Why You Should Not Calorie Count

Why You Should Not Calorie Count

To count or not to count… that is the question.  I firmly believe If you are trying to lose weight, you should not calorie count because it could could be hurting your weight loss progress. With all the fitness bands out there like Fitbit and apps like Myfitnesspal, calorie counting is very popular. But just because it is popular doesn’t mean it is helpful towards your weight loss journey.

I recently tested out Myfitnesspal, after hearing many of my clients using it. Here is what happened…

I WAS OBSESSED WITH COUNTING CALORIES AND FOOD! All I could think about was what I ate, how many calories it had, what I can eat next, and how soon until my next meal. Food became an obsession. I was stressed over what I can eat and couldn’t eat. Because I couldn’t eat certain foods (because they were too high in calories), I started thinking about it, and stressing over it… and of course, stress leads to binge eating. Needless to say, counting calories did NOT help me lose weight. It took dieting to a whole new level … I became OCD with food. I thought about

After 4 days, I came to my senses and deleted the app. Here’s what I learned.

1) Calorie counters are great to teach you the calories of certain foods that you didn’t think had much calories… fyi, red wine has about 100 calories in a 4 oz pour. Who knew??

2) Calorie Counters help you understand what proper portion sizes are, since you have to track portion sizes along with logging the actual foods.

3) If you have a tendency to be obsessive, STAY AWAY FROM CALORIE COUNTERS. It will cause you to have more cravings, since you are constantly thinking about food.

If you can use a calorie counter and not obsessive over food, fantastic! If you are like me, here is a great alternative. Use a food diary instead and write down your meals. It causes you to stay accountable without going overboard. Writing it down and reviewing it daily gives you an idea what you are eating. I recommend writing down the emotion you are feeling before and after eating. This will help you figure out why you are eating certain types of foods (sweets, salty…etc) and if you are truly hungry, bored, or if you are eating because of a particular emotion. For most of us, eating is caused by an emotion, filling a void or using it as a reward to make us feel better. Aim to use other ways to reward yourself instead of food. It could be a relaxing walk with friends, taking a long bath, or reading a good book. Developing healthy habits is the key to successful weight loss.

What are you thoughts on calorie counters? Have they helped you or hurt you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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30 Ways to Burn 300 Calories

30 Ways to Burn 300 Calories

Summer is around the corner and it is time for bikini season.  It’s time to shed the winter fat and get back in to swimsuits, bikinis, and tank tops.  If you are wanting to lose weight fast without making a lot of dramatic changes, I’ve got the perfect easy weightloss tips and tricks for you.  Here is 30 ways to burn 300 calories, without having to diet, exercise, or make any extreme changes to your lifestyle.

 

Remember:    One pound of fat is 3500 calories.

The goal is to lose fat and keep lean muscles.

 

Burning calories is an essential part of losing weight and being in shape. As long as you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.  It’s as easy as that.  Getting in shape isn’t about making huge changes to your daily life; it’s about making a series of smaller changes.

 

30 Ways to Burn 300 Calories

 

1. Sit Up Straight 

When you sit up straight, you engage your core, strengthening your abdominal and back muscles. You will also look taller and leaner as well.

2. Eat Breakfast

Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight – and keep it off. Eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism and it triggers your body to start burning fat. “People skip breakfast thinking they’re cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved,” says Milton Stokes, RD, MPH, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. “Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, binge-ing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure.” Read more at about the benefits of breakfast here.

3. Don’t Peel Your Fruits And Vegetables

The peel of the fruit and vegetables are often also the most nutritious part. Plus you will also get more fiber, which will keep you full longer.

4. Chew Your Food

Chewing your food helps you truly taste the food, causes you to eat slower, and also helping you feel fuller. It take your brain about 20 minutes before it is able to register from your stomach that you are full. Secondly, it uses bits of energy, so you’re burning as you eat. Try to aim to chew 20 times and set your fork down in between bites.

 

burn calories fast

5. Drink More Water

Drinking the right amount of water can easily save you 300 calories. Water boosts metabolism, so your body burns calories continuously. Most of us have trouble knowing the difference between being thirsty and hunger. Often times, we mistaken thirst for hunger. Instead, drink a cup of water when you think you’re hungry and see if the “hunger” goes away. When you are dehydrated, your metabolism also decreases. Drinking water throughout the day caused metabolic rates to increase by about 30 percent in a German study. You should drink half your body weight in oz. This is usually around 8-10 cups a day.

6. Get More Sleep

Getting fewer than four hours of sleep over an extended period of time slows the metabolism. There have been several researches showing how lack of sleep triggers and increases production of Ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Most experts recommend aiming for between seven and nine. To find out what your body needs, go to bed one weekend and don’t set the alarm. Wake up naturally. The hours you slept is how many hours you need to sleep each day.

7. Eat 4-5 Small Meals

Smaller meals are easier for the body to digest and helps increases your metabolism.

8. Relax

Relaxing feels so good, but it’s also good for your waistline. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, which causes more calories to be stored as fat, especially in your abdomen. Research also shows chronic stress is tied to an increase in appetite. Finding an effective way to reduce stress not only makes you happier, but it also makes your waistline smaller too.

 

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How To Squat

How To Squat

Hi Healthy Living Junkies!  One of the best exercises you can do to hit almost every major body part is squat.  Squats are great for tighten and toning your legs including hamstring, quads, and glutes, but did you know it also tightens your core and your back?   When you do squats correctly, you engage almost every part of your body.  Squats build lean muscles, which helps boost your metabolism and burn more calories.  When you build lean muscles, you increase your metabolism because muscles require more energy to sustain, therefore, using more calories. So how do you do a proper squat?  Simple.  Squat like a baby.

 

How to Squat Correctly

1.  Head in neutral position

2.  Tighten your torso

3. Keep your knees behind your toes

4.  Feet should be about shoulder width apart

5.  Keep your weight towards your heels

6. Stick your hips out like you are sitting in a chair.

 

How to Squat

How to Squat

 

Remember, the most important thing with squats is to maintain proper body position.  What’s your favorite leg day exercise?  My favorite leg day exercise is squats, and my least favorite leg exercise would probably be lunges.  =p

 

Let’s Stay Connected!  =)

 

Your Trainer,

 

Annie Chang

Healthy Living Junkie

Nutrition, Healthy Living, Free Workouts and Weight Loss Tips

 

P.S.  If you are trying to get in shape and you don’t have a lot of time, check out my video to see exactly what I do to lose weight fast. =)

 

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6 Ways To Be Happier

6 Ways To Be Happier

Hi Healthy Living Junkies!   Everyday you hear people talk about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that really mean? Healthy living is simple: It means committing to a lifestyle that promotes health, both mental and physical. Here are 6 ways to be happier; things you can do TODAY to being a healthier, happier YOU.

 

How To be Healthier And Happier!

1) Get Enough Sleep.

As a nation, we are overworked, over stressed, and sleep deprived. With an arsenal of caffeine-filled beverages available at our finger tips and a Starbucks on every corner, we can get a cup of coffee, choose to be a “Rock Star”, or get “Wings and Fly” on a can of Red bull. Often times, we compromise sleep for other things such as catching up on work, spending time with friends and family, or just getting some alone time after the kids have gone to bed. “I’ll just catch up on sleep this weekend”, you say to yourself. What we don’t realize is sleep is more that just getting rest. It is the time when our body repairs its self, from the inside out. Everything from your skin, to mental clarity depends is effected by getting enough sleep. Even our metabolism is compromised when you don’t get enough sleep. Instead of consuming calories at the optimal rate, the body hoards on to it, and “saves” it, since the body believes it is in survival mode. That is why no matter how hard you work out and how healthy you eat, you will NOT LOSE ANY WEIGHT if you don’t get enough sleep. How much is enough? Most experts agree between 7-10 hours is optimal. To see what your optimal sleep time is, try this: Go to sleep and do not set your alarm. Make sure you turn off your cell phone, and do not have any thing that would interrupt your sleep. When you wake up the next day, see how many hours you have slept for. This would be your optimal sleep hours.

 

2) Don’t Stress The Small Things

The human body is designed to deal with stress. Back in the cave man days, stress was helpful, pumping our muscles full of blood so we can run or fight when we are attacked. In modern days, our body responses to stress of emails, bosses, and the deadlines the same way as it does when we were running away from a lion. Over time, ongoing stress causes your body to be vulnerable to some serious health problems. Stress can impair memory and learning, and up your odds for depression. It also triggers the liver to produce more blood sugar, which is great if you are running from a bear. But the problem with elevated sugar (glucose) levels may increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. Long-term stress can lead to narrowing of the arteries and elevate cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. For women, stress can change your menstrual cycle, stopping it altogether, or make your periods more painful. Ongoing stress, also leaves you more susceptible to infection, and makes your skin worse (hello acne!). It can also effect your digestion, causing dry mouth, indigestion, nausea, and gas, or worse causing diarrhea or constipation. How to you reduce stress? Try closing your eyes and focusing on taking deep breathes. Often times, a change of scenery will help you relax. Go for a walk, call a friend, or try meditation. Reducing the amount of stress in your life will make you happier and healthier.

 

3) Eat More fiber!

Fiber is making a comeback and it is cooler than ever! Guess Grandma was just ahead of her days. In a recent Harvard study, researchers found “dietary fiber may reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases,” published in February 14′s Archives of Internal Medicine. In addition to being good to our hearts, fiber makes us feel fuller and more satisfied during mealtime, reducing the amount of food we eat. So how to you eat more fiber? Simple. Eat plenty of vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and legumes. Fruit is also a good source of fiber, particularly apples. Some fruits are higher in sugar, so eat them in moderation. In addition to the fiber, fruits and vegetables are also high in antioxidants, the good stuff that keeps the body happy and healthy (and young!). A double win!  Want to get in shape even faster?  Check out this educational weight loss video on how to lose 24 pounds by next month.  In addition to losing weight and getting in shape, you will also be healthier!

 

4) Pump Iron.

Gone are the days when pumping iron is only for jocks and body builders. When you incorporate weight training into your workout regiment, you develop muscle, which burns up to 50 calories per muscle pound. If you were to gain 8 pounds of muscle, you can burn up to 400 additional calories a day, by doing absolutely nothing. Weight training allows you to change your body into a fat burning machine, working even when you are sleeping. How great would it be to go to sleep and wake up lighter in the morning? And ladies, don’t worry about building bulk. Genetically, women do not have the testosterone levels to generate that kind of physique. To learn the truth about cardio, click here. Think of weight lifting as body sculpting, giving you the freedom to develop the body you want. If you keep your current eating plan and calorie intake, you will lose weight. If you choose to eat clean and healthier, you can lose the weight and fat even faster.

 

5) Drink H20 – Water is Your Friend

Did you know your body is composed of 60-70% water? Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. You need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. So how much water is enough? Experts agree the amount of water you need a day can be calculated by taking your weight in pounds and dividing that number in half. Convert that number to ounces and there is your target number. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you might want to drink at least 70 ounces of water a day. In addition to health benefits, water is the best choice because it’s cheap and has no calories or added ingredients. Sweetened soft drinks and sodas have added sugar that adds extra calories. Sports drinks may have the benefit of electrolytes, but it still has a lot of sugar per serving. So drink to your health, and a toast to H20! For more shocking facts about water, click here.

 

6) Enjoy the Ride.

Life is full of twists and turns, and more often than not, things don’t go as planned. I will be the first to admit; as a control freak, it frustrates me when things do go as I had envisioned it. Emotions are high, and so is my blood pressure. The heart is racing, and it is fight of flight time. Relax! So what if things didn’t turn out exactly as you had wanted? Many times, the most memorable parts of our lives are the parts that were not planned. Last year, a friend and I had planned a two week trip to Europe. Our arrival in Paris was filled with fun, laughter, and fresh yummy crepes (Yes, even trainers have cheat days!). After arriving at our second destination, London, my friend had an emergency back home and had to fly out on the next flight home. After just spending almost 24 hours between plane rides and airports, I was not thrilled about hopping on another flight home. Instead, I decided to stay in London for the remainder of my flight, and had the best vacation of my life. I met so many wonderful people (traveling alone forces you to make new friends), and really absorbed the culture. Had things gone as planned, I would not have discovered the joy of traveling alone. In fact, I am planning on a solo vacation again really soon. As a wise person once said, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” As I would say, “If life gives you lemons, make a margarita and put those lemons to good use.”

Want to get in shape even faster?  Check out this educational weight loss video on how to lose 24 pounds by next month.  In addition to losing weight and getting in shape, you will also be healthier!

Let’s stay connected!

Make it a Healthy Day,

Annie Chang

Healthy Living Junkie

 

“Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.  And I am here with you every step of the way.”

 

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