Are you constantly battling sugar cravings throughout the day? Maintaining a healthy diet can be quite simple with the proper planning. But, how do you get past those times of the day when your sweet tooth tries to get the best of you?
Here is a quick and satisfying recipe our guest author, Marie Ann Mosher, devised to help curb cravings throughout the day:
Is your best friend at work the vending machine? Do you have regular late-night dates with Ben & Jerry? Your body is craving something, all right, but it’s not what you think.
Most of the time, what feels like a craving is actually dehydration. Our bodies have a hard time distinguishing between hunger and thirst. The next time that sweet tooth rears its ugly head, drink a glass of water, wait ten minutes, and see how you feel. Chances are the craving will be gone.
Besides prompting you to drink more water, your brain tells you to snack because your body needs more nutrients than it’s getting. Here is a fantastic smoothie that will hydrate you, satisfy your cravings, and do wonderful things for your mood, your skin, and your energy level. It’s packed with micronutrients, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat so you’ll instantly feel better without the dreaded “sugar crash” later on. I call it the Greena Colada.
The Greena Colada
Put the following into a blender:
1/2 of a cucumber, cut into chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks (frozen or canned is fine)
1/2 can full-fat coconut milk
handful of cilantro
2 cups of water
a few ice cubes, if you like a more slushy texture
Blend on low speed 90 seconds, then on high 1 minute.
This is a welcome treat in the afternoon when you feel sluggish (take it to work in a thermos!) and it’s satisfying enough to keep your hand out of the cookie jar before dinner. Or, try one for breakfast to keep your sweet tooth under control all day.
Don’t worry. The vending machine will get along fine without you.
Judy Bennett, CHHP, Wellness Educator and Speaker
About the Author: Judy Bennett is a board-certified holistic health practitioner, specializing in helping women who are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. She does private, group, and corporate coaching with a nutrition focus. She is member of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, and the International Association of Wellness Professionals. read more →
While beginning a fitness program, the quality of food you put in your body can greatly impact not only your training workouts, but also those coveted long-term results. We all put so much focus on planning when our workouts will be, how long they will be, and the type of workout we will do. But we often don’t take nearly the same amount of effort to plan what fuel we will need before, during and after our fitness workouts. For example, have you ever been subject to Ramen noodles or Mac n’ Cheese after a grueling workout because you didn’t have anything ready to go in the fridge?
We’ve all been there to one degree or another. And looking back, it was mainly due to poor planning, not wrong intentions. So give yourself a break and get ready to learn the keys to quick and simple ways to make sure you are never a drive-thru victim again.
The first component to proper fueling techniques is pre-workout snacks. Timing is definitely based on individual preferences, but shoot for your snack to be consumed 45 minutes to two hours before your workout. Your snack should consist of mainly carbs, some protein and a low amount of fat. My favorites are:
- 1 packet oatmeal with ½ a banana and a few walnuts
- ½ a frozen banana, ½ a cup of frozen fruit, 1 scoop of whey protein, ice and water (blended)
- 1 rice cake with almond butter and banana slices
- ½ cup trail mix
- Sliced veggies with hummus
- Salad with a lean protein (turkey breast, fish, etc) and mostly veggies
As for water, first determine how much you will need-up to 1 ounce for every minute of working out. Drink 1/3 of that beforehand.
The next component’s importance varies based on the length of the workout. I opt to stick with only drinking another 1/3 of water with 8 oz. of any sports drink if my workout is less than an hour. Beyond that, I consume 1 sports gel every 90 minutes. If my workout is over 2 ½ hours, I will eat a granola bar that is high in carbs after about two hours. Consuming gels or food varies by the person, so experiment a bit and see what works best for you. If you will be regularly capping out at an hour, you do not have to incorporate gels or food during this time.
Now for my favorite part, and probably the most important, is what you need to eat to re-fuel your body after your intense training workout. Choose an evenly balanced carb-protein snack with a small amount of healthy fats. Since your muscles have been depleted of their stored glycogen levels, it is critical to take in your post workout snack within 30-45 minutes to maximize results. And don’t forget that last 1/3 of your required water needs! Great options:
- Protein shake with ½ a banana
- Yogurt with granola and berries
- ½ a tuna sandwich on whole or sprouted wheat
- Turkey and cheese with apple slices
- Baked red potatoes with seasoning and extra virgin olive oil
- Whole grain cereal with organic milk
If you are serious about hitting your goals and improving your health, you will definitely be off to a great start by turning these tips into a regular routine. If you are a seasoned veteran, give them a try-who knows, you may finally reach beyond a plateau or receive that PR you have been wanting for so long. Either way, you are ensured to enjoy more energetic workouts, quicker recovery time, and unprecedented results.
About the Author: Nationally renowned nutrition and fitness expert Kimberly Olson, CNC, CPT is the creator of FitKim, a nutrition and fitness blog that teaches people how easy it is to be healthy. She has completed her Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition, become a Certified Nutritional Consultant & ACE Personal Trainer, and travels nationally conducting public speaking events. She has been consulting clients for over ten years, and has developed a passion for combining nutrition and fitness.
Kimberly is the author of The FitKim Lifestyle: Food & Fitness to Get YOU Fit!, a complete guide to teach readers everything they need to know to live healthier, become more active and learn how to finally lose those stubborn pounds. She has been featured on Fox San Antonio, CBS Minnesota, ABC West Michigan, Yahoo!, YouTube, Houston Woman Magazine, O’Fallon Nutrition Radio and has reached Expert Author status on Ezine Articles.
She is currently working on two PhDs in Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition, as well as her next book, Cooking with FitKim. Kimberly resides in Austin, Texas with her husband, Scott, who is her official taste-tester. She can be contacted at Kim@FitKim.com for freelance and consulting inquiries. read more →
Want to get the most out of your workout? Try adding some chia seeds into your diet. Chia seeds are a true superfood . These little guys are great for both pre and post workout fuel, allowing your body to achieve max performance.
Prior to your workout, chia seeds offer your body greater endurance and energy. These seeds are a unique blend of essential omega fats, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein, with a generous dose of antioxidants, providing your body with more energy to than any other seed or grain- and it delivers the energy faster too! Chia seeds will also keep you satisfied for long periods of time so that you won’t find your tummy growling in the middle of your workout.
Post workout, chia seeds can be used to make your own natural “sport drink”. Simply mix chia seeds with apple cider vinegar or lime juice, water and a natural sweetener (stevia or honey) for a satisfying blast of electrolyte balancing and protein rich hydration. Chia seeds support your body with increasing your lean muscle mass and losing those pesky pounds.
Sounds good right? Chia seeds have been used by endurance athletes for centuries. It might be time for you too to give them a try so you can the most out of your workouts. Try adding chia seeds to green smoothies, salads, drinks, soups, and more. Get creative!
About the Author: Tamara is a holistic nutrition coach that specializes in whole food nutrition and bio-individuality. Tamara supports her clients with understanding their unique bodies and nourishing themselves completely. Check out Tamara’s free guide to listening to your unique body at www.junglegirlhealth.com read more →
I grew up in a family of four girls, so dieting was always on everyone’s priority list. Consequently, I feel like I’ve been watching what I eat my whole life.
Moreover, I was brought up in the era that children who were picky eaters were chastised with the admonition that there are “starving children in China” who would give anything to be able to have the food you’re not eating. Thus, the lesson was to clean your plate – even if you weren’t hungry.
Although my parents, and perhaps yours, weren’t doing anything wrong by simply trying to get their children to eat a nourishing meal, lessons such as these remain lodged deep within your subconscious.
Despite your age, it is natural for you to continue to try to please your parents. So when you are presented with a similar situation, you persist in enacting your programmed response. Each time you have a choice to eat until you are bursting or to stop eating when you are full, even if that means leaving food on your plate, your subconscious tells you, “clean your plate.”
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not giving you (or me) an excuse for overeating. This is merely one explanation how unhealthy eating habits can begin. Once you are aware of these subconscious thoughts and reconcile that they may be hampering your dieting and quest for fitness success, you can begin to change your relationship with food.
One of the first steps is to discover how you react to the word diet. Do you have a positive or negative reaction to this word?
A negative connotation might be illustrated if you complain, “I feel like I’m always on a diet!” In this mindset, every time you have a treat you feel as if you’re cheating or being bad.
Conversely, if you think of diet as a lifestyle, you can release the negativity associated with the word. Your diet is simply the food plan you are following, which can include occasional treats without being detrimental to your overall goals.
Changing your perspective is a good technique to use when approaching weight loss and fitness, as well as when you examine other issues in your life. When you are able to see the same issue from different angles, you move closer to discovering how to move forward successfully.
About the Author: Ellen Gerst is a grief and relationship coach and the author of over thirty books on subjects that include dating and relationships; coping with grief; spirituality; caregiving for aging parents; the power of positive thought; and fitness and weight loss. Ellen’s goal is to assist her clients and readers attain a shift in perspective so that they may move through their difficult circumstances with more ease and grace. The preceding is an excerpt from her book, “Understanding Fitness and Weight Loss From A to Z,” which is available as a FREE download on January 4-6, 2013 at http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Fitness-Weight-Loss-ebook/dp/B007R5TN18
As I sit here stuffing a sandwich in my face while I work, I’m reminded from our guest blogger why it’s not such a good idea to multi-task during meals. Learn how mind-less eating can be detrimental to your healthy eating lifestyle.
Mindful Eating Means Never Eating Too Much
It’s easy to go crazy or unconscious at mealtime, or even get stressed out around meals (how much to consumer, where to eat, what to eat).
HOW and WHEN you eat has just as much bearing on how much nutrition you ingest as WHAT foods you eat. If you eat while totally stressed out, or when not focused on your meal, your body absorbs fewer of the vital nutrients it needs to function well and keep you full. In fact, your digestion and metabolism slow to a crawl, and your body can excrete stomach acid that is counter-productive to proper absorption.
So taking time to relax and enjoy your meals is a no-brainer. Whenever possible, focus on your meal without distractions, and take time to chew and taste every morsel. You’ll feel better, and eat less!
You’ve made a commitment to lose weight and be fit in the new year, now it’s time to stick with it. But how? We all know that sticking to weight loss goals can be hard, it takes dedication and motivation. The real key to accomplishing your weight loss goals is to set yourself up to succeed from the beginning. A study done by Professor Jane Wardle and Dr. Phillippa Lally at the University College of London determined that it takes 66 days for a new resolution to become an ingrained habit. So, once you do something every day for just over two months, it becomes as automatic as any other part of your daily routine.
Start off by telling your friends and family about your weight loss goals.
Not only does this enlist their crucial support and encouragement, it makes you accountable to someone outside yourself for sticking to your goals. You’re more likely to slip off your plan if the only one that will know is you. Having a workout buddy and support system can motivate you on the days when you find it hard to motivate yourself.
Track your progress and reward yourself for every mini-success.
Set up weekly goals that will help you on your way to the long-term goal. Reward yourself for achieving those smaller weekly goals with non-food indulgences. If your goal is to lose one pound per week, treat yourself to a manicure or favorite bottle of lotion on the weeks you succeed. Keep track of more than just your weight with monthly measurements of your arms, waist, hips, and thighs. You may be surprised at the differences that you uncover. If you’re working out the muscle gained will be toned, tight, and bulge less than fat, making your clothes fit better and your measurements smaller even with only a few pounds lost.
Don’t fall prey to the “All or Nothing” trap.
It’s very easy to punish yourself for giving into a food temptation or skipping a day of working out, but don’t let it derail your long-term goals. The “All or Nothing” trap says you have to be perfect or nothing. Nobody is perfect all the time or even some of the time. Forgive yourself for small lapses and don’t let them stop you from climbing right back on the fitness bandwagon the next day.
Keep track of each small success, reward yourself for every daily, weekly, and monthly goal met, and before you know it you will be standing at the finish line. The 66 day mark when your tender, fledgling resolution becomes a full-blown, lifelong habit. Just think how that will feel: commitment met and turned into lifelong success.
Suzanne Andrews, Star of Functional Fitness on PBS TV, Healthwise Exercise
About the Author: Get ready to burn calories, get stronger and feel energized! Suzanne Andrews, host of Functional Fitness airing to over 45 million on Public Television, guides you in your weight loss Fat Blaster workout. This doctor recommended and plus size friendly Functional Fitness workout helps you trim your belly, thighs, buttocks, hips and arms. Suitable for people who want to lose at least 50 lbs. Available for instant download for only $1.99! Click on the link provided and in 50 seconds you’ll be on your way to achieving your weight loss goals. read more →
Instead of setting a New Year’s Resolution to lose X amount of weight, try setting a healthy eating goal! Replacing one bad habit with one good habit will eventually give you the results you’re looking for. The benefit of taking the long route is that it will last longer. Get off the weight loss roller coaster and start creating healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime!
Learn 3 healthy eating tips from the experts to get you started!
1. Eat Every 2-1/2 to 3 Hours
Ever find yourself on the go, and before you know it you haven’t eaten all day? By the time lunch (or maybe even dinner) comes along, you’re starved! You may be thinking, “I’m not even eating that much, why am I not losing weight?”
By skipping meals, you’re going into a “starvation mode” and instead of losing weight, your body is holding onto everything it can to fuel those important organs that keep you running. One of the most important healthy habits you can start is to eat regularly throughout the day. Start with breakfast within the first 1/2 hour to hour of waking up, then eat a small-portioned, balanced meal every 2-1/2 to 3 hours from the time you start your first meal. This healthy habit will get your metabolism going, level out your blood sugars, and help you lose weight safely.
2. Change the Way You Think and Feel About Food
Diets are temporary unless it becomes a way of life. A healthy, slender lifestyle includes eating clean, exercising and having a healthy mind. Changing the way you think and feel about food is the key to end dieting forever.
Take a look at how you view food. Is it company, love or a friend? Food is meant to nourish us. By learning how you think and feel about food you can then focus on the areas of your life that food is substituting. Food then becomes more neutral, as it is meant to be. You can still enjoy healthy food, but you will have addressed the body image and emotional issues you heal with food that cause weight gain to begin with.
3. Drink Enough Water
After gaining forty pounds dieting, I swore I would never diet again. I lost the forty pounds with my own technique (thinking thin) and have kept it off over twenty-five years. As I imagined myself thin, ideas came to me to put into place for life. The most effective idea, and easy for me to stick with, was replacing any kind of fruit juice or soda with water.
I love desserts, so I opted to keep those and toss the sugar from juices and sodas, replacing them with what my body really needed and wanted, pure, fresh water.
Put these 3 habits into place over the next 3 weeks and watch as you gradually begin to feel more healthy. These feelings will motivate you to make even more changes and you will be on the road to a weight loss lifestyle in no time!
Are you ready to transform your life with a safe, healthy approach to weight loss during the holidays? The key word being healthy. We’re not talking about a distorted perception of health by motivating you to be so skinny that it leads to dangerous consequences. If you grew up idolizing Barbie; listen up. If you were built like Barbie, your back would be so weak that it wouldn’t support your upper body, and your waist would be so narrow that it would only contain one half of your liver and a few centimeters of bowel. Doesn’t sound too pleasant now does it? A real women built that way would eventually die from malnutrition. Now that’s a diet for you.
Having worked with 100’s of celebrity’s over the years, I have personally seen how their images are prepped and airbrushed to unrealistic perfection. You don’t need to strive for perfection. Just strive to be at a weight where you are functional – I remember being so heavy – I was 60 pounds overweight that I couldn’t play with my child or even clean my bath tub without having to stop because I was so out of breath. Actually I couldn’t even reach the tub. And touch my toes? Forget about it – I couldn’t even see them. I finally got the weight off and have kept it off for 16 years. I’ll tell you how you can get great results by losing weight and keeping it for good later. First I’m going to give you some pointers to turn you into a fat burning machine.
1. Muscle Is lighter on Your Joints
Did you know that fat bulges 18% more than muscle, pound for pound. Simply put, lean muscle equals looser clothes. Less weight also equals less pain. Would you voluntarily walk around carrying a 100 pound bag of cement? When you walk, you place a force equal to 3X your body weight on your knees and hips and that force grows to 5X your body weight when going down stairs. So if you’re just 20 pounds overweight, your joints can feel like they are carrying around an extra 100 pounds. If you really want to give your joints a break, start losing weight, no pun intended.
2. Why Muscle Burns More Fat
Have you ever gone on a diet with your husband and noticed they lose weight much faster, even though you’re eating sticks and grass and they are munching away on steak!
Men have more muscle and more muscle equals a faster metabolism. Pound for pound, muscle burns fat at a faster pace than fat. A person with more muscle burns more fat even in his sleep! So pick up the weights, incorporate 2 days a week of strength training into your routine and rev up your fat burning engine.
3. Watch Your Portion Size.
To lose weight, you need to burn off more than you take in. A simple way to check your portion size is to fill your plate ½ with vegetables, (steamed, baked or microwave without butter) fill ¼ of your plate with a starch and the other ¼ with a lean baked, grilled, or broiled meat. If this is hard to imagine, get yourself a paper plate that is already divided and your measuring work is done!
4. Turn Stress into a Small Size Dress
Stress – we all face those moments that feel almost insurmountable, day in and day out, at home, at work, in our car and in social situations. So what do you do about it? Think about how you handle stress. Do you eat? You’re not alone. 80% of the people who take my class along with people who email me tell me that this one tip I’m about to share with you, helped them not only get the weight off, but keep it off. The first thing you do when stressed is stay away from “C” foods: cake, cookies, chocolate, cream, chips and candy.
5. Breathe away Stress
A client, (who is also a working mom living with diabetes) Kelly, lost 4 dress sizes, incorporating this technique into her daily weight loss routine. You can practice this anywhere, in your office, even in the bathroom. First recognize that you are in a stressful situation and take a yoga moment for yourself.
When yoga movements are incorporated with meditation and stress releasing breathing, yoga becomes a healthy lifestyle, reaping positive rewards for your mind, body, and spirit. This meditation is simple and yet has far reaching effects in allowing you to become aware of your inner strength to handle outer stress.
Begin seated on a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground or on the floor – whatever is most comfortable for you.
A.) Inhale through your nose as if you’re smelling flowers and expand your belly followed by expanding your chest.
B.) Exhale as if you’re blowing out your birthday candles. Make sure you take twice as long to exhale.
Do one set of 3 breathing exercises and not only will you decrease stress; you will also increase oxygen and speed up your metabolism. You may have heard this technique being touted as an independent weight loss tool and that is nonsense. This is one very important tool, but, as a health care practitioner I feel obliged to inform you that you can’t just breathe this way and lose weight. You must practice this with a sensible diet, yoga exercise, cardio exercise and 2 days of strength training to say goodbye to your pounds and fit into that holiday dress!
About the Author: Star of Functional Fitness airing to over 45 million on PBS TV, Suzanne Andrews is a licensed Occupational Therapy Practitioner and the producer of Beginners Dynamic Yoga Release Stress and Lose Weight DVD/CD Set. For in-depth weight loss meditation/ yoga breathing with exercise instruction click on the link provided to Amazon’s Beginners Dynamic Yoga Release Stress and Lose Weight DVD. This DVD is only for those who want to lose at least 50 pounds or more and have not exercised in at least 6 months. read more →
We don’t talk about dieting much here on Pretty Hard Work. We operate with the understanding that weight loss is a lifestyle choice that takes dedication and urge others to stay away from the “dieting roller coaster”. The Holidays are no different. Resist the urge to over-indulge at your parties and dinners by keeping balance and moderation on your side.
Learn from our guest blogger 6 tricks to help keep your body fueled, satisfied, and healthy this holiday season.
Healthy eating is not about strict diets but using balance, moderation and variety.
- Always drink 64 fluid oz. or more of water each day
- When feeling hungry, drink water first for it may be water you body is lacking
- Eating a well-balanced breakfast with pro-tein is essential to kick starting your metabolism
- When reaching for a snack, choose protein over carbohydrates
- Have protein in every meal
- Use healthy high-antioxidant snacks/treats to replace snacks that are high in sugar
About the Author: Diana is a distributor of the world’s first healthy chocolate. She has been consuming this chocolate for 6 years and as a result no longer takes pain pills for the arthritis in her hips. Diana has also lost 10 lbs. and went from a size 8 to a size 4. The high-antioxidant diet she followed actually shrinks the fat cells. Diana enjoys helping others reach their health goals by incorporating healthy choices into their diets. read more →
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