Category Archives: Nutrition

Clean Up Your Act!

There’s plenty of evidence that proves the importance of eating a clean, well-balanced diet. One that consists of mainly whole foods and avoids processed ones. Which is why I want to help you clean up your act. To lose weight, achieve great health, and live longer.

Eat clean

Eating clean takes more time and effort, which makes stopping at a drive-thru an easier choice. But how do you justify unhealthy food choices? And years of neglecting your body by eating this crap?

I have been thinking about eating habits.

And although we’re all different, with varying tastes and preferences, I think we can categorize most of our eating patterns into 3 distinct profiles:

  1. Those who eat clean.
  2. Those who don’t eat clean.
  3. Those who want or try to eat clean, but still don’t.

We’re in the last week of our 4th habit – eating clean. I hope this new habit is taking shape for you (as depicted below). As you clean up your eating habits, you will begin to look better and feel great from the consistent daily steps of improving your nutrition.

Eat clean

Last week we discussed eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies. And no, that’s not a rainbow on the left.

Earlier this month in the “Eat Clean, or Else” post, we discussed why it’s essential to reach our macronutrient targets, and why doing this with high quality foods makes such a difference.

This also means avoiding processed foods as much as possible. Every time food is touched (processed), the nutrient value declines. And the calories, unhealthy fat, sodium, and sugar usually rises. Along with some unhealthy additives and preservatives that only serve to increase shelf life and sabotage your health.

I would add a few other things to the “Avoid List”, as part of your healthy regimen. Including (but not limited to) fast food, anything fried, most appetizers, baked goods, junk snacks, soda, and candy.

You should also minimize your sugar and salt intake. And products made with white flour (like breads and pasta).

For my full list, click here.

I’m not saying you can never eat these things. But you should avoid them as much as possible. Especially if you’re overweight and trying to get fit. If this describes you, you need to avoid them all-together. Or at least until you get things under control.

They’re doing you no good.

If you’re serious about losing the weight and getting in shape, do yourself a big favor and stop eating this crap. You won’t miss it as the results start showing up.

Let me ask you a hypothetical question.

I want to re-frame the importance of eating clean by comparing your body to an expensive sports car. So here goes…

Eat clean

If you had the opportunity and the means to purchase a million-dollar sports car, would you hesitate for a second to go out of your way to give it the highest quality gas? Or hire the best mechanic and make sure to perform scheduled routine maintenance?

You’re thinking “That sounds ridiculous! And what does it have to do with eating clean?”.

I’ll agree that you can’t put a price tag on your life – that’s ridiculous! But the feeding and maintenance is spot on. The only real difference is that if you neglected your car, you could always buy another one.

But what’s your recourse for neglecting your body?

An organ transplant, you say. I disagree, unless it’s for a true medical condition.

But if that transplant is needed for years of compounded neglect, it won’t work. Why?

Because it doesn’t fix the root of the problem – YOU!

Here’s what I don’t understand. With all this information and proof, why do so many people continue to make bad food choices?

Eat clean

Eating clean is essential to our health and longevity.

Sure, eating clean may not be as fast or easy as stopping at a drive-thru, but it’s not hard.

And avoiding good nutrition by not eating clean leads to far too many problems. Like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke just to name a few.

I don’t know about you, but I will do anything and everything possible to avoid these life-altering diseases. Which eventually become life-ending.

And they’re so preventable! In fact, it’s also been proven that you can reverse the negative effects of these preventable diseases by eating better and exercising.

Eating better and exercising sounds like going out of your way to feed your expensive sports car “high test” fuel, then hitting the track for some laps. And performing routine maintenance sounds like seeing for your doctor for an annual physical exam and other routine check-ups.

So WTF???

It’s infuriating to see so many people neglecting themselves. And for what? Besides a heavy future price to pay!

Eat clean

Why wait for a medical emergency?

STOP making excuses!

And STOP putting other people’s priorities ahead of your own.

Are you’re thinking. “I’m too busy and don’t have enough time.” That describes everyone!

Maybe you don’t know where to start. Did you ever hear of the Internet, Google, or Thin2Win?

Too overwhelming? Then hire a professional. Even if only for a few sessions.

You’re worth it… Aren’t you?

You may discover that your medical insurance covers nutrition counseling. Look into it. And if you need recommendations for a registered dietitian, let me know.

Eating “dirty” is more prevalent (and popular) than eating “clean” is. It just doesn’t make sense when you can have it your way.

But I have a theory. I think “eating dirty” is due to:

  • It’s just easier.
  • Lack of discipline or neglect.
  • Convenience or speed.
  • You don’t know any better (which is NO excuse).
  • “Instant” gratification feels better than its counterpart – “delayed”.
  • It’s more pleasurable to do what’s fun and easy in the present than what’s necessary and perhaps more difficult for the future. Kind of like saving for retirement.
  • Martyr syndrome (putting other people’s needs ahead of your own).
  • Not being serious or committed (which makes no sense to me).
  • Too busy looking for the next “quick fix”, or magic pill supplement.

As far as I’m concerned, these are all unacceptable excuses. Are you just waiting for diabetes, a heart attack, or some other medical emergency to wake your ass up?

You have a choice. And if you can’t figure it out, then seek help from someone who has. Someone (like me!) who can help you make better choices and build sustainable habits.

No quick fixes or gimmicks. Commit to building your healthy habits one meal at a time. And before you know it, you’ll see results. Which will help to motivate your new healthy lifestyle.

I like how Darren Hardy put it in his best-selling book The Compound Effect. On page 59 he writes: “If you took a bite of a Big Mac and immediately fell to the ground clutching your chest from a heart attack, you might not go back for that second bite. If your next puff of a cigarette instantly mutated your face into that of a weathered eight-five-year-old, chances are you’d pass on that too. If you failed to make that tenth call today and were immediately fired and bankrupted, suddenly picking up the phone would be a no-brainer. And, if that first forkful of cake instantly put fifty pounds on your frame, saying ‘no thank you’ to dessert would be the true piece of cake.”

Great words of wisdom Darren. Results take time and effort.

If you haven’t read The Compound Effect, you should. And if you have read it, read it again. You’ll learn something new every time.

Our daily actions (our choices, habits, and decisions) are always compounding… in the form of either positive results, or negative consequences.

The good and the bad each take time to materialize. But here’s the cool thing. We get to decide what we want. And what we do.

So, clean up your act!

We can eat foods that nourish our body and our mind, that fight off disease. Or we can eat foods that eventually send us to an early grave. It’s up to each of us to decide what we want…

I’d like to wrap up by sharing a great article. It’s packed with 10 healthy eating tips that resonate with my philosophy. I hope you enjoy. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.htm

Next week we start Habit #5. The weather is getting nicer and I think you’re going to like this one. In the meantime, start eating clean for your overall health for crying out loud!

Ok, I’m done ranting.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

How Many of These Do You Eat?

We all know that eating clean is directly responsible for our great health. And you follow this blog because you want to lose weight and get fit (or stay this way) for the rest of your life. Which begs the question, “how many of these do you eat?”.

Superfoods

I know what you’re thinking. “How many of ‘what’?”; and “What are ‘these’?”. Or maybe just “What the heck are you talking about?”.

Don’t worry, we’re going to unpack the answer to this obscure but important question as we continue to clean up our nutrition in this 3rd week of Pillar #4.

We will identify foods that pack a powerful nutritional punch, with the goal to help you start eating more of them.

Okay, so what are they?

They’re known as superfoods.

And we should all be eating more of them, because superfoods are typically nutrient-dense and low calorie. They are foods that contain high levels of essential vitamins and minerals.

And it’s much better to get your vitamins directly from your food than from taking supplements.

Did you know that superfoods are high in fiber?

Fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Superfoods

Superfoods are also usually rich sources of antioxidants, which means they protect our bodies from the free-radicals that cause aging and cell damage.

And finally, fruits and vegetables contain natural chemicals called phytonutrients (aka phytochemicals), which help to keep our bodies working properly and prevent disease.

It’s often been said that you should “eat a rainbow”. Which basically means to eat a variety of fruits and veggies every day consisting of different colors.

SuperfoodsThere are plenty of documented “superfoods”. And many lists to promote the best of the best…

So instead providing another “Top 50” list, I have included some of my favorite superfoods, listed in no particular order of importance.

  • Broccoli (and other leafy greens like kale, spinach, asparagus, and Brussel sprouts)
  • Cauliflower (and other light colored veggies like bok choy, onions, and garlic)
  • Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
  • Nuts (including walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachio)
  • Seeds (including pumpkin, sunflower, chia, and flax)
  • Fish (especially those high in Omega 3 fatty acids like salmon and sardines)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh fruit (including apples, bananas, avocados, kiwi, cantaloupe, watermelon…)
  • Whole Grains (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat, and farro)
  • Beans (including lentils, black, white, and kidney)
  • Wine 😉 (in moderation of course)

My hope is that this list gets you started, then helps you remember to include more superfoods in your daily nutrition and meal plans.

As I’ve said over and over, I am not into diets. Especially as they’re typically marketed and portrayed for losing weight.

Why?

Because they are usually restrictive and prey on our emotions or weaknesses.

They’re short-term, quick-fix attempts that rarely teach us anything about nutrition, or how to get to the root of the weight-gain problem.

So they don’t work over a long period of time.

Superfoods

Which is why they fail most of the time.

This is not only unhelpful, it’s unhealthy. And for these reasons, traditional diets should be avoided. The same goes for the all-too-popular low-carb and low-fat diets.

Whether we’re trying to lose or maintain our healthy weight, we all need something that is sustainable, for a lifetime.

Healthy habits we can practice every day.

Not some foreign program with a finish line that doesn’t teach us anything about nutrition.

One that promotes eating to live; not living to eat  starve.

Everyone also NEEDS to eat ALL 3 macronutrients to survive, and should aim for 50% carbs, 30% lean protein, and 20% healthy fats. With every meal. Which is why my mantra is…

Eating clean will keep you lean!

Here are a few articles I found to be informative and helpful.

So, back to my original question. How many of these do you eat?

And remember to make it as colorful as possible.

The takeaway here is to make superfoods part of your daily nutrition plan.

The more the better. Let’s try to add a few this week as part of our new eating clean habit.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

“Have It Your Way”

Eating clean

“Have it your way, have it your way…”.

Remember that slogan from 30 years ago? Can ‘ya hear it?

And no, I’m not suggesting that you go to Burger King. That would be a ridiculous recommendation.

Eating clean

But their slogan is relevant for today’s advice.

In today’s fast-paced society, eating in restaurants has become a regular occurrence. Especially when you consider the potential of at least 3 meals a day, and the number of hours most people work. The odds that you will eat out at least a few times a week are very high.

Which can become a BIG problem.

One that slowly compounds over time if you’re not careful.

I find it astonishing to see the food choices that people make. And especially for dinner. No, not kids. I’m talking about adults.

Things like mac ‘n cheese, nachos, fried mozzarella, quesadillas, deep dish pizza, bacon cheeseburger with fries, wings or sliders, a full rack of baby back ribs, or Alfredo and other heavy, creamy sauces.

Not sure if it’s due to a lack of knowledge, laziness, or simply neglect. I try not to be judgmental, but it’s worrisome.

If you consider a greasy app, a large entrée, and maybe even dessert, it’s a lot of food. Add a couple drinks to the mix and…

You’re easily over 2,500 calories.

For ONE MEAL.

For most, that’s a whole day of calories. Not to mention all the unhealthy salt, sugar, and artery clogging saturated fat.

It’s disgusting! And should be illegal.

What if this happens 3 times a week? Or more…

Eating clean

You better loosen your belt, then rethink your strategy.

Is it any wonder why this reckless approach to eating is causing obesity rates to rise? Or medical insurance costs to skyrocket?

And the restaurants aren’t helping.

If you look at the menu choices, you could make the argument that it’s not your fault. Unfortunately, that’s not an acceptable response.

Eating clean is YOUR responsibility.

You’ve got to be more vigilant! And it’s what we’ll cover in this post.

If you are trying lose weight, or just maintaining good health, you are best served to completely avoid restaurants as much as possible.

Whaaaat??? Why?

When you cook at home, you know exactly what you are including. And you can scale back, like on salt for example. Or you can substitute a healthier ingredient, like olive oil instead of butter. Or brown rice instead of white. Salmon instead of steak…

I like to experiment and so I’m always looking for ways to eat healthier. My new “go-to” whole grain is farro. It’s easy to prepare, tastes great, and it’s super-healthy. I highly recommend it!

When restaurants list the calorie total on their menu, I appreciate it. I don’t necessarily trust the amounts, but it’s a point of reference. And better than no info at all. At the very least, it can help you make an informed decision about your food selection.

Including what NOT to order.

Let’s look at some “common” examples. WARNING: These are real.

Eating clean

The recommended “average” daily calorie requirements for adults is 2,000 to 2,500. But actual amounts vary based on your height, gender, age, and activity level.

Government organizations like the Food and Drug Administration have established daily intake recommendations about calories, sodium and sugar to help us maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The daily recommendation of sodium intake according to the FDA is no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg), which is equivalent to one teaspoon. And the recommended daily amount of added sugar intake was reduced 50% in 2014 to 25 grams, or about 6 teaspoons.

This doesn’t mean you should aim for the upper limits. Especially with sodium and sugar.

As far as I’m concerned, these are simply benchmarks to be aware of.

Sure, the FDA plays an important role in keeping us all safe. But I’ll never strive to be average and comply with recommendations that cater to the masses. Instead, do your best to minimize or eliminate salt, sugar and white flour from your daily nutrition.

Here are some other suggestions to help your eating clean initiative:

  1. Eat a little something before you go out – to dinner, to a party, or to a function where food will be served. Like a handful of nuts, an apple or other fruit, some raw veggies with hummus, or left-overs from last night’s dinner. Why? So you won’t be ravenous when you arrive, which can lead to bad food choices and unhealthy eating. Especially if you’re planning to have a cocktail or two.
  2. Skip the appetizers. You will have enough food between your entrée and a salad. And you don’t need the extra calories and unhealthy fat (as most of these apps are fried or greasy).
  3. Say no to the bread. Ask them to “not” bring it over. It will only tempt you, so make it easier by not having it in front of you.
  4. Ask for salad dressing on the side. Use “sparingly” to save  calories.
  5. Eat a little less than you normally would at home since the calories and sodium are higher. Save the rest for tomorrow. You’ll save calories and money by stretching 2 meals out of 1.
  6. Have it your way. Healthy of course. Ask to have something specially prepared. Most restaurants will do this if you ask. For example, ask for grilled chicken or fish without any heavy sauces or creams. With a side of steamed or sautéed veggies. And a sweet or baked potato, or brown rice. Even if they charge you a little more (which they probably won’t), it’s well worth it. After all, we are talking about you and your health.
  7. When a dish comes with fries, ask for an “alternative”. Like salad, fresh fruit, a baked potato, or steamed veggies.
  8. Avoid dessert. Except for special occasions. For the same reasons as skipping the apps.
  9. Strive for 95. Percent that is. Nobody’s perfect. And every situation is different. So try to make the best possible choice given the situation you’re in. And enjoy it!

Now let’s assume you have a busy schedule, but you commit to  eating in; not out. How can you make eating clean easier and save time while still making something delicious and healthy?

Oh, that’s easy.

There are 3 things you can do…

  1. Plan. Decide what you will eat tomorrow or for the next few days. Then go buy the ingredients, build in some prep time, and make it.
  2. Prep. For the next few days, or week (in advance). Sunday’s are great for this.
  3. Cook extra. This way you can just heat up what you want when you’re ready to eat it again. For example, grill extra chicken for the week, or slice raw veggies and store in zip lock bags to grab on the run. And do the same with nuts and seeds.

Eating clean will require minor tweaks to your current eating habits.

Eating cleanAnd in addition to planning, prepping, and eating out less… add these 5 things to your new strategy:

  1. Eat more whole foods, including an apple a day.
  2. Avoid sugar (start by cutting back).
  3. Minimize sodium and saturated fat.
  4. Eat every few hours.
  5. Hit your “macro” ratios at every meal and snack.

It takes thought and effort to eat clean. More so than the alternative unhealthy choices that are typically made unconsciously or hastily while flying through life on “auto-pilot”.

Eating clean also includes paying attention to things that could be sabotaging your new healthy initiative. Like saying NO to processed junk snacks and eliminating fast food.

You can do this… Start now and you’ll never look back!

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

Eat Clean, or Else…

You can make the decision to eat clean, or else… expect to eventually suffer the consequences that millions of others are now facing as a result of many years of bad nutrition.

Eat cleanIt’s harmless at first. And today’s “need it now” tendency not only popularizes quick-fix solutions, our society appears to be driven by this need for immediate gratification.

Fast food establishments and highly processed junk food have become the “norm”. They’re everywhere we turn. And here’s where this problem goes from bad to worse.

When our super-busy schedules and our desire to be efficient and productive are meshed with a fast food option posing as a nutritious solution, the result appears to be a good fit.

But is it?

So you start to gain a little weight. It’s innocent at first. You’re getting older, so “it’s probably normal”. At least that’s how we rationalize it. And since you have no time to figure out a better way, you just keep going at it the same way. But expecting different results.

And you know what that leads to…

You think, “if only there was a pill on the market that could help me lose a few pounds, I’d be able to conquer this weight problem for good”.

Eat clean

Well of course there’s a pill for that. But does it really help anyone?

Stop and think for a second. If there was such a thing as a weight loss pill that actually worked, as so many companies claim and promote in their marketing, wouldn’t everyone be thin? Or at least, most people? (This question doesn’t deserve an answer because it’s so obvious).

Fast forward, and now these innocent few pounds have become more noticeable. This is one of the consequences you face with poor nutrition. You gain more fat, which leads to excessive weight gain.

Compound this over a few years, and debilitating diseases that were once preventable start to emerge.

Sad but true!

This has become widespread. And it’s getting worse; not better.

Did I make you stop and think about your own eating habits?

Eat clean

I hope so!

It doesn’t have to be this way.

But if you need a little more proof or convincing, just look around and observe the number of fast food establishments that exist.

And the highly effective marketing techniques that begin targeting our kids at an early age.

Or the abundance of “big pharma” commercials claiming to cure a gazillion ailments as long as you can handle the long list of side effects.

Eat clean

Why are all these drugs being developed in the first place? Could it be the result of too many years of bad habits that include laziness, neglect, and failure to take complete responsibility for ourselves?

You can also observe that more people are overweight than are fit.

This is not a threat or a scare tactic, or meant to be disrespectful.

It’s reality. And something’s gotta change…

So let’s shift gears and talk instead about a solution – eating clean.

Eating clean has worked for me for many years, and I want to help you understand it better by sharing my interpretation and approach.

What exactly is eating clean?

To “eat clean” means to eat foods in their natural state. Or as close to their natural state as possible. This includes whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains.

I also include chicken, fish, and lean meat in my description. But where it can go awry or get a bit confusing depends on how it’s prepared, and what you put on it before you actually eat it.

You’ve heard of whole foods. Not the fancy grocery store, but the term used as a type of food.

Eat clean

Whole foods lived at some point – in the ground as a plant, above the ground as an animal, or under water as a species of fish.

Let’s take a closer look at whole and processed foods, and contrast the differences.

Plant-based whole foods contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. By including chicken, fish and lean meat, you gain the benefits of protein, and the necessary amino acids that make up that macronutrient.

In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish is a great source for providing the essential healthy fat our bodies need. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in other whole foods like eggs, Brussel sprouts, and walnuts.

On the other hand, processed foods are man-made. They may have started as a whole food, but at some point during manufacturing, most of the nutrients were removed. And other ingredients were added, including chemical preservatives to increase shelf life.

Think about a box of linguini. That didn’t come from a plant. But you’re thinking, it’s made from “wheat ingredients” which came from whole grains. Yes, but to make the finished product, the whole grain no longer exists as it initially did because it was processed out.

So even though linguini may taste good, what you end up eating has little to no nutritional value.

I want to make a quick point about macronutrients, which we’ll talk more about in Pillar 6. But it’s important to this part of the discussion, so…

Here’s a crash course on macronutrients:

When it comes to nutrition, our bodies need macronutrients to survive. Macronutrients are the main components of our nutrition and must be obtained through our diet. Macronutrients perform vital functions and supply our bodies with energy (aka calories).

There are 3 macronutrients that our bodies need:

  1. Carbohydrates – contain 4 calories per gram
  2. Protein – contains 4 calories per gram
  3. Fat – contains 9 calories per gram

Yes, that’s right. Carbohydrates (carbs) and fat are essential to our nutrition and good health. And it’s important to note that quality matters. And 1 or 2 won’t suffice, as some of the bogus carb restricted and low fat diets suggest. We need all 3.

In general, you should aim for approximately 50% of your daily calories from carbs, 30% from lean protein, and 20% from healthy fat. And while exceptions may apply, these ratios are a good benchmark for most of us to aim for.

To put this in perspective, let’s do some quick calorie math with chicken that’s prepared 2 very different ways.

  • A 4-ounce serving of grilled chicken contains approximately 36 grams of protein, which equates to approximately 144 calories.
  • Compare this to a 4-ounce serving of chicken that’s been breaded and fried, and you’re looking at approximately 337 calories. And this doesn’t take into consideration additional saturated fat, sodium or other factors.

It’s worth noting that a 4-ounce piece of chicken is slightly bigger than a deck of playing cards.

Now let’s look at an example of eating clean.

Have a piece of grilled chicken or fish with a steamed vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus or Brussel sprouts. You may also want to include a sweet or baked potato, or brown rice as a starchy carb. And a salad with extra virgin olive oil & vinegar (or lemon juice).

To me, eating clean means avoiding processed foods crap, and all the nasty preservatives that are synthetically infused into food that’s already low in nutritional value, just to extend shelf life.

Basically, if it comes in a package with ingredients you can’t pronounce, it probably isn’t a whole food, which usually means that it’s been manufactured. So I just say no and avoid it.

Eat clean

Commonly consumed things like (but not limited to) chips and other snacks, cold cuts, bread, baked goods and desserts, boxed meals like mac ‘n cheese, sugary breakfast cereals, creamy soups, and everything that comes out of vending machines should be avoided.

All are highly processed. And fast food is on that list too. Learn to say no if you’re serious about your good health.

And sorry, but I can’t accept excuses about not having enough time or money to eat clean. Or that you lack the desire to eat clean because you don’t like (name the vegetable). There are plenty of options, so lose your excuse and make the change!

Eating clean is a sustainable, deliberate action that’s crucial to your good health. It’s high quality fuel for your mind and body. You have a choice and get to decide what you will eat, and what you won’t.

Eating clean may require more conscious effort and planning for you in the beginning. But over time with consistency, it becomes a discipline that evolves into a very healthy lifestyle.

Eating clean is YOUR responsibility! It’s up to you. And it matters!

Over the next month, we will unpack this habit in more detail. But in the meantime, what can you do over the next week to clean up your eating habits? Pick one new thing you will start eating this week, and balance it out with one thing you will stop eating.

Eat cleanHere are a few suggestions:

  • START eating grilled chicken and fish.
    • STOP eating all fried foods.
  • START eating more fruit.
    • STOP or minimize your sugar intake.
  • START eating raw veggies, and nuts or seeds for a snack.
    • STOP eating chips and all related junk.
  • START bringing a healthy lunch with you.
    • STOP eating fast food.
  • START cooking at home.
    • STOP or reduce the number of times you eat out.
  • START drinking more water (which you should already be doing).
    • STOP drinking soda and sweetened beverages.

Pick one of these START and STOP combinations, and make it a habit starting this week.

In addition to building new habits, we’re eliminating the unhealthy ones too. There’s no quick fix, and it will take some time. Which is why we are focusing on ONE new healthy habit per month.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

You Are Here

Where do you appear on the “You Are Here” map in your life?

Influence

I know, this is an ambiguous question. You could be thinking about your career, relationships, or financial situation.

You may not be considering your health & wellness in this context, though. But I am, so let me be more specific

I’d like to explore your “unknown” future together. So YOU can see what YOU have to look forward to.

And know where the current path is leading you?

…based on the choices you’re making, the habits you’re building, and the disciplines you’re developing?

I know what you’re thinking… “You can’t predict the future”. And in some ways, I would have to agree with you. You’re right!

But here’s where I have to respectfully disagree with that thinking. You may not be able to predict the future, but you certainly have the control to influence your future.

But here’s the question. Are you going to influence your future in a good or a bad way?

There’s that “compound effect” phenomenon again. Thanks Darren!

It’s like the Energizer Bunny. Always working, whether you realize it or not. And “still going”.

Hopefully, today’s choices are setting you up for an active lifestyle, with great health and happiness, well into the future.

Otherwise, you could be startled to find yourself facing the Grim Reaper around some dark corner when you least expect it.

And you know what he’s known for.

Right! Death, destruction, and ultimate sadness.

Influence

So I have to ask, what’s around the corner for you in the next year?

Is that number on the scale (looking back at you) where you want it to be? And is it representative of your current choices?

What about your overall health, including how you look and feel?

Good or bad, can you see how the choices you’ve made over the past year are compounding for or against you?

How about looking down the road, like at the next 5, 10, or 20 years?

Want to look out even further? I do!

The long-term effect of consistently making bad choices is where the Grim Reaper begins to rear its ugly head. These unhealthy habits eventually morph into some nasty diseases and conditions like:

  • A heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity due to consistent weight gain
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Depression
  • And early preventable death

Bad stuff we each have control over delaying, preventing, or avoiding. So don’t wait until it’s too late!

NOW is the time to influence your future.

Just like saving, investing, and contributing to our retirement accounts when we’re younger will ensure an enjoyable and gratifying retirement. You are saving for your retirement, right?

That’s a different topic, but the same is true about our future health and well-being. We need to make deposits into our “health” account now, if we expect to influence our longevity in a positive way.

None of us are getting any younger. And just like retirement savings, healthy aging doesn’t happen by accident! I don’t care how good your genes are.

We are 3 months into our 6 Pillars To Better Health & Vitality program. I hope you are learning and benefiting from this valuable content. It’s based on a few proven and sustainable habits that can be easily incorporated into your busy life.

In fact, I’d like to give a shout out to my pilot group. I’m running a small 6 Pillars “pilot” program with about 20 students that includes private group coaching.

Influence

And I’m happy to report that everyone is benefiting. Although each person has different goals, we are seeing fantastic results as new healthy habits are being built and maintained!

Kudos and congratulations to each of you! Keep working hard.

Your consistent efforts will continue to pay off and compound into massive results that will last a lifetime!

If you need to catch up, you can link back to the first 3 Pillars here:

Next week we will launch into our 4th Pillar. And this habit is at the top of my Health Triad, which is fully integrated with nutrition.

I hope you are as eager and hungry to dig into this one as I am!

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

What, You Don’t Like Water?

Are you drinking your recommended amount of water?

drink more water

EVERY day???

I am. I hope you are too. Remember to focus on one day at a time.

As we’ve discovered so far, water is essential to our health & wellness in so many ways. This week we will look at ways to incorporate water into our daily routine.

If you know me, you know that I have at least 1 or 2 bottles of water with me at all times. And a few in the car as backup. It’s one of the reasons that I am able to reach my daily water goal.

You can’t drink it if you don’t have it. And if it’s not in your face, it’s easy to get caught up with whatever you’re doing and forget to drink. So make it easier on yourself by keeping it with you.

My favorite brand is SmartWater because I like the taste. You may be thinking, “It’s just water. Doesn’t all water taste the same?”.

Actually no, it doesn’t.

But it’s a good thing that I also like the taste of my filtered tap water at home. Because I drink so much water, I refill quite a bit. Which helps to reduce the amount of trips to Costco, and recycling.

So taste is obviously affected when I refill, which leads to the main reason I like Smart Water. It’s the shape of the bottle.

smartwater

The 1 liter bottle is slim, which makes it easy to carry and easy to track. And it fits nicely in the cup holder in my car.

I’ve also learned to drink it when it’s warm. Not hot, just room temperature. This makes it a lot easier on you.

Think about it. If you can only drink it when it’s ice cold, then you are making it tougher on yourself to keep it with you.

So give it a shot and get used to drinking it at room temperature at times. Like when you’re on the go and can’t keep it refrigerated.

I’ve met some people that simply don’t like water. It’s hard to understand, but I get it. So what can you do if this describes you?

Plenty

But it may take some extra effort to prepare something that appeals a little more to your taste buds.

Try a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange in your water

Try a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange. Or add some cucumber or fresh mint. How about fresh berries?

Some people prefer to add some fizz by carbonating their water. So if natural water tastes too bland or you’re looking for some variety, the carbon dioxide gas will make it bubbly and tangy.

Think seltzer water; not club soda. Soda water (aka club soda) contains unnecessary sodium.

I was unable to confirm the accurateness, but I’ve read multiple sources that claim you can count 50% of the volume from coffee and tea as long as you don’t add milk and sugar.

If it helps in the beginning, then count it. But I would focus on drinking your recommended amount of water, and enjoy the coffee or tea for other reasons. And count it as a bonus.

The bottom line is this.

You need to drink a lot of water every day. And whatever helps you drink more of it, then I say go for it. If you need a little help with flavoring or bubbles, that’s fine. Drink up. Just be aware of added sugars, sodium or caffeine.

Beware of sports drinks

And beware of sports drinks. They’re marketed as healthy, but in many cases, they’re not. Our bodies need water; not Propel, Vitamin Water or other sports beverages that are full of sugar.

And unless you’re an elite athlete that needs to be concerned with fluid loss due to extreme training, you don’t have to worry about drinking Gatorade to replenish your electrolyte levels.

FYI, vitaminwater (owned by Coca Cola) contains 32 grams of added sugar in a 20-ounce bottle.

32 grams of added sugar – that’s insane!

I’m not suggesting this, but even a Snapple Iced Tea contains less added sugar. And vitaminwater is marketed as “healthy” – wth?

So the lesson here is: What you see is NOT always what you get.

Don’t judge a book by its cover… Or take what you see, hear and read at face value. Look closely and question everything. Including nutrition labels on food and beverages.

Want some help keeping track of your water intake?

There are plenty of smartphone apps.

Or, you can go analog and download a copy of Darren Hardy’s “Weekly Rhythm Register”.

Go to http://thecompoundeffect.com/downloads/english-weekly_rhythm_register.pdf and download it for free.

As we add new habits, you will find this to be a valuable tool for “tracking” your new healthy habits.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

Start Now!

Are you making any changes or improvements in the new year?

Or planning to accomplish some new goals?

I hope so!

But here’s an unfortunate scenario that occurs way too often.

Especially this time of year.

Let me know if this sounds familiar.

“I’m going to start… __________” (fill in the blank)

  • … eating better
  • … exercising
  • … going to bed earlier
  • … taking better care of myself

Sounds nice, although these declarations are way too VAGUE. But I’m not going to start nitpicking (yet). So let’s continue.

When? __________” (fill in the blank)

  • next month…
  • after the holidays…
  • in the new year…
  • after I get back from vacation…

You realize these are all LAME excuses that ALWAYS equate to NEVER.

And how about this one.

I’m going to stop smoking…

  • (Insert the same lame excuses from above)

And guess what’s not going to happen?

Right! The thing you said you were going to do.

So stop kidding yourself, and lying to others.

You’re not committed or ready to make a change yet.

I get it, we’ve all been there at some point. And have seen others make these false promises.

Need proof?

Just look back over the past 2 or 3 years. What have your actions been saying? (FYI – you have to look closely ‘cause you can’t hear them. Especially with all of the social media noise and distractions.)

Have you ever accomplished any of your “informally-made” resolutions? Or goals that you weren’t fully committed to?

Probably not.

And it’s that time of year again where the biggest and boldest false promises are about to be launched. Some will be well-meaning but will lack clarity or commitment. Others will be audibly initiated drunk New Year’s resolutions that never see the light of day.

Shockingly (well, actually NOT), 92% of resolutions fail. WTH?

It’s pretty obvious why.

Don’t waste another year of your precious life by setting yourself up for failure with useless New Year’s resolutions. Or weak goals that you’re not committed to.

Give your actions a chance to speak by doing yourself a huge favor.

Get it right this time by setting a few legitimate and relevant goals. Things you want and need to accomplish during the next 12 months.

It’s best to keep it simple and only start with a few. Especially if this is new for you.

In fact, I’d suggest that you only set one goal. A challenging, yet attainable short-term goal. Then when you achieve it, you can reward yourself by setting another one.

Let’s break it down into a few steps to make it simple.

  1. The “What” – Okay, what do you want to accomplish? Make it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. With pen and paper; not in your head. For more on S-M-A-R-T goal setting, click here.
  2. The “Why” – This is where it gets exciting. Start listing all the reasons ‘why’ you want to accomplish this goal. The more reasons the better. Your WHY-power will kick in when your motivation fades (which it will), or when plateaus occur (which they will), and when your WILL-power is at its lowest point (which happens).
  3. The “How” – This is your plan for accomplishing your new goal. It includes the actions you will take as you chunk-down your goal into manageable steps. And don’t worry, you don’t have to figure it all out before you start. Just figure out the first couple of steps. Then you’ll adjust your plans along the way as you gain valuable insight from the obstacles and setbacks you begin to face. Otherwise, you could be doomed to the “paralysis by analysis” syndrome where nothing gets done.
  4. Take “Action” – Now do something by taking your first step in the direction of your goal. This is very important. Consider it your first ‘How’.
  5. Review your goal often. So it’s top of mind and to evaluate your progress. And as you’re reviewing, visualize the outcome as if you have already achieved it. This is very helpful and mysteriously powerful (but doesn’t work without taking action).
  6. You’re on your way to achieving this goal. When you do, set another one.

For example, if one of your goals is to improve your cardiovascular health so you’re able to live a longer and a more active & fulfilling life, here’s how you would start.

  • Identify “WHY” this is important to YOU. And what it would mean if you didn’t accomplish it. Sometimes it’s the consequences that motivate us more than the prize itself. So use whatever works best for you in the situation at hand.
  • Plan the 3 to 5 days of the week you will exercise based on your fitness level. Remember, for something like this, slow and steady always trumps an overly-aggressive plan that’s unsustainable.
  • Include the days you will focus on strength or cardio training (and what each workout will consist of).
  • Put those days in your calendar. You are committed, right? Would you miss this Wednesday’s client presentation, or meeting with your boss? Then put your mask on first by showing up for your appointment with yourself, and stop saying you’re too busy.
  • And since cardiovascular health is also influenced by our nutrition, you should identify the foods you will STOP eating, and the healthier ones you will START eating.
  • Then plan the next few meals and shop for the ingredients.

Now it’s time to do something by completing your first workout and making your first meal.

Pretty simple, right?

Enjoy the process and appreciate the obstacles and struggles you will face along the way.

What???

Yep… There will be challenges and setbacks, but they’ll make it all worthwhile and allow you to accomplish bigger things in the future.

I hope you found value in this post.

As 2016 comes to a close, I would like to say thank you and wish you a HEALTHY, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Be on the lookout for The 6 Pillars To Better Health & Vitality. We start up next week and run through the end of June. You’re not gonna want to miss it. So subscribe for automatic updates.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Is the content valuable and helpful? Did anything resonate? Will you take action? What else would you like to see in future posts? I welcome your feedback.

What’s your Win to be Thin?

If you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about www.thin2win.net with your friends, family and social circles.

What Example Are You Setting?

I’d like to start off by wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!

Last week’s central message was about prevention.

The concern is not only about the curves and excess flab that appear from ignoring your health for too long. It gets more serious when the life-threatening illnesses start knocking at your door.

If you are out of shape, over-weight, or all of the above, I want to challenge your mindset. And try to re-frame your situation to get you to a more desirable place.

Let me start by asking you a few questions.

  1. What kind of an example are you setting for your kids, employees, and people that look up to you…
  2. What kind of a burden are you placing on your spouse (or significant other) and family…
  3. What kind of a legacy are you leaving…

… by NOT taking responsibility and better care of your health?

Think about it. Seriously.

But don’t think for a minute that I’m trying to demean, discourage or disparage you.

I mean this with the utmost respect.

Each of us has our own set of unique challenges. Life can be demanding and unfair at times. And it can also be so rewarding and full of opportunity.

In the face of adversity, how we deal with the hand we’re dealt, and the setbacks we face along the way makes all the difference.

I know, it’s easier said than done. But as the saying goes: “It’s not what happens to you that matters. Stuff happens to everyone. It’s what you do about what happens that makes all the difference.”

Let that sink in. It’s so powerful that it’s worth repeating.

“It’s not what happens to you that matters. Stuff happens to everyone. It’s what you do about what happens that makes all the difference.” ~ Anonymous

Will you succeed or fail? Persevere or give up? It’s all up to you.

The quicker you bounce back, learn from the feedback, and then take another step forward is key.

So this holiday season, enjoy the time you “get to share” with your family & friends. And take some time to reflect on all the abundance you have in your life. We all have SO much to be grateful for…

It’s helpful to remind ourselves of this by practicing the art of gratitude. By feeling it, and by expressing it whenever possible.

And just a heads up, in 2 weeks we will begin to revisit a concept that I introduced last year about 6 healthy habits.

On January 3rd, we start “The 6 Pillars To Better Health & Vitality”6 months of building 6 core healthy habits that get results.

In the meantime, if you need some help navigating the holidays and managing the next couple weeks, check out this great post written by Darya Rose for My Fitness Pal. It’s called Your 9-Step Strategy to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays.

I hope you found value in this post.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Is the content valuable and helpful? Did anything resonate? Will you take action? What else would you like to see in future posts? I welcome your feedback.

What’s your Win to be Thin?

If you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about www.thin2win.net with your friends, family and social circles.

Don’t Wait!

Don’t WAIT until it’s too LATE!

arm_fat

Life is short. And moves pretty fast.

As we get older, we need to stay ahead of the curve(s).

Before they… sneak up on us.

Are you with me?

Just like the weeds will take over your garden if you ignore them. The same is true if you neglect your health & wellness for too long.

After the excess baggage shows up at your door in the form of a bigger gut, butt, or muffin top, life-threatening illness will eventually take hold. And will usually strike in the form of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, or early death.

And these are all preventable if you catch them early enough.

But I have an idea. It’s genius!

Make better choices now, so you don’t have to worry later.

It’s not only the battle of the bulge that you’re fighting.

It’s your life!!!

So what are you going to do about it?

I have itemized a few posts below to help you get ahead of the curve:

I hope you found value in this post.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Is the content valuable and helpful? Did anything resonate? Will you take action? What else would you like to see in future posts? I welcome your feedback.

What’s your Win to be Thin?

If you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about www.thin2win.net with your friends, family and social circles.

Is There a Better Way?

Health and wellness is a way of life.

I also believe it’s a “state of mind”. By state of mind I mean that it needs to be part of our daily focus. Mainly because it’s involved in SO many decisions we make every day.

Think about it like a lens or a mental funnel. Where you run your thoughts, plans, choices, decisions, and disciplines through. As in your health & wellness “filter”.

funnelWhat’s your state of mind about your health & wellness?

And how can you improve it?

I mentioned last week that after 2 years of “blogging” about healthy habits, I am still committed to helping you, my loyal readers and supporters improve your health & wellness.

Yet I feel that something is missing as I have not had the growth or positive impact I expected, which is disappointing. My goal is to help you achieve significant results.

So I need to step it up and find a better way.

Over the next month, I plan to re-evaluate the direction of this blog for 2017 and beyond. This will include the subject matter and topics, along with my approach to delivering the content.

I created this blog to help anyone that struggled with weight issues. By promoting natural, do-it-yourself ‘DIY’ ways to lose weight and keep it off forever, through small changes in lifestyle.

Specifically, through better choices about nutrition and exercise.

I thought since I was able to maintain a healthy and fit body, then I should try to help others who struggled to find a way.

This started to shape my perspective about “longevity” and my desire to live to at least 100 years young, with great health, vitality and quality of life the entire time.

The concepts I focus on to incorporate in this blog look like this:

Healthy Habits That Promote Longevity, through…

  • Health & wellness
  • Personal development
  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Weight loss
  • Results!!!

As my thoughts and writing have developed, I have begun speaking to the “over 50” crowd. Specifically, men and women ranging in age between their 50’s to 70’s, give or take a few years.

longevity_couple_walking

I’ve chosen “over 50” for a few reasons

First, I fall into this category, so I understand what it’s like and can speak from experience. Second, it’s at this age where many of us begin to realize we’re not going to live forever. Third, our mortality causes us to get serious about our health & wellness. And fourth, because this is the group I believe I can have the most impact with.

If this resonates with you, then I encourage you to follow me by subscribing for automatic updates, and to share this with your inner circle that may find value and benefit from the results.

I have learned and figured out many things that relate to health & wellness. Longevity is a primary area of interest that I continue to study. And I am grateful that my good habits still outweigh the bad ones. Hey, I’m a work in progress which keeps it interesting.

As we wrap up this week, I want to thank you for your continued support. And point out that your feedback, suggestions, and constructive criticism are always welcome.

I hope you found value in this post.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Is the content valuable and helpful? Did anything resonate? Will you take action? What else would you like to see in future posts? I welcome your feedback.

What’s your Win to be Thin?

If you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about www.thin2win.net with your friends, family and social circles.