Fitness Shake Recipe

Fitness Shake Recipe

A delicious, health fitness shake recipe with skim milk, banana, yogurt, wheat germ, vanilla and sweetener to keep the sugar down. All nicely spiced with cinnamon. Bananas have lots of potassium and can give flagging energy levels a boost.

Fitness Shake Recipe
Fitness Shake Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups skim milk
2 medium-size ripe bananas, cut into l-inch pieces
1/2 cup fat-free plain or *banana yogurt
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 packets sweetener or 1/3-cup measurable sweetener of choice
Ground cinnamon (optional)

Directions

Process all ingredients, except cinnamon, in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Recipe makes four (8-ounce) servings.

Notes: *For a more intense banana flavor, go with the banana yogurt. To mute the banana flavor a bit, use the plain yogurt.

The ground cinnamon is optional, but recommended. It pairs tastefully with the banana flavor and adds a healthy sweet spice taste.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 190
Fat: 2g
Carbohydrate: 33g
Cholesterol: 4mg
Sodium: 134mg
Protein: 12g
Exchanges: 1-1/2 Milk, 1 Fruit, 1/2 Fat

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  • High Calorie Drinks and Shakes – If you are looking a fitness shake recipe with more protein or a meal replacement beverage with a kick, try these recipes.
  • Liquid Meals – Meal substitutes are a convenient way to reduce calories. Meal substitutes should provide protein and be low in fat and calories. They can also be considered fitness shakes.
  • Delicious Strawberry Shake – Milk, honey, vanilla and frozen strawberries whipped into this healthful shake in a flash.

Restricting Calories Detrimental to Fitness

Restricting Calories is Detrimental to Your Fitness

The most common means of dieting is restricting calories. The first thing we thing of when we think “diet” is “Can’t or shouldn’t eat this that or the other thing”.

Restricting calories is not the answer.
Restricting calories is not the answer.

This amounts to calorie restriction, which can actually lower your metabolism. When your metabolism lowers, so does your fat burning ability and your chance of dropping pounds.

Lift Weights
But why does this happen? Basically because when you cut down on calories, you’re body works to adjust to less “fuel”. The first way it does this is to lower your metabolism. Adding more alarm, study after study tells us that low calorie diets without exercise will always cause 40 to 50 percent of the weight you do lose to come from lean tissue. Even with exercise, if a diet is too restrictive in calories, much of the weight loss will still be lean tissue.

The Thyroid Factor

Many of us are aware of the fact that we have a thyroid gland and that it can play a role in weight gain. This is because our thyroid gland is largely responsible for regulating the rate we burn calories while at rest. The thyroid has an active hormone known as T3. When significant calorie reduction takes place, it reduces output of this hormone, which results in a decreased metabolism.

The Dreaded Plateau

Now you can see how restricting calories to lose weight can actually turn on you. It should be easier to understand why so many dieters reach a plateau. A plateau is a point at which no matter what they do, how little they eat or how much they exercise, they can’t lose another pound. This means your body has adjusted to a lower amount of calories and adapted in order to conserve energy.

What’s really scary is that if you’ve reached this point, merely going back to normal eating habits could mean weight gain. Your body is not burning calories as efficiently as it was before the diet.

And it gets worse. At this point you can start having gnawing hunger pains and insatiable cravings. Ensuing frustration can cause you to break your diet. Weight creeps back up, body fat increases and you now have less muscle and a slower metabolism. Many people will not only gain back any weight they’ve lost, but will add to it.

This is where the expression “yo-yo cycle” comes into the picture. It’s a vicious cycle that some battle their entire lives.

The Signs and Symptoms of Restricting Calories

How would you know if you’re reaching this point in your dieting efforts? The first signs are those of being under nourished.

  • Fatigue.
  • Lethargy.
  • Inability to sustain levels of physical activity.

Restricting calories is known to cause all three symptoms.

What to Do?

Give up the idea that you have to starve to lose weight. Sure, if you starve yourself you’ll lose some weight. This simply IS NOT HEALTHY. Keep this thought in mind:

Temporary dieting can only produce temporary results.

Seven Suggested Steps

  1. Adopt the mindset that you are going to be working on changing life-long habits permanently.
  2. Plan to do muscle toning exercise at least 2 times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes per session. Hang onto that all important lean muscle mass. If you wish, work to develop more!
  3. Obviously restricting calories is in order for anyone who has been in a bad habit of over-indulgence. Decrease slowly and intelligently! Healthier foods, cutting out fried foods, etc.
  4. Work toward off setting reduction in calories with increase in physical movement. Formal exercise or things like gardening, walking, sweeping, vacuuming, etc., all count.
  5. Determine your minimal calorie requirements with the help of a physician and never drop below them!
  6. Woman on ScalePractice “grazing”, not gorging. In other words, eat several smaller meals (4 to 6) throughout the day as opposed to 2 or 3 large ones. This keeps fuel going in while energy expenditure is going out. It also wards off binge-type urges, hunger pains and feeling unsatisfied.
  7. Set out to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. Yes, it takes some patience but the long term, satisfying results are well worth it. And remember, if you’re doing your muscle toning exercises, you’re replacing some fat with muscle which could actually reduce your body size. This occurs even if the scale isn’t showing a significant reduction! It’s exciting, trust me. Once you’ve experienced a drop in clothing size while your scale remains the same, you’ll embrace muscle toning! See A Beginner’s Full Body Workout.

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Just Say NO to Starvation

Just Say NO to Starvation

The word, “Diet” is defined as:

any severe restriction of food or calories that’s temporary.

Conventional diets usually call for low calorie consumption:

  • 800 to 1200 or less for women.
  • 1500 to 1800 or less for men.
Just Say NO to Starvation
Just Say NO to Starvation

The Foils of Starvation

When you starve your body, your body begins to fight back by conserving energy — it slows down your metabolic rate, which in turn slows down fat loss.

Starving also forces your body to start cannibalizing muscle tissue for use as an energy source. This leads to a loss of muscle tone and shape. After time on a starvation diet, you will also become irritable, reduce mental focus and grow tired and weak. Your health becomes compromised and your immune system will be impaired due to an inadequate amount of health-promoting nutrients in your system. After a time, you will most likely binge and end up gaining all the pounds back only this time it is all fat, and usually more of it, too. Every time you go through this process, your metabolism is slower than ever because during the last episode, muscle was burned for energy. Thus, you have to eat even fewer calories to reduce pounds — you see the pattern?

Of course, if you proceed to restrict calories, you will lose weight. So, on the surface, it may sound simple. Just enter starvation mode and you can lose weight! But no one likes to walk around with a rumbling tummy all day.  There are other major problems with this simplistic approach.

  1. When you lose weight from starvation you’re unlikely to keep the weight off over an extended period of time.
  2. When you do lose weight this way, most of the weight lost is actually from your muscle mass, not fat.
  3. When you re-gain weight, it’s highly likely to be gained as fat (unless you’re on a kick butt weight lifting regime), replacing the muscle you lost in point 1.


The National Institute of Health says there are over 100 million Americans over weight. That equates to over 55 percent of the population. The Center for Disease Control reports a steady increase through the years in people considered clinically obese. Clinically obese is defined at least 30 percent over ideal body weight). These stats tell us that dieting alone just isn’t working.

The good news for you today is, diets fail. The human body is created with defense mechanisms that protect you from starvation. It’s physiologically impossible to permanently lose body fat with a low calorie diet. When your wonderfully made human body senses a food shortage, your defense mechanisms kick in to protect it. This is good news because it means you can just kick calorie restricting diets to the curb.

At this point we must note that there are situations in which calorie restriction is necessary or helpful. Whether or not this would apply to you is something you would have to ask your physician about; we are not qualified to assess that on an individual basis. Also, one area being researched is in the elderly. Studies are suggesting that as we become senior citizens, some calorie restriction may prolong the aging process.

The Human Defense Mechanism

Our body’s weight-regulating mechanism recognizes starvation and decreases energy expenditure to protect you.  This survival mechanism is known as the starvation response. In a nutshell, your body senses that it’s deprived of calories and consequently reacts as if to say, “It looks like this is all the food we’re going to be getting for a while, so we’d better stop burning so many calories and start saving energy“. Your body does this so it can survive longer on the smaller amount of food it’s being fed.

BUT – while starvation mode can save our lives, it wasn’t meant to be a permanent lifestyle. Our bodies let us know this if it continues too long.

Your body cannot tell the difference between dieting and starvation. Period.

Drastically cutting calories will ALWAYS send your body into the eventually dangerous starvation mode.

Why dangerous? There are many “side effects” of calorie restrictive dieting but the very first and very worst is that your metabolic rate will decline. Other repercussions on your body include:

  • Loss of muscle.
  • Increased fat storage.
  • Decrease in fat burning ability.
  • Decreased thyroid output.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Increased chance of gaining weight.
  • Decreased energy.

Fasting Can be Risky

Fasting could cause dehydration and dangerously low blood sugar levels, which can make you pass out. If you’re otherwise healthy and still drink water, 100 percent fruit juice, and no calorie beverages, you probably won’t suffer health consequences if you fast for only a day or two, or one day at a time every once in a while (not twice a week). But get your doctor’s OK first, and know that most of the weight lost will be water and muscle, not fat. Our advice: Forget fasting and make small changes you can live with for a lifetime.

Whatever choice you make in your journey to weight loss, always remember the good news – you not only need not, but should not starve yourself.

Finding a Weight Loss Program

Finding a Weight Loss Program That Works for You

Freebie: Weight Loss Guidance

We have a free PDF to offer you again! It’s called, “Finding a Weight Loss Program That Works for You“.

This free guide will give you some guidelines you can use if you’re having trouble choosing a weight loss program you think is just right for you. It’s only 9 pages, but contains all the helpful information, charts and worksheets you can use to help sort through confusion. It won’t take you long to read through it but you should learn a lot.

Finding a weight loss program that suits your lifestyle is tough. We try to make it a bit easier with this free guide. Do use the charts and worksheets, too. You may be surprised at just how helpful they are.

Finding a Weight Loss Program That Works for You
Finding a Weight Loss Program That Works for You

 

What is in the free guide for choosing a weight loss program?

The guide will assist you in:

  • How to get the answers you need.
  • Asking the right questions for your personal needs.
  • Rating your personal risk of being over weight.
  • Finding your body mass index (BMI).
  • Includes a Personal Health Profile Evaluation Checklist. This is a very helpful too in finding a weight loss program.
  • Evaluating weight loss products and services.

It’s free, so download now and see if it will help you! But remember, do utilize the worksheets. That is the best way to get the most out of it.

PS. NO there is NO sales pitch of ANY PRODUCT in the document! No catch, either. Strictly informational.  😉

 

Finding a Weight Loss Program That Works for You
Finding a Weight Loss Program That Works for You

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Six Signs of a Fad Diet

Six Signs of a Fad Diet

Want to lose weight but are confused by numerous books that promise the latest diet breakthroughs? Here are some tips from the American Heart Association (AHA) that can help you recognize a fad diet.

Fad diet
Fad diet

Say NO to a fad diet that advocates the following.

  1. Magic or miracle foods. Foods don’t burn or melt fat away. There are no foods that can undo the long term effects of overeating and lack of activity.
  2. Very Rapid weight loss. Sound weight loss plans aim for losing no more than one to two pounds per week. Studies show that gradual weight loss increases your success for keeping it off permanently. There is no fad diet that can accomplish this.
  3. No exercise. Simple activities like walking or riding a bike are important tools to losing and maintaining weight loss. Yet a fad diet won’t emphasize these easy changes. An increase in any daily activities that fit your lifestyle will help you to burn more calories.
  4. Bizarre quantities. Foods that are emphasized or others not allowed, such as unlimited amounts of cabbage soup or grapefruit.  Avoiding dairy or carbohydrate rich foods, should raise concern. Forbidding certain foods or entire food groups, in addition to being unhealthy, may increase the likelihood that you will cheat, binge or just give up on the diet.
  5. Specific food combinations – Eating the wrong combination of foods does not cause them to produce toxins or turn to fat. There is no scientific proof that combining specific foods enhances weight loss.
  6. Rigid menus – Limiting food choices and adhering to specific eating times is a daunting, unpleasant task. Rather, look for a plan that you can realistically follow for a lifetime. One that emphasizes a variety of grain foods, vegetables, fruits, lean meats and low-fat dairy products.

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FAT: It’s Not Always Bad!

Fat Facts

Experts agree that a healthy diet involves eating a variety of foods and keeping your fat intake to 30-percent or less of your total calories. Easier said than done? We will take a look at how simple it really is. But first, a word about fat.

Fat
Fat

All fats contain nine calories per gram, more than twice the calories in proteins and carbohydrates. One teaspoon of fat contains about 45 calories.

But not all fats are created equal. Fats can come from both animals and plants. Animal sources of fat are found in meat, poultry, fish, whole-milk dairy products, egg yolks, butter and lard. Plant sources of fat are found in shortening, margarine, nuts and vegetable oils.

Hidden fats (fats you may not see) are found in meat, poultry, fish, nuts and whole-milk dairy products, as well as in prepared foods and bakery products.

Bullet Unsaturated Fat

Unsaturated fats primarily come from plant sources.

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (unlike saturated fats, which usually are hard).

Polyunsaturated fat is found in oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean and cottonseed. These oils, and foods made with them, tend to lower cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated fats in your diet.

Monounsaturated fat is found in oils such as canola, peanut and olive. Foods rich in monounsaturated fat also may promote heart health.

Bullet Trans Fatty Acids

Trans fatty acids may increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fat results when polyunsaturated oil is partially hydrogenated in order to make it into stick margarine or solid shortening in a can. The bulk of trans fatty acids in the typical American diet are found in hydrogenated oils (used in crackers, baked goods, cereals and breads); fast foods such as French fries, fried fish and onion rings and margarine, especially stick margarine.

Recently, some researchers have suggested that we should eat butter instead of margarine because butter does not contain trans fatty acids. However, butter is saturated fat and does contain cholesterol. Both may increase your risk of heart disease, but since butter is all natural, if you must indulge, do watch amounts and perhaps go with the butter. Most margarine is made from vegetable fat and provides no dietary cholesterol. The more liquid the margarine (tub or liquid forms) the less hydrogenated it is and the less trans fatty acids it contains. Some margarine’s contain no trans fatty acids.

The American Heart Association recommends that consumers follow these tips:

  • Use naturally occurring, non-hydrogenated oil such as canola or olive oil when possible.
  • Look for processed foods made with non-hydrogenated oil rather than hydrogenated or saturated fat.
  • If using margarine as a substitute for butter, choose soft margarine’s (liquid or tub varieties) over harder, stick forms. Shop for margarine with no trans fatty acids, no more than two grams of saturated fat per tablespoon and with water or liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient.
  • French fries, donuts, cookies and crackers are examples of foods that usually are high in trans fatty acids.

Bullet Saturated Fat

Saturated fat comes from animal sources, such as fatty red meats. It also can be found in plant sources.

Tropical oils such as palm, coconut and palm-kernel oils are vegetable-derived and found in many processed foods, especially commercially baked cookies, crackers and snack items. These oils are more saturated than lard.

High consumption of saturated fat is a major risk factor for the development of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Bullet What About Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is not the same as fat. Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by animals that is found only in foods that come from animals. Sources of cholesterol include whole milk, dairy products, fatty meat, poultry, fish, butter, and lard and egg yolks.

Eating dietary cholesterol may raise blood cholesterol levels. However, the body also makes cholesterol when a person eats foods that are high in saturated fat. Saturated fat often is found in the very same foods as cholesterol. Remember that a diet high in saturated fats leads to high blood cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and some cancers.

To control your cholesterol, get a cholesterol screening, eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and follow all your healthcare professional’s recommendations.

Cholesterol Levels

  • Desirable — Less than 200 mg/dL
  • Borderline high risk — 200 to 239 mg/dL
  • High risk — 240 mg/dL and over

Bullet How Much Fat Do I Need?

It is neither possible nor desirable to eliminate all fat from your diet. Fat helps maintain healthy skin and hair. It helps your body digest and absorb fat-soluble vitamins (such as A, D, K and E). It also regulates cholesterol levels and stores the body’s excess calories.

Eating too much fat, especially saturated fat, can be a health problem. But how much fat is too much? Fat requirements are based on calorie needs. It is recommended that you get no more than 30-percent of your daily calories from fat. You can determine your calorie needs by multiplying your desired weight by 12 (multiply by 10 if you are trying to lose weight). Most moderately active women need between 1,800 and 2,000 calories. Most average men between 2,200 and 2,400 calories.

Your calorie needs depend on your age, sex, and overall body size and activity level. You will know that you are taking in the right amount of calories to match your current amount of activity when your weight is being maintained at a healthy level. Consuming too many calories or getting too little physical activity will cause weight gain. You may become overweight.

Determine Your Fat Intake

To determine your desired fat intake, drop the last “0” from your calorie intake and divide by three. For example, if you determine your calorie needs to be 1,800, dropping the last “0” gives you 180. 180 divided by 3 = 60. A person eating 1,800 calories a day needs no more than 60 grams of fat to stay healthy.

The American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee recommends that healthy Americans over age two limit their daily intake of saturated fat to less than 10-percent of total calories and total fat intake to no more than 30-percent of calories. This recommendation equals a daily intake of fats and oils of about five to eight teaspoons.

So you see, fat isn’t ALL bad! 🙂

Weight Loss Fat Loss

Weight Loss Fat Loss

To make things worse in the world of fitness and weight loss, you’ll often read about weight loss – only to turn around and find yourself reading about fat loss. Weight loss fat loss …

Is there a difference? Yes, there is.

Weight loss fat loss?
Weight loss fat loss?

Weight loss and fat loss are not only confusing subjects, they can be conflicting and enormous amount of “advice” floating around from “experts” can be contradictory. This can lead to major mind turmoil for just about anyone. So much so, a person can easily wind up giving up before long.

Consider this: You can take a diuretic and lose 5 pounds of so-called weight off your scale over night. But have your REALLY lost any body fat? Your body is 70 percent water, so no, you didn’t. You just drained it of vital fluids.

A general guideline to follow is anything that creates a fast drop in poundage is nothing more than “weight loss fat loss”. And this “weight loss” can also damage muscle. Oftentimes this type of weight loss can be bad for your health. Be careful.

Fat loss, on the other hand, takes time. You need patience and perseverance. But with every day you’ll feel a bit better, become a bit leaner and find that you’ll reap rewards you can FEEL (very important) in short order. This will motivate you! And when those jeans are suddenly lose around your waist and you need to put another hole in that belt you bet you’ll be smiling! Even if the scale doesn’t appear to be budging.

Weight Loss Fat Loss Can Intermingle.

Hopefully you can now clearly see how weight loss fat loss are not the same thing. Your goal should be losing fat while maintaining muscle. As long as your body has solid muscle, you needn’t worry as much about what the scale says. The ratio of muscle to fat in your body counts for more. You can weigh in at a very lean 5’7″, muscle-intense 140 pounds and wear a size 8, whereas another woman who is more “flabby”, also around 5’7″, would weigh in at 140 and be a size 12!

So basically, when you lose weight, it’s really FAT you want to lose. The best way to do this is to replace fat with muscle. Muscle will keep burning fat ’round the clock, too. Even while you’re asleep.

The 3 most common answers I get when I ask people what their fitness goals are:

  1. Lose weight.
  2. Be stronger.
  3. Feel better with more energy.

Those are fine; however, you should zero in on your goals and be more specific. Determine a “weight loss fat loss” goal in specific pounds. Determine a “be stronger” goal along with “feel better” in gaining strength and endurance that allows you to easily skip up a flight of stairs without becoming a bit out of breath.

Where to begin losing fat?

Lifting Barbell Weights
Of course, exercise. You don’t need to follow “no pain no gain” approach, but you should work your muscles to the point you feel “stiff” and a bit on the sore side. Don’t think of it as “sore” though, think of it as STRENGTHENING. Visit our exercise section for a myriad of ideas on different exercises you can perform for strength gains. Try to do muscle gaining exercise every week – at least 3 times, about 20 minute per session, okay? On alternate days, get in a walk or other form of cardio exercise you enjoy for 20 to 30 minutes per session. Housework, lawn mowing, gardening all count, too!

In your diet you should try to:
Fruits and Vegetables

    • Reduce saturated fat.
    • Cut trans fat.
    • Reduce refined sugars.
    • Eat a variety of natural foods (fruits, vegetables).
    • Eat plenty of fiber.
    • Eat small, frequent meals.
    • Stay hydrated.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has established guidelines for healthy weight loss. Their recommendation for a weight loss goal is 1 to 2 pounds per week. This is very reasonable and more importantly, very doable for anyone. It also helps you achieve permanent, healthful weight loss.

Some fitness gurus will tell you to sit down, write out goals, do this and do that. Well, if you feel something like that will work for you, go for it. However, for those not inclined to this type of approach, one little note jotted down and kept near you – repeated until ingrained in your mind – DOES help:

I can accomplish virtually anything I set my mind to.

Sugar, Sweet Sugar

Sugar, Sweet Sugar

Health experts proclaim the average American eats about 156 pounds of sugar a year – at least double what health experts recommend.

Did you know…

Canister of Sugar
Canister of Sugar
  1. A 20-ounce bottle of regular Coke contains the equivalent of 17 teaspoons?
  2. Can you imagine going to your bowl or canister and eating 17 teaspoons at one sitting?
  3. Do you check the content on food and nutrition labels?

Gram Conversion

To convert the grams listed on the food label into teaspoons, simply divide the grams of sugar by 4.2 to get the number of teaspoons.

For example, an 8-ounce container of fat free fruit yogurt has 43.1 grams, or 10.3 teaspoons. (43.1 divided by 4.2 equals 10.3).

The USDA recommends that the average person eat no more than 10 teaspoons per day.

Sweet Usefulness

But sugar isn’t all bad! We simply cannot leave out its good points.

Sugar Cubes

  • In small amounts, it helps yeast begin producing gas for raising yeast dough.
  • It tenderizes dough’s and batters for baked goods.
  • It helps brown baked goods.
  • It makes the crumb of baked goods moist.
  • It aids in the structure of cakes.
  • It is the white sugar in cookie dough that helps spreading to occur during baking.

The “sweet stuff” is such an integral part of our lives that to cut it out would be to remove much of the pleasure of eating. But, it does not have to be that way. Check out “Reduce Sugar, Not Flavor” on our sister site for information on reducing sugar intake, without reducing the sweet pleasure to your palate.

A Bit of History

In 1807, brothers William and Frederick Havemeyer immigrated to the United States from England to start a cane sugar refinery in lower Manhattan.

Five generations of Havemeyers supervised the company’s growth and expansion throughout the nineteenth century, adopting the most progressive methods in the industry.

In 1809, Henry Havemeyer organized the American Sugar Refining Company, which produced nearly all of the sugar in the United States at that time. The company, renamed Amstar Corporation, eventually became Tate and Lyle North American Sugars, Inc., which today owns the Domino brand.

Did you know?

During World War II, GIs called a letter from one’s sweetheart a “sugar report“.

Brown sugar won’t harden if you store it in the freezer.

Grab a Free Printable Food Diary

Free printable food diary
Free printable food diary

Grab a Free Printable Food Diary

Totally on the house. No catch. No sales pitch. Just a free printable food diary. In fact, we have a few to chose from. Take them all if you like!

Keeping a food diary can be surprisingly helpful when trying to diet – and it can be a surprise! Sometimes we eat more in a day than we realize.  Not on purpose but rather by rote.

So give a free printable food diary a try – it won’t take much time and it may help you determine where you’re goofing up with your eating habits or perhaps just where you can make some improvements.   Here’s a screenshot of one we’re giving away in PDF – not super fancy but they get the job done! Grab the PDF of this one:

 

Screen shot of Free Printable Food Diary
Screen shot of Free Printable Food Diary

 

Download a Free Printable Food Diary
Download a Free Printable Food Diary

Free Printable Food Diary PDF

See also: Keeping a Food Diary

Or check out our other three options you can print out:

  1. Free Printable Food Diary I
  2. Free Printable Food Diary II
  3. Free Printable Food Diary III

Fitness: Beating Confusion and Chaos

Fitness: Beating Confusion and Chaos

Fitness Female
Fitness Female

So you know you’re over weight and seek out some advice on how best to cope with this unpleasant fact. You happily start reading about fitness with a positive attitude. Subsequently you start feeling agitated, confused, berated and belittled – then you give up and have a snack, feeling out of sorts.

Nothing gets accomplished. Nothing is solved or resolved. You just feel bad. About yourself, your weight, who you are, where you come from, your looks…and so on it goes.

All that conflicting fitness information may not all be meant to confuse and frustrate you. What happens is people (“experts”) are sharing a personal experience, or the results of small studies that tend to suggest some particular fact. Everyone has their own area of expertise and to be blunt, many become biased in their preferred area. This doesn’t mean they’re bad or purposely trying to mislead you. It just means they feel passionately about their beliefs – but that doesn’t make anyone rock solid right about ANY thing.

And of course, we have many who are motivated to say things because they’re paid to do so. It’s a crazy, cruel world these days. We need to dig into our personal reserves of strength and common sense and “not let the bastards grind us down“.

Non illigitamus carborundum – Latin for “don’t let the bastards grind you down”. General Joseph W. Stilwell, Motto US general (1883 – 1946).

The bottom line is, no two human beings on this planet are genetically the same.  That means not any given food, exercise or other fitness remedy or regime will work exactly the same on any two people.

You are unique and wonderful. You are you, no one else. Embrace yourself. Focus on your good points. Your genetics are yours and yours alone. No one can or will change that, nor will all the “expert advice” in the world.

So where to go from here? Mind over matter. Your own mind, your own life experiences, your wonderful and uniquely made body. Get to know it, love it, nurture it. The ability to do this in spite of all the hammering on us to “eat right, lose weight” gets increasingly difficult by the day. Governments want to tell us how much to weigh, what to eat, where to eat and how to eat. That’s wrong. They don’t know YOU. They have agendas and motives that are completely impersonal and insanely motivated by all the wrong factors.

FIND THE ANSWERS WITHIN YOURSELF
This can be tough, but with some serious thought-discipline it’s perfectly doable. Everything begins in your mind. Negative thoughts produce negative results – yes, even in your body. And if you follow any form of news these days, you’re mind is filled with the negative. Repeatedly. Is it any wonder we’re becoming a society of angry, frustrated, over weight and sometimes depressed individuals? A person can so easily feel defeated and helpless in short order. Fitness becomes nothing more than another burden to contend with.

This may sound extreme to some, but I call that “Cruel and unusual punishment” toward innocent people with very real concerns. It’s especially “cruel” to do this to children, who’s minds are so very impressionable and who can develop emotional scars that will last a lifetime. They are too young to understand the importance of being fed “the positive”.

Listen to your body. Use your own mind – not that of others – to “feed” positive thoughts for positive results. How?

The first and most important thing to understand is that the human mind has a conscious and a subconscious. The subconscious mind has no ability to actually “think”. Consider your computer – you have to “tell it” what is true and what it “knows” via programming. Whatever your subconscious mind is “programmed” with, it accepts. Good or bad, right or wrong. Then it follows through with the very things you’ve become “programmed” by.

So you see, the more you hear that “you’re too fat”, “fat is bad”, the more it seeps into your subconscious creating negative feelings about yourself while you aren’t even aware its taking place. This can lead to patterns of self-sabotage at untold proportions.

DO NOT LISTEN
Instead, start a “mind diet” of positive thinking and work to counter all the negative. Soon your body will follow suit. You’ll begin to feel more positive about your own abilities to achieve weight loss and better overall fitness. You’ll feel more at peace with yourself and others. This in turn helps you achieve things you’ve previously been programmed to think you can’t without some form of “intervention”. Don’t allow your thoughts to be “taken over”. That’s lazy! Take positive control.

The Human Brain

Tell yourself:

  • I can’t.
  • I won’t.
  • It’s no use.
  • It doesn’t pay, I’ll always be this way.
  • It’s genetic, I’m stuck with this problem.
  • My metabolism is just slow.
  • It will never work.
  • Nothing will help me.

And that’s how it shall be.

Your mind, in many ways you don’t realize, is constantly being programmed through conscious self-suggestion as well as external suggestions. Be especially aware of those negative external suggestions as those are the one’s that will worm their way into your subconscious and do the most damage to your abilities and self esteem. Shut them out, turn them off, close the web page telling you “fat is bad”. Fat is not “bad”. Yes, it can be unhealthy, but by no means does it make you “bad” or “unacceptable”.  It makes you human.

Be aware of your conscious thoughts. When a negative one slips in – and it will, you’re only human – stop it and change it to something positive. Banish “I can’t” completely. Make it a huge “I CAN“. It will take some time and practice, but in time you’ll find those negative thoughts dissipating while your mind turns in a new and wonderful, positive direction.

That subconscious mind of yours is working 24 hours a day – make it your first goal to allow it to work to your benefit from this point forward!

Since we become what we think of most of the time, whatever we are thinking of now, we are unconsciously moving toward the achievement of that thought. For an alcoholic, this could be the next drink – for a drug addict, the next fix – for a surfer, the next wave. Divorce, bankruptcy, and illness are all goals spawned out of negative attitudes and thought patterns. -Denis Waitley, productivity consultant on high performance human achievement.