More Fast Food Blues

Rethink Fast Food


More Fast Food Blues


More bad news for those of you out there that just love fast food! Don’t get me wrong, from time to time we all break down and grab a quick bite due to convenience, hunger, or just because we frankly like it, but it can have some seriously bad side effects. I’m sure you’ve heard it before about obesity, Trans fat, diabetes…etc. Well, we have another negative to add to the list: phthalates! Good luck saying that – I had trouble typing it correctly. Let’s look at the research.


The Chemical Called Phthalates


Well it seems the more fast food you consume the more likely you will be exposed to a chemical called phthalates. This was determined by a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, and is one of the first to look at the link between phthalates and fast food consumption.


So what exactly are phthalates? They are an industrial chemical that is commonly used to make food packaging materials and other items used in the fast food industry. Many have researched the fact that they leach out of these packaging materials right into this yummy, albeit highly processed foods! The foods that were most likely to be contaminated were grains and meats.


Phthalates have been linked to birth defects, pregnancy loss, even high blood pressure in children and teens…etc. It’s no wonder that they need to be avoided but that’s easier said than done when they leach into our food sources! So what’s the correlation between fast food and phthalates? Lead author Ami Zota explained, People who ate the most fast food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 percent higher. Our findings raise concerns because phthalates have been linked to a number of serious health problems in children and adults.


Fast Food Alternatives


If fast food is so bad for us, why do we eat it in the first place? For many people it’s because it is so convenient. It’s easier to grab a double cheeseburger with fries (supersized of course) than it is to pack some healthy snacks or even a full meal.


Make sure to have handy foods in the pantry or refrigerator that you can easily grab before heading out on a road trip. Better yet, make sure to have a few snack packs in your car or gym bag. For instance, fruit, dried fruit (raisins are great), beef jerky, whey protein shakes, and various other dietary supplements (choose with caution)…etc. all make for great food alternatives!


These types of food can hold you over until you reach your destination or you find a better alternative. It really is that simple when it comes to avoiding fast food! When it comes down to it, it’s all common sense.



Are you worried that fast food is causing obesity and other harmful effects on your body? Well stop eating fast food then! As Zota suggested, “People concerned about this issue can’t go wrong by eating more fruits and vegetables and less fast food. A diet filled with whole foods offers a variety of health benefits that go far beyond the question of phthalates.”


Looking for more nutritional tips and fitness tricks to help you get in shape and make fitness enjoyable again? Well then head over to DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life,” and join the DIY Nation!

Not Losing the Weight You Want? Look At Snacks

are snacks hurting your diet?


Is Snacking to Blame?


Many people think that if they simply eliminated all sweets from their diet, they would magically lose weight – as if it was that simple… Will no more chocolate in the house lead to you losing 10 pounds in a week? Will no soda in the office result in 5 pounds lost in a few days? If only it were that simple! But when you think about it, isn’t it all about those underlying urges and lack of healthy alternatives that make you chow down on this stuff? Let’s look at a few ways in which you can control your hunger and hopefully start moving the scale in the right direction.


Plan Your Way to Success:


So you ate fast food twice today (breakfast and lunch), then raided the office vending machine for a few snacks, and then on the way home picked up a pizza…what the Hell? Of course, this will look like your diet if you don’t plan and prep a few meals here and there. Having some healthy premade meals and snacks that you can take with you to the office or use for supper will save you a huge amount of wasted calories! Start prepping!


Eat Slower:


Seriously, this can help you not choke, aid in digestion, and prevent you from overeating! When you eat slower, your mind and stomach stay in sync and know when you are full. If you are like me, when you wolf down your food you actually overeat before your brain catches up to the fact that it’s stuffed and bloated!


More Fiber:


If you have a problem snacking and always being hungry then this is a must follow for you! By filling up on fiber, you not only fill-up quicker but you also stay full longer. This means that it might reduce some of that snacking you have a habit of doing! When it comes to fiber, which can also play an important role in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and your immune system, consume at least 14 grams of fiber per 1000 kcal you consume daily!


Remember Your Goals:

If you are serious about taking control of your health this year then you must remember what you are working for. Next time the office is having a birthday party and there is a massive amount of cake, just remember what you have been working so hard for and head the other direction (after singing “Happy Birthday” of course). Or just think about how many burpees it would take to work off those calories… yeah that will make you put the fork down!


Drop the Guilt:


If you don’t love yourself and stop feeling guilty every time you screw up on your diet, how are you going to avoid “emotional” eating? I mean seriously, being stronger than the Hulk is useless if you are mentally weak and constantly break down. Be gentle on yourself. Living healthy isn’t a sprint that needs to be completed in a month or even a year – it’s a lifestyle. Remember to constantly be positive and build your own confidence and ditch the guilt.



If you are blaming your health on the excessive amount of sugary goodies at your office, just remember you have the will-power and the tools to help you avoid it! By eating properly (decreasing your hunger), remembering your goals, and ditching the guilt you will be well on your way to getting healthy!


If you are looking for more fit tips, recipes, and motivational content check out DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life,” and join the growing DIY Nation!


Mental Fitness As Important As Physical Fitness During Weight Loss

mental fitness during weight loss


What’s the first image that pops into your mind when you think of weight loss or getting in shape? For almost 90 percent of you out there, it has been found that you think of either exercise or nutrition. You think of either sweating it out on a treadmill or eating nothing but salads. Only 10 percent of people think about the physiological aspects of losing weight and this might need to be your starting point!


Losing Weight and Gaining It Back


It’s been found that only 8% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions and on top of that, over 65% of those who lose significant weight – like 5 percent of their bodyweight – will gain it back (and usually more)! So if exercise and nutrition is so important and we focus the majority of our energy on it, why is this approach failing? It’s because we aren’t working on the mental aspects of losing weight and keeping it off!


Neuropsychologist Dr, Diane Robinson explained, “That may explain why so many of us struggle. In order to lose weight and keep it off long term, we need to do more than just think about what we eat, we also need to understand why we’re eating.”


Cue the emotional eating and the boredom eating – these can are weight loss killers! Dr. Robinson explained further, “If we’re aware of it or not, we are conditioned to use food not only for nourishment, but for comfort. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, as long as we acknowledge it and deal with it appropriately.”


Being Mentally Fit


How are we to break this cycle and make sure we have a sound mental approach when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off? Let’s break down a few strategies:


Create a food log – This is a must and one I encourage all my clients try. This is one of the most important things you can do in order to become consciously aware of what and when you are eating. You will start to see habits and binge foods you eat and then you can start to correct them one by one! The more you know about your diet the easier it is to correct!


Constant reminders – Another option is to write down a few fixes on a piece of paper and put that in your pocket or on your desk (even on your phone screen). Things such as “drink more water”, “control your snacking”, or “you can do this” can be great way to remind you to stay on the healthy path!


Find support – We all go through struggles and there are many people out there who have went through what you are currently going through or are going through it themselves! Find and connect with these people and you can lean on them to help you get motivated and moving forward!



When it comes to getting and staying healthy this year, while exercise and nutrition are very important, don’t forget the mental aspects of health. Find the right support group for you and start being conscious of when, what, and why you are eating and you will be better suited to reach your goals!


If you are looking for more fitness and nutritional tips, head on over to DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life.”