Weight Loss A-Z

Rules of Weight Loss A-Z

When it comes to weight loss and healthy living, everyone has their own tips and tricks that work for them.  I decided to get a little creative and wanted to come up with something for every letter of the alphabet.  After some thought and creative liberties, here are 26 tips, tricks, or plain old facts of life that I use to find success in my weight loss journey.

A- Attitude

When it comes to losing weight, attitude is everything.  If you come from a negative space about food, fitness, and your body, it’s could be 20 times harder to find the success you’re looking for.  A positive attitude about your body and about the journey you’re on will definitely keep your sprits up and the scale down. 

B- Baby Steps Read more

Smart Points Friendly Snacks On-the-Go |Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale

Weight Watchers friendly snacks for the new Smart Points plan.

If you’ve started following the new Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale program that uses Smart Points instead of points plus, you’ve probably noticed that it’s a lot harder to enjoy some snacks and sweet treats while staying on plan. When Weight Watchers was using Points Plus, I had my snacking down to a science, especially when it came to on-the-go products. It’s taken me a little bit of time, but I finally found a few go to treats that satisfy my sweet tooth without breaking my Smart Points budget for the day. Since I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggled with this low sugar transition, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorites with you.  Many of these options work well with the high-protein, low sugar lifestyle that the beyond the scale plan is encouraging us to live on a daily basis. Read more

Jus By Julie 1 Day Cleanse

A review of the Jus by Julie 1 day cleanse

I am all about trying different healthy living products and letting you know how they make me feel. Recently I was given the opportunity to try out a 1 day juice cleanse by Jus by Julie.  This cleanse consisted of 6 juices to be consumed throughout the day.  The juices arrived right on time (when you order, you schedule the day you want your cleanse to arrive and they ship accordingly), well packaged in cold shipping materials, and ready for use the day after arrival. Each juice in the cleanse has a label on it so you know what order to consume your juice. Here’s a look at the different juices and my review of the process.

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How to Calculate Smart Points for Smoothies

How to calculate the Smart Points Value of your Smoothie

One of my favorite things about eating on Weight Watchers is that when I eat fresh fruits and veggies, they don’t count against my daily Smart Points intake.  Yes, there are a few exceptions (I’m looking at you avocados, potatoes, corn, etc.), but in general, that’s the rule..with one HUGE exception: when you blend produce to make smoothies.  I see “How do you track Smart Points for smoothies?” asked all over the place, and since I just learned the easy answer myself, I figured I’d tell you. Read more

Easter Candy Cheat Sheet |Weight Watchers Smart Points Edition

EasterTitle

Okay friends, here’s the scoop.  As I’m sure you know by now, Weight Watchers launched a new program that completely redefined the values of our Points system.  This means that everything you knew about Points Plus is now irrelevant and Smart Points are the new Weight Watchers tracking system.  With the introduction to Smart Points came the recalculating of everything we had the PP values memorized on.  This, of course, includes our beloved Easter candy.  While I had an entire Easter Candy Cheat Sheet made up with Points Plus values (and it’s still valid for those who chose to stay on that plan), I felt compelled to write up another cheat sheet for the majority of us who transitioned to the Beyond the Scale plan with Smart Points.

Due to the nature of Smart Points, which really cracks down on our sugar intake (and for a good reason), you will notice that the Smart Points values of your favorite Easter goodies have gone up drastically.  While this is in fact a sad thing, don’t shoot the messenger.  I’m just here to tell it like it is.  I didn’t get a hold of every candy out there, but I did pick up some of my personal favorites and I wanted to share the calculations with you.  Without further ado, here’s the Easter Candy Cheat Sheet with Smart Points.

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The Day I Realized Sugar IS the Problem

Sugar Is the problem

You know how sometimes, no matter how many times people tell you something is bad for you, you just need to realize it and come to terms with it on your own before you’re willing to do anything about it?  That bad relationship, smoking, losing weight.. Whatever the thing is, and no matter how many times people warn you or try to help you, in order to truly do something about it for good, you have to decide for yourself.  Then it’s a whole new ball game. 

That’s what happened to me and my relationship with sugar this week.

Sugar is one of the hottest topics in health, fitness, and weight loss at the moment.  There are countless articles about why it is one of the most horrible things for your body.  While sugar is fat free, there are claims that a diet full of fat is better than a diet full of sugar.  I’ve been reading all of these articles (like the one I found this morning) for quite some time knowing that there is plenty of truth to them, but unwilling to admit that I was one of many that had a problem or suffered the consequences of excessive sugar intake. After all, I rocked the Weight Watchers Points Plus program. I knew exactly what foods to eat that kept me in my Points budget and still gave me treats that satisfied my sweet tooth.  I am nowhere near diabetic, and while I have some weight to lose (again), I’m not in any danger health-wise.  This sugar thing didn’t effect me at all… or so I thought.

After quite a physical and emotional struggle for awhile now, the other day I made a Facebook and Instagram post where I basically declared that I had finally gotten my health and fitness groove back.  For 4 or so days I was eating like a rockstar on the new Weight Watchers plan which, for good reason, cracks down on sugar intake. I was eating high protein, whole foods, and even found a few treats that satisfied a sugar craving without containing much sugar at all.  I noticed that I woke up on my own (I don’t usually set an alarm, as I don’t need to be anywhere, and with CMT, sleep is super important) earlier and feeling more energized. I was able to focus and get a lot done, both physically (like a 2.5 hr gym session and cleaning the house) and mentally with less distraction and exhaustion.  I was also able to fall asleep a bit faster AND my skin started to look clearer than it had in ages.  Granted, the skin thing could be thanks to the new skincare products I’m trying out, but you never know.  The last thing I noticed was my mood was also generally better. I felt closer to my husband romantically, and content with life in general, both of which can be challenges in the everyday life of the wife of a traveling businessman.  That topic will eventually get a whole post of it’s own.

Fast forward to two days ago.  **Prepare for some real honest confessions and real-talk here** I went shopping to get stuff for an Easter candy post I’m working on..which meant that the “stuff” was really a variety of Easter candies.  While I worked on photos for my post, I had to open some things to get pictures of the products.  Well, needless to say it was more than a few jellybeans or chocolates that made their way into my mouth. Lack of self control is definitely a big issue of mine.. Not only did I experience immediate regret for what I had consumed (especially after knowing all of the Smart Points values, as they were all written down in my notebook next to me), but a few hours later, my body started to feel a bit off.  

The next day was no better.  First, it was a snow day (winter weather advisory and I had no plans) so I decided to stay in.  I treated myself to the delicious Amish cinnamon roll that my mom had given me the night before.  Hey, I paired it with fruit, and I’m supposed to treat myself once and awhile.  But of course, the cinnamon roll wasn’t the only sugar I ate that day.  I might have tasted a few more types of the Easter candy stash after lunch..  The results of the 2 day sugar “binge” blew my mind, even in the midst of my sugary snacking.

First, it was no secret that even after I had more than enough sugar filled goodness, all I wanted was more! I realized just how insane and dark the sugary rabbit hole really was.  It didn’t matter how full I was or how much sugar I had already consumed, all I could think about was wanting more sugar! There was my lightbulb moment: It really is an addiction.  

I also paid close attention to how I was feeling, from the Easter candy photoshoot and throughout the next day.  I woke up groggy and sleepy, with little desire to do anything but sit on the couch (with sugary snacks) and watch Netflix all day.  At the same time, my mind and body were both racing, hopped up on sugar, but unable to focus on any one task.  It was a miracle I managed to get yesterday’s blog post up at all.  I was unsatisfied and unmotivated, energized (sugar rush) but exhausted at the same time, and my body felt gross; bloated, confused, and just blah. It was horrible.  Why did I let myself do that? Why would anyone let themselves do that??

I went to bed last night seriously reflecting on the past 48 hours and the over sugared hours they had been. It was then that I truly accepted that all I had been reading over the past several months about sugar and how bad really is for the body is TRUE.  It’s not something that should be considered by just some people, but everyone needs to take a look at what they’re eating.  To be honest, I don’t think that my sugar craze would have been such an “ah ha” moment if it wasn’t for how awesome I was feeling in the several days before.  There was clearly a direct connection between how awesome I was feeling when I was eating a healthy, balanced, low sugar diet versus how terrible I was feeling after those 2 days of the complete opposite.  Needless to say I woke up today making a different kind of commitment to myself.  Not only did I want to actually eat the way I was “supposed” to, but after acknowledging just how crappy the sweet stuff makes me feel, I knew I wanted to approach treats differently too.  

Now, for those that know me, I am a chocoholic through and through, so I’m definitely not saying I’m giving up sugar for good.  I personally don’t believe in depriving yourself of any specific food unless it causes a legitimate health issue (like eating peanut butter if you’re highly allergic to peanuts), because feeling deprived can lead to bigger binges and other problems.  However, my approach will definitely be different from here on out.  I am going to continue the trend I had going (until my candy run at Target) which was to have very minimal dessert options at home (which were low sugar to begin with) and treat myself to the “real” desserts every so often, like taking dessert home after a dinner out.  That way, there’s only one serving, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.  I’m sure I’ll have a post on managing a sweet tooth later on.  

I guess my whole point to my really long ramble is this: Friends, what you are reading about sugar is 110% true. I’m not basing that statement on any scientific research whatsoever. I’m simply basing that on my personal experience, and for me, that is enough of a reason to reconsider my relationship with sugar entirely.  Get educated, read the articles you see floating around blogs and Facebook, and believe me when I say that cutting down your sugar intake will impact your body and mind in a positive way. The other day I actually said “I felt like superwoman for a few hours.”  That’s a pretty awesome way to feel.  If cutting back on sugar can make me feel like that for a little while every day, it’s totally worth it.  

What have your experiences with sugar been? Let me know in the comments below! I want to know your story, knowledge, and thoughts on this hot button topic.  

 

Chocolate Overnight Oats |Weight Watchers Friendly, High Protien

Chocolate Overnight Oats

The other day I accidentally made a creation that is certainly going to become a staple in my breakfast routine.  I’ve seen overnight oats on blogs and Instagram photos a ton lately, and they always look so pretty and sound so good.  I was feeling inspired and decided to try my own twist on it.  I went over to Trader Joe’s and found rolled oats at a reasonable price (I’ll be honest, I don’t even know if rolled oats are the  “proper” oats to use) and the adventure began.

Many recipes called for using almond milk and many have things in it that, while healthy, makes the Smart Points values add up quickly.  Since I wanted more protein, I oped to try mixing them in with my fat free Greek yogurt (2 Smart Points) instead.  I used 1/4 C, mixed it up, and let it sit. It turned out to be quite thick, but to the point of dry and not all that awesome.  Back to the drawing board.

Thursday night I had a thought..because you know, I’m always thinking about food and random inspiration can strike at any time..  What if I used almond milk but put my Quest protein powder in it first??  Genius!  Guess what? It worked!  I ended up with the richest, chocolatey-est, dessert-esqe breakfast that only cost me 6 Smart points.  While it might not be the prettiest looking thing, I don’t care, because to me, it tastes awesome.

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What No One Tells You About Hitting Your Goal Weight

What No One Tells You About Hitting Your Goal Weight

Many of us have been on a weight loss journey of some kind at some point in our lives.  There are also many of us who are on one as we speak (myself included).  Whether the goal was to lose 10 lbs, 50 lbs, or 150 lbs, there are so many of us working hard to get to a specific goal weight. You can see the number, can’t you?  You know exactly what you want that scale to say.  Some people are using any crash diet you can think of to lose weight, while others are taking the slow and steady approach.  Whatever method you’re using (be it a proper one or not..), you are working hard and making sacrifices all in an effort to see that magic goal weight number appear on the scale.

Time passes.  Countless hours have been spent in the gym or outside running trying to burn some extra calories. Many pieces of pizza and cupcakes have heard the word “no” and been sacrificed all for the sake of this magic number.  And then, one day, you step on the scale and there it is.  You weigh yourself again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, but when you look down, you see that glorious goal weight number staring back at you.  You feel victorious, sexy, strong, and like nothing can bring you down.  You’ve made it to your goal weight.  The wait is over. The diet is over.  Right??

Wrong..

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Updated Dietary Guidelines for the US | Lets Talk

DietaryTitle

The federal dietary guidelines were officially updated the other day, and I’ve decided I want to talk about it just a little bit.  Be warned: If you’re a reader of my blog, you might be into the Weight Watchers/healthy eating lifestyle already, so the likelihood of you finding new information about how we should eat is very low. That being said, read on…

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Weekly Weigh In #1

Weekly Weigh In Title


Since I am so focused on getting my body back in shape this year (along with several other goals), I’ve decided to try weekly weigh in posts for awhile.  That will make you, my readers, my accountability partners.  I haven’t quite decided how I want to approach these weigh in posts, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway.  My weigh in day is Friday, so when I talk about the week, it will mean from the previous to current Friday..just so we’re all on the same page.

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Food

I’ll admit, the weekend was rough.  Saturday we had a potluck at my church after the evening worship service. While all the food there is tasty, it isn’t always the most nutritious situation to be in.  While I did take the time to enjoy some goodies like home made enchiladas, pasta, and caramels,  I made it a point to only have a taste of the things I wanted. That ended up giving me a full enough plate, and guess what: I was full and didn’t go back for more!  Score: Brianna: 1 Potluck: 0

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