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Vacations are a great way to relax and reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. However, they can really wreak havoc on your waistline! No one wants to return home feeling bloated and unwell because they overindulged on their trip. With some helpful tips that I have gained in my travels, you can still have a great vacation while avoiding a trip home wearing sweatpants.

enjoy your vacationOne of the best ways to resist temptation is to avoid it. When you plan your vacation, look for hotels in the area that are health-friendly. Many hotels offer access to a gym or even a pool on the hotel grounds. While these facilities might be basic, they can be a great way to enjoy yourself while staying active. In addition, skip the mini-bar as well as the continental breakfast. Try to take some non-perishable healthy snacks with you on your trip so that you do not feel tempted to have sugary pastries or cereal for breakfast. Even if the breakfast is complimentary, it won’t be a compliment to your waistline!

Determining which hotels provide the certain offerings that are necessary for you to maintain your healthy lifestyle can often be difficult. I have found that their sites can be misleading which is why I have turned to consumer reviews for the most unbiased and honest form of information. I have used a number of sites for this but most recently found a site called Gogobot on my recent trip out west that seemed to top all others. I was able to pull up a list of reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding not only their amenities, but also the restaurants in the area and even a list of things to do. The information provided helped me to plan every step of my vacation and ensure healthy eating along the way.

Once you have reached your destination, keeping a few healthy snacks for yourself can be a good choice if you are stuck somewhere with no options for healthy food. Pack items like hard-boiled eggs and beef jerky in a cooler, and drink water whenever you can.

Another way to keep the pounds off is to walk as much as possible. While you may be tempted to rent a car, you should avoid this as much as you can. Walking will not only allow you to work off your meals – it will also help you get acquainted with your location. If you are near a beach, try to make some time for swimming as well as sunbathing.

When you go out to eat, try to avoid foods that have high levels of salt, fat, and sugar. This does not mean you cannot indulge in local specialties, but try to keep it to a minimum. At restaurants, ask if you can have your fries, potatoes, or rice replaced with a salad or some other vegetable. Skip the fried chicken and opt for lean meat or fish. This can save you hundreds of calories at each meal. If you can, check a restaurant’s website before you go. This way, you can look up calorie counts for appetizers, entrées, and desserts so that you can make a smart and healthy decision from the menu.

While it might be tempting to have a few drinks on your vacation, you should remember that alcohol really helps pack on the pounds. The body processes alcohol before anything else, and drinks like wine, beer, and cocktails are essentially empty calories. The snacks typically consumed with drinks will not help your diet goals either, since these are usually starchy, salty foods with fatty sauces and dressings. Try to limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks per day.

If you worked hard to get your figure ready for your vacation, you do not have throw it away as soon as you check into your hotel. You can make smart choices and remain active while still having fun. Make sure to follow these simple steps to ensure that you come home feeling as great as the day that you left.

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Start fresh with simple changes for the New Year.

Instead of making promises you can’t keep for 2013, try these seven simple changes for the new year. Fitness Magazine points out that typically, when we make outrageous New Year’s resolutions our commitment quickly fades and we feel badly for not following through. I resolve not to put myself through that again!

Seven Simple Changes For the New Year

It’s that time of year again. Time to vow that you’ll never miss another workout, always eat healthy, save a mountain of money, and lose every single pound you’ve gained since you were 15. In other words, it’s time to make gigantic, far-reaching resolutions that you suspect (and rightly so) are destined to fail, just as they did last year, and the year before that.

Here’s a better way: Ease into 2011 with a reality check. “The smaller and more exact the actions involved in achieving your resolutions, the greater the chance that you will actually see them through and reach the goal,” says Keri Gans, RD, author of the forthcoming book The Small Change Diet. Your path to better health starts with these seven easy changes that you can truly achieve. Let’s ring in a happy new you!

I resolve to…dress for fitness success.

Maybe Stacy and Clinton are on to something on their show What Not to Wear when they tell bedraggled, sweats-clad ragamuffins that they’ll feel better about themselves once they step up their style. “Wearing clothes that you feel good in can boost your body image, simply because you like your new look,” says psychologist and fitness instructor Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. Despite what you may think, covering up the parts you’re trying to whittle down isn’t doing your self-esteem any favors. “Baggy clothes can actually perpetuate low body image,” Lombardo adds. So kick-start your motivation with retail therapy. You’ll be in style — and in the mood to work out — in figure-flattering black yoga pants, a bright fitted tank or tee, and a cute patterned headband.

Read More Tips On Fitness Magazine

Making long lasting changes is what we all strive for in our hearts, but changes always come in fits and starts. Three steps forward two steps back, we’ve all been there!  If you should get off track remember you do not really need to “start over” you need to pick up where you left off, there’s a big difference.

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The ability to laugh at yourself is a gift and so this is my gift to all you dieters this Christmas. This little poem found it’s way into my inbox and I want to share it with you.


Laugh a little and enjoy yourselves now because you’ll be needing this after Christmas diet poem…

 Twas the month after Christmas,  
 and all through the house,  
 Nothing would fit me,  
 not even a blouse.  

 The cookies I'd nibbled,  
 the eggnog I'd taste,  
 At the holiday parties,  
 had gone to my waist.  

 When I got on the scales,  
 there arose such a number!  
 When I walked to the store,  
 (less a walk than a lumber).  

 I'd remember the marvelous,  
 meals I'd prepared;  
 The gravies and sauces,  
 and beef nicely rared,  

 The wine and the rum balls,  
 the bread and the cheese,  
 And the way I'd never said,  
 "No, thank you, please."  

 As I dressed myself,  
 in my husband's old shirt,  
 And prepared once again,  
 to do battle with dirt,  

 I said to myself,  
 as I only can  
 "You can spend a winter  
 disguised as a man!"  

 So-away with the last,  
 of the sour cream dip,  
 Get rid of the fruit cake,  
 every cracker and chip.

Read the Full Version of the Poem Here...
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Are you always on a diet? Do your friends and family think you diet too much, without ever getting the results you want? If you are always putting yourself on a special “diet”, you will find that the result is fluctuating weight loss and gain over the long term. It takes more than that to achieve and maintain permanent weight loss.

We can learn a lot from other dieters, just last year Chicago Parent published this article written by a woman who became aware of her obsession with dieting and overcame it. Here is an excerpt of her story.

 Somehow, I regressed. Back to Weight Watchers, then Jenny Craig for a six-week body makeover, and back to Shapira, who recommended I read When Food is Love by Geneen Roth.

It was life changing.

It was my story.

It made me think about these things: Was I eating to live or living to eat? Why was food and dieting defining me? How would my dieting affect my children? Why was I constantly disappointed with the way I looked even when I looked good? Because of that disappointment, did my weight gain become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

In the book, Roth suggests a life of healthy eating but non-dieting. As I was reading this book, I thought to myself, “How can I not diet?”

Are you tired of always being on a diet?

But I did it. I quit dieting in November 2009. Not only did I do it for me, I did it for my family.

I don’t want my children to grow up in a home where dieting and food deprivation is a focal point of our conversations. I have a daughter, and the last thing I want is for her to have food issues. I want her to see value in healthy choices while enjoying a once-in-a-while family outing to the ice cream parlor. It is my responsibility as a parent to lead her on a good path.

Read More Details on Chicago Parent

If you want to get off the dieting roller coaster forever you have to be ready to look at your relationship with food. As Kimberly Kutnick learned, it simply isn’t healthy to constantly scrutinize every piece of food that you put in your mouth.

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Learn the best ways to boost  your metabolic rate and lose weight naturally.

Are you having trouble losing weight even though you barely eat? It may be that your metabolic rate has slowed down in the past few years and you just arent’ burning as many calories as you were before. There are several easy ways for women to boost their metabolism but first we must take a look at the common diet and exercise mistakes that can actually slow down your resting metabolic rate. This article I found in Good HouseKeeping offers some wonderful advice for women in their forties, fifties and beyond who want to look and feel good.

Easy Ways for Women to Boost their Metabolism

“If you never had problems losing or maintaining your weight in your 20s or even in your early 30s, you may not be ready for what happens next,” warns Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Your metabolism slows by 5 percent each decade. Compared to age 25, you’ll burn about 100 fewer calories a day at 35 and 200 fewer at 45. Do nothing, and you could gain eight to 12 pounds a year.”

With age, muscle mass diminishes and so does your metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns throughout the day, whether you’re sleeping, sitting, or sprinting to catch a bus). Making matters worse, many women unwittingly sabotage their calorie-burning potential with crash diets, ineffective exercise strategies, and other metabolism-busting habits.

Don’t fret yet. Although there are no magic bullets, there’s plenty you can do to boost the number of calories your body burns every day and thus maintain or even lose weight. Here, the six biggest mistakes you can make — and the research-proven metabolism fixes.

Read more: Boost Metabolism – Lose Weight – Middle-Age Weight Loss – Good Housekeeping

Mistake: Crash Dieting

When you slash too many calories, you send your body into starvation mode. “A flat-out fast will drop the average woman’s metabolic rate by at least 25 percent,” says Nieman. “If you’re on a very-low-cal regimen, in the 400- to 800-calorie range, it falls by 15 to 20 percent.” Eating fewer than 900 calories a day also prompts your body to burn desirable muscle tissue as well as fat, which slows your metabolic rate even more.

The Fix: Shed Pounds S-L-O-W-L-Y

“If you stay within the 1,200- to 1,500-calorie range, you can still slim down — and you’ll lower your metabolic rate only by about 5 percent,” explains Nieman. “What’s more, about 90 percent of the weight you lose will be fat.”

Mistake: Only Doing Cardio

If you never challenge your muscles with strength-training moves, you’ll lose up to five pounds of muscle each decade, reports Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. Cardiovascular exercise (like walking, biking, swimming, or sweating through an aerobics class) is great for your health, but it isn’t strenuous enough to build or even preserve much muscle mass. “Only strength training creates the microscopic tears that prompt muscles to rebuild themselves,” explains Phillips. “Lifting weights promotes a continual remodeling of muscle tissue. The process burns a lot of calories.”

The Fix: Pump Iron

When women at the South Shore YMCA strength trained for 20 minutes twice a week for 10 weeks, they added 2.6 pounds of calorie-hungry lean muscle and lost 4.6 pounds of body fat, which other research shows is likely to boost metabolic rate by 7 percent, notes Westcott.

You should aim for about 40 to 60 minutes of strength training a week. Use the weight room at your local gym, or exercise with dumbbells or resistance bands at home. If you’ve never pumped iron before, sign up for a few sessions with a personal trainer.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get to work out as often as you would like. You must shake off the negativity and focus on what you are able to do. Make the most of each workout with these simple ways for women to boost their metabolism. 

 

 

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If your looking for fun ways to burn calories faster, try Wii Fitness Just Dance game. It’s a fact that dancing is a great aerobic workout for the heart and will melt away your love handles as you tone up and trim down. The best part is how good you feel after dancing! I feel confident and more balanced physically and mentally long after the dancing is over. My family and friends have noticed a change in my mood and my shape and it feels great.

Burn Calories Faster, Try Wii Fitness Just Dance Game

How many calories does a dance workout burn? To answer that question I found this article on FitnessBlender.com. This interesting article gives you some addition tips on how to make the most of the time you play the Just Dance games.

The Wii Just Dance game is a lot of fun, but the best part is that while you are playing the game, your moving and grooving is burning energy that quickly adds up and can even result in weight loss.

Try it out for yourself! It’s goofy, stress relieving fun. It’s a video game that you can play with your kids or your friends and have a good time laughing at each other (it’s a law of physics; the harder you try at dancing, the sillier you look).

*Keep in mind that in order to get this kind of expenditure, you are going to have to actually try and match the game’s dance moves (no cheating!).

 

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How to feed your body what it needs and lose weight naturally.

It’s very important to feed your body what it needs to lose weight and be healthy. We all know that fad diets don’t work. They lack the nutritional stability that our bodies need to function properly. When you don’t eat right, your body tries to tell you. The “hunger headache” is the most common reaction that our body experiences when we don’t eat right. Also, if deprived of certain nutrients the body will react with signs of stress such as digestive problems, lack of concentration and some people even feel moody or depressed.

Feed Your Body What it Needs to Lose Weight

Omega-3 Fatty acids – Includes cold water fish, such as salmon and sardines, flax seed, walnuts, nuts and seeds. The fat in these foods help the brain cells and neurotransmitters function properly and possibly help some folks with depression.

Soluble Fiber Foods – Includes oatmeal, barley, beans, fruits and some vegetables. These foods help regulate blood sugars. The soluble fiber forms a gel in your GI tract that slowly release the sugar from some of these foods into the blood stream. It helps you from feeling hungry too quickly.

Vitamin D foods – Includes most animal products such as eggs, meat, poultry, fortified milk products, and the sun. This “sunshine” vitamin has been linked to everything from bone health to depression. 15-20 minutes in the sun will give you more than your daily dose. It’s worth getting the recommended amount of 600 IUs, but some with health concerns are taking 1000 IU’s to avoid deficiencies.

Serotonin – is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Lower levels have been linked to depression. Amino acid tryptophan and B vitamins can help balance the serotonin levels. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as whole grains, dark chocolate, and beans, can certainly work in your favor. These foods help the brain absorb the B vitamins and tryptophan uplifting your mood. Of course, dark chocolate (good source of antioxidants) will lift up anyone’s mood :)

Read the article on Ripe in Your Neighborhood

If you have a busy schedule like mine, it’s often difficult to squeeze in a healthy meal at the right time of day. While nothing disastrous will happen if you miss a meal once in a while, if it happens more than a few times a week then you are not feeding your body what it needs to lose weight and remain at peak performance all day long.

 

 

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Cabbage and other green leafy vegetables are full of fiber and packed with nutrition.

Did you know that you can lose weight naturally by eating more fiber? Fiber makes you feel full and enhances proper digestionGetting more fiber into your diet isn’t hard at all if you start with simple fresh fruits and vegetables and a touch of creativity. Typically, the american diet doesn’t have a whole lot of fiber in it, we consume too much sugar, salt and fat instead. That is one reason why obesity is affecting so many of us. Here are some quick tips on dietary fiber to help you discover ways to improve your health and lose weight.

Lose Weight Naturally by Eating More Fiber

Fiber: the secret to feeling satisfied while losing weight

If you want to lose weight without feeling hungry and deprived all the time, start eating foods high in fiber. High-fiber foods are higher in volume, which makes them filling. They also take longer to chew, which makes them more satisfying to eat. High-fiber foods also take a long time to digest, which means you’ll feel full longer. There’s nothing magic about it, but the weight-loss results may seem like it.

High-fiber heavyweights include:

  • Fruits and vegetables – Enjoy whole fruits across the rainbow (strawberries, apples, oranges, berries, nectarines, plums), leafy salads, and green veggies of all kinds.
  • Beans – Select beans of any kind (black beans, lentils, split peas, pinto beans, chickpeas). Add them to soups, salads, and entrees, or enjoy them as a hearty dish of their own.
  • Whole grains – Try high-fiber cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat or multigrain bread, bran muffins, or air-popped popcorn.

Focus on fruits and veggies

Counting calories and measuring portion sizes can quickly become tedious. But you don’t need an accounting degree to enjoy produce. When it comes to fruit and vegetables, it’s generally safe to eat as much as you want, whenever you want. No measuring cups or calorie tables required.

The high water and fiber content in most fruits and vegetables makes them hard to overeat. You’ll feel full long before you’ve overdone it on the calories.

  • Pour a little less cereal into your morning bowl to make room for some blueberries, strawberries, or sliced bananas. You’ll still enjoy a full bowl, but with a lower calorie count.
  • Replace one of the eggs and some of the cheese in your omelet or scramble with vegetables. Try tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach, or bell peppers.
  • Swap out some of the meat and cheese in your sandwich with healthier veggie choices such as lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers, and avocado.
  • Instead of a high-calorie snack, such as chips and dip, try baby carrots with hummus, a sliced apple, or the old-favorite: celery with peanut butter (just don’t overdo it on the peanut butter).
  • Add more veggies to your favorite main courses to make your dish “go” further. Even dishes such as pasta and stir-fries can be diet-friendly if they’re less heavy on the noodles and more focused on vegetables.
  • Try starting your meal with a low-density salad or soup (just watch the dressings and sodium) to help fill you up, so you eat less of your entrée.

You might be thinking “Ugh, more vegetables”. It seems like everything you love is bad for you and now you’ve got to eat more vegetables that you may not be fond of. I’ve found that veggies can be delicious and full of flavor when you cook them correctly and dress them with herbs and spices or a little olive oil or cheese. Don’t forget that simple and delicious beans and whole grains will also help get that fiber into your diet and you’ll lose weight naturally.

 

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Gratitude can have a positive impact on your health.

We focus a lot on our appearance and our weight is a big part of that but today I want you to understand just how much gratitude can impact your health. I want you to experience more gratitude for the body you have and for all the good that you can do with your body. That’s it. Just appreciate the magnificent miracles that occur every second that you are alive.

Silvia Casablanca posted this a few days ago to remind us of what we can do to experience more gratitude everyday.

How Gratitude Impacts Your Health

Growing up, I was deeply influenced by 11-year old orphan Pollyanna, the heroine of Eleanor H. Porter’s 1913 novel turned-movie. Pollyanna finds joy, even in the face of life’s difficult moments, by exploring what to be glad about in each circumstance of her life.

Later in life, I learned that to achieve mastery in my spiritual path I must follow five “simple” principles that Reiki founder Mikao Usui had laid down a 100 years ago as “The secret of inviting happiness,” and, “The spiritual medicine for all illness.”

Those principles or precepts were:

  • Do not anger
  • Do not worry
  • Give thanks for all of your blessings
  • Show appreciation to others
  • Work honestly to become the best person you can be

Of all five, giving thanks seems central to achieving happiness.

Research on gratitude: Beyond Thanksgiving Day

The attitude of gratitude “has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.”

Thanksgiving Day is not exclusive to the U.S. Almost every culture and religion includes some gratitude ritual or precept, usually reflecting a healthy relationship with Mother Earth.

In these times when neurobiology and psychobiology are growing as new fields of science, gratitude has become one interesting subject of research. There is consistent evidence showing that being thankful plays a significant role in a person’s wellbeing.

A recent article from the New York Times reported how the attitude of gratitude “has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.”

Psychologists are introducing gratitude journals as part of their research and treatments, finding that people who record things for which they feel grateful find it easier to not only overcome emotional hurdles but also alleviate physical symptoms.

Grateful people tend to be also optimistic and optimism is a plus.

Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/thanksgiving-day-gratitude-health/#ixzz2CgaEQvXL

A lovely way to share the feeling of gratitude this holiday season is to forget old grudges and judgments about friends or family and just accept and love them for who they are. Give yourself and everyone else the gift of gratitude and you’ll find that the peace you feel allows you to love and accept yourself more and you’ll naturally treat yourself better.

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Watch these two short videos by celebrity trainer Alycia Kluegl with weight loss tips for Thanksgiving. 

Weight Loss Tips For Thanksgiving

 

Want to know how many calories are in the average Thanksgiving meal? Take a guess first…

 

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