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Fitness Failures: Where Your Weight Loss is Going Wrong

We’re all trying to be healthier, even if we don’t know exactly what that means or how to get there. ‘Healthy’ looks different on every person, but we all fall into the same slumps and make the same mistakes. When you start living a healthier lifestyle, there are some common pitfalls that can get in your way. Understanding these mistakes and working through them can be the key to seeing long-lasting results.

Realistic Goals

Making moves in the right direction, no matter the size is always important, but setting specific goals can give you a sense of accomplishment that keeps you motivated to make even bigger changes. Set goals that are specific and realistic, so you can reach them regularly and know when you’ve made progress. If you make mistakes on the way to losing weight, you’ll be better able to see what’s getting in the way of your success if you have a clear goal in mind

Pace Yourself

Making changes in your life can take time, and taking things too fast isn’t healthy or sustainable. Your body can only lose weight so quickly, and you run the risk of hurting yourself if you push things too fast. Enthusiasm is a key part of weight loss, and if you burn out early on, you’ll only shock your system and make it harder to start again.

Finding Support

You can’t rely on other people to make changes for you, but you can lean on them for support or motivation when things get tough. Having a gym buddy, or a personal trainer can keep you on track. Someone to be accountable to, even a pet you take for a walk every day, can distract you from the pressure to do everything right all the time.

The Plateau

When your body is going through changes, it’s because it’s adjusting to a new way of living. At some points, it will get used to the changes you’ve made and you might see your results slow or even stop for a while. This plateau can often lead people to believe that they’re doing something wrong, and either give up, or start doing things at an unhealthy pace to keep seeing results. If you want to work through the plateau, pick one thing and work harder at it at a time. Walk a mile longer, or commit to one more salad instead of pasta. Taking on too much at once won’t help you, especially when you’re already making progress.

The Right Reasons

If you’re working towards a goal you’ve set, it’s critical that the goal you have set is for a reason you can feel good about pursuing. It’s easy to get caught up in doing things for superficial reasons, but pay attention to the ‘non-scale victories’ you see like having more energy, or clearer skin. Losing weight just to be skinny sometimes isn’t enough to keep you committed, so reminding yourself of the success you’re seeing, no matter how it shows can keep you engaged and help you keep your good habits up.

Taking steps to lose weight and live a healthier life is an admirable and wonderful thing to do, and making sure that you do it in a healthy and happy way is the best way to see results from your hard work. Avoiding or preparing for these common mistakes is an important part of safe and sustainable weight loss journey.

Written by our contributing writer: Jane Sandwood

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Tips for Healthy and Happy Holiday Eating

Is it possible to enjoy the traditional holiday meals and still eat healthy? Most of us have embedded warm and wonderful memories associated with the delicious tastes and smells of the holidays.  It can be challenging when you’re bombarded with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, and homemade rolls to stay disciplined and deliberately healthy in making your eating choices.

Denying yourself with your favorite holiday foods isn’t necessarily the best answer, but neither is finding yourself in a food coma, feeling bloated and tired. You can still enjoy yourself but the important thing is to stay mindful and appreciate the food you’re eating.  When you do decide to splurge make sure it’s worth every calorie and it’s something you’re really looking forward to. Often when we’re in the holiday social mode, we eat something that tastes so-so just because it’s there. If we really think about the choice, it may not be worth the excess calories.

Try to load up on healthy foods and fill your plate with healthiest choices. Fill your plate with fresh cooked vegetables, lean turkey, and small servings of the things you want to taste. Have a small serving of pumpkin pie and other high calorie, sugar laden dishes.

Here are some quick holiday dinner tips:

  • Watch your portion sizes. Fill your plate with fruits and veggies.
  • Don’t try to diet during the holidays. Instead, focus on maintaining your current weight. Now is not the best time to start a diet.
  • Eat something  healthy and filling before the holiday meal (apple, orange, something high in fiber).
  • Be mindful how many times you reload your plate. Go for extra salad and green beans if you’re still hungry.
  • Eat slowly and chew your food well.
  • Drink sparkling water with flavored stevia for a sparkling, sweet beverage.
  • Focus more on the company you are enjoying than you do on the food you could be consuming (if you weren’t being mindful).
  • Focus on some funny jokes, stories, or memories you could share.
  • Stick to your exercise routine. If the gym is closed, take a walk with family and friends!

Remember, your main focus should be on family and friends. Not on how much food you can consume! Most of all the holidays should be a time for you to feel thankful and appreciative for every good thing in your life.  Reflecting on those things will create a feast of happiness for you to enjoy!

Have a healthy, Skinny Life, Holiday Season!

Crystal

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Quick Workouts to do at Home During the Holidays

Need to burn some extra calories and don’t want to leave the house?

These quick workouts will help you burn calories and stay fit! No gym required!

Do as many reps of each exercise as you can in one minute, moving from one to the next without stopping. Rest 90 seconds, then repeat the circuit a total of three or four times.

1. Jumping Jacks
2. Squat Jumps
3. Burpees: Squat and place your hands on the floor. Jump back into a plank position and do a pushup. Reverse the motion to return to standing, jumping off of the ground to finish eat repetition.
4. Side-to-Side Hops: Keeping your knees slightly bent and feet together, imagine you’re jumping back and forth over a line on the floor.

Write down on your calendar how many you were doing at the beginning of the month, then every Sunday night, track your progress on your calendar. Let me know how many reps you were able to do after 30 days!

 

Curried Pumpkin Soup – Healthy and DELICIOUS!

When the cold water settles upon us, soup seems to comfort the soul and warm the heart.

This is one of our favorite recipes and you’ll love it too. Not only is it delicious, it’s healthy too because pumpkin is a good source of potassium and vitamin A.

Step 1:

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in ginger; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pears and cashews; cook, stirring often, until pears have softened, about 2 minutes.

Step 2:

Sprinkle in curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder; cook until fragrant and spices are beginning to toast, about 1 minute. Whisk in pumpkin and 3 cups broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 3:

Working in batches, transfer soup to a high-speed blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape; secure lid on blender and place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Return soup to Dutch oven over medium-low heat; stir in 2 cups broth and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Stir in up to 1/2 cup additional broth, if needed, to reach desired consistency.) If desired, garnish servings with pepper and coconut yogurt.

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Original Recipe and Photo found here: Health.com

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A November Favorite! Spicy Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

Looking for a spicy, fun, appetizer for one of your November get-togethers?

We found this delicious recipe, tried it and LOVED it, and just had to share it with you!
Give it a try and tell us what YOU think!

Step 1:

Place garlic and 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over low heat. Cook until garlic begins to sizzle, about 30 seconds; transfer to a food processor.

Step 2:

Add chickpeas, pumpkin, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, harissa, honey, and 2 tablespoons oil to food processor. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Add additional harissa for more heat, if desired.)

Step 3:

Transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to develop. To serve, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with pepitas and paprika, if desired.

Enjoy!

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Original Recipe and Image Found Here: Health.com

Your Child’s Fitness Determines Their Health Future

While it can seem that the digital age has taken over and there’s nothing we can do about it, parents play a key role in helping their children learn to integrate healthy activity into everyday life.

Did you know only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day and less than 50% of the time spent in PE, sports, and outdoor activities involves enough movement to be considered physically active? With the technology boom has come more time for children and teens spending more time on phones, computers, and other electronic devices, leaving about 1 in 3 children overweight or obese.

So what can we as parents and grandparents do to help children become more physically active?

  • Be a sport- Even if your child doesn’t seem drawn to a specific sport The more they enjoy the activity, the more likely they will continue playing it. Get the entire family involved! Not only will it increase your child’s physical activity, it’s a great way to spend time together as a family. Soccer may be thumbs down but skating might get a big smile.
  • Focus on Joy- One at a time begin to find a fun activity that the child enjoys! It doesn’t have to be structured. Adventure walks where you collect fun things in a bag can keep kids happy for hours. Time your kids when they run across the lawn and back. Challenge them to beat their own time! See how many times they can throw a ball in the air and catch it. Testing themselves against their siblings or friends can create a bit of healthy competition that increases their motivation to do well.
  • Plan a time where you can exercise or engage in physical activities with your child. The more you are involved, the more your child will enjoy it.
  • Provide toys that promote physical fitness. Have toys that around that make it easy to be active; balls, jump ropes, bicycles, and other active toys.
  • Limit television. Limit both TV and computer use. No more than 1 to 2 hours of total screen time per day will give your child plenty of time for physical activities.
  • Don’t push too hard. Gently find ways to increase your child’s physical activity and make it fun rather than a chore. Your attitude will reflect and make an impression on their attitude when it comes to fitness and health.
  •  Engage in a discussion with your child’s physician during a check-up. Your child’s doctor may help him or her understand why physical activity and fitness can keep them strong and healthy.

Remember to incorporate a balanced diet into your child’s new healthy lifestyle. One of the most important things we can do as parents is encourage healthy habits early in life. The time you invest in creating a happy program of healthy activity and eating now will pay dividends for a lifetime!

Are You Drinking Your Calories?

Are you drinking your calories?

Beverages are not as satisfying as solid foods and typically don’t compensate for eating a balanced nutritious meal.

According to research, our brains register liquid calories differently than calories from eating solid foods. Orange juice (for example) is naturally high in calories and sugar. An 8 ounce glass of OJ typically has 130 calories. When you consume the juice, your brain won’t register the calories the same way it does if you eat an actual orange.  Researchers believe this is because the action of chewing and biting isn’t present which may trigger signals in the brain that we are eating. You may also find you don’t feel as full from a glass of juice as you would if you ate the orange in its natural form. Why is this? Because the orange fruit has fiber and the juice has very little fiber. Fiber helps us feel full and contributes to proper digestion. Juice, which is mostly sugar, is quickly absorbed after we drink it.

It’s okay to drink milk, juices, and other drinks in moderation. But try to stick to non-caloric drinks like tea, coffee (skip the creamer), and water. If you need to liven up your water, try a squeeze of lemon or lime to give it a fruity kick. If you consume alcoholic beverages, be mindful of the calories.

Hope this helps you live a healthy Skinny Life!

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Do You Eat Out Too Often?

Do you eat out too often?

Cook at home more often for healthier, more nutritious meals.

When you cook at home, you control how much oil, sugar, and other high-calorie ingredients you use in your recipes.  Eating at home also allows you to eat more whole foods and control portion sizes. This can lead to a healthier waistline and thicker wallet.

If you eat out a lot and want to put an end to it, here are some quick easy tips to help you:

  1. Commit to eating at home. Sounds obvious but if you’re not completely bought into the idea, you will fail. If you have a partner who isn’t on board with your healthier goal, you are also likely to not follow through. Commit and do.
  2. Challenge yourself and give yourself a goal. Is your goal to never eat out? To only eat out on special occasions (and what is a special occasion – a birthday or holiday)? Is your morning cup of coffee at the convenient store or Starbucks considered eating out? Define your goals and make them crystal clear. When you make an outline of what you will and will not do, it makes it easier to stick to your goals.
  3. One Month. After completing the first 2 steps, commit to not eating out for one month. Typically, if you can do something for a month, it has become a habit. Then once you succeed after one month, challenge yourself for another month. You will start to see an increase in your pocketbook and a reduction in your waist (if you are choosing nutritious foods).

What is your goal and how long do you think you can go without eating out again? I would love to read your comments!

 

 

 

Improve Your Walking Technique for Maximum Benefits!

Are you looking for ways to make certain you get the most out of your walk? Walking is a fabulous way to clear your head.  Cruising along briskly in the fresh air can double as meditation time during which you can reflect on the positive things as well as getting in some good movement and exercise.  Just so you get maximum benefit with minimal issues with your walking routines, we’ve  created a walking awareness checklist to help you get started!

No one wants to add unnecessary strain to body parts that don’t need it. Besides, a sloppy posture increases your risk of injuring yourself. By delegating some of the work to your abdominal and hip muscles, you can walk faster and more efficiently, reduce your risk of injury, and eliminate much of walking’s joint-jarring impact. With fewer pains and strains, you might even walk farther. And that means you’ll burn more calories – and who doesn’t love that idea?

Here are some simple reminders of items to be aware of during your next walk and every walk:

Intentionally engage your butt and thigh muscles:  
As you prepare to take a step, focus on your trailing leg, creating a crease where your butt and thigh meet by lifting your cheek and tightening your hamstring. Continue to use those muscles as you bring that leg forward. Notice how your inner thigh muscles keep your knee pointed forward and stabilize your leg.

Toes Forward:  
When you walk, allow your heel to strike first, then push off from the big toe, flexing at the ankle. Walking with your toes pointed our causes stress on your knees, so keep them pointed forward for a safer stride.

Pull your navel toward your spine:  
Your abdominal muscles will form additional stability when holding your stomach in, and your movements will be more controlled too (it also helps create great abs). As you walk, let your arms swing, but try not to swivel your torso, because your torsos job is to support movement.

Be proud and hold your head high:  
Walking forward headfirst creates unnecessary stress in your neck and throws off your balance. Walk as if you are a puppet and imagine there is a string attached to the top of your head keeping your head up – or – pretend as though you have a stack of books on your head that you are attempting to balance. This distributes the force of gravity along the natural curve of your spine.

Relax your shoulders:  
Position your shoulders back and down. Concentrate on not shrugging or hunching them as this is also bad for your back and spine.

Make your walking time a top priority not to be compromised even if it’s on lunch breaks or walking home from work.  Your body and brain will enjoy the extra oxygen you take in and afterward you’ll feel happier and more calm.  Be conscientious of your form, your movements, and your walking posture. The awareness will help you move your body in a healthier way and create long lasting, skinny life results!

Happy walking!

Health Benefits of Eating Garlic

Garlic not only makes food delicious, it may also have a number of health benefits. Some of these benefits are more likely if you eat your garlic raw, since cooking it may reduce the amounts of certain chemicals garlic contains. Before adding large amounts of garlic to your diet or taking garlic supplements, speak with your doctor as garlic can interact with certain medications and isn’t safe for everyone in amounts greater than those used in cooking.

It May Lower Cancer Risk

People who consumed raw garlic at least twice a week experienced lower rates of lung cancer than those who consumed raw garlic less often, according to a seven-year study published in “Cancer Prevention Research” in July 2013. Garlic may also be beneficial for preventing or treating colon and pancreatic cancer, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center — although research is still preliminary.

Lowers Cholesterol

Medical students who consumed 10 grams of raw garlic each day for two months significantly lowered their cholesterol levels, according to a study published in the “Journal of Postgraduate Medicine” in 1991. Another study, published in the “Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences” in October 2006, found that raw garlic consumption increased beneficial HDL cholesterol levels, while decreasing total cholesterol, although the difference wasn’t large enough to recommend using garlic as the only method for lowering cholesterol.

Offers an Anti-inflammatory Effect

If you suffer from an inflammatory condition, it may help to consume raw garlic. A study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology” in August 2013 found that garlic had an anti-inflammatory effect, with raw garlic exhibiting a stronger effect than garlic that had been heated. The levels of a compound called allicin were greater in the raw garlic, which is most likely the reason for its greater benefits.

Improves Insulin Sensitivity

A decrease in insulin sensitivity increases your risk for Type 2 diabetes. Consuming raw garlic may help improve your insulin sensitivity, thus lowering your risk for diabetes, according to a preliminary study published in “Nutrition & Metabolism” in 2011. However, this study used rats, so further research is necessary to see if the same benefit exists in humans.

 

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