You Can Have Fun and Stay Healthy! - Holiday Dieting Tips Part 2

You Can Have Fun and Stay Healthy! - Holiday Dieting Tips Part 2

We talked about dieting tips in the last post. It all starts from Halloween, then the winter holidays come along. Family togetherness usually equals lots of snacking and appetizers and big meals. Also, don't forget all the baked treats! Can you eat all of these things? The answer is yes, but in moderation. 

We come up with more great tips for you to still stay healthy in your wonderful holidays:


#1 Wear Tight Fitting Clothes


If you have some issues controlling your holiday behaviors, consider wearing some tight fitting clothes. Don't make yourself too uncomfortable, but at the same time you'll want to feel the reminder if you begin to eat too much.


#2 Plan Healthy Meals


If you're hosting any of the holiday events, consider going with some healthier alternatives to some popular meals. Healthy doesn't always mean bland or unappealing. Get creative and try some new recipes. 


#3 Remember to Take Breaks


During a long evening with family and friends, sometimes you'll lose track of your eating habits. Make it a point to take breaks where you know there isn't a plate or a drink in your hand. Concentrate on the conversations you're having instead. 


#4 Eat Before You Go


If you're off to a holiday event at someone else's house, eat something healthy before you leave. This is especially important if you know you'll be tempted by all the unhealthy treats that'll be available. If you aren't particularly hungry when you show up, you won't feel such an urge to begin eating. 




You might think that it will be disappointing to “restrict” yourself in holidays, but the truth is that you feel happy when you can control yourself. The best thing is that you won’t feel any quilt or any surprise when you weigh yourself at the end of the holidays!


Holiday Dieting Tips - How to Have Fun and Stay Healthy

Holiday Dieting Tips - How to Have Fun and Stay Healthy

The holidays are a special time for all, and you should take the time to indulge yourself. However, at the same time you should keep your health in mind because it's easy to be tempted into going overboard. 

It all starts with Halloween and all the extra treats that are lingering in your candy bowl. Then we're lead into Thanksgiving, where the average person will ingest over 3 times the number of calories that they should be eating, or even more. 


Follow these tips to help you stay in control of your fork:


#1 Go in with a Plan


Before you put yourself into temptation, tell yourself how much you're allowed to eat. In the weeks following Halloween, save yourself 10 pieces of candy to eat. Give the rest away to coworkers and neighbors. For Thanksgiving and other family holidays, allow yourself to indulge on one item such as the appetizers or the dessert - not both.


#2 Don't Be Too Strict.


While you may be tempted to be tough on yourself during other times of the year, the holidays are a time you should allow for some relaxation from the strict behavior. Don't try to get through entire evenings without enjoying any of the food. The starvation diet only works for so long until you fail and over-consume. Work on your moderation skills instead. 


#3 Don't Punish Yourself.


Everyone makes mistakes. If you do slip up and overeat one day, in the long run it won't make much of a difference. Just tell yourself that you'll try harder next time. Don't be tempted to just give up and continue the poor eating decisions. It's when you have many bad days in a row that you can ruin a good diet plan. 


#4 Watch the Alcohol Intake.


It's true; alcohol usually flows freely at holiday events. You can indulge yourself here as well. While you may be able to get away with having a few drinks spread out over the evening, remember that the calories add up. Consider alternating between alcoholic drinks and pure, refreshing water. 




Just remember to have a good time! If you're bummed about not getting to eat everything that you want, concentrate on all the other aspects of the holidays. There are many other fun activities to engage in that don't involve eating!


Other Healthy Halloween Festivities and Ideas

Other Healthy Halloween Festivities and Ideas

Your kids will love healthy alternatives to Halloween candy if you make them frightfully good. These are some ideas for healthy holiday food and celebrations that are low on sugar and still a lot of fun.


#1 Have a costume parade.


Dressing up is a huge part of the holiday. Let the kids show off their costumes. Dream up creative categories so that everyone gets a prize. You could honor the best princess costume based on a movie and the princess with the prettiest shoes.


#2 Tell scary stories in a haunted house. 


Halloween is supposed to be creepy. Turn your basement into a dungeon or make your backyard look like a cemetery. Practice some ghost stories or encourage the group to make up their own as they go along. Plant appropriate sound effects and props to enhance the scary parts.


#3 Indulge your creative side.


There are all kinds of holiday crafts you can enjoy with your kids. Get free ideas at the library or online. You can decorate pumpkins, make scarecrows or do some face painting.


#4 Hand out non-food treats.


Whether you trick or treat or throw a party, you can hand out treats and favors other than candy. Give children stickers, temporary tattoos, coins, pencil toppers or small novelty toys. Black toothbrushes will come in especially handy this time of year. Just make sure there are no choking hazards for very young kids.




There are healthy alternatives to Halloween candy that will keep your kids happy and your dental bills down. Make this Halloween good and scary for you and your family.


Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy Your Kids Will Love

Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy Your Kids Will Love


Your kids will love healthy alternatives to Halloween candy if you make them frightfully good. These are some ideas for healthy holiday food and celebrations that are low on sugar and still a lot of fun.

Healthy Foods to Substitute for Traditional Halloween Candy:


#1 Make your own sinister snacks.


Kids love gross things. Use cookie cutters to design homemade cookies in shapes like ghosts and bats. Bake gingerbread zombies with missing limbs. You can adjust the conventional recipes to lower the sugar and substitute whole grain flour for half the white flour.


Kids will also love to eat fruit and vegetables if you arrange them right. Peel grapes so that they look like eyeballs. Make a skeleton shape out of carrot sticks and sliced vegetables.


#2 Try sugar free or organic candy and gum.


If you want to serve candy, try sugar free or organic brands. Read the labels to check on any chemicals you want to avoid and to find out how much sugar they contain. Sugar free gum is especially good to help keep dental plaque from forming if your kids eat any sugary candy. It stimulates saliva and can help fight tooth decay.


#3 Hand out healthier foods


There are lots of nutritious foods you can hand out for trick or treating or at parties. Focus on sturdy fruits and vegetables like baby carrots, raisins, apples, oranges, or bananas. Try pre-packaged cheese sticks or make your own packets of nuts.


·  Beware of cereal bars that may have as much sugar and fat as candy.

·  Create your own trail mix with granola, nuts, and dried fruit.

·  The sophisticated older child may even like seaweed or unsalted soy nuts.


#4 Serve hot chocolate or juice.


Water is the best way to quench your kid's thirst, but controlled portions of other liquids can also be reasonable choices. Small servings of hot chocolate will provide some warmth if the weather has already turned cold.


Individual juice boxes with straws will provide hydration and vitamins while keeping sugary drinks from sticking to your kid's teeth.




There are multiple ways to have your kids consuming healthy “candies” on Halloween! Use your creativity and share it with us! Your kids might even find it better than the not-so-healthy candies! 



Core Strength - A Crucial Element Makes You Look Great

Core Strength - A Crucial Element Makes You Look Great


We’ve mentioned the 2 main benefits you can get from stronger core muscles, which are better stability and overall coordination. However, we forgot to mention something that is very important as well: a strong core makes you look great! Your core not only affects your health but your confidence. It might then indirectly affect your interpersonal relationships.

Won’t you agree? Today we’re going to talk a bit more about this crucial element.


Free the pain from your back.


Core strength is important for your balance, stability, body strength, weightlifting goals, and running goals. This core muscle system appeals to the aesthetics of training. Plus, it helps keep your back, neck, and hips pain-free.


This is one system that cannot go unnoticed in your training program.


For best results, be sure to try and hit your core for about 60 minutes of training each week. Dedicated ab sessions, rather than 5 minutes after each workout, also seem to show better strength returns.


The best time to pair core work is at the end of a leg training session. 


Pair your core training with all your leg workouts and watch as you grow stronger in the core and every aspect of fitness that comes with it. 




Having a great core is more diet than training, but when both of these ideas meet in harmony, you’ll have a core that is built for strength and success in any setting. 


Talk to your coach about this today, and make a better plan for your core strength!


The Importance of Core Strength - 2 Main Benefits

The Importance of Core Strength - 2 Main Benefits

Many of us are well accustomed to the development of the glory muscles. Muscles like the chest, shoulders, quads and glutes will always get special attention in the gym - but how many people train their core correctly?


Yes, you see others doing simple exercises like leg raises and crunches to work their “abs,” but when we say core, we mean something different.


Think of the core as an entire muscular system that spans the entire surface of the stomach and back. The core is a system of muscles that starts at the hips and runs all the way up to the ribcage - supporting the body the entire way without fault.


With that said, many people have a very weak core which can lead to back pain, hip pain, and even pain in the upper back and neck.

Training your core is important for these 2 main reasons:

#1 Your core is your stability. 

Whenever you’re doing an exercise where a load is placed on your back, shoulders, or overhead, your core is the main muscular system that is providing stability.


Think of it as the bridge between your upper and lower body. If the bridge is weak, the connection between the two (upper and lower body) will not be nearly as effective as it could be. Training your core is important for stability in your big overhead movements.


A weak core means a weak squat and a weak overhead press. If you’re a strength athlete, this is something you need to look for.

#2 Your core helps you run. 

Whenever you’re doing an exercise where a load is placed on your back, shoulders, or overhead, your core is the main muscular system that is providing stability.


Think of it as the bridge between your upper and lower body. If the bridge is weak, the connection between the two (upper and lower body) will not be nearly as effective as it could be. Training your core is important for stability in your big overhead movements.


A weak core means a weak squat and a weak overhead press. If you’re a strength athlete, this is something you need to look for.




Start training for core strength today. You’ll like the way you feel!


Meat and Nuts - Power Builders for Your Body - Staples in the Keto Diet

Meat and Nuts - Power Builders for Your Body - Staples in the Keto Diet

It’s very easy to fall into the usual schedule of eating processed foods from the local fast food joint or your favorite restaurant down the street. Yes, this food tastes great - but how healthy is it for you?


Unfortunately, too many days of filling up on junk food will eventually bring negative consequences to your health (and your weight). As they say - junk in, junk out.


Realizing this, many people today are becoming more health-conscious. However, in their zeal to get rid of excess weight and eat more nutritiously, they often make the mistake of cutting out essential nutrients, too, and lose muscle as well as some fat.


As we now know, the keto diet can reverse these disappointments!


Research into fat loss and essential nutrients has shown us that certain fats are beneficial not only for our body’s processes, but also for losing weight.


These fats combined with proteins such as in meat, which is what the keto diet emphasizes, can help you to lose weight, build muscle, and strengthen your health. Two of the staples in the keto diet are meat and nuts. Let’s see how they work together to benefit you. 

Why Meat and Nuts are Important

Think back to your scavenging ancestors. For much of human existence, we were moderately good hunters, but most humans would be lucky to kill 1 animal a week. For the most part, we scavenged and gathered what we could to feed the population.


What was available in most places? Nuts, seeds, and some meats.


You can see the importance of nuts and seeds in your diet when you take a look at the caloric value and the essential nutrients they provide. Most nuts are very high in calories (more than 2x that of fruit, vegetables, meats, and other carb/protein sources). This means that they provide quite the punch of energy.


Building Muscle

Moving away from our ancestors to modern times, many strength experts agree that meat and nuts contribute directly to muscular performance and strength. 

One Canadian strength expert by the name of Charles Poliquin even created a diet called the Meat and Nuts Breakfast, where he emphasized the importance of both of these foods in your diet in order to grow stronger and leaner.

An important aspect to note is that Charles does not advocate for processed meats. He only recommends very lean red meats like venison, bison, and some beef, while the nuts are reserved to mostly cashews, pistachios, and some other popular nuts like walnuts.

In the keto diet, as well, meats and nuts are very important.

Not only do these nuts provide the calories you need, but they also contain many essential nutrients like zinc and magnesium - which both have ties to testosterone and growth hormone production.

If you’ve been struggling to find more strength from your diet, take a good look at how fresh, lean meats, in conjunction with a variety of nuts, can have a positive effect on your performance inside the gym - not to mention the increased energy you will get.

While meat will help to provide the bulk of low-fat protein in your diet with a variety of amino acids, the nuts will serve as a huge supply of fat and micronutrients - perfect for cell growth and regeneration of lost amino acid stores.

So, grab some nuts, eat some meat, and watch the muscle pack on!



How to Boost Serotonin So You Can Hit The Weight Losing Goal

How to Boost Serotonin So You Can Hit The Weight Losing Goal.

In the last post, we’ve mentioned that serotonin has these functions: It curb your appetite and resist cravings. It helps you to burn more calories, reduce emotional eating. It is crucial to know your body and know how to adjust serotonin in your body by adjusting your lifestyle.

How to Boost Serotonin:

#1 Work out.

Physical exercise increases serotonin. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity. Focus on cardio activities and strength training if you’re trying to lose weight.

#2 Adjust your diet.

A nutritious diet rich in whole foods supports serotonin production. For a bigger boost, consume probiotics and foods high in tryptophan, like salmon and chia seeds.

#3 Manage stress.

On the other hand, cortisol and other stress hormones suppress serotonin. Develop a daily practice of taking time to relax.

#4 Consider supplements. 

While research findings are mixed, some adults report positive results using serotonin supplements. You can also find formulas with related substances like 5-HTP and vitamin D.

#5 See your doctor.

There can be many medical reasons why you have trouble losing weight. Your doctor can help you understand your serotonin needs and other treatment options.

Other Natural Appetite Suppressants:

#1 Eat more fiber.

Along with serotonin and exercise, there are many more natural and safe ways to regulate hunger. One of the most effective is focusing on foods high in fiber that will fill you up with fewer calories.

#2 Drink water.

Beverages with little or no calories can quench your thirst and make food easier to resist. Sip water or tea throughout the day.

#3 Slow down.

Your brain needs about 20 minutes to register that it’s full. Sit down and savor your food. Talk with your family or dinner companions. You’ll make mealtimes less fattening and more fun.

#4 Add spices.

Certain seasonings can put the brakes on your appetite. Flavor your dishes with ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon.

#5 Distract yourself. 

Remember there’s a difference between true hunger and appetite. You may be eating for psychological reasons if you only want something specific, like ice cream or pizza. Entertain yourself with activities other than food and give your cravings time to pass.


When your serotonin levels are balanced, you’ll have more energy and feel full while eating less food. Along with losing weight, you may also enjoy greater happiness, sounder sleep, and significant relief from headaches and many other common conditions.


What You Need to Know About Serotonin and Weight Loss

What You Need to Know About Serotonin and Weight Loss

Do you diet and exercise, but stay the same size? A serotonin imbalance could be the reason that you find it difficult to lose weight.


Serotonin may be best known as a neurotransmitter that fights anxiety and depression. However, it also plays a major role in digestive health. In fact, most of the serotonin in your body is in your gut, rather than in your brain.


Put this natural appetite suppressant to work for you. Learn more about how serotonin affects weight loss and lifestyle choices you can make that will help it to do its job.

How Serotonin Affects Weight Loss:

#1 Curb your appetite. 

Serotonin affects your brain’s melanocortin system, which is partly responsible for controlling body weight. It activates some neurons that decrease appetite and blocks others that increase appetite.

#2 Resist cravings.

Do you yearn for chips and cookies in the late afternoon and evening? Serotonin can be especially helpful in reducing carbohydrate cravings. Keep in mind that your body still needs some healthy carbohydrate calories, typically about 40% of your daily intake.

#3 Burn more calories.

Low serotonin levels may also cause your body to store more fat. Correcting any imbalance can help you lose weight around your midsection, which is very beneficial for your overall health.


#4 Reduce emotional eating.

Do you reach for comfort food when you’re sad or frustrated? You may find yourself eating less as serotonin helps stabilize your moods.


We know the connection between serotonin and weight loss now, what's the next? Yes, we’ll let you know how to boost your serotonin and some great advice on other natural appetite suppressants in the next post. So stay tuned with us!


A Quick Guide to Micronutrients and Water

A Quick Guide to Micronutrients and Water.

We’ve talked about macronutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, and fat in the last article. Today, it’s about vitamins, minerals and water.

Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients that support your body functions. You only need them in small amounts, but they’re still vital to your health and wellbeing.


Check out the benefit with these strategies:

#1 Understand vitamins and minerals. 

There are 13 essential vitamins and a wide range of minerals that you need to stay fit. Vitamins help your body use other nutrients and make hormones. Minerals are especially important for your central nervous system and skeleton.

#2 Seek variety. 

Common signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies include hair loss and slow healing. Most symptoms can be treated quickly by changing your diet.

#3 Consider supplements.

For most adults, food is superior to supplements. However, it’s important to follow your doctor's recommendations if you’re on a restricted diet.

#4 Water

There’s a little difference of opinion when it comes to water. Some experts call it a macronutrient because you need a lot of it. Others say it’s a micronutrient because it doesn’t provide energy directly. You may side with those who put it in a separate category of its own. You could consider these tips to add more water to your diet:

(1) Adopt new habits.

Maybe you have trouble remembering to drink enough water. Try creating triggers like having a glass when you wake up or make a phone call.


(2) Add flavor. 

If the taste of plain water doesn’t appeal to you, liven it up. Infuse it with fresh basil or a few crushed cranberries.


(3) Chew it.

Water from solid foods counts too. For meals and snacks with a high water content, use ingredients like cucumbers, celery, strawberries, cauliflower, and cottage cheese.


(4) Avoid dehydration.

You may have heard that you can only live about 3 days without water. Even under less extreme conditions, dehydration can affect your performance. If you feel fatigued or have trouble concentrating, you may need to drink more.


Proper nutrition can be simple. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and other whole foods is usually all you need to give your body adequate amounts of the 6 essential nutrients.


If you have medical conditions or other concerns, your doctor or dietician can also help you in understanding your individual needs.