5 Tips for Setting New Fitness Goals5 Tips for Setting New Fitness Goals

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Setting New Fitness Goals

Assess how you’ve changed.

You’ve likely changed since your last big fitness accomplishment. Do you have new responsibilities or a new job? Are you more fit or do you have less weight to lose? All of these factors will affect your workout schedule and how you incorporate healthy eating. It’s important to adjust your new goals to who you are now, not who you were then.

Start with what worked.

What has been your secret to success in the past? Does waking early ensure you get in your workout? Does cooking make-ahead meals ensure healthy eating? As you revise your goals to match your current lifestyle, keep those practices that have always worked for you. Give them another try before completely revamping your plan. They will likely help you reach your goals once again. If they don’t, you can always revise as you progress.

Revise what didn’t work.

Have you always disliked weight lifting at the gym? Or maybe you choked down kale despite detesting its flavor? If you are going to stick with healthy changes, you have to be able to live with them. Weight lifting can be incorporated into muscle conditioning classes, circuit training, and even Pilates and yoga. There are plenty of vegetables that offer nutrients besides kale. Find things you enjoy and your new healthy lifestyle will be much easier to maintain.

Choose the right challenge.

There is a sweet spot when it comes to goal setting. Choose something that is too easy and you will get bored. Choose something incredibly hard and you may get discouraged and injured. Set goals based on where you are now. Did you just walk your first 5K? Train to run one, or to walk your first 10K. Focus on losing the next 10 pounds, not the next 40. Once you accomplish a short term goal, assess its difficulty. Set your next goal based on how you feel about the challenge.

Get the timing right.

Most people approach fitness goals with enthusiasm, but they fail to consider factors that make it difficult to reach that goal at the current time. The peak of summer heat or the dead of winter may not be the best time to start training for a half marathon. When the weather restricts your workouts, you might give up altogether. Consider a race later or earlier in the year. It’s also difficult to lose 20 pounds in the midst of the holiday season. A 5 pound weight loss is a big accomplishment with such a busy schedule and endless food temptations. Set yourself up for success and choose a timely goal.

Winter Citrus Salad RecipeWinter Citrus Salad

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Winter Citrus Salad Recipe

Citrus fruits are a bright spot in the gloomy months of winter. They add a burst of flavor to meals, and they are loaded with vitamins to keep you feeling your best throughout the season. This simple salad is delicious paired with yogurt for breakfast or when served as a healthy dessert.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving
103
Calories
% Daily Value*
0%
Total Fat 0.3g
0%Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 1mg
9%
Total Carbohydrate 26.9g
13%
Dietary Fiber 3.6g
Sugars 18.9g
Protein 1.6g
*
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 navel oranges, segmented and chopped
  • 2 red grapefruits, segmented and chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place the orange and grapefruit segments in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, mint and cinnamon.
  3. Pour the dressing over the fruit and toss to coat. Serve right away, or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

3 Reasons Not to Skip Meals3 Reasons Not to Skip Meals

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Reasons Not to Skip Meals

Skipping meals may seem like a good idea to cut calories, but it’s not a smart tactic for successful weight loss. It is tempting to save calories so you can indulge in a big meal without regret, but it is a practice that can easily backfire. Before you deprive yourself of a nutritious meal, consider how it affects your physical and mental health.

Overeating

You may feel like you have your hunger under control, until you sit down to the table. After skipping meals all day, once you are finally confronted with food, you are much more likely to overeat and choose unhealthy foods to satisfy your cravings. One study showed that subjects who skipped meals throughout the day and ate a large meal in the evening had elevated fasting blood glucose and delayed insulin response (risk factors for diabetes) after eight weeks.

Poor nutrition

It takes planning to ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need. This is much easier to accomplish when your meals and snacks are spread throughout the day. Skipping meals can reduce your variety of foods, and therefore, your nutrient intake. You may become too full to get all the foods you need when you do eat, or the increased hunger and cravings may cause you to bypass nutritious options for unhealthy comfort foods.

Bad attitude

A grumbling stomach and dropping blood sugar can affect your mood and attitude. Fatigue, irritability, and an overall negative outlook are just a few of the consequences of skipping meals. A bad attitude threatens motivation, and your desire to make healthy choices and stick to your workouts.

3 Ways to Exercise for Free in the Winter3 Ways to Exercise for Free in the Winter

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Exercise for Free in the Winter

Winter weather can make outdoor activities downright impossible. Don’t throw in the towel and give up on your winter fitness routine just yet. You can still have a great workout without the cost of a gym or exercise equipment.

Do you have stairs? Stairs are often overlooked as a tool for a challenging workout. If you don’t have stairs at home, take advantage of those at your office or school. A 175-pound person who climbs and descends stairs for 30 minutes will burn 209 calories.

Are you close to a shopping mall? Many people living in colder climates depend on mall-walking to get exercise. Some communities have organized sessions for exercisers and some malls will open early to accommodate walkers. If these sessions do not exist in your town, consider organizing one yourself. A 175-pound person who walks a flat course at 3.5 miles per hour for 30 minutes will burn 130 calories.

Snow falling? Turn your exercise into play time and blast calories in the process. Hiking in the snow, sledding, making snowmen, snow football and snowball fights are great ways to exercise. You can also knock out your workout by shoveling the sidewalks. A 175-pound person will burn 232 calories shoveling snow for 30 minutes.

Keep a positive attitude and embrace the many winter exercise options that don’t exist in the summer months. View winter as an opportunity to break up your normal routine and improve your fitness in a new way.

Twice Baked Black Bean Sweet Potatoes RecipeTwice Baked Black Bean Sweet Potatoes

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Twice Baked Black Bean Sweet Potatoes Recipe

This recipe gives a healthy twist to traditional potato skins. It combines sweet potatoes and black beans to make a delicious appetizer or snack that is loaded with vitamins and fiber.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/8 recipe
Amount Per Serving
158
Calories
% Daily Value*
5%
Total Fat 3.5g
5%Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
1%
Cholesterol 3mg
9%
Sodium 211mg
9%
Total Carbohydrate 26.9g
16%
Dietary Fiber 4.6g
Sugars 7.7g
Protein 5.1g
*
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp mild chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

Serve with: salsa, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, Greek yogurt, or chopped avocado

Directions

  1. Poke several holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork. Microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Carefully cut the sweet potatoes in half and let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Working over a medium bowl, scoop out the flesh until only a thin layer remains inside the potato skins. Set the potato flesh aside.
  3. Grease a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Arrange the potato skins cut-side up on the baking sheet. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic. Cook about 3 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
  5. Add the black beans, reserved sweet potato, and stock to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium low. Use a rubber spatula or a potato masher to stir and mash the sweet potato and black beans together.
  6. Stir in the lime juice, chili powders, and salt. Turn off the heat and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Fill each of the potato skins with an equal amount of the sweet potato and black bean filling. Sprinkle the top of each with a ½ tablespoon of cheese.
  8. Place under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is browned and melted. Serve warm.
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