5 Tips to avoid over eating when the sign says "All You Can Eat"
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Something that I hear a lot of from clients is that they seem to hit a plateau on their weight loss journey. They’ve lost some weight but are now stuck and can’t seem to lose the last 10-15 pounds to reach their goal. Or someone that has always been overweight and it seems to be just a natural state for their body. There’s some truth to this. Our bodies, all unique, have a certain size and weight where our we seem to reach homeostasis, when levels in our body our at equilibrium. Our body feels comfortable here. This explains why some people can gain weight and without changing anything the weight gain just seems to stop or slow down. For others it may take a lot longer. Anyways, the focus for today is providing you with some tips that will help you get over that plateau, or that wall, when your weight loss momentum seems to come to a halt. Now, keep in mind that some of us just aren’t meant to be at a lower weight or body size, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change our body composition (adding lean muscle mass, and losing body fat). We have to figure that out over time. For me, I’ve found where a good healthy weight is for me, where I have energy, strength, and I don’t have to starve myself to stay there. It took a while. I’ve been heavier and smaller than I am and I’ve learned whats manageable. I don’t even touch the scale anymore. It’s one of those things you’ll have to play around with to see how your body maintains certain sizes, and what it takes with your diet and exercise to stay there. So lets get right into it. Remember that some of these may work for some of you, and not for others. Like I always say, health and fitness is such a individual process! Its not a one size fits all.
Tip #1: Get your Beauty Rest. So much of weight gain or the halting of weight loss can come from stress our body is going through. This includes mental, emotional, and physical stress. Some stress is good, but we want to avoid the over stress. A lot of this is how much sleep we’re getting. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night and if you can, 8 would be ideal! Make it priority. Put away electronics, and give yourself some quality sleep. Obviously if you’re in the trenches of raising little kids, especially newborns, you may not be able to manage this, but do your best. When we are in a sleep deficit our body releases stress hormones, such as cortisol, which aids in storing fat! Yikes, not exactly what we want! So get your beauty rest. Also, take a walk outside, get some fresh air, to eliminate stressors that come from the day to day grind.
Tip #2: Watch your sugar content. Hidden sugars can be the make or break for weight loss success. If we’re not aware, sugar can be in so many foods that we’re not aware of and can add up quickly. I tell all my clients to try to keep your sugar content below 35g per day if weight loss is your goal. (read my blog post on sneaky sugar culprits here, and high sugar vs low sugar fruits here) This includes natural sugars in fruit, honey, agave, etc. Avoid juices and flavored drinks which can be loaded with sugar. When you start to add it up, it doesn’t give you much room for extra processed junk. Stick to 1-2 pieces of fruit per day and you should be just fine!
Tip #3: Have a protein at every meal. Consuming protein throughout the day provides you with several opportunities to boost your metabolism through the thermic effect of food (TEF). It also helps promote lean muscle retention, which will naturally boost your metabolism throughout the day. Some options are chicken, tuna, quinoa, salmon, hemp seeds, nuts, beans, and lentils. Of course this has to be paired with regular exercise which leads me to tip number 4.
Tip #4: Change up your workout routine. Sometimes we get in a rut and our body adapts to the normal routine we put it through. Our bodies our smart. They work efficiently. When we throw something new in to our routine, our body has to work a little harder to figure it out. Also with increasing weight, or total volume of our workout, we will strengthen our muscles, making them better fat burners. So move away from the elliptical machine, and add some weights to your life! (if you need some ideas, check out my training programs here)
Tip #5: Eat your veggies at every meal! This is another tip I tell all of my clients no matter what. You can do it! Lots of ways to sneak them in. Why is this so important? Well I like this tip for several reasons. First of all you’ll be getting in more fiber, helping you feel fuller longer, and helping with digestion. Also, by challenging yourself for veggies at every meal, you are going to be replacing more empty calorie options (breads, pasta, sugar) with veggies, full of nutrients and goodness. Some of my favorites are Green smoothies, Zucchini noodles, Carrot noodles, a leafy green meal base (vs. Rice or pasta), the possibilities are endless! You just need to experiment a little and you’ll find it’s not that scary! If you need some awesome, veggie based meal ideas, let me meal plan for ya! (go here)
So there you have it, some simple tips you can try out to push you past that stubborn plateau in your weight loss pursuit! I know we could all work on at least one of these. Start with one step at a time. And don't let the scale be your only indicator of success!! That stupid number can have so much control over our happiness when it really doesn't say anything about strength, health, or body fat percentage, so keep it all in perspective!
Alright we all know when it comes to eating healthy, prep is key! You’ve probably heard it a million times, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail! The reason so many of us eat crappy junk food in the first place is because it’s convenient! Whats more convenient than stopping at Little Caesars on your way home and picking up a $5 pizza? Hot and ready for the whole fam to stuff their faces with. Or a bag of chips you can just pop open and enjoy the salty greasy goodness ;)
Well I’m hear with some good news! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be an all day in the kitchen kind of thing. A lot of us work full time, or have mommy duties all day, I mean who has time to cook these days? Well you DO! Let me share a few of my tips for cooking healthy, quick, and efficiently. Don’t get caught up and overwhelmed with people posting about making exotic beautiful meals from scratch everyday, thats not reality, thats social media.
First of all, you have to accept the fact that it’s never going to be quite as fast, cheap, and easy as Mcdonalds, those are just the facts. But with a tad more effort, you can have a healthy, filling meal, that won’t break the bank and taste AMAZING. It takes a bit of planning & effort, but everyone can do it! It takes commitment and deciding that you’re going to live a healthy lifestyle, feeding you and your family healthy meals. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to throw in a frozen lasagna occasionally, but just do your best! Here are my tips that should help:
Tip #1: Invest in a Crockpot.
If you don’t currently own a crockpot, I highly recommend you get one. This will save you time in all sorts of ways. I have so many recipes that I can just throw into the crockpot, turn it on, set the timer, and walk out the door, coming home to an amazing smelling house and dinner all ready to go. It gives you the convenience of going about your day without having to watch the oven or stove. Also, you’ll always have left overs, which will save you time throughout the week. Bonus, you’ll spend less time doing dishes! One pot meals are amazing.
Tip #2: Plan Your Weeks Menu, with Strategy
Find 5-6 healthy dinner recipes you want on the menu for the week, allowing for a night out on the weekend (if you want help with this part reply to this post and I’ll hook you up with all sorts of good recipes). Plan so that the first couple of nights you make a crockpot meal, a soup, or something with lots of leftovers that you can utilize throughout the week for lunches or breakfast. For example, this week I made a big batch of Lentil Soup Monday night, and Tuesday night I made shredded pork in the crockpot. Both were large batches that I’ve been using for lunches, eliminating extra time in the kitchen for sure.
Tip #3: Utilize half prepped ingredients
Thank goodness for Trader Joe’s and awesome ingredients! Ok Trader Joe’s isn’t the only place you can find pre-prepped ingredients, but I’ve just found a lot of my favorites here. Don’t think you have to do everything from scratch. Take advantage of swift time savers such as pre-riced cauliflower (its a mess to do it on your own!), sliced jicama, or pre-cubed and peeled butternut squash, or awesome low-sugar sauces (enchilada sauce & curry sauce from Trader Joe’s are awesome for crockpot meat recipes) that add flavor to any meal. I’ll be posting a lot of these products in my Friday Favorites post this Friday so stay tuned! Still go for whole, unprocessed ingredients, but take advantage of a little pre-prepped help.
Tip #4: Always make extra
When you’re making a meal, always think about what you can do to save you time later on. If you’re making a salad, get out a few tupperware containers while you’re at it and just make multiple salads in one setting, packed and ready to enjoy that week. If you’re slicing vegetables for dinner, slice more and put them in baggies for a healthy snack while you’re at it. If you’re boiling water, get some eggs out and hard boil a few for the week. If you’re making rice or quinoa, double the batch and put what you don’t eat in the fridge. This will become second nature with experience and practice.
Tip #5: Multi-task your cooking
This tip is geared towards having success with a 20-30 minute meal. I start by getting all of my ingredients out that I will be using for the meal and figuring out what part of the meal is going to take the longest to cook or bake and I get that going first. So if I’m having sweet potatoes with my meal, I’ll get those in the oven first thing, then I prep everything else while those are baking. Or if I’m having fish, I’ll prep that, get it in the oven, then in those 15-20 minutes of bake time I make my salad or veggies, and then everything is done at once!
Well there you have it, my 5 tips for being quick and efficient in the kitchen. It may seem overwhelming and daunting at first if you’re not used to cooking or if you don’t even like it. But trust me, practice makes perfect, and by cooking your own meals you will always know what you’re putting in your body, giving you control. You will also save money! Don’t get caught up with thinking it needs to be perfect or thinking every meal has to be fancy. Just keep it simple and try new flavors! Enjoy! leave a comment with any questions or recipe requests
After a summer of traveling, eating strange foods, and changing time zones, I thought I’d hit on the topic of constipation. Yes I know its not glamorous but its real life! There’s a lot of factors that go in to a healthy track system in our bodies and I wanted to share my findings. There are also a few misconceptions that are going around that I wanted to clear up. A regular schedule is a happy schedule ;)
Here are my top tips to keep your insides running regular
1. fiber PLUS water: We’ve all heard that fiber helps us poop right? Which is true, but the second and very important part to this point is that if you are increasing your fiber intake, you need to increase your water intake as well. Fiber increases the bulk of your stool so it can move along on its merry way, but water is crucial for it to move. So remember, if your increasing fiber, make sure your getting enough water as well.
Suggested Fibrous foods:
• prunes• green Veggies• ground flaxseed (can throw into smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, etc) • Low sugar Fruits with fiber (kiwi, apple, avocado) • rolled oats
Suggested Water consumption:
• Adult Males: 12-14 Cups/day
• Adult Females: 8-10 Cups/day
2. Natural Laxatives (used the right way): You may have used over the counter laxatives in the past, but did you know that over time those products can cause more harm then good? They can inhibit your bodies natural process creating dependence on them. Here’s some healthy, natural laxatives:
• Chia Seeds - soak them in a liquid before consuming. This creates a gel like coating that can act as a lubricate in your system. (try my overnight oats recipe here)
• Aloe Vera - Aloe vera latex also has anti-inflammatory components that reduce swelling and and improve function of the digestive organs. It also actually helps increase the water content in your intestines.
• Probiotics - or “good bacteria” in your gut that makes your body able to balance various types of “bad bacteria.” They help create a healthy environment in your gut. Probiotic foods include things like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and probiotic yogurt. If you can, try to buy dairy products that are organic, as they are easier on digestion, such as goat milk products, organic kefir, raw dairy products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein. It’s possible that low-quality pasteurized/homogenized dairy, or too much dairy in general (especially if someone has symptoms of lactose intolerance), can cause inflammation and contribute to digestive dysfunction.
3. Regular Exercise: Last but definitely not least, exercise helps get those muscles moving that push your waste through your body. Not to mention it helps with other causes of constipation such as relieving stress! If you’re feeling a little backed up, try going for a run, but don’t go too far ;)
Well there you have it! Here’s to healthy and regular bowel systems, Cheers!
Its 2:30, you ate your healthy salad lunch 2 hours ago, and your not planning on dinner for another 4 hours, and you're STARVING. You’ll eat anything, especially that chocolate bar you know you have stashed under your desk. You start fantasizing about all the things you want to eat. That chocolate donut, a giant startbucks Muffin, the bag of dorritos from the vending machine, the list gets worse and worse. Can you relate? It happens to the best of us. That time of day, in between meals, when the hunger and cravings hit. I call this the Crave Zone. It's a common thing, and I see it in my clients. They’ll send me their food logs and it's awesome, and then they write “I was so hungry around 3:00 so I just grabbed the first thing I could” which is usually a cookie sitting on the counter or something along those lines. Some simple changes in our day can turn the Crave Zone into a metabolism boosting-hunger curbing awesome zone if we play our cards right. Here are my tips:
1) Start your day right. A big contributor to hunger throughout the day is what we have for breakfast. Make sure you have some protein and some healthy fat in your breakfast so that you have something for your body to burn throughout the day. (check out more awesome breakfast recipes in my Sculpted for Summer program here).
2) Be prepared. Always have a healthy snack easy access for that time of day. It takes a little prep and planning in advanced, but it will be a game changer for you. If you know you are going to be out and about, pack something in your purse. Or if you are home, stock your fridge with go to healthy snacks. Some of my favorites are dry roasted nuts, peanut butter and an apple, String cheese, veggies and hummus. There are a ton of more ideas in my meal plans hear.
3) Remove the Junk. When hunger and cravings strike, our sub conscience tells us to reach for the easiest, closest thing. If we leave junk food and treats out on the counter, that's what we're going to reach for! Throw out the candy bowls and the cupcake stand. Instead, chop up a veggie tray with a homemade dip ready to go in your fridge, or have a bowl of fruit on the counter to suggest a healthy snack.
Don’t think you have to persevere through 5 hours of hunger until dinner, you should listen to your body and have a snack. The important part is to make it a good snack and to be prepared! Now that Crave Zone doesn’t stand a chance against your combatting skills.