Category Archives for "Weight Loss"

Going Beyond Discipline In Weight Loss

Going Beyond Discipline In Weight Loss

When it comes to achieving lasting weight loss, discipline is without a doubt a key requisite of success.

However, should it come at the cost of everything else?

Should you force discipline upon every aspect of your life?

Should discipline trump pleasure, and spontaneity?

Definitely not, as if you’ve been rigidly following a plan for diet and weight loss, you will come to resent it very fast if it leaves no room for mistakes, or random events.

So, instead of focusing strictly on having discipline for your weight loss goals, try these attainable, yet realistic tips to further your progress:

Have Fun

If your workout requires you to wake up at 4 am every single day and have a run on the treadmill for an hour, sooner rather than later you will begin to resent training. Instead, keep activities fun. If you enjoy spinning classes, go for it.

We are not saying that a few sessions of your early morning workouts would be bad, but do not make it so rigid and inflexible that your psyche suffers as a result.

Eat What You Like

Whoa there, before you get any ideas, let’s clarify, I do not mean eat fries for lunch and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.

Instead, I’m referring to making sensible choices that are in line with your taste preferences.

Don’t like carrots, but love broccoli? Then have your fill of broccoli! Hate turkey, but like salmon? More power to you, those omega-3’s will come in handy too!

There is a vast amount of healthy food choices, more than enough for anyone to find their favorites.

Don’t follow a regimented diet of sawdust and nails; you are much more likely to flop completely if it feels as if you’re being force-fed all the time and you are miserable because of what you are eating. This is one of the main reasons that fad diets don’t work.

In addition, moderation is one activity that greatly boosts the probability of success in losing weight and keeping it off. Moderation means that you can still indulge, but only on occasion, and in very small portions. Think two bites of pie versus two slices.


Drink And Be Merry!

Now this is important when it comes to the occasional drink- moderation. Typically, alcoholic drinks are completely devoid of nutrients, and loaded with empty sugary calories. However, making wiser choices could help you along your way.

Instead of opting for that beer, how about a glass of red wine? Red wine is loaded with useful anti-oxidants, and research has shown that the resveratrol in red wine is very beneficial to health. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll look classier than 99% of other people in the room!

Develop A Sleep Routine

Sleep suffers at the expense of a social life, 9 times out of 10. However, with smart planning, you can have the best of both worlds.

Typically, most people don’t work Saturdays, so, instead of hitting the club or wherever on Sunday night, you can dedicate Friday to that.

That way, you can sleep in later on Saturday, still offering your body the rest it needs. Set a weekday sleep timer for 10PM the latest, as chances are you will have to wake by 6 in the mornings, and sleep deficit quickly adds up.

Drink More Tea

Not many people realize, but replacing 2 or 3 beverages a day with good old green tea can lead to marked decreases in body fat over time, as well as offer high levels of hydration.

Water alone gets tiring after a while, so instead of having to reluctantly down it by the gallon, mix it up with some refreshing tea.


When it comes to effective weight loss techniques, discipline is important. However, it must not come at the expense of giving up everything you enjoy, as your efforts will leave you resenting the goal.

Make smart choices, substituting things you enjoy, and before you know it, your pants will be falling down, and your clothes will become saggy!



10 Key Foods To Add To Your Weight Loss Plan

10 Key Foods To Add To Your Weight Loss Plan


We are all aware of the foods that cause weight gain, but many people are unaware there are foods that can aid in weight loss. Many people tend to focus on the foods they need to cut out of their diet, instead of focusing on the foods to add.

While cutting unhealthy foods from your diet is essential to weight loss, adding foods into your diet is easier to do and can be just as essential in your journey into weight loss. Below, we are going to cover ten foods that are not only key in promoting healthy weight loss, but easy to access and prepare.

  1. Pistachios: These nuts are the perfect snack when you are trying to lose weight because they are high in protein, fiber and healthy, unsaturated fats which are good for your brain and heart. Even though shelled pistachios are convenient, the longer amount of time you spend shelling them yourselves, the more satisfying the snack is going to be.
  2. Mushrooms: The Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reports a study that found substituting mushrooms for meat ca lead to significant weight loss. Mushrooms are actually very similar to meat with their rich and dense texture, and they hardy and filling making them an ideal substitute for meat. Mushrooms are indeed nature’s perfect food, loaded with nutrients of various kinds, versatile in cooking, can be eaten raw or cooked and they are very low in calories.
  3. Yogurt: Scientists aren’t yet 100% sure why yogurt is linked with weight loss and thinness, but it is possible that it is because yogurt contains high amounts of beneficial probiotics. These probiotics promote a healthy gut flora, which could lend to why people who regularly eat yogurt don’t tend to gain weight.
  4. Oat Bran: Oat bran is high in fiber, which will make you feel full and aids in speedy elimination. Oat bran also absorbs fats, which is why it is recommended to lower cholesterol and will help aid you in your weight loss journey.
  5. Olive Oil: It probably seems odd to find a fat among a list that is supposed to help you cut the foods that cause weight gain. However, olive oil is monosaturated, which makes it a healthy part of a diet. In fact, the oleic acid that is found in olive oil is transformed in the small intestine to a compound calls oleoylethanolamide, or OEA. OEA relieves hunger and suppresses your appetite by sending signals to your brain telling it that you are full.
  6. Spinach: High in protein and low in calories, spinach is full of vitamins A and C, antioxidants and folate. Steaming your spinach will help you retain the vitamins and absorb the calcium in spinach. You can add spinach to stir fries, pasta, soups and omelets, or eat it as a salad. The protein in the spinach will help you feel full without loading you down with calories.
  7. Light Canned Tuna: Loaded with protein and DHA, canned light tune is one of the best, not to mention affordable, fish for losing weight especially from your belly area. A study that was published in the Journal of Lipid Research found omega 3 fatty acids and especially DHA to be able to turn off belly fat genes.
  8. Eggs: Eggs are probably the cheapest, easiest, and most versatile way to increase your protein and help you feel full. Eggs are loaded with iron, amino acids, and antioxidants. Even though it’s been said that the whites are healthier than the yolks, don’t skip out on the yolks. Eggs yolks contain a nutrient called choline, which is known for having fat fighting properties. When you are shopping for eggs, we aware of the labels and try to purchase organic eggs that are free from antibodies, hormones, and vaccines.
  9. Peanut Butter: Eating too much peanut butter is going to wreak havoc on your waist line, but keeping to the standard two tablespoon serving is going to give you a great dose of muscle building protein and healthy fats. Look for peanut butter that is unsalted, and without added sugars and hydrogenated oils to reap the most benefits. If you aren’t a fan of peanut butter and jam, you can also stir the spread into hot oatmeal, add it to a smoothie, or enjoy it with fresh produce.
  10. Sprouted Whole Grain Bread: Most people hear bread, and automatically think it’s a carbohydrate nightmare that is going to ruin every effort they have put into weight loss.

Sprouted whole grain bread is not only delicious, it is also loaded with folate rich lentils, proteins, and the very healthy barley and millet.

This bread is low in calories and high in protein, making it a great way to fill your craving for a sandwich in a healthy way.

Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that calorie counts can be misleading.

Not all calories are created equal and it is essential to ensure you are getting your calories from foods that are going to make you feel full and boost your health.

By incorporating the foods listed here into your diet, you are sure to lose additional weight and see results.


Metabolism and Weight Loss

Metabolism and Weight Loss

How fast or slow your metabolism is can either make weight loss an effortless breeze, or something that work against you. A fast metabolism means that your body is a fat burning machine when resting, and can typically be found in people who are already slimmer or younger.

Metabolism ages and slows down as you grow older, making weight loss more difficult. Luckily there are ways of improving your metabolism, and you can even train your metabolism to be more efficient through metabolic conditioning.

Before you attempt to work out harder to making progress even faster, you need to start by knowing where your heartrate is in each of the cardio zones. There are 5 zones total that range from zone one, which is the easiest level of exertion, to level five being the hardest when your heartrate is at its highest.

In zones one through three, you are burning fat as your fuel source, which mean that zones four and five are primarily burning only carbs and sugar. If you burn carbs and sugar for your workout, you won’t lose much, if any, fat – and you could end up feeling hungry by the end of it

This results in you eating back all of the calories you just burned. To find out what zones your heartrate rest in, use an online calculator for the bronze method for a fairly accurate guess.

You can always invest in an active metabolic assessment for a couple hundred dollars to get your exact heartrate zone numbers at a gym. Now that you have your heartrate zones, spend a majority of your cardio time in zones one through three to build your aerobic base, while spending short amounts of time in the higher zones.

This will help your body switch from burning carbs and sugars quicker, to spending more time in fat burning zones during your workouts and while resting. Nutrition is another great way to work on achieving a better metabolism as well.

Simple tricks such as making sure you’re not under eating, drinking plenty of water, and eating foods with plenty of iron, fiber and protein are all beneficial for metabolism. Cardio, strengthening exercises, and nutrition go hand and hand when it comes to fitness plans.

Each will complement the other when it comes to improving your metabolism. When your body’s metabolism improves, it will improve at burning fat, and even prevent metabolic diseases.


Diet Success Tips for 2018

red fruits

Diet Success Tips for 2018

The New Year of 2018 is rapidly approaching – even though you may still be catching the last rays of the waning summer sun. How do you view the year ahead – with trepidation or excitement?

It may help to begin now to plan the future year so that when it does finally hit, you’ll be prepared to make it your best year ever. No matter what your age, if you can look in the mirror and know you’re doing your best to be fit and happy, you’re a success.

Things are changing rapidly in healthy diets and mental acuity to help you be the best you can be. Genetic discoveries are made every day that can impact the way you eat, exercise and maintain your health.

The 2018 year promises to be a great year for learning new ways to control your appetite and motivate yourself to be fit and healthy. Personalized nutrition plans, calculated for your body type and metabolism, using your mind to reach diet and fitness goals and much more will be revealed in the coming year.

Armed with knowledge you can easily prepare for the upcoming revelations in 2018 that will help you meet your diet and overall fitness goals. It’s exciting and fun to anticipate what’s in store that could make us rethink the way we approach dieting and health issues.

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Superfoods For Weight Loss


Weight loss is something many people want to achieve, but aren’t really sure how to get started. If you want to lose weight, there are many different methods, from the types of workouts you should do to how much you need to eat.

In terms of your nutrition, you need to understand that there isn’t a right way or wrong way to go. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you find something that works for you specifically. A good place to start with weight loss is looking for the healthiest foods possible. This is where superfoods come in.

What Are Superfoods?

The most basic explanation is that superfoods are foods that have a higher amount of nutrients than most other foods. These aren’t just healthy, but contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and D, antioxidants, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, protein, iron, and many others.

While all superfoods are good for you, some are better for weight loss and fat burning than others. Here is a list of the top 10 superfoods to try if you are interested in losing weight.


There are a lot of vegetables that are great to add to your diet when you are trying to lose weight, but dark leafy greens are among the best ones. A good leafy green to start with is spinach, which is a superfood thanks to all the nutrients each serving has. Some of the top nutrients in spinach are potassium, fiber, and iron.

With spinach, you are getting a food that is low in fat and calories, and super low in carbs, but high in fiber. This means you get low net carbs if you are on a low carb diet, plus the vegetable can be enjoyed on any low fat diet, and with vegetarian and vegan diets.

Adding spinach to your diet is super simple, and depends on the types of foods you enjoy the most. If you like making omelets for breakfast, add in some spinach to the eggs and it will cook down. If you make smoothies or juice, add some spinach and the taste is covered up by the fruits you add. You can also add it to other greens for any of the salads you enjoy.

Green Tea

Most superfoods are going to be fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and spices, but that doesn’t mean drinks can’t be included! One of the top beverages that is a superfood for weight loss is green tea. Green tea is extremely beneficial for weight loss, helping to boost your metabolism, and help you to burn more fat and calories. It is often recommended to drink before workouts or even during the workouts if you choose iced green tea to be refreshing.

Green tea has a lot of important antioxidants and amino acids that give you more energy and will help you feel full longer. This can reduce cravings, keep you from indulging when you are trying to cut back, and even burn more fat throughout the day. The recommended amount is 3-5 cups of green tea every day.

Make sure when you choose your green tea, you don’t get something that is processed or contains additives. Most green tea is caffeine free, but some varieties do have a small amount of caffeine. Pay close attention to the label when you are purchasing it.


There are also some yummy fruits on the list of superfoods for weight loss, starting with apples. The reason the phrase ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor a way’ is so common is because of how nutritious these fruits are. They are low in fat and calories, low in carbs, and have a lot of phytonutrients and antioxidants. You will have less illness overall just by eating an apple every day.

For weight loss, apples help by not adding too many fat grams or calories to your foods, and providing a sweetness to keep you away from sugar and other sweets. They can also help to speed up your metabolism, which helps you to burn more fat for the rest of the day. Try apple slices with some peanut butter or almond butter, or enjoy sliced apples on your salads. Cinnamon is another superfood, which tastes great on top of sliced apples.

Chia Seeds

As mentioned previously, not all of the foods on the superfoods list for weight loss are fruits or veggies. Seeds like chia seeds also have a place on the list. If you have ever had a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal with small black seeds on them, those were probably chia seeds. These seeds are completely edible and come from Mexico. They also contain a lot of nutrients.

Some of the top nutrients in chia seeds are omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, calcium, and of course lots of antioxidants. The fiber in chia seeds are good for your heart health, while the fatty acids help you to get more energy and burn more fat. Chia seeds are great for weight loss in many ways.

There are tons of ways to add chia seeds to your diet. Smoothie lovers often add them to their smoothie mixes in the morning, though you can also add them to your protein shake for before or after your workouts. You can sneak them in oatmeal or cereal, top salads, or mix them into your soup.


We are going to talk about two types of nuts for weight loss, including almonds and pistachios. First are almonds, which are a popular superfood that fits in with just about any diet. In fact, almonds fit in with all of these popular diets:

Vegetarian and vegan

Raw diets

Low fat or calorie

Low carb, Keto, and Atkins


Whole foods

Just one serving of almonds contains 5 grams of fiber. This will give you more energy and help you to burn more fat and calories. Almonds also contain a good amount of manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, and vitamin E. As you can see, they are very nutritious!

The simplest way to enjoy almonds is by eating a handful of them. About ¼ cup is usually a single serving. However, you can also eat almonds in many other ways, from enjoying almond butter with your fruit slices, or topping slivered almonds on top of soups or salads. Get creative when deciding how you want to eat them.


The other nut that is on the top 10 list of superfoods for weight loss is pistachios. These green nuts are not only insanely delicious, they are also packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. You just want to be careful with how many you eat per day since they can be a little high in fat and calories. However, they are a healthy fat, so as long as you watch portion sizes, they can work well for you even while losing weight.

Like many other nuts, pistachios contain a lot of protein and fiber. In addition to these nutrients, they also have a good amount of zinc, vitamin E< potassium, and magnesium. You should have about an ounce serving, which is a handful of them. However, you should try to get a food scale so that you know exactly how many you are eating. Try putting each serving size in a different snack-size baggie to have better control over the amount you are eating.

Goji Berries

Another popular superfood is goji berries. Don’t be too surprised if they don’t sound familiar. They are more of a newer superfood, but quickly becoming more trendy in healthy crowds. Goji berries are very nutritious, containing a lot of antioxidants and other vitamins that you should have in your regular diet.

Goji berries are small, reddish-purple berries that are sweet and taste delicious with a lot of different foods and snacks. They are excellent for helping to control your appetite, which is going to help with weight loss by not causing you to indulge in other foods that aren’t great for you. They can also help to regulate your blood sugar levels, and because they are sweet, reduce your sugar cravings at the same time.

With goji berries, they are used in similar ways to pomegranate seeds. They can be added to juice or smoothies, mixed in with low-fat frozen yogurt or regular yogurt, or added to your salads. Salads with spinach or kale as the greens, sliced strawberries and goji berries, and a raspberry vinaigrette is perfect for warm days when you want a refreshing and healthy lunch.


Don’t worry – not all superfoods for weight loss are produce or seeds. You can also eat popcorn! This makes movie night with your family or friends a lot more enjoyable. You won’t feel like you are missing out when you can still enjoy some popcorn with everyone else. It is what you add to it that makes the big difference.

The popcorn on its own is not what you need to be concerned about, but rather the seasonings and melted butter you choose to add. When you get into the cheese and caramel popcorn, it becomes even more unhealthy. Try to eat plain, air-popped popcorn, going for the kind you cook on the stove instead of in a bag in your microwave. Measure out the portion size and know exactly how much you are eating. A little sea salt is all you need to season it just right.


The #9 superfood for weight loss to try to add to your diet is legumes. These are great because they fit in with any type of vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as low fat and low calorie diets. Some low carb diets (depending on how restricting they are) have room for legumes.

Legumes are nutritious with a lot of protein and fiber for you. If you don’t eat meat, these are a good source of protein and iron without having to worry about missing out from not eating meat. Legumes not only contain a lot of nutrients, but they have been found to help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and protect you from heart disease. This is helpful for general health, but also if you have these conditions from being overweight.

Legumes help with weight loss by filling you up and keeping you from craving other foods. If your appetite is the main reason you struggle with weight loss, try to add more legumes to your meals. Legumes can be used as a main dish or side dish, so they are really easy to work with. Here are some legumes to try out:

  • Navy beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Red kidney beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Adzuki beans
  • Cannellini beans
  • Butter beans


Last up on the list is tomatoes, which are versatile and essential for a well-balanced diet. Tomatoes have a high amount of antioxidants, which as you know help to protect you against illness and disease. Tomatoes also have a good amount of potassium, and various other nutrients. They also contain vitamins like vitamin C, which is found in many other fruits as well.

Tomatoes help with fat burning, filling you up, and providing an easy, low-fat snack. Tomatoes also happen to be low in carbs, so Paleo, Atkins, and Keto people can also add them to their dishes.

Eating more tomatoes regularly is very easy to do. They are one of the most versatile superfoods on this list.

Here are some different ways to add more tomatoes to your diet:

  • Enjoy salsa with slices of veggies or baked tortilla chips
  • Make homemade tomato sauce to go on whole wheat pasta
  • Slice up tomatoes for your sandwiches or wraps
  • Make a big salad for lunch or dinner with sliced tomatoes in it
  • Add more nutrition to hot sandwiches like tuna melts and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato slices

Losing weight is not an easy process, but it is something that you learn from along the way. In addition to adding these top superfoods, look for other foods that help to burn more fat and give you more energy. These are two very important components of losing weight, then keeping it off once you reach your goal.


Diet Reward and Penalty System

One medical study showed that more than 40 million people go on a diet every year and billions of dollars are spent annually in the effort to lose weight. But despite those efforts, well over half of the people on a diet will fail.

That failure is caused by not recognizing and implementing the diet reward and penalty system. Knowing that there are penalties in place works to change the behavior of a dieter, which in turn motivates people.

You can put a diet reward and penalty system in place in your own life and find the weight loss success that may have eluded you.

Setting Goals and Action Steps

You have to start by setting goals. This is the biggest area that throws most dieters off track. They either don’t set concrete goals or they start out with goals that aren’t realistic.

If you want to have weight loss success, you can’t get off on the right foot by unknowingly sabotaging yourself. The psychology of dieting in the brain makes people focus on the complete goal, such as wanting to lose fifty pounds.

Instead of breaking down that fifty pound weight loss into steps that are easily achievable, what most people who fail to reach diet goals do is they don’t break the goal down far enough.

Having an overall goal is important – but not nearly as important as the steps you have to take to reach each small one. Weight loss goals should have an end target.

That would be losing the fifty pounds. Next, you need an action plan and this is what derails the majority of dieters. Their action plan isn’t realistic enough. They might write down a goal as being that they want to lose that fifty pounds in a month.

Not only is that a recipe for failure, but trying to achieve that loss that fast could lead to health problems. It can also lead to disappointment and feelings of depression when you don’t make that goal.

Your action plan should include simple, achievable steps known as short term goals that all point toward your long term goal – losing the fifty pounds. By setting short term goals, as you achieve them, it will motivate you to keep going toward the long term goal.

Your action steps should include things you can do that point toward weight loss. You might do things like cutting back on the amount of calories you eat or limiting your carbs.

You might create an action plan that includes eliminating foods that are your trigger foods and replacing them with ones that help you stay on track. You should include room in your action plan for splurges.

This helps keep the brain motivated because it’s part of the reward system. This treat doesn’t have to be food related – and in fact, shouldn’t be because it feeds into the cycle of using food as a reward, which is what can lead to self-sabotage and weight gain.

Track your goal accomplishments. Keep records of what you eat, the amount of calories or carbs and keep a weekly total of the pounds or inches lost. Also make sure that you note how active you are.

The reason you want to keep track of what you do that feeds into your goals is because during the times when you feel less motivated, looking back at what you accomplished can help motivate you again.

So start your weight loss journey with three things in mind – your overall goal, your action steps or smaller, short term goals and the effort of tracking your successes.

Diet Rewards

The Red Tea Detox

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when dieting is rewarding weight loss by allowing yourself to have a food treat – especially one that’s not all that good for you.

The reason that it’s a mistake is because it encourages eating to feed emotions such as feeling happy that you lost some weight or stuck with an exercise program for a few weeks.

Creating an emotional connection to food as a reward system is something that will foster a return to unhealthy eating habits. The rewards that you choose should be a scale of items or events.

You can create a point system based on what you accomplish. For example, if you eat healthy an entire day, give yourself a point. If you eat healthy for an entire week, that would be seven points.

Save up your points to get something for yourself or do something that you really want. This type of delayed diet reward helps keep you motivated so that you continue forward.

When you reach a certain point level, say twenty-five points, then you can cash them in for your reward. Use diet rewards to do things like purchase a book you’ve really been wanting to read.

Or spend the points on music or a trip to the movies. You can buy yourself a pair of new earrings or a watch. You can buy tickets to a sports game or invest your points by purchasing a new gadget for your home or vehicle.

You can take a fishing trip or go on a hike. Go to the museum or visit a place you’ve always wanted to see. Saving up your points to take a trip out of town or for a cruise is a great way to motivate you to keep on track.

You can buy yourself new shoes or an item of clothing you want. If you hold on to the points until you reach certain milestones, then you can use your points to buy a complete outfit.

You can treat yourself to a live music concert or a night out dancing with friends. You can take a vacation day. Spend the points by paying for a class that you’ve always wanted to take or spend the points by buying tools for a new hobby.

You can bank points until you have enough saved to buy something nice for your home. When you use a healthy reward system, that encourages healthy habits. The power of a reward is a great way to release dopamine which makes you feel good.

And when you associate feeling good with rewarding yourself and losing weight, you’ll be sure to hit your goal.

Why You Should Use a Penalty System When Dieting

Studies have shown that most dieters like getting something as a reward for losing weight but more than that, they hate the idea of losing something they want or something they have if they don’t stay the course.

Negative consequences can actually do more to cause changes in behavior than positive consequences can. No one likes to be penalized and people will work harder to keep that from happening than they will if there was no punishment in place.

The science of the reward and penalty system works to effectively lead to weight loss and changing bad habits as well. What some people do is they set a goal to lose weight and have short term goals in place.

When they reach that short term goal, they then reward themselves by paying a certain amount of money into their diet fund. For example, you can give yourself a dollar, five dollars or whatever for each pound you lose.

That money then goes toward something you want to buy. But if you fail to lose or you gain, then you must pay that money to something or to someone else. This punishment system is effective because no one enjoys giving his or her money away.

You can find some apps for use with a smartphone that are based on a monetary reward or penalty system to help keep you moving toward your weight loss goals. The punishment that you choose should be one that really matters to you.

If you couldn’t care less if you have to pay out some money, then that punishment isn’t substantial enough. So instead of that, you could set your penalty to be having to give up something you really enjoy doing such as watching the newest episode of your favorite show.

Your penalty system should never be based entirely on punishment. For it to be effective, you have to make sure you have something positive built in to the punishment.

An example of that would be making sure whatever exercise you choose to do is one that you really like versus one that you don’t. Having exercises that you enjoy makes it easier to stick with it.

So if you don’t exercise, then your punishment could be losing the night out with friends that you were looking forward to. Or having to skip the movie you were planning to go see.

Never use food to penalize yourself for failing to stick with your goal. If you do that, you can start to associate negative feelings and feedback to dieting or exercising.

Whatever penalty you use should never be associated with shame. All that does is fill your head with negative self talk and you don’t need that. When you’re setting up your penalty system be sure that it’s something that works to help you so that it’s not shameful.

An idea of a shameful penalty would be forcing yourself to go without something you need. Eating disorders are often rooted in shame. Instead, you need to simply get back up when you fall.

Getting Back on Track

You’re doing so well on your diet and you have several smaller goals already under your belt. You’re feeling on top of the world like nothing can stop you from losing the weight you want to shed when it happens.

There was a birthday celebration at work and the treats just looked and smelled too good to give up. So you indulged more than you should have. Or you went out to eat and decided you wanted to have that thick slice of pizza loaded with fat, calories and dripping with cheese just like everyone else was eating.

First, you need to realize that every single person in the world who has ever dieted will at some point get off track. It doesn’t make you a failure or a loser. What it makes you is human.

However, you don’t want to stay off track long because if you do that, it’s harder to head back in the right direction toward weight loss. What most people do when they get off track is they end up filled with regret and sometimes self-loathing.

They tell themselves they can’t believe they blew it. From this point, it can go one of two ways. One way is when people feel so disgusted that they blew it that they allow feelings of discouragement to take hold.

Then they think of how they’ve worked so hard and it’s all for nothing. They subconsciously decide that they might as well blow it big since they blew it at all. So they blow off eating right for a few more meals – maybe even a week or two.

They skip the gym and before you know it, all of those unhealthy habits show right back up. Then they get into the mindset of berating themselves, internalizing negative self-talk and calling themselves all kinds of names.

At this point, you need to learn to stop beating yourself up. You didn’t do something that can’t be undone. It might take you a little longer to reach your goals, but it doesn’t mean that it’s too late.

The second way that it can go if you get off track is to refuse to play the shame game. So you didn’t stick with it like you’d hoped. It’s not the end of the world. Realize that you made a mistake and then make a fresh commitment to begin again.

That’s the key to getting back on track every time you get off track. Realize it was a mistake and begin again. This allows you to give yourself a fresh start.

The Key to Success Using a Diet and Penalty System

With any diet plan, you have to realize that one that’s so rigid there’s no room for any bending at all is one that is bound to fail. No diet should be so set in stone that it doesn’t allow room for you to make changes to improve the diet and the penalty system.

You might find that portions of your diet plan that work for some people just don’t work for you. By forcing yourself to keep plodding along, you can bet that you’re going to give up at some point.

Your diet system has to work for you. It has to work for your lifestyle, for your personality and for your budget. If it doesn’t work for all three of those, then you have a weak link in your diet and at some point, it will fall apart.

You need to be able to adjust whatever diet plan you’re using as you go along. People get too rigid and you don’t need to do that. It doesn’t matter if you have to make tweaks to your diet plan to get it to work for you.

If it works for you, then that’s all that you need. But if it doesn’t, then you have to find something that does. And it’s the same thing with your exercise. If you’re doing something that you hate to the point you’d rather have a root canal, then the odds of you reaching your weight loss goals are pretty slim.

Exercise doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence if you make it something that you really like doing. It’s the same way with the penalty system. You can’t be too rigid.

Because as time goes on, you might get a little bit apathetic toward weight loss. When your penalty system is too harsh, then it will be easier to quit. You should adjust your penalty system as you go along.

In the beginning of deciding a penalty, most people are actually too harsh on themselves. You want it to be something that matters to you, but not something that you’d rather quit dieting than face the loss of whatever you picked.

When you use a diet reward and penalty system together, it can work for successful weight loss where many other plans have failed you in the past. Many people focus only on rewards or penalties.

Some people don’t feel any penalty should be delivered to someone who is dieting. But for others, it will help motivate them to reach their goals. Only you will know what’s right for you, and feel free to tweak the system to where it most benefits your personality and style.

The Red Tea Detox

Meditation and Fitness Motivation

If you’re trying to lose weight and get fit, you should practice meditation. In it, you can find the motivation to stay on track and accomplish your goals. Meditation has a lot to offer.

It can improve your health, help you sleep at night, give your immune system a boost and calm any stress you might be experiencing. There are many forms of meditation, some more popular than others.

Guided Imagery for Fitness

This is one of the easiest forms of meditation that you can start and practice. This form is perfect for the person who has a busy lifestyle. It can help you learn to shut out distractions and center yourself.

This type of meditation uses the mind and body connection for you to create imagery. What you see in your mind becomes real and you react to that image of reality as if it already existed.

That’s why guided imagery is so helpful when it comes to fitness motivation. It can be hard to stay on track and keep going forward when you don’t see your improved self.

You’ll use the meditation on videos or CDs or in another form as the means to lead you to a meditative state. The visualization of what you see will lead you toward the motivation you need for fitness.

During the process, you’ll reach a place of complete relaxation. The reason that this is important is because it helps you let go of whatever it is that’s holding you back in weight loss.

This might be something like past failures or feelings of anxiety or depression from what you’ve experienced before when trying to lose weight. When you have failures in the past with weight loss, it leaves a subliminal message in your brain that can hinder your present day attempts.

But by using guided imagery, you change the message that your brain is holding onto concerning weight loss and fitness. You replace it with a message that’s full of hope and is positive.

“If you think it, you can have it” is one of the basic beliefs found in guided visualization. The practice allows you to keep your focus on your goal without all of the baggage of negativity hanging on.

By using guided imagery, you can create what you’ll use to have success because you see it, then you own it because you take the steps to reach that goal.

What this practice does is that it frees your mind, allowing you to find that important mind and body connection. Healing from what held you back in the past as well as true power can flow from that and give you a strong motivation.

Visualizations Help Keep You Motivated

Visualization isn’t the same thing as guided imagery – though they are often talked about as if they are. Using visualizations is a means of reaching whatever goal you want to come to pass.

You can use this practice to achieve fitness. You might be someone who has been on a weight loss cycle more times than you can count and each time, you lost your motivation.

Nothing that you did seemed to work no matter how hard you tried. If you try visualizations, then you’ll have a tool that can be used to not only get rid of extra weight, but also to help you feel better.

It can help to give you a stronger, better workout and keep you on the right track regardless of how long it will take you to reach your goals. When you use visualization, it changes your way of thinking as far as how you perceive weight loss.

It also helps you overcome the things that often making losing weight and getting fit more difficult. You can use visualizations to change how you see food and how you think about exercise.

By using the method, you’ll discover that getting fit is no longer something that you dread. Instead, you’ll have the motivation you need that will make you look forward to exercising.

When you use the mind and body connection, you can achieve greater things. Start by seeing your body as you want it to be. This should be what you imagine your body is going to look like after successful weight loss and exercise.

In other words, see yourself as the end result or after picture. Imagine that you’re full of energy, that your body weight is in the healthy range. See that your abdominal muscles are toned.

Picture the strength of your muscles. Imagine the easy and fluid way your body can move. Visualizations work to give you the fitness motivation because when you’re relaxed and you use visualization, your mind is more open and accepting.

Practicing visualizations helps you stop some of the things that can make you lose your motivation such as stress. When you feel stressed, it can make you want to eat and not work out.

It can steal your motivation. Because visualizations can stop stress, this is one battle that you won’t be fighting like you may have done in the past. You’ll discover that with visualizations, what caused you to feel stressed before and led to you losing your motivation doesn’t affect you that way anymore.

Visualization keeps you from letting other issues like unhealthy food cravings cause you to lose your motivation. During the process of visualization, you can learn to see the food that triggers your lack of motivation as ties that keep you held in place. You can picture those ties being cut one by one until you can freely move forward.

Mantras to Help You Keep Your Fitness Motivation

If you’re not familiar with what a mantra is during meditation, it’s simply a word or noise that you make over and over again while you’re in a state of deep body and mind relaxation.

This word or sound can be something that has meaning to you or you can use some common ones. One of the most common mantras used is the sound of “om.”

Whatever mantra that you use, though, should be used solely for keeping you relaxed and in the meditation zone. To perform the mantras, you can sit somewhere with your eyes closed and simply say the mantra repeatedly.

Some people say it to themselves while others speak it softly out loud. What happens as your saying the mantra is that it is taking you into a side of yourself that you’re usually not connected with.

This subconscious is what holds the key to the mind and body connection that you’ll use to find and keep your fitness motivation. Using mantras can help you focus on the positives such as loving your body.

When you love your body and want the best for it, then it changes how you look at fitness. It’s a whole lot easier to keep your motivation strong when you’re doing it from a place of love rather out of a sense of having to.

Mantras help you stop seeing the perfect time to get started or to stick with fitness. A mantra can clear the excuses from your mind and cause you to get in touch with who you truly are.

When that happens, it will change your attitude from can’t to can. When you change how you see fitness, you change your fitness motivation. Connecting with your inner self through the use of mantras keeps you on your fitness track.

They can help you focus on what you specifically want in ways that will allow you to set easy goals that aren’t so challenging that you can’t reach them. Mantras help you find that truth that you need to see that helps you to move forward.

Mantras can also help you plan for success. When you use mantras you get to tap into what’s really important to you and let everything else go. One of the things that mantras can do for you that work to keep your motivation strong is they allow you to see why you wanted to get in shape in the first place.

When you stay focused on why you want what you do, then keeping the motivation is easy.

Affirmations Can Make a Difference in Your Motivation

An affirmation is a statement. It’s a positive thought or even a phrase spoken out loud that helps you stay motivated. You can use affirmations in all areas of your life and when you use them in the area of weight loss and fitness, you’ll see that they help strengthen your motivation.

For affirmations to work correctly, you do have to put an end to any thoughts that aren’t positive. You need to take that internal voice that may not build you up and you have to silence it.

You do that by letting yourself tune in and becoming aware of what your self-talk is. Then you take steps to correct any negativity. You do this by replacing what was negative with what is positive.

Affirmations are a great way to find self acceptance and to learn how to love yourself better. You can use suggested affirmations or you can create your own. One affirmation you can use is one that focuses on how you feel at the moment.

Keep in mind that the affirmations do need to be as specific as possible and always phrased in a positive way. For example, you would not say something like “I’m tired of being overweight. I choose to be healthy.”

You can use the second sentence but you wouldn’t use the first because it has a negative connotation to it. When you use affirmations, they help you feel empowered.

They make you rightfully believe that you can accomplish whatever you want to do. Some good affirmation sayings for fitness motivations are ones like: I choose to exercise” and “I am feeling confident” or “I am learning to love myself and to love the changes I’m making.”

Your affirmations can focus on things that often derail fitness motivation such as stress. You could say something like. “I choose to let go of stress” or “I am focusing on the positives I am surrounded with.”

If you’re someone who has struggled with weight loss or fitness failure in the past, then you could have an affirmation that specifically dealt with that. You wouldn’t mention the failure because you’d restate it so that it was positive.

You could say something like, “I am choosing to let go of the past” or “I am able to do what I choose to do.” When you use the power of positivity that’s found in affirmation meditating, you’ll discover that you develop an I can attitude that keeps you actively seeking your fitness goals.

You can use your affirmations any time. You can choose a specific time during the day and can use them at home or at work. These affirmations can be said first thing in the morning and then off and on throughout the day if you choose.

Mindful Meditation for Weight Loss Motivation

Mindful meditation comes from ancient meditation methods. It means to be mindful one oneself. When you practice this form of meditation, it means that you’re living in a way that makes you fully present.

You’re allowing yourself to feel and to think without criticizing or offering any kind of judgement upon yourself. This is especially helpful in the area of weight loss and fitness because people tend to criticize themselves pretty harshly when it comes to their bodies and to the ups and downs of weight loss.

For this type of meditation, you sit still with your back straight. As you breathe in, you concentrate on those breaths. Then when you exhale, you also concentrate on those breaths.

As you do this, your mind and body will relax. Your mind will experience a variety of thoughts and you go through many different feelings. Don’t judge yourself for anything that occurs with your mind or feelings while you’re in the midst of mindful meditation.

Mindful meditation can work to help your life overall as well as in certain focused areas like the things that you do. Fitness involves eating as well as working out and taking care of your body.

Mindful meditation can help you to be mindful during the times when you must focus on your body. One of these times is found during meals. When you practice this method while eating, it can teach you to be mindful of the food that you put into your mouth.

It will help you be fully present. In the past, you might have eaten a meal and then found yourself later wondering what you had to eat. That’s because you weren’t fully present while you were eating.

Keep your focus on the food that you eat – on what it tastes like, what it smells like and how your body is enjoying that food. When it’s time to work out, focus on the good that it’s doing your body – on how it’s helping your muscles, how it’s boosting your energy and giving you strength.

Mindful meditation helps you focus on fitness so that you can concentrate better and not be distracted. It allows you to pay attention to what’s important. It also helps you relax while working out and boosts your mood.

Mindful meditation can help you live in the present and keep your focus on your fitness goals so that your motivation doesn’t wane.

Reset from Diet Failures

Everyone fails and if you don’t fail, then you’re probably not human. Diet failures happen for many different reasons. Sometimes, it’s your fault, but other times, it could be the fault of the diet you chose.

Failures can be as short as messing up your eating plan for an hour or two. The failure might last for a day or a week or a month. Or maybe you’re someone who failed and you’ve been stuck on that path for years.

The good news is that none of that means your diet wishes are permanently gone. You can start again the very second you make the decision to change your life.

What’s Behind the Failure?

Whenever you fail at anything, including a diet, there is always an underlying reason. Once you figure out the reason, that’s when you can change it and find success.

There are some pretty common reasons why people experience diet failure. It usually starts because there’s no planning. Other than a desire to lose weight and you can picture your end goal, you don’t really have a map or plan on how you’re going to get from point A to B.

Another reason is because your short term goals aren’t reasonable. You’ve set the bar too high and can’t reach them – so when you fail in the beginning, it can cause discouragement.

This can make you more reluctant to get back on the diet. The first week is when most diets ultimately fail and nine times out of ten it’s because the short term goals are the culprit.

If you have an “everything and the kitchen sink” mentality toward dieting, then that can also set the stage for failure. This is what happens when you try to make too many changes all at one time, like thinking you’ll completely clean out the pantry and toss everything that you deem unhealthy for you.

Completely overhauling the way you eat all at once makes a diet unappealing. Maybe you’ve started your diet out with an eating plan that’s so strict, you haven’t budgeted anything in there that’s familiar.

So you’ve tossed all of the regular food and replaced it with an eating plan that’s too limited. Then, you decide that the only beverage you’ll consume is water. That you’ll workout every single day. For at least half an hour. No, wait. An hour.

Longer is better, right? When enthusiasm for your body to change overrides your ability to stick to it, your motivation goes down the drain. You can’t count on sheer force of will to keep you fired up enough to carry on with your diet when you’ve overwhelmed yourself with too many changes at the same time.

Signs You’re Headed Toward Diet Failure

There are warning signs with every diet that can tell you if it’s going to be successful or not. Instead of finding that you feel much better eating this new way, you discover that you feel a lot worse.

Your diet is too over the top with its limitations. You’ve cut your food choices down to items that are foreign to you as well as unappetizing. This level of strictness will cause you to quit pretty fast because no one wants to eat things they don’t like regardless of how well motivated you might be.

From the beginning of your diet and on, you’ve battled constant hunger. Diets are supposed to let you feel that hunger. It means it’s working right? Wrong. It’s a myth that far too many believe that any diet you undertake should leave you feeling hungry even right after you finish a meal.

The truth might shock you. A diet that’s healthy and based on your calorie needs should actually keep you feeling full throughout the day. Even a diet that’s portion controlled shouldn’t leave you feeling hungry.

If it does, then you’re eating the wrong things. Cravings that just don’t stop can be a sign that you’re heading toward diet failure. Most cravings for foods that aren’t healthy will end once your body adjusts to eating better.

But the biggest mistake that you can make is to try to keep plugging along with the cravings nipping at your heels. The desire for that particular food will only grow stronger on some diets because the body goes into a sense of deprivation.

Your mind thinks that the body will always be deprived of that food because the word diet is symbolic with doing without. Your diet needs to have a craving allowance built in.

You let yourself eat a controlled portion of the food that you like and you don’t assign any one food to never-again land. Have it and enjoy it, just be wise about it.

Another sign that you’re heading toward diet failure is if you’re someone who practices emotional eating. Dieting is not going to make those emotions feel better.

In fact, if you’re an emotional eater and you suddenly limit all the foods you used to self-comfort, you’re going to feel worse. For those who use food to deal with emotions, you must find a way to handle your feelings as you’re dieting.

This way, you’re not essentially starving the emotional component of yourself. When you treat the need behind emotional eating, you’ll find that your dieting motivation is stronger.

Having a lot of peer pressure is another sign you might be headed toward diet failure. These come at you from well meaning (though sometimes not) people who tell you go ahead and splurge – that you deserve it.

They tell you things like you look good just as you are, that you’re really fine overweight and as you to come celebrate by overeating with them. If you are someone who knows you give in to peer pressure in other ways, it could be easier for you to give in to diet peer pressure.

The Role of Shame in Dieting

You might be aware of this or you might not be. But the odds are high that you engage in diet shaming. And shaming isn’t something that can be successfully used to lose weight or keep it off.

Some common diet shaming things that you might have said to yourself include internal comments about your meals. “Oh, I was a total pig. I ate all the wrong stuff today.”

It might be about your physical appearance. “I hate to walk past others in a restaurant. Everyone is thinking about how fat I am.” Or maybe you’ve internalized shame about how your body looks to the point that you’re too uncomfortable to eat a meal in a restaurant.

Maybe you order the food to go and eat in your car. Saying unkind things when you eat and hiding out when you eat is shaming yourself. Some people get stuck in this rut, not realizing the damage that it does.

They don’t know that shaming keeps them stuck in diet failure. Shaming yourself isn’t self acceptance. It’s not loving who you are, failures and all. At its core, diet shaming is a sense of self-hatred for how you eat, what your body looks like and what you perceive as an inability to change anything.

This keeps you feeling powerless when the truth is that you do have the power to change. You’ve always had it, but maybe you just haven’t understood how to use that power.

When a failure happens, don’t blame yourself. You’re a human being. That means that you have flaws, you’ll make mistakes and that it is perfectly natural to do that.

You have to stop blaming and shaming yourself when a diet doesn’t work out. So you failed. Big deal. It doesn’t mean the world is going to end because this diet didn’t work out.

And it doesn’t matter if it was your first diet or your hundred and first diet. The shame is not yours to take on. When you allow shame to have a hold on your diet process, it will kick your butt every time you look in the mirror.

You’ll despise your image. You won’t want to do anything to make a change. You won’t love and accept yourself. Worst of all, when you give shame room within your diet failure, it always spreads.

It will transfer to other areas of your life.

Begin Again Without Shame

Whether you’ve failed once or hundreds of time, the blame is still not yours to carry. When you experience shame after a failed diet, check out what’s going on in your thought process and in your feelings.

If you do that, you’ll see that shame means that you feel unworthy or inferior. But that feeling doesn’t make it the truth. You feel the shame or the unworthiness or inferiority because you’ve been taught that there should be shame when you fail.

Failure should always be seen as an opportunity inviting you to try something different rather than the final say in any situation. The feelings of shame when it comes to diet failures are caused because you feel inferior to the standards that were placed on you by others such as people or businesses.

You’re taught that you’re inferior if you’re overweight and if you fail in your quest for the “perfect body” it means you’re unworthy and you’re flawed. It might surprise you to learn the reason that shame doesn’t belong to you is because you’re not the problem.

The diet is. Less than 10% of all diets work. Yet, they’re so popular. They’re popular because the sheer amount of people seeking to lose weight and the constant bombardment from the media about the perfect body has given rise to a dieting industry that makes billions of dollars every year.

Shaming is a tool that many of the diet businesses will use to try and get you to purchase what they’re selling. So you do. Then you feel shame when you don’t achieve the results you wanted.

Stop focusing on diet and instead focus your attention on healthy eating. Focus on giving your body the food that it deserves for a long and healthy life. Prepare meals that nurture your body.

Eat in a way that works for your body regardless of what others are doing. So how can you start again without shame? Don’t do the same things you’ve always done.

You’ll end up with the same result – feeling shamed when it doesn’t work out. Instead, choose a different method than what you’ve always done. If you tried hard with a strict diet and you exercised until you loathed that word, then don’t do that anymore.

Choose a diet that’s not strict. Pick actions that move your body to burn calories in a way that’s fun – in a way you look forward to. Put falling off the wagon into perspective.

It was a sign that something wasn’t working with your diet plan. Adjust whatever led to the fall. Fix it, change it, do something new. But if you can’t because it was just that you got sick of dieting that led to your failure, then mentally and emotionally wipe the slate clean.

Don’t allow yourself any internal name calling, no bringing up past mistakes. This is a brand new journey with no baggage.

Moving Forward Without Fear of Failure

When people fail at dieting, they tend to be wary. They struggle with the thought of getting back on the wagon – the very thing that they fell off of. The psychology behind the wariness is easily understood.

Risk is uncomfortable and often, it’s far more uncomfortable than the familiar feelings of shame. And people don’t like to be uncomfortable. Risk means leaving the comfort zone.

But you can move forward without fear of failure. Motivate yourself with plenty of successes right from the start. You can do that by creating a list with small, easily achieved steps on it.

Every day, write down five things that you can do that promote success. This might be something like eating a piece of fruit for a snack rather than the gooey cake you’d rather take instead.

As you check off each thing that you accomplish this way, you’ll feel more empowered. Realize that if you’ve experienced shame or body limitations because of your weight or health problems, then where you were can be a worse place than failure.

You deserve to love and accept yourself. You’re worthy of moving forward. Acknowledge each victory, regardless of how small you might think it is. A victory can be something like you took the stairs instead of the elevator.

You went for a walk at lunch time instead of hanging out in the break room. Give yourself grace. Being tempted isn’t a failure. Having to start over again isn’t a failure.

This means that negative self-talk is forbidden. You won’t speak to yourself unless it’s with love and kindness. You will say and think the things that edify you.

Give yourself patience. If you lose the weight more slowly than you like, that’s okay. There is no diet race. There is only healthy living and loving yourself. It doesn’t matter if someone else can lose weight faster.

They’re not you. They don’t have your circumstances. They don’t have your ups or downs. Recognize that failure is about perspective. It only means you experienced a temporary setback.

It’s a winding curve in the road that will loop you back to the beginning, but it’s not the end of the road. Keep your eyes on where you want to end up, not on the roadblocks that will sometimes slow you down. You will get around them. You will succeed.

A Guide to Group Fitness

Many studies have shown that focusing on fitness – regardless of how much you weigh – is necessary to lower your health risks. Yet, it’s easier to focus on the weight loss rather than the fitness aspect of dieting.

The reason is because losing weight is a personal journey. But there are a number of benefits when you engage in group fitness, on both a physical and mental level.

Losing Weight Is Easier With Support

When it comes to losing weight and getting fit, it’s always better to have support rather than to try to go it alone. You don’t have to get involved in a large group if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep things low key.

But it’s important that you have someone in your life who is on the same journey to fitness that you are. Statistics have repeatedly shown that people who use the fitness buddy system end up not only losing weight and getting fit faster, but they tend to keep it off long term.

Having someone who understands what you’re experiencing helps with discouragement. Being able to share the journey keeps your motivation strong. It also keeps you on track because you’ll quit on you before you’ll quit on someone else.

That’s just human nature. We hate to disappoint other people much more than we hate disappointing ourselves. Losing weight and getting fit with the help of a buddy system is easier, too – because we tend to talk ourselves into things that aren’t good for us if it’s something we want.

This includes things like deciding that we need to blow off eating healthy because we’ve worked hard all week. A diet and fitness buddy will be there to help you through those times when you’re rationalizing taking steps that can potentially derail your success.

Having someone in your corner can make exercising more fun. You’ll look forward to the social connection. Support means that you have someone who can help keep you in check when you’re exercising to make sure you’re not overdoing it or that your body is properly aligned when you’re working out on the machines at the gym.

When you have someone to help support your weight loss and fitness efforts, you’ll discover that you’re challenging yourself to work out harder and longer than you would if you were trying to do it on your own.

Having someone else along on the same journey not only helps give you support but opens up a bit of a competitive drive within you. It’s part of human nature to want to compete to be the best at what you’re doing when you’re engaging in the same physical activity with someone else.

When you share a weight loss and fitness journey with an accountability partner, you’ll see that losing weight and getting in shape can become something to look forward to that’s much easier than it has been in the past.

What to Look For in an Accountability Partner

When you’re looking for an accountability partner, the first thing you need to check is that the other person is truly committed to getting into shape. A lot of people talk about making changes but don’t actually perform any action that will lead to weight loss or getting fit.

You should be up front with whoever you decide to walk the fitness journey with. The level of commitment needs to be the same for both of you. Whoever you have as a partner needs to be someone that you can trust.

Having a fitness partner requires honesty and if there’s no trust, you won’t ever feel truly comfortable with that person. It’s a good idea to discuss what you can and can’t do with the person and you need to set boundaries so that each of you knows what to expect.

You might want to go ahead and plan out how often you’ll meet to talk and for exercise. Deciding whether or not you want to set up time for phone encouragement sessions or email discussions is also important.

When you coordinate your time right from the beginning, then the relationship gets off to a positive start. You should also set up what types of challenges you’re looking for and what kind of feedback.

Discuss what you need to hear when you do have fall off the wagon. When you do find someone who helps you with your fitness goals, there are certain things that can help make the relationship a successful one.

That success is found in what you discuss with the other person. You do need to be as open and as up front as you feel comfortable being. You should discuss your weight loss goals.

Mention how much you want to lose and your motivation behind it. You want to do this because then your accountability partner has the knowledge to be able to help keep you motivated.

He or she can remind you of your goal to lose weight for health reasons or for bikini season. Whatever the reason, the other person can act as someone who can nudge you closer to your long term goal.

Another thing you’ll want to discuss are the roadblocks that have always been in your way before when you’ve tried to lose weight and get fit. If your accountability partner knows up front that you find it harder to work out after you have a stressful day at work, then he or she will be able to help push you through that block.

Sometimes, all it takes is for someone else to tell you that you can do it and that you’ll feel better for your mindset to change. Instead of going home and sitting in front of the television to destress, you’ll find that your accountability partner has motivated you to head to the gym instead.

Discussing what things in your lifestyle try to hinder you from reaching your goals can help your accountability partner be able to openly discuss ways that you can work around those hindrances.

When you’re working with an accountability partner, you also want to discuss challenges. Find out how you can challenge each other to push harder to reach levels you never have before.

You should talk about what fitness levels you’re hoping to reach so that the other person knows when to spur you forward in a workout. An accountability partner doesn’t have to be in real life.

You can find one online and there are pros and cons to both. For an accountability partner that’s in real life, it can be more social. You can meet up for face-to-face time.

You have the benefit of socializing and getting encouragement in real time. This doesn’t always happen when the other person is an online accountability partner because if they’re not online, then you won’t have that support available.

When you’re feeling like you’re about to fall off the fitness wagon, you can call a real life accountability partner and ask to meet up for a workout. But having support online can be equally beneficial to some people.

This is especially true if you’re an introvert and you find it difficult to be open when you’re faced with someone in real life. Online accountability partnerships offer a degree of separation that some people prefer.

Plus, you might find it easier to talk to someone who isn’t in your immediate social circle. The upside to having a real life accountability partner is that you’re less likely to want to let them down than you would someone online.

It’s also easier to be more competitive and challenge yourself in real life than online. An online accountability partner can make it easier for your goals to become more concrete and for you to get a visual for tracking your progress.

As you type out your messages back and forth, you’ll have a record of how well you’re doing and you’ll be able to see how you sound – whether you sound upbeat or discouraged.

Sometimes, seeing something written out makes it easier for you to recognize what needs to change so that you can stay motivated. The connection to an accountability partner who is online can sometimes actually be stronger than one in real life because people tend to put aside their masks when they’re online.

There can be a lowering of the guard with someone else when there’s a screen between the two of you. It can be easier to vent your weight loss or fitness frustrations to an online accountability partner when you might hold back with someone who’s in real life.

The Person to Avoid Choosing for Your Accountability Partner

It can be tempting to ask a close friend or a family member to be your accountability partner. But although that person might love you and want the best for you, sometimes they just don’t make the best accountability partner.

The reason is because they’re often too easy on you, too willing to help to de-motivate you by telling you that everything is fine, that you look fine, that skipping your healthy eating plan or fitness routine is no big deal because they love you just as you are.

While that’s sweet, it’s not the kind of thing that you need. Your friends and family won’t often give you the butt kicking that you need to stay on track. They won’t actually hold you accountable and tell you that you can do better, that you made certain goals and need to stick to them.

In other words, they let you off easy. When that happens, it’s easy to chill out than to work out. It’s not always best to make your spouse your accountability partner because it can be too easy to either let one another slide with goals or to get upset with each other.

You don’t want your fitness journey to cause tension at home when someone gets upset or frustrated with the other person. You also want to avoid people who tell you the truth but aren’t compassionate about it.

You do need to be held accountable but you don’t need to be sliced and diced either. If someone rips you to shreds and makes you feel like scum, that’s not helpful.

You should avoid choosing the person who uses put downs or makes fun of other people when they make a mistake. They’ll do the same to you when you have a setback.

While it’s always helpful to find an accountability partner who also wants to lose weight, you don’t want to partner with someone who’s a downer. Hearing someone say, “I’ll never lose this weight” or, “working out is just too hard” will eventually wear on you.

When you’re with someone who is a downer, you rarely pull them up emotionally. Instead, they end up making you feel worse. Skip partnering with a rationalizer. This is the type of partner who can always find a way to get out of eating healthy and working out.

They say they need to skip eating healthy because they had a hard day. Or they can’t work out because they don’t feel like it and they say they want to get fit, but they spend more time talking about it than actually doing anything about it.

Your accountability partner must be motivated and determined to get fit. Otherwise, it won’t be a beneficial relationship for you. You also want to avoid the sabotager.

This is the accountability partner who encourages you to blow your diet or skip the workout to go do something “fun.” You’ll find that they undermine you. They’re always pointing out what else you could be doing or tempting you to make bad choices.

Get Involved in a Big Group Fitness Program

While having an accountability partner has been shown to be a successful way to stick to your fitness goals, you shouldn’t overlook big group fitness programs either.

These work because you gain the team mentality when you work out with a group. Plus, people who work out in a group fitness program are more likely to exercise more often each week than people who aren’t involved in group fitness.

There is power and plenty of challenges to be found when you’re working out with a group of people. That’s one of the reasons why things like Zumba have become so popular.

When you’re surrounded by large groups of people who are doing the same thing, it’s easier to stay motivated not only during the workout – but it keeps your motivation level high during the week.

You look forward to meeting up with the class or program again. There are groups that are decided to fitness such as hiking groups. You get to work on your fitness while exploring new areas with people who all have the same goal.

Dance exercise classes are an extremely popular fitness program because they’re social, fun and give you a great workout. When people interact with others in a positive way, the brain releases endorphins.

Social interaction like this that causes the endorphin levels to rise makes you feel happier and associate working out as something pleasurable. Working out with a group of people helps you see that you’re not alone.

Regardless of how you feel when you arrive, you leave feeling motivated and full of energy. Bonding over a common goal takes place in a group setting and that can raise the accountability level.

More people will notice if you’re not there. The instructor gets used to seeing your face and people will question your absence when you return. You gain friends through group fitness programs and many of these people end up doing activities together beyond the fitness class.

This builds your social circle of like minded people who help you stay on target even when you’re not working out. The bond that carries over from being in a group together makes it easier to make smart choices when you go out to eat with people who want what you want.

Lose Weight By Implementing Small Changes

The idea of starting a diet is daunting to many men and women. It signifies drastic deprivation and severe lifestyle changes that often make it feel more like punishment than a benefit.

So a better way to shed pounds for many people is to do away with traditional diet plans and instead focus on implementing small changes throughout the year. These changes will be so small that you won’t be focused on it 24/7.

You can make one change every week that helps you lose weight. For example, you might start out with the promise to drink a small, 8-ounce glass of water before each meal.

That means not declaring you’ll limit yourself to a certain number of calories, but just giving your stomach a padding of “fullness” before you begin to eat your meal. Eight ounces is tiny, too – so you won’t have to down a big, 24-ounce bottle.

Another change you might make is to take the stairs or park your car farther when you go somewhere. You’ll be getting more exercise and revving up your metabolism as you burn a few more calories here and there.

Sometimes, your changes won’t have anything to do with food or exercise. For instance, getting a proper amount of sleep can help you lose weight. So one change you might make for one week is to start going to bed at the same time every night (or getting up at the same time every morning).

Being on a set sleep schedule does wonders for your weight loss journey. But that means keeping to a schedule whenever possible – including weekends when you ight otherwise want to stay up late and sleep in late.

With food choices, you might begin to taper off the amount of food that you eat. If you usually get two scoops of mashed potatoes, try one. If you drink two sodas with dinner, drink one and a glass of water instead.

Weaning yourself off of the typical super sized portions we’ve become accustomed to in this world is easy when you do it bit by bit. Embrace the bottom “better than the day before” so that your only focus is improvement, not perfection right off the bat.

There are 52 weeks in a year. If you implement one small change each week, you’ll discover that you are seeing the scale move – and it won’t even feel like you’re trying to succeed!

Click here to learn about the 7 “FATTY” Foods that Can Help You to Get a Flat Stomach

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