Monday, May 31, 2010

Reasons to Quit Your Soda Habit


In the past 30 years the percentage of obese people has doubled and so have soda sales in the United States.  
I used to be a big diet soda drinker, about one or two a day.  I thought that diet coke was better than regular soda, and it kind of is because there are no calories in the diet stuff and certainly not as much sugar, but that doesn’t mean it is good for you.  I gave up diet soda about a year ago after my sister explained some of the not so good things the chemicals in it can do to your body.  Yes, it was a bit difficult, but I don’t really miss it at all.  So here are some reasons you should also consider quitting your soda habit, yes even the diet stuff:
  • it’s associated with a higher risk of osteoporosis
  • it may lead to kidney stones
  • it’s addicting
  • it wastes hundreds of dollars each year
  • it can make your teeth rot
  • it can make you eat more 
  • it can lead to calcium deficiency
  • it has no nutritional benefits
ECK!  None of those things sound good to me.  I believe that quitting diet soda has certainly contributed to my weight loss and how I feel, plus not buying soda every week has saved me lots of money, which is always great.  At least try and cut back on your soda intake.  It is all about moderation; a soda on occasion is ok, it is the soda everyday that could lead to a problem.  So next time you get a drink consider something besides a soda: water, sparkling water, green tea, 100% fruit juice, etc, because you deserve to do something good for yourself.  

Sources: cnn, facts

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bite It and Write It

Writing down what you eat is one of the best ways to help you on your weight loss journey.  It is a bit tedious, but by writing down what you eat there is no counting in your head all day.  It makes you accountable for what you eat and gives you a record of your eating habits for certain weeks in relation to how much weight you lose.  A food journal lets you see in black and white what your eating habits are like, so you can see what changes could be made to your diet.
The first few weeks of tracking takes some getting used to, but you eventually get into a groove, so take the time to form the habit of writing down what you eat.  I found that planning or having some kind of idea of what I was going to eat for each day to be helpful.  I am not saying you need to have a meal by meal schedule, but have a general idea of what meals you can and want to eat.  This allows you to have options to choose from instead of just grabbing snacks.  Tracking is really one of the biggest things you can do for your weight loss journey because people who track really do see better results when they get on the scale.

What to track with?  You want to choose a tracking system that is easiest for you so that you continue to write down what you eat.  It can be a small notebook in your purse, an app on you smartphone, journal pages you print out, or a website you can visit.  I would recommend having boxes so you can check off water, fruits and veggies, proteins, whole grains, milk, and oils and space to write down yor exercise.  I began simply with the little journals they give you at WW meetings, then moved to etools for awhile because I was always by my computer, and now I have a small food journal that I can keep in my room or bag to write down what I eat.  
Some good online journals are etools on weightwatchers.com, which you pay for with WW membership.  They have a database full of recipes and foods that you can easily add to your tracker.  Sparkpeople.com, fitday.com, and thedailyplate.com also have trackers, which are free to use if you just register for the site.  Some good apps for your iPhone are Lose It!, WW Mobile, Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitness Pal.  There are tons of other food journals to be found out there as well, but these are just a few that I have looked into and heard good things about.
So find the system that is going to work best for you and get to writing down what you eat! 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exercise: Where to Begin

Exercise seems so very difficult and boring, but all it is moving more.  How do you even begin to exercise or know what to do?  Well, I would say the best thing is to start off simple, take the stairs, park far away from the door, take a walk at lunch, do jumping jacks in the morning, do push-ups or sit-ups when you get home or just move during commercial breaks of your favorite TV show.  You don’t have to do a lot to begin with but you just want to get your body used to moving.  I am not a trainer or doctor, but I have found these things to be helpful for me.  
When I began I really only focused on the food for the first few months so that I could feel comfortable with that part of my new plan.  I was taking the stairs more and parked farther away at the store.  Once I felt pretty comfortable with my food (about four months later) I began walking once or twice a week around the neighborhood.  I would put on my sneakers and grab my iPod for a light walk, it really was nothing too intense.  Yes, there were days I did not feel like going at all, but after you finish you feel so much better about yourself and what you have done.  I find a walk in the evening, after a long day to be a great stress reliever.  It honestly takes about 6 - 8 weeks to form a habit, and that is what exercise should become for you.  You are worth finding or making the time to do something good for yourself.  It started slowly for me, but once I felt good with one circle in the neighborhood, I began making my walking route longer and later took up a group exercise class at the gym.  You begin to challenge yourself to do more because it feels so good when you do it.  

So instead of plopping on the couch when you get home or grabbing a snack put on your sneakers and do something; just getting into the right gear is a step in the right direction and you are more likely to do the work if you are ready to go.  And make sure to do something you like so that you stick with it; if walking is not for you, try something else: bike, kayak, Wii Fit, elliptical, workout DVDs, find the thing that works for you.  So I am here to tell you that you can totally do this!  Move a bit more today than you did yesterday.  Just begin.