Recovery Time: BBQ Reset

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July. When it comes to this particular holiday, it is as synonymous with BBQ’s and picnics as it is with independence and fireworks.

BBQ blurb-bbqAnymore, the average person has at least 2 large social events to attend where there will be a parade of and virtual smorgasbord of hot-dogs, hamburgers, sweet and saucy meats of all kinds, potato salad, pies, cakes and cookies (possibly in the shape of liberty bells and flags). That list alone is enough to make most tummies grumble with hunger but on to my point.

Chances are you didn’t eat the best or exercise the most over the last four days.
Don’t beat yourself up over it if that’s the case, it’s fine, actually this is closer to how it’s supposed to go in life. There is absolutely no reason why you can indulge at times when it comes to the foods you love… as long as it doesn’t kick off or restart a bad habit.

Don’t let a couple of days of indulgence turn into two weeks of indulgence.
There are some easy ways to rest the clock when it comes to eating.

Water, being numero uno.

After all the soda, tea, beer, lemonade, etc. Getting back into the swing of making water your main beverage will go a long way.

The protein and veggie mix.

Everyone has a high protein and veggie meal that they like even if they don’t consider it a “protein and veggie” meal. Mine would be Steak with spinach and/or asparagus. Toss in a slice of watermelon for that sweet fix and you won’t feel like you’re missing out or eating healthy.

Sleep, sleep, sleep.

Sleep, it’s the one thing most of us are most likely to skimp on instead of indulge in.Sleeping-woman

Getting a good nights sleep will make a lot of things easier. You won’t be up late enough to get the night time munchies. When you wake up rested, you are more likely to get up earlier and have time to pack your lunch. Even if you don’t pack, a clear, well rested mind makes better decisions than a groggy one.

These are just a few things on a long list of options.

Again, I hope you guys and gals had a wonderful holiday. I’ll see you again soon.

THE FITBIT & EASY IS AS EASY DOES

I’m loving this thing! I admit, when they first came out I thought they were another pointless gimmicky gadget. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. In a matter of days I’ve fallen in love with a little device about the size of small watch that tells me everything from how long (and how well) I slept to how many steps and flights of stairs I’ve done for the day. It reminds me to move, it monitors my heart rate, and it’s a great little wondrous thing!

fitbit

I chose the CHARGE HR (pictured in purple above) which I consider the upper middle class of the available FitBit devices since it has five types “below” it and two “above” it when it comes to price and function. This device syncs up with Lose It (which is a major plus for me) and I find all of the associated apps and computer interfaces very user friendly.

Bottom line – Was it $149 dollars well spent?

I say yes. We live in a world where spending money on makeup, concert tickets, video games, happy hour, a sale at Macy’s and out to eat food is more acceptable than dropping some cash on something that helps you improve your health. Leaving something like this to be frowned upon, laughed at or both.stay well

The same people that were cool when I told them that I spent $300 on clothing last fall (because I had “outgrown” most of my wardrobe) blanched when I gave the price of this device… funny how that works. The same crowd that says they can’t afford a FitBit spend $40-$60 dollars a week on fast food that doesn’t even feed them all day.

Beware the saboteurs they live in every corner.

I say this because just as if you’d made a life change for the worst… like smoking crack, obsessive gambling or selling drugs your friends will alter and shift when you make a life change for the better as well. Change is change and not everybody is on board with that. By nature, most humans abhor change and rile against it. That’s one of the many reasons why making a positive change is so difficult, that and the fact that bad habits tend to be easier.

avoid tv foodsMicrowaving fish sticks and tater tots is infinitely more simple than chopping up veggies and roasting chicken.

But your easy will come. It will just come in a different form. It’ll become easier to show off those arms, it’ll be easier to find and wear a swimsuit, It’ll be easier to get fitted for a tux for that family members wedding, it’ll be easier to strut around in that cocktail dress, it’ll be easier to climb those stairs, it’ll be easier to keep up with that sporty friend that’s always hiking, biking, climbing, etc. (You know that one you’ve always secretly admired but never thought you could hang out much with… well now you can.) It’ll be easier to just exist.  Carrying extra weight is not the end all of end alls but it can make living life more difficult (airplane seats, roller-coaster rides, paying 2-3 extra dollars per shirt because of the larger size, pool parties, group photos…. the list goes on, but it ends at just the overall feeling of being uncomfortable in your own skin.)

Let’s all give positive change a chance so we can love the skin we’re in.

What Does Work

Some information Taken from an article on BodyRock.tv

superfoods What  DOES  work for weight loss?

 Well, that is a bit of a complicated question, given that we are all different and enter our weight loss journeys from different starting points but there are a few things that tend to work across the board:

Portion control: Eating a healthy meal doesn’t mean you can stop paying attention to  how much you are eating. Invest in a food scale and be sure to measure your portions before serving. Once you get into this practice, you will be able to gauge what you are eating by sight, keeping your calorie intake under control. If you find it hard to get over the mental hurdle of smaller portions, try serving your meals on smaller plates, giving the illusion of more food and making it easier to feel satisfied.

Now I’m not much into weighing food on a scale but this makes a lot of sense. Just because you are eating grilled chicken and wholegrain pasta does not mean you can have three helpings. Yes, technically, you can but it’s not going to help you toward your goal. Don’t use healthy as a reason to gorge yourself.

Eat more fiber and protein: Fiber and protein are wonderful weight loss helpers. They fill you up quickly and both help you to stay feeling fuller, longer. They slow digestion which helps regulate your blood sugar levels, preventing the need/desire for those afternoon trips to the office vending machine.

This has been so very very true for me over the last two months and over 15 pounds lost. I took a lot of carbs out of my diet and replaced them with nutritionally dense sources of protein and fiber. (Think Black Beans, Broccoli, Lentils, Eggs, Salmon, Nuts and Brussels Sprouts) Also adding flaxseeds to your diet is a great thing as well. You can slip this tasteless additive into almost anything (sauces, stews, smoothies, etc.) and never know it… I do this to my family all the time. ^_^

Eat “real” food:  Try to eat food as close to its natural state as possible. Refined and processed foods offer little in the way of nutritional value. Foods that are labelled as being “low-fat” or “low-calorie” are often loaded with added sugar and additives to make them taste better. Why should you put your body through all of that artificial stuff when you can get whole, fresh foods that taste even better? Stick to the outer aisles at the grocery store: that’s produce, meat and dairy.

I know fish sticks are yummy (I personally used to go in for ten at a time and I love them

Mrs Pauls

Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks

with mac and cheese) but from a nutritional standpoint they are absolute garbage! It’s just high calorie, high salt, breaded

progressolabel

Progresso Bread Crumbs… That’s a lot of ingredients for bread crumbs… and 2 kinds of sugar. 

junk with sugar… yes there is sugar in your fish sticks (most processed foods are full of it even when you don’t “taste” it. This isn’t to say you can never have fish sticks just don’t make them a diet staple… and don’t eat them 10 at a time. Your waistline and your arteries will thank you.

Calories, Carbs and Sugar OH MY!

Me 2I’ve never been a big supporter of calorie counting (who has time, right?) But that’s exactly what I’m doing at the moment. Tracking my food is making me aware of just how indiscriminately that I ate food at times regardless of their nutritional value. I think most of us have done this at some point then sat and wondered where the ten extra pounds came from on top of wondering where your get up and go has gone.

Some food assumptions I’ve made in the past were off base…. WAY OFF BASE. Never in my rose colored world would I have thought that 2 small little boneless nuggets of chicken would be more calorie, fat and carb dense than a slice of pizza. But it is… it is BIG TIME! From Pizza Hut they come in an order of 8 and each one is 130 calories so once you eat two you’re over the 220 calories a slice of pepperoni hand tossed pizza would have given you.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that an order of 8 boneless wings would be over a 1000 calories. I stand corrected. Now I know what I’m getting myself into when ordering those things (which I don’t think I’ll do for a very long time to come. They are good but I don’t think they are 1000 calories and 72g of fat worth of good). Especially at 11pm when I’m going to do nothing more than finish my Netflix movie and go to bed.

Pizza Hut One  Pizza Hut Two

But that’s just one example of many where I would have never guessed that something was as calorie, carb or sugar dense as it really is. (See my previous ranting post about the soft bread pretzel) So tracking my food on Lose It is making me more aware of just how much I’m consuming as well as the quality (or lack thereof) of the food I’m eating. Once you see it in front of you in black and white, just how fast you can hit and exceed 2000 calories in a day on top of little to no exercise you can understand where the weight has come from as well as why your fitness and energy level is in the toilet.

When one can of soda, two slices of pizza and a small bag of chips has you at almost 700 in one meal and walking for half an hour is only going to burn 110 calories of that you can go ….”Ohhhhhh that’s what’s happening to me… this is where I’m going wrong.”  Armed with that knowledge, you can adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Tracking your food and exercise and liquids on top of becoming a label reader gives you to tools to make the changes that will take you where you want to be.

And where do you want to be? The answer to that is a personal thing that varies from person to person but off the couch is a damn fine start for all of us.

Healthy Budget

We all know dieting and/or eating healthy can be a big pain in the bank account. Fresh fruit and organic milk isn’t exactly cheap. Worth it, yes… budget friendly… not in the slightest. So here are a few ways to decrease that dent in your wallet.

7 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT WHEN YOU’RE BROKE

By Michael Martin

So you have some cash-flow issues, but you’re looking to lose weight. You have to tighten your belt, but subsisting on ramen will only bloat your belly.

(And although Kraft may be eliminating the radioactive-orange coloring from its Mac ‘n’ Cheese, it’s still not going to do you any favors.) Thing is, you can eat like a king in good times and in bad, stretching your paycheck while reducing your waistline. Just follow these guidelines in terms of filling your kitchen with smart sources of protein, metabolism-boosting good fats and belly-blasting lunches and snacks.

1 STOCK UP ON CHEAP HEALTH FOODS AND COOK AT HOME

Now’s the time to forage through the produce section. Bananas are ideal for snacking or pre-workout energy, and they’re high in fiber, which aids weight loss. Spinach contains antioxidants and a compound called thylakoids, which a Swedish study found curbs food cravings by up to 95% and increases weight loss by 43%. Don’t pass up the frozen section: Veggies on ice contain the same amount of nutrition. Peanut butter’s high fiber and good fats will keep you full for cents per serving. For more suggestions, check out these 9 Super-Cheap Health Foods.

2 SWAP MEAT FOR PLANT PROTEIN

While grass-fed beef and wild salmon are good sources of belly-filling protein, you can get fat-burning benefits at a fraction of the price. Plant-based proteins such as legumes—lentils, chickpeas, peas and beans—have been shown to speed up weight loss. One Spanish study found that four servings a week whittled subjects’ waistlines, and another study published in the journal Obesity found that eating 160 grams of legumes led people to feel 31% fuller.

3 SWAP BOXED CEREAL FOR OATS

Aside from generally being sky-high in sugar and basement-low in protein, breakfast cereals are pricey. A 12-ounce box can run upwards of $6 for a dozen servings. By contrast, there are 30 servings in a two-pound container of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats (the silo-shaped package, not the instant packets), which rings in at under $4. Oats are high in soluble fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds, which increase satiety and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Sprinkle a serving with cinnamon (one of the best fat-burning spices) or top it with fruit.

4 KNOW WHERE TO INVEST

It’s not about lowering your grocery bill at any cost. Just spend wisely. A bottle of olive oil should be first on your list, for salad dressings and cooking oil; its heart-healthy benefits can be had for pennies a serving. Avocado and coconut oils can be used for stir-fries and are unsung weight-loss superstars: A Penn State study found that people who ate three tablespoons of avocado oil daily lost 2% of their body fat in one month; coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides speed up metabolism. Almonds have also been proven to torch fat and support lean muscle, thanks to their rich stores of the amino acid L-arginine. For more ideas, check out these Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny.

5 PACK THESE CREATIVE SALADS FOR LUNCH

Because the first thing you did when your cash flow dried up was start brown-bagging it, yeah? We asked 11 diet experts what they eat for their midday meal, and most of them shared homemade salad recipes high in colorful veggies for fiber, certain proteins for energy and healthy-fat dressings. If you stock up on a range of healthy components—including underdogs like chard and watercress, which are superfoods healthier than kale—you won’t get bored. And if you fear the mid-week wilt, measure out portions and pop half of them in the freezer, cycling them into the refrigerator the day before they’re needed. Incorporating last night’s leftovers will stretch your dollar even further.

6 CUT OUT BOOZE

That $10 bottle of Pinot Grigio has 112 calories a glass and will only give you the munchies. Plus, it’s pure sugar, which the body digests before anything else. If you usually drink a couple bottles a week and cease that ASAP, you’ll save $80 and 4,800 calories a month, or enough to lose about a pound and a half before you even hit the gym.

7 WATCH YOUR PORTIONS

You may be overeating the good stuff. The American Dietetic Association recommends that a serving size of protein should be about the size of a deck of cards. By this measure, some chicken breasts, salmon and steak that you pick up from the freezer case can sometimes contain two to three 3-ounce servings. You don’t need a scale; just eye the proportions, and fill the rest of your plate with whole grains and veggies.

My Love For: Eat This Not That

I’m sure you guys know I’m a big fan of Eat This Not That. It has been a great assistance to me through this weight loss journey. None of us like to admit it, but a lot of us lost our way and to some degree we forgot how to eat healthy and started eating to please our palates instead of eating to fuel our bodies. This is not to say you can never indulge but when every day and every snack and meal becomes about making your tongue happy regardless of how crappy the food is you have indeed lost your way.

Eat this not that logo

Eat This Not That was one of a half dozen things that woke me up. When I realized just how many things I’d never consumed before that I had stated consuming on a regular basis I was shocked at my own actions and poor decisions. It was as if I had forgotten that I didn’t have to have the super greasy fried meat, with two carb and sugar heavy sides when I went out to eat. Somewhere along the way I abandoned my 6 oz steak, steamed broccoli and a side salad for double fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and french fries. (I won’t even go into how many times I decided to get dessert which was something I had seldom indulged in before, Free Pie Wednesday was not my friend.)

Anywho… most of us wouldn’t even consider that anything from McDonald’s would clock in for lower calories or fat in comparison to a bagel with cream cheese but the proof is in the pudding (stats) but do not get confused though. More often than not I’ve found that people interpret these covers too simply. It’s eat this mag coversaying the Egg McMuffin specifically has less calories and fat than a Dunkin Donuts Bagel with Plain Cream Cheese.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN it’s better to eat at McDonald’s than Dunkin’ Donuts. Too many times I’ve seen people interpret Eat This Not That articles or suggestions this way. If you go to McDonald’s and order the Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle you have done yourself no favors. In fact you have just topped the Dunkin’ Donuts Bagel by about 100 calories and 14 grams of fat. So don’t bend this advice to suit what you want, you need to take it at face value!

Below you will find a great Eat This Not That list to add to your collection. Click on Number 1 to see the rest!

1 – EAT FIVE OR SIX MEALS

Despite diet experts and new research constantly telling you otherwise, many people still consume the bulk of their calories in two or three large meals each day, often—in an attempt to slim down—going for hours at a time eating nothing in between. Sure, you can lose weight on a reduced-calorie three-meal plan, but you can’t make your body burn fat more efficiently, which is key to long-term weight loss.

A nutritious meal or snack about every three hours keeps blood-sugar levels stable, feeds your body a steady stream of necessary nutrients and helps control hunger-induced cravings for less-than-slimming snacks like sweets and fats. It also leads to more effective glycogen storage in the liver and muscle tissues, ensuring your body won’t cannibalize muscle as an energy source during your workouts. So make your meals mini and spread them out. If you have trouble fitting in extra eating times at work, prepare food ahead of time that you can zap in the microwave or eat cold. And stock your kitchen right: Shed fat in just days with these essential 9 Flat Belly Superfoods!

The Top Foods People Who’ve Lost More Than 10 Pounds Eat for Breakfast

Trying to drop a few pounds? Before you totally overhaul your eating habits, take a cue from people who’ve already successfully slimmed down:

Coffee
Sipping this with your a.m. meal could be especially helpful if you’re a morning workout person.  Consuming a caffeinated drink an hour before you start sweating can crank up your calorie burn by about 15 percent.

Bananas

Finding foods to fit into your weight-loss diet can be challenging, but bananas make a perfect fit. Bananas are naturally sweet and can help curb your sweet tooth if you get that afternoon sugar craving.

Eggs
Loading up your breakfast with protein can help curb hunger later in the day—and may mean you eat fewer calories at lunch. So whether you prefer this protein-rich ingredient scrambled, fried, or poached, it’s a smart idea to eat them first thing in the morning.

Blueberries
These little guys are loaded with antibiotics—and by packing your diet with nutrient-rich foods, you can lose weight without worrying about calorie counting.

Strawberries

Strawberries (and all berries) satisfy your sweet/sugar cravings, and they boast a very impressive nutrient profile.

Tea

Before a workout, turbocharge the fat-blasting effects by sipping a cup of green tea. I