50 Ways to Cut Calories Without It Being Absolutely Terrible

Why are these ideas not terrible? Because they don’t involve you completely changing your diet or completely removing every food you love from your life. It’s all about finding moderation and creating awareness of what you put in your body.

The fancy stuff that most people focus on only matters once you master the basics ūüôā

No more chitchat – right to the list:

  1. Drink (none) as little of your calories as possible.
  2. Leave one/a few bite (s) of food on your plate at the end of every meal.
  3. Always have a vegetable at a meal.
  4. Load your plate once per meal – no going back for seconds
  5. Choose mini servings of desserts at restaurants
  6. Don’t eat anything that is free at restaurants (bread, chips, etc…) <— TOUGH!
  7. Always get the steamed veggies as a side dish at the restaurant – and still get whatever you want for the main dish.
  8. Try to avoid cream sauces, stick to lighter red sauces on pastas.
  9. Never eat anything out of a bag or container – make yourself put it out on a plate first.
  10. Have a big glass of water before you eat.
  11. Eat your salad or vegetables before your main course.
  12. Sub a 30-50 gram protein shake for one of your snacks or meals
  13. Buy the low calorie version of the foods you eat (check the labels, its not always the low fat version!)
  14. Choose grilled versions over fried or breaded versions of protein
  15. Mustard over mayo on sandwiches
  16. Plan your meal before you eat it – log it or write it down prior to actually eating
  17. Eat fruit for your main carb at breakfast
  18. Order salad dressings on the side, and only add what you need to the salad
  19. No calories in the coffee – either drink it black or use a zero cal option
  20. Do you eat appetizers at home? Then stop eating them at restaurants
  21. Stop eating when you are satisfied
  22. Don’t order anything with the word “double” or “triple” in it
  23. Always choose thin crust
  24. Eat with your non-dominant hand
  25. Learn how to cook
  26. Learn about calories, and what foods are sneakily high in them
  27. Eat protein at every meal
  28. Use diet mixers with you booze
  29. Always get water or diet soda at restaurants
  30. Just say no to supersizing or jumbo options
  31. Try not getting cheese on sandwiches (do you REALLY taste it?)
  32. Eat fresh fruit instead of dried fruit
  33. Choose leaner cuts of meat
  34. Pick one part of your meal and eat half of what you normally do
  35. Start tracking your food
  36. Write out a list of trigger foods that you can’t seem to control yourself around (yes, just becoming aware of it will help in the long haul)
  37. Place high calorie foods higher up in your fridge, and closer to the floor in the pantry
  38. Stop giving food morals – it’s just food
  39. Eat 30 grams of fiber per day
  40. Use a teaspoon of oil/fat instead of a tablespoon
  41. Put butter and jelly on your toast? Skip the butter
  42. Make your own salad dressing or use zero calorie brands (Walden Farms)
  43. Don’t get the combo meal – just get the sandwich and water
  44. Get a fruit side at fast food restaurants – most have them
  45. Swap plain Greek yogurt for sour cream
  46. Use a food scale
  47. Use a smaller plate then normal
  48. Ask for a take home container with your meal – and bag up anything more than your normal portions.
  49. Don’t eat snacks at movies.
  50. Cut yourself some slack. Maybe you don’t need to cut more calories…maybe you need to be more patient. Maybe you are going through a stressful time and holding onto water weight – and in that case, cutting calories will only hurt you by adding MORE stress. Are you confused yet? Here is the deal: lists like this pop up everywhere, and they can be helpful, but many people will just blindly follow them or pick an random a few things to try. Instead, be aware of your body. WHY are you where you are right now? What do you really need to focus on? Maybe one of these tips will make the biggest impact on you, so focus on that and ignore the other 49. Consistency and enjoying the process is what it all is about.

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The Way We See The Problem Is The Problem

Last night I was reading a book that I have been meaning to read for some time now, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

I got halfway down page 48 and read this line, “The way we see the problem, is the problem”…

I had to re-read it several times to let it sink in. Once it did, it was perfect. The author goes on to write, “people are intrigued when they see good things happening in lives of individuals…that are base on solid principles. They admire such personal strength and maturity…and their immediate request is very revealing of their basic paradigm…”

What is the usual immediate request?

“How do I fix this?” “What are some tricks/tips?” “Tell me what to do…”

Now the author goes on use examples such as kids misbehaving, marriages falling apart, and managers failing at work…but I’ve got to take the nutrition approach.

The way we see the problem, is the problem…

What will me writing out a specific meal plan for you change in your life?

What will me telling you to eat this and not that change in your life?

What will me telling you what I eat change in your life?

What will me telling you the “secrets” to fat loss change in your life?

Sure, answering simple questions might get you a little closer to your goal, but most of the time these type of questions lead to short term solutions, initial progress, followed by back tracking into usual habits.

There are people out there who will gladly give you these answers, for only $49.95, and they will probably help you – in the short term. They may “fix” some of your problems…only to expose deeper issues and struggles when it comes to your mindset and relationship with food.

The more and more you look for a quick fix and an easy solution, the more and more that very approach will contribute to your underlying chronic problem.

So what the heck do you do?

Good question. Everyone is different. Your needs, your intolerances, your habits, your cravings, your guilty pleasures, your body type, your hormone status, your food you enjoy, your food that you hate, your stress and emotional eating tendencies…

This is why cookie cutters rarely work (long term). Remember what I have said, if you lost weight doing something for 12 weeks, and gained it all back, did it really ‘work’?

Because I want to provide SOME actionable content here, I guess I will give you my 3 general “best” practices when it comes to changing your mindset and relationship with food – and playing the long game.

1 – Take away any morality and power you have given to food. It is not bad, it is not good – it is food. It is nourishment. It can under nourish, and it can over nourish. You are a human being, the most advanced creature on this planet, and that is a 2×2 square brownie – who has more power?

2 – Learn about your food. What food contributes to your most calories? What food surprises you when it comes to calories? What food is less calories than you thought? What food is high protein?

If you want to change your body, take some time to learn about what you are putting in it.

3 – Focus on and Enjoy the process. Stop fixating on your goal weight in 6 months. Stop talking about how much you weighed in college. Focus on the now. What are you currently doing to improve your current situation?

Looking to change your relationship with food? I am opening up 3 limited spots in my online coaching program in the New Year. Fill out this quick survey to find out more!

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8 Ways To Prevent Getting Sick

 

Now, these are not guaranteed to keep you from ever getting sick, but they should hopefully increase your chances of making it through winter with minimal damage.

The irony is that I thought of this post this weekend, and as I write this, I feel like I have something coming on in the form of a little winter cold…oh well, must be karma.

1) Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

You can never get enough water, but especially in winter many people actually drink less because of the temperatures not being hot. However, you actually tend to lose MORE body water in the the cold winters  Рso make sure you are drinking more water than you think you need.

2) Eat Your Fatty Fish

We should all know, Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are awesome for anti-inflammatory properties and may help keep your immune system strong. Eating salmon twice per week is great and all, but for most of us that isn’t a realistic option – so consider getting a Omega-3 supplement –>¬†http://amzn.to/2kq9VyY

3) Get Your Vitamin D

This might be the most underrated and under appreciated vitamin out there. In Wisconsin, we don’t see the sun nearly enough to produce enough vitamin D, and most of us don’t get nearly enough through the diet. What is enough? I recommend everyone who experiences cold, dark winters take 5000 IU D3 per day.

Order this now if you don’t take it –>¬†http://amzn.to/2kraKYx

4) Zinc It Up

One of the more common micronutrient deficiencies in athletes, vegetarians/vegans, and those who sweat a ton, Zinc is crucial for proper immune function.

Zinc has two standard dosages. The low dosage is 5-10mg, while the high dosage is 25-45mg. The low dose works well as a daily preventative, while the high dosage should be taken by anyone at risk for a zinc deficiency.

For a great overall supplement, I recommend ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium and Vit B6)

-> http://amzn.to/2l2E6jY

5) Garlic is the Herb For You

A study in the journal Advances in Therapy found that people who took garlic supplements for 12 weeks between November and February got fewer colds than those who took a placebo. And of those who did get sick, those who took the garlic supplement felt better faster.

Don’t feel like eating a clove a day? Try this:¬†http://amzn.to/2BeoAI4

6) Be Smart About Training

Listen to your body. If you’re feeling sick, especially in your chest, lungs or stomach, maybe you need to take a day off, hit a warm shower, and chill out for a day.

Exercising while being sick will only delay your return to optimal health, might annoy your fellow gym members who don’t want to get sick, and honestly you won’t get much out of the workout because your body is too busy fighting off the illness, it won’t be delegating many resources to your muscle repair systems.

7) Eat the Rainbow

Load up on veggies and fruits – and eat many different colors. I don’t need to preach why this is important, just know that the different colors mean many different kinds of anti-oxidants and awesome phytonutrients that will help your body.

8) Why No Mention of Vitamin C??

Vitamin C is usually the go to for the common cold – however, more and more studies have shown that taking Vitamin C does not decrease your chances of getting sick. However, once you do get sick, taking some Vitamin C may help.

So instead of waiting to get sick and pounding mega doses of Vitamin C, pay attention to the first 7 tips – and hopefully you will prevent yourself form even getting to that point!

 

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To Hell With Average

 

Sometimes a title just needs to grab your attention.

After discussing avoiding the Holiday Season weight gain with some clients, I got to thinking. Instead of coming up with “tips and tricks”, why not just change the status quo? A paradigm shift of sorts.

***Average American gains 5-10 pounds during the Holiday season by the way…BUT that is because the AVERAGE American is overweight, and according to the most recent studies, healthy weight individuals actually only gain 1.3 pounds during the holiday season***

Why be average? Why be like everyone else? Really. Lets look at average:

2/3 of Adults are Overweight or Obese in America

The norm is to be overweight or obese. Now yes, I know these numbers are based on BMI data, and strong muscled up men and women might be technically overweight according to BMI….but just take a look around. Do you see more tight buns and chiseled arms or saggy butts and big guts?¬†

So what do we do about this? How do you and I solve this epidemic???

Let’s dive deeper into the “Average person”…

According to a Nielsen report, United States adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day on average.

5 hours of TV time!!! Yet…

The average American only gets 4000-5000 steps per day.

The usual recommendation is 10,000 steps per day…

Only 59% of Americans get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

While it’s more than average getting enough sleep, 41% of people are not. Why is sleep important?

  • Cognitive function – your brain recovers
  • Immune function – your body recovers
  • Hormone production – your muscles and sex drive recover
  • Cardiovascular function – your blood pressure lowers
  • Fat loss – you burn the most fat while you sleep

“Hey average American, cut back on 2 hours of TV, use one of those to go for a walk or exercise and one of those to sleep, and we might get this obesity rate down pretty fast.”

Here is your “average” food group consumption:

https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-2/current-eating-patterns-in-the-united-states/

Source: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-2/current-eating-patterns-in-the-united-states/

How about beverage choices?

Americans on average drink 58 gallons of water per year.¬†That’s 7,242 ounces of water annually — 20 ounces daily, which is 2.5 cups. And ZERO calories…

I recommend consuming at LEAST half your bodyweight in ounces. i.e.  If you weigh 200 pounds, then drink 100 ounces.

Americans on average drink 44 gallons of soda per year. 5632 ounces…or 67,584 calories per year…from soda

Alcohol consumption is tougher, but 30% of American adults don’t drink, and another 30% only consume one drink per week on average, but the top 10% of alcohol consumers drink 74 drink per week. Yes 74…

Median consumption is 3 drinks per week for those who drink. It’s hard to guess calories because of the types of drinks can vary.

So what do we do with all of this???

If you fall into these “norms” then pick one and get to work. I like starting with step tracking. Find out how many steps you get in a day, and try to add 500 each day, week by week, until you are up to 10k per day.

What if you are don’t fall into these norms, but still struggle to lose weight? Look again. Do you truly meet all the dietary recommendations? Do you consume enough water? Do you get enough sleep?

Are you CONSISTENT with most of the healthy habits? Or do you jump on and jump off the routine often?

I always say, CONSISTENCY is the secret sauce. It’s not sexy, it’s not trendy, but holy moly does it work.

Your success in the long term will always be determined by the persistent execution of the most basic things. So don’t be average. Looking back at those stats, it’s really not THAT hard to be better.

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How To Actually Get Things Done

Ive been writing about goals and mindset a lot lately, mostly because after working in the industry for almost a decade now, I have found that to be the biggest challenge for most people.

Most people know they need to workout/be more active.

Most people know what to eat more of and what to eat less of.

Most people don’t know how to initiate action on either without; A) being totally depressed because they feel they can only eat broccoli and chicken, or B) starting 150% – and burning out rather quickly – a la the yo-yo dieter.

So what does one have to do to have the best chance at results, maintaining sanity, and staying motivated?

I give you –¬†Goal Optimization Technique and Big F***ing Task Management¬†System Pathway to Success – or GOTBFTMSPTS. ($5 to anyone who can come up with something that rolls off the tongue a little better…)

Where did I come up with this? Well – after reading, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and talking with other great minds, I kind of just threw this together be taking bits and pieces of things that I liked from my sources…

Step 1) Get out a piece of paper or even better a notebook.

Physically writing things out has been proven to be more effective than just saying them or thinking them. Write this stuff out if it’s really that important to you!

Step 2) Write your 3 goals – be specific and be realistic.

  1. Lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks
  2. Retire at age 35
  3. Own 3 sports teams

Are all great, but lets be real here.

***If weight loss is a goal, then I recommend 1% weight loss every 2 weeks***

So lets look at hypothetical person A – Jane. 160 pounds, 40 years old, moderately active, looking to lose another 10 pounds. Thats a 6% weight loss – so about 12 weeks out. Her goals might be:

  1. Lose 10 pounds by Feb. 1st 2018.
  2. Start an online retail business for the widgets she makes by January 1.
  3. Go on a week vacation with her two kids for Spring Break.

So there are her three goals.

Step 3) WHY Are Your Goals Important?

Now is where we dive into the “why”. Why are those goals really important to you. I’ve written on that many times – so I won’t…BUT it is an important step to write out as well! Finding “WHY” your goals are important will get to the root motivational objectives – and will drive you to succeed much better than any motivational speaker or trainer can do.

For more info – read this if you haven’t –¬†“Find Your Why” – Simon Sinek

Step 4) Come Up with Your BFT’s Every Single Day

This is where the money is made. Your BFT’s, or Big “frickin” tasks – are what will get you to your goals. So now that we wrote down the goals, and why they are important, we tuck those away and turn our focus to the TASKS that will get us there.

Write out 3-5 TASKS, not goals, everyday that will get you TO your goals.

They may not be BIG tasks to others, but to you, they are because they will move you towards your goals.

Jane’s could be:

  1. Workout at home for 45 minutes (Goal 1)
  2. Plan meals for the week (Goal 1)
  3. Schedule meeting with web designer (Goal 2)
  4. Put $5 in the vacation fund (Goal 3)

As she completes those tasks – she crosses them off. Physically crossing things off gives people a sense of accomplishment, and leads to winning the day.

Your BFT’s might stay the same day after day, and thats okay.Some will change, but some you might be writing down everyday – and thats what matters!

When you start winning the days, you start winning weeks, months and years – and that is where you find results.

Will you win every day? Heck no.

But you keep going forward.

If you had a task that you didn’t complete on Day 1, then put it first for Day 2, and don’t ditch it until you cross it off.

So if you have never done this before, and you are sitting here thinking – I don’t have time to do that, or that sounds like some stupid guru BS; I don’t need to write out my goals, and daily tasks…then good luck, thanks for visiting.

BUT, if you have never tried it, what is the harm in trying it? I promise that if you do this system, you will find yourself more productive, feeling more accomplished, and having more success than ever before!

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