Category Archives: dieting

What Motivates You? Submissions From My Followers


What motivates me to lose weight, eat heathly, and exercise?

A few things…First, I already think I’m attractive and I want to look even better. I’m not sorry for being cocky by the way. I also want to be healthy when I get older, and the best time to make that happen is now. I’m looking toward a career in health, hopefully doing what I do now, which is writing about it and motivating others, so it only makes sense to practice what I preach. Finally, eating healthy and exercising feels amazing. It gives you a natural high, gives you something to talk about, and it can become a hobby and a passion.

What motivates my followers? Here are a few of my favorite tweets.

“my motivation is my children. I want them to know how to stay healthy their whole lives and make good choices.”
-@shrinkingbeau

“to have something to be proud of and good in your life (a nice skinny body) ” -@visiblebones

“to compete in the bikini division of a bodybuilding competition” -@KHoppToIt

“To feel great about myself, be healthy, and have no shame wearing a skimpy bikini this summer! #egobooster #healthyliving”
-@RAVn327

“To look in the mirror and smile because I did it ” -@gabriellaFsmith

“to boost my energy & self confidence, lower anxiety, and to make my future husband’s jaw drop when I walk down the aisle! ” -@FitToBeWed

“confidence, self approval, knowing I am accomplishing something great #motivation” -@alyssa_reichert

“I want to get rid of this huge amount of insecurity I deal with everyday. I want to feel comfortable in my skin”
-@Healthy_change

“biggest motivation is to be in the best shape of my life, to prove myself I can” -@KaliSan21

“my whole family is extremely over weight. I do NOT want to be like that. I want to prove it’s not just my crappy genes.”
-@2MonthsToThin

“To feel confident in my own skin again! Also, to look super hot at my wedding in 414 days.” -@malissarae89

“to be able to wear anything I want and look good without having to worry” -@thinwired

“So I can be HEALTHY & STRONG and live to see my grandchildren get married :)” -@LADY_Probs

Thanks for all the tweets. Whether it’s because of your family, your health, your looks, an upcoming event, or for self-confidence, find your motivation and remind yourself that’s why you’re doing this each day. Oh and by the way, I’m glad none of you said it was to get a guy, because that’s foolish. Do this for yourself, and don’t get discouraged when you hit roadblocks. Your motivation will guide you.

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Quick update on my life


So I haven’t been able to tweet and blog as much as I want to lately, thanks to college and the fact that I’m graduating in a few weeks. So over it. But I figured I’d write up a quick update on how the gym and eating well has been going.

To be honest, I haven’t been eating as well as I was a few months ago. I mean, most days are great, but I’ve been having some slip-ups, probably due to the stress from work and school. It’s not an excuse, but I can’t be perfect. Luckily, I haven’t gained any weight, but I haven’t lost any either.

However, the gym has been better than ever, and I’m doing a ton of classes, cardio, and abs workouts 4-6 times a week. It’s totally my form of stress relief. Nothing feels better than how you feel after a good workout. Interval training on the treadmill is totally the way to go!

After this dreadful week of final projects and tests, I am reevaluating my eating habits and starting new. My goals are to tone up significantly, and possibly lose 3 more pounds. I also am looking to do a photo shoot, but unfortunately you guys can’t see it. I’m also thinking about running a 5k, but I need to do more research.

Summer is so soon, and there is no better time than now. You can do it.

How I Stay Motivated


I know I’ve been totally slacking on the blog a little, but I’m graduating college next month and that’s been consuming my life. Luckily, I’m being a loser and staying in tonight, so I have time to write. A lot of you have been asking how I stay motivated, so I figured I’d write a little about that today.

Here are a few ways I keep myself going, and things you might want to do too.

1. Write about your progress. Whether it be in a notebook, in a word document, on a blog, on a Twitter, or even in your phone, write it somewhere. Write about whether it was a good day or a bad day. Write about things you did well, and things you can improve on. Obviously we all make mistakes, but it’s nothing to beat yourself over. Admit that you did something wrong, and move on. You’re allowed to screw up. Try to write every few days, just to keep yourself in check.

2. Besides writing about progress, you should be tracking your calories. And track your fat, protein, carbs, etc. You can download these apps on your phone. Some good apps are My Fitness Pal and The Daily Burn, but there are tons more. I just downloaded My Fitness Pal a few weeks ago and I’m in love. When you track your food intake, don’t lie to yourself about what you ate. It doesn’t do any good. Be honest.

3. Subscribe to healthy living and fitness blogs. Or, use StumbleUpon to browse sights about health and fitness. Read fitness and health magazines. Constantly educate yourself on health and fitness.

4. Join and gym, and go to the classes. Group workouts are a great way to motivate yourself because you’re not just gonna give up in front of 30 people who aren’t giving up. Spend time in the gym. Get to know it. My gym has a lot of benefits because it has classes, trainers, tanning, drinks, and best of all, tons of in shape people. I love spending time there because I feel productive.

5. Don’t restrict yourself all the time. Have some cheat days. Take a day off once in awhile. You deserve it if you’re making progress. But be careful not to reward yourself with food. That is not the answer. But make sure you still enjoy some foods you wouldn’t normally eat once in awhile. Right now I’m eating Junior Mints while typing this. They’re not even that good though, and the sugar is getting to me, but that’s besides the point.

6. Don’t get worked up over how good celebritites and models look. They’re airbrushed and photoshopped, and it’s not realistic to compare yourself to them.

7. Surround yourself with healthy people, and don’t let uhealthy people influence your choices. You are the company you keep, and if the company you keep is constantly stuffing their faces with pasta and a side of chocolate cake, stay away. You don’t need that kind of negativity.

8. Be positive. That is all. And it’s simple.

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Why I Don’t Eat Frozen Diet Dinners

I don’t eat frozen dinners. I don’t believe in them. Why? First of all, they’re disgusting. And don’t go pretending they taste good, because they don’t. I know they only take a few minutes to make in the microwave and that’s convenient or whatever, but in my opinion, they’re not worth it. There’s a few other reasons why I woudn’t eat them.

Besides the fact that they’re barely edible, they’re packed with sodium. Sometimes, they include about half of your recommended sodium intake for the day, which is between 1500 and 2400 mg. Most frozen foods are filled with sodium, which is why I prefer to eat fresh foods instead. Why is sodium bad? It can raise your blood pressure, it can harm your organs, and most noticably, it makes you bloated. Sometimes when I have too much sodium, I’ll wake up the next day and my fingers and wrists will seem swollen. It’s gross.

A lot of the time, frozen dinners have ingredients that we’ve never heard of. For instance, here are the ingredients in a Lean Cuisine Glazed Chicken dinner.

COOKED CHICKEN TENDERLOINS (CHICKEN TENDERLOINS, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CORN OIL, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, GARLIC, ONION, PAPRIKA, SPICE), WATER, BLANCHED ENRICHED LONG GRAIN PARBOILED RICE (WATER, RICE, IRON, NIACIN, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, FOLIC ACID), GREEN BEANS, MUSHROOMS, ONIONS, 2% OR LESS OF BLANCHED WILD RICE, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, SUGAR, SALT, CULTURED WHEY, CHICKEN FAT, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, CARAMEL COLOR, DEHYDRATED ONIONS, SPICES, DEHYDRATED GARLIC, PAPRIKA.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally cook with chicken fat, thiamin mononitrate, and folic acid. Basically, it’s not natural. I’d much rather buy my own fresh chicken and season it with ingredients that I’ve actually heard of.

Also, they’re overpriced for what they give you. Some diet dinners are around $5, and they’re still disgusting. Why pay so much for such a sad example of food?

Finally, oftentimes they aren’t even that low-calorie. For example, a pepperoni pizza Lean pocket has 280 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 43 grams of carbohydrates. How is that even healthy? Not to mention it has 720 mg of sodium.

There are SO many other options to eat healthy. I know there are people who have lost weight from diet dinners, but it certainly isn’t the most healthy way. Once in awhile, if you’re in a rush, these might be a good alternative to something that’s really bad for you, but generally speaking, I’d stay away from these.

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My Favorite Dinner For My Cooking-Challenged Self


I’ve said a few times that I’m not the best cook there is, but I think I’m finally starting to improve. I have this blog to thank partly for that, since I’ve become more motivated to eat healthy at home. Since I’m kitchen-impaired, I usually stick to the basics when it comes to food, and I never get too fancy with ingredients. My favorite meal that I’ve been making at least 4 times a week lately is asparagus with tilapia. I’m actually about to make it after this post.

You’ll need:

-As much asparagus as you feel like eating. I usually buy a pound, then separate the bundle in halves or thirds. Asparagus is pretty cheap too, and I’m literally addicted to it. I don’t care how it smells.
-fresh or frozen tilapia filets. I buy the frozen kind because a package comes with a ton of filets.
-olive oil
-cayenne pepper
-pepper
-garlic powder
-any other seasonings/spices you wish to add

This is how I make it. You can adapt it a little if you feel that you know a better way than me. You probably do. I’m not one for following directions to a T.

1.Thaw out the filets if they’re frozen.
2. Preheat the oven to 375.
3. Prepare a baking sheet with foil.
4. Cut the hard ends of the asparagus off.
5. Place the asparagus on the foil. Spread some olive oil on them. I usually use 2 teaspoons.
6. Add whatever seasoning you wish to add, including cayenne, pepper, and garlic powder.
7. Place the asparagus in the oven. I usually put it in the oven before it’s even preheated because I’m impatient. When I do this, the asparagus needs about 20 minutes to cook.
8. Place the tilapia filets on a baking sheet with foil.
9. Repeat the same seasoning/olive oil steps as you did with the asparagus.
10. Wait for the oven to preheat this time, then place the fish in the oven. The filets take 8-12 minutes to cook.
11. Once the filets are done, the asparagus should be done too. This is why I don’t wait for the oven to preheat to put the asparagus in the oven.
12. Take it out of the oven and eat it. Add some grated parmesan onto the asparagus if you wish.

Time for the nutrition breakdown. A tilapia filet only has about 100 calories, and it’s low fat and full of protein, which is obviously amazing. Sometimes I’ll make two filets if I’m extra hungry. The asparagus is obviously very low in calories, and it contains tons of Vitamins A and C. It even has some fiber. Finally, cayenne pepper is said to help speed up metabolism, and apparently it’s all the rage with models. So, with the olive oil, this entire meal (if you have two filets) only has about 300 calories, and it’s very low in carbs and fat. If you don’t use any olive oil, it’s even lower in fat and calories. You decide.

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How I Lost 10 Pounds


Many of you are asking how I lost weight, or what methods I use to diet and exercise. I’m gonna give you some general, simple tips that are common sense, but are easy to follow. They’re things that most people overlook, but losing weight will generally be ineffective if you follow crazy plans and crash diets.

1. I know my account is about dieting, but I actually believe in just the opposite. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. It’s that simple. You need to change the way you live. You can’t depend on some 5 day cleanse or 2 week crash diet or some Kim Kardashian endorsed product to lose weight. Sure, you’ll lose weight temporarily, but the cravings will still be there, and you will most likely gain the weight back. So when you’re ready to change your whole lifestyle, that’s when you’re ready to actually lose weight and keep it off. Changing your lifestyle isn’t just about eating either. It’s about your attitude, your physical activity level, your sleeping patterns, your alcoholic choices, and your determination.

2. Just because something is low-calorie or low-fat, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. In other words, stay away from processed foods as much as you can. This means most frozen foods, white breads and pastas, and many packaged foods. I now believe in eating whole foods as much as I can, because they contain the most nutrients. The more processed it is, the less nutrients it has, and the more calories it generally has. You can’t ignore fruits and vegetables, no matter how much you might hate them. Make yourself like them, and include them in every meal. They are so low in calories it’s insane. You can eat a candy bar for 200 calories, or you can eat like an entire barrel of vegetables for 200 calories. You decide.

3. You need to work out. I know some people don’t and they still lose weight, but I believe that if you want to be toned, you can’t ignore exercise. I try to work out 4-5 days a week for at least 45 minutes a day. You can do way more if you want, but to be honest I am a full-time student and I have a full-time job so working out for more than an hour a day is next to impossible unless I don’t want to sleep. And when I say working out, I mean that you need to include cardio and strength training. Even if it’s 20 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes in the weight room, it needs to be done. Walking on the treadmill for 40 minutes is a sorry excuse for a workout, by the way. I mean, it’s better than nothing, but not really. Anyway, you need to include strength training if you really want to see yourself tone up, and you need to include cardio to complement the strength training. I promise I’m not lying.

4. Be careful what you drink. In a previous post, I went over some good choices for alcoholic drinks. Look at that post if you want. Alcohol is just empty calories, besides the fact that they’re the most fun calories I’ve ever consumed. You can still get drunk off a vodka club, so try choosing that over a Long Island Iced Tea. And try not to drink 7 days a week. That just ruins everything. I can’t tell you how much to drink, but I think more than 3 times a week is just way too much unless it’s your birthday. Then you’re allowed at least 8 (kidding, but not kidding).

5. Sleep. Sleep at least 7 hours a night if you can. When you’re asleep, you’re not eating. And when you’re not eating, you’re not gaining weight. Also, a lack of sleep slows down your metabolism, and we don’t want that.

6. Protein. Make it lean protein, like chicken, egg whites, sliced turkey breast, fish, beans, greek yogurt, turkey burgers, etc. And fried chicken doesn’t count. Focus on having a produce and a protein with every meal. My personal favorite is fish and asparagus.

7. Small meals. Eat many small meals a day. I try to eat 5 small meals a day, between 100-250 calories each. This is the key to my weight loss because I have never done this before, and when I started to 2 months ago, I lost the weight pretty fast. An example of what I might eat in a day is oatmeal for breakfast, an apple as a snack, egg whites and low-fat cheese on a sandwich thin for lunch, banana with peanut butter for a snack, fish and tilapia for dinner, and greek yogurt as a last snack.

8. Drink tons of water. Duh. Drink green tea and peppermint tea as well. Drink it plain or with a no calorie sweetener if you can. Treat yourself with honey and agave sometimes too. You need to stay hydrated.

9. Have a positive attitude. Don’t look in the mirror and feel like you’re a whale. Every day that you put the effort in, you’re one step closer to your goal. Don’t spend hours looking at models in magazines and crying over a pint of Ben and Jerry’s because you’re not as skinny as them. Get over it.

10. Take it one meal at a time, one workout at a time, one day at a time. There is not get rich quick scheme. There are no instant results. It takes time, motivation, willpower, and perseverance. It’s not gonna happen over night. But if you keep trying, eventually you will be where you want to be.

It’s honestly this simple. If you change your lifestyle, you’ll change your dress size.

 
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Love you all.

My New Love for Almond Milk


I’m not a huge milk drinker, but since I’ve been making smoothies and shakes, I decided I need to incorporate milk into the recipe. Plus, I probably could use some of the vitamins. However, instead of buying regular milk from a cow, I decided this time I would buy almond milk, which is literally made from crushed almonds.

I’ve been drinking it for a few weeks, and I figured now would be a good time to look up and write about the benefits of almond milk, besides the fact that it has fewer calories than regular milk. I chose unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk by Almond Breeze, which only has 40 calories per cup. That’s obviously the first benefit, since most of us are trying to maintain or lose weight.

Another benefit is that this milk doesn’t contain any cholesterol, and it also doesn’t contain a lot of sodium. This is a lot lower than let’s say, 1% milk, which has about 12mg of cholesterol and 100 mg of sodium. Besides being low in cholesterol and sodium, this milk also contains calcium and Vitamin D, which most women do not get enough of.

If you care about your skin and eyes, almond milk has plenty of Vitamin E and A as well. Seriously, who doesn’t care about their skin and eyes? And, it is great for any person with diabetes, has diabetes in the family, or anyone who cares about not consuming too much sugar (I care).

Plus, this milk tastes so good, and it doesn’t contain dairy for anyone who may be lactose intolerant or vegan. (I’m guessing you probably already love almond milk). Today I put Ovaltine in it, which made it even better, and provided me with even more vitamins than the milk alone. So you should totally try almond milk. Put it in shakes, or drink it plain. Either way, you will probably thoroughly enjoy it.

If you want to read more, click this link from Livestrong.com http://www.livestrong.com/article/246903-nutritional-benefits-of-almond-milk/

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Why I Only Drink Water


When I was younger, I was obsessed with the 99 cent cans of Arizona Iced Tea. I mean, who wasn’t? I’d bring them to the beach every day, and I would finish a whole one in about 30 seconds because I was so thirsty from the 9 million degree sun. They were delicious. But now, you can’t even get me to have 2 sips of an Arizona. While they still taste amazing, I can’t get over how much sugar is in one can.
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Before I tell you the amount, you should know that 4 grams of sugar are equal to one teaspoon. So if you put a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, it is the same as 4 grams, or one sugar packet. So when you put 5 sugar packets in your coffee, it’s equal to 20 grams.

Arizona Lemon Iced tea has 90 calories per serving, and 24 grams of sugar, which is the same as 6 teaspoons. Doesn’t seem too bad, except that there’s actually 3 servings per can, so the whole can is actually 270 calories and 72 grams of sugar, or 18 teaspoons. That’s disgusting. And, I just spent forever even trying to find the servings in one can online. They seem to do a pretty good job of hiding this information.

This obviously isn’t the only drink that contains a ridiculous amount of sugar. A bottle of vitamin water is actually 2.5 servings, and it has 39 grams of sugar, or about 10 teaspons of sugar. Once again, not okay.

Here’s a chart of some other drinks with their sugar content.
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We all know sugar can be bad, unless it’s natural, like in an apple. Drinking beverages with added sugar immediately spikes your blood sugar levels, and after it is sent to the bloodstream, any excess levels of glucose is turned into fat. We don’t need extra fat. Also, once your blood sugar levels fall, you’re back to being hungry and tired again. Over time, you could even develop diabetes. It’s not a good situation. Plus, drinks are for hydrating, not for enjoyment.

If that wasn’t enough, you should remember that sugary drinks are basically just empty calories. They don’t make you full. They might taste good, but if you’re going to waste your time eating all that sugar, you should at least consume something that’s actually filling.

I stick to water most of the time. Sometimes I will drink Diet Coke, Vitamin Water Zero, and tea. Otherwise, I stay away from the sugar. Get your sugar from natural places, like fruits and vegetables. We don’t need sugar from processed soft drinks that have only been around for a short period of time. Why do you think so many Americans are overweight? A lot of it has to do with what they drink.

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100 Calorie Miracles


One food I don’t think I could ever give up is bread, but since its high in carbs and certain kinds don’t deliver much nutritional value, I had to find an alternative. There is no option to give up bread entirely. I love it way too much, and I don’t know what I would do without a turkey sandwich at least…90 times a week (I’m kidding, sort of).

My life changed when I discovered Arnold Select Sandwich Thins, because each bun is only 100 calories. That’s a drastic decrease in calories compared to other types of bread, which can be almost 100 calories per slice. These 100 calorie buns taste amazing too. I don’t know what it is about them, but they are totally a legitimate substitute for regular bread.
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And, there are a variety of kinds, such as whole wheat, whole grain white, multi-grain, and seedless rye. I’m on their site now, and they even have mini rolls at 50 calories each, and Whole Wheat Fill ‘Em rolls that are perfect for subs. I don’t know about any of you, but this makes me really really happy.

The rolls are also only one gram of fat and contain 5 grams of fiber. We need fiber. It keeps us full longer and speeds up our metabolism. White bread doesn’t contain fiber, and although regular whole wheat and multi-grain do, they obviously have more calories. Oh, and the sandwich thins have less carbs. One slice of regular wheat bread has about 18-22 grams of carbs, while this entire 100 calorie bun only has 22. So it’s basically half the amount of carbs. This is a miracle.

As I sit here and write about how much I love food, I should also mention that these buns don’t get as soggy as regular bread, and they toast well. I’m in love with them. And I’m out, so I definitely need to go shopping today and get more. There’s nothing like some mustard and turkey on these buns. Or, for breakfast, you can put egg whites on them. It’s pretty much perfect. You can also use them for turkey and veggie burgers. The possibilities are endless.
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These also come in other brands. I just recently saw them from Pepperidge Farm, and also in the store brand form. So far, I’ve only tried Arnold. And I have to say they’re the best, because they were the first to come up with the idea, I think. I’m not being paid or anything to advertise for them. I just really love them.

Also, since I’m terrible at preparing food, I would recommend going to the Arnold Site. They have tons of other recipe ideas.
I will be hopefully posting more today, so stay tuned.

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Dieting Problems: Knowing about BMI


I’m sure most of you have calculated your BMI at least once in your life, or if not, I hope you’ve at least heard of the letters BMI, which stand for Body Mass Index. You might think BMI measures your percentage of body fat, but it doesn’t. Measuring body fat is a lot more complicated, and often not very accurate. Your BMI has to do with the ratio between your height and weight, and there are healthy and unhealthy BMI numbers.

For an adult, a healthy BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9. Above 25, and you could be considered overweight. However, if you are an athlete, BMI isn’t always an accurate assessment of your health because the BMI number does not take muscle mass into account.

Your BMI can easily be lowered by the obvious: dieting and exercise. So when all of us complain about the need to be skinny, remember that it’s not just because we want to look good in the mirror. We also want to be healthy, and having a BMI in a normal range contributes to overall health.

You can calculate your BMI by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703, then dividing that number by your height in inches. Or, you can go to the following site if you don’t feel like doing math. I know I don’t.
 WEebMD BMI Calculator

By the way, my BMI is 20.6.

This is just a quick post I figured I’d write because I had to do a class project on my BMI. I’ll be blogging a lot this week, so if article wasn’t entirely useful to you, I promise something else this week will be.

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