Sounds too good to be true, right? Fast food that is healthy?
Fast food has a reputation for being high in trans fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories, while having next to no healthy ingredients. For example, one loaded hamburger, fries, and pie contain more saturated fat than you should eat in two days.
However, things are changing. The past few years have seen many fast-food restaurants make a concerted effort to improve their menus. As a result, many restaurants now offer low-fat options and fresh ingredients. Choose wisely and you no longer have to sacrifice a healthy meal for the sake of convenience.
But to do this, you must be an informed customer, resist menu temptations, and make healthy choices when it comes to fast food. Finding a nutritious, cheap, convenient meal may be a challenge, but it can be done.
...of menu lingo. Steer clear of meals labeled fried, breaded, basted, creamy, crispy, batter-dipped, au gratin, scalloped, or Alfredo. These dishes are usually high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and calories.
Instead, go for lean meat options that are broiled or grilled and fresh or steamed veggies. If needed, special order your food to be prepared in a healthier manner.
...of extras. A salad may seem like a low-fat option until you drown it in fried toppings, high-fat dressing, and cheese. A deli sandwich is a great choice until you add the mayo, spreads, and cheeses. The same goes for a baked potato. What about the butter, cheese, bacon, salt, and mountain of sour cream?
Simple, fresh ingredients are best. Ask for dressings and toppings on the side so you can monitor how much is added.
...of portion sizes. A single serving at many restaurants could feed an entire family. The average meal at a fast-food joint can contain more than 1,000 calories. Extra large options should be replaced with smaller portions or shared with family or friends. Don't forget the calories contained in your drinks. Often overlooked, the calories in sodas and sweetened beverages add up quickly.
Try unsweetened iced tea or lemon water instead.
...of buffets! Even if you choose the salad bar, buffets set the stage for overeating. You may just want to eat your money's worth, but chances are, you'll eat more than you need.
After finishing your meal, wait at least 20 minutes before heading back for seconds. Your body needs time to tell your brain your stomach is full.
...of eating on the run. Isn't this what fast food is all about? Unfortunately, when you're in a hurry and aren't thinking about what you're eating, you tend to overeat and overindulge.
Slow down and chew slowly. Your food will digest easier and you'll most likely eat less. Remember, it takes time for your brain to get the message that you're satisfied. So chew well and give your brain the chance it needs.
Knowing is half the battle. The other half is making the right choices. Depending on your health condition, it may be OK to splurge every once it a while, but a habit of double-patty, greasy burgers and large fries every week will hurt your body.
Instead, choose a single-patty burger or a grilled chicken sandwich. In place of a milkshake, go for the yogurt parfait. Rather than French fries, opt for a baked potato or side salad. (Just be sure to choose smart toppings.)
Fast Food Shouldn't Be the Norm
While there are healthier options available these days at fast-food joints, nothing is as fresh and nutritious as a home-cooked, low-fat meal. Save the fast-food meals for rare occasions when there's no better option.
Remember that exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving weight loss.
Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body in 2013.
Be Informed Resources are available to help you determine the healthiest fast food choices. Being ignorant of the facts is one of the main reasons you'll wind up making unhealthy food choices.
Many restaurants display nutrition information in the restaurant or on their website. Get online and find a site that compares several restaurants at one time. Other great sites list restaurant menu items that cater to certain dietary needs such as allergies, diabetes, heart disease, or weight management.
Better yet, download a mobile phone app with nutrition information by restaurant, and when you must go out, choose accordingly!
Ever notice how one seemingly insignificant poor decision snowballs into another, then another, then another?
Let me give you an example...
Monday morning at 6am your alarm starts blaring. Instead of getting right up and arriving to your scheduled workout on time, you hit snooze and arrive 10 minutes late. During the workout everything feels extra heavy, so you put down your weights and grab something lighter, thinking that it's just going to be one of those days.
At lunch you add a side of chips to your usual chicken salad and grab a diet soda instead of water. During your afternoon break the vending machine calls to you, but you settle instead for another cup of coffee laced with sweet creamer. In the caffeine and sugar induced buzz that follows, you call your honey and announce that instead of eating that sensible dinner at home you guys are going out to your favorite restaurant.
After dinner you decide to settle in with some ice cream and a movie instead of taking the dog on a walk. After all, it's been one of those days.
The next morning at 6am when your alarm starts blaring you skip snooze and reset the whole thing for 7am. You decide that your body really needs a break from all that exercise. After all, the gym will be there tomorrow, right?
It may be there, but at the rate you're going that doesn't matter since you'll be sleeping.
This string of bad decisions is best described as a Domino Effect. I believe that we are all in a constant state of Domino Effect – for better or for worse.
Either you're in the midst of a downward slide, where one bad decision slides right into the next, OR you're bettering yourself and are in the midst of making a string of good decisions.
Good decisions are just as contagious as bad ones.
A great morning workout leads you to choose a healthier lunch and then to skip your afternoon sugar fix. Since you're on a roll, you to eat a healthy dinner and then take the dog out for a brisk walk before getting into bed early enough to wake up refreshed and on time for tomorrow's workout.
Imagine where these two paths will take you in 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. The sting of good decisions will transform you into a fitter, healthier version of yourself--full of energy and confidence.
The string of bad decisions will morph you into a defeated version of yourself--filled with regret and disappointment.
So how do you stay on track?
The most foolproof method I've found is through professional accountability. This means enlisting the support of someone whose job is to make sure that you are getting to your workouts, making sound nutritional choices and getting plenty of rest and hydration.
That's what I do for my clients, and I'm good at it.
I'm passionate about making sure that you continue to strive towards bettering yourself through a fit and active lifestyle, making good decision after good decision.
Wouldn't you like to see yourself after a 12-month string of good decisions? I sure would.
You deserve that fit and attractive body - I can help you get it.
Call or email today to get started.
You want to get into better shape, to drop the fat and to increase your tone and strength.
Join the club…most people are actively working toward an elusive fitness goal.
So what separates those who end up achieving their goals from the rest of the masses who are trapped in a fruitless struggle?
Winston Churchill hit the nail on the head when he said, "Never, never, never, never give up."
The bottom line is that it is possible to achieve any fitness goal when you lock on to it and strive towards it every day. Unfortunately distractions are everywhere, making it easy to fall off track.
This brings us to the classic Henry Ford quote, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."
In order to stay the course it is vital that you keep your eyes on the goal.
Here's how to get to your goal in 5 Steps:
Step One: Only One At A Time
When you're feeling motivated, and decide to set a goal, it's tempting to become over-ambitious by setting multiple goals. While it's great that you want to improve many things about yourself, the pressure of trying to achieve more than one goal at once will cause you to drop all the goals and go back to status quo.
Focus in on the one goal that you really want to achieve first, and focus all of your efforts onto this goal with laser-like force. There will be plenty of time in the future to see to your other goals, but for now see your number one goal all the way through to completion.
Step Two: Start Slow
Another pitfall that often results in dropped goals is the act of starting out too fast and too strong. If your goal in fitness is to drop 6 pant sizes and to exercise 5 times a week, do not (I repeat, DO NOT) go out and hit the gym hard for the next 5 days in a row. You'll be so sore that I guarantee you'll stop all progress the following week and your goal will be put back on a shelf.
Take a deep breath and remember that this isn't a race. This is your life, and it's you against yourself. Start out slow and steady and gradually build as you progress toward your goal. Don't allow self-induced fatigue to get in your way.
Step Three: Know Your Reasons Why
Why is this goal so important to you? There are probably many reasons, and you should know every single one of them. Write down each and every possible reason you can come up with as to why your goal needs to be met.
Intimately get to know the 'reasons why' this goal is so important to you. You should have them memorized and should recite them every single day. Remember what Ford said - when you take your eyes of your goal you'll see loads and loads of obstacles. Keep your eyes locked onto that goal by filling your mind with all of the 'reasons why' you're going to see this thing through.
Step Four: Think About It
Along with thinking about your reasons for accomplishing your goal, it's also helpful to focus your mind on how you'll feel once you've done it. Dedicate some time each day to picture your new post-goal life.
How awesome are you going to feel when you've accomplished this goal that's been on your mind for so long? Pretty amazing. Fill your mind with that feeling of accomplishment well before you've finished the work. The more you feel connected to the end of the race, the more likely it is that you'll make it through.
Step Five: Put It All On The Line
It's time to put your money where your mouth is. Invest in something that will help propel you toward your goal. When you shell out some of your hard earned money to aide in your progress, then you are going to take this process that much more seriously.
It's time to seriously commit yourself to seeing this goal to completion. If your goal is to lose weight and to get into amazing shape then invest in one of my proven fitness programs.
My clients see results. My clients achieve their goals.
It's time that you become one of my clients.
Call or email today and together we will get you to your goal.
Are you eating the wrong foods?
I see it happen all the time...fitness results that are thrown away by eating the wrong foods. Don't let this be you. You workout hard, so keep your results by avoiding the following 7 foods:
1) Don't Eat White Pasta
White pasta will never be OK to eat when your goal is to look fit. Sorry, it's filled with way too many simple carbs. These plentiful carbs have one singular goal: to become stored on your body as fat.
Eat This: Spaghetti Squash
On those nights when you really crave a big bowl of noodles, try this instead. Poke a spaghetti squash all over then bake at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, scoop out the seeds and then scrape out the long, noodle-like strands of squash. Serve these healthy noodles with spaghetti sauce and meatballs.
2) Don't Eat Store Bought Salad Dressing
The nutritional benefit of your salad is all but undone by the questionable ingredients in store bought salad dressing. From trans fats to preservatives, store bought salad dressing is a landfill of unnatural ingredients that are best avoided.
Eat This: Simple Homemade Dressing
Making you own salad dressing is so simple, it literally takes less than five minutes, and it tastes so much better freshly made. Here's the equation to use when making your own dressing:
Packaged bars have one thing going for them - the convenience factor. This convenience comes at a price, as each packaged bar contains more preservatives, carbs, calories and sugars than you should be eating.
Eat This: Raw Nuts
When you need a quick, energizing snack look no further than a handful of raw nuts. This is a great way to cut down on the sugar and other harmful additives in granola bars while still enjoying a convenient energy boost.
4) Don't Drink Blended Coffee Drinks
Coffee chains have made it socially acceptable to sip on a large blended coffee drink topped with whipped cream, anytime and anyplace. Unfortunately your body is going to respond to all that sugar in the only way that it knows how...by storing it as fat. These blended drinks are extremely addictive, so it's best to avoid them completely.
Drink This: Unsweetened Iced Tea
The whole idea behind blended coffee drinks is to quench your thirst, but there are more fitness-friendly ways to do so. Double brew 4 cups of your favorite tea - try Chai Rooibos - then chill it in the fridge for a few hours. Serve over ice and sweeten with a sprinkle of Stevia if needed. Guilt-free refreshment.
5) Don't Eat Fast Food Breakfast Sandwiches
The drive thru may be calling you, especially when you've left for work in such a hurry that you forgot to eat breakfast, but don't give in. Fast food breakfast sandwiches are filled with loads of preservatives, trans fats and questionable ingredients. Not to mention these little breakfast bombs contain more calories and fat than you need in the morning.
Eat This: Healthy Mini Muffins
The recipe below for Healthy Mini Muffins make the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack to keep you out of the drive thru line. Make a batch on the weekend to stock the fridge and then grab as needed throughout your busy week.
6) Don't Eat Sweetened Yogurt
Little cups of fruit-flavored yogurts are often marketed as the next best weight loss secret, but you know better. These ultra-sweet concoctions are filled with sugars, corn syrup and preservatives, which will derail your fitness results and send you on a sugar high.
Eat This: Plain Greek Yogurt with Fruit
Plain Greek yogurt has more protein and far less sugar than the cute little fruit-flavored yogurt cups. Dress it up by adding your own, chopped fresh fruit.
7) Don't Eat Potato Chips
Around three o'clock in the afternoon, when that vending machine is calling out your name, remember this fact: Studies suggest that a potato chip habit caused subjects to gain weight even faster than an ice cream habit. This is likely due to all the preservatives, trans fats, empty calories and salt, and how hard it is to each just a few.
Eat This: Bake Kale Chips Kale chips are crunchy and satisfying, just like potato chips, yet you're able to crunch away guilt-free. Filled with fiber, protein and real food nutrients, this is one crunchy snack that won't expand your waistline. Here's how to make them at home: Wash and tear one bunch of kale into chip-sized pieces. Toss with a Tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.
The quickest and most permanent way to lose weight and feel amazing is through a combination of healthy eating and consistent, challenging workouts.
I'm here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals.
You deserve that fit and attractive body - I can help you get it.
Call or email today and together we will get you on the path to your best body ever.
Owner and Lead Personal Trainer at Perfect Fit Wellness Center.