How will you change the way you order drinks? Do you think your drink choices are affecting your ability to lose weight or body fat?
We all know the beer belly is aptly named. And while you know to stay away from the heavy Guinness’, you may not be much safer turning to those light craft beers. Why? “The trend in stronger beer means more calories,” Brissette points out. Remember: The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calorie count. “Have a pint and you'll easily take in 270 calories or more. That's like eating a chocolate bar (or several)!” she adds. Not to mention the bloat factor from all those carbs. Dogfish Head IPA clocks in at 450 calories while Sierra Nevada Bigfoot is a whopping 330 calories.
Cider may seem healthy—it’s an alternative to beer and it’s gluten-free, after all. But while brewskies packs in the empty calories and unnecessary carbs, cider is rich in another black-listed nutrient. “A pint of cider can have 10 teaspoons of sugar. That's more than your daily limit for sugar in the one cider,” Brisette says.
IRISH CAR BOMB
Car bomb or carb bomb? “The dark Irish stout in this drink plus the cream and liquor pack in the extra calories (and carbs!),” Holthaus says. Sixteen ounces delivers a whopping 310 calories!
Your hangover may be better off without the hair of the dog. “A morning after drink like a Bloody Mary only delays the metabolism of congeners—a substance contributing to hangover symptoms—and extends the amount of time it will take for your blood alcohol content to come back to normal,” Holthaus explains. Plus, while vodka is usually a great low-cal option, once you add the tomato juice, vegetables, and spices, most Bloodys make their way up to around 300 calories.
Beer is a tasty addition to your regular ole margarita, but the combo of both beer and tequila in this drink, plus the limeade, pack a punch—both in terms of the amount of calories and also the alcohol you’re getting, Holthaus explains. A 12-ounce drink will cost you around 230 calories.
The Dude may approve, but nutritionists aren’t a fan. “The coffee liquor and the fresh cream make this small drink very mighty in terms of how many calories it brings,” Holthaus says. Just 4 ounces is 210 calories—and it’s a good bet you’re knocking back a bigger cup than that.
There are few drinks manlier than an Old Fashioned. But the simple syrup in this staple (as well as cocktails like a Whiskey Sour) isn’t so simple, nutritionally speaking. “Just 1-ounce packs in over 5 teaspoons of added sugar,” Holthaus says. “And a 6-ounce Old Fashioned will cost you around 260 calories.”
Moody Wisdom: The best alternative: The traditional way! Only drink an Old Fashioned with 1 muddled cube of sugar (2.5 g). Your great, great grandfather will be proud.
Are you having trouble losing weight? You may need to change your morning routine. Read 30 Best Breakfast Habits to Drop 5 Pounds.
Picture Credit: kohlerathome.com-Will a bloody mary undermine your weight loss efforts?
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " The Most Unhealthy Drink Orders at the Bar " on MSN.com.
"The Most Unhealthy Drink Orders at the Bar" Review
If you’ve been following the news over the past year, you know that the wellness world’s golden child is your gut. Though not as glamorous as the heart or brain, studies are showing that the status of your gut microbes can impact everything from your body’s inflammation and weight to your skin and brain health. And now we can add one more important aspect that your gut can influence — your state of mind.What have you noticed about your gut? What dietary changes can you implement?
One of the biggest influencers of mood in your body is a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is sometimes referred to as the “feel good” hormone because of its ability to impact mood, anxiety, and happiness among other functions.
While some serotonin is created and used in the brain, between 80 and 90 percent of it is created in the intestines — our gut. There is recent evidence that the gut bacteria can even coax the intestines to produce more serotonin, says Erica Sonnenburg, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and co-author of “The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health.”
How Your Happy Hormones Go From Gut to Brain
Located in the tissues that line the esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines is a network of neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that send and receive impulses, record experiences and respond to emotion.
This enteric nervous system (ENS) in your gut is also often called your body’s “second brain,” and it connects and communicates with your central nervous system (CNS). Scientists have known that the brain can send signals to the gut, which is exactly why things like stress can lead to gut issues like stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea (we’ve all been there).
But current research is finding more proof that communication is a two-way street: The central nervous system can impact the enteric nervous system in the gut — and vice versa. So, in short, irritation and imbalance in the gastrointestinal system can send messages to the central nervous system causing mood changes.
Also, according to a 2015 report by Linghong Zhou and Jane A. Foster, various studies in which participants took a course of probiotics showed brain activity in the emotional centers of the brain, a reduction in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improved mood. “Overall, these studies in healthy individuals provide clear evidence of a link between microbiota and emotional processing,” the report says.
How Do You Know If Your Gut Balance Is out of Whack?
“We really don’t have the tools to tell at this point what is ‘normal’ [for your gut], but the field is advancing rapidly,” explains Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, an associate professor of medicine in the digestive diseases division at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. If you eat a typical Western diet, though, there’s a good chance your gut microbes could use some help.
So how can you build a strong gut and maybe improve your mood in the process? While probiotic pills get a lot of praise for improving gut health, you don’t need to rely on a supplement, says Tillisch. A change in the foods you consume can alter your gut health and your mental outlook for the better.
“The state of our microbiota is a product of many factors, but we know that one of the major levers that controls this community is diet,” Sonnenburg explains. “Your long-term dietary patterns dictate to a large extent which bacteria you have in your gut and their metabolic output (i.e., what molecules they are manufacturing in your body).”
While supplements might be a quick fix for some, you can make your diet more gut-friendly by making some simple adjustments. “When optimizing digestion and gut function there are certain foods that should be avoided as well as key foods to include,” explains Jacqui Justice, nutritional director, Balance 3H+ Diet Plan, NY Health & Wellness.
Eat These 3 Foods for Optimal Gut Health
Experts all agree: We need to be eating more fiber — 25 to 37 grams a day, according to the FDA. “Fiber, the complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, are the major food source for the bacteria in our gut,” says Sonnenburg.
When your gut doesn’t get this fuel from your diet, it starts to “eat” your gut lining, leading to intestinal issues and a permeability of the gut wall. “This mucous lining is a key barrier that our body erects to keep our gut bacteria at a safe distance from our intestinal cells,” Sonnenburg explains. “If that barrier breaks down it could set off alarm bells within our immune system resulting in chronic inflammation.”
Justice recommends high-fiber foods like beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, cruciferous veggies and fruits like avocados, pears, blackberries and raspberries.
2. Fermented Foods
Noticed your local grocery store stocking more kombucha and sauerkraut? There’s a reason these fermented foods are gaining in popularity. “When foods are fermented or cultured, the bacteria, yeasts or molds used in the process predigest the food, meaning they break down the carbohydrates, fats and proteins to create microflora — friendly, life-giving bacteria beneficial to the gastrointestinal system,” explains Justice.
While most people are familiar with fermented dairy products like yogurt, there is growing interest in other fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, miso and natto. Many of these fermented foods can even be made at home.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
If you’re eating foods that are more likely to inflame your insides, you're certainly warranted to be in a bad mood. What you should avoid may differ from person to person. “People need to be their own experimentalists,” says Sonnenburg. “Since the microbiota is individual, what could be fine for one person may be an issue for someone else.”
While you figure out which gut-busters to avoid, try adding in more anti-inflammatory foods like fish, green tea, flaxseed, garlic and walnuts and spices like cinnamon and ginger, Justice recommends.
Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "The 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips From 2015 " Review. This list helped my personal training clients in 2015 and will help you today.
Picture Credit: Livestrong.com-Will berries help you lose weight and bring more happiness to your life?
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " How a Healthy Gut Can Make You Happier " on Livestrong.com.
"How a Healthy Gut Can Make You Happier" Review
What other weight loss tips do you have for busy people?
1. DON’T SKIP GROCERY SHOPPING.
To eat healthy, you have to buy healthy. “Grocery shop every week,” says Abby Langer, R.D. “If you’re not well-stocked with perishables like salads, fruit, and yogurt, for example, you don’t have the tools to be prepared to eat well. If you come home from a busy day and there’s nothing in the kitchen, that’s a situation that frequently leads to ordering in—which is not good for weight loss.” Do your future self a favor and take the time to buy healthy food, even if you are busy. Before you shop, though, you may want to read this: 11 Foods to Toss Out of Your Kitchen For Good.
2. BATCH COOK YOUR MEALS ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK…
Step two? Actually cook those healthy groceries. Since busy people rarely have time to cook a nutritious meal every night (if only), cook just once or twice a week and divvy up your results for several days of delish, homemade meals. “Lots of my clients cite being too busy as an excuse for not cooking themselves dinner or lunch, but if you prepare ahead, there’s no excuse,” says Langer. Adds Kroplin, “Pre-planning meals over the weekend can help you stay focused on eating healthy. I usually recommend pre-planning meals for at least half the week so it doesn’t feel overwhelming, then re-assessing what you have or may need mid-week to finish out the week and weekend.” She also suggests batch-cooking lean meats (like chicken or flank steak), boiling eggs and storing them in fridge, and chopping fruits and vegetables before the busy workweek starts. Try to prep more than just salads, though (Here's why: Why Salad Is So Overrated).
3. …AND SLICE, DICE, AND PACKAGE YOUR SNACKS FOR THE WEEK SO THEY’RE READY TO GO.
Speaking of chopping up fruits and veggies, this is a great way to make sure you have produce to munch on when you’re hungry. “You can pre-package grapes and veggie sticks for easy snacks,” suggests Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D., author of The F-Factor Diet and founder of F-Factor Nutrition. If they’re already waiting for you right inside your fridge, it’s easy to choose carrots or strawberries over chips or cookies.
4. RE-THINK YOUR CARBS TO KEEP HUNGER IN CHECK.
To keep hunger under control so you can focus on your crazy-long to-do list, make sure you’re eating the right kinds of carbohydrates. Refined carbs (like white bread and pasta) can wreak havoc on your blood sugar, leaving you hungry sooner than you should be. Instead, choose high-fiber carbs to offset this mid-day crash. “I tell my clients to re-think their carbohydrates and focus more on lentils, sweet potatoes and bean-based pastas as opposed to bread, and always pair them with protein [to help keep you full],” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D.
5. KEEP NON-PERISHABLE MUNCHIES ON-HAND…
“Leaving non-perishable foods in your purse or at work is great so you have something to reach for, even if you’re too busy for a proper meal,” says Zuckerbrot. “The goal is to never skip a meal, so you can avoid being very hungry at the next meal—which can result in choosing high-calorie, low-nutrition foods.” It’s also important to feed those hunger twinges between meals, says Langer. “Have a snack at what I call the ‘critical juncture’—4 P.M,” she says. “This will help by keeping hunger at bay until you’re ready to eat dinner.”
Moody Wisdom: Every time you eat it should be done with intent. I typically don't recommend a snack unless there's an extended time between meals or a nutritional deficiency. Ideally, stick to a balanced meal every 3-5 hours. Read How to Lose Weight Without Exercise for an effective approach that has worked for my personal training clients in Chicago.
6. …AND KEEP FRESH MEALS COLD WITH ICE PACKS.
“When you’re on-the-go, having a small cooler with a few icepacks with you will keep foods cold, like fruit, vegetables, salad, meat, or any food that needs to stay chilled,” Kroplin says. “This broadens the variety you can carry with you and provides more options to carry fresh, whole foods along with you each day.”
7. PREP YOUR BREAKFAST THE NIGHT BEFORE.
If you’re hungry in the morning but still don’t have time to eat at home, try prepping your breakfast the night before. “Mornings are the most hectic time of day for my clients,” says Kara Lydon, R.D., L.D.N., R.Y.T., author of Nourish Your Namaste (out May 2016) and The Foodie Dietitian Blog. “Many of my clients leave the house on an empty stomach, and skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day. [At night] when there is some quiet downtime, I have them try make-ahead breakfasts like smoothies and egg dishes, which are ready to grab-and-go in the morning.”
8. YOU CAN DIY YOUR OWN FREEZER MEALS, TOO.
Toss that freezer-burnt personal pizza and make room for healthier, homemade freezer meals. “Making pre-portioned meals ahead and freezing them will really save time and calories, because it’s easy to pop a meal out, de-thaw it, and heat it up,” says Kroplin. Even when you’re totally exhausted, this is just as convenient as less-healthy options. “Being able to grab frozen homemade chili out of the freezer on a weeknight prevents you from grabbing take-out or ordering pizza,” adds Lydon.
9. FOCUS ON ZERO-EFFORT DIET SWAPS IF YOU’RE EXTRA SHORT ON TIME.
Even though most weight-loss solutions do take some extra time and effort, there are some simple changes that won’t cost you a second. “When working with busy clients, I typically recommend tackling one or two passive weight loss strategies first—that is, things that don’t require any extra time or effort,” says Elle Penner, M.P.H., R.D., senior registered dietitian at MyFitnessPal and lifestyle blogger at According to Elle. “Making simple food or ingredient swaps is a really easy one, like trading soda for water at mealtimes or asking for half the amount of sweetener in your morning latte. Modestly reducing portion sizes is another easy one that can lead to big results.”
10. SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUTS…
If you’re crazy-busy, chances are your workout plans often fall by the wayside. Fix this habit by scheduling them like meetings or appointments. “Write or type your workouts into your monthly calendar every week, making these exercise appointments top-priority,” Kroplin says. “Then, work your schedule around the exercise. This will keep exercise at the top of the priority list, not allowing other obligations or plans to derail your exercise routine.”
Moody Wisdom: Even better? Schedule a personal training session for the most accountability!!!
11. …OR BREAK THEM UP INTO 10-MINUTE INTERVALS.
If you can’t commit to an hour-long workout all at once, split your burn into several blocks during the day. “If blocking off a chunk of time is just not an option for exercise, I always like to recommend the 10 x 10 x 10 exercise rule,” Kroplin says. “Basically, you exercise in three 10-minute increments a day. [Try it] anywhere you can fit in 10 minutes, like taking the stairs or walking around the office building, so you total 30 minutes of exercise at the end of the day.”
12. DON’T HAVE AN ALL-OR-NOTHING ATTITUDE.
Staying flexible is key when you’re super-busy. “Don’t have an all-or-nothing attitude,” says Langer. “Busy people sometimes have to eat out, or their meal schedule gets messed up, or they miss a workout. Who cares? Just move forward and don’t let these things derail you.”
Are you having trouble attaining any level of weight loss success? Check out the list of tips and tricks in my post The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.
Picture Credit: MSN.com - Is prepping ahead of time the key to your weight loss success?
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 12 Weight-Loss Tips For Busy People That Really, Truly Work " on MSN.com.
"12 Weight-Loss Tips For Busy People That Really, Truly Work" Review
The perfect wedding shape has never been easier to access! Health tips everywhere! Personal trainer gyms on every corner in Chicago! Unfortunately, you can’t find the motivation to run into a fitness center with endless nagging wedding decisions: What color are the bridesmaid dresses? Why isn’t you’re husband helping? This is a full time job!
How do you motivate yourself to lose those extra 5-15lbs before the big day? How do you rid yourself of self-sabotaging habits in this time of stress…..I mean happiness?
Never underestimate the power of the mind while personal training in Chicago. Your mind will take you from the couch to the gym or make you run when you’re tired.
Unfortunately, your best friend is your worst enemy. It makes you salivate when walking past a candy bar and urges you to finish a chocolate cake.
Besides your muscles, train your mind to become stronger willed. Pay attention to these weaknesses of your mind: The need to “wait till later” but never get it done or “just one more bite” but never stop eating.
Don’t be afraid to yell at yourself! It’s your body and it’s time to look your best. If you can’t overcome this influence, do the next best thing….trick your mind.
We are creatures of habit and it’s time to reverse your primitive eating and fitness habits – or, maybe, non-habits in this case. Here are six ways to combat your evil, inner self:
• Whenever you crave ice cream, substitute it with frozen fruit. You’ll satisfy your craving for a frozen sweet while reducing calories and fat.
• Picture your stomach expanding when eating. Take your time while eating and enjoy the taste of each bite. Once you feel a little “stuffed” or satiated, picture your stomach expanding outward with every additional bite (a visualization most people don’t want-especially in a bathing suit). Your body only burns off the calories so fast (unless you run in place at the same time-not recommended). If you think you’re still hungry, wait 60 minutes and reevaluate. Once the food is digested, you might find that you were no longer hungry after all.
• Buy all new undergarments for your sessions with your Chicago personal trainer. Anytime you wear a new dress or shoes, you feel great….almost like a new person. This association is powerful and can help your efforts in the gym. Buy new undergarments specifically for your workouts. You’ll feel like a new, energized person in the personal training studio.
• When self-critical, remind yourself that your perception of reality has been slightly skewed before ( i.e. believing in Santa Claus). Your misperception may result from your lack of understanding, misjudgment, or, simply, lack of sleep. Realize this, have faith in your hard work, refocus and try again tomorrow.
• Always leave at least one bite of food on the plate. Growing up, your mother told you to finish everything on your plate. Unfortunately, your mind is now trained to continue eating during a meal whether or not your stomach is full. It takes practice, patience, and time to undue this habit. Leave the last forkful of food on the plate and toss it in the sink. Out of sight and out of mind. Eventually, you’ll learn that finishing dinner means stopping when no longer hungry.
• Establish a set time each day for exercise (whether you're with a Chicago personal trainer or not). You are a creature of habit and routine is most important. Build a mental association between a time and an activity. If you exercise every day at noon, you’ll develop a mental script that will push you when unmotivated. Take the decision process out of the equation and make it a scheduled habit. You might be less likely to talk yourself out of it.
Tricking your mind is not an easy task. Like a sport, you must practice to become proficient. Practice these tricks while personal training and they will develop into habits. Frequency is key! Don’t allow yourself to hold you back from becoming something greater and, most important, looking your best on your wedding day. Exercising and being mindful of your diet will help you lose weight. Understanding your body, though, will sustain a lifetime of less weight and better habits.