Heya guys! I get a lot of asks about clean eating and my grocery lists, so I hope this is helpful to y’all! :) Stay awesome!
20 THINGS THAT ARE KEEPING YOU OVERWEIGHT
Even if you’ve kicked off a fitness routine and you’re choosing healthier food, you may not be seeing the weight come off the way you’d hoped. While there are plenty of other healthy accomplishments to celebrate, you’re probably wondering what’s not working. One or a few of these 20 weight-loss culprits may be all that’s standing in the way of your weight-loss goals.
You Overeat Healthy Foods
Nuts, avocados, whole wheat pasta, olive oil, and dark chocolate are all natural and healthy, but they aren’t void of calories. You still need to watch how much you eat of the good stuff. For example, avocado offers a ton of health benefits, but an entire fruit is over 200 calories. Find out what the serving sizes of your other favorite healthy foods are here.
You Don’t Eat Breakfast
Skipping breakfast may seem like a great way to save calories, but your body will actually hold onto fat because it thinks it’s being starved. Keep in mind that people who eat breakfast regularly lose more weight, so make sure to eat breakfast each morning to jump-start your metabolism. Don’t just grab anything; include protein to give yourself sustainable energy and fiber to fill you up for hours.
You Don’t Practice Portion Control
When it comes to a balanced diet, we know that portion control is one of the keys to success. Keep measuring cups and spoons on hand to make sure your serving sizes are appropriate, and learn how to give your body the “I’m full” signal in order to help you drop the fork when the time is right and move on with your day.
You Eat While Standing Up
Standing at the fridge or the counter to chow down isn’t saving time or energy and can lead to mindless eating. It’s best to designate time for snacking and meals that’s set apart from other activities.
You Don’t Sleep Enough
Making time for your workouts can mean less time for sleep, but it’s important to get enough Z’s if you’re trying to lose weight. You need extra energy to keep up with your exercise routine, and skimping on sleep can affect your body’s ability to control its appetite: not enough shut-eye increases appetite-stimulating hormones.
You Overindulge in Low-Fat Foods
Going for foods with a lower calorie count can be deceiving, since many times they’re filled with extra sodium, sugar, or chemical additives to make up for the ingredients the company has removed or decreased. Not only are these light versions less nutritious, but they also end up tasting “lighter,” leading you to eat more. You’ll probably end up consuming more calories than you would if you just ate a regular-sized portion of the real thing.
You Don’t Get Enough Veggies
Eating five to seven servings of fruits and veggies a day is important for everyone, but dieters who go heavy on the produce are more likely to lose and keep the weight off, since a diet full of plant-based foods offers a greater variety of nutrients with fewer calories — and all that fiber keeps the body feeling fuller longer.
You Think Walking Your Dog Is Enough
A 15-minute stroll is better than nothing, but don’t expect to see dramatic weight-loss results. You’ve got to kick it up a notch — big time — and do at least 30 minutes a day of heart-pumping exercise. Big calorie and fat burners include running, spin class, interval training, hiking, and circuit training.
You Don’t Cut Your Food
Something as simple as slicing up your dinner can be helpful for your overeating woes. Cutting food into tiny pieces may seem slightly childish, but studies show that humans find smaller portions more satisfying and, as a result, are satisfied with less.
You Still Drink Soda
Soda offers literally no nutritional benefits, and continuing to drink the beverage is sabotaging your weight-loss goals — even if you only drink diet. Studies have shown that individuals who drink two diet sodas a day or more had waistlines that were500 percent larger than the nondrinkers. Since quitting soda is no joke, check out this 28-day plan for breaking a cola habit.
You’re Addicted to Condiments and Toppings
A salad is one of the healthiest meals you can have, but when you top it with bacon bits, goat cheese, nuts, dried fruits, and ranch dressing, you can double the calorie amount in a flash. Be aware of how many calories your favorite salad extras add on. For instance, 10 croutons is an easy 100 calories.
You Don’t Drink Water
Besides keeping you hydrated, drinking water on the regular, according to recent studies, can aid with weight loss. Filling up on water before a meal helps encourage portion control, and eating foods that contain a lot of water (like fruits and veggies) will fill you up faster, causing you to eat less. A small study even found that drinking cool water can speed up metabolism and discourage cravings for sugary drinks like soda and juice. Now, that’s a reason to stay hydrated!
You Don’t Leave Time For Fun
Since stress is shown to cause weight gain by triggering the body to eat more — especially foods high in sugar and fat — make sure you give yourself time to relax and unwind. And it’s an added bonus that so many fun activities (like dancing, hiking, and shopping) are already natural calorie-burners!
You Exercise With an Empty Stomach
If you regularly exercise without eating first, you should reconsider: when you work out on an empty stomach, research shows that the calories burned come from muscle, not fat. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, the more muscle mass you have, the better it is for weight loss. Not only will fueling your body help you avoid losing muscle, but also, you’ll have more energy to push yourself through your workout.
You Only Do Cardio
If you live on the treadmill but never lift a pound, then you’re missing out on one of the most important pieces of the fitness puzzle. Not only does weight training prevent injury by strengthening the joints, but it also builds muscle mass and increases metabolic rate. Bonus: thanks to a revved-up metabolism, you’ll keep burning calories long after you’ve slipped off your sneakers.
You Eat Without Thinking
Aligning mealtime with a screen like your computer or the TV can be hurt your weight-loss goals. Designating a special time for meals without distractions will help you connect to your food and, as a result, eat less. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you’re scarfing when your mind is somewhere else.
You Don’t Eat Enough
Don’t starve yourself to save calories for later. It’ll not only mess up your metabolism, and by dinnertime, that famished feeling will likely cause you to eat more than you would if you weren’t starving. Not only is starving yourself not sustainable for continued weight loss, but also, limiting yourself to too-small portions can lead to excess snacking between mealtimes.
You Leave Out Entire Food Groups
Giving up entire food groups can lead to a nutritional deficiency — not to mention trigger major cravings for whatever food has been cut. Rather than, say, eliminating all carbohydrates, focus on whole grains and remember to monitor portion control. Usually it’s the extra servings that add to your waistline, not the pasta itself.
You Never Indulge
In an otherwise healthy diet, eating a few french fries or a piece of chocolate cake isn’t going to ruin your weight-loss goals. A study found that it isn’t necessary to up workout intensity the day after a piece of cake and that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.
You Eat the Wrong Post-Workout Snacks
A post-workout snack is just that — a snack. And unless it’s mealtime, what you eat after an average workout should be around 150 calories. Since healthy foods like trail mix can be high in calories, measure out a serving instead of mindlessly chomping straight out of the bag. If you’re looking for some ideas, here are 10 post-workout snacks under 150 calories
Love this. No bull, just straight facts!
If you are watching $ at the grocery…this is especially important
What is a BMR?
Your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories your body burns while at rest. This doesn’t mean the calories you burn on a rest day lightly doing yoga or chores around the house. This means the number of calories your body would burn if you were laying in bed all day or if you were in a coma.
Why can’t I cut calories from my BMR?
Cutting calories from your BMR deprives your body of essential nutrients it needs to perform everyday functions. You will not be able to perform on a level you want to and your body will suffer from this in the long run.
How can I find my BMR?
You can find your BMR by using this formula based on height, weight, and age:
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) - ( 6.8 x age in years )
How do I find my Daily Calorie Needs from my BMR?
There are different methods of finding your Daily Calorie Needs but a very simple and useful one is the Harris Benedict Equation:
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise)
- BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week)
- BMR x 1.375
If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week)
- BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week)
- BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training)
- BMR x 1.9
How many calories do I need to lose/maintain/gain weight?
To maintain you need to consume your Daily Calorie Needs but going slightly over or slightly under some days won’t affect you much. In order to lose weight, the generally accepted number to subtract from your Daily Calorie Needs is 500 or 250 for a 1lb or 1/2lb weight loss per week. Your body doesn’t need you to cut calories to be healthy and get to the right weight/place it needs to be. Being healthy is your ultimate goal so never cut too much because this is your body’s essential needs and energy you are taking away from. To gain weight you can do the opposite of losing and add 500 or 250 to you Daily Calorie Needs.
My absolute worst pet peeve is when fitblrs and posts tell people to cut calories from their BMR to lose weight. You should never cut calories from your BMR. Ever.
THANK YOU FOR THIS POST.
Everyone read this, now!
Beyonce’s Post-Baby Weight Loss Secret: Should You Try It?
This week Beyonce’s trainer revealed that his advice to eat one vegan meal a day has helped his superstar client shed 60 pregnancy pounds, and I want to high-five him!
I’ve been touting the weight loss and health benefits of going vegan, even part-time, for several years. In my latest book, S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim, I recommend that omnivores eat at least five plant-based entrees a week, and I cite a handful of studies about the connection between veganizing at least some of your meals and shedding pounds and inches.
Statistically, moving towards a plant-based diet is associated with weight loss. One Oxford University study of nearly 38,000 adults found that meat-eaters had the highest BMIs for their ages and vegans the lowest, with vegetarians and semi-vegetarians in between; and there are several explanations for this trend.
Plant-based meals tend to be richer in antioxidants and fiber, which are both tied to weight loss, and researchers have seen an increase in calorie burn after vegan meals. But in order to reap the benefits, you need to do vegan right. In other words, a diet of processed vegan donuts and fake meat isn’t going to transform you into Sasha Fierce. Here are five steps for building nutritionally balanced plant-based meals that will slim and satisfy:
Start with produce
Currently about 75% of Americans fall short of the recommended daily minimum of two fruit and three vegetable servings. When produce serves as the foundation of a plant-based meal, it’s easy to fill that gap, or exceed the target, and this alone can help shrink your fat cells. Recently University of Florida researchers developed an index that ranks the phytochemical index, or PI score of meals, which is essentially a measure of antioxidant consumption. A vegan diet (excluding liquor and refined sugars) could have a perfect score of 100, whereas a typical American diet, heavy in animal and processed foods and low in produce, would score below 20. Scientists found that even when two groups consumed the same number of daily calories, those with higher PI scores had smaller waist measurements, and lower body fat percentages. In other words, the quality of your calories counts–a lot. That said, by going veg, you’ll likely slash calories. For example, a snack of eight cheese cubes and eight club crackers provides 260 calories, compared to 165 in a dozen baby carrots and a quarter cup of hummus.
Add a whole grain
Whole grains are super hot, because of research linking them to a lower risk of not only obesity, but a number of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In one study researchers randomly assigned volunteers into one of two groups. The first was asked to consume whole grains exclusively, and the second was instructed to select only refined grains. Over twelve weeks, both groups were advised to exercise and follow identical diets. At the end of the study, body weight decreased in both groups–between 8 to 11 pounds on average. But the whole grain group lost more belly inches, and experienced nearly a 40% drop in a blood marker for inflammation, a known trigger of aging and disease. In a plant-based meal, a small serving of whole grain provides bonusantioxidants, additional fiber, and slow-burning carbs that keep blood sugar and insulin levels regulated. Great choices include oats, barley, quinoa, corn, and brown, red, and black rice.
Pick your protein
Protein revs up metabolism and supports muscle mass, so it’s important to include a source in every vegan meal. Just trade meat, poultry or seafood for a small scoop of beans or lentils in a taco salad, stir fry, or whole grain pasta primavera. Or, use pureed beans as a sandwich spread or pizza topping (check out my vegan white bean pizza). Like whole grains, these hearty alternatives provide additional antioxidants and filling fiber, so they’ll keep you fuller longer and delay the return of hunger.
Don’t forget the fat
Fats from plant foods are critical for weight control because they add the satisfaction factor to each meal. Fats delay stomach emptying, and they’re needed to absorb antioxidants, which hitch a ride as fats are shuttled from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. There are many delectable plant-based options, including nuts, seeds, and natural nut butters, ripe avocado, Mediterranean olives, and a variety of plant oils, from extra virgin olive oil to sesame, sunflower, and coconut oil.
Season it up
Including herbs and spices in each meal is a fantastic way to add aroma and flavor without sodium or sugar, and studies show that these plant-based ingredients pack a powerful weight loss punch. Natural seasonings like cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper have been shown to boost calorie burning, improve satiety, and they’re much more potent in antioxidants than even fruits and veggies. In one Penn State University study, consuming two tablespoons of herbs and spices within a meal, specifically rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika, resulted in higher blood antioxidant levels and a 30% reduction in blood fats compared to subjects who ate the same meals without seasonings.
I call this meal building approach the ‘5 piece puzzle,’ and there are dozens of delicious ways to solve it. Vegan meals that incorporate each key component include:
Asian veggies stir fried with fresh grated ginger and chili pepper over a bed of wild rice topped with edamame and sliced almonds
Mediterranean veggies sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with garlic, tossed with fresh basil, whole grain penne and cannellini beans
Fresh greens tossed with cilantro and lime seasoned pico de gallo, topped with black beans, roasted corn, and fresh avocado
Sound yummy? More vegan options can add some variety and excitement to your meal portfolio, and by using the puzzle, you won’t be stuck with a simple salad.
Many of my clients are amazed at the lack of hunger and boundless energy they experience after vegan meals, and feel inspired to experiment with their own plant-based puzzle combinations, even if they don’t want to become vegan.
There are many different types of yoga to practice, so its important to find out which type of yoga is right for you. Heres a quick introduction to some of the most common types of yoga:
Bikram Yoga- Get ready to sweat. You will be practicing in 105 degree heat and in 40% humidity. Though Bikram only has 26 poses and theres a lot of alignment work so it is a good fit for beginners.
Hatha Yoga- This class is also likeley to be focused on slow and gentle movements so its a great type of yoga to wind down at night.
Vinyasa Yoga- You’ll definitly be moving, flowing from one pose to the next. It is the most popular style of yoga in America
Kundalini Yoga- Refers to the energy of the Root Chakra, which surronds the area around you lower spine. Expect lots of work in your core area, these classes are known to be intense
Ashtanga Yoga- Commonly called Power Yoga. Asgtanga is definitley physically demanding. It is probably best suited for an ex-athlete or someone who is looking to push their body
Iyengar Yoga- Expect lots of props with this style of yoga such as blocks, harnesses, straps and even cushions. Theres also a lot of focus on alignment so Iyengar can be great for physical therapy.
Anusara Yoga- Expect many heart opening poses like backbends and more talking by the instructor. It is epitomized by the Celebration of the Heart.
Restorative Yoga- If your looking to wind down after a long day of work, quiet your mind- Restorative yoga might be the answer for the relaxation
Juvamukti Yoga- Is a mix of vinyasa flow sequencing infused with chanting and a vegetarian twist
These are only some of the different types of yoga. There are many others- check out your yoga studio for different classes. At the studio I go to there are foundation flow, Wellness vinyasa, mixed yoga styles, detox and refresh, Yin restorative, Yoga for runners and athletes, Yoga for back care and power flow (:
How to Squat With Proper Technique
If you are working out in the gym and could only do one exercise it would be the squat. Why? Because no other exercise challenges the human body to operate as singe unit like the squat. The squat has long been heralded as the “King of Exercises” – and quite rightly so. Whether you’re doing it with weight on your back or all bodyweight, proper form is key. I found this article on squat form, and I thought it was written well, even if it is more towards squatting with a bar.
Benefits of Squatting
One of the biggest misconceptions about the squat is that it is a leg exercise. The squat is in fact a full body exercise. Every muscle in your body is challenged when you squat. The legs and hips push the weight up, the abs and lower back back tense to stabilise your back, and the arms are used to pin the bar onto the back (or help with balance in the case of bodyweight squats).
- Squats Build Muscle – Squats build muscle throughout your entire body faster than any other exercise. Squatting is a compound exercises that stresses your entire body as a complete unit. The stress put on your body by squats triggers a hormonal release of testosterone in your body. This elevated testosterone aids in producing muscle at a faster rate.
- Squats improve your athleticism – If you want become a better athlete no other exercise will improve your overall athleticism like the squat. Squatting helps you build explosive strength that carries over to most competitive sports.
- Squats reduces injuries – Contrary to popular belief, squats do not cause injury (when performed correctly). Performing squats with proper form actually reduces the chance of injuring oneself. Why? Because squatting improves and maintains hip flexibility. Additionally, squats improve the stability of your knees, when using proper squat form (below parallel).
Why you need proper Squat Form
Quite frankly, most people have no idea how use squat with correct form. In fact, I would estimate that 9/10 people I see squatting in commercial gyms today are doing so with extremely poor from.
This is a problem for 3 reasons.
- It is dangerous – While squatting with proper form is completely safe, squatting with poor form is extremely dangerous. Incorrect squat technique put a lot of stain on the lower back and knees and can quickly lead to serious injury.
- You are seriously compromising the benefits of squatting - When you don’t squat with proper form it completely defeats the purpose of squatting in the first place. Increased muscle, elevated testosterone, improved vertical leap – forget about it.
- You look like a complete idiot - To someone who knows how to squat properly there is nothing more pathetic than someone loading the bar up with a ton of weight than not squatting with proper form. Learn how to control your ego and do it right.
How to Squat
The Squat Setup
- Approach the rack with the bar at approximately mid-chest height.
- Move under the bar and place it on your back. Hold the bar in place with your hands.
- Stand with and even stance. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with your feet facing out at a 30 degree angle.
- Lift the bar out of the rack and take ONLY one step back. Take a big breath. Tense your entire body. Squat.
- Start from the hips – Bend at your hips and sit back into the squat. Imagine you are sitting down on a seat. The hips joint should always bend before your knees.
- Check your knees – Keep your knees out. Your knee joints should be pointing in the same direction as your feet all the way down. If your knee buckle in it normally means that the weight is too heavy.
- Keep your weight back – Keep your weight distributed towards your heel.
- Go all the way down – You should always aim to squat to at least parallel. Meaning, your hip joint needs to be at least parallel with your knee joint. This is incredibly difficult to judge yourself, even with the aid of a mirror. Ask someone else to assess your depth either in the gym or by video taping.
- Think about squatting up - On the way down think about squatting up. This will help to prepare your brain and make the upward movement easier.
- Bounce off the bottom – At the bottom position of the squat your hip muscles should be tight – storing energy. Use this energy to help you bounce out of the bottom of the squat. Ensure that you are bouncing off the hips – not the knees.
- Focus on your glutes – When powering up out of the squat concentrate on squeezing your glutes together.
- Drive your hips up – Most of the power for the squat comes from the hips. Drive the hips in an upward motion.
Racking the bar
- Step forward. Ensure that your bar is over the pins before lowering the weight.
7 Healthy Foods That Will Fill You Up
- Bananas - If you reach out for a banana when you feel hungry instead of an empty calorie snack, you’ll nourish your body and you’ll be ingesting way less fat and sugar than many snacks.
- Eggs - As long as you’re not eating 12 of them in one week, eggs are good for you.
- Almonds - Just one handful of almonds will keep you full for a long time because they are great at suppressing appetite.
- Avocados - It contains good fats (monounsaturated fatty acids) and it contains protein that will fill you up nicely
- Peanut Butter - You can easily find peanut butter that contains only 100% roasted peanuts (you can buy the organic and non-organic kinds). There are no hydrogenated oils, sugar or salt added to the peanut butter. This is a healthy option.
- Oatmeal - Is a great super food because it’s low in sugar, high in fiber and it’s so quick to prepare.
- Apples - Packing an apple for your daily snack will not only add one fruit/vegetable portion to your daily recommended intake and the fiber will fill up your stomach