How To Combat Cravings: Two Simple Strategies to Snack Less

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

This week we’re talking about cravings and how to best control them so they won’t derail your weight loss efforts. Each week I dole out two tips to help you create a healthier lifestyle and today we dig into finding ways to curb the crave! Welcome to your #Twosday Tips!

We all have cravings and when they strike they can be hard to resist. This is why you need to know how to properly fuel your body so as to not give into the crunchy and salty, or sweet and sugary! 

1. Fill up on healthy fats. And then wait 20 minutes before eating anything else! 

That means wait before downing a second handful of nuts! This is what plenty of people fall prey to and why they don't snack on nuts because they'll end up plowing through the whole bag without taking a breath. 

The key in waiting is to let your tummy have a moment to signal to your brain that they're all good, no more input necessary. It takes time for that to happen, unlike when you cut your finger or burn your hand and you get immediate feedback. The tummy to brain thing is a little more archaic, Think snail mail not texting ;) 

But have faith that all good things come to those who wait and if you wait out a crave after knowing that you gave your body what it needed (healthy fats and/or protein), not what it wanted (sugary/salty treats), then you shall receive the spoils—which will be averted cravings!

2 Check your watch. You maybe habitually eating. 

I know for me, making dinner opens me up to a slew of cravings and I used to be a total grazer. I'd take a bite of cheese, or munch on a few salty chips or crackers because I was in the kitchen making dinner, and what else can I do while making dinner? Snack of course!

Habits can be sneaky. When you stop and begin to pay attention, you can focus on what's happening on the inside. Are you really starving, or is it that time of day when the munchies strike? I’ve learned that when I'm focused on making something delicious for dinner, I put all my attention into that, which distracts me from my usual hand grab of whatever I have near me that's quick and easy. When I don't snack I enjoy dinner that much more, and not surprisingly, I eat much healthier. 

Usually a glass of water can ease the tension as well and makes waiting for dinner much more tolerable. (Boring but true!)

There are your #Twosday Tips! Patience and paying attention will go a long way in helping you have more control over your cravings.

The Best Arm Exercises To Help Lose The Jiggle!

Best-Arm-Exercises.jpg

Tone and strengthen your arms while working to lose the jiggle with these two exercises that will give you a high return on your investment. It doesn’t take much time to perform these effective arm exercises, so even if you only have a minute in your day, hit the floor and get to it girl! #Noexcuses

(Below is a quick video workout tutorial if my explanations leave you needed more explaining!)

1. Tricep dips

This directly targets your triceps, no confusion there! You will feel the blood rushing to these muscles immediately after performing. I like to do at least 3 rounds of these with my legs fully extended. If you can't quite get there yet, keep your knees bent, but be sure to not use your legs to lift you up... then you won't be getting the most out of the move. 

  • While sitting on a chair or bench , place hands next to your hips on the edge, with legs stretched out before you, or knees slightly bent and feet flat on the floor. 

  • Scooch your butt off the seat so you're holding yourself up. 

  • Slowly lower your body by bending your elbow to a 90˚ angle (or as low as you can without going past that 90˚)

  • Push yourself back up by straightening elbows

  • Repeat for 10 reps, 3x

2. Push Ups

These are the OG of arm exercises and you get a lot of bang for your push up buck since it also works to strengthen your core. Every day I try to get in at least 10 push ups since you can literally do them anywhere! I’ll hit the floor next to my kid playing Legos and if he doesn’t take that as an opportunity to climb on my back I consider it a success. #momlife

Here's how to properly perform a push up:

  • Make sure shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are aligned in a plank position and your back is flat

  • Place your hands shoulder-width apart

  • Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body as close to the floor as you can. Hold for a count and then push your way back up to starting position.

Tip: Pay attention to your elbows, you want them bending behind you, not out to the sides. This helps target your triceps even more!

In my experience, performing a push can be a difficult exercise to master, so don’t give up on them if you’re struggling. I have two modifications you can try to help get you working your way up to a full push up. Remember, it’s all about progress so even a small step toward achieving a big goal is always better than doing nothing at all.

Two Push Up Modifications:

  1. Perform the move from your knees (make sure to have good padding under your knees), or standing with hands on the wall. This will lighten the load you'll have to push against. Make sure to keep your body aligned.

  2. One of my favorite moves for building arm strength is to do a plank push up. This can build incredible strength and can help you to become much better at push ups.

  • Start with knees and palms on the floor. Hands are shoulder width apart, with shoulders right above wrists. Check to make sure shoulders, hips and knees are in alignment. 

  • Slowly lower one elbow to the floor, followed by the other elbow so you're in a low plank. 

  • Hold for a count and then place one palm back to the floor and push up to place the other palm back onto the floor. 

If my description at all confuses you, check out the quick video tutorial below and make life easier for yourself! 



Tips for A Flatter Belly

Photo by Jannes Jacobs on Unsplash

Photo by Jannes Jacobs on Unsplash

How do I flatten my tummy? Why can’t I get a flat stomach? How can I get a flat stomach quickly?

These are questions I get asked all the time, and while there is no lasting quick fix, there are ways, through diet, that you can decrease your waist circumference, and increase your health!

• • •

#Twosday Tuesday is here! Your weekly dose of two tips to help you create a healthier lifestyle. This week we're talking about two ways to get a flatter belly!

Tip #1: Ease up on the salt shaker, high sodium levels may be expanding your waistline!

Every now and then a salty treat is what the body is craving, but when diets tend to fall off the rails, there's more convenience foods, fried foods and take-out that circle back into the mix. These foods are heavily laden with sodium (because it makes your brain light up and you want to consume more of that salty goodness). While every now and then indulgences like that won't tip the scales too much in the wrong direction, if left unchecked these little habits can wreak havoc on your systems. 

We know that with too much sodium, your body will produce water weight, but did you know that there is also the added bonus of a few extra inches around the belly? Yes indeed. Turns out excess amounts of sodium can deposit fat around the belly. Who knew?!

Science is shedding light on how a high-sodium diet may kill off the beneficial lactobacillus bacteria in our guts. This leads to an imbalance that has the the scales tipping in favor of the bad bacteria. This is not good for your waistline because these good guys (that you're inadvertently offing with your salty treats) have been found to inhibit the absorption of dietary fat. So by killing them, you're severely limiting your guts ability to fight against disease, inflammation and weight gain. (1) Think of it as Black Friday and Target is opening its doors. There’s chaos and people are running wild all over the place. That’s like your gut running amok with fat being deposited wherever it can since no good guys are policing the situation. Not a good scene.

Your gut is the super powerhouse microbiome which seems to be the wizard behind the curtain in all things health related. 

The recommended daily allowance suggests consuming 2,000 mg/day of sodium. Going over that limit on a daily basis can compromise your body's ability to maintain a happy home in your gut, which can effect your weight. 

The solution?

Cook most of your meals at home, eat less overly-processed foods and when eating out, try your best to stay away from overly salted fried foods.

Tip #2: Eat more… FIBER!

You knew I was going to say that! We've all heard this one a million times... so why does it bear repeating again and again? Because no one is listening! We all tend to roll our eyes with this one and say “Oh yea, more fiber, I know" and then we go on living like we're eating more fiber but instead we're eating candy bars claiming to be rich in fiber.

What we need is more real fiber from real foods in our diets, as an uptick in fiber can be linked to a decrease in waist circumference. (2) The recommended daily allowance is 25g for women and 38g for men. By getting the proper amounts, you can begin to notice the effects on your body. 

That's like an additional 2 cups of broccoli a day (my personal fave!), or 1 cup of avocado, or 2 apples, or 1 cup of raspberries, or 2 cups of strawberries, or 1 artichoke (a fiber superfood!), or 2 cups Brussels sprouts, or 1/2 cup lentils or kidney beans or split peas, or 1 ounce of chia seeds, or 1/2 cup oats. As you can see, there are plenty of options!

Fiber is also known as a prebiotic, so when you eat foods high in fiber, you're also feeding the good bacteria in your gut (the probiotics) - notice how it all goes back to your gut! 

When it comes to your belly, your best bet is to keep your gut flora as happy as can be since it seems to hold the secret to a healthy and happy body!

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There is your weekly dose of two tips intended to create a little more healthy in your life! If you like these, please let me know in the comments below, I love to hear from you!

Committing To A Higher Standard, and Taking A Breath

Photo by SOCIAL CUT on Unsplash.com

Photo by SOCIAL CUT on Unsplash.com

#Twosday Tuesday is here! Your weekly dose of two tips to help you create a healthier lifestyle.

This week we're talking about creating higher standards for yourself, and creating space to think before you react (even if it's only for a mere second)!


Tip #1: Recommit to yourself. 

“If you want to change your life you have to raise your standards.” — Tony Robbins

This is the season of renewal and to be able to recommit to yourself is a sign that you are ready to hold yourself up to a higher standard. You're ready to commit to a better way of life, one that fills you instead of depletes you.

But how do you that?

Simply put, you get uncomfortable. I know you don't want to hear that! Getting yourself to workout, avoiding sugar and overly-processed foods, and relaxing on purpose may be the things that you see as extremely difficult to do and put you in uncertain and uncomfortable situations. I get that. However, that resistance is providing you with a clue that these are the areas that need your attention and discipline. They need to be dealt with in some capacity and you have the power to do it, but you need to not take it all on at once. Don’t overwhelm yourself, but instead commit yourself.

Commit to becoming uncomfortable in one area and devise a plan to help ease the resistance. It may be super uncomfortable (no one totally enjoys busting their bums in a workout, but if you want a strong, healthy body you have to do the hard work), but start small and work your way up from there. You'll be impressed at the results you'll see happening over time.

By holding yourself to higher standards, you commit to no longer allowing the excuses to reign supreme. You’re ready to get uncomfortable in the name of improving your health!

Tip #2: Don't react, instead take a breath and think... even if it's for only a second.

And then carry on. 

Think about it. When you react without being able to control what comes out of your mouth, what does that mean for you? That you can't control yourself? You blame others often? You create even worse situations?

When your kids are at your feet and they're being supremely annoying, what do you do? Normally it might be to scream, shout, yell and frighten. You got that out of your system but 9 times out of 10 that's followed up with some serious mommy guilt. And our kids are sponges, so don't be surprised to see them lashing out at each other, or at poor defenseless little stuffed animals! 

Taking a moment before you react is a practice and you won't get it right every time, but even just noticing that it worked once can engage your brain, making it think that its stumbled upon a solution - which is the only thing the brain is after!

Here's what you do: when you feel the quick rise of annoyance make its way to your brain: mentally (or physically) take a step back. Then close your eyes and take a breath. Calm you mind for a mere moment, and then proceed. Your reaction will have diminished in intensity and perhaps you've just avoided a dreadful 20 minute tirade.

Trust me when I tell you this works... just ask my kids!

• • •

There is your weekly dose of two tips for a healthier (and hopefully more fulfilling) life! If you have a friend who you think would enjoy these little quick tips, please share with them!

How To Live a More Intentional Life

Photo by  dorota dylka  on  Unsplash

#Twosday Tuesday is here! Your weekly dose of two tips to help you create a healthier lifestyle. Spring is in the air and with that comes a chance to renew our commitments to ourselves. Let's take this month to do our best to live more intentionally!

Tip #1: Don't just set goals, instead create an action plan. 

Goals are great, but anyone can set a goal. The real payoff lies in being able to go after that goal with intention and consistency. 

Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them - Steven R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

If you want to lose weight, you can tell me that those 20 pounds will come off, but I'm not convinced until you outline to me your detailed plan and how far you're willing to go to make it a reality! I can tell the difference between those who are going to achieve their goals, and those that are going to fall short again and again. The hard truth is you need to be willing to get uncomfortable, create self-discipline, experiment with new habits, and live with intention if you’re serious about seeing results!

Which takes us to tip #2...

Tip #2: Pay attention to your habits.

Those little things you do here and there (like picking at your kids leftovers instead of making yourself a healthy meal - having a glass of wine every night - waiting until the end of the day to get in a workout only to cancel on yourself) add up! These little habits and "easy zones" are where a lot of life gets lived. 

40% of our lives live in habits. Pay attention to these little critters because they feed off each other, one created on the back of another like gremlins! Don't live life by accident. Begin to pay attention to areas where you can introduce a few healthier habits so you can live more of life out of intent. Take a week and pay attention. An easy way to figure out where to begin is to notice where you're feeling the most resistance. The more unwilling you are to change up a habit, the more attention it needs from you. Don't be afraid to try something new, like skipping that glass of wine, and see what it opens up for you. (More focus, clarity, less snacking and nibbling maybe.) Start small :)

I hope you enjoyed this weeks #Twosday Tips! If so, please share with a friend and spread the love! 

For a deeper dive into learning how to live a more purpose-filled life, click here for my daily practice I do every morning before even getting out of bed! Start your day off right!

Live More Purposefully: A Daily Practice