Thursday, July 28, 2011

Size Matters

Todays motivation is something I've written about before, and I'll write about it again. I just can't say it enough-it's all about portion sizes! All things in moderation people, that's the key!

Imagine you are ordering a small coffee from Starbucks. When you get your coffee, do you ever think "That's a small?!" I sure do. Last weekend we went out to eat icecream at a local shop. I ordered a small, and when they handed it to me over the counter I was almost positive they must have made a mistake and given me a large. That is, until I saw the woman behind us ordering a large cup. It was ridiculously HUGE. Why in the world do we even offer such a large amount of ice cream for one person?!

When I go out to eat these days I often order kids meals and kiddie sized things. The problem with this is that a lot of places won't let you buy a kid size unless you are 12 years old or younger. Again, ridiculous. So either I have to buy a huge amount that I won't eat even half of and waste the rest, or I have to eat up and stuff myself overly full?! No thanks.

In europe they don't even have cups as large as our small cups here in America, unless it is a beer mug. And it's not just the portion sizes that differentiate us from Europe. It's also the fact that we have so much processed, synthetic, high carbohydrate and sodium filled foods for preservation and fast availablitly. That's not something they do much in other countries.

This gorgeous european model is great inspiration right?

We live in America, but that doesn't mean we have to conform to these HUGE American portion sizes. I found a chart once to understand portions sizes better, and it's been very helpful for me. Let me share:

  • A baseball or size of your fist- would be one serving of vegetables or fruit

  • Tennis ball- measures to about ½ cup of food (for example, ½ cup ice cream)

  • Golf ball or large egg- is about a ¼ cup of dried fruit or nuts

  • Six dice or one domino- would equal one serving of cheese

  • Deck of cards or the palm of your hand- equivalent to a serving of meat, fish or poultry

  • Tip of your thumb- about one-teaspoon of peanut butter

  • Computer mouse- one serving of a baked potato

  • CD (compact disc)- equals the serving size of a waffle of pancake

  • Check book- equals a 3 oz. serving of fish

  • A rounded handful- about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta

This is so important people. Portions! Moderation! Practice self disipline, in the end it will be so worth it. Stay healthy, don't starve yourself. Small amounts often, that's the key!

I have plenty of weaknesses. If I buy a Dr. Pepper, I only buy a small can. (Have you noticed how hard it is to find just a can of soda these days?!) And then I only drink half the can. If I buy a candy bar I eat a third of it and give the rest away. If I decide on dessert at the resteraunt, I split it or get a small personal sized dessert. Get the idea?

ALWAYS LOOK AT FOOD LABELS. This is where you will find the serving size, amount of calories (don't forget that's per serving size, which is often a few per package!), Nutrients, and ingredients. If you can't pronounce an ingredient listed, you should probably rethink eating it!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Secrets

I am borderline perfectionist when it comes to being in shape and staying healthy. My disclaimer to this post: I am not full of myself and I am soooo not perfect.

The only time my scale has been over 130 pounds is when I was pregnant. I had my baby three and a half months ago and I now have 7 pounds until I’m back to my pre-baby weight of 120 pounds. Some people say things to me like "You're probably one of those girls that just does whatever she wants and is naturally skinny, ew." Well that's just not true at all. I work for what I have. I have some habits that I think play a huge role in my ability to stay healthy, and today I am going to share those secrets with you!

{ Water } I love water. I drink a ton of water. Depending on your age and weight it is recommend you drink up to 4 liters of water a day.

That being said, I drink tons of water but I also have a huge weakness-soda. Dr. Pepper, Coke, 7Up…they are all so delicious to me! I try to only drink soda when I’m out to eat for special occasions, but it’s seriously something I have to fight everyday to stay away from! If you are like me and you need some motivation to stay away from the soda, check out this article. No bueno!

{ Exercise } We obviously have to exercise in order to stay healthy and lose or maintain our ideal weight. This is something I do consistently. I do not, however, work out 7 days a week. Most of the time I don’t even work out 5 days a week! Generally I am at the gym 3 to 4 days a week, and I have found this is perfect for me to feel good about myself. Don’t push yourself to be at the gym every single morning. Shoot for a few days a week, that’s all we really need!

I’ll state the obvious: running is the best way to get skinny. Because it’s so hard on my bad knees, I have to keep running to a minimum. But if it works for you, do it! The majority of my work outs as of late are body sculpting classes at the gym. This is my suggestion for anyone who isn’t quite motivated enough to show up to the gym and do their own workout routine with weights and cardio. This is a 60 minute class that incorporates cardio and weights all in one. I love it! I get a great workout while toning all at the same time.

For my main cardio workouts I mix up Spinning, Zumba, and running. I generally do one spin class, one zumba class, and one three mile run each week along with body sculpting to tone. If you have a hard time being motivated to go the gym here are my two secrets:

Classes. Going to classes is almost like having a personal trainer, but with a group of people. When a fitness instructor is there going through the whole class with me I get a much better workout because I’m pushed to the max.

Workout buddy. Having a workout buddy gets me to the gym a lot more often. When you plan on meeting someone there every morning you won’t be able to talk yourself into sleeping in instead!

And don't forget to mix things up a little bit. That's the only way I stay so motivated!

{ Eating habits } Some people eat as little as possible to stay skinny, even nothing if they have to. Some people fight everyday to choose healthy food instead of junk food. Everyone has their own weaknesses. My weaknesses: cookie dough, chocolate, soda pop. But rather then do without my weakness, my secret is: everything in moderation.

I keep this easy by having five small meals a day. This is seriously a huge deal that I know without a doubt has contributed immensely to my being able to maintain my weight so well, especially after having a baby! Breakfast is a must. Then I always have a midmorning snack. Some examples of a good snack might include: a bowl of fruit, a small baggie of crackers, a yogurt, string cheese, etc. Then comes my favorite meal of the day, lunch. Mmmmm I love me some lunch! Salads and sandwiches are great healthy options for lunch. (I have large lunches and smaller dinners, which boosts my metabolism.) Then an afternoon snack, then dinner! I stay away from eating after 8:00 at night, and I try and make sure I have some sort of greens with my dinner every night.

But remember, don’t completely stop eating the foods you love or you will probably give in at some point and over indulge yourself. For example: I made cookie dough and portioned it out into very small pieces and stuck it in my freezer. Then I’m only allowed to eat one small portion for dessert and I don’t end up accidentally eating the whole bowl! That’s my secret.

Side note: Starving yourself doesn’t work to lose weight girls. It may show some drastic results on the scale initially, but the more you lower your calorie intake per day the more you become fatigued, unable to concentrate, lose energy, get cranky, and then of course you have a serious health hazard on your body. And the less you eat on a diet of starvation, the more your body holds on to every bit of fat it gets and the more you actually gain the weight you are trying to lose! It’s a vicious cycle that you should not try!

{ Stay Active} TV these days is a killer. I only know this because I recently had a 2 month maternity leave in which I had th oppurtunity to see everything on tv. It sucks you in! My secret: stay away from adicting tv shows and get out and do something! Rock climb, hiking, going on walks outside, boating, camping, play some frisbee, …anything that gets you out and moving. My husband and I are active, outdoor kind of people and that is a great way to stay skinny and healthy! Avoid the couch and the tv!

So to sum it up in short, here are my secrets to being happy with my body and staying healthy:

Drink lots of water.

Exercise 3 – 4 days a week.

Eat all things in moderation, 5 small meals a day.

Stay Active, avoid tv.

Another thing I am is a happy person. I'm a glass half full, optimistic kind of girl. I love life and I'm so happy with my life. If I was adding some of my secrets for my happiness (which goes hand in hand with being healthy!): do what you love, make sacrifices for other people, find something you are passionate about, be true to yourself, don't just follow the crowd, be a hard worker, read books and learn new things, travel, surround yourself with the people you love and be good to them.

I hope you are all living healthy and happy, because I tell ya what-that's the best way to live!