Weight Loss

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.

Changing Your Life With Us

Want firsthand help on how to take body measurements? Let us give you a hand! Try out our popular 9-week challenge for the ultimate body transformation.

Leave 2018 in the past, and embody the new you with a literal new body. This challenge will get you access to all the resources you’ll need to make the change of a lifetime. You’ll get information on diet and nutrition, and workout routine tips and tricks.

Do you still have questions? Contact us today with any doubts or concerns. You can also check out our FAQ section for quick answers.

Postpartum Weight Loss: 7 Daily Habits To Help You Shed That Baby Fat

Postpartum Weight Loss: 7 Daily Habits To Help You Shed That Baby Fat

You’re basking in the bliss of new motherhood, but those baby pounds just won’t drop. What can you do? Adapt these 7 Habits to aid postpartum weight loss.

The average woman should gain around 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. The amount you gain depends on your original weight pre-pregnancy.

After giving birth, you do lose some weight, however, your body won’t look the way it did before getting pregnant.

Are you ready to lose those baby pounds? Now is the time to do something about it and adopt a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Need some motivation? Keep reading to learn about 7 habits that can aid postpartum weight loss.

Where Does All the Baby Weight Go?

First thing, don’t be discouraged. Your body just did an amazing thing–you created a life and brought it into this world. For that, you should applaud your body.

Wondering where all that baby weight goes? Here’s a breakdown of the weight you gain during pregnancy–assuming you gain 35 pounds and you’re at a healthy weight pre-pregnancy:

  • 8 pounds: Baby
  • 2-3 pounds: Amniotic Fluid
  • 4 pounds: Blood and other body fluids
  • 5-9 pounds: Fat, protein, and nutrients
  • 2-3 pounds: Breasts
  • 2-5 pounds: Uterus
  • 2-3 pounds: Placenta

As you can see, the weight you gain during pregnancy is needed to nourish your baby in utero and prepare your body for birth and breastfeeding.

How Much Weight Will I Lose Postpartum?

You’ll probably lose 10 to 12 pounds after giving birth. That’s the weight of your baby plus the placenta and other fluids.

A few days postpartum, you can expect to lose an additional 5 pounds of water weight.

If you’re breastfeeding, it will help your uterus contract back to its original size faster. You can expect your uterus to shrink back by about 6 weeks.

However, you may still look pregnant after a couple of months postpartum. Your abdominal muscles have stretched out, so you need exercise and time to get back into shape.

How Long After I Have the Baby Can I Begin a Weight Loss Plan?

Don’t expect to get back into shape a week or two after having your baby. In fact, it’s best to wait until your 6-week postpartum appointment so that your doctor can clear you for working out. You want to allow your body to rest for the first few weeks so that you don’t cause further injury or strain.

Make Realistic Goals

Remember that it took 9 months for you to gain the pregnancy weight, so you should expect around the same time to shed it. And if you gained more than 35 pounds, you might need longer to lose the weight.

You should aim to lose about a pound every week or two. If you lose the weight gradually, you’re more likely to keep it off and maintain your weight.

Losing Weight While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can help you lose the weight quicker. That’s because you can burn between 300-500 calories a day from breastfeeding.

However, you should wait at least six weeks before dieting if you’re breastfeeding. You want to first establish a regular milk supply, and cutting calories can affect your supply early on.

Habits to Aid Postpartum Weight Loss

Ready to start on your postpartum weight loss plan? Here are 7 daily habits to adopt.

1. Create a Workout Plan

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

This may be obvious, but it’s important to create a workout plan and to follow through with it. Before you start your new fitness regimen, you should decide how often you want to exercise and what times and days you can do it. With a little one in tow, it’s not going to be as easy to drop by the gym whenever you want.

Set a schedule based on your baby’s schedule. If your baby sleeps well through the early morning, you can wake up early and workout. If you prefer evening workouts, you can put your baby to bed and then go to the gym during that time.

Do what works for you. Some women find it easier to work out at home instead of the gym. If you have a gym room, you can exercise there or if your apartment has a community gym.

You can even workout in the comfort of your living room. The best thing about exercising is that you can customize your workout based on your needs. If you can’t find the time for longer workouts, you can try mini-workouts throughout the day.

Stick with It

Once you set a workout regimen for the week, you want to stick with it. You can team up with another workout buddy so you can motivate each other and work out together.

You can also join an online community for motivation and for workout tips and advice postpartum.

Another tip is to use fitness apps or a smartwatch to track your workouts and progress. There are many apps available that track your weight loss and send out reminders and motivations to help you reach your goal.

Set Mini Goals

It might help to set mini goals to help you get to your larger, overall goal. If you want to lose 20 pounds overall, you can set 4 mini goals to lose 5 pounds. That way, you can reach your mini-goals faster and will be motivated to keep going.

2. Drink More Water

Drinking water can help you lose the weight faster. Studies show that your resting energy expenditure goes up by 24-30% when you drink water.

Another study showed that women who increased their consumption of water to over 34 ounces a day lost 4.4 more pounds within a year.

Drinking water can also help curb your appetite. Research shows that drinking water before breakfast can decrease the number of calories you eat for that meal by 13%.

Drinking water can help fill you up and you can end up consuming fewer calories. And if you’re breastfeeding, you need to drink more water to replace the fluids you lose while nursing throughout the day.

How can you tell if you need to drink more water? A good indicator is the color of your urine. If your urine is dark-colored, you should be drinking more water.

3. Prepare Meals and Snacks Ahead of Time

Depending on your schedule, you can make this a daily habit or a weekly habit. Meal prepping your meals and snacks ahead of time can save you time, money, and effort. It can also help prevent you from binging on junk food when you’re hungry or craving certain foods.

If you do it weekly, you can pick a day of the week–Sunday is usually best–to make all your meals and snacks for the week. You can cook one or two large dinners and store it in the fridge or freezer for the week. You should separate the meals according to the days of the week.

You can also prep your snacks. You can make yogurt parfaits with Greek yogurt and fresh berries. You can also make overnight oatmeal for breakfast. For snacks, cut up veggies and fruits and place in small containers or plastic bags.

It can be difficult to find the time to make yourself a meal with a baby. This way, you’ll always have something to eat on hand throughout the week. All you need is to invest in some plastic containers or some type of container to separate your meals in.

4. Walk with Your Baby

Another daily habit to adopt–take daily walks. If you take a brisk walk, you can count it as a part of your daily exercise.

Depending on your neighborhood, you can opt to walk to nearby stores instead of driving. If you need milk, you can take a walk to the nearby grocery store. This is a great way to burn calories, and it’s also an environmentally-friendly choice.

You can also show your baby the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. Point out the trees, the birds, and the color of the sky. You can push your baby in the stroller or put them in a baby carrier so you’re on the go.

You can also add walks to your daily schedule. Park far from the store so that you take a mini walk through the parking lot.

If you have a two-story home, go upstairs to change baby’s diaper. This way, you’re always moving and active.

5. Set Limits

There are some foods you should limit if you want to shed the pounds. Candy and soda, for example, you can do without.

However, instead of cutting out these foods, you should replace them with healthier options. For example, instead of drinking soda at dinner time, you can drink fruit-infused water. This way, you won’t feel like you’re depriving yourself of your favorite sweets.

Other healthy substitutions include replacing candy with sweet fruits such as cherries or bananas. You can replace chips with celery or cut up cucumbers.

Another thing you can do is get rid of all the junk and processed foods in your house. Do an inventory of your fridge and pantry. Get rid of unhealthy foods and replace with lots of fruits, veggies, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy items.

6. Don’t Skip Meals

Another word of advice: don’t skip meals. You should especially not skip breakfast. The old adage is true, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

When you wake up in the morning, you have low blood sugar from not eating the night before. You need breakfast to raise your blood sugar and give you that energy boost in the morning

If you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to feel tired throughout the day. You’re also more likely to overeat later in the day to replenish the calories you lost. This makes it harder to control food cravings to avoid overeating.

Even if you don’t feel hungry in the morning, you should at least eat a small, healthy breakfast like yogurt or boiled eggs.

If you eat your regular meals throughout the day, you can maintain your energy levels and have better control over your cravings.

7. Get Some Rest

One-third of us are not sleeping enough. Sleep has become a luxury these days. Many times you hear new parents boasting about how much sleep they didn’t get.

However, getting enough rest is an important form of self-care. It’s true that not getting enough sleep can affect your weight.

In fact, sleeping enough hours during the night is just as important for losing weight as eating healthy and working out. When you’re sleep-deprived, it affects the decision-making part of your brain–the frontal lobe. You’re less likely to make healthy decisions about what you eat.

Research shows that sleep-deprived people were more likely to snack late at night. They were also more likely to pick high-carb snacks.

If you’re tired, you have less strength to say no to food cravings. You might go for that chocolate bar or ice cream cone when you know you shouldn’t.

What’s more, lack of sleep increases your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that makes your body hold onto energy. This means that your body is more likely to hold onto fat which means a slower metabolism.

Studies reveal that people who slept less throughout a two-week period lost 55% less weight even with the same caloric intake. They were also more hungry and less energetic throughout the day.

How much sleep do you need? Experts say you need between 7 to 9 hours every night.

This can be difficult postpartum with the baby up constantly and your neverending list of things to do. You can at least rest when the baby is napping and sleep when the baby sleeps at night.

Final Advice for Shedding That Baby Fat

Our final advice for postpartum weight loss is to stay focused and not give up. As long as you’re making steady progress, keep going to reach your goal.

Are you ready to lose that weight and look and feel your best? Learn more about how we can help you be the happiest and healthiest you can be through diet, exercise, and motivation.

Walking for Weight Loss: How to Get Your Steps In and Shed Pounds

Walking for Weight Loss: How to Get Your Steps In and Shed Pounds

Those people who obsess about getting their steps in have a good reason. Here’s how walking for weight loss works and some tips to make it work for you.

When you want to lose weight, you’ve probably researching gym memberships and crash diets. But sometimes all it takes is a few steps. Literally!

If the thought of high-impact exercise is overwhelming, walking could be the solution. Walking for weight loss is effective and low-intensity. This could be the perfect exercise regimen if you’re starting your fitness journey.Â

A brisk walk can reduce stress, burn calories and build muscle-so why shouldn’t this be a part of your fitness plan?

Walking is a great form of physical activity that’s free and easily accessible for most people.

However, there are certain factors that can improve your results. How often you walk, at what speed and where you walk all play a factor.

This article explores how you can walk your way to fitness!

How Long to Walk Each Day for Weight Loss

So how often do you need to walk to lose weight? Less than you may think. A good goal is 30 minutes per day for weight loss.

At a brisk pace, the distance you could cover in 30 minutes cover should be 1.5 – 2 miles or 3,000 to 4,500 steps.

Some days are busier than others so feel free to walk more or less on some days. By the end of the week, you should have walked for at least 150 minutes.

How Fast Should I Walk for Weight Loss

The great thing about walking for weight loss is that you don’t have to overexert yourself. Walk at a moderately brisk pace. A great investment would be a heart rate monitor. There are plenty of smartwatches that have them built in.

While walking, your heart rate should be at 60 – 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You should be breathing heavily enough to make speaking difficult.

Keep in mind that the higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn. You’ll get more benefit by increasing the intensity for 10 minutes. But listen to your body. If you need a break, take one. Ignoring your body’s signs can cause injury later.

If you’re new to exercise, start with shorter periods and build up over time. You could also designate three days each week for your lower-intensity walks.

When it comes to health and fitness, consistency is key. Make it your goal to never go three days without taking your walk. If you find yourself unmotivated, this podcast might inspire you.

This will help improve your fitness level and your metabolism. Your body will begin to learn your new habits. Mental health is just as important as physical. If you find yourself worn out, take a day off.

How Can I Fit Walking in My Schedule?

We get it. Life is busy! Here are some tips to make walking fit in your schedule:

  • Break it up into walking two or three times a day for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Break it up into bigger chunks and take your walks twice or three times per week
  • Make it a family activity. Take a walk after dinner and use this time to bond with your family.
  • Start a fitness challenge at work to motivate co-workers. Walk as a group during lunch or other breaks. Accountability can help you reach your goals.
  • Park further at the grocery store! You’d be surprised how many steps you can get in large parking lots.
  • Skip the elevator. Stair climbing burns more calories than you may think.
  • Take a brisk walk on your lunch break or after dinner. This will help with that post-meal slump.
  • Make casual meetings walking meetings instead of meeting in a conference room. Having a change of scenery might even help with creative thinking.Â

Make a plan and write it down! If you fall off for a day or so, don’t stress out. You can always pick back up where you left off tomorrow!

How Walking Burns Calories

If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s a simple formula that you need to know. Weight Loss = Calories Burned > Calories Consumed. You need to burn more than you eat.

Walking is one of the activities you can do to increase the number of calories that you burn.

Think of calories as energy for your body. You need calories for daily activities like moving, breathing, and sleeping. However, some people eat more calories than their body needs.

People who are physically active will burn more calories and lose weight. But, everyone doesn’t have the time to lift weights at the gym or cross train. Simply finding a little time to walk each day can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Let’s break it down. Walking for 30 minutes equals 1.5- 2.0 miles. This will burn approximately 200 calories, depending on your sex and weight.

The more you weigh the more calories you will burn. Your body is exerting more energy to exercise so you will burn even more on a 30-minute walk. Another way you can increase the number of calories burned is by adding weights. You can also walk on hills or on an inclined treadmill.

A lot of beginners become discouraged when they aren’t able to run for long periods of time. Yes, running will burn more calories, but only about 23 more calories per mile.

Don’t worry about running quite yet, walking can burn a significant amount of calories.

If you choose to take longer walks, this can increase your calories burned as well. During the first 30 minutes of exercise, your body burns sugar for energy. After 30 minutes, your body starts using fat as fuel.

Make it a goal to take at least on extended walk per week. This will build your endurance and help you get rid of fat cells!

How Walking Builds Muscle

Most people are unaware of the benefits of building muscle. Building muscle doesn’t always mean you’re training for a bodybuilding competition. Building lean muscle can help you lose body fat.

Even though walking doesn’t involve barbells and weights, it still helps build muscle. It can also reduce age-related muscle loss. This helps you keep more of your physical strength and reduce age-related weight gain.

You may have noticed that walkers have strong and toned legs. Walking builds, shapes, and tones the legs and buttocks. If you’re consistent in your walking, you’ll notice stronger calves, quads, and hamstrings.

This isn’t the best way to “buff up” though. If you want to pack on some serious muscle, consider weight training.

How Walking Improves Mood

Been in a funk lately? Exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but it could actually help you feel better. Exercise can do wonders for your mood.

All kinds of physical activity can decrease feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. It makes your brain more sensitive to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.

These hormones relieve sad feelings while releasing endorphins, which make you feel happy!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you enjoy a physical activity, you’ll continue to do it.

This makes walking an excellent choice. It’s a moderate-intensity exercise that won’t be too physically demanding. Over time, you’ll look forward to your scheduled walk and feel great about doing it.

How Walking Keeps Weight Off

Let’s fast forward a bit. You’ve been walking for some time now and you’ve lost weight. You’re happy with your results and simply want to keep the weight off. Walking can play a major role in helping you maintain weight loss.

Remember, people who exercise frequently are usually better at maintaining their weight loss.

When you lose weight, your metabolic rate will drop. This means it will be harder to keep the pounds off. Walking can help prevent muscle loss and help you maintain your results over time. Lean muscle we mentioned earlier will also help you burn more calories, even at rest.

To maintain a stable weight, aim to walk at least 150 minutes per week. Increase this number if you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight. 200 minutes per week should be a good goal for you.

10,000 steps per day is a good goal for most people. Stay active by walking throughout your week so that your progress isn’t lost.

How to Start Walking For Weight Loss

So where do you start? Walking for weight loss can help you improve your muscle, reduce fat, increase mood and more.

The bottom line is that physical activity can help you live a healthier, longer life. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise like walking per week is ideal.

Walk for around 30 minutes at a time at a brisk pace. When this becomes easier for you, go the extra mile (pun intended). You can only reap more health and fitness benefits.

Remember, every little step helps, so start small and increase the amount you walk over time.

If you want to lose weight, you’ll get the best results by combining physical activity with a healthy diet. Check out these healthy eating tips.

Cardio For Weight Loss: 6 Crucial Facts To Keep In Mind

Cardio For Weight Loss: 6 Crucial Facts To Keep In Mind

If you’re just establishing your exercise routine, here are some crucial facts about cardio for weight loss. Keep them in mind when developing your routine.

If you immediately turned to cardio when you started trying to lose weight, you’re not alone. When it comes to weight loss, it seems like most people associate the treadmill or the track with their path to a smaller waistline.

Cardio is definitely an important part of any workout routine, but there are some important things to keep in mind if you want to use cardio for weight loss. You have to make sure that you plan your workouts effectively to get the maximum benefit.

When you’re developing your routine, keep these six crucial facts in mind. They’ll help you get the results you want!

1. You Can’t Just Do Cardio

This first fact might seem like a weird choice to start off with. After all, isn’t the whole post about using cardio for weight loss?

Here’s the thing, though — if you want to lose weight in a healthy way, you can’t have a workout routine that’s 100% cardio. You’re going to need to incorporate strength training into your schedule if you really want to see results.

Strength training helps to build muscle mass, which will help you out down the line by speeding up your metabolism and burning additional fat. Basically, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn on a regular basis.

Great, right?

If you’re only doing cardio, on the other hand, you won’t just be burning fat — you’ll be burning muscle, too. The last thing you want to do is to burn what will help you lose weight.

If you really want to go all in for both your strength training and your cardio, we recommend putting those workouts on separate days. (Think cardio on Monday, strength training on Tuesday.) If you really want to do both on the same day, though, do your strength training before your cardio. Strength training uses more energy, so you’ll need to be at 100% before you start.

2. You Don’t Have To Stay In The Fat-Burning Zone

We’ve all fallen victim to that pesky little display on the treadmill, or checked our Fitbits religiously to make sure that we’re in the golden “fat burn” zone. What does that even mean, anyway?

It’s easy to believe that you won’t burn any fat unless your heart rate is in that magic zone. That’s not completely true, though.

The name for the zone is a little misleading. It’s not that you’ll only burn fat in that zone, it’s that a larger percentage of the calories burned comes from fat. You’ll still be burning fat in the cardio or peak zones.

What’s most important isn’t the percentage of burned calories that come from fat. If you’re going to pay attention to one of the numbers lighting up your screen, it should be total calories burned. The number of calories you burn is way more important when it comes to the big picture.

And speaking of the number of calories you burn…

3. You Don’t Have To Burn 500 Calories

We can understand where this number came from. It’s a nice, round number, it sounds like a lot, and people feel accomplished when they can say that they burned 500 calories over the course of their workouts.

What’s problematic, though, is when people think that they have to burn 500 calories for their workouts to have any effect. Depending on the type of workout you’re doing, your cardio workouts can burn fewer than 500 calories and still be great for you.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), for example, is a series of high-intensity workouts done in short bursts. You might not burn 500 calories during your thirty-minute workout, but you’ll keep burning calories at a higher rate for hours after you leave the gym.

4. Your Workouts Don’t Need To Be Long

When you think of cardio, do you think of long runs that take a ton of time out of your day? There’s a common misconception that your cardio has to be long, slow and steady to mean anything.

Even if you don’t have an hour to spare for your workout, go for a HIIT workout instead. The quick workout will still get your heart rate up, burn calories, and give you the cardio training that you need.

People who swear by the treadmill can still get the benefit of a shorter workout. Doing shorter sessions at a higher intensity will help you get more out of your workout in less time.

5. You Should Snack Before Your Workout

There are lots of runners who enjoy waking up early in the morning and going for a run first thing. That’s a great way to start your day…as long as you eat something before you head out the door.

When you’re in a calorie-burning mindset, it’s easy to think that to burn more calories, you shouldn’t eat before you workout. If you don’t eat ahead of time, your body has to burn off the fat that’s already on your body for energy, right?

Nope, not for cardio. Your body needs something to fuel it, and it will turn to the carbs and fat in your muscles, not the fat in your fat cells.

We’re not saying to eat a full meal and then go for a run — just eat a light snack to give your body something to work with.

6. You Still Have To Eat Right

Speaking of eating, you still have to have a proper diet if you’re planning on using cardio to lose weight. Just running an extra mile every time you opt for a cookie instead of a carrot stick won’t really help you out.

If your diet is still poor, doing lots of cardio will only do so much. Nourish your body with the right foods for the workouts you’re doing. For example, you incorporate a lot of strength training into your routine, make sure you eat enough protein.

Cardio combined with eating well can help you sculpt your body into the shape you want to see.

Use Cardio For Weight Loss Effectively

If you keep these crucial facts about cardio for weight loss in mind, you’ll be able to see better results. Make the most of your workouts and use your cardio effectively. Your body will thank you.

Need a little bit of an extra push? Register for our Body Transformation Challenge to take your body to the next level.

10 Quick And Healthy Low-Carb Snacks That’ll Help You Ditch The Chips

10 Quick And Healthy Low-Carb Snacks That’ll Help You Ditch The Chips

Are you addicted to carbs? Here are some healthy low-carb snacks that will make you want to break up with those cookies and chips.

You’re out and about running errands. Then, all of a sudden, hunger pangs strike!

What do you do? Perhaps your first instinct is to grab a snack for a quick energy boost, such as a candy bar, cookie, muffin, or chips. If you’re trying to lose weight and keep fit, obviously none of these snacks will cut the mustard.

Thankfully, with a little bit of forethought, you can choose low-carb snacks at the grocery store that’ll not only provide great nutritional value but also keep you on the right track health-wise.

Here are 10 best low carb snacks you can chow down when you need to keep those hunger pangs at bay.

1. Nuts

Nuts can be ideal no carb snacks. They contain healthy fat, fiber, and protein all in a single package and most are packed with nutrients.

But there two things to keep in mind when it comes to eating nuts:

  • Some nuts, like cashews, actually contain a sizable amount of carbs.
  • Some people find it difficult to stop when they’re eating nuts.

Make a small pot every morning and gnaw at them all day. But don’t eat too much as the carbs may soon pile up. Carefully monitor your portion sizes.

Eat lower carb nuts like almonds and macadamia. Steer clear of cashews.

2. Seeds

The most readily available seeds are pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Chia seeds and flax seeds are other amazingly nutritious low carb snacks.

Almost all their carbs are in fiber form, which won’t raise your blood sugar. And, as a rule, check the number of carbs in seeds when you buy some from the convenience store.

Store seeds in the fridge. Only take out the portion you want to eat at a time. If you carry them to work, use little snack-sized zip bags.

3. Deli Meat

Any cold piece of deli meat is good to have at hand. Leftover meatballs, leftover roast meat, sausages, bacon, etc. are all easy and healthy low-carb snacks.

Be sure to pick meat with minimal processing, like bacon with no sugar or honey, ham off the bone, salami/pepperoni with at least 98% meat or fat and minimal additives, and sausages with at least 85% meat.

4. Berries

Berries are an amazing source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps fight disease, low immunity, and aging.

Eat fresh berries, or suck on frozen ones. You can also add some coconut cream or full-fat cream.

Buy different kinds of these low carb sweet snacks to receive all the different properties and nutrients they offer.

5. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Keep some hard-boiled eggs in your freezer. They’re a simple, convenient snack with a fair amount of fat and protein to keep your appetite under control.

Occasionally, you’ll find hard-boiled eggs at your local convenience store. They’re the ultimate snack, packed with vital vitamins, protein, and minerals. In fact, the egg white contains over half of the protein, along with vitamin C, lots of B vitamins, copper, iron, zinc, and selenium.

One big hard-boiled egg contains less than one trifling gram of carbs. Make sure to also eat the yolk as it contains all of the vitamins.

6. Raw Vegetables

Raw vegetable snack packs are becoming a pretty common sight in grocery stores.

Celery is a great choice with only a gram of carb in a 3-ounce serving. Meanwhile, three ounces of broccoli and carrot have 3 and 6 grams of carbs respectively.

You can dip your veg in peanut butter, low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt, hummus, or low-fat cream cheese.

7. Beverages

It’s never been easier to find a low-carb drink in the grocery store.

Some great virtually carb free snacks include diet soda (0 carbs), unsweetened coffee or tea (0 carbs), unsweetened vegetable juice (11 gm), plain low-fat milk (11 gm), and coconut water (9 gm of carbs).

Another great option is plain sparkling water, which can lessen your hunger until you get back home.

8. Kale Chips

Kale is a low-carb snack, so you can munch a bit more of this delicious green without actually going too fat with calories.

It’s also nutrient-dense, and eating fewer carbs while keeping the micronutrients high is essential for your overall health.

For example, kale is loaded with B vitamins, which are crucial for converting carbs, proteins, and fats into energy. If you don’t receive enough B vitamins, your metabolism gets into sloth mode.

To make simple and quick low carb chips, drizzle kale leaves with ultra virgin olive. Add some pepper and salt to taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees.

Remember, 100 gm of kale has just 8 gm of carbs and 4 gm of plant-based protein. Enjoy!

9. Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is a breakfast favorite for many of us, but it’s also perfect for dessert. Greek yogurt is low in sugar and fat and full of protein, so long as you buy the unsweetened variety.

It’ll keep you satisfied for several hours, making it an amazing snack. You can also sweeten Greek yogurt with cinnamon and add chia seeds for extra energy, fiber, and calcium.

Greek yogurt is basically high in flavor and low in carbs.

10. Hot Dogs

You can take this snack as a last resort if you don’t find anything else to eat in the store. But make sure to chuck the bun! Regardless of the bad rap they’ve received, hot dogs are absolutely fine in a pinch, providing 2 gm of protein and just 2 gm of carbs.

Although high in cholesterol and sodium, hot dogs make for a much healthier snack than a store-bought brownie (21 gm of carbs) or a pack of potato chips if you’re trying to eat healthily and stay in shape.

Final Verdict on Low-Carb Snacks

It’s quite hard to stay healthy when your freezer is filled with chips, cookies, and donuts.

Instead of gorging on high-carb snacks that’ll pile on the pounds, give these low-carb snacks a try. You can easily make them at home or get them at your local convenience store.

Our 9-week challenge can help transform your body from the inside out as you embrace healthy snacks instead of calorie-filled chips and cookies.

Sign up now and contact us if you’ve got any questions.

10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

There’s no shame in being a foodie. Still, large portions or a junk food addiction can harm weight loss. Here’s to developing a healthy relationship with food.

Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Many people think that, just because they don’t struggle with an obvious eating disorder, such as anorexia or binge eating disorder, that their relationship with food is a healthy one.

In reality, though, a lot of people have issues when it comes to the food they eat.

They might be obsessed with eating clean and flinch at the sight of a doughnut. Or, they might have an aversion to anything remotely healthy and choose to eat only junk food. They might claim to eat whatever they want with no concern about the scale, only to turn around and spend hours on the treadmill working it off.

An unhealthy relationship with food can manifest itself in many different ways, and it’s not always easy to spot.

The good news, though, is that it’s never too late to turn things around.

Read on to learn more about what a healthy relationship with food looks like. You’ll also learn some important skills regarding developing a healthy relationship with food.

Why Does Your Relationship with Food Matter?

Depending on where you’re at in your health journey, you might be wondering why having a good relationship with food is so important.

First, let’s start with the facts. Approximately 71.6 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. And, at least 30 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of eating disorder.

Clearly, there are a lot of people in this country who have a hard time eating in a way that nourishes and fuels their body appropriately. They may be eating too much or eating too little, but, at the end of the day, the result is the same — a poor relationship with food.

If you have a poor relationship with food, you’re likely going to have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight.

You might go through binge and restrict cycles or fall victim to crash diets. Or, you may look physically healthy on the outside but feel bogged down on the inside by the stress associated with constantly worrying about the food you’re eating.

Before you can make lasting changes and work toward your health and fitness goals — no matter what they are — you need to make sure you’re also working on improving your relationship with food.

What Does a Healthy Relationship with Food Look Like?

It’s hard to pin down exactly what a healthy relationship with food looks like. It’s kind of like asking someone what it means to be fit. Everyone has a different definition in mind based on their past experiences.

You can’t tell, just by looking at someone, whether or not they have a healthy relationship with food. Instead, a more accurate measure is their habits and behaviors.

There may not be one definitive method for measuring a healthy relationship with food, but the following are some common, positive traits to look for.

Ask yourself honestly whether you possess at least some of these traits. If you don’t, it might be time to work on changing your relationship with food.

You Avoid Emotional Eating

You don’t eat out of sadness, loneliness, anger, or boredom. When something bad or difficult happens, you don’t turn to food for comfort.

You Can Eat Intuitively

You’re not constantly worrying about the number of calories or grams of carbohydrates in a particular food. You’re able to recognize hunger, eat what satisfies you, and stop when you’re full.

You Don’t Try to “Make Up” for Unhealthy Choices

In the event that you do indulge and consume something that isn’t technically healthy, you don’t feel the need to “undo the damage” you’ve caused.

You have a good grasp on the concept of being “cyclically fit.” You don’t try to burn off the number of calories you just ate or fast the next day to make up for your decision.

You Avoid Comparison Traps

You understand that, when it comes to food, everyone’s needs and preferences are different.

You don’t compare your body or your food choices to others’. Instead, you just focus on making decisions that make sense for yourself and your lifestyle.

You Focus on Other Things Besides Food

One trait that almost always presents itself in people with an unhealthy relationship with food is the amount of time they spend thinking about food. They’re almost always thinking about when they’re going to eat next, what they’re going to eat next, how it’s going to affect the scale, etc.

If you have a healthy relationship with food, you likely aren’t constantly planning your next meal. You see eating as a necessary part of life and you eat when you’re hungry, end of story.

You Don’t Eat Foods That Will Make You Feel Bad

In some circles, there’s a mindset that, if you avoid certain kinds of food, it’s because you have an eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food.

If you truly have a positive relationship with food, though, you understand and respect the fact that some foods don’t make you feel your best.

For you, this might mean avoiding sugar because you don’t like the blood sugar crash that comes with it. Or, you might avoid eating dairy because it upsets your stomach.

A truly positive relationship with food involves eating foods that make you feel good and avoiding foods that don’t, even if everyone else is eating them.

10 Tips for Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food

It’s okay if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point. It can be hard to acknowledge that your relationship with food isn’t the healthiest. It’s also easy to feel as though you’ll never be able to flip the script and make things better.

You absolutely can make a positive change in your life, though. Start by implementing these ten tips into your lifestyle to start changing the way you look at and consume food.

1. Eat Mindfully

How do you typically eat your meals?

Do you eat standing at the counter or over the sink? Do you plop down on the couch with the TV on while scrolling through Instagram, doing your best not to drop food on your phone or tablet?

Eating mindfully can help you get in touch with your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues. It can also help you enjoy your meal more and feel more satiated. If you have a tendency to overeat, this is an especially great benefit.

The next time you have a snack or meal, start by sitting down in a chair at the table. Don’t turn on the TV or look at your phone. Simply eat your meal with no distractions.

2. Express Gratitude for Your Food

Before you start to eat, take a moment to express gratitude for your food. You can do this out loud or silently to yourself.

If you’re a religious person, this can be an actual prayer. Or, you can simply say “thank you” and think for a minute about the work that went into the meal.

By pausing for a second before you dig in, you can get into a calmer, more mindful state. You may also appreciate your food more if you take a minute to think about where it came from and the work people had to do to get it to you.

3. Ask Yourself if You’re Truly Hungry

Many people start eating, not because they’re hungry, but because they’re experiencing a troubling emotion. They might be feeling lonely or sad, or they might be anxious or stressed out.

Before you reach for your food — especially if it is a highly palatable, processed food like chips or cookies — ask yourself if you’re actually hungry.

Another way to assess your hunger is to ask yourself if you could eat broccoli right now. If you’re actually hungry, broccoli will sound appealing. If you’re not willing to eat broccoli, you’re not really hungry, you’re having a craving.

4. Release the Need for Perfection

Accept that there are going to be times when you slip up. There will be times when you eat out of emotion or let yourself get distracted during a meal. It’s okay.

Once you realize where you made a mistake, take a step back and figure out why. Then, release yourself from shame and guilt and move on with your life.

Remember, you wouldn’t slash the other three tires on your car just because you got one flat.

5. Stop Labeling Foods as Good or Bad

Most people who have an unhealthy relationship with food have a tendency to label foods as good or bad. If this sounds familiar to you, try changing the way you talk about the food you eat.

Instead of seeing foods as good or bad, try looking at them as good, better, and best. Try to make most of your foods come from the “better” and “best” categories, but allow yourself to have some “good” foods every once in a while, too.

6. Don’t Keep Problematic Foods in Your House

When it comes to these “good” foods, many people find that it’s helpful not to keep them in their house, at least for a while. This is especially true for people who struggle with binge eating disorders.

If there’s a food that you have a hard time saying “no” to, do yourself a favor and reduce the number of times you need to say “no” to it. You’re less likely to overconsume ice cream if you don’t have it in the freezer at all.

Make ice cream an occasional treat that you have to go out to get. Then, when you have it, you’ll enjoy it, but won’t always be there in the freezer tempting you.

7. Keep a Food Journal

Keeping a food journal is another useful tool. Don’t just write down the number of calories or grams of carbs in the foods you eat, though.

Instead, pay attention to the emotions you experienced surrounding your meals and snacks.

Were you eating because you were hungry, or were you trying to cover up an unpleasant emotion?

Writing things down can make them more tangible. It also makes it easier for you to spot patterns and look objectively at your situation.

8. Try Cooking Your Own Food

If you have a tendency to order out several times per week, try cooking for yourself for a while instead.

Cooking at home can help you gain a better appreciation for your food. You’ll also appreciate yourself and the effort you put into cooking a nice meal.

Your meals will almost always be healthier when you cook them yourself than when you order out. You’ll save money, too!

9. Measure Out Servings

If you do keep certain foods in the house that you tend to overeat, measure out a serving instead of eating straight from the box or bag.

Even if you don’t actually put your food on a scale, just putting it into a bowl before eating will help you moderate your consumption and avoid overeating.

10. Learn to Differentiate Between “Snacks” and “Treats”

Finally, it’s important to learn the difference between a snack and a treat.

How often have you wanted a snack and reached for something that you knew wouldn’t be filling, like a cookie or a doughnut? That wasn’t really a snack. It was a treat.

Snacks should satisfy your hunger. Treats, on the other hand, are for pleasure.

If you’re hungry and have a couple of hours before you can make dinner, snack on a hard-boiled egg or an apple with almond butter.

 

Save cookies, doughnuts, and other highly palatable foods for when you want a treat.

Looking for More Inspiration?

If you’re not happy with your relationship with food, you can turn things around today. Now is the perfect opportunity to start.

Keep these ten tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to developing a healthy relationship with food.

If you’re looking for more information, check out our podcast for a variety of episodes related to health, fitness, and wellness.

Don’t forget to look into out our 9-week challenge, too. When you sign up, you’ll get one-on-one with a qualified coach who is dedicated to helping you achieve your health and fitness goals.

12 Little-Known Weight Loss Facts You Should Embrace Today

12 Little-Known Weight Loss Facts You Should Embrace Today

Are you holding on to harmful myths about losing weight? They might be keeping you from being healthy. Here are 12 weight loss facts you should know today.

on Instagram The most underrated sentence on the internet today: Losing weight is hard.

Whether you’re trying to lose a few extra pounds or a couple hundred, you’re not alone. More than one-third of all adults in the U.S. are obese. Even kids are affected, 1 in 6 children are considered obese.

It’s no secret that shedding those extra pounds is an arduous task. And with all of the misinformation floating around the web, it’s easy to stray to the wrong path.

We’re here to help you debunk some of those weight loss myths you’ve been told your whole life, and replace them with some cold, hard weight loss facts.

Read on if you’re ready for some truth in your life.

Debunked: 4 Weight Loss Myths

Because everyone knows that everything you read on the internet is true…

That statement could not be further from the truth, my friend. Whether you were told that weight loss is all about willpower, or if you’ve ever thought that someone was healthy just because they are skinny, these common misconceptions will lead you down a very wrong path and could even lead to more weight gain.

Weight loss companies sporting supplements are multi-million dollar companies, and they feed off of these myths. While these lies may fool us, they don’t fool our metabolisms.

Stop the lies, and get debunked.

1. Weight Loss is About Willpower

It’s true in that willpower plays a huge role in weight loss, but it’s not the whole story.

There are so many biological factors that play in a roll in obesity and weight loss. A number of medical conditions can cause obesity, such as PCOS, depression, or hypothyroidism. You can’t pick your genetic code any more than you can pick whether you’re obese or not.

If you’re one of the millions of people affected by a medical condition causing obesity, no amount of willpower will help you lose the weight. Nothing that anyone can ever say to you will change that.

2. Fast Food is Always Bad

Just because it’s fast doesn’t mean it’s bad.

It’s about what you order, not where you order it. If you order a Big Mac, you’re looking at about 800 calories, but why not order a salad? Just don’t smother it in creamy ranch dressing.

For example, just a ranch dressing packet from McDonald’s has 110 calories. Try using their low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Instead of 110, you’re looking at about 35 calories.

Health consciousness awareness is booming, and fast food restaurants are trying to accommodate it. Many offer option like apples or wraps as healthier alternatives.

Fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

3. Thin People Are Healthy

Sure, obesity is a huge factor in heart disease, diabetes, and much more. But that doesn’t mean that thin people are healthier. There are a lot of people that have naturally high metabolic rates, and those people tend to eat more trash food than someone with a slower metabolism.

With all that trash food tasting so good, it’s easy to forget that your body needs real vitamins. This can lead to many disorders like anemia, depression, autoimmune disorders, and much more.

In the same way, just because someone is obese doesn’t mean that they are not metabolically unhealthy. Fat cells are stored subcutaneously, meaning that they are stored under the skin. Some people have fat storage disorders, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of their body isn’t in top shape.

Learn what it actually means to be fit here in our podcast.

4. Diet Foods Are Good for You

It’s easy to fall victim of the marketing scam that diet foods really are. Junk food is junk food, even if it says “diet” or “low calorie” on the packaging.

Product packaging is made to market, not to inform. The truth of it is, diet coke is just as bad for you as regular coke, just in a different way. Sugar-free as it may be, something has to be there to achieve that sweet taste we all love.

Check out our body transformation food section to learn more about finding healthy foods.

Now, the Weight Loss Facts: Top 12

Now that we’ve decluttered your mind of a few weight loss myths, let’s talk about the facts. The main goal of losing weight is to boost your metabolism and limit your calorie intake. This doesn’t mean you should quit eating, but it does mean that you shouldn’t consume more calories than your body burns in a day.

These 12 facts are backed up with research and repeated studies to proven effectiveness.

 

1. Water Works

It’s true what they say about water, it can help improve weight loss.

Research shows that drinking water can potentially boost your metabolic rate by 25-30%. Even drinking just half a liter of water can increase metabolism.

Some studies suggest that often times when you feel hungry, you’re really just thirsty. Try drinking a bottle of water before you pick up the snack. If you’re still hungry in about 5 minutes, go for the snack.

2. Keep Drinking Coffee

Forget everything you’ve been told about ditching your morning coffee. It’s not that coffee that’s bad for you, it’s the creamer and sugar.

Coffee is packed with antioxidants and is fantastic for your gut health. Research even suggests that your morning cup of joe can increase your metabolism by 10-29%, effectively helping you burn more calories.

It’s time to break up with your creamer, not your coffee.

3. Green Tea Boosts Metabolism

Similar to coffee, green tea is a great metabolism booster. Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine and something called catechins. Together, these chemicals work synergistically to battle excess fat cells.

Drink a cup of green tea in the morning if you’re not a coffee person, or try a green tea vitamin with breakfast.

4. Intermittent Fasting Is a Real Thing

Fasting is a popular weight loss technique, however, many people misunderstand it. Fasting is not meant for you to just stop eating. This leads to the belief that the less you eat, the less you way (which is totally false).

Intermittent fasting is intended to boost your metabolism. When your body gets used to a particular pattern, the metabolism can slow down and essentially go into a resting state. Change things up by intermittent fasting.

A popular fasting technique is 8/16, where you snack for 8 hours and then fast for 16.

5. Eat Less Refined Carbs

Carbs are not bad. I repeat, carbs are not bad.

What’s bad for you are refined carbs.

Refined carbs are things like bread, pasta, bagels. Too many refined carbs can result in blood sugar spikes.

Whole carbs are very different from refined carbs. Whole cards are unprocessed and are found in things like oats, bananas, oranges, and even beats.

When your body has a blood sugar spike, your pancreas goes into overdrive creating insulin in an attempt to counteract the blood glucose levels. Over time, this can lead to pancreatic damage and diabetes.

6. Muscle Weighs More than Fat

The purpose of this fact is not to help you lose weight, but to remind you that even though the sale doesn’t change, that doesn’t mean your BMI isn’t decreasing.

If you’re including regular workouts with your diet, which you should be, then you’re likely gaining muscle mass. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so if it seems like you’re gaining weight, there’s no need to fret.

The weight you are gaining is from muscle cells replacing fat cells. The scale usually goes up before it goes down.

7. Vitamin D is a Suspect for Weight Loss

We all know that vitamin D is great for bone health, but it has many more benefits.

Vitamin D is necessary for your body to even digest and absorb other vitamins. With proper vitamin D consumption, you can better absorb vitamins and in turn boost your immune system and metabolic rate.

One study found that people who have a vitamin D deficiency were more prone to obesity.

8. Men Tend to Have a Higher Metabolism

Men irritate women enough as it is, but this is one more reason. Men tend to have a higher metabolism than women.

Why?

Because men tend to have more muscle mass and more testosterone than women. Both of these are contributing factors to the body’s metabolic rate.

One study showed that when men and women who were placed on the same weight loss regimen, the men lost nearly twice as much as the women.

9. You Can’t Just Diet, You Have to Exercise

We mentioned earlier that muscle weighs more than fat, and that you should definitely be working regular exercise into your diet.

The reason low-calorie diets work is that the body starts using stored fat cells as an energy source. What most people don’t realize, though, is that the body will also start using muscle cells as an energy source. When you’re on a low-calorie diet, it’s critical to incorporate exercise into your daily routine to avoid muscle loss.

10. Eating Slower Can Help You Feel Full Faster

This one may sound a bit dumb, but we promise there’s research to back it up.

When you chew your food more slowly, your brain has more time to accurately register your hunger levels. This can help you feel full faster, and in turn, eat fewer calories.

A research study that was done on 30 healthy women showed that eating slowly lead to decreases in their energy intake.

11. Eating Spicy Foods Can Help

Do you have a liking to spicy foods?

Peppers contain something called capsaicin oil. The oil has shown to boost your metabolism when eaten in certain doses. This study showed that when eaten in a high enough dose, the capsaicin oil actually burned about 10 more calories per meal.

Fun Fact: Capsaicin oil is what gives the food it’s spiciness. The capsaicin oil binds with temperature receptors in your mouth and throat, effectively tricking your brain into thinking you’ve put something ‘hot’ in your mouth. This is the same reason why mint gum makes your mouth feel cold.

12. Sleeping is More Important Than You Think

At the end of the day, there’s sleep. A poor sleep schedule is strongly related to weight gain.

Studies have shown that people with deprivation are more prone to weight gain.

See, when you sleep, your body rests and resets itself. Sleeping renews your energy. When you have poor sleeping habits, your body doesn’t get the chance to renew its energy so it requires more calories.

Lack of sleep disrupts the hormones that control your appetite, ghrelin being one of them, causing you to feel hungrier more often. That’s the reason behind you craving sugar and simple carbohydrates when you’re sleep deprived. They give you short bursts of energy- which your body needs.

However, neither of them will give you sustained energy and you’ll find yourself hungry and tired again in about an hour.

All in All, Just Don’t Lose Yourself

Most of us want to lose weight, whether its 10 pounds or 100 pounds. The reality is that there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do it.

Making small lifestyle changes is the healthier way to shred any unwanted weight and we hope you got the information you need with these weight loss facts.

If you’re interested in adding exercise to your daily routine, try our 9-week challenge. Your personal coach will guide you through fitness exercises and even help you create a meal plan that works for you.

Or if you’re just interested in learning more about us, check out this short video.

Most importantly, no matter what anyone says, just be you. Remember, your weight measures your gravitational pull, not your worth. Follow us on Instagram so you get a little bit of motivation every day!

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