3 Reasons To Quit Your Diet Today…

quit your diet

There. I said it.

I think we all need to stop dieting. Right now. Before it ruins us.

I want you to learn about health. To want to feel better. To change your life. To give your body what it deserves…

Do it by educating yourself about nutrition, taking charge of your health, and making the changes that you know are best for you. Changes that will make you feel great, and ones that you can stick with for the rest of your life.

But not by dieting.

After all, how can anything that makes you feel miserable really help you?

Here are my top 3 reasons why dieting is just no good…

1. Unrealistic expectations

We live in a time in which we are promised so many quick fixes or overnight results. It is “instant” this or “easy” that. And this makes it almost impossible not to get roped into believing that you can and should be able to miraculously have the body you desire in a short amount of time (even though you know better). These unrealistic expectations can leave you frustrated, depressed, and set you up for feeling like a failure.

2. Guilt by association

There is something so much more powerful about saying that you have chosen to get healthy rather than that you are on a “diet.” Just the word itself makes most of us cringe and picture a life of naked iceberg lettuce leaves. Dieting means restricting, and restricting ourselves means that we create an antagonistic relationship with our food. We consider ourselves “good” if we stick to the plan and never falter, and “bad” if we slip up or overindulge.

The problem is that this state of mind makes it much more difficult to make positive changes. How can we live happily if we are constantly second guessing all of our choices?

3. Unsustainable options

A majority of the most popular fad diets are incredibly restrictive. Cutting out a massive amount of calories or an entire food group may cause some weight loss in the short-term, but what about the rest of your life? No fat, no carbs, or only ___ calories per day is NOT healthy, and nothing that can work for the long-term.

It is this lack of sustainability that causes cycles of yo-yo dieting, of weight lost and gained over and over again.

Here’s the thing…your weight loss goal IS attainable, it just won’t (and shouldn’t) happen overnight.  Avoid the gimmicks and the fads, and commit to being healthy.

Skip the diets and change your life.

 

Fascinated By The Transformation Process – Ben Takes His Own Medicine

Ben Sweeney Lost 50lbs!

A young, busy athlete in college Ben had to eat to stay energized, to maintain his active lifestyle, to support playing college baseball. Quite a bit more calories than the everyday working man or woman (if you have ever seen a teenage boy eat, you will know what I mean, it is amazing what they can consume).

It was important to eat, in order to grow and get stronger you have to fuel your body. Problem was, Ben had stopped playing field sports and having such an active lifestyle, but he didn’t change his eating habits.

By graduation, Ben had put on enough weight that even his girlfriend commented “You’ve let yourself go”.

Words no man EVER wants to hear, I can promise you that.

Ben Sweeney, before and after losing more than 50 pounds.

Ben Sweeney, before and after losing more than 50 pounds.

Making it even harder, Ben has a degree in Exercise Science.  He had the tools, they were just covered in Twinkie dust down in the basement of his life.  “I just needed to implement them,” he said. “I then wrote out a diet and exercise plan for myself and followed it to a T.”

Beginning with his diet, Ben cut out sugar, fat, and junk food. His meal plans consisted of eating mostly lean meats and vegetables.  This included limiting fruit to two servings per day.  Fruit has the same hormonal reaction in the body as sugar.

He also changed how he ate, “I made sure my meals were bigger in the morning and smaller in the evening so I could burn off all the calories I needed throughout the day.”

Since that time Ben has lost more than 50lbs and has made health transformations his life. He is a personal trainer in NYC and helps others realize how much better life can be when fit.

I asked Ben to answer a few questions that may help you get started or jump to the next level in your own health quest.

Ben, thank you for sharing your expertise with us. It isn’t every day we get to talk with a professional trainer that has walked the walk and lost such an incredible amount of weight. You created your own program, how was that?

I was using everything I used while getting my bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. Everything from choosing the right types of food, to making sure my workouts was effective.

Nice to have the background to do that. Even then, you had to change quite a bit in your life from the way you were living?

I would tell myself to remember to switch up my routine more frequently.

Don’t give into temptation; it will only slow down your progress.

Don’t obsess over the numbers, it isn’t about how much weight you lose, it’s about how you are able to perform whatever you want to perform (races, CrossFit exercises, martial arts, sports etc.)

Was there a turning point for you when you just knew you were going to succeed? Most of us that struggle with life changes always seem to be on the far side of these points, but knowing that they are out there is motivation. What was yours?

The turning point for me was when I started mixed martial arts. My body was use to doing traditional cardio (running, stair masters, rowing machine, etc.) but when I started to practice mixed martial arts my body started to transform drastically.

I was able to utilize the drills I was learning and the routines I had learned and was able to develop a new workout routine that made the weight literally fall off.

It seems as though these turning points always come from some outside source, we just have to be on the look out for them. We did another interview recently with Papa Joe who lost more than 250 pounds and it wasn’t until he saw himself in a music video on MTV that it really hit home just how bad it had gotten.

Yes, but remember, you don’t need to lose weight to be healthy, you need to become healthy to lose weight.

True, little tweaks to your belief system makes a huge difference.

How are you now?

I am a lot happier now and I have a ton more energy!

I finally feel happy with my physical appearance and I know that when I want to make changes to my body (more tone, add more muscle) I have the tools to do so. The best part is I can use my story to help others in order to help them lose weight.

I have a lofty goal, I want to be a fitness trainer on the long-running NBC reality series, The Biggest Loser. As a personal fitness coach in New York City, I work with clients every day, motivating and helping them achieve their weight loss goals.

I love it.

Well, we sure appreciate you spending a little time sharing your story with us. I am positive people will have questions about how you did your own programing.

Professional Trainer, Ben Sweeney

Professional Trainer, Ben Sweeney

If you have questions for Ben, please ask them in the comments section below. You can also follow Ben on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact him directly at his site.

Thank you Ben.

 

3 Ways To Save While You Lose…

save while losing

Image thank to slgckgc

They say, “You can never be too rich or too thin.”

We talk about the latter enough, but what can you do about the former? There are ways to get fit and stay frugal. Don’t let all those infomercials selling 30-disc DVD sets or wacky new contraptions tell you otherwise. They may make things easier…as long as you stay interested.

While some can afford gym memberships and personal trainers, not everyone has those options. But there are solutions out there for anybody, with little bearing on your current income.

Here are three ways to save while you lose weight…

Calisthenics

Good, old fashioned exercise doesn’t need to be fancy. You can get pretty far on the standards: walking, running, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, and lunges. These are exercises that have literally been around for over a thousand years, keeping the Spartans in shape for battle. If you want to add some weight training in there, then pick something up! Fill a box with books, or some canned goods. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to get the job done.

Water

Honestly, the bottled water industry is a bit upsetting to me. It takes something that’s all over the place and puts a price tag on it. It also increases pollution with all those plastic bottles. The world is made of mostly water, and so are you. Water keeps you feeling full without any calories. Hydration is so important to any kind of weight loss.

And I’d bet that there are at least two places in your current residence where water can be found with incredible ease. So stop buying a new bottle of  water every time you’re out. It’s okay to reuse the ones you have.

YouTube

So, a gym membership is out of reach but you still think you need an aerobics class or a yoga instructor. There’s one right in front of you if you just punch  the right keywords into your Google search. Another great thing about the internet is everyone wants to tell you their story, share their recipes, and let you in on the things that worked for them. You can get a good work out, plan a healthy meal or two, and even meditate yourself to success with the help of the World Wide Web.

Want a bunch of other ways to keep trim on a budget? Of course you do! Go to:
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/07/30/16-ways-to-eat-healthy-while-keeping-it-cheap/

100 Foods Dr. Oz Wants In Your Shopping Cart…

supermarket

Image thanks to Bryen.

I recently came across Dr. Oz’s list of the 100 healthiest supermarket staples and thought I would share it with you.

Dr. Oz designed this list as a way to take into account both health and budget friendly items. It is meant to serve as a guideline for the average person/family.

I find the list to be mostly on point, but there are definitely a few things that I somewhat disagree with. For example, fresh mushrooms are available in grocery stores year-round, so I would never choose canned instead (as many canned products have added salt or preservatives).

My recommendation would be to treat this list as a general guide when making decisions, but to take your own health/issues/goals into account. Not everything listed may be the healthiest option for every individual.

Also, don’t forget to consider variety and healthy portion sizes!

I would love to hear from you about your opinions of this list…do you have things you would add? Subtract?

Let us know.

Fresh Produce:

(Note: Buy other fresh fruits and frozen vegetables as desired)
Tree fruits (apples, pears)
Citrus fruits
Stone fruits (peaches, plums, cherries, et.c)
Bananas
Grapes
Melons
Greens (arugula, romaine, cabbage, collards, etc.)
Baby carrots
Celery
Avocados
Potatoes

Frozen:

Berries (strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc)
Frozen veggies (peppers, kale, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, etc.)

Meat/Seafood:

All white meat ground turkey
Bison meat
Eye of the round/steak
Lean pork
Lean ground beef
Chicken (skinless thighs and breasts, whole chicken)
Fish (salmon, trout, cod)
Shrimp
Fully cooked beef and chicken slices
Fresh deli meats (no nitrates, not pre-packaged)
Salmon or tuna (in can or pouch)

Canned/Bottled Items:

Canned beans (no salt added)
Canned tomatoes (no salt added)
Low sodium salsa
Canned artichokes
Canned mushrooms
Low-sodium chicken broth
Natural peanut butter
Jam (no sugar added, no artificial sweeteners))
Dill pickles
Canned beets
Sauerkraut (low sodium)
Sardines
Anchovies
Kalamata olives

Deli/Cheese/Dairy:

Eggs
Greek yogurt
Milk (2% or below, organic)
Butter (in moderation)
Cheese (part-skim mozzarella, cheddar, permesan, feta, ricotta, string)
Hummus

Pasta/Grains/Cereals:

Quinoa
Steel cut oatmeal
Brown rice
Whole grain cereal
100% Whole wheat pasta
100% Whole grain bread
100% Whole wheat flour
100% Whole wheat tortillas
100% Whole grain crackers
Polenta
Whole grain brown puffed rice
100% Whole wheat pizza crust
100% Whole grain waffles

Beans And Soy:

Edamame
Tofu
Chickpeas
Lentils
Soy burgers
Soy hot dogs

Condiments/Herbs/Spices/Dressings/Oil:

Dijon mustard
Oils (olive, flaxseed, canola)
Vegan mayo
Ginger
Chia seeds
Black peppercorns
Agave nectar
Baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.)
Raw sugar
Honey
Chili peppers
Curry
Hot sauce
Red pepper flakes
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
Vinegar
Low sodium soy sauce
French Herbs (rosemary, marjoram, thyme, savory)
Italian seasoning

Snack Foods/Desserts/Treats:

Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, brazil, hazelnuts)
Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)
Dried fruit
100% Whole wheat pita chips
100% Whole wheat pretzels
Popcorn (air popped)
High fiber protein or granola bars (no more than 5gms added sugar)
Sweet potato fries (baked)
Bite size dark chocolate
Slow churned ice cream
100-calorie air popped chips
Fruit leather (not roll-ups)
Frozen fruit popsicles (100% juice)

Beverages:

Tea
Coffee
100% pure orange juice
Sparkling water/seltzer

Follow this link for a printable version of this list:
http://s.doctoroz.com/sites/default/files/im_uploads/3-017_S1-2_Grocery-List-for-Web_v4_PRINTABLE.jpg

Don't Believe The Hype: Tips For Healthy Weight Loss

healthy weight loss

Image thanks to Dan Zen

In this age of fad diets and “quick fixes” it can be more difficult than ever to make good decisions and find your way to healthy weight loss.

We are overwhelmed everyday with the newest fad or the latest greatest diet that is sure to help you drop those pounds.

Some of these are bad information, and a lot of them are downright ridiculous:

http://www.wulongforlife.com/6-bizarre-fad-diets-that-failed/

Ultimately, very few of these fads ever result in long-term weight loss, and many of them are actually unhealthy:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Quick-Weight-Loss-or-Fad-Diets_UCM_305970_Article.jsp

The real key to healthy weight loss is the same now as it has been from the beginning of time…it is ultimately a matter of balance.

In order to lose weight, we must balance the foods we consume with the energy that we expend.

Not every person is the same, and what works for you may be different from what works for someone else, but it will always come back to calories in versus calories out.

The key is to educate yourself. This doesn’t meaning listening to the diet gossip of coworkers or searching for the latest celebrity trend. Read about food. Learn about calories, nutrition, and healthy cooking. Find the physical activity that will engage you whether it involves a gym or a hike in the woods. Learn about making changes and sticking with them.

There are so many tools that can help you:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/NU00595

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/weight_loss_tools.htm

After you have informed yourself, don’t wait to begin your transformation. Do it for your yourself. Do it for your health.

Know that you have the power to take control and change your life…even if it is one small change at a time.

 

 

Crave: Tasty Toppings

Image thanks to TheHungryDudes

I absolutely love multi-functional foods. Things like tasty toppings, sauces, and dips that can be used in multiple ways.

Some of my favorites are pesto, salsa, and tapenade

These are fresh, flavorful, and so simple to make.

They are also completely versatile.

Are you getting tired of the same old thing? Or looking for flavors to kick up your pasta or make your sandwich snappier?

Then these recipes are perfect for you…

Basil Pesto:

So delicious. The traditional recipe calls for toasted pine nuts, but if they are hard to find or too expensive, I have found walnuts to work just as well.

2 cups fresh basil, packed
¼ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, freshly grated
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
2-3 cloves garlic (depending on your preference)
salt and freshly ground cracked pepper to taste

Lightly toast the pine nuts or walnuts by stirring in a dry sauté pan over medium heat (3-4 minutes). Allow to cool.

Add garlic cloves, basil, and nuts into a food processor. Pulse until chopped. Then add grated cheese and blend while adding olive oil until you reach your desired consistency.

Olive Tapenade:

Tapenade is a great, flavorful, and naturally salty dip. Great as a spread on a sandwich.

1 cup pitted Greek olives  (Kalamata recommended)
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh parsley or basil, chopped
1 tbsp capers (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend until it is a coarse paste (it is not meant to be smooth).

Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to combine.

Salsa Fresca:

Salsa isn’t just for dipping. This light and ultra-fresh salsa recipe is great to use as a topping for anything from seafood to scrambled eggs.

3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 fresh jalapenos seeded and with the ribs removed, finely diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
sea salt to taste

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and season to taste with sea salt.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before eating for best flavor.

Enjoy!

3 Stupid Slimming Tips That Are Genius…

Image thanks to barryskeates

Little things mean a lot.

There’s that whole “butterfly effect” theory, (no, I don’t mean the Ashton Kutcher movie) which posits that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can cause a hurricane somewhere across the globe.

Another way to illustrate how tiny steps can make a big impact is by looking at those Rube Goldberg devices from cartoons. You know the ones, where a bell startles a chicken that lays an egg that rolls down a track onto a skillet that trips a lever that spins a wheel and on and on and… or I could have just said “dominoes” and you’d know what I meant.

My point is if you start changing a bunch of little things, you may be surprised how big a difference those changes can make in the long run. Here are a few small things that can make a big impact:

Little Plates

We tend to fill our plates, no matter the size, which may be why French cuisine is so disturbing to Americans. So we like our big plates covered in our big meals and wonder why we get so… big. If you start with a smaller plate, logically the portions of your meal will be smaller, too.

Blue Plates

Oddly enough, color has an impact on your appetite. We like most of our veggies to be green, our meats to definitely not be green, and our milk chocolate to be a yummy, chocolaty color. Very few things that we eat are supposed to be blue. Because of this, blue tends to turn the volume down on our cravings.

Dressing On The Side

Maybe you start with the best intentions by getting a salad. Good so far.  There’s a plate full of beautiful leafy greens and ripe red tomatoes, soon to be completely covered by salad dressing, and never to be seen again. That kind of defeats the purpose of a healthy salad. Instead of dumping on a layer of salad dressing, which is probably made mostly of oil or cream, get it on the side. Dip your fork in it before getting a bite. You’ll still get the flavor without ruining all those good intentions.

Need some more tips? Go to http://exercise.about.com/od/healthinjuries/a/healthylifestyl.htm

Weight Loss 101

 

weight loss 101

Image thanks to Good Eye Might

Remember your high school algebra?

Me neither. The only thing I can tell you about it is that whatever happens on the left side of the equal sign has to balance with the stuff one the right side. That, and if you multiply something by zero, you get a lot of nothing. So, I try to avoid multiplying most things by zero, as a general rule of thumb.

I also avoid math, as a general rule of thumb.

But everything in life, as in algebra, is a balancing act. If you add or subtract something on one side, it will make a difference on the other.

Most people think that losing weight is about taking things away. They forget to add stuff to the equation. Here are three places to make substitutions:

What You Do

Look at how you spend the hours in your day. How much time do you spend sitting? There’s all that time in the car, and for the office folks, about 8 hours in front of a computer. And when you get home, do you camp out on the couch, or sit in front of another computer?

Now a lot of that sitting is required; you shouldn’t even try to drive while standing. But what if you stood more at work? Or paced? What if you didn’t turn on the television or computer at home for a whole night? Staying active a little longer will make resting even better.

What You Eat

Are you stuck in a fast food rut? Do you dine out more than in? Think a bag of chips is a good way to tide you over? You may think it’s saving you a hassle, but really, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.

Making your own meals is more cost effective, way more convenient, and better for you. You control what you’re putting in your body that way. Do your research and make yourself something good for yourself! Keep healthy food in your fridge and cupboard, and you’ll keep healthy food in you.

What You Think

Human beings like things to be easy. We stick with bad habits because changing them would be hard, even if doing so would literally add years to our lives. We procrastinate because procrastination is so easy. We think we’ll have plenty of time later to fix the mistakes we made today.

Some of us may also think that we deserve those bad habits that are making us unhealthy, that we aren’t worthy of feeling or living better. We find comfort in comfort foods. We don’t want to leave our comfort zones.

Change that attitude! All you have for sure is right now, so get excited about it. Go ahead. Shut off your computer, get on your feet, and go get some sunshine. You deserve it.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting to Lose Weight

weight loss expectations

Image thanks to BozDoz

So, maybe you haven’t started yet, or maybe you’ve only just begun. But some of you out there are concerned for the first time about losing weight. You’re right at the threshold of your first weight loss journey.

Sometimes you will be excited, or pensive, or just waiting to see how it goes. Sometimes you’ll want to give up. Other times, it will be all you can think about.

Here’s the truth, as best I can give it, on what purposefully losing weight is like…

IT MAY NOT BE EASY (at first)

Part of what makes a person heavier is bad habits. Somewhere along the line that person got some bad programming. In order to become a healthier, slimmer person, all those habits need to be replaced by healthy, beneficial ones. But until the new behavior sticks, the unhealthy behavior will keep trying to take over. So you will have to be strong in the meantime, no matter what health and diet program you subscribe to. Keep your eyes on the prize.

IT’S GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME

Healthy weight loss is slow. If the body loses weight too quickly, it can be a shock to the system, causing other medical issues and an excess of loose skin. There’s also a greater chance of that weight coming back, with a vengeance.

A good pace of weight loss is in the neighborhood of one or two pounds a week. While that may not seem like much, it does add up.

IT WILL BE WORTH IT

Your clothes will fit differently. You won’t feel as fatigued all the time, and you’ll want to do more. You’ll be at least a little healthier, and people will notice. Get ready for some compliments and a whole new you.

Oolong Tea For Weight Loss

Oolong Tea for Weight Loss

Oolong Tea for Weight Loss? Image thanks to ~ Ashwin ~

Why is Weight Loss So Difficult?

In a study on PubMed.gov, factors determining weight loss in obese patients in a metabolic ward, doctors studied 37 women while trying to answer the question – diet or exercise?

What they found is pretty amazing.

Over the course of the study a variety of diets and exercise programs were tried and the results were measured. Do you know what they found?

“The best predictor of weight loss in a patient on a strictly controlled diet is the resting metabolic rate.”

This means one of the most influential factors contributing to your weight loss success is going to be your metabolic rate or Energy Expenditure (EE).

And, this is exactly what Oolong Tea influences most.

So, How Does Oolong Tea Help You Lose Weight?

Several scientific studies have tried to answer that question.

Does the tea effect your metabolism? Does drinking tea effect your blood glucose and cholesterol levels? What about tea’s ability to help your body recover from stress? Some scientists are looking into the effects of tea on helping inhibit cancer in lab mice. Pretty amazing that people have been drinking tea for more than 5,000 years and this isn’t better known.

Oolong tea is one of the rarest teas consumed today. Only about 2% of tea produced in the world is Oolong.

If your metabolism and Energy Expenditure are one of the greatest contributing factors in your weight loss, does Oolong Tea really change your overall metabolism?

Oolong Tea’s Effect on Metabolism and Energy Expenditure

At the US Department of Agriculture, one scientist, William Rumpler, was investigating Oolong Tea’s effect on controlling body weight.

He wanted to measure  how tea influences Energy Expenditure and in a controlled study found some amazing results. He took a baseline measurement of the participant’s Energy Expenditure before the study and again on the third day after the study began.

The most interesting result was that fat oxidation was significantly higher (more than 12%) after consuming full-strength Oolong Tea.

Most would assume that the caffeine in the Oolong Tea is responsible, but they took this into account within the tests.

“The interesting part of our study, which agreed with findings from a similar study in England, was that when you drink tea you turn on the fat-burning spigot a little bit more than when you drink caffeinated water,” claims Rumpler.

Turning ON Your Fat-Burning Engine!

In another study, this time out of Japan, researchers wanted to know if Oolong Tea or Green Tea was better for increasing your Energy Expenditure. In a crossover designed test, what they found was further proof:

After 120 minutes they found –

Oolong Tea’s effect on increasing Energy Expenditure was increased significantly by 10%.

Green Tea’s effect on increasing Energy Expenditure was only 4%.

Clearly, Oolong tea for weight loss is the best.

Many Other Health Benefits

In addition to helping you increase the #1 factor in weight loss, your metabolism (Energy Expenditure), Oolong Tea gives you many, many more health benefits:

Now Ask Yourself – Can You Think of a BETTER Weight Loss Supplement Than Oolong Tea?

One that is all natural?

Backed up by science?

One that you can enjoy while sitting and collecting yourself?

We can’t.

Oolong Tea for weight loss is one of the best methods for helping you shed those unwanted pounds.

Happy drinking!

Order Oolong Tea Today!
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary.