Weight Loss & Training http://weightlossandtraining.com Weight Loss Tips & Workout Routines Fri, 27 Mar 2015 02:54:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Surprising Way Your Mood Affects Your Fitness http://weightlossandtraining.com/the-surprising-way-your-mood-affects-your-fitness http://weightlossandtraining.com/the-surprising-way-your-mood-affects-your-fitness#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 02:54:16 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16452 The good news is that there’s more than one way your mood affects your fitness & with this info you can get a jump start on getting rid of that extra flab.

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The Surprising Way Your Mood Affects Your Fitness

Get Your Mind-Body Connection Straight

The good news is that there’s actually more than one way in which how your mood affects your fitness, and as you continue reading you’ll gain effective ways to really capitalize on this knowledge when working out and trying to get rid of that extra flab you’ve been trying to fight for the longest time.

The truth is that the mind-body connection is way stronger than most of us realize. Thoughts and emotions depend a lot on how our body feels and how active we are. And yet thoughts and emotions also affect our body.

You may be surprised by some of these but once you have a better understanding of your own mind-body connection, I guarantee your workouts will only get better…

5 Ways Your Mood Affects Your Fitness

Energy – This is probably the most obvious answer on the list, but your mood can easily bring your body up or down in terms of energy – and often quickly.

If you’re having a bad day or going through something, your energy level is a big part of your mood. You’re just not going to feel like being active. Pay attention to your feelings before and after your workout. You can naturally increase your energy with an antioxidant rich green matcha like Green Foods Matcha Green Tea.

Stamina – This one’s closely related to the first, but your mood doesn’t only affect your motivation to be active – it also affects how good your workout is.  The tip with this is that your stamina will only get better the more regular you workout.  You’ll notice each week it’ll get easier and easier to push through a challenging workout like my 20 Minute Fat Loss Treadmill Workout.

Appetite – The hormones released by negative emotions and stress mess up a lot of other systems, including digestion and appetite.

We all know this one. If we feel bad, we usually reach for candy, chocolate, snacks, or some other comfort food. Not only is your mood screwing with your hormones, it’s also making you feel physically bad, so you’re going to want to make up it. The best thing to do is to have healthy snacks on hand at all times – whether it’s cut up fruit or veggies it’s amazing how that can cut right into that moment of weakness and leaving you feeling elated because you were able to overcome a massive struggle. For more help check out 7 Tricks to Ditch Sugar Cravings.

Metabolism – This one is sort of related to the last point, but your mood can also affect your metabolism by affecting how much exercise you do in your day.

If you’re feeling down, you’re only going to keep your metabolism down by sitting on the couch all day. But if you’re feeling good you’re likely also feeling energetic, and your metabolism is going to get an extra boost.  So how do you boost your metabolism ask you? – 8 Steps to Boost Your Metabolism & Torch Fat.

Recovery – Think your mood doesn’t affect your workout even if you do make it to the gym? Think again.

Your body’s ability to recover and recoup after a workout is essential, but for recovery to work best, your entire body needs to be pretty balanced. And that includes mental balance, because we know that things like stress and negative thoughts affect all kinds of physical processes, from hormones to immune functioning and even healing (like the kind your muscles do). To really help you with recovery make sure to pay attention to your post workout nutrition – here are some great Post Workout Recovery Tips.

Want to keep yourself in a good mood?

There are a lot of ways you can keep yourself in a positive mood while also keeping your fitness in check. But one way I find especially effective (and also surprising) is through diet. Exercise is an obvious go-to, but the food you eat can also have a big effect.

So I recommend investing in the following 3 supplements, all of which are supported by science to keep your mood stable:

Try adding these 3 to your diet today. I’ve noticed some pretty big results myself when it comes to handling stress.

Have any questions or feedback about this Surprising Way Your Mood Affects Your Fitness? Please leave a comment below…

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This is How You’re Going to Rock Your Next Yoga Class http://weightlossandtraining.com/this-is-how-youre-going-to-rock-your-next-yoga-class http://weightlossandtraining.com/this-is-how-youre-going-to-rock-your-next-yoga-class#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 03:09:24 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16453 Before your next yoga class, you're going to want to try one of these options so you can rock it out with full energy and confidence.

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This is How You're Going to Rock Your Next Yoga Class

Power Your Next Yoga Class

Yoga may not feel like it’s going to be a total calorie burning workout which leaves you exhausted at the end but one thing is always a constant when it comes to rocking any workout.

Nutrition timing before any activity is key to success.  If you skip a meal or are doing Yoga early morning and think you can get away without having any food to fuel your workout then you are totally missing out on having your best session ever.

You will want to try one of the following 10 suggested bites approximately 30 minutes before your session so your body has the time to digest and give you that boost of energy you need to hold that eagle pose without shaking for even a second.

This will be simple, and you can thank us later! :)

The Best Foods to Power Your Next Yoga Class

Apples

Apples are one of my top choices just before a yoga workout. They won’t fill you up and leave you bloated, but they’re packed full of water to keep you hydrated. Plus they come loaded with a bunch of vitamins and natural sugars to keep you energized.

Oatmeal

If your yoga class is early in the day, I recommend some all-natural oatmeal as a good breakfast option. Don’t overdo the serving size (half a cup to a cup will probably do), and top it with all natural ingredients like nuts, cinnamon, and berries.

Almonds

They’re my top pick when it comes to nuts, and they’ll do the trick just before your next yoga class. With protein and healthy fats to boot, you’ll also stay satisfied and enhance your metabolism.

Pears

Like apples, pears are hydrating and high in fiber to keep you feeling energized throughout your yoga class. Plus they’re low in acidity, so they shouldn’t cause you any stomach trouble.

Raisins

If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, or are feeling especially low in energy, raisins are a good substitute for more popular junk food options. The natural sugar will give you a bit of a boost.

Bananas

This one’s a more obvious choice, but you’re basically getting a top-up of electrolytes and potassium that will totally keep you fueled into every stretch and pose. If you need something even more satisfying, spread on a tablespoon of almond butter.

Prunes

This one is a less popular choice, but prunes are also high in potassium and will keep you feeling energized. A one-ounce serving of these little guys is enough to keep you going and feeling satisfied.

Dried Apricots

These things are pretty delicious, and like some of the other fruits on this list, they’re high in fiber and natural sugars that will satisfy without leaving you feeling burned out 30 minutes later. They’re also low in acidity, so they’re a smart choice.

Melon

All melon is low in acidity, but the major up-side to melon of any kind is its ability to keep you hydrated. Hydration is pretty key for getting the most out of your yoga class, so grab a few slices before you head out.

Greek Yogurt

This one offers a great protein fix, and topped with a little fruit, it can be a pretty satisfying pre-yoga meal or snack. Just make sure you go with the unsweetened kind, and add your own ingredients to the mix.

Looking for a yoga routine that burns some serious fat?

Check out my Flat Belly Yoga Workout here. It’s a simple twist on your standard yoga class, but there’s a lot you can do to help your weight loss goals.

Have any questions or feedback about these 10 Best Foods to Eat Before a Yoga Class? Please leave a comment below…

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Re-energize Your Fitness Goals with these Motivational Quotes http://weightlossandtraining.com/re-energize-your-fitness-goals-with-these-motivational-quotes http://weightlossandtraining.com/re-energize-your-fitness-goals-with-these-motivational-quotes#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 01:27:46 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16450 There's no better way to re-energize your fitness goals than by checking out these awesome motivational quotes so good you'll want to save them.

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Re-energize Your Fitness Goals with these Motivational Quotes

Motivation is the Key to Will Power

When it comes to our fitness goals we all go through ups and downs always starting the year with good intentions but having life get in the way.

Whether you’re stuck in a rut or feeling yourself get close to one, I’m going to help you be a little proactive about things and offer up some awesome motivational quotes.

Quotes may seem pretty simple when it comes to getting you going, but I’ve found (for both myself and my clients) that they can actually be pretty powerful. I recommend posting them on your fridge, your mirror, or the inside of your gym locker – wherever they go, they’re great little reminders to stay on track and keep your head in the game.

So for a little wisdom along the way, check out these motivational quotes by  successful personal trainers…

Stick to Your Fitness Goals with these 5 Motivational Quotes

“You gotta burn to earn.”
Bron Volney, certified trainer

Although I don’t advocate serious aches and pains as being a necessary part of a successful workout, you should be working hard enough that you’re feeling a bit of a burn during your workout. Taking a step back, the message can be applied to any goal – you’ve got to work hard to see results.

“Today is another opportunity to be better than we were yesterday.”
Errick McAdams, personal trainer

A favorite of mine, this quote’s a great reminder that every day is a new beginning – and a new chance to start moving in the right direction. It’s important to adopt this perspective with any fitness goal, because it’s easy to caught up in negative thoughts. If you find yourself getting negative and discouraged, tell yourself you’re going to start the next day in a better mindset.

“Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk through them.”
Nicole Glor, certified trainer

This sounds like the perfect quote for kicking off a fitness goal, but in reality it’s appropriate for any stage of the game. We all come up against obstacles, whether they’re real or just imagined. But all obstacles are overcome in our minds – and by a simple decision to see things through.

“Regroup, replan, refocus, and keep moving forward.”
Robert Reames, personal trainer

Goals should always be made as flexible as possible, and any time you’re feeling frustrated, you should always take a moment to regroup and refocus. If that also means coming up with a new plan of action, then so be it. The idea is to always be moving forward. As long as you’re doing that, you’ll find success of some kind.

“Be stronger than your excuses.”
Amanda Butler, personal trainer

This last one is a new favorite of mine, and a quote that I just recently came across. We all have a tendency to make excuses when we’re feeling down or discouraged about a goal. Sometimes it feels easier to just ignore a challenge than really face it. This quote is a good reminder that sometimes your mindset needs to be tougher than your excuses.

Need some more motivational tips?

Read my posts on Weight Loss Motivation and Workout Motivation for more great ideas and effective strategies.

Remember to save these and share them on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest so it’ll keep them top of mind! 

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Score Six Pack Abs Fast with this Ultimate Abs Workout http://weightlossandtraining.com/ultimate-abs-workout http://weightlossandtraining.com/ultimate-abs-workout#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 02:24:05 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16449 Here’s a killer ab workout you can do in under 30 minutes designed specifically for six pack results. This one is not for beginners.

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The Toughest Workout for Six Pack Abs

Get Ready to Get Ripped

If you’re tired of all the same old ab workouts this is one of the toughest workouts you’ll come across and the reason is simple –  it’s designed to give you serious results.

The trick to getting that six pack look is the right combination of diet and exercise. But don’t let the fad diets fool you – without the right workout that really challenges your core muscles, you’re probably going to get a littler trimmer and then have stagnant results thereafter.

So to help you get to your goals, here’s a killer ab workout you can do under 30 minutes –you’ll want to gloat about these results with your friends!

Ready? Let’s go…

My Best Six Pack Workout Yet

For this one, if you’re not hitting the gym make sure to have some basic workout equipment at home – the must haves are stability ball, medicine ball, and a jump rope (I’ve put together a great list of inexpensive items you can order online here in my article Best Home Workout Equipment).

Now this workout is made up of just 8 moves. The goal is to do one set of each exercise, moving through the circuit one at a time. When you’ve knocked out one set of each, start from the beginning and repeat twice. This will give you a total of 3 sets per exercise, maximizing your workout and really sculpting those core and abdominal muscles.

The thing to keep in mind with ab exercises is that you don’t want to limit your repetitions to 10 or 12 like you might with other muscle groups. Instead, you’ll want to approach your abs by doing as many reps as you can.

That means you should be hitting muscle fatigue at the end of each set, so that you can’t do another rep without breaking form. Once you’re there, rest and move on to the next.

Here are the 8 ab-sculpting moves you’re going to do in 3 consecutive circuits…

And that’s it! Three circuits through these moves should leave you in a pretty big sweat, and with a core and six pack that’s a little closer to your vision.

BONUS SIX PACK TIP:

One other thing I always like to remind my clients is that you need to really focus on engaging your abdominal and core muscles during these moves. That means that you should be engaging them throughout every movement, and make sure they’re doing most of the work. If you feel it more in your back or shoulders, you’re not targeting your abs the way you should be.

One way to really build this focus is to do some visualization during the exercises. Really try to see your ab muscles moving in the way you want. This sounds like a simple strategy, but it’s a pretty important one for pro athletes and fitness gurus alike.

If you find you’re lacking the energy to get through this then have a low-calorie pre-workout drink like Essential Amino Energy, there is no way you will have a bad workout.

Looking for a little more motivation for your six pack goals? Check out my article on Workout Motivation for 6 Pack Abs, and don’t forget to get on my Six Pack Abs Diet.

Have any questions or feedback about my Toughest Workout for Six Pack Abs? Please leave a comment below…

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Look Great Naked! Top 15 Tips to Lose Weight http://weightlossandtraining.com/top-15-tips-to-lose-weight http://weightlossandtraining.com/top-15-tips-to-lose-weight#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:47:38 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=13919 Build your self-confidence & look great naked with these practical, no-nonsense and highly effective weight loss strategies.

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Look Great Naked! Top 15 Tips to Lose Weight

Giving it Everything You Got

Looking great naked not only depends on having great self confidence but also knowing that you’ve given it everything you go to eat healthy and workout with vigor.

The good news is that sustainable and real weight loss is all about being practical. Looking at your everyday habits and making small changes is the best approach until you find what works for you.

To get you started I’ve put together a solid list of tips that are pretty much bulletproof, so make sure to post this on your Facebook, bookmark or have it somewhere that will remind you of the easy things you are going to do on a daily basis to get into the best shape of your life.

15 Simple and Effective Weight Loss Strategies

1. Slow Down and Enjoy Your Food – Eating quickly is a good way to overeat, because you’re not giving your body enough time to realize it’s full. Slowing down, chewing slowly, and savoring your food is an easy way to cut down on your overall calorie intake. (This one can really go a long way, and I’ve written a whole article on Mindful Eating that will get you to see things in a different perspective).

2. Keep a Food Journal – No matter where you’re at with your weight loss goals, keeping a food journal can be highly motivating. Reflecting on what you’re eating a great way to increase your self-awareness and start gaining control. My favorite journal is the Fitlosophy Fitbook which is beautifully organized.

3. Increase Your Fiber Intake – On any weight loss plan, fiber is your friend. Not only does it keep you feeling full and satisfied, it also boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories. A really great supplement for upping your fiber naturally without a ton of calories is Psyllium Husk Powder.

4. Eat Whole Grains Only – This one is essential. There really isn’t any common food that’s more problematic than white and processed grains. Go for whole grains only, or substitute with healthier alternatives like quinoa.  My recent favorite toast is an organic sourdough rye bread that is gluten-free and free of any unwanted chemicals (check out the label on my instagram) so look for great quality products like this one, they’re out there!

5. Use Smaller Plates – If portion size is a problem for you, this is a simple strategy, but one that really works. Use smaller plates when enjoying meals at home, and you’re likely to take and eat less.

6. Cook with Broth – Want an easy way to cut down on your fat intake? Try cooking with chicken and vegetable broths rather than oils. You can also use just a bit of oil and substitute the remaining with broth. Plus you’ll get a ton of flavor.

7. Drink Water All Day Long – Water is a great natural detox, and it’s one of the best ways to stay energized and avoid overeating. Drink lots of water throughout the day, and fill up just before sitting down to a meal.

8. Eat More Healthy Fats – Not all fat is bad, and some can actually help you burn off more calories during digestion. Fats like those found in avocados and almonds are great. Or try adding this super metabolism-boosting oil to your diet – Nutiva Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil.

9. Measure Everything – Although I’m not a big fan of counting calories, portion control is definitely important. Try being consistent with your portions, and measure things out. This is an easy way to control your overall eating.

10. Eat More Seafood – If you like it, eat more of it. Seafood is great for combining really healthy proteins and healthy, metabolism-boosting fats. Salmon, shrimp, and tilapia are some especially good choices.

11. Get Smart about Snacking – You don’t need to avoid snacking on a weight loss diet, but you do need to get smart about it. Aim for snacks that contain a decent serving of protein, some fiber, and some vitamins and minerals. Done right, snacks can actually help you lose more weight.

12. Think Differently about Dairy – At the very least, consider replacing whole milk with skim milk to cut down on fat intake. But for maximum nutritional support, I recommend checking out a healthy milk alternative like rice, almond, hemp, or coconut milk.

13. Get More Veggies – Vegetables are high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals, all of which support a healthier lifestyle and boost your fat-burning potential. Veggies should make up about half of your dietary intake. Looking for some extra veggie support? Try a veggie supplement like Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Powder.

14. Eat More Vegetarian Meals – An easy way to get more veggies is to enjoy a good vegetarian meal once in a while. You’ll also spice up your diet from time to time!

15. Rethink Your Condiments – Condiments are often full of fat and sugar, two ingredients you don’t need more of on a healthy diet. Make smarter choices, or try basic ingredients like olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Whatever you do, think about the details and reflect seriously on your weight loss efforts. The solutions are often simpler than you think!

Have any questions or feedback about these Top 15 Tips to Lose Weight? Please leave a comment below…

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7 Irresistibly Healthy Chicken Taco Recipes http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-healthy-chicken-taco-recipes http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-healthy-chicken-taco-recipes#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:35:20 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=13978 These 7 irresistible chicken taco recipes are totally healthy and taste so good you'ill forget you're eating something that'll help trim your waist line.

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7 Healthy Chicken Taco Recipes

Get Your Taco and Eat it Too!

The great news is that it’s still possible to enjoy food while eating healthy. The biggest factor is having a solid repertoire of recipes on hand.

To help you stay on track while still enjoying delicious and satisfying food, let’s look at 7 different and delicious chicken taco recipes that are totally healthy and pack a nutrition punch!

When it comes to these kinds of comfort foods, it only takes a few simple steps to optimize their nutritional content in a way that supports a healthy lifestyle.

  • First, make sure any processed or bleached grains are replaced with whole grains where possible.
  • Second, you’ve got to cut down on the fat. You can easily do this by baking or grilling meats rather than frying them, and use healthy oils like extra-virgin olive oil or this fat-burning Nutiva Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil.
  • Third, you want to make sure that you maximize the amount and variety of vegetables in these foods. Go for fresh ingredients only, including fresh herbs, peppers, and leafy greens, all of which are great for boosting metabolism.
  • Lastly, always make sure you include a healthy side dish, like a leafy green salad or one of these Quinoa Salad Recipes. This ensures that you’re getting all the rich nutrients and vitamins you can get.

Chicken Taco Recipes to Enjoy on a Healthy Diet

For all of these recipes, you’re going to prepare the chicken the same way. Depending on the number of people you’ll be serving, aim for 2 to 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts.

I recommend first tenderizing the chicken with a meat tenderizer, then coating it in a bit of olive oil (1 teaspoon per chicken breast). Then season the chicken with oregano, chipotle chilies, and Cajun spice (as desired). Place the chicken on a piece of parchment paper in a shallow baking dish, and bake at 350 degree for about 30 minutes.

When cooked through, remove the chicken from the oven, slice into strips, and use in the following taco recipes:

1. Green Chicken Tacos with Guacamole

Ingredients: 2-4 whole grain tortilla wraps, 2 ripe avocados (peeled, pits removed), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ½ cup of chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ red onion (chopped), ½ jalapeno (chopped, seeds removed), 1 cup of fresh baby spinach

Directions: In a small bowl, mash avocado and mix with olive oil, ¼ cup of chopped cilantro, salt, onion, and jalapeno. Refrigerate the guacamole for 30 minutes. Top the wraps with chicken, guacamole, baby spinach, and cilantro.

2. Hard Tacos with Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Ingredients: 4 hard corn taco shells, 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 can of sweet corn (drained), 1 cup of premade medium salsa

Directions: In a bowl, mix together salad, black beans, and corn. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then top chicken with salsa in hard taco shells.

3. Soft Chicken Tacos with Sautéed Veggies

Ingredients: 2-4 large whole grain wraps, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, ½ onion (chopped), 1 jalapeno (chopped, seeds removed), 1 small zucchini (chopped)

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a pan to medium heat, then add garlic and veggies, then cook until veggies are softened. Add to chicken on whole grain wraps and enjoy.

4. Cilantro and Lime Chicken Tacos

Ingredients: 4 small whole wheat wraps, 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), ½ cup of fresh cilantro (chopped), 1 red bell pepper (chopped finely), fresh squeezed juice from 2 limes

Directions: Place the chicken on the wraps, then top with black beans, red pepper, cilantro, and drizzle in lime juice. Enjoy!

5. Tex-Mex Chicken Tacos

Ingredients: 4 hard corn taco shells, 1 small bunch of green onion (chopped), 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 can of sweet corn (drained), ¼ cup of salsa, 1/3 cup of shredded low-fat Tex-Mex cheese, low-fat sour cream for topping

Directions: Place chicken in taco shells, then top with veggies, salsa, and cheese, adding a little sour cream as desired. This one is especially satisfying.

6. Chicken Tacos with Roasted Veggies & Yam

Ingredients: 2-4 large whole wheat wraps, 1 yam or sweet potato (peeled and diced into ½ inch pieces), 1 zucchini (chopped), ½ onion (chopped), 1 red bell pepper (chopped), 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salsa and sour cream as desired

Directions: In a mixing bowl, combine all veggies and garlic, coat with olive oil, and mix well. Spread veggie mixture onto a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Place chicken on wraps, top with roasted veggies, and add salsa and sour cream as desired.

7. Lettuce Wrapped Chicken Tacos

Ingredients: 1 head of ice berg or romaine lettuce, 1-2 tomatoes (diced), 1 small bunch of green onion (chopped), grilled red and green peppers, salsa as desired

Directions: Carefully remove a few of the biggest leaves of lettuce, making sure you don’t damage them. Rinse and dry them, then use them as your wraps. Place chicken and veggies inside, top with salsa, and carefully wrap and enjoy. This is a great way to cut down on unwanted carbs!

Have any questions or feedback about my 7 Healthy Chicken Taco Recipes? Please leave a comment below…

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50 Healthy Low Calorie Snacks for a Flat Belly http://weightlossandtraining.com/50-healthy-low-calorie-snacks http://weightlossandtraining.com/50-healthy-low-calorie-snacks#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 10:53:49 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=14010 Cravings & hunger spikes getting in your way? These 50 healthy low calories snacks will help get your snacking in control & help you attain that flat belly.

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50 Healthy Low Calorie Snacks for a Flat Belly

Shut that Belly Up!

Hunger spikes and cravings can get the best of our belly who insists it has its own mind. But the right solution is not to give up snacking altogether. Instead, you need to know which snacks to reach for, and which ones to avoid.

To help get your snacking on the right track, these 50 healthy low calories snacks will give you tons of ideas to prevent you from having cheat days every day!

Although I’m not a big supporter of low calorie diets in general, going low calorie with snacking can be a really effective approach. That’s because snacking can be a difficult thing to stop. One bite leads to two bites, and before you know it, an entire bag of chips or candy bar is finished off.

Keep it low calorie, and you take some of the pressure off of snacking.

Here are 50 of the healthiest, low calories snacks around. I’m breaking things up by sweet and savory to satisfy everyone’s taste buds, with a bonus sweet and salty list!

All of these snacks come in at around just 100 calories. Enjoy!

50 Low Calories Snacks for a Healthy Diet

Sweet Low Calorie Snacks

1. Oats & Blueberry Bowl: 1/3 cup of quick oats (cooked in the microwave with water) and ¼ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries – sprinkle with a little cinnamon and enjoy!

2. Berry-Citrus Fruit Salad: 1 cup of mixed berries (fresh or thawed from frozen), 1 tablespoon of fresh-squeezed orange juice – just toss the berries in the orange juice.

3. Applesauce: 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce, ¼ teaspoon of brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon – enjoy it cold or heat it up in the microwave.

4. Dark Chocolate: 3 to 4 squares will keep you under 100 calories – and give you a boost of antioxidants.

5. Baked Apple with Cinnamon & Brown Sugar: 1 apple (granny smith is best), 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon – cut the apple in half, core it, and fill each half with brown sugar and cinnamon, then bake until tender.

6. Café Latte: 1 shot of espresso with 8 ounces of steamed, fat-free milk or dairy alternative.

7. Lemonade Popsicle: 8 ounces of lemonade frozen in a popsicle mold – add a stick of you wish!

8. Apple or Banana Chips: ¾ cup of either kind will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep the calories down.

9. Waffle with Fruit: 1 whole grain or 7-grain frozen waffle, ¼ cup of fresh or frozen mixed berries – toast the waffle and top with fruit.

10. Almond Milk Protein Shake: 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop of vanilla flavored Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion, and a few ice cubes – blend and enjoy!

11. Chocolate Milk: 6 ounces of chocolate milk will satisfy your cravings for something sweet and offer an extra serving of protein.

12. Apple Slices with Almond Butter: 1 sweet apple (Gala or red delicious), 2 teaspoons of all-natural almond butter – core and slice the apple and spread on the almond butter (one of my favorites).

13. Chocolate Covered Strawberries: 5-6 fresh strawberries, 2 squares of dark chocolate – melt the chocolate (careful, it burns easily in the microwave!) and dip your strawberries!

14. Vanilla & Banana Smoothie: ½ of a banana, ¼ cup of vanilla flavored non-fat Greek yogurt – blend and serve.

15. Fig Newton & PB: 1 fig newton with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter – it’s like a mini-version of a PB and jelly sandwich!

16. Frozen Grapes: 1 cup of grapes frozen for a couple of hours – one of the easiest twists on a classic snack.

17. Grilled Pineapple Slices: 2 pineapple slices (round from a can or freshly cored pineapple) – just grill or sauté for a couple minutes!

18. Cinnamon-Spiced Orange: 1 naval orange and a sprinkle of cinnamon – just sprinkle the orange slices with cinnamon, it’s that simple.

19. Fruit Juice Smoothie: ¼ cup of apple juice, ¼ cup of orange juice, handful of ice – blend together.

20. Yogurt with Cinnamon & Honey: ½ cup of non-fat Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon of honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon – enjoy as is, or top with a teaspoon of Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds for an extra protein boost!

Savory Low Calorie Snacks

21. Kale Chips: ½ cup of raw kale (green or black, stems removed), 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt or Cajun spice – tear kale leaves into bite-size pieces, coat with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt before baking at 425 degrees (F) until crisp.

22. Cucumber with Fat-Free Cream Cheese: ½ of a long English cucumber, 1 teaspoon of fat-free cream cheese – slice cucumber into strips and spread on a little cream cheese.

23. Mixed Olives: about 8 to 10 olives will keep you right around 100 calories – a great one when you’re craving something salty!

24. Popcorn: 2 cups of plain popcorn, air-popped or microwavable.

25. Carrots & Hummus: 10 organic baby carrots, 2 tablespoons of regular or seasoned hummus – one of the most convenient healthy snacks to keep on hand.

26. Hard-Boiled Egg with Salt & Pepper: 1 medium-sized hard-boiled egg, sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper – there are only about 8 calories in one hard-boiled egg!

27. Pistachios: about 25 nuts will keep you under 100 calories – the pistachio is one of the healthiest nuts you can snack on.

28. Edamame: ½ cup of boiled Edamame, sprinkle of salt – keep the frozen Edamame on hand.

29. Sweet Potato Fries: 1 small sweet potato, 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle of salt – peel the sweet potato and cut into ¼-inch slices, coat with olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees (F) for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and snack away.

30. Lemon Pepper Almonds: ¼ cup of almonds, a bit of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of black pepper – roast your own or check out these delicious Cajun Lemon Pepper Almonds.

31. Open-Face Tomato Sandwich: 1 thin slice of whole grain bread, ½ of a beefsteak tomato, salt and pepper to taste – toast the bread, stack with tomato slices, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

32. Smoked Beef Jerky: 1 ounce is a safe bet, but go for the low sodium variety.

33. Turkey Rolls: 4 slices of smoked or roasted turkey from the deli, 2 teaspoons of yellow or honey mustard – just roll up the turkey slices with a little mustard inside.

34. Easy Cucumber Salad: 1 medium-sized long English cucumber, 2 tablespoons of chopped red onion, 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar – chop up the cucumber and onion and mix with olive oil and vinegar.

35. Chips & Salsa: 10 large baked tortilla chips (blue corn is best) and ¼ cup of salsa.

36. Black Bean Salad: ¼ cup of black beans (from can, drained and rinsed), 1 tablespoon of salsa, and 1 tablespoon of non-fat plain Greek yogurt – mix together and refrigerate for 30 minutes before enjoying.

37. Egg-White Spinach Omelette: 3 egg whites, ½ cup of fresh baby spinach, salt and pepper to taste – add a tablespoon of reduced fat feta cheese for only a few more calories!

38. Pumpkin Seeds: 1 handful of roasted pumpkin seeds will do it – either homemade or store-bought.

39. Spinach & Walnut Salad: ¾ cup of fresh baby spinach, 2 tablespoons of crushed walnut pieces, 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar – mix ingredients and enjoy.

40. Chickpea Salad: ¼ cup of chickpeas (from can, drained and rinsed), 1 bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice, and ¼ cup of cherry tomatoes – or check out my Super Healthy Chickpea Salad Recipe here!

Sweet & Salty Low Calorie Snacks

41. Celery & Peanut Butter Sticks: 1 medium celery stalk, 1 tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter – spread and enjoy.

42. Apple Slices with Cheese: 1 tart apple and a 1-inch thick piece of low-fat mozzarella cheese – core and slice the apple, cut the cheese into thin slices, and serve together.

43. Fruit-Topped Cottage Cheese: ½ cup of fat-free cottage cheese, ½ cup of fresh or canned pineapple – another one of my favorites.

44. Spinach & Strawberry Salad: ¾ cup of fresh baby spinach, ½ cup of sliced fresh strawberries, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar – mix together for a great antioxidant-boost.

45. Sweet & Spicy Pecans: 6 pecans, 2 teaspoons of 100% real maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon – coat pecans in maple syrup and sprinkle on cinnamon.

46. Carrot Salad with Raisins: 1 cup of shaved/grated carrots, 2 tablespoons of raisins, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar – mix together, refrigerate for 30 minutes, and enjoy this energy-boosting snack.

47. Chocolate-Crave Trail Mix: about 10 roasted almonds, 5 semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon of raisins.

48. Almond Rice Cake: 1 brown rice cake with 2 teaspoons of all-natural almond butter – just spread it on.

49. Cinnamon & Sweet Potato Rounds: 1 medium sweet potato, 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, salt to taste – peel and slice the sweet potato into ¼ inch rounds, coat with olive oil, and dust with cinnamon before baking at 400 degrees (F) for 10 minutes.

50. Honey-Roasted Almonds: 8 plain almonds, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, sprinkle of cinnamon – coat almonds in honey, dust with cinnamon, and roast on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 425 degrees (F).

Have any questions or feedback about these 50 Healthy Low Calorie Snacks? Please leave a comment below…

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10 Rules of the Happiest & Healthiest People http://weightlossandtraining.com/10-rules-of-the-happiest-healthiest-people http://weightlossandtraining.com/10-rules-of-the-happiest-healthiest-people#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 02:45:14 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16389 Discover the most common traits of the happiest & healthiest people & how you can implement them to really improve your overall level of happiness.

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10 Rules of the Happiest & Healthiest People

Uncovering the Rules of Happiness & Health 

Being rich doesn’t necessarily bring happiness right?  In fact, most of the financially richest people we meet are also not the happiest.

I’m sure you can relate if you’ve done much traveling but I recall being in a very poor area of South America and was taken aback by a group of different families at the park and just all having such a sense of joy and laughing at every moment as if money and possessions were the last things on their mind. How truly humbling these moments can be right?

With that in mind it’s good for us to reflect on the true core of our happiness and what it really means to us as an individual.

What’s interesting is that the research is pretty clear in showing that being healthy has also a lot to do with being happy. If we feel good about ourselves then perhaps we can value the foods that we consume & the exercises we do to energize our bodies and giving us that great sense of accomplishment.

So what general traits do the happiest and healthiest people share in common? Let’s jump right in…

10 Rules of the Happiest & Healthiest People

Happiness Gets Under Your Skin

People who consider themselves happy tend to have a lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, and lower levels of cortisol, the hormone that’s released when you’re stressed out and having a bad day. What’s even more impressive, happier people seems to have stronger immune systems and get sick less often.

Happy People Sleep Better

Sleep is one of the most important health behaviors you can focus on, because it affects everything else you do, from diet to exercise. And studies suggest that people with a more positive mindset also get a better night’s sleep.

Meaning and Purpose Really Matter

People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are also more likely to be healthier and get sick less often. Ultimately this means that a little motivation and direction in your life can improve your health, probably because you’re more committed to certain goals.

A Positive Outlook Helps You Reach Your Health Goals Faster

The research also shows that a positive mindset can make you a lot more likely to get fit and healthy, stick to exercise and diet plans, and see your health goals through. It’s a lot easier to overcome daily challenges when you’re happy.

Meditation Helps You Beat Stress

Meditating and relaxing your mind, two key habits of happy people, also go a long way to help you beat stress and improve your health. The research shows that meditation actually has a physical impact on your brain and your body’s stress response.

A Positive Mindset Improves Your Mental Health

This one may not be as surprising, but the effects are pretty far-reaching. Happiness appears to improve learning, concentration and focus, and even memory!

A Happy Mindset Means a Happy Heart

Studies have shown that people who maintain a more positive outlook on life also have a healthier heart, and are less likely to develop heart disease. Considering heat disease is and has long been one of the biggest causes of death then this one should really stick for us all.

Happiness Keeps You Connected to Others

The connections and relationships in your life have a clear link to your health and well-being. People with more social support deal with stress better and are less likely to suffer from a wide variety of illness and diseases! Maintaining a positive attitude is one key way to stay connected and surround yourself with people who share this same value.

Positive Emotions Help Reduce Pain

Research has shown that people who try different exercises to improve their mood experience reduced pain, whether it’s everyday aches and pains associated with stress or the symptom of something more serious.

Happy People Tend to Live Longer

This one’s no joke. People who are happy and satisfied with their lives seem to live longer than those who do not. For older adults, studies have shown that a positive outlook on aging can give you an extra 7 years!

Want to learn more about happiness? Check out my post on 5 Things You Don’t Know About Happiness, or take a look at these 5 Things You Should Avoid Doing if You Want to Be Happy.

Have any feedback about the 10 Rules of the Happiest & Healthiest People? Please leave a comment below…

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You’ve Never Had a Cardio Workout Quite Like This http://weightlossandtraining.com/no-cardio-workout-quite-like-this http://weightlossandtraining.com/no-cardio-workout-quite-like-this#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 03:14:25 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16386 Cardio can be a royal pain so let's look at different ways to make it more fun, exciting and challenging enough to get you burning through that belly fat.

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You've Never Had a Cadio Workout Quite Like This

Get the Most Out of Every Step

Ugh! Having to do cardio can seem like quite the chore especially if your stress is hinging on the border of going ape-sh*t!

Since cardio is great for increasing your oxygen intake, boosting your heart fitness, and helping you burning a bunch of calories, we all know we need to get in. So what’s the trick to keep it interesting?

Maybe we just need to look at cardio in a different manner and implement different strategies that can still help that ticker ticking and your belly burning those calories like it had no choice but to just give them up.

7 Easy Ways to Maximize Your Cardio

Alternate between Standing & Sitting

Whether you’re outdoors or in the gym, your cardio options usually involve either being upright or in a seated position. I always recommend to my clients to switch it up between the bike and treadmill, or the elliptical and rowing machine. You’ll hit different muscles.

Make Use of Hills

Speaking of resistance training, incorporating hills into your cardio routine is a simple way to step things up a notch and challenge your muscles. You can use the incline function on cardio machines, like a treadmill or elliptical, or you can make use of the natural variety outdoors.

Bonus Tip: if you ever get a chance to run barefoot on sand, go for it – it’s extra challenging and yet low impact so you’ll save your knees and burn 100 more calories every couple miles. 

Add Intervals

Interval training, or high intensity interval training (HIIT), is a great way to wake your body up from your same-old cardio routine. All you need to do is go at an intense speed for a short period of time (say 2-5 minutes), and then go slow for the next few. Alternate like this throughout your entire workout, and you’ll build up a killer sweat.

To see how it works, check out my Jillian Michaels Treadmill Workout here.

Superset between Weights

Want to do cardio in a totally new way? Try picking up a jump rope or doing some jumping jacks between weight-training sets. This is a great way to fight the boredom.

Hit the Pool

Adding a little swimming to your cardio program is a great way to change things up and work your body in a totally new way. I’ve seen some pretty killer toning results from people who incorporate swimming.

Try Plyometrics

Once you’re past the beginner stage of your workout program, try incorporating plyometrics into your cardio. Plyometrics is essentially jump training, and involves more dynamic moves that get your feet off the ground. You can get pretty advanced with this, but jump rope is a great way to start training your body for this kind of movement.

For beginners, try my Jump Rope Interval Training Routine to get started.

Maximize Your Workout Time

If you’re short on time but still want to work up a good sweat, then definitely grab some weights and knock out some high-rep, low-weight sets. Whether it’s squats or crunches, this is a great way to still fit in a little cardio.

I hope you agree that this article is one you’ll want to save on your Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/etc and come back to time and time again so please make sure to like/share it and also leave me comments/questions!

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7 Tips to Make Your Life Easier Right Now http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-tips-to-make-your-life-easier-right-now http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-tips-to-make-your-life-easier-right-now#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 03:15:38 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16387 A step by step plan to help you make your life easier and much more enjoyable this minute forward. Enough of the stress, it’s time to smile more!

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7 Tips to Make Your Life Easier Right Now

Life’s Too Short to Stress So Much

When it comes to improving your health, there are a lot of ways you can go about it. As a health coach, I often focus on diet and exercise to help improve all aspects of my clients well-being.

But sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back, and really look at the bigger picture. Usually when most of us set the goal of getting healthier, we simply forget to pay attention to including strategies which also help reducing the amount of stress we carry on our shoulders.

How do we get over this stress most effectively? Exercise and diet still play a role, but let’s take a look at some of the ways we can change our mindset and totally beat stress and improve our daily adventures through life.

How to Make Life Easier Right Now

1. Don’t Deny What You Can’t Change

This has been a really important lesson for me personally, so I’m going to start with it. You definitely have a lot of power to change your life for the better, but you can’t totally beat reality. Sometimes life throws things at you that you really have no control over. Rather than denying them, or trying to avoid the inevitable, it can be really liberating to accept things for the way they are and move on. This is true for the little daily stuff as much as it is for the big stuff.

2. Don’t Dwell on the Negative

Negative thoughts can totally stand in the way of your health goals, whether they involve losing weight, getting fit, or just feeling good. Ultimately, it’s about where you put your focus and attention. So what I suggest doing is giving your brain a time limit on the negativity. Next time you find yourself getting into a bad headspace, only let yourself stay there for the next 10 seconds, and switch to something positive. It’s a simple strategy, but if you can get into the habit, it works.

3. Stay Connected with Your Body

Stress usually starts in your head, but it manifests physically in a number of ways. Whether it’s aches and pains, tension, or just fatigue, a day from hell can really do a number on your body. Unfortunately, our world doesn’t really encourage us to stay connected to our bodies, and it can be easy to let the physical tension build up. What I recommend is pretty simple: Take 10 or 15 minutes at the end of the day to do a little deep breathing and muscle relaxation– and let the tension go.

Check out my 25 Ways to Relax in 5 Minutes or Less for more great ideas.

4. Create a Quiet Space Just for You

We should all have our own personal space where we can meditate, take a breather, and relax. If you have an extra room, that’s great, but a corner of your bedroom or even a nice protected outdoor space can do in a snap. Grab some pillows, blankets, candles, and whatever it is that makes you feel at peace. Then get in there at least once a day and breathe.

5. Meditate, Meditate, Meditate…

Meditation is more effective than you may think, and the research supports it when it comes to beating stress and boosting health. Developing a focus on breathing and relaxation is the first step, but then take it further by clearing your mind and visualizing your goals. Yoga is actually a great way to prepare your body for meditation, so you may want to work it in after a yoga routine.

To get a better idea of its health benefits, take a look at the Health Benefits of Yoga here.

6. Spend Some Time Outdoors

I’m convinced that one of our biggest problems today is that we’re less connected with nature. All the research says that spending time in nature, and even having natural elements in our indoor spaces, significantly reduces our stress and makes us happier. So whether it’s for your daily meditation or your cardio workout, get outdoors and breathe a little fresh air. And if you can, get out of the city for a little while.

7. Slow Down – It’s Not a Race

This might just be the hardest lesson to learn, but it could also be the most life-changing. At the end of the day, you’re only competing with yourself to reach your own goals. Believing that anyone else is holding you back, or that you need to get ahead of everyone to find success and happiness, is ultimately only going to result in more stress. The most fulfilling approach to every goal you set, from weight loss to increased strength and energy, is to do it for you and only you.

Whatever you do, consider the possibility that it’s your mindset holding you back. Try one of these tips or try them all – and make your life a little easier today.

If you enjoyed this article make sure to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter to help this stick and become a reality!

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