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Jan 5

10 healthy foods that will help you gain weight fast – GQ India

While most people focus primarily on losing weight, losing weight fast or foods to eat to lose 10 kilos in a week, theres another aspect that is equally important and deserves attention. That is how to gain weight. Losing weight is tough, but so is gaining weight. And gorging on junk and unhealthy food in hopes of gaining weight, is not a solution. Since most of our health choices and life problems boil down to our nutrition, its important to take care of that if you are underweight and even more important to do it correctly. Here are 10 healthy foods that will help you gain weight fast and naturally.

When youre trying to lose weight, the first thing people are told is to either cut down on rice or remove it from their diet completely. So, it doesnt take a genius to figure out that this rich in calories and carbs food with actually help you gain weight faster. A bowl of cooked rice contains between 130 to 250 calories. And there are so many ways to enjoy rice - be it as biryani or a simple fried rice. Here are some biryani and fried rice recipes to get you started.

Whether you consume almonds, cashews, walnuts or peanut butter and almond butter, all nuts and nut butters help in gaining weight as they contain healthy sources of fat, minerals, vitamins and increase muscle mass. And these calorie-dense foods go perfectly well with almost anything you can enjoy it in a sandwich, in a smoothie or just scoop out a spoonful and lick it. Both nuts and nut butters make for perfect snacks to satiate your post-lunch or midnight cravings.

No, we dont mean going for an extra box of French fries, just because potatoes help you gain weight. Potatoes and other vegetables and foods like corn, sweet potatoes, beans, pasta, whole-grain breads that contain high amounts of starch and carbs, can help you add some extra kilos. Here are some delicious ways (recipes) to include potatoes into your diet.

Red meat and steaks are rich source of protein, fat and help in building muscle. Instead of going for leaner portions, you can pick fattier cuts of the meat to add more calories into your diet, in order to gain weight. Additionally, fatty fish like salmon, rohu, pomfret or surmai also help in gaining weight. These fish are high source of protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your health.

Another superfood that can help you gain weight are avocados. Avocados contain fatty acids, are high in minerals and vitamins and packed with fats that are good for your heart. Whats more, as per NDTV, a 100gm serving of avocado contains around 160 calories, whereas a whole avocado contains over 320 calories. Eat in a salad, sandwich or as guacamole or dip, the choice is yours.

In case you wanted another reason to go for that extra bar of dark chocolate, you have one now. Dark chocolates are high in fats, calories and contain antioxidants like flavanols and polyphenols. Dark chocolates improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure, improves your brain function and protects bad cholesterol from oxidation. But overall, it also helps you gain weight as the same article suggests that a 42-gram chocolate bar contains 235 calories. So, go ahead and make yourself a hot cup of dark hot chocolate.

Granola is one of the tastiest cereals ever made. It contains the goodness of fibre and antioxidant-rich oats. And it also contains dried fruits and nuts that makes this calorie-dense food a perfect meal to kickstart your day with. You can enjoy it as granola bars, with milk or yogurt.

Eggs are one of the most versatile and healthiest foods in the world. You can eat as many eggs as you want and whichever way you want to. While working out, most gym trainers recommend eating eggs post workout since its high in protein and contains healthy fats, particularly the egg yolk. If you want to lose weight, its advised to not consume the egg yolks. But if you want to gain weight, consuming whole eggs are one of the best ways to do it. Especially when you have some really amazing egg recipes waiting for you to try out.

Full-fat yogurt and milk are other healthy food options to gain weight fast and naturally. Both milk and yogurt are rich sources of protein, cabs and fats. Yogurt is rich in probiotics and also builds immunity. And being a great source of calcium, milk also strengthen your bones and helps gain muscle mass. However, avoid going for packaged or flavoured yogurt that are loaded with unnecessary calories. You can enjoy yogurt with granola or fruits.

Protein smoothie or shake

Homemade protein smoothies or shakes are the best and most nutritious foods as it packs nutritional value of multiple foods into one. Its also one of the quickest ways to gain weight. Literally a blender away. From strawberry avocado smoothie, dark chocolate and banana shake to peanut butter smoothie, there are countless recipes and ways to enjoy smoothie. Have it in a glass or a bowl with your favourite choice of toppings.

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10 healthy foods that will help you gain weight fast - GQ India


Jan 5

Lockdown weight loss: "I have a bowl of moong or split moong dal for dinner" – Times of India

My breakfast: I have my breakfast at 8:30 am sharp and prefer eating oats with almonds and fat-free curd/ vermicelli upma with veggies/poha or two idlis.

My lunch: For lunch, had at 1:30 pm, I mostly take 2 - 3 chapatis or little rice with moong dal and low carb vegetables (broccoli, beans, spinach etc.) or grilled boiled chicken/fish ( 100 gms)

My dinner: Just a bowl of moong or split moong dal at 9 pm. If I feel hungry later, I have a glass of skimmed milk.

Pre-workout meal: 1 hour before I take 2 digestive biscuits with tea without sugar, preferably red tea. An hour before heading to my workout, I have 2 digestive biscuits with tea (without sugar). Sometimes, I have red tea.

Post-workout meal: I have a cup of green tea.

I indulge in (What you eat on your cheat days): Nothing fancy, on rare occasions when I crave too much, I like to have chicken momos or homemade pooris or paranthas. I avoid eating outside food as much as possible.

Low-calorie recipes I swear by: My wife prepares delicious oats recipe- with nuts, curd and jaggery powder. I avoid gluten and sugar. Vermicelli is another favourite. I love eating it and this has helped me control my calorie intake. Most of my food was prepared in very less oil (usually mustard oil). I have to thank my wife for being so supportive and helpful.

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Lockdown weight loss: "I have a bowl of moong or split moong dal for dinner" - Times of India


Jan 5

Workouts that burn the most calories – Yahoo Lifestyle

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If you're looking to lose body fat and work your muscles, this 45-minute workout designed by ACE-certified fitness instructor John Kersbergen is the place to start. It combines cardio with strength training moves - so aside from burning calories, it'll also help you build muscle, which increases your metabolic rate and helps you burn more calories when you're not working out. Essentially, this routine will help you effectively, efficiently lose weight without taking up too much time, but heed this warning: it's fast-paced and will leave you dripping with sweat! Before we get into the workout, here are a few quick reminders. This workout can help you build muscle when done consistently, but you'll also want to eat a balanced, protein-filled diet and get adequate sleep to reach that goal. The same goes for losing weight; a consistent workout routine (that includes workouts like this one) is key, but so is eating a nutrient-dense diet and working toward a modest calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume). It's important to remember that you can't control some factors, such as your genes and hormones, and these will also impact your weight loss. With all that said, this is a Tabata workout, which is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It's a good choice for weight loss, as studies have indicated that HIIT workouts may help diminish belly fat more effectively than steady-state cardio. Each four-minute section of this workout involves eight rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. What makes this workout so intense is that it's long: 45 minutes total! You get a one-minute rest every 12 minutes, so soak it up, and remember that if you're at your limit or just not used to this style of training, it's OK to take a longer rest or complete your exercises at a slower pace. Drink some water, catch your breath, walk around a little, and then get ready to rev up the intensity once again. Related: Start Our 30-Day Beginner Bodyweight Challenge Today and Get Stronger Every Day! 45-Minute HIIT Workout For Weight Loss Equipment needed: jump rope (if you don't have one, just pretend!), medium- to heavy-weight dumbbells (five to 20; here are more tips for choosing the right weight), and a clock, timer, or Tabata app to keep track of time. Directions: Start by completing the warmup circuit below as many times as you can in five minutes. Then, start the first block of the workout. Do 20 seconds of the first exercise, then rest for 10 seconds before completing 20 seconds of the second exercise. Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat the two-move circuit for four rounds total. Repeat this format for each block, taking a longer, one-minute rest where indicated. Cool down after the workout with full-body stretches. 0:00-5:00 Warmup Repeat as many times as you can in 5 minutes 10 jumping jacks 10 forward backward lunges (5 per side) 10 plank jacks 5:01-6:00 Rest 6:01-10:00 Cardio Repeat 4x 20 seconds jump rope, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds mountain climbers, 10 seconds rest 10:01-14:00 Legs Repeat 4x 20 seconds air squats, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds goblet squats, 10 seconds rest 14:01-18:00 Arms Repeat 4x 20 seconds triceps push-ups, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds dumbbell thrusters, 10 seconds rest 18:01-19:00 Rest 19:01-23:00 Core Repeat 4x 20 seconds plank with bunny hops, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds v-sits, 10 seconds rest 23:01-27:00 Cardio Repeat 4x 20 seconds jump rope, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds mountain climbers, 10 seconds rest 27:01-31:00 Plyo Repeat 4x 20 seconds burpees, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds split lunge jumps, 10 seconds rest 31:01-32:00 Rest 32:01-36:00 Back Repeat 4x 20 seconds Superman lifts, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds plank with row, 10 seconds rest 36:01-40:00 Butt Repeat 4x 20 seconds jump squats, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds deadlifts, 10 seconds rest 40:01-44:00 Cardio Repeat 4x 20 seconds jump rope, 10 seconds rest 20 seconds mountain climbers, 10 seconds rest 44:01-45:00 Rest Keep reading for a description of each move. Related: Transform Your Abs With This 2-Week Crunch Challenge - It Takes Just a Few Minutes a Day!

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Workouts that burn the most calories - Yahoo Lifestyle


Jan 5

Dangerous Side Effects of Eating "Healthy" Fast Food, According to Experts – Eat This, Not That

It's January, and most of us have announced to our friends and family some sort of New Year's resolution pertaining to our health. Losing belly fat and exercising may be high on the list, but eating better food should be too. If you're a frequent customer at fast-food chains, it may seem like simply opting for "healthier" menu items could be enough to achieve better health outcomes, but the truth is, even lighter menu options at places like Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, or Wendy's is still considered fast foodand they are still worse than a simple homemade vegetable-forward meal with whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.

Think of it this way: In order to provide the same satisfaction you'd get from eating a burger with fries, "healthy" fast-food options have to have some way of reeling you in and keeping you coming back for more. After all, this is the fast-food business model and often includes compromising dietary guideline recommendations in favor of flavor and crave-ability. While the marketing strategies of big food chains have caught on to the fact that most people are looking for healthier options on their menus, their actual food production methods still haven't.

The biggest danger of "healthy" fast food is that you've been fooled into letting your guard down and thinking that regularly consuming this food is no big deal. Sure, the calories may end up being lighter, and you're surely consuming less fat, but calling anything you can order at a fast-food chain "healthy" is a major stretch.

Take the recent example of Business Insider journalist Kevin Reilly, who conducted an experiment in which he ate nothing but "healthy" fast food for a whole week. Yes, he did lose 7 pounds in 7 days, but at what cost? According to his testimony, he often felt sluggish, was consuming waaay too much sodium, and ended up suffering a terrible migraine after a few days on this "healthy" diet. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are some of the potentially dangerous side effects of regularly eating "healthy" fast-food items. Do not mistake them for actually healthy food. And for more, don't miss The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.

One inescapable fact of fast-food fare is that it's mass-produced, and what that usually means is highly processed. Processed food is any food that has been chemically altered and made from only refined ingredients and artificial substances (as opposed to whole foods). Let's say you've ordered a plant-based burger or sandwichit's great that you're opting to eat less red meat, but the patty, bun, and sauces you're getting with this order are still highly processed. Ordering a salad where you can actually identify the vegetables with the naked eye? So far so good, but we'll bet there's other stuff in there like deliciously-flavored croutons or a creamy dressing, which are full of simple carbohydrates, added sugars, and contain nothing of nutritional value at all.

Relying on mostly processed food for your nutrition can lead to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalances, poor sleep, and a plethora of other negative consequences you may not even think to attribute to your diet, like mood swings, declining dental health, acne, hair loss, etc. Here are 21 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Stop Eating Processed Food.

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Sodium is one of the most over-consumed nutrients in the United States. In fact, about 90% of Americans consume more than the daily recommended amounts of sodium, says nutritionist Toby Amidor. There are few things worse for your cardiovascular health than large amounts of sodium, considering it increases your blood pressure and puts you at a significantly higher risk of a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney disease.

Fast food is notorious for being loaded with sodium. For example, many salads, as well as sandwiches and soups, from major fast-food chains contain more than 50% of your daily recommended intake.

"Many fast-food chains add flavor to their food by piling on the salt, even on so-called healthy menu items," says Amidor. "As such, you could be taking in 75% or more of the recommended daily sodium in one meal." So yes, you may be going light on the calories and eating lean meat like grilled chicken, but you're wreaking havoc on your body with artery-clogging sodium levels.

Added sugar is a silent killer, and it finds its way into many different components of fast food, including the "healthy" menu items. For example, you may think you're doing yourself a service by opting for a yogurt parfait or oatmeal over an egg and bacon sandwich, and you are to an extent. But those items often have way more added sweeteners, like high-fructose corn syrup, than is recommended per meal. "Chains oftentimes use more than what is deemed a reasonable amount of added sugars to make their food more appealing and addictive," says Amidor.

The worst part is that added sugars aren't always as obviousbesides traditionally sweet breakfast items, you'll also find them in salad dressings, smoothies, and even grain bowls and grilled chicken sandwiches. Here are the 35 Most Sugary Restaurant Meals on the Planet.

It's a no-brainer that consuming lighter meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will leave you hungry during the day, and a lot more prone to snacking. Reilly pointed out in his video that while he did drop seven pounds in a week by opting for lighter menu items from fast-food restaurants, he was constantly hungry and felt like he wasn't getting enough food at mealtime. So unless you're willing to go hungry like him between meals, your weight loss plan of "healthy" fast food may end up backfiring in several ways: you could end up snacking more, which can rack up extra calories quickly, or you could end up in a deprive-then-binge cycle where you're more likely to succumb to your overeating urges later in the day.

For more, make sure to read up on the the Unhealthiest Snack Foods, According to Science.

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Dangerous Side Effects of Eating "Healthy" Fast Food, According to Experts - Eat This, Not That


Jan 5

What is intuitive eating? The anti-diet that wants to repair your relationship with food – Her.ie

Welcome to January. Or, welcome to an entire month of fitness routines, 30 day challenges, and restrictive quick fix eating plans. Same thing, really.

With the New Year comes new challenges, new achievements, and new ways of living. It can also come with new diets, new strict workout plans, and new ways of feeling bad about yourself.

Enter 'intuitive eating': the anti-diet plan that's recently seen a significant resurgence on social media - and it may just have come at the perfect time.

A framework that has been around since the '90s, the term was introduced by dietician Evelyn Tribole and nutritional therapist Elyse Resch.

Both experienced in working with eating disorder patients and both familiar with the feelings of guilt and stress that can come alongside food, the pair wanted to devise a means of achieving mental and physical health, without succumbing to restrictive eating and a focus on weight loss.

Nutritional therapist and co-founder of Intuitive Eating Ireland, Sinead Crowe, says that intuitive eating is less about what you're eating (or what you're not eating), and more about building a healthy relationship with food.

Its a framework of self care," she tells Her. "You draw on your instinct, your emotions, and your rational thinking. We were designed to know when were hungry and when we need to feed ourselves.

"With diet culture, were following so many rules. We dont know if were doing it right or wrong, were looking at what we should and shouldnt be eating. Weve come away from that intuition over time, we need to tap back into it and see what feels good in our bodies."

Unlike dieting, intuitive eating doesn't involve following a strict set of rules or organised steps in order to reach a goal. Rather it's comprised of 10 core principals, each of them interlinked, none more or less important than the other. Except for maybe the first one: Rejecting the diet mentality.

A refusal to restrict food, a commitment to listen to the body, an acknowledgment that a fad is not going to change your life. Rejecting the diet mentality is challenging, of course it is - because diet culture is everywhere.

"I spent two decades dieting, always on that hamster wheel of trying to lose weight," says Sinead. "I was obsessing about food, eating way past fullness and not feeling comfortable in myself. Then I realised diets just werent working for me.

"Its a big step. Its quite radical to say Im done with diets.' But only when you opt out of diet culture, can you start the other principals."

Ranging from 'honouring your eating' to 'respecting your body,' intuitive eating's principals vary but the central tenet remains the same: reframe they way you think about food and your body will thank you for it.

The framework urges people to challenge the "food police," become more aware of the signs of fullness, and to tackle internalised criticism of the body.

Intuitive eating does not work for everyone in the same way, says Sinead. Nor is it a quick fix to achieve confidence and self love. But if practised, it is a means to learn how to be healthy, both mentally and physically.

So, if dieting is so toxic, that what else is left? According to Sinead, well... everything. Exercising for the right reasons, keeping up a nutrition dense diet, and having a body that feels energised and, most importantly, full.

Ive got my own fitness goals and they have nothing to do with weight loss," she says. "Goals should work with what your body needs. Its not about doing rigorous exercise, but moving with a purpose.

"I also had to work on repairing my relationship with food. Your body wants to feel energised and comfortable. You want to sleep well, move well, think straight. We dont get this when were dieting.

"Weight cycling is hugely problematic for peoples health. A person could be spending years gaining and losing weight and that has an impact on your physical health."

Unlike the classic quick fix fad diet, intuitive eating takes more than 30 days to see results. In fact, it can take a person an average of two years to fully repair their relationship with food. When you're in it, says Sinead, you're in it for the long haul - but she's adamant that the results are worth it.

I was so consumed by dieting when I was younger," she says. "I just keep thinking: imagine if I had something like this back then."

The rest is here:
What is intuitive eating? The anti-diet that wants to repair your relationship with food - Her.ie


Jan 5

Simple jump rope HIIT workouts to lose weight and tone muscles in no time – Daily Star

Just last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson plunged England into yet another national lockdown in a bid to fight coronavirus.

The restrictions are similar to what we would have seen back in March last year, meaning gyms will sadly remain closed.

It will affect millions of Brits across the country and now it's never been more important to cater time for exercise.

If you're not a huge fan of running, a jump rope works an absolute charm for cardio and it can be done anywhere.

You might not have used one since primary school, but did you know skipping is a great way to burn calories?

Here to get you started in 2021 are three jump rope techniques that'll help torch fat fast or whatever your fitness goal might be.

If you're new to the skipping game, first start off with this easy workout then build it up.

For those who are pretty decent at skipping can try this workout instead, add an extra set to take it to another level.

Now this one's for the masterminds with the jump rope and if it's too simple, increase the skipping time...

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Simple jump rope HIIT workouts to lose weight and tone muscles in no time - Daily Star


Jan 5

This Guy Followed a Plant-Based Diet and Lost 180 Pounds – menshealth.com

Before I changed my diet and started intermittent fasting, I led a very sedentary lifestyle. I had a very poor diet of fast food and cheap sweets. Not only did I eat unhealthily, but I also ate unhealthily in large amounts. I was depressed, always tired, unhappy with my life, and didnt like going out to see people. I used eating as a coping mechanism to relieve me of these negative emotions, but overall it made me feel worse which made me want to eat more. It was a vicious cycle which was hard to escape. I was always trying to turn or sit in a way that I thought would make me look a little smaller.

One day I was at home on my couch eating my usual bag of doughnuts, when I had an image in my head of myself dying of a heart attack. I thought about how my family would find me, and about how I would be so big it would take a few people to get me out of my house. I knew something had to change right then and there.

The next day I was on the computer watching YouTube videos about different diets. At this point, I knew I needed to change something in my life, but other diets I tried in the past had been unsuccessful for me. I came across a YouTube video of a guy teaching about making Green Smoothies and thought I like all those foods in there. I could live on those. It was like something clicked in my head, and I knew I had found the lifestyle I had been looking for. I adopted a fully whole food plant-based lifestyle and began meal prepping every week.

When I decided to make a change, I only ate three meals a day with a couple of snacks in betweenat the time I didnt even realize I was already doing a 14 hour intermittent fast every day! To ensure I stuck to a schedule with my fasts, I downloaded the LIFE Fasting Tracker to track my fasts, log my weight, and read more about intermittent fasting, which has really helped me stay on track.

For the first six months of my lifestyle change, I was a raw foodist. I ate a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. I would make overnight oats every night for breakfast. I brought a Vitamix to work and would make a green smoothie every afternoon. I always had a bag of apples or oranges in my car, so if I needed a snack I had some fruit.

After the first six months, I transitioned to a normal plant-based diet. Since then, I have been experimenting with a lot of different whole food, plant-based recipes. One of my favorite go-to meals to make are a variation of curries or any type of Korean food. Cooking is one of my passions so I am always trying new things.

When I started incorporating exercise into the mix, my friend gave me a recumbent stationary bike. I put it in my room right next to my bed. I would wake up in the morning and immediately get a 30 min workout in before I did anything else.

Most of the challenges I faced came from external sources. I felt like a lot of people would pressure me to eat something I didnt want to or drink something I knew was not going to support my goals. I felt myself having to explain to a lot of friends and family that I had set very specific guidelines, and goals for myself and I wasnt going to compromise those things for any reason. After I stuck to my guns for a while, everyone stopped offering me those things and began supporting me in ways I could never imagine.

Before I knew it, the one year anniversary of my lifestyle change had come, and I had lost almost 100 pounds. It was so rewarding, and I was so happy to reach that milestone. I started at 365 pounds. At 180 pounds today Im happier than ever and now have more confidence than I ever thought possible.

I also gained a new kind of self-confidence and had the courage to ask out a long time crush of mine. We have now been happily together for almost a year and I love sharing my new health and knowledge with her.

My lifestyle is a permanent one now and I will continue to work hard and be as healthy as I can.

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Simple Green Smoothies

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Need inspiration for a filling, healthy smoothie?This book has more than 100 recipes so you'll never get bored.

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This Guy Followed a Plant-Based Diet and Lost 180 Pounds - menshealth.com


Jan 5

Here’s How to Reach Your Goals for Living Healthier and Happier – The Beet

Ben Franklin was known to have a chaotic, unruly, messy desk. When asked why, by someone who pointed out thatFranklin himself wrote: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time the inventor, writer, politician, and ambassador is reported to have responded and said: "Imagine what it would look like if I didn't try?" That's how goal-setting works. You may not achieve what you set out to do, but just the act of trying is a relative win.

According to psychologists, there are three types of goals: those that involve process,those that are centered around performance, and those that are focused on theoutcome. According to the researchers at Eastern Washington University, "Goal-setting is the process of taking active steps to achieve your desired outcome." I am here to tell you that after years of studying resolutions, new habits, and who reaches their goals, you can get further along with all these types of goals, whether it be to get organized (process) or to get up and exercise every day at dawn (performance) or to lose weight (outcome) if you A. Set your goal and B. Give yourself a break when you mess up. Just by setting a goal, you are doing better than if you had not. Putting on your exercise clothes at 6 am and heading out the door may not turn out to be the glorious fast run you'd envisioned, but doing it day after day means you will, on about day 4 or 5 or 7, achieve the desired result. Get in the habit and the outcome will follow. The same is true if you try to be organized. You may miss a call, forget an important email to answer, or be late on a bill, but just by striving to put in place systems that help you get through your to-do list, you will achieve most of the organizational gains you're aiming for. And as for weight loss, you may be eating salad after crunchy salad and not see the scale budge, at first. But stick with it and in a few days or weeks, the water weight will leave your body, the fiber will do its job and you'll be less prone to reach for the potato chips at 3 pm. Just keep trying to reach that outcome and your efforts will take you further, eventually, then you may at first believe.

The Secret to Achieving Your Goals Is to Set Short and Long Term Goals

When you decide what your goals are, make sure you can measure success in both short term and long term ways. Want to get up and out to workout every morning? Try it for 6 days the first week. Then give yourself a day off and do it for the next 5 days. Don't expect that it's going to happen every single day. Try for 4 out of 5, or shoot for 6 out of 7. Then keep track of how you're doing.

Write down your goals and put that statement on your mirror, calendar, desk or wherever you can see it every day. This is one way to stay on track when you "let it slip" or lose your mojo. When you get to a good marking point (I did it for a week!) let yourself have a reward. Ate a vegan salad every day this week? Give yourself a little treat (like a new pair of running shoes.)

When the goals are specific (eat plant-based for 28 days) they are more likely to be met. Keep it something you can measure (going dry for January) or something you can attain, the goal-setting experts say. And have an end date. So if you want your month to be stellar, then January 31st is a great finish line. You can give yourself a breather and start up again next month.

Here are the goals we are trying to reach and the strategies that we are using to do it. Please share your goals for 2021 and let us know your helpful hints to get further along that path to health and happiness. We want to hear from you!

My strategy is simple: Just like I would not pick up a cigarette and I don't eat bacon (which I gave up along with meat and dairy nearly 2 years ago), I am looking at my usual wine bottles as if they were for someone else. I just don't do that. It's my way of blocking the option. I don't eat meat and I don't smoke and now, at least, I don't drink. During the pandemic, I enjoyed 1 or 2 glasses daily and while that was an enjoyable let down of stress, I was so over it. My body wasn't feeling sprightly in the early morning when I like to hop on my bike or run and I knew it was time. But timing is everything. Give yourself a little runway and ramp-up to the goal. Then... Basta! No more. At least not for now.

This may sound like three different things to you but I am not as tight on my paperwork as I'd like, from scheduling to paying boring bills like insurance, to then feeling grumpy when something that I have let languishes on my "stack" goes wrong (like a letter from the insurance company telling me I may no longer have life insurance). That just isn't how I want to live my life. I tell myself I want to be a highly functioning human being and be cheerful when things I choose to buy (said life insurance) then sends me a bill.

Switch the script. Instead of being grumpy when I have to pay that bill I want to tell myself: I CHOOSE to spend money on this and I am an adult who made that decision and now it's mine to live with. So rather than feel like that's money I wish I didn't have to spend except on something way more fun like new workout gear or a cashmere sweater, I now tell myself: This is what Ichoose to spend my money on and it's a privilege to have this opportunity (to provide for my family in case of disaster) and so for me, these are tied. Be organized, save money, pay what bills I owe, and do so cheerfully. I often add a donation to a charity when I am paying my bills, as a way of reminding myself: I am lucky to be able to write this check. Let's write another, and make a donation.

I wish I used the working from home months of the past year to be my healthiest. Instead, like everyone else, I found the chips and the dips, the cookies and crackers, and just about every other carb that is "allowed" on a plant-based diet. Now, the jeans are right and I don't feel my healthiest. It's time to get it back together. I look forward to 2021 as a chance to turn the corner on my own health journey and make this my year of being healthy. My heart goes out to the many who are out there coping with terrible loss, illness, and uncertainty. The best way I can cope is not to drown myself in carbs and wine but to become my healthiest and to do so, I am doubling down on my goals to eat more whole foods (not potato chips) and to lose the weight I gained.

A note about healthy living: No one can tell you what your goals should be, or when to kick them into forward momentum. But if and when you find your own, hold true to your reasons, your desire to be healthy, and then act on that. Peer pressure can come to play when it's time to dive into a sweet treat or you can quietly check in with yourself and your own resolve. When you do decide to make allowances and give yourself permission to indulge, never feel bad about it. I tell myself: I obviously needed that! And then get back on track. Any time your goal fades from view, check back with your mantra or your reasons. For me, it's I" want to be healthy for myself and my family. I want to feel good and live a life that is active, joyful, and energetic. I want to live according to my values. And I want to help other people do it too. At The Beet, we give you the tools you need: Recipes and inspiration, the 28 Day Plant-Based Plan, and the VegStart Diet. Try them out!

My first focus this year is to dive more into my yoga practice,and I'm doing thisby following Yoga With Adriene's BREATH 30-day practice.Adrienereleased the first episode of this free program on January 1st, andmillions of her subscribers across the world are following byparticipating in each new 30-50 minute practice daily. The focus on breathwork in this particular program is one aspect of yoga that is super meditative for me and allows me to forget about all stresses, distractions, and to-do list items. I would recommend YWA to anyone who is looking to build a daily practice because she is a great leader, and her 30-day programs are a good starting point for beginners because she gives lots of options for modifying poses, and the 30-day format is aneasy way to keep yourself accountable. Grab a friend, start on day one, and watchas both of your practices deepen and your body strengthen. I find even the thought of there being a community of people internationally practicing at the same time as me enough motivation to hop off the couch and unroll my mat.

At the start of my vegan journey, I focused on eating the kinds of comfort foods that were integral parts of my diet before I ditched animal products. Vegan cheese, faux meats, lots of pasta, andan all-around diet of things that weren't necessarily setting me up to be my healthiest. Now, years later, I find that my taste buds have shifted past vegan alternative products, and I love to fill my plate with whole foods (besides of course my Saturday everything bagel loaded with vegetable tofu cream cheese).

As I feel these fruits, vegetables, roots, and herbs healing my body,I've come to realize how important treating your food as medicine is. I want to set an actionable goal for myself this year, so I'm striving to have two out of three meals per day be loaded with whole foods. Salads, buddha bowls, smoothies, and fresh juices are just some of the ways I plan on incorporating whole foods into my diet. I also want to explore incorporating superfoods like Irish Sea Moss and adaptogenic herbs into my diet.

Our daily recipes are constantly inspiring me, and if you want to hop on board the whole food train I would suggest signing up for our 28-Day Plant-Based Plan for free recipes, shopping lists, and community support.

"When you don't realize you're in the moment until it's a memory," is a lyric from my favorite song, Summer 91 by Noizu, andis my mottofor2021. After hearing this song, I couldn't stop thinking about how much I related to this on a personal level. Reflecting on 2020, I found the most peaceful andmemorablemoments were the small moments when I was present and undistracted by my phone or racing thoughts. 2021 will be the year I enjoy the momentsas theyunfold and leave worrying about the future for another day.

My strategy to live in the moment is tuning out all distractions including all technology. My phone will be turned off unless it's necessary to be on, and I will immerse myself in present rather than the past or future.

I'm leaving overambitious goals and critical self-judgment in the past. My focus for 2021 is to take small steps, build new positive daily habits, and be kind to myself inthe process. 2021 is the year I focus on making small and effective changes, such as waking up and drinking a glass of water or leaving the phone on the charger and picking up a book instead.My hope is that by the end of the year all thesesmalladditions to my routine will turn into a consistent routine that I build upon in years to come.

Speaking for myself, I tend to overload my plate with a hefty schedule, sometimes too busy to pick my head up from what's happening around me. I wake up early, work out first thing, walk my dog, get to work, double book events, find time to socialize, normally go out to dinner, andfeel exhausted with little room for meaningful activities like time with my family, calling my grandma, catching up with a friend, learning about a new topic, and practicing in self-care. I'm the person that picks up the phone and answers, "can I call you back?" Then, by the time I call back, it's after dinner or the call turns into a quick, surface conversation because either my friend, mom, dad, sister, whoever is off to sleep--which feels like a complete missed opportunity.

So,instead of checking off the boxes on my list of to do's, in the new year, I want to live softly and take awaythe feeling of perfection, whichconsumes much of my mental space and tends to interfere with my well-being and time for others. This might sound unusual, but I'd like to work, think, feel less "robotic" during my days and take time to fully engage, feel present, live purposely and simpler.

During one of my phone call interviews I had forThe Beet'sSuccess Stories column, I spoke toDoug Schmidt, who has an incredible health transformation story but also an inspiring mantra that stuck with me.When I asked Doug for his mantra he said,"It's that I walk a little bit more softly on the earth. Whether that's in my interactions with people or interactions with animals..." On the phone, he mentioned that a simple life helps one stay present and accomplish more,which inspired me totake theunnecessary load off.

As a plant-based eater, there are so many new, creative food options to fully indulge in the vegan lifestyle, but, most of the time, they're not healthy or contain funky ingredients. I always catch myself repeating the same thing: "Just because it's vegan, doesn't mean it's healthy." In particular, I normally find myself mindlessly snacking on protein bars, and after I finish one or two, I put together the torn package label like a puzzle piece and find unhealthy, sneaky ingredients that only make me feel sluggish. So, in the new year, I will be label cautious and eat more fruits, veggies, beans, legumes, and whole grains without being restrictive.

More here:
Here's How to Reach Your Goals for Living Healthier and Happier - The Beet


Dec 28

Ask Allison: Im in my 40s and I find it hard to follow through on things diets, hobbies, courses and now my kids are the same. Could this harm them…

Question: I have a problem in that I find it very difficult to stick to anything. I need to lose weight so I start a new diet/personal trainer and then before long the novelty wears off. It is the same with hobbies. I joined a tennis club at massive expense and then quit within months. Part of it had to do with some snobby members who were rude to me, but I still walked away from the investment. I am starting to see the same trait in one of my kids and I am worried it will affect their chances at a career. I am lucky in that my husband pays all our bills. Is it possible to learn staying power at this stage of my life? I am in my mid 40s?

nswer: How do you get habits to stick or improve your staying power? Forget everything that you think will get you there and know this: you do have willpower, but very little. It is a limited resource and becomes depleted easily and quickly.

So, before the motivation mongers start shouting at us in January, lets get real about motivation or the lack thereof.Motivation is a drive that you and only you are in control of. This is an inside job and the work that is needed comes from intrinsic motivation and creating an implementation intention.

Of course, the novelty wears off. The quick-fix diets and exercise mentality is not only dangerous but counter-productive in so many ways. What I hear in your words is a lack of confidence in belief in your own abilities, which is self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is so important to help you organise and become as consistent as possible with whatever goal you want to achieve. If you dont believe you can do it, it is going to be near impossible to achieve. What can help bring this into a reality is to create your own specific implementation intention.

You will need some paper to figure out what goals or things you want to do, and a calendar. No amount of external motivation will create the sticking power you are looking for. As you know, there can be a good buzz when you first commit to a new course of action, but unfortunately it isnt and wont be enough.

Only action will get you to where you want to be.

Ask yourself, what specifically do you want to achieve and why? These questions are delving into your why as this is what will get you up, out and dressed when it is cold, dark and wet outside when all you will want to do is stay in your lovely warm bed.

Heres the reality check, by writing down in your diary when you are going to do whatever you have committed to, the sticking power changes immensely.

I encourage people to see that commitment as the same as any appointment that you have made, like going to the doctor or a date to meet a friend. You wouldnt just not show up. Showing up for yourself puts a value upon you and the goal you would like to achieve.

Look back at the trigger points that led to the decision to stop in the past. What led to that decision? Go in curious, like an outside observer. What vulnerability or feeling was present? Did you feel judged, uncomfortable or lacking in confidence in yourself? Bring softness to these important questions.

Tenacity and determination to stay the course takes a lot of effort. See this as a skill that you can and would like to develop. Breaking it down into smaller, manageable tasks is the way to go from overwhelm to slipping it into your everyday mindset.

I always like to think of it as similar to dental hygiene you dont question or quit brushing your teeth. It is part of your routine, morning and night. Mental hygiene can help bring in healthy routines. Im also going to throw in time for intentional procrastination.

If you find you get side-tracked, give yourself 20 minutes or so to intentionally scroll or do something youd like to do and then choose to get back on track.

By modelling these skills, first your son will see that you have days that you dont want to exercise or go because someone said something rude to you, but you are going anyway.

There is great strength and courage in this. These are wonderful skills for you to develop for yourself and the positive off-shoot will be your son will see it and that is so much more powerful than just talking about it.

Learning knows no age limits. Id recommend watching Carol Dwecks TED Talk on how to develop a growth mindset as an excellent place to start this exciting journey of change and possibility ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve.

There are great resources on The Big Life Journal. This article is very useful on how to teach kids the growth mindset explaining neuroplasticity and activities. It really helps to encourage the value of mistakes and trying something even though it is hard. Check out biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/teach-kids-growth-mindset-neuroplasticity-activities.

Read more:
Ask Allison: Im in my 40s and I find it hard to follow through on things diets, hobbies, courses and now my kids are the same. Could this harm them...


Dec 27

What your coffee habit is costing you in calories – msnNOW

Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Experts have revealed what your daily coffee habit is doing to your waistline, and it's bad news for those who drink two lattes every day.

Health experts from the science-based nutrition programEqualution, from Sydney, explained that two small full cream milk coffees every day can quickly add up in terms of calories, and 14 coffees per week is the equivalent 25.5 popping candy elf chocolates.

'What if something you're doing each day without consideration is impacting your results week by week?' their team posted on Instagram.

'Here's the good news: You CAN still have your cake and eat it too and it is possible to incorporate treats you love as part of a balanced diet while losing weight.'

If you're eating well and still not losing weight, the founders said it might be time to look towards 'those little extras' which you can often attribute to 'weight gain or lack of results'.

'The body doesn't recognise food as good or bad; instead it is recognised simply as macronutrients so protein, fats and carbs,' they said.

If you want to lose weight, Equalution said you need to be eating and drinking in a 'calorie deficit'.

'To lose weight, you need to be eating in a calorie deficit (eating less than you're expending energy wise),' they said.

Gallery: 7 Teas That Melt Belly Fat, Say Dietitians (Eat This, Not That!)

'If you want to gain weight, then you need to be in a calorie surplus (eating more than you're expending energy wise).

'If you want to maintain your weight, then you need to be consuming the same energy (calories) as your total daily energy expenditure.'

Thousands who saw the post were quick to say they wereshocked by how quickly coffees can quickly add up in your daily intake.

'Oh my god, this is why I need to stop drinking milk,' one person posted.

'Omg, we have both,' another added.

Previously, Equalution have shared snack warnings about how a day of healthy treats can quickly add up to 5,000 calories.

Sydney founders of science-based nutrition program Equalution Jade Spooner and Amal Wakim recently shared a graph to highlight exactly what seven days of snacking can look like in calories by comparing healthy treats to cheeseburgers.

The pair found the snacks consumed over seven days contain more calories than 16-and-a-half McDonald's cheeseburgers (4,966 calories). A single cheeseburger contains 300 calories.

The graph shows how you can add a further 722 calories to your daily intake just by snacking on a cookie, three tiny Easter egg chocolates, fruit and nut mix, and muesli, along with two cups of coffee with full cream milk.

Other graphs show how one boozy day can quickly contribute to an entire day of eating.

Excerpt from:
What your coffee habit is costing you in calories - msnNOW



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