How to Lose 5 Pounds When You Need To

 

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

When I need to lose a few pounds (usually it’s three to five after Christmas or vacation) I follow these steps:

Three days, no added sugar

Step 1. PIck three days when it’s easiest for you to cut out any added sugar. That’s anything that has white sugar on it or in it. Donuts and cake come to mind, but make sure you read the labels. Things like spaghetti sauce and canned veggies have added sugar in them too. While you are doing this part of the “diet”, don’t really watch portions or calories. Eat when you are hungry.

Don’t worry about the sugar in fresh veggies, fruits or dairy products. That is natural sugar. If you are eating yogurt, make sure you are eating low fat plain yogurt for 3 days After you’ve done three days with no sugar, it will be a lot easier to leave those sugary treats alone. Three days seem to be the tipping point.

Step 2. Pick the best way for you to watch how much you eat. For some people, this is portion control, for others it’s counting calories. Use a tool like http://www.choosemyplate.gov to calculate how many calories you should be eating according to your height, weight, how much weight you want to lose and how much time you want to take to do it. The safest and most effective timeline is losing 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Step 3. Find a way to accurately calculate calories or portions. A few good mobile apps are 21 day fix, Lose It, my fitness pal or, the calorie counter on your fitness tracker if it has one. To use 21 day fix, you’ll need to get a set of containers. You can order them online from Beachbody. I have also seen cheaper versions at CVS.

Step 4. Do some sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes, at least 3 times a day. If you are a total beginner, you can start with walking or some of the beginner workouts you can find on the internet.

It’s important to stick with it! You may lose quickly at first and then things will slow down. Keep to the plan, even if you only lose a little bit each week. Don’t lose heart and give up if you have a day where you eat more or fall of the wagon. Remember that slow and steady always wins the race.

Here’s the video from “Real LIve Fitness” that explains the plan.

Top 10 Tips For Weight Control

healthyweightloss

I’ll never be on the “The Biggest Loser”. I’ll never be able to tell you my inspiring weight loss story.  That’s because during the 30 years of my adult life, I’ve been a weight maintainer. No, I’m not one of those people who can eat whatever I want and stay thin and fit. I work hard at it, just like many of you.  Over the various stages of my life, I’ve had to adjust.  I like to say that If I was a car, I had to make the switch from “regular” gas to “high octane” at about 21.  All of a sudden, the teenage “eat what you want” diet didn’t work anymore and I was slowly, but surely gaining weight. Then in my 30’s I had to adjust again to “post baby body” and up my exercise to more than just a brisk walk around the neighborhood with the stroller or a wagon full of daughters. And at 47, it was time to add some serious resistance training to combat the muscle loss of aging.  Now I’m working to tweak my diet again to find what works best post menopause. I’ve pulled the best information I have gathered over the years into my top ten 10 for weight control.  If you are struggling to lose weight and get in shape, these tips will help you with your journey.

If you would like to Download the PDF of this post, click the link below:

Top 10 Weight Control

 

    1. Keep track:  I know some experts will tell you not to weigh yourself.  They are right if you are the kind of person who goes into deep depression if you gain a pound from one day to the next.  You DO need to keep track of where you are at, however. Otherwise weight can creep up on you when you don’t realize it.  You’ll need to find a way that works best for you.  Take your measurements each week.  Put on your favorite pair of jeans once a week and take note of how they fit. Here’s what works for me.  I have a “weight window” of 10 pounds, with a low end and a high end.  I weigh myself each day.  As long as I am “in the window” it’s all good.  If I go too low, time to eat some more nutrient dense, healthy food (not junk).  If I go above the window, I know it’s time to create a negative calorie balance by cutting some calories and adding some more activity.
    2. Keep moving: This is one of the biggest problems Americans have.  We sit too much! We sit at work, we sit at home.  You will still get hungry, even if you don’t expend calories and then you gain weight.  No movement means muscle atrophy (they go away).  Muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat, which leads to a vicious weight gaining cycle. Make yourself move.  Park and walk, take the stairs, take a break from your desk.
    3. Drink water: Your body craves it, but you consistently do not give it enough.  It can’t function properly if you don’t hydrate it.  Sugary drinks (can you say frappucino?) give you absolutely nothing except excess sugar and calories. A soda should be a treat, not a staple of your regular diet.
    4. Eat breakfast:  I can’t stress this one enough. Breakfast jump starts your metabolism for the day.  If you don’t eat breakfast, by 10:30 your starved and shoving anything into your mouth that will fill your belly.  You don’t make good decisions eating that way.
    5. Cut your sugar intake: Sugar is linked to diseases like diabetes and cancer. Processed sugar is nothing but empty calories.  It’s in  A LOT of the foods we eat that you don’t think of as a sugary food, like bread and spaghetti sauce.  Read the food labels and make wise choices.
    6. Stick to complex carbs: These are things like brown rice, 100% whole wheat breads, sweet potatoes and quinoa. Refined carbs pack on the pounds.  Think of the color white (white bread, white rice, white flour, white sugar) and highly processed foods (crackers, cookies, chips, donuts, etc.).  They fill your belly, but they are low on nutrients.  They spike your insulin level and then when it dips later, you crash.  You’re tired and hungry and guess what your body will crave? More refined carbs.
    7. Eat Clean Foods:  What are clean foods? These are foods in their most natural state.  An orange, an apple, a carrot. These are clean because they come straight from the tree or the ground. Lean meats and whole grains are minimally processed.  Things that come in boxes, bags and cans are more processed.  Foods that have the word “refined” in the ingredients label are highly processed. Fill your diet with clean foods and cut back on highly processed foods.
    8. Resistance Train: It doesn’t HAVE to be weightlifting, but you will lose muscle as you age unless you work at keeping what you’ve got.  That means your muscles need to get a workout on a regular basis. Body weight,  resistance bands, medicine balls, dumbbells, kettlebells and weight machines are all ways you can resistance train. More muscles mean more of a calorie burn.  You will also look leaner, even if you weigh a little more.
    9. Do what you like when it comes to exercise: Find activities you enjoy.  You won’t stick with it if you don’t like it.  If you get tired of something, change it up! Variety is the spice of life, so take part in several activities you like. Right now, I’m into walking, cycling, pickleball, and kettlebell workouts.  I also love to kayak when I get the chance!
    10. Get an accountability partner:  You need a workout buddy!  It should be someone who will encourage you on the days you don’t feel like doing anything.  It should also be someone who will celebrate your accomplishments with you and be understanding when you have a setback WITHOUT letting you give up.

Want help planning healthy meals that meet your calorie and nutrient goals?  Click Here for details

Want workouts that will start at absolute beginner and progress you to being in great shape?  Click here for details

3 Steps to Your Goal Weight

IMG_1005

I have reached my goal weight!!  After Starting out at 135 right after Christmas, I lost the 5 pounds I gained. There were some ups and downs, but I did it!  Here’s how.

  1. 7 days of “Cut the Crap”. No alcohol, no gluten, no dairy and as little sugar as possible.
  2. 18 days of portion control, using this system All you need to actually do the program is a one cup container, a 1/2 cup container and a tablespoon and a teaspoon.  I got mine at my local grocery store. There are plenty of recipes you can use here.
  3. At least two days of resistance training.  Here’s a sample program.
  4. At least two days of cardio training. (walking, running, swimming, aerobic exercise etc.)
  5. At least 10,000 steps a day. I have a fitbit.  I you don’t here’s an app you can use.
I’m going to keep going with the portion control, workouts and 10,ooo steps until I go on my Winter vacation in Cancun (Yay!).  While I’m there I will blog what I’m doing to keep my vacation as healthy as possible. If you want to get daily updates on my progress, join me on Periscope!  You can find me here: @Adiar62
Watch this periscope about hitting my goal.


Connect with me on Facebook/Twitter/Periscope/Instagram/Pinterest

5 Tips to Get Weight Loss Back on Track After A Bad Weekend

Fell off the weight loss wagon? 5 Tips to get back on.
Fell off the weight loss wagon? 5 Tips to get back on.

I had a disasterous weekend!  I was working at the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg. We worked 12 hour days. We ate a big breakfast. We had no lunch.  We nibbled our way to 9 p.m on snack food.  We got little exercise (except for a walk to get a famous Farm Show milkshake).  We ate dinner in a restaurant at 9:30 p.m.  We didn’t get to bed till midnight.  We did it all over again the next day.  I tried to make healthy food choices, but when I got home the scale was WAY up.

Has this happened to you? From time to time, we all fall off the weight loss (or weight maintenance) wagon. It’s okay! Don’t throw your hands up in defeat and quit forever.  Here are 5 tips to get you back on track.

  1. Forgive yourself- It does absolutely no good to beat yourself up over it.  That causes undo stress that, guess what?  Makes it harder to lose weight and keep it off. The stress hormone Cortisol makes it more difficult to lose weight and keep it off.
  2. Realize there may be other factors at play-Being on my feet all day, lack of sleep, lack of water (we forgot to take some in our cooler) and eating late all played a part in the big number on the scale Monday morning. (My fingers were so swollen, I couldn’t budge my rings).  By Monday afternoon I had already lost a pound.
  3. Get back to regular habits as soon as possible-I can’t stress this enough.  Many people think, “Oh well, I blew it, I failed, I’m done.” Then they use that as an excuse for more unhealthy behavior.  You will feel better quickly if you just get back to healthy eating, sleeping and moving.
  4. Get moving-As soon as possible, get moving. Do some yoga, take a walk at lunchtime, get your workout in.  My aching feet and sore back from all that standing in one place thanked me!
  5. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet-There will always be bad weekends, or vacations, or holidays that will be stumbling points.  Think of them as hurdles to jump over or go around rather than brick walls that stop your progress!

Do you have any “get back on track” tips?  Share them in the comments!

Here’s the periscope video I did about my disaster weekend:

Connect with me on Facebook/Twitter/Periscope/Instagram/Pinterest

 

Cut The Junk From Your Diet

One of the "cut the junk" meals I ate. Pork with peach chutney.
One of the “cut the junk” meals I ate. Pork with peach chutney.

After the holidays, we all want to “get back to healthy”. I wanted to put my money where my mouth is and do my version of the challenge I am offering to all my beginners and exercise “start overs”.

I did seven days of cutting the junk from my diet.  I lost 3.8 pounds.  Here’s what I cut:

  1. No dairy
  2. No gluten
  3. No alcohol
  4. As little sugar as possible (it’s in everything)

Here’s what I DID eat:

  • Lean protein (pork, beef, chicken, fish,)
  • Brown rice, quinoa, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • fresh or home cooked vegetables
  • fresh fruits
  • avocado

Here are links to two of the dinners I ate during the 7 days:

Spinach and Mushroom Quinoa

Shrimp with Tomatoes

Here’s what I did for exercise:

At least 2 days of strength training  I did either PiYo or a power weight workout.  That’s when you use lighter weights, and lift as many reps as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

At least 2 days of cardio I did HIIT (high intensity interval training) or steady state cardio (mostly walking or stationary bike)

I did at least 30 minutes each day.

Now, tell me what YOU did and how things went for you!

I explain the first seven days on this Periscope.  Check it out!

Connect with me on Facebook/Twitter/Periscope/Instagram/Pinterest

 

 

 

Find Your WHY to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution

healthyweightloss
Are you one of the millions of people who are resolving to lose weight and get in shape in 2016? Do you know that over 90% of people who make this resolution will be back to their old habits within one month? How will you make sure you are not one of them?

WHY do you want to lose weight and get in shape? Have you ever really dug deep and thought about why it’s important to you? Well it’s time. If you can come up with your compelling why to change your behavior, you have a much better chance of sticking with it over the long haul.

Here’s and example: On September 11, 2001, I sat on the floor of the Art room in the high school where I taught, watching in horror as the twin towers came crashing down into the New York streets below. I saw people running (some shoeless), literally for their lives. I asked myself if I was in the kind of shape that would be required to run from danger if I needed to and my answer was NO. That’s when I decided I needed to up my fitness game and get into the kind of shape necessary to run from danger and to help others get away if they needed my help, and I have kept in that kind of shape ever since.

1. Your why has to connect you emotionally to the reason you want to change your behavior.

2. Your why has to be compelling enough, that every time you want to quit, you can think back to it and get motivated all over again.

To find your why, you have to dig deep. There’s a reason you want to do this that’s beyond the ordinary. What is it? Why is it really important to you?

Get a piece of paper and start writing. Keep digging and don’t let yourself off the hook until you figure it out. When you find it, you will know! Once you do, you will be ready to make changes and never look back!

For a little more motivation, watch the Periscope broadcast on this subject below.

Are the pounds creeping up over the holidays? Download the free “Back to Healthy” 5 day Challenge.  Then grab a friend and get healthy with workouts, printable workout tracking sheets and healthy breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners.  You will be feeling like your healthy self in no time.

Let’s connect! Facebook Twitter Instagram Periscope

Fitness Challenge 30 Days to a Healthier YOU Day 2

fitchallenge

Day 2-Set a SMART goal.  Sorry this a a day late.  I’m not a super techie so I had quite a time uploading this video to Youtube for some reason.  But I did it!  It’s taken all evening, but I have been successful.  And so now, if you are a fitness newbie and you have decided it’s time to get healthy and take the steps you need to do it, you have landed in the right place.  Day 1 we found our motivation and today it’s time to set at least one goal for your 30 days, but you have to do it the SMART way! Let’s get crackilackin.

Free healthy recipes

 

Click the picture to download recipes!

21 Day Fix Banana Pancake Recipe

Happy January everyone!  Just another snow day here in Central PA.  I’m really grateful for the Turbo charged ice scraper/snow brush my hubby got me for Christmas.  It has an extension button that makes it up to 50″ long and a rotating brush so you can reach all the snow on your SUV.

20141225_140539000_iOS

 

I officially finished the 21 Day Portion Fix yesterday and I am starting on the maintenance program today.  If you are someone that is looking for a way to lose extra pounds that is healthy and is NOT a crazy impossible diet, this one works.  I lost the Christmas weight I wanted to lose.  I did not starve or eat weird things for weeks on end.  There are many tasty recipes (aka Pinterest) you can find.  Just search “21 day fix”.  The best thing is most of them are really simple.  I can whip one up in 30 minutes or less.

Since school was cancelled again, I used my extra time to modify a recipe I found for Banana Pancakes.  It wasn’t fluffy enough for me so I changed it a little.  The pancakes were much better and they were worth 1 fruit, 1 carb, 1 protein and one teaspoon. Try it and see if you like it.

bananapancakes

1 banana

2 eggs

1/2 yellow container of oatmeal, 1/2 yellow  container of Bisquik (this is my change to make them fluffier)

1 tsp of butter

  1. Mix the first three ingredients in a blender until batter consistency
  2. Grease an electric skillet with butter
  3. Pour two pancakes from the blender
  4. Cook and serve with the remaining butter

These pancakes are sweet enough that you don’t need syrup.  I think the next time I see some good blueberries in the store, I will try this recipe with blueberries in place of the banana and see how it goes.

Comment and let me know if you like them!
free recipe blog graphic

Simple Portion Control

Happy 2015! A brand new year is a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again.  A chance to make new goals and a plan to reach them. Do you want to lose weight, become healthier and more fit, challenge yourself with something you need to prepare for? January is a great time to start.

21 day fix

This year my goal is to lose the holiday weight that crept on.  It’s much harder to do now that I am older.  I need a definite portion control plan. For the next three weeks, I’m using Portion Fix to help me cut the junk and eat the right amount of nutrients without overeating. Portion fix is a system to help you cut back on the calories without actually counting calories (which I hate). It used to be part of an exercise program called 21 Day Fix, but you can buy the containers seperately now (Yay!) The concept is simple, it’s just a series of containers that are colored according to the types of food you eat.  Green is for veggies, purple for fruit, red for protein, yellow for carbs, blue for healthy fats like milk and cheese. orange for salad dressings, seeds etc. and teaspoons for oils and nut butters.  You get to eat certain amounts (containers) of each type of food depending on your weight and if you want to lose or maintain your weight.

The very cool and helpful thing I discovered is that Pinterest is filled with recipes using this concept.  If you just search Pinterest with the phrase “21 day fix”  you will find tons of information and recipes.  You can make your own board and pin the recipes that appeal to you.  It makes cooking dinner pretty easy.  I have tried to keep lunch simple by buying some lean meats and canned veggies.  Then I just filled the containers, mixed the meat and veggies so I can microwave them at work and take another container of my favorite fruits. Breakfast is usually a protein shake for me, but you can find a lot of breakfast and lunch recipes, as well as snack ideas on Pinterest too. Here’s a link to follow my board if you’d like to.  I may even try to create a few of my own recipes or change the ones I try.  I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have any 21 Day Fix recipes to share?  Put a link in the comments!
free recipe blog graphic

 

How to Lose the Christmas Weight

The hard core holiday party circuit has begun.  I don’t know about you, but I gain more weight that needs to come off between Thanksgiving and New Years than I do any other time of the year. Holidays mean sticky gooey sugar laden simple carbs, special holiday drinks and high calorie casseroles.  You know the drill. I cringe at the trip to the scales.

christmas-party-215501__180

So what to do when the parties stop and you want to get back to normal?  My answer to fastest excess weight loss (at least for me) is to cut way back on the simple carbs.

Here are two recipes that you can try for  dinner that could help.  The key is lean protein and vegetables.  Ax the bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, at least for the short term.  Serve meat with vegetables and a salad for dinner.  You will feel satisfied and you will be happier the next time you step on the scales.

Bar-g-q chip baked chicken (this one is my own creation)

fried-chicken-250863_640

You will need:

1 package of chicken parts

1 bag Cape Cod Chips (the 40% less fat version)

2 Tbsp bar-b-q powdered seasoning (I used Hartley’s bar-b-q seaoning)

One cup fat free milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Skin the chicken parts, set aside
  3. Crush the potato chips. I used a food processor, then finished with my wooden meat tenderizer. Put the chips in a shallow bowl
  4. Add the bar-b-q seasoning to the crushed chips
  5. Coat each chicken part with milk
  6. Roll in the chip mixture and place in a baking dish
  7. Bake the chicken for one hour

Serve the chicken with a romaine lettuce salad and a fresh or frozen vegetable of your choice.

Grilled Marinated Steak (get more great recipes like this at eDiets.com)

You will need: (per person)steak

3 oz of sirloin beef

3 tsp of balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic

2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 1/2 tsp of olive oil

  1. Mince garlic
  2. Combine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, onion powder, black pepper and garlic in a shallow pie plate or dish
  3. Add steak and marinate, refridgerated, for about 30 minutes, turning meat once
  4. Preheat grill or broiler and cook steak on highest oven rack for 4-6 minutes
  5. Turn, brush with remaining marinade an grill 3 to 4 minutes
  6. Serve with your favorite fresh salad with a clear dressing

Do you have any suggestions for dropping the Christmas weight?  Please share!
free recipe blog graphic