How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

Looking for a way how to eat healthy while traveling? When it comes to eating healthy while traveling, the struggle is real. The good news is, whether you’re traveling for work, vacation, or out of the country, there are some simple, yet effective strategies that will help you continue to eat healthy while traveling to maintain balance and reduce stress.

Through much trial and error, I’ve figured out what needs to be done before leaving, preparing, and what to do during the trip to make eating healthy, simple, and comfortable. I know exactly what can and can’t make it through airport security, what tools are helpful to pack, and all the right places to go.

Because your “travel” may look different depending on the destination, you might choose to adopt these strategies for eating healthy while traveling based on whether you’ll be flying, road tripping, taking the bus or doing all three.

The Hotel

Search for hotels that offer a mini-fridge in the room. Not only will you be able to house health-promoting foods in your room for easy access, but you’ll also save big money by bringing your breakfast, lunch, and snack foods, which can add up quickly on vacations.

If you’re looking at a few different hotels, search each one in google maps before booking to see how close they are to surrounding grocery stores and markets. The closer they are, the easier it is to make a stop or two throughout your trip. You can grab simple things like bottled water, or even perishable items like fruit or veggies and dip.

The Food

You can easily take various perishable and nonperishable items with you, depending on your trip's length and how much room you have to pack food. This can quickly go with you in the car, and you can take plenty of food with you in your suitcase, or right in your carry on through security.

Perishable foods

For perishable foods, take a more relaxed or cooler “shoulder” bag and gel ice packs to keep foods cold during your travel time. When flying, if you’re unsure if your ice source is security-friendly, take a large ziplock bag and get ice from a drink shop once you’re in the terminal.

I take an electric cooler with me on all car trips, which plugs into the car or a wall socket to make it into a fridge on demand.

To keep foods fresh, it’s best to store foods in airtight (and spill-proof!) stainless steel or BPA-free plastic containers that can pack tightly into the space you have available.

Options for travel-friendly perishable foods:

For long flights, prepare meals to-go. Dry foods are perfectly acceptable to take in carry-ons, so take as much as you need. I typically pack a big salad with meat (pre-dressed with my favorite olive oil) to eat on the plane during mealtime. This means we’re usually full and happy until we’ve settled in at our destination.

Non-perishable foods

Packaged foods or foods that don’t need immediate refrigeration make great emergency meals and snacks, especially when spending time overseas or working long hours away from the hotel for work. You can pack massive stashes of these foods in your suitcase, and take what you’d like in your carry-on for immediate use.

Options for travel-friendly “no fridge” necessary foods:

The Accessories

A few travel-friendly accessories like reusable forks, plates, a small sharp knife, and cloth napkins will help as you eat the food you’ve brought with you.

Take your reusable water bottle and coffee mug to use throughout your trip. This will eliminate the cost and waste of endless amounts of plastic water bottles and cups that can add up while traveling. If flying, you will need to empty your water bottle before going through security.

Don’t be shy about taking any other small conveniences that make you feel comfortable and happy. This includes supplements you might be taking like magnesium or probiotics, or bags of your favorite tea you like to drink in the morning. Especially when frequently traveling for work, keeping a semi-normal routine is crucial to overall health and longevity.

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling: The Arrival

Whether traveling in your car or by taxi, plan to stop at the grocery store just before reaching your hotel or shortly after you arrive to get items you weren’t able to bring. This is also the time to pick up large bottles of purified water to last you throughout your trip.

If the mini-fridge is more “mini” than expected, you can use your cooler or cooler bag and refresh it with hotel ice every 6-10 hours as you eat the food and free up room in the fridge. Make sure to turn the refrigerator to the most relaxed setting if you are packing it full of food as most hotels will have it set to the lowest setting.

Throughout your stay, use the airtight containers you brought to pack meals or snacks to take with you out each day. If you are gone from the hotel all day (which most of us are) for work or to explore, you can take these containers in a shoulder bag like a purse or backpack and your reusable water bottles, coffee container, and utensils.

Restaurants

Whether traveling for vacation or work, experiencing new, local cuisine can highlight any trip. Luckily, you can enjoy the food at most restaurants you’ll visit by following a few key “tricks” of the trade:

 

Don’t worry

While all of these tips can help you eat healthy food while traveling, the most important thing you can do throughout your trip is not stressing about food imperfection. One of the number one causes of digestive distress is stress. This means you could be eating the most nutrient-dense, clean diet there is. Still, if you’re stressed, you’re not only impairing your food's breakdown and absorption, you’re also suppressing your immune system and increasing your likelihood of experiencing a reaction to a gut pathogen or food toxin.

This is especially challenging for us “type as” as perfectionism, and the all or nothing mentality typically reigns supreme. In the end, however, that mentality will only do more harm than good.

In short, enjoy yourself and the opportunity you’ve been given to have a job, or travel and be on vacation. If that means bringing your desserts, then go for it. But don’t miss out on exploring all that new cuisines have to offer.

 

How to Stop Binge Eating | 5 STEP GUIDE for Taking Control

The fact that you have recognized there might be a problem and that you’re reading this article is an excellent sign that you’re ready to embrace healthier eating habits.

And with the step-by-step techniques discussed in the article, you’ll be well equipped to tackle binge eating. These techniques are scientifically proven to be effective in breaking the binge eating cycle.

But first, you can’t stop binge eating without understanding what it is and what’s behind the habit. So, let’s get into it.

5 proven steps to stop binge eating

And with that, it’s time to move into the proven steps you can take to stop your binge eating.

These steps come from evidence-based cognitive-behavioral treatment manuals for binge eating, so you can follow them confident they’ll help you get into a better space.

It is better to follow the steps in order, mainly because there is good evidence to show that focusing on modifying your behavior before your thoughts is a good determinant of future success.

Step 1: Take an action back to observe and understand your behavior

How to do it? Without careful monitoring, it’s impossible to remember precise details. So, diaries are a great idea.

Record:

Remember, if you’re serious about this, it’s essential to monitor consistently until you’ve regained control of your eating.

Step 2: Don’t skip your meals!

Aim to eat at least three meals and three snacks a day, no more than 3-4 hours apart.

Eating regularly combats two dangerous dieting behaviors: delaying eating (such as fasting or skipping meals) and caloric restriction (such as undereating).

Studies have shown that these dieting behaviors can independently lead to many adverse health outcomes, including binge eating, psychological impairment, depression symptoms, and anxiety symptoms.

Eating regularly and flexibly will help you gain more control over your eating by eliminating complex forms of dieting and reducing your frequency of binge eating. Plus you’ll love the sustained energy you’ll have throughout the day!

How to do it? Plan! Plan! Plan! Each night, plan and write down when you’re going to eat your meals and snacks. Don’t stress about what to eat, because the initial focus is on gaining momentum, stability, and regularity.

You might want to eat based on your body signals (such as when you’re hungry). But these signals are usually disrupted in those who binge, which means you’ll find it hard to distinguish between hunger and satiety.

That said, once you’ve adopted a consistent pattern of regular eating, these cues should eventually return.

Step 3: Address your problems.

Are you finding it tough to handle a bad situation effectively? If so, learning practical problem solving might be a good idea.

Remember, binge eating is predictable: it usually occurs either after (a) an all-or-none reaction to a dietary rule break and (b) our mood fluctuates and intensifies.

Working through these tough times effectively and healthily may help prevent these predictable binges.

How to do it? Problems can often seem overwhelming and impossible to surmount, but don’t forget you’re not alone.

This may be a helpful 4-step guide to problem-solving (with an example):

  1. Identify the problem: My partner and I always fight – I’m home alone left feeling so frustrated all the time.
  2. Think about a range of possible solutions to the problem: I could either: eat, watch TV, go on social media, or go for a walk.
  3. Carefully think through each solution’s implication:
  1. Pick the best solution(s) and act on it:I’m going to go for a brisk walk – 45 minutes at least!

Step 4: Tackle your food anxiety

Do you have tasty “forbidden foods”? Why do you have a “forbidden food” list at all? After all, no food in isolation causes weight gain.

Perhaps it’s because these foods are binge-eating trigger foods that cause you considerable grief and anxiety.

Gradual exposure to these foods and reintroducing them into your diet (in moderation) will help get rid of the anxiety around certain foods and their potential to trigger a binge.

How to do it? Create a list of your forbidden foods. Rank them in order from “most forbidden” to “least forbidden”. Slowly reintroduce the foods from the “least forbidden” list into your diet.

For example, if cereal is on your “least forbidden” food list (but you’re still concerned about eating it), put a small handful of cereal in your regular breakfast smoothie. Gradually, you’ll realize that nothing catastrophic happens if you eat the cereal.

The anxiety around that food may diminish, and you could start to enjoy a more rounded diet – and life!

Keep it up for the other foods until there’s no more anxiety. They won’t be a binge eating trigger for much longer.

Remember, this will take time. Don’t expect success overnight. But you will start to notice that you have less anxiety as you gradually reintroduce foods. I promise.

Step 5: Immerse yourself in joyful activities

OK, let’s move away from this intensive focus on your weight and shape to evaluate your self-worth and start looking at other aspects of your life.

If you can broaden your scope of self-evaluation by increasing the importance of other life areas, your need to diet may diminish – and with it, your binge eating episodes.

How to do it? Think about activities that make you happy, bring you joy, and that interest you.

Some examples could be….

Make a list of these as long as possible. Be creative!

Which one are you going to commit to trying?

The point of these activities is to give more meaning in your life, independent of weight and shape cues.

Eventually, if you devote enough energy to these activities, you may start to realize what the more important things are in life. Your craving to control your weight and shape could diminish. Once it does, this will undoubtedly have a positive effect on your eating behavior.

Moving forward

Implementing these steps will take time, so be patient. But I have every confidence that you’ll start to see improvements in your health, mental state, and lifestyle soon.

 

 

 

How to Lose 100 Pounds (or more) | Tips How to Lose Weight in 2021

Losing weight is not an easy process, no matter how big or small the goal. When it comes to losing 100 pounds (45 kg) or more, the large number can seem quite intimidating, especially if you’re just getting started. Fortunately, there are proven strategies that can help you.

Here are some tips to help you lose 100 pounds safely.

1.    Track Your Calorie Intake

To lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories than it consumes. There are two ways to do this eating fewer calories or exercising more. Tracking your calorie intake helps you stay aware of how many calories you consume per day, so you can know if you’re on the right track or need to make adjustments.

A review of 37 studies including more than 16,000 participants found that weight loss programs that involved tracking calorie intake led to losing 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg) more per year than programs that did not. The number of calories you need to consume per day depends on various factors, such as your starting weight, lifestyle, sex, and activity level.

The two most common ways to track calorie intake are with an app or food journal. That said, it’s important to note that merely tracking calorie intake may not be the most sustainable approach to lose weight.

However, tracking calories can work exceptionally well when paired with healthy lifestyle modifications, such as eating more vegetables or exercising regularly.

2.   IIFYM

IIFYM, or “If It Fits Your Macros,” is flexible dieting that helps people lose weight without feeling overly restricted. Rather than focusing on calories, IIFYM tracks macronutrients instead, namely protein, fat, and carbohydrates. This allows for much more flexibility since all foods can be enjoyed as long as they fit into your macros for the day.

Following the IIFYM diet is pretty simple and only requires a few steps:

  1. Calculating your macros:Calculations are used to determine how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat you need each day to meet your weight goals.
  2. Meeting your macros:Once you know your macros, you need to stay within them each day. Food intake is tracked and adjusted as needed.

Calculate Your Macros

The first step in getting started on the IIFYM diet is to calculate your macros.

Most people use the free macro calculator on the IIFYM website, but you can also calculate them manually.

The general process is:

  1. Calculate your basal metabolic rate:Standardized equations are used to determine how much energy your body uses at rest, based on age, sex, height, and weight. This is known as your basal metabolic rate or BMR.
  2. Adjust activity level:The BMR is multiplied by an activity factor to increase calories based on your activity level. This is known as your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.
  3. Adjust based on weight goals:If you want to lose weight, reduce your calorie intake by 15–25%. If weight gain is the goal, increase calories by 5–15%.
  4. Determine your macros:Protein intake should be between 0.7–1.0 grams per pound of body weight. Fat intake should be between 0.25–0.4 grams per pound of body weight. All remaining calories are allotted for carbs.

There Are No Forbidden Foods

No foods are forbidden on IIFYM, as long as they fit into your macros. This can be a great way to teach balance and help people understand where most of their protein, fats, and carbohydrates are coming from. Allowing all foods can also remove some of the pressure and guilt associated with other more restrictive dieting methods, making for a more enjoyable experience.

3.   Increase your fiber intake

Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that can aid weight loss. This is because fiber slows the rate the stomach empties its contents, which in turn may help you feel full for longer. Also, studies have shown that fiber, especially soluble fiber, may reduce the production of hunger hormones, such as ghrelin, and increase the output of fullness hormones.

By curbing your appetite, fiber may help reduce your calorie intake and lead to effortless weight loss. Foods that are high in fiber include most vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. Alternatively, you could try taking a fiber supplement, such as glucomannan.

4.    Increase your protein intake

To lose 100 pounds, increasing your protein intake is essential.

Diets higher in protein have been shown to boost your metabolism, curb your appetite, preserve muscle mass, and may reduce harmful belly fat. Research has shown that merely following a higher protein diet may help you burn an additional 80–100 calories per day.

In one study, women with excess weight whose diet comprised 30% protein lost 11 pounds (5 kg) over 12 weeks, without restricting their calorie intake.

Moreover, a higher protein diet may help prevent weight regain. For instance, a study found that consuming supplemental protein, which resulted in a diet comprising 18% protein compared with 15% in another study group, prevented weight regain by as much as 50%.

Choosing healthy foods, such as meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes in favor of other foods is a great way to increase your protein intake.

5.   Do more cardio

Exercise is essential when it comes to losing a lot of weight. Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is a popular form of physical activity that helps burn calories and promotes heart health.

Studies have shown that cardio alone can aid fat loss.

For example, a study in 141 participants with excess weight or obesity analyzed the weight loss effects of doing 400 or 600 calories worth of cardio 5 times per week for 10 months, without watching their calorie intake.

Studies have shown that cardio can help you burn harmful belly fat, which is also known as visceral fat. This type of fat sits in the abdominal cavity and is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

If you are not used to cardio, try walking more frequently during the week and slowly progress toward jogging or running as you begin to feel more comfortable. If walking puts too much stress on your joints, try doing low impact cardio exercises, such as water walking or cycling.

6.   Resistance training

Resistance training, commonly called weight lifting, can assist in weight loss. It involves working against a force to improve muscle strength and endurance. Though it’s widely done with weights, you can do it with just your body weight.

Resistance training can aid weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories at rest.

For example, a study in 61 people found that 9 months of regular weight lifting increased the number of calories they burned at rest by 5%, on average.

Similarly, another study noted that 10 weeks of regular weight lifting increased the number of calories burned by 7%, helped reduce blood pressure levels, and led to 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of fat loss, on average.

The easiest way to get started is to go to the gym, but you can try resistance training exercises, such as squats, lunges, sit-ups, and planks, at home using your body weight.

If you have never been to the gym before, consider getting a personal trainer to help you understand how to use the equipment properly and reduce your risk of injury.

In the Last…

Though losing 100 pounds may seem like an intimidating goal, it is possible and can be done safely by making several diet and lifestyle adjustments. Proven strategies to help you lose weight include tracking your calories, increasing your protein intake, eating more fiber and vegetables, cutting back on refined carbs, doing more cardio and resistance training, practicing mindful eating, and holding yourself accountable. Suppose you’re still unsure where to start. In that case, it’s a good idea to seek professional support from a dietitian, as they can point you in the right direction, especially if you have an existing medical condition. With a little time, patience, and a good support system, it’s possible to lose 100 pounds or more in under a year, depending on your starting point.

 

 

Throw Away Your Scale? Try These 11 Fat Loss Tips Instead

Whether you’re looking to improve your overall health or simply slim down for summer, burning off excess fat can be quite challenging. In addition to diet and exercise, numerous other factors can influence weight and fat loss. Luckily, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to increase fat burning, quickly and easily.

I will discuss 9 Tips to lose fat in this video.

1.   Stay Off the Scale

That you can gain muscle and lose fat is one of the reasons I stress to people not to follow the scale—body composition and how you look in the mirror matters more than what the scale says.

You could train hard and eat right and build five pounds of muscle and lose five pounds of fat, and what will the scale say? That you still weigh the same.

Frustrating, even though you've made good progress. Use the scale as a guide, but how you look in the mirror, how you feel, and how your clothes fit are much better indicators of your progress.

2.   Reduce Your Calories Gradually

If you're looking to lose fat, don't make massive calorie cuts. This will kick your body into starvation mode, reducing your metabolism and making it more challenging to burn off the fat.

To prevent this metabolic slowdown and allow your body to burn fat at an optimal rate, make smaller calorie reductions every week or two.

3.   Vary Your Caloric Intake

This is another way to outsmart your body and continue to lose body fat without lowering your metabolism.

By varying your caloric intake every few days instead of eating the same number of calories every day, keep the starvation mechanism in check and continue to burn fat.

"Although in today's society food tends to be accessible and abundant, our bodies are designed to store as much energy as possible to prepare for times of scarcity. One way the body does this is by adjusting its metabolic rate based on calorie intake.

If you stick with the same calories every single day while dieting, your body will adjust by lowering metabolic rate to prevent you from burning off too much body fat. It's all about hormones.

When leptin levels are high, your metabolic rate stays high; when leptin levels drop, so does your metabolic rate.

When calories are low and steady, leptin levels fall, and so does metabolic rate. Eating higher calories on some days and lower calories on others help to keep leptin levels up."

4.    Stop dieting

The science is in: Diets don't work. They don't work because they're not sustainable. They're not sustainable because denying ourselves enjoyable things is a recipe for unhappiness. So do yourself a favor and get diets out of your head forever. If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off, or you want to be a healthier version of yourself, make a permanent lifestyle change instead. The next tips should enable you to swear off diets at no expense to your health and fitness.

5.    Eat when you're hungry.

Wouldn't it be cool if there were an app that told you when you'd consumed food energy roughly equal to the amount of energy you expend? There is! It's pre-installed in your body, and it's called hunger. Hunger works by telling you to eat. Nourish your body by eating when you feel the hunger notification before you get ravenous. Waiting until you're starving may lead you to overeat.

6.   Train with Weights

Resistance training helps with fat loss in several ways. Weight training itself burns calories. Studies also show that, unlike aerobic exercise, weight training increases the calories you burn at rest for up to 39 hours after your workout.

Plus, the more muscle your body has, the more calories you burn each day.

Even if your goal is solely to lose body fat, you need to train with weights. This will help prevent any of the weight you lose from being muscle.

Were that to happen, your metabolism would slow, stalling your fat-loss efforts and turning you into a skinny-fat person.

Yes, even someone with anorexia can have a high body fat percentage.

7.   Do High-Intensity Intervals (HIIT)

This means alternating a brief period of high-intensity exercise with short rest periods.

The result: better results in less time.

One of my favorite interval methods is jumping rope. You may need to practice a bit on this one. After a brief warm-up, I'll jump rope as fast as I can for 10-20 seconds, followed by a half a minute at a slower cadence.

Always warm-up before intervals, by the way. If you're not in the best shape, start with cardio of low or moderate intensity. You might also want to check with your doctor.

8.   Eat More Fat

Consuming enough of the good fats will help you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts. Healthy fats also have myriad health benefits, including being good for your heart.

So which fats are "good" fats? The polyunsaturated ones (especially omega-3s), such as those from fish and nuts, and the monounsaturated kind, such as those from peanut butter, olive oil, egg yolks, and fish oil.

9.   Cut Carbs

The attention focused on low-carb diets has divided many people into "pro" and "anti" low-carb camps. Whichever side you're on, the bottom line is that reducing your carb intake—especially sugar and starches—when trying to lose fat will help.

Those carbs you do consume should come from sources such as oatmeal and vegetables.

The timing of your carb intake also affects fat-burning. "I recommend tapering down carbohydrates by 3 p.m.,". "Consume most of your carbs in the morning and around your workouts."

10.               Increase Your Protein

Increasing protein intake will increase your metabolism and help to maintain your muscle mass, all of which helps with fat-burning. Your body burns more calories when you eat protein than when you digest either fats or carbs.

This may explain why the fat-burning effects of eating more protein were confirmed in a study published in the American Journal of Physiology. One group was fed a high-protein diet (just over 1 gram per pound of body weight per day) while the second group consumed an amount closer to the lower recommendation of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance). The group eating the higher-protein diet burned the fattest.

11.               Eat 6 Smaller Meals Per Day, Not 2-3 Feasts

This will ensure that you supply your body with the nutrients necessary to build muscle and burn fat.

Your resting metabolic rate increases. It will also prevent your body from kicking into "starvation" mode, which can happen when too much time elapses between meals.

If this happens, your body will start burning muscle for energy and increasing your body-fat stores, as well as slowing down your metabolism. This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen.

Don't be the kind of person who complains about your situation but never does anything to improve it. Don't become "happy" with the status quo of being miserable. Now use this knowledge to take action.

 

9 Tips How to Suppress Your Appetite Naturally

An appetite suppressant is a food, supplement, or another method that stops a person from feeling hungry. Some plans are more useful for suppressing appetite than others. Manufacturers of appetite suppressant pills make big claims about the ability of pills to suppress appetite and promote weight loss. However, the effectiveness of these pills is not known, and according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), they often come with dangerous side effects.

Instead, a person can use a range of natural methods to suppress or lose their appetite in a risk-free, healthful way. In this video, I will discuss a list of evidence-based methods that a person can use to suppress their appetite without the need for diet pills. We also discuss which foods are the best appetite suppressants.

Natural appetite suppressants

A person can use the following ten evidence-based methods to suppress their appetite and avoid overeating:

1.   Eat more protein and healthful fats

Not all foods satisfy hunger equally. Compared to carbohydrates, protein and certain fats are more useful for helping hunger and keeping people feeling full for longer.

A person can replace some sources of carbohydrate with proteins and healthful fats to help keep their appetite under control.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the following high-protein foods:

The guidelines also recommend that a person gets their healthful fats from natural sources such as nuts and seeds, avocados, and olive oil.

2.   Drink water before every meal

Drinking a large glass of water directly before eating has been found to make a person feel fuller, more satisfied, and less hungry after the meal.

Another study, which looked at appetite in 50 overweight females, showed that drinking 1.5 liters of water a day for 8 weeks caused a reduction in appetite and weight, and also led to more significant fat loss.

A soup starter may also quench the appetite. Research from 2007 showed that people reported feeling fuller immediately after the meal if they had a liquid starter.

3.   Eat more high-fiber foods.

Fiber does not break down like other foods, so it stays in the body for longer. This slows down digestion and keeps people feeling full throughout the day.

Research suggests that fiber can be an effective appetite suppressant. High-fiber diets are also associated with lower obesity rates.

On the other hand, another review found that introducing extra fiber into the diet was effective in less than half of the studies they looked at.

More research is needed to identify which sources of fiber are the most effective for suppressing appetite.

Healthful high-fiber foods include:

4.   Exercise before a meal

Exercise is another healthy and effective appetite suppressant. A review based on 20 different studies found that appetite hormones are suppressed immediately after exercise, especially high-intensity workouts. They found lower levels of ghrelin in the body, a hormone that makes us hungry, and higher levels of “fullness hormones” such as PPY and GLP-1.

5.   Indulge in dark chocolate

The bitterness of dark chocolate is thought to help decrease appetite and diminish cravings for sweets. Researchers also believe the stearic acid in dark chocolate can help slow digestion, further increasing feelings of fullness. Interestingly, the simple act of smelling this treat might produce the same effect.

One study observed that merely smelling 85%, dark chocolate decreased both appetite and hunger hormones just as much as eating it. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to examine the effects of dark chocolate on feelings of fullness.

6.   Eat some ginger

Consuming a small amount of ginger powder has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fullness, possibly because of its stimulating effect on the digestive system. This was a small-scale study, so more research is needed to confirm this effect. Ginger powder is available for purchase online.

7.   Eat bulky, low-calorie foods.

It is reducing general food intake while dieting can leave people with a ravenous appetite. This can cause a relapse into binge eating. However, dieting does not have to mean going hungry. Some foods are high in nutrients and energy, but low in calories. These include vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. Eating a large volume of these foods will stop the stomach from growling and still allow a person to burn more calories than they consume.

8.   Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep can also help reduce hunger and protect against weight gain.

Studies show that too little sleep can increase hunger and appetite by up to 24%, and decrease levels of some fullness hormones by up to 26%. Research also shows that individuals who sleep less than seven hours per night rate their fullness levels after breakfast as 26% lower. It's worth noting that several studies also link short sleep, generally defined as less than six hours per night, with up to a 55% higher risk of obesity.

9.   Reduce Your Stress

Excess stress is known to raise levels of the hormone cortisol. Although the effects can vary between individuals, high cortisol is generally thought to increase food cravings and the drive to eat. Stress may also decrease levels of peptide YY (PYY), a fullness hormone.

In a recent experiment, participants ate an average of 22% more calories after a stressful test when compared to a non-stressful version of the same test. Finding ways to reduce your stress levels may not only help curb hunger but also reduce your risk of obesity and depression.

 

In Last...

Restricting food consumption too much can lead to a relapse of overeating. Instead, eating a good amount of the right foods can reduce hunger and food cravings throughout the day. A person can suppress their appetite by including more protein, fat, and fiber in their meals. Stocking up on vegetables and pulses can make a person feel fuller for longer. It might also help to try different spices, such as ginger and cayenne pepper, and drink tea to beat unwanted food cravings.

 

 

How to Get Past Weight Loss Plateau

Pounds that are practically falling off! Boosted energy! Better-fitting pants! During the first few weeks (or even months) of your weight loss journey, you've got results, results, and more results to show your hard work. Then suddenly it happens the scale stalls, and you're stuck. When this happens, you've hit what diet and exercise experts call a weight loss plateau.

"A weight-loss plateau happens to pretty much every person on a weight loss journey, at some point." Can hitting a weight loss plateau be frustrating? Of course! "But you have to understand that hitting a plateau is just part of the process!".

The stall happens because the body is smart and extremely adaptable. "The body craves stability, so usually, you'll stop dropping pounds because your body has adjusted to the new, lower-calorie routine and now requires less fuel than it did before." Thankfully, several simple ways to push past this weight loss lull and nudge the scale in the right direction. And the good news? "Usually, it's as easy as adding new foods into your diet or moving a little more."

Diet Tips to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

Cut Back on Carbs Research has confirmed that low-carb diets are incredibly effective for weight loss. One extensive review of 13 studies with follow-up lasting at least a year found that people who consumed 50 or fewer grams of carbs per day lost more weight than those following traditional weight-loss diets.

Reducing your carb intake may help get your weight moving in the right direction again when you feel hopelessly stalled.

Whether carb restriction leads to a "metabolic advantage" that causes your body to burn more calories is a question that continues to be debated among nutrition and obesity experts.

This may lead you to unconsciously eat less, making it easier to begin losing weight again without hunger or discomfort.

Increase Exercise Frequency or Intensity

Revving up your exercise regimen may help reverse a weight loss plateau. This is because, unfortunately, your metabolic rate slows down as you lose weight. One study, including more than 2,900 people, found that for every pound (0.45 kg) of weight they lost, they burned 6.8 fewer calories, on average.

As weight declines, the progressive reduction in metabolic rate can make continued weight loss extremely difficult. The good news is that exercise has been shown to help counteract this effect.

Resistance training promotes muscle mass retention, which is a significant factor influencing how many calories you burn during activity and at rest. Resistance training seems to be the most effective type of exercise for weight loss.

If you're already exercising, working out an extra 1–2 days per week or increasing your workouts' intensity may help boost your metabolic rate.

Track Everything You Eat

Sometimes, it may seem as though you're not eating that much, yet you still have difficulty losing weight. Overall, researchers have reported that people tend to underestimate the amount of food they eat. In one study, obese people reported consuming about 1,200 calories per day. However, a detailed analysis of their intake over 14 days showed that they were consuming nearly twice that amount, on average.

Tracking your calories and macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbs — can provide concrete information about how much you're taking in. This will allow you to modify your diet if needed.

Don't Skimp on Protein.

If your weight loss has stalled, increasing your protein intake may help. First, protein boosts metabolic rate more than either fat or carbs. This has to do with the thermic effect of food (TEF), or increase in metabolism due to the digestion of food. Protein digestion boosts calorie burning by 20–30%, which is more than twice as much as fat or carbs.

In one study, healthy, young women followed diets that provided 30% or 15% of calories from protein on two separate days. Their metabolic rate increased twice as much after meals on the higher-protein day. Second, protein stimulates the production of hormones, such as PYY, that help reduce appetite and make you feel full and satisfied. Moreover, maintaining a high protein intake can help protect against the loss of muscle mass and a drop-in metabolic rate, both of which typically occur during weight loss.

Manage Stress

Stress can often put the brakes on weight loss. In addition to promoting comfort eating and triggering food cravings, it also increases your body's cortisol production.

Cortisol is known as the "stress hormone." While it helps your body respond to stress, it can also increase belly fat storage. What's more, this effect seems to be stronger in women. Therefore, producing too much cortisol can make weight loss very difficult.

It may seem as though you have little control over your life's stress, but research has shown that learning to manage stress can help promote weight loss.

Spread Protein Intake Throughout the Day

When it comes to protein, it's not just your total intake for the day that matters. Consuming protein throughout the day provides you with several opportunities to boost your metabolism through food's thermic effect (TEF). There's also mounting research showing that eating protein at every meal is beneficial for weight loss and muscle mass retention.

Experts in protein metabolism recommend that adults consume a minimum of 20–30 grams of protein per meal, based on three meals per day.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is essential for good mental, emotional, and physical health. It's also becoming apparent that not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain by lowering your metabolic rate and altering hormone levels to drive appetite and fat storage. Not getting enough sleep may be a contributing factor in cases of stalled weight loss.

One study found that healthy adults who slept four hours per night for five nights in a row experienced an average 2.6% decrease in resting metabolic rate, which returned to their baseline levels after they slept for 12 hours. To support weight loss and overall health, aim for 7–8 hours of sleep per night.

Eat Vegetables at Every Meal

Vegetables are the ideal food for weight loss. Most vegetables are low in calories and carbs, high in fiber, and loaded with beneficial nutrients. Studies have found that diets that include lots of vegetables tend to produce the most significant weight loss. Unfortunately, many people don't get enough of these weight loss-friendly foods. However, it's easy to add a side of cooked or raw greens, tomatoes, or other veggies at any meal, including breakfast.

 

 

 

 

Why Does Fast Food Taste So Good but Feels Bad?

Junk Food Is Created to Make You Happy

Companies that make junk foods spend millions and, in some cases, even billions of dollars on research. They found out exactly what is going on in your mind when you eat foods which are high in sugar, salt, fat and other unhealthy components. And unfortunately, what happens is a natural trigger that makes you crave just that which is harmful to you.

You know that junk food in excess is unhealthy. This is no news flash to you. So why can’t you stop eating it, and why does it make you feel so good? The reason junk food makes you feel so good is that the people that make it know a little secret about your brain.

The sensory tastes that naturally excite and please you the most when you eat are salty or sugary foods. So junk food manufacturers naturally use chemicals and components that deliver these flavors when they are making their unhealthy food items. The real problem comes with the way your brain gets fired up about salt and sugar.

It is a natural tendency for the human mind to become addicted to salt and sugar. The chemical process which happens to people with an inclination toward addiction to these substances is virtually the same as a drug addict experiences. Knowing that they can literally “hook” you on their unhealthy products for life, junk food manufacturers use lots of sugars, salts, fats and other chemicals designed to trigger the pleasure response in your brain.

Your Brain Is the Culprit, Not Your Will Power

So, when you eat your favorite junk food, your brain’s “feel good” response is set off. And since these foods carry very little nutritional value, if any, your brain continues to crave them because you stay hungry. You have not given your body any worthwhile nutrients, but since your pleasure center was turned on, you reach for junk food the next time you are hungry.

Stop beating yourself up if you believe you may have a junk food addiction. You need to learn how to control the natural responses which make you feel so good when you eat food. And don’t forget that the quality of food you put into your body is reflective of your quality of life. Treat your body the way it deserves to be treated.

The popularity of fast food

Swinging through the drive-thru or hopping into your favorite fast-food restaurant tends to happen more often than some would like to admit. According to the Food Institute’s analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials alone spend 45 percent of their budget’s food dollars on eating out. In comparison to 40 years ago, the average American family now spends half their food budget on restaurant food. In 1977, just under 38 percent of family food budgets were spent eating outside the home.

While an occasional night of fast food won’t hurt, a habit of eating out could be doing a number on your health.

Watch the video to know the effects of fast food on your body

  1. Effect on the digestive and cardiovascular systems

Most fast food, including drinks and sides, are loaded with carbohydrates with little to no fiber. When your digestive system breaks down these foods, the carbs are released as glucose (sugar) into your bloodstream. As a result, your blood sugar increases.

Your pancreas responds to the surge in glucose by releasing insulin. Insulin transports sugar throughout your body to cells that need it for energy. As your body uses or stores the sugar, your blood sugar returns to normal.

Your body highly regulates this blood sugar process, and as long as you’re healthy, your organs can properly handle these sugar spikes.

But frequently eating high amounts of carbs can lead to repeated spikes in your blood sugar.

Over time, these insulin spikes may cause your body’s normal insulin response to falter. This increases your risk for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.

  1. Sugar and fat

Many fast-food meals have added sugar. Not only does that mean extra calories, but also little nutrition. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests only eating 100 to 150 calories of added sugar per day. That’s about six to nine teaspoons.

Many fast-food drinks alone hold well over 12 ounces. A 12-ounce can of soda contains 8 teaspoons of sugar. That equals 140 calories, 39 grams of sugar, and nothing else.

Trans fat is manufactured fat created during food processing. It’s commonly found in:

No amount of trans fat is good or healthy. Eating foods that contain it can increase your LDL (bad cholesterol), lower your HDL (good cholesterol), and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Restaurants may also compound the calorie-counting issue. In one study, people eating at restaurants they associated as “healthy” still underestimated the number of calories in their meal by 20 percent.

  1. Effect on the respiratory system

Excess calories from fast-food meals can cause weight gain. This may lead to obesity. Obesity increases your risk for respiratory problems, including asthma and shortness of breath.

The extra pounds can put pressure on your heart and lungs, and symptoms may show up even with little exertion. You may notice difficulty breathing when you’re walking, climbing stairs, or exercising. For children, the risk of respiratory problems is especially clear. One study found that children who eat fast food at least three times a week are more likely to develop asthma.

  1. Effect on the central nervous system

Fast food may satisfy the hunger in the short term, but long-term results are less positive. People who eat fast food and processed pastries are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than people who don’t eat those foods or eat very few of them.

  1. Effect on the integument system (skin, hair, nails)

The foods you eat may impact your skin’s appearance, but it might not be the foods you suspect.

In the past, chocolate and greasy foods like pizza have taken the blame for acne breakouts. Carb-rich foods lead to blood sugar spikes, and these sudden jumps in blood sugar levels may trigger acne.

Children and adolescents who eat fast food at least three times a week are also more likely to develop eczema, according to one study. Eczema is a skin condition that causes irritated patches of inflamed, itchy skin.

 

Fat Loss 101 - How to Lose Fat - The Best Fat Loss Tips

If you’re reading this article, you are in the hope of finding a series of fat-loss body hack, perhaps discovering that the secret of losing weight lies in eating a little more of a particular spice or drinking a special tea, then prepare to be disappointed. Reducing your body fat is an admirable goal and an eminently achievable one, but it takes a fair bit of commitment. There isn’t a quick and simple trick to it: you’ve got to eat a healthy diet, get moving, sleep well, and look after your mental health too.

Tips for Reducing Your Body Fat Percentage

When trying to reduce your body fat, you don’t have to focus directly on it. Making healthy lifestyle changes, in general, will help you lower your body fat.

1.   Eat-In Line with What You’re Doing That Day

Your diet should adapt to how active you are each day, rather than eating the same amount no matter what you’re doing.

“Strip it back to the fact we’re effectively machines, and we have to fuel our daily lifestyle.” “Think about what you’re doing on this day and what fuel you need. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are the fuel, and you can’t afford to take on too much because if you do, you’re going to store the excess as body fat.

“If you’re going to have a particularly active day, then you might need a bit more, but if it’s been a day at home, then you can’t afford to have things like sweets, chocolate, crisps, the processed foods we snack on that don’t have any nutritional value.”

2.   Get Moving Any Way You Can

“To be honest, any sort of exercise will help.” “For many people, it’s about just spending a bit more time being active. The evidence shows that breaking sedentary behavior is the best thing you can do. Even if you can just do a 20-minute walk in the evening before your dinner each night, that would be a positive thing.”

If you’re short on time and want to maximize your workout effect, HIIT workouts might be the way to go.

“There’s evidence that HIIT provides more bang for your buck in terms of time.” “So, if you only have 20 minutes, then try doing something at a higher intensity. There’s no excuse for saying you’re too busy because we’ve all got 20 minutes to haven’t, we?”

3.   Teammates Will Help

Getting together with other people looking to lose weight or lower their body fat percentage can be helpful, whether it’s to play a sport or just talk about your approach to fat loss in general.

“Consider joining a local sports club,” or just find someone else with the same interests or goals and do it with them, and you’re more likely to sustain it over time because you don’t want to let anyone else down. If you just sign up to a gym, you’ve got to be motivated, because you have no-one to let down but yourself.

“GPs are going to start seeing patients with diabetes as a group – we dietitians we already do that – and there’s a lot of evidence for the effectiveness of group therapy. We’re all in it together; people are facing the same problems.”

4.   Make Time for Your Meals

“It’s not good to bolt down your dinner down in five minutes in front of the television.” “It’s not good for the gut, for the absorption of the nutrients. Go back to sitting at the table, try to make the meal an event – that’s better for the gut and also allows us to recognize the food we’ve eaten. Many people bolt their dinner down so quickly that they’re soon looking for something else because they haven’t thought about what they’ve just eaten. And then 20 minutes later, we realize we’ve overeaten. Some people are doing that three times a day every day.”

5.   Drink More Water

Water is the medium in which most cellular activities occur, including the transporting and burning of fat. Also, drinking plenty of water makes you feel full and eat less.

Drink at least 1oz of water per 2lbs of body weight a day (that’s 100oz for a 200-lb person). Keep a 20-oz water bottle at your desk, fill it five times a day, and you’re set.

6.   Eat a Full, Balanced Breakfast

“Your body has been starving all night long, and it needs nutrients to rebuild itself.” “If you just catch something quick on the run instead of eating a full meal, it negatively impacts your workout and everything else you do during the day.”

Eat sufficient protein (30-40g), a complex carbohydrate, like oatmeal, and a piece of fruit to start your day off right.

7.   Drink Black Coffee Before Working Out

“Caffeine causes the body to rely more on fat for fuel during a workout, rather than glucose.” “But the caffeine effect is lessened when you eat a high-carbohydrate meal with it.” Drink 1-2 cups of black coffee within two hours of working out, and emphasize healthy fats and protein if you’re drinking it with a meal or snack.

Skip the cream and sugar (which add unwanted calories and fat) and avoid drinking coffee at other times of the day; doing so can desensitize you to caffeine's fat-burning effects.

8.   Avoid Drastic Calorie Reductions

“Any competitor who drastically cuts calories to try to get leaner for a show learns that that’s not the best way to diet.” “You end up looking flat and depleted.” The same holds for non-competitors; aim for a modest decrease in calories instead.

Smaller bodybuilders shouldn’t cut more than 200-300 calories per day, and larger bodybuilders shouldn’t cut more than 500.

9.   Use Creatine

Creatine, a potent muscle-builder, may also help you burn fat. The muscle added during creatine use increases your resting metabolic rate, stoking your fat-burning furnace. This is critical during a fat-loss phase when low-calorie intake can compromise your muscle mass and lower your metabolic rate.

Begin with a five-day loading phase: 15-20g daily, divided into 3-4 equal doses. After that, take 3-5g of creatine per day with a meal post-exercise.

10.               Quit the diet

There’s nothing wrong with being on a diet, but by now, we’re all afraid of that word. If you wake up unhappy with what you’re eating, it’s time to ditch that diet! All this will do is bring negativity into your life, and lead to you breaking your diet, turning your relationship with food into an unhealthy one.

11.               Be mindful

Sure, sometimes we eat to have something in our bellies to hold us through that problematic board meeting or to help get us by the lengthy office presentation. However, being honest and mindful of what you are eating is essential in your daily diet. Don’t just eat the whole bowl of pasta because it’s there; eat because you want to, and you’re enjoying your food.

 

How to Deal with Negative Thinking (Haters)

Most of us spend a lot of time inside our minds worrying about the future, replaying events in the past, and generally focusing on the parts of life that leave us dissatisfied. While common, negative or unwanted thoughts can prevent you from enjoying experiences, distract you from focusing on what's essential, and drain your energy. They can also make you feel anxious and depressed.

The good news is that you can replace negative thinking patterns with thoughts that help with dedicated practice. This can make a huge difference in your day-to-day happiness and comfort.

Try these ways to discuss in this video to manage (and decrease) your negative thoughts:

1.   Understand Your Thinking Style

One of the first steps toward changing your negative thinking patterns is understanding exactly how you think right now. For example, if you tend to view yourself as a complete success or failure in every situation, then you are engaging in "black-and-white" thinking. Other negative thinking patterns include jumping to conclusions, catastrophic, and over generalization.

Unhelpful thinking patterns differ in subtle ways. But they all involve distortions of reality and irrational ways of looking at situations and people.

2.   Question the truth of your thoughts.

Humans are meaning-making machines, so it’s useful to question your interpretation of events and see if you’re creating stories that may not necessarily be true.

Next time something happens, and you start jumping to conclusions, pause, and ask yourself: Is this true? Can I know for sure? Could I be reading meaning into the situation, which isn’t there? Could I see things differently?

3.   Question the permanence of the situation.

Another powerful question to ask yourself when you’re caught in a state of anger or anxiety over a situation is: How long will this last?

You may suddenly realize that in the scheme of life, what’s making you feel bad right now is something you may hardly remember in five years, or you may even be able to look back on it and laugh.

Putting things into perspective in this way can immediately shift your thinking towards more hopeful, positive thoughts.

 

4.   Recognize thought distortions

Our minds have creative and persistent ways of convincing us of something that isn't true. These inaccurate thoughts reinforce negative thinking. If you can recognize them, you can learn to challenge them. Here are four common thought distortions:

5.   Challenge negative thoughts

Whenever you have a distorted view, stop, and evaluate whether it is accurate. Think about how you would respond if a friend spoke about herself that way. You would probably offer a good rebuttal to his or her negative view. Apply the same logic to your thoughts. Ask yourself if you are assuming the worst will happen or blaming yourself for something that has not gone the way you wanted. And then think about other possible outcomes or reasons that something turned out differently than you hoped.

6.   Take a break from negative thoughts

It is possible to learn how to separate from negative thoughts. One way to do this is to allow yourself a certain amount of time (maybe five minutes) with the idea. Then take a break from focusing on it and move on with your day.

7.   Release judgment

We all judge ourselves and others, usually unconsciously. Constantly comparing ourselves to other people or comparing our lives to some ideal breeds dissatisfaction. When you can let go of judgment (not easy, but possible), you will likely feel more at ease. Some ways to break from judgmental thoughts include recognizing your reaction, observing it, and then letting it go. Another helpful technique is to "positive judge." When you notice you are negatively judging a person, yourself, or a situation, look for a positive quality.

8.   Practice gratitude

Research shows that feeling grateful has a significant impact on your levels of positivity and happiness. Even when you are experiencing a challenging time in your life, you can usually find things (even small things) to be grateful for. Noticing the things that are going well and making you feel happy will keep you in touch with them. Keeping a gratitude journal and writing a few things every day is one easy and effective way to do this.

9.   Focus on your strengths.

It's human nature to dwell on the negative and overlook the positive. The more you can practice focusing on your strengths and not dwelling on mistakes you've made, the easier it will be to feel optimistic about yourself and your life's direction. If you find yourself thinking harsh thoughts about your personality or actions, take a moment to stop and think about something you like about yourself.

10.                       Professional Support

Seek out professional support if you cannot manage your thoughts or find they are interfering with your ability to meet your daily responsibilities or enjoy life. Counseling and therapy can help you weather life changes, reduce emotional suffering, and experience self-growth.

Conclusion

If you struggle with negative thought patterns and it's impacting your life, consider talking to a mental health professional. While it can be tough to share your thoughts with someone, therapists can assess your negative thinking patterns and help you create a healthier inner dialogue.

 

Hate Doing Cardio? 7 Tips for Cardio Motivation

We’ve all heard it before; cardio is vital to our overall health and well being. Not only does it keep our heart, lungs and muscles healthy, but it improves our mental health. Researchers even recommend that the average adult gets a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. One way to reach this goal is by investing in a cardio exercise machine for your home. Investing in aerobic equipment helps you eliminate excuses and overcome roadblocks that keep you from exercising!

So, if we know it’s an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle, then why is it so hard to motivate ourselves to get moving!? Today we are going to talk about how to stay motivated during workouts and look at some of our favorite tools that help us keep our eye on the prize. If you struggle to stay motivated during your cardio workouts, you must try these seven game-changing tips:

  1. Set a goal:Setting a goal is the first step to staying motivated. Why are you working out? What are your fitness goals? Are you training to run a 5k? Are you working on your heart health? Whatever your reason is for working out, keep that goal at the forefront of your mind! We recommend writing it down so you can track your progress.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by creating goals that are too big or out of reach. Focus on small, incremental goals that are attainable! Once you start hitting your goals, you will be motivated to keep going.

  1. Get a workout buddy:Working out with a friend is a fantastic way to keep motivation levels high. It makes working out fun and helps to hold you accountable! Try taking a spin class with a friend or joining a sporting league.
  2. Utilize apps:You don’t have to do it alone, try out some of the fantastic fitness apps that are available to you. Apps such as Run Social, are designed to take your indoor cardio workouts to the next level with HD video running routes from around the world! It’s difficult to get bored when you’re exploring the globe!
  3. Invest in a quality console:Consoles can make all the difference when it comes to motivating yourself to workout. Look for a console that provides programming and entertainment; it can be a real lifesaver! For example, the Life Fitness Discover Console offers the ultimate in entertainment by featuring TV, internet, fitness app compatibility and more!
  4. Incorporate strength training:Try hopping off your cardio machine to engage in some bodyweight exercises. Try pushups, pull-ups, squats or lunges. The possibilities are endless. You’ll also get the bonus of strengthening your muscles.
  5. Create a killer playlist:Distract yourself with some motivating beats. Your cardio workout is a great time to catch up on the latest music you’ve meant to listen too. Listening to tunes will keep you in the zone while fighting boredom and fatigue.
  6. Try interval training:Interval training is a fantastic way to increase your calorie burn while keeping your mind busy! If steady-state cardio is not for you, try incorporating intervals. Changing your speed will keep your muscles and your mind guessing. Additionally, try changing the intensity or incline of your workout for added difficulty.

Fitness Motivation Made Easy

Fortunately, economists and psychologists have been studying how to crack the code of what compels us to repeatedly do something we don’t always want to do. Here are some of the best strategies to boost workout motivation.

  1. Give Yourself a Real Reward 

Sure, some people might be motivated by vague goals such as “better health” or “weight control.” But if that’s not doing it for you. I advise you to make the benefits of working out more tangible, such as by treating yourself to a smoothie or an episode of Game of Thrones afterwards.

“An extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile.”

Creating a neurological “habit loop,” which involves a cue to trigger the behavior (setting out your spinning shoes next to your bag), the routine (making it through spinning class) and then the reward. “An extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile,” he explains. “It increases the odds the routine becomes a habit.”

Over time, the motivation becomes intrinsic, as the brain begins to associate sweat and pain with the surge of endorphins — those feel-good chemicals released in the brain that are responsible for that “I-feel-freaking-amazing” rush you get after a great gym session. Once you’ve trained your brain to recognize that the workout itself is the reward, you won’t even want the treat.

  1. Sign a Commitment Contract

We can make promises to ourselves all day long, but research shows we’re more likely to follow through with pledges when we make them in front of friends.

You can up the ante even more by signing a contract agreeing to pay a pal $20 every time you skip Pilates. “It’s a simple notion of changing the cost,”. “I say I’m going to commit to do something for a certain amount of time, such as exercising 30 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks. If I don’t do that, I’m going to pay some kind of penalty, whether it’s monetary or the embarrassment of having friends know I didn’t live up to my word.”

  1. Rethink Positive Thinking

Devotees of positive thinking have long promoted visualizing the benefits of a behavior as a motivational strategy. For example, when I’m deciding whether to get out of bed to go running in the morning, it helps to imagine how the sun will feel on my face as I run around the reservoir. Or how delighted I’ll be when I see my new muscles developing.

“After you imagine the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to overcome it and make a plan.”

But such feel-good fantasies are only effective when accompanied by more realistic problem-solving methods.

After identifying your wish and visualizing the outcome, you have to identify what’s holding you back — a technique “mental contrasting.” In one study of 51 female students who claimed they wanted to eat fewer junk food snacks; researchers asked each woman to imagine the benefits of nibbling on better foods. Those who identified the trigger that made healthful snacking difficult for them — and came up with a plan to reach for fruit when cravings hit — were most successful at sticking to their goal.

Feel too tired to go to the gym after work? “After you imagine the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to overcome it and make a plan,”. For example, you can switch to morning or lunchtime workouts or go straight to the gym instead of stopping at home first.