New year, New me… We’ve all been there. Today I am addressing new years resolutions, and how to stick to them when it comes to staying in shape.
When New Years rolls around, it’s very common for people to set goals about how they are going to lose weight or just stay in shape in general, and let me tell you, these goals are usually completely unrealistic. “I’m not going to eat any junk food, ever.””I’m going to work out seven days a week.””I’m cutting carbs out of my diet completely.” I’ve seen them all. When you create goals like these, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Maybe you really enjoy working out, and going to the gym seven days a week isn’t a challenge for you, then that’s fine, that goal is something you could probably achieve. But for the rest of us, that realistically won’t happen.
Creating New Years resolutions should be about something that you can actually achieve so that when you do, you feel accomplished. Instead of trying to juggle ten different goals, try only setting one or two for yourself. Trying to accomplish too many things feels like a full time job, and is most likely going to end with you throwing in the towel a week into the new year. Another good way to make sure you stick to these goals is to make sure you set goals that you can actually accomplish. Maybe you’d like to workout more so you set a goal to go to the gym at least two or three times a week. That way if you miss a day or two, you aren’t drowning in guilt. And that way if you end up going to the gym five times that week, you feel on top of the world. Or maybe you eat junk food like it’s going out of style, so you set a goal that you are only going to eat it once a week, or only on the weekends. Whatever it may be, the goals should be fitting to you, and be things that you can actually accomplish. And once you accomplish those, you can keep adding more.
So, take baby steps, start small, and work your way up until you are feeling like the best version of yourself.
Tags: Diet Tips
One of the biggest struggles for college students is that they can’t always afford a gym membership. However, working out on your own, and trying to make up your own workouts can be extremely challenging as well. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient workout to do right in the comfort of your own home, you’ve come to the right place.
The Sworkit app has pretty much saved my life during my college years. This app is very helpful because it sets up a workout for you, all you do is follow along. It also allows you to pick what you want to workout, whether it be strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching, there’s something for everyone. In the strength category, you can pick between full body, upper body, core, or lower body which makes it very easy to focus on one area at a time. One of my favorite things about this app is that you can pick how long you want your workout to be, ranging anywhere from 5-60 minutes. So even if you only have a few minutes between work and class, you can still get a quick workout in.
This app is very helpful for people who struggle with making up their own workouts because it tells you exactly what you’re doing, for how long, and what is coming next. Not only does it tell you what you’re doing, but it also shows you an example of how to do the move, just in case you’ve never seen it before. Sworkit also sets up the workouts to be in interval form, which gets your heart rate up quick, and can help you burn a major amount of calories in a short amount of time.
So whether it be you’re pinching pennies, and can’t buy a membership, or you’re just feeling too lazy to go all the way to the gym (it happens to the best of us) Sworkit can help you release the guilt you may feel when you’re eating that extra cookie later.
I won’t lie to you, late night snacking is one of my all time favorite things. Cuddled in bed, watching netflix, and just snacking… sign me up. However, this can be a very dangerous game. If you’re sitting there with a bag of skittles, it’s very easy to get carried away and eat the entire bag, (oh wait, or is that just me??) I know that when I am laying in bed, I am always craving chocolate. And like I’ve said before, I can’t just cut chocolate out of my diet, it’s just not possible. So, I’ve found a healthy solution to these late night cravings.
The solution is simple, dark chocolate covered bananas. This snack is almost too easy, it just doesn’t even seem real. All you have to do is buy some bananas, cut them into slices, and freeze them for about 30 minutes. Next, you melt a bar of dark chocolate, and dip the bananas in the melted chocolate, and stick them back in the freezer for another 5 minutes. So easy!
This snack really is so helpful to those cravings because you get so much chocolate in each bite, and you really don’t need to eat an entire handful because the dark chocolate is so rich. These are also one of my favorite snacks because you can put them in a container and keep them in the freezer, so anytime you just NEED some chocolate in your life, you can pop one in your mouth and it does the trick.
Cheap, Easy, and Healthy… Can’t get any better than that.
One simple way to reduce the amount of calories you’re consuming is to count calories. There has been research done that has shown that one way to lose weight easily is to record everything you eat, this idea goes hand-in-hand with calorie counting.
One of the best apps for this, and the one that I have used since high school, is called “My Fitness Pal.” This app is extremely helpful because it allows you to set a goal of how much weight you want to lose, or if you just want to avoid gaining weight, and it calculates how many calories you should be eating every day. They also make it very easy because you can use the bar code on the back of a lot of food products to scan it directly into your account. If there’s no bar code, you can just search the food, and it should appear in the search results. You are also able to record your workouts and how many calories you burned, which helps you track your progress.
The reason this method is so effective is because it allows people to actually see what they are putting in their bodies. Before I started calorie counting, I had no idea how many calories were in certain foods. Don’t get me wrong, this didn’t stop me from eating ice cream, m&ms, etc., but it definitely forced me to eat them in moderation.
The research that has been done on calorie counting and recording your food intake, has found that people will avoid binge eating just for the sole fact that they don’t want that binge recorded for them to see at a later time. This is something that never occured to me when I first started counting my calories, however, I can see how this can help change someones mind when they are feeling like they want to binge eat.
The app is free, the solution is easy, and it’s really quite interesting. So, I suggest you check it out, just to get an idea of how many calories you eat on a daily basis.
Tags: Diet Tips
I’m back again with “cooking for one” to share more of the easy, cheap, and healthy recipes I have discovered during my college years. The one I am going to share with you is one of my favorites because it really is so simple. Today’s recipe is Fajita Chicken. Here’s what you need:
-One Chicken Breast
-1 Bell Pepper, cut into strips
-1 Small Onion, cut into strips
-Salt and Pepper
Here’s the steps you’ll need to take:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Place chicken breast on piece of foil
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper
4. Place strips of bell pepper and onion on top of chicken breast
5. Sprinkle fajita seasoning over top
6. Drizzle with olive oil
7. Wrap the foil around chicken, cook for 25-30 minutes
Total Calories: 299
Again, this is a recipe I make often because most of the ingredients are already laying around my house, or can be used in another recipe. I really try to find recipes that have simple ingredients because that saves a lot at the grocery store. I originally found this recipe on a website designed for family cooking and the ingredients were just complex, and the cost of it was just out of my budget. So, I decided to modify that recipe so that I could cook this simple dinner any night of the week. I also cut out some ingredients that were high in calories. This is a recipe that is healthy but much more exciting than just a simple chicken breast and side. My favorite side to serve with this dinner is just a simple side salad or rice, but you can really serve with whatever you prefer.
I have never really enjoyed just going on a long run for my workout, personally it’s too boring, and my body just wasn’t made for that. I don’t want to bash on people who just get on a treadmill and knock out five miles, I envy them actually. However, I don’t think my body is capable of running more than one mile without wanting to die. Instead, I have started doing interval runs, and all I can say is, holy calories burned. Here is the interval I do:
-Minutes 0-4: Run, Speed: 6.4, Incline: 0
-Minute 4-5: Run, Speed: 5.5, Incline: 5.5
-Minutes 5-9: Walk, Speed: 3.4, Incline: 11
-Minute 9-10: Walk, Speed: 3.4, Incline: 2
-Repeat, total time of workout: 60 minutes
You can really change the speed of any of the intervals, those are just what works best for me. I really enjoy interval workouts because they force you to get the most out of your time. I’m sure most college students are like me, they don’t have time to be at the gym for hours, so doing intervals really makes you work in a short amount of time. Interval runs are also amazing for burning calories. This workout spikes your heart rate, and then forces you to have a “rest” period which lowers your heart rate. This back and forth is what causes so many calories to be burned. It has also been found that any type of interval or circuit workout allows you to burn calories even after you have finished your workout. You are capable of burning calories for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished your workout, depending on how difficult your circuit was. So, if you’re like me, and you’ve got to burn those calories in the shortest amount of time, interval runs just may be your answer.
For college students, one of the hardest parts of dieting is the fact that most diets call for absolutely no alcohol. Well, for most college students, this is just out of the question. I am here to tell you that you can be healthy without kissing booze goodbye. One of the easiest ways to cut calories while drinking is mixing liquor with water or club soda. You could drink vodka water, tequila with soda water, or whiskey water. All are better options then mixing with soda or red bull. Mixing your drinks with water cuts out the extra calories that soda has. Surprisingly enough, another alcoholic beverage that doesn’t rack up your calorie count is a Bloody Mary. A typical Bloody Mary is only 125 calories, which is much less than mimosas, margaritas, etc. You could also drink red wine, or light beer to cut back on drinking all your calories. So, you see, there are many “healthier” options when it comes to alcohol. However, when dieting it’s always a good idea to drink in moderation (told you it would be your new best friend). You could limit yourself to drinking only once per week, or only allowing yourself to have a certain number of drinks when you do go out. You just have to find a happy medium. Bottom line, there’s ways to diet without totally cutting out booze, you just need to be smart about what you drink and how much. So, next time you participate in thirsty Thursday, choose vodka, tequila, whiskey, and water.
Tags: Diet Tips
It’s no surprise to most that people on college campus’ everywhere go to extreme lengths to get skinny, or stay in shape. A popular diet I have seen many college students try is the Whole 30. This diet prides itself in allowing you to eat real food for the duration of the 30 days. Except does it really? You are not allowed to eat dairy, sugar, grains, soy, and of course, absolutely no alcohol. To help you understand the magnitude of what you’re giving up, here are foods you are not allowed to eat while doing the Whole 30: peanut butter, soy sauce, corn, rice, beans, cheese, milk, fruits that are high in sugar. Just from reading the endless list of what you can’t eat, I am already convinced this is a diet that I do not want to participate in. But, if you need more convincing, here’s the most important piece of information: this diet has been ranked as the worst diet of the year two years in a row. Nutritionists have admitted that the Whole 30 will in fact help you lose weight during the 30 days. However, once you add back all those food groups, the chances of keeping the weight off are extremely slim. It has also been found that once off the Whole 30, people are more likely to binge on the foods they couldn’t eat because they have been craving them. So, you’re telling me, I’m not allowed to eat any of the foods I want, and the diet isn’t even going to be effective in the long run? No thank you. I’ll stick to hitting the gym, eating in moderation, and calorie counting.
Tags: Diet Tips
Cook cheap, healthy, and easy dinners can be difficult in college, especially if you’re just trying to cook for yourself. When you try to find recipes online, they are usually crafted to feed 3-4 people. I decided to do all the hard work for you, and find a recipe that you can easily make for just yourself, is cheap, and still healthy. I found this meal on Skinny Taste, however, I modified it to feed only one. This dinner that fits the college trifecta is pesto chicken. Here’s what you’ll need:
-1 chicken breast
-Canned Basil Pesto
-Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
-Salt and Pepper
This recipe is nice because you only need a few ingredients, and they are things that you most likely have somewhere hidden in your kitchen. To make matters even better, this dinner could not be easier to make. Here’s the steps you’ll need to take:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Place chicken on pan, and spread one spoonful of basil pesto on top
3. Cook for about 15 minutes or until chicken is almost completely cooked
4. Take chicken out, top with two slices of tomato, and mozzarella cheese
5. Cook for additional 5 minutes
6. Serve with desired vegetable
I really love this dinner so much because it is very simple, and doesn’t take very long to make. Another up side to this recipe is that the ingredients are pretty common and can be used in other meals so they will not go to waste. The cost of this dinner is easily under $20 and is only 236 calories. Cheap, easy, and healthy… Music to a college students ears.
Being a college student usually means being absolutely broke. If you can’t afford a gym membership, it can be extremely difficult to get a good workout in. And if you’re like me, running just isn’t your thing, so you’ve got to get creative. A really effective, and free, workout I’ve started doing when the weather allows, is bleacher runs. I’m not going to lie, they are hell. Absolute hell. But they also burn an unbelievable amount of calories (and make you feel like a total badass.) My favorite way to do this workout is to incorporate cardio as well as strength training. I do this by doing intervals. Usually, I’ll run up and down the bleachers as fast as I can, then do some sort of strength activity in between. So if I decided to work on arms that day, I could do push ups, triceps dips, etc. If I were working on legs, I could do squats, calf raises, etc. I would usually do this interval workout for an hour. On other days I’ve made this workout strictly cardio. I’ll put 30 pounds in a backpack and run the bleachers and take 2 minutes in between to rest. If you don’t have free weights, you could use books or any other heavy objects as your weights. This workout can be modified very easily, you can add more weight, harder strength activities, or make anything easier, depending on how hard you want to work. I really enjoy doing this workout with a couple friends because it helps motivate me to work harder, and it’s honestly just more fun. So, if you don’t have money for a gym membership, but you have bleachers near by, you’ve got no more excuses.