are setting your body to be full throughout the afternoon. Many times people do not indulge is such large dinners, as their bodies really don’t need to calorie bomb to begin with due to their sustainability in their meals from the hours before.
Lunch is one of the hardest meals to eat because you are short on nutritious options that are filling enough to last you, but not so heavy you want to fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon. When you eat a larger breakfast or indulge in snacks primarily until noon, lunch won’t be such a make or break moment.
It really just comes down to getting into a habit to eat a healthy and sustainable breakfast. Whether it be a hearty shake filled with proper vitamins, minerals, and proteins or an actual meal that you need to wake up 20 minutes earlier to prepare, it will be worth it. Skimping on the most important meal of the day may cause you headaches and struggles in the weight loss area.
Alas, Friday is here and we are gearing up for the weekend. More often than not, we day dream of relaxing weekends with no major schedule so we can be refreshed for the upcoming week. This may include going out to eat with friends, or having a BBQ in the backyard. Or it even may include going to a movie, and indulging in the buttery goodness of the popcorn and let’s not forget the soda pop to wash it down with. If you are feeling really free and full of energy it may be a fun time to hit the town and grab drinks with friends and maybe a little dancing. All of these activities are wonderful, and essential to adding proper balance to your life but they all have one thing in common. Calories.
Most people are willing to eat more calories on the weekend, and there is no rhyme or reason behind their logic. There are too many activities to participate in and too many people to socialize with not to indulge yourself in more than you actually need. Many times people feel like they are dieting all of the time, when in reality they are only dieting Monday through Friday and sometimes-just Monday through Thursday. The problem lies in beverages especially; as many drinks are loaded with empty calories you may not be aware you are taking in.
There are a few things you can do to avoid the weekend plague of overeating, and feeling sluggish come Monday morning. The worst one is what I will start with: Wake up near the same time you do during the weekdays. This keeps your body regulated, and doesn’t mess your eating schedule up. Don’t forget to eat breakfast in the morning, as it can have a huge effect on your ability to lose weight and take in less calories throughout the course of the day. Get a little sweat going on a Saturday and your whole day will open up and you will feel great! Skip drinking too much on the weekends, as it only adds empty calories to your diet and makes you feel much worse than you would if you were just sipping on water.
As stated above, there is nothing wrong with being social and going out with friends but don’t make it an every weekend occurrence, as it will impact your waistline. If possible, keep a log of each weekend in the month to track how you have done in the calorie department. If you don’t keep track, it may be hard to really grasp what you are doing on the weekends as many times they become jam packed. I know my weekends seem to fly by, and I had to stop and recap everything I did and it takes some serious thought! There are so many other ways to get out an be social that don’t involve over eating and drinking so be active, and stay healthy!
To Read The Study Done By The University of North Carolina click here.
Our minds play a huge role in the ability to lose and gain weight. For example, your mind can talk your body into eating an extra large pizza in one sitting and feel sick afterward because you were full long before the pizza was finished. Or it can talk your body into not indulging in that delectable piece of chocolate cake at your kid's friends birthday party. Cravings are real, and they do make a huge impact on our everyday ability to eat healthy and live a life of control. There are many different foods you can actually just smell, and they will reduce down your cravings almost instantly.
Bananas are a sweet neutral food that you can smell, and almost instantly feel the cravings go away.* When simply taking a smell of a banana your cravings will reduce, helping you to eat less and lose weight.
Peppermint also has the same effect on the brain as the banana does, as it is a rather strong but neutral odor. Upon sniffing peppermint, your brain will not trigger a signal to make your body want to consume more food.*
Just like peppermint, vanilla is a very neutral yet pleasant odor that balances out the brain, and its ability to crave certain foods. It will not cause you to have cravings of unhealthy foods such as pizza, and doughnuts.* It is nice to have vanilla aroma in your home for a peaceful and balanced atmosphere.
Similar to bananas, green apples give off a sweet neutral scent that can stop cravings right in their tracks. Smelling, not eating apples will most definitely help reduce your cravings down, and help you stay on track with your meals for the day.*
Because sense of smell is crucial to our eating habits, this study makes complete sense. If you were to get a whiff of chocolate, your body is going to immediately crave it which may set you back. On the flip side, if you smell bananas, or green apples it has the complete reverse effect on your brain. Either way, what your body can sense or smell also links to what it thinks it is going to eat. Next time you have the urge to indulge in an unhealthy food choice, try and find of these sweet neutral products listed above to help reduce your cravings and help you to lose weight in the long term.
There is always a lot of talk around yogurt, and the benefits (or lack thereof) when consuming it. As you already know, it is best to stay away from high sugared, sweetened, and high fat yogurt as these will only set you back in your weight loss journey. We are talking about a nice light, low fat yogurt to help boost your weight loss journey in the right direction. There are a variety of options to choose from when you are at the grocery store shopping, just make sure they have live and active cultures as these bacterias are healthy for your gut and contain probiotics.
Yogurt has been said to help with the burning of fat due to the calcium content you are getting when you eat yogurt. Along with the absorption of healthy calcium, you are also getting that clean bacteria in your system which allows your body to better fight off food borne illnesses such as salmonella. Be sure to check the label for the words “live and active cultures” as this is the one big reason yogurt is actually good for you in the first place.
Which Yogurt Do I Buy?
When you are at the grocery store, you are flooded with choices in the yogurt department. Some are much better than others, as there are sprinkles and sugar filled granola options to choose from. It is best to choose a low fat, plain yogurt due to the fact that a lot of added sugar comes with the flavors offered. To give it a little more flavor simply add some fresh fruit or honey on top and mix it in. There is nothing better than natural sugars on top of your yogurt!
The Power Of Protein
Yogurt is also essential because it is packed with healthy protein for the body to function on. In one cup of yogurt you can get anywhere from 8-13 grams per serving. This is a great boost when you are feeling like you need a small snack during the day. When you are getting protein, you are slowing down the digestion in your body to hold off that feeling of hunger for the next meal. The more you add to your yogurt the less effective it becomes. Candy, certain processed granolas, and sprinkles are going to be frowned upon, as they only add calories and provide more added sugars that the body does not need.
To Wrap Up
Don't believe the lies that calcium will only make you fat, because it is wrong! There have been multiple studies done on high calcium foods, and their ability to breakdown fat and level out the metabolism. It will help your waistline in the long run, but take the advice above and invest in the right type of yogurt. Stay away from added sugar, and high fat yogurts as this will only set you back on your weight loss journey. Search for live and active cultures, and reap the benefits that yogurt has to offer your body!
To see the study go here.
One of the first things you will do each day is choose what you are going to wear. While this may seem like an everyday run of the mill mundane task, it really can effect you in more ways than you think. What you wear can influence your decision making, your negotiating skills, affect your heart rate levels, and even affect your hormonal levels. Sounds crazy right? This simple task of getting dressed in the morning can affect your entire day of communication as well as body levels whether you realize it or not, so it is important to dress for success.
By simply wearing an outfit that is flattering on your body, or makes you look more professional you will increase your cognitive kills, as well as pick up a few compliments along the way. Those are nice for the ego, right? The more creative you are at work or at home, the more you will feel at power to make decisions that not only affect your own life but also the lives of your family members, friends, or co-workers. This sense of power, and freedom can do wonders for your self esteem and your productivity throughout the day.
Dress For Success
The workplace is a huge place to make an impression on your co-workers, bosses, and clients so why not dress to impress. Many times you will hear the quote, dress for the job you want to have instead of the one you already have. If you are looking toward a promotion or are working your way up to a promotion try and dress the part. Your negotiating skills, as well as your professionalism in the office will not go unnoticed.
If you are dieting, what better reward than looking your best? You are doing the hard work by losing stubborn weight, now it is time to pick an outfit that flatters you and our new body. You will pick up more compliments than you ever have before, and you will feel good about yourself deep down where it counts!
Color choices are as important as the clothing itself. When picking dominating and bold colors such as reds, and bright blues you are telling the world you are confident about how you look, and many people don't judge you based off of that confidence. There have been multiple studies done on professors who wore red sneakers to lectures, and their audience was much more engaged and willing to listen to the professor as he had broken the social norms and seemed uncharacteristically confident with his shoe choice. The same goes for a bright tie, or a flashy dress. You will not just blend in, but you will stand out in a crowd as a confident “go-getter” type of person.
No matter what your choice of dress, we all subconsciously judge one another based off of the clothing they wear, and the outward appearances whether good or bad. Are you nails trimmed, breath fresh, clothing pressed, and shoes shined? Next time you want to feel your best, try and look it too!
It is quite common to confuse being thirsty with being hungry. This is a rather irritating problem to have, as there are too many unhealthy food temptations waiting around every corner to haunt us with the need to inhale it as fast as we see it. It is very important to know that there is an actual difference between actually being hungry versus being thirsty. Once you decipher the difference between the two it will help you cut back on unwanted calories that may be causing your weight loss journey to stall.
What Does Hunger Look Like?
There are many different ways for your body and brain to let you know that you are hungry, and one of those is weakness. Ideally you should be eating every 3-4 hours, so if you find yourself feeling weak and shaky it means you are in need of real wholesome food. You may also find yourself becoming irritable more easily, as well as feel a rumbling in your stomach. All of these, along with lack of focus are signs that it is definitely time to eat!
What Does Thirst Look Like?
You may have already heard the quote, “If you are feeling thirsty it is already too late.” This simply means you should not let your body become craving water due to thirst because that means your body is already dehydrated. A few symptoms of thirstiness are headaches, nausea, dizziness, sluggishness, and constipation. You may even start to notice your thoughts only thinking about water, and or a nice beverage to quench the dry desert in your throat, as well as notice your urine is a bright yellow color. This is what thirst looks and feels like!
It is always safe to go with water in any of these events. If you are unsure if you are thirsty or hungry, try just drinking a nice big glass of water and waiting for a few minutes to see if the hunger subsides. If it does not, it is most definitely time for a meal of some sort. Lastly it is also important to decipher actual cravings for certain foods with being hungry for meals at the same time. If you are ever craving junk food, take a step back and distract yourself from that craving by talking to a friend or doing a chore at home. The last thing you want to do is eat junk food, if you are truly in need of food because that will only set you backward within your weight loss journey.