Mission Possible: Dining Out Healthy

Dining Out Healthy

 

Day after day you do great making sure to live that healthy life – eating well, exercising, and having the wonderful self-confidence that being healthy brings you! Then you have to head out for a week long business trip (those are always fun). Every evening you end up going out for a nice meal with your coworkers and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it can put a damper on your waistline.

 

There’s got to be some easier way to dine out and have an awesome time while still eating healthy, right? Heck, we all want to go out with friends and NOT be that person that always gets the tiny house salad as their main dish. Let’s break down some easy tips that will help you stay on track, eat healthy, and still enjoy your meal!

 

Protein Focus

 

Instead of the breads (I’m looking at you Olive Garden and your endless breadsticks) and sides of rice or French fries try to fill up on lean proteins! These help fill you up and keep you full. Instead of cramming down a bunch of carbs that can pack on the pounds, focus on eating lean proteins like fish, chicken, and lean beef. This can provide you with ample metabolism and muscle building fuel.

 

Veggie-Centric

 

I’m sure you knew this would make the list because it literally should be a pivotal part of every meal. Veggies are really the key to filling up and keeping full for a relatively low caloric consumption compared to the more highly processed foods which give you a ton of calories for a small amount of food. Plus, the fiber and nutrients will help keep you in tip-top shape!

 

Ample Water

 

Water is key for all of our bodily functions and can be a great tool in helping us avoid excess calories or overeating at the restaurant. First of all, drinking water over some sugary drink saves you a bunch of empty calories. Secondly, drinking a glass or two of water with your appetizers/side salad will help fill you up faster and maybe keep you from pounding down that dessert!

 

Eat Slower

 

Thank goodness you have never seen me eat, it’s like a pack of wolves – it’s not pretty! J So this is one that I really try to focus on – when hitting up the restaurant try to eat slower. Chewing slower and taking your time with your food can allow your mind to catch up with your stomach and know when you are actually full instead of overeating! Not only that, but it helps you reduce your chances of choking – which will ruin everyone’s meal!

 

Your Companions Matter

 

You can’t always pick who you eat with – especially if you are on an office trip – but a recent study led by UNSW Australia found that your dining companions can make a huge difference in how much food you eat. Lead author of the study, Associate Professor Lenny Vartanian explained, The research shows that social factors are a powerful influence on consumption. When the companion eats very little, people suppress their food intake and eat less than they normally would if alone. So ask your dining partners to help you out and not go overboard. That’s food for thought (sorry for the terrible pun).

 

Wrap-Up

Look, we all need to splurge and enjoy ourselves when we hit up a restaurant, but it’s still great to be conscious of what you are eating. From protein to veggies, there are some easy ways to help you eat healthy while dining out. Just be conscious of what you are ordering, drink water, remember to enjoy yourself and you will turn your night of dining out on the town into a piece of cake!

 

For more simple food, fitness, and lifestyle tips visit Always Active Athletics: “Your Source for DIY Fitness, Food and Lifestyle.”




5 Top Weight Loss Principles To Live By

staying active

 

Every day you hear about new self-proclaimed gurus or fitness fads that sweep the nation. When this craziness happens, you need to step back and ask yourself if their programs or methods actually produce sustainable results (make sure to do your own research as well before blindly following)!

 

The fact of the matter is that these self-proclaimed experts might just be feeding you a spoonful of lies! In a recent study, it was found that these ‘gurus’ can be vulnerable to acting like they know more than they really do and making things up on the fly. Well that’s just not cool when you have thousands of people following your every word, right? Now trust me, I’m no massive fitness guru but I do know a few time-tested principles that will help you start seeing weight loss results. Set up these 5 tips in your life and have patience because they can achieve results!

 

Strength Train

 

I’ve said it over and over before that strength training is a great way to build muscle, burn calories, improve bone health and improve cardiovascular health (especially circuit training). This helps you lose weight and improve your overall quality of life! If you perform 2-3 full body strength training sessions a week (and more as you improve your fitness) you will not only get stronger but you will also help burn calories and increase your metabolism (at least for a time after the workout).

 

Small Caloric Deficit

 

When it comes to weight loss, it’s all about creating a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. This caloric deficit can be created by exercising more, through your nutrition or a combination of both. Usually everyone recommends that in order to lose 1 pound of weight a week we need a daily caloric deficit of 500 calories (3500 for the week), but that can be seriously hard for many out there. One way to go about creating a calorie deficit is to divide that 500 by 2 and shoot for a 250 calorie deficit per day. Now this will take you a little longer to lose weight but it is a more sustainable number to attain and helps you feel like you aren’t literally starving all day!

 

We suggest start by dropping out the highly sugared drinks in your diet (soda, sugar laden coffee…etc.) and by replacing some of your “junky” snack foods with more healthy foods like fruit or vegetables. It’s a simple, easy way to get started.

 

Stay Active

 

So we are going for a calorie deficit in order to lose weight, right? One of the best ways to attain that – apart from nutrition – is to stay active throughout the day. We recommend 45 minutes of brisk walking daily but it could also be playing with the kids or doing chores that keep you on your feet the entire day. Another option is to get a step-counter and try to hit 10,000 steps a day. Anyway you go about it, staying more active throughout the day in combination with nutrition will help you create that calorie deficit more easily!

 

Get Motivational

 

As I’ve said before, there is no point in having a great nutrition or fitness plan if you don’t actually use it and stick to it! So we need to get motivated to start and stay going! One of the best ways to do this is getting a workout buddy – they will keep you accountable. Another option includes performing fit tests before and each month after to see how much your strength and endurance is improving. One other option is taking before and after measurements as well to show you that you literally are losing inches!

 

Lastly, take per-program selfies and write down those measurements on the back of it and stick it someplace you can see it! This will be massive motivation as you see the small changes that happen to your body that lead to massive motivation!

 

Love Yourself

 

Okay, I’m about to get a little sentimental but this is huge when it comes to getting results. Apart from exercising, eating healthy and staying motivated you need to believe in yourself and know you are strong enough to get to where you want to be! We could all use a little self-esteem, because how can you get your body right if your mind isn’t right? Just know that you got this! We totally believe in you so you better do the same!

 

Wrap-Up

There you have it, 5 simple ways to help get weight loss results. Now I say simple, but I know that it all takes will-power, perseverance and patience in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds to get to where you want to be! But just keep moving forward one small step at a time because even tiny steps are better than sitting on the sideline! Good luck everyone!

 

Want more tips, workouts and motivational techniques to help you get results? Well then swing on by Always Active Athletics: “DIY Fitness, Food and Lifestyle – No Gym Needed!”




Jump-Start Your Day With Breakfast

berry oatmeal

 

If you’ve read a few of my long-winded nutrition articles then you know I’m all about sustainable practices, keeping what you love in your diet and eating breakfast everyday! So in this article I’m diving deeper into what we believe is the most important meal of the day – breakfast!

 

Nope, this isn’t going to be the ramblings of some health guru, I’ve got the science to back me on this. Breakfast can truly help you jump-start your metabolism, lose weight, snack less throughout the day and much more! Let’s jump in and discuss breakfast and a few easy breakfast foods you can start implementing today!

 

How It’s Helpful

 

On a typical night you may sleep 8+ hours (hopefully). During the majority of this time, your body is in a fasting state. We need to help jump-start your metabolism and get it revved back up to help induce long-term weight loss which breakfast has been shown to do (Wyatt et al 2012). Likewise, it’s been found that breakfast actually makes us feel more full throughout the morning (Purslow et al 2007) which can lead to less snacking and therefore unneeded calories throughout the day (Schlundt et al 1992). This can all add up to working towards the results you want!

 

The Right Meal

 

You can’t just be slamming down massive stacks of delicious French toast every morning and expect to witness the great benefits of a healthy breakfast! Your breakfast should be full of good protein and fiber to help you feel full and stay full longer! One great food you can add to your breakfast is the egg. Not only will they fill you up, they can actually help you snack less throughout the morning – we could all benefit from avoiding the office vending machine every morning (Vander Wal et al 2005).

Not only that, but eggs can help accelerate your weight loss! A study by LSU found that when one group of participants ate eggs for breakfast everyday over an 8 week period (that’s a lot of eggs…), they witnessed a 16% reduction in body fat percentage and lost 65% more weight than a group that didn’t eat eggs (Vander Wal et al. 2008)! Statistics like that will cause anyone to think about putting the incredible egg into their diet!

 

Example Meals

 

When it comes to breakfast we need a balance of protein, fiber and good carbs to help set us up for a great day! But who has the state of mind to make a huge breakfast at 5:30 in the morning when you can barely make it to the kitchen without tripping over the cat? How can we make a balanced, simplified breakfast? Fitness goals aside, here are a few healthy meals you can make in a matter of minutes (or the night before) to make sure you don’t skip a meal! (nutrition content via http://nutritiondata.self.com/)

 

Breakfast #1

  • 2 large hardboiled eggs (144 calories, 12g protein)
  • 1 piece of fruit (medium banana: 105 calories, 1g protein, 3g dietary fiber, / medium peach: 59 calories, 1g protein, 2g fiber)
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oatmeal (150 calories, 5g protein, 4g fiber)

 

Breakfast #2

  • 2 large poached eggs (142 calories, 12g protein)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (150 calories, 5g protein, 4g fiber) and 1 cup berries (blackberries: 62 calories, 2g protein, 8g fiber / strawberries: 49 calories, 1g protein, 3g fiber)

 

[Note: for those with heart disease or cholesterol problems it’s been recommended that you limit yourself to 3 egg yolks a week. Read more about the issue here.]

 

Wrap-Up

Breakfast doesn’t have to be an incredible pain to make each morning. You can get up and quickly make these meals in 5 minutes or simply make them the night before so they are ready to go for you! The point is, that breakfast can be such a huge tool to help jump-start your metabolism and reduce snacking that it shouldn’t be overlooked! Make sure to get that healthy breakfast in every morning and you will be glad you did!

 

For more practical nutrition and fitness tips you can start implementing today visit Always Active Athletics: “DIY Fitness, Food and Lifestyle – No Gym Needed!”

 

Citations

 

Purslow LR, Sandhu MS, Forouhi N, Young EH, Luben RN, Welch AA, Khaw KT, Bingham SA, & Wareham NJ (2007) Energy intake at breakfast and weight change: prospective study of 6,764 middle-aged men and women. Am J Epidemiol 176:188-192.

 

Schlundt DG, Hill JO, Sbrocco T, Pope-Cordle J, & Sharp T (1992) The role of breakfast in the treatment of obesity: a randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr 55:645-651.

 

Vander Wal JS, Gupta A, Khosla P, & Dhurandhar NV (2008) Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int, J Obesity 32:1545-1551.

 

Vander Wal JS, Marth JM, Khosla P, Jen KC, & Dhurandhar NV (2005) Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Col Nutr 24:510-515.

 

Wyatt HR, Grunwald GK, Mosca CL, Klem ML, Wing RR, & Hill JO (2012) Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the national weight control registry. Obesity Research 10:78-82.