Portion Size

Summertime is around the corner and we want to sizzle in our swimsuits! The most influential component in keeping a great body is to maintain healthy portion sizes with every meal. Serving size does vary between every person. We all require and prefer different types of foods, so here is what you can do to stay fit for summer.

Serving Size Guidelines

It’s important that you don’t eat too much of any one thing, whether
it is a healthy food or not. Control your portion sizes by following
these guidelines.

• Vegetables: Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and leafy greens should be about 1 cup, or the size of a baseball.

• Dairy: Dairy products, such as yogurt and ice
cream, should be about ½ cup or 8 oz., the size of a light bulb. Cheese
should be no more than 2 oz. or 3 dice.

• Grains: Grains like cereal, pasta, and popcorn
should be 1 cup, the size of a baseball. One slice of bread, or a waffle
should be the size of a compact disc. Chips should be no more than 1
oz., or a handful.

• Meats & Proteins: Servings of nuts should be ¼
cup, or the size of a golf ball. Beans should be about ½ cup,
equivalent to a light bulb. Beef, chicken, fish, and tofu should be
about 3 oz., or the shape of a deck of cards. Lunch meat should be 1
oz., the size of a compact disc.

• Fruits: Fresh fruits like berries should be about ½
cup, equivalent to a light bulb. Dried fruits should be about 1 oz.,
the size of a golf ball.

• Fats & Oils: Fats and oils should be no more than 1 tbsp., or a poker chip.

• Sweets: Sweets like cake, brownies, and cookies should be no bigger than 3 oz., or the size of a hockey puck.

Calorie Guidelines

Calorie intake depends on your age, gender, and how active you are.
On average, a woman should have about 1,700 calories daily. A man should
have about 2,600 calories daily. It’s important to have a healthy balanced diet every day.

Serving Size Tips

• Keep your eye on the prize: Eyeball your food with a deck of cards, poker chips, baseball, hockey puck, CD, light bulb, dice, and golf ball.

• Be smart and start with salad: Fill up on your greens first so you eat smaller dinner portions. Just keep the dressing to 1 tbsp.

• Have Fun: When you’re at a restaurant or on
vacation, think first. Save your leftovers, opt for a few appetizers
instead of a big meal, order from the kids menu, or split a meal and
save money!

• Treat yourself: Loose the guilt of indulging in
your favorite foods – and that includes sweets! It’s okay to treat
yourself once in a while, as long as it’s the right portion size.

• Don’t overeat: Never super-size! Chew slowly, and stop when you are full.

Start shrinking your portions and see your body shrink too! By eating
smart and eating the right size of everything, you’ll be on your way to
being beach and bikini ready! Being healthy never felt better –
especially for summer!

You’ve lost the weight…now the hard work really starts

Ok, so you’re down to your goal
weight.  Now, the next and most difficult step is maintaining it.  A
diet is a temporary and goal defined mission; maintaining your weight is an
infinite life style.

Researchers have found that there
are three main ways that help keep the pounds off.

  1. Remind yourself why you need to control your weight
  2. Reward yourself for sticking to a diet and exercise
    plan
  3. Regularly exercise with a combination of cardio and
    weight lifting

Planning meals ahead of time is
extremely important to your success with keeping your goal weight. If you’ve
had weight-loss success, you know how important this task is. If you are not
home, do not skip meals or snack from a vending machine. Plan your meals based
on where you’ll be that day.

If traveling, make sure you know
which restaurants have healthy options or pack a cooler so you have what you
need.  Keep it balanced with protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Eat small portions of 6 or 7 meals a
day.  This also maintains blood sugar levels, which curbs hunger and keeps
your metabolism working efficiently.

Reward your efforts when worthy.
Staying healthy takes focus and discipline, but should not be stressful.
Sometimes you just want that scoop of ice cream or piece of cake, right? As
long as you are happy with your progress, go for it. And most importantly,
understand the value of moderation.

Schedule time just for yourself
several days every week. Unless you block off time on your calendar just for
you throughout the week, you may find yourself struggling to find time for
exercise. Workouts should be as much of a routine as your lunch break.

Three weekly strength training and
two to three cardio sessions will help maintain your muscle while burning fat
and keep you healthy.

Surround yourself with healthy
people. If anyone is pulling you down and off track, get them involved in their
own health and nutrition. Get out and meet people who have healthy
interests. Perhaps join a fitness blog. This will support positive choices
and you will get results.

Know what your body can tolerate
without sabotaging your efforts. So enjoy your new body while understanding
what it takes to keep it.

Good luck in your new lifestyle…

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Finding Ways to Exercise When You’re a Single Parent

Photo via Pixabay

Being a single parent means you have a lot on
your plate. Despite caring for your kids on your own, you still have to get
them ready for school, shuttle them to after-school activities, change diapers,
cook dinner, do laundry, and complete what seems like a million other tasks
throughout the week. So where does exercise come in? If you’re like many single
parents, you let exercise fall by the wayside. But, as we all know, physical
activity is essential for a healthy and long life. 

Get the
Kids Involved

Need time to exercise, but you don’t have any
time by yourself? Work out with your kids. For example, they
can stand on your feet while you do ab crunches or dance right alongside you as
you salsa by following a Zumba DVD. Put your baby in the stroller and go for a
walk or jog around the neighborhood.

Build a
Home Gym

When you have kids, finding your way to the
local gym isn’t easy. So why not use home equipment so you don’t have to worry
about getting to a fitness center? Try kettlebells or dumbbells for
strength training. If you want to tackle yoga or Pilates, use a yoga mat. Invest in an exercise
bike or treadmill to help pedal or walk away the pounds. Try a weighted hula
hoop and hula your way to fitness. Don’t let cost prevent you from building a
home gym. Search for gently used equipment at local consignment stores or yard
sales. Go to social media sites or other websites that advertise items for
sale. Second-hand exercise equipment is often less expensive and much easier on
the budget. Finally, complete your home gym with a Bluetooth speaker so you can
listen to your favorite tunes while working out. There are many quality
speakers available, and many cost less than $50.

Joining
a Gym When You’re Short on Cash

If you’re heart is still set on joining a fitness center, consider joining in
the summer. Many fitness centers waive enrollment fees during the summer months
since so many people prefer to exercise outside when the weather’s warm. And
you may even be able to negotiate a great deal to help you save some money. Try
joining a 24-hour gym. These gyms offer clients exercise equipment but no
extras. In other words, they may not offer showers or a smoothie bar. Besides
being open 24 hours a day, these types of fitness centers are cheaper than
their more glamorous counterparts. And some of them don’t require you to sign a
contract.

Finding
the Time

So now you’ve figured out the kinds of
workouts you’re going to do. But you have no idea when you can squeeze in a
workout. After all, you have dinner to put on the table, and your daughter’s
ballet class starts at 6:30 p.m.! That’s when you need to get creative with
your day. Try getting up 30 minutes to an hour before your kids wake up.
Squeeze in a 30-minute workout using a DVD or equipment from your home gym.
Find some free exercise videos on YouTube. If you’ve joined a
fitness center, ask a good friend or family member to babysit in the evening
while you go to the gym for some “me time.” Maybe you can fit in some exercise
after the kids are in bed for the night.

What if you don’t have 30 minutes of free
time? Divide your workout in half. Go for a brisk walk for 15 minutes during
your lunch
hour
. Then walk 15 minutes more when you get home. Get
the kids to walk with you. Using a bit of planning and imagination, you can
find the time to exercise even if you are a single parent.

No one says that being a single parent is
easy; in fact, it’s one of the hardest jobs in the world. But that doesn’t mean
you should sacrifice your health by avoiding exercise. While everyone’s
situation is different, it’s important to find time for physical activity. You
owe it to yourself and to the children who depend on you. Examine your schedule
and lifestyle to determine what you can do to build a strong body, giving you
the strength you need to care for those you love the most.