9 Ways to Encourage Your Family to Eat Healthier-Resized

9 Ways to Encourage Your Family to Eat Healthier

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply want to start eating healthier, you know that it’s all a matter of adopting good habits. Eating more vegetables. Cutting out processed foods. Paying attention to macronutrients and thinking of good-for-you foods as a joy to eat. Eating well feels good. Now think how much better it would feel if you could get your family to do it too.

When you can get your spouse or kids to eat healthy food, you help yourself and you help them too. You can get rid of the junk food in the house and eliminate temptation. You’ll know that everybody is fueling themselves with nutrients that build a better, stronger future.

Here are nine of our top ways to get your family on board and get everybody on the same healthy eating plan.

  1. Have a family meeting where you explain the new food habits you are introducing. Talk about the many benefits of eating nutritious foods, targeting your reasons to the specific needs that apply to your family. After your first meeting, schedule a new session once a week where you address things like reading food labels or how cutting processed or fast foods can help clear up their skin.
  2. Don’t try to do everything at once, or your family will be sure to rebel! Try getting rid of soda first and replacing it with water, almond milk or green tea. Then move on to switching out snack foods for fruit and veggies, and on from there.
  3. Make sure that breakfast is part of your family’s daily routine. There is a lot of research to show that kids who eat breakfast do better in school than those who don’t. It’s easy to have a delicious breakfast ready the day before so it’s ready to go. Try overnight oats, or a piece of  raisin Ezekiel toast with fruit.
  4. Pack your kids’ lunches to make sure that they’re eating healthy during the day.
  5. Clear junk food out of your pantry and replace it with healthy snacks. Your whole family will love nuts, cheese, yogurt, fruit and cut up vegetables with hummus.
  6. Make sure that every meal has at least one serving of vegetables. Work to make sure that your meals are colorful – it’s one of the best ways to make sure that it is healthy. Here are a few tips to sneak in some extra veggies too (link back to blog on this)
  7. Don’t skip having meals together. Family dinners are important to your sense of togetherness as well as to encouraging healthy attitudes towards food. And don’t allow television or screens at the dinner table.
  8. Make sure that you’re making everybody do as you say and as you do – in other words, set the right example. Don’t tell your kids that they have to cut out sugar while you’re snacking on donuts. The goal is to improve everybody’s eating habits, as a family unit.
  9. Get your family involved. Ask them to come with you to the market and give them options for menu items. Ask them to help prepare the meal. Teach them about the origins of different fruits and vegetables, and what nutrients each offers.
6 Fashion Tips to Look Thinner by Tonight-Resized

6 Fashion Tips to Look Thinner by Tonight

Maybe you slipped up on your weight loss commitment. Maybe you haven’t been able to slim down as much as you’d hoped. One way or another, the good news is that there are visual tricks you can use when you want to look trimmer. Whether you’re going to your high school reunion or a special date, check out these hacks to help you look thinner by tonight.

  1. Look Longer and Leaner With a V-Neck

V-neck tops are a secret most short girls know. The V-neck’s upside-down triangle shape draws the eye up and makes you look taller and leaner. It also pulls the eye away from areas that may be a problem, like your belly, hips and thighs.  You can find V-neck shapes in all types of clothing, from sweaters and blouses to dresses and tank tops. Also, wearing an open jacket like a long blazer will hide curves.

  1. Pull Your Hair Up

In the same way that a V-neck pulls the eye upward, so too does a ponytail or bun. The more your hair is off of your face, the longer your face looks. If you want to appear taller, you can do a bit of teasing on top.

  1. Use Jewelry to Draw the Eye

One of the best ways to keep people from focusing on your body, give them something else to look at. If your upper arms make you unhappy, wear a big bracelet to draw attention to your wrists. If you want people to look at your face, wear some gorgeous sparkly earrings. Want the eye drawn to the center of your body? Wear a long, glamorous necklace.

  1. Keep Your Color Constant

If you wear contrasting colored top and bottom you draw a line across your middle, which draws the eye. Wearing the same color on top and on bottom makes you look taller and thinner. The same is true for your shoes: if you’re wearing a dress and your legs are showing, wear shoes that are the same color as your legs to make your legs look longer. If you’re wearing tights, your shoes should match them.

  1. Texture Is Not Your Friend

You may love that fluffy, fuzzy sweater, but it’s not helping you look thinner. In fact, it’s adding bulk to your body. When choosing clothes, think smooth and flat. Anything with texture will work against the slimming effect you’re looking for. The same is true when it comes to choosing your jeans. The new, embellished styles may be cute, but they’re calling attention to the areas you’re trying to minimize.

  1. Underneath it All

After you’ve chosen your clothes carefully, don’t mess it up with underwear that works against you. If your bra is poorly fit or your underwear is too tight or too loose, it will mess up the smooth lines you’ve worked so hard for. Invest in getting a bra that fits you, and a few pairs of smoothing underwear.

Top 5 Uses for Activated Charcoal-Resized

Top Five Uses of Activated Charcoal

If you hear the word “charcoal” the first thing that hits you is the grill and campfire leftovers. Well, I’m not talking about your barbecue grill charcoal. Those coals are full of toxins and chemicals. 

This charcoal is different. It’s an ancient secret ingredient used by the Egyptians and Native Americans. It serves many purposes due to its versatility . 

Activated charcoal – What is it?

First of all, activated charcoal is NOT the same as your grill charcoal. Activated charcoal comes from carbon containing material.  Natural materials like wood, bamboo, coconut shells contain carbon. 

Burning such carbon materials in the absence of oxygen, forms a “char.” At high temperatures heating char turns it into a pitch black powder. The high heat results in a powder with a porous surface. 

It’s this porous surface that gives the typical properties of activated charcoal. The broad surface area of the activated charcoal enables it to grab contaminants. Toxins, poisons, chemicals, and other elements adhere to the surface of the charcoal. This binding process is adsorption. This is not the same as absorption, note the difference in spelling B and D.

How activated charcoal works?

The nooks and crannies in activated charcoal do the trick. Its porous surface has a negative electric charge. It causes toxins with a positive charge to bond with it. This is how chemicals and toxins get trapped in its millions of tiny pores. This ability to bind to toxins makes it a detoxifying agent and has many benefits. 

Check out these five uses of activated charcoal

Eases gas and bloating

A study found that activated charcoal reduces bloating, intestinal gas. It binds to the by-products in foods that release gas and can help prevent stomach cramping. 

Food poisoning: 

Activated charcoal finds frequent use in emergency rooms for treating food poisoning even drug overdoses. It’s a safe home remedy for non life threatening cases of stomach bug and food poisoning.

Soothes insect bites:

It soothes the skin after bug bites, rashes from poison ivy and bee stings. Mix activated charcoal powder with water or coconut oil and apply on affected area for relief.

Natural deodorizer: 

Activated charcoal is a powerful deodorizer. Use it for reducing odor for stinky smells in shoes, refrigerators, and gym bags. It’s also a safe as an armpit deodorizer. 

Protects the gut: 

A preliminary study shows that activated charcoal pulls up antibiotics.  Overuse of antibiotic can wipe out healthy bacteria. Intake of activated charcoal can adsorb excess antibiotics and protect your gut.

Who should not use it?

Activated charcoal is safe for most people, but you should always check with your doctor, especially if you:

  • Have conditions such as intestinal bleeding, blockages or had recent surgery.
  • Take certain medications for alcohol and opioid dependence, morphine, etc.

Buying activated charcoal

  • Choose activated charcoal from natural resources like coconut shells and wood. 
  • When choosing capsules always avoid products with additives.
  • Buy from a reputable company that uses eco friendly methods to make activated charcoal.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3521259

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/08/04/169813

8 Ways to Make Your Home More Weight Loss Friendly-Resized

8 Ways To Make Your Home Weight Loss Friendly

When you’re trying to lose weight, a lot of things can work against you. It’s important that you do everything you can to give yourself the best possible chance of success, and the first place to start is with your own home. There are many ways that you can set up your home to help you with your weight loss goals. Here are our favorites.

  • Make sure you have a fruit bowl in the right place

Having fruit isn’t enough. A recent study showed that if you want to lose weight, your fruit bowl needs to be in front of the snack cabinet. If you see the fruit first, you are more likely to make the healthy choice. Another good idea is to put fruit near your car keys. That will remind you to take a piece of fruit with you for a snack. Keeping a bottle of water there is a good idea too!

  • Get rid of all foods that work against you

Plenty of people make the mistake of leaving sugar and fat-filled snacks in the house. That’s a bad idea. Do a clean sweep and get rid of them. If you don’t want to throw them away, donate them to a local shelter. And don’t make the excuse that you need them for the others who are in your house. Eating healthy will do them good too!

  • Memo Board Motivation

Add a memo board to your kitchen and use it for motivations, goals and reminders about eating better and exercising more. You can also use it to keep a healthy grocery list or a workout schedule.

  • Use Smaller Plates

There are tons of studies showing that when we use big plates and bowls, we eat more food. Switch to small bowls and plates so your servings stay the right size. Also, pack food and snacks into single sized servings.

  • Fill Your Fridge With Healthy Snacks

Dedicate an entire shelf of your refrigerator to fruits, veggies, hummus and other healthy snacks that will support your diet. Get rid of anything that has too much sugar or fat, or at least put it in a hard to reach spot that’s out of sight.

  • Camouflage the Candy

Did you ever wonder whether you would have wanted that piece of candy if you hadn’t known it was there? Studies have shown that people eat less sugary cereal when the box it’s in is undecorated. If you must keep bad foods in the house, put the things that tempt you into unmarked boxes that you can’t see inside of. The flip side of this idea is that you should put healthy foods into clear containers that make them look great! Display whole grains in pretty glass jars on your counter and you’ll be more likely to use them.

  • Take the TV Out of the Kitchen

If you have a television in the kitchen, you are much more likely to sit in front of it and eat. Get rid of the television and pay attention to your food.

  • Give Your Gym Bag Its Own Spot

To make sure you get to your workout, pack a gym bag every night and put it by the door – or maybe in your car. Remember to include a healthy snack and a big bottle of water!

4 Ways to Stay Motivated When You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau-Resized

4 Ways To Stay Motivated When You Hit A Weight Plateau

Even though you know it’s going to happen, hitting a weight plateau can be a real downer. Watching the number on the scale go down every week is more than just fun: it’s what keeps most of us going. When it feels like the scale has gotten stuck on a number that’s far above your goal, it’s easy to feel like you’re wasting your time and effort.

The key to weight loss success is to push past that disappointment. Eventually, the numbers will start going down again, but only if you manage to stick to your plan instead of fallng back into old bad habits.

So how do you get your motivation back in the face of a weight loss plateau?

The first step is to make sure that you don’t blame yourself. For every pound that you lose, your body’s needs change a tiny bit. That means that once you’ve lost a fair amount, you may need to readjust your strategy. The best way to stay motivated is to understand what’s happening and make the changes you need to get the weight loss moving again. Here are some helpful hints for doing that.

  1. Goal setting – When you first started your weight loss journey you probably had a number in mind. Most of us do. It’s either, “I want to lose this much weight” or “I want to get to this number.” When you’ve lost some weight and the number stops shifting down is a great time to revisit your goal and see if it still makes sense. You may be closer to the right weight than you realize. Either way, by going back and giving your goal a hard look, you’re likely to remember all your reasons and feel motivated again.
  2. Give yourself new goals – When you’re dealing with a plateau, give yourself a goal that has nothing to do with a number. Maybe you want to drink more water each day. Maybe you want to exercise for a certain amount of time each day. By taking the focus off of the scale, you can still track some victories until the dial starts to move again.
  3. Track your inches instead of your pounds – There is more to shaping up than the number on the scale. It’s a good idea to measure our waist, thighs, arms and hips when you start a diet. Tracking those measurements can make you see your progress, even when it’s not showing in your weight. Other things that you can use as a measure of progress include the amount of sleep you’re getting; how you feel each day; your blood pressure or cholesterol. All of those should improve with healthier eating habits and more exercise.
  4. Take a good look at yourself – Hopefully you took a picture of yourself when you started your weight loss journey. Take a good look and see the progress you’ve already made. Doing so is one of the best things around for helping to keep you going.
Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Start Eating Clean-Resized

Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid When You Start Eating Clean

One of the best lifestyle changes you can make is to commit to eating clean. But just as with every other new undertaking, you need to take the time to learn. There are a ton of myths and misunderstandings about what clean eating really is and isn’t, and they can lead you down the wrong path.

Clean eating is about eating whole foods. It’s about eliminating foods that have unhealthy additives from our diets. It’s about staying away from processed foods and avoiding chemicals, added colors and sugars. Knowing what clean eating is includes knowing what it’s not, and that’s where our list of top 5 clean eating mistakes comes in. Read on to help yourself avoid the most common pitfalls people make as they start their clean eating journey.

1. People think eating clean means going on a diet.

The idea behind eating clean is that you’re giving your body healthy fuel. You don’t do it to lose weight. You don’t leave out foods based on their fat content or stop eating because you’ve reached some arbitrary calorie count. You focus on nutrients that are best found in whole foods, while staying away from processed foods. When you identify foods to stay away from, it’s because other foods are better for you – not because you should eat less food.

2. People follow fads instead of learning.

When it comes to nutrition, you should make decisions based on good information that is pertinent to you and your goals. If you want to eat clean, that means you want to eat whole foods It is not the same as eating gluten free, or organic, or vegetarian. Clean eating involves lean proteins, nuts, seeds, whole fruits and vegetables. It’s about giving yourself the fuel to power your body without unnecessary additives or processing. Don’t get distracted by fats, an Instagram feed, or by your friend’s diet ideas.

3. People think eating clean skips certain food groups

If the clean eating diet you’re following leaves out entire food groups or macronutrients, then you’re not doing it right. You want to make sure that you are getting well rounded nutrition from a variety of clean sources. Cutting things out is a recipe for leaving out important nutrients.

4. Foods you think are clean really aren’t

We’ve all been fooled by foods that pretend to be good for us when they really aren’t. Granolas filled with sugar. Protein and energy bars loaded with fats and chemicals. Bars offer convenience that can’t be denied, but try to stick to the ones that have ten ingredients or less to keep them as clean as possible. These bars should be used as a last resort in a pinch.

5. You think because it’s clean, you can eat as much of it as you want

Eating whole, clean foods packed with nutrients is a good thing, but you can have too much of a good thing. Remember that your goal is to give your body the fuel that it needs, and not more than that.

9 Reasons Your Body Loves Rooibos Tea-Resized

9 Reasons Your Body Loves Rooibos Tea

If you’ve never had a cup of Rooibos tea, you don’t know what you’re missing. The tea with the beautiful red color has many things to recommend it. It is delicious and caffeine free, but it also has many health benefits that make it a smart choice. Here are 9 of the best reasons to add Rooibos tea to your tea shelf.

  • Rooibos delivers antioxidants, including Chryosoeriol, that work to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also has the compounds Aspalathin and Nothofagin. Both reduce inflammation and prevents the hardening of arteries.
  • The list of minerals found in Rooibos tea reads like an ad for strong bones. From calcium and fluoride to copper and zinc, drinking Rooibos helps build bone mass and helps to fight osteoporosis.
  • We mentioned Apalathin before. The antioxidant does more than just fight pain. It also helps control blood sugar. Its boost to insulin resistance means it can help prevent type 2 diabetes, and if you already have the disease, it can help to keep it under control. Rooibos is so delicious and spicy on its own that it doesn’t need any sweetener, so it is also a good choice for a healthy sweet treat.
  • Do you have stomach trouble? If you suffer from constipation, diarrhea, or irritable bowel, Rooibos has compounds that help stop stomach spasms and cramps.
  • Antioxidants do all kinds of good things for the body. The most important is fighting cancer. When our bodies are exposed to pollution, UV rays, and unhealthy foods, they release free radicals. These do tremendous damage to cells, and can lead to cancer. The antioxidants in Rooibos tea can work to reverse that damage.
  • Do you have trouble sleeping at night? A hot cup of herbal tea can really help, and Rooibos is the perfect choice. Not only is it free of caffeine but it is also well known to help aid sleep. In fact, in South Africa parents use Rooibos tea to calm children before bedtime. Its sweet spicy flavor is very comforting.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight, then adding Rooibos to your daily diet is a good idea. Not only does it help to make sure that you’re taking in plenty of fluids, but it’s high in a type of antioxidant called Polyphenol. Polyphenols are also found in green tea, and they are known for helping you burn fat. Rooibos also boosts levels of leptin, the hormone that tells your body that you’re full.
  • Rooibos contains both alpha hydroxy acid and zinc. These two compounds make your skin glow. You can drink it for its nutrients, but you can also take the used tea bags and put them on your skin. It will help reduce fine lines and age spots.
  • Rooibos contains an antioxidant called Quercetin. This compound blocks the cells that cause allergic reactions. If you’re suffering from hay fever or other allergies, a cup of Rooibos can cut symptoms and make you feel much better.
Best Lean Protein Sources for Weight Loss-Resized

Best Lean Protein Sources for Weight Loss

Want to lose weight? One of the best ways is to take in plenty of protein. Nutritionists say that women should take in about half a gram of protein for every pound they weigh, and more if you exercise. Protein helps us lose weight for a few different reasons, including:

  • It helps to keep you feeling full longer. If you include protein with every meal and snack, you’ll be a lot less health to turn to unhealthy foods between meals.
  • Protein helps you burn more fat. When it comes to torching your body’s extra fat, protein is the best. Eating plenty of protein will amp up your metabolism. That’s because digesting protein requires a lot more work and burns more calories. It’s like the difference between going for a walk and going for a run!

If you’re exercising on a regular basis, you’re going to get even more out of the protein you take in, especially if you consume it within 30 to 45 minutes of your workout. That’s because your muscles are extra open to nutrients during that time period. Eating protein then will build lean muscle, which helps your body burn more calories throughout the day.

Best Sources of Protein

The good news for people looking to boost their protein intake is that there are so many delicious and easy ways to do it. Here are some of the best protein sources for weight loss:

Vegetables – Most people don’t think of vegetables as good sources of protein, but many of them are. Spinach has almost as much protein as a hardboiled egg, while peas deliver protein and all the vitamin C you need in a day.

Fruit – You may not think of tomatoes as a fruit, but they are. Snacking on sun-dried tomatoes will boost your protein intake while giving you plenty of fiber and potassium too. Want something sweeter? Try guava – it’s the highest protein fruit and gives you 600% of your daily vitamin C needs.

Beef – Whether you choose cow, bison, ostrich or pork, eating beef will boost your protein levels fast with over 20 grams of protein per serving.

Seafood – Seafood is a healthy choice for a lot of reasons, and protein is one of the top ones. Fish will keep you feeling full for a long time. This is because it has such high levels of protein. It also has a big impact on your serotonin levels which is one of the hormones that makes you feel hungry. Favorites include white fish like halibut, salmon and canned tuna in water.

Poultry – White meat turkey and chicken are both great sources of lean, high quality protein.

Eggs – Eggs are one of our healthiest foods. They’re an all-time favorite source of protein as well as amino acids, iron and antioxidants. Make sure you eat the yolks too.

Legumes – Beans, lentils and nuts all have high levels of protein and fiber. This means that they do double duty at keeping you feeling full for a long time.

Seeds – Chia seeds are a highly concentrated source of protein that is easy to add to food, and the same is true of hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds. And don’t forget almonds for a delicious, high protein snack.

Dairy –Greek yogurt and  cottage cheese are some of the best sources of protein for weight loss.

8 Surprising Ways to Lose Weight in Your Sleep-Resized

8 Surprising Way To Lose Weight In Your Sleep

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some kind of pill or food that you could eat to make you lose weight while you sleep? The truth is that losing extra weight takes more effort than that, but sleep can plan an important role in your health and your weight loss success.

There are plenty of studies that show that getting enough sleep is one of the keys to good health and to fighting fat. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best ways to boost your sleep hygiene and help your weight loss journey.

  1. Eat less, sleep more. That may seem obvious, but a study done by The Salk Institute showed that by paying attention to this formula you can help yourself lose weight. Scientists asked people to limit the hours of the day when they ate to 11 instead of their normal 14, and to sleep a bit more instead. After four months the group had lost an average of 3.5 percent of their extra body weight.
  2. Eat more Tryptophan-rich foods. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps us sleep. It’s found in turkey, lentils, and other good-for-you foods. Boost your tryptophan intake for a better night of sleep.
  3. Drink herbal tea. There are plenty of herbal teas that help you fall asleep. Look into chamomile, lavender and valerian teas. Also, the mere act of having a cup of tea before bed each night can become a cue to your body that it’s time to go to sleep.
  4. Keep your nighttime meals small. There are a lot of good reasons for eating smaller meals at night time. One is that it will help you fall asleep faster. That’s because the more you eat, the harder your body has to work to digest all that food. The internal activity will keep you up.
  5. Close your kitchen. If you set a rule that your kitchen is closed and no food will be eaten between certain hours, you will probably lose weight.
  6. Have a protein shake before bed. Eating before bed may sound like a bad idea, but studies show that having a high-quality protein snack before bed can boost your resting metabolic rate.
  7. Turn down the heat. The cooler your bedroom is, the more your body burns belly fat. One study showed that people who slept in bedrooms set to 66 degrees doubled their brown fat, and that’s a good thing. Brown fat helps you burn bad fat.
  8. Keep your room dark and turn off your tablet. Both will interrupt your body’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. The darker and quieter your room, the lower your risk of obesity.
What is Horsetail and Should I Take it-Resized

What is Horsetail and Should I take it?

Ever heard of “Horsetail”? If you are into exotic plants and herbs, you likely have heard the name. 

The use of horsetail dates back to ancient times. The Greeks and Romans have used it for its impressive benefits. 

Horsetail is a plant and with no flowers and leaves. The stems of this plant branch out like feathery tail that looks like a horse’s tail, hence the name. These stems contain the active ingredients which have valuable medicinal values.

What is unique about Horsetail?

Horsetail is the most abundant source of the mineral silica. Although oats, barley, wheat do have silica, they are lost during the processing. Also, the amounts of silica is lower in comparison to horsetail. Horsetail is also abundant in antioxidants, and minerals like iron, and calcium.  

Horsetail is well known for building bones and diuretic properties. 

Here are the top benefits of Horsetail:

Bone building: Horsetail is rich in silica, which is a key bone-building mineral. Due to this fact it helps lower the risk of osteoporosis. In a study on women, researchers observed that horsetail showed improved bone density. They found improved bone density was like that of the group that received calcium supplements. Horsetail is an excellent way to prevent bone loss and lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Natural diuretic: Horsetail helps rid the body of excess fluid via increased urine output. According to a 2014 study horsetail may be just as effective as a diuretic medication. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that it may help treat kidney stones. Horsetail’s diuretic effect is also helpful in treating urinary tract infections. 

Enhances brain function: Horsetail has traces of nicotine which is a brain stimulant. Also, silica helps support the connective tissues and nerves which improves memory. Preliminary research showed that horsetail does enhance cognitive function.  So, if you want to improve your focus, include horsetail into your menu at least once a week. 

Lowers inflammation: Inflammation is the cause of many diseases. Research reveals that horsetail has plenty of antioxidants that fight inflammation. Also, the nutrients in horsetail promote improved blood flow and helps in wound healing. 

Hair care: Abundant levels of silica in horsetail promotes collagen formation. Collagen is a crucial factor in preventing signs of aging in the skin and hair. Horsetail is an inexpensive alternative to skin and hair care products.

Where can you buy horsetail?

Horsetail is available online in the form of dietary supplement and herb mix. You can also buy it at a natural health food store. Be sure to choose organic horsetail to avoid pesticides and certain additives.

Who should avoid it?

  • People with vitamin B deficiency should avoid horsetail as it can deplete B-vitamin levels.
  • Horsetail contains traces of nicotine, so it is not for young children.
  • Patients with diabetes, kidney disorders, or gout should not take it.
  • People who have low levels of potassium should avoid it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take horsetail.

Horsetail is safe when taken short term and in moderation. If you take other supplements or medication, consult with your doctor before taking horsetail. 

References

https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/horsetail

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20170379

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24723963

Organizing Your Kitchen for Weight Loss Success-Resized

Organizing Your Kitchen For Weight Loss Success

You’ve taken the first step in your weight loss journey by doing the research and deciding to do it. Congratulations! Your next steps are just as important, and they should include taking a good look at your kitchen.

Losing weight is one of the hardest goals you can set for yourself. To assure your success, you need to give yourself every advantage and get rid of all temptation. When it comes to weight loss, your kitchen is Ground Zero and you have to eliminate what’s working against you and strengthen what works for you. Here are our top tips for organizing your kitchen for weight loss success.

  • Clean out your cupboards – If you’re committed to making a real change, you need to do a thorough cleanse. Not talking about a juice cleanse – we’re talking about a cupboard cleanse. Open up all those pantry doors, grab a trash bag, and get rid of the cookies and chips and processed foods. Everything from sugary cereals to soda need to go. If it’s not there, it’s not going to tempt you. Worried that you’ll be left without anything to satisfy your sweet tooth? Replace what you get rid of with healthy choices like fresh fruits and nuts.
  • Make sure that you have a few sets of measuring cups and spoons on hand. Most people have one set and only use it when it’s time to make holiday cookies, but measuring is important when it comes to understanding portions. Here’s a pro tip: keep a tablespoon measure in your containers of favorite snacks so you can track how much you’re eating. A kitchen scale can be a big help too.
  • Keep your fruit front and center. Get a pretty bowl and pile it high with apples, oranges and other fresh favorites. Fill small bowls with blueberries. Cherry tomatoes make a great countertop snack too. The more visible your healthy foods are, the more likely you are to choose them. To remind yourself to drink more water, toss slices of lemon, lime, cucumbers or even fresh herbs into a water pitcher and leave it out too.
  • Put the equipment that you use to cook healthy recipes in the front of your cabinets, and move your healthy recipes and cookbooks to the front of your recipe file and kitchen bookshelf too!
  • Don’t let yourself run out of healthy foods. When you go shopping, make sure you pick up frozen fruits and vegetables that you can use if you run out of the fresh stuff. The same is true of healthy staples like brown rice, quinoa, nuts and seeds.
  • Don’t let your food out of the kitchen. That includes the candy bowl that sits on your desk or out in your foyer. The more food is outside of the kitchen, the more likely you are to let yourself cheat.
  • Put a speaker into your kitchen. Studies have shown that when you listen to music while cooking or eating, you tend to eat less.
Interest in GAINING Weight Clean Eating & Exercise is Still Key-Resized

Interest in GAINING Weight? Clean Eating & Exercise is Still Key

After a big outcry against fat shaming, people finally realize that it’s not okay to criticize anybody for being overweight. But is the same true for people who are thin? Probably not. If you’re a skinny person trying to gain weight, you know all too well that you’re going to be mocked if you say anything about it.

The truth is that for some people, gaining weight is just as hard as losing weight is for others. If you are trying to add muscle and pounds, clean eating and exercise is the way to go. Here are some tips for how to use clean eating and exercise to gain weight.

Change the way you eat

It’s tempting to eat a bunch of junk food to try to gain weight. That’s not a good idea because it puts on fat, which is the wrong kind of weight. You want to gain lean mass, and to do that you have to eat clean foods and healthy fats. You also need to eat more, and more often. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Force yourself to eat more than you are now. This may be hard at first. The best way is to add a couple of snack meals each day that are made up of good fats. Avocados, nuts and seeds and nut butters are a good choice.
  • Use olive oil, coconut and unsalted butter in cooking.
  • Eat fatty proteins like beef, egg yolks, salmon and sardines
  • Make it a goal to have one third of the food on your plate a healthy fat. Then add an additional fat serving like an egg yolk, half an avocado or a piece of cheese.
  • Add a high-calorie shake each day. You can boost your shake by adding coconut oil or milk, cream, or nut butters.

Change the way you exercise

When you’re trying to gain weight, you need to be smart about your exercise program. You don’t want anything to erase the gains you make. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Never exercise while you’re hungry. If you don’t fuel your workout, your body will turn to stored fat and muscle. Make sure you’ve eaten at least three good meals before you go to work out.
  • Once you’ve finished exercising, make sure you eat a big meal. Right after you work out is when your body is best able to absorb the food you feed it to build muscle. It’s a great time for a recovery shake.
  • Do strength exercises. Studies have shown that if you lift 3 to 4 reps of heavy weights, you boost the hormones that help to build muscle.
  • Make sure you rest between reps. This is important because you don’t want your heart rate to raise too much. Elevating your heart rate causes a higher calorie burn.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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