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Is Your Partner Derailing Your Diet

Diet experts say it’s not unusual for those who are closest to you such as your BFF, significant others, or family members to try to get you off track from your weight loss goals. This trend is especially prevalent when you initially start to make changes.

There are multiple reasons for this. Firstly, people don’t want you to change your eating and exercise habits for the better because it makes people feel guilty about their own. Misery loves company – those who are unhappy with the way their body looks would rather have you be unhappy with yours, as well. Another reason friends and family might try to sabotage your effort is because the idea of a thinner you may intimidate them. They might be concerned that after you drop a dress size other people will find you more attractive, and you might find your current partner or friends less attractive. Insecurity and Jealousy may be to blame for your guy wanting to take you out to a fast food venue for dinner after you start making changes to your diet!

Fortunately, you don’t have to pick between a weight loss plan and your relationships! There are things you can do to help your friends and family come around to the idea of supporting you, and maybe even joining you on the path to being more fit and healthy! Talk to your friends about why you are not going to order fries at the restaurant. Explain to them that you want to become more healthy and feel better about yourself. Being real with them is the best way to stop them from nagging you about your newfound healthy choices. You might even inspire some of them to join you!

If your partner is the one trying to derail your diet, explain to him why you are trying to become healthier as well. In addition, tell him your commitment to him will not change and that you will still make time to do things with him including going out to eat occasionally. Lastly, tell him you love doing things together with him and ask if he would want to join you on your journey to living a healthier life! Talking to loved ones about why you are changing your habits will make it easier for them to the change and more likely to lay off the next time you insist on taking the stairs.

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Fun Motivation Tips

The biggest barrier to working out is seeing it as “work”. Sometimes all we need is a little fun to keep us going! If you need some exercise motivation, give the following tips for making your workout seem less like work and more like play a try:

  • If you love to read, try reading while riding a stationary bike! Reading can be a fun distraction while working out – just make sure you don’t slack in your pedaling progress!
  • Instead of being a couch potato the next time you watch TV, hop on a treadmill or elliptical while you watch your favorite shows! Or, try doing a certain amount of crunches or jumping jacks between commercial breaks.
  • Try working out with a partner. Setting a time and place when you will exercise together will both be more fun and keep you from talking yourself out of working out in the end!
  • Make a playlist of up-beat pump-up songs that energize you and keep you moving! Fast paced songs that you love will keep your body and mind stimulated, making you less likely to slack off during a workout.
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Harmful Effects Of Stress

Studies have shown that the majority of Americans feel stressed out every day. According to the American Psychological Association, almost half of us eat unhealthy as a result of our stress, and it makes one in three of us depressed. If we don’t find a way to release the pressure we accumulate throughout the day from stressful situations, there can be a variety of negative consequences for our health.

Stress doesn’t just affect the functioning of your mind; it affects your waistline as well. Whenever someone is faced with a stressful situation, their body secretes the hormone cortisol, which is a well-known culprit for causing the accumulation of excess belly fat. When the cause of the stressor goes away, our bodies return to normal. But with all the chronic stressors people live with today such as relationship problems, credit card debt, and facing the possibility of being laid off from a job, the hormone cortisol can stick around for days at a time. Increased and prolonged levels of cortisol leads to an increase in the storage of belly fat. In addition to belly fat, illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, and some cancers are associated with chronic stress.

While many people attempt to relieve stress through taking a bubble bath, watching TV, or taking deep breaths, these methods encourage trying to “think yourself calm” which is not always effective. Since the stress response is a largely physical one, taking a more active, physical approach to relieve the pressure caused by stress can often be more effective. In fact, the latest research suggests that exercise may be the best stress solution!

Exercising – especially performing cardio workouts – may actually remodel the brain to make it more resistant to stress hormones! So the next time stress gets you feeling down, simply get your body moving to help reduce its negative effects on your body and brain.

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Make Your Own Salsa

Vegetables to Make Your Own Salsa

A Great Summer Recipe!

Home-made salsa is super healthy and often much better for you than the store-bought kind. The fresh ingredients you chop up yourself will both taste better and be more vitamin-rich. The beauty about homemade salsa is that you can make it however you want and season it to your taste. Try making salsa yourself next time you crave a zesty, healthy treat!

Use the following list of common fixings found in salsa to custom-create your own combination of ingredients to make up the perfect salsa for your taste buds:

  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Bell Peppers
  • Chili Peppers
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Avocado
  • Corn
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano
  • Ground Cumin
  • Lime Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Combine ingredients in a bowl after chopping/dicing them if needed. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon or lime juice, stir, cover, and set in the refrigerator for an hour or two to let the flavors further develop. Finally, take out of the fridge and enjoy your delicious, healthy snack with some tortilla chips!

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It’s All About The Follow Through

Setting personal fitness goals for ourselves can be a tedious process. We take time to look at all of our options and ultimately work to devise the best fitness plan that suits our own personal needs. With so much mental preparation going into the construction of fitness goals, you would think that sticking to these goals would be a given. Unfortunately, it is an all too often occurrence that these goals end up in the gutter after a few measly weeks, sometimes even days.

Why is this? Well, some of it has to do with the American culture. If you grew up in the United States – or most first world countries for that matter – you likely have a short-term orientation. Our society has built us up to me machines of immediate consumption. You’re hungry? Pop a frozen meal in the microwave. Want to watch a certain show or movie? The controls are right at your fingertips. We are not used to having to wait very long to get the things we want!

This is the reason that often times when the going gets tough, we simply stop going. Not being able to see fast results is frustrating for people who are used to having so many things come to them with simply the press of a button.

Many people start off their fitness routines strong and are optimistic about being able to achieve their goals, and after a couple weeks when they don’t see immediate results, they give up on everything. They look for an easier, quicker way to get the results they want. That is why weight loss “miracle” drugs and diet plans make millions every year – there is a large market of people looking for a quick-fix weight loss solution.

The one thing that you need to know is that there is NO quick-fix solution when it comes to getting fit and in shape. It takes times. It takes effort. Don’t let anyone else tell you different! Anything product out there that promises you will lose 10 pounds in a week without changing your diet and exercise plan is a joke. This is simply not possible, and even if it was, it would be extremely unhealthy! So please, stop wasting your time looking for short cuts. Recognize your goals, create a fitness plan, and above all, FOLLOW THROUGH! That is the only way you will get true results that last.

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Prepping for Your Summer Race

Prepping for Your Big Summer Race

Running a race during the summer is a popular way to motivate yourself to exercise.  All summer long, races of varying lengths are put on by all sorts of organizations and events.  Signing up and training with a friend is a great way to keep in shape for the summer.

After you have made the initial and middle steps of signing up and training, what you do right before the race is also important.  As race morning approaches, you want to minimize time on your feet and take care of important things such as finding directions to the start and deciding what you’ll wear. Saving these tasks for the last minute can increase pre-race anxiety and potentially slow you down.

Two Days Out:

Pick your clothes:  Use a checklist and lay out your clothes from head to toe in a corner of your room

Check the weather:  If cold temperatures are expected, consider donning a long-sleeved shirt to stay warm.

Get some sleep:  Pre-race nerves and excitement can keep you from sleeping well the night before, so two nights out is a great time to go to bed early.  If you can, shut off the alarm and sleep in.

One Day Out:

Go to the expo early:  Your race packet can often be picked up the day before the race, saving you from the rush to get it right before as well as easing your mind by taking care of business

Finalize logistics: Read through race instructions, get directions to the starting line and parking area, learn about road closures, etc.

Drive the course: It wont’ hurt to see where you are running, how steep and how many hills there are, etc.

The Evening Before

Final prep: Review your racing items, making sure you have everything you need, as well as what you want for breakfast in the morning.  Note where you put your car keys

Relax:  Try and be off your feet and resting by mid to late afternoon.  Read a book, play a board game, watch a movie, anything ot eliminate stress.

Set two alarms!

Race Morning:

Arrive early: Make sure you have plenty of time to park and go to the bathroom before a race.

Warm up: Do a 10 minute brisk walk or jog to warm up your muscles

Soak it in:  The energy before a race can be extremely exciting.  Make sure to take a second to enjoy it and to congratulate yourself in accepting this challenge.  If you are nervous, take a few breaths and think back on your training.

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Incognito Ways To Eat Healthy

For those who want to take a step towards eating healthier without completely changing their diet, the following tips will help you find ways to make the foods you love healthier without compromising the taste you love:

  • Add a handful of leaves to your next sandwich, omelet, or pasta – you will hardly even notice the leafy green veggie is there. With a food so loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and cancer-fighting flavonoids, it would be hard to find an excuse not to eat more of it!
  • Sprinkle flax seeds into your oatmeal or pancake batter to up the fiber and omega-3 content of your breakfast. These seeds have a slightly nutty flavor that will add to your dish as well!
  • Grate or dice up veggies to be mixed in with raw hamburger meat before you cook it. This will add texture, color, and essential vitamins to your burger!
  • If you love ice-cream, you will love this healthy dessert substitute: Frozen bananas blended with berries. You can mix the frozen fruits together yourself or use the Yonanas™ Ice Cream Treat Maker for a delicious sweet treat that is guilt-free!
  • If you are a pasta lover, you can bulk up your next pasta dish by adding more veggies to it. Not only will this add more fiber and nutrients to your dish, but it will cut down the calories of a normal serving size.
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