Weight Loss Recipes to Increase Energy and Willpower

Weight loss recipes are a great solution when it comes to maintaining your health or losing weight. Does that surprise you?

But the problem is this – when you hear the term “weight loss recipes,” people cover their ears for fear that their beloved taste buds will rebuke them and leave the country. (Ear Muffs, kid!)

weight loss recipes and earmuffs

In today’s post, I’m going to provide a step by step plan for how you can use weight loss recipes to increase your energy and willpower at the same time.

Ready to get started?

Some of the recipes or approaches we’ll discuss can be made faster with two essential kitchen tools – the InstaPot Duo and the Cuisinart Smart Stick. We’re giving them away in our Kitchen Bundle Giveaway along with a free $1,100 scholarship in our upcoming Intentional University course. Click here for a chance to win!

weight loss recipes kitchen bundle giveaway

Step 1 –  The Power of Weight Loss Recipes

Little do most people realize, but recipes are like maps of pure gold. Consider the last time you went on vacation. If you drove, you likely used a map to show you how to get there. Your map was a guide post, a plan that got you to your goal.

Weight loss recipes can be your map to Willpower (especially if you don’t live in the same country as shown in the picture below).

weight loss recipes map to willpower

Grocery stores stock their shelves in a particular fashion to make money. You can’t blame them, but if left unchecked, they can leave you fat and broke.

When you use weight loss recipes for your food choices, you’re setting in motion a willpower action that can ensure your weight loss goals if you see it through. So here’s how to increase your willpower with weight loss recipes:

  1. Gather up your weight loss recipes and what you’ll be cooking
  2. Put together the list of needed ingredients for those recipes
  3. Go to the grocery store and buy ONLY those ingredients
  4. Leave the heavily marketed processed foods, cereals, and sweets on the shelves

When you come back home and prepare your recipes, you’re intentionally deciding and taking action on eating real foods. Assuming your pantry is void of bad choices, you have no recourse but to eat what has been prepared. If your willpower or decision-making abilities are fatigued that day, have no fear – your pantry or refrigerator will be at the rescue.

Your road to Willpower can be traveled to and from using this very simple approach – and it’s all tied to the concept of having weight loss recipes at the ready.

Step 2 – The Formula for Weight Loss Recipes

weight loss recipes can be super easy

Tasty weight loss recipes don’t have to be challenging. With the power of Google, Amazon, and so many other resources, finding recipes is easier than ever.

But be warned!

We’ve talked about the over usage of “healthy” in past articles.  We’ve also discussed “healthy” labeling that isn’t always true. So, be sure the ingredients in your weight loss recipes are limited to a few constraints.

  • The majority, if not all ingredients, should be whole foods (not processed)
  • The produce should be fresh, local and in-season
  • Sweeteners should be kept to a minimum
  • The amount of carbohydrates in proportion to fats should be relatively small. Too many carbohydrates, especially those high on the glycemic index will drive insulin up along with fat storage.

The formula for weight loss recipes is a pretty easy one. Here’s a standard everyday blueprint to go from:

  1. A one person portion of meat is 5-8 oz. meat (chicken, beef, seafood, etc.)
  2. 2-4 cups of a low-glycemic vegetable (broccoli, onions, sweet potatoes, etc.)
  3. A dose of fat to add flavor and provide energy
  4. Make multiple batches in one session to save time and aid in portioning the meals
  5. Don’t forget the “secret ingredient”

Step 3- The Secret Ingredient for Weight Loss Recipes

Even Colonel Sanders employs my secret ingredient technique for what I use in all of my weight loss recipes. It provides that additional boost that some foods need, even chicken, in the case of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
weight loss recipes need spices

The secret ingredient is… spices.

If you’ve over or under cooked your food, sorry – you are on your own! But if you’ve enjoyed a recipe and want to change up its flavor profile for added enjoyment, spices are the easy go to.

For example, let’s say you enjoy beef patties or chicken breast. If you want a little “South of the Border” flavor, just add some cumin, cayenne, chipotle, and oregano.

Using the same beef or chicken, give it some Italian zing by replacing the earlier spices with basil, fennel, oregano, and thyme. In a short time you’ll have more dishes to enjoy than you have time to cook them. Here are a few more blends via Women’s Health:

weight loss recipes with spice blends

Step 4 – Time Savers for Weight Loss Recipes

If you’re like me and love to cook, but are always looking for a few life-hacks to get the job done faster, you’re in luck, my friend. Have we got a deal for you!

The kitchen, when properly equipped, is like the pit area of the home. Instead of pneumatic drills, socket sets, and wrenches, a well-stocked kitchen has the latest gadgets that serve multiple functions and cut prep time in half (or more).

First up is the InstantPot Duo, which is a combination stock pot, steam cooker, pressure cooker and slow cooker all rolled into one. With programming capabilities, you can saute or brown meats, throw in the veggies, set it and forget it. A few hours later, the best tasting roast you’ve ever had will be waiting for you to enjoy.

Another time saver, especially regarding cleanup, is the Cuisinart Smart Stick. This little beauty comes in a dozen colors and makes smoothies, soups, drinks and more. It’s a hand-blender with one control for speed.

For more information on both of these items and how you can enter for a chance to win them both, just click this link or on the picture below.

weight loss recipes kitchen bundle giveaway

For more time-saving recipes using the Instant Pot, check out Nom Nom Paleo’s list of favorites. She has ten recipes you can use right away with an Instant Pot or slow cooker that are guaranteed to be healthy as well as tasty.

And for some smoothie recipes, my partner Brooke has two delicious recipes – her Raspberry Smoothie as well as her Breakfast Smoothie. Both are excellent uses of the Cuisinart Smart Stick and can be made in record time as weight loss recipes just for you.

Conclusion

weight loss recipes according to Ron Burgundy

So there you have it, as Ron Burgundy would say – the secrets behind how to make weight loss recipes, increase your willpower, and by default will increase your energy by eating the way you were meant to. Let’s review:

  1. Increase and grow your willpower by collecting and buying ingredients for weight loss recipes. You’ll take the guesswork out of what the right foods are to lose weight, and you’ll push off the much-discussed decision fatigue.
  2. The formula for weight loss recipes is easy. Well portioned meat combined with low-glycemic vegetables and a healthy fat will leave you well fed, satiated and energized for your next workout or chore.
  3. The secret ingredient if your weight loss recipes leave you wanting is as simple as a trip to the spice rack. Using the provided infographic, combine the spices of your choosing to travel around the world while staying in your kitchen.
  4. Great recipes can be further enhanced when they take less time to create. We’re talking kitchen gadgets! And that ties in perfectly to our Kitchen Time Saver Bundle. If you’d liked a chance to win your own InstantPot Duo and Cuisinart Smart Stick, register today before the giveaway is over. (Ends July 8, 2016)

100 Ways How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

How to stay motivated to lose weight starts with a story. (No Goldilocks I promise, except for that adorable little girl below.)

Over ten years ago I was on a mission to lose weight and improve my health. My coach created a strategy I’d never come across. It was scary. I mean really scary. It put me WAY out of my comfort zone. But I did it.

Curious what this strategy is?

Today I’m going to show you step by step how to stay motivated to lose weight using the same approach he used with me. As you’ll find out – sometimes risk is worth it.

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Step 1- How To Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

The first step you need to take is going to sound a bit odd at first. But bear with me.

Look at your checking and savings account. Now pretend you are going to have a life or death event in your life, and it’s paramount that you come up with a sum of money that dips into what you have left at the end of the month – and even takes away a bit more than that.

For some people this may be $25, $50, $100 or $1000 plus. Write that number down. 

how to stay motivated to lose weight means knowing where youre money went

Step 2 – Share a 30 Day Challenge With a Close Friend, Workout Partner or Spouse

Accountability is a dead-solid strategy how to stay motivated to lose weight. It’s the end all – be all.

Decide on whatever measurement you and your partner will achieve by the end of 30 days. Make it attainable but tough. Even better, don’t make it weight-based.

As an example, find out how many burpees you can do in a set amount of time, let’s say 7 minutes. Your goal then would be to increase that number in the next 30 days. First off, commit to eating clean for 30 days. Commit to getting to sleep one hour earlier than normal. Or do all three. The compound effects of exercise, nutrition and sleep will have an impact on your health and weight.

Put your plan together with a workout partner, decide what you’ll do together and then give each other a solid high-five (not like the one below). Partners are much more fun, keep you motivated and it’s always awesome losing weight together.

how to stay motivated to lose weight accountability partner

Step 3 – Accountability Meets Reality

If you’re ready at this point how you can stay motivated to lose weight, you’ve laid the groundwork. Now it’s time to act.

Remember that amount you landed on in Step 1? It’s time to put it on the table. Here’s how you do it:

  • Write a check for the amount you came up with in Step 1 and issue it to a charity of your choice.
  • For harsher impact, write it to a charity or cause you can’t stand!
  • Physically write it out, date it one month in advance and hand it to a close friend.
  • Give that friend permission that if you don’t hit your goal, they will mail it away.
  • Benjamin Franklin always gives me 100 ways how to stay motivated to lose weight anytime I use him in a challenge. He’ll do the same for you, trust me!

one-hundred-ways-how-to-stay-motivated-to-lose-weight

Step 4 – Put Your Plan into Action: How You Really Can Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

Let’s use the above example of burpees. Burpees are tough. They are a full body exercise that requires no equipment. On Day 1, find out how many you can do in 5-10 minutes. Here’s what that might look like:

  • Day 1 – You do as many burpees as you can in 7 minutes (or whatever exercise or time limit you create). Having never done this particular workout, let’s say you start off strong but the reps add up on the body, and you finish with 50.
  • Next, determine a target – at least 10% increase. In this case, that’s 55 reps.
  • If that target is too steep or too small, adjust as needed. The goal is to how to stay motivated to lose weight with a number you can WORK towards. As weeks two and three come up, you can adjust as needed, going higher or lower.how to stay motivated to lose weight - burpees
  • Strategize with your workout partner how you both can make this work. Increase your speed, target so many reps per minute, etc.
  • Eat clean. Eat what you know your body needs to regain its vitality. You have two goals now to determine how you will stay motivated to lose weight: that check you wrote as well as the reps you’ve targeted.
  • At the end of each week, re-test your efforts and compare them against your Day 1 results and your target.
  • The closer the time frame approaches, the more focused you will become, provided the dollar amount on your check was enough to get your attention.

Conclusion:

A 30-day challenge is a perfect way to sprint your progress ahead. While it may not be the ultimate destination for you, that’s OK – it will take you further than you were 30 days earlier. Let’s review:

Step 1 – Arrive at a dollar figure that you are going to bet on yourself to win your challenge. The number you arrive at is the ultimate solution for how to stay motivated to lose weight, wouldn’t you agree?

Step 2 – Share that challenge with a friend to up the odds of winning.

Step 3 – Write that check in the amount from Step 1 and have it arranged to be sent to a charity.

Step 4 – Put that plan in motion!

This is a great solution how you can stay motivated, lose weight, regain your health and have fun. But if you’re looking for additional resources that go deeper into weight loss assistance how to, use our FREE course as a booster to get you started. No cost, no obligation. See below.

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How to Gain the Edge Over Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are a modern day barrier.

How many times do you let limiting beliefs control your life?

See what I did there? I didn’t ask if you had limiting beliefs. I assumed you did. And for good reason.

Eavesdrop on a conversation the next time you are at Starbuck’s or record your next phone call.  You’ll hear these statements:

  • “I can’t…”
  • “I don’t…”
  • “I’ll never be able to…”
  • “Yeah, I tried that once before…”

We all have said these phrases, but if you say them more than you like, it’s ok.

Help has arrived.

Stop limiting beliefs through quality of thought

Why We Are Talking About Limiting Beliefs

This is a health and fitness blog but at the core of why so many fail to change is those pesky limiting beliefs. Losing weight or regaining health isn’t only eating good food and exercise. Our minds need to be re-trained as well.

As I consult with individuals, I’m amazed at the use of limiting beliefs (also known as “excuses”) and how people use them to delude their thinking.

Many seek me out, ask me questions about how to lose weight, etc. – and then digress to why doing anything won’t help because… it never worked before.

Imagine a life where you never took a second chance.

You’d never get out of bed.

stop limiting beliefs with our free mini course

Your Limiting Beliefs Are By-Products of Your Environment

Let’s focus on a few areas that are behind limiting beliefs. You’ll recognize more than a few.

Experience, or as I call it, cause and effect, is a large barrier toward activating your potential. If you go outside on the hottest day of the year and get sunburned, does that stop you from ever wanting to go outside again? If one bad thing happened to you just one time causing you to make ultimatums around that one event, recognize that this is dysfunctional thinking.

You’re not dysfunctional – just your thoughts. Big difference.

Education is another limiting belief. Assume you had a teacher or friend who once told you something. Was every word they uttered at all times correct? These unintended but false statements will stop you in your tracks. Assuming you believe everything you hear, you’ll stop exploring the possibilities rather than researching further.

Faulty logic is another source of limiting beliefs. Or perhaps no logic at all. We project false probabilities of success (based on education, experience, etc.) which solidifies our faith something can’t be done.

Fear is another culprit behind limiting beliefs. Fear strikes most when it comes to doing things we’ve never done before or that we have failed at in the past. Fear is normal, but if it limits your actions, then it becomes a real problem.

Assume success to overcome limiting beliefs. Imagine the possibilities!

What Limiting Beliefs Look Like In the Real World

Let’s put the limiters in a real world setting. Pretend a friend asked you to run a 5K race with them.

  • Experience – “Uh, I tried once before and the week before the race, I hurt my leg. I better not.”
  • Education – “My brother told me that running is bad for your knees.”
  • Faulty logic – “Running shoes are expensive. I don’t think I can afford to run.”
  • Fear – “Me running? Seriously? Everyone will laugh at me when they see me jogging own the street. Forget it!”

Three Strategies to Stop Limiting Beliefs

There are various strategies to stop your limiting beliefs, but here are three recommended steps you can take to limit or eliminate your limiting beliefs.

  1. Track your limiting beliefs for a few days to demonstrate what you’re up against. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so keep a notepad and add a check mark each time you limit yourself in speech or thought.
  2. Look at consistent statements that pop up and say the opposite. Instead of saying, “All those diets I’ve done before didn’t do me any good,” say this: “I’ve learned what doesn’t work, so it’s time to learn what does work!”
  3. Play with your internal dialogue. Self-talk is an important aspect of what we say and do. Listen to positive affirmations and repeat affirmative action statements. We are our product of our thoughts, so you need to re-program those thoughts. “I can do this. I will figure it out. Just take the first step.”
  4. While this may sound a bit woo-woo, in psychological terms, recognize when your thoughts become dysfunctional or irrational. At Psychology.Tools, they have a resource you can print out which allows you to look at each situation, write out the emotion you experienced, your first thought that entered your mind, the alternative or rational response – and the outcome. Mindfully tracking daily situations will be a powerful ally to manage what is standing in your way and how you can run it over.

Daily_Record_Dysfunctional_Thoughts

Recognize as you read this how old you are and how long these beliefs have been holding you hostage. The longer these thoughts have plagued you, the more unwilling they’ll be to go away. The tactics listed above aren’t all overnight solutions but given time they will provide you a path to less limiting beliefs and realization of your potential.

Action Steps

In the next day or two, be mindful and think about everything before you say it. Stop any negative thoughts you might have. Flick them away with your mental finger. Replace the thought or words with a positively worded statement. Rinse and repeat.

Now that you’re ready for the next steps to regaining your health, we offer a free mini-course. The course provides foundational tips and advice to help you avoid detractors on your path to a better life. Over 600 students (and counting) have taken the course. Don’t limit yourself. Get started today!

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Are You As Healthy As You Think You Are?

If you’re as healthy as you think you are, you’re going to love this article.

Why?

Assessments confirm knowledge and action. We’re offering exactly that. A test that shows if you are as healthy as you think you are.

Two things are going to happen.

You’re going to find out your health is exactly where it should be.

Or some of you will learn a startling truth – your efforts have gone off-track. If not changed soon, you’ll be a part of those alarming health stats that appear in the news or in infographics.

Should that be the case, stick around. There’s help close by.

Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You Read

It’s painful to say, but in the U.S. of A., we have a problem. Even though our food labels are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration, the truth is not there.

I’m a huge proponent of choosing as many whole foods as possible. Items like meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, butter – elements that don’t need a label. The processed foods in the grocery store – those foods require a label and for good reason.

They’re poison.

Cereals and most breakfast products are bad for us. These and other foods are disguised as “healthy” with titles like whole grain, fortified with (fill in the blank), and high fiber.

Does that make you feel better knowing you’re eating foods with these descriptions?

Check the labels in your pantry and describe to me what is really in your food.

Can you?

Man-made, synthetic and artificial ingredients abound. When consumers believe these food labels at face value, easier choices can be made and the large food companies profit.

To demonstrate this error in our ways, let’s pick on the Fiber One Protein Bar.

Sounds “healthy,” right?

After an Instagrammer had posted their photo of the bar, claiming it was their ketogenic meal replacement for the day, I did some research and pulled away disgusted and frustrated.

A label that calls itself a protein bar assumes the contents are mostly protein.

Makes sense, right? With a 32GB iPhone, I’d expect it to have close to 32 gigabytes of storage. In a Fiber One Protein Bar, guess how much is listed as protein?

Out of 140 calories total, the Fiber One Protein Bar has 6 grams of protein, which is 24 calories, or 17% of the calorie content.

Sugar is the second listed ingredient, but I guess calling it the Fiber One Sugar Bar didn’t test well in the focus groups. (Insert sarcastic sneer here)

Fiber_One®_Chewy_Bars_Protein_Peanut_Butter

Is it any wonder with this fraudulent labeling you aren’t as healthy as you think you are?

Breaking down the listed ingredients, here’s a quick run-down of more problems:

  • Ingredients are listed in order of quantity – Sugar in the #2 spot (and it’s hiding under other names as we’ll discover).
  • Rice flour – sounds healthy, but has a Glycemic Index at 95 which ties it with French Fries. Aren’t healthy foods supposed to push you away from foods that contribute to obesity and diabetes?
  • Products containing soy are known to increase estrogen levels, decreasing testosterone which is needed to build muscle. Soy products are cheaper for food manufacturers to push off as healthy.
  • Corn syrup – just another form of sugar with a Glycemix Index score of 115.
  • Soybean oil – highly oxidative, but it’s OK – it’s cheap, right?
  • Processed garbage abounds within the ingredients (vegetable glycerin, maltodextrin, artificial flavor, caramel color that causes cancer)
  • Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, appears in its third reincarnation of sugar, justifying the Fiber One Protein Bar to be renamed the Fiber One Sugar Bar.

After dissecting this one “healthy” item, imagine the dangers that exist in the frozen foods, cookies, cereals, and pasta?

If your pantry and shopping list omit processed foods and disguised “healthy” foods, then give yourself one point for being as healthy as you think you are.

Why “Healthy” Is No Longer a Label, Just a Cliche

When you hear the word “healthy,” what comes to mind?

“Well, she looks healthy.”

“Our bagels are very healthy.

“Would you like a TV dinner from Stouffers, dear, or would you prefer a Healthy Choice dinner?”

One popular notion as featured in the U.S. News is that a “healthy” breakfast is a large breakfast consisting of 700 calories. Well, since a Cinnabon is 880 calories, I guess 3/4 of one would be OK, right? I mean it won’t totally destroy my pancreas, will it?

In time, it will do exactly that.

We use the term “healthy” to denote health, but let’s be real. We use it to justify our bad habits.

Thou shalt not use the word “healthy” in vain. But we do. We can’t define healthy because everyone has their definition to fit their world.

In that sense, “healthy” is one of the most overused hashtags of all time. (On Instagram, there are over 70 million posts using #healthy.)

If everything is so “healthy” for us to eat, why are 34%  of U.S. adults obese? Not just overweight, but obese.

The next time someone tells you their food or activity are “healthy,” do this: ask them why or how. The back-pedaling will start immediately.

“Uh, it’s healthy because… it says so right here.” And they point to the label. So you ask them why it says that on the label.

“Well, it’s healthy because…” And then at this point, the stream of misguided lies come out quoting whole grains, all-natural, low-fat and the second most compromised phrase next to “healthy.”

“And it’s good for you.”

Subway, long considered a healthy fast food alternative, is not so good. Check out these ingredients and additives.

f31328346954d4d2a9128bd74e9313a4

Subway’s slogan was/is “Eat Fresh.” What’s fresh about adding chemicals, sugars and soy to an all-natural piece of chicken breast just to fill it, sweeten it and increase estrogen levels with soy?

Gluten is an entirely different topic, but certainly not as healthy as you think it is. Gluten causes multiple autoimmune issues in our stomach. Over 25% of the population suffers from celiac disease or is pre-disposed to have it. Healthy? Hardly.

The following bullets should be mandatory definers of “healthy.”

  • If it contains healthy saturated fat – check.
  • If it contains anti-inflammatory whole food ingredients, like more omega- 3 fatty acids vs. omega-6 – check.
  • If there are no processed foods used to make it – check.
  • If it omits mention of low-fat or low-calorie anywhere – check.
  • If it is free of gluten – check.
  • If it contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors – check.
  • If it is preservative-free – check.
  • If it contains low-glycemic-index ingredients, so insulin doesn’t spike – check.
  • If it omits mention of being high in fiber – check.

This is by no means a comprehensive test of what’s “healthy,” but it is a good start. Here’s one last point you may have picked up by now – if it uses the word “healthy” anywhere on its packaging – place it back on the shelf.

If the foods you eat most fit the bullet pointed definition provided, then you get one point for being as healthy as you think you are.

This Well-Known Event Is Not As Healthy As You Think It Is…

Aside from “healthy,” there is another word that needs reining in – cardio.

Cardio is the poor man’s excuse for exercise. It signifies some measure of challenging work. It’s a badge of honor.

By its very nature, cardio is defined as exercise that increases your cardiovascular capacity. There are two types of exercise – anaerobic and aerobic. Aerobic requires oxygen in its performance effort while anaerobic does not. Seems simple enough.

Not so fast. Cardio is not as healthy as you think it is.

Lacing up the shoes and jumping on the treadmill appear to be a splendid idea. But the net result of long periods of cardio works against you.

Many well-intended individuals take up cardio as a method to lose or maintain weight loss. It becomes their primary go-to form of exercise. That’s when the wheels fall off.

To lose weight should not be the point, but to lose body fat. When you exert your body over long distances, pushing your heart rate beyond 75% of your max for long periods, your body runs out of glycogen (fuel in your body), and when it’s used to consuming carbs for fuel, it induces gluconeogenesis.

Big word, huh?

Gluconeogenesis is the body’s way of breaking down muscle to produce glucose. A lifetime of ingesting high carbohydrate foods has habituated your body into a systemic dependency that is not…healthy.

Two things will make you a healthier individual. Stop relying on carbohydrates for your energy source and use good sources of fat. Also, halt the cardio.

Need more proof cardio is no bueno?

WHAT-MAKES-YOU-A-SPRINTER-OR-DISTANCE-RUNNER

Which would you rather be? The muscular sprinter on the left or the gaunt marathoner on the right?

Instead of engaging in cardio activity exclusively, your body requires your help to produce muscle. If you enjoy running, change it up. Speed it up.

Sprint.

Sprinting short distances at various intervals is a powerful muscle building activity that is evidenced in the athlete on the left. Sprinters require strong legs and upper body. Which means they engage in additional activities.

Like weight lifting.

Weight lifting is a bonafide method to build muscle, dependent on a proper diet of protein and fats. You simply start at a weight that you can achieve with good form, master it, max out and repeat the process.

Need more reasoning why cardio is secondary to your health? How about evidence to show cardio decreases your health?

Chronic activities like cardio break down your muscle, increase your stress and justify your appetite’s desires to splurge. There’s a reason why so many “cardio fans” stay the same weight. Their bodies depend on carbs, so when they are done exercising, they hit the carbs, their insulin spikes, the carbs convert to fat, and all of their well-intentioned efforts work against the goal.

They delude themselves into believing that the chocolate cake slice they’re eyeing is entirely ok because they ran three miles that morning.

Stop doing that to yourself.

My summarized advice to get as healthy as you think you should be – for real activity that benefits your weight loss/fat loss goals is to replace the cardio with sprinting (10 reps of 100 meters with 2-3 minutes rest in between) and weight lifting. Feed the body what it needs versus what you want.

Assuming you exercise, if your regimen does not include elongated chronic cardio sessions, you get one point for being as healthy as you think you are.

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure – So Measure Appropriately

Did you know there’s a crime committed most mornings in your bathroom?

It’s the use of your scale.

The worst crime is not replacing the empty toilet paper roll, but I digress…

Tucked behind the toilet, the scale is your best friend one day and your worst nightmare the next.

The scale gets a bad rap, but it’s not the scale’s fault.

A scale is an object. It has no emotion, it just measures. It just is.

weigh-689873_640

For proper usage:

  • Weigh yourself nude first thing in the morning.
  • Use one scale. Models differ in their measurement.
  • Meals high in sodium or carbohydrates from the day before will cause water retention and fluctuation.
  • The female reproductive cycle will also demonstrate fluctuations in weight.
  • Certain medications will influence your readings.

REMINDER – the scale measures ONE THING – your weight. Your health is not wholly orbiting around what you weigh.

Other health markers you should include for a full perspective of your health and progress should include the following:

  • Blood Pressure – can be measured at the nearest pharmacy or you can purchase a home cuff monitor for a reasonable amount. Ideal blood pressure is 120/80. Higher readings indicate a propensity for heart disease, stroke, and other complications.
  • Triglycerides – a type of fat found in the blood that increases with elevated insulin levels in your veins. Triglycerides store unused calories in your fat cells. Normal levels are less than 150 mg/dL.
  • HDL levels – these are the right components of cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins). You want more HDL than LDL. These “heroes” come from the consumption of saturated fats and protect against heart disease by cleansing the bloodstream of small, dense LDL’s. Aim for levels above 60 mg/dL.
  • LDL levels (and particle size) – these are the bad guys. These low-density lipoproteins have a few cousins regarding their particle size. VLDL’s (very-low-density-lipoproteins) deliver triglycerides and cholesterol to target fat or muscle cells then change into a light, fluffy LDL’s or small dense LDL’s. The large, fluffy LDL’s are relatively harmless. The small, dense LDL’s – not so good. They lodge in the endothelial cell layer, sustain oxidative damage, trigger an autoimmune response and initiate heart attacks. All in all, you want LDL’s to hit as low a level as possible, and you want the least amount of small dense LDL particles.
  •  A1C – this test can diagnose diabetes by providing your average blood sugar level for the past few months. The higher the score, the higher your risk. You want a score of 5 percent or lower. At 6.5 percent or greater, this is an indicator you have diabetes.
  • Heart Rate (Pulse) – the harder your heart has to work to transport blood throughout the body indicates your overall conditioning. A good resting heart rate should be around 50-90. As you track it, if you see changes that are increasing, investigate the reasons why. If your heart rate goes down, keep doing what you’re doing!
  • Body Fat Percentage – this is a key marker in my book assuming you are in good health. An increase in weight could be an increase in muscle. The only pure way to tell is by measuring your body fat. This can be measured by an experienced fitness trainer using body-fat calipers or using a water-displacement method, using an egg-shaped device called a Bod Pod.
  • Urine Microalbumin Level – for those with unhealthy kidneys, this test indicates how much protein is in the urine. It’s cheap and worth the test.
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – CRP is a protein that clears out dead and dying cells and bacteria. If levels are high in CRP, this indicates inflammation whether it be systemic, inflamed, infected, etc. Normal levels should be less than 10 mg/dL.

If you are using more than just your scale as a measurement of your health, then you have earned one point for being as healthy as you think you are.

Why Sleep Should Be “Ahhhhhhh” Versus “Zzzzzz”

As healthy as you think you might be, getting at least eight hours of sleep is critical to your health.

The world is fast-paced and demanding. You influence the demands the world places on you by how you respond.

Sleep is a mini-vacation from life that our bodies require. And just like on a real vacation when we are out and about, there are lots of things going on “back at home.”

As you sleep, this is the best time for the body’s digestive system to get a break so it can call on other body parts to repair and remove bodily wastes.

Muscle is torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen and made in bed. As you sleep, your muscle recovers and grows.

On the stress front, sleep is induced by the circadian rhythms of life. Wrapped around a 24-hour cycle, your body senses when it’s time to sleep and is further influenced by the release of melatonin levels as light is decreased.

If you are on your phone, in front of the TV or using any form of electrical stimulation, your melatonin levels will be reduced, and  your sleep patterns will be erratic. Turn off these devices at least one hour before you go to bed.

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When you sleep, your cortisol levels decrease.

The best way to sleep well and decrease cortisol is to avoid stress. If your job or surroundings are so stressful it interrupts your sleep, then those worries or job are quite literally killing you.

As healthy as you think you are, you still need to analyze your job, your friends, and your situation. If they are the root causes of your stress, make the necessary adjustments. Change jobs, change friends, consider therapy or find other resources to help you deal with your emotions and stress.

When your sleep and stress levels are off-kilter, you obviously know you aren’t as healthy as you think you are.

Give yourself one point if you get at least eight hours sleep and maintain a low-stress level during the day. (No half points – it is all or none.)

How Your Lifestyle Reveals All

Sooner or later it’s going to happen.

Death.

What you did yesterday, do today and act out tomorrow all impact how long before Death comes knocking on your door.

Oddly enough, people take actions as if this were a myth.

How many times has your health spiraled out of control? How many diets or approaches have you tried? Five, ten or fifteen? Be honest, how many times have you started a health initiative because you inherently knew something wasn’t right with your body?

And once you rounded the corner, you fell back into the same traps that brought you to your knees earlier, and you cycle through this “uh-oh, fix-it-fast, uh-oh” routine again and again.

This rollercoaster approach is fun at the amusement park, but our bodies deserve better. Pushing them to their brink on both ends of the spectrum is not how we were designed to live.

Why do people fail at weight loss? Because they don’t see it as a lifestyle.  It has to be a relationship between you and your health. If you think it’s OK to cheat on your body, it will react. And that’s about the time the doctors get involved. That’s a for sure that you’re not as healthy as you think you are.

And that’s about the time the doctors get involved.

It’s time to tally up your points. Out of a possible 5 points…

  • If you scored a 5, that is great! You are clearly on the right path towards a comprehensive outlook on your health.
  • If you scored a 4, not too shabby.
  • If you scored a 3 or lower, there is definite room to re-analyze what healthy is all about. Our free course is just the ticket!

As I’ve told the story before, my Grandfather died in 2000 from diabetes and heart disease. It is my mission and purpose to spread the message of good health, nutrition, and exercise to any who wants it.

I’m offering a free course to get you started down the path. There are no strings attached to this offer. Just some foundational information and the opportunity to regain your health.

Start today. We make it easy. Just click on the button below and join over 200 students who have taken advantage of this opportunity.

Click Here to Enroll in Our Free Course

 

 

 

How Parents Are Secretly Killing Their Kids Without A Losing Weight Plan

The very notion that parents aren’t aware of a losing weight plan for kids and instead are secretly killing their kids is gut-wrenching.

It’s hard to stomach, isn’t it?

On rare occasions, there is a news story that turns the nation’s stomach. A parent drives a car full of children into a lake, and they drown. A mother throws a child from a bridge into the icy water below. A family member shoots everyone at home and then kills them self.

We’ve all heard these stories and shake our heads.

We ask ourselves the same questions in our minds: Why didn’t a friend or family member notice anything off? Why wasn’t anything done that could have prevented this?

Here’s a terrible question that hits between the eyes: Although not as violent, did you know that you are secretly killing your kids, too? A losing weight plan is needed.

Why A Losing Weight Plan is Needed

This fight I’m picking with you is one I pick with myself. And it’s for our sake. If we don’t focus and remind ourselves of issues we all face, our world will shift in the worst way possible.

The food choices on grocery shelves and on TV push against a losing weight plan. The choices and ads reinforce eating more. That’s how large companies make more money.

Here are some startling facts from the Centers for Disease Control based on information from 2011-2012:

  • 8.4% of children ages 2 to 5 are obese
  • 17.7% of children ages 6 to 11 are obese
  • 20.5% of children ages 12 to 19 are obese
  • Also, 34.9% or 78.6 million U.S. adults are obese

Information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases shows even more troubling statistics with higher rates than listed above.

If you’re not shifting in your seat yet, then allow me to drive this home a bit more. Obesity is a precursor to diabetes. Diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2010.

So, how are parents killing their kids? Unknowingly, the foods you provide and your activity level are setting your children up for a life of misery, even death.

The standard American diet is full of processed foods. Those are the packages you buy at the grocery store in the middle of the shop. Cereals, ketchup, snacks, ready to eat meals, soft drinks and baked goods are just a few items that kids are fed every day that contributes to their obesity.

The activity level of kids has been so low, the government and other associations like the NFL have created programs to encourage kids to play. At the same time, the use of smartphones and video games has increased as well.

When was the last time you played outside with your kids? Does your activity level set yourself up as a positive role model? Do you have a losing weight plan?

As the statistics show above, the older a child gets, the greater their risk of becoming obese. There is a cumulative effect, and if it is not put in place before too long, you will be guilty of secretly killing your kids.

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This Is Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Like you, my worst nightmare is the death of my two girls. I’ve literally had that nightmare several times. Before waking up in a sweat, I see them in a car accident or falling from a fatal height.

I never see them die the secret death we are discussing. No one does, until it’s too late.

There are enemies out there. They’re well-funded and they are friends to your kids. But when you look deeper, they are your worst nightmare. They are the real culprits who are killing your kids – and you. Their agenda is about profit and not in support of a losing weight plan.

Large conglomerates like Coca-Cola fund massive studies including the creation of the Global Energy Balance. The GEB pushed out several studies in an attempt to show the reason why we are overweight is because we don’t exercise enough.

In that last paragraph are three separate links to prove my claims. There are MANY more.

They failed to mention that the marketing and consumption of their 140-calorie drink might add to the real reason. For every person, young or old, who drinks two sodas a day – sets in motion the likelihood of gaining up to 30 lbs. a year.

After the involvement of organizations like CrossFit exposed their evil, the Global Energy Balance disbanded in December of 2015.

It’s not a crime to sell food to the masses for the intent of making a profit. But when it provides misleading studies, demonstrates a lack of integrity and fundamental lies are exposed, it’s time to wake up and cast our vote through our dollars. Which leads us into how we can solve for this problem and create a losing weight plan.

How Parents Can Start a Losing Weight Plan

My goal above all else in this article is to expose the reality of obesity in our children. My goal as well is to get your attention, and to persuade you to take action. For parents reading this, of course you love your kids. So let’s take some steps to demonstrate that love and set them up for success, establishing a losing weight plan if necessary.

Parents make a million choices every day. By suppertime, you’re no doubt exhausted and fatigued. And that’s when the silent enemy strikes from the cupboard. You often choose the easiest meal. It takes less willpower.

Willpower is a muscle. But it has its limits. Did you know you can buy willpower at the grocery store?

Willpower is bought, in part, with every food purchase you make. In other words, you can’t eat or serve crappy food if it’s never purchased in the first place. Stop bad habits at the source.

This conversion from past poor choices to good future decisions will not be fraught with ease; I can assure you. There will be moans and groans, perhaps even from you. As you do more research, you’ll find there are endless recipes using whole foods that won’t add to obesity nor diabetes.

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Another way you can add to the losing weight plan is to play with your kids and be a role model. Schedule time with them, taking time for yourself to exercise. It will contribute to your energy levels, lift your mood and decrease your own body fat levels.

Set a time limit on “screen time” with your kids. Playing games is part of growing up, but when it leads to excess, it’s a recipe for disaster.

And finally, to always make sure you’re aren’t secretly killing your kids, take an active stance by looking into the claims that large corporations make. Watch food documentaries with your children so they can better understand why decisions are made.

As a quick caveat, even if your child isn’t obese or overweight, poor food choices can still add up to diabetes. Serving healthy meals will shortcut obesity and future health care concerns.

The short-term challenges might seem insurmountable. Take one small step at a time, involve your kids in the process including the food making. Even if  you replace a handful of meals formerly consisting of processed foods, you’ll put everyone on a better path away from obesity.

If you’d like some basic information on health and how to make it more of a lifestyle instead of a “diet,” I have a free email mini-course that will help you and your family. Just enter your email below to get started.

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8 Reasons Why You Fail to Lose Weight (And The Secrets To Succeed)

Today’s post will either infuriate you or motivate you beyond what words can say, but I will push out eight likely reasons why you fail to lose weight.

For many years, I was a victim of my own thinking. I let what other people say get at me. Friends would offer up encouragement, and I would take the smallest statement and blow it up – they were trying to sabotage me!

Know what I’m talking about?

And looking at myself, when I’m at fault, those are tough times.

So today, I chose to go the more controversial route. And for good reason.

We live in a politically correct system where everyone is too afraid to say something at the point they need to say it the most. So today I’m talking to you, my friend.

I’m going to peel back the curtain and tell you why your past health and self improvement strategies have failed.

It’s not always your fault.

You’ll learn several reasons why you fail to lose weight. Better yet I’ll tell you how to succeed and by the end, I’m going to incentivize you to take action.

Why You Fail to Lose Weight Involves Your Comfort Zone

In no particular order, let’s start here – the old’ comfort zone.

Want to know what’s so frustrating about our society? We’re too comfortable. We justify the bad foods we eat by putting them in their special category.

Comfort foods.

When life hits you hard, you find comfort in your food. It becomes your pacifier. It soothes you.

You’re not a baby!

What is it about food that makes you comforted? Why does watching TV, sitting on the couch, stuffing your face with ice cream comfort you?

I’ll tell you why. Because it’s the easy way. I know it’s easy.

I used to do it all the time.

It’s hard to push aside the things that bring us comfort – because if we push it out, what else could replace it? It’s like eating something you’ve never tried before. You’re suspicious of its color or smell, confident it can’t be good for you.

And then you try it.

Your comfort zone is a one-way ticket to death. You love your comfortable ways, but guess what? They don’t love you. In fact, they’re secretly killing you.

The more you eat, the more you binge-watch, the more you live on auto-pilot, the sooner you’ll be six feet under.

I don’t want that for you and deep down inside you don’t want that either, right? The reasons why you fail to lose weight are based on habits.

Old habits are hard to break; new habits are hard to make. And here’s why – discipline.

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How Discipline is Why You Fail to Lose Weight

The brave men and women who join the armed services are a rare breed. They are strong, committed and dedicated. They are part of a team, each relying on the other.

For them to be successful in any mission, they must have discipline.

New habits are hard to make when there’s no discipline to put them into effect.

Any number of military-based movies love to show the first few weeks of training camp. It’s tough, and it’s grueling.

This is when the military takes its recruits, breaks them down and re-shapes them, exposing them to the exercises and processes they’ve never expected out of themselves.

Did you catch that? We lack discipline because we don’t expect we are capable of great things. Our self-talk places doubts and fears in our way.

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You won’t make it. You failed before. Why are you trying when you know you’re just going to quit?

The “Call of the Couch” cries out and without discipline, you’ll fall short.

It’s not easy. It takes you out of your comfort zone. To succeed, there’s one more thing you need to become disciplined – a support system.

Guess How Many Athletes Win On Their Own…

When you think of great athletes, names like Steph Curry, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan come to mind. Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Cam Newton pop up in that category as well. There are hundreds more.

Despite how great these individuals were, despite how great anyone is, there’s a secret we don’t always consider.

All the greats may have been recognized as being the leader of the team or in a single player sport like tennis; the camera focuses on one player. But behind all of them is a cast of supporters.

One reason why you fail to lose weight is that you have a lack of support.

Who supports you? Is one of the reasons why you fail to lose weight based on a flawed support system?

Before you throw out your list of supporters, consider this: how many of them came to you, challenged you, made you think hard and maybe even put you in a tight spot?

Few people, if any, have the raw talent to succeed. Everyone needs to fine-tune their skills with hard work and with accountability. Does your support team hold you accountable? Do you let them?

To get support also means you must accept it and give it back. In some cases, you’ll learn who your real friends are when you ask for help. Don’t be surprised if family members won’t assist you with the simplest requests. Learn from that event and find others. They are out there.

Let’s assume you’ve compiled a cast of supporters who will help you achieve your goals. At the end of the day, it’s still up to you to get the work done.

Which brings us to the next pitfall and another reason why you fail to lose weight. It’s called information overload.

Three Reasons How Information Is Why You Fail to Lose Weight

Many years ago when I started working out and eating the way I do now, I did what most everyone does – I hit up the Internet.

I Googled diets, workout plans, equipment, recipes and the right clothes to wear. The more I searched, the more I found.

In no time at all, I was overwhelmed.

As I began to put together a plan, one expert contradicted another. One cookbook did not support the ideas of my exercise program. Frustrated, I was about to give up.

Eventually I found a coach who made me promise him that once I hired him on, he would become my soul source of information. If I found anything that contradicted what he told me, he invited me to a discussion.

Here’s what I’m getting at – the overload of information confuses our best attempts, and we fail because we have no real process.

A process is like a journey. It can have an ending or destination, but a process is something that allows us to discover as we plod along. A process shows us a consistent approach where we learn what we are capable of.

The arch enemy of process is a lack of consistency. For any process to succeed, you must be consistent, also known as discipline.

The best part about a proven process is that when things don’t work as intended, you can lift the hood up, if you will, check out the engine, and fine-tune things. A real process allows for that.

A real process also eliminates the most dreaded reason why you fail to lose weight.

Warning: this one’s going to hurt.

Excuses Are Like Buttholes; Everybody Has Them And They All Stink

Sorry for the compelling headline, but it’s a borrowed phrase from a buddy of mine, Rob Dial.

It’s human nature that when things get tough, we create excuses, right?

Why did your weight go up? It wasn’t because of that dessert(s) you had last night, right?

You’re not always sure why your weight crept up. You don’t remember what you ate because you don’t track it. Frankly, you don’t want to track it because you know what it will reveal.

The next reason why you fail to lose weight is coming up – ready?

When we lack the right resources, support, or motivation, it is revealed.

The Excuse Monster.

We love our Excuse Monster. He probably looks like Sully from Monsters, Inc. He’s big and hairy, but he’s just a pussycat. He feeds us wrong information, and we love him for it. Because then we can trick everyone else into believing why we failed again.

Here’s the secret behind the Excuse Monster. YOU.

When you make excuses, the only person you’re fooling is yourself.

“I can’t go for a walk; my doctor says it’s not a good idea.”

“I can’t stick to this plan; it’s too hard.”

The next time you create an excuse for why something can’t be done, invert it.

“I can go for a walk; my doctor says it’s a good idea.”

“I can stick to this plan; it’s challenging, but my health is worth it.”

I love this quote because it shows the power of “CAN.” You’re capable of so much more than you give yourself credit. And I have a reason why you fail to lose weight; the answer might surprise you.

It has to do with success and fear of success.

When Success Becomes A Bad Word

Before I met my wife, I was married before. Suffice it to say that things did not go as planned.

Other than the birth of my children, there have been days I regretted the marriage. At the beginning of the relationship, I was on the puppy-dog romance train. I felt those sweet highs.

A few years later my train crashed, went off the rails and shattered in a million pieces.

Sometimes it’s just easier to wish some successes never appeared in the first place. It reduces the chances of getting hurt.

It allows you to lower your expectations.

(Insert sound of record needle scratching erratically off the turntable)

Wait, what? You’re so afraid of success that you’re willing just to live a life less than what you were intended?

I’m sad to say that is a reality many people live with.

When you have the right support team, the right process, the right mindset – there is a lot less chance you will fail. There’s no guarantee, mind you, but that’s just life.

You’ll go much farther believing in your success than if you just live a life that’s designed to fail.

My next reason why you fail to lose weight has to do with putting your life on auto-pilot.

Here’s What Happens When You Auto-Pilot

Many years ago, when the automotive industry created the ability for the driver to take their foot off the gas pedal and maintain a consistent speed, they called it Cruise Control.

There was one story reported of a recreational vehicle owner who set his Cruise Control and then went into the back to fix himself a drink. Perhaps he was drinking already, but we know how this story ends.

The van was able to control its speed but it couldn’t steer itself, and the van crashed into the ditch.

If you look at the vast majority of successful people, you’ll hear stories of hard work, rising early, working late, etc. Most of all, you’ll hear about their vision.

A person’s vision is never arrived at if they lead a life on auto-pilot.

Consider the activities or foods you choose to put into your life. Most people have 10-15 recipes, and although you’ll deny it, those are your go-to meals. You’ve lost the explorer in you. You don’t move with purpose, intention or attention.

You’ve thrown in the towel.

What if I told you there was a whole new world out there, one you had yet to discover and the joys and thrills would overshadow every facet of your current life. You’d gain new abilities, things you never thought you’d be able to do.

Would you like that kind of world? Your pessimistic side says that’s not possible. But deep down inside, you know that world exists.

You’ll never override that pessimistic side and here’s the last reason why you fail to lose weight.

Just Believe Isn’t Another Inspirational Quote

“Ah, if only I could just believe, that would make it so. But it’s not that easy, so I choose not to believe.”

The simplest concepts are often just that. Simple.

We try to make things harder than they really are. When we convince ourselves it’s too hard, then we allow that Excuse Monster to create his next lie for you to utter.

Just believe.

If you’re ready for the grand reveal, here it is:

This entire article isn’t about why you’re a failure. It’s about why you’ve failed in the past. It’s about what needs to change so you can succeed.

Read that last sentence ending. You can succeed.

I know you can because I’ve had some stinking thinking in my past. Once I started over and pushed those negative thoughts out, I’ve accomplished a lot:

  • I increased my salary an average of 15% for five years in a row
  • I finished the Chicago Marathon
  • I’ve reduced my bodyfat to less than 7%
  • I’ve lost 30% of my body weight
  • I’ve helped many lose 40 lbs. and more

I believed. I want you to believe as well.

Let’s Start Here – Together

I don’t know it all, but I’d like to say I know you. Here are a few goals and dreams I imagine you’ve considered as it relates to your health:

  • You want to look and feel sexy
  • You want to enjoy life
  • You want to beat depression
  • You want to be confident, energetic and joyful

You’re frustrated and fearful of these items:

  • You’re tired of being made fun of
  • You’re scared you’ll die earlier than you want
  • You know the foods you eat are bad for you, but you can’t resist the temptations
  • Your mindset tells you that growth is not possible, you’re stuck where you are
  • You have pain, reduced mobility
  • You don’t want to be alone
  • You don’t want any more reasons why you fail to lose weight

If any of the reasons I provided resonate with your past failures or if you can relate to any of the goals/dreams or fears/frustrations listed above, I have something I believe will help.

I’ve created a 10 lesson email course. It’s free (for now) and will be automatically delivered to your inbox every two days starting tomorrow. Here’s how it works:

  • As soon as you enter your email address, you’ll receive a free PDF guide that will provide an overview of ways you can get started on a serious journey to turn your health around.
  • You’ll receive a series of emails that elaborate on the PDF guide. Each email will give you actionable steps you can take. Two days later you’ll receive the next email with more action steps.
  • Many of the emails will provide you with additional resources – a shopping list, infographics, recipes, etc. All at no cost.
  • At the conclusion of this course, all I ask is for your feedback to improve the course or take it a step further.

Don’t delay. Start your journey today. Add your information in the box below and let’s get started. Instead of talking about why you fail to lose weight, let’s head down the road to success.
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