12 Fun Facts About Exercising

Humor, Uncategorized, Workout Wednesday

Are you in need of work out motivation? Well you’re in luck because here are 12 fun facts about exercising that are sure to inspire you.

1. Music improves workout performance
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Listening to music while exercising can improve work out performance by 15%.

2. Exercising improves brain performance
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Cardiovascular exercise helps create new brain cells. This
improves brain power and brain activity.

3. Working out sharpens your memory
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Exercising increases the production of cells that are responsible for learning and memory

4. Running burns calories!
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If you run at a 10 minute per mile pace you can burn 104.3 calories per mile.

5. More muscle mass = burning more fat while resting

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The more muscle mass you have, the more fat your body burns while resting.

6.Exercise prevents signs of aging
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If you exercise 3 times a week for 45 minutes you can help prevent signs of aging.

7. A pound of muscle burns 3 times more calories than a pound of fat
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Having more muscle than fat means you can consume more calories.

8. You get sick less often
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Exercising on a regular basis helps boost your immune system.
This means you’ll get sick less often than people who don’t exercise.

9.Increases productivity
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Exercising increases the amount of endorphins that are released into your body and increases productivity.

10. Workouts can improve the look of your skin
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Sweat releases dirt through your pores which reduces acne and breakouts.
Workouts improve the overall look of your skin.

11. Exercising boosts self-confidence
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Exercising can help ease your mind and rejuvenate your body. Working out will make you feel great and boost your confidence.

12 Working out helps you sleep better
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If you’re someone who has trouble sleeping or staying asleep then working out
is your answer.Exercise helps to clear your head and helps you feel relaxed.

end

9 ways to survive the holidays when you’re alone

Holiday Fast Track, Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement, Uncategorized

 (fotostorm)

The holidays can be a bittersweet time of year. On the one hand, you’ve got twinkle lights, hot chocolate, and holiday cheer galore. On the other, you’re surrounded by not-so-subtle reminders of what’s missing in your life—particularly, if you’re separated, divorced, or widowed. And even if you’re content with being single the rest of the year, the idea of not having a significant other to swap gifts with can be enough to make you question your life choices. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Single people shouldn’t look to simply survive the holidays, but rather, use the reflective time of the season to thrive,” says Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, a Manhattan-based marriage and family therapist (check out these 7 awesome benefits of being single) . “To do this, they must gently shift their view of the holidays from an externally defined time of year to an internally defined one.”

At their most basic level, he explains, Christmas represents a period of rebirth and Hanukkah a time to regain control of one’s life. By digging deep, you’ll anchor yourself in something solid and real, and in turn, connect to the essence of the season. Here’s how to get started. (Let’s stay in touch! Sign up to get FREE health, weight loss, and relationship tips delivered straight to your inbox!)

Fess up about how you feel.

When the people around you are all merry and bright and you’re, well, not, sucking it up because you’re not “supposed” to feel bad during the holidays just leads to more crappy feelings. “Acknowledging your emotions gives you the opportunity to let them go,” says Vivian Sierra, a licensed marriage and family therapist in St. Louis. By suppressing them, you’re basically allowing your life to get stuck in neutral. “Being authentic is the gateway to future healthy relationships—and ultimately, love,” she says. Translation: Take the time to put your feet up and get your bah humbug on. (These 8 tricks will beat a rotten mood in 60 seconds flat.)

Get out there, even if you don’t feel like it.

It’s natural to assume that the link between behavior and mood only goes in one direction. (Think: “I feel depressed and therefore skipped the Christmas party.”) However, it’s a 2-way street more often than we realize—you may feel depressed precisely because you’re dodging holiday invites, and in turn, not coming into contact with more positive stimuli. “Increasing pleasant and meaningful activities have been shown to have broad support for individuals who have problems with mood,” says Jason Holland, PhD, geropsychologist and assistant professor at William James College in Boston. So force yourself to put at least one party on your calendar this month. You might be surprised by how much fun you have. (And if not? Well, it’s just one party.)

Develop a plan for dealing with potential holiday triggers.

For someone who’s adjusting to post-divorce singledom or widowhood, the holidays can bring back painful memories and exacerbate feelings of loneliness, says Holland. Stay ahead of the curve by clearly defining the people, places, or things that may trigger negative thoughts or emotions during the holiday season, he suggests, then come up with a game plan for how to best manage these situations before they crop up. Example: If your late husband’s sister is a drama queen and visits always leave you feeling on edge, come up with a reason ahead of time for why you can only stay at her place for an hour. Maybe that reason is meeting up with a friend who always puts you in a good mood.

Shake up your holiday routine.

“Switching things up gives your brain a workout by encouraging new associations versus the old neural pathways,” explains Nancy Irwin, PsyD, a Los Angeles-based therapist. If you and your ex-husband had a specific holiday itinerary that you followed every year, interrupting your old patterns can help lessen the blow—even little things like preparing different foods, shopping at different stores, or watching different movies can help you miss that person less.

Be proactive.

Planning ahead is always the best way to ward off a case of the lonelies, especially during the holidays. Reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances in advance and casually ask what their plans are. Once you share that you don’t have any plans, they’re likely to invite you to join them. “It’s important to remember that when we’re lonely, we tend to underestimate how much those around us care about us and would be happy to spend the holidays together,” says A.J. Marsden, PhD, assistant professor of human services and psychology at Beacon College in Florida. If this strategy is too awkward, who says you can’t do the inviting? Plan a shindig specifically for people who don’t have plans. (Feeling lonely is as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day—but here’s how to fight it.)

Get back to your roots.

Think back to a time when the holidays gave you the warm and fuzzies—what were the rituals or traditions that you loved most? Bringing them back into your present can help you regain that spark. “Rituals induce calm and relieve stress by projecting a sense of order and control into the unpredictability of life,” says Sierra. “They provide a sense of continuity and belonging that significantly contribute to mental health.”

Reach out to long lost friends and relatives.

Just because you’re unable to spend time with certain family members or friends during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them in other ways. “Reaching out to your social connections is good for your mental and emotional health,” says Sierra. It boosts your sense of belonging, while also strengthening your social network. All it takes is a festive text message, a funny Facebook post, or an old-school Christmas card to let someone know you care, which boosts their overall wellness too. It’s a win-win. (Just make sure you’re not breaking one of these 14 Facebook etiquette rules that will get you unfriended fast.)

Do some good.

It can be frightening to see the dark places your mind can wander to when given the opportunity. “Too much time on one’s hands can be dangerous,” says Hokemeyer. “Get out of the house and into the service of others.” Finding community service opportunities is easy, and not only will providing service boost your mood and morale, but it may also foster connections with new people.

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

Try not to force yourself to have a certain type of holiday experience this year, or for “things to ‘be a certain way,'” says Marsden. Keep it simple, and remember that “spending the holidays alone can be a very enjoyable experience if you make time for yourself,” she says.

One place to start: Getting some fresh air. Recent research has shown that exercise can help ease depression, especially during the holidays, notes Marsden. Plus, “exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good and spending time outdoors can help increase vitamin D, which also helps ease depression.”

By Krissy Brady

In Crisis Mode? Here are 5 Tips to Handle Holiday Weight

Holiday Fast Track, Uncategorized
In Crisis Mode? Here are 5 Tips to Handle Holiday Weight

Did this headline strike a nerve?

If so, you are not alone. I’ve been there. Confession: I’m actually close to there now as I managed to put on a few pounds this fall — and it hasn’t all been muscle. This time of year is especially tough for hitting weight-loss goals (read: holiday parties, hot chocolate, sweet potato pie and love handle-hiding puffy coats). Studies have shown Americans gain the most weight between Halloween and New Year’s adding about 0.7% to their frame on average.

For an average man weighing 195.7 pounds, that equates to 1.4 pounds (which is actually lower than I expected). So if you’re already above your goal weight, be realistic with yourself: Instead of focusing on trying to lose weight during the holidays, focus on not gaining additional weight. If you wind up dropping a few pounds with this mindset, great! Consider it icing on the cake.

When it comes to weight loss, maintenance is a victory in itself as it can sometimes be harder than losing in the first place. Here are some tried-and-true weight-maintenance tips I use during the holiday season:

1. ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT CAUSED YOU TO GAIN THE WEIGHT

Knowledge is power and the best way to prevent repeating past mistakes is to reflect on where you may have gone offtrack. Did you fail to prioritize your workouts? Did you start eating dinner later? Have you been snacking more than usual? Did you stop logging your food?

The key here is not to beat yourself up but use this reflection as an opportunity to make better decisions going forward.


READ MORE > WHAT THE FAFH? 5 KEYS TO EATING ON THE ROAD


2. MAKE YOUR HOME AND WORK A SAFE SPACE

In most cases, you’re in control of the food in your home, so get rid of potential landmines in the kitchen! My former trainer, Errick, always says, “If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.”

So, if you know you have a propensity to snack on candy at night, keep it out of your kitchen. If you find yourself constantly raiding a coworker’s junk food jar (which was totally me at my last job!), then start bringing in healthy snacks to keep at your desk or in the communal snack area. I️ started bringing in clementines, Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix and dried seaweed. Bonus: Healthy habits are contagious, so your coworkers will probably appreciate it, too! Plus, if you have healthy food at home you can start meal prepping and bringing lunch to work or school, making it much easier to log your meals and stay on track.

3. GET MOVING (EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS)

It’s sounds super basic, but whenever you have the opportunity to add activity to your day, take it. Take the stairs, set up a walking meeting, go to the coffee shop that’s a couple blocks further and walk around the building (in the hallways or hit the streets) instead of spending 10 minutes on Instagram or Facebook at your desk. Schedule workouts on your calendar so they don’t fall by the wayside. The holidays are NOT the time to stop exercising altogether.

4. MULTI-TASK

Next time you are watchingThis Is Us(Beth and Randall are #CoupleGoals) or any TV show, do some pushups or crunches. The workout will go by faster because you’ll be distracted and it will also prevent you from wanting to snack.


READ MORE > FEELING STRESSED? FIVE REASONS TO MAKE SELF-CARE A PRIORITY


5. GO INTO HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES WITH A GAME PLAN

Be proactive in prepping for holiday festivities by scheduling a morning workout, hydrating throughout the day and eating filling, high-fiber foods during the day so you don’t do a face-dive into the holiday spread when you arrive.

Something I always do is grab a healthy snack before I head to a party. (Did you know a single apple has 5 grams of fiber?) I’ve even been known to Uber to a party while eating an apple in the backseat because I knew there’d be temptations like pizza and chocolate cake. Being proactive with a game plan can help keep you in control.


READ MORE > AIR TRAVEL ADDING INCHES TO YOUR WAISTLINE? 5 TIPS TO BEAT THE BLOAT


And remember, the holidays should be fun! They often come with travel, food and family, so don’t forget to enjoy this time … but they can be a tough time to focus on losing weight, so if you find yourself starting at a disadvantage, shift your focus to maintenance mode, which sets you up for less frustration and more success.

How do you stay on track (or get back on track) during the holiday season?

BY KIRBY BUMPUS, MPH

How to Enjoy Being Alone on Thanksgiving

Food & Nutrition, Holiday Fast Track, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Dinner for One

So, you are going to be alone and perhaps even in a strange city on Thanksgiving, and the very idea is getting you down. Cheer up and welcome to the club. Lots of us Americans don’t gather around a groaning board on the last Thursday in November surrounded by family and friends. Some people are alone by choice and some by circumstance, and whatever your situation, you can choose to get maudlin about the whole thing or have an enjoyable or maybe even a super fabulous day.

Lots of people have to work on Thanksgiving. If that is your situation, know that your coworkers will be working too and make a point of enjoying the day with them. I have a friend who is divorced with grown children and who is a nurse at a local hospital—she always signs up to work on Thanksgiving and always has a wonderful time sharing the day with patients and their families. She also gets paid overtime which goes a long way towards making her thankful too.

Students, ex-pats, the recently divorced, the widowed, all huddle together at holiday time, like cows under a tree before a rainstorm. Many of these will be spending Thanksgiving alone, and if you will be in their ranks, the trick is to not feel sorry for yourself but to let go and enjoy the day.

Personally, I enjoy my own company and really enjoy my solitude. I am often with family and friends on Thanksgiving, but have chosen to spend a few Thanksgivings by myself and have had some wonderful, serendipitous Thanksgivings alone or with a band of other solo celebrants. Sometimes complete strangers can be better Thanksgiving dinner companions than far flung family.

I’ve been on my own for the past decade and before that was married for 33 years, raising two children, working, playing, and generally juggling life. My husband and I were both only children of divorced parents, so the holiday season always presented familial challenges, but we were inventive, and it was always fun.

I have cooked many a turkey and presided over many a table, which is perhaps why I am so serene about being on my own for Thanksgiving. But even for me, it does take a bit of planning. Here are my tips gleaned over the years from here and there.

Make it a party of one
Make it a party of one | Source

Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving Alone

  1. Plan Ahead: If you know you are going to be alone and not working, try to find a kindred soul or souls ahead of time and make plans to get together for a Thanksgiving meal. It can be a potluck at somebody’s house or a seasonal feast at a fancy restaurant. One year, I went to a local diner with a group of women who were alone for one reason or another. It was great. It’s a way of observing the holiday without pain. If you are working on Turkey Day, plan some sort of celebration with coworkers. It’s best not to spend the day at home alone watching sentimental holiday movies or The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV all by yourself. Make a plan, and do something to give the day a little structure.
  2. Make the Day YOURS: If you are going to be alone, do what you feel like doing and not what you think you should do. That is, don’t go to somebody’s house for Thanksgiving just because you think you should. Sometimes, being grafted on to somebody else’s family celebration can make you feel more alone than being alone. Do what you want to do. Feel like going to the gym? if it’s open, do it. Feel like taking a hike or catching a film or concert? Do it, and don’t feel you have to eat turkey either. If your idea of a great meal is pizza, get a pizza. In fact, it might be a good idea to NOT go anywhere near traditional Thanksgiving fare if you are on your own for the day.
  3. Do Unto Others: I know it is going to sound like a cliché, but if your church or temple has a soup kitchen or if there is a local food pantry or charity Thanksgiving dinner, you might want to plan to work for them on Thanksgiving. There is nothing to make you grateful for what you have like helping those who have less—they do call it Thanksgiving for a reason, you know.
  4. Stay In Touch via Skype: Through the wonders of the internet and video calling and chat, you can now stay in touch with your family on Thanksgiving without actually being with them. Sometimes, I think this is the best of all worlds, but then my family history is full of contentious Thanksgiving dinners. Never mind—that’s another article. I also love getting videos from everybody to replay later over the long weekend.
Source

Thanksgiving Dinner for One

One way to take the lonely out of alone on Thanksgiving is to go all the way and cook yourself a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Whether you polish up the family silver and get out the best china or buy a package of holiday paper plates, set a festive table and make it special.

Frozen turkey dinners can seem pretty pathetic, but for the truly hopeless cook, they can be a Thanksgiving solution if, and ONLY if, you nuke the dinner and then put it on your best china plate, use real sliver and cloth napkin, and sit yourself down at a real table to eat it like a real meal. Ditto if you go out to your local deli or fast food place and get take out turkey with all the trimmings.

Presentation, as the French are fond of saying, is everything when it comes to food. No scarfing your Thanksgiving dinner down in front of the TV. Sit down at a real table in a real chair and eat like a real human being off real plates with real cutlery and chew with your mouth closed, ok? Oh, you can listen to music if you want—but NO TV.

For those with greater culinary skills, here are some links to Thanksgiving menus for one and hints on how to enjoy.

Source:

4 Healthy Swaps to Help You Lose Weight

fitness, Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement, Uncategorized, Weekly Workout Meet Up!, Workout Wednesday
4 Healthy Swaps to Help You Lose Weight

Although you work out and stay physically fit, you can always boost your efforts to make healthy choices and stave off extra pounds. To start, try healthy lifestyle swaps like these four below, which can impact your overall well-being.

AFTERNOON SWAP

Why: Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicinesuggests ingesting caffeine hours before nightfall causes a disturbance in sleep. In this study, participants who consumed caffeine up to six hours before bed lost more than an hour of sleep.

The Swap: To avoid the 4 p.m. slump, hit the stairs. A new study published inPhysiology & Behavior found that 10 minutes of walking up and down stairs at a regular pace was more likely to make participants feel energized than ingesting 50 milligrams of caffeine. (This is the equivalent to about a cup of green tea (59 mg), two cans of soda (58 mg) or just less than a shot of espresso (63 mg)).

WORK SWAP

Why: The American Heart Association released a science advisory on the dangers of sedentary behavior. It states that Americans, on average, sit 6–8 hours per day, which leads to all types of health issues, ranging from diabetes to death. Even those who stay active in their personal time don’t have the same problematic health reductions as those who move more.

The Swap: To improve your daily mobility, try switching your smaller work meetings, such as one-on-ones, to walking meetings. “The goal with walking meetings isn’t to sweat up a storm. The goal is just to integrate a little more natural movement into daily life,” says Dani Singer, fitness director of Fit2Go Personal Training in Baltimore, Maryland. “The boost you receive in mood and energy will pay off much higher than the calories you burn.” As added bonuses: research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychologysuggests that walking leads to increased creative thinking, and an exploratory study from the Harvard Business Review proposes that walking meetings support better cognitive engagement on the job.

VACATION SWAPS

Why: A vacation may not only leave you with extra weight, but it can hang around for six weeks post vacation. In a study published in Physiology & Behavior, participants who took a one- to three-week vacation gained an average of almost 1 pound. To put this amount in perspective, the average American gains 1–2 pounds per year.

The Swap: Skip the depressing hotel gym and build exercise into your vacation by doing what the locals do. “Different places often have different cultures when it comes to exercise, and trying working out their way can add a fantastic experience to your trip. In India, try yoga; in China, try tai chi,” says Julia Buckley, a trainer in the U.K. and author of “The Fat Burn Revolution.” “Change your mindset from seeing exercise as a chore which you shouldn’t have to do on vacation to thinking of it as something that will enhance your vacation by energizing your body and calming your mind.”

SHOPPING SWAP

Why: Although the percentage of online shoppers continues to outpace in-person buyers, the statistics show people still prefer brick-and-mortar stores.Retail TouchPoints, an online publishing network for retail executives, conducted a survey of consumers and found that 85% prefer to shop in person because they like to touch and feel products before they purchase; 36% don’t like waiting for items to be delivered and 30% like to receive advice on what products they should purchase.

The Swap: Park your car far from the front and enjoy the time spent strolling around — you’re burning calories. Use a basket instead of a shopping cart if you’re only picking up a few items. To find out how many calories you’ll burn, use the MapMyRun calorie calculator.

 

10 Ways to Overcome Fear and Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement, Uncategorized

10 Ways to Overcome Fear and Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

It’s time to ditch routine for growth.
August 1, 2017

Fear is a natural and essential part of growth. Every time we consciously choose to step outside of our comfort zone, the next uncomfortable thing becomes a little bit easier.
We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council how they take those small but powerful daily steps. Here’s what they said.

1. Take nothing for granted.

I’ve learned a lot through suffering, as much as I have through success. And I’m grateful for the suffering the most. Going through a divorce, splitting ways with a wayward business partner, working to the point of sickness… you name it. Suffering has led me to a place where I try to take nothing for granted. When you avoid taking your business and relationships for granted, it’s much harder to be complacent.

—Robby Berthume, Bull & Beard

2. Switch up your routine.

Routines are as much about comfort as they are about efficiency. Each day, I switch up my routine in small but meaningful ways. I’ll walk a new route to work, stop for lunch at different times of the day and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Small shake-ups in my routine lead to meeting new people and seeing different sights, which help kick-start ideas for both my work and personal life.

—Kim Kaupe, ZinePak

3. Move toward your fears.

I found that the things I’m afraid to do are often the things that have the greatest potential to expand my life. Now when I feel fear, it’s usually an indicator that I need to do that thing I’m afraid of. Making a commitment to lean into that each day has been really uncomfortable at times, but it has also been responsible for a lot of great memories and a deep level of personal satisfaction.

—Mark Krassner, Expectful

4. Give up control.

It might not be an everyday thing, but giving up bits of control of my company takes me out of my comfort zone. Hiring someone to run our social media, delegating new inquiries to speak to someone on my staff or letting my employees take the lead on client projects have all taken me out of my comfort zone, which is important.

—Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

5. Try something new until you feel comfortable.

Anything that I struggle with, I keep trying different approaches until I’m no longer scared of it. Sometimes it takes a while to get comfortable, so I try different approaches daily, or just keep at it until it becomes comfortable. Then I move to the next uncomfortable thing.

—Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

6. Ask the questions other people don’t like to.

I want to know what’s up with my employees, customers and everything going on in between. This means having frequent and open conversations with my employees and getting customers on the phone to find out how they liked their experiences with my business. I ask tough questions to address real issues and promote growth for my business.

—Zev Herman, Superior Lighting

7. Start conversations with strangers.

I really enjoy talking to people, and I’ve found that striking up a conversation with the person next to me, while I’m waiting for transportation or enjoying a meal at a lunch place’s bar seating, is a great way to overcome shyness with new people. It’s also a good way to learn amazing things about the world and the people in it.

—Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

8. Agree to something you wouldn’t normally consider.

Sometimes when someone offers me something that I would normally refuse, I like to surprise myself by saying yes, whether it is something business-related, like trying a new strategy, or accepting an invitation to join an amateur sports team on the weekend. Even if it doesn’t work out, I always learn something from the experience.

—Russell Kommer, eSoftware Associates Inc

9. Get in front of the camera.

I get in front of the camera on a daily basis. Creating videos always challenges me to present information in the best way possible, step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there on the internet. Whether it’s on marketing growth hacks or tutorials on how to use my software, my goal at the end of the day is to educate consumers even if that means getting a little uncomfortable.

—Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

10. Keep a list of growth goals.

I keep a list of growth goals. Things like “practice public speaking,” “take a risk,” “explore a new and strange idea.” I keep the list close by, and I always try to read it at the end of the day. Because I got into the habit of reading the list, I know I’ll be accountable to it. It forces me to take these steps during the day.

fitness, Food & Nutrition, Uncategorized

21 Dietitian-Approved Tips to Jump-Start Weight Loss

 Screenshots_2017-05-29-18-39-18

Summer brings more energy, a renewed spirit and the best of intentions. Many people have health and weight-loss goals to achieve, and they turn to fad diets that leave them feeling deprived and wanting to give up after a couple weeks or days. This year, set yourself up for success with these dietitian-approved tips to jump-start weight loss.

1. MAKE YOUR FOOD BEAUTIFUL

We eat with our eyes as much as we do with our mouths! Instead of throwing veggies into a bowl, plate them with care, cut them in new ways and pick lots of colors. Take that extra step to enjoy the process of eating healthy options.

– Carlene Thomas, RDN, LD, Registered Dietitian and Food Content Creator at Healthfully Ever After

2. DON’T SKIP MEALS

To jump-start weight loss (and maintain it!), get your hunger in check by choosing satiating meals and snacks every three to four hours. For optimal hunger control, aim to have meals and snacks that contain both protein and fiber–two nutrients that have serious staying power.”

– Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT, blogger at The Foodie Dietitian

3. MEAL PREP IN ADVANCE

Pre-slice vegetables and fruits, and keep in air-tight containers at eye level in the front of your fridge. They should be the first items you see when you need a quick snack. Having pre-sliced veggies makes it easier to whip up omelets, salads, casseroles and soups. If you feel you pressed for time to slice your own fruits and veggies, most grocery stores sell them pre-sliced from their kitchens. Keep in mind this is more expensive, but the extra cost is worth it if it means you’re more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables!

– Angie Asche, MS, RD, LMNT, of Eleat Nutrition

4. MAKE HEALTHY FOOD VISIBLE

Display fruit on your kitchen countertop, whether it’s in a pretty bowl or on a decorative cake stand. Whenever you want a snack, you’ll see the fruit first and hopefully reach for that.

– Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, dietitian in the New York City area and contributing blogger at ‪Weight Watchers

5. PACK NUTRITIOUS SNACKS

Bring a small snack to work, and eat it 30 minutes before you begin your commute home. This will curb the insatiable hunger, preventing a trip through the drive-thru. It will also make dinner preparation or last-minute stops at the grocery store so much more bearable! My favorite options are almonds or a Greek yogurt.

– Lauren Gibson, RD, of Eating with a Purpose and Lauren Gibson RD


6. DO WEEKLY WEIGHT CHECKS

Once you start making changes, you are probably agitated to see the numbers go down quick, but obsessing with the scale on a daily basis won’t help. Instead, it’s better to give it a week–the rule of thumb is to weigh yourself every week using the same scale, preferably in the morning.

– Dixya Bhattarai, RD, LD, of Food Pleasure And Health

7. POWER UP BREAKFAST WITH PROTEIN

Make sure to enjoy a balanced breakfast packed with protein. It will help to keep your energy levels up all morning and may also help you snack less later in the day.”

– Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, owner of ‪Nutrition Starring YOU

8. PILE PLANTS ON YOUR PLATE

Focus on eating more plants. Crowd out your plate by packing in as much produce as you can. You’ll feel fuller, and you’ll be practicing portion control without even thinking about it.

– Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, Owner of Avocado A Day Nutrition

9. EAT YOUR VEGGIES FIRST

Veggies fill you up not out!

– Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, Owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition

10. DRINK MORE WATER

Our bodies need lots of water to keep our energy levels up, undergo regular digestion, etc. Drinking water before meals may also help to curb hunger and keep you satisfied before, after or during a meal.

– Katie Serbinski, MS, RD, founder of Mom to Mom Nutrition, LLC

11. KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL

Our minds are always busy, so it’s easy to underestimate the amount of food consumed. Tracking your food with a journal or mobile app can make you more aware. Be as specific as possible, tracking type of food, amount, time, place, hunger level and emotions surrounding eating. Not only can developing a food-tracking habit make you more aware of portion sizes and eating patterns (e.g., overeating at night, skipping breakfast), it can help detect mindless or emotional eating.

– Min Kwon, MS, RD, owner of MJ and Hungryman

12. EAT A PROTEIN- AND FIBER-RICH BREAKFAST

When my waistband is fitting a little tighter than I’d like, one of the first places I start shaping up is at breakfast. Rather than focusing on “lightening” breakfast with fewer calories, I make sure to pump up the protein and fiber at my morning meal. That usually means adding an egg white-and-veggie omelet or hard-boiled eggs with fruit, plus a small fiber-rich muffin or small bowl of oatmeal. What I eat in the morning not only sets my hunger level but also sets the tone for how I’ll eat throughout the day.

– Regan Jones, RD, Founding Editor at Healthy Aperture

13. DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF

Allow yourself to have a treat from time to time! If you deprive yourself, chances are that over time you will give in and binge. Instead give yourself a set number of times (maybe two to three times) per week where you can treat yourself without feeling guilty.

– Kelsee Gomes, MS, RD, CSSD, Director of Sports Nutrition at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

14. PLAN TO EAT AT HOME

It’s no secret that home-cooked meals typically have smaller portions and contain less sodium and fat than eating out. I think packing homemade lunches and eating at home for dinner makes a big difference in my clients’ long-term weight-loss success. Ideally you should eat 90% of your meals at home; in a week, that allows for three meals out. Plan your meals out as an enjoyable event, and aim to eat or pack your lunch the other 18 meals for the week. The more you do it, the easier it will become.

– Carissa Bealert, RDN, owner Evolution Fitness Orlando at Carissa Bealert


15. EAT WITH INTENTION

Ask yourself if you are really hungry. Think about what you are eating, and, most of all, savor and enjoy it! Being aware is the key to weight loss.

– Wendie Schneider, RDN, LD, owner of Pantry Doctor LLC

16. MAKE SMALL CHANGES

Think about what small change you can make in your daily routine that will help improve your health. For some, it may be taking the stairs instead of the elevator. For others, it may be opting for water instead of Coke for lunch. Bottom line: Remember, small changes make big differences over time!

– Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD, CLT, of Simple Swaps

17. SLOW DOWN AND USE ALL YOUR SENSE WHEN YOU EAT

Look at your food, smell it, touch it (with your fingers, fork or tip of tongue, depending on what’s appropriate), listen to it (Is it crunchy, mushy or slurpy?) and, of course, taste it. Eating with all your senses involved is an important part of mindful eating.

– Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, of Nutritioulicious

18. FIND WAYS TO MOVE MORE DURING THE DAY

Aim to get 10-minute increments of exercise at a time; this could be walking around while on the phone, parking in far-away parking spots or taking the stairs. Just find ways to sit less because small changes make a difference, especially if you move to boost energy instead of hitting the candy jar or vending machine.

– Rebecca Clyde, RD, CD, of Be Truly Nourished

19. SET A SMALL, REASONABLE GOAL, ONE GOAL AT A TIME

You can easily get discouraged if you can’t reach the big goals you set for yourself. Choose one goal at a time, and once that feels easy and routine, set your sights on a new goal. Slow and steady always wins the race!

– Emily Cooper, RD, LD, of Sinful Nutrition

20. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

While you may think that the road to weight loss begins at the gym or in the kitchen, research has shown that it might start in the bedroom. Getting a good night’s sleep (ideally eight hours) helps guide your food choices by controlling your hunger and fullness hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells your brain it is time to eat, but when you lack sleep, your body makes more ghrelin. The reverse is true for leptin, the hormone that cues fullness; sleep deprivation slows down leptin production. These hormonal changes cause you to overeat, resulting in unwanted pounds, so put the phones away, cue the sound machine and plan for six to nine hours of shut-eye.

– Holley Grainger, MS, RD, Lifestyle and Culinary Nutrition Expert at Holley Grainger

21. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES

‘One of the fastest ways to jump-start weight loss is to focus on what you can eat instead of what you can’t. Investing all of your energy to stop yourself from eating higher-calorie foods (think: dessert) can leave you feeling drained and deprived. Instead, focus on drinking at least two quarts of cold water and eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This naturally leaves less room for higher-calorie foods, and every time you are successful, it will leave you with a positive feeling of accomplishment.

– Cindy Heroux, RDN, author of “The Manual That Should Have Come With Your Body”

Instead of creating unrealistic goals this summer, jump-start your weight loss with these tried-and-true tips from the nutrition experts.

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