Tag Archives: habit

2018 Goals

Do you have your 2018 goals written down yet?  If you have started thinking about some but haven’t written them down yet, now is the time to get them on paper so you can see them every day!  If you haven’t even begun thinking of them, there is no more time to wait!  Planning is key to achieving your goals!  Get in the habit now and the rest will follow.

* Start a food journal.  Write down your daily intake of food & drinks, this is a HUGE eye opener!  You can journal it in a notebook or on a free online website (like My Fitness PalSparkpeople or Lose It).  Capture not only your food you consume, but your exercise, your moods, energy levels, any stressors, etc.

* BE CONSISTENT!  Don’t give up after a day, a week or even a month!  Slow & steady wins the race.

* Set small goals & then put a time frame for each of those goals!  Be realistic.

* Find 1 or 2 areas of weaknesses, such as you drink soda or juice instead of water, and try to change that.  (Example: tell yourself you will drink 1 less glass of soda/juice and 1 more glass of water).

* Don’t set high expectations.

* Learn something new ~ weights, running, dancing, bootcamp class ~ anything that takes you out of your comfort zone.

* Don’t focus all of your attention to the number on the scale ~ that is all it is, a NUMBER!  Instead ask yourself, how do your clothes fit?  Did you take your measurements before you started eating better and/or exercising?  If so, re-take your measurements now and see what the progress is.  And finally, how do YOU feel?

* Shoot for 4-5 days of at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise ~ walking, jogging, bike riding, hiking, running, swimming or try personal training with Evolution Fitness ~ the ideas are endless.

* Shoot for 2 days of strength training targeting all of your muscles.  You do not need a fancy routine, just exercises that are going to tone up your muscles.

Meal Planning made easy!


Planning meals for the week can save time & money. It can also save calories, seeing as most last-minute dinners usually involve take-out, delivery, or fast food. Meal planning can sound intimidating, but taking it one step at a time – and one meal at a time – can make it easier to fit into your normal routine.

How to start meal planning:

  • Spend 15-30 minutes on Sunday making a list.  Go through your cabinets and see what you have on hand already.
  • Start with the nights you already know your plans. Dinner with friends on Tuesday? Cross it off. Late meeting on Thursday? Crock pot meal.
  • Fill in the gaps. Start with favorite healthy recipes you know will be easy to throw together. Mix it up with a variety of chicken, vegetarian, or fish dishes.
  • Stay flexible and keep it simple. Plans may change, but a few eggs and vegetables (even frozen) can be whipped up into a quick dinner omelet.

Set Yourself up for Success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

Tips – 
Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.

  • Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing animal fats with vegetables fats (such as switching butter for olive oil) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
  • Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed
    foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.
  • Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar and salt in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
  • Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Why should I have a healthy diet?

We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of well being.

Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with red and processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders.

Eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your fat and sugar intake, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your Life.

While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. That means switching to a
healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.

You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel.

Sugar & Salt ~ what it does to your body

As well as creating weight problems, too much sugar causes energy spikes and has been linked to diabetes, depression, and even an increase in suicidal behaviors in young people. Reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution as sugar is also hidden in foods such as bread, cereals, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, fast food, and ketchup. It all adds up to a lot of empty calories since your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food.

Sodium is another ingredient that is frequently added to food to improve taste, even though your body needs less than one gram of sodium a day (about half a teaspoon of table salt). Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, memory loss, and erectile dysfunction. It may also worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder.

TIPS –
• Slowly reduce the sugar and salt in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust and wean yourself off the craving.

• Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar and sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended limit. Prepare more meals at home and use fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.

• Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium. Some offer lower-sodium choices or you can ask for your meal to be made without salt. Most gravy, dressings and sauces are also packed with salt and sugar, so ask for it to be served on the side.

• Eat healthier snacks. Buy unsalted nuts and add a little of your own salt until your taste buds are accustomed to eating them salt-free. Cut down on sweet snacks such as candy, chocolate, and cakes. Instead, eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.

• Check labels and choose reduced-sodium and low-sugar products.

• Use herbs and spices such as garlic, curry powder, cayenne or black pepper to improve the flavor of meals instead of salt.

• Avoid sugary drinks. Try drinking sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice instead.

Moderation

Key to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance. Despite what fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.

For most of us, moderation also means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner—but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza. If you eat 100 calories of chocolate one afternoon, balance it out by deducting 100 calories from your evening meal. If you’re still hungry, fill up with extra vegetables.

TIPS –
• Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.

• Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, visual cues can help with portion sizes–your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy green vegetables or round off the meal with fruit.

• Take your time. Stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.

• Eat with others whenever possible. As well as the emotional benefits, this allows you to model healthy eating habits for your kids. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.

What’s the secret to weight loss?

6-weight-loss-secrets21

There is NO big secret to losing weight!  It won’t happen overnight.  There are no magic pills.  There are no detoxes that will make you lose weight.

The secret is eating healthy foods, exercising at least 30 minutes a day,  drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, journaling your foods and being consistent!  That’s it!

Seems like all you hear in the media is how to lose weight fast!  So many different options to chose from, so many different quick schemes.  The truth is while you  may see a few pounds lost within the first couple of days, it is mainly water weight.  And once you stop consuming your “quick weight loss product” you are more likely to gain the weight you lost plus some!

  • Shoot to eat every 2 1/2 – 3 hours
  • Shoot to eat less processed foods & more natural foods
  • Shoot to have complex carbs, lean proteins & healthy fats at each meal.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day ~ shooting for cardio & strength training exercises
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  • Write down every bite of food and every drink EACH and EVERY day!

Bye Bye…..Negativity

How many times have you questioned yourself in the middle of workout ~ “Why am I doing this?  I’m not seeing any progress?”?  How many times do you have the conversation ~ I can’t keep up, I’m not doing the exercise correctly, holy cow my legs are on fire?

Internally we have a fire burning ~ burning to make us better, stronger, faster, healthier!  Whatever that fire is, keep sparking it to make your fire burn before, during & after your exercise!

Every day, every workout, YOU have the choice to get those negative thoughts from your head.  You have to make the choice!  You have to keep your eyes on the goal!   You have to stay focused!  Yes it will be HARD.  Yes you will find a challenge along the way.  But it will all be worth it!  JUST. KEEP. PUSHING. FORWARD!

Dieting is not…..

Dieting is defined as a “special course of food one restricts oneself to lose weight”.  BUT losing weight, getting healthy, toning up is NOT about dieting.  It truly is a mental game!

  • How many times do you eat a 100% on track, exercise for at least 30 minutes each day for 6 days in a week only to not have the scale move that week and GAWK if the scale goes up!

  • How many “quick fixes” are you guilty of trying?  Weight loss pills, detoxes, cleanses and others?  There are NO quick fixes – you have to work to lose weight and keep it off!

  • How many times do you get on the treadmill or elliptical (or any other cardio machine) and just stroll through it and not pushing yourself or your body into a fat burning mode?  (aka: sweating)!

  • How many times do you start a new routine only to get bored with it after a few days?

  • And let’s not forget, how many times do we compare ourselves to our family, friend or anyone else on social media?

Keep these tips in mind to help keep your head in the game and to not fall into the vicious cycle of losing weight becoming a mental fight!


* Focus on eating healthy foods ~ less processed and packaged foods; more fruits and vegetables, more lean proteins, moderate carb intake and more healthy fats.  Those 100 calorie packs loading our grocery store shelves are nothing but empty calories ~ they won’t hold you over long!

* Strive to eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day.

* Focus on exercise ~ consisting of cardio (you have got to sweat!) and strength training (you have to build those muscles to keep that metabolism going strong) ~ for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.

* Stay away from the sugary drinks ~ have water (and fill with lemon, lime, mint, orange, etc.) and hot and iced tea (unsweetened).

* Take some time each day ~ even if it is only 5 minutes ~ to be quiet, journal, have a cup of tea.  Just reflect on what is going well with your journey, maybe identify something to work on improving, just be still.

When you feel like you hit a bump in the road or a mental roadblock, reach out to me and let me help you get over that hump.  

Are you hydrated?

The hazy, hot and humid days of summer are upon us & making sure you are drinking enough to keep your body hydrated & functioning properly is extremely important.  Here are some tips on ensuring that you are getting enough water in:

* Drink at least eight, eight-ounce servings of water each day. More time outside means more fluid that needs to be replenished

* Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. By the time you’re thirsty, you have already lost a couple or more cups of water from your body.

* Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Carry a bottle of water with you as you commute to work, or whenever you leave the house and may not be back for a while.

* Don’t substitute caffeinated coffees, teas and sodas for water. Caffeine acts as a diuretic, so does alcoholic beverages, causing you to lose water through increased urination.

* Keep a bottle of water on your desk if finding time to drink water is a problem. Or, visit the office water cooler and take water break rather than a coffee break.

* Once you start exercising, don’t stop drinking. Keep a bottle of water with you and drink throughout the duration of your workout.

* Don’t underestimate the amount of fluids lost from perspiration. You need to drink two cups of water for each pound lost following a workout.

* Start and end your day with a serving of water. Your body loses water while you sleep. Drink a serving of water while waiting for the morning coffee to brew.

* Common colds and flu’s can lead to dehydration. Keep a large bottle of water next to your bed so you can sip it throughout the day without having to get up.

Remember that when it’s warm outside, cold water—not carbonated soft drinks or sport drinks—is the best fluid for keeping hydrated. Cool water is absorbed much more quickly than warm fluids and may have a positive effect on cooling off your overheated