10 Ways To Get 10,000 Steps

Nowadays I feel like everyone has an activity tracker hanging out on their wrist.  It is a well-known fact that movement is super important, and not only to those of us trying to lose weight. It is recommended that everyone get 10,000 steps in every single day.  While for some this might seem like nothing, to others this could very well be a lofty, seemingly unattainable goal.  In a world of Fitbits and other activity trackers being the norm, I wanted to offer up 10 ways you can get a little bit closer to hitting that 10k step goal.  Now, any one of these tips is not going to get you all the way there on its own, but if you combine a few of these suggestions, I’m willing to bet you’ll be at that magical 10k before you know it.  Ready to get moving?  Here we go!

10 Ways to Get 10,000 Steps

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Weight Loss Tool Kit

Weight Loss Tool Kit

Your repairman has his truck full of tools, a teacher has supplies, and even Batman has his utility belt.  Everyone has some sort of toolkit so they can do their job to the best of their ability.  Losing weight is no different. In order to successfully lose weight, it really helps to have a toolkit (or a utility belt, if you want to go the superhero route) to help you get the most out of your weight loss efforts.  While everyone’s toolkit will look a little bit different based on personal preferences, I thought I’d share my tools with you to give you a basic guideline to help you create a toolkit of your very own.  Some of my tools are actual physical items while others are more mental or non-tangible, but I find both categories to be equally important as I go along my journey to the healthiest me I can be.

Water Bottle

I am never without a water bottle, and if for some reason I am, I promise I’m not happy about it.  At any given time I have 2 “active” water bottles; one with a straw for while I’m at home, as I find I drink more water when it’s through a straw and one that is more secure for when I’m on the go.  Hydration is so important, both for health and for weight loss, so I always have a water bottle nearby to encourage me to get my daily requirement of H2O.

A Food Scale

No matter which plan you use to lose weight, odds are it involves portioning your food in some way. I find this easiest when I’m using an electronic food scale.  When meal time comes around, I just put the plate on the scale and can measure each meal component separately (hit the “zero” button to start fresh) and easily so I know exactly how many Smart Points (or calories) I put on my plate. I find there is a lot less room for error measuring the weight og your food rather than cups or tablespoons. 

A Plan

Whether you join Weight Watchers, Beach Body, you use My Fitness Pal, or you decide to just count calories on your own, you need to have some sort of plan when it comes to losing weight. You can’t just say “I’m going to lose weight” and have it magically happen (I wish!). You know there are going to be lifestyle changes and maybe even a sacrifice or two in order to see changes in your body, and to achieve that successfully, odds are you have some desired method to get there.  That’s also known as a plan. Get one.

Sleep

Sleep is another one of those life essentials, but it’s something that many of us take for granted or forget to place importance on.  Have you ever noticed what happens to your food intake on a day that you don’t get enough sleep? It’s very likely that your day is played out in one of two scenarios. 1: You stick to your diet plan all day (good for you!), but you spend the day drowsy, grumpy, and likely overcaffeinated but still unable to perform to the best of your ability.  Scenario 2: You are likely making poor food choices because you’re using food to not only satiate hunger but to gain extra energy to make up for the lack of sleep.  Guess what type of foods we usually reach for.. sugary and fatty quick jolts of energy that last until the next time we can put something in our mouths to refuel.  This is not helping your diet at all.  Getting a quality night’s sleep as often as possible will help you stay away from impulse eating due to hunger.  Get those Zzzzs to lose the lbs.  

A Food Journal

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again.  Studies have shown that people who write down what they eat will consume 30% fewer calories than people who don’t.  Whether you use an app like Weight Watchers or My Fitness Pal or you decide to use the tried and true notebook and pen, use something to keep track of your food intake.  This helps me to see what I’ve eaten, or more importantly, what I can still eat and remain on track.  

A Goal (or several small goals)

Goals help keep me motivated.  I typically set large goals (to get back to my goal weight) supported and broken up by smaller goals (to drink 100oz of water daily or to reach 12,500 steps) to help me stay on track. When we reach a goal we get to enjoy the positive feeling of accomplishing something, so smaller goals are great for giving us little things to accomplish while we work toward the bigger goal.  

A “Why”

What is your “why?” In other words, why do you want to lose weight? Is it so you can run around and play with your children, so you look better and feel more confident naked? Maybe you just want to fit back into your favorite pair of jeans.  Having a “why” is not the same as having a goal.  Your “why” is the motivation behind your goals. It’s the big picture and the reason you got inspired to set your goal to lose weight in the first place.  Once you’ve established your “why” take the time to embrace it.  Leave yourself little motivational reminders that constantly inspire you to make the better food choice or to go for an extra walk.  The “why” is the root of everything. If you haven’t figured out what it is yet, take the time to do that now.  

A stash of go-to snacks

Once you’ve figured out your plan of action, it’s incredibly important to find your favorite foods in that plan.  I have a stash of go to Weight Watchers friendly foods and snacks that are easily available should hunger strike in between meals. Having diet friendly snack options around is an easy way to save you from yourself at a time when willpower won’t necessarily be at its strongest. 

An Activity Tracker

I love my Fitbit.  It turns every single day into a goal and a game.  Every day I compete with myself to make it to my daily step goal, but if I want to take the game to the next level, FitBit allows me to compete with friends. There have definitely been days where I’ve been pushed harder simply because I was in a race to get more steps than a friend of mine. All competitive games aside, an activity tracker is a great way for you to get more accurate insight on how much activity you’re actually getting on a daily basis. I’m willing to bet a pretty high percentage of people greatly overestimate how much activity they’re getting on a daily basis. Whether FitBit is your tracker of choice or you prefer another brand, I highly suggest investing in an activity tracker to help you take your weight loss efforts to the next level. 

A selection of easy to make recipes

Just like being prepared for a snack attack is important, it’s also important to have a few easy, diet-friendly recipes that you enjoy enough to make regularly.  When you have simple recipes to pick from it’s less of a hassle to make dinner at the end of a long day when your desire might be to run to the nearest fast food restaurant to grab dinner because the thought of making it is exhausting.  In my house, we often eat basic chicken with quinoa and veggies on the weekend and I will often spend a few hours in the kitchen chopping all sorts of veggies and meat to meal prep for the entire week.  Then, when dinner time for one comes around, all I have to do is turn on the oven and pull out one of my pre-made meals out of the fridge.  Easy and healthy. 

Rewards

I am a very reward driven person. If I’m told I can earn something awesome for finishing a task, I’m much more likely to do it.  I love applying this principle to losing weight.  If I’ve had a good week where I stay on track and hit the gym regularly, I might treat myself to an at-home spa night. If I’ve lost 5 lbs, it’s probably time for a pedicure.  10 lbs = a new pair of cute pants.  See what I’m getting at? It’s a little bit easier for me to think twice about the late night snack attack or skipping the gym when I know that new lipstick I’ve been dying to try is on the line.  While the rewards themselves can look different for everyone, a rewards system is a nice way to treat yourself for a job well done.

Those are some of my favorite items in my weight loss tool kit.  Becuase everyone’s journey is unique, everyone will have a slightly different tool kit.  What is important is you find the set of tools that work best for you.  A good tool kit is like an awesome sidekick.  You might succeed without it, but it will be a heck of a lot easier to get the job done with the extra help.

What kind of items are in your weight loss tool kit?  

 

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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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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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Top Tech for Weight Loss

 

Top Tech Weight Loss

We live in a world full of technology that can help us in so many ways.  Technology has become  an integral part of my weight loss journey, offering me the tools to help me make smarter choices, work out harder, track my progress, and reach my goals.  Here are my top 5 pieces of tech that I use for success on my weight loss journey.  Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds (or more than a few), eat healthier, or up your fitness game, these pieces of technology can help.

1. Food Scale

This item could quite possibly be the most important piece of tech I use when losing or watching my weight.  Have you ever taken the time to measure your serving of breakfast cereal after you dumped what you wanted into your bowl?  If you did, I can almost guarantee you would find that you over served yourself your Cheerios.  Rather than eating the amount on calories or Points Plus you thought you were eating, it could be that you’re eating 2 times that amount or more. That’s not going to help you succeed in weight loss.

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Quest Bar Faceoff


QuestTitle

**Please Note: this post is about WW POINTS PLUS, and NOT the new Smart Points, which is what most Weight Watchers are using now. Smart Points post coming soon**

When I started getting really serious about my weight loss and fitness I went on a nutritional mission to get a lot more protein in my diet.  I knew that it would be good for keeping me fuller longer, and it would help out my muscles in the gym, especially since I have CMT and need all the help I can get.  As I looked at protein bar after protein bar I discovered that they all seemed to be geared toward body builder types who required calories with the protein.  On average, the bars I found would range anywhere from 7-10 Points Plus or more!!  For a woman trying to eat a mere 26 Points Plus a day, I thought finding a protein bar that was right for me was impossible.

Then I found Quest Bars! 🙂


 

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Calia by Carrie Underwood

CaliabyCarrie

 

Ever since her first audition on American Idol I have been a huge Carrie Underwood fan.  Despite her amazing success, fame, and fortune, I feel like she is one of the most genuine, real, and kind hearted celebs on the planet. Not to mention she’s not afraid to sing her love of Jesus to the world at the top of her lungs!  She’s total woman crush material for me.  When I heard she was going to be putting out her own line of fitness clothing and accessories, I knew I was going to want to check it out.  Well, this week, I finally remembered to go to a Dick’s Sporting Goods store and see her new line in person.  While I didn’t buy any, I tried on a handful of items, and I fell in love with the entire Calia by Carrie line.

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5 Reasons to Drink More Water

plastic bottle pouring fresh water on a glass (isolated on white background)

I know you have heard it a million times from a ton of different sources.  Doctors, magazines, fitness trainers, and health bloggers talk about the importance of water and hydration all the time.  I’m about to add myself to the list because it’s important enough for you to hear it one more time: Drink more water!

Did you know that around 65% (I thought I learned 70% in school, but fact checking I found this number instead) of our body is water.  Yeah, over half!  That is a lot of water. There are many ways we end up using and losing water, so if we aren’t diligent about replenishing our supply, we end up dehydrated and could cause some pretty significant problems to our precious bodies.  Here are just a few reasons why you should drink more water. Read more

Fitness for Nerds

Fitness for Nerds

 

The title might make you laugh, but I’m dead serious about it.  My husband (MBA student and nerd in his own right) came into the bedroom one day while listening to his usual Wall Street Journal podcast and told me I had to listen to something.  Turns out it was a news story on the growing fitness trend that gears itself toward self proclaimed “geeks” and “nerds.”  At first, I chuckled, but then quickly decided that this new genre was totally on to something, so I decided to poke around a little bit.

Think about the stereotypical nerd.  You’re probably picturing someone glued to the computer or xbox, going on hour number 5 or 6 of their latest play of World of Warcraft or working their way through the newest game release.  There they sit with soda and snacks strewn across the desk or coffee table because they won’t leave the screen to go grab a healthy meal.  They stop only to watch Star Trek or Game of Thrones and they go to Comic Con or any other “Con” geared towards geeks dressed in full costume and making references and spouting quotes that only fellow geeks and nerds would understand.  They probably also work jobs that have them sitting in front of screens focused on the task at hand and perhaps not really moving for hours on end.

Am I right?

Now, before haters start hating here, let me make a little disclaimer.  I myself, am a nerd. I am married to an even bigger nerd, and I honestly mean that in a good way.  My husband is incredibly smart, tech savvy, silly, hardworking and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When we started our long distance relationship, we would go on dates by hanging out on World of Warcraft together.  🙂

Now, picture the typical fitness buff.  These two images are kind of on opposite ends on the spectrum, right?  No more!  Introducing the latest fitness phenomenon: Fitness for Nerds!

While poking around online a bit, I discovered several instances where fitness routines were geared toward this specific type of person.  I discovered several places online that cater to this type of fitness and a few other things as well.

NeilArey.com

I stumbled across this website and was most excited to find the one page workout plans they have drawn out.  Similar to those on Pinterest and in magazines, there are images of the moves for that specific workout along with reps.  However, the titles are what draw the attention of the nerdier crowd.  Rather than “flat abs” or “life that butt,” I found workouts inspired by many things; Dauntless, Batman, Lara Croft, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Wolverine, just to name a few of them.  If you’re into any of the themes that they have a workout for, wouldn’t you be more inclined to get up and do them?  They also have challenges, blog posts, and fitness motivation.  Check them out for some awesome and free fitness fun!

NerdFitness.com

It’s an entire academy that allows you to basically turn yourself into a video game character and “level up you life.”  Intriguing, right?  I think so too.  All of the things you do to improve your health and fitness earn you experience points and you can level up within the academy by going on quests.  Steve Kamb (the founder) was really thinking!  For a one time enrollment fee of $99 you get lifetime access to the fitness routines, nutrition guides, and all of the other fun things the academy has to offer.  When I googled this subject I didn’t realize I’d actually stumble upon a place like this.

Gamification of Fitness

Let’s be honest, it isn’t just us nerds that have fallen for the gamification of our health and fitness routine.  Fitbit, ActiveLink and all of those other activity monitors help us set goals and track them.  Say it’s 10 pm and you look at your FitBit and realize you have 400 steps until that bar goes green (on the app) and you have reached your goal for the day.  If you’re anything like me you will walk around the house or even run in place to make sure the job gets done before the activity monitor resets to 0 at midnight.  I have done this so many times I’ve lost count.  We all want to make the mark and hit 100%.  We all want to win! Turning fitness into a competition and into a game helps many people, myself included, reach their health and fitness goals.  There are books on gamification across many business and lifestyle platforms.  Fitness for nerds takes it to the next level and gives people the option to compete and level up, or just be surrounded with a style that fits in to their lifestyle, whether it’s a fitness class geared toward sword fighting or getting in shape for comic con, or just a workout routine inspired by your favorite comic book characters.

I just wanted to give this genre of fitness a bit of a shoutout, as I love the idea of making fitness something relatable to a type that is not commonly known for their fitness levels.  I found articles on the Wall Street Journal  and The Economist on this topic, and there is so much more to be found if you’re interested in looking.  I was just curious about this topic and wanted to mention a little something about it.  Do know know anything about “fitness for nerds?” I’d love to hear your thoughts below 🙂