5 Things You Need to Stop if You Want to Lose Weight

weight loss#1 Stop Drinking Your Calories.

There are so many ways you can drink calories.  Fancy, flavoured coffees, soft drinks, mixed alcoholic drinks, fruity beverages and the list goes on.  Drinking your calories often results in overeating.  There is little satiation when it comes to these drinks.  Plus, they are often packed with sugar.  This leads to a rush of glucose into your bloodstream followed by increased insulin and then fat storage – yuck. 

Let me give you a few examples of how sugary some of these drinks can be.  Have you ever tried vitamin water?  It sounds healthy right?  Water is the first ingredient but it is followed by sugar.  A 591mL bottle has 120 calories, but guess how much sugar?  There is 31 grams of sugar in a bottle!!  Yikes!!  That equals 8 teaspoons of sugar!! 

Here is a simple formula that you can use when you read food labels:

4 grams of sugar = 1 tsp = 16 calories

Ok – so you don’t drink vitamin water, good for you.  But take a close look at what you do drink.  Do you have Iced cappuccinos at Tim Horton’s?  That’s 150 calories with 32 grams of sugar – another 8 tsp of sugar.  What about a vanilla latte from Starbucks?  That’s 250 calories with 35 g of sugar.  Nine whooping teaspoons of sugar!  I don’t even think we need to discuss soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi.  But here is what is interesting, there is 39 grams of sugar in a can of Coke – that’s pretty similar to the supposed “healthy” vitamin water.

#2 Stop Buying Low-Fat Products

Fat is not the enemy when it comes to weight loss.  Sugar is our enemy.  When a food item has been stripped of fat, the flavour gets lost.  To make up for the lack in flavour, manufacturers have to add in sugar, artificial flavours etc. to make up for it.

How many grams of sugar should you aim for? Here is the recommendation by the American Heart Association guidelines.

Women: no more than 100 calories per day which equals 6 teaspoons or 24 grams

Men: no more than 150 calories per day which equals 9 teaspoons or 36 grams

Wow!!  So, it is recommended that I have 6 tsp of sugar per day.  That is not an easy task, especially when so many of our products have added sugar.

Manufacturers package their products in a deceiving way.  They make claims that sound healthy and nutritious when they are not.  You really need to read the nutrition facts before you decide whether a supposed “health” product is actually healthy.  Let’s take low-fat yogurt as an example.  The typical flavoured low-fat yogurt serving size has 110 calories with 17 grams of sugar.  That makes 4 tsp of sugar.

Using the sugar formula:

4tsp x 16 calories = 64 calories!! 

Here is the shocking news – more than half of your calories in this yogurt come from sugar!!!!  So – how healthy is it?   You can do the same math this granola bars and cereal and baked goods.  It is shocking! 

#3 Stop Waiting For The Perfect Time

There will never be a perfect time.  Life will never stop throwing challenges at you.  If you wait, you will wait forever.  Eating right is not an all or nothing venture.  Please stop trying to be perfect.  This is my biggest frustration when it comes to helping people with their weight loss goals.  You do not have to do it right all the time.  Make small changes.  Take baby steps.  When you fail, get up and make your next decision a healthy one.  When you mess up, don’t say to yourself: “Oh well, I will start again on Monday”.  No!  You will start again right now, this next second because you can and because you forgive yourself for being human.  You will mess up – so what.  Keep going.  If you fall 7 times, get up 8.  Do it.  Otherwise you will never get there.

#4 Stop Depriving Yourself

One of the worst things you can do when you are trying to maintain long-term weight loss is to deprive yourself.  You will be setting yourself up for failure if you think that you can resist all your favourite foods.  And seriously – how fun is it to know that you can’t eat something you love?  A more effective strategy is to indulge in your favourite “unhealthy” foods 20% of the time.  You have probably heard the 80/20 rule.  Eat healthy 80% of the time and eat your cheat foods 20% of the time

There are different ways people live by this rule.  You’ve probably heard of “cheat days” when people allow themselves a day to eat whatever they want.  You could do this method if it works for you.  I don’t find this method is effective for me.  I feel gross if I have a whole day dedicated to eating junky foods.  Plus, I like to have a little indulgence everyday.  I try to reserve a small portion of my calories each to day towards my “treats”.  Here is a formula that you can use to figure it out.  If you eat approximately 1500 calories a day then take 20% of that and you will get 300 calories.  This is what I will reserve for my “fun food”.

Also, make sure that you are really mindful when you are eating.  This means you need to slow down and stop multi-tasking while you eat.  Really taste your food.  Most of us are guilty of being busy on our phones of being distracted while we are eating.  If you do this, you will find that once you are done eating you won’t even remember how your food tasted.  This is not helpful for feeling satiated.  Taste your food, enjoy it.  When you eat, don’t do anything else.

#5 Stop Eating Late At Night

It is likely that you are watching tv while you eat at night.  This is not mindful.  You are mindlessly munching away, not even noticing if you are full or not.  The food you eat after dinner is probably due to emotional stress or cravings or boredom.  It is not likely that you are hungry. 

Studies have shown that eating late at night leads to twice as much weight gain!!  A great reason to stop!!

This is probably one of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to eating healthy.  I do eat at night.  Vegetables are a great choice any time of the day and basically are considered a free food.  But do I ever feel like eating a carrot late at night – not a chance.  My goal is to keep my snack to 100 calories (but I’m not always successful, especially when my hubby brings home a bag of chips!!) 

Be patient with yourself.  Take baby steps.  Try to reduce your intake.  Make healthier choices.  And try to come up with a healthy behaviour that replaces your bad one.  Perhaps reading a book would keep you from eating.  Or lock the door when your husband brings home a bag of chips!!  Haha!  Whatever you do, don’t quit.  You can do it.

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How To Motivate Yourself To Workout

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Motivating yourself to workout means focusing on your reasons WHY and eliminating excuses.  Exercise can easily be pushed to the bottom of your to-do list.  I find that if I can eliminate my  obstacles and remind myself WHY I workout, I am more likely to follow through and DO IT!

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself

#1  How to motivate yourself to workout when you have NO TIME!

Overcoming the no time excuse is all about PLANNING

There are countless urgent and important issues that need our attention on a daily basis.  Scheduling your week and knowing when you are going to dedicate time to workout will help you dramatically.  Remember that HIIT training (short bursts of high intensity) allows you the luxury of shortening your workout.  Just 10-20 minutes is enough to get great results!  Just remember to push yourself.  

Click Here to get to my YouTube channel with a variety of  10 minute workouts

There will be times when your plan goes awry and you may miss your workout but I want to encourage you to have the commitment to yourself to workout even if it’s just for 5 minutes.  You know you will feel better if you do and you can maintain your fitness level if you stay consistent (even if it’s only 5 minutes of intense exercise). 

#2  How to motivate yourself to workout when you are TIRED or you just don’t FEEL like it

Overcoming these excuses requires ACCOUNTABILITY.

Paying for classes or a personal trainer keeps you driven to workout when you don’t feel like it because you’ve paid your money and people are counting on you to be there.  If you don’t have a trainer or you aren’t going to classes (Click here to find out about my HIIT Training classes) then you might want to have an accountability partner.  Have someone who has the same goals as you and make a pact together to workout a certain number of times per week.  Check in with each other and hold each other accountable.  Having someone to answer to makes a big difference.

#3  How to motivate yourself to workout when it feels like you AREN’T GETTING RESULTS

Overcoming this excuse requires you to focus on your GOALS and your WHY

You can make yourself a goal board and put up photos of what you want your body to look like.  Write your goals on the board and put it somewhere you can see it every day.  Write on the board WHY you workout.  Maybe working out makes you feel strong, empowered, thin, lean, sexy etc.  Maybe you do it to reduce stress, maintain your health, improve your mood, enhance your youthfulness & longevity.  There are endless reasons why we should workout.  What are YOUR reasons

Once you have your goals written down.  You will need a way to measure your success.  Having a method to track your fitness level and improvements is inspiring and motivating.  For more information on how you can measure your fitness success check out my blog on fitness testing.

#4  How to motivate yourself to workout when you are FALLING BACK INTO BAD HABITS

Overcoming this excuse requires staying inspired with DAILY POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

These are positive statements that you say to yourself every day.  You actually are speaking into existence what you want your life to look like.  You need to be aware of one thing regarding positive affirmations.  You absolutely MUST say them in a positive way.  In other words don’t say something like “I will not eat sugar” because your brain doesn’t hear the “NOT” part and you are basically saying “I will eat sugar”.  Hahaha – seriously! – the total opposite of what you want.  If you don’t believe me, click here are read about the white bear experiment (also referred to the Ironic Process Theory or Thought Suppression).  If I say to you “Do NOT think about a white bear” – what do you think about??  A WHITE BEAR!!  So, say your affirmations in a positive way – “I chose to eat only healthy foods that nourish my body”.

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Here is an example of a positive affirmation statement for exercise.  You can easily make up your own and put them where you will see them often throughout your day.

You can find more Positive Affirmation Statements for a healthy lifestyle on my Pinterest account.  Click here to see more examples.

#5  How to motivate yourself to workout when you JUST DON’T WANT TO GET SWEATY

Overcoming this excuse requires a QUICK, NO-FUSS BEAUTY ROUTINE

One of my personal common excuses to not workout is that I just don’t want to get sweaty and have to fix myself up again to be presentable!   So I will share with you my with quick, no-fuss beauty routine and a photo of the products I use:

quick-beauty-routine

#1 Facial wipes to wash my face – I like the live clean wipes because they are paraben and phthalate free and have a pleasant but not overwhelming scent.  Then I use the same wipe (with additional soap and water) or a washcloth to wipe down my body

#2 Dry Shampoo – ok – this is a game changer for me.  And yes, I am SOLD on this brand.  I have tried several different types of dry shampoo but Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is my favourite.  It gives my fine hair lots of body and I can even have consecutive days of sweat drenched hair still look great!

#3 BB Cream – I am not sold on any particular brand but BB creams are great because they are a multifunctional beauty product.  They moisturize, protect from sun, correct flaws, and tint your skin giving you a great glowing look.  It has the benefits of skincare, sunscreen and makeup in one tube.

#4 Ponytail elastics and bobby pins – practicing making a messy bun is a good idea.  It’s a cute style and is pretty easy to master with a few bobby pins.  The sad truth is that once I workout my hair just doesn’t look as lovely as when I carefully blow-dried it out.   I don’t want to take the time to blow-dry or flat-iron it again so putting it up is the next best option.

I hope these ideas have been helpful and will keep you motivated to workout.  If you have found ways to keep yourself motivated or have a quick beauty routine that has worked for you please share in the comments! 

The Key To Having The Best Workout Plan

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The key to having the best workout plan is to track your progress. Your workout plan needs to include a fitness test and here’s why:

  • it keeps you motivated to push yourself during your workouts because you know you need to gain strength for the next test
  • it is motivating to see your results when the inch loss and weight loss are not as dramatic as you might like
  • it’s a way to measure whether your workout plan is working or not
  • it gives you a goal to shoot for and a reason to celebrate when you achieve it

What I like about the type of fitness testing I’m going to share with you is that it is not about you competing with someone else and it’s not about you competing against a “standard for your age group”. It’s about you competing with yourself.  It’s about you becoming better and fitter and stronger!  Plus, you don’t need any fancy equipment, just a mat, a stair or step and a stopwatch.

The most important thing to remember when doing your own fitness test in your workout plan is to never sacrifice your form.  You want to push yourself to get the best result but if you do it with bad form, you are cheating (and possibly injuring) yourself.

Exercise #1: Count your Push Ups in one minute

Do as many push ups as you can in one minute.  You can do these on your toes or your knees or even a combination of both.  If you do a combination of both try to remember how many you did on your toes before you dropped to your knees. 

Proper form: Your wrists are directly under your shoulders and your back is straight.  Once your form gets sloppy – stop!

Exercise #2: Count your Crunches in one minute

Do as many crunches as you can in one minute.  With these crunches you are just lifting your shoulders off the mat and sliding your hands up your thighs.  This gives you a marker to reach for with each crunch.  Try to touch the top of your knee cap with each crunch.

Proper form: Your knees are bent and your belly button is pulled down to your spine. 

Exercise #3: Count your Squats in one minute

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Do as many squats as you can in one minute.  The key with this test is to make sure your thighs come down parallel to the floor so that you are doing a full squat not just a mini squat.

Proper form: When doing a squat you want your back straight.  Look forward, not down at your feet.  You want your butt to sit back to make sure your knees are not going over your toes and put your weight into your heels.

Exercise #4: Count your Step Ups in one minute

This test is more for your cardio endurance.  As fast as you can step up and down on the bottom stair of your house or on an elevated step at the gym and count your number of steps.  Your rhythm is up-right/up-left/down-right/down-left. Just make sure it is the same stair/step each time so that the height off the floor doesn’t change – that will make a difference.  You should lead with your right leg for first 30 seconds and then your left leg for the last 30 seconds.  This will give you a better test result instead of just leading with your strongest leg.

Exercise #5: Hold a Wall Sit

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Sit against a wall in a squat position for as long as you can last.

Proper Form:  Your form is absolutely critical for this exercise.  You can very easily cheat on this one.  Your knees and your hips need to be at 90 degrees.  Your back needs to be against the wall and your hands should not be resting on your legs.  It is helpful if you can have someone check your form because it is hard to tell if you are at 90 degrees or not.  You are only cheating yourself – so don’t!!

Exercise #6: Hold a Plank

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Holding a plank on your elbows for as long as you can.

Proper Form:  This is another exercise that is easy to be sloppy on.  Your shoulders need to be directly over your elbows and your back very straight.  Pull you belly button up to the ceiling to assist you in keeping your back straight.  It is better if your bum is a little raised than if your bum sags to the floor – this is very hard on your back.

When I design a workout plan with my clients we always do regular fitness testing and measurements.  It’s important to track your progress and it gives you a terrific incentive to push yourself to your personal best.

Your workout plan should consist of fitness testing every 2-3 months.  It will take that long to increase your strength and see improvements.  Make sure you celebrate your successes along the way!