19 Healthy Habits to Adapt To In The New Year!

19 Healthy Eating Habits to Adopt in the New Year

If you’ve pledged to get healthier and develop healthy eating habits in the new year, you’re not alone. While New Year’s resolutions come in every form, many of us sit down in December and decide this year’s the year to really, truly commit to eating healthier and smarter. Finally, we’re going to eat less sugar, get that whole portion control thing down, snack on actual fruits and veggies, and stop downing a pint of ice cream right before bed. But even if you really mean it, without an actual plan and strategy in place, your resolutions are more than likely to fall short.

Adopting healthy eating habits is worth it, though. They’ll stick with you throughout the year, instead of disappearing mid-February like half the people at the gym. Developing better and truly sustainable habits is the cornerstone to success. We love habits because we do them without much conscious effort, they don’t feel like work. Quick fixes are like putting a Band-Aid on a broken arm.

If you’re going into January with the mindset that a habit change is what you need, not just a crash diet that’ll help you drop pounds fast, you’re already on track. To help you reach your goal faster, here are some super simple tweaks you can make to how you eat.

1. Eat the rainbow.
Every fruit and vegetable has different colors based on the different minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants it contains. The more colors you paint your plate with, the more variation you’re getting nutrient-wise. Plus, it keeps things interesting so you don’t get bored.

2. Try new foods.
We seem to eat the same foods repeatedly. This limits our nutritional range be adventurous. Try new foods.  You might just discover a new favorite you’ve been missing all this time.

3. Pay attention to your food.
Mindful eating is paying more attention to how you eat, being more present to make better food choices It’s like laying a strong foundation of a house. If you get the mindful eating down, you will have an easier time creating new habits.  Stop eating in front of the TV or computer, put down all distractions, and actually pay attention to what you’re putting on your plate and in your mouth. You’ll feel more satisfied, stop eating when you’re truly full, and ultimately make healthier choices.

4. Eat slower.
Pause before taking a bite, and chew slowly and intentionally, Albers suggests. This will help you bring your focus back to the task at hand (eating) and keep you from mindlessly scarfing down more than your body really wants or needs.

5. Find better ways to manage stress.
By finding other ways to cope with stress, you’ll slowly stop turning to food for comfort. Whether it’s reading a good book, getting a manicure, cooking, going for a run, or whatever else helps you blow off some steam and regroup, find something that helps you unload your stress other than food.

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The only way you’ll finally cut back on added sugar or eat less sodium—whatever your specific healthy-eating ambition—is if you know what’s in the food you’re consuming. Packaged foods we buy at the grocery store can have a lot of unnecessary ingredients.

7. Cook more.
The best way to know what’s in your food? By making it yourself. You can also better control your portion sizes—If you serve yourself, you tend to eat less. Play around with spices to create flavorful dishes you love with less sugar and salt than you’d find at a restaurant.

8. Develop a routine.
This way you click into doing it even when you don’t feel like it. Eat meals around the same times every day, or dedicate Sunday mornings to meal prep. Once it becomes routine, it’ll come more naturally.

9. Reorganize your kitchen.
Put treats out of sight and off the counter. Put a fruit bowl right on the counter. A “mindful makeover” will help prevent cravings and give you a chance to really decide what your body wants and needs.

10. Never let yourself become starving.
We all know how this goes. We get wrapped up in work, or kids, or whatever else is distracting us, and before you know it, it’s 3 P.M. and you haven’t eaten since 8 A.M. When we’re ravenously hungry, we give into not-so-healthy cravings, or binge on more than we need because our brains are telling us to EAT. By planning out meals and snacks throughout the day, you can prevent this from happening.

11. Whip out the measuring cups.
Most of us struggle with portion control, and many times, it’s a total accident. We just don’t know what a true portion size looks like. Take time on a Sunday and get out the measuring cups, just get a basic idea of what a portion size looks like, so your eyes and stomach and brain are on the same page. When you’re familiar with how things look, then you can better eyeball it at restaurants and holiday parties.

12. Use smaller plates.
Another way to help control your portion sizes? Simply use smaller dishes. There’s no reason why you have to have a 10-inch plate—you can use a salad plate for a main course. If you’re going to a holiday party, use the larger plate use for fruits and veggies or salad, and the smaller plate for starches and protein.  That way, you can get closer to the right amount of each food without having to whip out your measuring cups mid-party (not recommended).

13. Drink more water.
You need to stay hydrated all day every day, not just when it’s hot outside or you’re sweating it out at the gym. When it’s cold we forget that. Focus on making sure you’re drinking enough water by employing tricks like keeping a water bottle at your desk or using an app to track how much you’re drinking. If you drink lots of sugary drinks, try swapping them for unsweetened seltzer water (if the bubbles are what you crave) or fruit-infused water (hey, sugar fiend).

14. Eat veggies first.
I try to get my clients to start with salad or veggies when they sit down for lunch or dinner, and then dig into the rest. Taking the time to chew lettuce and veggies pulls you into the moment so you’re not mindlessly eatig. Plus, it’s always a good idea to fill up on the most nutritious foods first.

15. Save leftovers.
When you cook, make enough for an extra meal or two so that you have leftovers in the fridge. This way, you can turn to those instead of grabbing fast food when you’re hungry and crunched for time.

16. Prep meals and snacks.
There are plenty of benefits of meal prep, from eating healthier to saving money. You should have a basic idea of what snacks you like and enjoy that you can carry with you. If you have a plan ahead of time, you tend to snack better and tend to make better decisions on what that snack is.

17. Read the menu before you go.
If you eat out a lot, get in the habit of reading menus before you go to a restaurant so you can walk in with a game plan. Same goes for holiday parties—plan out in your head what foods you’ll opt for first, and which ones you can do without (aka, the things you don’t actually love but just eat because they’re classic party foods). You may not be perfect, but at least you’ll be better than if you walk in without a plan.

18. Go halfsies.
At home, we don’t usually have an appetizer and whole main course, so when you’re out to eat, you should do the same. Ask a friend to split an app, or split both an entree and an appetizer so you can try more than one thing that sounds good. Also, sharing a meal means you have to eat more mindfully, or else risk being that person who hogged all the best parts.

19. Don’t beat yourself up over food.
Eating should be a positive experience. You’re fueling your body and hopefully enjoying the taste while doing so. Want to eat that cookie? Eat that cookie! Love that cookie! Savor it and be glad you did. Focusing too much on eating “right” can become a slippery slope, from paying attention to obsessing. Healthy eating—like so much of life—is all about balance.

 

Why you can’t stay motivated to lose weight!


You’re not alone.

Anybody trying to lose weight goes through a similar journey.

You start out on fire.

You’re motivated to lose weight.  You exercise and it’s easy to say ‘no thanks!’ to junk foods.

Making healthy choices feels natural and effortless.

But then, everything shifts.

Suddenly, everything that felt so natural feels inconvenient now.

It’s easier to make excuses.

Your motivation is gone. Exercise seems inconvenient and you’re craving all of those foods you’ve left behind.

“I don’t want to workout!  I’ll start over Monday!  Pizza sounds so good right now!“

And all of the sudden you’re 3 slices in and feeling guilty.

Like a failure… like you knew better but you did it anyway… and you find yourself wondering, “Why can’t I stay motivated to lose weight?”

Sound familiar?

It should. It’s the frustrating shift that virtually every person trying to lose weight experiences on a regular basis (myself included).

If you’ve ever hit a rough patch and lost your motivational mojo, then the Bee-Xtreme Community is perfect for you.

As with many things in life, we go through changes in stages. Weight loss is no different.

As you know, successful weight loss is about changing your lifestyle.

That’s just another way of saying you need to change your behaviors. The stages of behavior change have been studied in depth.

Below is my take on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (I know, fancy wording), and how it corresponds to staying motivated to lose weight.

To stay motivated to lose weight, you need to make sure you’re in the right stage, mentally.

What stage are you in?

THE 5 STAGES OF WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION

WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION STAGE 1:  PRECONTEMPLATION

In the first stage of weight loss, people have no intention to change their lifestyle.

They either don’t see a reason to change their habits, don’t think there’s a problem with their body/health, or they’re happy just the way things are.

In this stage, people rationalize their thoughts.

They may think to themselves “losing weight is too much work” or “life is good just the way it is” or “I don’t need to lose weight to be happy.“

The good news? If you’re reading this you’re probably not in this phase.


WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION STAGE 2:  CONTEMPLATION

Contemplation is the phase where most people wanting to lose weight get stuck.

In this stage, you’ve made a conscious decision that you need to make changes if you want to lose weight.

Now you’re contemplating, what to do to make that happen.

Maybe you already know what to do, or maybe you don’t have a clue.

During this stage, you’re seeking out information, but not yet actively changing your eating or exercise habits.

You may be in this stage right now.

WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION STAGE 3:  PREPARATION

During the preparation stage, you feel ready and able to make lifestyle changes because you see that there’s a benefit associated with the effort you’ll be making.

You feel ready to make changes because they’ll result in a reward.

You feel encouraged and inspired to take action.

So you start making small behavioral changes like drinking more water, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or swapping out fries for a side salad.

Moving from the contemplation stage to the preparation stage is a big deal. You’ve successfully acknowledged and accepted that you need to make changes and have begun to make small changes.

The preparation phase is one of the most important phases.

Many people stay here. While others skip this stage completely and immediately start to take action.

I admire their drive, but their success levels dramatically decrease, as they skipped right past one of the most important steps to losing weight and staying motivated…

Having a meal plan or exercise program that works for their goal, or educating themselves about what they should eat and which exercises they need to use to reach their goal.

WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION STAGE 4:  ACTION
The action stage of weight loss is one of the most difficult. The action phase is where you’ve set goals and start taking action to get them.

This is when you’re actively changing your bad habits and replacing them with good ones.

It’s the time where you’re breaking your emotional connections to food.

It’s the time where you’re questioning if you have what it takes to do this for the rest of your life.

It’s the stage where many people make it to, but end up relapsing back to the 1st or 2nd stage.

People struggle to stay in the action stage because they don’t have the education, tools, plan, and support they need to stay motivated.

If you can stay in the action phase for at least 6 months, you have likely made a lasting change in your life.

WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION STAGE 5:  MAINTENANCE
In the maintenance stage, you have successfully changed the majority of your bad habits and have lived a healthy and active lifestyle full of whole foods and exercise for more than six continuous months.

You know how bad behaviors can adversely affect your weight and health.

You know that eating healthy food makes you feel so much better than the temporary happiness emotional eating provided. In fact, you have no intention of engaging in that behavior ever again.

Your confidence is sky high, and your body has undergone a complete transformation.

People (including the original non-supporters) are now complementing you on your weight loss and asking you how you did it.

Congratulations, you have successfully changed your life for good, and living this new healthy lifestyle is just as easy to do as living the unhealthy one was in the past.

WHY YOU CAN’T STAY MOTIVATED TO LOSE WEIGHT

To lose weight you have to stay in the action phase… people typically lose their motivation to lose weight and leave the action stage for 4 reasons:

1) YOU HAVEN’T ACCEPTED YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP THE HABITS THAT CAUSED THE WEIGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE

Are you really ready to give up your bad habits? You don’t have to change overnight. Make a conscious effort to slowly phase out your vices, and replace them with healthier alternatives.

2) YOU’RE NOT EMOTIONALLY JAZZED UP ABOUT YOUR GOAL BODY

They don’t want to lose weight bad enough. Get crystal clear about what you want, why you want it, and how (freaking!) good it’s going to be when you get it. Visualize it!

Think about how bad you want it every time that little devil on your shoulder is trying to get you to cheat on your diet or skip the gym. A Weight Loss Vision Board can help you stay motivated and focused.

3) YOU AREN’T GETTING THE RESULTS YOU WANT… SO YOU GIVE UP OUT OF FRUSTRATION

This happens when you don’t follow a complete plan that’s best for you and your goal.

Make sure you’re following the right program for you. But it’s also important that you follow professional advice…

Preferably a professional who completely understands exercise, nutrition, and how to use both to lose fat, and keep you motivated… like me! ; )

4) YOU HAVE SOMETHING WORKING AGAINST YOU AND YOUR METABOLISM

Motivation struggles are often a symptom of a much bigger issue.

It is A LOT HARDER to stay motivated if you have toxic build-up, metabolic damage, or a hormone imbalance working against you.

The good news is, it’s completely possible to use food and exercise to reset your body quickly and reverse problems so you can lose fat fast.

Please leave me a comment and let me know what stage of weight loss motivation you’re in and what you struggle with the most.

If you tell me what you need help with, I’ll make more posts for you. : )

Hugs and Love

Your Biggest Cheerleader
xxoo

Toni Sweeney

Where should your focus be when it comes to weight loss?

Focus will show you results faster than you ever dreamed was possible When you have focus in your life things will become easier, you won’t get stuck as often and you’ll be able to reach your weight loss goals faster than anything you could have ever imagined.

Many people think their biggest problem is that they lack the knowledge to successfully complete a goal when it comes to weight loss. Others believe that if they can just get the right product and not have to put much work into it they’ll be able to finally achieve some sort of success.

The real issue is….. lack of FOCUS.

What is focus anyways? According to Webster’s dictionary it’s : a center of activity, attraction, or attention, a point of concentration.

So I have a question for you.

Where is your center of activity, attraction, attention and point of concentration when it comes to your goals?

Some goal seekers put all of their focus on doing what others are doing and seeing success. So they try what their friends are trying. But that doesn’t mean they are going to see the same results.

Some goal seekers attempt to do workouts that are far beyond their ability because they are in a hurry to see results. This usually ends up with pulled muscles or some other injury that eventually holds them back.

Some goal seekers will stay on track for a week, have a bad day, end up eating their feelings and this spirals them out of control, losing focus and putting them right back in the same position they started with.

Have a laid out strategic plan of action should be your biggest focus. Sticking to your plan and jumping back on board when you have a bad day would be much better than giving up when you have a small cheat.

Getting focused and staying focused is hard to do. That’s where the Bee-Xtreme Community comes into play. Not only do we offer you FREE –menu plans, – guidance, -support, -exercises, -community advise, and one on one coaching, the Bee-Xtreme Community will KEEP YOU FOCUSED as you see other people reaching their goals every single day.

Focus…. where is yours today? 

Get it on building your goal board. Small daily goals are better than no goals at all. It isn’t that hard- you just need to focus on the right activities daily

Maybe today focus on getting that 64 ounces of water minimum or choosing a salad today for lunch instead of the pizza that’s in the break room.

Small goals= SUCCESS.

What do you struggle with the most when it comes to focus? Stop by our blog and leave us a comment. I’d love to be able to help in anyway that I can.

XOXO

Toni Sweeney

How to drink more water during the cold winter months

We all know the WHY’s to drinking more water. From detoxing to skin elasticity, I could name 100 reasons why we all should be drinking more water throughout the day! Our bodies benefit the most from being hydrated but HOW do we drink more water when it’s sooooo cold outside?

#1 Infuse it! 
Let’s face it! Water is super boring! Sometimes your body just wants something more than plain old water. Add some low calorie and sugar free sweeteners to your water like MIO or Crystal light. Add lemon to your water to get that daily detox you need!

#2 Water drinking Apps! 
We all pretty much carry a smart phone with us these days. Why not put it to use with a reminder to drink water? Some of the best apps i have seen are 1. Waterlogged 2. Idrate 3. Eight Glasses a Day 4. Daily Water & 5. Talpt Water

#3 Use A straw! 
The more convenient the better! We as humans like simplicity. Make sure there is a straw hanging out so you can grab and swig as needed.

#4 Leave your water bottle sitting with no lid. 
I find myself having 2,3, sometimes 4 different bottles sitting around the house or office with no lid. I’ll repeat myself here– the more convenient, the better and more liklihood you’ll be to drink.

#5 Cup by each sink. 
I randomly place a cup by a sink I know I’ll be walking by a few times through the day. Weather it’s the kitchen sink or the bathroom, you’ll be sure to see an empty cup sitting by mine. Fill half way up and chug each time you walk past!

#6 Driving a lot? Make it A Game! 
Driving can get old. Spice up your drive time with a little game. Every time you see a ___________ (red car, stop sign, road sign, white truck) take a swig of water. Just make sure the convenience of bathrooms is around you on your commute home!

#7 Bubba Kegs! 
Bubba kegs are great cups to keep on hand. These monstrous kegs can hold up to 72 ounces of water. Fill it up in the morning and sip on it through it’s retractable straw all day! Get Yours Here!

#8 Disposable/Resuable cups & rubber bands. 
How many of you have rubber bands in your desk or heck, even hair ties? Have a refillable bottle? Each time you drink a cup or bottle full of water, add a rubber band to the outside of the cup. Or challenge yourself! Start with 6 or 8 rubber bands on your cup in the morning, Take off 1 rubber band each time you fill the cup up! Try to get off all of the rubber bands before you end your day!

#9 Drink 1 glass after each potty break. 
Why not? You’re washing hands anyway, may as well fill up that cup that you left sitting by the sink earlier, chug and go about your day!

#10 1 glass upon waking, 1 glass before bed. 
Make this a routine! Before you’re “allowed” your morning coffee or “allowed” to go to bed, make sure to get one bottle in!

Think Fat loss NOT weight loss!

We want you think fat loss vs weight loss

Statistics show that 41% of the population make New Year’s resolutions. Out of that 41%, 21.4% aim for weight loss and healthier eating, 12.3% aim for self improvement, & 5.5% promise to workout more.

A whopping 92% of new year’s resolution makers do not follow through with their original plan of action. Maybe if we start thinking fat loss before “weight loss” we can get those numbers a little higher on people following through with their plans.

Fat loss is VERY VERY different than weight loss but people seem to use the term interchangeably. After reading this you’ll understand the difference between the two and which you should aim for and how.  Let me explain,

Let’s start by defining weight loss. The first thing someone usually says to me is “I need to lose weight”. By this, they mean the number on the scale. What they don’t realize is that that number on the scale has zero meaning other than their gravitational pull on this earth. Your weight on the scale measures the sum of the weight of your bones, muscles, organs, and body fat.

If you want to lose weight, it’s most likely because you carry too much fat. There are people who must lose weight like athletes before a competition but most people should start aiming their goals to LOSE FAT not weight. I can tell you right now, if you don’t eat anything all day today, you’ll be down on the scale tomorrow. If you don’t drink anything all day then you’ll be down on the scale, and if I cut your right arm off, you’ll be down on the scale tomorrow. But how are any of those things helping you in your fitness journey? You’ll still be stuck with the same amount of body fat.

Weighing yourself & why you shouldn’t take that number to heart.

#1 It’s UNRELIABLE. Your body weight can fluctuate dailiy since it’s influenced by the amount of food you’ve eaten, the amount of fluids you’ve consumed, your bowel movements, water loss/retention, muscle loss/gain, and it will just get you frustrated.

#2. It’s irrelevant. People with similar height can weigh the same but look completely different because one has lower body fat than the other.

Here’s how the weight scale can mislead you. Clothes, mirrors and pictures do not lie. But the scale can be your worst enemy by misleading you and killing your motivation.

CARBS AND WATER:

Carbs bind to water. So eating less carbs will make you lose water weight. You’ll notice you will feel less “fluffy” when adhering to a lower carb diet. This is because water is exiting your body instead of binding to the carbs you consume.

MUSCLE GAIN AND FAT LOSS.

You’ll gain muscle while losing fat when you start strength training. But on the scale it may look like you’ve made no progress. Track your body fat using a body caliper and you’ll see your body fat going down.

Keys to losing fat:

  1. Get stronger. Strength training builds muscle and muscle burns more fat.
  2. Eat healthy. Eat less starchy foods and veggies. Eat higher fat foods like avocados and bacon. Eat moderate protein to build muscle.
  3. Stay away from processed foods. Processed foods are full of sodium and sugar.
  4. Drink more water. 95% of Americans do not drink enough water daily for their body to properly function. If you’re not drinking half your body weight in ounces a day, you’re not drinking enough.

How to Track Progress Efficiently

You don’t need to track progress weekly, changes wouldn’t be drastic enough. Track progress every 2 weeks. Stop Weighing Yourself Daily. The daily fluctuations will mess with your motivation. Weigh yourself once every 2 weeks, not more. Stop Looking in The Mirror. Self-image issues can skew perception. Shoot full body pictures and compare them with old ones.
Track Body Fat. Get a fat caliper and track your body fat every 2 weeks.

Take Measurements. Girth measurements of your neck, chest, arms, waist & thighs. Waist should go down, rest should go up. Shoot Pictures. Full body pictures from ankle to neck, front/back/side, every 2 weeks. Compare with your previous pics.

Strength Stats. Log your workouts. Strength going up means muscle gains and strength training prevents muscle breakdown. Listen also to what people say. They’ll notice your body change more than you will. Clothes will start to feel differently too. You Might Not Want to Lose Weight. 

**Focus on fat loss first. Once you’ve got your body fat down, check if you like what you see. Then decide if you still need to lose weight. **