Health By Nature…Where Clean Meets Green!


Planning Can Help Your Weight Loss Success!
January 2, 2014, 8:42 am
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ImageOne key component to a successful weight loss plan is planning ahead.  Have you ever had that “what am I going to make for dinner” moment as you stare blankly into the random contents of the fridge or pantry?  Those moments can sabotage a weight loss plan-grabbing convenience items or ordering in are common solutions in such cases.  By sitting down for 45 mins. to an hour at the start of your week, and taking 10 minutes at the start of each day to determine exactly what will be going into your mouth that day, you will be taking the guesswork out of your meals & snacks, and ensure that you can stick to your plan.  Once it becomes your “routine”, there’s nothing to it!

1) Meal plan-I will go more into detail with my meal planning strategies next blog entry. Plan out what dinners you will prepare for the week.  Meal planning makes it easier to use fresh, healthy ingredients and not reach for convenience items or fast food.

2) Log your entire day’s worth of food first thing in the morning-Using the Shaklee180 app or a page like www.Sparkpeople.com, enter in every single thing you will consume that day.  Print it out or write it out and stick with it. You’d be surprised how much a nibble here and a bite there can add up.  As a busy mom, I would often graze on my children’s snacks, popping those last 2 chicken nuggets in my mouth as I clean up from lunch, or polishing off those last few spoonfuls of pasta that were left behind when the kids were through. Enter those bites into a meal log and watch your calories add up!

Logging ahead of time keeps you accountable. It helps you stay on track and within your recommended calorie intake. If you are going to be away from home for lunch, or snack time, bring everything you need so you don’t end up “grabbing something quick”.

It is important to reach your calorie goals and not get too FEW calories, either.  Sometimes after I’ve logged my calories for the day (I’m on a 1500-calorie plan), I realize I have too few calories and need to incorporate another healthy snack or an extra serving of fruits or vegetables. Planning ahead removes all the guesswork and gets you closer to your weight loss goals!

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Tips & Tricks to Burn More Fat

Here are some excellent tips to ramp up that metabolism, increase lean musce and avoid hidden calories that end up as fat stores.

• Don’t skimp on the protein!

Women especially: every decade, we lose about 5 lbs. of muscle!  Protein helps build lean muscle, so be sure you’re getting enough.  Also my weight management plan is packed with protein to help you build and retain lean muscle and also help you feel satiated.

• Strength train

Strength training increases your resting metabolic rate.  Incorporate light weights and resistance bands to your exercise routine 3 times a week, and you’ll reduce your body fat percentage in about 10 weeks.

• Don’t munch mindlessly!

Moms are often guilty of this one: eat the last few bites of a child’s plate, nibble here and there while preparing meals…every one of those bites will average 25 extra calories.  4 extra bits a day will translate into an extra pound in one month!

• Too few calories is counterproductive

Weight loss is 70% diet, so of course decreased calorie consumption plays a large role; however, consume too few calories, and your body will go into “starvation mode”, choosing to hang on to those fat stores as its emergency fuel source, and thus burning muscle you don’t want to lose.  You can take the free analysis on my weight management site to find out what level of calories you need based on your BMI (body mass index).  To maintain your weight after reaching your goal, add 300 calories/day.

• Plan ahead

It’s easy to say you’re going to watch what you eat today or work out, but often the day escapes you, and before you know it, the day is over and you haven’t stuck to your word.  Make meal plans–I make mine for the entire week before I go shopping.  If there’s a particularly busy day that I’m not going to be home much, I plan a make-ahead or crockpot meal, rather than succumbing to takeout later on.  Have a detailed meal plan for the day, stick to it, and check off what you’ve consumed throughout the day to avoid overeating or going beyond your plan.  30 day meal plans, with recipes, can be found at www.cinchclub.com

Carve out time in your day to work out.  Going to a gym is great, but you can still get a great workout at home.  Do crunches and squats during TV time, or run the stairs up and down.  Take an hour to walk briskly around the neighborhood.  Whatever it takes, just do it.

• Make sure you work hard enough

Your workout needs intensity to burn calories and fat.  Get your heart rate up (but within normal range!)

• Mix it up

Don’t do the same workout every time.  Variety works better than routine.  Power walk, pilates (a DVD or class), bicycle, use an elliptical machine or treadmill, take a dance or aerobics class….really try to incorporate different workouts in your week.

• Understand false hunger

Before snacking, ask yourself if you’re truly hungry, or are you just bored or stressed?  Thirst can also cause false hunger signs.  Drink a glass of water, then wait 15 minutes to see if the feeling has passed.  If you still feel hungry, have a healthy, high protein snack.  Use your meal plan as a guide for snacks.

• Don’t fall for quick fixes or scams

There is no magic pill that is going to make you lose weight.  Even using this weight management plan, it requires discipline, exercise, and healthy eating. Slow and steady weight loss is much healthier than a sudden drop in pounds–and you’re more likely to keep it off, as well.