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Secrets of Success
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 Pounds lost: 12.0 
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  • v SURVIVOR61
    When you feel like your in a rut, sometimes you just need to review what to do. See if there is anything your missing. Here is a list of things to check.

    1. Try a short workout. Even five minutes is better than nothing. For ideas browse Spark Peoples video library or workout generator.

    2. Try a new recipe. Cooking healthy foods can be fun and it never has to be bland.

    3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Your morning meal sets the stage for the rest of your day, so start it off right! Get lots of breakfast ideas here on Spark People.

    4. Drink your water, try adding fruit for a flavorful twist. Try to aim for 8 cups each day and you’ll feel the difference!

    5. Look at Motivational SparkPages. Seeing how others overcome similar struggles and obstacles can be a great source of motivation.

    6. Track your food & water today. No matter how it adds up, you’ll learn from it.

    7. Update your SparkPage. It’s a visual way to track your ups and downs, but also your progress.

    8. Share your goals. Whether you post them on the Message Boards or share them with a friend, you’ll be more accountable.

    9. Exercise for 10 minutes. Jump rope, march in place, or do some crunches. Small amounts do add up to something big!

    10. Find a buddy. Get support from friends, whether you need someone to listen or a mentor to give you ideas and encouragement.

    11. Take a walk. Don’t worry about how long or far you go—just get out there!

    12. Create a motivational collage. Include pictures of your goal and reasons why you want to get there.

    13. Go shopping for some healthy foods. Use this shopping list for ideas.

    14. Check the nutrition facts before you go out to eat. That way, you can make an informed choice.

    15. Ride your bike. Even a leisurely ride has benefits for your body and mind.

    16. Work in the yard. Gardening and yard work is a great way to add activity to your day.

    17. Take the stairs. Even if this is the only thing you do all day, you’ll feel stronger for it.

    18. Rack up those SparkPoints! You earn them for every healthy task you do on the site—talk about motivating! Aim for a certain milestone, such as 100 points, and then reward yourself with a SparkGoodie!

    19. Listen to an inspirational song. Better yet, make a playlist of them so you can turn to it whenever you need a boost.

    20. Re-start your SparkPeople program. Sometimes it’s easier to get back on track when you have a clean slate.

    21. Measure your portions. It’s a simple way to learn how much you’re eating.

    22. Eat a piece of fruit. Even if 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables sounds impossible to you, one is doable.

    23. Slow down during meals. You’ll be less likely to overeat and more likely to enjoy your meal.

    24. Play! What kids call “play,” we often call “exercise.” Play a sport, a game, or use the playground equipment to bring the fun back into fitness.

    25. Learn something new. Sometimes simply taking a quiz or reading an article about nutrition, fitness, or health can change your mindset and get you back on track.

    In getting fit, losing one point isn’t the end of the world. It happens to the best of them. In fact, if you can consistently win a few more points than you lose, you may end up becoming a winner. With healthy eating and exercising, as long as you’re consistently out-stepping your steps back, you’re ahead of the game. If you expect perfection (and many of us do), you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and guilt.
    63 days ago
  • v SURVIVOR61
    Dropping by to remind everyone that there are 10 easy ways to lighten up almost any recipe that you have. Whenever and where ever possible always substitute what you can to save on calories and saturated fat. This will help save calories and cholesterol.

    Sauté is the skinny way! A couple of tablespoons of low-sodium vegetable broth can be used instead of oil or butter in your stir fry or as the basis for a sauce. This method will add a nice flavor to your dish as well as a little moisture—and you'll save calories to use elsewhere. To get a dose of unsaturated fats, serve your broth-sautéed veggies with a side salad, and pour an olive oil-based dressing over the top.

    2. Just say no to skin. Three ounces of chicken breast meat with skin has almost 150 calories; three ounces of chicken without the skin has 50 fewer calories. Tasty as it might be, the skin contains mostly heart-unhealthy saturated fat. You can cook with the skin on to retain moisture (add fresh herbs or citrus zest underneath it to really bake in some flavor), just make sure to remove the skin before you enjoy your meal to save on calories and saturated fat. Remember to be heart healthy.

    3. Squeeze on the citrus. This adds a powerful flavor punch with minimal added calories, I use citrus on steamed veggies instead of butter or over a salad instead of a dressing. It’s even great on fruit salad in place of sugar and adds some zip when squeezed onto a pasta salad or into my morning water. Don’t forget to use the flavorful zest of citrus fruits as well on your cooking as well! Wash a lemon, orange or lime, then use a zester or grater to add the zest to dishes such as baked seafood and some chicken dishes.

    4. Be choosy about cheese. When using a mildly flavored cheese, such as Monterey Jack, you need more cheese to taste it. But when you choose a cheese with intense flavor, you can actually use less and still get the same effect. Try a reduced-sodium feta, sharp Cheddar or aged Parmesan next time. Light cheese wedges such as The Laughing Cow brand are so useful when you're watching fat and calories, too. I love mixing one of these soft cheeses into my scrambled eggs or noodle dishes instead of loading on the shredded mozzarella. My husbands mom turned me onto the Laughing Cow Brand during the holidays. She always makes us a cheese basket every Christmas.

    5. Now let's all Go Greek. Tangy, fat-free Greek yogurt is a healthful replacement for sour cream. You can try this switch in herbed and spiced dips, tacos, nachos, enchiladas, chili, baked potatoes or throw it in a cooked dish as a thickening agent. You’ll save 45 calories for each 2-tablespoon serving. I just love all the possibilities with Greek Yogurt. Don't even get me start with fruit!

    6. Your produce is so flexible, I love this. It adds body to soups and sauces just by using pureed vegetables instead of heavy cream, evaporated milk, butter or cheese. This move will also add fiber and nutrients to your dish for very few calories. A puree of carrots will add texture to meatless spaghetti sauce, and mixing a blend of beans into a chili or soup will add flavor and thicken it, all with very few added calories.

    7. Cottage cheese is a favorite, that I love to cozy up to even when it comes to a light snack. But, when a recipe calls for a significant amount of a crumbled cheese, like feta or ricotta, substitute half the amount with reduced-fat cottage cheese. This will retain taste, texture, protein, and calcium while ditching some of the fat and calories. This works well for stuffed peppers and most baked pasta dishes and my favorite lasagne.

    8. Pump up those veggies! You can easily reach the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies when you’re cooking at home. Veggies can compliment any dish on your planned meal, try adding nutrient-packed bulk to the meal for few calories. Just add chopped asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes or onions to your next omelet, even red peppers (or a frozen stir fry mix) to baked casseroles, or any kind of beans to a pasta salad. Include fresh or frozen spinach in pasta sauces and soups, and broccoli in your casseroles. The possibilities for adding veggies are endless with any dish!

    9. Cutting the cream. When making cream-based soups, sub fat-free half-&-half for heavy creams. Works just as good and tastes just as great as moms. This switch up gives soups a creamy taste and velvety texture just without all that saturated fat of a heavy cream. This will work great in pasta sauces too.

    10. Try making your own marinade. Marinate lean meats in vinegar and citrus combos (with a bit of Olive oil added) rather than a ready-made oil-based dressing. I also recommend trylng a fruit juices or wines. These agents will still tenderize and flavor the meat, and a mix of herbs and spices will bring out the flavor! (You'll also cut out a lot of sodium by not using the store-bought varieties!) Try cutting the meat in strips before dousing it to really let the marinade take effect.

    You can see, there are endless ways that you can boost the nutrition and reduce the calories of almost any recipe. Try getting creative and experiment a little with your favorite recipes. You may just find that you like these new ways of cooking just as much or even better!

    However you decide to cook... always remember to weigh and track you meals with Spark People's tracker!

    66 days ago
  • v SURVIVOR61
    Hey how's it going? Just giving a pep talk today. Sometimes we all have a day that just doesn't seem to be going right. If that seems to be happening to you. Listen up...okay. I love you and I am here.

    Try to track what you eat and that means everything. Even the stuff we are not supposed to eat. This helps us to be honest with ourselves, once we see it in writing.

    You can do this, you are not the only that slips. We ALL do it. We just have to get right back on track with the very next meal or snack. We can not allow our thinking to derail the whole day and start eating uncontrollably. When we do this, we let our emotions take over and think "oh, well I might as well just give up". This is not true.

    Don't give in to this type of thinking. Instead try "Okay, I slipped. But, I am getting back on track right now." Try by sipping on a glass of water with a twist of lemon and writing in your food journal and making a game plan for the rest of the day. But do not throw out the rest of the day or week over one slip up.

    If you still have the problem food in the house, throw it out. Trust me, no one is going to miss it. Soak it in water, it is better to waste it, than to have it around your waist. Right?

    Let's do this! You know We can! emoticon
    Your sister in Christ Jesus
    70 days ago
  • v SURVIVOR61
    Woo, woo it's a bran new day and we have a great way to keep ourselves in check!!

    Right on Sparks!! We can blog, track or talk with a spark friend. Isn't that Awesome to have so much support?

    Come on now emoticon all we have to do is "STAY POSTIVE" "THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS" and "DO THE WORK".

    After a while it won't be work, it will be a way of life. That's right a way of life and you won't even give it a second thought. Doesn't that sound wonderful?

    Come on and let's "Get that Body Rockin" ... Check out Coach Nicole's exercise videos, she even has chair exercise videos if you have disabilities. So no mo' excuse's.... Let's bust a move and get a groove on!

    Track...10 min.+ ....Track...10 min.+....Track....10 min.+.... emoticon
    71 days ago
  • v SURVIVOR61
    Awesome WAY2GO today! You can do it when it comes to changing things up, rethinking snacks and temptations.

    Stay motivated, journal and keep on Tracking!! Raise your awareness to what is in the food that you are eating and you will be able to control nutrition and calorie....

    Fresh is best when it comes to veggies and fruit.... eating whole fruit is so much better than drinking fruit juice and a lot less calories..... Just ask a dietician.

    Water is so good .... try for a 6 - 8 glasses daily and your sure to look and feel your best!

    Let's Get Sparking together..... emoticon

    72 days ago
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