Friday, September 30, 2011

Weigh in


Well I was very happy to see that the scale moved down again – two more lbs gone!!!  I am now down 15 lbs-  plus inches!!!

PRAISE JESUS…. after a “female” week I was not looking forward to weigh in! 

This week I need to track even closer!! (I slacked a bit – I am going to get another calculator to figure out points….since I don’t have a smart phone!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

ZUMBA - this morning

I woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed!  From the moment I opened my eyes (to see my daughter staring at me asking for breakfast) to the moment I walked out the front door, I had nothing positive to say. 

Today was no preschool, but ZUMBA!  I had to get the kids fed and ready for “play school” (aka child watch), get me dressed, and out the door.  I was feeling so tired!  I called my sister (my zumba partner) and she told me she wasn’t able to go this morning.  Once I heard her say that she wasn’t going, I started talking myself out of going too.  Trying to motivate myself with the little bit of energy that I had,  I went to get dressed, only to find that all my workout clothes were in the washer.  Both my hubby and myself forgot to put them in the dryer!  So……..really frustrated I really thought about skipping. 

Well needless to say I found an outfit, put on two bras (since my really good sports bra was wet), and sucked it up and put on a damp gut sucker and got out the door.  Of course there were no close parking spaces, so I parked a million miles away, and struggled to get the kids in while they fought over who was going to push the elevator button the entire walk inside.  I saw some of my ZUMBA buddies when I got to the Y and I made sure to tell them I didn’t want to work out, and really wanted to be back in bed.  Then the music started!  Dana was up front all smiles and ready to shake her booty!  After the first few songs I could tell that my mood was slowing changing, and I was having fun!  By the time I left ZUMBA I was ready to get my kids and looked forward to the day. 

I am so happy that I decided to go.  Making the decision to go was the hardest part of the workout!! 

 LOL.........just thought that this cartoon was funny!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Candy Corn Custard Parfait

Candy Corn Custard Parfait
PER SERVING (entire parfait): 155 calories, 1g fat, 234mg sodium, 34.5g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 15g sugars, 1.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*

While the kids are chomping on Halloween candy, celebrate with this creamy and frighteningly good holiday concoction. Bwahahahahahahaha! (That's our scary laughter. Like it?)

1 Jell-O Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding Snack
2 drops yellow food coloring
1/3 cup mandarin orange segments in juice, drained
1/4 cup Cool Whip Free, thawed
5 pieces candy corn

In a small bowl or parfait glass, combine pudding with food coloring and mix until uniform in color.

Top evenly first with orange segments and then with Cool Whip.
Arrange candy corn prettily on top of the Cool Whip (or haphazardly -- it's your parfait), and then dive in!


HUNGRY GIRL is a new website I have been looking at!  She has a TV show, books, and some fun ideas and recipes!  Very excited to read more from her!!! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011


HOLY MOLY now this is a workout!!!!  She made me very tired just watching this!  This is something that I would love to work up to!!  A Friend of mine shared that this was something she was doing – Go Jess go!  Maybe I will give it a try this week! If I do I will share for sure…..but there will be no videos of me attempting it!!! LOL!

(If anyone gives it a try….please let me know how it goes!!!) 

Weight Watchers Help

I found this site today and thought I would share:

This site had some good weight watchers info….and FREE!  I liked explanations of the new WW points plus program &  there is  a calculator for food and for points allowed!!! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tried this recipe yesterday - LOVED IT!  If you like pumpkin you are in for a treat!!! 
FYI: to my family members that read my blog - I am bringing this to the next family get together!   (so don't try and steal this one!!! LOL)                

 Pumpkin Pie Dip

Servings: 12 Size: 1/2 cup Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 102.9 • Fat: 0.1g Protein: 1.8 g Carb: 27.7 g Fiber: 0.9 g
    • 15 oz can pumpkin
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar (Splenda would work too)
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)
    • 6 oz fat free Greek yogurt (I used Chiobani)
    • 8 oz cool whip free
    • cut up apples to dip (extra points)

                For Full instructions:

Meals for the Week

Meals for the week!!!! 

Monday: Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese (didn’t get to make this last week)
Tuesday: Crock Pot Chicken Chili
Wednesday: Pumpkin Crepes w/ Pumpkin Butter
Thursday: Baked Potatoes with Leftover Chili
Saturday: Eggplant Parmesan
Sunday: Happy Joes (AKA – sloppy Joes made with Turkey meat)


Friday, September 23, 2011


Just weighed in!  DOWN 4lbs! YAY!!!!

Changes I made this week:
As much as I didn’t want to.....I joined weight watchers online (to hard to go to meetings with kids at this moment).  I really don’t want to count points, but the thing I realized was that even though I was eating healthy things, I was eating way to much of them!  So… has been an eye opener.  Starting to mark points on my groceries so I don't have to figure it out each time!  So when I reach for the peanut butter and see - 5pts on it - I decide if I really want it or if there is something else that would be smarter for the day (if I really want it though I am eating it......just will count the points and cut them somewhere else!!!)

Using has made it easy to figure out dinner without figuring out points b/c she has already done it for me!!!  Thankfully I have also been able to get 4 workouts in this week.

Excited to start another week! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Train Track

Some friends gave us a wooden train set for my son’s birthday!  He was so excited to see Thomas!  Well I am not the “boy toy” type of person (I failed transformers).  Putting the train track together was suppose to be my husband’s job, but needless to say life got crazy and I got stuck doing it today. 

I looked at all these pieces, all of them fit together.  I had a paper that was the end result of what it should look like!  I started the track one way, but then I ran into an obstacle.  I made it go another way, adding in bridges, but then it fell down.  I thought I figured it out another time, but then my kids came and messed it up.   At one point I was getting ready to give up, but then took a deep breath and tried again, knowing there was a way it worked I just needed to figure it out. 

As I was getting frustrated I thought about losing weight.  It is kind of like my train set.  I have an idea of what it will look like at the end, I have the tools that should make it fit together, but it is just finding how I will make all the pieces fit together.  (LOL….if it is not Zumba these days on my brain, it is cooking, or something related to losing this weight…I am just so ready to make this work!!!) 

Thankfully I think I am on my way to finding a way to laying my “track” to get to my goal (work out plan, diet, this blog, family/friend support, babysitting).  I know each day will bring obstacles, and there are some days I might fall, but I am determined to succeed!

(the picture is not of my train track....mine wasn't that perfect...and that is OK with me)

Monday, September 19, 2011



You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith – Mary Manin Morrissey.

I was walking on the treadmill this morning at the Y.  (I like to make the machine have a big incline with a pretty decent walking pace.)  As I got into my workout I increased my speed.  I soon realized that if I only would run rather than struggle to walk fast enough to try and keep up, then I would have such an easier time.  As that thought crept in, so did the fear!  I have never actually run on the treadmill before.  I am not a runner, I have never liked to run, but it just seemed silly to struggle walking fast.  It might sound funny, but I felt like a child learning to walk – I really wanted to take the step but I had fear.  I was so afraid that I would either fly off the machine, not be able to do it, and/or make a fool out of myself.   I finally took that step, and did it!  Now, I didn’t last as long as I would like to running, but that will come!  I took that step! 

It might sound funny, but taking that first step in the direction of our goals is always the hardest!  I might not get to my goals the way I picture, but I will not let fear keep me from finding a way to reach them!  I have all the faith in the world! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Menu for the week


Monday: Chicken Fajitas
Tuesday: Veggie Omelets
Wednesday: Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Friday: Chicken Soup (homemade)
Sunday: Baked Chicken Parmesan (it was a big hit at my house last week)

Friday, September 16, 2011



So, I am very excited that the colder, fall weather is on it’s way.  I got to wear the first hoodie of the season yesterday!!!  It is so convenient to just toss a sweat shirt on, hair back in a bun or braid and head out the door!  But, I am learning that what I am wearing and how I am dressed affects my mood & my thoughts!  When I am dressed (not in my mommy clothes) I take myself more seriously.  I tend to be more aware of how I treat myself.  When I am in my mommy / comfy clothes, I tend to be more relaxed and more focused on everyone else. 

I also have noticed that when I am in my big hoodies it is easy to hide!  It is easy to not see “ME”.  So that comfort food & junk food, seems easier to eat &  doesn’t seem to matter as much when I can’t see ME! 

I am not giving up my hoodies……but I am going to try and make sure that I take the time to get dressed in clothes that I feel good in! NO MORE HIDING!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Funny thought today!

(This graphic made me smile today!)

I have to laugh.  In high school I thought I was fat (size 5-7), then when I was getting married how I wished I was the size I was in high school.  Now I only wish I was the same size I was when I was married! 

LOL…..When we take pictures and I am not 100% happy with them, my mom always says “give it a few years and you will love them.”  How true that is! 

I am learning I have to love me NOW! I don’t want to be the me I was 5 Years ago because I have grown so much as a person since then (I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT OUTWORD APPEARANCE – even though it kinda fits LOL).  But if I love me for who I am now, I will want to take the best care of me that I can!

So with each workout, with each meal or snack I eat, with each thing I say, I want to be the best me I can be! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wake up!

(Besides my step kids who are 9 & 11) My oldest is four!  I have never been a morning person, and thankfully she hasn’t either.  She has always been on my schedule staying up late and then sleeping in.  It worked for us, but then my son came along and turned my world upside down.  Unlike my daughter who slowly wakes up, needs cuddle time, and takes awhile to want breakfast; from the moment his feet hit the floor he is on the move! He wants to play, make noise, and eat right away! 

I have always dreaded mornings! I do not like to be woken up and then have to quickly function!  So, needless to say I have been a grumpy mommy until I have downed like a pot of coffee!

It has only taken me 4 years, but I think I might be starting to figure this out…..get up before the kids!  (Not always easy, because my little man tends to start calling me 5 minutes before my alarm goes off!)    But, I am noticing that if I get up & shower, my mornings tend to be easier and less rushed! Getting up and taking a few minutes of me time before I play mom has been a big help in my attitude.   Now I am still late for everything, but I am a happier mommy. 

There is a “part two” to getting up earlier.
Working out!!!  I have noticed that since I have been working out, and working on becoming healthier with diet, it is easier to wake up early.  Now I don’t jump up at the first alarm, but I only have to hit the snooze button a few times!  It is amazing how working out, gives me more energy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nutrition Label

I found this and thought it was helpful & thought I would share!!!

Baked Chicken Parmesan

SO GOOD! Made it for dinner last four year old loved it! She asked for seconds and wanted it for lunch today!!!! WILL MAKE IT AGAIN FOR SURE!!! 

Baked Chicken ParmesanGina's Weight Watcher RecipesServings: 8 Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts 
Calories: 224.5 • Fat: 8.6 g • Protein: 25.1 g • Carb: 14.2 g • Fiber: 1.3 g

  • 4 (8 oz) chicken breast halves, sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used 4C whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese (I used Sargento)
  • 1 cup marinara or Filetto di Pomodoro
  • cooking spray

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Turkey Stuffed Zucchini


Turkey Stuffed Zucchini
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes 
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 halves Old Points: 4 pts Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 214.8 Fat: 4.6 g Protein: 31.6 g Carb:11.0 g Fiber: 2.9 g  

  • 4 (6 oz each) medium zucchini
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 oz white wine
  • 1.3 lb (20.8 oz) ground turkey (99% fat free)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and fresh pepper
For full recipe:

Friday, September 9, 2011


The good news of the day…..weigh in – down two lbs! Inches have been coming off but the scale was not very excited to see this! 

My goal for the week this week is to write down everything I eat. 
So......I am starting a journal.  I realize that there are tons of online journals, but with the kids and our crazy schedule, I never know when I will be online.  I really want something that I can physically write in.  I want something that I can jot down what I am eating, my ideas & goals, articles & recipes in. I want to be able to  personalize it and make all about me!  So…..I think I am going to get a binder and put everything it. (Once I get it underway I will share!)

 I really think writing down everything I put in my mouth is going to be a key to my weight loss success!   (I don’t want to write everything down forever, but until I get a lot closer to my goal I am going to be writing it down!) 

(want to know some benefits to writing down what you eat - check out-

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dish Soap

Just figured out why I'm overweight....The shampoo I use in the shower that runs down my body reads, "For extra volume and body". Gonna start using Dawn dish soap. It reads, "Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove".

LOL.......starting the day off with a smile! 

I have ZUMBA this morning to dance away the crazies!  Had a great class last night and really looking forward to having some me time this morning (as my little man decided to get up at 5am this morning!!) 

Thanks to those who have shared about their workout plans/goals....It is helping to hold me accoutable.  Last night I almost didn't go to ZUMBA since the day didn't go as planned and I was ready to sit and relax, but thought of a few of you and decided to I better go dance my booty off.  I have to say I am so happpy that I went and and worked out, and shared some laughs with my ZUMBA buddies that I have met over the past few months! When I got home I was ready to get the kids to bed, deal with the life crises that happened in the hour I was gone, spend a little time with the hubby, and pick up a bit around the house!  Even if my body is tired after I workout, I get such a burst of energy.  (I only wish I would have taken the time while my hubby was sick  and having surgery to take care of myself and work out.....not sure how I would have done it...but I think it would have helped me cope so much better.) 

Happy Day! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

50+ Easy Daily Fixes to Lose Weight

You know the drill when it comes to losing weight — take in fewer calories, burn more calories. But you also know that most diets and quick weight-loss plans have about as much substance as a politician’s campaign pledges. You’re better off finding several simple things you can do on a daily basis — along with following the cardinal rules of eating more vegetables and less fat and getting more physical activity. Together, they should send the scale numbers in the right direction: down.
1. Once a week, indulge in a high-calorie-tasting, but low-calorie, treat. This should help keep you from feeling deprived and binging on higher-calorie foods. For instance:
·         Lobster. Just 83 calories in 3 ounces.
·         Shrimp. Just 60 calories in 12 large.
·         Smoked salmon. Just 66 calories in two ounces. Sprinkle with capers for an even more elegant treat.
·         Whipped cream. Just 8 calories in one tablespoon. Drop a dollop over a bowl of fresh fruit for dessert.   
(Once a week I have a cheat evening with my hubby…..usually the same day that I weigh in! I am ok with being good…but I don’t want to feel like I am missing out!)
2. Treat high-calorie foods as jewels in the crown. Make a spoonful of ice cream the jewel and a bowl of fruit the crown. Cut down on the chips by pairing each bite with lots of chunky, filling fresh salsa, suggests Jeff Novick, director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Florida. Balance a little cheese with a lot of salad.
3. After breakfast, make water your primary drink. At breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda. The average American consumes an extra 245 calories a day from soft drinks. That’s nearly 90,000 calories a year — or 25 pounds! And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does.  (I like drinking from a straw- I tend to get more water down that way!)
4. Carry a palm-size notebook everywhere you go for one week. Write down every single morsel that enters your lips — even water. Studies have found that people who maintain food diaries wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t.  (THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE TO DO!!!)
5. Buy a pedometer, clip it to your belt, and aim for an extra 1,000 steps a day. On average, sedentary people take only 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day. Adding 2,000 steps will help you maintain your current weight and stop gaining weight; adding more than that will help you lose weight. (A good friend of mine who is a Weight Watchers instructor wears hers all the time.  I guess this reasoning stated makes sense.  I have been wanting on….I think it would be interesting where I am and where I need to get to lose more weight)
6. Add 10 percent to the amount of daily calories you think you’re eating, then adjust your eating habits accordingly. If you think you’re consuming 1,700 calories a day and don’t understand why you’re not losing weight, add another 170 calories to your guesstimate. Chances are, the new number is more accurate.
7. Eat five or six small meals or snacks a day instead of three large meals. A 1999 South African study found that when men ate parts of their morning meal at intervals over five hours, they consumed almost 30 percent fewer calories at lunch than when they ate a single breakfast. Other studies show that even if you eat the same number of calories distributed this way, your body releases less insulin, which keeps blood sugar steady and helps control hunger.
8. Walk for 45 minutes a day. The reason we’re suggesting 45 minutes instead of the typical 30 is that a Duke University study found that while 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to prevent weight gain in most relatively sedentary people, exercise beyond 30 minutes results in weight and fat loss. Burning an additional 300 calories a day with three miles of brisk walking (45 minutes should do it) could help you lose 30 pounds in a year without even changing how much you’re eating.
9. Find an online weight-loss buddy. A University of Vermont study found that online weight-loss buddies help you keep the weight off. The researchers followed volunteers for 18 months. Those assigned to an Internet-based weight maintenance program sustained their weight loss better than those who met face-to-face in a support group.
10. Bring the color blue into your life more often. There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: Believe it or not, the color blue functions as an appetite suppressant. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth. Conversely, avoid red, yellow, and orange in your dining areas. Studies find they encourage eating. (I THINK I MIGHT PAINT MY WHOLE HOUSE….LOL)
11. Clean your closet of the “fat” clothes. Once you’ve reached your target weight, throw out or give away every piece of clothing that doesn’t fit. The idea of having to buy a whole new wardrobe if you gain the weight back will serve as a strong incentive to maintain your new figure. (I THINK THIS IS A GREAT IDEA….WHEN I GET DOWN A FEW MORE SIZES I AM GETTING RID OF MY FAT CLOTHES)
12. Downsize your dinner plates. Studies find that the less food put in front of you, the less food you’ll eat. Conversely, the more food in front of you, the more you’ll eat — regardless of how hungry you are. So instead of using regular dinner plates that range these days from 10-14 inches (making them look forlornly empty if they’re not heaped with food), serve your main course on salad plates (about 7-9 inches wide). The same goes for liquids. Instead of 16-ounce glasses and oversized coffee mugs, return to the old days of 8-ounce glasses and 6-ounce coffee cups.
13. Serve your dinner restaurant style (food on the plates) rather than family style (food served in bowls and on platters on the table). When your plate is empty, you’re finished; there’s no reaching for seconds. (WE ALMOST DO THIS IN OUR HOUSES……WE DON’T PUT THE BOWLS ON THE TABLE….BUT THAT IS B/C OUR KITCHEN TABLE IS JUST TOO SMALL….BUT WE REFILL….MAYBE WE WILL BE LIKE OLIVE GARDEN AND ONLY REFILL THE SALAD!)
14. Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table. One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Seems having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.
15. Put out a vegetable platter. A body of research out of Pennsylvania State University finds that eating water-rich foods such as zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers during meals reduces your overall calorie consumption. Other water-rich foods include soups and salads. You won’t get the same benefits by just drinking your water, though. Because the body processes hunger and thirst through different mechanisms, it simply doesn’t register a sense of fullness with water (or soda, tea, coffee, or juice).
16. Use vegetables to bulk up meals. You can eat twice as much pasta salad loaded with veggies like broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes for the same calories as a pasta salad sporting just mayonnaise. Same goes for stir-fries. And add vegetables to make a fluffier, more satisfying omelet without having to up the number of eggs.
17. Eat one less cookie a day. Or consume one less can of regular soda, or one less glass of orange juice, or three fewer bites of a fast-food hamburger. Doing any of these saves you about 100 calories a day, according to weight-loss researcher James O. Hill, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado. And that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the 1.8 to 2 pounds most people pack on each year.
18. Avoid white foods. There is some scientific legitimacy to today’s lower-carb diets: Large amounts of simple carbohydrates from white flour and added sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. But you shouldn’t toss out the baby with the bathwater. While avoiding sugar, white rice, and white flour, you should eat plenty of whole grain breads and brown rice. One Harvard study of 74,000 women found that those who ate more than two daily servings of whole grains were 49 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the white stuff.
19. Switch to ordinary coffee. Fancy coffee drinks from trendy coffee joints often pack several hundred calories, thanks to whole milk, whipped cream, sugar, and sugary syrups. A cup of regular coffee with skim milk has just a small fraction of those calories. And when brewed with good beans, it tastes just as great.
20. Use nonfat powdered milk in coffee. You get the nutritional benefits of skim milk, which is high in calcium and low in calories. And, because the water has been removed, powdered milk doesn’t dilute the coffee the way skim milk does.
21. Eat cereal for breakfast five days a week. Studies find that people who eat cereal for breakfast every day are significantly less likely to be obese and have diabetes than those who don’t. They also consume more fiber and calcium — and less fat — than those who eat other breakfast foods. Of course, that doesn’t mean reaching for the Cap’n Crunch. Instead, pour out a high-fiber, low-sugar cereal like Total or Grape Nuts.
22. Pare your portions. Whether you eat at home or in a restaurant, immediately remove one-third of the food on your plate. Arguably the worst food trend of the past few decades has been the explosion in portion sizes on America’s dinner plates (and breakfast and lunch plates). We eat far, far more today than our bodies need. Studies find that if you serve people more food, they’ll eat more food, regardless of their hunger level. The converse is also true: Serve
yourself less and you’ll eat less.
23. Eat 90 percent of your meals at home. You’re more likely to eat more — and eat more high-fat, high-calorie foods — when you eat out than when you eat at home. Restaurants today serve such large portions that many have switched to larger plates and tables to accommodate them!
24. Avoid any prepared food that lists sugar, fructose, or corn syrup among the first four ingredients on the label. You should be able to find a lower-sugar version of the same type of food. If you can’t, grab a piece of fruit instead! Look for sugar-free varieties of foods such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and salad dressing.
25. Eat slowly and calmly. Put your fork or spoon down between every bite. Sip water frequently. Intersperse your eating with stories for your dining partner of the amusing things that happened during your day. Your brain lags your stomach by about 20 minutes when it comes to satiety (fullness) signals. If you eat slowly enough, your brain will catch up to tell you that you are no longer in need of food.
26. Eat only when you hear your stomach growling. It’s stunning how often we eat out of boredom, nervousness, habit, or frustration — so often, in fact, that many of us have actually forgotten what physical hunger feels like. Next time, wait until your stomach is growling before you reach for food. If you’re hankering for a specific food, it’s probably a craving, not hunger. If you’d eat anything you could get your hands on, chances are you’re truly hungry.
27. Find ways other than eating to express love, tame stress, and relieve boredom. For instance, you might make your family a photo album of special events instead of a rich dessert, sign up for a stress-management course at the local hospital or take up an active hobby, like bowling. (BIG PROBLEM FOR ME! SO GUILTY)
28. State the positive. You’ve heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Well, if you keep focusing on things you can’t do, like resisting junk food or getting out the door for a daily walk, chances are you won’t do them. Instead (whether you believe it or not) repeat positive thoughts to yourself. “I can lose weight.” “I will get out for my walk today.” “I know I can resist the pastry cart after dinner.” Repeat these phrases like a mantra all day long. Before too long, they will become their own self-fulfilling prophecy.
29. Discover your dietary point of preference. If you work hard to control your weight, you may get pleasure from your appearance, but you may also feel sorry for yourself each time you forgo a favorite food. There is a balance to be struck between the immediate gratification of indulgent foods and the long-term pleasure of maintaining a desirable weight and good health. When you have that balance worked out, you have identified your own personal dietary pleasure “point of preference.” This is where you want to stay.
30. Use flavorings such as hot sauce, salsa, and Cajun seasonings instead of relying on butter and creamy or sugary sauces. Besides providing lots of flavor with no fat and few calories, many of these seasonings — the spicy ones — turn up your digestive fires, causing your body to temporarily burn more calories.
31. Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. For the calories in one kid-size box of apple juice, you can enjoy an apple, orange, and a slice of watermelon. These whole foods will keep you satisfied much longer than that box of apple juice, so you’ll eat less overall.
32. Spend 10 minutes a day walking up and down stairs. The Centers for Disease Control says that’s all it takes to help you shed as much as 10 pounds a year (assuming you don’t start eating more). (LOL WITH KIDS AND A TWO STORY HOUSE I SHOULD BE QUEEN OF THE STAIR MASTER!)
33. Eat equal portions of vegetables and grains at dinner. A cup of cooked rice or pasta has about 200 calories, whereas a cup of cooked veggies doles out a mere 50 calories, on average, says Joan Salge Blake, R.D., clinical assistant professor of nutrition at Boston University’s Sargent College. To avoid a grain calorie overload, eat a 1:1 ratio of grains to veggies. The high-fiber veggies will help satisfy your hunger before you overeat the grains.
34. Get up and walk around the office or your home for five minutes at least every two hours. Stuck at a desk all day? A brisk five-minute walk every two hours will parlay into an extra 20-minute walk by the end of the day. And getting a break will make you less likely to reach for snacks out of antsiness.
35. Wash something thoroughly once a week — a floor, a couple of windows, the shower stall, bathroom tile, or your car. A 150-pound person who dons rubber gloves and exerts some elbow grease will burn about four calories for every minute spent cleaning, says Blake. Scrub for 30 minutes and you could work off approximately 120 calories, the same number in a half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt. And your surroundings will sparkle!
36. Make one social outing this week an active one. Pass on the movie tickets and screen the views of a local park instead. Not only will you sit less, but you’ll be saving calories because you won’t chow down on that bucket of popcorn. Other active date ideas: Plan a tennis match, sign up for a guided nature or city walk (check your local newspaper), go cycling on a bike path, or join a volleyball league or bowling team.
37. Order the smallest portion of everything. If you’re ordering a sub, get the 6-inch sandwich. Buy a small popcorn, a small salad, a small hamburger. Studies find we tend to eat what’s in front of us, even though we’d feel just as full on less.
38. Switch from regular milk to 2%. If you already drink 2%, go down another notch to 1% or skim milk. Each step downward cuts the calories by about 20 percent. Once you train your taste buds to enjoy skim milk, you’ll have cut the calories in the whole milk by about half and trimmed the fat by more than 95 percent.
39. Take a walk before dinner. You’ll do more than burn calories — you’ll cut your appetite. In a study of 10 obese women conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, 20 minutes of walking reduced appetite and increased sensations of fullness as effectively as a light meal. (HMMM….MIGHT NEED TO TRY THIS….I KNOW WHEN I WORK OUT BEFORE I EAT I TEND TO EAT BETTER AND LESS!)
40. Substitute a handful of almonds in place of a sugary snack. A study from the City of Hope National Medical Center found that overweight people who ate a moderate-fat diet containing almonds lost more weight than a control group that didn’t eat nuts. Really, any nut will do.
41. Eat a frozen dinner. Not just any frozen dinner, but one designed for weight loss. Most of us tend to eat an average of 150 percent more calories in the evening than in the morning. An easy way to keep dinner calories under control is to buy a pre-portioned meal. Just make sure that it contains only one serving. If it contains two, make sure you share.
42. Don’t eat with a large group. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Behavior found that we tend to eat more when we eat with other people, most likely because we spend more time at the table. But eating with your significant other or your family, and using table time for talking in between chewing, can help cut down on calories — and help with bonding in the bargain.
43. Watch one less hour of TV. A study of 76 undergraduate students found the more they watched television, the more often they ate and the more they ate overall. Sacrifice one program (there’s probably one you don’t really want to watch anyway) and go for a walk instead. You’ll have time left over to finish a chore or gaze at the stars.
44. Get most of your calories before . Studies find that the more you eat in the morning, the less you’ll eat in the evening. And you have more opportunities to burn off those early-day calories than you do to burn off dinner calories.
45. Close out the kitchen after dinner. Wash all the dishes, wipe down the counters, turn out the light, and, if necessary, tape closed the cabinets and refrigerator. Late-evening eating significantly increases the overall number of calories you eat, a University of Texas study found. Stopping late-night snacking can save 300 or more calories a day, or 31 pounds a year. (BIGGY FOR ME! NEED TO BACK IN THE HABIT OF STOPPING LATE NIGHT EATING!)
46. Sniff a banana, an apple, or a peppermint when you feel hungry. You might feel silly, but it works. When Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, tried this with 3,000 volunteers, he found that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost — an average of 30 pounds each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.
47. Order wine by the glass, not the bottle. That way you’ll be more aware of how much alcohol you’re downing. Moderate drinking can be good for your health, but alcohol is high in calories. And because drinking turns off our inhibitions, it can drown our best intentions to keep portions in check.
48. Watch every morsel you put in your mouth on weekends. A University of North Carolina study found people tend to consume an extra 115 calories per weekend day, primarily from alcohol and fat.
49. Stock your refrigerator with low-fat yogurt. A University of Tennessee study found that people who cut 500 calories a day and ate yogurt three times a day for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. The researchers concluded that the calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat.
50. Order your dressing on the side and then stick a fork in it — not your salad. The small amount of dressing that clings to the tines of the fork are plenty for the forkful of salad you then pick up. (IT IS AMAZING HOW MUCH LESS DRESSING YOU DO WHEN YOU DO THIS)
51. Brush your teeth after every meal, especially after dinner. That clean, minty freshness will serve as a cue to your body and brain that mealtime is over.
52. Serve individual courses rather than piling everything on one plate. Make the first two courses soup or vegetables (such as a green salad). By the time you get to the more calorie-dense foods, like meat and dessert, you’ll be eating less or may already be full (leftovers are a good thing).
53. Passionately kiss your partner 10 times a day. According to the 1991 Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex, a passionate kiss burns 6.4 calories per minute. Ten minutes a day of kissing equates to about 23,000 calories — or eight pounds — a year!
54. Add hot peppers to your pasta sauce. Capsaicin, the ingredient in hot peppers that makes them hot, also helps reduce your appetite.
55. Pack nutritious snacks. Snacking once or twice a day helps stave off hunger and keeps your metabolism stoked, but healthy snacks can be pretty darn hard to come by when you’re on the go. Pack up baby carrots or your own trail mix made with nuts, raisins, seeds, and dried fruit.
56. When you shop, choose nutritious foods based on these four simple rules:
1. Avoid partially hydrogenated.
2. Avoid high fructose corn syrup.
3. Choose a short ingredient list over long; there will be fewer flavor enhancers and empty calories.
4. Look for more than two grams of fiber per 100 calories in all grain products (cereal, bread, crackers, and chips)
57. Weed out calories you’ve been overlooking: spreads, dressings, sauces, condiments, drinks, and snacks. These calories count, whether or not you’ve been counting them, and could make the difference between weight gain and loss. (I ALWAYS FORGET ABOUT THE SPREADS, SAUCES & CONDIMENTS)
58. When you’re eating out with friends or family, dress up in your most flattering outfit. You’ll get loads of compliments, says Susie Galvez, author of Weight Loss Wisdom, which will be a great reminder to watch what you eat.