Weight Loss Strategies For Convenience Eaters

If you’re a convenience eater, you need a diet that works with your lifestyle. Fast and easy meals and snacks can be lean and delicious if you learn to plan ahead. Use these techniques to eat light at home and dining out even on your busiest days.

Weight Loss Techniques To Use At Home 

  1. Stock up on nutritious foods. Replace frozen dinners and instant soups with whole foods that are better for you. Toss fresh pasta with extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts. Dip baby carrots in your salsa instead of corn chips.
  2. Master simple recipes. Many satisfying meals can be prepared in 10 minutes or less. Browse online for easy recipes or borrow cookbooks from your local library.
  3. Cook ahead. Use weekends or evenings to cook a batch of chicken breasts or black bean chili. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers to use in the days or weeks ahead.
  4. Work as a team. Your kids are likely to pick up on your eating habits, so set a good example. Take turns making breakfast or brown bag lunches for each other. Talk about the importance of eating whole grains, fresh produce, lean proteins and healthy fats.

Weight Loss Techniques For Eating Out 

  1. Search for alternatives to fast foods. Look around your neighborhood for places that will serve you healthier foods just as quickly as your usual drive through window. Collect take out menus from ethnic restaurants or assemble a fast meal at your supermarket salad bar.
  2. Bring along snacks. Carry cut vegetables and whole grain cereals with you instead of relying on the office vending machines. Keep a small cooler in your car with yogurt drinks and soy nuts.
  3. Learn to spot healthy keywords on menus. It’s easy to order lighter dishes if you master a few common terms. Look for entrees that are steamed or grilled rather than fried. For dessert, choose the sorbet instead of donuts.
  4. Ask your server for advice. With so many people trying to lose weight, many servers are experts at guiding you to the leanest choices. Let them count calories for you.

Additional Suggestions

  1. Drink water. Get a steel water bottle and keep it filled up so you can sip water all day long. Staying well hydrated will help you feel more energetic and suppress your appetite.
  2. Eat more frequently. Many convenience eaters get caught up in other activities and forget to eat. Small meals and snacks throughout the day will make you less vulnerable to overloading when you suddenly notice you’re starving.
  3. Analyze your favorite convenience foods. Figure out what attracts you to your favorite fast food and you can usually find a substitute with fewer calories. Sprinkling a little cinnamon in your cafe au lait could make you forget about powdered hot chocolate.
  4. Make exercise a habit. Physical activity is essential to losing weight the healthy way. Develop an exercise routine you can stick with. Maybe you need a trainer or gym buddy to remind you to stay on track. You may also want to sneak more exercise into your daily routine by climbing stairs or doing leg lifts during TV commercials.
  5. Manage stress. A fast paced lifestyle may expose you to higher levels of stress. Meditation and other relaxation techniques help lower stress hormones so you metabolize foods more effectively and store less fat.

Indulge your love for convenience eating while you reach your weight loss goals. Make your diet easy to follow so you can break the fast food habit. As a bonus, you’ll probably save money and enjoy eating more.

Rev Up for a Fantastic Summer

As summer approaches, your thoughts focus on what you’ll be doing as the weather warms. You think with pleasure of the upcoming possibilities: barbeques, picnics in the park, outings to the beach, frolicking with your family and pets in the back yard, an exciting vacation, and more.

But how are you going to muster up the energy to add all these fun activities into your already busy schedule? After languishing in the cozy house all winter, just thinking of this flurry of activity tires you out!

Try these tips to pump up your energy for summer fun:

  1. Make a commitment to yourself. Look in the mirror and make a vow that you’ll take part in more activities this summer. You’ll worry less about keeping the house and yard in meticulous form and doing the laundry and washing the car on the same days every week. Commit to enjoying a summer full of interesting recreation.
  2. Consider your options. Your kids want to take that 4 hour trip to the new theme park at least once. Your partner wants both of you to join the local boat club and go boating twice monthly. You’ve got one friend who wants you to take golf lessons with him and another who hopes you’ll attend a monthly art discussion group throughout summer.
    • Ponder the type of recreation you’d like to be involved in. Take time to consider which proposed activities you’d enjoy the most. Which activities really call to you?
  3. Get your energy flowing by exercising now if you didn’t start early in spring. To increase your energy levels, try a brisk walk outdoors every day. With your doctor’s blessing, increase your walk by 5 or 10 minutes each week until you reach 45-60 minutes. As you walk and increase your speed you’ll notice you’ve got more energy and stamina to face the day.
    • You’ll be full of vigor by the time summer rolls around.
  4. Use positive self-talk to mentally prepare for activities. Making statements to yourself like, “I’m looking forward to spending more time with my kids this summer” and “I will make an effort to stay in good physical shape so I’ll have more energy” will ensure you maintain a positive mindset and continue putting in effort to have the best summer ever.
  5. Converse with your partner. Hear their ideas on what they want to do this summer. Share your wish to be more actively involved with your loved ones and friends. Make some plans together to enrich your relationship while you enjoy the weather and have fun.
  6. Have gratitude. Recognize you have your family, friends, and health How lucky are you to have the choice to spend more time engaging in activities you love with your family? Very lucky. Look forward to the summer with gratitude in your heart.
  7. Reflect on your efforts. Because you’re changing how you’ll approach life this summer, give yourself some props. Stoking your energy to have an active season while continuing as a busy parent and worker is quite a feat. Yet, you believe enjoying some time with the people you love when the weather is beautiful is worth your effort.

Summer is about to arrive. Isn’t it time to re-invigorate and enjoy a fantastic summer? Vow to embrace your fun-loving side. Think about how you’d like to experience some new and different recreation this season. Exercise often to increase stamina. Practice the cognitive strategy of positive self-talk to pump up energy and prepare for lots of summer activities.

Talk to your partner about both of your wishes as the weather heats up. Recognize what you have and be thankful for it. Start now to get revved up for the summer; you’ll enjoy your best season yet this year!

Managing Transitions in Life

The one thing you can be sure of in life is that there will be times when you’re thrown a curve ball. Something will happen that you aren’t expecting.

Even though you know you’ve got the strength to handle anything that life brings you, you might still be taken aback by an unexpected change in your life direction.

These suggestions will help you successfully handle some of life’s transitional times:

  1. Take a deep breath. Pause for a moment and give yourself time to just breathe.
  2. Process the information. Next, allow yourself some time to think through what’s happened. This might take a few days, depending on your situation. From your perspective, what occurred?
  3. Talk about it. Call a close friend or family member you trust and tell them about what’s going on in your life. It helps to hear yourself think aloud whenever you’re faced with an enduring challenge.
  4. Consider your options. Although you might not be completely ready to move on yet, try to ponder fully your situation and where you could go from here. Be open-minded about resolving the current issues in the short-term.
    • If your situation involves an ending of a relationship, for example, maybe you’ll have to find another place to live quickly. Could you move in with a friend or family member, at least for now? Ask yourself what your possibilities are at the present time.
  5. Take time to adjust. You might feel you have to make decisions fairly quickly to get moving forward, but still, it’s wise to allow yourself necessary moments to adjust to what’s happening.
  6. Tell yourself that you’ll make it through. After the initial shock wears off, you’ll hopefully reach the point of realizing that “this too shall pass.” Thinking positively is the best way to approach any type of challenging situation. Remind yourself that you have the savvy and fortitude to find your way from this day forward.
  7. Begin to formulate a plan. After considerable thinking, you’ll be relieved to see parts of a new plan for your life falling in to place.
  8. Recognize your own strengths. Remember back to a time you struggled through a crisis and emerged better than ever. Maybe you had to drop out of college because there wasn’t enough money. You still made it through and were able to return to finish your studies within 2 years. Realize your strength to help you make it through the current situation.
  9. Look at the recent change as an opportunity. Even though it might take some effort, allow yourself to see you’re being given a chance to change your life. You’re in a position to improve something about your existence.
    • Let your imagination run free. Regard the coming episode of your life as a new adventure and embrace it.
  10. Move forward with a sense of purpose. Now that you have the bare bones of a plan, you can proceed ahead with your new life with greater confidence. As time goes by, you’ll grow even surer of the direction you’re heading. Let yourself feel excited about your new goals.

Regardless of what life brings your way, you’ll still keep going. Allow yourself time to breathe and take in the information. Perhaps even talk to someone and ponder your choices.

You have what it takes to successfully manage any transition in life that appears before you. Openly accept this opportunity to let go of the old and embrace the new.

Five Ways to Enhance Your Relationship

Relationships can seem so easy at the beginning. Love comes naturally. But over time, other parts of life start to compete for your attention. Pretty soon, the relationship isn’t getting much focus. You and your partner both start to wonder where the good times went.

Considering the joy that can come from a healthy relationship and the potential challenges a failed relationship can present, you want to do your best to stay happy together. This is even truer if there are children involved.

Try these strategies to quickly put your relationship back on track:

  1. Make time for each other. Remember when you first fell in love? Your relationship was a huge priority. You made time for the other person. There wasn’t much you were going to let stand in your way. After a while, time together became the thing in your life that gets attention after everything else has been taken care of.
    • Setting aside time for a date night once a week or even every other week can be enormously helpful. If you have kids, maybe you can swap babysitting nights with another couple.
  2. Volunteer together. If contributing to others’ lives is important to both of you, this is a wonderful way to enhance your relationship. Sharing an experience that’s positive and meaningful can strengthen the bond you share. Time spent like this also allows each of you to view the other in a positive light.
  3. Play together. Find something you both enjoy and do it together. Intimacy is gained during those lighter and happier times, not just when life feels heavy and dramatic.
  4. Improve how you deal with conflict. When there’s conflict, are you good at working through this together? A good way to measure this is to consider whether the conflict is likely to happen again. There’s no reason to keep having the same conflict over and over again. If that happens, you didn’t really resolve anything.
    • Instead, focus on finding solutions. The fact that there is a conflict doesn’t suggest that someone is wrong. It simply means that there is a misunderstanding or a disagreement about something. Choose learning and happiness over the need to be right.
  5. Take responsibility for yourself. This may be the most important thing you can do for your relationship. Instead of expecting your partner to make you happy, find ways to take care of you own needs.
  • The other side of this is not spending all your energy trying to make your partner feel happy and secure. You can only contribute to their happiness, not create it.

After you’ve been together a while, your relationship will naturally start to take a backseat to other things. However, for your health as a couple, it’s important to find enjoyable and meaningful ways to spend your time together.

No relationship will sustain itself for long without tending. Our partnerships require care and attention, just like anything else worth having. And as is often true, the more you put in, the more you get out.

Try some of the tips above to devote some much-needed energy to your relationship. You’ll be amazed at how much joy a little attention to your partner will bring.

Family Fitness: Staying Healthy Together

In these days of fast food dinners and hours spent sitting at computers and video games, families need more than ever to work together to stay healthy. As a parent, you have a responsibility to teach your kids the importance of being physically active every day.

Exercising together as a family ensures kids will grow up with this healthy practice deeply ingrained. In addition, when your family shares time together, regardless of the activity, it also secures and reinforces emotional bonds.

Be creative when it comes to planning family fitness activities. You might be surprised at how positively your family responds to new types of exercise together!

Examine these ideas for family fitness and commit to trying some of them:

1. Bike-riding. If your bicycles are gathering dust in the garage or shed, clean those bicycles and get them tuned up. Then, plan a family bike ride twice weekly.

• Vary the times of day you ride until you find the hour that fits best for everyone. Mornings on the weekends and in the summer might work. Alternately, try late afternoons before dinner or early evenings after the meal.

2. Swimming. Most children love playing in a swimming pool. Once all your kids know how to swim, take the family to the pool a couple of times a week, weather permitting.

• Swimming expends many calories and provides plenty of opportunities afterward for the family to just hang out in the pool to talk and spend quality time together.

3. Alternate walking and running. Sure, a family walk is a nice, leisurely activity. But what if you changed it up a bit and alternated walking 3 minutes then running 3 minutes? Most kids love to run, and would even happily race you for the few minutes you’d be picking up the pace.

4. Mini-biathlon. If your family likes to run and bike, bike and swim, or run and swim, plan your own mini-biathlon. Parents can design easy and fun training schedules for everyone.

• Engage the entire family in planning, training, and completing your mini-biathlon. You’ll spark your children’s interests in physical activities while sharing special moments together.

5. Calisthenics, Yoga, or Tai Chi. It’s nice to have some ideas for indoor fitness activities in case of a rainy day. Depending on the age of your children, many types of exercise can provide an enjoyable family fitness experience indoors.

• Stretches, modified push-ups, sit-ups and leg lifts will all provide physical challenges for you and your children when there’s inclement weather. Practicing Yoga or Tai Chi is also challenging and healthy without being too boisterous for inside the house.

• Use mats or blankets on the floor to make floor exercises more comfortable. You’ll get in some quality time and conversation with the kids while doing indoor exercises as a family.

6. Dance DVDs. One of the most enjoyable, carefree fitness activities to do with your kids is dancing. After all, who doesn’t love to dance?

• There are tons of dance DVDs on the market right now. From dancing to the oldies to learning to salsa to trying new hip-hop moves, you’ll surely find some DVDs that your family will love to do together.

Demonstrate that fitness is fun, challenging and invigorating and you’ll help your kids develop real excitement about staying active! When you educate your children from a young age about fitness and the advantages of staying in shape, these lessons will endure for their whole lives.