Posts tagged diet tips
Scripture of the Day: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14
What this verse is saying is “Don’t do what everyone else does.” Everyone else does whatever they want on the weekend. Everyone else feels like the deserve the break. “We work hard during the week, let’s live it up on the weekend” some say – but how dumb is that?
Whether we are talking about how we eat, how we spend money or how we act, we should be protective over what we have worked hard on all week long – whether we worked hard to make money, for a good reputation, for spiritual growth, or to make progress toward our weight loss goals. Does it mean you completely live one day like none of that matters? Do we have an “OFF” day, as if no rules apply and the calories, actions, money or whatever don’t count? NO! What happens on the weekends doesn’t stay on the weekends! We carry that junk with us into the new week. Of course we can have small treats and fun, but we should be so dedicated to our goals, and to our standards, that we don’t go so overboard we erase 6 days of hard work on one day.
Sadly, this happens to so many people who in pursuit of a new weight or fitter body. Most people fail, not because they aren’t working hard enough in the gym, but because they aren’t working hard enough in the kitchen (especially on the weekends). They blow 5-6 days of sweat and tears on snacks and cheat meals. Even people who are eating healthy, still can eat too much.
Start becoming protective over your hard work in the gym. It comes with a cost – they are called calories. We burn them in the gym, and we need to protect that investment and prevent replacing them with irresponsible eating.
If you are trying to lose weight, commit to counting every single calorie you eat this weekend, even if you’ve never counted calories before. Before it goes in your mouth, look it up and add it up. Once you know the real cost of food, you will begin to budget your eating better and see the results you want! Have a great weekend everyone! More motivation tomorrow!!
Scripture of the Day: “Taste and see that the LORD is good” Psalms 34:8
Someone recently was telling Steve how “lucky” he was for having such amazing dedication and self discipline, as if he had extra self-control super powers and dieting was easier for him than others. I have to laugh at this, knowing just how much he struggles with his diet. Why do people think it’s easier for the “fit people” to avoid sweets or not overeat? Then I realized, maybe it is a little easier for those who have already tasted success, because they realize success tastes better than the food they may have to give up.They know without a shadow of a doubt that it is all worth it.
It is hard to give up something for nothing, or for something they’ve never experienced before. It’s hard to invest in something when you have not yet enjoyed the even greater return. However, when you know how it feels to be fit, trim, feel good, feel more comfortable in your skin, feel stronger, feel healthier, etc., maybe it is a tad easier to stick with your diet. Then, trading regular coke for diet coke, or pizza for grilled chicken, seems easy.
I believe that is why scripture says “taste and see” (Psalms 34:8). God knows if we will just give Him a try, and taste His goodness, nothing will compare to it. I believe the same is true for fitness and taking care of our bodies. We are so fooled into thinking that certain foods, or living a certain lifestyle, is worth the extra pounds. However, if you’d just “taste and see”, I believe you’d realize nothing compares to living in a healthy body. Suddenly, sluggishness, heaviness, tight pants, high blood pressure, insecurities that follow weight gain, and all the repercussions of a lack of self-control make that lifestyle no longer worth it. But first, you must “taste and see” so you can make that comparison for yourself – because until you experience it yourself, you cannot fully understand and comprehend the reward.
Stick to your goals this year, long enough to truly taste and see how it feels to reach your goal – and I mean your dreamy goal, not your first goal. No! I’m talking about pressing on past what is good to what is great! Don’t stop short of your very best. THEN, you can say you’ve tasted success – and THEN, you’ll know just how good it really is and maybe then passing up the sweets or sticking to your plan will also be a little easier for you too!
A NOTE FOR DIETERS: Don’t get me wrong! Being fit doesn’t mean you never have chocolate again. However, when you are in the dieting phase and trying to lose weight, it may mean you are giving up some things (or not eating as much as you’d like of those things). The diet phase is more strict, but maintenance phase is much easier, and will allow room for occasional treats and freedom. The key is balance and accountability. Once a treat becomes a habit, the weight will creep right back on. Stick to your plan. I do promise it will be worth it. No one feels a set of tight tone abs and thinks “boy I wish I had eaten more pizza”.
Quote of the Day: “Don’t worry about what you are giving up now. Worry about what you risk giving up if you quit pressing on.”
Scripture of the Day: “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14
When we start a diet, the first thing we think about is everything we are going to have to give up to reach our goal. We think about the food we won’t be able to eat, the parties we won’t want to go to (because we don’t want to be tempted) or the time we are going to have to invest in working out. What if we could change our whole way of thinking so this isn’t the first thought?
What if we changed our mindset and we were more concerned about what we are giving up if we eat the junkfood, skip our workout or don’t stick with our program. I mean, what is more valuable? The taste of our favorite cheat meal for 30 minutes or feeling comfortable and proud of our body for 24 hours a day?
This year, let’s focus on the prize more than the cost – because, honestly, the cost is so little compared to what we have to gain!!
Scripture of the Day: “Do your best (TRY) to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Today I talk about the easiest part of success – and it’s a lot easier than you think.
Getting stronger, faster, thinner, healthier and better may sound like a lot of work, but it’s almost inevitable if you just keep trying. Have you seen that saying people share on facebook that says, “no matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch“? Well let’s take that a step further and make it a little more personal, “No matter how slow I go, I am still lapping THE OLD ME that used to sit on the couch.” My point is, whatever you ARE doing is better than when you did nothing.
So, let’s put things into perspective here. If you are one of those people that try really hard for 6 weeks and then drop off the face of the earth, you can easily do better this year. Anything you do that is more than what you have been doing is better.
If you are the type of person who trains hard to make up for not dieting hard enough, anything you do to improve your eating will be an improvement. My point is, you don’t have to train like a professional athlete to be stronger or faster. You don’t have to starve yourself to be thinner. You don’t have to be perfect to be better – you just have try. The more improvements you make, the greater your results will be. Isn’t that good news?
Trying is of the most powerful things you can ever do. If you don’t try, you will never have the chance to succeed. Trying is the key to all victory. If you want to guarantee failure, quit trying. That is the only way you truly can fail.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan
Quote of the Day: When you can’t catch your breath, when your muscles are on fire, when you are dying to sleep in, when you’re hungry, when you’re tired, when the scale won’t budge, when you’re feeling sorry for yourself, when you are doubting yourself… as long as you don’t give up, Fat WILL eventually Surrender!
Scripture of the Day: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
Fat WILL Surrender!
If you are doing everything right, counting calories, and working out regularly, fat WILL eventually surrender and give up the fight. Sometimes it takes a while to break a plateau. Sometimes it takes a while to see the results you want. But, IF you are doing everything right, fat will have to eventually raise the white flag.
Fat and Muscle, What Happens Behind the Scenes
Just because your scale hasn’t budged YET, doesn’t mean you aren’t wearing fat down. You could literally be losing fat and gaining muscle – and your weight could be the same (while you are losing fat). Of course, over time, your weight will eventually drop, but it is common for the scale to remain the same in the beginning of a fitness program because of these changes going on inside.
Our muscle gets fuller from the new activity, causing them to weigh more. That’s why our muscles feel firm and “pumped up”. While our muscles fill out, we are also simultaneously losing body fat, but our weight appears to balance out on the scale (or worse, it actually goes UP!). Have no fear. Just because you don’t see the changes on the scale doesn’t mean you have SERIOUS changes going on inside.
Look at this photo of me holding a replica of 5lbs of fat (left) and 5lbs of muscle (right). See how much smaller 5lbs of muscle is compared to 5lbs of fat? This is why we can appear smaller, but our weight can be the same. That’s also why you can swear you are losing weight, then get on the scale, only to be discouraged that the scale is not agreeing with your belt. Your belt says you’ve lost in your waist, but the scale acts like no changes have been made. If you are feeling thinner, you are right. You are getting thinner – and eventually, the scale will agree.
If Only We Had X Ray Fitness Vision
Without doing a fancy body composition analysis (like the one we have, called the InBody), it’s hard to believe what is really going on. Yet, if you could see that you’ve lost 4lbs of fat and gained 4lbs of muscle, you could celebrate – and let that information motivate you to press on. Unforunately, it’s around this time that people give up. They let the scale sabotage their progress. They’ve worked harder than they ever have before, yet they aren’t getting the reward they want on the scale, so they quit – and they quit RIGHT before the scale would have started to show major progress.
Tomorrow, I will go deeper into fat vs. muscle – and I will address some of the exceptions to the rule, as well as some warnings. I will also give you some ideas of what to expect while you are working toward your goal. If you don’t subscribe, be sure to subscribe today so you don’t miss it!
Remember, the key to any fitness program is remembering you are a science project – and science projects have many variables. You have to understand that weight loss may take some trial and error ..and a lot of patience. Just promise me this: Keep Showing Up and Never Give Up! If you do that, Fat WILL Surrender To You!
Learn more about healthy weight loss:
Get weight loss tips and find helpful BMI and calorie counter tools at Reader’s Digest Health section
As people start the New Year off with new fitness goals, more people are in search for good supplements and healthy snacks to help them stick to their diet. But what do you look for when trying to find a protein snack?
There are many different variations of protein supplements. There are shakes, bars and ready-to-go Shakes, or RTGs. RTGs are pre-made protein shakes that are great for people on the go and don’t have access to a blender and all the shake-making fixings. The profile for various RTGs vary quite a bit. What you need will depend on what time you eat it.
For instance, if you are looking for a snack to eat between, or in place of meals, and you want it to curb your appetite and boost energy, you need an RTG that has a good amount of fat in it. Fat slows digestion, which will keep you feeling full.
The only time you would want a low-fat, high protein RTG is you are drinking it directly after a workout. A great example of an awesome RTG for a snack that will stick with you is Atkins Milk Chocolate Delight Shake (and the Café Caramel Shake looks to die for, but I haven’t tried that flavor yet!). Atkins RTGs are only 160 calories and have 15gms protein, 4-5g carbs (3g net carbs) and 9g of fat. Not only will you find that this shake tastes much better and richer, you will find that the higher fat content will help this shake stay with you longer – and that is important, especially while trying to restrict calories.
Beware of Sugar & Carbs
I compared Atkins shake (which you can get at the grocery store) to other so-called protein RTGs on the shelf, and there was a startling difference. One popular shake was 190 calories (vs 160), only 10gms of protein (vs 15gms) and 5gms of fat (vs 9gms), and a whopping 30 GRAMS of carbohydrates (vs 4-5gms). It had 18gms of sugar vs Atkins 1gm of sugar. What does this means to you? It means you’ll be starving in about 2 seconds after you drink it. The high-carb high-sugar shake will spike your blood sugar for a moment, but likely follow with a pretty quick and awful sugar crash – leaving you hungry and unsatisfied.
Boost Proteins & Fats
When I reflect back on my first week on Atkins, I could most definitely tell that the higher fat, higher protein diet kept me much fuller and content. Sadly, people are scared to have fat because they treat fat like a 4-letter word. Healthy fats are incredibly helpful for dieters and maintain good nutrition. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, is what does the most damage. Unfortunately, many dieters aren’t getting the protein and fat they need on their high-carb, low-fat diets – and they’re wondering why they are so miserable and hungry all the time. (Watch the Fat Heads movie – SO enlightening!)
If you are changing your shopping and eating, choose fat over carbs, low-fat over fat-free items and beef up your protein (pun intended!). You will be amazed how much better you will feel and how much faster you will get results – both with your health AND your waistline!!
Here’s more on what i learned about Atkins Diet – definitely not what I originally thought!
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Atkins.
Day 4: 30 Days of Motivation
Quote of the Day: “VICTORY doesn’t come in diet pills, shortcuts, tricks, gimmicks, fad diets, surgery or drugs. Victory Starts With opposition, and requires good old-fashioned hard work, dedication and perseverance. ”
Scripture of the Day: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Bring Your Gym Bag, Your Muscles AND Your Brain
When I show someone an exercise, I believe it’s important to tell that person what we are working, why that exercise is working that muscle group, and how they can make the most of that particular exercise to get the results they want. Not only will they understand the importance of that exercise, and know how to do it correctly, they will be more motivated to do it when they understand what it will do for them.
Sure, I could easily just point to a machine and have them go through the motions. Shoot, if I did that, they’d HAVE to keep coming back to me for help. Maybe other people consider that good job security. Some trainers have the mentality of, “don’t teach them anything, or they might go off and do it themselves”. But, if I just told people what to do, although it may change their body, it won’t change their mind.
Here’s my philosophy. People need a mind make-over. People need more than guidance, they need education. They need to make better decisions when no one is around to tell them what to do. The more a trainer empowers people with knowledge, the more lives they can change. The more success stories, the better their reputation will be – that THEY were the one that helped so many people reach their goals.
Sadly, some people just don’t want to learn. Often times people resort to short cuts or programs that tell you what to do because they don’t want to think for themselves. While joining a program that directs you is a good thing, beware of spending hours being told what to do without learning anything. Don’t be afraid to think, to try to understand, to invest time and energy in learning.
We are supposed to LEARN from our hard work. Dedication and discipline is supposed to challenge us, grow us and teach us how to persevere and overcome obstacles. Don’t look for short cuts, look for the right path – no matter how long or hard it looks. The right path is where you will learn the most, and you’ll learn how to stay on track once you get there!
Don’t look for shortcuts, sometimes the hardest routes teach us the most!
Motivational Quotes to Motivate You
- The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work. Thomas A. Edison
- Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Peter Drucker
- Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich
- Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but without it you don’t have a chance. Alex Rodriguez
- Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. Sam Ewing
- Talent in cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Stephen King
- Young people are threatened… by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire. Pope John Paul II
- For every two minutes of glamour, there are eight hours of hard work. Jessica Savitch
- All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. Thomas J. Watson
- You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. Alan Alda
- Temporary success can be achieved in spite of lack of other fundamental qualities, but no advancements can be maintained without hard work. William Feather
- No great achiever – even those who made it seem easy – ever succeeded without hard work. Jonathan Sacks
- Opportunity looks a lot like hard work. Ashton Kutcher
- A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell
Your mental health affects everything you do, including tackling fitness goals. If you think about it, success always starts in your brain. You have the power to talk yourself into going for a run, as well as talk yourself out of it. The way you think determines the direction you are headed, however, many people neglect to properly prepare their brain before they make New Year’s Resolutions.
In my recent article for Answers.com, I discuss five ways to get your brain fit for success this year. Before you set goals, before you lift your first weight, before you step on a scale, get your brain in shape first – because it’s impossible to be truly healthy with an unhealthy mindset. READ MORE
I’ve Fallen, and I Can’t Get Up
When I talk about fitness and dieting, I often refer to falling and getting back up again. Maybe it’s because I’m a clutz and relate to falling, or maybe it’s just because falling is a part of life.
We’re human and it’s inevitable that we will mess up – and there is no truer example than with diet and fitness. However, I don’t think it’s all about just preventing the failure, I think the most important action is what we do after we fail.
I think it’s healthy to allow ourselves to cheat occasionally. It’s almost like planning a controlled fall. Stunt men do it all the time. They learn how to fall without getting hurt. We all know eating certain foods aren’t healthy, but we “allow” ourselves to have them. But, if we don’t plan it carefully, and practice safety measures, we can find ourselves in big trouble quick.
While some people planned their Thanksgiving cheat meals out carefully, there are others that just threw out all the rules, and dove face first into every dish that came their way. Whether we convinced ourselves that “we deserved it” or acted like we really didn’t care, eventually our bad choices catch up to us. The feeling of disappointment and guilt might hit us as soon as we finish the last bite, or it might take days of repetitive bad behavior to finally get us to the point of being sick of how those bad choices make us look and feel. However long it takes us to reach that point, when we finally get to that point, it’s time for damage control.
It’s time for you (and the scale) to face the facts.
Some people are quick to jump back on the scale and boldy face reality. One thing I can guarantee is this: You WILL eventually deal with all this. You can deal with it now or later – the choice is yours.
3 Post Holiday Scenarios: Which One Will You Choose?
1. Stay Knocked Down. This is what most people do after a Holiday – especially when there is another excuse (like another Holiday) right around the corner. They decide it’s going to be impossible to fight, too hard to manage, not enough time, no fun, or not worth the effort. So, they just give up and pretend they can continue through the Holidays without repercussions. The problem with this is, if you do this often enough, it becomes a pattern. Weight continues to creep up on you – and before you know it, you are in way over your head, and you may be tempted to quit for good.
2. Get Back Up – slowly. This person waits for the ref to count all the way to 9 before they get back up again. They are procrastinator, slow learners and naturally lazy (like me – yes ME!). Sometimes it takes a friend (or dog!) to drag them back to the gym. But, most of the time, this person will try everything under the sun before doing what they know they need to do. They’ll cut everything out they don’t mind forfeiting and try making “their way” work by finagling diets and fitness around their lifestyle. Then they will complain when they fail. They will justify their actions, make a million excuses, and, finally, at the very last minute (when they just can’t take it any longer), they will stand back up and get back to what they know works.
3. Bounce Back Fast – The person who is fast to recover and quickly gets back on their feet, accepts what has to be done and doesn’t waste any valuable time. They get right back on their diet, and get right back in the gym – as fast as they possibly can. They may dread it, they may not want to do it, but they do it anyway because they’ve either learned the hard way or they hate feeling fat and unhealthy more than they hate the work it takes to stay fit. They could easily wallow in their sorrows and beat themselves up while their down, but they don’t. The get over it. They move on. They get back up on their own two feet – and fight it back out.
So, you ate like crap – get over it, it’s time to get back up!
Subscribe to my blog to get Bounce Back Tips tomorrow, and learn how to get your home and body back in shape FAST!
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. Not only do we still have our regular list of things to do, but now we also have to fit in Christmas shopping, football games, holiday parties and special events too. As we all run around like a chicken with its head cut off, it’s easy to neglect our bodies.
This is the time of year when our workouts and diet suffers. We don’t make time to eat, and when we do finally eat, it’s not as healthy as it should be – plus we overeat because we waited until we were completely starving to finally stop for food.
You can prevent a LOT of damage by doing this one simple thing: Bring a bar everywhere you go. Seriously, before you leave the house, you should grab your phone, grab your wallet, grab your keys and grab a bar – like the Atkins Blueberry Greek Yogurt Bar.
When we get too hungry, we get stupid – plain and simple.
If you think about all the times you’ve given in to fast food or overeaten at dinner, it’s typically because you allowed yourself to get too hungry. When we get too hungry we get stupid – plain and simple.
We think of stupid ways to get food. We rationalize our poor decisions and we make exceptions to our normal dietary rules. This can all be prevented with one simple healthy snack bar.
Below are my list of top 10 reasons you should have a bar handy – and why!
Top 10 Times to Have a Bar Handy
- WORKING – If you are like me, you can work long hours without rest and, suddenly, you are starving to death. Midday is the perfect time to have a bar. It will give you the boost you need to perform well, and you won’t be as hungry by suppertime.
- STUDYING – If you are a student, you should always have a bar in your backpack. If young students snack on a bar on their bus ride, or walking route, home, they will be less likely to invade the pantry as soon as they walk in the door. Many students also have end of the year exams in December, so it’s good to have extra brain food on hand to help them stay alert and sharp.
- CHEERING – Tis the season for football cheering, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la! Bring a bar with you to all the games. It not only will save you from buying a high-price hot dog, but it will save you the calories too!
- SHOPPING – Graze on a bar while shopping. This will help you resist the food court, and will keep your energy level up. Always have a bar with you when you go to the grocery store too. Sometimes you will find you are hungrier than you thought once you get there – then you’ll throw everything but the kitchen sink in your grocery cart because you are thinking with your stomach and not your brain! lol
- TRAVELING – Pack bars with you on road trips. Having a bar in the car, ready for your next hunger pain, can reduce unnecessary snack stops as well as curb appetite until you find the next restaurant.
- PARTYING – Eat a bar before going to a Holiday Party. You’ll be less likely to overeat all the high-calorie holiday fair. A bar is also great to have for those holiday dinners with the office. It can take a long time to serve a large number of people, so it’s good to have a bar on hand in case it takes two hours to just get your salad.
- SIPPING – Bring a bar to your favorite coffee house. Atkins bars taste like a real treat, so enjoy it with a cup of joe instead of sharing your coffee with a high-fat high-carb scone or muffin.
- EXERCISING – Pack a bar in your gym bag. You should always have a bar in your gym bag in case your blood sugar drops or you lack energy for your workout.
- WATCHING – This is the season for long concerts, plays, recitals and Christmas specials. Bring a bar with you to snack on during intermission so don’t want to eat a horse when the even is over.
- DRIVING – The holidays will have you running all over creation – going on errands, playing taxi for your kids and packing in as many honey-dos as possible. This is why I always have a bar in my car. It’s my emergency bar stash. My car is never without a bar, so I’m never stuck in the car hungry.
Bars, Bars, Bars
Here is a list of Atkin’s Advantage Bars. These bars are great as a meal replacement, or a really filling snack. Bars are available at CVS, Publix, WinnDixie, WalMart, Target, Sam’s and many other common grocery stores. With a total of 24 varieties of delicious snack and meal bars, Atkins has something for everyone and their snacking preference. Bring along an Atkins Advantage bar such as the Blueberry Greek Yogurt bar or the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel bar. They’re portable and can be eaten anytime you’re on the go or you need a satisfying snack or light meal. Each bar is packed with protein and fiber to keep you satisfied when you’re too busy to eat a full meal.
Atkins Blueberry Greek Yogurt Bar
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel
Strawberry Almond Bar
Cinnamon Bun Bar
Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar
Cookies & Cream Bar
Mud Slide Bar
Peanut Butter Granola Bar
Peanut Fudge Granola Bar
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Atkins.