Let’s be practical here. In this fast-pace world, sometimes we need a fast-pace lunch. Unfortunately, new dieters panic at the thought of having to eat fast food because they think that means they don’t have a lot of choices. Or worse, they think it means complete failure.
The truth is, fast food chains give us more healthy choices than ever. We just need to order smart. It’s just up to us to do some investigative work so we can make the best choice possible.
Here are 10 tips to help you keep your calories low and your spirits high while dieting on the go.
10 Fast Food Tips for Dieters:
1. Go simple. The fewer ingredients the fewer the calories.
2. Go small. Avoid biggie sizing meals just because it’s a good deal. Believe me, you will eventually pay for it.
3. Avoid bread. Bread can account for 200-300 extra unnecessary calories. Try to get the majority of your calories from whole foods, instead of processed fillers.
4. Know what you’re eating. Don’t play guessing games when making your order. If you want to be sure you get results, be sure about the food you are eating. An average low-calorie meal for a dieter should be between 300-400 calories.
5. Don’t drink your calories. Stick to water, unsweet tea or diet coke. Drinking liquid sugar is just plain silly.
6. Salads aren’t always low-calorie. Just because something looks healthy, doesn’t mean it is healthy. A salad can easily add up to be more calories than a burger if you are not careful.
7. Think with your mind, not your stomach. Don’t let yourself get so hungry you can’t think straight. Many people blow their diet simply because they are starving by the time they face the drive through menu.
8. If you don’t love it, skip it. Removing one slice of cheese, or one condiment, can save you 100 calories or more. Prioritize the toppings you love, and skip the ones you can do without, to save calories.
9. Share your findings. Help others by sharing your healthy discoveries so other people can also benefit too. Education is key to success.
10. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Although you will likely find some foods you are pleasantly surprised with, many times people will continue to order something when their gut is telling them something isn’t adding up. Listen to your gut, not your taste buds.
I wish I could claim this brilliant quote, but it was actually the encouraging words from “Watson”, played by Lucy Lui, to young college girl (played by Melissa Farman) after losing her mom on Episode #11 in the new Sherlock Holms show called “Elementary” on CBS.
Of course there is no deeper pain than losing a loved one, but there are many other deep pains that can make life tough. The stressed of life can weigh us down so much that we can find it extremely difficult to get out of bed in the morning and face the world.
In the world of fitness, often times the sheer struggle of getting rid of the fat you accumulated over the years can feel like quite the battle. This battle can be discouraging, frustrating and exhausting – truly feeling like tough times.
Are You Tough Enough?
For many people, trying to look like Kate Battersby would feel like an impossible goal. Just losing weight seems hard enough, much less imagining having chiseled abs and smooth tight skin, after years of being stretched out. This feeling of hopelessness can cause people to give up before they even start.
People think “why me?” They don’t understand why getting fit and losing weight is so hard for them, and it leaves them feeling alone – but I want to encourage you like Watson encouraged that young girl, “tough times don’t last, tough people do”. The only reason someone else in the same position could lose weight and transform their body, is because they decided to be tough it out.
No matter what your battle is, finances, your weight, marriage, health issues, etc, it won’t last if you decide to be tougher than the battle itself. Sure, you can let your weight beat you up, and let it become stronger than you, OR you can fight it with all your might – and win. You can do the same in your marriage, with your finances and many other areas of life. Because, really, tough times don’t last, tough people do – and YOU can tough it out in 2013.
In Steve‘s blog yesterday, “Hello 2013. What Now?“, Steve talks about the reality of how you feel before you start working on your goals, during the process and once you reach your goals. “Reality” is the key word here – in order for us to successful, we have to be more realistic. His words were simple, but so powerful and true.
Today, we’re going conquer our worst enemy – our mind.
No Pain, No Gain
I think some people live in a dream world (or maybe a “wish” world). I blame advertisers for pushing a message “no pain, and have gain anyway” – but that is a lie. That’s just not life. As a result, we wish our way through our workouts and diets. We wish that we could take a pill and sit on our but and lose weight. We wish walking the dog would be considered cardio. We wish that counting calories wasn’t important. We wish our halfhearted effort would pay off. We wish it didn’t hurt so bad. We wish it wasn’t so hard to get to the gym. e wish, we wish, we wish. Before you know it, you’ve wished your way out of results. Then, when we don’t get the results we wished for, we wish we never even wasted time trying.
It’s time to come back down to reality. To accept what you are in for, and also embrace the fact that it will all be worth it. Unfortunately, the reward often gets overshadowed by the work – to the point the works is all we can see. And for most of us, it will take a few purposeful steps (note: I’m using that word “purposeful” a lot this year). In order to reach our goals we must be very strategic and purposeful in our planning. Just like an army prepares for battle, we have to be prepared for every attack imaginable – and our biggest enemy is our mind.
But the End is SOOooooOOOOOoooooo Far Awayyyyyy
In order to succeed this year, you have to be in control of your thoughts. You can’t let the thoughts that face you today, like pain, struggle, doubt and a goal that seems almost too far away to ever reach, fill that pretty little head of yours up and sabotage progress.
It is SO easy to let the “now” paralyze you instead of push you. But, as you plan your attack this year, you can be ready. You can use those thoughts to trigger a productive response. You can remind yourself that it IS worth it. You can tell yourself that your pain will be replaced with power. Will it be difficult? Yes, it very well might be. Will it be worth it? Yes, it totally will be.
Have you ever wondered why your best buddy loved the Adkins diet, but you hated it. Or maybe a friend lost lost 20lbs on weight watchers but the scale didn’t budge for you? Well, here’s my very unscientific, but completely logical, approach to why certain diets work for some people, and they bomb for others.
Here are 5 popular diet methods, and why each of them can produce results or regret.
1. Meat Lovers: Paleo and Adkins diets are high-protein meat lover diets, so people who love meat do well. People, like me, who could go without it and not miss it struggle. Steve loves meat – I mean LOVES IT! So, he’s thoroughly enjoying the Paleo Diet. It’s harder for me, so I am beefing up my veggies so I can enjoy my meals, where Steve is totally fine putting a big clump of meat on his plate and calling it a “meal”. I have to be more creative with my meals to stay content.
2. Sugar Busters: This diet works well for people who have an issue with sweets. If I cut sweets out of my diet, I wouldn’t make a lot of changes. I just don’t crave sweets. So, if I went on this diet I would not lose that much weight because I wouldn’t be cutting that many calories out of my diet. All mainstream diets, no matter what “gimmick” or set of guidelines is given, works because it is based on a set number of calories by industry standards. Reduce sugar, reduce calories.
3. Carb Cutters: Low carb, or no-carb, diets get huge results for the people who love their bread and potatoes. If I completely cut carbs out of my diet, I’d drop weight too because I love me some carbs (lots of carbs means lots of calories). However, not everyone likes carbs like I do. So different strokes for different folks.
4. Weight Watchers: Someone can even goof up weight watchers if they aren’t careful. I’ve known people to overeat items that are low in points (or have “zero points”) and they don’t understand why they don’t get results. If you are an overeater, this diet may not work for you because you will find some way to cheat the system. However, if you are unhealthy eater, weight watchers is a great way to get your food in balance and learn how to eat better, which will naturally reduce your caloric intake.
5. Calorie Counters: Counting calories works – unless you are lazy, unorganized, forgetful or don’t have the tools you need to track calories properly. So, someone can even mess this up too. They may say “counting calories doesn’t’ work for me”. What they most likely mean is “I know counting calories works, but I don’t want to do it”.
If you are trying to lose weight and you’ve tried various diets that have failed, don’t give up. Think of the reasons you loved them, and the reasons you hated them. Learn more about yourself and the reason each diet works for others. Try new things and reattempt things you might have gone about all wrong in the past. You must continue to explore new and improved ways to eat and live healthy. You WILL succeed as long as you never give up.
How do you jump back on the right track, after a totally blowing your diet on Holiday weekends like Thanksgiving? Here are the steps we take at the Pfiester’s, to get us back in the groove.
Purge the crap. No, I’m not promoting bulimia. I’m saying get rid of the junk in your house. For example, Steve bought a pint of ice cream Friday weekend. Sunday night he said “my diet starts tomorrow. Do you want to know how serious I am?” And he proceeded to take the ice cream out of the fridge and toss it in the trash. It’s hard to eat clean when you are surrounded by junkfood. So, like Steve, if there is food in your kitchen you know is something that will tempt you, get rid of it. If you feel guilty for throwing food away, get over it. Keeping it doesn’t help solve hunger – and giving it to your friends or family is like passing along a disease. Do you really want to make someone else fat? Just get rid of it. No one needs that stuff.
Stock up. Once you purge all the crap, it’s time to replenish and do some healthy grocery shopping. Many times we eat poorly because we don’t have anything healthy handy. If you want to eat healthy, you have to shop healthy.
Prepare. After a weekend of feasting, I cooked up all our healthy food for the week. Grilled zucchini and squash, grilled fish, new potatoes, slow cooked chicken, and a whole roasted turkey is what’s on this week’s menu. Now that we’re stocked up, there’s no reason to go off plan.
Shrink the tummy. The first few days of getting back on track is all about portions. I eat several small meals and snacks, without ever filling all the way up. I also do a lot of watery, low-calorie density foods like soup, fruits, vegetables and smoothies to keep me full while reducing calories. In a matter of days, my stomach flattens back out and the smaller portions are perfect portions.
Burn it off. After falling off the wagon, I not only get back to my routine but I do double duty. I do 2 cardios a day to help boost my turn around. It helps erase my mistakes and gets my head back in the game.
Count calories. Even though I know what to eat, I always go back to tracking calories (I use the Lose It app) after going off my regular routine. It helps me stay focused, as well as get results quickly. Without calorie counting, my bounce back is normally slower and I’m not as strict. Accountability is key – and nailing the diet is essential to success.
Stick with it. To prevent going off my diet too soon, I stick with a plan and set goals for how long I will stick to my routine. Consistency is key, so I don’t let myself cheat until I’ve either fulfilled the time, or hit my goal (which is normally a goal weight).
Diet Tip of the Week: Calorie Density
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This weekend Steve and I went to Disney for a mini-vaca. Epcot had their Wine and Food Festival, and Steve wanted to go to Texas de Brazil for his birthday dinner. So, since we didn’t want to feel bad for the extra calories, we hit the hotel gym every day.
With every holiday and special occasion, there’s always food – lots and lots of unhealthy high-calorie food you normally don’t even look at, much less eat. This month it’s all about stuffing, pumpkin pies, turkey and high-cal gravy, casseroles dripping in cheese with french fried onions on top. Needless to say, dieters should be worried. Thanksgiving IS coming – and so are the extra pounds unless you prepare for it.
How Bad Do You Want It?
If you really want to eat all the Holiday fare, then you better get to work, because you either have to work FOR the STUFFing or work the STUFFing OFF if you don’t want to gain weight this year.
1. Work More. Have you seen homeless people holding up “will work for food” signs? Well, that’s you! You can afford to eat a little more than you normally do, or eat things you wouldn’t normally eat, if you make room in your caloric budget for them. This means, if you know you are going to eat an extra 1,000 calories over the weekend, plan on doing 2-3 more cardios that week to make room. You will literally be working for food. The problem is, most people actually workout LESS during the Holidays – not more. This is why so many of us gain weight during this time of year.
I know, I’d guess your first response to that statement is that you are too busy during the Holidays to workout. However, that excuse really doesn’t really work. You’ll likely have enough time to watch TV, stalk people on facebook, or read this blog, among other things. You just need to prioritize.
If you are too busy, then be more purposeful with your workouts. Put cardio and/or full-body fat-burning workouts as top priority, and only do weight training if you have time. The key to a successful healthy holiday season is burning calories. It only takes 30 minutes to get a good sweat on. Are you really going to try to make up a good excuse of why you won’t invest 30 minutes of your day on your health and happiness?
2. Eat Less. If you truly don’t have the time to workout, treat eating like your bank account. You can either afford it or not. If you haven’t been working out to make room for the extra calories, then don’t eat the extra calories. If you can’t workout, you’ll have to be more strict with your diet – IF you don’t want your weight to slip. You can still sample some of your favorite foods, but just like you manage your bank account, you have to manage your calories and make sure you can afford each bite. (TIP: Track calories at www.LoseIt.com)
3. Balance. Of course, balance is key. The best situation is to maintain your workouts and eating patterns as best as you can, and apply the above to the few days you are out of your routine. Remember, what you allow to hit your lips during the Holidays will last you weeks on your hips if you aren’t careful.
What’s the other alternative? Weight gain. If you aren’t willing to workout and watch your calories, then expect to gain weight. If that’s OK with you, and you don’t mind joining the millions who make weight loss their New Year’s Resolutsion come January, than go for it. OR you can be a step ahead of the rest of America and stay fit and trim (and feel GREAT) this Holiday! 🙂
45 Seconds Air Squats
15 Seconds of Rest
45 Seconds of Push Up & Knee to Elbow
15 Seconds of Rest
45 Seconds of Burpees
15 Seconds of Rest
45 Seconds of Bicycle (Oblique) Sit-Ups
15 Seconds of Rest
1 Full Minute of Rest
REPEAT 4 TIMES
TIP: Take the workout up a notch by counting reps for each round to encourage a faster pace. Try to beat your time each time you do the workout.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Tracking calories for prepackaged food is easy, but what about when you combine a whole bunch of ingredients for a family style meal? This is one of the most common questions I get – and I’ve got the answer!
I believe most people just guess their way through the calories, which allows too much room for error. But, the LoseIt app makes tracking calories easy – even when you are following a recipe or, like me, making things up as you go!
Steve and I are always on the go, and yesterday was no exception. We just got back from shooting some movie clips for a halloween flick and we were hungry, so I needed to whip something up fast. I decided to make some quick and easy chicken fajita salads. It had to be quick, because I was STARVING – and it needed to be easy, because I was EXHAUSTED! (It’s hard playing dead you know) ha
Although I always prefer fresh produce and meat, I always keep some Tyson precooked chicken or frozen chicken tenderloins for emergencies to help me make a quick creation.
I opened the LoseIt app on my iPhone and clicked on “More” at the bottom of the screen. Then I chose “Edit Foods & Exercises” to get to “Recipes”. As I added ingredients, I just simply scanned each food item with the LoseIt barcode scanner and it automatically added the nutritients to my recipe.
After I cooked up the fajita topping, I needed to know how many servings it made. I guessed it made 4 or 5 servings, but I wanted to be sure since we are counting every calorie we eat right now in preparation for Steve’s bodybuilding show coming up. I weighed one serving to get an idea of what i was needing for my salad. Then I weighed the entire mixture and divided it by my serving size to see how many servings it made.
After I tallied the servings, I inputed the servings in the app and that was it! I was all done and ready to eat! Here was how how I made this simple delicious salad on the fly.
298-Calorie Quick & Easy Fajita Salad
makes 5 1/2 servings
One Tbsp Olive Oil
Bag of Tison fajita chicken strips
2 Green Peppers
Lime Juice to taste
TOTAL: 990 calories = 180 per serving
for 1 serving
Organic Mixed Greens, 20 calories
1 Tbsp Light Sour Cream, 20 calories
1/2 Tomato, 11 calories
1/4 Avocado, 57 calories
2 Tbsp Salsa, 10 calories
Top with a little Lime Juice
TOTAL: 118 calories per serving
118-calorie salad mix, topped with 5 ounces of fajita topping totaled 298 calories of deliciousness! 🙂
I think most people know we have a big obesity problem in America, but I don’t think people really understand what that means – or what to do about it. Medical Coding Career Guide built this infographic to really bring the facts home. After you review this enlightening graphic, I’ll give you 5 tips on how you can fight obesity and make a difference in your home and community.
5 Tips to Fighting Obesity:
1. Fight obesity in your home. Limit fast food and dry snacks (chips, cookies, crackers). Buy more fresh foods and less processed foods. Since many Americans are overweight due to overeating, serve dinner on salad plates to help control portion size. Seek education for you and your family and dedicate time to teaching your family about the importance of making healthy choices and increasing activities.
2. Fight obesity in your workplace. Many people don’t eat healthy because they really don’t know how to – or they are not completely aware of just unhealthy they really are. Although you can’t force co-workers to eat healthy, you can share your knowledge, introduce them to healthy foods and snacks, and invite them to the gym with you. Start a fitness challenge at your workplace and get more involved in your company’s wellness program. If nothing else, you can lead by example and encourage your coworkers when they do seek improvement.
3. Fight obesity in your child’s school. Even if you can’t change the lunchroom menu, you can change the way your child eats. Pack a lunch for them instead of relying on the school system to provide healthy meals for your child. Become a proactive member of the PTA and learn how to get more involved in making a difference in your local school system. PTA boards are always looking for inspiring speakers. Offer to speak, or to provide a speaker, to talk about childhood obesity. Remember, kids influence kids — and your kid can either influence other kids for good or bad. Encourage your child to be a good example for their friends and share what they have learned about healthy living.
4. Fight obesity in your church and your other favorite organizations. Church and food go together like peanut butter and jelly. Churches encourage good fellowship, and with that comes a lot of opportunities to eat and drink. Most churches rely on the congregation to provide food and beverage for their social events. Coke, sweet tea, high-cal casseroles, sweets and high-carb foods will always fill the buffet table. It’s up to you to provide healthy selections and to encourage your friends to do so as well. If you count calories, place a nutritional information card by the dish with the name of your yummy recipe, calories and your name in case they have questions.If you have the recipe, leave recipe cards by the dish and spread your healthy recipes with others.
5. Fight obesity in your close circles. We have the opportunity to impact our friends and family the most. Whether we are having people over for dinner or meeting people out, it’s important to stick to healthy eating so you can lead by example. Many times people actually buy junk food and serve higher calorie food when having guests over. Don’t be responsible for fattening up your guests. If you are exploring a menu and looking up calories while dining out, share what you are seeing. You’ll be amazed how many people have no idea how many calories are in foods they “think” is healthy. Of course, you need to be sensitive around people who are insecure about their weight, but even if you choose to say nothing and simply lead by example, you can still make a powerful impact on your loved ones.
Share this blog with your friends, on your facebook wall, on twitter, in pinterest, email and print it out for home and work. The key to helping people is educating them. Help make them more aware of the seriousness of obesity by sharing this blog today. You NEVER KNOW who’s life you could change simply by sharing this blog.
How have YOU helped fight obesity? Share your own tips and story below. 🙂 -B-
Got 15 minutes? How about 5?
Sure you do! You waste that amount of time creeping people’s facebooks. Well, I have good news! Steve Pfiester created a 4-week workout program for Designer Whey made up of simple fast and effective 5-minute workout segments.
Although we have a lot of people who jump right into an intense workout program without even blinking an eye, many people would rather ease their way into a program. Basic Training does just that – it builds in intensity and time each week. Plus, Basic Training is truly a basic program, meaning it’s built on simple exercises you can do at home.
Scared to commit?
Just give me 3 days!! This week’s workout is only three 5-minute workouts: Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. Below is the first 5-minute workout, Alpha. Complete the following exercises for 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off, counting each repetition as you go. Write your reps down on this Basic Training Tracking Sheet. Follow the video to get further direction.
- Push Ups
- Sit Ups
- Air Squats
- Jump Rope
Learn More about Basic Training
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