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5 Tips for Achieving Your New Year’s Resolution

Only 8% of Americans stick with their New Year’s resolutions. Follow these five tips and set yourself up for success and achieve your goals this year. Cheers to a healthier 2019!

5 Tips for Achieving Your New Year’s Resolution

  1. Start Small – Set small, realistic goals and timelines. Create a goal of hitting the gym 3 days a week instead of every day or losing 10 pounds in 2 months instead of 60 pounds in 1 year.
  2. Focus on One Thing – Unhealthy behaviors don’t develop overnight and neither do healthy ones. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a long list of goals. Focus on one thing at a time. Once you feel confident in sustainable change with one habit, tackle another.
  3. Create an Environment for Success – Set yourself up for success by creating an environment that mirrors the healthy habits you’re trying to create. Late night snacking? Throw out the junk food and stock up on healthy items. Skip morning workouts? Get your gym clothes ready the night before and put your alarm clock on the other end of the room.
  4. Go Easy on Yourself – Did you skip a couple workouts or over-indulge on unhealthy foods over the weekend? Don’t beat yourself up or let it derail you. Missteps will happen. Get back on track and keep moving forward.
  5. Track + Reward – As you work toward your goal, track the progress and celebrate your successes. Did you hit 10,000 steps every day this month? Did you achieve your monthly weight loss goal? Celebrate those successes in a way that won’t undo your hard work like a massage or new workout clothes.

Weigh and Win Coaching Introduction

Part 1: Healthy Eating

We want to teach you to effectively fuel your body in a way that provides the nutrition necessary to keep you at optimal health and an ideal weight.

Eating Quality Calories

Food is medicine for your body, so please DO NOT starve yourself thinking it is in good health. The key to optimal nutrition is to build the perfect plate:

•½ non-starchy vegetables
• ¼ lean proteins
• ¼ quality carbohydrates and healthy fats

Try to limit your amount of starches and sweets, mostly found in processed foods, which provide an abundance of unnecessary calories and little nutrition.

Monitor Portion Sizes

Most people mindlessly eat larger portions when they are already full! Use your palm as a guide for a portion control.

• Fist = Quality Carbohydrate portion (apple or sweet potato)
• Palm = Lean Protein portion (chicken, fish)
• Thumb = Healthy Fats portion (nuts, avocados)
• Handful = Non-Starchy Vegetable portion (carrots, squash)

Eat 5-6 Small Meals a Day

Eating quality foods in smaller portions more frequently stabilizes your energy and hunger levels throughout the day. The result is that your energy will stabilize and you will be more in control of your eating habits!

Treat Yourself Occasionally

Try to follow the program six days a week or about 90% of the time. You don’t have to give up cravings forever! Treating yourself on occasion will make the program more sustainable.

 



Part 2: Get Active and Stay Active!

Learning how to eat to heal your body through nutrition is going to give you great results. To achieve even better results, you need to incorporate more and smarter activity in your daily routine.

 
Basic Daily Activity

Today many of sit in the car, sit at work, and then sit when we get home. It is important for your body to stay active during the day. Try incorporating more activity into your daily routine by simply going on a walk, taking the stairs, or playing with your kids.

 
Cardio Training

Cardio training is great for getting your heart rate up and burning calories! The possibilities are endless: walking, running, riding a bike, skiing, playing tennis, swimming. If you want to increase the intensity, first add resistance and then later speed as it is safer for your joints as a beginner.

 
Strength Training

Strength training will help you torch fat and replace it with lean muscle for a healthier and more toned body. Muscle tissue acts as a furnace and continuously burns calories even at rest!

 


Part 3: Set Yourself up for Success

As you prepare for this amazing journey, the Health Coaches would like to share some pointers to get you started!

  • Write Down Goals
    Write down why you decided to join the Weigh and Win program. Why do you want to be healthier? What are your health goals? Need help setting SMART goals? Check out our goal setting guide.
  • Build a Support System
    Build a support system and develop a sense of accountability within yourself. Discuss your new health lifestyle with your spouse, family, friends and co-workers so they can support you.
  • Be Patient
    Have patience the results will show. This lifestyle change is not a quick fix; it is a long term lifestyle change. Take it one step at a time and focus on the basics such as proper exercise form and adding more vegetables.
  • Prepare Properly to Stay on Track
    Set yourself up for success by doing simple things like packing your gym bag the night before and having meals prepared for the next day.
  • Listen to your Body
    Your body is an amazing machine that will guide you if you let it. Enjoy getting healthy and staying health!

The Weigh and Win Fitness Team
1-800-694-0352
personal.trainer@weighandwin.com

6 Reasons You Should Bike Instead of Drive

The average American spends 600 hours a year in a car. That’s five years of the average lifespan or roughly 7% of our lives. If that isn’t reason enough to get out of your car and onto your bike, here are six more reasons.

 

  1. Add Physical Activity into Your Day

With busy schedules it can be difficult to fit in a workout. Adding activity into your day is a great way to ensure you’re getting enough physical activity each day and biking to work or the store is a great way to accomplish that.

  1. Avoid Traffic

Nobody enjoys sitting in traffic. Skip the stress of people cutting you off and traffic accident delays. In fact, biking may be quicker than driving when you take into account accidents and construction closures.

  1. Fight Pollution

Forty percent of all trips in the United States are to destinations within two miles of home! Plus, 60% of pollution created by cars happens in the first few minutes of operation. Biking can reduce your carbon footprint and improve the air quality in your community.

  1. Biking is Easy on Joints

Riding bike is a great exercise that is easy on the joints. For someone that may be overweight or just beginning a fitness program, exercises like running can be hard on the joints, making bike riding a great alternative.

  1. Bike for a Better Brain + Improved Mental Health

Biking regularly can help reduce the effects of depression and anxiety disorders. Biking can also help your mental focus. According to a study, people scored higher on memory and reasoning tests after 30 minutes of biking.

  1. Save Money (and Earn Some Too)

Riding your bike instead of driving for just one trip a week can save you money on gas over time. Plus, riding bike and additional physical activity is a great way to lose weight…. which you can earn cash for with the free Colorado Weigh and Win program.

Healthier Holiday Traditions

Week 1: Healthier Holiday Traditions

Thanksgiving – a holiday that the term ‘food coma’ probably originated from – can make sticking to your health goals difficult. Rest assured – it is possible to enjoy Thanksgiving without stuffing yourself (leave that to the turkey). Let’s kick off the holiday season with a healthy start.

Manage Your Portions

With a little planning, you can enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites and avoid going to bed ten pounds heavier. Depending on what time of the day you sit down for your big meal, eat a healthy breakfast and avoid snacking throughout the day. At meal time, survey the options. Skip the items you don’t enjoy as much, while leaving room to indulge (moderately) in your favorites.

Cook Healthier Alternatives

If you’re hosting, try cooking healthier options of your less healthy family favorites. For example, try roasting vegetables in oil instead of baking them in butter or swap half the potatoes for cauliflower in your mashed potatoes – no one will notice the difference! Check out our Pinterest page for more healthy Thanksgiving meal ideas.

Create Active Holiday Traditions

Create a new Thanksgiving tradition of doing something active. Sign-up for a Turkey Trot with friends or family, try our Planksgiving workout, play a game of touch football before the big meal (work up an appetite) or go for a post-meal (pre-dessert) walk around your neighborhood.

Join the Fall Back Into Fitness Team Challenge

Fall Back into Fitness with the Weigh and Win Team Challenge!
Get healthy, have fun and win great prizes!

JOIN

Join or create a team of 4-8 people and compete between August 1 -October 31. Don’t have enough people to create a team? Visit our Team Challenge Facebook Group to connect with others.

COMPETE

Compete in one of two categories:
• Most Average Weight Improvement (%)
• Most Average HEALTHpoints (participation)

TRACK

Work together as a team to get healthier and fall back into fitness and healthy habits. Watch your team’s progress in real-time on the Team Challenge Leaderboard.

WIN

Top three teams in both categories win amazing prizes and a $1,000 donation to a Colorado-based non-profit of their choice.

WEIGHT IMPROVEMENT TEAM CHALLENGE PRIZES:

1st Place Team: incentaHEALTH Smart Scale ($129)
2nd Place Team: $60 Nike Gift Card
3rd Place Team: $35 Amazon Gift Card

HEALTHPOINTS TEAM CHALLENGE PRIZES:

1st Place Team: $30 Target Gift Card
2nd Place Team: Bluetooth Headphones ($22)
3rd Place Team: On-the-Go Salad Container ($18)

New to the Team Challenge?

Five Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Do you find yourself feeling drowsy or unmotivated during the day? Do you rely on extra caffeine or energy drinks just to carry yourself through? And what about sugar—do you tend to reach for it more often just because you feel unmotivated or without any energy? These are all common responses, particularly in the American diet and day-to-day living where we tend to be busy most of the time. Unfortunately these habits are not long-term fixes to this ongoing cycle. Instead, insufficient or poor-quality sleep is likely to blame.

According to health professionals at the NIH, “sleep is essential for emotional well-being, healthy brain function, physical health, and day-to-day safety and basic function.” You may have noticed this from pulling those all-nighters back in college, working long hours, or even during long road trips. The impact this can have on us is considerable and recovery, well sometimes that’s not as attainable as we would like it to be! But we’re here to help you find a better solution for better sleep. Try a few of these tips out the next time you are looking to get some extra ZZZZZZ’s.

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1 | Get yourself on a healthy routine.

Determine the best time for you to get sleep. Is a 10pm to 6am schedule best for you? Maybe you tend to get an extra burst of energy at night and going to bed after midnight is best for your schedule. Whatever the ideal hours may be, make sure you stick with them! And, make sure you are aiming for at least 7 hours of restful sleep to get adequate rest and recovery. This may take time and diligence- you may even find you occasionally have to say ‘no’ to some evening plans, but the long-term benefits will be well worth it!

2 | Practice relaxation before bed.

Many of us unwind in front of a computer, or with a good movie or TV after work or dinner. This can be OK in moderation, but keep in mind that that added screen time can really impact our ability to relax and fall into that deep slumber we yearn for. Instead, try reading or listening to relaxing music. Opt for a warm bath or some soothing tea, such as chamomile or tulsi. Add some lavender to the air—think candles, essential oil, lotion, or find a fresh lavender plant to keep by your bedside. Lavender is naturally relaxing and can help to support the parasympathetic nervous system, which is what kicks into gear during stages of relaxation.

3 | Get plenty of physical activity during the day.

Regular physical activity helps keep the circulatory, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems healthy. But, did you know, it also supports healthy brain function, including our wake-sleep patterns?? This is great news for those of us that find sleep is impaired due to stress or even depression. Exercise is stimulating so make sure to finish any vigorous exercises approximately 3-4 hours before bedtime. And things like yoga, tai chi, and qi gong are all excellent modes of activity that can be done before bed for additional relaxation.

4 | Avoid over-caffeinating.

While it seems like an easy solution to fix those bouts of energy lulls and exhaustion, caffeine consumed out of moderation can actually interfere with normal sleep cycles. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400mg of caffeine is considered “safe for most healthy adults.” That’s equal to approximately 4 cups of coffee. However, keep in mind that caffeine can also be found in energy drinks, green, black, and some white teas, yerba mate (a type of South American tea), and chocolate. And not everyone responds the same to caffeine, so if you find you are sensitive to this ingredient, try cutting down or eliminating it completely. Also, avoid consuming too late in the day as it can interfere with normal sympathetic/parasympathetic function by being over-stimulating.

5 | Make sleep a priority.

Lastly, sleep is something we all need, so make sure it is at the top of your priorities each day. Whether you need to set yourself a reminder or just get in the habit of winding down by a certain hour, just be sure it’s a focal point of your evening. Learn the things that help you to de-stress and relax. Determine the times you eat and consume beverages in the evenings. And, make it a habit to avoid those things that interfere with falling and staying asleep (e.g., alcohol, thinking about a recent or past negative situation, worrying about the day ahead, being surrounding by too much noise or light, and eating too much sugar before bed). These activities and thoughts are distracting and are not necessary at this time, so find a practice that helps you to let go of these things. For example, if you find your mind is very active in the evenings and that you tend to dwell on the day’s events, try instead to lie on your back, close your eyes and imagine you are in a peaceful place. Maybe it’s a beach or the mountains, maybe there’s a stream nearby or gentle rain. Maybe you are surrounded by beautiful flowers or that you are surrounded by soft sand. Imagine the sounds and the smells of your surrounding in this peaceful place. Imagine that time doesn’t exist and that you are entitled to this moment. Breathe slowly and deeply and allow yourself to drift into this place. If you find your mind wandering, just bring it back to this place and continue to breathe. This takes practice, but once you get it down, it can really help to get you into the right mode for sleep. Above all else, allow yourself the time and effort that sleep deserves and the benefits will astound you!

Sources:

Is Stress Eating Interfering with Your Healthy Weight Progress?

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Playing a major role in every aspect of life, negative stress is a result of everything from mundane daily life tasks, to feeling ill; or in the most severe of situations- major career shifts, lost loved ones, and even difficulty with managing weight. So what’s the toll this constant bombardment of stress can have on us? Well, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, some common effects of stress include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anger
  • Depression

What we don’t always consider are the impacts that stress can have on our lifestyle choices and daily behaviors. Stress, especially when chronic, can lead to episodes of over-or undereating, drug or alcohol abuse, social withdrawal, and a decrease in physical activity.  These factors not only interfere with achieving a healthy lifestyle, but these are particularly impacted when trying to lose weight.


The Food + Mood Connection

Eating comfort foods (i.e., sweet, salty, and fatty or fried foods) during times of stress can not only pack on unnecessary pounds but it can further impact mood and raise the risk for anxiety, guilt and even depression. In fact, reaching for your favorite comfort foods can become such a common response, that it often deviates from allowing you to cope with stress in a healthy and meaningful way.  Instead of opting for food during times of stress, try out some alternatives.FOOD MOOD-01

Healthy Alternatives to Comfort Foods

1 | Learn the signals of stress

Become familiar with stress and how you typically respond to it. Instead of allowing the element of surprise to increase your stress and hinder your ability to cope, anticipate when something may become stressful and learn ways to adapt.

2 | Go on a walk

Rather than making a mad dash for that pint of ice cream in your freezer, opt for a 20 minute walk outside. Even if the weather is not optimal, the fresh air can really help to clear your mind, allowing for you to think of positive ways to overcome the situation; not to mention, exercise stimulates blood flow and stimulates the feel-good endorphins in your brain!

3 | Keep healthy snacks on hand

Instead of having those foods that interfere with you being healthy, opt for fresh cut fruits and veggies, whole-grain granola, Greek yogurt, low-fat string cheese, and sparkling water. It’s far easier to choose these foods when the junk foods aren’t easily accessible, so replace those unnecessary foods with those your body can really benefit from!

4 | Find an alternative to boredom

Tend to reach for comfort foods out of boredom? Seek out an alternative, such as reading, journaling, meditation, walking, stretching, talking with a loved one, spending time with a pet, or listening to music. Allow these positive distractions to help you overcome the fear of boredom and any stress that comes along with it.

5 | Identify setbacks

This happens to us all! Instead of beating yourself up over giving into that tempting pizza because you just had a rough day, accept that it was just a bad day and it was just pizza. Tomorrow is a new day and full of opportunities to focus on making healthy choices.

Above all else, be patient with yourself and learn that creating new habits takes time. When you learn positive ways to overcome stress, it’s pretty incredible the possibilities you begin to create!

Source:
Healthy Lifestyle: Stress management. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987 Accessed Apr 10, 2017.

 

Tips for Avoiding Added Sugars

Sugar has been getting a lot of negative attention in the media over the last few years. That’s because not only is it one of the main causes of our country’s obesity epidemic, but it also can cause preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cavities, just to name a few. Cutting sugar out completely can seem impossible but here are some simple things to look for to help avoid consuming added sugars.

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Read the Labels

There are products you know sugar is already in such as fruit juice, sweetened cereals and candy. The problem is sugar is hidden in a lot of foods we typically would not expect. Everything from tomato sauce, to ketchup, to granola bars and even some spices contain sugar. Make sure to read the label fully and look for the amount of sugar per serving size. Ideally, you should aim for sugar to be no more than 48 grams per day. There are about 56 grams of sugar in a bottle of Gatorade… just to emphasize the importance of reading the labels first before consuming.

Read our blog post ‘Limited Added Sugars’ for more tips.

Buy Fresh Foods over Canned

It is recommended by the USDA food guidelines to aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and a colorful assortment of them. Although fruit does have sugar in it, these are natural sugars and not artificially added sugars like the ones we find in our processed foods. Canned foods, especially fruits, are swimming in syrupy sugar water in order to preserve their freshness and shelf life. Always choose fresh over canned and just shop for the amount of fresh produce that you’re actually going to eat that week, since it will go bad faster than the canned versions.

Try Healthy Substitutions

There are a number of baking substitutions you can use to reduce your sugar intake. Applesauce is a great natural sweetener to use in place of large amounts of sugar. You can also use extracts to bring sweetness to baked goods such as cinnamon and nutmeg. When you bake at home, you can even cut the sugar called in recipes down and not notice the difference in taste.

Make Your Own Food

The best way to make sure you don’t consume any extra sugars is to cook your own food at home. You get to choose the ingredients, you know exactly how much sugar goes into a recipe, and you can control your portion sizes. This is a great way to take control of your health and really give your family the healthiest foods. If you need some inspiration on lower sugar dishes, check out some of the healthy recipes below.

5 Healthy Ways to Enjoy Spring

It’s a fresh season, so why not a fresh start on your healthy habits, too? Here are five healthy ways to enjoy spring.

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1 | Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Asparagus, rhubarb, peas – enjoy the bounty of fresh in-season fruits and vegetables!

2 | Longer Days

Soak up the sun and enjoy the longer days of sunshine. Vitamin D is good for you immune system, bones and mood.

3 | Warmer Weather

Now that the weather has warmed up, spend more time outdoors. Research suggests spending time outdoors helps reduce stress and lowers blood pressure.

4 | Spring Break

Whether you’re off to the beach or planning a staycation, time spent relaxing and recharging is good for your health and long-term stress reduction.

5 | A Healthier Home

Open your windows and let the fresh air in as you spring clean your home and de-clutter. Did you know research suggests that people with organized homes are more likely to be physically fit than their cluttered counterparts?