How to Shed the Pounds When They Won’t Seem to Budge

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Little Black Dress Personal Training is based out of New York by Anne Marie. Anne is a personal trainer who writes about practical ways to include fitness into our daily routine, staying motivated, and eating healthy. Follow Anne on Twitter or Facebook.

How to Shed the Pounds When They Won’t Seem to Budge

Sometimes you do all the right things and yet, you’re still not losing weight. It’s frustrating and annoying to say the least, and it causes a lot of people to mosey on down to the Golden Corral, pausing ever so slightly before opening the door to reconsider, and then pushing forward and diving head first into buffet bliss. I can’t blame you. Many times I’ve been equally frustrated and annoyed and drowned my sorrows in chocolate covered caramels and white chocolate truffles. (Shockingly those did nothing to make me feel better afterwards.)

If you feel you’re in a weight loss rut, there are a few things you can review about your lifestyle that maybe with a minor adjustment here and there can translate into newfound weight loss joy. With me, once I started keeping a food journal I found that I was able to shed a few of the stubborn pounds, plus I ate much better (because who wants to see buttered popcorn, chocolate chip cookies and three glasses of wine staring back at you in your own handwriting? It’s eye-opening when you begin to become accountable for what you ingest!)

So here’s another list (before starting this blog earlier this year, I was never a list person… and now I’m all about them, a rabid list maker if you will) on things you should take a look at to see if maybe a little adjustment is all you need to get your body burning those calories again!

1 – Are you getting enough sleep? Big important question here. I pretty much always get eight hours of sleep. I’m a sleeper, I love my bed and I love being in it. Now some people are five to six-hour sleepers and then set off for a marathon kind of day, shuttling kids off to school, attending all sorts of work meetings, then preparing dinner and helping with homework. Half way through the day they’re bleary eyed looking for their next caffeine fix. Your body needs rest and relief from the day’s activities. Some proper sleep just may be the ticket that will allow you to eat better and exercise more.

2 – You’re skipping meals. Going too long without eating sends messages to your brain that you’re in starvation mode and guess what? It’s the fat cells that bunker down and refuse to burn off in times like these. Instead your body starts looking at your lean mass as proper food and starts churning away at it. Not good. Don’t go too long without eating, it messes up your metabolism and your blood sugar levels. Eat every three hours so you never hear the rumbling of the belly beast…  besides, it leads to embarrassing moments and comments/smirks from others!

3 – You’re not exercising enough. Or at all! Please don’t be an “or at all” person, that just makes me sad. If you’re consuming calories on a daily basis, then you should be burning some of those same calories on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be anything major, just look at what Monday’s blog suggested (another list) and try to incorporate some of those fabulous ideas into your life. And for the casual exerciser, once a week ain’t gonna cut it if you’re looking for weight loss. It’s commitment time and your number is up. Make it a point to attend more classes or hire a personal trainer, they’ll help keep you honest and motivated. Exercise does a body good so make sure you’re getting in enough of it.

4 – You’re ODing on mocha frappucinos. Calories galore lurk in all sorts of creative drinks that specialty shops create in some ill-conceived effort to inject the population with sugar, causing them to all come back for more. (Sugary drinks = More money for the Man.) Just the other day a barista informed me before I ordered that they were out of the gingerbread flavor so he couldn’t make a gingerbread latte but he happily suggested a peppermint mocha latte with a shot of caramel and whipped cream on top or a creme brulee latte with the caramel and whipped cream additions, they’re both delicious he said. No kidding. A drink with a bucket of sugar thrown in would probably taste great and get my head and body spinning in all sorts of directions for the next hour. I declined both offers for an iced tea (but not after having to say no six times to the dude… he was very persistent that I consume a bucket of sugar. My guess is he was flying high from a caramel mocha creme brulee peppermint gingerbread—that’s where it must have all gone—latte himself.) Be careful what you drink, those calories count just the same as food calories.

5 – Your weekends are an orgy filled food fest. I used to be of the thinking that since I was so good all week-long that the weekends didn’t count, like the calories lifted magically off my body and into the vast black hole that was my weekend. Not the case. Dinner and drinks with friends on the weekend add up big time. Going out to dinner can easily lead to an extra days worth of calories being consumed and you don’t even realize it because, hey, it’s the weekend… I deserve a little fun. If your weekends are turning into diet pitfalls, you need to rethink your plan. Don’t ‘save’ your calories for when you’re out, that’s bogus and doesn’t work. Eat throughout the day and even right before you go out because a slightly filled belly won’t have you jumping into the bread basket when it rears it’s warm, soft and crusty head. You’ll have more control and will feel much better come Monday.

This post was originally published on December 7, 2010.

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

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Meatless Mondays: The Health Reasons

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Meatless Monday (MM) is a nation-wide campaign to encourage people to give up meat one day out of the week to increase health, ecology, and economy. It’s also very achievable. You are only going one day a week without any meat. In turn, you will increase your intake of fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. (MM does not mean substituting meat for refined carbohydrates,  large quantities of cheese and peanut butter; it will add a significant amount of fat and calories to your diet. MM also does not mean for you to increase your intake of meat for the rest of the week.)

Here are a few health benefits from a vegetarian diet:
-Vegetarian diets often contain more fiber, potassium, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and vitamins associated with reduced risks of chronic and preventable diseases (diabetes, obesity).
-Generally, vegetarians maintain a healthier body weight (that is if they make good choices).
-Diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Whereas, red and processed meat consumption are linked to colon cancer.
-Studies have shown that countries with a higher intake of fat, especially fat from animal products, such as meat and dairy products, have a higher incidence of breast cancer.
– Fiber is only found in fruit and vegetables. Fiber makes you full on fewer calories, hence less overeating and greater weight control.

These are just a few of the many health benefits of a diet focused on fresh vegetables and fruits. Adopt to MM and see the results for yourself.

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow@clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

Fitness Fridays: What’s In Your Backayard

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Going for a hike does not have to be a big excursion (like hopping on a plane and traversing through a thick rainforest)- all you need are shoes with good grip and a park. The world is full of natural and man-made parks.  Don’t feel like you need to an expert about trees and birds to go on a hike. It really is about just getting out there, taking in fresh air, and getting some exercise. Also, you can experience what your neighborhood/city has to offer in a different way. Bonus, you can hike solo or with family and friends. Hiking provides quality bonding time (no cell phones or computers) and it doesn’t cost much. Find the closest park or trail near you, put on your shoes, carry water and nuts, and get out there!

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

The Healthy Pantry

Follow me on Twitter Keeping a well stocked pantry is the most important and basic part of cooking and maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle. I stock my pantry with food that naturally keeps for several months, so I have no … Continue reading

A New Way To New Year’s Resolution

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Every year, we make a few resolutions and many of those are repeat resolutions (the same ones we make every year in hopes of a different result). The most common resolution, which I am certainly guilty of making, is losing weight. Loosing weight is a great goal to have but the term is very broad and doesn’t leave you with any direction on how to lose weight. Actually, when I used to say “I need to lose weight” or “My goal is to shed some pounds” I would feel overwhelmed and depressed. It seemed like a big goal, with 12 months to achieve it. So there was the “I just can’t go on another diet” feeling and the “I will start tomorrow” sentiment. By mid-March only a guilty, hopeless, self-deprecating feeling would be left. The problem starts at the goal setting itself. We do not outline how we will make the goal achievable nor do we set the intermediary goals that will make the big goal possible.  Instead of  just saying, “I will lose weight” or “I will eat healthier”, make resolutions that will help you achieve these big goals. Think about the steps you will need to take to achieve weight loss, eating healthier, or making a million dollars, and then set those steps as goals. Once, you can achieve the smaller goals, the big goals will fall into place. For weight loss, diet and fitness are both important. Increased cardiovascular activities and strength training will help you burn fat and put on muscle needed to continuously burn fat. Though, eating unprocessed, whole foods will keep you satiated, energized, and improve your workout. Eating fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lentils, legumes, and even clean animal protein in moderation will help you lose weight. Though, in turn, you will need to reduce the amount of junk food you eat. The foods you eat determine how much harder you have to workout. For instance, if the majority of your caloric intake is from junk food, processed meats, and refined sugars and flours, you will have to work out much harder to burn calories and lose weight.

When it comes to health, I am only making three resolutions  this year. In the past, I’ve always almost failed at “eating better” and “losing weight” until I changed my goals. My new New Year’s Resolutions are:

1. To lose weight. To go to the gym 4 times a week for cardio and strength training. If I cannot make it to the gym, I will go for a 20 minute jog outside or run up and down our apartment building’s stairs. Big goal results: stronger body, more energy, glowing skin, and weight loss.

2. To eat better. To limit my intake of desserts and food with added sugars to once a week. Big goal results: more energy, weight loss, and improved mood.

3. To eat better. To eat slowly and mindfully. I don’t have to eat everything put in front of me and should recognize when I am truly hungry. Also, even if I am starving, I will slow down and try to enjoy each bite, instead of gobbling it all up at once. Big goal results: positive relationship with food and weight loss.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Any tips or ideas?

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded people and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

What’s It Good For? The Short & Long-Term Benefits of Exercise

Little Black Dress Personal Training is based out of New York by Anne Marie. Anne is a personal trainers and writes about practical ways to include fitness into our daily routine, staying motivated, and eating healthy. Follow Anne on Twitter or Facebook.

What’s It Good For? The Short & Long-Term Benefits of Exercise

What's It Good For? The Short & Long-Term Benefits of Exercise Oh the merry holidays are peeking around the corner and next thing you know it’ll be 2011! What’s to be in the new year? Will it be a year to finally get in shape? Sure, why not right? Gym memberships always increase tenfold once January hits, it’s as sure as Christmas occurring on Dec. 25. For all those health bugs out there ready to mak … Read More