Category: diet plateau

There are 1,440 Minutes in Every Day: Schedule 30 of Them for Physical Activity

There are 1,440 Minutes in Every Day: Schedule 30 of Them for Physical Activity

Fall is the best time of the year, especially in Arizona. For us it means getting back outdoors after being cooped up during the long, hot summer. It’s time to pump up the bike tires and get moving.

But fall can also be a confusing time of year when it comes to health and fitness. Summer is over, so there is no need to obsess about fitting into that bikini or those shorts. Halloween is right around the corner, which can be a diet disaster with all those treats and goodies around.


Then in almost a blink of the eye it is Thanksgiving, which we all know is the biggest eating day of the year. But who just pigs out on Thanksgiving? Our leftovers usually last at least a week.


Before you know it, you are going to a Christmas party every weekend, and now it is time to start that New Year’s Resolution to lose those 10 pounds you may have just gained since October.


Sound familiar? Well, since it is the beginning of October, there is time to put another plan into action to change that all too familiar course of eating and dieting mayhem.


There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Schedule 30 of them for physical activity! Starting today.


First, let’s define physical activity. The definition may surprise you.


Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement that uses energy. Some of your daily life activities—doing active chores around the house, yard work,—are examples. I don’t know about you, but my vacuum must weigh 100 pounds, and my heart really starts pumping when I push that thing around.


To get the benefits of physical activity, include activities that make you breathe harder and make your heart and blood vessels really start pumping.


If you haven’t been active in a long time, choose something you like to do. Many people find walking helps them get started. Before you know it, you will be doing more each day.

If you feel like you don’t have the time, start with 10-minute chunks of time a couple of days a week. Walk during a break. Dance in the living room to your favorite music. It all adds up.

Start by doing what you can, and then look for ways to do more. After a few days or weeks, build up your activities—do them longer and more often.

Pick up the pace. This is the easiest way to kick it up a notch, because it doesn’t require an extra time commitment, when you may already be pressed for time. Walk faster, add a jog, squeeze your butt while you walk—anything that changes the intensity.

If you get in the habit of physical activity now, you can enjoy the next few months of the year, even indulge here and there, and start your new year off with a resolution that has nothing to do with losing weight.

Making Healthy Choices – Which Voice Do You Listen To

Making Healthy Choices – Which Voice Do You Listen To

There is a story about wise man who is giving a lesson to a young girl. He says, “There are two dogs in my head. One is very good; he is positive, optimistic and kind. The other one is very bad; he is negative, angry and judgmental. These two dogs are always fighting.”

His young student asks him, “So which one wins?”

The elder replies, “Whichever one I feed the most.”

Like the wise man of this story, we all experience a similar inner conflict with our health, fitness, and weight. It’s like there are two conflicting voices inside our heads. I hear these two voices on a daily basis especially when I am deciding what to eat.

One voice is frustrated (and sometimes hungry) and is on the verge of giving up and or giving in to the temptation to eat something that will sabotage my diet. The other voice, in spite of the frustration, refuses to give up or give in.

The challenge is which voice will you listen to? Will you give in to the whispers inside that say what’s the point, what’s the use? Or will you stay focused, optimistic and keep going until you find the right solution for you?

Whichever path you choose to follow to get where you want to be, remember the choice between exercising and lounging, between eating pizza and eating broiled chicken, between hope and despair is always up to you. It’s a choice you make every minute of every day. You make it by deciding which voice to listen to. You make it by deciding which dog to feed



The Foolproof Way To Get Back On Track When You Blow Your Diet

The Foolproof Way To Get Back On Track When You Blow Your Diet

I was at the gym today on the treadmill listening to the two guys next to me lament about their ups and downs of weight loss. One of the guys had lost over 100 pounds several different times, which also means that he has gained over 100 pounds several times.

There is nothing as overwhelming as seeing that scale start to creep up. It happens to everyone, but how far you let the creep continue is up to you.

Scale creep happens because of the small, daily decisions, ones that you thought were just a big dinner, or a skipped workout were explained away in your mind as isolated incidents. But they are not. The little things add up, and they can add up fast if you don’t pay attention.

Gaining weight back is a similar path to how you took the weight off. When you lost one or two pounds a week, you made daily accountability decisions and choices that resulted in weight loss. Maybe it was your daily or weekly weigh-in on the scale, maybe it was your big salad for lunch, or pulling out your jeans to see if they fit yet. All of those little changes, those small decisions added up to your weight loss.

Gaining weight back follows a similar pattern. Remember, you didn’t lose the weight in a measured exact way of three pounds per week every week, and you don’t gain it the same way. It usually starts with one little trigger.

The Fourth of July bash and your birthday only a week apart … YIKES. One little trigger, for example an over the top meal: a big steak, baked stuffed potato, a little of the crab appetizer and the chocolate cheesecake, topped with drink after drink in celebration. You feel so lethargic the next day, which I call a food hangover, that you break your normal oatmeal/blueberry morning and you have a cup of coffee and a croissant just to function the next day and curb your food withdrawal.

Since you “messed up” breakfast, you say “screw” it to lunch and have the pizza you’ve been missing. Once you’ve had the pizza for lunch, you think, might has well have the fried chicken for dinner because I’ve totally blown it. What’s one more meal?

Maybe your scale ran out of batteries and you don’t have that accountability that you’ve been so diligent about when you lost weight. You just stop weighing in because you no longer have your scale. Two weeks go by and you’re so scared of seeing what that number will be, you go another week without weighing in. Three weeks turn into four and the pounds continue to pile on.

It can be as simple as wearing comfy sweats for 4 days in a row. They feel so big and roomy, that you eat an extra muffin and you think, wow, I must be doing great because everything still fits! (I’ve done that one myself, many times, then I finally “wake up”, pull up my jeans and say, ughh!!!! What was I thinking!?!??).

It’s all those little decisions, the same daily decisions you made when you were losing weight, that result in adding the pounds back.

The most FOOLPROOF to get back on track is to commit to one good day.

If one good day seems overwhelming , commit to one good meal. Just one. If you have already blown breakfast, then make your lunch your “on track” option … something that will give you energy, make you feel great, and give you the confidence that you can do it. Often, just one positive decision, one good lunch, one good run, can give you the jolt you crave to shake it up and get you back on the track of losing the weight. You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there. Get out of the water and get back on track!

The Smart Pantry – Three Tips For When You Forgot To Plan

The Smart Pantry – Three Tips For When You Forgot To Plan

I have a love hate relationship with grocery shopping. Since I can remember, I have always done my grocery shopping once a week. I like planning my meals for the week and buying all the ingredients. However, the grocery store is really a land mine of temptation. At every turn there is an isle or an end cap display of something that looks really yummy. It would be torture to go to the grocery more than once a week. It takes a lot of will power at the grocery, and I never go when I am hungry. 

I also make sure to buy a few healthy extras each time, just in case, because sometimes  I am short a meal, and I find myself with no plan for dinner. Poor planning  happens to everyone, but rather than call Papa (John that is) I will “throw together” a mish mash of items. At times like these I try to use a one-two-three approach to making a balanced meal:

1. Make it “Whole” by picking whole grain version of pasta, rice or bread.

2. Make it “Lean” or “Extra Lean” by searching for cans of tuna packed in water, skinless chicken breast, lean ham or extra lean beef.

3. Make it “Colorful” by using a variety of fruits and vegetables.

There is always something in the fridge and pantry that can be used for dinner, and when I use the one-two-three approach, even though it wasn’t planned, I can feel good about what I am serving and eating.

The Only Way You Fail Is If You Quit

The Only Way You Fail Is If You Quit

Some of my clients are facing new weight loss challenges and the dreaded plateau, but you can actually be on a successful weight loss track, and because you don’t KNOW what a successful track looks like, it may feel like you are failing.

Once you believe that you have screwed up, it is easy to say “screw it” and really screw up. I am good at that! If only you knew how well you were doing! While success does depend on your specific goals, starting point, body type and exercise routine, there are a few things that are consistent across the board. Here are some things to consider:

1. Weight loss does NOT come in the form of losing two pounds every week until you reach your goal, no matter how well you’ve stuck to your food and exercise plan.

When you gain weight, you don’t gain two pounds every single week in a measured fashion. You’re not going to lose it in a measured fashion no matter how well you stick to your plan. You might lose two pounds one week. You might even lose three pounds in a week. Then, you might lose one pound the next week.

Some weeks you might lose zero, and there are weeks you even gain. These weeks are the most frustrating, and we all have these kinds of weeks where we feel like we’re doing everything right and the scale doesn’t give us what we want.

Keep track of the weekly weigh-ins but take a look at the month and see the overall trend. You might have gained a 1/2 pound one of the weeks but take note if you lost 4 pounds overall for the month. If the month is trending downwards, you are in the right place.

2. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time.

Just because you went out drinking and ate all the bread, stuffed yourself with fried food and had two desserts, and then woke up and had eggs Benedict the next day does not mean you have failed.

Everyone does this.

We all make a commitment and we all slip up. I ate an entire chocolate cake the other day. You fell. So what? Learn what will work for you to get back on track. You can fall and still be on a successful weight loss track by simply making the decision to get back there.

Real life weight loss is like a marathon, some miles are effortless, some are excruciating and the only way you really fail is if you quit.

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