Humberto Hernandez

The Most Important Meal of the Day: 10 Delicious Low-Cal Breakfast Ideas You Need to Try

The Most Important Meal of the Day: 10 Delicious Low-Cal Breakfast Ideas You Need to Try

Are you one of the 43% of Americans who are actively trying to make healthier choices in their lifestyle? If you are, you also might be in the 80% of people who believe that eating a healthy diet requires you to make sacrifices.

While you might not be able to eat a daily McMuffin or indulge in bacon fat eggs loaded with cheese and a side of oily hashbrowns, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice delicious meals while also eating healthier foods.

It might sound too good to be true that you can still eat nutritious low-calorie breakfasts to help with weight loss that taste anything but low calorie.

But it can be done with a bit of meal prep and trying out different recipes that work for you and your taste preferences.

Don’t believe us? Well, get ready to be proved wrong. This list of our 10 favorite low cal breakfast ideas and recipes is going to make you a believer.

Thinking of Skipping Breakfast Altogether? Think Again

You might be thinking to yourself that it’s better to save on calories by skipping breakfast altogether. But, did you know that skipping breakfast has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity/weight gain?

There’s a reason that breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. Scientists believe that getting those essential nutrients and energy from food in the morning is crucial to regulating your hunger throughout the day.

Think about it from your own personal experience: when you skip breakfast, aren’t you starving by lunchtime? Aren’t you more likely to overeat or overindulge on snacks or at your next meal because you’re so hungry from not eating in the morning?

Not eating breakfast can also hurt your overall energy levels and mental performance throughout the day.

You’ll feel tired, unmotivated, a lack of concentration, etc. You also won’t have the energy to exercise, which is a crucial part of a weight loss journey.

Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you to stop skipping your morning meal, let’s get into some delicious recipes you can try out without going over on your allotted calories.

1. Fruit Protein Smoothie

Not everyone has the biggest appetite in the morning, which can lead to the desire to skip breakfast. But since you now know that you shouldn’t do that, even those who can’t stomach solid foods in the morning will be able to get the right start with a fruit and protein smoothie.

Studies show that eating protein in the morning can ward off hunger pangs, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and fight off cravings you might have for not-so-healthy foods (looking at you, office donuts).

Loading your smoothies with healthy fruits adds to your daily fiber intake, which can also help keep you full until your next meal, all while staying super low in calories.

Try out this recipe:

  • 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup of frozen raspberries
  • 1 small container of non-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of milk (either skim, almond, or soy)
  • 1 scoop protein powder

This will make a delicious smoothie that’s filling, nutritious, and under 300 calories!

2. Poached Egg Over Toast

Eggs are another excellent protein source to try out in the morning. They’re packed with protein, selenium, healthy fats, and healthy cholesterol. They’re also naturally low in calories: one large egg is only about 80 calories.

To avoid adding any extra unhealthy calories, don’t cook the eggs in butter or oil. You can cook it on a non-stick pan or with zero calorie spray, or you could try poaching or hard/soft boiling it.

Throw two large eggs over a piece of high-fiber multigrain toast, a little bit of hot sauce, and a cup of coffee, and you have a simple and easy low-calorie breakfast that will keep you full and focused.

3. Yogurt and Fruit Parfait

As with both protein smoothies and eggs, yogurt is a high-protein option to add to your breakfast recipe arsenal.

One study showed that people who ate yogurt throughout the week had a lower chance of being overweight or obese. The same study found these results were amplified when those people also ate diets high in fruit.

So combine the two by adding together a container of your favorite yogurt (Greek yogurt is highest in protein!) with some berries and bananas. You can also add in some healthy granola or nuts if you feel like you need to add a bit more substance to the meal.

Really want to cut down on your calories? Opt for plain yogurt with no added sugar and let the natural sugars in the fruit provide the sweetness.

4. Nut Butter, Banana, and Chia Seeds, Oh My!

This breakfast combines three “super breakfast foods” into one amazing meal.

Let’s start with bananas. Bananas are super high in fiber while also being low in calories. Fiber, as we mentioned before, can help ward off cravings and keep you feeling full for longer.

Studies also show adding fruit like bananas into your diet is strongly correlated with weight loss.

Chia seeds are also high in fiber, giving the same benefits we’ve gone over. But, they also have the unique quality of absorbancy. Chia seeds absorb liquid and expand after you consume them.

This will make you feel fuller. These tiny seeds are also high in protein and reduce levels of the “hunger hormone”, ghrelin.

Lastly, your favorite nut butter, whether that’s peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or whatever, is going to be packed with protein and healthy fats. While nut butter is high in calories, you only need a tiny amount, so it shouldn’t overload this recipe.

Take a small amount of nut butter, spread it on a slice of toast, and top it with sliced bananas and chia seeds for the perfect balanced breakfast.

5. Apple Cinnamon Oat Bran Muffin

We bet you thought that you’d have to give up all breakfast pastries to stay low cal in the morning, didn’t you?

But these apple cinnamon oat bran muffins are only a little over 120 calories per muffin. They’re also packed with protein, glycemic controlling oatmeal and bran, and fiber.

Spread a bit of nut butter or healthy jam on these muffins as you go for a filling and delicious breakfast.

6. Loaded Veggie Omelet

Let’s give you another savory option after giving almost only sweet ones. Omelets are notorious for getting unhealthy: remember that huge plate-sized one from your favorite dinner that oozed cheese and oil?

Yeah, this isn’t that. It’s just as delicious though and probably 1000 times healthier.

You’ll need:

  • Two large eggs
  • Zero calorie cooking spray
  • Diced onion
  • Mixed peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup spinach

All of these veggies are going to add very few calories but plenty of volume and nutrients to this meal. That combined with the eggs is going to keep you full for just around 300 calories.

First, throw the spinach into the pan to wilt. Once it’s reduced in size, add in the mushrooms and onion to cook down. Once the onions are translucent, add in the rest of the veggies and season with salt and pepper.

Lastly, add in your whisked eggs and cook everything into an omelet form. Season as you go with some salt and pepper. Dill is another great seasoning to add to eggs.

Top it off with some of your favorite hot sauce, and you have a large and filling breakfast that low in calories that also won’t make you feel gross the rest of the day like your old diner favorite probably will.

7. Sweet Potato Breakfast Burrito

This breakfast burrito is packed with food, you’ll be shocked to learn that the entire thing is only around 300 calories.

The protein comes from both egg whites and black beans. The black beans are also high in fiber, which you know by now is beneficial for low-calorie breakfasts to stay filling.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and have been shown to help regulate sugar levels. They also have healthy carbs that boost your energy and can help you burn calories in between meals. The avocado in this adds the perfect amount of creaminess along with healthy fats.

Here’s your ingredient list:

  • 1 low carb whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 large egg (separated white from the yolk)
  • 1/2 of a sweet potato
  • 2 teaspoons enchilada sauce
  • Cumin, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 avocado diced
  • 1/4 cup of canned black beans, rinsed

Start by microwaving the sweet potato for around 5 minutes, or until it’s soft. Remove, separate the flesh from the skin, and mash in a bowl.

Next, beat your egg whites. Add to a pan over medium heat. While the eggs cook, combine your beans and all of your spices in a bowl.

Once the eggs are cooked, remove them from the pan.

Warm your tortilla, and get to burrito making! Add the eggs, potato, avocado, and bean mixture altogether. Before rolling the burrito, add in your enchilada and/or hot sauce.

This goes great with salsa and sour cream. To avoid the calories of sour cream, try plain Greek yogurt for low fat, lower calories, and a boost of protein!

8. Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

Pancakes are another breakfast favorite you probably thought you’d never see again on a low-calorie diet. As with the muffin, you (fortunately) thought wrong!

This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction is only 122 calories per pancake. Load two of them up with strawberries, bananas, a bit of peanut butter, and a dash of maple syrup for a breakfast that feels indulgent but still is only about 300 calories.

These pancakes are also filled with excellent sources of protein and fiber. The oatmeal in it has been linked to balancing blood sugar levels, maintaining fullness, reducing appetite, and helping your cardiovascular health.

9. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich

Let’s end with a staple: the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. Are you surprised to see both bacon and cheese on a list of low cal breakfast ideas?

Well, so are we. Both bacon and cheese are usually high in harmful fat and cholesterol. However, this recipe uses lean turkey bacon that’s low in fat and high in delicious protein.

It also uses fat-free cheese to keep the fat, and the calories, low while also giving you the delicious bacon cheesy goodness we all crave once in a while.

In total, this yummy and easy to make breakfast sandwich is only around 200 calories. Beef it up with a slice of avocado to add a bit more pizzazz, or keep in simple and plain with a side of berries.

Low Cal Breakfast Ideas to Start Your Day Right

No matter what type of breakfast you crave, you can find at least an idea of what you should eat right here on this list.

Sweet or savory, hot or cold, each one of these low cal breakfast ideas will provide you with key energy and nutrients you need without the excessive calories that traditional breakfasts can bring.

And with the variety you see here, perhaps it gives you a bit more confidence that you can maintain a low calorie and nutritious diet without getting bored or only eating dull and bland salads for every meal.

These meals are also quick and easy to make, so you don’t have any excuse not to try them out!

While weight loss and staying healthy doesn’t seem as quick and easy as these recipes, it can be. Try out our 9-week program to see fast results getting you closer to your dream body with each day!

Contact us with any questions or to get for more information to get started.

10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight and How to Fix Them

10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight and How to Fix Them

Over half of Americans say they’re trying to lose weight. It can often feel like you’re doing everything right, but you’re not losing weight.

You’ve tried the most recent fad diet and committed to a rigorous exercise regime, but the pounds aren’t shifting.

The answer has to be somewhere. Don’t give up just yet!

Instead, find out why losing weight is hard and what you can do to fix it. Check it out below!

1. Not Getting Enough Protein

If you’re having a hard time losing weight, then you could still be eating the wrong things.

Even if you’ve reduced your overall consumption, you might need to increase your protein intake. You want to lose fat, not muscle.

People who eat a protein-rich diet (between 15 and 25% of overall calories) store nearly 50% of excess calories as muscle rather than fat. If your diet consists of only 5% proteins, then 95% of your excess calories are stored as fat, not muscle.

So make sure you’re eating plenty of eggs, lean meats, and legumes in your diet.

2. Dehydration

Apparently, 80% of working Americans don’t drink enough water on a regular basis. You may be eating great, but are you drinking enough water?

After all, up to 65% of the human body is made up of water. It’s essential to the healthy functioning of your body.

However, it’s also really important when it comes to weight loss. High water consumption can even improve your metabolism by up to 30%.

3. High-Stress Levels

We’re stressed!

It could be about our country’s future. Our personal finances. Or about work.

If you’re trying to lose weight, then high-stress levels are really not helping. There is a correlation between high stress and larger weight lines, according to studies.

You can either get started with mindful meditation, which has been shown to reduce mental stress and anxiety. Or you may need to make some drastic decisions about your work and home life. Either way, your stressful life could be responsible for not losing weight with diet and exercise.

4. You’re Click Happy

We quickly moving toward a cashless society. However, this could have some significant consequences for people trying to lose weight.

Studies have shown that people who use credit cards to pay for groceries online are more likely to make unhealthy purchases. Therefore, if you think you’re guilty of being “click happy” with your credit card, then it’s time to switch back to the green stuff.

5. Missing Out On Sleep

You may have trouble losing weight because you’re not getting enough sleep.

According to research, not enough sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for developing obesity. Therefore, the fact that more than one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep is worrying.

If you want better sleep, you may need to consider when the best time to do exercise is to optimize your shut-eye. Or how you set a regular bedtime and wake-up time to improve your sleep patterns.

6. Lack of Vegetables and Fruits

Do you only ever buy food which has nutritional information on the label?

You don’t need to only purchase groceries which are labeled “low fat” or “no added sugar.”

Instead, why not purchase whole foods which don’t have any labels at all. Most importantly, you need to be eating fresh fruit and vegetables to lose weight.

By eating fresh fruit and veggies you can also maintain your healthy diet after you’ve achieved your weight loss goal.

7. Overeating

Do you ever think – “It’s healthy! I can eat as much of this as I want.” This is a dangerous game to play.

It’s also possible to overeat low-calorie and so-called “healthy” foods. Simply put, if you’re consuming calories that you’re not burning off, then you’re overeating.

Eating fruit can be essential to feed your cravings if you’re cutting out candy and chocolate. But, you can also eat too much of this good stuff too.

8. Drinking Calories

It’s so easy to concentrate too much on what you’re eating and forget that your drinks count as calories too.

If you often find yourself drinking lattes and smoothies instead of water, then you need to count those calories as well.

Although your regular black coffee doesn’t contain many calories, lattes and other milky coffee drinks do. Even a latte without sugar and low-fat milk contains up to 150 calories. However, if you’re choosing to add syrups and whole milk, you could be going over 400 calories.

When you consume sweet drinks, this also triggers your cravings for more food. So, you’re making it harder for yourself.

9. You’re Hungry

If you want to lose weight, you’re probably going to reduce the number of calories you are consuming. You can always go too far!

If you reduce your calories too much and too quickly, you could starve yourself. This slows down your metabolism so you can’t lose weight as easily.

If you’re eating less than 400 calories, your body could stop functioning normally. Your stress levels will increase and your thyroid hormones breakdown.

10. Run Don’t Walk

Even though any physical activity can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, if you want to lose weight, you need to do more than just walking.

Low-intensity workouts, such as walking with friends in the park, can be great, but you need to go up a gear as well.

You need to do moderate-intensity exercises if you want the pounds to fall off you. These include jogging, swimming, and cycling.

Why You’re Not Losing Weight

When you’re not losing weight with diet and exercise, it can be hard to stay motivated to achieve your weight loss goal. However, there are numerous reasons why you’re having a hard time losing weight.

Now you know what mistakes you need to watch out. It’s time to fix them and get back on track.

Do you want to find out more about how we can help you overcome your setback? Check out our 9-week challenge here!

How Much Weight Can You Lose In 2 Months? How to Set Weight Loss Goals that You Can Smash

How Much Weight Can You Lose In 2 Months? How to Set Weight Loss Goals that You Can Smash

Are you depressed by the statistic that 95% of people regain weight after losing it?

So many diets claim that you can lose weight with a magic pill or an expensive gym membership. What you really need is a heavy dose of realism!

Do you want to know how much weight can you lose in 2 months?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the safe amount of weight to lose in a month is 4 to 8 pounds. So, in over 2 months you can lose up to 16 pounds. But, it’s up to you!

Follow our tips to find out how you can set weight loss goals that you can smash this time. Let’s get started!

1. Concentrate on the Process

Imagine you want to achieve your weight loss goal of 16 pounds in 2 months. But, that’s not the whole story!

It’s important to concentrate on the process rather than the outcome. Your outcome goal is 16 pounds in 2 months. Your process goals are the steps you take to reach your outcome goal.

For example, your process goal may be to do 30 minutes of physical exercise each morning. Or eating a vegan diet during the weekdays.

Instead of thinking about the abstract goal at the end of the tunnel, you need to focus on the habits and behavior which can help you make it to the end.

2. Setbacks are Normal

Weight loss is not easy. You’re going to have setbacks along the way.

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you binge eat after a difficult day at work. Or when you skip your yoga class to watch television.

If you expect setbacks are going to happen, you can prepare for them when you encounter them.

When you know your friend’s birthday party is around the corner, you can plan how you’re going to deal with it. How are you going to say no to the slice of pizza?

3. Adapt Your Goals

You begin with a goal of 16 pounds in 2 months. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to it!

If you’re making significant progress after a couple of weeks, you could increase your weight loss target to 20 pounds in 2 months.

You could decide that you were too ambitious with your goal the first time around. Instead, you need to reduce your weight loss goal!

Instead set a different target. This time ask yourself – can I lose 10 pounds in a month?

4. Get a Weight Loss Buddy

Social support is really important when it comes to weight loss. Your network of family and friends is hugely valuable. You also need a weight loss buddy who is going through the same thing as you.

When you’ve hit rock bottom and you’re on the edge of reaching for the refrigerator, you can call your weight loss buddy for help. Your weight loss buddy knows your weight loss goals and your strategies to achieve them. Your buddy keeps you accountable to your promises.

Instead of a weight loss buddy, you can also hire a professional coach to help you keep your weight loss goals.

5. Remind Yourself of Your Goal

Don’t allow yourself to forget your weight loss goal! There are numerous different techniques to remind yourself on a regular basis of what you set out to achieve.

You can visualize your success! Imagine what you’re going to look like when you’ve accomplished your goal.

Spend time repeating phrases which help you to stay motivated in hard times. Such as, “no thanks, I’ve already eaten” and “I can do this!”

6. Track Your Progress

It’s helpful to keep a weight loss journal which tracks your progress each day. Include everything you’re eating, your time spent doing exercise and your current weight and measurements.

It is easy to pretend you’re losing weight when you’re actually not. Telling yourself you’re eating healthy, but not counting the snacks you had in between meals is not helping.

7. Meditation to Focus

You may wonder what meditation has to do with weight loss. After all, surely sitting down and meditating is time wasted when you could be burning calories, right?

And yet, there is scientific evidence that meditation improves your ability to concentrate on your goals in weight loss. There are also numerous other health benefits of meditation practice. These include relieving the symptoms of stress and improving your emotional awareness.

8. Always Meal Prep

When you come home from work, the last thing you want to do is prepare and cook a delicious healthy meal. Instead, spend one day per week meal prepping for the rest of the week.

Then, when you come home from work, instead of getting a take-out, you just warm-up the healthy meal you made earlier. If you really need to order take-out, then choose a healthy option.

9. Buy New Clothes

We reward ourselves with tasty foods a lot of the time.

Did you get a promotion? Go buy some yummy candy from the store!

Graduated from college? Congrats! Let’s go out for an expensive meal.

When you want to lose weight, eating and drinking can longer be your reward for your achievements. When you’ve achieved one of your weight loss milestones, go shopping for clothes instead!

This doesn’t undo your hard work. But also, you get to enjoy your slimmer look in a new get-up.

10. Sleep Well

If you want to achieve your weight loss goal, then you need to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is just as important as healthy eating and physical activity for weight loss.

Many people don’t get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. In fact, over one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep.

Poor sleep increases your risk of obesity by up to 55%. So, make sure you get plenty of shut-eye.

How Much Weight Can You Lose in 2 Months?

If you want to achieve your weight loss goal, then follow our tips for staying on track. We can help you to determine how much weight can you lose in 2 months. We’ll help you every step of the way.

If you want to know more about how we can help you, check out our 9-week challenge now!

17 Fun Weight Loss Rewards to Help Keep You Inspired

17 Fun Weight Loss Rewards to Help Keep You Inspired

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study conducted a few years ago, almost 50 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight at any given time.

Some people are attempting to shed a few pounds to make themselves healthier. Others are doing it in an effort to look better in their clothes. And there are, of course, some moms looking to bounce back from pregnancy and lose baby weight.

There are so many different reasons to lose weight, but finding the motivation to do it can be tough. It’s why you should consider treating yourself to weight loss rewards throughout your journey.

Exercise rewards will make you more motivated than ever before to lose as much weight as you can. They’ll also give you something to look forward to as you strive to lose weight.

Here are 17 rewards that are guaranteed to keep you inspired.

1. Purchase New Workout Gear

There are a lot of people who make the mistake of treating themselves to new workout gear as soon as they commit to getting back in the gym to lose weight. They think it’ll help them take their commitment more seriously.

Resist the urge to do this and wait until after you’ve established a routine before buying new workout gear. It’ll prevent you from buying gear that you don’t actually need. It’ll also allow new workout gear to serve as one of your very first weight loss rewards.

2. Treat Yourself to a Massage

Is your goal to completely transform the look of your body by losing weight? This 9 Week Challenge will provide you with everything you’ll need to make your weight loss dreams a reality in a short amount of time.

You will, however, find that you’re pretty sore during the first few weeks of working out. Your muscles are going to ache, and your entire body will feel drained at times.

This is not necessarily a bad thing! It’s actually a sign that your body is responding to the workouts you’re doing and getting into better shape. But that won’t make you feel any better when you’re very sore.

A massage can take care of the soreness and inflammation you might feel following a string of hard workouts. It’ll also improve your blood flow and make your muscles feel looser than they would otherwise.

Treat yourself to a nice massage to get your body feeling its best again. This will motivate you to get back into the gym quicker.

3. Take a Beach Vacation

A study that was done a few years ago revealed that about one-third of Americans would rather take a trip to the dentist’s office than put on a bathing suit. They simply can’t stand the way they look in a swimsuit.

This won’t be a problem for you once you start losing a bunch of weight. You’re going to be excited about slipping into a swimsuit for the first time in a long time.

Circle a date on your calendar and tell yourself that you’re going to take a beach vacation at that time. You’ll feel an unprecedented amount of motivation every time you go to the gym when you use beach vacations as exercise rewards.

4. Try a New Hairstyle

Once you start losing weight, you’re going to have to get used to hearing, “You look so much different!”, every time you bump into someone who hasn’t seen you in a while. They’ll be blown away by your new look.

Why not start getting used to it now by trying a new hairstyle? Whether you decide to chop all your hair off or just make a small change to it, it’ll help you prepare for all the looks you’re going to be getting when the pounds start coming off in the coming weeks.

5. Participate in a Recreational Sports League

There’s a reason why about 80 percent of American adults don’t get enough exercise on a regular basis. It’s because they don’t enjoy the monotony that comes along with going to the gym day after day after day after…well, you get the point.

When you spend almost every day in the gym, it can start to get boring after a little while. So why not spice things up by finding fun ways to exercise in between gym workouts?

One good way to do it is by participating in a recreational sports league. There are adult leagues all over the country that would be more than happy to welcome you into the mix.

You can sign up for a sports league on your own and meet some new friends or team up with your existing friends to start your own team. Either way, it’ll allow you to blow off some steam while taking part in something you enjoy.

6. Get a Tattoo

We’ve already talked about how you’re going to want to show off plenty of skin once you begin losing weight. Going to the beach and sitting by the pool will start to become the norm for you when you’re not carrying around a bunch of extra weight.

And while you’re showing off your skin for the first time in a while, won’t it be great to show off a new tattoo (or two?!), too? Tattoos make great weight loss rewards for those who are ready to start showing off their muscles more in the future.

Studies have shown that about 40 percent of Americans now have tattoos. Additionally, 25 percent have more than one tattoo. Treat yourself to some fresh ink today and use it to remind yourself of how far you’ve come so far.

7. Pick Up New Running Sneakers

Most fitness experts will tell you that it’s smart to replace your running sneakers every 300 to 500 miles. That might seem like a long time in between sneaker replacements, but it’ll sneak up on you when you’re knocking out a few miles at a time.

If your current sneakers are on the older side, throw them in the trash and replace them with new ones as one of your exercise rewards. You’ll love how they fit, and you’ll cut down on your chances of suffering feet and leg injuries thanks to your new sneakers.

8. Have Updated Headshots Taken at Work

Do you cringe every time you look at the photo on your work ID? Or do you have a professional headshot on your company’s website that makes you want to quit tomorrow just so that they’ll take the picture down?

Now is the perfect time to do something about it. Walk into work as soon as you can and ask for a new photo to be taken of you. As long as you like the weight loss progress you’ve made thus far, it’ll give you an opportunity to show off how far you’ve come.

9. Splurge on a Mani-Pedi

The best weight loss rewards are the ones that allow you to pamper yourself. We already talked about the benefits of getting a massage, but there are other ways you can pamper yourself when you’re not lying down on the massage table.

Splurging on a manicure and pedicure is one terrific option. You’ll feel so relaxed after heading down to the salon to get both your fingernails and your toenails pampered.

And if you need more rewards than just that? Go all out and visit a local spa for a mani-pedi along with a facial and whatever other spa treatments they have to offer.

10. Enroll in Cooking Classes

Working out is obviously one of the keys to losing weight. You need to burn as many calories as you possibly can in the gym to see the pounds start to fall off.

But outside of working out, it’s also important for you to eat healthily. This starts with finding the right foods for your specific body type and also includes learning how to prepare the proper meals in your kitchen.

To make it easier for you to diet, consider enrolling yourself in some cooking classes so that you can learn how to cook things that will taste good and be good for you. This is one of the weight loss rewards that will continue rewarding you for a long, long time.

11. Buy a Better Mattress

In addition to working out and eating right, there’s one other thing you’ll need to do to lose weight: Sleep! Sleep will allow your body to recover from your workouts and make losing weight easier on you.

The problem? Americans are becoming more and more sleep deprived by the year. Smartphones, Netflix, and all the other technological advances that have come along have made sleep expendable for some people. It’s why one-third of Americans don’t sleep enough.

Avoid being sleep deprived by buying yourself a better mattress. It’ll make you want to spend as much time in bed as you possibly can moving forward.

12. Invest in New Headphones

Are you still using the headphones that came with your smartphone to listen to music at the gym?

Put an end to that immediately and invest in high-quality headphones that will enhance your workout. Ideally, you should look for a pair of Bluetooth headphones that will sync up with your smartphone or, better yet, your smartwatch and make it easy to scroll through your workout playlist.

13. Put Together a New Playlist

Speaking of a workout playlist, you do have one of those, right?

If not, get on it immediately. There are hundreds of workout songs that’ll get you into the right frame of mind to work out harder in the gym.

Studies have shown that music can actually make it more fun to exercise. It can also motivate you to push yourself, which will ultimately lead to you losing more weight than you could have imagined.

14. Ask Friends to Take a Fitness Class

If your motivation levels have been low in the gym lately, think about making one of your weight loss rewards fitness classes with your friends. Whether you choose to take yoga classes, spin classes, or other types of classes, you’ll find that you get more out of your workouts when you’re in a group.

There are many benefits that come along with working out as part of a group. They include everything from increased socialization to lower stress levels. Give it a shot today.

15. Subscribe to a New Magazine

There is so much you can learn about making the most of your workouts right online. You don’t need fitness magazines anymore to obtain workout tips.

But if you still enjoy getting your hands on a magazine every now and then (maybe to bring along with you on your beach vacation?), subscribe to one of the many fitness magazines as one of your exercise rewards.

You can find tips on working out, eating right, sleeping, and so much more in these magazines. And if nothing else, looking at photos of other fit people will give you a kick in the butt and motivate you like never before.

16. Enjoy a Cheat Day

Sticking to a diet day in and day out is a tall task. It can start to feel like it’s going to be impossible to do it when there’s no end in sight. Enter: The cheat day!

Cheat days give you a chance to eat all the things you abstain from on a regular basis. You can chow down on pizza, brownies, and whatever else you miss eating when you’re dieting.

You shouldn’t go too crazy with your cheat days and end up slipping back into old habits. But if you indulge every now and again, it can actually help you stay on track as you work towards losing weight.

17. Take On a New Training Routine

After you spend a few months working out and lose a bunch of weight, it’s not uncommon to hit what’s called a “weight loss plateau.” It’s when you suddenly stop losing weight after dropping a bunch of pounds.

One way to combat a weight loss plateau is by trying a new training routine on for size. If you’ve been doing nothing but weight training, give cardio a try. Or if you’ve been doing nothing but running, try hitting the weights and see how it goes.

By simply switching up your workout, you can shake things up in your body and get it to start burning calories and shedding pounds again.

Start Using These Weight Loss Rewards Now

Losing weight takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. But you also need to reward yourself from time to time to keep your motivation levels up.

The weight loss rewards listed here should give you all the motivation you’ll need to keep working hard in the gym and continue eating right. Work your way through them and reward yourself whenever you need a quick boost.

Contact us today to get the fitness coaching and training you need to keep your weight loss goals on track.

Tools of the Trade: 15 Must-Have Gym Accessories You Should Keep in Your Gym Bag

Tools of the Trade: 15 Must-Have Gym Accessories You Should Keep in Your Gym Bag

Are you just getting started in fitness? At least the kind of fitness that involves going to the gym or working with a trainer?

A lot of people never start because they feel intimidated. They feel like there’s a workout learning curve and they don’t want to feel silly. First of all – everyone looks silly at first and second, that’s why you need a plan from respected trainers.

Once you get past the anxiety, you learn that there are gym accessories you need as well. But don’t worry about figuring out what they are. We have thirteen essentials for you to throw in your bag below.

1. Gym Bag Dividers

If you’re the kind of person who gets serious at the gym: like changes and showers out of their sweaty clothes after, then you need dividers or at least a gym bag with good pockets.

You don’t want to be standing in the locker room hot and sweaty trying to find all the things you need to take to the shower. Instead, they should be in some sort of shower-friendly bag/kit.

Look for materials made out of mesh or netting, so if they get wet, the water can escape and dry. If they do get wet, wrap them in your used towel on your way home.

The towel will soak up any water and it won’t get anything else in your bag wet.

Dividers or pockets are also great for shoes so that the dirty bottoms don’t touch your other clothes. Ideally, you’ll have gym shoes that you only wear in the gym – but there are germs indoor too.

2. Deodorant

Yes, this one seems like a no brainer, but we all know that person in the gym that forgets it. You should have a separate deodorant that only lives in your gym bag.

When you use it, put it right back in its little pocket. This way, you’ll never be without.

But having deodorant on hand has another, less known use. If you forgot your chafe cream or you’re starting to rub a blister, you can glide deodorant on.

For a blister-to-be, the best solution is duct tape. But aside from that, you can rub some deodorant on the skin (under your sock) where you’re getting rubbed.

Some people like to rub deodorant on the outside of the sock over the spot, but that’s your choice.

If this happens to you a lot or you’re a bigger person (you’re welcome here), look into Body Glide. It’s a product made to prevent skin-on-skin chafing.

3. Hair Accessories

As long as you have hair, this point is for you. Whether that means a hairbrush, a comb, or both and some hair ties.

Being without a hair tie at the gym with long hair is only second to forgetting your headphones. A good trick to make sure you never forget them is to loop some around your water bottle.

Or, keep them around the base of your hairbrush. That way you’ll have them at hand. You can also throw in bobby pins, dry shampoo, and headbands if you’d like.

For shorter hair, don’t forget any styling products like gels.

4. Arnica Gel or Icy Hot

It happens to everyone — even us. You step wrong or you over-lift and you already know you’ll be hurting tomorrow. Prep yourself and decrease the inflammation with some pain-relief gel.

Some people like the sensation of Tiger Balm or Icy Hot — while others hate it. If you don’t want to tingle into tomorrow, try Arnica gel. It’s a natural remedy for soreness (and bruises).

5. Cleansing Wipes

In a perfect world, you should have time to shower after a workout. But we don’t live in that perfect world — do you? Many of us have to run off to another thing, lucky if we have time to change clothes.

Working out at home can help with the rush factor, but still, you shouldn’t run around all sweaty and smelly. Throw both some face wipes and baby wipes in your gym bag.

Neutrogena has a great product for this use, their Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes. We love the smell and their effectiveness. The wipes have cleansers in them, so they shouldn’t be used on sensitive body parts.

One of the most important places to wipe down (if you can’t shower) after a workout, is your crotch. A soggy crotch creates a perfect environment for bacteria.

That’s why our next item is on the list.

The baby wipes are perfect of wiping down those more sensitive areas and you can use them for all sorts of things too. Spill some protein powder in your bag? Now you have what you need to wipe it up.

6. Fresh Underwear

Yes, we said it. You should never, ever, stay in the same pants and underpants you just worked out in.

The yoga pants-type material most workout bottoms come in don’t breathe. That means whatever sweat that gathers there during your workout, stays there.

If you don’t change your underwear after a workout, you’re more likely to get both yeast infections and UTI’s.

Even if you didn’t bring a whole new outfit, make sure you stash a few pairs of clean underwear in your bag in case you forget.

And men – it’s not likely you’ll get those annoying conditions, but it’s still more sanitary to change after.

7. A Shaker Bottle

The two tips that follow this one aren’t any good on their own. You can “dry scoop” your pre-workout, but it’s not good for your taste buds (or lungs).

So, you want to make sure you have a good shaker bottle. The brand name Shaker Bottle came out around 2010. It has a little round ball in it which breaks up clumps of powder in liquid.

But there are other brands as well. The hurricane cup is a great one, as are bottles that have screens and shaker balls combined. You can find these at any large store near you.

Or check online if that’s more your jam.

If you do both pre and post workout drinks, look for a bottle that has a powder container. They usually screw on the bottom of the cup.

That way you can mix your pre or post workout fresh once you get to the gym.

8. Pre-Workout Powder or Drink

There’s one thing a lot of people don’t realize they need when working out – pre-workout. Pre-workout is a powder made of proteins, vitamins and some caffeine – all things that help you blast through your reps.

Right now, BANG is the big name in pre-workout, but it changes every couple of months. People like BANG because it’s low carb, which is great for people following the keto diet.

When you’re looking for pre-workout, make sure you read reviews online first. Some brands put too much caffeine and people note feeling jittery and anxious, not motivated to get through their workout.

If you’re jumping out of bed and running to the gym bright eyed and bushy tailed, then you can skip this. But if you’re trying to get through a workout after work and you’re already tired, try pre-workout.

The difference in your energy will surprise you.

9. Some Form of Protein (Post-Workout)

You need to eat protein within 20 minutes of finishing your workout. That’s what your muscles and your body needs to “lock in” the muscles you just built.

And yes, even if you’re not lifting large amounts, this applies to you too.

A lot of people take protein powder to the gym or keep it in their car for their way home, but that’s not the only option.

You can throw some almonds or pre-packed snacks full of protein in your bag as well.

Along with your protein, some people like to take amino acids after they workout. They find that they’re less sore the next day, so they can go just as hard as they did the day before.

You can look for those as post-workout or recovery drinks. Just make sure they have the essential amino acids in them before you buy.

10. The Right Shoes

We know that workout shoes are expensive, but think of them as a specialty item. Cross trainers are made/shaped differently than shoes meant for running.

And that’s a good thing! When you’re doing fast footwork, you don’t want shoes that have a big or tall bottom part. Why? If you move side to side in those shoes, you have more chance of rolling your ankle by stepping sideways.

Another example: runners need a lot of cushioning in their shoes. They are literally pounding the pavement after all. If you’re weight lifting, usually the gym floor (or your home carpet) is padded.

You don’t need as much cushioning as those continuously hitting the pavement.

If you use our program, look for some minimalist cross-trainers. They’re going to serve you best for the large range of exercises in our most popular programs.

11. Wireless Headphones

One of the best things about Bluetooth technology? Not having to be tied down to headphones in the gym. If you workout as hard as we do, you’re always accidentally yanking one out or the other.

And it’s annoying to feel that little bounce from the wires as you do cardio with headphones attached to your phone.

Go the route Google and Apple are already pushing people and invest in wireless headphones. The pair you choose shouldn’t have too long of a cord connecting them if there’s a cord at all.

Airbuds are the ideal solution, but they’re expensive and get lost easily.

If you don’t go the airbuds and look-alikes route, look for some that will hook over your ears. This will keep the buds in when you’re really giving those moves everything you’ve got.

And hey, when you’re done, wipe them down with a baby wipe to keep sweat and bacteria from building up on them. Good thing you already have those in your bag!

12. A Timer (or SmartWatch)

We already know that using some form of interval training is essential for burning fat. And to do interval training, you need some sort of timer.

Phones have timers, but they can be obnoxious to mess with and you can fall into looking-at-your-apps land. Instead, look for a smartwatch or fitness watch that has pre-set (or settable) timer/HIIT options.

These are also good to track your heart rate, potential calorie burn, and make sure you don’t miss an important call while your phone is in your pocket.

Fitbit is the big brand name, but there are plenty of other good options.

13. Portable Phone Charger

The worst thing that could happen (okay, at least one of them) is that your phone dies before your workout. Now not only do you not have your notes or exercises, but you don’t have any music.

Doing a hard workout without music isn’t something we’d wish on even our worst enemies.

So, make sure you’re never stuck in that position. Get a small portable charger and throw it in your bag. That way you have juice on the go.

And if you use it while you’re working out – plug it into the car jack on your way home. That way you remember to grab it and it’ll be charged next time you get out of the car.

Your Gym Accessories

Obviously, this list is going to change from person to person and from gym to gym. Maybe your gym doesn’t even have showers, so you don’t need to worry about that.

Or maybe you do all your workouts from home, in which case, there’s a different set of things you need (like hand weights).

But those are the basic gym accessories, at least according to us.

Ready to get started with your new, perfectly packed gym bag? Click here.

Cardio vs Weightlifting: How to Decide Which Is Best for Your Weight Loss

Cardio vs Weightlifting: How to Decide Which Is Best for Your Weight Loss

You know how it goes.

You try to prepare healthy meals for yourself. Maybe you even count your calories. Sometimes, it just isn’t enough.

For those of us who want to lose weight, we need to add some exercise to our routine to see the best results.

With so many options, it can be hard to choose what’s best for you. Let’s talk about the two most popular types of exercise. Weightlifting and cardio.

Why Diet Doesn’t Always Cut It

This is a tough one to say because a good diet has so much to offer.

Don’t think that we’re saying diet isn’t important! You’ve probably heard the expression: “Abs start in the kitchen.” It’s true. Diet can account for the majority of our weight loss results. The issue is that for some of us, it just isn’t enough.

For some people, the problem is having too many cheat meals. For others, it’s simple genetics.

A proper combination of diet and exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. Let’s talk about the benefits.

Why Exercise is Important

Let’s start with the basics. To understand which form of exercise is right for you, we need to understand what we’re talking about.

We all know that diet and exercise can lead to a very healthy life, but why?

Here are just a few benefits of regular exercise, in any capacity:

Increased Energy 

Okay, yes. Sometimes we leave the gym feeling exhausted. There is no denying it.

However, we still benefit from a lot of energy-boosting hormones that develop the more we exercise.

People who work out tend to get better, more effective sleep. This leads to significantly improved levels of energy throughout the day. No more feeling tired at work!

Check out the best times to exercise for better sleep.

Improved Mood and Brain Health

Exercise is known for the benefits to your body. It can go a long way for your overall health, too.

Regular exercise releases hormones and neurotransmitters. These include:

  • Serotonin – Known as the “Happy Hormone”. It regulates mood, social behavior, sleep, memory, and digestion.
  • Dopamine – Known for pleasurable effects, as well as improved memory and emotions.
  • Norepinephrine – Promotes memory and focuses attention.

These neurotransmitters are naturally formed by your body. Keeping a healthy balance of them is believed to have a critical role in preventing conditions. These conditions include depression, anxiety, and even dementia.

If you haven’t heard enough reasons to start hitting the gym, we’re not even done!

Gaining Self-Confidence

This is an issue more and more people are struggling with. Whether we like it or not, we all want to look good.

Nothing helps build confidence like seeing results in the mirror. The best part: the results can keep coming!

Achieve the body you’ve always wanted, and learn to be happy with how you look!

Increased Strength and Endurance

This is the one we hear about the most.

Have you ever been out of breath after walking up a couple flights of stairs? Maybe you’ve had an embarrassing moment trying to lift up something heavy. We’ve all been there.

This is avoidable. Regular exercise can get us in shape, and build our strength!

Clearly, there are a lot of benefits to exercise. Enough to fill up a book. So let’s talk about the most popular types of exercise.

Weightlifting

Strength training has been a popular and effective tool for humans since the start of their existence. But everything evolves.

There are so many different forms of strength training, it’s hard to keep track. So let’s only talk about lifting weights, which has a few subcategories of its own.

Let’s discuss the most popular.

Machines

Weight machines are a new development and are very popular. You’ll see them in almost every weight room.

There are a lot of benefits to machines, including:

  • Ease of use – Machines do not require training for form. There are usually images that will show you the proper movement. You also only need to move a pin to change the weight.
  • Availability – Almost every gym now has incorporated machines into their equipment.
  • Muscle growth – Varying your machine use is typically used for muscle growth, more than strength.

Let’s flip to the other side of the coin. Here are some of the downsides of machines:

  • Isolation movements – Machines tend to focus on one muscle or one muscle group. Compound movements are more effective for gaining strength.
  • Limited function – These are unnatural movements and do not translate well into functional strength.
  • Can increase the risk of injury – With the unnatural movements involved, and the added weight, it can lead to injury.

Here is a helpful guide to weight machines if you want to learn more.

Free Weights

Using dumbbells and barbells is great for functional strength and muscular endurance.

Free weight exercises have a lot of benefits:

  • Control and stability – Gain more balance and coordination by mastering the movements.
  • Strength – You will see strength gains in free weight training a lot more than with machines.
  • Function – Gain functional strength to help you with your daily activities.

The risks of free weight exercises include:

  • Learning the form – This can take time, but it’s absolutely necessary.
  • The potential for injury – This is especially true if we don’t learn the form!

These exercises can include a very wide variety. Here are some examples of free weight exercises.

Powerlifting

This is the best for pure strength. Powerlifting consists of only three functional movements:

  • Squat – Mimics the motion of sitting down and standing up. Improves leg and core strength.
  • Bench Press – Uses a pushing motion. Improves chest, tricep and shoulder strength.
  • Deadlift – Practices the act of lifting something off of the ground. Works on core, back and leg strength.

The benefits of powerlifting are simple: building strength.

The downsides are just as clear:

  • Training – There is lots of practice involved in learning the proper form to limit the risk of injury.
  • Limited movements – You also commit yourself to train three specific movements. That’s not to say you can’t incorporate other training with it. Most powerlifters do.

So we’ve learned a bit about the different forms of weightlifting. You can learn more about weightlifting here. We will get into the benefits in a bit. For now, let’s talk about cardio.

Cardio

Let’s dive into a few popular forms of cardio.

Machines

Every gym has some treadmills. This can be an easy way to get started.

We all know about other machines like:

  • Elliptical machines – Not a very functional movement, but great for burning some calories!
  • Stair climbers – These are excellent for cardio, but they wear you out quickly.
  • Stationary bikes – Very popular and easy to use.

These are great. The most obvious downside is that it can get boring. Staying in one place the whole time can make you lose your motivation.

An added bonus is that a lot of these machines will give you feedback. Many will even estimate the number of calories you burn while using them.

There are a lot of different cardio machines out there. Here is a guide to the best and worst cardio machines if you want to learn more.

Running

This is something you can do anywhere.

Whether you’re jogging or sprinting, running can be very beneficial.

Find out which type of running is better for you.

Circuit Training

This could be anything. It often involves strength training, but typically with body-weight movements.

Circuit training can apply to pure weight training, as well.

For cardio, it can apply to combinations of running, jumping rope, or anything you can think of.

Check out some ideas on how to develop a circuit training routine.

Weightlifting and Cardio: Which is Better?

We’ve gone over a lot about how weightlifting and cardio differ. So which one is better? Let’s quickly summarize and talk about their benefits and risks.

Benefits of Weightlifting

Let’s discuss the overall benefits of weightlifting that all types share:

  • Increased metabolism – This is a big key to weight loss. Your starving muscles become a fat-burning machine. Calories burned lifting weights are not as much as with cardio. That’s during the workout. The “afterburn” more than makes up for it.
  • Improved strength – This can help you in your everyday life, in more ways than you would expect.
  • Long-term benefits – It is easier to get out of shape than to lose strength. On top of that, the metabolic benefits tend to last longer with weight training.

Let’s also debunk the myth that lifting weights will make women too bulky. It’s not a risk unless you are training for it.

An added bonus with weightlifting is you have more freedom. There is a large variety of movements. On top of that, you can change up your weight and rep scheme with ease.

Also, weightlifting can be fun! A lot of people get bored with cardio and other exercises. Weight training can be new and exciting almost every time you start a session.

There are a lot more benefits that we haven’t discussed. Talk to a personal trainer or click here to learn more.

Risks of Weightlifting

Let’s face it, you can have all of the practice in the world. It can be any type of weightlifting. There is a higher potential for injury.

Luckily, there are skilled personal trainers out there to help you avoid this.

On top of that, you are more likely to feel sore after a strength training workout. While beneficial, this can be a pain. Literally.

Weightlifting can be tough for beginners. The more you train, the more you gain. The risks will take care of themselves with proper training and consistency.

Benefits of Cardio

There are a lot. Cardio is largely associated with the health benefits that we discussed at the beginning. Let’s go over just a few:

  • Fewer restrictions – Cardio can be done anywhere, at any time. No need for equipment.
  • Heart health – It’s in the name.
  • Burning calories – This is cardio’s claim to fame.
  • Brain health – Cardio is a big help for releasing the hormones and neurotransmitters we discussed. There is really nothing better for it.

It’s easy to see why cardio can be appealing. You can let your mind wander and perform your tasks without thinking about it too much.

You also have the benefit of a pleasurable feeling the next day. There is less risk of feeling sore.

Obviously, these rewards don’t come without risks.

Risks of Cardio

One possible side effect of cardio is the loss of muscle. This is especially true for distance runners and joggers.

Another issue is exhaustion. Doing extensive amounts of cardio can lead to a hard desire to go to bed.

Last, but not least: fat retention. That’s right. Over-training with cardio can make your body adapt to stress. This can make your body lose muscle, and lower your metabolic rate. Research about the pros and cons of cardio to learn more.

No good thing comes without downsides. There are ways to avoid these. The longer you keep up with your training, the easier it gets.

Check out the 6 crucial facts of cardio to learn more.

The Winner

The edge has to go to weight lifting. The benefits of the “afterburn” are too hard to pass up. That increase in metabolism is extremely helpful in losing weight.

This is not to say that a combination of the two is a bad idea. There is nothing wrong with running and lifting weights. Cardio and weightlifting can go hand in hand.

Think about it. The stress reduction and other health benefits of cardio? The strength and metabolism boost from weightlifting? They make a great pair.

None of this can be accomplished without getting started. If you’re already doing cardio, and want to change it up, read up on how to start weightlifting now!

What’s Right For You?

Honestly, there is no right answer here.

The best advice we can give is to utilize the best of both worlds. Weightlifting and cardio. Or at least to try them both out and see what is best for you. Sticking to the plan is the most important part.

Either way, we’ve learned the benefits of exercising. There’s no need to wait. Now is the best time to start losing weight!

Check out our 9-week challenge and get started today!

No More Post-Baby Bump: 14 Tips to Help Busy Moms Lose Baby Weight

No More Post-Baby Bump:

14 Tips to Help Busy Moms Lose Baby Weight

As much as you love your new baby, you may not love the body that’s left behind. It can be manageable to lose baby weight with these great tips.

Did you know that it takes most women 3 years to get their confidence back after having a baby?

Although our bodies are incredible and can grow humans in 9 months, it takes time for your body to return to its pre-pregnancy shape.

If you want to learn how to shed fat and keep it off as a new mom, here are 14 tips to lose baby weight permanently.

1. If You Can Breastfeed, Do It!

One of the most effective postpartum weight loss tips is to breastfeed your child.

The reason why breastfeeding helps you lose weight is that your body uses fat reserves to help produce milk. Your body is also more efficient at burning the calories you eat every day.

Do keep in mind that breastfeeding mothers need to keep their energy up, which is why you should never diet after giving birth. The desire to shed your pregnancy weight may be high, but you and your baby’s health should always come first.

Some women naturally don’t produce enough milk for their children or they prefer to bottle feed. If you can’t breastfeed, don’t fret. There are still plenty of other things you can do to fuel your weight loss efforts.

2. Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated

Losing weight after pregnancy can be as simple as remembering to drink enough water. This tip works well for anyone looking to shed fat.

There are plenty of reasons why drinking more helps you stay slim. Since our bodies are mostly made out of the water, we need to replenish our reserves every day. If you don’t drink enough, you’ll retain water and feel sluggish.

Drinking water also helps curb your appetite. If your someone who has a hard time knowing when you’re full, drinking plenty of water before and during mealtimes will help prevent you from overeating.

Did you know that our bodies’ thirst and hunger signals are the same? This means your stomach growls could be your body asking for water. A good method to live by is to drink a glass of water whenever you think you feel hungry. If you still feel hungry 20 minutes later, then you know you’re experiencing true hunger and not thirst.

Drinking also helps us eliminate waste easier. The less backed-up your system is, the slimmer you’ll feel.

3. Lose Baby Weight by Exercising Smarter, Not Longer

Lots of people have been brainwashed into believing that logging more hours at the gym leads to more success. While some people may thrive in a gym setting, most of us would rather stay in bed.

The best way to stick to an exercise routine is to find a setting, workout, and timeframe that suits you best.

One tip that all moms should know is that you can exercise for 10 minutes and get the same results as someone else who exercises for an hour. The key to losing weight and toning muscle isn’t how long you sweat, but how effective your sessions are.

If you can pour all of your energy into an intense 10-minute workout, you’ll make progress. This method is much more effective for your goals and happiness than sluggishly pedaling on a stationary bike for an hour while feeling miserable.

4. Take Your Baby for a Walk Every Day

Walking is incredible for weight loss and overall physical and mental health. The best part is that you can also bond with your baby. Even if you don’t break a sweat while you walk, you’re still burning calories and toning your muscles.

This is a great opportunity to get out of the house so you don’t feel stir-crazy at home with your baby. If you know any other moms, invite them to go walking with you. You can have a fitness buddy who can hold you accountable to your goals and help you pass the time with fun conversation.

5. Make Sleep a Priority

Sleeping your fat away sounds too good to be true, but it’s one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight.

The reason why sleep deprivation leads to weight gain is that our bodies turn to eat more calories to make up for the lost energy. When we’re tired, we tend to reach for comfort foods full of fats and sugars to feel better.

Sleep also helps fuel workouts. If you’re too tired, exercising will feel like an impossible challenge.

Do you have willpower made out of steel? Even if you can resist junk food and stick to your workout routine, your body is still plotting against your weight loss efforts.

One night of sleep deprivation is enough to trigger the release of ghrelin, a hormone that revs our appetite. Excess calories that come from healthy sources still turn into a fat gain.

6. Meal Prep Once a Week to Make Cooking Easier

Cooking at home is the best way to save money and skip unnecessary calories, sugars, and fats. When you’re the chef, you control how much you eat and the quality of your ingredients.

However, all new moms know how challenging it is to find any time that isn’t devoted to caring for their babies. This is why batch cooking is the perfect method for your weight loss.

If you can get help from your partner or another loved one, dedicating a few hours once a week to batch cooking is easy.

During this time, you can make a big pot of brown rice, quinoa, or other healthy whole grains. You can also bake a pack of chicken breasts or another source of lean protein. Wash and chop all your veggies so they’re ready to eat raw or cook in a flash.

Once your prep work is done, all you have to do is reheat your food and season it to create a new dish for meals during the week. Check out these batch cooking recipes that take no time to make.

7. Join a Weight Loss Program That Does the Planning

Most new moms are exhausted, battle mental fog, and have no time for themselves. Losing weight fast requires lots of planning.

If you want to make life easier, join a weight loss program that has a tried-and-true method for fat loss.

All of your meals and calories will be customized for your unique body type and fitness goals so you don’t have to think. You can also have access to personal coaches and a community of other people in the program who are there to motivate each other and share tips.

These programs are more effective than solo-dieting because all the details are hammered out to a science. There’s no guesswork at mealtimes and the ease of cooking makes it easier to stick to the plan.

8. Eat More Plant-Based Meals

If it comes out of the earth, it’s good to eat! Plants are the best health foods because they are low in calories but high in nutrients your body needs.

Meat is linked to excess body fat and illnesses. The reason why meat and other animal products can sabotage your weight loss efforts is saturated fats and cholesterol.

The more plant-based you can eat, the better. If you’re up to the challenge, you can even try going vegan for a month. Veganism is one of the most popular weight loss lifestyles because you can eat a lot of wholesome foods with fewer calories.

9. Don’t Skip Breakfast or Starve Yourself

Thanks to fad dieting, most people’s first instinct to lose weight is to skip meals or starve themselves. While you can get fast results, you’ll feel miserable. As soon as you start eating again, you’ll put all the weight back on and then some.

In fact, yo-yo dieting is much more dangerous for your health than maintaining a steady BMI. Instead of passing on breakfast, start your day right with a smoothie filled with fresh greens or a hearty bowl of oatmeal with enough fiber and protein to keep you full until lunch.

10. Reward Yourself in Moderation

Did you know that some studies have revealed that cheat meals or cheat days can yield more fat loss than strict dieters?

The reason why treating yourself works is that it gives you something to look forward to after a week of eating healthy. This incentive will help you stay on track.

People who remove all of their favorite foods from their diets are also more likely to binge. Once people binge, they may decide to quit altogether because they think all their efforts have been lost.

Letting the lion out of the cage for a short time each week will help you feel satisfied. Besides, eating more calories one day revs your metabolism so you can continue burning more the next day.

11. Eat Healthy, High Volume Snacks

Have you ever tried eating snacks designed for dieters and felt ravenous 30 minutes later? Although these treats are healthier than other junk food, they’re not substantial.

The best way to fill up is to eat nutrient-dense foods that pack a lot of volume for not a lot of calories.

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of fuel. Check out these no-cook snack recipes that include treats like banana ice cream and sweet potato hummus. If you want a heartier snack, you can dip apple slices in a nut butter of your choice to get a dose of healthy fats.

12. Manage Your Stress and Care for Your Mental Health

Yoga is one of the best exercises that everyone should try. It combines cardio, muscle toning, stretching, and meditation. You can even reap the health benefits by doing it only 5 minutes a day.

Raising a child is one of the most stressful things people can do. Stress turns our bodies into effective fat storing machines. Finding ways to cope with any negative emotions is crucial for your health.

Although yoga is a great place to start, some people can’t stand it. Just because one exercise works for one person, it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it. Take some time to experiment with different outlets to find your happy place.

Exercise always makes you feel better because of endorphins, but you can manage your stress in other ways, too. Painting, knitting, scrapbooking, and writing are just a few of the hundreds of different activities you could try.

13. Strength Training

Many women are afraid of lifting weights because they don’t want to get bulky muscles like men. However, it’s impossible for females to pile on muscle with casual weightlifting.

Strength training is ideal for new moms because it involves lifting light weights for extended repetitions. This will help tone your muscles and burn fat for a sexy, sculpted look.

You don’t need a gym membership to strength train, either. Try these at-home workouts that utilize your body weight to help you shape up.

14. Be Patient and Kind to Yourself

The most valuable lesson all women need to learn is self-love. Your body can do unbelievable things and you should be proud of it.

Making a baby takes 9 months. During this time, your organs shift, your abdominals split apart, and your pelvis opens to make room for another human being.

Every mom cherishes those 9 months of beautiful change. After you give birth, you should have the same patience and acceptance of your body as you did while you were pregnant.

Remember how long it took your body to come to its current size and give yourself the same amount of time to shrink down. Celebrities who boast about their bodies a couple months after giving birth have a team of personal trainers, chefs, and designers to make them look their best.

The happier you are with yourself, the more likely you are to stick with your goals. Always strive to be the best version of yourself, but never stop loving yourself along the journey.

Ready to Transform Your Body?

The best way to lose baby weight and keep it off is by committing to easy lifestyle changes. When it comes to shedding fat, even the smallest habits can add up.

If you want guaranteed results within a couple months, then Body Transformation Coach would love to help you get the body of your dreams the healthy way. Contact us for more information on why our program works and how we can help revolutionize your health.

Low on Weights? 12 Creative Ideas for Resistance Training Without Weights

Low on Weights?

12 Ideas for Resistance Training Without Weights

Don’t think you have the budget to get fit? Think again! Try these creative ways to log your resistance training without shelling out for a weight set.

Staying fit doesn’t require a gym membership, nor does it require setting aside a block of time for a full work-out. You can build a resistance training program that can be done anywhere and at any time. Best of all you eliminate the pressure of exercising in front of others.

Imagine working out at the beach on Sunday, in your backyard on Monday, and the park on Tuesday. Experiment and find an inviting place to work out where you are most energized. Grab a yoga mat and get to work using the best bodyweight exercises for your desired results.

Develop a plan and work at your own pace reaching your individual goals. Exercise routines that are free of equipment give you the same results as weights if you know how to work the right muscles.

Ready to work-out without spending money on equipment? Continue reading for 12 resistance training ideas that don’t require weights.

1. Lunge Variations

Lunges are a popular way to do leg workouts at home. There are numerous versions, so you never get bored.

The standard variation, or bodyweight lunge, requires you to stand up straight with your shoulders back and chin up. Step forward with your left foot and with a tightened core, lower your hips and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Keep your left knee level with your ankle and lower the back knee, but do not let it touch the ground.

Using your front heel for support, lift the body back up into the standing position. You can do multiple reps with the left knee leading and then switch to the right.

Once you’ve mastered the lunge, switch it up and incorporate the following into your sets.

Curtsy

The curtsy gets its name from the British greeting for women and girls. In this variation, you will start with your feet hip-width apart. Step backward with one leg and cross it behind you. Follow the steps of lowering your body.

Reverse

With the reverse lunge, you will follow the same steps as the standard lunge. In this rep, the emphasis will be on the back leg. Use it to lower the body, and the ball of the foot to lift the body back up.

Walking

The walking lunge follows the steps of the standard lunge. Instead of doing reps with the left leg and then the right leg, you are going to switch things up. After returning to the standing position step forward with the right leg and go into the lunge.

Continue the motions and move around the room. This is a good time to incorporate small weights if you have them. Raise your hands to shoulder height and reach to the ceiling with each step.

2. Burpees for Resistance Training

Burpees are a good exercise and the key benefits is strength building. There is a burpee for beginners. Once you master these motions we’ll get into the advanced version.

Start in the standing position. Squat down and then kick your legs back until you are positioned on your toes. You will be in a position similar to a plank (we will cover planks later). Bring your legs back into a squat and stand back up with your arms reaching upward.

Continue doing this until your motion becomes fluid.

Now that you have the burpee down interject a push-up when the body is in plank position. Follow that up by jumping up instead of merely returning to the standing position.

3. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers give you a full body work-out. It also increases your heart rate for a high-quality cardio exercise and a natural shot of energy.

With your arms at your side and feet shoulder-width apart, squat to the floor and position your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Go into the plank position with your arms straight. Do not lock your elbows.

Begin with your left leg. Bring it forward with your knee towards the chest, extend it back out and bring up the right knee. Continue this rotation for your desired set of reps.

Between sets bring both feet forward and jump up similar to a burpee. Rest for about 15 – 30 seconds before starting the next set of reps.

4. Chin and Pull Ups

These upper body exercises will require a sturdy bar high enough to extend your arms over your head. Your feet should not touch the ground between reps. If you are tall or the bar is too low, bend your knees and cross your feet at the ankle.

The difference between the two exercises is the positioning of the hands on the bar. The biceps will get a good work out but the pull-up will have more emphasis on the muscles in the back.

Start with your arms straight but do not lock your elbows. With your hands on the bar shoulder-width apart, pull yourself up until the chin passes the top of the bar. For the chin-up, the palms of your hands will be turned inward. Having the palms turn outward is the position for the pull-up.

Once you have pulled the body up, hold the position for several seconds before descending back down.

5. Planks

Planks, like lunges, can be done in numerous variations. If you’re looking for at home exercises, place this one at the top of your list. We do suggest that you have a yoga mat or some other protective cushioning for your elbows.

The simple forearm plank is used to strengthen the core muscles by forcing you to stabilize your body. For this exercise lie on the ground with your body face down and feet spread waist-width apart. When you lift-up into the plank position you will be supported by the toes and ball of the feet.

Rest your body on your elbows with the forearms resting on the floor and hand clasped. The elbows should be shoulder-width apart and your body straight using your core muscles. Hold the position for at least one minute and challenge yourself to increase the time with each rep.

6. Push-Ups

Do push-ups for resistance training to strengthen the triceps. They also work to build your core muscles. Push-ups can be done the traditional way or the less strenuous method designed for women. You also can vary the placement of the hands to direct the elbows outward or backward.

Stretch out on the floor face down. With your hands should-width apart and in the desired position bend your elbows and push the body up.

To start the exercise, bend the elbows and lower your body stopping before the chest or breast touch the floor. Do short counts before pushing the body back up. Remember, when the arms are straightened, stop before the elbows lock.

Do as many reps as you can before coming to a full rest.

7. Posing for Balance

Resistance training isn’t just about toning, it is also about building core strength that helps the body support your spine. Posing are exercises that help with balance which is the result of a strong core. You will find these techniques in yoga classes but they also provide good at home exercises.

Chair

You won’t need a chair for this pose because you will become the chair. Stand with your feet together. Put your weight into the heels of your feet as you bend your knees into a sitting position. Raise your arms upward with palms touching.

Hold the pose for a minimum of 10 seconds and then repeat the motion.

Tree Pose

Stand straight with your feet flush together. Bring your right foot up and rest it on either the inside of your lower left thigh or below the left knee. Turn the right knee outward and bring your hands up to the center of your chest pressed together.

Take a deep breath and hold the pose for three – five seconds. Release and repeat.

8. Jumping Jacks

If you had physical education classes in school you should have jumping jacks mastered already. Some people may not think of them for resistance training but they are a total body workout. Jumping jacks target the glutes, quadriceps and hip flexors.

You will also work your shoulders and core muscles. Even better, the help with speeding up your metabolism.

Start by standing straight with your hands down by your sides and palms facing your outer thighs, and feet together. Jump up about two-three inches from the ground spreading your legs shoulder-width or wider. At the same time bring your arms out and up until they meet above your head.

Bring your arms back to your side and your legs together. Repeat this motion nonstop as you count out your jumping jacks. A good warm-up would be 50 – 100 jumping jacks.

9. Sit-ups

Sit-ups have many benefits, the most popular is tightening stomach muscles and strengthening the core. Here are two variations. Both start with a standard sit-up position.

Russian Twist

With legs shoulder-width apart and the palm of your hands together, bend your knees slightly and lift your legs off the ground. At the same time lift your upper body as if you are doing a sit-up. Twist the torso to the left and then the right, twice.

Exhale and relax the body on the mat. Repeat for the desired sets

Scissors

Position your arms against your sides with palms facing down. Tighten your abs and raise both legs toward the ceiling. Lower the left leg to about two inches from the ground. Raise the left leg while lowering the right.

Repeat the repetition for 30 – 45 seconds.

10. Step-ups

Step-ups are a bodyweight exercise that only requires a sturdy bench that is at least knee high. With hands to you side step-up onto the bench with your left foot. Step down and then step-up with the right.

Your reps can be a straight left leg and then the right, or you can rotate left right left… The goal is to do a continuous 10 step-ups per set. You can also use weights for better resistance.

11. Triceps Dip

Triceps Dip will require a prop. It can be a chair, the edge of a sofa, or a step outside your house. Almost anything that is sturdy and can support your weight without tipping over can be used.

Sit on the edge of the chair with hands shoulder-width apart and palms down. Extend your legs out and then slide your butt off of the chair. Straighten your arms but do not lock your elbows.

Use your arms to lower and lift your body. If using a chair do not go lower than six inches from the seat. When using a step or box that is lower to the ground, do not let your butt touch the surface below you.

Try to perform about 15 reps per set. Return to the seat between sets to allow for a 10-second recovery.

12. Arm Circles

If you are looking for upper body exercises to target the back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps, arm circles are a perfect choice. Arm circles are also a great warm-up exercise that can help prevent injuries.

They are quite simple to execute and can be done while at work during a five-minute break. Start by standing up and extending your arms out with the palms of your hands facing the ground. Do a forward circular motion creating circles that are one foot in diameter.

Continue the rotation for about 10 seconds, or 10 rotations. Stop and then do the same in a backward rotation. One forward and one backward rotation represent a set. You can increase the time of the rotations or the number of back and forth reps, as your arms strengthen.

Also, consider adding small weights for additional resistance.

You’re Now Ready to Log Your Workouts

Now that you know resistance training doesn’t have to come with great expense, what are you waiting for? Before starting your weight-free workouts we recommend consulting with your physician first. Once you get the go-ahead, log your results and celebrate your successes.

Did you find these at home exercises useful? Click here to check out our nine-week body transformation challenge.

Healthy and Happy: 20 Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants

Healthy and Happy: 20 Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants

Forget the rumors! You CAN get healthy without sacrificing your social life. The next time you’re at a restaurant, try these tips for eating healthy.

Everybody loves to eat out. In fact, 19 million people in the U.S. visited full-service restaurants in 2015. But when you’re trying to eat healthily, restaurants are taboo.

Whether you’re dining out with friends, on a romantic date, or during a business meeting, there are times you can’t avoid the dreaded restaurant!

Having an indulgent meal every now and again is no sin. But when it becomes a habit, you need to take action.

There are ways to eat delicious, healthy meals at restaurants without throwing a calorie bomb into your diet. To do it, you need a smart game plan. Read on to find out 20 tips for eating healthy.

Be Prepared

The Scout motto is “be prepared.” If you’re prepared with a game plan, you’ll be able to make your restaurant trip a success.

Check out the next five tips for finding the healthiest restaurants.

1. Do Your Homework

One of the best tips for eating healthy is to choose a restaurant in advance. Since most venues post their menus online, it’s easy to find the best ones to visit and the ones to avoid.

If they offer a lot of fatty foods on their menu that could be a temptation, skip it and go somewhere else. Search for healthy food restaurants on Google, and you might find some health-oriented places to eat.

When you’re looking for healthy dishes at restaurants, many ethnic food eateries are a great option. For instance, Japanese, Thai, Greek, or Indian. It’s a lot easier to eat clean at one of these venues compared to an Italian or Mexican restaurant.

2. The Right Vibe

Picking healthy dishes at restaurants isn’t enough. You also have to choose a place with the right atmosphere.

Listen to the music. Restaurants that have loud hectic music make you eat to the beat. If the music is softer and slower, you’ll spend more time at the table, but eat less.

The same applies to color. Restaurant decor can either stimulate you to eat more or calm your mind so you can have a relaxed experience.

For instance, the colors red, orange, and yellow will spur you to order more. Soft blue, gray, and peach, on the other hand, will create a relaxed ambiance.

3. Book in Advance

When you’re waiting for a table at a restaurant, you’ll only get hungrier and hungrier. When you finally sit down, you’ll devour all the table bread and give up on your diet for the night.

The solution is simple. Book healthy restaurants in advance – and you won’t have time to get hungry.

4. Be Wise in Your Seat Choice

When choosing where to sit in a restaurant, most people avoid the area around the bathroom. But an even more dangerous place to sit is near the kitchen.

It’s one thing to see the lip-smacking descriptions on the menu. But to see them coming out from the kitchen and smell the delicious aromas is way too much of a temptation, especially when you’re hungry.

Another tip is to choose a seat near or opposite a mirror. It might sound strange, but it’s backed up by research. Scientists have found that if you watch yourself in a mirror while eating unhealthy foods, they seem less tasty.

5. Eyes Too Big for Your Belly

According to research, people are bad at estimating how much a portion size should be. This means that on any given day, we’re probably eating more than we should.

So, whatever you do, avoid all you can eat restaurants. It’s way too tempting. Plus, these restaurants often have a no waste policy – if you’ve put it on your plate, you must eat it.

If a buffet is the only option, try using a smaller plate. Or fill half of a normal sized plate with veggies before you start snacking on goodies.

You Are What You Eat

You’ve found a healthy restaurant, now it’s time to choose your meal. This is the toughest part. But you can do it if you follow these tips.

6. Know Your Menu

Do your homework and take a peek at the menu before you go. Pre-planning your meal will make life a lot easier for you and help you to avoid temptation.

Restaurants sugar coat the words in their menu so that you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. But once you’ve got down with the lingo, you’ll be able to figure out what menu options to avoid.

For instance, anything that is Alfredo, creamed, buttery, or scalloped. Also, anything smothered, pan-fried, crispy, breaded or dipped is a big no-no.

The same applies to meats. Some cuts of meat are fattier than others. Skinless chicken breast, for example, is leaner than chicken thighs or legs.

Healthy dishes at restaurants feature compelling descriptions, such as grilled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Also, anything braised, seared, or broiled is good. These are the healthy keywords to look out for.

7. Watch Out for “Healthy” Labels

When browsing the menu, you’ll see dietary labels like paleo, sugar-free, or gluten-free. You might assume that these would make the meal a healthy choice, but that’s not always the case.

To make the food tasty, restaurants often add hidden added sugars and fats. For instance, if you eat a vegan cake, you may think it’s healthier. But they usually swap the eggs for a ton of oil, which is anything but healthy.

8. Meats and Fish

When choosing healthy dishes at restaurants, you don’t have to opt for a simple salad. Meat and fish will help you feel satisfied without filling up on carbs.

Lean meats, such as flank steak or chicken breast, are full of protein. Fish is also a healthy option as long as it’s not fried. It’s harder to overeat proteins than it is to overindulge in carbs.

9. Load Up with a Salad

Salads can be one of the most healthy dishes at restaurants. But there are sometimes hidden calories. For instance, nuts, croutons, cheese, dried fruit, grains, and fancy salad dressing can add hundreds of salads to your meal.

Don’t force yourself to only eat lettuce as you’ll be hungry again in half an hour. Make sure you’re getting some protein in your salad.

10. Double Trouble

The veggie portions in most meals are often very small. So when you order, ask for double vegetables.

If you want to add a little extra zest to your meal, why not ask for a fruit side? Superfoods like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries can add some zing to your meal without a lot of extra sugar.

11. Don’t Be Shy

Don’t be shy to ask your waiter about the preparation of the food. If you find it out that it’s cooked with a lot of butter and salt, ask for them to prepare it without.

You might feel embarrassed asking, but that’s what your waiter is there for. Ask them what any unfamiliar words mean or ask their opinion on what the healthiest thing on the menu is. They may be able to make some great suggestions.

12. Sharing Is Caring

A sneaky way to keep portions realistic is to split your dish with a friend. This may give you the chance to try a little bit of everything without overdoing it.

You could even order a couple of appetizers as a main meal.

13. Get Saucy

Even if you order a healthy looking menu option, they may smother it with sauces and butter. It may end up being just as unhealthy as that double trouble cheeseburger you had your eye on.

Ask them to prepare your food without the butter and dressings, but to have them as a side instead.

Instead of dousing your meal with the sauce, try the fork-dip method. Dip your fork into the creamy side, then load it up with veggies. This way, you can get the taste without overindulging.

14. Skip Empty Calories

You may have ordered the healthiest dish in the restaurant, but it won’t matter if you stuff yourself with bread before the meal arrives. If it’s too tempting, ask the waiter to take it away.

Another empty calorie culprit is sweet alcoholic drinks or sodas. Avoid cocktails at all costs. They will load you up with sugar, use up all your calories, and you’ll still feel hungry afterward.

If you need an alcoholic drink, opt for a vodka and tonic or a glass of wine instead.

15. The Proof Is in the Pudding

Deserts are a no-no! Even a small piece of cake can add 400 calories or more to your meticulously planned meal. Just say no, kids!

If you have a sweet tooth, why not try sharing a dessert instead? Ask for some fruit, such as berries. Or grab some frozen yogurt on the way home as a low-calorie option.

Let’s Eat!

Now you’ve picked the right healthy food restaurant with the perfect ambiance, and you’ve chosen the healthiest item on the menu. What next?

The next part is the eating! Don’t let this final hurdle trip you up. Follow the next five tips.

16. Box It Up

Up to 94 percent of restaurant meals contain 600 calories or more. That’s because even if the meal is “healthy,” the portion is way too big.

Instead of asking them to box up the leftovers, try asking them to box up half the meal before you even begin. This will keep you from overeating. It will also save you money as you can eat it for your dinner the next day.

It might look a little odd to others, but it’s a smart move for eating healthy at restaurants.

17. Keep Calm, Drink Water

Drinking water can help control your eating and ward off hunger.

This habit makes it easier for you to slow down during a meal. You’ll not only enjoy the food more, but it’ll give your stomach the chance to tell your brain it’s full before you overeat.

Some struggle with the bland taste of water, especially if they’ve got used to drinking alcohol or sugary drinks. Ask for a slice of lemon or lime to improve the taste.

18. Slow Down There

Once you’ve got your plate in front of you, it can be tempting to gobble it down. But eating quickly leads to overeating. This is because your stomach doesn’t have the chance to tell you it’s full.

Try putting down your utensils between each bite. This will give you the chance to savor each mouthful. It will also help gauge your hunger levels before you stuff yourself.

19. Don’t Compare

Keep your eyes on your own meal. Don’t compare what you’ve ordered with your friend’s dinner. We all have different nutritional needs – comparing won’t help anyone.

It’s also handy to have this mindset before ordering. Try to be the first to order. This will stop you from having an “Oh, that sounds delicious, I’ll have the same” moment.

20. A Happy Ending

When you’re finished your meal, pop a mint into your mouth. The mint will help clear your palette. This will discourage you from taking any more sneaky bites of your meal or anyone else’s leftovers.

If what’s left on your plate is tempting even after you’re full, try one of these tricks. Use a napkin to cover the alluring leftovers. Or drown it in salt so that it becomes inedible.

Plan to finish off the night with light activity, such as an evening stroll or a little dancing. You’ll not feel like ordering something too heavy as it will make you feel sluggish for your activity.

Tips for Eating Healthy and More

If you follow these tips for eating healthy, you can enjoy your restaurant experience without the guilt trip afterward.

Of course, you should try to eat healthy foods at all times. And diet goes hand in hand with an exercise regime.

Our nine-week program combines diet and exercise to transform your look. If you want to turn heads for the right reasons, find out more here.

Tracking Your Progress: How to Take Body Measurements During Weight Loss

Tracking Your Progress: How to Take Body Measurements for Weight Loss

You don’t have to rely on the scale to track your weight loss process. Find out how to take body measurements for another way to see your progress.

Want to learn how to take body measurements for weight loss? Then you’ve come to the best place! We’re going to tackle on the sensitive topic of losing weight, and everything it involves.

Many people all over the world struggle with weight loss. It’s no mystery that there is an obesity issue in the United States. But what is the culprit behind so much weight gain, and can we stop it?

We’re going to be answering all your questions about weight loss and tracking results. We’ll take a closer look at all your tracking options, and what’s best for you. You’ll also gain more tips and tricks for keeping up with your weight loss process.

Keep reading to see the best options for tracking your weight loss body measurements!

Getting Healthy and Losing Weight

You’ve made the choice to lose weight, congratulations! That’s one of the hardest parts done. In truth getting healthy and losing weight is all about the right mental state.

That’s where tracking progress carries the most power-encouraging focus. You may be wondering: what’s the point of tracking progress?

While some choose to venture into losing weight without a plan, the best option is to have a goal. Goals are achievable! Tracking your progress is what will get you from point A to point B.

Are there other benefits to tracking? Yes, in fact, there are several. We want you to have a full understanding of why tracking progress is a great option for everyone.

Let’s examine each benefit closer.

Benefits of Tracking Progress

It’s fun to see the difference in your body from start to finish. You might consider taking before and after photos to show everyone your progress. Tracking your measurements is vital for your weight loss progress.

It’s more of a mental habit to focus your brain on continuing to lose weight. In our modern age, there are many temptations that can get us off the path of weight loss. There’s fast food at every street corner, and full-time jobs make us sleepy.

All we want at the end of the night is to curl up and doze off with a full belly, right? This throws a major wrench in the gears when we’re trying to lose weight. That’s why tracking your body measurements will keep you from slipping up.

You’ll see the exact body parts you’ve been neglecting. You’ll know how to better tailor your nutrition plan. Plus, it’ll target a workout routine to get better results.

You’ll get to decide if you should get serious and hit the gym or do at home workouts. Let’s break apart all the benefits of tracking your progress during weight loss.

Keeping Up Your Motivation

Motivation is crucial for losing weight, so you want to ensure you are practicing the best habits. Listen to music, and get yourself ready to pump some iron. Tracking your progress is a good habit to remind you of your success so far.

It’s also going to show you where you need to focus your energy. For example, if you are noticing more weight in your tummy area, you might avoid heavy carb lunches.

Another culprit behind tummy fat is stress hormones! In that case, try out some meditation workouts at the office or during lunch. Quick yoga poses can also release tension that gets stuck in your shoulders from hours of desk work.

It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of everyday life. Tracking your progress is a great way to get your mind clear and practice mindfulness. Which leads us to our next topic.

 

Being Mindful and Understanding Your Triggers

Another benefit of tracking your progress is that you develop mental resistance. That means that it displays all your triggers, and helps you become more mindful. Mindfulness is helpful for losing weight, but also maintaining weight loss.

As you track, you will notice patterns or trends in your data. You will see a clear picture of what makes you overeat or indulge. You can start to avoid foods or drinks that cause your weight to spike.

Drinks like alcohol can sabotage your weight loss goals, so keep up the focus. This can be hard to avoid when you want to have a normal social life. Going out to restaurants is a popular way to socialize, or have work meetings.

The most difficult aspect of avoiding triggers is resisting temptations. This is where tracking your progress comes in to save the day. It’s harder to give in to temptation when you know the consequences of overindulging.

While it’s hard to say “no,” you’ll be glad that you were strong and hit your weight loss goal.

What Are Body Measurements

We know tracking progress results are beneficial to our weight loss. Now, let’s get into what body measurements are. Body measurements are measurements of body parts like the neck, arms, torso, hips, and so on.

In America, the metric system most people use is inches to record track results. You might have a fitness coach that uses a tape measure for the body measurements. Most times, they use this to jot down your starting body measurements.

They wrap the tape measurement around each body part and see the total number of inches. Here’s everything you need to know about body measurements…

How to Take Body Measurements

Taking body measurements is all about precision, and placing the tape in the right place. It’s also important to note that taking body measurements will vary in women and men. That’s because, of course, women have a bust.

For the most part, the common body measurements for weight loss are:

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Waist [tummy or gut area]
  • Hips

These areas will reduce in inches as you lose weight. It will also reveal details about your workout. Here’s an example.

If your waist is smaller, but the legs are bigger, then you’re practicing cardio or leg exercises. You body measurements are telling, and will more often tell you what you need to focus on.

How to Measure Biceps

Measuring biceps might be the trickiest of the body measurements. Don’t worry, it’s easy so long as you remember “flex.” That’s right when you’re measuring a bicep, you’ll need to flex the muscle.

The goal is to get the tape measure around the bicep at it’s highest point. The best way to tackle this measurement is to have the person flex their arm up. Then, tell them to flex their bicep muscle.

Wrap the tape measure around the bicep. Be sure not to pull too tight or let it hang loose. You want a good, solid tension on the tape measure for an accurate reading.

Then, write down the total inches on your recording device.

How to Measure Forearms

Measuring the forearm is along the same idea as the bicep. This measurement can be done with the arm pointing straightforward. Again, tell the person to flex their arm muscles, which will flex the forearm.

Wrap the tape measure around the forearm, below the elbow. Don’t put the tape measure on the elbow, and don’t get to close to the wrist. You’re looking for the highest point the muscle juts out.

Make sure your tape measure is level to the zero. Check the tension on the tape measure. Is it too tight or too loose?

Once you check all your bases, go ahead and take your measurement. Record the amount in inches in your recording device.

How to Measure Shoulders

Face the person you are measuring head on. Take the tape measure and hold it horizontal to the person. Then, place one end of the tape measure in the center of their chest area.

Take the other end and wrap it around their body so it goes over their back and around the other shoulder. Allow the other point to meet with the first end of the tape measure.

This is your measurement. Again, check for tape measurement tension and level the ends starting at zero. Record your measurement.

[For Women Only] How to Measure the Bust

Like a shoulder measurement, wrap the tape measure around the person. Keep the tape measure straight and horizontal. With a gentle tension, wrap the tape measure around the back of the woman.

Fishing the tape measure under each arm, let it rest against either side of the chest. Be sure to align the tape measure at the highest point of the bust.

How to Measure the Neck

The neck is the easiest measurement of all. For men, you’ll want to wrap the tape measure around the middle of the neck, below Adam’s apple. For women, it’s measured around the middle area of the neck.

Here, you want to ensure that the tape measure is straight and horizontal. Check the tense as usual, and line up the tape starting at zero for accuracy.

How to Measure the Waist

The waist for women is at the smallest point. Unlike muscles, you want to get the smallest point where the waist comes in. Picture putting on a belt.

You want to be sure the tape measure is straight and in a horizontal line. If it drops the reading will be inaccurate. Keep a solid tension on the tape measure to avoid inaccuracy.

Wrap the tape measure around the smallest point of the waist. Most times, this is between the space of the bottom of the ribcage and above the belly button. For men, you can gauge placement like women.

Use your hip bones for guidance. Feel out the area above to find out where your body caves in the most on each side.

How to Measure the Hips

For both men and women, you’ll want to wrap the tape measure around the width of your hip space. Include in your measurement the highest point of your bottom. Wrap the tape measurement straight, tense, and horizontal.

Be sure to align the measurement with the zero for accuracy. Record your measurement.

How to Measure Thighs and Calves

The idea is the same with these bodies parts as it is for the others. You want to get the circumference of the thickest, or highest point of the muscle. Measure each leg by itself.

Wrap the tape measure around one thigh in the mid-section of the quad area. This is about three or four fingers down from the pelvic region. Remember, that the goal is to measure around the high point.

Measure the right leg the same. For the calves, start off with one leg. Again, look for the highest point of the muscle and wrap the tape measure around.

If you flex for one measurement, stay consistent. You’ll need to flex for all measurements to avoid mistakes later on. It’s good to make a note if you keep a body measurements chart or have a record keeping.

Body Measurements and Record Keeping

There are different ways to keep track of your progress. You might have a paper journal or graphing paper notebook. Some prefer other avenues like smartphone apps or even excel spreadsheets.

How you choose to record keep is up to you and your convenience. Each has its perks. Weight loss smartphone apps are versatile and nifty. You can download food apps for tracking food items you intake or tracking your workout.

If you like to check your heart rate during a workout, this is a great option. There are apps which will break down each food item you ingest. Some split foods into different percentage groups of nutrition.

This makes it especially easy to see your calorie count, macros, or fats/carbs/proteins. From here you can see if you are eating too many sugars or taking in too much protein.

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