10 common weight loss obstacles

BLOG 144We go to the gym for numerous reasons, one of the top being to shed some extra pounds. But sometimes we hit a weight-loss wall and our workout regimen isn’t, well, working anymore. This can be for a variety of reasons and pinpointing the exact issue can be frustrating. Take a moment to think about your exercise routine. Here are 10 reasons why you may not be reaching your weight loss goal.

You do the same thing all the time

If you do the same thing every time you work out, chances are you aren’t seeing the results you want. As you repeat the same exercises, your body becomes familiar with the process and plateaus because it’s not being challenged. Switch up your workout routine to challenge your muscles in new and different ways to help get over the weight-loss hump.

You go too easy on yourself

If you find yourself thinking ‘that was easy’ after a workout, it probably WAS too easy. Yes, walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes is good for your heart and you’ll get some cardiovascular benefits. But if you want to change your body, you should be pushing yourself to run up an incline, lift heavier weights, or do an extra rep. Changing the intensity of your routine will ensure that you’re always getting the most from your sweat sessions.

You hardly move the rest of the day

Even though you’ve got a solid workout routine, you should continue to take those little steps every day to help reach your goal. Many people will work out for an hour and then sit on their butts for the majority of the day. You have to keep your blood circulating throughout the day to reap the rewards of that workout. Be sure to take the stairs when you can, park a little further away from the store or do some stretches when you feel like you’ve been sitting for a while. All these small tweaks will help add up to the results you want.

You give yourself a pass to overeat

After hard workouts, it can be very tempting to splurge on a carbolicious feast. You deserve a treat, right? Don’t take the bait; just because you’re exercising more doesn’t mean you should overeat. Remember, weight loss also happens in the kitchen. If you want to lose weight, it’s important to keep track of what you’re eating on a daily basis.

You’re wasting time

Just because you go to the gym doesn’t mean you’re actually working out. You may dawdle while picking out the perfect playlist or TV channel to watch, but socializing can be the ultimate time suck. Finding friends at the gym is great and you and your exercise buddy can help motivate each other, but sometimes you’ll find yourself chatting up a storm. Your workout friends should work for you, not against you. You can definitely be social at the gym, just make sure your jaw isn’t doing most of the moving.

You don’t recover

As great as working out is, your body also needs time to recover. Working out too much can exhaust your body to the point where you’re hurting it more than helping it. If you overtrain, your muscles start to build up lactate and adenosine triphosphate, both of which can cause pain. When your body isn’t functioning normally due to overexertion and lack of rest, it’s not going to burn fat like it normally would. So be sure to strike a proper balance. Your body will thank you!

You don’t know your target heart rate

How much you’re sweating isn’t the best measure of your workout intensity. The only way to know if you’re working your body to its potential is to work out at your target heart rate. I emphasize using a heart rate monitor so you can make sure your sweat sessions are as efficient as possible. It eliminates guessing games and you’ll achieve the optimal workout each time.

Your routine isn’t balanced

Your workout should be balanced with the types of exercises you’re doing. It should include cardio, strength training, and stretching. All of these combined create a well-rounded routine, all working different muscles in different ways. Only focusing on one or two of these types of fitness will skew your goal.

You’re not having fun

Sometimes working out feels way too much like work. When this happens, switch up the pace and do something completely different. Try a pickup game of tennis, volleyball or whatever sport floats your boat. Even a round of tag! Making exercise a game puts you in a different mind-set. You’re not thinking about how much longer you have to go or how many reps you have left: your head is in the game, or the scenery.

You need an attitude adjustment

Speaking of getting your head in the game, that’s where it should be when you’re exercising. Go into working out with a positive and determined attitude. Try to leave your stressors at home so you can focus on the task at hand and not be distracted. If after the first 3 minutes you’re thinking “ughhh, 27 minutes to go,” your head isn’t in the right space and you’ll be struggling to make it to the end.


Foods that burn fat fast

BLOG 137You know already if we eat more calories than our body can burn we gain weight. It’s true that certain foods will boost your metabolism but only if you eat them as a part of a effective diet and weight loss programme. What are fast burning foods?


Do you remember the old saying: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well not only a doctor but also the extra pounds as well. Apples contain the highest percentage of pectin, this is a soluble fiber. There was an interesting study in Brazil about weight loss and apples. 2 groups of dieters were getting exactly the same amount of calories but with one exception, one group was getting an apple before each meal, and this group lost 33% more in weight.


Garlic is one of the most effective fat burning foods. It contains the compound allicin which has anti bacterial effects and helps reduce cholesterol and unhealthy fats.


Tomatoes is very effective to add on your diet. Not only are they good in your battle against overweight but they are also an excellent prevention against cancers and high blood pressure.


Adding a carrot to the beginning of every meal is a very effective way to lose weight. Why do you ask? The carrot leaves no room in the stomach for the dessert.


Mangoes are full packed with fiber and are low in calories.


Popey gets his strength by eaten spinach and yes they are very healthy. Spinach contains a lot of iron, it is an exceptional nutrition food and is a good prevention against cancer.


Oats work as part of a weight loss strategy because the amount of fiber boosts your metabolism and helps you feel fuller longer. The antioxidants and other minerals oats contain make it a solid choice and not just a source of fiber. Cutting your cholesterol might also be on your list and this is a great way to get those levels down.


There’s no need to eat bland and boring food when you’re trying to lose weight. This is a great time to experiment with seasonings from different cultures. Many of them have thermogenic properties that boost your metabolism, while making some so-so dishes taste like they’re from a restaurant.

Some examples: Mustard seed will spice up your entree and get your metabolism going, and ginger can help with your digestion. Ginseng can boost up your energy, and black pepper can help burn calories. Like Indian food? Turmeric can help break up fat.


This is been known for some time in the vegetarian realm but is now making the rounds to the mainstream. The weight loss benefits usually come in the form of switching out sides with quinoa instead of more calorie-dense foods like rice or potatoes. You’ll still get the benefit of rounding out the meal, with the added bonus of the vitamins that quinoa has.

If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? It helps you feel full, doesn’t have a lot of calories, and ranks low on the Glycemic Index. Score!


They are lauded for their ability to help regulate blood sugar levels and help with digestion due to their fiber content. Try adding a can of organic black beans as a side to your next meal, especially if it can replace a more carb-laden item like bread or rice.

Many restaurants keep black beans on hand as a substitute for a side, so they’re a great go-to item when you’re out with friends and want to eat well without looking like you’re on a diet.

Egg whites

Eggs are a good source of protein. Get the benefit of the protein without worrying about the yolks. When your weight is where you want it you can start adding them back into the equation.


They host benefits, including weight loss properties. They help you feel full when you eat them, and they’ve got a different consistency to apples and other fruits, making their fiber even more effective. They’re also used in plenty of recipes that yield delicious results. If you didn’t use pears in your cooking before, or as a fruit to just have around, now’s the time to start.


Opting for mushrooms instead of pepperoni or sausage on your meals may do little to help drop the pounds, but increasing your intake of mushrooms along with other healthy foods should yield better results due to their low calories and high vitamin content.


Lentils are gaining more popularity has a healthy food, and one that can help you lose the weight. The fiber they contain will help keep you feeling good between meals, and will help your blood sugar levels from spiking. You can use lentil as a good protein source, or you can use them to compliment a protein and act as a side dish. It helps keep your cholesterol in check and help you process carbs more effectively.

Hot peppers

If you like your food hot, there may be some good news for you. Hot peppers like habaneros, jalapenos, and chipotles can actually help you to lose weight, while also adding a kick to most any dish. They contain capsaicin which provides several benefits that relate to losing weight.


These are really good for you, but aside from that they can also help you shed some fat. How? Broccoli fills you up, but it’s not just a filler. It has tons of nutrients per pound, and it’s also packed with fiber so it keeps you regular, which keeps you feeling good.

Green tea

Perhaps you knew that green tea is packed with antioxidants, but did you also know that it can help you shed the fat? It’s the catechins! These are a part of green tea that get your body to switch over to burning more calories, as well as fat.

Unfortunately for the other teas, green tea comes out the winner on many fronts because it’s not as processed as the others, and therefore retains much of its goodness, like antioxidants and phytonutrients that make it a superstar among superfoods.


Don’t underestimate the power of cinnamon, it’s not just for baking anymore. You can get weight loss benefits simply by adding more cinnamon to your diet, with teaspoon a day showing positive results. What causes the magic? It’s the way that cinnamon helps to regulate your blood glucose levels. These play a major part in how you feel throughout the day, how energetic you are, or how sluggish you can get. Maintaining good blood sugar levels also helps you resist cravings. Just make sure that you’re not counting that cinnamon on your cinnamon roll!


Asparagus has plenty of positive effects in the body, and each of them seems to play a particular role in helping you lose weight. The first is that it assists your body in expelling toxins and other wastes. It also helps with digestion and keeps good bacteria in your gut. Not to mention that it’s a superfood, so it has a ton of vitamins and minerals that help you all-around.

Keep in mind that a good way to lose fat with eating is food rich in fibers, low calories and food that gives your stomach a feeling of being fulfilled.



8 ways to organize your kitchen for weight loss

BLOG 134How you set up your kitchen—from décor to utensils to where you keep treats—can make a substantial difference when it comes to losing weight. You don’t need an entire kitchen overhaul to make a difference. Many revamps take just a minute. Here are 8 simple ways to start:

Make it easy to reach for healthy foods

We tend to eat more of what’s staring us in the face — and a chocolate’s box on your counter will just wear down your willpower until you give in and wolf down a handful. Make healthy snacks like nuts, pre-cut veggies and fruit easy to grab when you’re hungry.

Hide the junk food

If you must keep treats in the house, stash them where you don’t see them all the time. Chocolate candies can go in the freezer for example, and place other candies or unhealthy foods on hard-to-reach shelves.

Stock your spice rack

Spices and herbs are bursting with flavor. That’s why research shows getting creative in the kitchen and adding them to foods (cumin on your carrots, red pepper flakes on brussels sprouts) can help replace some fat in your cooking—without you even realizing it’s missing.


Sounds strange, but a study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that using a big fork may help you eat less, possibly because larger bites provide a visual cue that you’re making progress on your plate (and are getting full). Couple that with a smaller plate and you’ll find that your brain might trick you into feeling full faster on less.

Get rid of the TV

Watching TV and eating is a recipe for mindlessly inhaling allthechips…especially if you’re watching action shows. Time to remove the hypnotic box from the dining room.

Keep cookbooks visible

One of the secrets of healthy people is that they cook at home often. It’s the best way to control what goes into your food, and it allows you avoid those massive restaurant portions. To encourage the habit, don’t keep your cookbooks hidden in a pantry. Display them on your counter as a reminder to try a new recipe tonight. Not a fan of physical books? Try using apps and social media as a way of visually organizing your recipes (Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube).

Decorate with red

The crimson color is associated with danger—and acts like a mental stop sign for eating. One study found that people ate nearly 50% fewer chocolate chips when they were served on a red plate compared to a blue or white one. Stock up on red plates, but also consider adding flashes of red to your kitchen décor.

Stay organized

You have a pile of pots and pans that practically falls on you when you open the cupboard. Eliminate those you don’t need (particularly old, scratched non-stick pans) and keep the rest tidy. When healthy habits are made easier, we’re more likely to do them—and that includes keeping the tools we need for a nutritious meal organized.


Fix these habits, lose weight faster

BLOG 131You never miss a workout, so are you still wondering why you’re not seeing results? One of these eating habits may be to blame.

  1. Skipping breakfast: if you’re trying to save calories, skipping your morning meal won’t help as much as you think. Not only will you be more apt to overeat later in the day, but also, a healthy breakfast will give you the energy you need to tackle your day. In fact, many trainers and nutritionists recommend eating carbs as early in the day as possible in order to have time to burn them off during the day. So fuel up in the morning with a healthy breakfast of protein, fiber, and carbs, and then tackle your jam-packed day with ease.
  2. Not drinking enough water: be sure to sip water frequently throughout the day — not only will switching juice and soda for water save you calories, but also, making sure you’re not dehydrated will help you perform better during your workouts. Water is your weight-loss friend, so be sure to always have your bottle handy.
  3. Predinner snacking: snacking can be a powerful weight-loss tool if you do it right — but not if you grab a whole bag of chips after work. Keep the snacks healthy and low-calorie by taking those bagged processed foods out of your kitchen and replacing them with cut veggies or a bowl of fruit on your table. If you only have healthy snacks at the ready when you’re ravenous, you won’t need to eat a nutrient-empty, high-calorie snack.
  4. Eating a big dinner: skimping out on lunch in order to gorge at dinner? That may not be the best idea if you want to slim down. Studies have shown that those who eat their biggest meals earlier in the day lose the most weight. While you should be sure you’re eating an adequate amount of calories throughout the day, following a strategy of tapering meal size throughout the day can help you see results.
  5. Going for seconds: when you’re trying to lose weight, portions count. Be sure you’re eating enough to feel satisfied while still paying attention to those portion sizes. And once you’ve filled that plate, enjoy your meal slowly and mindfully so you don’t feel the need to go back for more.


How to maintain your commitment to fitness

BLOG 92Here’s a simple truth you already know: no amount of motivational posters will help you if you are not in the right place in your head, if you push yourself too hard, never let off steam and fail to manage your expectations. This begs the question: how do you get to that right place inside your head? Well, there are a few tips:

1. Give it time

It’s not that we cannot stick to exercise for a long period of time because we’re weak; it’s because we try to do it overnight and on top of that we expect immediate results that don’t happen, that make us give up. Commitment to fitness is not something we can just turn on like pulling a switch in our heads; it’s always a gradual process. You start small and you build up from there, one effort at a time, one day at time. You have to slowly re-educate yourself and get used to the idea of exercise, incorporate it in your daily life in small ways first, and only then will you be able to commit to it more seriously long term.

2. Reward yourself

It’s important that you reward yourself from time to time and have something to look forward to after all of the hard work you are doing. Rest days exist for that exact reason, to help you stay committed. That’s why every VIVRI™ challenge lasts 11 days, you know that after every challenge you can take 1 or 2 days of rest. This way is easier keep your healthy lifestyle.

3. Be patient

There are no shortcuts in fitness, it all takes work, but most of all it takes patience, enough patience to stay on track and enough patience and self-control to not give into fads and crazy diets. Any fast results are temporary results,  instead, set yourself for a long run in this, set targets you can actually meet without killing or starving yourself, pick a healthy lifestyle you can actually maintain.

4. Integrate it into your lifestyle

The easiest way to stay committed to fitness, stay healthy and fit without constantly getting off track, is to integrate it into your daily life and make it something you do by default like brushing your teeth in the morning, after all it’s just as much of an investment in your health. Doing something small like working through a list of exercises, but daily, will beat going to the gym twice a week and spending hours and hours there.

5. Vizualize yourself fit

Fitness is all in your head. Yes, it takes hard work and dedication to get in shape and then stay that way but most of it, really, is in seeing yourself as someone who is capable of that, someone who is able to get and be fit.

13 ways to cut portions without feeling hungry

BLOG 66To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume, which inevitably means one thing: portion control. But you’re not necessarily doomed to a growling stomach until you reach your goal. Portion control doesn’t mean you have to eat tiny portions of everything, you don’t want to feel like you’re on a diet, but you have to eat fewer calories.

Here are 14 easy ways to cut portions, trim calories, and lose fat without counting the minutes until your next meal:

1. Start with a glass of H2O

Drink a big glass of water before you eat. Filling your belly with water will naturally make you less likely to overeat, she says. Plus, some symptoms of dehydration may actually be what’s causing your rumbling belly, so sipping some water before you eat may eliminate your “hunger” altogether.

2. Wear form-fitting clothes

We’re not suggesting you squeeze into pants that are too tight. However, wearing an outfit with a waistband or perhaps a jacket with buttons can serve as a tool to prompt you to slow down and assess how you feel during your meal. As your clothing begins to feel a little snugger, it may keep you from going back for seconds.

3. Add veggie fillers

Bulking up your meals with veggies is one easy way to cut calories while filling you up fast, lettuce for example can be used as the base for your salad or as replacement instead of the tortilla in a taco, swap in mushrooms for half the ground meat in most recipes or add more veggies to your baguette instead of meat.

4. Dine on dinnerware that helps you lose

The color of your plate may influence how much you eat, according to a 2012 Cornell University study when a plate and the food on it had a low color-contrast it may make people eat 22% more than when there is a higher color-contrast. The study conclusions suggest that if you want to eat less, select plates that have a color-contrast to the food you’re eating for dinner. Or if you want to eat more healthy foods, like a bigger salad, eat greens from a large green plate or bowl!

5. Make carbs the topper instead of the base

Rethink the way you use grains and starches. For your meal load up your plate with veggies and a serving of lean protein, then add a quarter cup of brown rice.

6. Set the scene for slower eating

Dim lights and listen to relaxing music to set the tone for a more leisurely meal. Take your time while eating increases enjoyment and decreases portions. Remember to chew slowly, put down your fork between bites, and sip water to make your meal last longer.

7. Work for your food

Another way to slow down your eating: munch on foods that require shelling, peeling, or individual unwrapping. Edamame or shrimps and nuts in their shells are healthy options.

8. Don’t eat from the bag or box

When you sit down with a bag of chips, do you really know how many you’re eating? Researchers from Cornell University sought to answer this question in a study and found that people ate 50% more chips when they were given no visual cues as to how large a portion should be. So if you buy a bag of pretzels or tin of nuts that contains 10 servings, divide the contents of the container into 10 smaller baggies ahead of time.

9. Slurp your appetizer

Before you dive into your entrée, have some soup. Though it may seem counterintuitive to add more to your meal, research shows that starting a meal with soup may help you reduce your overall calorie intake. In a 2007 study, people who ate soup before their lunch entrée reduced their total calorie intake by 20%. Your best bet: a broth-based soup, preferably with veggies to help you feel full from the natural fiber.

10. Take a lap beofre serving yourself

In a Cornell University study, researchers observed people at two separate breakfast buffet lines that featured the same seven items: cheesy eggs, potatoes, bacon, cinnamon rolls, low-fat granola, low-fat yogurt, and fruit. One line presented the foods from healthiest to least-healthy, while the other line had the order reversed. Regardless of which line they passed through, more than 75% of diners put the first food they saw on their plates; the first three foods they encountered in the buffet made up two-thirds of all the foods they added to their plate. So take a stroll around the buffet or dinner table before you serve yourself.

11- Limit mealtime distractions

Turn off the TV and put your smartphone away while you eat. A recent study found that people who watched television during meals tended to consume more than those who ate without any distractions. And for you office dwellers? Consider taking your lunch break away from your desk, in an study, people who played computer solitaire while having lunch felt less full at the end, and went on to eat more food later in the day than those who didn’t play the game.

12. Use smaller serveware and dishes

Dish up your own food with a small utensil onto a small bowl or plate, and chances are you’ll eat less.

13. End your meal with a new kind of sweet treat

Many people have trained themselves to expect a sweet treat at the end of a meal, swap in a new, healthier ritual after meals to signal that you’re done eating. Some ideas: a tea or your favorite fruit!!



9 things you shouldn’t do to lose weight

BLOG 58What is the right way to lose weight? Is there such a thing? The truth is that different weight loss methods work for different people. Despite the variety, there are still a few “don’t” when it comes to trying to shed some pounds. Here are 9:

For diet and exercise:

1. Don’t eat less than recommended

Your body needs a certain amount of calories to function and stay healthy, whether or not you are trying to lose weight. While shedding pounds does require a decrease in the total calories you take in (compared to how much you burn), don’t forget that the calories you consume also come with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more. A drastic cut in calories deprives your body of the nutrients it needs and in the long run can slow down your metabolism. In general, you shouldn’t go below 1000-1200 calories per day,

2. Don’t choose nutrient poor foods

When eating a reduced number of calories you should make sure that the foods you choose provide the most nutrients possible. Whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, even high calorie but nutrient rich foods can all be part of your diet. When it comes to beverages, opt for plain or flavored water instead of sugary sodas and juices, and be mindful of your alcohol intake, as it may hinder your weight loss efforts.

3. Don’t completely eliminate foods that you actualt love

Chances are that if you completely cut out foods you absolutely love, you’ll spring back into old eating habits pretty quickly. Unless your doctor informs you of a health condition that requires food elimination, or unless you choose to eliminate a food for personal reasons, let go of the idea of “bad” foods and learn to enjoy them in moderation instead or choose a healthier option. Pasta? Rice? You can eat them in their integral presentation, they’re still delicious but healthier.

4. Don’t go on a fad diet

If a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Claims for fast and easy weight loss from diets and weight loss pills more often than not yield only short-lasting results. Instead, a lifestyle change is key.

5. Don’t exercise too much, or too fast

Jumping into an exercise program too fast or exercising excessively can lead to injury and exhaustion. Take it slowly at first. It is crucial that you give your body proper time to adjust to a new routine and enough time to recover and rebuild a stronger a version of itself.

Another point to consider is your diet for exercise. Calories burned during exercise count towards your daily calorie expenditure and therefore create a larger calorie deficit. While you don’t have to eat back all of your exercise calories, not fueling and refueling properly can lead to eating less than recommended.


6. Don’t be negative

A positive, can-do attitude is key for weight loss – it keeps you motivated. Plus, believing in yourself makes it more likely that you will succeed. Even when you think you “messed up” or when you don’t see the results you want to see right away, forgive yourself and keep.

7. Don’t obsess, especially with numbers

You’re creating healthier habits and a healthier lifestyle throughout your weight loss journey, and while a number goal may be part of your vision of success, it shouldn’t be the only factor that defines your success. Instead of allowing a number on the scale define how you feel about yourself, or your total calorie count for the day determine if you were successful, measure success without the scale and pay attention to how your habits and feelings are changing.

8. Don’t do it by yourself

A support group can be a tremendous help throughout your journey, both for motivation and encouragement during difficult times and for celebrating your success with. Friends, family, and online groups can become part of your journey. However, make sure that your support system is actually encouraging you instead of bringing you down.

9. Don’t tackle everything at once

Making multiple changes at once can become overwhelming and can make you feel like giving up. Similar to starting an exercise program, start slow. Set a series of smart goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time – based goals that you can tackle one at a time. Once one goal is achieved and incorporated into your life, you can move on to a different one.






5 tricks to help form healthier eating habits

BLOG 31Derail existing unhealthy habits

Research shows that about 40% of our activities are performed in the same daily situations (wake up, walk into the kitchen, make coffee), because we repeat what seems to be working, and we form associations between cues and behaviors (spot the coffee machine, grab the pot). That means the first step toward forming a new habit is breaking the connections that trigger you to do the opposite, or something else, which creates a window of opportunity to act differently.

For example, if you want to drink water in the morning instead of java, stash the coffee maker in a cupboard, put a display of fancy drinking glasses in its place, and put a water pitcher in the fridge so it’s the first thing you spot. Just breaking your usual connections can have a huge impact on the success of new habits.

Repeat new behaviors

Surely you’ve heard various stats about how many times you must repeat a behavior before it becomes a new habit—some say daily for 21 days, others 30. Research from University College London found that for a group of 96 people it took 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. One thing’s for certain, though: if you stick with something, such as making a smoothie for breakfast every morning, it will eventually become second nature.

Create cues for healthy patterns

Tying the behavior to something else that makes sense. For example, if you already cook meal at home, set a goal of using that time to prepare lunch for the next day, too. When a new behavior is consistently carried out within a specific context it’s much easier to remember to take action, and those actions are more likely to stick.

Question conventional notions

Many people who are on the road to forming a new habit wind up talking themselves into quitting, because they hang onto conventional notions about what will work. For example, a eating plan which involves eating a few squares of dark chocolate without distraction during “you time.” This tactic work for curbing cravings, and decreasing the desire to eat both sweet and salty “junk foods” like chips and baked goods. But the moment someone starts to think, “Two little dark chocolate squares aren’t going to make me not want cookies” they stop practicing it, and stop giving it the chance to make an impact.

Find support

One of the most critical steps in forming new healthy patterns is support. Unfortunately our culture is set up to encourage and reinforce lots of unhealthy habits, so trying to change or form new ones can feel like swimming upstream. Many people don’t realize just how unhealthy his work and home environments really were until they made a conscious effort to get healthy. To combat discouragement, stress, self doubt, or thoughts about throwing in the towel, find at least one person who really gets what you’re doing and can cheer you on, or at least let you vent when you’re feeling challenged.


How to turn your diet into a lifestyle

BLOG 301. Skimp on liquid calories: focus on the most filling foods to help manage your hunger.

2. Make the healthy choice the easiest choice:  a big part of eating right is having the healthiest foods easily accessible. Having a fruit bowl on the counter, making sure your fridge and pantry is well stocked and keep the best choices at eye level. Be sure to put any trigger foods or treats in less obvious places. Out of sight, out of mind.

3. Avoid–or limit–alcohol: alcohol stimulates your hunger, while decreasing any willpower or inhibitions making you order something fatty or an ice cream. Drinking alcohol is a behavior that has been found to be more diet-destructive than eating out a lot or watching hours of TV every day!

4. Avoid exercise fat traps: learn that the fact of being super athletic doesn’t mean you can eat whatever just because you work out a ton. It just doesn’t add up. The calories you eat far exceed what you can burn off with exercise and working out also sparks hunger, making it even harder to not want to eat more.

5. Eat your meals, don’t skip them.

6. Don’t eat after dinner.

7. Set up goals: make weekly and monthly goals to stay motivated and keep on track. Make your goals related to eating well or being physical and not about what the scale says.

8. Reward your accomplishments: whenever you achieve a goal–not matter how small–give yourself a pat on the back.

9. Try to eat the same: weekdays, weekends and even on holidays. Research shows that individuals who eat the same way all week long and generally the same on vacations on holidays, are 1.5 times more likely to maintain their weight loss, compared to those who regularly take “holidays” from healthy eating.

10. Small changes equal big results: think about the small things you can change in your behaviors that will add minutes to your daily activity or subtract calories from your diet. Simple swaps like using lettuce in place of a bread roll or a tortilla, enjoying a vegetarian meal once a week, not eating seconds and having more produce as snacks are relatively easy changes that can equal great success.

Eating habits you should drop now

BLOG 831. Drinking too often

After one drink, people inhibitions are lowered and their appetite spikes. That combo — in addition to the extra calories in the cocktails themselves — results in consuming hundreds of surplus calories. And it happens more often than they realize, because most people underestimate how much they drink until they begin keeping a food diary. The good news is when they consciously cut back, they drop weight. If you think you may be in the same situation, become a teetotaler for a 30 days, or commit to limiting alcohol in specific ways, such as only drinking one night per week, or 2 times per month. The results can be dramatic.

2. Eating diet foods

First, they’re usually packed with lots of unwanted additives and impossible-to-pronounce ingredients. And let’s face it, they’re just not filling or satisfying. After eating a frozen diet entrée, bar or dessert, you were left with lingering hunger and thoughts of food, which led to nibbling on other foods. As a result, you wind up taking in far more calories than they would have if they had prepared a healthy, satisfying meal. A 2010 study found that we burn about 50% more calories metabolizing whole foods versus processed foods. Therefore, is more likely break a weight-loss plateau when you ditch diet foods and start eating more calories from fresh, whole foods.

3. Oveareating healthy foods

It’s incredible when people fall in love with healthy fare like veggies, lentils, and whole grains. The only sticking point is they sometimes eat too much. For example, a person can change his regular meal of 5 tortillas for wild rice, which is fantastic!!, but his wild rise portion is too large given that he sat at a desk all day, and in addition he put avocado to his salad, avocado is a healthy food but it has too much fat and you have to limit its consume. The truth is, while whole foods are nutrient rich and they enhance metabolism, you can overdo it. To prevent that, listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and use visuals to guide your portions. For example, a serving of fruit should be about the size of a tennis ball.

4. Skipping meals

Going long stretches without eating can create two unwanted side effects that undermine weight loss. First, you’ll likely burn fewer calories as a way to compensate for not having fuel when you need it. Second, you’ll up your chances of overeating at night, when your activity level is low. Several studies have found that it’s not just your overall daily calories, but also when you eat them that matters. A good rule of thumb is to eat larger meals before your more active hours, smaller meals before less active hours and never let more than four to five hours go by without eating.

5. Counting calories

Aside from the fact that the quality and timing of the calories you consume is critical for weight loss success, the practice of counting calories can backfire. One study found that even without limitations, calorie counting made women more stressed. Nobody wants that. Plus, an increase in stress can cause a spike in cortisol, a hormone known to rev up appetite, increase cravings for fatty and sugary foods and up belly fat storage. Also, the calorie info available on packaged foods or on restaurant menus isn’t a perfect system. I’m not saying that calorie info is meaningless, but I do think there are more effective and less cumbersome ways to shed pounds.

6. Shunning good fat

Despite the best attempts to dispel the notion that eating fat makes you fat, all the people have remained fat-phobic. But eating the right fats is a smart weight loss strategy. In addition to quelling inflammation — a known trigger of premature aging and diseases including obesity — healthy fats are incredibly satisfying. They delay stomach emptying to keep you fuller longer, and research shows that plant-based fats like olive oil and nuts up appetite-suppressing hormones. Plant fats have also been shown to boost metabolism, and they can be rich sources of antioxidants. Aim to include a portion in every meal.

7. Emotional eating

The habit of reaching for food due to boredom, anxiety, anger or even happiness is by far the number one obstacle my clients face when trying to lose weight. We’re practically taught from birth to connect food and feelings. I’ve heard stories about people being rewarded with treats after a good report card or a winning game, or being consoled with food after being teased at school or going to the dentist. We bond over food, bring it to grieving, use it to celebrate or turn to it as a way to stuff down uncomfortable feelings. It’s a pattern that’s socially accepted and it’s challenging to overcome. But it’s not impossible. And even if you found non-food alternatives to addressing your emotional needs 50 percent of the time, I guarantee you’ll lose weight. Instead of a fad diet, consider making this your New Year’s resolution — while you can’t break all the patterns overnight, this change may be the most important and impactful for weight loss success.