6 Tips for Self-Motivation

One of the very first (and most difficult) steps to making a lifestyle change is finding the motivation. Without it, we may know the ‘right’ things to do, but not quite be able to put that into practice.
You, like many others, might struggle with self-motivation from time to time. This means you may have a hard time getting yourself to your regularly scheduled workout, or will try and find more and more reasons to stray away from your healthy changes.
But guess what? You won’t be alone! We all struggle with motivation sometimes, but here are some tips that can help you self-motivate and reach your goals.

A healthy dose of motivation coupled with determination will get you almost anything in life (again sometimes it just takes time and effort to find it). So how do you know if you’re genuinely motivated?

  • Motivation will tell you to get to your workout no matter what.
  • Motivation will nag you to put down the doughnut.
  • Motivation makes passing on fries a reflex.
  • Motivation makes a sweat drenched workout exciting.
  • Motivation constantly reminds you why you do what you do.

The key to staying motivated is similar to fuel in a car—you don’t need the motivation tank to be full to drive, you just need to prevent it from running empty. Do not waste precious time and energy on staying highly motivated because motivation has a natural rhythm. Most people see a drop in motivation as a signal of failure, but it’s not. Weight loss and lifestyle changes are not a linear process; it is an up and down roller coaster ride – as with success in anything in life.
Self-Motivating Tip #1: Find Your Motivator.
Motivation stems from having a goal. What is your goal? Why do you want to get into great shape and/or make a lifestyle change?
Once you uncover your personal motivator you’ll find that motivation flows quickly your way.
Take a minute to really uncover the reason that you want to lose the weight. Don’t say something vague like you want to ‘Be thinner’ or ‘Look more attractive.’ Dig deeper – there is a very specific motivator in your life, you simply need to uncover it.
Here are some possible motivators…

  • I want to have more energy to keep up with the kids.
  • I want to improve my health through weight loss to extend and improve my life.
  • I want to lose 15 pounds before my vacation.
  • I want to restore my confidence to wear sleeveless shirts.
  • I want to regain my figure to impress and attract my significant other.

It’s great that you have the family wedding to motivate you in the meantime, but try and find some other motivators so that when the wedding has come and gone, you will still have that drive and determination.
Keep reminding yourself why you started in the first place, and that continuing to push forward in any way will get you further 3 months, 1 year, 5 years from now. Many people find asking the following questions help:

  • If I stop making changes, how will I feel in six months or one year from now?
  • If I stop making changes, what will my health be like?
  • If I stop making changes, how will my family and friends be affected?

Self-Motivating Tip #2: Make It Official.
When you write something down it tends to feel more official. Write down your motivator for getting into great shape, and post it where you will see it often—next to your alarm clock, on the bathroom mirror, or in your car.
Each time you see your written motivator take a moment to visualize yourself accomplishing your goal. Try to make the scene as clear in your mind as possible. This is a powerful tool for maintaining your focus and direction.
Even posting on Facebook your plans and goals can be a huge motivator – the more you tell people about your goals, the more drive you will have to achieve them.
Self-Motivating Tip #3: Be Practical.
It’s game plan time. You know what you want, and now you need to map out exactly how you’ll achieve it. It is important to be practical in your planning, rather than throwing out ideas that you know you won’t stick with. The secret to success is to break down your healthy living goals into mini goals that are easy to manage. Start with one small, clear goal that is right for you. This is often referred to as developing ‘SMART’ goals. SMART stands for goals that are: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-framed. Setting “SMART” goals can also help you achieve bigger goals you may want to set for yourself over time. For more info on SMART goals, visit here.
With any weight loss goal it is important to 1) maintain a healthy diet, and 2) participate in a consistent and challenging exercise program.
Plan a routine that will fit into your schedule and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. It is important to sit down and find the best days and times to fit it in. Then write it in a schedule and treat it like a an important commitment!
Self-Motivating Tip #4: Call For Backup.
Enlist the support of your friends, family and co-workers if you can. Tell everyone about your goal to lose weight and get fit, you’ll be surprised how supportive most people will be. By being open about your goals you’ll likely be an encouragement to others to make healthy changes in their own lives. And if they don’t that’s okay! But finding at least one person and supporter could help significantly. Even an online community such as a local free ‘No Excuse Mom’ group, or the larger ‘No Excuse Moms’ Facebook support group could help you stay motivated.
Self-Motivating Tip #5: Be Easy on Yourself.
If you notice that your motivation is waning, give yourself a break from your diet or exercise plan for one to three days. The problem with motivation is that the more people try to ‘catch’ it, the more elusive it becomes; by allowing it to run its natural course and at the same time having a set of habit-changing skills (such as a meal plan for the week), you’ll stay on track and your motivation levels will run their natural course.
Self-Motivating Tip #6: Practice Integrity in Other Areas of Your Life.
For example, clean out your closet (finally), pay off your debts, make good on your promises to friends, family, or co-workers. Practice sticking with promises or commitments you’ve made in other areas of your life in order to strengthen your own subconscious belief that you are able to uphold the promise of losing weight that you’ve made to yourself.
If you need help with developing SMART goals, finding your motivation, or someone to provide you with the knowledge and support to help you with your journey, I now offer 25% off my services for NEM members (use the promo code NEM25). Click here to see an overview of the services I offer. All counseling programs include a customized meal guide (breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks), calculation of Total Estimated Energy Expenditure (daily caloric requirements to reach your goals), continuous one-on-one counseling and support, recipes, progress assessments and plan adjustments (if necessary), and more.
– Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)
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Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Read more about her story here, and on her Facebook page, or follow her on Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition. Click here for more NEM experts.

Make Your Own Smoothies!

Let me first tell you…you may or may not know this…but you do not need smoothies, shakes, protein drinks, meal replacement smoothies – whatever you want to call them – to lose weight, or gain muscle, etc. Okay…now that’s out of the way…but let me explain why.
All of the nutrients (and more) found in smoothies, can be also included in regular snacks and meals. In other words, a smoothie is no better than a bowl of Greek yogurt, berries, and mixed nuts and seeds; or a piece of baked chicken, ½ cup of quinoa, and half plate of veggies, etc., etc. However, smoothies are a great way to get in nutrients if you are busy, on the go, and need something quick and convenient, or if you simply enjoy having one!
What I do recommend as a healthy diet for the general population, and one that supports weight loss, is one that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains or other complex carbohydrates, dairy products or dairy alternatives, seafood, lean proteins, legumes and nuts while reducing red and processed meat, refined grains, and sugary foods and beverages. While also – and these are just some examples – moving more, reducing the amount of calories you eat/eating at a caloric deficit (for weight loss; which means you figure out your Total Daily Energy Requirement (TDEE) – from a professional, or a reputable online site – and eat about 5-600 less than that per day), gaining help and support from a professional if necessary (or even a supportive friend or group), getting adequate sleep, trying to manage stress, working on becoming more organized, and reducing the negativity in your life (weight loss has a psychological component as well, and when we feel better in other aspects of life, we can be more successful in reaching our goals).
Another thing I want you to know, is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on shakes per month if you would like to use smoothies/protein shakes. They can be made with as many or little ingredients as you have access to, and still pack an extreme nutrient punch and keep you full until your next meal.
Here is a list of smoothie ingredients to chose from. All you need is at least one from each category (ideally), and you will have a great smoothie!
 
Protein:

  • Plain yogurt
  • Plain, chocolate or vanilla unsweetened milk (cows, goats, almond, soy, cashew, or rice, depending on preference)
  • Plain kefir (high in probiotics)
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Tofu
  • Protein powder (whether you go for the most nutritious out there, or a more cost effective one – do what works for you and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it!)
  • Almonds, or any other type of nuts (small amount)

Fruits: (can be fresh or frozen, if fresh it is best to use some ice)

  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Peach
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Melon
  • Cherries
  • Apricot
  • Pomegranate seeds

Vegetables: (I find these are the best to use)

  • Carrot
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

Flavour and Added Nutrition:

  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seed
  • Hemp hearts
  • Old-fashioned oats (will add complex carbs and fibre to keep you full longer)
  • Spices (e.g., cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cayenne)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Coconut water
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Mint leaves
  • If you must have added sweetness, use a small amount (1 tsp or less) of your choice of sweetener or sugar (however, the fruit, vanilla beverages and extract, and cinnamon will usually add enough): stevia, Splenda, sugar, cane sugar honey, pure maple syrup
  • Completely optional and not necessary if you’re adding your own nutrients, but some other options for added flavor and nutrients are:

Note: blend ingredients in a blender or magic bullet (easiest for cleanup).
 
Tips on Purchasing Smoothie Ingredients:
Any time you make healthy swaps in your pantry, it doesn’t have to happen overnight. You may not be used to buying all of these ingredients, and you may not the means or access to get everything right away. Here are some general tips for stocking up the pantry in general, and for smoothies:

  • Purchase 1-2 new ingredients at a time.
  • Check local flyers for sales. More and more grocery stores are having sales on healthier items such as chia, flax and hemp seeds. There are also apps such as ‘Flipp’ that check local flyers for you when you search for a specific ingredient.
  • The larger you can buy of the item the better (if possible), it will last you longer and give you more time to add other staples to the pantry. However, certain items will also have sample sizes you can buy or find (e.g., Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts small package for $2.99, and Vega One Single Protein Packages for $3.99),
  • Frozen is better for smoothies than fresh in my opinion, as they keep for a long time in your freezer, and won’t go bad in your fridge within the week.
  • Even a smoothie with 5-6 ingredients from the list above (1-2 from each category), will be delicious and nutritious.

For more tips on eating healthy on a budget, see my previous post.
 
Protein Powder Examples:
Vega One (My personal favourite, as it is high in fibre, protein, and many other nutrients; made from all natural, nutritious foods; vegan; gluten-free; 6 servings of greens; also includes probiotics and digestive enzymes)
Kaizen Naturals
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal
LeanFit Complete Green or Whey Isolate Protein (available in some grocery stores or at Costco)
 
Tips When Choosing a Cost-Effective Protein Powder: 
Look for:

  • Low sugar (ideally 3g or less; make sure it is not top 3 in the ingredient list)
  • Low saturated fat (ideally 1.5g or less)
  • High protein (ideally 15-30g, depending on goals)
  • High fibre (ideally 3-5g)
  • Nutrients such as vitamins and minerals (calcium, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, etc., are an added bonus).
  • Whey Protein Isolate is better than ‘Whey’ only
  • For Vegans: hemp and soy protein powders are great because they contain complete proteins, however, other options such as brown rice protein and pea protein are still great, as long as you are getting other protein sources throughout the day.

 
Smoothie Recipes:
Kale and Berry Power Smoothie
IMG_8067

  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • 1/3 cup of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of spinach or kale leaves (remove the hard parts of the kale stalks)
  • 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened vanilla milk of choice, or water (kefir for greatest nutrition and digestive benefits)
  • 1/3 cup yogurt of choice (Greek for highest protein)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp powder or seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

 
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
IMG_8072

  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened vanilla milk of choice, or water (kefir for greatest nutrition benefits)
  • 1/3 cup yogurt of choice (Greek for highest protein)
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana
  • 1/2 to 1 scoop protein, or 1-2 tbsp hemp, chia, or flax seeds, or 1-2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 I hope this helps some of you with making your own smoothies, and not feeling like you have to buy expensive smoothies or products to work towards a healthier lifestyle! 
 
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Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Read more about her story here, and on her Facebook page, or follow her on Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition. Click here for more NEM experts.
 

Why We Are Not Failures, And The Truth About Fad Diets

This post will discuss why changing our habits is not supposed to be easy, why we are not failures if we struggle to make changes, how to choose the right weight loss program, and how someone can lose weight in this day and age. 
A Brief Introduction – We are not failures…and why it’s not supposed to be easy.
There is a juxtaposition between the commonly held believe that weight loss is easy, and the extremely real, solid evidence that it is not. This leads many individuals to believe that weight is a reflection of personal weakness and failed character, and that success is predetermined by your ability to suffer and endure hardship (that is often required with fad/restrictive diets). Not only do these fad, and sometimes extremely restrictive diets not work, but these diets themselves may break people. Many people feel that if they cannot adhere to these restrictive diets long term, that they are failures and just can’t resist temptation. Could it simply be that in just 50 short years the world has gone from a willful place to one filled with weakness?
Here you are: you may have battled your weight possibly even since childhood, you’ve spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on various dieting efforts, and you’re blaming your own lack of willpower? As I see it as evidenced by your ongoing commitment over the years, you have incredible amounts of willpower. I’d go so far as to wager that in all likelihood, you have spent more willpower on weight management than on any other area in your life.
So is it a lack of willpower that has led to the tripling of childhood obesity rates over the course of the past 40 years? Have we suddenly raised a generation of toddlers and elementary school kids who just don’t have the same willpower of prior generations?
Of course not.
It’s not about willpower. If it were about willpower, if it were about just wanting it badly enough, the world would be skinny. It’s about change and it’s about beliefs.
In terms of change, the world is very, very different from what it was just 50 short years ago, and there are many, many things that have an impact upon a person’s choices and weight. These days, cheap calories are everywhere and everyone’s telling us to eat them. Where we used to go to buy gas, there are now junk-food supermarkets. Where eating out used to be a rare treat, it’s now affordable and convenient enough to be a multiple-time-a-week occurrence. And, of course, there are supersized portions and tens of billions of dollars a year of food industry advertising to now contend with, coupled with the fact that high fat/sugar/salt foods light up the pleasure centres in our brains and become addictive, on top of the fact that cost of living has increased dramatically and wage rates have not increased to match inflation (leaving people less and less money to live) – and the list goes on!
It’s a different world now, and the default in this world is weight gain, and simple, brute-force willpower doesn’t stand a chance (for most individuals anyway), without the right knowledge, support, and a few ups and downs along the way.
Why Extreme Fad Diets Do Not Work
A fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These diets typically don’t result in long-term weight loss and they are usually not very healthy. In fact, some of these diets can actually be dangerous to your health. Examples of these include the ‘Military Diet’, the ‘Cabbage Soup Diet’, extremely low calorie diets, etc.
Weight Cycling and Metabolic Slowdown
The more restrictively a person diets, the more likely they are to experience regular weight cycling. It’s like the infamous ‘yo-yo’ effect, but unlike a yo-yo, sometimes the upswing winds up at a higher location than where it started.
The biggest danger to aggressive weight cycling is metabolic slowdown. If a person undertakes an extremely restrictive diet, they are likely to lose a disproportionate amount of muscle – meaning that losing 50 pounds in a very short period of time will cause a greater loss of muscle tissue than losing the same amount of pounds slowly. Muscle is responsible for a fair amount of our total daily caloric burn, and is also of course responsible for much of our feelings of vigor and energy. Consequently, an ultra-rapid 50-pound loss may lead a person to not only lose the actual strength to continue with their efforts, but also suffer from a disproportionate loss of muscle and perhaps an amplified near-starvation adapted metabolic response.
This phenomenon may help to explain why it Is that people who lose large amounts of weight rapidly often regain more than they’d lost despite in fact not eating more than they used to. If that person goes back to the life they were living before their ultra-rapid weight loss (which many do at some point in their lifetime), even though they are not eating any more than they did prior to losing weight, they’ll gain it back more than they lost because their body now burns fewer calories than it used to. Also, the weight they gain back will primarily be fat, which is often why body fat percentages often climb higher following a weight cycle. Click here, here, here or here, for examples of research articles that explain some of the many mechanisms behind weight cycling and metabolic slowdown.
So, how do you choose the right weight loss program, you might ask?
Look for “Red Flags”
The weight loss industry is not regulated, and typically uses appealing marketing ploys, and/or anecdotal stories to make you believe that it is the be all end all weight loss solution. It is up to you to choose a safe and trustworthy weight loss program (not to say you aren’t allowed to get sucked into the wrong program once or twice – we’re all human!).
Here are some “red flags” that may tell you that a program does not meet your health needs:

  • Promises fast weight-loss (more than one kilogram (two pounds) per week).
  • Recommends a very low calorie diet plan (below 800 calories) per day) without medical supervision.
  • Does not encourage long term realistic lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a healthy diet that suits your lifestyle and overall health. E.g., diets that recommend excluding large groups of food or extreme calorie restriction such as the ‘Military Diet’, ‘Cabbage Soup Diet’, etc.
  • Tries to make you dependent on their company by selling you products such as foods or supplements rather than teaching you how to make good choices from regular grocery store food.
  • Does not encourage long term realistic lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a healthy diet that suits your lifestyle and overall health. E.g., diets that recommend excluding large groups of food or extreme calorie restriction such as the ‘Military Diet’, ‘Cabbage Soup Diet’, etc.
  • Employs salespeople who act as “counselors”, but are only trained on the program and the company’s products and not on healthy approaches to help you change your behaviour to help you lose weight.
  • Requires you to sign a long term, expensive contract.
  • Pressures you to sign up right away by offering a “special price”.
  • Does not tell you about risks that may go along with weight loss or their specific program (for example: if you have diabetes and take prescription medication, it may affect you differently after you lose weight).
  • Promotes weight loss aids like starch blockers, fat-burners, herbs, supplements or amino acids that have not been scientifically proven to have any health benefits. Talk to a dietitian or other health professional to find out this information.
  • Does not offer support or follow-up to help you lose weight and keep it off.

If it sounds too good or too easy to be true, it probably is.
So, even with a good weight loss program, how does a person lose weight in this day and age, when it seems that the default is to gain, the environment is toxic, and the deck is conclusively stacked against us, you might ask?
According to the founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, Dr. David Katz, it’s not about developing willpower, it’s about developing skillpower. The good news is that the skills required aren’t the classic triad of suffering, sacrifice, and struggle that fad diets normally require. The skills required are organization, planning, and thoughtfulness – and with those skills, it is possible not only to experience permanency with weight loss, but perhaps more important, it’s possible to enjoy a normal, healthy, and friendly relationship with food. ‘Skillpower’, while it does take time and often support to master, gets easier with time, as the more practice a person has with any particular skill, the better that person will get at it, and the more naturally it will come. It’s also about identifying what works for you and your lifestyle; which again, becomes much easier with time. We are so uniquely different – so comparing ourselves to others does not help.
– Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN, RD(c)
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Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Read more about her story here, and on her Facebook page, or follow her on Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition. Click here for more NEM experts.
 
 

Nutrient-Packed, Easy-To-Make, Kid-Approved Chia Seed Jam!

This chia seed jam is delicious, easy to make, and my kids even love it! An excellent source of vitamins, minerals (including iron and calcium), antioxidants and fibre, and a good source of protein and omega 3s…with a bonus of no preservatives and it tastes great.
 
Recipe:
– 4 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used 1 bag of Compliments frozen Jumbleberry Blend)
– 4 tbsp (60 ml) pure maple syrup or other sweetener of choice (I used Compliments organic pure maple syrup)
– 2-4 tbsp of chia seeds, which gel up and provide the jelly consistency (I used 4 tbsp to help soak up the water from the frozen berries, and I used Bobs Red Mill chia seeds)
Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the berries and maple syrup and bring to a simmer over medium to high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Lightly mash the berries with a potato masher or fork, leaving some whole for texture.
2. Stir in the chia seeds until thoroughly combined and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to your desired consistency, or about 15 minutes.
3. Once the jam is thick, remove the pan from the heat and stir. Add sweetener to taste if desired, but not necessary.
Tip: The jam should keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and it will thicken even more as it cools.
That’s it! Enjoy! 🙂
Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Read more about her on her Facebook page or follow her on Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition. Click here for more NEM experts.

Super Seeds!

Chia Seeds VS Hemp Hearts VS Flax Seeds – Have you seen the hype in the media and wondered which is better, or why they are considered so “super”? Then continue reading! 
Super Seed Bottom Line:

  • In fact all have great health benefits. Super seeds like chiahemp and flax are plant based alternative protein sources that provide are great sources of vitamins and minerals, fibre, healthy Omega 3 fats and phytochemicals (cancer fighting antioxidants that have other great health benefits).
  • Hemp hearts: If you are looking for a protein alternative, hemp hearts have the highest content. They also have high omega 3 content. They can also be added to yogurts, cereal or salads.
  • Chia seeds: If you are looking for a fibre boost, the richest source is chia seeds.
  • Flax: Reach for that flax to get some omega 3’s (especially if you’re not a fan of the flavour of hemp hearts). So be adventurous and start adding some seeds to your yogurts, cereals, salads or when cooking or baking.
  • All three are a great source of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

A little more about each seed:
 
Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are oval and flat shaped seeds that are slightly larger than sesame seeds. They have a crisp, chewy texture with a nutty flavour. Flax seeds can be brown or yellow in colour. They are a rich source of lignans; a phytochemical which reduces cancer risk by acting as an antioxidant.
Flaxseeds can be used as an alternative for fats in many recipes. 
Substituting fat: Use 3 tablespoons (45 ml) ground flaxseed for each 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of margarine, butter or cooking oil or 1 cup of ground flax seed for 1/3 cup of oil (3:1 substitution ratio). Flax can be substituted for all or some of the fat depending on the recipe. If you choose to substitute all of the fat in the recipe with flax seed, you will need to increase your liquid by 75% of the amount of ground flax you are adding because the flaxseed will absorb moisture. Just a note: Baking with flax as a fat substitute will cause baked goods to brown more quickly.
Can be a substitute for 1 medium egg: 1 medium egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water. Let this 1:3 combination sit for several minutes together before adding to your recipe. The flax will absorb the water and gel up in a egg-like texture. Use hot water for faster results.
Tips:

  • Flax seeds need to be ground in order to reap health benefits. Ground flax seeds are the most ‘nutritious’. Grinding the seeds makes them easier to digest and helps release their nutrients. Your best bet is to enjoy ground flax seeds to get the most this seed has to offer.   You can buy ground flax seeds or grind them yourself with the tools you already have in your kitchen. Grind flax seeds at home with a coffee grinder, food processor or blender.
  • They tend to be the least expensive to buy compared to hemp hearts and chia seeds.
  • What can you do with them? Sprinkle on cereal, yogurt, or salads, or bake with it in muffins or breads.

 
Chia Seeds
Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Salvia hispanica seed is often sold under its common name “chia” as well as several trademarked names. Its origin is believed to be in Central America where the seed was a staple in the ancient Aztec diet.
Chia seeds have recently gained attention as an excellent source of omega-3 fats and contain protein and minerals including as iron, calcium (18% of your calcium requirement, magnesium and zinc and antioxidants.
Chia seeds contain the most fibre/serving (11.7g) (compare that to recommended daily intake of 25 g for women and 38g/men!).
A note about fibre:
Both soluble and insoluble fibres are undigested. They are therefore not absorbed into the bloodstream. Fibre content is often listed under “Total Carbohydrates” on a Nutrition Facts label.  Because it is undigested, it provides 0 calories. Instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted from our bodies. However they act a little different in the body…
Soluble fibre: forms thick viscous gel when mixed with water, slows down digestion, and takes longer to digest delays the emptying of the stomach and make you feel full. It has cholesterol lowering properties, helps manage blood sugars and diabetes. Examples: oatmeal, lentils, fruits and vegetables, beans, psyillum and CHIA.
Insoluble fibre: is a gut healthy fiber, helps regulate bowel movements, adds bulk/satiety to the diet, helps prevent constipation (when water intake is adequate), and passes through our intestines largely intact. Examples: whole wheat, grains, raisins, fruit and vegetable skins, brown rice, couscous.
Tips:

  • When making a food choice decision, don’t worry about choosing a specific type of fiber. Many foods such as oat, oat brans, psyllium husk and flax seed are rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber. Eating enough fiber is more important! The recommended intake of fiber for a healthy adult 26g.
  • As you increase the fiber in your diet, you may experience more intestinal gas. Increasing fiber gradually will allow your body to adapt. Because some fibers absorb water, you should also drink more water as you increase fiber.
  • How to reach 26g fiber/day:
    • Eating 26 grams of fibre daily may seem like a lot but can be obtained by:
      • Having 3-5 servings of each fruits and vegetables per day;
      • Fruit as between-meal snacks;
      • And choosing high fibre whole grains.

White VS Black Chia Seeds:
While large-scale, independent research has not been conducted because it would not be cost-effective, researchers and growers agree that black chia seeds and white chia seeds are nutritionally identical. If anything, a difference in nutritional content would more be attributed to different production locations rather than the seeds themselves.
Chia seeds can be easily digested without a need to grind the seeds (unlike flax seeds).
How to use: You can sprinkle chia seeds on cereal, rice, yogurt or vegetables or add to smoothies, add to baked products such as muffins!
 
Hemp Seeds/Hearts
The hemp seeds are actually the seeds of the plant cannabis sativa; however they do not have the same active ingredients as the recreational drug.  They have the similar nutrition benefits like other nuts and seeds as they are a great source of protein and are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Contains non-heme iron and zincwhich are important for body functions.
Hemp wins for the most protein per serving when comparing flax and chia!
Contains 3X more omega-6 than omega 3’s (Note: Omega 3 fatty acids from fatty fish (i.e., EPA & DHA) are associated with the heart health benefits.
They have a great nutty taste!! If you enjoy the taste of hemp seeds try them in yogurt, cereal, salads and smoothies. You can buy the seeds or hemp protein powder which has 15 g of protein per serving/4 tbsp. Approximate recommended protein intake (depending on a number of factors such as if you’re trying to build muscle): 0.8-1.5g/kg body weight, therefore 150 pounds = 68.2 kg; the approximate recommended protein intake would be = 54-102g/day.
Therefore one hemp heart serving = is roughly 20-30% of intake for day!
Here are examples of amounts of protein in other foods:

  • 1 cup of milk has 8 grams of protein
  • A 3-ounce piece of meat has about 21 grams of protein
  • 1 cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein
  • An 8-ounce container of Greek yogurt has about 15 grams of protein
  • 1 30g (2 tbsp) hemp heart serving has 10g protein

Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Read more about her on her Facebook page or follow her on Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition. Click here for more NEM experts.

No Excuse Mom Spotlight: Jessica Turner

Name: Jessica Turner
City & State: Eunice, Louisiana
Age: 29
Marital Status: Married to Trey Turner
What do you do for work? I work part time as a veterinarian (approximately 26 hours a week). I also recently started with sharing my story and becoming a health and fitness coach.
# of children and their ages: 9 month old identical twin girls, Adalynn and Annabelle
Transformation Story: About 4 years ago, I discovered my love for fitness when I became very involved with a local group, Training Wheel Personal Training. Before I knew it, I was working out with them 3 days a week and running almost every day. I relied heavily on physical activity for my mental and physical wellbeing. This was around the same time that I first came across Maria’s story and her no excuse mantra.
It was a total shocked when my husband and I found out we were expecting twins. I remember thinking “I will never get my body back!” I was determined to stay active until the girls arrived but instead had a very difficult pregnancy which forced me to be on strict bed rest and had me in and out of the hospital. Once the girls arrived, I was ecstatic but completely overwhelmed! I often felt like I was drowning and my unhappiness with my body only added to my struggles. It wasn’t until my doctor, who had become a friend, gave me some tough love and told me I needed stop making excuses and do something for me. She knew how important health and fitness was to me prior to my pregnancy and told me I needed to find a way to make it work. The next day I agreed to participate in an online fitness group. After completing their program, I saw a little glimpse of the old me. Not only am I back to my pre-pregnancy weight now, I am the happiest I have ever been! I am now able to enjoy my baby girls and be the wife and mother I always longed to be. I want everyone to know that anything is possible once you get past your own excuses and just go for it!
Favorite food: I love sweet potatoes and have become obsessed with sweet potato pancakes. I make a quadruple batch every Tuesday morning to last me for the week.
Favorite exercise: I LOVE core work. Any variation of a plank is great in my opinion!
How has No Excuse Mom inspired/changed your life? Shortly after I learned I was expecting twins, I remember seeing a picture of a twin mom on Maria’s facebook page. Her twins were not very old, and she looked fabulous! I got so excited that I ran to show my husband and said “See! Maybe I will be able to get back in shape afterwards!” It was such an inspiration to know that it can be done and I never forgot about that. It’s so easy to use having multiples or having a job (or both!) as an excuse to not make time for exercise and healthy eating. Anything is possible, and Maria reminds me of that everyday! No Excuses!
 
JT1 JT2

Melting the Miff-Worthy Muffin Top

Melting the Miff-Worthy Muffin Top
by Jules Rosenthal
As women we tend to fiercely and frustratingly hold on to belly fat. The dirty truth is that you are only going to banish that belly fat by changing two things: diet and exercise. There is a myth that 1,000 sit ups a day or 7 minutes of planks a day will help get you the fab abs you dream of. But PLEASE don’t get frustrated when these things don’t work. Surely you are getting a stronger core but nothing will change to the naked eye (and the naked abs) unless you tighten up the diet; lose the refined carbs, focus on high fiber and low sugar foods to beat the bloat and to tone the tummy down. Hydrate. Do not eat processed foods. Avoid refined sugars. Avoid, pasta, rice, sugar and white flour. I am constantly saying to my clients, “you cannot out-train a bad diet”. Your body reflects the hard work you put in as well as the fuel you use. To melt the muffin top means eating smart and training smart. Now that you have the diet, it is time to train smart.
I have been asked many time by many people to only focus on the core in my personalized workouts for them. My response is always the same. In order to focus on your core, I am going to give you a challenging full body workout each time we meet. Muscle burns fat three times faster than fat, so muscle building is the most effective way to burn all over fat (let me repeat, “ALL OVER FAT”. You cannot spot burn or spot train; we lose and gain proportionally head to toe so training head to toe is most important to burn and build efficiently). That said, it is important to train the core outside of balance exercises and full body exercises.
Here are a few of my favorite muffin-top targeting moves that are important to keep as part of your routine.
plank
Plank: The plank is a perfect way to engage the deep transverse abdominal muscles. These are the deepest in the core and act as a girdle as they hold everything together (read; tighten). Be sure to keep the head straight and aligned wth the shoulders, hands directly under the shoulders, spine straight, hips square and as flat a position as you can.
side plank
Side plank: The side plank will also hit the TVA in addition to the obliques or also affectionately known as the love handles. The same principles apply here as the regular plank– you want to be as straight and aligned as possible.
reverse
Reverse crunch: This is really about control. The reverse crunch is a move that will target that mean muffin but also helps the upper abs as well. The key here is to go very slowly and remember that you don’t have a large range of motion, so focus on really pulling that navel in towards the spine. Lie down with legs fully extended and arms to the sides of your torso, palms on the floor.
Raise your legs (bent) so that thighs are perpendicular to the floor and feet become parallel to the floor. Pull the belly in towards the spine and push it into the floor as firmly as possible. Lower slowly.
russian twist
Ball twist: This oblique trimmer and balance enhancer is a great way to whittle the waist. Holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in your hands, twist from side to side, keeping the back straight. it is important here to move from the torso, not from the shoulders. For an added challenge, lift the feet up off the ground.
squat to press
Squat to press rotation: More and more research is showing that full body moves, not ab isolating ones, are partly responsible for the trimming the waist line. This one targets the legs and shoulders and really tightens that mid section. Start with weights in your hands and lower into a squat, leaning back into your heels, drawing the belly in and the pushing the bum out. As you raise your hips, pushing up from the heels, push the dumbbells over your head, turning your torso to the right side by using your midsection muscles to turn. This is a fluid movement. Lower the weights and repeat the movement, this time turning to your left.
plank pull in
Plank with a pull in: Here is an advanced version of your basic plank that will be sure to hit the right spot. Begin in a standard plank. From here, slowly pull the right knee in towards the right elbow touching the two if possible and holding for a full second. Then do the left side.
Try out these muffin top melters but remember: they are not magic! Without a sensible diet, full body strength work and cardio, that tricky tire is going to stick around so be sure to keep your routine (not your tummy) well rounded!
Jules Rosenthal played sports though wasn’t always an athlete until she found where were greatest strengths were: running, weight training and coaching. She also had a short career in the culinary arts before changing course and earning her MSW in 2005. Not too shortly thereafter, though, the lure of the fitness called again, and she returned to the health-world by getting her ACE certification in 2009. Jules resides in the Boston area — she is a No Excuse mother of two, licensed clinical social worker, avid runner/fitness freak and made her vision come true when she started her own personal training company, Ripped by Jules in 2013.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripped
Youtube: http://m.youtube.com/channel/UCshFIZT67zIZUfGbOLSkmCw

5 Top unknown Roadblocks

5 Top Unknown Roadblocks that you MAY be experiencing now.
by Diane Kazer
What if I told you: FAT IS NOT YOUR FAULT? If you’ve tried weight loss programs, but failed, it’s probably not YOU. Twinkie eating couch potatoes aside:
LOSING WEIGHT ISN’T ONLY ABOUT DIET AND EXERCISE!
This article is for you who busts your ‘assparagus’ to earn your dream body, are fed up with doing everything ‘right’ and still not there. Let’s make this article fun! There’s enough scienc’y conflicting terms out there to make your head spin, so let’s get to the TRUTH:
A HEALTHY BODY WILL NOT HAVE A HARD TIME WITH FAT LOSS!
#1 ROADBLOCK – BLAME IT ON THE HORMONES! Let’s talk about 5 that are CRUCIAL for fat loss.
1) THYROID is responsible for metabolism, and when it’s low, fat loss is an uphill battle. Over 20% of Americans have a sluggish one! Thyroid hormones stimulate fat-burning; they’re anti-aging and keep leptin levels low.
2) LEPTIN – Released by fat cells, this is the bodies signal to stop eating. Diane calls it the “leave it hormone”. When thyroid and leptin levels are diminished, the body has no “stop eating!” signal.
3) INSULIN – 1 in 2 American adults are ‘borderline diabetic’ from insulin resistance, that’s brought on by:
 Overeating (esp carbohydrates)
 Skipping meals (esp breakfast)
 Coffee (esp on empty stomach)
The results? Glucose can’t be used as fuel, gets stored in fat cells instead, expanding our ‘waste’ line. In men, testosterone converts to estrogen = cue man boobs. In women, it converts estrogen to testosterone = cue infertility, hair loss and PCOS. WE WORK WITH MORE CLIENTS ON THIS ISSUE than anything else. Once blood sugar stabilizes and hence insulin, function is restored and fat runs away through the bowels!
3) CORTISOL – Under stress, this hormone is released in the body and says ‘store fat’. Elevated cortisol imbalances sex/sleep hormones, slows metabolism, roller coasters blood sugar, inflames the gastrointestinal and immune system, all of which = fat loss failure. I know…sounds evil huh? It’s not a ‘bad’ hormone, just bad when imbalanced…and we see this in 99% of clients we test.
5) MELATONIN – This hormone tell us when to sleep and keeps us asleep. When low, our body doesn’t rest properly and won’t repair adequately. 7-9 hours of sleep is CRITICAL, and between 10pm and 6am is optimal.
“95% OF FAT BURNING HAPPENS DURING SLEEP!”
#2 TOXICITY – We live in a toxic world. Today we’re exposed to 80,000+ chemicals, which our bodies say ‘How do I get rid of these aliens?’ and stores them in the liver, our detox organ. Nearly everyone we test has a congested liver, and toxins must be stored somewhere. “So, hey, let’s hide in fat cells to protect nerve tissue”, and WALA = fat is here to stay.
CLEAN LIVER = OPTIMALLY FUNCTIONING BODY = better equipped to burn fat.
Toxins also intercept ‘text messages’ in the body including hormones responsible for weight loss. Triclosan is found in cosmetics, which blunts thyroid hormone and = headaches, depression, weight gain due to hormone imbalance. Xenoestrogens confuse hormone levels, and in case of Low T or low estrogen, taking exogenous hormones, will likely make you fatter, especially with a clogged liver and insulin resistance. Check your personal care products for safety: www.ewg.org
“FOR WOMEN, HORMONAL IMBALANCE IS THE #1 ROADBLOCK TO FAT LOSS”
#3 DIGESTION – 80% of our immune system lives in our gut. Americans are constipated; we ‘go’ every 2 days vs 2 TIMES per day. If we can’t remove waste, we BECOME waste. 75% of us house perma bad bugs, which cause cancer, eat our nutrients and create inflammation (cue cortisol) and infection (drain the immune system). All of these add up to an inability to lose fat effectively. FIX IT: http://www.dianekazer.com/digestivehealth/
#4 Immune System – Protecting you from viruses and bacteria, it’s closely linked to all other parts of the body. When it’s not functioning properly, it attacks healthy tissue (auto-immunity), spikes cortisol (fat storing hormome), and drains the adrenals (sex, sleep and sex hormones halt), resulting in inflammation, which makes fat loss nearly impossible. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is THE most common we see today, affecting 1 out of 10 women, with estimates as high as 5 out of 10 going undiagnosed due to improper testing. Why? Unfortunately, insurance companies see no value in antibodies or have WIDE ranges in determining a ‘healthy’ TSH. Lab tests anywhere from .25-8 is considered ‘in range’, where we say, in Functional Medicine, that OPTIMAL is between 1-2, and anything outside of that is a cause for action, ie your body telling you it needs help. Even the top endocrinologists today will only test 3 thyroid hormones (TSH, T4, T3) when there are 6 critical markers to explore the health and functionality of the thyroid – TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and 2 thyroid antibodies. MORE ON THIS IN OUR NEXT ARTICLE ON THYROID HEALTH & AUTO-IMMUNE DISEASE.
FOR MANY WOMEN, ONCE WE RESTORE THEIR THYROID & Calm the Immune system (AI maintenance), WEIGHT LOSS IS EASIER
#5 BRAIN – What we eat affects our mood; food is mood! Amino Acids come from healthy proteins we eat, and we only benefit from them if our stomach has enough acid and enzymes to further break them down into neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, which regulate anxiety, depression, immunity, motivation and energy levels. BOTTOM LINE = If these are off, you’re heading straight to the kitchen for foods, alcohol, coffee, drugs that will elevate your mood. The majority of our clients are doing a poor job of breaking down food, which is an insult to the amazing food you pay extra for, for higher quality. Let’s ensure it’s being used right, shall we?
There are 11 systems in the body, and like a soccer game, if you’re 1 man down, the rest of the players have to work harder. Fat loss is no different. When has there ever been a better time to get every player working their best to win your dream body?
Diane has healed thousands of clients worldwide via detoxification, digestion and hormone harmony, customizing the experience based on lab results, and client symptoms and goals. During this 12 week Challenge, No Excuse moms ONLY get 1 Complimentary 15 min consultation with Diane, visit www.dianekazer.com to schedule! 
thyroid

How does your posture measure up?

Proper posture involves many muscles working in conjunction. The structural alignment from top to bottom should be ears over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips and the knees over the ankles, with the weight spread evenly across both feet, all toes and both heels. There are many postural deviations, that are actually quite common. They vary in severity and can lead to further problems in the body if left unresolved. Some common examples are:
1) Over-pronated feet (flat feet):Over-pronation adds stress to the foot, tightens calf muscles, and can internally rotate the knees. Over-pronation often leads to Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Tendonitis and/or Bunions
2) Forward hip tilt or LORDOSIS or anterior pelvic tilt: overly arched lower back, caused by the pelvic bones tilting forward, due to tight hip flexors, often from sitting for most of the day. As you walk, tight hip flexors prevent the glutes from firing/activating, which forces the hamstring muscles to become overworked and excessively tight. If you have tight hamstrings, the root cause may be tight hip flexors and an anterior pelvic tilt.
lower cross
3) Hunchback or KYPHOSIS: excessively curved upper back, shoulders rolled forward, tight chest muscles and weakened and loose upper back muscles. This is one of the most common issues because of our generally sedentary lifestyles, with desk jobs and sitting at computers much of the day.
upper cross
4) Head jutted forward: Have someone take a photo of you in profile; your earlobes should be located directly above your shoulders. Sitting at a computer for hours at a time daily can be the cause of this as well. Muscles in the back of the neck become tight, along with the upper trapezius and levator scapulae (upper back muscles).
forward head
These 4 common posture problems are just scratching the surface of posture as a very important fitness topic. Another extremely important element when discussing posture is the deep core muscles, the transverse abdominals. These muscles are your body’s natural internal corset, which supports your structure and help to align your vertebrae. With proper core engagement (navel to spine and spine elevation), you can begin to alleviate back discomfort and to strengthen the other muscles that work in conjunction with the core for total body control. With good posture comes greater lung capacity, the appearance of confidence, height and even “lengthening” or thinning of the torso…you can “lose” a few pounds simply by standing straighter. Another wonderful benefit to maintaining good posture is proper exercise form, which make whatever exercises you are performing more effective and efficient. With a conscious effort and time, you can change the way you hold your own body.
With my own clients, I suggest setting a “posture alarm”, on your phone or computer or your oven timer…. something that can ping and give you a reminder to make postural adjustments and take a moment to focus on how you are sitting, standing, doing day to day activities. Making this conscious effort daily soon will create a habit and in time, poor posture will be uncomfortable, you will find yourself making unconscious adjustments without the reminder, and you will feel and see a change in how you carry yourself and how exercise affects you. So, now, take a moment to adjust…ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over heels. Spread your feet, feel all 10 toes and both heels on the floor. Pull your navel to your spine and send your energy upward, breathe into your ribcage, maintaining the navel to spine connection…then relax and feel the difference. I hope this helps you reach the next level of success in your journey to fitness.
posture
Perfect Posture!
Vanessa Lynn Campos is mom to 2 boys, Kai and Rocky.  Her interest in fitness began at age 15, having been a dancer, cheerleader and soccer player.  She studied dance at Beijing Dance Academy in Beijing, China and the London Contemporary Dance School at The Place in England. Her professional opportunities also included working with internationally acclaimed dance photographer, Lois Greenfield, who featured Vanessa in her 2007, 2008, and 2013 calendars.  Her professional fitness career began in NYC in 2002.
For fitness videos, subscribe to her YOUTUBE.

3 struggles guaranteed to happen in 12 weeks.

There are 3 Things that are guaranteed to happen when you S.T.R.I.V.E. (the troubleshooting stage) for change, you will fail, you will be uncomfortable and you will plateau. In the book, The No More Excuses Diet, there are 3 cycles (S.P.E.E.D. – S.T.R.I.V.E. – S.C.O.R.E.)
Read on to get ready for this 12-week journey!
1. You will FAIL. So many people don’t start because they fear failing. Most often, that fear stems from years failing at fad, fast and highly-restrictive dieting. Some couldn’t resist not eating their favorite foods, others allowed stress get the better of them, many had a very unrealistic approach to dieting, etc. So let’s get this straight.
You WILL FAIL.
I have failed countless times in the last decade. You will have days when you skip a workout, when you splurged on a donut, when you didn’t eat enough, when you didn’t sleep enough – in fact, sometimes, that day turns into a week – and at this point, why not give up, right? You feel like a failure.
Whatever you do, DO NOT STOP. Re-write your short-term goals – make them more achievable – dedicate yourself to three days of successful follow-through and keep going. You can stop in 12 weeks (not fully of course, just rest and start striving for bigger goals again) so right now, keep trucking – even when you feel defeated – keep going! Even the most perfected of perfect people are not perfect (lol).
2. You will be UNCOMFORTABLE. In order to grow, you must be challenged, so focus on running a little harder, eating a little healthier and challenging yourself a little more every.single.day. What does this mean? It means you will need to be mentally conscious of what’s going on a daily basis because in order to change, you must create change and break some habits. Some of these old habits is running at an 12-min mile pace (or just walking fast), eating mostly processed ‘diet’ foods and not prioritizing rest and sleep.
Being uncomfortable also means being sore, struggling with naysayers and bringing your own meals to work lunch meetings. You are about to change your life and in order to do so you need to CHANGE!
3. You will PLATEAU. Our body is made to adjust and there will be a point when you will stop making progress. This can happen 6 weeks in, for those who are too extreme/restrictive in the beginning, it could even happen within 3 weeks in! Remember, it’s not a matter of IF you will plateau, it is WHEN. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing, Remember That! However frustrating stalling in progress feels, know that you got there because you have made progress! So, what do you do?
Go Back to #2.
You need to get uncomfortable again. Run faster, lift heavier, change up your macros/calories, try a new exercise, extend your duration – whatever you do, just do something DIFFERENT. And, don’t expect your progress to change instantly. It will always take at least 3 weeks to notice change.
So let’s get this straight:
This journey will not be easy. You will fail, be uncomfortable and plateau – you WILL get frustrated, annoyed, angry, upset and discouraged…but DO NOT GIVE UP.
I repeat.
Do NOT give up.