Can Food Journaling Really Help You Lose Weight?

Q: Can food journaling really help me lose weight? I despise it and never seem to stick with it.

A: You know I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Of any kind. But, this bad news (for all of you despisers out there) isn’t too bad. You may even turn into food journaling lovers by the end of this blog.

Food journaling can be your weight loss secret weapon for a whole lotta reasons, and it’s been around since, well, forever, for good reason: it works.

So just like you may not love flossing routinely, you do it because it’s good for you and you want a pretty smile too.

Need more specific reasons than that to break out a new food diary? Here ya go.

3 Reasons Why Food Journaling Can Help You Lose Weight

Accountability.Whether it’s a drill sergeant friend, your nutritionist or simply your sturdy Ticonderoga pencil keeping tabs on what goes in your mouth, accountability works.

Food journaling is definitely one way to be accountable either to yourself or to whoever is reading them.

One study showed that keeping a food journal doubled a person’s weight loss. It found that the best predictors of weight loss were 1) how frequently food diaries were kept and 2) how many support sessions the participants attended.

Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records at all.

Another study showed that the more food journals people kept, the more weight people lost.

So basically those that maintained focus, diligence, and consistency with journaling were rewarded with fitting into smaller pants.

Also, if you’re working with a dietitian or health coach, you’ll get a lot more out of that partnership if you’re sharing all your food deets. The good, the bad and the in between. Putting it all out there will help your nutrition guru help you.

Food journaling can be kinda like getting a new gym membership and a fresh pair of kicks…you’re all excited to use them for the first few weeks, but when the novelty wears off, often so does your motivation and consistency.

You gotta find a way to get comfy in your new kicks, even after they’re not new anymore, and realize that the more they get broken in, the better you might look in your LuLus.

Honesty. Always a good thing, right? Food journaling keeps you honest – even if it’s just with yourself.

When I ask clients about a typical a day of eating, I often get this for an answer:

I eat really well, not sure why I’m not losing. I eat a couple eggs for breakfast with a slice of whole grain toast, a kale salad, usually a few nuts for a snack and pretty balanced dinner of some kind of protein and usually a little rice or potato and a salad.”

When I have them write down every detail, and I mean every detail, it goes something like this:

Two eggs prepared with butter and a drop of cheese. Slice of toast and two bites of my son’s waffle. Kale salad with dressing and parmesan cheese (I usually skip the cheese though), croutons and chicken. Three handfuls of nuts, diet soda and three bites of my daughters chocolate chip cookie (it was her friend’s birthday)…

You get where this is going.

It’s easy to think you eat super clean but until you really hammer it out on paper, you often unintentionally don’t even realize just how much (or in some cases how little) you’re eating.

Honesty and food journaling is always the best policy. Besides, your waistline is terrible at keeping secrets.

Growth.Growth in all areas of life is always good idea. When it comes to weight loss, health, and food journaling, food journaling can be a wise sage that guides us in a new right direction.

Food journaling allows us to reflect and analyze. What worked? What didn’t work? And, finally, how can I improve what I’m eating or the behaviors and habits I’m exhausting?

There will come a day when you’ve nailed your diet and you don’t have to spend time food journaling anymore. That’s the ultimate goal, right?

But there also may come a day when you need to go back to basics and clean things up again, and food journaling is the first thing you should turn to.

It’ll be like riding a bicycle. It’ll feel familiar and easy even if it’s been a long time, and you’ll quickly remember how great it feels to have that wind in your hair…in a smaller pair of shorts.

Why You Should Stop Counting Calories

Q: If I eat 100 calories of jelly beans, isn’t that the same as eating 100 calories of another snack like turkey and avocado?

 

A: There’s a reason why people say “a calorie is a calorie”. In all fairness, a calorie is a calorie in its most simple form.

 

And for years, it was drilled into our heads that counting calories was the only way to lose weight.

 

Calories are a measure of the energy generated from food once inside the body, and they abide by a simple law of physics: energy in minus energy out equals weight loss or gain.  

 

This is true both in a test-tube and in tightly controlled weight loss experiments, where people are basically locked-up and fed exactly the same number of calories from different types of diets.

 

Time and again, subjects will lose roughly the same amount of weight, regardless of whether the calories come from low-fat, low-carbs or diets somewhere in between.

 

However, this is far from the complete story.

 

The human body is quite complex and there are many factors at play at all times.

 

Hormones, emotions, cravings and even our social schedule influence the amount of calories we consume and how our body processes them.

So, I’m going to explain why 100 calories of jelly beans is not the same as 100 calories of fresh turkey and a slice of avocado. Stay with me.

 

Why You Should Stop Counting Calories

 

If all calories were created equal, many of us would choose to live in a land of gummy bears and swedish fish. But food isn’t made up of calories alone.

 

Let’s go back to those jelly beans.

 

The only nutrient jelly beans provide is sugar. Sugar does nothing good for our bodies and actually does whole lot of harm!

 

During digestion, sugary treats stimulate the hormone insulin to be released. Insulin is good in the way that it helps cells uptake nutrients we eat, but it also inhibits the breakdown of fat and encourages the creation of it when we take in those excess calories.

 

Translation: if we don’t need those jelly bean calories they’ll be turned to fat- fast!

 

This spike in insulin and blood sugar also causes us to feel hungrier sooner, which likely means our hand goes right back into the candy bag and pops another 100 calories in our mouth before we’ve had time to even think about it.

 

And the last nail in the coffin (pun intended) for living on calories from sugar alone, is that we will actually die from it. Seriously… sugar alone would eventually kill us. We need nutrients, vitamins, and phytonutrients that real whole foods provide to fuel all bodily processes.

 

Now, a portion of turkey and avocado can also provide the body with 100 calories. But, these calories are loaded with protein, fiber, healthy fats, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and many other vitamins and minerals our bodies needs to perform at an optimum level of health.

 

These nutrients help with body processes from building muscle to improving energy to boosting the immune system to helping prevent cancer, heart disease and a whole host of other benefits.

 

Guess what else these calories do for us? They help to keep you satisfied and full – so we aren’t as likely to go back for seconds – and they keep fat storage hormones in check.

 

By helping to control blood sugar, our insulin release is more stable and we release less fat storage hormones.

 

So the important takeaway is to watch your total calorie intake, but most important is to eat whole, real unprocessed foods. And, don’t forget to read the ingredient list of any packaged foods you do eat to get the full nutritional picture.

 

Jelly beans can never replace the nutritional benefits provided by consuming whole, real foods – even if you eat the same amount of calories.

Alas, a calorie is not a calorie!

 

What Yo Yo Dieting Actually Does To Your Body

Yo yo dieting sounds something like this:

“I want to be 130 pounds by bikini season.”

“I want to wear my size 4 dress to the bridal shower in 3 weeks.”

“I don’t get rid of the size small belt because I know it will fit when I get back to working out eventually.”

All of these quotes come from actual clients of mine, but chances are they sound awfully familiar to you or someone you know.

You work hard to lose weight, only to find it creep back on with a few extra pounds to boot, to then again buckle down to lose again, gain again, lose again, gain again.

You have your fat jeans and your skinny jeans, you have your handy rice cake and boiled chicken repertoire constantly on standby, and you’ve bookmarked all your favorite Drop Weight Fast workouts on your laptop so they’re there when it’s time to get serious.

You’re a pro at this.

Now here you are trying to figure out how to lose weight, yet again.

But, honestly, between weekend pizza you can’t seem to nix and the bag of candy that speaks to you everyday at 3pm, you’re exhausted from constantly having to choose whether or not to deprive yourself – eat it, don’t eat it, eat just a little, skip it altogether, ok have a bite, cut a whole piece, no wait a sliver, maybe if you eat it fast enough with your eyes closed it won’t count, keep it out of sight because if it’s in your eyesight it’ll disappear into your belly, ugh you can’t believe you ate that, ugh your pants are too snug…

You already know how losing and gaining weight messes with your head, but do you know how yo yo dieting really messes with your body?

 

What Yo Yo Dieting Is Actually Doing To Your Body

 

Whoa, hormones. Yo yo dieting, including severe calorie restriction and dramatic dietary changes can increase the hormone cortisol, wreaking havoc on your health.

It increases your risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

There’s tons of evidence that people who live the longest are those who are constantly eating slightly less than they need to be satisfied and maintaining a low body weight for their height.

This is, in part, due to hormones being optimized. If you restrict your calories too severely, hormones don’t work as efficiently and your overall health becomes compromised.

Nutrient deficiencies pop up and you may end up with dry skin, brittle hair and nails and a crappy immune system.

The bottom line is that dropping too many calories messes with your hormones, which messes with your health.

Metabolic meltdown. So here’s the deal: if you over-restrict your calories, your body responds by slowing down your metabolic rate, or your ability to burn calories.

It also causes muscle loss.

Yo yo dieting doesn’t appear to permanently ruin metabolism, but the process of losing muscle (which is what your body uses for fuel when there isn’t enough calories from food coming in) is never anyone’s goal.

You need your lean body mass to support your bones, keep you fit, strong and burning calories, so don’t compromise it by breaking it down to use for fuel!

Here’s a new way of thinking: don’t exercise to lose weight, exercise to maintain your lean body mass (which helps with weight loss) and to keep your brain focused on your fitness.

The more fit you feel, the more motivated you’ll be to skip dessert.

Eliminate eliminating. Extreme weight loss is hard on your brain, heart, liver and kidneys. These vital organs need carbs and calories to do their jobs, and without enough nutrition, they’re at risk for damage.

Severely decreased calories can also cause nutrient deficiencies, which in prolonged states can damage bones, skin and immune functioning.

Bottom line, reducing carbs and calories is fine. Cutting them out completely is not. If you eliminate a whole food group entirely, you’ll end up back on the whole yo yo dieting cycle again, guaranteed.

Say no no to yo yo. Rather than embarking on a ridiculous 1000 calories a day diet or ditching all carbs for good, solid research promotes eating a little less of everything at every meal and snack in order to maintain a healthy weight.

Learning to feel ‘satisfied’ instead of ‘full’ is key to ending that up and down cycle.

Eat a balanced diet and choose clean, healthy foods. Learn how to gauge your appetite by learning about your hunger quotient (HQ). And, plan for your indulgences.

It’s easier said than done, but, it can be done. Be focused, consistent and patient.

 

The Fastest Way to Lose Weight This Week

You’re searching high and low for the fastest way to lose weight this week. You’re in a panic. You’re stressing. You’re kicking yourself for eating pizza over the weekend and missing your Sunday morning hot yoga class because you were hungover.

 

Whether it’s for a date with the hot new guy at the office (our lips are sealed), your best friend’s birthday bash in Vegas, that tropical vacation you’ve been waiting on for months, or you just want to jumpstart your weight loss plan, you need to drop a few pounds stat.

 

We’ve all been there.

 

If you want to look amazing in your LBD but the zipper is wayyyy tight and your favorite jeans aren’t sit-downable at the moment, read on for the fastest way to lose weight in a jiffy.

 

And no, starving yourself is not the answer.

 

The Fastest Way to Lose Weight This Week

 

1. Eat Empowered

Eat real food. Often.  Stop worrying about what extreme diet you need to start, stop counting calories and start thinking about the real food you’re going to eat.

 

Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and at least one snack a day (no skipping meals!) consisting of whole, real foods.

 

I’m talking loads of veggies, lean protein such as grass fed steak, chicken, fish and eggs and healthy fats as in cashews, pecans, olives, avocado and coconut. Ditch the packaged and processed foods – especially anything that includes added sugar.

 

If you need an exact plan, I’ve got you covered here.

 

Begin your day with breakfast and eat every few hours or when you feel slightly hungry and stop when you feel slightly satisfied. Not sure what that feels like? Check out this hack.

 

Eating real food combined with listening to your body is your new winning combo.

 

Fact: Eating real food makes you feel better and that alone can make you look better. If you’re skimping on nutrients or need a way to boost your protein check out our Nutritious Life developed green powder and vegan protein powder. It’s the fastest way to up your nutrition game.

 

2. Sweat Often

Get 45 minutes of movement in – every day this week. I’m a fan of mixing up exercise and getting in HIIT workouts one day, long bouts of cardio or a hike on another and pilates and yoga on other days.

 

But, most of all I’m a fan of being consistent with exercising and moving, in whatever way, shape or form makes you feel your best.

 

The fastest way to lose weight means sticking with whatever movement makes you feel good. When you feel good you’re more likely to be consistent. Also, when you feel you good, you eat well and you sleep well which, guess what…helps you eat well again. This is what a Nutritious Life is all about.

 

This week, I want you focused on being consistent with your exercise and doing it daily. You don’t even need to hit a gym to get it in, here’s a quickie workout I do just about anywhere.  

 

5 mile run sound good? Do it. Spin class right up your alley? Get that in. Hike in the hills all you want to do? Go for it.

 

Fact: Yes, you’ll shed pounds by burning calories when you exercise, but exercising also increases blood flow which helps with circulation and gives your skin a healthy glow. Exercise can also help reduce stress which will help you sleep better, both of which are needed to calm your nerves.

 

3.      Sleep Deep

Aim for 8 hours a night, settle for no less than 7.  For some reason sleep is still one of those things that we give up to fit everything else into our busy schedules.

 

Many of us still feel like we should get a gold star when we triumphantly go without sleep to log more hours at a bar chatting it up with friends or burning the midnight oil at our desk. Unfortunately, no medals awarded here.

 

Sleep should be a top priority. It’s right up there with what we put into our bodies, especially when we want to be looking and feeling our best.

 

This week practice good sleep hygiene by picking a bed time and sticking to it and allowing yourself 15 minutes of winding down time before your head hits the pillow.

 

Fact:  They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing. While we sleep, our body’s natural antioxidant melatonin, a sleep hormone, fights off free radical invaders. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you’re reducing the amount of time that melatonin gets to fight off wrinkles and those bags under your eyes will only get worse.  

 

By getting enough sleep at night, you not only look and feel well-rested, but your immune system will be strengthened.

 

4.      Drink Up

Drink 8 glasses of water and 2 cups of green tea a day. For two days before your special occasion, drink a cup of dandelion root tea as well. Trust me, this one is important. Being properly hydrated is linked to metabolism, energy and skin health.

 

Fact: Sounds counterintuitive, right?  But by drinking water throughout the day, you reduce bloating, flush out toxins, hydrate your skin to achieve a healthy glow, and keep your digestive organs in good working order.  

 

Green tea has been shown to boost metabolism and dandelion tea will help flush you out, further reducing toxins and any bloating.

 

5. Nurture Yourself

Cleanse! No time or money to book that expensive facial? Have no fear, your DIY cleanser is here.

 

Give this easy homemade cleanser and mask a try and you’ll almost be able to feel the antioxidants and nutrients seep into your skin making it soft, smooth, and younger looking. Don’t forget to moisturize twice daily.

 

Pink Dairy Cleanser: Each day this week, use this quick and easy cleanser by mixing 2 teaspoons milk, 2 teaspoons pink grapefruit juice with pulp, and 2 teaspoons Greek plain yogurt or sour cream until smooth.

 

Soothing Green and White Mask: 7 days and 4 days before the big day puree ¼ can white beans and 5 cucumber slices in a food processor until smooth.  Gently massage the mask onto your face and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off.

 

Fact: Pink Dairy Cleanser – the yogurt will gently exfoliate and stimulate collagen, to help firm your skin.  The pink grapefruit will protect your skin from sun damage and the formation of free radicals.  Soothing Green and White Mask – This refreshing mask will help sooth redness and inflammation and leave your skin feeling serene.

 

How to Become Slim and Still Enjoy Summer BBQs

When it comes to striking a balance between having the body you want and oh, that thing we call enjoying life, many people get stuck in a conundrum: how to become (or stay) slim and still have F-U-N.

One of the reasons so many people end up being yo yo dieters is because they feel they have to give up their social life (and for that matter life) in order to drop a few lbs. A little FOMO later, they throw in the towel.

But there is a better way. I promise.

Learning how to incorporate healthy eating without sacrificing your life is KEY to long term success, and happiness! No matter what is being served, who you’re with, and where you are, you can make good food choices – or at least the best possible choices for the given situation.

Once you learn how to do this, you’ll finally be able to answer the question of how to become slim and still maintain a social life. And, you’ll be living proof you know what you’re talking about.

Many of my clients find the summer in particular to be the most challenging time of the year to eat clean. Friday nights scream for happy hour Rose, Saturday afternoons are synonymous with lobster rolls and chips and guac and Sundays become decadent Fundays before you’ve finished your first bloody.

This year, let’s do things a little differently.

 

How to Become Slim and Still Enjoy Summer BBQs

Have a filling food before you go. I always say “ruin your appetite” – eat a snack that provides satiety so you don’t get to the BBQ famished. And don’t “hold out” !  NOT eating all day in prep of a big BBQ is the worst thing you can do. You’ll slow down your metabolism and end up eating fast and furious, likely consuming double the calories of what you would have had you just eaten regular meals throughout the day. Two slices of fresh turkey or an apple with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter can go a long way pre-partying.

Assess the situation when you arrive. Sometimes your whole attitude going in can make or break your cocktail party/BBQ experience… If you see spinach dip when you walk in you may think (even subconsciously), “It’s all over, there’s nothing healthy here, I might as well go hog wild…” Then you notice chicken skewers, shrimp cocktail, crudités. Be patient. Check out the scene. You can usually pull together a perfectly proportioned meal in what appears to be the most indulgent scenario. How does a plain burger with pickles and grilled veggies, crudités and an ounce of cheese sound?

Hold out on the first drink when you arrive. Try to skip that first drink and grab a glass (or Solo cup) of water instead. When you’ve downed your first beer before you’ve even said hello to your hosts you’re probably off to an overindulgent night. You’ll end up consuming too many calories from alcohol and the alcohol will most likely cause you to consume too many calories from food. Slow down. Hydrate. Sip. And, then have a glass of water between each drink.

Fill your plate one time. Have you ever gone back for thirds? I bet if you’d filled your plate one time with 6 ounces of meat you probably would have been satisfied. But going back 3 times for 3 ounce portions somehow is barely satisfying you. Take a serving of meat, chicken or other vegetarian protein that is being served (bbq chicken or fish is usually the leanest option) and then fill the rest of your plate with the healthiest options available such as grilled vegetables, roasted corn, tomato slices, pickles and salad. Enjoy what you put on your plate and then be done. Stop and go enjoy the people (not the food!) around you.

Be prepared at home. Have you ever been really “good” and drank seltzer at a cocktail party, nibbled on crudités, had a bite of a chicken skewer and then gotten home and ATTACKED THE REFRIGERATOR? Often we make the mistake of thinking “I already ate” when our belly is still truly hungry. So, you begin picking and picking and you’ve soon you’ve consumed 1000 calories of who knows what from your refrigerator and pantry. Make sure to have a mini meal ready for when you get home if you’re going to a party where you won’t eat a “real” meal. It can be as simple as sliced turkey and frozen vegetables or chickpeas sautéed with olive and spices and tossed over bagged lettuce.

So there you have it. Learning how to become and still keep your summer weekends jam packed with BBQs is all about being prepared before you go, making the best choices while you’re there, and setting yourself up for success when you get home. Happy bbq’ing.

 

One Surprising Reason to Have a Healthy Sex Life

I talk a lot about having a healthy sex life and the benefits of sex, but today’s reason might surprise you.

Did you know that having sex improves your sense of smell?

After sex, there is a surge in the production of the hormone prolactin, which causes your brain’s stem cells to form new neurons in the olfactory bulb, also known as the brain’s smell center.

Why am I talking about this? Well, you know I always support having a healthy sex life, because research shows it’s a best way to lose weight.

And we know that how well you can taste your food is tied to how well you can smell.

Research also shows that there are certain aromas that will actually curb your appetite. So, the more sex you have, the better your ability to smell these foods, the more weight you may be likely to lose!  Now if that’s not a beautiful trifecta of benefits, I don’t know what is.

 

How a Healthy Sex Life and a Better Sense of Smell Relate

 

One study showed that strong aromas can cause you to grab a smaller forkful of food, so think chiles and onions if you need a little help in the not devouring-your-meal department.

Another study found that the smell of bananas and green apple can actually curb your appetite, so reach for a whiff of these when you’re trying to lessen the amount of times you open the pantry door every afternoon. Licorice works well here, too.

Grapefruit has been shown to lower appetite and weight. I love having my clients eat half of a grapefruit with cinnamon as a snack when they are cleansing or trying to lose weight.

And here’s a fun fact: my mom started dinner every night with a half grapefruit on all of our plates. I have no idea why, and it had nothing to do with weight loss, but there is a special place in my heart for these citrus powerhouses.

So, back to why I originally started writing this. You should have more sex. It’s part of a Nutritious Life, and there are so many other benefits we didn’t cover here today. Clients always raise their eyebrows when I ask them about sex in our nutrition counseling sessions but it truly does have a place in a nutritious life.

I don’t want the private details – I want to know they are using it as a secret weapon to manage stress, burn some calories (sexercise, anyone?), and in the end, lose more weight. See, it’s not all about the food.

 

2 Reasons to Have a Healthy Sex Life

Q: You’re a nutritionist. Why in the world do you talk about sex?

A: Having a healthy sex life means different things to different people. So when I ask my clients about theirs, I’ve seen more than a few jaws drop in my days. Why am I digging into this topic?

As part of a whole person and Nutritious Life approach to wellness and weight management, it’s important to look at what’s happening between my clients’ sheets. But the dirty deets aren’t what I’m after.

Scientists have linked feel good hormones with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. We all have stressors and stress hormones that build up in our systems and act like toxins in our bodies. But there are also hormones that do exactly the opposite – they make us feel good. These hormones deserve just as much attention, which is why I’m chatting it up about your sex life.

 

2 Reasons to Have a Healthy Sex Life

 

1. Oxytocin

Oxytocin is well studied for its calming effects. It’s released from the pituitary during orgasm, hugging, touching, breast feeding, bonding, and feel good moments. It floods the body with relaxation messages and lowers anxiety and the brain’s natural resistance responses. It’s also associated with increasing feelings of trust and generosity.

Why is this so important for anyone trying live a healthy life or eat a healthy diet? Because we all know there is so much research linking stress to weight gain. So if having a healthy sex life increases your oxytocin which lowers your stress, it can help you actually lose weight! Boom.

 

2. Endorphins

Endorphins are linked to feelings of well being. They are naturally released from the brain and spinal cord during sex, exercise, physical activity, positive thinking and emotional stimulus. They’re also associated with lessening feelings of pain and depression by triggering positive feelings and reducing feelings of stress.

Why is this so important for anyone trying live a healthy life and eat a balanced diet? Again, that stress and weight gain thing. Having a healthy sex life releases endorphins, which lowers stress, which helps you lose weight. Double boom.

So there you have it. Having a healthy sex life in this case has nothing to do with Rated R details. It has everything to do with hormones, and it’s one best ways to lose weight.

Oxytocin and endorphins stimulate a metabolic process to reduce the intake of calories, reduce hunger and slow the digestion of fat. The more you feel good, the greater your health, weight management and wellness benefit, the smaller your pant size, the more you want to have sex…it’s a cycle that just keeps on going! Now go get busy…

 

4 Tricks to Always Having Healthy, Quick Weeknight Meals

Having some quick, go-to weeknight meals in your repertoire is a MUST if you’re a busy person. So yep, that’s pretty much everyone. Like, everyone. I get asked all the time what’s the best way to lose weight, and one of my answers is…to always be prepared. I know the Scouts coined it, but I’m totally using it, and so should you. If you’ve ever blamed a little (or a lot of) weight gain on, “I don’t have time to eat healthy” or, “Cooking for 1 person just doesn’t work” or, “I get home from work and just feel like eating crackers over the kitchen sink,” then read on. I’ll make it quick.

 4 Tricks to Always Having Healthy, Quick Weeknight Meals

 

Go vegetarian (at least a couple dinners per week).

 

Make leftovers.

 

Eat breakfast for lunch and dinner.

 

Don’t overstock the fridge.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

It’s new year’s resolutions time! Again. Sigh. Is your resolution this year the same one you had last year because you kinda fell off the wagon some time in, oh, February?

Well, then, my advice to you is to scrap the whole resolutions thing altogether. You heard me right. Scrap ’em.

I’m obviously not a fan of resolutions. Mostly, they just set you up to fail, and they’re right up there with the concepts of willpower and guilt-free eating in my book. Big thumbs down all around.

I actually cringe when I hear clients vow to “never eat chocolate again” or “give up carbs forever”. Most of these types of new year’s resolutions are broken or forgotten before Valentine’s Day because they’re too extreme.

You may know you want to try a no carb diet, or that chocolate is your downfall, but focusing on the end point, rather than the process is why most resolutions fail. {Tweet this}

In other words, change your mindset from “I’m gonna lose 10 pounds” to “I’m gonna learn how to eat healthy”.

And c’mon, chocolate is way too delicious to never eat again. The trick is to learn how to enjoy a conscious indulgence.

As far as eating carbs? Your body needs them! Don’t give them up, rather learn which are the healthy kind and and how to incorporate them into a healthy diet.

Wanna really pull out a knockout you this year? Don’t buy into fads or try something you don’t want to do forever. Instead, take the time to acknowledge your diet history and figure out what didn’t work in the past, so you don’t keep repeating the same diet mistakes. (If you’re frustrated in this department, check out my ebook Why Can’t I Drop the Weight.)

Learn to listen to your body, rather than that infomercial promising a brand new you in two short weeks. Specifically, I’m talking about Hunger Quotient (HQ). Everybody has one at all times, and it’s a tool that may be one best ways to lose weight.

Nutritious Life is rooted in 8 pillars of health and wellness that lead to the healthiest you that you can build. I always say, it’s not just about the food. If you ignore your stress levels, no matter how hard you’re dieting you’ll still probably gain weight. If you’re skimping on sleep, your body is going to be craving those carbs you vowed to give up and you’ll eventually begin throwing in the towel for a bagel every morning. If you aren’t taking time to keep your desk clean, chances are your pantry and fridge will also suffer. All of these things that have nothing to do with food affect your healthy eating efforts, and eventually, well, affect everything about food.

Instead of un-doable resolutions this year, begin to improve a little with small goals, resolutions, and intentions that are guaranteed to bring out the best you.

For example, if you’re already into healthy eating and feel your balanced diet is super strong, bring it up a notch by trying to get 2 cups of dark green leafy’s and 5 – 7 servings of veggies each day. If you’re weak in the sleep department, set yourself up with a sleep hygiene ritual to improve your shut eye.

You’re already fabulous, no matter what dress size you are. Use the Nutritious Life pillars as your foundation this year and you’ll be ringing in next year in whatever dress size you want.

Why You Need to Eat a High Fiber Diet

Q: I keep hearing I should be eating a high fiber diet. Why?

A: You see and you hear about fiber every time you open a magazine, turn on the TV and walk down a grocery store aisle. It’s in our faces all the time because it really is that important.

Old school thought was that a high fiber diet was something to worry about when your senior citizen discount became available, but new school thought is that fiber is a super important part of a healthy diet at all stages and ages.

Because it gets harder as we get older to change our diets, there’s no better time to start chowing down on it than right now. If you pay attention to the fiber buzz, you know that fiber keeps our hearts hearty and (ahem), our bowels “regular.”

Just exactly why is a high fiber diet so important?

Dietary fiber is the part of plant foods that your body cannot digest. It’s classified into two categories: the kind that doesn’t dissolve in water (insoluble fiber) and the type that does (soluble fiber).

Soluble fiber soaks up water like a sponge and turns into a gel-like consistency during digestion; it slows the process of digestion and helps your body absorb nutrients.

This is why you feel full for a longer period of time after eating a high fiber meal versus a fiber-less one (ah ha!). Soluble fiber also helps to lower blood cholesterol and manage blood sugar levels.

Most soluble fiber also are known as prebiotics. Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria of your gut and this may help improve your immune system, digestive health and aid in calcium absorption. Yes, you still need to probiotics too.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, helps to speed up foods going through the body and bulks up your poop. (Sounds gross, but it kind of acts as a scrub brush going through your intestines).

A healthy diet rich in insoluble fiber is often touted as a best way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It also helps in preventing constipation and reducing the risk of colon cancer.

While I prefer to have you eat food and not numbers, you should know how much fiber you need, so you can be aware if you’re getting the right amount.

Men need about 30 to 38 grams per day and women need about 21 to 25 grams. If your food has a label, you can check out the amount of fiber listed and add up your daily intake fairly easily. However, many of the best places to get fiber come from healthy foods without labels such as fruits and veggies.

I want you to get most of your fiber from vegetables, fruits and whole grains, but when trying to eat more fiber don’t forget about sneaking more in in the form of nuts and seeds too.

So, there you have it. A rather blah subject, indeed, but super important for your insides. Now go get your fiber on.