Happy New Year, LifeVest friends! We’re excited to kick off 2015 with you, and want to take the time today to help you create some healthy goals for the year ahead. Goal-setting is important for driving motivation and focus so you can stay on the path towards a healthy, happy you. As they say, New Year, New You. Determine the “you” that you want to become, and then set the goal(s) that will take you there. A dream written down becomes a plan you can achieve.
While resolution-making is a common New Year tradition – 40% of Americans will set one this month – we know getting started can often feel like a challenge. We’ve got some ideas for you below to help get the wheels spinning. Choose one, or use it to inspire your own goal-making for finding health and happiness this year. Let’s see those dreams to reality, together!
Your 3-step plan:
- Choose a goal.
- Make it specific. Perhaps your over-arching goal is to “lose weight” or “get healthy” or “be happier”. To make that objective achievable, break it down into smaller goals. Consider setting a different goal to focus on for each month of the year that will take you towards your larger goal.
- Write it down. Putting pen to paper is proven to make you more successful in actually achieving your plan.
Healthy Ideas to Get You Started: Read the rest of this entry »
The best way to not just slim down, but keep that weight off, is to stick to a steady and achievable weight loss goal. Experts say aiming your efforts to lose within the one to two pound range per week is ideal.
So, what exactly will that take? The solution to lose one pound is as straightforward as cutting and/or subtracting 3,500 calories per week. With simple math, we can break that down into a burn of 500 calories per day, and we’ve got you covered with some activities to do just that below. Choose your favorite, and see your way to a slimmer, long-term you.
1. Zumba: One hour, moderate intensity; 536 calories
Love to dance? For many, Zumba helps burn calories without ever feeling like a chore. The fitness activity combines choreographed dance and aerobics to get your heart rate going and your dancing feet moving. You might even learn a new move or two that you can use on your next night out on the town. Find a class near you, here. To ensure you’re reaching a moderate intensity and burning those 500 cals/hour, you should be able to talk, but not sing throughout your workout. For even more of a burn, power it up further to high intensity, which will mean you’ll feel slightly out of breath and unable to engage in conversation during the routine.
This Thanksgiving, we encourage you to give thanks to your health, your greatest asset in life.
Below, find six ways you can be mindful of that, and create a healthier, happier Thanksgiving for you and your waistline.
Make the Most of Your Morning: Yoga & Yogurt
Start off strong by fitting in an a.m. stretch session when you wake up. This will leave you feeling relaxed, yet energized for the day ahead. Then follow it up with a healthy breakfast. Skipping this meal to save calories for later in the day can end up leading to an even higher intake overall, since hunger often results in overcompensation at the main meal. Try adding sliced bananas, cinnamon, walnuts, and a slight drizzle of honey to a bowl of plain, low fat Greek yogurt. Six ounces of Greek yogurt contains around 15 grams of protein, which will not only fill you up but also help keep you feeling satisfied until later in the day.
Goal(s): Lose a combined total of 150 lbs
Six months ago, Laura Meier joined LifeVest, and set out with her husband Brice on a mission to lose weight. They planned a trip to the Caribbean as motivation, and began making significant changes that would move them towards their goals. Each now two clothing sizes smaller and two energy levels higher, the two set sail this week and are ready to celebrate.
“We’re looking forward to enjoying [the trip] together and being motivated to continue on,” says Laura who’s over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds. Brice has exceeded the halfway point towards his goal, too, down 65 pounds and on his way to 100.
Laura was initially motivated by the opportunity to earn money through LifeVest. However, this quickly became merely an added benefit of the experience. She earned a FitBit early into her program and soon after bought Brice one too, and it was at this point that Laura decided to make her LifeVest journey one that would last for life. Together, the couple began powering up their step count, and benefiting from the results.
“Brice has problems with sciatic nerves and back pain, and he used to hardly be able to make it to the corner with me,” says Laura. “Now, he’s sometimes walking 40,000 steps per day because he’s feeling so much better by getting the weight off and getting active.”
Through the weight loss, Brice has been able to relieve some of the pressure from his knees and back, and Laura says she feels better about herself than ever before. They’ve decided they won’t be stopping once they reach their weight loss goal, but instead continuing to find new ways they can lead a healthier life together. Laura shares some advice on what’s worked for them so far, and how her and Brice are make the changes together.
“They’re like French fries but without as many of the calories and fat,” said LifeVest member Laura Meier.
Bingo. Laura’s description of rutabaga fries sounded great to us, and it didn’t take us long before we set out to discover its truth.
Since joining the program, LifeVester Laura is over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds, and now has a new goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long run.
“We’re going to keep encouraging each other and thinking smarter so we can remain feeling good,” says Laura who set out on her journey to health in partnership with her husband. “You have to think long-term. Otherwise, it’s all for nothing. Why go back when you could feel good for life?”
Laura told us she loves finding new ways to transform some of her favorite recipes into healthier versions. It keeps her feeling both satisfied and excited about continuing on.
She has always loved french fries, and we do too, so we were thrilled to hear about her latest version that enables her to remain on the right track toward her goals.
Rutabagas have just 1/2 the calories and 1/2 of the carbs that potatoes contain. So, inserting them into the standard oven-baked fry equation sounded like a genius idea to us.
Often mistaken for a turnip, the root veggie has that same sweet bite of a turnip with the starchiness of a potato. This makes them perfect for slicing up into flavorful fries, ones that luckily come without too much detriment to your diet.
At just 65 calories per cup, the winter veggie (in season Oct. – March) has become no small fry in our recipe book. Rather, thanks to Laura, it’s our new fry-making go-to.
We were thrilled with the crispy results upon our first batch, and are excited to experiment with other spices and herbs. We’d encourage you to do the same after first trying the chili powder version below.
As Laura shares, “It makes us, especially my husband, think we’re having a burger and fries.” She serves her ruta-fries alongside turkey burgers with lettuce swapped for the bun, a combo we can get behind.
Let us know in the comments, how do you make your favorite comfort foods healthier? We’d love to hear what you’re doing to transform some of your favorite recipes, and thank you to Laura for sharing this idea with us!
At LifeVest, we don’t take walking for granted. Requiring little else but our own two feet, walking helps us stay fit (burning about 100 cals/mile), smiling, thinking clearer, and feeling all around healthier. It has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise and can be an enjoyable and powerful tool for losing, or maintaining weight — especially with the tricks below.
We’ve got 5 ways for powering up your walk so you can get slimmer even faster, without needing to break into a full out run. So, ready to walk this way?
1. Small strides make big differences:
While it might seem counterintuitive, the best way to boost your speed is to shorten your stride. Taking smaller steps enables you to take more of them, which results in an increased momentum and calorie burn.
MoveTip: The next time you’re out on a walk, time yourself for 50 steps. Then, see if you can fit 100 steps into that same amount of time by shortening your stride.
First it’s Halloween. Bowls of candy begin to cloak your office’s kitchen counters like a captivating costume. As you’re working through a tough project or a mundane weekly task, your mind is thinking candy, and perhaps your hands start to follow.
Then comes November. Aunt Jane, Cousin Joey, coworker Christy – they’re all making pie. There’s apple and pumpkin, soon to be followed by December’s 12+ days of cookies. Pretty soon, you feel your pants are fitting a bit snugger, and you’re energy is flying up and down like a reindeer sleigh running out of steam.
As sugar season (aka, the holidays) nears full swing, temptations are bound to show up frequently, which is why we’re bringing you a game plan to keep your health on track. Remember, a healthier you = a better feeling you = a happier you. Avoid reaching for the candy bowl, and you’ll keep your energy levels from crashing and all those empty calories from packing on the pounds.
We’ve got 5 sweet, sugar-free escapes in the printout* above, so whenever the sugar fairy tries to cast its spell, you can turn away towards an even better alternative. Print it out and hang it by your desk or kitchen.
When temptation arises, turn to this guide and choose the option that feels most appealing to you. Go in with the mindset of each being a pleasant experience (or “sweet escape”, as we at LifeVest like to call it). This will set yourself up to enjoy each choice, and also make it so you won’t feel deprived.
Angela Delgado, 28, Compliance Analyst at JetBlue Airways
Her goals: Drop weight and tone up overall
At the start of LifeVest, Angela Delgado was the heaviest she’d ever been. She was unhappy with how she felt and looked, and decided enough was enough. Using LifeVest as the trigger, she set out on a mission to lose 30 pounds and hasn’t looked back since.
Now, six months into the program and ten pounds slimmer, Angela says her health journey has become so much more than a desire to lose weight.
“The goal now of hitting my target weight is just an added benefit,” she explains. “The whole experience has become about more than seeing the numbers drop and the weight come off. This is now a long-term lifestyle for me. It’s about feeling healthy, and making that a part of my life, for life.”
Angela used her commitment to LifeVest as motivation to start trying out a bunch of fitness classes. She was determined to find one she actually enjoyed, knowing that this would be a crucial part of making sure she’d stick with it. After trying a few different activities, eventually she came across boot camp classes. It was a discovery that has made her fall in love with fitness. Angela enjoys the variety that the sessions offer, and partnered with her participation in LifeVest, says she feel like “a whole new woman”. Below, she shares her story and some tips to inspire others to turn their life around, too.
You’ve put in the hard work. You’ve sweated it out. And likely it was all tough at first. Now that you’ve lost weight, the last thing you’d want to do is pack it back on. So instead, let’s talk about how to keep it off.
80% of those who lose weight gain it right back. We want youto be a part of that other 20%, and we’ve got some tips to make that lifelong goal a little easier.
Follow these 5 rules to help keep that energy going up, and that weight off, forever!
#1: The 80/20 Rule
Keep 80% of the food you eat daily within the clean, good-for-you category. As for the other 20%, let it be fun. This will help you build a positive relationship with food, and prevent you from feeling deprived, which will also help to eliminate your desire to binge on junk food. Balance and moderation are the keys to long term success. Read the rest of this entry »