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5 Ways to Diet-Proof Your Social Life

5 Ways to Diet-Proof Your Social Life

Let’s face it, dieting tends to get in the way of truly enjoying all food. Show of (digital) hands: how many times have you said “no” to the homemade birthday cake at one of your friend’s birthday parties? When dining out, have you had to turn down a bite of food because it didn’t “fit” into your diet?

Feeling constrained by your diet is not fun for anyone, but don’t fear, we’ve got you covered! From brunch to the mid-day coffee break to late-night snacks, having your diet get in the way can be restrictive and limiting. And nobody has got time for that. Read on for solutions and strategies to diet-proof common social events.

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rye sandwiches and mashed avocado, eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers. tinting. selective focus

    Brunch

    Literally my favorite meal, since it incorporates some of breakfast’s best with lunch’s finest. When brunching, try to select options that are high in protein (think eggs, lean meat) and whole grains (whole wheat breads, oats) and don’t be afraid to add in some healthy fats (hello, avocado!). My current obsession is avocado smashed and spread on toasted whole wheat bread and topped with sunny side up eggs. If I’m feeling extra adventurous, I douse the whole thing with hot sauce.

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    Coffee

      Mid-day coffee break

      You are not alone if you often feel the need for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. I prefer my coffee black, but when I branch out of my comfort zone, I favor a fancy flavored coffee sweetened with lower-calorie options and fewer pumps of syrup. When I don’t feel like having something sweet, I just add milk (regular, coconut, or soy) to my coffee. It’s a nice way to make coffee feel like a treat while adding some healthy fats and protein.

      Happy Hour

        Happy hour

        To avoid a dreaded demise from happy hour to “hangry hour,” make sure you don’t show up to happy hour starved. Popping a handful of nuts before you head out the door will keep your stomach from grumbling. Once there, gravitate towards options that are fruit and veggie heavy. Enjoying a cheese platter or dips with some veggies is a great way to incorporate some more healthy choices.

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        Ice Cream

          Sweet treats

          Sweets and socializing go hand in hand and you don’t have to give them up to be healthy. Here, it’s important to keep portions in check. Split dessert with a friend or ask for a child-sized portion (many ice cream places offer this). It all boils down to calorie balance. You’ll not only be able to shave off some calories, but will save some money as well!

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          Wholewheat wholemeal pizza with tomatoes, cheese and herbs

            Late-night snacks

            Pizza, nachos, and anything fried—some of food’s greatest gifts. I would be crazy to advocate eating these foods all the time, but these foods, when indulged in moderation, can have a place in an overall healthy diet. It’s more about how they’re prepared than the foods themselves. Here are a few tips on how to “healthify” these tasty treats.

            • Order your pizza with whole wheat crust—this is becoming a more frequent option, and I have even seen these options in my local grocery stores, so take advantage of it!
            • On your next order of nachos, why not add veggies?
            • In the mood for fries? Sweet potato fries are a nice alternative to regular.

            So there you have it: five different social events and more than five different ways to liberate you from restrictive diets. Try one or two at your next outing and see how they go.

            Small changes can really add up to something significant, especially over time. Hopefully, you will be freed from dieting constraints while feeling empowered to make more healthful food decisions in these exciting, yet sometimes over-indulgent, social situations!

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            Last Updated on September 18, 2020

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

            Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

            1. Exercise Daily

            It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

            If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

            Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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            If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

            2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

            Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

            One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

            This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

            3. Acknowledge Your Limits

            Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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            Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

            Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

            4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

            Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

            The basic nutritional advice includes:

            • Eat unprocessed foods
            • Eat more veggies
            • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
            • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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            Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

              5. Watch Out for Travel

              Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

              This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

              If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

              6. Start Slow

              Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

              If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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              7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

              Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

              My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

              If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

              I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

              Final Thoughts

              Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

              Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

              More Tips on Getting in Shape

              Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

              Reference

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