Nutrition

Feed Your Machine

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Some time ago, I wrote about some timeless principles to manage your most important project (YOU) – by focusing on being a better person. You can read it here.

I want to take the idea of managing yourself a step further to look at your physical health. After all, you can’t be your best when you don’t feel good. I’m going to focus on nutrition. Hear me out, this is not a shake-my-finger-at-you sermon to go on a diet. Diets don’t work. My focus is a paradigm shift regarding the way we think about food.

Here are two scientifically proven mathematical equations for food to get us started.

Garbage In = Garbage Out

Eat Real Food = Feel better + Improve Performance + Look Better

Your body is a finely tuned machine. You may not think so when you look in the mirror, but it is absolutely true. It performs countless functions every moment that we don’t even realize. It also gives feedback on how we take care of it.

Much like any other machine, it performs well when it is cared for, and it performs poorly when it is not cared for. Ever put soda or donuts in your car’s gas tank? Would it operate well if you did? In the same way, we need to feed our bodies with the right fuel if we expect to perform our best.

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NEWS FLASH: our bodies were not meant to eat highly processed, chemically enhanced, boxed food with 25 ingredients on the nutrition label even if it says “low fat”, “healthy”, “low calorie”, “high protein”, etc. Without getting into all the science of chemical additives and processing, I promise that these unnatural, unpronounceable ingredients are not good for us.

If you feel low on energy during the day, depend on caffeine, carry more weight than you’d like, suffer from pain and fatigue from performing common activities, have indigestion, bloating, or are often “irregular” you should first look at how you fuel your machine.

I’ve been on a journey of natural, whole foods healthy eating for a while now and can attest that it is the secret formula to help all the ailments I mentioned and more.

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You might say, “I don’t have time to eat healthy” or “I don’t know how to eat healthy.” I’m with you. I said these things myself, and not too long ago.

Changing your nutrition requires a change in your MINDSET about food first. You must agree that your fuel impacts your body’s performance and that natural, whole food is the best way to eat.

Instead you say, “I can’t afford to eat poorly” or “Learning to eat right is important to me and I’m going to figure out how to do it because I want to perform, feel, and look my best.”

You make conscious decisions about what you put in your mouth because you know that it will absolutely impact you whether you feel it immediately or not. Just like you wouldn’t put soda in the gas tank because you know the car wouldn’t work, you mindset about fueling your body should be the same. I mean who doesn’t want to perform, feel, and look their best today AND for the long term?

Educating yourself about proper nutrition and whole, natural food eating is key. The internet is filled with nutrition advice, some of it is good (and much is not).

My favorite healthy eating resource is www.9010nutrition.com This is a thorough resource with articles, videos, links to healthy recipes, and a no obligation email registration that connects you to even more great advice and encouragement to help you along your healthy eating journey. Of course there is the Fitness & Nutrition tab on my website that has a recipe section as well.

If you are ready to make real and lasting changes to your health, the next step is up to you. I would be honored to help you get started on your healthy living journey. Let’s chat!

Nutrition

Can You Say “I’m So Full” On Your Diet?

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Please don’t diet.

Diets in their traditional sense are not sustainable long term. They usually make you feel terrible, starved, irritable, hating life, etc. That’s why people don’t stick to diets and why there is a multi-billion dollar industry built around our propensity to quit and re-start the next diet fad. The results are an exhausting yo-yo through our healthy living journey. What’s the latest diet craze? Keto. No carb. Calorie In Calorie Out? Anyway, whatever is the latest thing is what people will do…and ultimately quit leaving their temporary results behind. Ugh. There must be another way. Good news!

I’m no foodie, and I’m actually not very good at healthy eating. I can dive off the wagon as fast as anyone, chomping cookies all the way to a delightful belly ache. But I’m now 1/2 way through an 80 day eating plan that has my nutrition dialed in like never before and I have to tell you what I’ve learned so far.

1. Using portion control containers is a pain to learn, then super easy.
Portion control containers is not a new concept, but it’s new to me. I loathed the idea of measuring my food, and I was certain it was complicated. Yep, I’m guilty of formulating an opinion without any real evidence or trying it myself.

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Here’s the thing. I have a complete written guide that spells out what the containers are for, when I should eat them, and in what combination. I really don’t have to think about it. Just follow the instructions.
2. I’m so full. I can’t eat anymore.
Mind blown on the first day. I selected the nutrition plan that suits my weight and goals based on a simple calculation to pin my calorie range. Mine happens to be about 2,400 calories per day to maintain weight (I’m not interested in losing weight) with 30-60 minutes of daily exercise. I ate so much food that by dinner time I was not even close to hungry. I ate anyway, as prescribed. Hey, I’m a rule follower. It seems very counter-intuitive to eat so much when you are supposed to be eating healthy, but when you eat the right foods at the right times the results will follow. Even Angie’s plan (designed for her to drop a few pounds) has her tummy full every day and she is losing inches and LB’s consistently.
One more thought about this. Simply counting calories and eating whatever you want does not work. You will be hungry because your body is starving for NUTRIENTS not calories. You must feed the machine that is your body!
3. “Meal prep” sounds like a curse word, until you actually do it.
Guilty again of opinion without personal experience. I assumed it would be terrible. “Who has time for meal prep?” Seven weeks in, I testify that meal prep works. Make a mess in the kitchen once and be done for the whole week. Having all your food set for the week is liberating. It’s easy to pack, so it can be taken to work (no excuses) and I don’t have to dig through the fridge/ pantry to find something to eat.

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4. My budget likes when I eat well.
You save money when you grocery shop with a plan. We no longer buy things that don’t align with the eating plan, so there is no wasted food and no worthless snacks in the cupboard. Our plan comes with a long list of options for every food category to take any guesswork out of shopping. Buying produce doesn’t go bad when you use it every day. Frozen veggies and fruits last a long time. Most boxed snacks, cereal and other “foods” are expensive if you consider that eating a serving of cookies or chips leaves you hungry in 20 minutes.

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5. Having a partner in this is the best.
I would really struggle doing this alone. Angie is my support and I am hers. We are in this together and that makes it more rewarding and fun. This adventure is something we have in common, and we pick each other up when it gets hard. It’s not all easy. Sometimes cookies sound better than carrots, but we have goals, a plan, and each other to press on. We are also in a larger “virtual” support group through a handy phone app with daily check ins and encouragement from others doing the same thing.

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6. I feel great!
Eliminating hunger from my daily struggle on my healthy living journey is FREEDOM! I don’t think about food like I used to. I eat what I’m supposed to, when it’s time, and it works. I don’t have sugar spikes and crashes, no bloating, my digestion is excellent, mental clarity is improved, skin feels better, I’m losing fat and adding muscle in all the right places.

So there you go. I guess this is my 40 day review of the nutrition part of the 80 Day Obsession program Angie & I are doing now. I didn’t even touch the workout part – maybe some other time. But even if this amazing Beachbody program isn’t for you, learning portion control and healthy eating has never been easier. Don’t be fooled by elaborate schemes, special “protein bars” or expensive mail delivery meals as seen on TV. You don’t need them. Do this. I’m happy to show you how.

Fitness, Nutrition

How to Lose Weight On a Budget

Here’s Pro tip #1 on how to lose weight on a budget: Don’t spend your paycheck on imported superfoods, a personal trainer, and spendy meals.

Losing weight on a budget is completely doable, says Krista Maguire, R.D., C.S.S.D., and Beachbody nutrition manager. What’s more, eating healthfully on a regular basis doesn’t have to cost significantly more.

Maguire points to research showing that the healthiest diet patterns cost only about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diet habits.

That adds up to about $40 extra a month, an amount you can easily save in other areas, like meal prepping or making coffee at home.

That said, there are still a number of smart budgeting and creative hacks to help you stretch your dollar even further, says Maguire.

Before you get started, though, it’s important to map out your weight-loss strategy.

Identify Your Goals and Create a Budget

First things first: Spend a little time brainstorming your specific weight-loss intentions, whether it’s exercising three times a week or eating one serving of vegetables at every meal.

Next, consider what will motivate you to follow through (or not) with your goals. Do you need to participate in a guided workout program to exercise regularly? Or do you need a detailed grocery list to avoid temptation?

Having a clear idea of what’s necessary to carry out your weight-loss goals will help you stay on-track and effectively determine where to allocate your spending money.

13 Weight-Loss Tips If You’re On a Budget

1. Stock up on simple, healthy staples

“You don’t need fancy foods like chia seeds, coconut kefir, or organic sprouts to lose weight,” says Maguire. “Keep it simple and stock up on some basic veggies, fruit, lean protein, canned beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains [that you can] mix and match to make a variety of meals.”

Maguire adds that Beachbody’s Ultimate Portion Fix eating plan, which comes with a comprehensive food list and color-coded portion containers, can help you prepare inexpensive, nutritious, and delicious meals that won’t break the bank.

Not sure what to make? Check out Autumn Calabrese’s cooking show FIXATE for great healthy recipes and consider trying one of the hundreds of recipes available on the Beachbody Blog!

(Pro tip #2: Check out this comprehensive guide on how to lose weight with simple adjustments to your diet.)

2. Rely on budget-friendly sources of protein

Instead of meat, which can be expensive, look to more affordable sources of protein for your meals, suggests Jackie Newgent, RDN.

“Eggs are delightful beyond just breakfast time, [and] lentils and beans contain both protein and fiber; this nutrient combo is especially satiating,” she says.

If you’re a vegetarian, you’re probably well-versed in budget-friendly vegetarian sources of protein, like yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, quinoa, and teff, to name just a few.

For ideas on how to incorporate more plant-based proteins into your meals, check out these vegetarian recipes.

3. Do at-home workouts

You don’t need to belong to a pricey gym or buy an expensive (and space-hogging) treadmill to get fit and healthy.

When you join Beachbody On Demand, you can stream workouts from the comfort and privacy of your home.

You’ll have 24/7 access to hundreds of different workouts designed for exercise newbies, advanced athletes, and everyone in between.

(Pro tip #3: Find out which Beachbody program is right for you.)

4. Drink Shakeology

All Beachbody programs include a nutrition plan to help you learn how to eat a healthy, balanced diet, fuel your body, and make the most of your workouts.

Shakeology is an important part of that nutrition plan. It isn’t a meal replacement, but it can be part of a healthy meal, and it’s a great way to help curb junk-food cravings so you won’t be tempted by sugary or fatty (and expensive!) snacks.*

This superfood protein shake can also help you hit your daily nutrient targets when you’re on-the-go or don’t have access to a wide variety of healthy fruits and veggies.*

(Pro tip #4: Concerned about the cost? Find out how a Team Beachbody Coach manages to fit Shakeology into her tight monthly budget.)

5. Double down on water

Make water your go-to beverage, Newgent suggests. “It quenches thirst, provides zero calories, and can be virtually free,” she says.

Water should be an essential part of your diet, regardless: Up to 60 percent of your body is composed of water, and your body needs plenty of it to function properly.

The amount you need will vary by individual, but Beachbody experts recommend consuming half your body weight in ounces of water each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water daily.

Don’t like plain water? Infuse it with your favorite fruits and herbs for a hydrating and delicious drink.

In terms of cost, consider this: Replacing your morning coffee drink or afternoon soda with a tall glass of good old-fashioned H2O can save you anywhere from $2 to $5 a day, which amounts to a whopping $60 to $150 a month.

The same goes for alcoholic beverages, like happy hour cocktails and mimosas at brunch, which tend to be high in cost, sugar, and calorie count.

6. Go grocery shopping with a list

Instead of ambling through the grocery store with only a vague idea of what you want to buy, go prepared.

“Once you know what you plan to eat for a week, even if it’s just a rough outline, then you can wisely plan your shopping list,” says Newgent.

And a good shopping list will help you stick to your budget and your healthy meal plan. The key to creating one? Be specific, yet flexible.

“Keep some foods in general categories on your weight-loss menu and shopping list,” says Newgent.

Instead of listing apples and pears, for example, just list “fruits,” then wait until you see what’s on sale/in season in the produce aisle.

“As a bonus, it’ll likely be what’s most seasonal and [in] its peak of nutritional value and flavor,” Newgent explains.

7. Move more throughout the day

Ramping up your daily activity level outside of your regular workouts is an effective and affordable way to burn even more calories.

When you’re going about your day, all your movements — washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, and taking out the garbage — are often referred to as NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

Research calls NEAT an “essential tool” for controlling body weight. A Mayo Clinic report shows that the differences in energy expenditure between two people of about the same height and weight can vary as much as 2,000 calories per day based on NEAT.

So, get your NEAT on by making small changes to your routine: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car farther from the store. Do a lap around the office every hour, or see how many calf raises you can complete while your coffee is brewing.

(Pro tip #5: Get more [almost] free ideas on how you can move more here.)

8. Buy healthy food in bulk

8. Buy healthy food in bulk

“You don’t have to shop at Whole Foods or Erewhon to be healthy and lose weight,” says Maguire. “Stores like Costco sell organic produce and other high-quality foods in bulk for lower prices.”

Before you head to the store, make a list of healthy foods you reach for on a regular basis. That’ll help you stick within your budget and prevent food waste.

Items like apples, carrots, eggs, mixed greens, beans, lentils, nuts, and whole grains are great staples to have on hand at all times because you can use them in a wide variety of meals and snacks.

9. Meal prep and cook at home

If you adopt just one new habit from this list of weight-loss tips, make it this one.

Preparing your own nutritious meals and snacks can do wonders for both your body and your bank account.

Let’s face it: Dining out regularly can get expensive, not to mention super challenging if you’re trying to eat the proper portions and cut back on processed foods.

“By cooking more at home,” Newgent says, “you’ll have more control over calories and cost.”

Research shows that people who cook at home are more likely to choose nutritious foods and consume fewer calories per meal than people who dine out.

To maximize your grocery budget and save time, try meal prepping nutritious foods for the week so you always have something calorie-friendly at the ready, says Newgent.

For instance, if you cook a big batch of low-calorie soup and whole grains and chop your veggies at the beginning of the week, all you’ll need to do is mix and match and you’ll have dinner done in a snap.

As Maguire notes, buying presliced or precooked foods (say, a head of romaine lettuce versus a prepackaged bag of it) is often more expensive than doing the prep work yourself.

10. Skip the processed snacks and make your own

Processed packaged snacks can be pricey, not to mention loaded with refined sugar and other additives.

Making your own healthy grab-and-go snacks requires a little more effort, but it’s a weight-loss tip that can save you precious money and calories.

Planned snacks can help keep you satisfied and curb overeating at mealtime,” says Newgent.

For a high-protein snack, try mixing cashews, almonds, and pumpkin seeds with roasted edamame. Or try your hand at making your own protein or energy snack bars.

Or satisfy your sweet tooth with a Chocolate Caramel Delight Smoothie or a Pineapple Mango Smoothie.

11. For produce, go seasonal or frozen

When buying produce on a budget, it’s a good idea to look for seasonal fruits and vegetables.

“Produce that is in season is not only more fresh and nutritious, it is [also] more economical,” says Maguire.

But if you want produce that’s not local or in season — say, strawberries in January or brussels sprouts in the summertime — go for the frozen variety.

“It’ll be both budget-friendly and diet-friendly — and in ready-to-fix form,” says Newgent. Bonus: Frozen produce means less food waste because it won’t spoil as quickly as fresh, giving you more time to use it, adds Maguire.

12. Find your tribe

Exercise groups can help make working out more fun. They can also help keep you accountable for working out, increasing your exercise consistency — and your odds of achieving your fitness goals.

With a Beachbody On Demand membership, you’ll be assigned a Team Beachbody Coach who hosts online groups with other like-minded members and provides one-on-one guidance and support.

With groups, you can check-in, ask questions, share workout advice, and track your progress.

The Beachbody community is also a great place to get encouragement, find inspiring success stories, and share your own journey.

13. Be creative with leftovers and scraps

“Food waste can add up to a lot of wasted money,” says Maguire. Before you buy more groceries or call for takeout, try to use up whatever is left in your fridge or pantry.

Leftover brown rice? Use it to bulk up soup. Four eggs, half an onion, and a can of beans that haven’t been used? Make a filling scramble. Berries that are about to go bad? Throw them in a shake.

If you can’t eat food that’s about to expire, don’t stress — just freeze it to enjoy later on, Maguire suggests.

Check out these tricks from the pros that will make your leftovers taste like new:

  • Store leftover plain pasta with a little oil to keep it moist. If your pasta is sauced, reheat it in the oven (covered) at 350º F until heated through.
  • Use the stove for “soupy” grains like risotto; and use the microwave for grains like quinoa and rice — add a little water or broth to keep them from drying out.

The Bottom Line

With some practical hacks, smart choices, and a little elbow grease, you’ll find that losing weight on a budget is totally doable and may even save you money in the long run!

Author: Paige Smith is a freelance writer, editor, and perpetual optimist from Southern California. When she’s not tapping away on her keyboard, she loves to travel, read, drink tea, and get sandy (not necessarily in that order). See more of her at paigeashleysmith.com.

Fitness, Nutrition

THE No-Brainer Daily Breakfast

4-Shakeology-Myths-BustedBreakfast is a no-brainer for me. I’ve had the same thing EVERY DAY for over 3 years. You would think I’d get sick of it, but I don’t. Actually, I look forward to my super yummy, convenient and healthy breakfast. My body craves the complete nutrition without any chemical or artificial junk in it. It keeps me full until lunch, my health has been amazing, and most days it’s chocolate. Hello! Why wouldn’t I have it every day?

Despite the long list of benefits for consuming this amazing breakfast, there are still some common myths about my beloved Shakeology that keep people from trying it. Let’s take a look at a few… and bust the myths!

Shakeology Myths You Might Have Heard:

  • Shakeology is just a protein shake
  • Shakeology doesn’t contain whole food ingredients
  • Shakeology is expensive
  • Shakeology is only for weight loss

Myth #1: Shakeology is just a protein shake.

I can’t blame the general public for thinking this since “protein shake” has become nearly an interchangeable term for any shake. But all shakes are NOT created equalespecially ones that contain super foods. Shakeology is a very nutrient-dense shake.

You’d have to eat a whole lot of different foods to get the fiber, phytonutrients, protein, vitamins and minerals in a single glass of Shakeologyand it would be tough to do that for fewer than 170 calories. Truth be told, the majority of people are way more NUTRIENT deficient than they are PROTEIN deficient. 

Myth #2: Shakeology is just a bunch of extracts, with no whole-food ingredients.

Whenever it’s possible and sustainable for the formula, the super foods in Shakeology are whole ingredient powders processed in a way to preserve their nutrient value. It’s more difficult to source these specialty ingredients, but Beachbody has a whole team of scientists whose mission is to help maximize the nutrition in every ingredient used in Shakeology. Imagine trying to eat all those super foods – let alone buy them! Shakeology is way less expensive and a huge time-saver.

When comparing other shakes against Shakeology, take a look at the calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrate amounts, but also look at the INGREDIENTS. For instance, you might notice other shakes have zero grams of sugar. Or worse, they likely include artificial chemicals and fillers that our bodies cannot properly process. Shakeology has no artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Myth #3: Shakeology is expensive.

Most healthy shakes out there cost between $3 and $10. Shakeology, at $4.33 per serving, comes in on the low end of the average. When compared to other meal options of similar cost, Shakeology is far superior. 

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When you buy a bulk bag of Shakeology, you’re buying 30 of your shakes upfront. It means you’ll spend less money at the grocery store. Because of the grocery savings, we actually deduct our monthly Shakeology from our grocery budget. I cannot duplicate its vast quality of ingredients and nutrients for the price. Since real food is also medicine for the body, many people are able to quit certain medications, supplements, and vitamins because Shakeology has them covered. Cutting out those expenses makes Shakeology even more affordable. I personally have reduced my prescription for acid reflux disease medication by 90%.

Myth #4: Shakeology is only for weight loss.

Most shakes are marketed for weight loss. And in the short term, many other shakes can help you lose weight. So can some pills and other chemical potions. But in the long term these are only temporary solutions that may do you more harm than good.

Alternatively, Shakeology is about health. When you put the right nutrients in your body (in the right amounts and combinations), you may ultimately have more energy, fewer cravings, and feel better. As a result, you might eat less and become more active. With Shakeology, weight loss is a byproduct of dense nutrition and a healthier lifestyle. Angie & I can attest to these results. My mom loves it too!

When was the last time you dieted and cut calories only to feel tired, grouchy, and battling against a ton of cravings? That’s because you are likely nutrient deficient. Because it’s so nutrient rich, Shakeology helps you in your battle to lose weight.

Shakeology isn’t magic. It’s clean, dense nutrition made super easy. Don’t let the bed head distract you. My Shakeo is the best way to start the day!

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Wanna try 30 days of Shakeology for free? Get it here!

Fitness, Nutrition

7 Healthy Habits for LASTING Weight Loss

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There’s a group of people out there who know the keys to losing weight and keeping it off. Lasting weight loss is about figuring out what works well in your life and making it into a habit. So who better to learn from than highly successful people who have lost 30 pounds or more and kept the weight off for at least a year?

Who Are These People?

The folks we’re talking about are real people who did real work to shed pounds — and now they’re willing participants in an ongoing research study that started in 1994. They lost the weight, kept it off for a year (or more), and then signed up for the National Weight Control Registry (NCWR), which aims to be the largest study of long-term, successful weight-loss maintenance.

The NCWR has registered 10,000 individuals since it began, and the average person in the registry has kept off 66 pounds for 5.5 years and counting. About half of them report having at least one overweight parent. Most are between the ages of 44 and 49, which could mean that it takes time to figure out just the right mix of diet and exercise habits.

What’s in it for participants? They get to help scientists figure out how they could escape the cycle of yo-yo dieting with which so many people struggle. While each person’s weight-loss journey is unique, there were seven common habits that worked for these weight-loss winners. Here’s where we think they got it right:

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1. They eat fewer calories than the average American

Most of the registry participants ate a low-calorie diet the average was 1,306 calories for women and 1,685 calories for men. For perspective, American women and men in their 40’s eat an average of about 1,873 and 2,520 calories, respectively.

The science behind eating fewer calories to lose weight is solid, but over the years, we’ve learned that a calorie is not a calorie. The quality of those calories matters significantly. That’s why 100 calories of fiber-filled apple slices can help you feel fuller longer than 100 calories of licorice.

Counting calories is helpful, but turning it into a habit can be a challenge. Calories do count, but you don’t always need to count them. You can achieve similar results (with less math) by learning how to control portion sizes. Something as simple as portion containers can help you learn what is the right amount of food (read: calories) for your body. And don’t forget about calorie quality: Aim for a balanced nutrition plan that includes plenty of fruits, veggies, whole-grains, lean proteins, and healthy fat.

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2. They eat often, up to five times a day

The registry participants eat more frequently than people who are overweight. They generally eat five times daily, which breaks out to three meals and two snacks. Science has a tough time making the final call on whether or not eating more often will hurt or help your progress.

Sure, eating often can mean more opportunities to overeat, but it’s also a good strategy to deal with hunger. Grazing on healthy snacks like fresh fruits, veggies, string cheese, and Greek yogurt is a no-brainer. Just remember that there’s a fine line between a snack and a full-blown meal.

3. They stick to a consistent diet

Most registry participants eat a fairly consistent diet whether it’s a weekday, weekend, holiday, or vacation. Results show that those who ate a consistent diet the entire week were 1.5 times more likely to maintain their weight within five pounds over the course of one year compared with those who ate a healthy diet strictly on weekdays.

While there’s not a ton of research in this area, this habit makes sense. Eating the same foods every day can help with self-control and keep unplanned temptations to a minimum. Keep in mind it’s perfectly OK to indulge in a cheat meal once in a while, but keep it to that: once in a while.

4. They don’t skip breakfast

A whopping 78% of those in the registry report eating breakfast every day, which is consistent with the trend that people who eat a morning meal usually weigh less.

Bear in mind that skipping breakfast won’t entirely make or break your weight-loss efforts. In fact, a small number of folks will skip this meal to lose weight through intermittent fasting. Fasting isn’t for everyone, so if that’s not your cup of tea, keep calm, and join the breakfast club.

A breakfast with a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates (high in fiber) like two eggs scrambled with vegetables and maybe 1/4 of an avocado, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, and one cup of fruit — can set the tone for the rest of day. I personally LOVE drinking Vegan Chocolate Shakeology blended with a banana, ice, and unsweetened almond milk. It keeps me full and energized all morning. And chocolate for breakfast…yes please!

A good breakfast may help cut down mid-morning hunger and decrease the chances you’ll be “hangry” by lunch. All this can build up to better food choices throughout the day, so you’ll be able to breeze by your co-worker’s batch of brownies.

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5. They prioritize daily exercise

Almost all (90 percent) registry participants exercise for about one hour every day. This habit is especially effective because nutrition works hand in hand with exercise to promote weight loss. Additionally, working out can help build more defined muscles.

The most effective ways to change your body composition is to add strength training and/or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your workout routine. Besides helping you slip into that little black dress, surprising exercise benefits include improvements in sleep, mood, and productivity.

6. They weigh in weekly

The scale can feel like a constant reminder that your goal weight is far away. People dread weighing in mostly because they don’t like the number they see. Yet, 75% of successful weight-loss maintainers weigh themselves at least once each week.

That number on the scale can be the motivation to implement healthy habits and stay focused on your goals. Hitting an “all-time high in weight” is a common trigger for someone to want to lose weight. Monitoring your weight weekly can catch a one- to two-pound weight gain, as opposed to monthly, where you could gain a much more significant amount.

While it’s a good idea to weigh in regularly, guilt-tripping yourself each time you step on a scale is a big no-no. Instead, think of that number as a valuable data point that can help you troubleshoot and plan for the coming weeks. Also focus on non-scale victories like how your clothes fit, how you feel with energy and confidence, and choosing well when tempted with treats that aren’t part of your plan.

7. They don’t binge-watch TV

If you’re juggling work, friends, and family, you know time is precious and finding time for healthy habits can be a challenge. But unless you’re doing burpees while binge-watching HGTV, you’re not making much progress when you’re in front of the TV. And to add insult to injury, eating while watching TV can contribute to weight gain through mindless eating. This doesn’t mean you have to give up television to see success, but you should limit your screen time to about 10 hours a week. By limiting screen time, you can make more time for other activities (hint: exercise).

The Bottom Line

It would be nice to think that these people are privy to some super-secret way to lose a lot of weight and keep it off. But the simple truth is that there is no secret; it takes hard work, consistency, and patience to see results that last. There is no magic pill, patch, wrap, or chemical concoction that will get you long term, sustainable and healthy results. Eat right. Sweat often. Rest. Repeat. You can do this!

Many thanks goes to Trinh Le, R.D. and the Teambeachbodyblog for doing the heavy lifting on this article.