Dieting is easy.
Well, let’s reword that; dieting is simple–just follow a plan.
And therein lies the challenge–the following part.
Because to be successful, as in success that lasts, that’s harder.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately one-third of U.S. adults are obese and obesity can raise the risk of many adverse health conditions, like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer–and when you consider that common denominator with all of these diseases is usually obesity, it’s time to take note.
Most people, at some point in their lives, make a decision to go on a diet, whatever that means to them. They may have initial success, but far too often, that success is merely a fleeting moment. The weight gets “lost”, but once returning to the same old/same old, that weight gets “found” and it’s back with a vengeance–and sometimes with a few more pounds to boot.
As a matter of fact, those stats aren’t very encouraging–95% of those who lose weight gain it back.
You are not alone if you think that losing weight can be a daunting challenge, but there is something you can do that will greatly boost your chances of success.
Man, by nature, is a social being–tribal even.
We accomplish more when we work together and we enjoy the process more too because we feed off the energy of others and can support each other in the process. Coaches like to say that there is no “I” in “team” and you win by working together. It’s easier to run or ride a bike when you are in a pack and not out there on your own.
Studies show that students learn more in a group setting than they do alone because the group think promotes more ideas and creativity. Soldiers on the field of battle are fighting for their lives and for their comrades on either side of them because they don’t want to let them down.
These same social and mental principles apply especially when you want to lose weight.
Being in a support group can help you accomplish your weight loss goals because accountability to others is a terrific motivator to stay on course.
Years ago there was a study conducted by the Baylor College of Medicine where around 300 overweight people were the subjects. Around half of them were instructed to lose weight on their own and the other half was involved in an organized program with regular group meetings, had on-line tools and even mobile apps to support them in their efforts.
At the end of the 6 month study the group lost an average of just over 10 pounds and the individuals lost only 1.3. The group was 8 times more likely to drop 5 or 10 percent of their body weight compared to the individuals. Those in the group who made full use of the extra tools and group meetings lost 19 pounds on average!
And get this–they were all on the same plan!
One element of group success is based on having a common problem and a common goal. When you are not alone in a challenge you can feed off the support and positive energy of others, offering different ideas and strategies, positive reinforcement, and celebration.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a perfect example of how a group can help each individual succeed better than they can on their own. Community breeds commitment, provides support, encouragement, and a better chance of success.
In the long term, the challenge is keeping the weight off once it is lost, and once again the group’s results have been consistently better than the individual.
While most subjects in several studies ended up regaining some weight, the individuals seem much more likely to go back to their original weight while the group on average maintained a good portion of their weight loss.
According to the Mayo Health System, support networks are built and maintained by:
- Joining a group – Being sociable and taking advantage of neighborhood and community events can be beneficial in your weight loss journey.
- Finding a partner – If a group is not available, even a single friend to share a walk or cooking a meal together will make it easier to stay the course. Accountability is key.
- Even better, join a group and grab a buddy to stay accountable to–this will insulate your accountability if you’re actively in touch with each other as well as the group.
- Keeping in touch – Make sure you respond to texts and emails, make that phone call, and let the others know where you are on your journey and let them know that you are there for them on theirs.
- Understanding the need and importance of give and take – Be thankful for the love and support of the people you are involved with, make an effort to tell them, and let them know you are there for them too.
- Being open to different partners for different needs – Sometimes people have rough patches in their lives and cannot provide the support you need right now, so be willing to go beyond your closest partners–and take a risk, reach out and ask for a buddy.
We all have different goals and taking along a support team is a good way to share the journey, so find others to take along with you.
It will make the road easier to travel, will make it more enjoyable, and more likely to get you to your final goal–a new you!
In life, it’s the little things that count. Not the great big momentous occasions, but the daily moments that all strung together, make up your own personal circle of life. We cannot measure the quality of our lives by the big events like birthday celebrations, weddings, baptisms and graduations. It’s the day-to-day stuff that makes up your life.
This is also true with eating. It’s not just the big meal occasions—dinner out, Thanksgiving, birthday cake and such. Becoming a healthy eater has everything to do with daily decision making over what will go in your mouth, rather than worrying about a special occasion (I say, splurge and enjoy it! The next day, do penance and throw in a little extra exercise and pare a few calories off your daily intake for the next few days.)
But it’s those daily decisions that count; to choose not to drive thru and wait an extra 15 minutes to get home to real food. It’s choosing fruit over donuts; water over soda and not to have that bowl of ice cream watching TV. Those are the little decisions that matter much more so than eating an extra piece of pie at Thanksgiving. Yeah, overindulging is hard on your body and we talk about being “Thanksgiving full” as the ultimate test of fullness, but the daily awareness of what you put in your body is what the definitive cause and effect of how your body looks, feels and operates.
Sometimes it’s easy (like the above example of fruit over donuts). Other times, it’s harder to know what to do. Here are some easy swaps to help you to save calories, your health and your sanity, too, so you know that what you’re doing will make a difference!
Instead of a blueberry muffin (which, let’s be honest, is really a cupcake with blueberries in it!) have a cup of Greek yogurt with 1/2 a cup of blueberries stirred in. Save yourself 249 calories (and some considerable carbs!).
Instead of a 2 slices of whole wheat bread, have 1 Orowheat Sandwich Round (whole wheat also), saving yourself 140 calories!
Instead of 1 cup of white rice, have 1/2 cup of brown rice mixed with chopped steamed broccoli. You’ve just saved yourself nearly 100 calories (and ratcheted up the fiber count, too!).
Instead of a pork chop, go for an equal serving of pork tenderloin and save yourself 50 calories (plus a lot of fat grams!).
It’s not that difficult to make a big difference a little bit at a time. Awareness counts as much as calories do. Keep that in mind as you hit the grocery store this week!
Our Dinner Answers menu planner allows you to completely personalize your grocery list and do your grocery shopping from your PHONE! Check it out!
One of things I used to promote was eating 5-6 small meals a day–that’s right, you just kept that jaw chewing and your body in digestive mode pretty much all day.
Well guess what?
It doesn’t work!
As a matter of fact, it’s ruinous to your health and will keep your blood sugar levels perpetually up (that means your pancreas is exhausted from constantly pumping insulin–and that eventually leads to diabetes type 2, folks).
Snacking also increases the risk of bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal tract. This is because the digestive waves need time to reset and to move things along. If you’re a snacker, there’s constantly food in there and there’s no time for the reset to happen. Food stays in the system too long and you end up with SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).
NOT everyone ends up with SIBO of course, but it does put you more at risk.
Snacking all day (yes, even healthy snacks!) also puts you at higher risk for acid reflux, especially if you’re a nighttime snacker.
Or how about constipation? That’s a fun one! Snackers are more likely to be constipated because of the lack of peristalsis; larger meals will trigger the nervous system’s reflex, but constant snacking will not.
And finally, it messes up your hormones–leptin and ghrelin are the hunger hormones. Proper leptin levels help you stay in control while ghrelin is the gremlin making you want to strap on the feedbag!
You are constantly stimulating that gremlin and suppressing your leptin if you’re always eating throwing everything out of whack, turning yourself into a food beast!
Eat three good meals a day–better, eat TWO good meals a day.
And start your day with a collagen rich smoothie like one of my favorites:
Green Garden Chocolate Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 celery stick, chopped
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 apple, peeled
1/2 cup fresh kale, chopped
1 tablespoon flax seeds
2 scoops Perfect Paleo Protein 2.0
1 scoop FiberMender 3.0
In a blender, add unsweetened coconut milk, celery, cucumber, apple, kale, flax seeds, PPP and Fibermender 3.0; blend until smooth and enjoy! It’s ok to add a tad more milk or water, if a thinner smoothie is preferred.
Here’s the deal–we were sold a bill of goods a few years back when it came to eating 5-6 small meals a day.
Yes eating like this means you won’t ever feel hungry, but you need to know what hunger feels like so you know when it’s time to eat!
AND you need to give your poor body a break!
2 tasty, healthy meals a day, one amazing, nutrient dense, keep you full smoothie each day is the ticket to holding on to your health AND holding on to a healthy weight.
If you have weight to lose, this formula works well too!
Do your own research–you’ll be surprised at this all-you-can-eat small meal deal has become a relic of the past, it just plain doesn’t work and it keeps your body in a state of stress as well.
And speaking of research, check this out:
In one study, a high protein breakfast smoothie (at least 20 grams of protein) helps you eat less calories (but still get the nutrients you need when you make them our way!).
In another study, high protein breakfasts help cut cravings by 60% and late night snacking in half!
Three more studies–one shows that increasing your protein especially with a breakfast smoothie, helps you to eat up to 441 calories less per day without actively trying to limit your portions.
Love this study–smoothies containing at least 20 grams of protein, decreased hunger by 50-65%! WOO HOO!!
AND, by the end of a 12 week study, participants lost an average of 11 pounds!!
Now THAT is great news!
Making sure your protein rich smoothies are nutrient rich is the key!
PS–We’ll help you dial this smoothie thing in–we’ll send you a FREE smoothie recipe ebook with each order of our Perfect Paleo Protein! (YES, that includes the Kits!)
I’ve been on vacation—on a little lake in eastern Canada, far away from civilization.
Except for the birds in the trees and the haunting melodies of loons calling to one another on the lake.
For the most part, I’ve stayed off the grid.
Instead of working, I sit on the beach with the lake lapping at my feet, or go kayaking into the middle of the lake, or even go fishing on the boat. And sometimes, I take luxurious naps in the afternoon on the screen porch.
I will admit, I’ve cried a bit, too. I’ve thought a lot about my mom, how much I miss her and what a relief it is to know she’s no longer suffering.
I’ve cooked epic meals on the lopsided stovetop, drank wine and dove into some great conversations about life, love, what’s important and how do you get there—still haven’t figured it all out, but is that possible?
I’ve made some personal assessments of the direction I want to go in my life. Where I want to live, who I want to be around, what I want my life to look like.
I’ve assessed my health as well—am I living in optimal wellness, can I do better, what more do I need to do to get there, what am I missing?
From all of this quiet time, I’ve made some huge decisions—one of which I’ve share with you earlier about my own health and weight.
I’ve done great losing 45 pounds. I feel good, I’m proud of my accomplishment and my blood test numbers look good, too.
But the nagging question remains—can I do better?
Am I as fit as I want to be? Am I at my absolute ideal weight? Can I feel better than this?
The answer to the main question—“can I do better” is a resounding YES. There’s always room for improvement.
And NO, this isn’t perfectionism…not at all.
It’s a QUEST. A journey…seeking more for my life. Dialing in what I know and adding to my “knowledge bank” so I can apply it to my own health and ultimately, the enjoyment I can wring out of my life.
And the reason for all of this is because it’s all so very interconnected.
I’ve found personally (and I’ve seen it too, in my own little Take Back Your Body community) that you cannot divorce yourself from your body! It’s all together, your mind, heart, body and soul. And ultimately, your wellbeing is tied to that body whether you like it or not.
This isn’t a post about body shaming.
I’m also not talking about not accepting yourself as you are.
It’s not about fitting into your skinny jeans, wearing a bikini or a little black dress, either.
I’m talking about a gut wrenching, honest evaluation of where you REALLY and truly are.
So 2 questions for you—
Are you living your life to its fullest?
Is your body serving you as the vehicle to get you there?
Those are the big, overarching questions you need to ask yourself.
Life is too darn short to live it only halfway.
Because here’s the truth—
You have a life you want to live…and you have the life you’re living.
The choice is yours to make the journey or to stay put.
What will you choose?
By: Leanne Ely
Fresh mint is a common sight in the summertime and today you’re going to get a tip, a trick and a recipe featuring this pretty little leaf!
I have mint growing in my garden and let me tell you, when you plant mint, you have mint for life! Really. Mint can take over so you really have to be vigilant about keeping this plant in line.
But if you can manage a mint crop it’s well worth growing! (If you don’t have a green thumb, fresh mint is a relatively easily fresh herb to get your hands on.) Mint is quite high in Vitamin A and it also contains Vitamin C, iron and manganese.
There are many uses for mint leaves. While you see it most often used as a garnish, you can add mint leaves to your smoothies for a minty kick (can you say chocolate mint?!), make yourself a cup of peppermint tea, or even flavor your water with them!
Now, it’s time for your Trick
When you’re freezing a tray of ice cubes, try adding a mint leaf to each one for a pretty (and refreshing) way to keep your lemonade or cocktails cool!
If you wish to plant your own mint, I recommend planting it in a container. This is probably the best way to keep that mint under control.
And your Recipe
Mint Chip Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup water (or more coconut milk)
2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1 scoop Perfect Paleo Protein Mix (chocolate preferred for this recipe)
2 teaspoons Saving Dinner Fibermender (optional)
1 tablespoon Just Juiced Greens (optional)
In a blender, place coconut milk, water, mint leaves, cacao nibs, Saving Dinner all-in-one smoothie mix, Saving Dinner Fibermender and Saving Dinner Just Juiced Greens (optional); blend until smooth and enjoy! It’s ok to add a tad more milk of your choice, if a thinner smoothie is preferred.
Speaking of smoothies…I LOVE Perfect Paleo Protein–dairy free, creamy yumminess and anti-inflammatory to the 10th degree! Highly recommended!