Posts tagged better food choices

The dangers of that peanut butter life

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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.

Are you making deposits or withdrawals?

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It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day grind of your life. Going to work, errands, social commitments, TV, etc... all take up time, energy, and focus. This leaves you with very little left in the tank to do something very important.

 

It is absolutely crucial to think about your future.

 

Will your future self thank you in 20 years for what you are doing now? That steady diet of fast food will probably get a now, while putting all that money into a 401k would get a yes.

 

Thinking long term also helps you avoid getting caught up in short term fad diets and fad workouts. Are you really going to NEVER have a piece of bread again? Is that crazy workout where you keep hurting yourself going to be part of your routine in 20 years?

This hits home for me because I keep getting hurt doing jiujitsu. Some little stuff like broken toes, up to bigger stuff like tearing a ligament in my knee a month ago. Well someone tore it for me, but I was there when it happened 🙂

 

My choice now is to quit or change the way I train at jiujitsu. The way I have been doing it is very physical, never wanting to tap out, and win at all costs mentality. Don’t think 60 year old me will be able to do that. I am choosing to train smarter, not harder.

 

The same thing applies to the way I treat my body overall. Performing more mobility/stretching, getting more sleep, cutting down on caffeine. These are all things I am doing now that will pay off in later years.

 

A big goal for me is to be that spry old man that can run circles around the whippersnappers in the neighborhood. I want to be strong, fit, and pain free for as long as I possible can.

 

Look at the choices you are making as bank transactions. Are you making more deposits or withdrawals in your long term health account?

Self Delusion is good for you

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I was listening to author A.J. Jacobs talk about his creative process when he is writing. He is a really interesting guy and goes all in with his book projects. One of his books is his saga of trying to follow every rule in the Bible for a year and another one where he read all 33 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

 

You would think a guy like that would have no trouble with writer’s block, but it happens to him quite frequently. He has a simple, but effective technique he uses to combat writer’s block.

 

He just sits down and starts writing.

 

The writing could be complete nonsense, but the physical act of writing gets the creative juices flowing. The old fake it until you make it technique.

 

He based his actions on this quote by Habitat For Humanity Founder Millard Fuller:

 

“It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking, than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting.”

 

That is a great point! Your mind will eventually catch up to your actions, but you have to start first.

 

Science has proven that if you are upset, but if you can force your face into a smile it will trick your brain into becoming happier. Or if you are feeling insecure in a situation, ask yourself “What would a confident person do?” Then do whatever you come up with!

 

This all sounds crazy, but I have seen it come true over and over with exercise. It’s been proven both with myself and with my boot campers. I tell my clients, to just show up and the magic will happen. If you make it to the workout, you will make it happen.

 

Try asking yourself questions that are framed by your goals. Questions like “What would someone who loves to exercise do here?” or “What meals would a really fit person prepare today?”

 

It's only crazy if it doesn't work.

It’s that time of year…

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Did you know that now is when you see the most dramatic drop off in gym attendance every year? For whatever reason the third full week in February is when most resolutions are over.

If you have given up on the goals you have set for yourself, it’s not too late! There is plenty of 2017 to go, you just need to recalibrate.

Your first step is to find out what went wrong. Did you choose a goal that just sounded good, but not one you were committed to? Did you set too many goals? Did you have the right goal, but it turns out you hate working out?

It could be several different reasons why things did not work out. No pun intended.

Your second step is to figure out a new game plan. Don’t think about having to commit to the rest of the year. Set a goal for the next 4 weeks. As legendary SEAL Joe Maguire says, “Don’t look forward to the pain.” More on that in Friday’s e-mail.

Your third step is to figure out the most enjoyable way you could reach your goals. What types of exercise do you actually enjoy? Roller skating, yoga, swimming, hiking, lifting weights, shaking weights? Pick something you look forward to.

The fourth step is to do the same thing with food the next four weeks. Find some healthy foods that you like. They are out there I promise, you may have to do some experimenting. Or if you prefer you can start with the food first, then try the exercise in the fourth step.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to make you miserable. On the contrary it should make you feel energized and excited! You just have to find what works for you, even if it isn’t the typical “go to the gym, eat foods you hate but are super healthy, and look great but hate your life” tract that people get stuck on.

 

Too Much Information (TMI)

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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!

2017 Lean and Clean Challenge

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“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)

-Facebook Challenges

-Movement Challenges

-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.

Diet vs healthy habits. Which is more important?

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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.

Before you make those resolutions…

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funny-pictures-new-year-resolutions  

It is almost time. The time of year when we MUST change everything in our lives in ONE day!

 

I love resolutions. I love goal setting. I really love writing down goals to accomplish, but what is going to make this year any different from last year?

Momentum

Let em explain. I've seen a lot of people searching for their word of the year. If I had one it would be momentum.

I think momentum is absolutely crucial to your success. So I am going to give you some advice that is probably counterintuitive to what most people will do.

Start with your strengths.

If you hate exercise, don't start there even if the rest of the world goes to the gym in January. If you hate eating healthy, don't start there even if the rest of the world is producing a broccoli shortage. Pick something that you are already pretty good at and go all in.

If you have already been exercising a little bit, it is time to pick it up! No pun intended. Lift heavier, go further, go faster. Do that race you are nervous about attempting, try that class you've always wanted to try, pick up a new active hobby. Cross train in other areas to improve performance and increase results.

If you already eat fairly healthy, it is time to dial it in!

The goal is to increase your confidence. What happens when you work on your weaknesses? You feel incompetent, that everybody else makes it look so easy, and you feel like a failure.

But when you are working in an area you already have competence, you can really grow your confidence and that will produce momentum.

You can use that momentum to delve into the other areas that you want to work on. It will work better than the quitting smoking, getting a new job, working out 7 days a weeks, and eating a complete Paleo Slow Carb Mediterranean Diet all year game plan.

Doing things the way you have always done will get you the same things that you did not want. Try something different and see what you are truly capable of.

Star Wars and Weight Loss

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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.

legalize-bazookas-compressed

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.

Goliath, Marshmallows, and Reaching Your Goals

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Goliath

There is a hallway at my church where all the kid’s classrooms are. The walls are all painted with famous stories and people from the Bible.

One year my wife and I were leading a Sunday school class and I had a brilliant idea involving marshmallows and a painting of Goliath.

You have probably heard the story in the Bible about David and Goliath. Where tiny David killed the fearsome giant Goliath by flinging a smooth stone into Goliath’s forehead.

I thought it would be pretty awesome to have the kids act like David and try to throw their marshmallows into Goliath’s forehead. They loved it! There was just one problem.

There’s always that one kid.

One kid had apparently been licking his marshmallow while he waited in line. Then when it was his turn he ran up and dunked Goliath in the forehead like he was Lebron James. You would be amazed at how quickly a marshmallow sticks to a painting of Goliath and it would not come off!

Goliath had marshmallow residue on him for weeks! Every time I walk by that painting I am reminded of that day. It also reminds me of the kids’ laughter, enthusiasm, and zest for life that day. It is also a reminder that there are kids that look up to me and I need to be a good example. Every time I see that guy it is a great reminder.

You can set up visual reminders for yourself too. Print off a favorite quote of yours, a picture of the finish line at a race you are training for, a picture of your kids. Think of something that: positively motivates you to be healthier; keep proper nutrition and exercise a priority; and is deeply meaningful to you.

I have no idea how to use semicolons, but I throw them out there occasionally to keep that button on my keyboard from getting rusty. I’m a rebel like that.

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas, thank you for being a reader!

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