healthy eating

Weight Loss Tricks That Don't Work

It's almost summer and the dreaded bathing suit season is upon us. Many of us are looking for a quick way to shed those few pounds we were able to cover up in warm layers over the winter. Before you start, read on about the weight loss tricks that people use that don't work. 

#1: Crash diets:  Most people turn to extreme measures to quickly shed a few pounds. Usually, it is some sort of crash or fad diet. The cabbage diet, the juice cleanses, the only eating celery and mustard diet, etc. These fad diets all have one thing in common: they are not sustainable. No matter who you are (unless you are totally deranged), you will get very sick of eating so restrictively very quickly. You may lose a few pounds in the few days you manage to choke down that bland food, but you will throw up your hands and scream "I quit!" the minute you encounter a cheeseburger. 

#2 Severe calorie restriction:  This approach is the most damaging to your ability to lose weight long term. Our brains and bodies are very adaptive. We would not have survived as a species without inherent biological systems in place that regulates our metabolism. Bottom line is that our bodies are designed to conserve energy. This comes in the form of storing body fat and reducing the bodies metabolic rate when calorie/energy threshold requirements are not being met. Sure, if you severely restrict your calories, you will lose weight, for a couple of weeks. Your body will spot the trend and start adjusting your metabolic rate down. What does that mean, it basically is telling your body that this is the new norm and tells your body not to burn so many calories for energy. Some systems get slowed down, things get adjusted, and boom, what you used to be able to eat calorie wise without gaining a pound now is considered excess calories by your body and is stored as fat. This is why you see so many people gain all the weight back plus some, after losing weight in a short amount of time (think about all those ex-biggest loser contestants). 

#3:  Relying on exercise to lose weight: This is the most common mistake people make when trying to lose weight. Contrary to the "Move More" motto of the government, research has long debunked the myth that working out = weight loss.  This just isn't scientific fact. Research shows that the most active people on the planet (aboriginal tribesman who walk up to 10 miles a day hunting and gathering) only burn on average about 250 more calories a day than an American couch potato that at most walks from the fridge to the TV each day. That's it. Yes, you can throw away that smartwatch now that has been lying to you about burning 800 calories in one workout. Yes, working out helps your body composition, increase muscle tone and increase your metabolic rate slightly, but for weight loss, it's not the magic solution. 

The common theme with all of the above is having a mindset of a temporary solution and not focusing on a daily lifestyle change for long-term health. If a majority of your choices are the healthiest ones for you over a period of a year, you will see a gradual change in your weight and health. With our society being the one of instant gratification that it is, most people are not willing to put in the long-term work to make sure that any efforts are gradual and permanent (as opposed to temporary and short-term). If you start working on this lifestyle shift, this time next year when bathing suit season is upon us, you will see some major changes and feel a lot more hopeful about what you will see in the dressing room mirror when you try on that new bathing suit for years to come. 

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey 2018. All rights reserved. 

Save Time and Money: Meal Prep Tips

Failure to plan is planning to fail. Behavior and lifestyle change is all about avoiding getting into situations where your willpower is challenged. Meal prep is essential for someone looking to improve their health. A bonus side effect of meal prepping is that it saves time and money!

First, you must schedule a regular grocery store trip and meal prep time. Most people like to schedule this on Sundays. Put this block of time in your calendar and make it a non-negotiable! 

Second, before you leave for the store, make a list. Making sure you have all the items needed will save you the hassle of having to return to the store because you forgot to get a key ingredient. I recommend to look up 4 simple recipes for two proteins. This way you have variety, but you also are saving yourself the time of having to prep 4 different proteins, which takes the most time. For example, let's choose chicken and ground turkey. Google "healthy recipes with chicken" and "healthy recipes with ground turkey" pick two of each and print out the recipe. You now have your list for your dinners for the week. 

If you are intimidated by cooking recipes or really are short on time, I recommend this approach: pick two proteins, pick two seasonings, and grab four bags of frozen vegetables you can steam in the microwave. You can bake or pan cook your proteins with one of the seasonings and quickly steam up some veggies as your side. 

Don't forget healthy snacks! Always make sure to have quick, no prep needed healthy snacks on hand. Fruit, veggie sticks, hummus, nut butters, mixed nuts, and dried jerky are healthy, no prep needed snacks. If you are a breakfast person, you can make ahead egg muffins or oatmeal bites that are easy to grab and go on your way out the door in the morning. 

Get a fun lunchbox. The whole point of meal prep is to bring the food with you so you are not reaching for unhealthy options during your busy days! Make sure to get freeze packs to keep your food cold and fresh if you don't have a refrigerator available to you at work. Bento Box type containers are a great way to pre-portion out your foods for each day and saves the landfills from wasteful plastic ziplock baggies. 

Lastly, bring it even if you think you won't need it. Even if you are absolutely sure you are not going to be working late, or you will only be gone a couple of hours, bring a healthy snack with you everywhere you go. You never know what may delay you. Then you are left without a healthy option and eyeing the nearest drive through fast food option as your stomach grumbles in hunger. 

 

© Fire Team Whiskey, LLC, 2018, All Rights Reserved

Braised Steak with Mushrooms and Onions

Sunday is my "crock pot" and meal prep day. A crock pot meal is an easy way to get a couple of meals for the weeks done with very little effort. Basically just cut some stuff up and throw it into the pot. So if you use the excuse of "I don't have time to meal prep". You need to get yourself a crock pot. Here is the recipie to this delicious and very comforting stew like dinner I made as a part of my meal prep this week. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 white onion, diced

8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 Teaspoon of brown sugar

1 TBS of dried Thyme

1/2 cup of beef broth

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

2 Teaspoons of instant tapioca pudding powder

2 8 ounce beef blade steaks

Instructions:

Place onion, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, brown sugar  and olive oil into a microwave safe bowl. mix thoroughly Microwave for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in beef broth, tapioca powder and soy sauce. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and place into the slow cooker. Cover and cook 6-7 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. 

After cooking, transfer steaks to a serving dish. Skim any fat off the top layer of the leftover broth. Spoon the leftover vegetable gravy/sauce into the serving tray with the steaks. Let steaks rest at least 5 minutes before serving. For you carbivores, serve over rice or noodles. For us low carbers, serve over steamed broccoli or veggie rice. Enjoy!

 

© Fire Team Whiskey, LLC, 2018, All Rights Reserved