Balance is the Key To Long Term Weight Loss

 

If you’re alive and breathing it’s pretty difficult to get through one single day without media bombardment of the latest and greatest fad diet or workout.  While these various diets, potions, and exercise routines all boast phenomenal results, the reality is that most of these are unrealistic and next to impossible to sustain. In the worst case scenarios they can even be dangerous for your body.

Lost Weight Loss Wisdom?

 

The key to long term weight loss has been and always will  be a healthy, balanced approach. There’s nothing complicated about it and it does not require deprivation, pain, fancy shakes, eliminating whole food groups, or any other fad that’s out in the media.

However, it does require a little bit of knowledge, consistency, and planning.

Six Things to Remember to Find Balance

 

1)  Calories count.  In order to lose a pound of fat per week, a reduction of 500 calories per day is required.  A combination of exercise and adjustments to caloric intake is the most balanced approach to creating a caloric deficit. Free apps like loseit make it easy to track your daily caloric intake based on your weight loss goals.

While counting calories may seem restrictive, it’s actually empowering. If you treat calories like a bank account, knowing how much you can spend each day gives you flexibility. A great tip from celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels is to follow the 80/20 rule. Allow yourself 20% “fun calories” each day. Use the 20% for things like a glass of wine, small dessert, or any other special treat you enjoy.

2)  Meal planning. Have you heard the old saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” Planning what you will eat for the week takes the guesswork out of whether or not you are staying on track with your calorie cutting and weight loss goals. Use “light” or “low cal recipes” to keep the food choices interesting so you won’t feel deprived.

You don’t have to give up planning when eating out. Check out the menu online before you get to the restaurant. Use apps like loseit or healthy dining finder to help you evaluate menus. Choose your lower calorie meal before you arrive at the restaurant to avoid being tempted by the higher calorie choices.

Allow yourself to go for it once in awhile and forget about the calories. Have fun and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty. Simply get back on your plan the following day.

If you’re on vacation, make it your goal to not gain any weight. Use your loseit app to find out how many calories you can spend.

3)  Regular Exercise. Regular daily exercise combined with a healthy eating plan is the best recipe there is for weight loss and weight management. Shoot for 20 minutes per day of regular activity like walking, hiking, biking,swimming, etc.

5)  Leisure Time Activity. Use leisure time to relax AND burn calories. Try things like a walk on the beach, kayaking, horseback riding, walking your dog, or playing with your kids. You’ll not only feel rejuvenated, but you’ll contribute to your daily weight loss goals.

6)  Make sure your goals are realistic. You may not have the time nor the desire to do what it takes to look like a model on the cover of a health magazine. If you can’t go out to dinner once a week without “blowing” your plan, your weight loss goal will be very hard to maintain. Set a goal to reach a desired weight that allows you to look good, feel good, and enjoy yourself. Then stick to it.

Avoid letting the media or anyone else pressure you into thinking your goal isn’t good enough or that you should be comparing yourself to others. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. What’s most important is that you are comfortable, happy, and satisfied with your own personal results.

Now, that my friend is balance!

To your health and fitness!

Jennifer

Questions or comments?  Please leave me a note below.  I love to hear from you!

 

 

How To Snack And Lose Weight

Like to have your mid morning or afternoon snack? Good! Having a snack or two during your day will help you lose weight and keep it off for good.

Eating small and mid sized meals throughout the day is a great way to stabilize your blood sugar, avoid over eating, and keep your mind alert. So here’s how to snack and lose weight.

Snacking Wisely

The number of calories you will want in your snacks is going to vary depending on your weight loss goals and the amount of calories consumed during your daily meals. Pairing a carbohydrate and a protein gives your body the short and long term fuel it needs to sustain you until your next meal.

Ten healthy snacks to help you lose weight!

1)  Fruit.  Fruit is low in calories and makes a great snack when paired with a slice of cheese or a tablespoon of peanut butter.

2)  Tortilla Chips and Salsa. Yes, this can be a low-cal snack if you check the bag to determine a serving.  Since Salsa is very low in calories, I like to have 1/4 cup of yoghurt with it.  This is a great snack in the afternoon.

3)  Cheese and crackers.  Sounds fattening?  Not really when you eat a single serving. Pre-sliced cheese is a great way to control the calories.  Break it into pieces and eat with whole wheat crackers.

4)  Yogurt.  Yoghurt with fruit or a small amount of honey makes a great low-cal snack.

5)  Whole wheat toast and a tablespoon of peanut butter or slice of cheese.

6)  Leftovers.  A 1/2 serving of a low cal meal makes a great snack.

7)  Frozen Yoghurt.  Make sure it’s small and go light on the sprinkles.

8)  Shakes.  I don’t endorse meal replacement shakes as I prefer to make my own low cal smoothies. But for people on the go, shakes can be a great option for a low-cal snack.

9)  Hummus.  Whole wheat pita chips and hummus is one of my favorites! Hummus is great for satisfying hunger, and a good whole wheat pita chip will give you the complex carbs you need for energy.

10)  Cottage Cheese.  Pair  1/2 cup cottage cheese with fruit or crackers for a great snack.

While cookies, candy, and potato chips are labeled as “snack foods”, they have a high calorie count and do not keep you filled up for very long.  It’s best to think of these foods as “treats.

Have a low cal snack you’d like to share?  Please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

Blessings to you and yours!

Jennifer

 

 

Eight Tips To Save At The Grocery Store And Still Eat Healthy!

According to a new national poll of more than 1,000 women, published in the June 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine (from the publisher of Consumer Reports), 57% of respondents said their main reason for not eating a healthy diet was cost.

How sad because it is possible to eat healthy on a budget!

I realize that your budget may be limiting you. I’m sure you want to stick to your budget so you can keep your household finances in order. A healthy bank balance plays an important role in reducing stress in your life!

However, let’s put this into perspective. You’ve heard it all before, how you can’t put a price tag on your health. Yet you aren’t sure how to get around it. You know that when your health is compromised, it is difficult to have the energy you need for the good things in life. Poor health can negatively affect every area of your life — time with family or friends, your performance at work and more.

The financial costs of illness can be steep! A major illness can destroy a carefully kept budget due to loss of wages, high medical bills, and sometimes even bankruptcy.

With all that said, you can’t afford not to eat healthy! The best part about it is that it is possible to eat healthy while staying within your budget.

Here are eight tips for eating healthy without breaking the bank!

1)  Make a list!  Plan your meals for the week and make a list. This keeps you from wasting food and money. For more meal planning tips, check out Meal Planning Helps You Lose Weight.

When planning, alternate the meatier dishes with meals that offer less meat with lots of veggies and healthy grains. This will help you stretch your dollar and increase your fiber intake.

Include other needed household items on your list, like toiletries and cleaners. Then, go to the store weekly. This will limit impulse buying exposure to one trip per week. After awhile you will get so good at making your list that you will add things to the cart by choice, not by impulse.

2) Compare prices! Not all stores have the same prices for the same or similar items.  I shop Trader Joe’s for a huge part of our list. The remainder I buy at our specialty markets and Nob Hill Foods. Trader Joe’s has a great selection of healthy foods, and the majority of their products are priced lower than their competitors. I only buy at Nob’s or specialty stores what I can’t find at Joe’s, plus the items I know are priced better elsewhere. Get to know the different stores in your area and their price differences. If they are close together, consider making multiple stops on your shopping day.

3)  Buy the store name brand! Many store’s have their own brands now which cuts costs significantly. Often times it’s the name brand food with a different wrapper. Read your labels and make sure you are avoiding trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and high fructose corn syrup. Organic foods are becoming more and more available under the “store brand” labels, so always check to see if your store has that option.

4)  Shop in season! Fruits and vegetables are always less expensive when they are in season. When you buy out of season you are paying for the extra shipping. Consider freezing seasonable fruits and veggies while they are less expensive and save them for later.

5)  Know your source! Local farms and ranches may opt out of the Organic label because of cost. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t growing and raising the food in it’s purest form. Visit your local butcher ,produce stand, bakery, and other specialized food shops. Often times you can buy natural foods that are antibiotic, hormone, and pesticide free without the hefty “organic” price tag. Ask the local farmer how the food is grown.

6)  Chop your own stuff!  I chop my own garlic. celery, onions, carrots, and other types of root vegetables. This allows me to buy organic and save the money I would be paying someone else to cut my vegetables for me.

7)  Watch the extras! Limit things like cookies, chips, sodas, and sugary cereals. Consider these foods to be treats. Try substituting fruit, oatmeal, and water.

8)  Get creative! Buy foods that can multi-task! I always have yoghurt on hand and use it for snacks, in place of sour cream in recipes, or to make smoothies. Only buying one product for multiple uses is great. I know I will use it up rather than watch it grow mold. Throwing away food is like throwing cash away.

Have a question or a money saving tip you’d like to share.  Please leave a comment below. I’m looking forward to talking to you!

Blessings!

Jennifer