Most of these posts I write are lessons I am trying to teach myself and I think others could benefit from. Today’s post is no different.
I have two examples of how hidden calories can become a problem. The first one is one I did to myself, the second was one that I did to my wife.
Both of them involve... peanut butter.
Did that sound really dramatic? I hope so.
I noticed this week that I have a habit that could be dangerous if I was trying to cut down on my caloric intake. Every time I make my son a peanut butter sandwich I give myself a bite of peanut butter for the effort. That can add up considering that 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is 200 calories.
I also make my wife protein shakes on a regular basis. She asked me how much peanut butter I used and I realized it was way more than she does when she makes her own.
Maybe an added 100-150 calories here and there does not sound like a big deal, but it can add up. Especially if you do it consistently over time. An extra 150 calories per day would lead to a 15.6 pound weight gain in a year.
Three things to learn from my mistakes.
First, is to watch out for the BLTs. The Bites, Licks, and Tastes that you put into your body. All the little bites you take when cooking, licking spoons, and other taste tests you do count.
Second, is that it matters who prepares your food. That is why it is crucial to prepare your food as often as you can. Restaurants do not have your waistline in mind when they prepare your food. Their main mission is taste, so calories can pile up pretty quick.
Third, is that small changes can work for you or against you. I mentioned above about how they can work against you. But those same pounds you put on, can be taken off by eliminating 150 calories/day. You could eat 150 calories less, burn 150 off, or a do a combo of the two.
PS- Peanut butter is still delicious, I regret nothing.
There is a phenomenon called information blindness that is caused by too much information. When people are faces with too much information, they just shut down and will now act.
Think about a restaurant with an overwhelming menu. What do you do? I just choose something that has a picture.
Or have you ever walked into a library or got onto Netflix with no idea what you wanted to choose? It can cause you to just give up.
Information blindness often happens with diet plans as well. People get presented with all the information for the whole plan up front, they get overwhelmed, and it paralyzes them. I've been there myself.
The idea behind the Lean and Clean Challenge is to give you the information slowly and help you build habits. All of the information is there for people who like a peak ahead, but it is not necessary.
Build the habit, make it stick, and then you will have it long term. There are still spots available if you want to join.
You can join here -->Lean and Clean Challenge
The challenge starts on Monday, February 20 and I would love for you to be a part of it. Join us today!
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -Jim Rohn
“I can predict the long-term outcome of your success if you show me your daily habit.” -John Maxwell
If you can’t tell, I’m a quote guy. I believe they can motivate and inspire, but like the first quote hints at, it is temporary. To be successful, we have to develop good habits. That is especially true with exercise and eating right.
That is why I am so excited to launch the 2017 HABC Lean and Clean Challenge. Fancy name, awesome program.
It is a 6-week program that will give you all the resources you need to develop the habit of eating clean and healthy foods.
Here is what is included:
-Weekly Check-Ins/Progress Tracking to keep you accountable
-Clean Eating Guide (everything you need to know)
-Meal Mapping Template (teaches you how to create healthy meals)
-Ultimate Shake Guide
-Ultimate Breakfast Guide
-Bulk Cooking Guide (great for busy people)
-Meal Portion Guide
-Access to a free app so all the info can come straight to your phone
-Access to the Private Facebook group specifically created for this challenge to give you extra support and accountability
-Pinterest recipe page
I truly think this has included everything you need physically, mentally, and emotionally to form those all-important habits for long-term success. Two hyphens in one sentence, crazy!
The challenge will start on Monday, February 20, 2017. The cost for everything I’ve listed above is only $39. I guarantee your results or you get a full refund.
Reserve your spot here -->Lean and Clean
PS-The challenge is actually 7 weeks. The first week is to give you the tools and training to prep you for the challenge.
One of my awesome clients Lesley gave me a really interesting article to read the other day from The Costco Connection. Yep, I didn’t know Costco had a magazine either.
The article was titled “Dieting versus healthy habits” by Dr. Sandra Aamodt. The main idea was questioning why doctors always recommend dieting for their patients when it has not been proven to improve health in the long term.
The most telling quote in the article is where Dr. Aamodt says, “For health, the most important habit is daily exercise. No matter how much people weigh, physical activity predicts better health. People who rarely get off the couch are more than twice as likely to die prematurely as people who exercise moderately, whether they are normal weight, overweight or obese.”
Two stats that stood out to me are: low fitness is responsible for 16-17% of deaths in the US. Obesity is responsible for 2-3% once fitness is factored out.
That’s not to say you should not watch what you eat. Healthy eating will make you look, feel, and perform better so it is always a good idea!
The main point is to choose a lifestyle change over a diet. It is a clue that diet has die right in the name!
Become more active more often. Ditch processed foods, practice portion control, and cook/prepare more whole foods rather than going on a diet.
I went to go see the new Star Wars movie yesterday. Spoiler alert- it’s really good, if you are into that sort of thing. Ties some parts of other movies together for you.
While I was there I made a big mistake. I ordered a large popcorn and large drink. Not sure what happened but it just kind of appeared in my hands. They were running some sort of special I think, it was all a blur.
My son and I were going to split it, so I guess I thought it would be ok. The popcorn was the size of a pillowcase and the drink was the size of a bazooka.
Then my next mistake was letting my son pick the drink. The movie theater had one of those machines where you can get any kind of drink you want. Hundreds of combinations. I think we wound up with a Sprite, Grape, Root Beer mixture that was pretty terrible.
30 minutes of straight eating popcorn and drinking the toilet water drink later it was all gone. All of it! It was pretty amazing/depressing.
The moral of the story- portion control matters.
There is a ton of research out there that backs it up. Did you know that people clean their plate 91% of the time? And that is no matter how much food was offered and how hungry they were. At least we aren’t quitters…
So if you are trying to lose weight your first move should be to start using smaller plates and bowls. The super brains at Google introduced smaller plates in their cafeteria and the employees lost an average 10-15 pounds. With no other dietary changes!
In a study in the journal Appetite showed the dramatic difference switching from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate can do for you. Participants in the study were able to cut their calories by 48% (up to 275-350 calories per meal). If you used the smaller plates for just 2 meals a day, that would result in a 14-18 pound weight loss over a 3 month period.
If you’ve been unsuccessful in the past trying to lose weight, give the smaller plates and bowls a try. It might be just what you need to be successful.
I have a new goal in life. To become a master of the wok.
My wife got one for her birthday in September and it just sat there for a couple of months. Then one day I decided to put that baby to use. Heroes don’t always wear capes.
It took me an hour to cure that thing and get it into cooking shape. Woks are fancy like that. But it has been awesome!
I’m a changed man. I’m cutting up vegetables more, looking up recipes, trying new things. I even went into this Asian market that I pass by all the time, but never go in. Some really interesting things happening in there FYI.
My point in sharing this is that you need to find a way to get excited about healthy cooking, just like you do about exercising. A good way to jump start that is cooking using a new method (wok, grill, Crock Pot), trying new foods, eating the same foods with different spices, etc…
It is easy to get into an eating rut where you eat the same things all the time. Branch out and you will find yourself cooking more, spending less on eating out, and saving yourself a lot of unwanted calories.
Yesterday I took a big step in my life. I threw away a pen that didn’t work.
Do you ever find out a pen doesn’t write any more, but you keep it any way? Why would I do that? I’m not a quitter, that’s why!
It is tough to let things go, even if they aren’t helping any more. Chances are you have things like that in your life.
Think about the habits you have in your life right now. Which habits are pushing your forward in your life and which ones do you need to get rid of?
-That daily, candy bar and Coke in the afternoon to get you through the rest of the work day.
-The several times a week fast food run
-The sugar and calorie laden Starbucks frappamochachattelattespice drink on the way to work to get you going every morning
Usually these habits start as a special treat to get yourself motivated to do what you have to do. Then they become just another part of the daily routine.
Those are just 3 examples I’m throwing out there, so look for those types of habits in your life. After you identify the habit start chipping away at it slowly.
With the candy bar and Coke for example, switch to a smaller candy bar and a 12 ounce drink instead of the 20 ounce soft drink. Then switch the candy bar for some nuts. Then drink 10 ounces of Coke. Eventually get to where you are having a healthy afternoon snack with water.
The goal is to turn the daily habit into something you less and less of. And then one day you will have kicked the habit completely and replaced it with something that is helping you reach your goals, not holding you back.
I grew up a big Cubs fan. Kind of weird for a kid from Alabama, but that is the power of television. We had the TV station WGN growing up, so I was convinced of two things:
I would have totally dominated the Grand Prize Game on The Bozo Show
The Cubs were the greatest team ever and Harry Caray was the coolest announcer ever.
Although they were really fun to watch, they would break your heart when it came to the playoffs. The Cubs were known for finding strange and terrible ways to NOT make it to the World Series.
The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908 and have not even been to the World Series since 1945. 71 years without making it to your ultimate goal is a long time!
But this weekend, they finally made it. Were able to fight through tough teams, doubt, and even the curse of a goat to finally make it to the World Series.
I tell you all this Cubs stuff to tell you this. I have seen similar things happen with people trying to lose weight.
They try and try AND TRY without success to lose weight. It seems hopeless (I personally have not seen someone take 71 years though) and with no end in sight. But they tweaked a few things in their diet, tried a new way to exercise that works for their body/personality/schedule, and kept at it.
Then it started happening. Lose one pound there, 3 pounds here, and next thing they know it feels like the weight is just falling off.
Don’t give up! There is a way out there that works for you. A way that fits you and will not make you miserable while you are doing. Hint-If the diet or exercise program you are on makes you miserable every day, it will not work long term.
Here is my offer to you. Please e-mail me at HuntsvilleBootCamp@gmail.com and I would love to help you find the right path. Whether it is with me, a Zumba class, a Crossfit trainer, or a running program I want you to be successful. I’m one of those weirdos who thinks the more people I help in life, the more successful I will become in life.
I truly think this will help both of us and there are absolutely no strings attached. Look forward to hearing from you.
Shout out to the mighty avocado! Here are just a few of the things that make it so awesome:
-More potassium than a banana
-Helps relieve joint pain from arthritis
-Good source of fiber
One great healthy take away I got from my trip to Nicaragua was using avocado in place of mayo. A great recipe I have been using lately is Nicaraguan Egg Salad. It may have a different name, but my Spanish is very shaky so this is what I’m calling it.
Nicaraguan Egg Salad
Combine together in a large bowl:
-6 diced hard boiled eggs
-2 diced avocados
-2 diced roma tomatoes
-1/2 diced onion
-Handful of jalapeños
Sprinkle the whole mixture with lime juice Then add garlic salt and pepper to taste. Really simple to make, tastes great, and is a healthy alternative to regular egg salad.
Get creative and think of ways you can use avocados in place of mayo. It is a much healthier option and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how good it tastes.