Attitude Over Everything

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“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”  -Winston Churchill

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude” -Scott Hamilton

“Having a positive attitude in a negative situation is not naive… it’s leadership” -Ralph Marston

I have learned so much about attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives in the last year or so.  For starters, they are at the root of how we think and see the world before us.  We make assumptions, snap judgments, and decisions based on these foundational perspectives.  Our attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives develop as we grow and experience events in our lives.  They are essentially at our subconscious level always feeding us thoughts and viewpoints of our outside world.  Eventually, they go on autopilot and work behind the scenes as we navigate throughout our day.

At the same time, our instilled beliefs and attitudes about the outside world come from an internal source.  They come from inside our hearts and minds.  In fact, our beliefs and attitudes make us feel in certain ways.  A negative attitude makes people closed off, stressed, and even afraid to make decisions.  A positive attitude creates an open mind, joy, and peace.  Even so, our attitudes make our physical state different. I’m sure you have seen someone who is sad- head down, clenched muscles, frowning.  Now, think of someone who is happy- bright eyes, smiling, head up, full of energy.  Therefore, certain attitudes not only change the way we view the world, but our outward appearance and demeanor reflects our inner world.

The good news- your attitude is a choice!  Just like how you choose your clothes, friends, or meals, you can choose your attitude!  It does take some work.  But, in the end the results are worth it.  If there is a negative belief you would like to change (I will NEVER be able to lose weight), focus on replacing it with a new positive, empowering one (I haven’t found how I can lose weight YET).  Use these methods:

  • Speaking your new attitude repeatedly out loud with emotion
  • Write out your current, negative attitude.  Cross it out & write in your new one
  • Post positive pictures and saying in places you spend a lot of time
  • Speak with positive people and ask for encouragement
  • Listen to positive music

 

Do you have other methods to change your attitudes?  Comment them below.  As Always, eat, move, and improve!

Top 10 Ways to Cut Calories

It’s common knowledge that to lose weight, one must burn off more calories than they take in.  People get encouraged often to “cut” calories out of their day.  However, sometimes people do not know where to cut these extra calories.  For starters, take a look at this list:

  1. Eat smaller portions
  2. Add vegetables
  3. Limit snack foods
  4. Drink more water
  5. Drink less sugary beverages
  6. Drink more water
  7. Eat at home more often
  8. Eat more grilled foods
  9. Limit desserts
  10. Limit fried foods

If you have more questions on how to lose weight, or these fail, consult a dietitian.  They are trained to identify extra calories and suggest alternatives.  Did I miss any? Share your favorite ways to cut calories in the comments below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

MyPlate Meals: Made Easy & Better for You

This is the 8th installment in a series of 10 named “10 Simple Steps To Make Good Habits More Delicious” sponsored by the Sport, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition practice group and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

Want the secret to eating right on a regular basis?  It’s really no secret.  In 2010, the USDA introduced MyPlate.  MyPlate is an easy visual for meal planning for eating right and even weight loss.  Here is what it looks like:

Let me break this picture down for you.  The plate is cut into fourths.

  • 1/4 should be non starchy vegetables: broccoli, carrots, kale, asparagus, etc.
  • 1/4 should be fruits: apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, etc.
  • 1/4 should be lean protein: eggs, chicken, turkey, beans, etc.
  • 1/4 should be a whole grain: pasta, rice, wheat bread, quinoa, etc.
  • Add dairy to your plate as either milk, cheese, or yogurt.

Want some recipes for east MyPlate meals?  Check out these sites:

countrycrock.com

icantbelieveitsnotbutter.com

choosemyplate.gov

 

As Always, Trust Your Gut!

Watch Out For Solid Fats and Added Sugars

This post is the 5th in a series of 10 titled “10 Simple Steps to Make Good Habits More Delicious” from the Sport, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition group.

Sugar is definitely getting a bad reputation lately.  Do you know why?  Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that gives some foods their sweet taste.  Sugar is dense in calories and not very dense in nutrients.  Let me explain what that means: sugar can contribute to weight gain while it does not have any nutritional value.

Let’s set something straight: a little sugar will not kill you!  Sugar can be used as a quick energy boost or a sweet reward!  However, we should control how much we eat daily.  Each teaspoon of sugar has 4 grams of sugar.  Men should limit the amount of sugar to 9 teaspoons (36g) a day.  Women are encouraged to limit their daily sugar consumption to less than 6 teaspoons (24g) a day.

Here are some foods high in sugar that should be limited:

Limit the amount of regular soda you drink
Doughnuts are Tasty! But, they should be limited as well
  • Regular soda (1 can has 33g sugar!)
  • Grain based desserts
  • Fruit drinks
  • Dairy based desserts
  • Candy
  • Puddings

Next, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages us to limit the amount of solid fats we eat.  Fat is a nutrient that we need, but in less quantities than we eat every day.  Solid (saturated) fat is very high in calories (9 calories/ gram!) and has minimal nutritional value.  High solid fat intake has been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain.  Here are some foods that are high in solid fat and can be limited as well:

  • Grain based desserts such as cakes, cookies, pies, and doughnuts
  • Regular cheese
  • High Fats meats such as sausage, bacon, and ground beef
  • Pizza
  • Fried foods
  • Dairy based desserts made with whole milk
  • Butter

You may be asking, “so what can I eat instead?”  Here is a list of great and nourishing alternatives!

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low fat dairy
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Water

Remember, small changes can have a big impact on your health!

As Always, Trust Your Gut!

The Party Problem

Have you been at a party and eaten too much?  We’ve all been there.  I just did it yesterday at my aunt’s 50th birthday party.  It’s so easy to do.  We are all out of our normal eating routine.  There are so many dishes that are equally delicious.  You’re around people who encourage you to try all the dishes.  Plus, I don’t want to forget to mention how many courses might be served.

Parties can be very fun, but dangerous to your dietary goals.  There are so many temptations at these special events.  And, since it’s a special time, calories don’t count, right?  Not so much.

But, don’t get discouraged about it.  You can still eat healthy and enjoy the party & all its dishes.  I think the best thing you can do is PREPARE.  Before the party, plan your dish (if you’re responsible for one) as a healthy food.  Next, have a plan on how you would “attack” the buffet.  Pick only the foods you know you will like and know are healthy choices.  You don’t have to sample every dish.

Here’s another strategy.  Try to limit each course to 1 plate.  Sample one small plate from the appetizer spread.  Fill your dinner plate only once.  Finally, pick one dessert.  And as always, listen to your hunger cues. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied.  Try this next time and see if it works for you!

Use it TO Lose It

The other day, I was thinking about the saying “Use it Or Lose it”. Millions of people in the U.S. are attempting to lose weight.  So, I propose this new saying: “Use it TO Lose It”.  Contrary to popular belief, weight loss comes out of losing FAT.  Therefore, it is essential to build habits and train your body to burn body fat.  Fat is necessary in our bodies for structure & other functions.  Our bodies store extra fat that we eat and do not use.  So, we need to train our bodies to use the stored fat as energy.  How does one do that? Healthy eating and exercise!  Here are some tips to begin burning that fat!

 

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat healthy fats- nuts, seeds, & oils
  • Eat more fibrous foods- fruits, vegetables, & whole grains
  • Limit foods high in sugars & saturated fats
  • Eat more protein- lean meats, dairy, and eggs

Also, exercise!  Certain exercises utilize fat more than others:

  • High intensity interval training
  • Weight lifting
  • Alternating between sprints & jogging.

These exercises can be tough just staring out, so do what you can.  it’s better than doing nothing at all!