8 Ways to Stick to a Lifestyle Change

You know you want to make a change. You want to see what life is like without extra weight on your body. You’re committed to healthy habits. So what’s next?


Plan things out!

Planning can also get you psyched up about new things to try or doing things you enjoy.

1.  Prepare for each destination

Think about what you’ll need to stick to your healthy habits everywhere you go: home, work, school, favorite restaurants and friends’ houses.

2.  Have a motivating kitchen. Have cut up vegetables ready for you in the fridge. Apples and oranges in the fruit basket.  A jar of nuts.

If your church often has potlucks, what would make you feel the best about your choices when it’s over?

  • Bring a healthy dish and only eat it.
  • Ask your congregation to only bring healthier options.
  • Have someone else fill your plate so you don’t have to recommit at every dish.

There are lots of ways to get through the situation without abandoning your goals. Think creatively and ask someone you trust to help.

2.  Plan for the family and friends you’ll see along the way.

 There will be people who are for you — happy to support you in your weight loss. And there will be people against you — not so supportive. You may already know who they are.

You need to be prepared for both types.

Think of each person you spend time with in your daily life, and ask yourself these questions to set up a game plan:

  • How much do you want to share with them about your efforts?
  • What kind of obstacles do you expect from them? What are a few ways you can respond to them?
  • What kind of help do you hope they’ll offer you? Think through the best way to talk with them about what you need. Don’t be afraid to be specific about what helps you and what doesn’t.

3.  Check your readiness to deal with telling people what you want and being able to turn down things that hurt your diet and exercise plan.

Even with help and support, the buck stops with you.

4.  Find ways to assist you in setting yourself up for success.

For instance, are you worried that you can’t meet your goal? Now’s the time to identify and sort out those feelings.  See a therapist or go to Weight Watcher meetings or Overeaters Anonymous.  Go to a medical weight loss program and get the guidance and support that you might need.

To change behavior, experts say you must have the ability to do the required new habits. So, it’s key that you choose habits that you can follow through with.

Let’s say you’ve picked a food plan with foods or styles of eating that you don’t like — say, one that omits all carbs when you love carbs. Or you pick one that’s impossible to stick with, like eating cabbage soup twice a day. If you keep moving forward with that plan instead of adjusting it, you’re crushing your ability to succeed.

As part of your preparation, ask yourself: Why do I want to make changes?

Your reason will be most motivating when it’s linked with a strong emotional state. Instead of simply “wanting to lose weight,” the reason could be “because I want to have more energy” or “not be in pain.”

5.  Focus on the feeling you want to have.

Set up cues to remind you about your motivation. A good cue is one that you’ll be sure to notice and that occurs near the time for your healthy habit. You could open your blinds in the morning to cue you to take your vitamin, or set an alarm.

Even when you take the actions you need, there’s always a risk of relapsing to your old ways. So have a clear sense of what you want — it’s like an energy reserve. It gets you back on track when you need it.

6 Expect Curves Ahead

There are two important truths about change:

  • It happens slowly and over time.
  • The path to change most likely isn’t a straight line.

One day you might be plugging along, committed to living healthfully. Then you have a stressful day or two — at work, or yoga class is canceled — and zap! Your motivation is blown.

At times like this, you have to think about how to adjust your schedule to stay, or get back, on track. You have to map out a new plan.

Tell yourself that it’s normal to hit a few speed bumps on the road to changing your behavior for good.

7.  Count on the fact that you’ll lose your way.

Just like an emergency kit in your car, you need to have tools ready for the unexpected.

Here are a few potential pitfalls that could sway you off track. Reinforce your resolve by thinking through possible solutions ahead of time.

  • What will you do when a coworker brings in homemade cookies?
  • How will you move on if you fall back into your old habits? Like overeat or skip the gym?
  • How will you cope when you feel stressed?
  • Who can you call for help?

8.  Make adjustments to curve balls.

Don’t punish yourself if you fall off track.

Imagine you’re driving somewhere. Let’s say you get off at the wrong exit. What would you do?

Just start again and don’t give up.  Life is a journey.  The idea is the journey and the destination is a goal, but don’t beat yourself up if it takes longer to get there.  Learn how to deal with setbacks and don’t beat yourself up.


Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal of the Day For Concentration and Skinniness

Eating a balanced breakfast sets you up to succeed in your healthy eating and your focus for the entire day. Studies support that you need to start your day off with a healthy breakfast because there are many benefits to eating it.


The benefits of breakfast include:


Eating breakfast can lift your mood. People who don’t eat breakfast are more tired and irritable.


Before you eat in the morning, your body (like a car with little gas) is running on empty. You get energy from high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fats.


Eating breakfast also improves your ability to problem solve. You will be more productive and better able to handle tasks that require memory. Going to work or sending your kids to school sets everyone up for a mismanaged workload and poorer performance than those who eat a healthy breakfast (pop tarts is not healthy!)


Studies show that if you eat breakfast, you’re more likely to be at a healthy weight than people who don’t eat breakfast.


Having an egg or two, with some low fat cheese or turkey (I put vegetables and/or spinach in mine) and a piece of fruit will give you great protein, minerals and vitamins. If you are able to put in some flax, chi or other seeds into your eggs, then you are adding good carbs and fiber. For those who are able to fit in the carbs for the day count of 50 to 100, you can have a slice of whole grain bread or just a small measured portion of oatmeal (depending on the brand is oatmeal, a cup of oatmeal is about 30g of carbs), whole-grain cereal (not the high sugar Honey Nut Cheerios). Try a little almond butter instead of butter. 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter equals 6g of carbs. Another great breakfast option is Greek yogurt. Strawberries and blueberries are great in yogurt, cereal and oatmeal.


Please pull out a measuring cup and become acquainted with how small a cup is vs. what you might thing a cup looks like in your mind.

Basics of a Quick and Balanced Breakfast

One of the most common excuses for not eating breakfast is being short on time to get to work or school. But breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy or time consuming. You can wake up just a little earlier to fit in a nutritious breakfast. The small investment in time in breakfast (and in you) pays off through the whole day.

If you really love cereal, then compromise and put a few for flavor and texture in your oatmeal or your yogurt.

Next time you’re racing against the clock, try these effortless and healthy breakfast ideas:

*You can make a quick smoothie with yogurt and fruit, with some ice cubes. Throw in some chi or flax seeds.
*Western Bagel and some low carb places sell low carb bagels. The Western Bagel Perfect 10 bagel is really good. Lots of fiber and protein and 10g net carbs. Get them at Westernbagel.com and refrigerate them.
*Have hard-boiled eggs available and ready to grab on the run. Places like some selected Costco and Trader Joes has them already hard-boiled and peeled, in bags, for those who really are super busy.
*Low carb shakes in a can (like Pure Protein) or low carb protein bars (like Power Crunch or Nature Valley Protein Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate).
*Low carb Greek yogurt in a small ready-to-go containers (like Dannon Greek Light and Fit)
**Come on, scrambled eggs don’t take that long.

7 Ways to Help Food Cravings On a Diet

I had a lady tell me recently that she wanted to lose weight, but was not willing to make the kind of changes necessary to her diet because it is “too hard” to give up foods that she craves.

I have written about how certain foods have been created by companies, after their own scientists have experimented on combinations of sugar, salt and fat, to the point of what causes pleasure to the brain–therefore causing the brain to crave those food items later when the pleasure is needed. People want to increase those pleasurable points especially in times of stress or boredom. But, how different is this kind of need to any other common addiction?
And if you don’t care about yourself, think about your kids. If continue eating this way, and teaching your children to eat this way, you are preparing them for a possible life of disease and early death.

Yes, it is hard to get through the first week or two (stage one) of a lifestyle food change (diet) because you are fighting off physiological and psychological cravings. So, besides taking an appetite suppressant temporarily until your boys is used to the correctly sized portions and the correct healthy foods.

-7 ways to help deal with cravings.


1. Hunger can make you crave food, so eat every 3 to 4 hours

If you go longer than five hours without food, your blood sugar will drop and your cravings will begin, You need to eat every 3 to 4 hours. If it’s time for an allowed snack, choose food low in calories and fat.

2. Eat protein in every meal to fend off cravings.

You should include some source of lean protein, such as skinless chicken or turkey, fish, eggs, or low-fat cheese. Protein helps to control blood sugar patterns and can help prevent food cravings, Foods containing protein also help you feel fuller by stimulating production of cholecystokinin (CKK), a naturally occurring appetite suppressant.

**AND most IMPORTANTLY–always eat breakfast protein. Research shows that starting your day off with breakfast helps in burning fat and in cutting down cravings.

3. Drink your liquids.

Dehydration can cause some people to crave salty foods. The solution is simple: Drink more water. An 8-ounce glass of refreshing water can help you feel full and get your mind off your food cravings of the moment. In fact, what you think are food cravings may actually be thirst. Drink water and the food cravings should go away. Keep a water bottle handy throughout the day to make it easy to satisfy your fluid needs.

4. Keep busy.

When the craving is psychological, it is meeting a need different from hunger. Hunger caused by boredom, anxiety, or other emotions is by finding an activity that will take your mind off your craving without adding calories. Call a friend. Exercise. Tune into a ballgame. Listen to music. Read a mystery. Watch a movie. Find something to do.

5. Finding something you enjoy doing

Another way to beat food cravings when they are psychological is to replace eating with an activity you find pleasurable and emotionally satisfying, Do something you really enjoy that doesn’t involve an intake of calories: Take a bubble bath, read a fun magazine, do your nails, go have coffee with a friend.. Or look for options that burn calories, like taking a long walk with a special someone. It’s a way of being kind to yourself without sabotaging your weight-loss efforts.

6. Eat less refined foods and corn syrup and DO eat MORE FIBER

Research suggests that some people can become addicted to refined foods, such as white bread, white pasta, and white sugar. The more you eat, the more you want. Break the cycle. Eliminate refined foods from your diet and you could curb your food cravings. Go the extra step and refine your diet by replacing the refined foods with whole grains and fiber— eat more nuts, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole-wheat foods. Remember that fiber makes you fuller and is great for your digestion.

**Fiber fill you up, makes you feel less hungry!

And when you’re scaling back on refined sugars, be sure to target high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is used as a sweetener in many foods, from bread to frozen dinners, because it’s inexpensive and increases shelf life. New research shows that high fructose corn syrup can be a trigger food in animals — having even a tiny amount will make them want more. Scientists are studying whether HFCS may have the same effect in humans.

7. Find healthy great-tasting alternatives


I have put up Jorge Cruz’ recipe for a small microwaved-made chocolate cake, which is low carb and delish. I have discussed cauliflower-based pizza, low carb tortillas and recipes using them. I have listed sites like Netrition.com, Carbessentials.net and Lindora.com, for example, which have food items for low carb cooking and baking. There are great tasting low carb alternatives for bagels (Western Bagel’s Perfect 10 bagel), low carb baking mixes, pancake mixes, pasta. I have put up different recipes and even mentioned low carb websites and cook/baking books.

I have discussed portion control and how you have to eat often and especially breakfast. I have discussed the importance of measuring g food and learning shortcuts for measurement (a portion of meat is the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards). I have also mentioned 4 small servings of veggies a day, two of fruit, which fruits are lower carb than others, etc.

If you insist on eating easy-to-buy and pre-made food items or fast food, (which are NOT diet friendly), despite your desire to lose weight or constant complaints about how you look or how tight your clothes look on you (and you think a little exercise is the only thing that will help–but for years now–it has not), then you are not going to lose weight.

You have to be willing to learn about new foods, look up carb counts, get out of your chair and stop being lazy. There are good alternatives out there, so get cracking at looking things up on Google and finally be skinny. Either use the tools or forever hold your peace. Find the time–you are worth it.


The Rules Work! 10 Rules to Follow and you Can Still Enjoy Life

I joined a couple of chat rooms about being skinny and/or dieting.  It is so upsetting to see so many people struggling with their weight and looking for a miracle or advice that will work.  Some are ordering fiber that fills them up, or other magic pills.  You know, I tried a few myself.  I tried the Raspberry Ketones and it didn’t work.  I tried some carb blockers–saw nothing.  Even if something helps a little, it will not keep it off.  You have to do the work.  There is no cheating.

I think that the biggest issue is that you feel like you will feel deprived.  I have had people tell me that they don’t want to start a diet until after their birthday, or a vacation, or a wedding, or whatever.  They want to eat cake, etc.  That is silly.  Regardless of what event comes up, there will ALWAYS be events that come up.  If you are going to indulge, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still follow dieting or lifestyle change rules and just work it into your week.  Even Weight Watchers has let you save up points for special treats.


So, here are 10 Rules to follow and still enjoy life.  

1.  You need to be ok with the idea of cutting bread, cereal, rice and potatoes either out of your life like me, or cut down to only one or two portions a week of one of these items.  Just remember, these items are high on the carbs and even the glycemic index.  They are not necessary in your diet and the value of what they give you nutritionally pales in comparison to proteins, fruits and vegetables.  Need fiber?  Take some in a drink or eat your crunchy vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, etc).

2.  Learn how to find substitutes for the things that you like.  I like pancakes once in a while, so I get low-carb baking mix.  Last couple of blogs I explained this.  There are substitutes for pizza crust like cauliflower or with wheat in it–Flat Out bread–lower carbs.

3.  Prepare more.  So many people are in my opinion, not in the habit of doing it or are just really lazy and don’t prepare the night before–what they will eat.  I always have protein bars, drinks, mixes from Lindora.com, hard-boiled eggs done from Costco, low-fat string cheese, and low-carb Dannon Greek Lite and Fit yogurt.  If I have to run out the door, I will grab as many things as I think I will need based on the amount of hours I will be gone.  I bring an egg for my breakfast and something for 3 to 4 hours later.  If I think I will be gone longer, then I bring cheese, yogurt, or a low-carb protein bar with me–sometimes two, if I am unsure about time.  They don’t go bad out of the refrigerator.

4.  I know people who are not well, they sleep in and then run out the door and do not have food with them and didn’t think to grab any prepared item, so they need to know where to go to get a fast protein meal (you need 6 small protein meals a day).  Fast food places will sell you sides–eggs, bacon, etc.  Get those and they are cheap.  A side of eggs and bacon at Jack in the Box is actually tasty and under $2.  You can also pick up a quick salad at those places or even a market.  Just make sure it is low-carb and no chinese noodles or croutons–all of the carbs are there!

5.  You will not feel hungry and like you will die if you keep eating protein every 3-4 hours.  You might feel sugar cravings at first (I did for a few weeks and then it gets better, I promise), but if you eat 4 ounces of a meat or have a couple of lite string cheeses, then you feel better again.  You don’t have to have major carbs to feel good, you just think you do.  I also drink coffee with non-dairy creamer in it and I feel better and more full afterwards.

6.  Every time you indulge and eat something very sugary, you will start those high and low cravings all over again because your body will use up the sugar and want more.  It is sugar addiction and it has you hooked.  So, if you really think you need a “hit”, then that is a good time to have one of your small cup sized servings of a fruit (two a day).  Citrus and berries are lowest carbs and others have more–especially bananas.

7.  Exercise.  It helps burn calories and helps with the cravings.  You would be surprised at how well it works.

8.  Take vitamins and minerals daily because sometimes cravings are actually your body’s way of screaming for nutrients.

9.  Drink 60 ounces of water (or flavor it with something non-sugary) a day because dehydration makes you hungry too.

10.  If you go to a special event and want to eat cake, you will have to cut down on the carbs on every meal you are having the whole rest of the day.  If a piece of cake is say, 40g of carbs (look it up online on a nutrition calculator), then you need to have somewhere between 10g and 60g of carbs with the rest of your foods for the day.  YOU SHOULD HAVE 50g to 100g of carbs a day and no more to lose weight)


Be happy, you are going to lose weight!

Sweet Temptation

A great proverb:  ““Good habits result from resisting temptation

I can’t tell you how annoying it is when you are on a diet and someone (who KNOWS you are on a diet) offers you something NOT on your diet.

It happens all of the time.  Temptation.  Sabotage.  Whatever you want to call it.  It is annoying and it is real.

What can you do to prevent temptation?  10 Ways To Reduce Temptation:

1.  Never go anywhere hungry.  My father was thin and he used to go to dinner after eating a piece of chicken breast at home.  I always wondered why he did such a weird thing.  Eat before going out?  I get it now.  He was a reformed chubby kid and as an adult, he learned how to stay thin.  I didn’t figure it out until after he passed away and I lost my weight.    So, eat some protein before you go out to a dinner with other people.  You will find it easier to pass up the rolls and ordering food based on hunger vs. nutritional need.  Once you get good at doing it, it will become a normal routine or habit.

2.  If you do go out, tell the server to not bring rolls and you will NOT be ordering dessert.

3.  Don’t go shopping hungry and go with a list of items that you need, items that are nutritious and part of your diet.

4.  Don’t keep bread in the house, if at all possible.

5.  Always have protein in the house.  Meat, cheese,eggs, Greek Yogurt, nuts, seeds, protein bars.  If you are hungry, have a protein drink or some cheese/meat slices to kill off the hunger.

6.  Eat protein every 3-4 hours and don’t go longer or you will be more likely to cheat.  You are weaker in your strength of saying “NO” when you are hungry.

7.  Warn people who have invited you over or out that you are on a special diet and just let them know that you need cheese, meat, nuts, eggs and you cannot eat grains like rice or bread and no beans.  If they ask why, tell them it is for something medical or you need to be low sugar and those things convert to sugar.  It is really no one’s business anyway.

8.  Drink plenty of water or some form of sugar free beverage and keep full and hydrated on it.

9.  If someone keeps asking you to try something that is NOT on your diet, don’t be afraid to say something to them.  Don’t cave in.  What they are doing is WRONG.  You can say, “You know, I know you are trying to be nice, but that what they are asking you to eat is not good for your health.  You don’t have to mention weight, just say “health” and they are more likely to back down.  I, personally, have no trouble saying, “Hey, stop trying to sabotage my diet or my health.”

10.  Remember that just because it is a holiday, or someone’s birthday, or the weekend or whatever the excuse–doesn’t meant that you have to eat something that will set you back for days after weeks or months of working so hard.  I never really understood why we have to eat things like cake or ice cream when it is your birthday anyway.  Who came up with that idea?

BONUS ANSWER:  Get sugar free/low carb/gluten-free replacements of items that are sweet.  There are bakeries now that make these things and you can Google and have all kinds of replacements mailed to you.  So look into it and don’t just eat whatever crap comes your way.  You don’t have to do it.  Be strong for YOURSELF!