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How to track your progress without a scale

deonna.walker | March, 28, 2019

When it comes to measuring weight loss, numbers can be deceiving. While it’s ok to know where you are currently, relying solely on the scale is a mistake. Weight is not the tell all. You can have change in water and in muscle mass that can affect that number. Instead of obsessing over the scale, take the smarter approach by implementing these five ways to track your progress.

 

  1. Take Progress Pictures: As uncomfortable as it might be to snap a photo when you feel out of shape, knowing where you started is essential. Since you see yourself in the mirror daily, changes can be hard to see without your starting photos.

 

  1. Re-test Your Starting Points: Instead of relying solely on reducing numbers, try increasing them, in the form of weights. When you begin your fitness journey, take some time to test your starting points. How much can you press and pull? What do your squat numbers look like? By knowing your starting points, you’ll see how much progress you’ve made when you re-test later.

 

  1. Use a Tape Measure: Not all weight loss is fat loss. To see if you’re getting leaner, a tape measure can be a very effective tool. A few areas you might want to track are the chest, hips, waist, thighs, biceps, and shoulders.

 

  1. Measure Body Fat: Skin-fold measurements estimate body fat percentage based on the amount of fat you have lying right underneath the skin. There are many different ways to test this. However, using the same method every time and looking at the percentage-lost trend, rather than strictly at the number, can help you track your fat loss.

 

  1. Try on Your Old Clothing: Trying on old clothes can help you regain perspective. Maybe you didn’t hit that weight loss goal, but your old jeans no longer stay up. That’s progress!

 

By using these methods to measure your progress and broadening your view beyond the numbers, you’ll set yourself up for success, even when the scale’s numbers stay the same.

The Health Benefits of Herbal Tea

deonna.walker | March, 13, 2019

Many of us like to drink herbal tea, and you may even have a favorite. Did you know that tea is the second most popular drink in the world, right after water? It’s no wonder – tea has a multitude of health benefits and is like medicine in your favorite mug.

 

You have probably heard quite a lot about green tea or matcha, but others teas are also good for hydration and nutrients. To get a little more technical, herbal teas aren’t really tea at all because they don’t come from a Camellia Sinensis plant. The Camellia Sinensis produces black, white, green, and tones of other varieties of tea. In contrast, herbal teas are created from non-tea plants like herbs, roots, spices, and even flowers. These teas are mostly caffeine free, and because of this, herbal teas are flavorful and won’t negatively affect your sleep at night.

 

Not only can you sip hot or cold herbal tea, you can also use them for cooking or in your cocktails. Additionally, you can use herbal teas in overnight oats, smoothies, marinades, steamed veggies, and soup broth or as garnishes on your salads or desserts.

 

Let’s check out some of the healthiest herbal teas.

 

  1. Chamomile – This tea has been around for a very long time. Many people use chamomile for its calming effects, especially close to bedtime. This tea is made from dried-up chamomile flowers. In addition to helping you fall asleep faster, it is also an anti-inflammatory and helps with menstrual cramping. Studies have also linked the flower to blood sugar regulation and protection of bone density.
  2. Roobios – Pronounce “roy-boss,” this is a red tea from a shrub in South Africa. Full of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, roobois has been linked to bone health, healthy digestion, and weight loss. You will also find small amounts of magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, manganese, potassium, and copper in your rooibos tea.
  3. Peppermint – In addition to possessing the typical benefits of tea, peppermint has been linked to improving power in athletes. Also, it can help relax your bronchial muscles, which will increase oxygen to the brain and lower compounds in your blood that can cause fatigue. For those same reasons, peppermint soothes indigestion. You can easily increase your alertness, decrease your fatigue, enhance your memory and curb your anxiety simply by smelling mint.
  4. Ginger – Known to help with nausea, motion sickness, and even morning sickness, ginger tea has some awesome perks. Ginger root is known to flight inflammation, help with pain, and build your immunity. It’s also known to protect against cancer, type-2 diabetes, and even heart disease.
  5. Hibiscus – Created from the hibiscus plant, this tea is somewhat tart, but it is rich in antioxidants and helps with cholesterol and triglycerides. Not only does this tea promote weight loss, it also helps protect your liver and supports immune health.

 

6 Ways to Outsmart Overeating

deonna.walker | March, 6, 2019

We all love holidays, but when you’re trying to eat well, it feels like they come up all too often. After all, what’s the best way to celebrate? With food! It’s not surprising that most Americans gain weight at the end of the year and struggle to get it off. To help you get back where you want to be, try out these simple ways to stay on track and avoid extra weight gain.

 

Use a napkin. Little appetizers look so innocent, but in reality, they can actually add up to more calories than your main meal. If you ditch the appetizer plate and eat off of a napkin instead, you will make it harder to overindulge on those high-calorie starters.

 

Politely decline food pushers. We all have that one person in our lives. It’s usually a relative or a friend who is always trying to get you taste everything. Instead of giving in, be ready to decline with a polite statement you’ve prepared in advance. Doing this will help you set boundaries at gatherings so that you are back in control of your food choices.

 

Make that mocktail prettier. Did you know that you can actually trick your mind into releasing those happy feelings without all the alcohol? By using different glassware and garnishes, you can trigger those happy feelings without all the calories. Try filling a champagne glass with your favorite seltzer and garnish it with pomegranate arils. Or, you can put some low-fat eggnog with nutmeg in a brandy glass.

 

Focus on your favorites. When you go out for a meal, it’s easy to go a little overboard. Instead, spend your calories a little more wisely. Make a few adjustments throughout the day to save your calories for your favorite meal.

 

Snack smart. It may seem counterproductive, but eating a healthy snack before you head out for an evening helps you stay focused and avoid binging on calorie-filled foods. Look for snacks that are high in protein and fiber. They will help you feel fuller longer and keep your blood sugar down.

 

Look for food-free activities. More often than not, parties and gatherings involve food. It’s no wonder that we struggle to keep the weight off. When possible, plan your activities around a physical activity, like hike or a game.

 

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