If you weren’t a grumpy dieter before Halloween, being around that much candy can turn any dieter into a wicked witch in a hurry. If you aren’t grouchy from being around it, you are grouchy from guilt of giving into it. Either way, with a rise in diet and fitness awareness, it is very likely there will be a lot of witches working front door this Halloween.
If you struggle with your weight here are 10 tips to keep the candy off your thighs and grouchiness out of your heart! <3
- Buy candy you personally don’t like.
- Don’t over buy, to avoid leftovers.
- Eat a healthy big meal the night of halloween.
- Walk with your kids (don’t drive them),
- Look up the calories for every bite you eat.
- Have healthy snack alternatives nearby.
- Cut up a Designer Whey bar into bite size pieces for your own treats (pictured right).
- Chew gum, not candy.
- Do an extra cardio, and plan an active day following Halloween.
- Set candy rules for everyone in the house, including you.
You know, it also wouldn’t kill you to just give the candy away. One of the biggest problems wives have is feeling like they need to keep treats in the house for their husband or kids. If you are dieting and don’t want to “punish” your family, remember, candy is just not healthy. Even if the rest of your family is not overweight, that still doesn’t mean having candy in the house is good for them. Know your limits, and do what is right for your family too. Some families aren’t tempted to abuse candy in the house, while others…well, not so much.
When it comes to bars, I’m a bit picky. I want at least 10gms of protein, but I also don’t want that many calories. I also want it to taste good. I’m not going to eat cardboard just because it has protein in it. Sorry, I want to enjoy my food thank you very much. Ufortunately, many bars are extremely high in calories. Thank goodness, more bar companies are making smaller versions of the old 30gms-of-protein-and-a million-calories kind of bars. Even if it’s packed with protein, it normally tips the caloric scale for most calorie-conscience people. Then SMART enters the world.
Before I give you the scoop on SMART, I should tell you I have probably 5-6 types of bars in my pantry right now. I like chocolate ones, peanut butter ones, caramel ones, crunchy ones and gooey ones. Some are higher in calories and protein, some are lower in calories and protein. Some make great snacks, and some are more like a meal replacement when I’m in a bind. What I’m saying is, there are different bars for different people and different purposes. The SMART bar, however, is definitely one of my favorites for light snacks and breakfasts.
I could tell you how healthy it is, that’s gluten free, low in sugar, and all that jazz (and don’t worry, I will in a sec), but first I’m going to just tell you what my taste buds say about the bar – because honestly, if they don’t like it, it ain’t going to make it past them to my belly!
As a coffee lover (don’t hate! Everyone has their vise, and mine is coffee – LOVE IT!), I really enjoy having a bar with coffee when I don’t have time for a sit-down breakfast. However, some bars are too sweet for me and they upset my stomach. The SMART bar is an oatmeal bar that is mildly sweet, which makes for a great breakfast bar on the go. Unlike regular cereal bars, the SMART bar is low in sugar (only 4gms!), which is 50-80% less sugar than many of it’s competitors. It has 10gms of protein and 3gms of fiber so it is filling and stays with me. And the best part, is it’s SUPER low in calories – only costing me 130 calories to eat!
Not only is this bar low in calories and tastes good, this bar is sure easy to take on the go because it doesn’t melt or crumble like a lot of chocolate covered bars. This makes it a great bar to keep in your car, purse or gym bag in case of emergencies. It also makes it a great bar to grab for the car ride to work (like you see at the top of this blog). I actually took this on the way to work last week when I discovered I nearly forgot about an early morning appointment. Since this bar is a soft bar with a nice moist solid consistency, it makes eating and driving mess-free. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten out of my car only to discover a doo-doo brown chocolate smudge on the back of my pants because a bar crumbled in my lap with each bit! ha! (Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens too???!!!!)
After I read the label, I knew it would crush a lot of snack bars. Most low-calorie breakfast and snack bars are much lower in protein, but higher in carbs and sugar. Protein bars that have 10gms of protein or more are normally much higher in calories, carbs, sugar and fat. And, if you are going gluten-free or paleo, a lot of those bars are high in fat and/or carbs but lower in protein than I prefer – and normally way higher in calories. While I will still enjoy all these type bars too, (like I said, there is a place for all of that), I just love having a low-calorie healthy option.
It’s one thing for ME to tell you I like this bar, but it’s another thing for YOU to see how it compares for yourself. So, I did a little research. I picked a few different types of snack-like bars (from cereal bars to paleo bars) that were comparable to the SMART bar to compare nutritional information.
After doing the research and listing the information, it is clear that SMART bars are a SMART choice if you are looking for a bar low in calories, carbs, fats and sugars with a healthy dose of protein in it. Awesome snack bar! Check it out!
Smart Bar FAQs
- Low in Calories
- 50-80% less sugar
- Certified gluten free
- 9g of whole grains
- 3g fiber
- Certified gluten free, organic rolled oats
- Real organic or baked fruit
- 38% organically raised ingredients
- No hydrogenated oils
- Cocoa and palm kernel oil is certified by the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Fairtrade, and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
- Minimal artificial sweetener (Stevia) because it relies mainly on the sweetness mainly from fruit
- Not Vegan or Kosher (however they do use a certified porcine free gelatin source.)
See all the FAQ information on their website.
WIN A BOX OF SMART BARS
What flavor would you like to try? Apple or Blueberry? Comment below for a chance to win a box of SMART bars to try out yourself! I’ll pick 3 winners HERE and 2 winners on Facebook when you share this comparison chart from my facebook page!
(Note: Cranberry coming soon)
Detour SMART bars are available online at www.detourbar.com and bodybuilding.com, and in select retailers including GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Vitamin World, with the bars becoming more widely available over the coming months.
I think we’d be in a much better place if we didn’t focus on where we were but, instead, focused on where were are going. We tend to obsess over what we are NOT, and forget who we ARE, and who we are BECOMING.
I’m not a fast runner, but I run. I am not super strong, but I lift. I am getting faster, and I am getting stronger. Unfortunately, most of us are very impatient. We want to get the the “finish lines” of life in one big step, but that is unrealistic. We rarely get anywhere in life in one step. Everything great takes time. But, what separates the success stories from the failures is not really how strong or fast someone is, but whether they persevere.
Although I am not suggesting you become complacent and not care about your overall performance, what I am suggesting is that you don’t focus so much on your performance that you forget your accomplishments. Each run you complete, each day you show up to the gym, every calorie you count, and every ounce you lose is an accomplishment.
Whatever you are working toward, You Can Finish This!
Think of where you were once, at your worst. Now think of where you are now. Lastly, think about where you are headed if you continue to press on toward your goals. THAT’s who you are – who you are, is who you are becoming.
Your Finish Line
Here are 4 steps to reaching your finish line.
1. Choose Your Race: Someone who has never run before rarely signs up for a marathon. Most people don’t just “show up” without a little planning. With fitness, “choosing your race” means choosing your goal. This can also mean choosing a gym, a class, a diet or trainer. Before you even take your first step, you have to make some important choices first.
2. Map Your Route: Before a runner starts, they have to know where to go – and so do you. Make sure you know the route to your finish line very well so you can stay on course. Choose some friends to “run with”. Having a workout partner, trainer or a group of people at work working on the same goals can help you from straying or losing focus.
3. Check Points: Create a few small goals and a few moderate goals to help encourage you, as well as make sure you stay on track. Check points can be small weight loss goals, performance based goals, or health improvements like improved resting heart rate or cholesterol levels.
4. Finish Line: Make sure you have main goal, or set of goals, and post them where you can see them every day. Can you imagine running a race with no visible finish line? Make sure your “black and white checkered flag” can be easily seen every moment along your journey. Out of site, means out of mind.
Since yesterday was the first day of boot camp and Steve’s schedule was jam-packed with non-stop training from 5:30am to 6:30pm, I thought I’d make him his favorite meal – a grilled steak salad. I actually had never made one but planned to replicate a salad he once ate at a restaurant and loved. It was absolutely DELISH so I thought I’d share it.
First I cut the vegetables crosswise to make onion and pepper rings. Then I marinated my steak, onions and green pepper in a Honey Teriyaki Marinade and I sprayed olive oil over everything, dusting it all with a season salt. I placed the steaks and veggies straight on the grill. After flipping the steaks and veggies, I took the veggies off as soon as I felt they were nice a charred like we like them, and left the steaks on to finish cooking. As soon as the steaks were ready it was dinner time!
I threw the mixed greens in a big bowl with a little cheese crumbles, Craisins and almonds and tossed my homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette in with it. Once all the ingredients were well coated, I put the salad mix on plates and topped them with the sliced steak and grilled vegetables. The end result was quite a yummy treat!! Steve will keep me for at least another year! ha
I have to admit I don’t use measuring cups, and really have a clue what I put in last night’s dressing, but if I had to guess, it was something like this. Feel free to alter it or play with it
Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 cup Balsamic Vineger
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2-3 Heaping Tbsp of Light Hellman’s Mayo
1-2 tsp Stevia (depending on how sweet you want to make it)
1 tsp honey
A few dashes of Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper
Note: Most dressings call for a lot more oil – sometimes more than twice the amount of oil than vinegar. I add water to cut the vinegar instead of a lot of oil to save more calories. Then I add light mayo to help thicken the dressing. Sometimes I don’t even use honey and just use more stevia.
Blend in a blender until the consistency turns a light tan and thickens slightly. Enjoy!
Here’s a similar recipe I found online (from someone who actually measures! Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
4 Salad Tips for Dieters
1.) Avoid big clumps of gorgonzola, or blue cheese, crumbles. You can get more taste in each bike with smaller crumbles. I like Stella Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles.
3.) Don’t go nuts for nuts. I love Almond Accents because they are super thin. Regular whole, or chopped, nuts don’t go as far, which means you will eat more to get a similar taste. More nuts, means more calories.
4.) Toss, don’t pour. I use SO much less dressing if I toss it in my salad instead of pour it on top. Tossing your salad in dressing allows the dressing to coat every leaf so every bite has flavor.
For more tips and salad recipe ideas, check out my latest article for DetourBar, “Tips for Salad Lovers“
WARNING: This is a rant. It’s a helpful motivational rant, but still a rant. This comes from years of watching people try every stupid diet, try every silly fitness gadget, take every useless diet pill, hire every lame trainer and take every ridiculous short cut – when, if they did fitness the right way, they’d be super fit by now. With that said, here we go!
As a fitness professional, I have seen a lot of people try everything under the sun to avoid doing what they know works because it’s harder. We live in a world where we like to push boundaries. We want to get away with as much as possible without getting in trouble.
If you don’t think you are one of those people, then let me ask you a simple question. If the speed limit is 70, how fast do you go? I’ll be honest. I’ll go 79. Why? Because I think that’s as fast as I can go and get away with it without being pulled over.
Some police officers say they give people 10-15mph leeway on the highway and 8-10mph break in residential areas. Of course officers could give a ticket for going 4 miles over the speed limit if they wanted, but the point is most people are pushing the limits. We all do it on some level.
The same goes with fitness. People try to eat as much as they can and get away with it. They often avoid workouts they need the most (like cardio) and do the most what they need to least.
If you think you have a chance of getting fit and still having your cake and eat it too, you bet you are going to try it. The problem is, no one is barging in your house and fining you for breaking diet laws. Your “fine” is the scale – and what you see in the mirror. So really, you never get away with it.
Listen, it’s super rare someone can eat cheeseburgers and be shredded. Have I met people who are like that? Sure I have. I also know that person worked out like a FREAK and had genetics made for professional athletes. Since I know I will never workout THAT hard, I also know I shouldn’t ever eat THAT much. Plain and simple.
“Find a trainer who cares about your body more than your checkbook.”
If you have been trainer-hopping (or workout partner-hopping) trying to find someone who will tell you what you want to hear, maybe it’s time to suck it up and try a trainer who cares about your waistline more than your checkbook. (PS: I’m not soliciting – I am not taking clients.) Maybe it’s time you find someone who is willing to tell you the truth, work you out harder than you ever have, and diet like you have never dieted before whether you like it or not – BECAUSE they know no matter how much you may hate them at that moment, you will love them when you reach your goal.
It’s time to quit waisting time
Quit wasting time trying to take short cuts, trying to see how much you can get away with and still reach your goals. AND….If you are one of those people who eat crap and have abs, keep it to yourself because most people can’t do that – and your big mouth will make some poor sap think they can do it too and your bad influence will cost them success.
Do what you KNOW you NEED to do, not what you WANT to do – because if you do what you NEED to do, you will get the results you WANT to get!
Why are we so quick to forget how bad food makes us feel? We are so quick to remember how great it tastes for a short moment, and forget how yucky we feel for such a long time afterwards. We are fooling ourselves if we think for a minute that there are not repercussions to our poor choices – AND we need to be equally reminded of the positive rewards that follow our healthy choices.
Eating healthy and living healthy lasts longer than your best cheat meal. While you don’t have to give up cake, or never eat a potato chip again, we all need to keep a realistic perspective on our eating and how it affects us long term. We should treat a cheat meal like we treat any other splurge in our life. We enjoy the moment, but we don’t get lost in it. Eventually, we come back to a healthy reality that is balanced in moderation, self-control and discipline.
The same way we come back from a vacation, maybe it’s time to come back from your eating vacation – and get back to investing in a healthier future.
Let’s commit to no longer allow our tongue to rule us and guide our future. Let’s make each word, each bite, each move we make count – doing what is right, healthy and good. And, if we mess up, let’s commit to making corrections. We can do this!
“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly…”Philippians 3:19
“I have a MAJOR issue with sugar from cookies, cakes, frosting etc. It is more of a psychological thing for me, because I used these kinds of food to comfort myself as a kid. The connection here is food is the only thing that loves me, so when things go bad and I need to feel loved I pig out on these types of food. Can you please give me ideas on how to STOP eating sugar?“
“Food is like an ex-lover that is just no good for me. Not just any ex, but a really sexy ex. When I think about him (food) all I remember are the good times. I forget how much pain and guilt he would cause. And after an incredible night together full of passion, he just leaves you crying on the living room floor in the fetal position full of guilt. And yet, late at night… I still want him so, so bad”.
Could this not be any better of a description of some people’s relationship with food? Loralie nailed it! You don’t have to necessarily be in an abusive relationship to get this. Any relationship that is not good for you is a great example of a bad relationship with food.
No More Compromises
I have to admit I have been pretty lucky over the years. The guys I dated were all pretty great guys, but even good guys can be BAD for you if they aren’t RIGHT for you. For instance, I dated one guy that was really an amazing guy before I met Steve. He was talented, smart, handsome, had a great family who embraced me, and was perfect – for someone, just not me.
I found myself compromising my values and settling for just a little less. Since he really was a super sweet guy, it was easy to think of all the good stuff, and easy to forget the bad. Then, one day, I realized we were both wasting precious time focusing on what was right, but ignoring what was wrong. We could either address the bad stuff right then, or we could deal with it later. Either way we were going to have to deal with it.
Good Doesn’t Mean Right
For me, it meant coming to grips with the simple fact that we were both good, but not good for each other. We were not in a healthy relationship. He was going to make a great husband - to someone else, but not me. And, I realized someone would love me exactly the way I needed to be loved, but he wasn’t going to be that guy.
I broke up with him that day, but it wasn’t easy. I cried and cried and cried – for days and weeks! BUT, I knew it was the right thing to do. It didn’t mean I wasn’t going to miss him and it didn’t mean that I would stop thinking about him. And, knowing I did the right thing was going to make it any easier. Even though I had a tremendous peace about my decision, it still hurt just the same.
I Don’t Need You Anymore
Food that isn’t good for you, in many ways, is just like a boyfriend that isn’t good for you. No matter how wonderful it makes you feel at times, it will ALWAYS let you down. Unfortunately though, we make compromises even though we don’t like the way it makes us feel.
Maybe it’s time you treat food like a bad ex. Remember, as much as you may love it, it will never love you back. Not only does it not love you, it will hurt you – leaving you feeling a little worse day by day. The only answer is to say goodbye. The longer you stay away, the stronger you will become. As you lose weight, as you get healthier, you will discover a new confidence – and you will love the new you more than you ever loved food.
It’s Time to Move On – and Move UP!
Shortly after breaking up with that guy, I met Steve. He was everything I ever dreamed of. He was romantic, loving, sensitive, funny, passionate, smart, handsome, and loved me completely. I could have NEVER imagined how good it would feel to be loved this way – and I would have never discovered his love if I didn’t first turn away from what I thought I loved at that time.
If you hold on to what just feels good right now, you may never discover just how great things could be. Healthy food loves you back. Fitness loves you back. Unhealthy food will always leave you unhealthy, and in a pit of regret and shame. Don’t let the initial taste of something sweet fool you, and lead you to a bitter end. Maybe today is your day to end your love relationship with food.
The problem with relaxing or cheating is it can suck the life right out of you. Poor food can make you feel bad, and laziness can make you even lazier. So, your innocent cheat day could turn into a cheat week, cheat month and cheat year if you don’t break the cycle fast.
If you want to enjoy a healthy balance of splurging, or relaxing, a little here and there, you have to have a bounce-back plan. You have to set some ground rules to help get you right back into your routine, as well as help erase any added calories.
5 Tips to Breaking the Cheating Cycle
1. Have limitations. Whether you limit your cheat meals, your calories, the number of cheat days you will allow yourself or days you will allow yourself to take off from the gym, you MUST have set limits. Having no limits can set you up for big-time failure.
2. Plan your bounce-back day. Draw a line in the sand that defines the END of your “fitness or diet vacation”.
3. Get rid of temptations. Don’t expect to do great on your diet if you still have beer and pizza in the refrigerator. This means you need to be careful when you originally purchase any foods off your diet (so you don’t buy too much), as well as you need to get rid of it all by the time you plan to go back to clean eating and healthy living.
4. Have a attack plan in place. Know what you plan to do when you get back to work. Pick out a new workout program, set diet goals, map out your eating schedule – fail to plan, plan to fail!
5. Set short-term goals. Whether you set a goal to do a set amount of workouts, or limit your calories, or you just want to lose the 5lbs you gained over your “fitness vacation” – having a clear goal will help you stay focused.
If you spent your holidays eating and relaxing, be prepared to put up a fight – because your body may not be as ready to workout as you want it to be. So, if yesterday was a BUST, make your workout and diet today a MUST – no matter how you feel!
It’s not about falling down, you just have to make sure you don’t STAY down.
If I had a nickel for everyone struggling with their weight who responds with “I eat really healthy” when I ask them how many calories they eat. What that means is – they have no clue how many calories they are eating. But they want me to know how clean they eat and how hard they work in the gym, so they can try to convince me they are the exception to the rule and that they are just unable to lose weight like everyone else. This is when the Red Flag Goes Up.
Listen, I’m not saying everyone has to count calories. I’m also not saying eating healthy is wrong. Gosh no! Eating healthy is AMAZING – and can change your life. BUTTTTTT… what I AM saying is, if you have no idea how many calories you are eating, there is no way you can expect to lose weight. Guessing just doesn’t work. Eating clean alone probably won’t change the scale much. Eating organic can be super healthy, but not affect your waistline. Going on the next fad diet won’t always work either. Working out like a maniac alone won’t cut it either. (again, I’m not saying it NEVER works – some people will luck out and lose weight by just making healthier choices, but most people will not be as lucky)
When it comes to weight loss, most people can’t get results just on making healthier choices alone. The only way weight loss works is when you eat fewer calories than you are burning. You can either just HOPE you are eating less than you are burning, or you can count calories and KNOW you are eating less than you are burning.
If you can’t tell me how many calories you are eating every day, don’t tell me how healthy you eat, don’t tell me you never eat fried food or sweets, don’t tell me how much protein you consume, don’t tell me how you don’t eat carbs or how you’ve gone Paleo. While all of those things are great, and I bet your next doctor’s visit will be a good one, they tell me nothing when it comes to whether you should expect to lose weight or not.
How Much Did You Spend?
Here’s an example: Let’s say I just come home from shopping. I bring all my bags in the house and Steve’s eyeballs pop out of his head and he says “How much did you spend?” and my response was, “I shopped at Target. All the items I got were on sale. I didn’t buy anything outrageously expensive. I didn’t get anything frivolous – everything I bought I really needed and was very practical. I made a lot of smart choices.” I can tell you right now, Steve’s response would still be “so, how much did you spend?”
You see, Steve doesn’t care what I bought, he wants to know how much I bought ($$$$). He doesn’t care how how much stuff was on sale. Our check will bounce whether it was a smart choice or a dumb one. We either have the money or we don’t – whether I needed the items or not. All my bank account cares about is what’s coming in and what’s going out – it doesn’t care what I am spending the money on or how hard I work for the deposits.
This is how your body works. While healthy food will help your body look and feel better, your weight is your body’s account balance. You can either afford items, or not. If you can’t afford the extra calories (whether it’s in Snickers bars or grilled chicken and rice), you will gain weight.
So, next time you want to feel sorry for yourself for eating so clean, but not losing weight, it’s time you start managing your body’s account like you manage your checkbook.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
Not everyone needs to count calories. Some people are lucky enough to be able to make smart choices (because they really enjoy eating low-calorie foods) and do well managing their weight naturally. Some people are able to make healthier choices simply because they don’t struggle with some of the temptations others struggle with. HOWEVER, if you battle overeating, binging, sweets, carbs, laziness or yo-yo dieting, I believe you should count your calories to help you stay accountable and manage portions, high-calorie items and exercise. Remember, it’s not something you have to do forever – but it will teach you SO much!
If you have tried eating better, eating smaller portions, working out more, etc but you’ve reached a plateau, maybe it’s time you start counting calories. You’ll be AMAZED with the results! Believe me, I’ve seen this time and time again – and I’ve watched people who have worked insanely hard not get results until they started counting calories. Are you ready to start moving that scale?! Commit to counting calories for 30 days. Unsure you can do it? Start with 14 days of calorie counting and then decide if you can do another 14 days then. I bet you surprise yourself!
Visit www.LoseIt.com today and download their app on your smartphone. I promise, it can change your life forever.