Did you come close to the recommended 5-9 servings? If you are like most Americans, you might struggle to get them all in each day. It’s worth working on! Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, and packed with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber.
The easiest way to incorporate more produce into your diet is to make them convenient to eat at home. Purchase whole fruits, like apples, bananas, oranges and pears to grab as a quick and healthy snack. Chop up some veggies for dipping and store in ziplock baggies that are easy to grab and go!
Another great way to eat more fruits and vegetables is to sneak them into your favorite meals:
- Add chopped apples to oatmeal
- Add spaghetti squash or zucchini ribbons to pasta dishes
- Add finely chopped mushrooms, onions and peppers to chopped meat for burgers, meatloaf or tacos.
- Add greens to your breakfast smoothie(spinach and kale work well)
- Add broccoli to mac & cheese
- In place of bread, use a pita and easily stuff it with salad greens, tomatoes and peppers
Do you get enough sleep? If you are anything like most Americans, you probably do not. It is not surprising that chronic sleep deprivation is so prevalent in our society. We all have busy schedules and try to fit too much into too little an amount of time.
Although your long list of things to do is probably important to you, adequate sleep should be near the top of this list because it directly affects your health in a number of ways. At North End Fitness, we strive to help you not only achieve your weight and fitness goals, but also to make other positive lifestyle choices that can make it a little easier. Weight loss and fitness results are directly affected by a number of other factors besides diet and exercise – including sleep.
Your endocrine system (and in effect both your appetite and your metabolism) is heavily influenced by sleep. Sleep deprivation interferes with the normal regulation pathways that keep hormones in check, leading to failure of appetite controls. Sleep deprived individuals not only eat more calories, but they also are more likely to fail when attempting a weight-loss diet. The benefits of adequate sleep extend well beyond weight control – improved immune function, improved mood, and reduced stress- to name a few. Most adults require 6-8 hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble sleeping try the following tips:
- Set a regular sleep schedule. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time – even on the weekends.
- An hour prior to bedtime, shut down electronic devices like your tablets, cell phones and TV. Relax with a music, a book or conversation instead.
- Use your bedroom for sleep only. Do not eat, watch TV, or read in bed.
- Exercise regularly, and spend more time outdoors in the daylight if possible.
- Consider eliminating caffeinated beverages after lunch time.
- Avoid a heavy dinner (eat more at lunch time instead) and alcohol close to bed time. For some, food directly before bed will keep you awake. Others will find that a light snack containing easy-to-digest carbohydrates and a source of tryptophan may help them fall asleep. If you are hungry, experiment with one of these light snacks :
- half a turkey sandwich (on 100% whole wheat bread)
- a bowl of whole grain, low sugar cereal
- a banana
Here’s what you need…
For the salad:
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 Tablespoon red onion, minced
- ½ cup cucumber, chopped
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 4 strips, cooked nitrate-free bacon, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
For the dressing:
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 packet stevia
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Mix to combine.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over the salad and serve.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 218 calories, 12g fat, 189mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 22g protein
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It’s the ripple effect. When you make positive strides in one area of your life, other areas will soon follow.
Keep in mind that while nutrition is extremely important for weight loss, lasting results are achieved through a combination of both healthy eating and challenging exercise.
Would you like to get that ripple effect started in your life? Call or email us now!
What myths are out there waiting to trick you? Here are seven that you’re most likely to come up against.
Fat Loss Myth #1: Cardio Is All You Need
Want to lose weight? Good. You’ll need to get some cardiovascular exercise. But don’t buy into the idea that cardio is all you need to lose weight. If you don’t lift weights or do some sort of strength training, your aerobic workouts will eventually work to burn off your muscle as well as fat. In the end, this means less strength and a lower metabolism—both which could lead to an inability to maintain a workout routine.
Fat Loss Myth #2: Slow Is Better
Slow-moving folks rejoiced at the idea that a slower pace could mean more fat burned. And while moving slower—walking instead of running—may seem more appealing, there is a problem. Because moving at a faster pace and pushing yourself harder will always burn more calories in less time. Of course, if you plan to walk at a moderate pace for three hours, you will burn more than if you sprint 100 yards and call it quits. But if you can sprint 100 yards, walk 20 yards, and then sprint again, repeating the process for an hour, you will easily shed more calories, fat, and pounds, than just going for a walk.
Fat Loss Myth #3: Your Workout Should Be Killer
Ever feel your workout didn’t work you hard enough? If you’re improving and increasing, don’t sweat it. That’s just a sign that your body is growing stronger and better able to handle whatever you throw at it. While many think a workout isn’t good unless it leaves you unable to stand up straight or lift a book, don’t believe the hype. Pushing your body so hard that you can’t function after a workout may give you mental assurance that you’re working hard, but it’s putting you at extreme risk for extreme injury.
Fat Loss Myth #4: Heat Burns More Slide this one under the heading “Stranger Than Fiction,” but according to research, those hot yoga classes may not be paying off like you expect. In fact, just the opposite may be true. Researchers have found that people who slept in a colder environment increased their weight loss ability substantially more than those who slept in a warmer temperature. For exercising, just be sure to make it comfortable for you. If you have a comfortable workout, you’re more likely to repeat it!
Fat Loss Myth #5: There Are Negative-Calorie Foods
Whether you’ve bought into the myth or not, you’ve likely heard that certain foods—celery is a favorite—burn more calories via digestion than they contain. So if you eat nothing but celery, you’ll burn more calories than you consume, which catapults your weight-loss ability into the heavens. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Celery is low in calories, but you can’t live off just celery! Instead of focusing on very specific foods, keep your diet balanced, varied, and portion controlled.