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Archive for category lose weight

Eating is easy!

Lots of times when people ask me for help losing weight or getting in shape, a hang up ends up being about food. Sometimes folks think they should eat very little. Or perhaps they just don’t feel like they have time to cook or prepare anything. And even a few just don’t know what to eat because they’re confused about all of the conflicting information out there.

Well I’m here to tell you a few things about that.

a) No, you should not cut your calories to 1200 or less. There’s a formula based on height/weight/age/activity level that can help you figure out how much you should be eating. And no. It’s not 1200. People get that in their heads because they hear people say “you should never eat less than 1200”. That’s true. That’s the bare minimum to fuel your body for NO activity. But trust, me 1200 is waaaaay too low. You may lose weight this way, but you’re losing muscle and water weight. If you eat too little, you are slowing your metabolism down. Not cool! We all want faster metabolisms, don’t we? You must eat, eat, eat to get that. (Eating healthy foods, of course, not junk!) I literally eat something every 2-3 hours. My body is a fuel/fat burning machine, partially due to my food intake, and partially due to my muscle-building workouts, of course.

b) Yes, you have time to prepare healthy stuff. Here’s what I make for most mornings. I make a bunch on the weekend and freeze them. They take 2 minutes to heat up in the morning, and it’s homemade so you know there’s no added crap in it. There’s plenty of protein and even some whole grains so you’ll feel fuller longer and you’ll fuel your body the right way.

Make ahead breakfast wraps:

Just scramble some eggs with salt and pepper, spoon the equivalent of about 2 eggs onto a whole grain (or low carb) tortilla – the small, taco sized tortiallas. Add a slice or two of canadian bacon – or turkey bacon if you prefer. Optional, top w/ a tablespoon of salsa and or a little bit of low fat cheese. Roll your tortilla with both ends tucked in and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze. To serve, take plastic wrap off and microwave for about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave power.

It takes only about 10 minutes to cook, assemble and throw 6-8 of these in the freezer.

Here’s a freshly made one that I made over the weekend. I added a little gouda to this and it was absolutely heavenly and I was actually full for a few hours, YAY!

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and finally,

c) I know there’s lots of confusing information out there. And I’m happy to answer your questions, so please always feel free to comment here or even email me: fithappy@yahoo.com and I’ll help you sort through the confusion. But a couple of rules I’ve found to live by… don’t get caught up in any fad diets, they will work short term, but are typically too radical to follow for very long. Not to mention many times they cut out entire food groups. Not a very sustainable way to eat. Don’t be afraid of things like carbs. Switch to whole grain pastas and breads and your carbs won’t be as evil…and do try to go carb-free for one meal a day or so. We all need carbs if we’re active at all! And finally, don’t be afraid of fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar does. Kick that sweet tooth habit if you have it. And yes, carbs do turn to sugars, so that’s why you should go carb-free once a day and why you should switch to whole grains. Really, don’t get too caught up in these things. Eat whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, limit your boxed/canned/processed foods and pay attention to eating something every few hours. That, combined with exercise is the key to a healthier lifestyle!

So tell me, what’s the most confusing thing about food for you?

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Start today!

I love the saying “A month from now, you’ll wish you started today”

That applies to a lot of things. For me, I think of working out or eating better. But, then again you probably know by now that my mind goes there often.

So I just want to elaborate a little. If you’ve been thinking about making a change, why  not start today? Each day is a new beginning and a perfect time to JUST START. Starting is the hardest part. Once you push yourself to make the commitment…and stick with it for a bit, you’ll start seeing results and it will be a habit. If you do it right and pick the right things, you’ll probably also be in LOVE. (So if you’re not in love with what you’re doing…try something else!)

So I made this poster. I hope you’ll take it to heart if there’s something you’ve been telling yourself that you need/want/should start doing. If you are going to start something new — tell us below…what is it, and when will you be starting?
((((AND please remember if you need HELP starting…don’t know where to start, how to do something, please please please let me know. I’m here to help YOU!))))

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It’s all about the choices

So we all know that one of the ingredients to being healthier is “making better food choices”, right? Until recently, I thought that sort of self-explanatory. Then, I heard a friend telling me about what she’d snacked on that day. Then I remembered several other similar conversations with her. And it hit me. She didn’t really know what “better choices” meant, and she was thinking that eating small amount of stuff equaled “better choices”. And to an extent, that’s true. BUT, at some point you have to also consider the type of foods and the quality of them.

If you’re finding yourself eating frozen dinners several times a week, you may consider some other choices. If you pay attention to what you’re eating,  you may see some patterns developing. So maybe you only eat a few chicken tenders. But they are still breaded. And fried. And you eat them, or chicken nuggets or popcorn shrimp, etc several times a week…or maybe even more. Well, that’s where you start to see the pattern. You may keep your serving size small (or so you think), but you’re still eating fat-laden, fried, not-so-good-for-you food. I’m a proponent of indulging sometimes. But you must be honest with yourself. First, figure out what indulging really means. And then be honest with how often you ARE indulging.

A good rule of thumb on what your diet *should* look like is that most of it should be clean foods. And whole foods. And by clean, I mean real. If you got it in a box, it’s probably not clean. Look for FRESH or frozen (not canned) fruits and vegetables. Look for minimally processed meats, and even preferably organic and local. The fresher the better. Whole grains are great. Just make sure they REALLY are whole grain. And organic milk, low fat greek yogurt, etc are wonderful protein choices that are healthful and yummy. So, you see the things I left out are things like chicken nuggets. And lunch meat. And pre-packaged soup. Pre-packaged meal-in-a-box just add beef (you know what I’m talking about). The list goes on. So if you truly can’t live without chicken nuggets. Great, eat them. Once a week. No more. And THAT’S your indulgence. Just because you eat that only once a week doesn’t mean there’s a free pass to then also eat frozen pizza twice a week. And ice cream twice a week. And so on. Before you know it, you’re indulging every day and you have not changed your eating habits.

If you’re trying to make better choices about your diet, make sure you know what you’re looking for. And keep a food journal. Every day for a month, at least. Write down every little thing you eat, including sauces, dressings, dips, etc. You may be surprised at what you find. And you can always find more info here on my blog, just click the ‘diet’ link above to find my older blog posts about calories, meal timing, snack ideas, etc.

Comment below! Would love to hear your food choices, good and bad, obstacles you may have to eating healthier, questions you have….whatever you have for me!  I’m always here to help!

~To Your Health~

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Fitness Tips for the New Year

So, since it’s a new year, I know lots of people are planning to lose some weight. In fact, CNN.com is doing a poll today; it simply asked if you are planning to lose weight this year. When I checked, 77% of the responders said yes. That’s a big number. And I suspect some folks don’t even know where to start or may feel overwhelmed. So I thought I’d try to break down some basics here.

To lose a few pounds and get healthier, one must commit to themselves that they really want it. With a little hard work and dedication, you can lose the weight. No matter your perceived obstacle, it can be done.

Here are some changes you can make starting today so that you can lose the weight you’re hoping for.

1) Eat enough. Yes, you read that right. You must feed your metabolism. If you’re eating 2 meals a day, you’re not eating enough. Even if they’re big meals, its not enough. When you go more than a few hours without eating, your blood sugar crashes and your metabolism slows. Try eating every 2-3 hours. And DONT skip breakfast. None of these meals have to be big. You may feel like you just can’t eat because you’re not hungry. That’s a sign that you’ve sloooowed your metabolism! If you don’t feel hungry in the morning, try drinking a glass of water when you wake up, then about 30 minutes later, eat a scrambled egg. For me, that’s not enough, but for getting yourself used to eating again, you may need to start there. Eventually, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be eating a couple of eggs and a piece of whole wheat toast. Your snacks can be just as small. A handful of pistachios or a few wheat crackers with cheese, things of that sort.

2) Eat at least one fruit per day, use it as one of your snacks. Eat vegetables with every meal. No excuses. Your body needs and craves it. AND it’ll fill you up without excessive calories. And weight loss boils down to that….calories in vs. calories out.

3) Drink water, cut out sodas. Yes, even diet sodas. Regular sodas are horrendous for you, with an insane amount of sugar. Truly. Insane. Diet sodas cut out the sugar and calories of course, but they’ve been shown to make your body crave sugar. So you’re more likely to eat more later or indulge more with sugary sweets than you normally would. If you must have soda with something (For instance, I simply MUST have soda when I’m having a burger) then drink part of a diet soda. And make that all the soda for the day. Drink water all day long, starting when you first wake up.

4) Walk for 30 minutes every day. Yes, every day. It’s only a walk, not a run or weights, you can do this every day, and to get the calorie burn you need to lose some weight, you need to be consistent with this. If you truly do not have 30 minutes to walk each day, then split it up, 15 minutes in the morning before work and 15 minutes either on your lunch break or after work. Do not skip this step. It’s key, and it will give you results. And, if you choose to push further later, it will set you up for success if you decide to start a more intense workout program.

5) Sleep.  Do not underestimate the power of sleep. When you do not sleep enough hours, your metabolism will slow, and your stress hormones will signal your body to store fat.

So those are the basics as I see it. If you already do all of these things and you’re still wanting to lose some weight, you should consider a more intense workout. This does not mean you have to run marathons. There are fabulous, safe, fun workouts that will do the trick. Your body will get used to one activity. So after walking every day for a month, you very well may plateau, that’s when you’ll want to mix up your routine. Right now, I’ve stopped running and I’m doing resistance training, Chalean Extreme. I’m soooo excited I’m doing it, because I’m already seeing the results I was hoping for. Long, lean muscles! Hooray! Don’t be afraid of weights, and don’t be afraid to start an actual program. They’re effective and people love them for a reason!

As always, I’m here to help… comment below or email me if you’d like more specific advice on losing weight, getting fit, nutrition, or whatever!

fithappy@yahoo.com

~To Your Health~


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Eat what you want…

I should clarify. Eat what you want…SOMETIMES 😉

One of the keys to being happy while changing your lifestyle to healthier one is to not deprive yourself. If you feel like you can NEVER have anything yummy like a brownie, cookie, or ice cream, then you’ll be down about it. You may even eventually snap and eat every brownie in sight. It’s better to be reasonable with yourself, allow yourself to have things you truly enjoy – just keep moderation in mind. For instance, while I was trying to lose 10lbs, I cut out my evening dessert (and made other dietary changes as well!), and then one evening, maybe Friday, I would let myself have dessert. I just made it low-fat ice cream & stuck to ONE serving size. Now that I’m at my goal weight, I have ice cream almost every night, but I’m super good about what I eat all day long. If I eat some stuff I wouldn’t normally (think Panera bread breakfast) then I skip ice cream that night. It’s all about balance. I can do this because I work out almost every night and I’m very good about what I eat most of the time.

So just remember, you don’t have to hate your diet. In fact, I encourage you to find adjustments and options that make you love your new way of eating. It may take some trial and error, but I assure you, it can be done. As always, I’m always happy to share meal planning options, recipes, etc. Just comment here or email me at fithappy@yahoo.com  – the meal planner I use is fantastic, you can set the amount of calories you want to stick to every day and opt out of certain foods and the recipes are actually easy and delicious. Even better, you can print a shopping list of ingredients for that week’s meals….and of course each meal/day is completely editable. If you want to have your own meal planner, I very much recommend this one, I use it every single week and have always been pleased with the meals  – just click “join” and select the paid option to try it! www.TurboRomero.com

~To Your Health~

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Accountability is key!

For many people, eating right or exercising can be very difficult to stick with in the beginning. Once it becomes a habit, it is much easier. But to get through those first few weeks, sometimes we need a little extra push to stick with it. That’s where accountability comes in. If you know someone it literally waiting on  you to go running with them, you’re much more likely to go on and meet them and run. You don’t want to leave them hanging or let them down. Same goes for eating right. If your spouse is going to see what you eat and they want you to succeed at eating well, it can be very helpful since you don’t want to let them down either.

The 21 day challenge that I’m leading started yesterday – and already folks are loving the fact that they’re sending me their food log and workout log for the previous day. It helps them feel accountable knowing that I’ll be looking at it and giving feedback on both. And writing it down helps you feel more accountable to yourself too. Give it a try. Find an accountability partner. I’m a fitness coach of course, so feel free to sign up for free to have me as YOUR coach and I’ll be that accountability partner for you. It just may make the difference you’ve been looking for 🙂 Sign up anytime @ http://www.TurboRomero.com click JOIN and select the free option. The paid option includes a personalized meal planner though…so if you’ve been looking for that, you may like to peruse that option too 🙂

~To Your Health~

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Work it!

So, I keep seeing and hearing things that concern me a little…about viewpoints on fitness and how to lose weight.

Yes, it’s true that if you move more, and eat less, you will lose weight. (Calories in versus calories out IS the reason you lose or gain weight, afterall). But what I’m worried about is that this mindset allows us a mentality of ‘bare minimum’. And of course, for some, that’s fine. But shouldn’t we strive for greatness? Not just in health and fitness, but in life? If you were looking for a job and you really thought you deserved a salary of $50,000 – and you went to the first place and they offered you $25,000. Would you accept it because “it’s better than nothing”? Or would you fight for what you deserved?

To me, it’s the same with health and fitness. So maybe going for a 1 mile walk every other day is enough to help you drop a few pounds. Well that’s great! And it’s a wonderful start. But are you content to ‘drop a few pounds?’ Or would you love to get into great shape? Would you love to raise your metabolism, feel great every day, increase energy and get to your ideal weight and muscle tone? Maybe it sounds impossible. I’m here to tell you it’s not. But it does take more than the occasional stroll. You don’t have to workout for hours every day though, either. It’s all about choices. Set your goals. Make them big, that’s the best part of life, sometimes.

As always, I’m happy to help – if you want help identifying goals; or would like help reaching them, please reach out to me. I help folks just like you with motivation, direction, accountability and diet & workout advice. You can sign up for free to have me as your fitness coach. Just go to http://www.TurboRomero.com and click “join”. Select the free option (unless you read through and prefer the paid option benefits!)

Remember, it’s all about YOU when it comes to health and fitness. Decide what you REALLY want…I’ll help you get there if you’re ready!

~To your health~

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Oh, Calories…

Ever wondered how much you should *really* be eating? Well you should! Many of us tend to overeat or even under-eat. Overeating is more recognizable. Most people who do it, sort of know they’re doing it. Under-eating is a different story. Some people “just aren’t hungry” enough to eat all the time. The bad part about that – is that means their metabolism is SO slow that they aren’t feeling hunger like other people. And eating too little makes your metabolism stall even further – AND it makes your body store fat. Bad combination, huh?

The good news is, this can all be fixed – with a little knowledge and some new habits.

First, you have to figure out how many calories you burn in a day without trying. This is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). It’s what your body burns just by living. You can estimate your BMR by using some online calculators. The one I use is this one: http://www.bmrcalculator.org/

Basically, you’ll enter in your height, weight, age, and sex and the calculator will tell you what your BMR is. Now, you must account for your activity level in addition to the BMR to figure out what you *really* burn in a day. Unless you’re literally bed-ridden, you are burning more than your BMR. The activity levels vary based on how hard you work out and how many times per week. That activity level adds to your BMR to give you total calories burned per day. So, if you wanted to stay at your same weight, you’d want to eat right around that number of calories every day. If you wanted to lose a little weight, a good rule of thumb is to eat about 500 calories less per day than what your BMR + Activity level amount shows. Using the site I mentioned above, you can figure out your BMR, then right below that, there is a chart that you can use to determine what your total is based on activity. Take that number, write it down somewhere.

Now, to get a handle on what you’re really eating, you should start logging your intake. I use fatsecret.com to do this. I don’t use it much anymore because I now have a good handle on what my 1600-1800 calories looks like (that’s how much I should be eating every day, so yours may be different!) Just create a free account there and start logging every single thing you eat and drink. Don’t overlook things like sauces and dressings too!

After a few days of this, you’ll get to seeing your patterns. This is a tool you’ll be so glad you found, because really, calories in versus calories out is the BASIS for any healthy diet. From there, you can start thinking about protein, carbs, fats, ratios, etc. I’ll hit on this in another post, I promise!

If you already use another calorie tracking program, I’d love to hear about it – comment below! 🙂

~To your health~

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