Tag Archives: how to reach your goals

The How-To Guide to Smart Snacking

I’m pretty sure all of us have fallen into the trap of mindless snacking. It’s one of the biggest road blocks in achieving our goals. We get home from a long day of work, our stomachs grumbling, but our feet are tired and so our minds. Instead of whipping up a snack, we go into the fridge or pantry and just mindlessly stuff our gobs until we somehow feel full. But usually we go past the point of being full, to where the point of not eating a good dinner because of that. And what does that lead to? MORE mindless snacking after “dinner.” If you can’t tell, this is a bad cycle. So how do we stop it?

Fruit protein smoothies: stopping mindless snacking since its creation

Fruit protein smoothies: stopping mindless snacking since its creation

Snack with a purpose. I can’t emphasize this enough so I’m writing a whole post about it. This is the best defense against the mindless zombie eating that can plague us all. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of “oh, I’ll just snack on a few crackers while I think of a food plan—oops there goes the entire package.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve done this (yikes), but I’ve learned now, how to beat that back with a stick. A well-planned and satisfying stick.

Popcorn, cheese & crackers,

Popcorn, cheese & crackers,

What exactly is snacking with a purpose? It’s the opposite of mindless eating and I can’t tell you how much more satisfying it is than just stuffing your face. If you snack with a purpose, you have a plan. A plan to satisfy your hunger without going overboard and getting some nutrients to boot! It may take a LITTLE more time (and I mean little), but that is also a way that makes it that much more satisfying. Just like growing your own vegetables, when you snack with a purpose, you feel good. 

Egg on top of avocado

Egg on top of avocado

Snacking with a purpose means you don’t go straight for the chip bag. Instead, you have something in mind for a snack. Yesterday, I was craving something cold and refreshing. I wanted to go grab an iced mocha latte or something, but didn’t want to spend money and drink a bunch of sugar. So I bit the bullet, went home, had some chocolate milk beside a Van’s waffle topped with greek yogurtPerfect snack for after work or after school. You have some sugar in the waffle and milk to pick you up, the protein in the greek yogurt to keep you going, and the cold chocolate milk to refresh you. It’s well-rounded, simple, and took less than 5 minutes to make.

A little more extravagant version of my example

A little more extravagant version of my example

Starting to get it now? Snacking with a purpose means sitting down and eating something to keep that body and mind of yours going. It means slowing down for 10-15 minutes, making yourself some cheese, apples, and crackers or popcorn or an egg on toast to satisfy hunger and give the body what it needs. And the mind. You think your mind is happy when you shovel crap down your throat? Absolutely not. One of the reasons why we love eating is because it is pleasurable. So why skimp out on that just because it’s a snack? Make something nice for yourself, sit down, and enjoy a snack. Your body, your weight, your fitness, and your mind will thank you. Snack with a purpose to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah trying to blend in

Sajah trying to blend in

5 Ways to Stay Focused on Your Goals

If you’re one of our followers, you know I’m going through contest prep right now. It’s been a 6-week contest of cutting fat and building lean muscle, trying to create a “transformation.” Since my willpower week, the clean eating has been a cinch. Well, except when I went to Iowa for family reunion and had ice cream on a daily basis. After that vacation, it was hard to get myself as motivated as I was beforehand. I still followed a good eating plan and exercise routine but I wasn’t as into it, so I’d fall into some bad habits–mostly, it’s picking at food I shouldn’t have. We all sometimes have trouble staying focused on our goals and here are some tips to stay on track

1. Set your phone background to something motivational. I know what I want and I know how I can get it. But there’s always the gap of emotion, laziness, and impulse. This is a way to bridge that gap. Take a photo that inspires you, could be a picture of a physique you want or a place you want to get to. Whatever your goal is. Email it to your phone and set it as your background so that every time you look at it (and we all know our phones are with us 24/7). I even went and added some text to mine to remind me of my bad habit and stop my hand from snatching a little piece of something.

HOPE solo inspiration

A great motivator for me

2. Go back to the first image, post, “thing” that started you on this path. We all become inspired to complete a goal, one way or another. For me, for this goal, I was inspired by the contest page. Chris showed me the contest and he thought I could do well, maybe even win. I never thought I could win (okay maybe before I saw all the rest of the people joining), but his confidence in me and my imagination of what I could  transform my body into. It was a chance to test my willpower, to see how hard I could work. I look at that page and I feel those same feelings and I become inspired again.

3. Imagine yourself at the end. This is a huge one for me. I can feel tired after a day’s work, I can feel lazy, and make up some excuse of why I shouldn’t go 100% that day. But all it takes for me is to imagine myself at my completion, imagine what I can become, and that inspiration pops right up again. If your goal is to save enough money for a vacation to Greece, imagine yourself on the beach. If your goal is to lose those x number of pounds, imagine what you will look like, what you will feel like. I always like to imagine how strong I will become, mind, body, and spirit.

Actually developing some abs

Actually developing some abs

4. Set a schedule on your calendar. Whether you have a smart phone or a hard calendar (we have both), plan the days of your week. I used to do this a lot during college when I set up training sessions with my friends. And for this last week of the contest, I am scheduling my workouts each day. You don’t have to schedule all the way down to what exercises you’re going to do, but a general plan. Maybe back and biceps with a little cardio on Monday, Yoga and HIIT training on Tuesday, and so forth. Put it into your calendar (it’d be great if you could do reminders and alerts with your smart phone if you have one) and put the times too. Make what you want a priority, and that means making solid time for yourself.

Set a date!

Set a date!

5. Track your results. Whether that means calculating body fat percentage or watching your savings account go up, TRACK IT. Maybe you don’t see a difference (though you probably will), keep reality-based checkpoints that you can measure with. I hadn’t measured for a while and I finally did, finding that I had lost 2% body fat. It’s a great re-motivator if you feel like you’re hitting a plateau or sliding away. Find some way to track your results and goal, no matter what it is.

Seeing progress

Seeing progress

Those are 5 simple things you can do anywhere, anyhow. If you feel yourself sliding, try one of these tricks. They are sure-fire to keep you hungry and fit! 

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Kitties from the other side of the window

Kitties from the other side of the window