82 Ways To Change Your Shape in the Mirror in 2018

It’s that time again!! Every year I compile a master list of the most valuable articles that have helped my personal training clients achieve optimal health and weight loss. It’s a comprehensive list of old and new that will help you cut out the guesswork.

Please share this list with anyone (friend, family member, colleague, client, etc.) who wants to change their life and finally see a difference in their health and lifestyle. Also, be sure to bookmark this page and return to it when you're frustrated with your results (which happens to everyone) or need a new idea.

Tip: Skim through this list and find the headlines that are most relevant to your current goals and interests (then spend 20 seconds skimming the article).

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Effective Weight Loss Tips and More!


-Your Business Plan to Lose Weight (or Achieve Optimal Health)
-37 Snack Ideas for Weight Loss (And You Won’t Be Bored)
-"14 Ways to Lose a Pound a Day" Review

-"42 Ways to Beat Your Junk Food Cravings" Review
-How to Lose Weight Without Exercise
-"Here's Why Counting Calories Really Isn't Necessary for Weight Loss" Review

-"How to Design Your Kitchen for Weight-Loss Success" Review
-The Secret to Losing Nearly 27 lbs!
-“20 Easy Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day” Review

-“4 Surprising Benefits of Eating at Night” Review
-Science Confirms Two Ways to Lose Weight Fast
-4 Ways Your Brain Makes You Overeat—And How To Outsmart Yourself

-6 Things 'Successful Diets Have In Common
- “40 Things You’ll Gain When You Lose Weight” Review
-7 Ways to Lose Weight After 50

-Will Eating at Night Really Make You Gain Weight?
-"6 Things You Can Do Every Day to Prevent Weight Gain" Review
-5 Non-Diet Ways to Trick Yourself into Losing Weight

-"20 Easy Ways to Lose 5 Pounds at Work" Review
-"10 Secrets to Lose 25 Pounds Now" Review
-Do This Every Day, and You May Lose 20 Pounds in 6 Months

Why You're Not Losing Weight or Body Fat


-"Best and Worst Meals for Diabetes-Savvy Dining " Review
-"If You're Trying to Lose Weight, Don't Make These 10 Breakfast Mistakes" Review
-"10 Mistakes You're Making Every Time You Think About Starting A Diet" Review

-"7 Reasons Your Weight Loss May Have Stalled" Review
-3 Reasons Why What You’re Eating is NOT Healthy (Even Though You Think So)
-“10 Trendy Health Foods That Can Threaten Your Waistline” Review

-“Why Stress Makes You Want to Eat Everything in Sight or Nothing at All” Review
-4 Weird Reasons Why You're Gaining Weight
-“5 Ways Your Breakfast is Sabotaging Your Weight Loss” Review

-“Just Say No to That Detox Diet or Juice Cleanse” Review
-The Underlying Influence on Your Weight Loss Failures
-6 Diet Tricks That Are Actually Making You Gain Weight

-"Don't Fall for These 10 Weight-Loss Gimmicks" Review
-"5 Bad Things about Detoxing You Don't Know" Review

Easy Recipes for Weight Loss


-The Best Fish Nachos for Weight Loss!
-Weight Loss Recipe: Chili Cajun Chicken and Sauteed Vegetables
-The Best Spinach Stuffed Salmon Weight Loss Recipe Ever!
-Weight Loss Quick Supper: Cajun Almond Crusted Chicken with Asparagus and White Beans

-Weight Loss Recipe: Almond Crusted Mahi with Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Garlic Potatoes
-Vera Cruz Fish and Brussels Sprouts Weight Loss Dinner
-15 Minute Weight Loss Dinner from Trader Joes

Why Salads May Not Help Your Weight Loss Goals


-Why Salad is So Overrated
-"25 Salads That Have More Calories Than a Big Mac" Review

Holiday Weight Loss Tips


-"10 Foods to Give Up for Lent—and How Many Calories You'll Save" Review
-9 Dishes Doctors Won't Eat at Thanksgiving

Best Sources of Protein for Weight Loss


-Save the Cow! Here is a List of Non-Animal Protein Sources
-"45 Vegetarian Protein Sources You Should Be Eating" Review
-36 Ways to Fulfill Your Protein Needs While Losing Weight

Foods You Want to Avoid....And Why!


-"50 Foods You Should Never Eat" Review
-"25 Awful Ingredients Everyone Still Uses—But Shouldn’t!" Review
-"The 10 Dirtiest Foods You're Eating" Review

-11 Foods to Toss Out of Your Kitchen For Good
- “21 Foods that Sound Healthy, But Are Not!” Review

Why You Should Avoid These Drinks


-"20 Coffee Drinks with More Sugar Than a Can of Coke" Review
-How To Fit Alcohol in Your Diet without Ruining Your Weight Loss Goals
-"70 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are" Review
- “The Most Unhealthy Drink Orders at the Bar” Review

-"The Best and Worst Booze to Drink if You Want to Lose Weight" Review
-4 Ways To Beat Your Diet Soda Addiction In One Week
-How Caffeine Could Prevent You From Losing Belly Fat

How to Eat at Restaurants and Airports


-“23 Restaurant Foods with Crazy High Amounts of Sugar” Review
-How to Eat Healthy at the Airport

Fitness/Exercise Myths and More!


-4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach
-You Should Master These 6 Exercises Before the New Year (And Here's How)
-12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die
-The 15 Most Common Mistakes Personal Trainers See in the Gym

-“7 Myths About How to Stay in Shape” Review
-“How Much Exercise It’ll Take to Undo 17 Popular Fast Food Items” Review
-“20 Ways to Ensure Workouts Happen Every Day” Review

-End Your Lower Back Pain Today
-"The 21 Worst Things You Can Do For Your Body" Review
-Personal Trainer Wisdom: 1 Fitness Myth Unraveled

The Keys to Improve Your Sleep and Reduce Fatigue


-49 Reasons You're Always Tired
-11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight
-This simple addition to your bedtime routine could make a huge difference in your sleep

Resolutions, Goals, and Relationships


-”13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn't Make" Review
-”The Best All-In (Life Changing) Fitness Plan for 2017
-5 Morning Habits That Have Made Me More Successful (and Less Stressed)

-"9 Ways to Ensure Your Relationship Is Built to Last" Review
-99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today
-Excerpt from the book Redefine Yourself: Define Your Purpose

Picture Credit: souprecipesforweightloss.com-Will this smoothie help you change your shape in the mirror?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
82 Ways To Change Your Shape in the Mirror in 2018
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

“Here's Why Counting Calories Really Isn't Necessary for Weight Loss" Review

This is a great top 5 list of why counting calories may be a huge waste of time while trying to lose weight (from the MSN article “Here's Why Counting Calories Really Isn't Necessary for Weight Loss”).

1. You likely have no idea how many calories you actually need.


In order to accurately count calories for weight loss, you’d need to know your basal metabolic rate, or how many calories your body burns each day simply to stay alive and keep all your systems running. And unless you’ve done indirect calorimetry, which I can almost guarantee you haven’t—it involves lying with a mask on, hooked up to a very expensive piece of machinery for a prolonged period of time to measure your oxygen intake and carbon dioxide expulsion—you really are playing with arbitrary numbers. Although it’s the “gold standard” of figuring out how many calories you use per day, like anything else, indirect calorimetry can have flaws.

Yes, you can approximate the number of calories you use in a day via equations and apps, but that’s all you get: an approximation. If even the “gold standard” machine can be wrong, then why let some app or equation determine how much you should be eating?

Personal Trainer Wisdom: As I’ve mentioned before, we can’t necessarily rely on the caloric approximations provided by our favorite tech tools. They are what they are-estimated guesses based on typically less-than-personal factors.

2. You don’t know how many calories your body is absorbing from food.


Let’s say that by some miracle, you know exactly how many calories you need to eat per day for weight loss. That’s great, but you’re not out of the woods, thanks to the question of absorption.

We used to think that since 3,500 calories equal a pound, every time you eat 3,500 extra calories beyond what your body needs, you end up gaining that weight. Now we know better: Not all calories are equal like we thought.

Everything from how your food is processed to how much fiber it contains determines how many calories you’re absorbing from it. Even the bacteria in your gut may play a part in how you digest food and how many calories you derive from it.

For example, you’ll absorb more calories from cooked meat versus raw, and peanut butter versus whole peanuts. Due to size differences, one sweet potato varies in calories from another before you even take it off the shelf at the store. Calories absorbed is a complex business that’s light years beyond any calorie-counting app on the market.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Another reminder that not all calories are built the same. Do you really know how your body interacts with the foods that you eat? You most likely never studied the differences and now is the time.

3. Calorie counts on packages aren’t necessarily accurate.


But wait! Even if you know how many calories you need and how many you’re absorbing, you’re not done! In fact, the Food and Drug Administration allows up to 20 percent margin of error in the numbers on those nutrition labels you likely rely on to count many of your calories. Meaning, that 250-calorie snack you’re eating might actually have 200 calories—or 300.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you’re calorie counting, you’re most likely living on the edge of too much. I recommend a large buffer zone in case the calorie count on the packages are as inaccurate as this article claims.

4. Counting calories can encourage you to ignore your hunger cues.


Focusing entirely on calories, instead of the quality of the food you’re eating and how you actually feel before chowing down (hungry, bored, stressed, etc.), can wreak havoc on those precious hunger cues you’re born with. Whether you’re eating just because you “have calories left,” even though you’re not truly hungry, or you’re not eating because you’ve “gone over” your calorie allotment for the day, but you’re actually still hungry, you’re doing the same thing: ignoring what your body is trying to tell you.

Trust your body, because it knows what it needs a lot more than some random number or tracker.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Ultimately, your physical cues will determine the type of foods you should eat and how much. The more in tune with your body the more optimal you can operate it.

5. Calorie counting adds to the misconception you can “work off” the food you eat.


One of the things that angers me most about calorie-counting apps is the impression they give that you can exercise yourself “back into the green.” Going over your “calorie allowance” again and again because you think you can burn off the transgressions? Nope. Your body doesn’t burn off food calorie-for-calorie like that.

A 2014 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine emphasized that “it is where the calories come from that is crucial” in determining whether your body is tempted to store them as fat, use them for energy, or apply them to some other mechanism, the study authors explain.

Plus, if you do routinely overindulge then try to work it off in the gym, you’ll be exercising for a very long time, depending on the size of the junky meals you’ve eaten. This, in turn, may cause you to become hungrier…and eat more. Vicious cycle? Definitely.

The good news is that when you only overeat from time to time, your body can handle those extra calories without making you gain weight. It’s when you overeat on a more frequent basis that you can get into weight-gain territory.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: The “calories in vs. out” theory has consistently failed my personal training clients for the last 12 years. Too many factors affect how the calories are consumed and expelled to deliver a convenient formula. Once again, err on the side of caution by choosing the most nutrient dense foods while remaining active every day. It doesn’t get more simple than this.

Photo Credit:
Self.com–Can we really get away without counting calories?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "Here's Why Counting Calories Really Isn't Necessary for Weight Loss" on MSN.com (Self).
"Here's Why Counting Calories Really Isn't Necessary for Weight Loss" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn't Make" Review

Are your New Year’s resolutions already setting you up for failure? Check out these rewrites to set you up for weight loss success (from the MSN article “13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn't Make.”).

"I want to lose 20 pounds"


"Dropping 20 pounds is a great long-term goal, but dieters tend to fall off track when they have such a lofty resolution," says Amidor.

Revised resolution: Lose 1 pound per week
"Instead of taking on such a big task, focus on losing one pound a week by setting small diet and exercise goals," suggests Amidor. "For example, resolve to pick skim dairy over whole and pledge to work out 30 minutes, three times a week. You'll be surprised how small tweaks can result in major change."

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Big, drastic changes can be overwhelming and tiring. Test the effect of small changes 1 lb at a time. Also, don’t forget that losing 1-2 lbs per week is most sustainable. Not fast enough? It isn’t your biological choice. Time for acceptance. With this trend, do you really have 52-104 lbs to lose anyway? Most likely not. Be patient and do this right.

"I'm going to stop eating at restaurants"


“Nixing a night out with friends for the sake of your diet is no way to live,” says Amidor. “You'll only wind up frustrated and will be more likely to fall off the wagon.”

Revised resolution: Order smarter at restaurants
"Before dining out, have 10 almonds or an apple so you don't arrive ravenous, and then start with a small salad," suggests Amidor. In a 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Diet Association, Penn State researchers found that women who started a lunch with a salad consumed up to 12% fewer calories than those who skipped the first course. "Choose a light appetizer as your entree and have the bread basket removed," says Amidor.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I don’t completely agree with this suggestion. I’ve seen many people build a first-course habit at all costs (this time a salad next time fried calamari). To minimize starvation, eat a small balanced meal (10 almonds AND an apple) 1-2 hours before dinner instead and stick to a mindful entrée at the restaurant.

"I'm going to weigh myself every morning"


"Daily weigh-ins are not an accurate gauge of progress," says Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian based in New York City and founder of the F-Factor Diet. Water retention and hormones can mean as much as a two-pound swing in as little as a day. Plus, if your weight-loss plan involves strength training (and it should!), you may even gain weight from increased muscle weight while still losing fat and inches.

Revised resolution: Measure weight loss in inches, not pounds
“When you feel your pants getting looser as the weeks go by, you'll know you're slimming down,” says Zuckerbrot.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: While checking the scale may give you an overall indication of your weight loss trend, the minor day-to-day fluctuations may be caused by a number of the aforementioned factors. Don’t sacrifice your sanity and save the scale for a monthly check-in.

"I'm going to eat 900 calories a day until I lose the weight"


Sure, severely restricting your calorie intake will spur weight loss, but you'll gain it all back as soon as you start eating normally again (not to mention that starving yourself is dangerous). "This is often the attitude of yo-yo dieters, who go from a size four to a 12 and back again, seemingly overnight," says Amidor.

Revised resolution: Develop a healthy eating plan with an RD
If you're unsure how to lose weight the healthy way, consider making an appointment with a dietitian. "Many RDs now take insurance, so don't be afraid to ask if yours is accepted," says Amidor. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a registered dietitian referral service that allows you to search a database of practitioners across the nation.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Repeat this mantra: “You don’t need to create a deficit to lose weight, you don’t need to create a deficit to lose weight, ….” Your body is an effective and efficient machine that operates optimally when fueled and repaired properly. Most commonly, the average (sedentary) person only needs 1300-1700 calories per day. Trust your body. When you live in line with your set metabolism for a given point, your body will lose the weight for you.

"I'm going to cut calories by skipping breakfast"


Research shows that foregoing a morning meal will put you on the fast track to weight gain, not a loss. In a study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, for example, participants who skipped breakfast were hungrier and more likely to indulge in fattening foods later in the day.

Revised resolution: Eat a protein-packed breakfast every morning
“Eating a filling breakfast lessens the chances of bingeing on junk later in the day,” says Zuckerbrot. "Pair lean proteins with high fiber, complex carbs….to keep hunger at bay and ward off craving all day long."

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Eat a protein-packed ________ is soooooooo 2005. You’re better than this! My revised resolution: Eat a nutrient-packed breakfast of vitamins, fiber, fat, and protein every morning.

"I'm going to get more exercise"


"This resolution isn't specific enough to be successful," says Jim White, a personal trainer and registered dietitian in Virginia Beach, Va.

Revised resolution: Commit to a set number of weekly workouts
Fitness newbies should start with one weekly workout that combines cardio and weight training, like a body sculpting class or a session with a trainer. After three weeks, build up to two weekly workouts, and over time aim for five workouts a week. Progressing slowly wards off injury and excessive soreness that may prevent or deter you from sticking to your exercise program.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: The more general your approach the more general your results. Create a business plan for your fitness. What is your mission? What results do you expect? What do you need to do? What do you want to do? What progression is realistic for you?

"I'm going to the gym for two hours every day"


“Working out two hours a day is not only boring, but it can also cause injury in newbies who aren't used to being physically active,” warns White.

Revised resolution: Do efficient workouts
“Trade in long sweat sessions for high intensity, 30-minute interval workouts—you won't burn out as quickly and you'll actually torch more calories than doing long, drawn-out workouts," says White. Plus, researchers from the University of Western Australia found that interval training helps suppress post-workout appetite, further accelerating weight loss.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: In our society, we have latched on to the idea that everything should be scheduled for an hour. Have you ever wondered why? You might be surprised by what you achieve in half of the time (especially when you plan and move with intent).

Photo Credit:
MSN.com–Should adding this breakfast to your daily routine be part of your daily routine?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn't Make" on MSN.com.
"13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn't Make" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.