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“Cheat on Your Diet”, Fitness Magazine’s Unhealthy Message

Should Fitness Leaders Encourage Cheating on Your Diet?
My Answer:
A Big FAT No! 

WARNING: This is a rare rant, but I believe it’s necessary and could be helpful. Here is the email I got in my inbox today that is sparking this topic.

cheat on your diet

CheatingNotice the subject line: “Cheat on Your Diet (Without Gaining Weight).”

Here, I have another one for ya! How about: “Cheat on Your Spouse (Without Getting Divorced)”. Or, what about “Cheat on Your Taxes (Without Getting Caught).” I wonder how that would work out for ya. All I know is that title would never fly if it were about any other subject other than diet.

Have you ever wondered why we treat dieting differently than anything else? Cheating is cheating. Instead of teaching people to cheat, let’s teach people how to eat right and maintain a healthy balance so they don’t HAVE to cheat (which I’m sure was their intensions, but still sends a bad message).

I personally believe if we can teach people how to improve the issues that CAUSE cheating, we wouldn’t need to cheat to begin with. I also believe people need to know the difference between cheating and treating.

Why We Cheat

Why do people cheat on anything?

  1. They feel like they are missing out
  2. They are deprived, they aren’t getting what they want, or feel like they need
  3. They are greedy
  4. They lack discipline
  5. They are looking for happiness
  6. And many other issues I’m sure a psychologist would tell us our real issue is

dieterStrict dieting (and depriving) can absolutely cause some people to cheat and binge. It’s caused from extreme short-term discipline, or extreme (but typically short-lived) self control. Just because you have good discipline for a period of time doesn’t mean it won’t backfire on you. Ask your spouse to not have sex with you for a few months and see how that works out for ya. If you do that, you are putting them in a very bad and unhealthy place, so why would we do that to your own body?

While some issues are caused by extreme yo-yo discipline, other issues that cause cheating are from the opposite, a lack of discipline and self-control altogether. People who never really work on improving self control will continue to struggle until they really commit to making permanent changes. Instead, people will dabble in eating better for a period of time, but they never really stick with it long enough to learn a new long-term disciplined behavior. Self control is difficult in any area of our lives – it will not be easy, and it will take constant practice, but it is most definitely healthy.

Think of all the areas of our life that require constant discipline. If we have to constantly control our tongue, control our anger, control our desires, control our thoughts and control our spending, why would we think we would ever get to a place where we no longer have to control our eating?  Self-control is required in all areas of our life if we want to live fruitful, healthy lives.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Cheating vs Treating

eating chocolateNow that we’ve talked about why we cheat, let’s talk about how we cheat. First, I think people misuse the word. Instead of looking at having a piece of cake as “cheating”, we should look at it as “treating” – BIG DIFFERENCE. The same way we make room in our budget to treat ourself to a new pair of shoes or a new purse, we need to learn to make room in our budget for a dinner out or a piece of pie. As long as we aren’t doing it all the time, it’s a healthy way to have treats. Unfortunately, many people are not treating, they are cheating. They are not making room for that treat. They aren’t shaving calories off somewhere else. They aren’t working it off now, and they have no plans to work it off later.  They aren’t working to “buy” that treat the good old-fashioned hard-working way.

People are just taking what they want, when they want – whether they can afford it or not. Anywhere else, that would be called stealing. In the dieting world, it’s called cheating – but I’ve got news for ya. People are NOT getting away with it. They are imprisoned in body fat, tight pants, insecurities, depression and despair.

American Needs Stronger Leaders

matureWARNING: The following content is rated M for mature. Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense truths, unpleasant news, offensive and/or strong language. Caution is advised.

I am so tired of seeing headlines suggesting dieting is easy and fast. It’s not. While it doesn’t have to be awful (and when done right, can be much easier than you think), practicing discipline isn’t easy. It takes some level of effort – and results are rarely fast.

shape magazine coverI’d like to encourage fitness leaders to choose their words carefully and, may I boldy say, challenge American to QUIT cheating. We need to encourage people to be accountable. We need to speak truth in love and, for once, actually tell people “it may be your fault”. It’s not a fun message to give, but at some point, people need to hear the truth – even if it isn’t as fun.

Could you imagine if Magazines used headlines like:

  • 10 Ways to Practice Self-Control
  • Learn How Balance Diet and Treats (not Cheats)
  • Get the Foods You Need, So You Don’t Fall Off the Wagon
  • Overweight? Then Move More or Eat Less

Of course those don’t sound near as fun as “have your cake and eat it too”. And “get off your fat butt and burn off that cake” would not only offend half of American, but it probably wouldn’t sell magazines. Sadly, America spends so much energy on being politically correct, and non-offensive, they don’t have the guts to use headlines that people really need to hear. Instead, they tell people what they want to hear, even if it’s not true, unhealthy, only partly true or even damaging. We live in a “feel-good” society that preaches “if it feels good, do it” and “you deserve it”.

cheat daysFitness leaders needs to help people get to the root of the problem and fix it, instead of encouraging followers to find ways around the problem, or mask it. Personally, in my opinion, we shouldn’t teach people how to cheat, or even appear to. That is just a bad message to me. While teaching practical eating tips so people can ENJOY life, and not be miserable on a diet, would ultimately teach people how to FEEL like they are cheating (which I am sure is what the magazine was doing) – I don’t think we should even use the word cheat in a positive sense. Why? Because the uneducated dieter could be led to believe that some people are getting amazing results by “cheating right” and doing whatever they want. NO! People get good results by eating right and practicing self control.

“…people always want to see what they can get away with first…”

getting caughtPeople are already looking for every way to lose weight besides the right way. I see it way too much at the gym. People work really hard at the gym, only to blow it on poor choices because they basically want to see what they can get away with and still get the results they want. If you are dieting that way, I’ve got news for you – you can’t get away with it for long. Living like that is risky. It’s no different than stealing and hoping to get away with it. You have to be ready to get caught and face the consequences. The best thing you can do is just live right – and, in this case, eat right.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28

 

 

Diet Sabotage: 6 Problems, 6 Solutions

Here’s a million dollar question for you: Why is it SO hard to diet? Well, the answer is easy. We have issues! HaHa! Seriously, we have 6 common issues, or situations we find our self in on a regular basis, that we need to learn to face WITHOUT food.

1. Boredom 

boredom eatingProblem: One of the most common reasons people eat is out of pure boredom. This is most common in the evenings. It’s not like the world will come crashing down around us if we watch TV without a bowl of snacks, but for some reason we feel the need to feed as soon as our fat butts hit the couch. Think about this: 300 extra calories of junk a night is enough to ruin a 3-mile run – and if you aren’t working out, 300 extra calories a day for 365 days a year adds up to a whopping 30lbs of fat!

Solution: Snacking is just a bad habit. You have a learned behavior to entertain your tongue while you entertain your brain, and it probably started as a child. Fixing this bad habit is easy as saying your ABCs! A.) Go cold turkey, and teach yourself not to eat when you are bored. B.) Trade a bad habit with a good one, by learning how to eat lower calorie items instead. C.) Find something better to occupy your time, like going for a walk or going to bed early. People who stay up late watching TV have more time to be tempted. You may just be better off going to bed and getting your beauty rest.

2. Laziness

family eating outProblem: In my opinion, laziness is one of the primary reasons we have a restaurant on every corner. Often times we don’t feel like cooking after a hard day’s work. So, we eat out because it’s easy. We like to be served – who doesn’t?! We don’t have to cook and we don’t have to clean up afterwards. Another reason people are tempted to eat out, or eat poorly, is because we make it too difficult to eat healthy. Our meals may be too complicated and time-consuming, and our snacks may not be realistic for our needs. So, we a grab quick fix or head to our favorite restaurant.

Solution: If you simplify your recipes, cooking won’t seem so overwhelming. But, if you know cooking a meal means spending 45 minutes in the kitchen, slaving over the stove, you will probably do anything to avoid it. Always keep some foods that are quick to cook, like frozen vegetable Steamers and defrosted meats. This will require changing your shopping habits. You can have the best intentions at the grocery store, but you also have to make realistic choices you can actually use in the kitchen.

3. Impatience

drive thruProblem: We live in a world filled with instant gratification. We don’t like to wait for ANYthing, and this includes food. Being hungry makes us impatient. The hungrier we get, the more impatient we get – but patience wouldn’t be needed if we weren’t so hungry to begin with.

Solution: Hunger makes us stupid. Seriously, we do some of the dumbest things when we are hungry, so the solution to the problem is to avoid being that hungry to begin with. Keep healthy snacks, like a bag of almonds or a protein bar, nearby. So, when you get hungry, you can have a couple of bites of the bar to hold you off until you can eat something healthy. Better yet, snack periodically BEFORE you even start to get hungry to begin with. By the time lunch or dinner rolls around, you can make healthier choices – and think with your brain, instead of think with your stomach.

4. Unpreparedness

designer whey barProblem: This is probably one of my own biggest personal stumbling blocks. I do GREAT – as long as I’m prepared. But, as soon as I eat up all my healthy groceries, and no longer have healthy choices on hand, my diet goes out the window.

Solution: Make grocery shopping and cooking a priority. Don’t let your kitchen run low on the things you need to eat healthy. It is impossible to eat healthy if you don’t shop healthy. Set 2 days a week you can cook in bulk so you always have prepared food in the refrigerator. Keep a good supply of Tupperware to make it easier to bring leftovers to work.

5. Emotional Satisfaction

emotional eatingProblem: We turn to food to satisfy our emotions. We eat when we have something to celebrate, and we eat when we have something to cry about. I don’t know why we turn to food to feed our emotions, but almost everyone does it.

Solution: We have to reprogram our brain. Some people have trained their body to want to go for a run when they are mad, or lift weights when they are stressed, but that didn’t just happen on its own. Those are trained behaviors, which you can also implement. At first, you’ll have to purposefully think of what the best response would be but, eventually, your body will catch on.

6. Exposure

Party FoodProblem: When you have money in your pocket, it’s hard not to spend it – and, if you have food in front of you, it’s hard not to eat it. Allowing yourself to be in a position where you are constantly exposed to food, is a great way to set yourself up for failure.

Solution: First, tell friends about your goals and request fewer outings centered on food. Second, Avoid going to events hungry so you aren’t as tempted to eat poorly. Third, drink a LOT of water. Keeping a glass in your hand, and your belly full of agua, can help you resist nibbling. Lastly, learn to say no. The key to saying no is to not even think about it first. As soon as you entertain the thought of tasting something you have said “maybe” – and maybe is the beginning to saying “yes”.

If you want to succeed this year, you have to figure out which of these above problems could be holding you back. As soon as you diagnosis your problems, you can begin to tackle them and develop the right solutions for you. With a little trial and error, you CAN learn to face your issues withOUT the need to feed!

Today’s Motivation: You have the power to change your future by what you do today. Food no longer has to boss you around. YOU are the boss! YOU are in control! And, YOU CAN SUCCEED – and that success can start today!

30 Days of Motivation: Keep Your Goals Closer

2013 keep your goals close

Over the weekend, we often find ourselves with food and drinks too close for comfort. If you can’t keep your goals close, then push your temptations far away. If you keep giving in to temptation, you probably don’t have your goals close enough to you, or your not avoiding your temptations enough!

 

30 Days of Motivation: Does Your Diet Need More Muscle?

Protein shakeIf you want to tone up, you need to put more muscle in your workouts – and in your kitchen. The problem is, most people don’t know how much protein they eat – or how much they need. Well, after you read today’s blog, you will not only know “your number”, but you’ll know how and when to take it too.

First, I want to hit some key pointers.

1. Budget your protein intake. Before you start gulping down protein, you want to make sure you realize you are also gulping down more calories. Many people who start a fitness program hoping to lose weight and tone up ADD protein to their diet, but forget to SUBTRACT calories from carbs and fat. Another words, they are increasing their protein AND calories. Then they wonder whey they GAINED weight trying to get healthy. If you need to lose weight or lean out, remember that adding protein to your diet is great, but you have to account for the extra calories – and protein shakes and bars can add up fast if you aren’t paying attention.

2. Know when to take it. Protein is not a good source of fuel. That’s why marathoners carb up, not protein up. Protein is best for repair. So, the 2 best times to take protein, besides getting it in whole foods throughout your day, is post workout and before you go to bed. Our body is most receptive to absorbing protein within 30-40 minutes of your workout, and it needs protein to help our body repair muscle while we sleep.

protein shake3. Know how to take it. If you are taking protein post workout, you want to pair it with simple sugars to help speed up absorption so you can use the protein in that 30-40 minute window. For instance, a protein shake with water and honey, or protein with orange juice would be a good post workout shake. Any other time, you want to slow digestion down so you can absorb as much nutrients as possible. The longer it’s in your stomach, the more protein you absorb, and the longer you’ll stay full. In this case, adding milk or peanut butter is helpful.

4. Know your number. GNC put together a cool calculator to help people know how many grams of protein they should take a day. Note that it also gives you a window – minimum to maximum. For example, my number is 95 – but my range is 78-111. For me, the only way I can get that much protein is to supplement. I can get about 60 or so grams of protein in whole foods (I’m not a big meat eater) and then I supplement with a couple of shakes or a shake and a bar to reach my daily goal. CLICK HERE to find YOUR number.

my protein number

Today’s Mantra:

2013 feed for fuel

5 Reasons Why a Diet Works for One Person & Not Another

Have you ever wondered why your best buddy loved the Adkins diet, but you hated it. Or maybe a friend lost lost 20lbs on weight watchers but the scale didn’t budge for you? Well, here’s my very unscientific, but completely logical, approach to why certain diets work for some people, and they bomb for others.

Here are 5 popular diet methods, and why each of them can produce results or regret.

Diets

1. Meat Lovers: Paleo and Adkins diets are high-protein meat lover diets, so people who love meat do well. People, like me, who could go without it and not miss it struggle. Steve loves meat – I mean LOVES IT! So, he’s thoroughly enjoying the Paleo Diet. It’s harder for me, so I am beefing up my veggies so I can enjoy my meals, where Steve is totally fine putting a big clump of meat on his plate and calling it a “meal”. I have to be more creative with my meals to stay content.

2. Sugar Busters: This diet works well for people who have an issue with sweets. If I cut sweets out of my diet, I wouldn’t make a lot of changes. I just don’t crave sweets. So, if I went on this diet I would not lose that much weight because I wouldn’t be cutting that many calories out of my diet. All mainstream diets, no matter what “gimmick” or set of guidelines is given, works because it is based on a set number of calories by industry standards. Reduce sugar, reduce calories.

pigging out on pasta3. Carb Cutters: Low carb, or no-carb, diets get huge results for the people who love their bread and potatoes. If I completely cut carbs out of my diet, I’d drop weight too because I love me some carbs (lots of carbs means lots of calories). However, not everyone likes carbs like I do. So different strokes for different folks.

4. Weight Watchers: Someone can even goof up weight watchers if they aren’t careful. I’ve known people to overeat items that are low in points (or have “zero points”) and they don’t understand why they don’t get results. If you are an overeater, this diet may not work for you because you will find some way to cheat the system. However, if you are unhealthy eater, weight watchers is a great way to get your food in balance and learn how to eat better, which will naturally reduce your caloric intake.

5. Calorie Counters: Counting calories works – unless you are lazy, unorganized, forgetful or don’t have the tools you need to track calories properly. So, someone can even mess this up too. They may say “counting calories doesn’t’ work for me”. What they most likely mean is “I know counting calories works, but I don’t want to do it”.

If you are trying to lose weight and you’ve tried various diets that have failed, don’t give up. Think of the reasons you loved them, and the reasons you hated them. Learn more about yourself and the reason each diet works for others. Try new things and reattempt things you might have gone about all wrong in the past. You must continue to explore new and improved ways to eat and live healthy. You WILL succeed as long as you never give up.

Celeb Endorsements Gone Wrong

Over the years, big brands have used celebs to rep their products to boost sales. Occasionally, there is a quality product behind a star, but too often it’s just a paycheck. Shamefully, some stars don’t mind fibbing for a buck. I mean, did Snooki really believe that her six-cookies-a-day diet was a quality solution to a weight problem? How could someone feel good about endorsing that? And shame on anyone who would rely on a Jersey Shore reality star for diet advice. Really people? How about Kim Kardashian endorsing Shape Ups, the shoe that claims to tone the glutes and legs? Kim was already known for her unusually large derriere before she even heard of Shape-Ups. Also, why wouldn’t Shape Ups actually choose an athlete or someone with a super fit body to represent their brand? It seems to me both parties sold out on this one. Even after a study by the American Counsel of Exercise found that wearing Shape-Ups won’t burn more calories or improve muscle tone any more than wearing regular running shoes will, sadly, people keep buying them and celebrities will keep endorsing them. Ut Oh Spaghettios! I guess Kirstie Alley‘s role as Jenny Craig spokesmodel was so lucrative  she decided to create her own diet plan and keep all the earnings to herself. However, that backfired in a big way when she was sued for making false claims, including deceptive before and after photos and the claim her product helped her lose 100lbs. Reportedly, what really worked for her was good old-fashioned exercise and a low-calorie meal plan, but you can’t sell that as easily I guess. Charles Barkley is another endorsement gone wrong. He didn’t realize the cameras were on when he said “I thought this was the greatest scam going — getting paid for watching sports,” Barkley said. “This Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam.” I realize it was misinterpreted, and that he didn’t mean it the way it was taken, but both brands and celebs must be careful about what they say and do because people are watching. NutriSystem and Weight Watchers are two of my favorite diet brands, but how many times have we watched a celebrity lead people in the wrong direction – mistake or not? And in many cases, it’s not that the product is the scam, but a specific claim by an endorser that’s the scam. Then the entire character of the whole brand is questioned.

Sellouts Aren’t Selling 

I believe we are entering a whole new world of endorsements and marketing. Big brands are beginning to smarten up and use real people who really love their brand already to build a quality customer base. They’re trading celebrities for fitness leaders, and the girl next door (like me, sporting my LiveWell 360 Luxx workout bag), that people can trust – and I don’t know about you, but it’s refreshing! A huge leader in this concept is FitFluential, an insanely fast growing company that has many hats, but one is matching quality brands with quality fitness leaders. The thing I love most about being a FitFluential Ambassador is we are encouraged to only work with companies we TRULY believe in, so our followers can continue to rely on us for valuable HONEST direction. No sellouts! The end result is success on all levels. I’m not forced to write a raving review on a crummy product (thank goodness!). You will always be able to trust my content, as always, and every brand I endorse. And, all my affiliated brands will have more happy customers because their customers will have realistic expectations of their product and knowledgeable guidance on how to use their product correctly so they get the results they were hoping for. What a concept! What an honest, knowledgeable, genuine, trustworthy concept!

Some of My Favorite Brands:

  • Reebok – was the very first brand to fit me for shoes & build a relationship with me locally. That was just the beginning.
  • Chobani – sent me generous gift as a thank you for sharing my love for their yogurt with fans.
  • Designer Whey – goes above and beyond when it comes sharing their whey love and helping their customers get results.
  • Gymboss – sent me an interval timer to try, knowing I’d love it and it would come back 10 fold – and it did.
  • Sears – is dedicated to providing quality fitness content so their customers get the guidance they need after the sell.
  • Perky Jerky – has provided gifts for our members and interacts with their fans like all brands should.
  • DA Active – believes word of mouth is the most valuable advertisement.
  • GNC – invests in quality fitness leaders who use their products to deliver quality content & advice to their customers.
  • LoseIt – let me try their new beta version of their premium LoseIt app before it came out.
  • Spira – Thanked me with always providing me with new shoes after I helped boost sales locally after I got by first pair.

More Past or Current Brands…

READ PART 2: 8 Tips to Not Get Tricked.

Here’s a funny video by GiGi Eats Celebrities – had to add it!

NOTE: I DID NOT GET COMPENSATED FOR THIS BLOG IN ANY WAY.

The Cure-All for Breaking Unhealthy Habits

Taking a toy away from a baby is sure to produce tears, but give a baby another exciting toy and, before you know it, the first toy is forgotten.

We are nothing more than big babies – and we do NOT like things taken away from us. Whether it’s food, money, simple luxuries and even people, we tend to hold on with a death grip. And, the moment we think one of them is going to be taken away, we hold on even tighter, and even begin to cry before it’s gone.

However, replace one of your favorite things a new favorite thing, hobby or friend, and you won’t even realize that something you once valued is replaced and not even missed.

Learn from the Master

Most parents know all the tricks when it comes to taking something away from a child. When a child is caught holding something that could be harmful, a parent knows how to take that object away with minimal resistance. They either have to quickly snag it and entertain them to take their mind off of what they just took away, or they have to replace that object with something equally exciting.

The same happens with food. Every mother knows you don’t go anywhere without a pacifier. As a baby, the pacifier is a true baby pacifier. As a toddler, it’s normally a toy, blanket or baby doll. As a child, it could be a video game, barbie doll or action figure.

Nothing has changed. We are just bigger babies, with bigger toys and stronger wills – and we’ll throw a tantrum in a minute, as soon as we think we’re about to be stripped of something we really like.

Habits are nothing more than things we do that we like. We like to sleep in, we like to eat junk, we like our sweet comforts – even if they are bad for us. The problem is, we forget the age-old trick of the need to replace something bad for something good. We need a pacifier.

We can’t expect to be completely satisfied if we are constantly taking stuff away without replacing it with something just as good. I see this a lot with dieting. Someone will stop eating junk-food cold-turkey and not eat anything at all, or expect something lame like celery sticks to pacify them. Come on people! No wonder you fail! You need a better pacifier.

Going without, or eating something as boring as a celery stick, is no replacement for french fries. However, find a snack you actually enjoy that maybe more calories than celery, but fewer calories than french fries, and you have yourself a happy dieter.

The trick is to replace a bad habit with a really, really good habit you enjoy. This will require some trial and error, and like anything, it will take an adjustment period. Think about it. Half the vegetables we eat right now, we probably would have never tried (or kept trying) as a kid if mommy didn’t make us. Not only do we mature, our tastes change.

We have to try new foods and new exercises until we find the ones we like. If we don’t, then our diet or exercise will be temporary. But, when we find stuff that works, then our new healthy lifestyle will be forever – and we won’t even miss our old ways.

Stop That – Start This!

Stop That: Drinking fully leaded coffee
Start This: Drinking half regular and half de-caf coffee, or regular tea (which has 1/2 the caffeine as coffee)

Stop That: Meeting a friend for coffee
Start This: Meet a friend for a walk or run

Stop That: Drinking wine at night
Start This: Sip on flavored decaffeinated hot tea with natural relaxers in it like Chamomile

Stop That: Eating processed cereal
Start This: Eat high-fiber whole grain cereal or hot cereal (oatmeal) with fresh fruit

Stop That: Snacking on Doritos and flavored chips
Start This: Pop, or air pop, homemade popcorn with light oil and flavored Nacho Cheese popcorn salt

Stop That: Meeting friends out for dinner
Start This: Meet friends during the day at the beach, lake, or park for fun and R&R in the sun

Stop That: Eating ice cream after dinner
Start This: Eat a Publix low-sugar fudgesicle, low-cal ice cream treat or protein shake

Stop That: Using food as stress-reliever (which leaves you feeling even crappier)
Start This: Use exercise as a stress-reliever (which leaves you feeling better)

Stop That: Sleeping in on Saturdays
Start This: Run or walk during the time you normally sleep. You won’t miss the sleep or the time – and you’ll have more energy.

Stop That: Eating high carb side dishes at night
Start This: Eat more dark green veggies. You can eat more and lose more!

Stop That: Relying on salt to boost taste
Start This: Use more seasonings, lime juice, hot sauce and fresh herbs

Stop That: Drinking sodas
Start This: Drink more water, fresh brewed iced tea and/or seltzer waters

These are just a few ways to turn you bad habits into good ones. There are so many more!
What bad habit have you replaced with a good healthy habit?

pFIT TIP: Healthy Breakfast Tricks

If you’re like me, and you like cereal, you are always looking for healthy low-cal ways to get it in without ruining your diet. Unfortunately, cereal and granola can be extremely high in calories – and in fat. On top of that, we use WAY more than the ridiculously small portion sizes posted on the box. As if I’d only eat a 1/2 cup of anything! Really?

I’m all about getting the MOST food for the LEAST calories. Then, my next mission is to make sure the calories aren’t all coming from carbs and/or fat, so that means it needs to have a lot of protein.

What if we didn’t rely on the actual cereal itself to boost our protein, but actually changed the way we ate cereal altogether? This is how I’ve changed America’s #1 breakfast.

Goodbye Milk
If I were to make my favorite Back to Nature Granola, and used the serving sizes as suggested, I’d be less than satisfied. 1/2 cup of granola is a tease –  and with one cup of milk, my granola would be so lonely floating around with all that white liquidy room. I’d be more than unsatisfied.

The Ole Switcheroo
This calls for the pFIT pFOOD Switcheroo! When you’re eating cereal, you’re relying on each morsel of crunch to fuel (and entertain) you instead of the milk you put it in. What if we reversed roles and we relied on the white stuff for the fuel and the crunchy stuff for the fun?

Why switch it up? The primary reason is cereal with fat free milk doesn’t stick with me. When I eat a meal, I don’t want to be hungry in 30 minutes, so I strategically plan my meals to have a nice balance of fat, protein and carbs so the meal not only tasty, but it lasts.

pFIT pFOOD:
Trade 1 cup milk for 1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt
Cut granola portions in 1/2, from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup
Making these 2 changes cut calories and doubled the protein! AND I bet it stays with you longer! Check it out:

Regular Granola & Milk:
270 calories  & 10 gms of protein

Granola & Chobani:
260 calories & 22gms of protein

Follow Chobani on Pinterest, Facebook, & Instagram, and share YOUR own Chobanerrific discoveries! Or visit the Chobani Kitchen for killer recipes and cooking tips!   – B -

20 Ways to Cook with Chobani

It’s easy to rack up the calories when you are cooking. Creams, oils, butter, dressings, dips, toppings and condiments are rarely healthy and almost always high in calories and/or fat. However, we can still enjoy our saucy extras without all those extra healthy calories if we just think outside the box – or container cup, I should say.

Greek Yogurt is not only a great snack, it is great for cooking and baking too. Every fit household should have a big tub of Chobani plain Greek yogurt in their fridge ready to enhance your favorite recipes – without enhancing your waistline!

Use Chobani in any recipe that calls for high-fat ingredients like heavy cream, mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, buttermilk – and even oil!  Experiment with using it to thicken salad dressings, soup and sauces. If you aren’t creative, then visit the Chobani website and check out their killer recipes. Not only do they have the recipe, the fitness-conscience company has the nutritional information posted right there on their site! So no excuses calorie counters!

20 Ways to Cook with Chobani

1. Fruit Dip
2. Chobani Wasabi Sauce for Salmon
3. Frozen Fruit Pops
4. Stuffing
5. Smoothies
6. Chobani Cilantro Sauce
7. Turkey Pot Pie
8. 3 Layer Mexican Dip
9. Spinach Quiche
10. French Toast
11. Tzatziki 
12. Asparagus & Hollandaise Sauce
13. Keylime Pie
14. Coleslaw
15. Potato Gratin
16. Cucumber Feta Chobani Dip
17. Stuffed Shells
18. Chipotle Dip
19. Vanilla Cup Cakes
20. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Cooking Tips:

1. Butter: Replace 1/2 Butter with 1/4 portion of yogurt
2. Oil: Replace half the oil with 3/4 the amount of yogurt
3. Sour Cream: Even swap
4. Milk: Replace a 1/4 of milk or water with yogurt to make recipes creamier.
These 4 tips brought to you by TasteOfHome.com

How do YOU use Chobani in your kitchen?

Send Chobani your recipes and ideas and share your creations with other Chobaniacs.

7 DAY DIET: How to Make Your Own Meal Plan

So you’re committed to working out. Whether you just joined our Boot Camp program or you are training on your own – you’re dedicated to getting results. What about your diet? (sound of car skidding to a stop here)

Yes, I said “Diet”. When I speak of diet, I’m not talking about a fad, a quick fix, or a miserable period of time you starve yourself in order to lose weight. I’m referring to managing your calories and nutrition.

Excuses, Excuses
Do you know how many excuses I hear when I ask someone if they know how many calories they eat? First they tell me HOW GREAT they eat. Then they tell me WHAT they eat. Then they tell me how HARD they work in the gym. They’re doing everything they can BUT counting calories – and most people don’t know where to start.

Weight loss isn’t about how healthy you eat, what you eat, or how hard you work in the gym. Although all those things are awesome, weight loss is determined by how many calories you are eating PERIOD. If you aren’t losing weight the way you are eating now, then you are eating too many calories – plain and simple.

How Bad Do You Want It?
Working out is hard, but it’s the easy part when it comes to weight loss. You can’t rely on exercise alone for weight loss. Although exercise is awesome, exercise makes you hungrier so many people just replace the calories burned exercising by eating more – and they don’t even know they’re doing it. It’s similar to getting a raise and ending up just as broke as before. You can’t say where the money went, but it’s gone. Unless you BUDGET those calories, you can’t count on everything just magically balancing out like you want it to.

1 Day Commitment

Give me just one day to journal you regular eating habits. You can’t really know what to fix, if you don’t know what’s wrong. Write down everything you eat normally all day long, without modifying portions or foods. Write down exact measurements, including sauces, dressing, drinks, toppings, vitamins, coffee creamer, etc. Using a calorie counter or google, tally your calories for the day, taking a mental note whether this is truly a normal day or not.

Analyze Your Results:
1. Was was your total calories? (most diets are 1200-1500 calories for women, 1500-1800 for men)

2. Where you are getting most of your calories from (carbs, fats, protein). 
3. How many grams of protein are you getting? Most people are very low in protein.
4. How often did you eat? Eating 5-6 times a day boosts your metabolism.
5. Look for high-calorie mistakes.Was it food choice or portions? 

Getting Started: Your 7 Day Commitment

So you want a meal plan? Of course you do! I’ll give you a meal plan if you will give me 7 days to prove you really want this.  Anyone can count calories for 7 days. Right? Listen, if you TRULY want to get results, you must quit avoiding the inevitable. You may have gotten by with reducing portions, cutting fat, or limiting carbs in the past, but it’s time to take it up a notch. The only way to get guaranteed results is to have accurate information. NOTE: Weigh yourself on an empty stomach on Day 1 and Day 8. Dedicate the next 7 days to managing calories.

10 Quick Start Tips To Calorie Management:
1. Sign up for a free online calorie counter or phone app like LoseIt, MyFitnessPal or FitDay.
2. Before you eat ANYTHING, look it up first. 
3. Aim to keep meals between 300-400 calories each and snacks 100-150 calories.
4. Eat 5-6 snacks and meals per day.
5. Try to get .5 – 1.0 grams of protein per pound of ideal bodyweight a day.*
6. Eat whole foods (meat, vegetables, etc instead of casseroles, etc.) Keep it simple by eating simple.
7. No guessing. Everything must be measured or weighed. We always underestimate portions. 
8. Don’t eat at any restaurant that doesn’t offer nutritional information.
9. Eat prepackaged meals & snacks, if necessary, to simplify things at first.
10. Be honest. If you ate something you shouldn’t have, input it anyway. You need to see it in black & white.

Your New Meal Plans
At the end of your 7-day commitment, look at the days you felt, and ate, your best. Use these days as templates for the next 7 days. YOU just started your own meal plan! (I promised you a meal plan didn’t I? Yes, I’m sneaky like that!) Most of us are creatures of habit and eat the same thing often. Are you ready to do this for another 7 days? The longer you manage your calories, the more meal plans you will have to choose from the easier it will get!

*PROTEIN: If you are working out, a woman who wants to be 130lbs would shoot for 65-130gms a day. I personally prefer to eat 75% to 100% my body weight in protein, which would be 97.5gms to 130gms). Using that formula, a 180lb man would shoot for 135-180gms of protein a day. 

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